Chapter 1: Away From Home
If you thought that you read the wrong fic, no, no you didn't. In fact, I had rewritten this chapter because I really dislike it in particular due to the lack of character development and I just felt that it was kind of too straightforward before I was able to better the plot. So, I hope you enjoy this new and improved chapter!!
I woke up from my deep rest feeling myriads of emotions, excitement and fear coming on top of the others. I tried to pull the duvet to my head but the sunlight was harsh enough to wake me up. As the temperature rises, so does my excitement for this very day. My slumber, though was very tempting to return to, was not a viable option for me if I ever wanted my plan I had conjured up for years to work. As reluctant as I was to part ways with my beloved bed, I got myself up and sauntered to my bathroom, stopping by the large mirror that greeted you whenever you enter the room with your reflection. I took my time in unclothing myself for I desired to imprint this bathroom of mine into my mind so that I wouldn’t forget about it when I leave home for good.
The maids that were stationed in my chambers had been waiting for me since the brink of dawn to carry out their assigned duties in washing the grime off of my body, something I deem highly unnecessary. As much as I wanted to dismiss them to let them do other work, I was ordered to be constantly monitored every single day in order to prevent foreign ideas and bodily injuries from being introduced to me. Although occasionally, I would slip away from their perpetual surveillance and enter the royal libraries to meet up with my sister so the both of us could research and share our interests about the planet I had grown a deep penchant and curiosities towards. Especially this one particular nation called ‘England’ who also has a ruling monarch, something that I could relate to being royal blooded as well. So after I let the maids commence their obligations, I plan on escaping this wretched place and end my suffering once and for all.
They had dressed me in this outfit that had all of these complex designs that seemed to be futuristic and archaic at the same time with its luxurious and extravagant embellishments. Though I never despised these outfits I was accustomed to, it would be a liability in my schemes. I was fortunate enough in being able to retain the garments from Earth I had procured off of a black market smuggler after experiencing the monthly raid my mother would hold to make sure that I had no objects or memorabilia that were linked to the planet Earth for she despised that planet for unknown reasons. When they finished their tasks and left my chambers, I had switched into those smuggled garments and felt my heart race with excitement when I saw myself in them through the large mirror and gave myself a smile. I seemed to look exactly the same as the people of the Earth and could blend in with their crowds easily.
I exited my bathroom which was connected to my bedroom through a lengthy hallway and peered my head outside my bedroom door to ensure that there weren’t any guards which was stationed in the halls. As odd as it was, there wasn’t a single soul besides me. I hurriedly packed up all of the items that I deem as essential in surviving the unknown world inside of a bag that had been fashioned out of sapphires and emeralds that had its interior and pockets lined with vicuna that I had received as a gift last year from the prince of Jupiter. I placed my teleporter, some rare materials that I know I could sell for a fortune on Earth, my transmitter, the keys to my spaceship and some medicine that was commonly used to acclimate oneself to the gravitational shift, climate and other differences other planets have. I wasn’t concerned about clothes for my plan had come into effect for months now. I had other bags that were filled to the brim with my clothing I had hidden inside of my spaceship under a compartment where nobody ever knew the existence of.
Once I made sure that I was truly ready, I took out my teleporter to avoid detection from the guards and attendants who were always stationed outside every corner and keyed in the right coordinates which would transfer me inside of my spaceship if things had gone right. I clutched my belongings tight and pressed the button, immediately teleporting outside my room and reappearing on the royal landing dock, much to my dismay. I was confused as to how I could’ve ended up on the premises and looked down to my teleporter and reassured that I had entered the correct coordinates so what could’ve gone wrong this time? My questions were shortly answered when I heard rapiers being unsheathed and the electric hum it produced, a weapon that would easily end one’s life with only one simple slice. I turned my back and witnessed an army of royal knights holding their blades at an angle where it seem to be inches away from actually harming me, their tormented facial expressions contrasting their synchronised actions that appeared to be controlled. I knew of only one person in the entire galaxy who was capable of doing such a feat.
I felt my heart sink when I heard a thunderous clap that was loud enough to be heard from the repeated humming noise, followed by the sounds of high heels being clacked against the flooring that immediately silenced everything in the premises and prompted the guards to sheathe their rapiers. The guards then formed uniform lines, and saluted the woman clad in a white and enormously pompous dress that at first glance, appeared to drown her with the sheer volume of it similar to Elizabethan dresses the monarchs of England would wear eons ago, yet seemed to amplify her bone chilling glare. She strode in my direction, making me break out in cold sweat and my heart race with fear with every step she took. Her maleficent smile which never faltered only made her seem far more terrifying and induced me to want to cower in fear and die in a corner somewhere, an effect of her powers. She stopped striding and stood tall in front of me and opened her mouth.
“Good morning my love, going somewhere?” She rhetorically questioned for she already knew the answer to her own quiz since she had the power to read one’s mind and control the crowd to do her bidding. Her blue green eyes glaring down on me as if it was piercing through my soul.
“Mother.” I spitefully addressed her, feeling my hands tremble over the engulfing pressure she exerted.
“Come now, why are you in the landing docks? Did you hide anything from mother dearest?” Her question exited her mouth in a sickly sweet voice, playing around with her fan she held on her other hand.
“No I’m not mother, I’m just doing my usual check-up. I’m not hiding anything at all.” I lied, knowing full well that any answer wouldn’t matter.
“Are you certain about that?” She asked, opening her fan and tilting her head slightly.
“Yes I am mother dearest, why would I hide anything from you?” I lied once again, feeling the cold sweat run down my back.
“Are you telling me lies, John Richard Deacon?” She asked and took her time in uttering out my complete name.
“On no account, mother did I-” “Well then, solitary confinement awaits you my son. I believe that you will achieve many great things there.” She interrupted my explanation and closed her fan, her smile still plastered all over her face.
“Wh-what?” I blurted out.
“Oh, whatever happened to those lessons your tutors taught you? Were they all for naught? What a disappointment you have become, John.” She continued, turning around and was about to return to the palace when I suddenly responded.
“I refuse to accept my punishment.” I boldly stated and held my head high, trying to overcome my trepidations towards her.
“What did you say? Could you repeat what you had said for mother dearest?” She turned around and queried in an enraged and menacing tone which greatly differed from her previous voice, her eyes turned into a crimson red hue which showed no remnants of the icy green hue it was just seconds ago.
I was aware of the fact that my simple disapproval had angered her beyond comprehension, judging from the hue her eyes were in. For those who have royal blood flowing in their veins, they would always exhibit these peculiar traits that acts as a differentiating factor from normal Lunarians with their eyes turning a blood red colour when angered as an inherited trait passed down to them from the very beginning of this kingdom. They were also born with supernatural powers that differ from individual to individual that would awaken either the moment they were born or would develop over time with mine being the latter for I had no powers whatsoever to date, thus prompting the hideous and cruel rumours of my lineage being impure to surface. Some went as far as to call me a bastard behind my backs and act as though I was a deity not meant to be affronted by mere mortals, pretending to not know of the existence of those false pretences when asked about. The sole reason on why they would not dare offend or slander me to my face was because of my title of Crown Prince. If I held the title of Baron or Viscount, I would be endlessly taunted into oblivion.
“I-I said that I refuse your judgement brought upon me, mother.” I retorted, feeling my confidence waver by each passing second.
“Now, I do not wish to hear your tantrums any longer and you will return to the palace at once.” She ordered, her piercing gaze made me lose control over my body.
“N-NO!” I let out a yell as I struggled to regain control over my form.
“John, you will do as I say and I will turn a blind eye over this puny fit of yours. Now come, your punishment awaits you.” She said in her sweet voice that made me shrink back in terror.
“Why can’t you just let me do as I please, mother!? Why can’t you grant me freedom and-” “SILENCE!” She screamed out, interjecting my responses and slapped my face hard enough for me to collapse. I placed my hand over my cheek that she had inflicted pain upon, feeling it heating up and hurting from the sting.
“YOU DO NOT RAISE YOUR VOICE AGAINST YOUR MOTHER LIKE THAT! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!” She bellowed while looking down upon me with disgust written all over her face as if she were looking at filthy scum instead of her own son.
I was too afraid to answer her for I felt my eyes being pricked with the formation of tears that threatened to spill out of my eyes. This prompted my mother to command the guards to detain me and drag me back to the palace, never allowing me to see the light of day again. I saw the hurt in their eyes and reluctance to succumb to my mother’s commands which was futile for her power was absolute and irrefutable. Once again, I struggled against their firm grasp on my arms, trying to break free from their clutches which only tighten every time I resisted. I thought that I was never going to be able to escape this miserable place when all of the sudden, I heard a loud boom that originated in front of me, sounds of light and distinct footsteps echoing throughout the vast space as I heard it inch closer in our direction before eventually stopping for its owner was in front of me beside my mother.
“Mother, what are you doing to my elder brother?” The girl asked, her long brown hair unkempt due to her rapid movements bestowed upon her by her power, which was the ability to move at an extreme speed and good athleticism. Though she had her teleporter with her, she much preferred to take advantage of her powers at any given time.
“Ah, Julie. What are you doing here sweetheart? Did you have a good night’s rest?” My mother inquired, flashing her a smile and fanned herself.
“Yes mother, my rest was sufficient. I had come here to report back to you regarding the development and diplomatic mission to Ceres, but I see that you are harming my brother, something that I would not stand for.” Julie responded and stomped her feet, showing a sign of discontent. “Surely inflicting bodily harm on him has no merit whatsoever, other than a moment of satisfaction.”
“But you see, I have to punish your brother for raising his voice against me and for spouting out nonsense. Would you care to join your brother in solitary confinement?” She stated and hid her smile behind her large fan which had feathers which decorated its rims.
“Mother, please tell the guards to unhand him, there are plenty of other ways that you could hurt a man and bring him to the ground without any violence.” She ordered in a harsher tone.
“Now, why would I do that sweetheart? Naughty children need to be punished and taught their lesson.” She said in a mockingly pleasant tone, glancing down upon me and smirked.
“Taught a lesson, eh? Why don’t you allow him to send him to Earth instead? Isn’t it just a desolate and barren wasteland? Perhaps he could learn his lesson there mother dearest. Even if there was a sign of civilisation, they are wild and rabid for theirs had collapsed eons ago! Isn’t it brilliant for him?” She suggested in a condescending tone that was directed at our mother for I was aware that she meant to direct her attention elsewhere in order to assist in my escape. I knew that my mother greatly favoured my sister over me and would always be on her side no matter what nonsense she would spout for she was an incomprehensible genius that held the title of ‘Luna’s Saviour’ bestowed upon her by her for her many contributions towards the advancement of our kingdom.
“A barren wasteland you say? Well why didn’t you say so? Let’s go with your idea.” She closed her fan and almost in an instant, her eyes returned to their normal hue with all of the red drained out. She then turned towards the guards that held my arms tight and commanded them to release me, which they immediately did as soon as the last of the words that escaped her throat were uttered.
“Now John, I want you to report back to me every time the stars in the Cygnus constellation are visible so that I could check up on your progress. I believe that you have your transmitter with you, correct? Now then, do be careful with your journey. I wouldn’t like hearing a report stating that the crown prince is dead now would I? Be gone with you my love, don’t ever think that you could step your foot here for another five years. That should be sufficient time for you to reflect on your wrongdoings.” She declared and turned her back against me, treading back towards the palace not caring about the world around her. The guards were soon released from her control for I heard them let out a collective sigh.
Once my mother was no longer visible, they surrounded me and apologised for their behaviour which I had to forgive despite the fact that they weren’t in control of their own body so they couldn’t have prevented it from happening. I dismissed them and ordered them to return to their own sentries and turning a blind eye towards their acts. I let out my own sigh of relief and felt all of the colour return to my body, my heart no longer beating at a rapid pace.
“Thank you.” I turned towards my right and told my sister, who retained her stern expression.
“Don’t sweat it, you deserve your freedom.” She responded and gave me a tight hug as if I was going to fade away when she let me go, her face immediately melting into her cute and childish smile.
“It always amazes me whenever you would manage to convince her.” I stated, still enveloped in a hug.
“Promise that I could go and visit you?” She let go of my body and asked, her cloudy green eyes appearing to be full of stars.
“I promise. Maybe you could live with me there.” I suggested and gave her a smile.
“Oh, how I wish that could be true. But alas, I couldn’t join you yet.” She stated and returned my gesture by flashing a devilish smile at me.
“Yet? So you plan a little rebellion, my little princess?” I playfully asked her.
“Not at the moment, my brother dearest. I’ll stay here for a while, I’ll keep mom in check so this little secret of ours won’t be known.” She answered and gave me a wink and finger guns which prompted me to release a small chuckle, brightening up the sour mood. She then gave me another hug which lasted longer than the previous one.
“Hey, what’s with the long hugs Jules? I’m not dead you know.” I asked her for it was unusual for her to be this attached to me, even if the both of us are really close.
“I just hate that I have to act like I truly despise you whenever mom’s around. I’m sorry for whatever it is I said earlier, I never meant it. I just don’t understand why she hates you so much. I mean, your powers will awaken sooner or later right?” She said against my chest.
“I know that you don’t mean it Jules, I know. But that’s just how things are, we could never be seen being friendly with each other in front of others or mom’s going to go insane.” I said and rubbed her shoulders.
“Even more insane than she already is?” She asked while grimacing.
“How can I ever disagree with you?” I stated while letting out a small laugh. “Yeah, even more than she already is. Let’s just hope that my powers will awaken soon.”
“I’ll try my best to do some research to help you, I promise.”
“I have to get going now, who knows what she’ll do if she ever changes her mind.” I told her and took my bag that I had placed on the ground, pacing towards my spaceship, the Cyllene.
“Yeah hurry and go, call me when you’ve arrived there!” She yelled and waved me a goodbye.
“I will!” I shouted and returned her farewells.
I unlocked my spaceship and entered it, feeling my heart pace faster yet again but for another reason, excitement. I had waited for this day to come across for years now, and it still feel surreal to be sitting here in the control panel instead of having my pilot doing the navigating while I just sit back at the quarters and sulk. I was informed that humans are interested, no, obsessed in extra-terrestrial beings and the occult so I would assume that my spaceship would attract too much attention, which is why I am fortunate enough and thankful for the feature my spaceship was built in with, the function to transform both the interior and exterior into any sort of type I could come up with yet still retain its function. I breathed out a sigh and looked back at the sight before me for I am not certain that I would ever see it again. I took a quick look at the control panels, making sure that it was refuelled and that everything was in working order.
I turned its engine on and waited for it to warm up in order to prevent any sort of malfunctions with the red lights still turned on as an indicator that it wasn’t clear for me to travel. Once the lights turned green, I was dead set on escaping this hell so I took pleasure in setting the right coordinated to an open field just outside England’s capital, London, and before I knew it, my spaceship had taken off. Though it was only but a short journey, it felt extremely liberating to be away from my mother’s constant watch, finally getting my freedom and privacy back after years of them being robbed from me ever since my father’s passing. I soon entered the Earth’s atmosphere and felt its gravitational pull almost immediately with the entire spaceship heating up as a result of the atmosphere trying to burn off foreign objects that threatened to enter it. After the struggle was over, I realised that I had entered Earth. I located the empty field and descended my spaceship slowly to not startle any living thing for it had most likely attracted unwanted attention just from its build.
I felt immense pressure from the Earth’s gravity and struggled to get myself up on my feet, unaccustomed to the sudden change while holding onto the railings for dear life. I tried my best to reach for my bag, searching for those pills I had packed earlier this day. Once I had the container in my grasp, I took two oddly coloured pills out and swallowed them on the spur of the moment. I felt a burning sensation from my stomach as a side effect from the drug, gradually feeling the pressure alleviating from my body that left as soon as it came. I was able to finally get back up and walked the residual pain off, thinking that I should try to test out the new environment before me. I placed my hand on the door, feeling the anticipation rapidly build up inside of me. The door lowered down and revealed a terrain that was covered with grass with a complimentary greeting from the gentle winds that blew over my face which made my hair flicker by. I took my first step outside and breathed in the calming atmosphere which had made my body less tense by each second that went by. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the new experience, but I gave into the moment and felt a single tear roll down my cheek, thinking that this was going to be my new home, my new life.
I look up to the darkened sky that seemed to be painted in different shades of purples, blues and blacks with stars decorating the magnificently cloudless skies in awe for they truly were a new horizon. Shooting stars leaped throughout the heavens with them leaving these gradient of hues, perhaps as a parting gift. I suddenly recalled that Julie had wanted me to call her when I had landed here so I returned to my spaceship and took out my transmitter, scrolling down through my contacts list to find hers and gave her a ring, letting the holographic projector widening up to allow for a video call. Almost instantaneously, she answered my call with a look of determination and joy written all over her face.
“Hi Jules.” I greeted her and gave her a smile.
“Hello! How’s the Earth so far my favourite brother?” She asked and leaned forward, resting her head on her arms.
“Jules, I’m your only brother.” I responded and shook my head from her silly antics.
“I know, just hurry up and tell me what it’s like!”
“Well, see for yourself.” I widened the holographic projection and placed it on the ground, allowing her a full view of the beautiful night skies. I saw the stars in her eyes lighting up with excitement, followed by more remarks from her regarding the firmaments above.
“I’m so jealous that you can enjoy that scenery every day. Where are you anyways?” She inquired.
“Well certainly not every day but right now, I’m in the middle of an empty field outside of London. I’m planning to teleport there after I end this call.” I answered and looked back at my spaceship.
“Well, what are you going to do about the Cyllene? Surely it would attract too much attention if you leave it be like that.” She said, pointing towards it.
“I’ll just transform the exterior to match a car. How about that?” I suggested.
“Well that sounds like a brilliant idea, but what model? Surely not the Volkswagen van, right?” She inquired with a puzzled look all over her face for she disliked that particular vehicle for reasons unknown to me.
“Yes, not that model. Well then, how about a Mercedes Benz?” I asked her.
“Yeah, that sounds about right for you. Just tell me about your plans now.” She probed.
“Well, this is going to be a long call if I have to tell you everything, my princess. Maybe later, yeah? Just make sure that you keep mom in the dark about the Earth.”
“Oh alright, just make sure you don’t forget to tell me. Bye!” She reluctantly agreed and ended the call. Now all I have to do next is to transform the exterior and integrate myself into the human civilisation.
I took out the keys and unlocked the door in front of me which revealed the flat that I shared with two of my childhood friends, sauntering towards the switch to turn on the lights. Roger had let himself in and closed the door behind us, too exhausted to say a word to me and just paced towards his bedroom. Exhaustion was upon my body after performing in front of a wide audience at a local pub that Roger, Tim and I had frequented. While the audience went ballistic and adored our performance, Tim had another idea in mind when he had abruptly announced to the both of us that he was quitting the band after said performance. We had tried our best to convince him to stay yet fate had another plan laid out for us when he refused our pleas. He saw a better opportunity for him when he told us that he would join another band with an odd name of Humpy Bong. I thought that he was just pulling our legs, but the determination in his eyes said otherwise. That was our last performance together as Smile for we lost our main singer and bass player. I knew that Freddie would have been pleased in hearing that news because of him constantly begging Roger and me to join the band despite the fact that it doesn’t exist anymore as of tonight.
Roger and Freddie were both my childhood friends as we were raised in the same neighbourhood and attended the same schools. Though I had befriended Roger first, Freddie had no problem in fitting in with us for the three of us had the same sense of humour and music. As I entered my room and placed my guitar beside the tall doorframe, I continued to lie down on my bed, memories of our first encounter with Freddie’s family flooded my mind for I remembered it as clear as day.
The two of us were just playing with his toys in his backyard because our mothers had planned a playdate for the both of us. I recall the both of us hearing a loud vehicle pulling up at a house nearby, thinking that it was a monster that had come to eat the both of us. It was indeed very silly for the both of us to think of such a thing looking back at it now. The two of us peeked our heads outside the windows and was surprised for we never expected for the ‘monster’ to be a truck that brought us the furniture of our new neighbours, the Bulsaras. As curious and imaginative little boys we were, we went outside and ventured into their property to meet the new people. I remember Roger being too shy to knock on their door so I took the initiative to do that gesture for him. We waited for a while before the door opened to reveal a tall woman garnering gold framed glasses with her neatly done hairstyle. We both greeted and introduced ourselves to her, welcoming her and her family into the neighbourhood which motivated her to give us a warm smile. She then acquainted her son, Farrokh, with us.
He was around the same age as the both of us and something we both noticed was the fact that he was incredibly shy and reserved, barely speaking a word or two at any given conversation. Our mothers would soon be acquainted with one another and would host playdates for the three of us which allowed our friendship to blossom from there on. He would always have a low self-esteem caused by his insecurity of his teeth which he thought looked unsightly and hideous, something that the both of us disagreed in for they looked completely fine to us. Along the years, he would gain more confidence and acted as our leader which the two of us didn’t mind at all. Instead, we were just relieved that he would allow himself to open up more to the both of us and speak up his mind. Along with those changes to his courage and self-worth, came an odd time where he would ask anyone he knew to call him Freddie. Though it was odd, I still supported his request thinking that it is just a phase and that it’ll go away soon nevertheless, the opposite was true. When he turned eighteen a few years ago, he legally changed his name to ‘Freddie Mercury’ without notifying any of us, his parents included so when he broke the news during one of their meals, let’s just say that his parents weren’t pleased with that decision of his.
I breathed out a sigh and smiled at those memories, thinking that the three of us were silly children. I recalled what day it was today and realised that the meteor shower was supposed to happen soon so being the good friend I am, I went to Freddie’s room below mine and planned on inviting him to watch the phenomenon with me. Unsurprisingly, he was very intoxicated and could barely stand on his feet with cans of beer scattered all around the floor indicating that he had a small party to himself. Apparently, he had been drinking with Roger for he too was in a similar state, giggling and speaking incoherently while trying to get him to drink more beer. I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest for I never had any sort expectation for them, knowing full well about their personalities. I then returned to my room and opened the window, letting the cold, wintry air hit my face as I witnessed some of the first few comets to pass by which had all sorts of colourful and magnificent tails behind it.
The skies were soon filled with comets and shooting stars which painted the heavens, making it seem like Van Gogh’s painting the ‘The Starry Night’, with the abnormal appearance of the full moon. I thought that the full moon won’t appear in a few more months but I guess that even the moon would like to be a spectator to this scenery as well. Though I never believed in superstitions and the occult, I decided to fulfil one of my childhood fantasies which was to wish on a shooting star. I thought that wishes don’t actually come true but I took that chance anyway and wished for a new bass player that would suit our style of playing and isn’t a prick. As I admired the picturesque background, a light purple flare appeared in the sky which was growing larger and larger by each passing minute. I was fascinated by the new discovery, stupidly thinking that it might have been an extra-terrestrial spaceship that went past earth when it suddenly appeared to have landed on earth. There’s no way that they exist, right? Ah, who am I kidding, of course they don’t, it’s merely a tall tale brought to us by fairy tales and science fiction.
I continued to watch the scenes until it had died down, leaving the moon to shine on its own before being concealed by the outsized clouds. I lied down on my bed and let out a small laugh, overwhelmed by the experience. The clock beside my bed read one fourteen which indicated that I lost track of time and had been immersed in stargazing, forgetting about everything else. The air was getting colder and I wasn’t willing to catch a cold by the next morning so I closed the windows and changed my clothes into my oversized t-shirt and long pyjama bottoms, placing my used clothes on a stool nearby so I could wash it the next day. I’m not certain on who decided that I was the ‘mother’ of the two of them, but it was most likely because of the fact that I was far more responsible than the two of them combined. I let out another sigh, thinking about their childish antics and pulled the duvet up to my chest, hoping that I could immediately fall asleep.
Chapter 2: New Encounters
I decided to make the boys the same age and there will be timeskips here and there to progress the plot but nothing too important, just a heads up.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
I woke up and the memory of the purple lights flashed in my mind. I was eager to find out more information regarding that event so I plan to pay a quick visit to the library. It was a cold morning and I shivered when I attempted to get out of my bed. I took a quick shower to warm myself and got dressed. I went to the kitchen and made breakfast for everyone. I made some scrambled eggs and bacon for the both of them. I remember one particular memory that I would never be able to forget. They asked me if they could use the stove to cook and I recall hesitating for a moment before unwillingly letting them use it. That day reaffirmed my resolve to never let them near the kitchen as they both can't cook and I learnt that fact the hard way when Freddie and Roger nearly burnt the entire flat down when they made a cake for me because they said I needed a little 'sweetness' in my life. I'm more impressed at the fact that they somehow managed to set the sink on fire. I shudder to look back at that memory and wished I never did. When I was done cooking, I placed the finished meal on the countertop and walked up to Freddie's room in attempt to wake him up. He was a heavy sleeper and I never managed to get him out of bed without Roger's help.
"Fred, Freddie! Wake up sleepyhead!", I called him while knocking on his door.
"FREDDIE!", I yelled, still knocking on his door. I was getting fed up and knocked on his door once more. When there was no response, I opened his room, only to be greeted with a pillow on my face. I coughed as the smell of his French cologne lingered on the pillow he threw towards me earlier. I gasped or air as it was an unpleasant scent that I never really liked and turned to see his face looking very irritated and crusts still visible on the corners of his eyes.
"SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP YOU FUCKING POODLE!" Freddie yelled and slammed the door. I was still processing what had happened and decided to leave him be. I knew that he'll regret sleeping in and he's going blame it on me yet again. I walked towards Roger's room and he was still asleep. Do I really need to go through this again? I just hope this time he doesn't throw a temper tantrum like Freddie did.
"Roger, wake up." I said as I knocked on his door. No response. I knocked again only to hear a loud thud and a groan. I was concerned that he might've fallen off his bed. I opened the door to make sure that he was alright and saw him on the ground, massaging his shoulders.
"Good morning." I said. "That was quite the fall."
"Huh? Oh, morning Brian." He said while yawning. "Yeah, I wasn't careful and fell on my shoulders. I should be fine." He assured me. His long, blonde hair all over the place that seems to rival mine in terms of sheer volume. I chuckled as he attempted to remove his hair that was inside his mouth, ew.
"I made you and Freddie breakfast and you might want to hurry up and eat it now", I suggested as I exited his room, "You said that you and Freddie had something to do on campus right, a morning class perhaps?" I asked him and drank the coffee I made earlier.
His bright blue eyes widened and he had a panicked look on his face. "What time is it now?" He asked me and paced back and forth frantically while trying to make his hair somewhat presentable and grabbing whatever clothes he had lying around the floor.
"It's 8:40 Roger and let me guess, you're late aren't you?" I raised an eyebrow and rolled my eyes as I watch him go into panic mode. I knew that this would happen. Both of them weren't early risers and they would stay up late all the time. The only people they would have to blame are themselves if you ask me.
"OH SHIT BRIAN!" He yelled, "WAKE FREDDIE UP RIGHT NOW!! OH MY GOD WE ARE LATE!!"
"I tried waking him up but all he's done was calling me a fucking poodle and throwing his disgusting scenting pillow. Stop yelling and wake him up yourself!" I snapped at him. I wasn't going to risk waking him up again so I returned to the kitchen and fixed myself a cup of coffee.
He spent no time and ran up the stairs to barge into Freddie's room and literally dragged him out of the room. Freddie wasn't spared from his erratic behaviour and just groaned in pain from Roger pulling his legs out of his room, his head hitting the corner table. When Roger noticed that he wasn't fully awake, he went to the bathroom and splashed cold water onto his face and that seemed to do the trick.
"WHAT THE FUCK ROGER!" He screamed while getting himself up to reach a nearby tea towel and wiping his face. All traces of drowsiness gone from his face.
"OH SO NOW YOU WAKE UP YOU BLOODY WANKER, WE ARE LATE FOR OUR MORNING CLASS THAT'S WHAT!" Roger yelled at him while attempting to shove a mouthful of pancakes and bacon to his mouth. I'm impressed that he got dressed in that short span of time. Freddie's eyes widened with the realization of what Roger had said.
"OH SHIT! BRIAN WHY DIDN'T YOU WAKE ME UP EARLIER?!" He screeched while running back and forth between his room and the kitchen in attempt to get dressed and eat his breakfast at the same time.
"I DID! YOU THREW THAT BLOODY PILLOW OF YOURS AND NEARLY MURDERED MY NOSTRILS! IN ADDITION TO THAT, YOU CALLED ME A POODLE YOU TWAT!" I yelled in frustration. He kept on shoving down his breakfast down his throat that I wondered how he hadn't choked yet.
"Well whatever, I finished my breakfast earlier and I'll wait for you in the car. Don't forget to wear jackets, it's freezing out there!" I told them as I walked towards the exit, knowing very well that I wouldn't be heard with all the commotion they caused. I knew I would have to clean up their mess when I went back home from my work. I sighed and entered my car, hoping that today wouldn't get any worse than it had started.
After hearing the sound of broken glass, shrieking and things falling over, Freddie and Roger ran towards the car, both of them wearing thick jackets looking very similar to the snowmen we built when we were children. I looked back at them and asked, "Did you lock the door?"
"Y-Yeah, I did. Now h-hurry the fuck up Brian!" Roger said while panting. He looked like he was going to pass out anytime soon. Freddie was in a similar state.
I hit the gas and drove faster than usual because they kept on complaining whenever I would slow down even the slightest bit. Bloody hell, these boys are driving me insane! I parked my car and they took off like they were being chased by a ghost. I wasn't too worried about my class as it started at 10 so I took a quick detour to the library as I planned earlier this day. I was trying to look at the books on the astronomy section that my professor referenced to do my homework when I saw a boy that is slightly shorter than me examining the book I wanted to read. He wore clothes that looked like they would put a cabaret dancer's costume to shame as they were very flashy and attention grabbing. They seemed to be reminiscent of Freddie's outlandish outfits and I do not know anyone else who had the same kind of fashion sense as him. The back part of my mind thought that he looked similar to the members of the royal family as he gave off a distinct and noble aura around him. I dismissed that ridiculous idea. I knew I need that book he held so I decided to approach him.
"Um, hello. I apologise if I come across as rude but may I have that book you're currently reading?" I asked him nicely, "I need that book to work on my homework." I added.
He turned towards my direction and upon closer inspection, his irises were blood red. I felt the piercing glance he was giving me and was intimidated by them; it sent literal shivers down my spine, resulting in me nearly dropping the books I had on hand. Am I seeing things?! Are eyes supposed to be red?! I felt a lump forming on my throat and I swallowed it nervously.
"Of course, I was just looking around trying to find a book I need." The boy smiled. I was glad to see that his eyes weren't red at all; they were a shade of grey-green and thought to myself that I was just seeing things. Yep, it was all an illusion I saw.
"Oh I must apologise, where are my manners! I'm John Deacon, nice to meet you." He said while reaching his hand out.
"I'm Brian May, pleasure to meet you." I shook his hand and received the book. He's not as intimidating as I thought he was. What was I thinking earlier?
"If I'm not being too much of a bother, can you help me find a book please?" he asked me while fidgeting with his fingers, I could tell that he was nervous.
"Sure, no problem." I answered while giving him a smile. "What are you looking for?"
"I'm looking for books containing information about human culture and some history books. I-I need it for my sister's research." The boy quietly said.
"Alright, I can help you with that. I'm quite familiar with this library. I'm sure we'll be able to find the books you need." I said. We spent some time trying to find the books he needed. Eventually, we found all the books that were scattered all over the library. We had some interesting conversations in between our search.
"Are you a student here?" I asked him to break the awkward silence between us.
"Yeah, I'm new here. I moved here 6 months ago." He responded.
"So what are you majoring in?" I inquired him.
"N-nothing interesting, just electrical engineering." He answered.
"That' impressive! I study astrophysics and I think that it isn't JUST electrical engineering John, it's one of the toughest majors here on campus!" I said.
"I originally wanted to major in mathematics, but my mother said that it wasn't worth my time so here I am." He let out a small smirk but I knew in between the lines of what he said that he was somehow disappointed. But I was surprised that he would be good in math as he doesn't look like he would be good in them. I mean, someone who wears outfits that looked like they were screaming for attention and fame wouldn't be the first person you would think of when someone thinks of a math genius.
"Woah that's impressive! I could really use some help for my math classes. Maybe you could help me and my other friend, Roger." I told him. I saw a blush forming on his cheeks and I thought that I was being inconsiderate and too direct and had put unnecessary stress on him.
"I-if that's alright with you of course." I assured him.
"Sure, I'd love to help you. I'm just v-very nervous around new people, I-I've never had a conversation that didn't result in me being ridiculed, let alone a friend." John said in a quiet tone and looking down to the floor, averting my gaze. I was taken aback a little by what he said. I felt bad for him, I really do. I was lucky to have such good friends. A thought sprung up in my head.
"Hey John, would you like to be my friend?" I asked gave him a smile. He stopped walking and as I turned to see what was wrong, tears started forming at the corners of his eyes with reddened ears. I was concerned, did I say something wrong? Was he uncomfortable with being bombarded with questions? Did I make him experience any discomfort? Or was I too hasty? My thoughts were abruptly stopped when John responded.
"I-I never thought that someone would be this kind to me" John said while sniffling, "Of course, I would be honoured!" he quickly wiped his tears using a handkerchief I had never seen before as if it had appeared out of thin air.
"Hey, no need to cry John." I put my hand on his shoulder John to try to comfort him. It was nice to have a different type of person that isn't as loud and dramatic as Roger and Freddie. Throughout my years and years of friendship with them both, it would take a miracle from the highest heavens for them to shut up. John had this strange and calming aura that was indescribable, it felt like you were in the presence of something celestial in a way.
"Thank you so much for giving me a chance Brian! But enough about me, let's talk more about you!" he said and smiled, showing the small gap that was visible in his front teeth."
"Don't mention it John, but really now, there's nothing interesting about me." I told him.
"Tell me, why you decided to study astrophysics Brian?" he asked me. I had restrained myself to not overwhelm John with my long story and chose my words carefully.
"I guess I'm just intrigued by space and the realm outside earth. I always admired the planets and stars ever since I was a child, so now, I'm a step closer to achieving my childhood dream." I answered him honestly.
"That's so cute!" He smiled, before his expression changed to a sour one, "Just don't venture too deep into the unknown horizon Brian, you might not like what you see and wish you could turn back time to a moment where you knew nothing." He added the shine on his eyes faded and he looked dull and soulless one could only imagine what he's been through. I was speechless as I didn't know how to respond to his last statement. Before I could question him, he had changed the subject and never gave me a chance to ask. I shrugged it and we kept the conversation going and before I knew it, we had found all the books he needed.
"Thanks for everything Brian!" he thanked me, "When can I help you and your friend for math?"
"Can you do tomorrow, 4 pm? Can we meet here in the library again? I'll be sure to tell Roger, he'll be thanking me later." I asked him
"Of course, I have too much free time on my hands anyways. I'll make sure that you guys could see me from afar! Goodbye now." He said with a small chuckle, carrying books that were too heavy for his thin frame. I had offered to help but he rejected my offer. Of course I could see him from afar, his apparel looked a lot like the ones you would normally find in those avant garde fashion shows that Freddie always dreamed of attending. But John was quite a distinct character that stood out even with his shy and quiet personality that seemed to contrast his appearance. I wonder, doesn't he feel cold in this freezing weather? I exited the building shortly after him but strangely enough, he was nowhere to be seen. I was stupefied, I knew nobody who was normal would be able to carry books those heavy without making a second or third trip back. I knew at the very least that he was certainly not an imagination. I quickly got those thoughts out of my mind and shrugged it off. I looked at the time and it read 9:40, I didn't expect time to be this fast, so I quickly ran to class.
I was upset that the people wrote false information about the moon and the planets beyond the asteroid belt and the people just accepted the lies they made up. I calmed down after recalling the fact that the earth's education system is far behind the moon's and that it was silly of me to be upset over trivial matters. Though, today was an eventful day. I never expected to make a new friend! I was so happy that I felt like exploding but I knew that I had to study more about humans so I teleported back into my spaceship and put down all the books I had borrowed from the library. I pulled out my scanner and scanned all the books to copy all of it and uploaded it to the royal archives. It was kind of wrong to do so but I wouldn't want to risk my arms falling off from the weight of the books. Why would people use an obsolete way of recording information? It is highly inefficient!
I knew that my clothes are striking and definitely caught everyone's attention so I changed into a simple attire and teleported the books back. I was fortunate enough to be granted an audience with the headmaster of the university on such short notice only to discover that he was from the moon as well but that's not all, he was my father's former attendant! Oh how lucky I was! He told me that he was contempt with his life on Earth and wasn't in any way aware of the current situation on the moon so I was comfortable with telling him my plans. My father's attendants were always kind towards me, contrasting to my mother's attendants and the ministers. He had suggested that I should enroll and take math for my major but the education levels Earth had was so far behind that the things they were teaching here was taught to us when we were in elementary school! I declined his suggestion as I knew that it would just bore me to death so I took electrical engineering instead as it was the only major where I would be entertained. I also wanted to try to build my own amp. I was just very excited to meet Brian's friend, Roger though, I felt kind of remorseful for telling him lies. But sometimes reality is indeed stranger than fiction. Maybe one day I'll share my secrets to the people I trust.
Although that thought saddened me a bit, It was like a dream come through that I finally have friends now! I bet that Julie would be proud of her older brother now.
This is my first fanfic ever!! Thank you for reading! I hope that you guys enjoy this story. Don't be afraid to leave your thoughts and suggestions down below!! Once again, tysm for reading!!!
I entered my class and nearly missed my attendance. I was sweating like crazy even though it was in the beginning of December. I had horrible eyesight so I just sat at the second row and hoped that there weren’t that much note-taking today. I wouldn’t want to miss this class as this was the last class of this semester. Finals are coming up and I still couldn't understand anything they were teaching us, especially math. Why would we be needing that lesson anyways?! I want to meet the nutjob who decided that and give them a piece of my mind.
I couldn’t focus for even a second because I was still hungover from the drinking session I had with Freddie last night. The long lecture didn’t help at all and I had a pounding headache so I rest my head on the table and hoped that whatever the professor said was nothing too important. After the long and boring lecture, I went to meet up with Brian and Freddie. We had booked a gig in a college nearby so we are holding an audition for a new bassist. The nerve of that bastard, Tim, to leave us. If I ever find him again, I will punch the living daylights out of him. Freddie had decided that he’ll become our singer and renamed our band Queen, as in her royal majesty the queen. Brian and I thought that it was a ridiculous name but we couldn’t argue with him, he would just become bitchy towards us for the entire day whenever he did not get what he wanted. At this time, my killer headache had subsided and I regained my balance.
I adjusted my coat and scarf to make myself warmer but to no avail. I hated the cold and that hatred had seeped deeper whenever it was snowing. I saw Brian’s curly head of hair from afar and I had an idea to mess with him. I ran towards him and tackled him. He dropped his books and fell over with snow now covering his hair.
“WHAT THE HELL ROGER?!” He yelled at me and his face was priceless! It was bloody hilarious because he looked a lot like a French aristocrat that wore those grandiose white wigs and I couldn’t resist laughing. Freddie was behind me and he burst out laughing his arse off.
“N-now you l-look more like a bl-bloody POODLE!” Freddie wheezed, trying to string a coherent sentence without doubling over in laughter.
“FUCK!” He said under his breath and shook his head to remove the snow caught in his hair.
Brian was obviously freezing and ran inside the car, ignoring both of us. I forgot that I was cold in the first place so the both of us got our arses off the snow and went to the car to join Brian. It had clearly made him upset but we both knew that he wouldn’t stay mad the entire time. He wasn’t one to hold grudges.
“You would not believe the day I had,” Brian said while massaging his temples, his hair still covered in snow.
“Oh it certainly couldn’t be any harder than mine was darling.” Freddie said dramatically and took a sip from his drink.
“Well is it any worse than being tackled and falling on your arse?” I asked him while laughing.
“Actually, it was worse than me falling on my arse because the professor decided to hold a surprise test at the very last minute. I just hope that I didn’t fail the test.” Brian answered.
“Hey, don’t worry about it too much you silly poodle, you’re the smartest person in this car. Isn’t that enough?” Freddie chuckled and tried to cheer him up.
“It was about a chapter that we weren’t taught yet.” Brian replied with a sad look in his face. Yikes, tough luck.
He started the engine and drove back to our flat. It was silent throughout the ride home when Brian suddenly told me something.
“Oh right that reminds me Roger, I made a new friend today, though he’s quite the odd fella.” he told me.
“I swear, he looked like he belonged in some old renaissance painting with his peculiar-looking outfit. Weirdly enough, he didn’t wear a jacket or any sort of insulation in this freezing weather! To my surprise, he studies electrical engineering and to top all that off, he says that he’s good in math!” Brian continued.
“Well that’s very rare of you to compliment a person you just met. What’s he like?” I asked, it was unusual for Brian to be interested in other people outside his major, let alone befriend them. “Is he one of those rich snobs that just look down on people who aren’t wealthy like them because if he is, oh so god help me, I won’t be able to get along with him if that’s the case.” I spat back. I had a terrible experience with those rich snobs, my father would often introduce me to his acquaintances from work and their children who always look down on me for not being as wealthy as them. I thought we had left that kind of prejudice behind decades ago but I was proven to be wrong.
“Relax Roger, his name is John and he’s quite the shy and quiet person though, he does dress like a certain someone with black hair.” he said while looking in Freddie’s direction. He nearly choked and spat out the drink he was drinking and looked at him as if he was mad.
“Oh please Brian, nobody, and I mean nobody, is as glamorous and extravagant like me my dear. You must be seeing things, considering the fact that those curls are clearly in the way of your vision. At this point they must be obscured enough that you could see your dead ancestors.” Freddie said while he looked like his entire household was insulted.
“Sorry, but I beg to differ from your opinion.” he said.
“Then beg.” He retaliated and pouted. I couldn’t contain my laughter and nearly drove him insane with how loud I was being. The whole car ride home was silent with little giggles from me here and there, recalling the earlier memory.
We reached our flat and entered the building. I couldn’t be bothered to clean up the mess I made earlier in the day so I just bee-lined towards my room to put down my bags and sleep. I thought I could fall asleep if I just closed my eyes and relaxed but oh how cruel reality is. So I went to the living room because I wanted to catch up on my show and happened to see Freddie’s magazine lying around so I sat on the couch and started flipping the pages. There are these strange articles that reported a ‘UFO’ sighting and I thought that this was very odd considering the fact that this was a fashion magazine. Did I read Brian’s magazine by accident instead? Nah, it can’t be it. I double checked the cover and reassured myself that this was indeed a fashion magazine. Huh, must be an editing mistake but oh well. I brushed it aside and continued reading. As I read further into the article, I remember Brian asking me to come and join him to watch the meteor shower last week, too bad I was drunk.
“Hey Roger, I’m going to meet up with John tomorrow, do you want to come along?” Brian asked as he entered the living room with a newspaper on hand.
“Sure, from what you described him earlier in the car, I’m quite intrigued by this fella.” I answered and put the magazine down. “What time will you meet up? And where?”
“We agreed on meeting up at the library at 4 pm.” He answered. “Oh and by the way Rog, can I ask you something?” he asked me. Oh shit, did he discover my secret beer stash? Did I do something wrong? I’m just overthinking this aren’t I?
“Y-yeah sure, w-what is it?” I answered him. I was nervous and stumbled on my words. Jesus, not my beer stash!
“Can irises be blood red in colour? Can they suddenly change colours as well?” he asked me. A small part of me was relieved that it wasn’t about my beer but what the fuck was that question?! I hope he was just pulling my leg but he looked dead serious. I felt a part of me died a little here.
“Brian, are you sure that you aren’t drunk or high? Are you coming down with a fever? Want me to get you some medicine?” I held out his hand to touch his forehead which he swiftly deflected.
“I’m being serious here Rog, and seriously, when was the last time you saw me drunk?” he said when he went to the kitchen and reached out to grab a mug.
“Uh, never I guess.” I answered. No really, I’ve never seen him drunk ever in all entirety of our friendship. When the three of us went to the pub to get some drinks, he was the only one who remained sober when the both of us were shitfaced as hell.
“Exactly, so just answer my question Roger, can irises be blood red in colour?” he grunted.
“I hope that wasn’t a serious question. Of course not you bloody poodle! Jesus Bri, and I thought you had more common sense than I did!” I yelled in a mocking tone, imitating him, “Now I’m even more convinced that you’re coming down with a fever. I’m starting to regret majoring in biology because you two keep on asking me questions this weird.”
“No I’m not.” he sighed. “Perhaps I had mistaken it for something else. I’m still confused as to what I had seen this morning in the library.”
“What do you mean Bri? You’ve been acting strange ever since you we met up earlier.” I told him in a worried tone. “Don’t tell me that you’re still thinking about that joke I pulled on you! If that’s the case, then I’m sorry for it.” I apologised.
“Never mind me Roger, I probably had mistaken it for something else. It’s most likely an illusion.” He dismissed my concerns.
“Alright then, suit yourself.” I quipped.
He walked back to his room and I was left utterly dumbfounded. What was that all about?! I shook my head and brushed it aside. What is going on with this day?
I cleaned up the broken mug and the mess we made earlier; I can see why Brian was done with our shit. If I knew that I was going to be late for my class, I wouldn’t have gone out drinking with Roger. I heard Brian and Roger’s conversation and thought that shit wasn’t worth hearing. I sighed and went to take out the rubbish.
“Hey Roger, I’m going to my workplace to do my shift. I’ll be late so lock the door.” I told him. He looked up from the magazine he was reading and hummed in response. I grabbed my fur coat I restored and walked to my workplace. Why does it have to be so cold?
On my way, I was feeling lethargic and needed something to energize me. I was interested in this new café that opened up recently so I picked up a cup of black coffee, not my usual drink of choice, but I had to be focused. I continued walking and on my way, I saw something peculiar that caught my eye. A tall brunette wearing a white, long sleeved shirt that had intricate lacework on it and a matching cream coloured cape draped over his shoulders and flared trousers. I grew envious of his outfit and fashion sense, I had never seen something like that in my whole life. He appeared to be holding something heavier than what that slender frame of his could hold. I remembered the conversation we had with Brian. He mentioned that his new friend wore flashy and over the top clothing and I thought that maybe the brunette I saw was his new friend. At first, I was offended at first when he told me that his fashion sense was similar to mine but after seeing it in person, I knew that he was spot on. Although it was bold of me to quickly assume that but this is Brian we are talking about, unless his friend was a magical creature of some sort, he wouldn’t be mentioning him in great detail.
I thought that he needed help carrying his items so I had approached him. Before I could say anything, he walked into an alley and disappeared into thin air right before my very eyes. My eyes widened with surprise and I was terrified, I felt all of my blood drain from my head. DO PEOPLE JUST VANISH INTO THIN AIR?! IS THAT THE NEW NORMAL HERE?!
“WHAT THE FUCK?!” I screamed and ditched work and ran straight back home. I didn’t care about anything else around me and I didn’t care about the stares I was receiving. I knew I was being overdramatic but that’s just me. I reached my flat and quickly opened the door. I panted and slammed the door. I guess that slam surprised Roger and he shot a surprised look at me before earning a ‘what the fuck are you doing’ look from him. I thought I was going to collapse from the shock but Roger ran towards me and caught me in time. I asked him to call in work to tell my manager that I was ill.
“What's going on Freddie?!” Roger questioned worriedly. “And why the fuck are you so pale?!”
I fell back on the couch and attempted to calm myself down, still panting from the quick run. He offered me a glass of water but I was still taken aback to realise that he was still talking to me. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t get that moment out of my head as it kept on replaying.
“Fred, do you want me to call an ambulance or something?! Don’t you dare pass out on the couch!” He said in a harsh tone. I calmed down earlier and was able to string some words together.
“R-Roger, can p-people just vanish into t-thin fucking air d-darling?” I asked him while stuttering. I was still taken aback by the whole ordeal. Fuck, am I dreaming?
“What the fuck? It’s not enough that Brian pestered me with weird questions and now you too?!” He grunted. “Are you guys messing with me on purpose?” Wait, what did Brian ask him to get him this worked up?
“Just answer the fucking question Roger!” I snapped. It came out harsher than I would want it to be.
“NO, THE ANSWER IS NO FREDDIE. PEOPLE DON’T BLOODY VANISH INTO THIN AIR.” Roger yelled. “WERE THE BOTH OF YOU SECRETLY DRINKING MY BEER I WAS SAVING UP?!” He fumed.
I was surprised that Brian pissed him off. Normally, it’s the other way around. Yep, today was surely full of oddities.
“No need to be so dramatic and shout dear, sheesh,” I told him. I wasn’t satisfied with his answer and now I was more convinced that either I'm in a dream or I saw a ghost.
“Don’t tell me that you’re coming down with a fever as well. God, what is wrong with today, Ugh!” Roger complained and went to the kitchen to make himself a cup of tea. He’s right, maybe I do need a rest. All the stress from school and being in a band seemed to have taken its toll on me. I just hope that the audition we are holding to find a new bass player will go smoothly and we’ll find the right person.
I hope that this story isn't too weird! Feel free to leave kudos and your ideas and suggestions in the comments down below. Thank you for reading this little fanfic of mine!!
Yesterday, my new friend Brian told me that he and his friend needed my help for their studies. I’m thrilled to be able to meet new people and to be acquainted to them. I don’t know why but I wore the simplest outfit I had in my wardrobe. I wore a long sleeved sweater coupled with a pair of white trousers but I could never forget to wear my favourite pair of shoes. I realised that the people wore padded jackets when it was snowing. I heard that it was used to keep themselves warm but it wasn’t cold at all. Instead, I found this weather to be pleasantly perfect to go swimming. Strangely enough, no pools were open and the lakes were all frozen. I was bummed out. Maybe the humans aren’t used to extreme temperatures commonly found on the moon. I decided to walk to the college instead of driving. I wanted to see what the shops look like and how the people go on with their lives. I brought my teleporter just in case if I brought something heavy again. I really need to find a proper place to live.
I took a stroll and stopped by a park nearby. The skies were covered with white clouds with no visible signs of it going to leave any time soon. The snow covered every inch of land and the roads were covered with a thin layer of ice. I nearly tripped but I caught myself just in time. Despite the close encounter with the pavement, I still think that the scenery was beautiful. I saw a couple of white winged creatures that were flying and I found that to be incredibly fascinating. It made me excited and intrigued to know more about the new world around me.
It never snowed on the moon so when I first saw the snow, I was giggling like a little girl because I was just so happy to explore something new. The soft and fluffy texture felt heavenly and I figured out that if you apply enough pressure on it, it’ll retain its shape. I remembered my earlier discovery and an idea popped into my mind. I wanted to try to build a ‘snowman’ that I keep on seeing everywhere. I rolled the snow into a small sphere and it grew larger and larger until it reached my knees. I was pleased and started to roll another one. It got to the point where both of them were similar in size so I decided to stack the two. I was so entertained that I forgot to tell Julie about my new discovery. I knew that the transmitter would attract too much attention so I just took a quick picture and sent it to her.
I decided to continue my walk and leave the snowman be. When I reached the college, I was nervous to meet Brian and his friend. I had multiple scenarios of every outcome that could happen in the near future playing in my head, all of them resulting in a bad ending in my head. Oh, perhaps I should turn back now yeah? Maybe I can cancel the plan? Why am I like this?! My thoughts were cut abruptly when Brian called out to me from his car.
“Hey John! How have you been?” Brian greeted me as he exited his car.
“Hello Brian, I’m doing alright.” I greeted him, “I had a little fun here and there, nothing really interesting.”
I noticed another person behind him. He had golden, blond hair that compliments his bright blue eyes that stood out from the crowd.
“Oh, John this is my friend Roger that I told you about yesterday.” He introduced him to me.
“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Roger Taylor.” The blonde said, extending his arm.
“I’m John Deacon, pleasure to meet you.” I introduced myself as I shook his hand, noticing that he had this strange look as if he was trying to solve something in his head.
“Aren’t you cold in this weather mate? Why don’t you have a coat on?” Roger asked me. Shoot, I forgot! Way to go John, so much for blending in. I had to come up with something convincing.
“Uh, not really, I thought that today wouldn’t be so cold and went with this sweater instead.” I told him. “I’m used to the cold.” I continued. Just as Brian was about to say something, he had cut him off.
“Alright then. Shall we get inside the library? I mean, that’s why we’re here in the first place.” He said. I’m glad that he didn’t question me any further, it would give way to some unwanted things to be blurted out.
“Yeah, we better get inside now. I’m freezing here!” Brian exclaimed. The three of us entered the library and sat on an empty table. I noticed that the table we sat on had a beautiful view of the courtyard. They started unpacking their things and placing them on the table. For some reason, Roger looked disappointed as he flipped through his notebook while shaking his head.
“What is this shit even going to be used for? I study biology for fucks sake!” Roger complained while skimming through his textbook while Brian just sat there looking defeated.
“I’m not prepared for the finals for math. I don’t understand this chapter even at the slightest.” Brian said, shaking his head and rested his head on both his arms.
“If you aren’t prepared Bri, what about me?!” Roger told him.
“It couldn’t be that hard, let me see that.” I said. Brian handed his textbook and I was bewildered as to how easy it is. If you ask this question to anyone on the moon, surely they would be able to answer it with ease. They just stared at me and as I was flipping through the pages, I nearly snorted but I retained my composure. It truly horrifies me how the people on earth were so far behind from us.
“John, if you could solve these questions you wouldn’t need to study here anymore, just get the hell out of here and get your degree because this is difficult as fuck!” Roger said. Brian nodded in agreement.
“And what would you do if I can solve this?” I raised my eyebrow and smirked at him as confidence started building in me.
“There’s no way you could do it. Hell, I’ve lost all hope in this subject!” Roger laughed. Oh I’m not sure he’ll be laughing again anytime soon.
“Try me.” I told him. I took a piece of paper and solved the problem with ease and nearly fell asleep as I was very bored. I nearly dozed off while they just stared at me with confusion all over their faces.
“Oh, forgive me! I was dozing off wasn’t I?” I said, “But I finished it, here.”
I gave Brian the piece of paper and Roger sat beside him to get a closer look. Their eyes widened with surprise and they muttered something under their breath that I couldn't make sense of.
“How in the world?!” Brian and Roger said almost in unison.
“What? What’s wrong? Is there a problem?” I asked them, concerned that I made a mistake.
“How the hell did you solve this?!” Roger asked. I erased the answer and equations and redid the answers. This time, they moved beside me to get a better look as to how I solved it. I explained the processes to them slowly and made sure that they comprehended what I just said.
“God damn! John, you are a GENIUS!” Brian exclaimed. The people around us either left or shushed us. I felt embarrassed at his comment and felt my cheeks heat up.
“Seriously John, you should replace the professor! Your explanations are much easier to understand!” Roger commented and smiled at me.
“How about this question? Could you explain it to us?” Brian eagerly said while pointing towards another question. I solved it and slowly explained it to them.
The whole day was spent tutoring both of them. I looked at the time and it was late. Before we knew it, the library was nearing its closing time. We decided to take a short walk to a nearby café.
“Thank you so much John! I never thought that I could comprehend it that easily.” Brian said.
“Yeah mate, thank you so much for helping us out. Sorry if we took too much of your time.” Roger said while hugging me. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the response he gave me. I felt my cheeks heat up.
“D-don’t mention it, I was very bored anyways.” I said in a quieter tone than them as I let myself go from Roger’s embrace.
“Geez, I can’t imagine what you can achieve when you’re not bored. You could’ve conquered the world if you are serious!” Brian jokingly said. Though, the latter might be true in my case.
“I have so much free time that I don’t know what to do! The only thing that keeps me entertained is my bass!” I laughed. If I’m being completely honest, everything about London always entertained and intrigued me. It’s leagues different from the moon.
“Wait, you can play the bass?” Roger stopped in his tracks and asked me.
“Yeah, I’ve been playing it for a long time.” I answered him. Brian and Roger’s eyes widened in surprise. Oh, was there anything erroneous in what I had said?
“John, you should try to audition for our band, Queen! You’ll make a great addition to the band!” Brian suggested.
“I-I w-what?” I stuttered in surprise to what Brian had just said.
“You see, Roger and I are in a band called Queen and we are holding an audition to find a new bassist.” He explained, “I’m the guitarist and he’s the drummer.”
“I uh, I guess I could give it a try.” I answered them. “When and where should I audition?”
“Oh, right. We’ll hold it on Friday at 7pm on our studio on the 42nd. You’ll know that you’ve reached the right place. The building is pretty hard to miss.” Roger said as he gave me a piece of paper containing the address.
“Alright, anything I should be worried about?” I asked.
“No, nothing in particular. Just do your best.” Brian answered.
“Well look at the time, I should get going now. Goodbye guys.” I waved them goodbye and went on my way. I went to a quiet alleyway and teleported back to the ship. I put down the flyer on my desk and took a quick shower. While I was washing my hair, I realised that to blend in, I needed to find a place to live though the spaceship is enough for me. An idea popped into my mind. What if I transform my spaceship into a house? I’ll just purchase an empty land and place my spaceship there! I thought that it was a brilliant idea. I’ll make sure I’ll do that tomorrow. I walked out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my waist. Queen huh? Intriguing.
When John helped to tutor us, I was confused as to how he knew so much more than us. Shouldn't he be in the same year as us? Oh well, maybe he's more adept in math than the both of us. At the very least, I’m glad that Brian and I understood everything he explained. I don’t know how I would pass without his help if I were to be completely honest. I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that John could play the bass. He had left and we decided to return to the flat. We needed to find a new place to live. The flat had too much problems that cost us too much to repair. Even with all of our wages combined, we couldn’t afford to fix it. I have to just hope that our band will take off.
Sorry for the short chapter! I promise to make the next chapter longer to make up for this one. Though, I'm sure that the next one will be my favourite so far. I have some new ideas for a new fic and I completely lost track of time! I am open for requests and new ideas so leave them down in the comments below! Thank you for reading! Don't forget to leave kudos and bookmark this story!
Chapter 5: Golden Stars and Frigid Nights
Many apologies for the long wait! Thankfully, I came around with new ideas for the story and wrote some material. This chapter will be longer than usual and I hope that you guys like this chapter!
This day started out horribly, the water heater finally gave in and died because the three of us idiots couldn’t find the money to fix it when the damage was minimal. Now, there wasn’t any hot water for us to use in the entire flat. We had to boil it in a kettle which painstakingly took a shitload amount of time. I could travel around the world and back in that time. I couldn’t take a warm bath either so I had to just cope with the freezing cold water. So it’s not enough that today was the coldest December ever but the water was arctic as well, fuck my life. I took a long walk home and I swore to never do that during the winter ever again as I hurried back home. I went back from work feeling lethargic, freezing and sick of customer service. I normally enjoyed helping people out but today was a bad day as the patrons were very rude and improper. This one lady kept on making rude comments about my fashion choices and had bothered me with questions regarding the chemicals used in the shampoo the store supplied. I knew that if I were to complain about this matter, I would have my salary deducted so I would just have to suck it up and deal with it.
The weather wasn’t willing to cooperate with me as well. I had troubled myself with styling my hair, only for the harsh wind to completely wreck it, leaving it to look like a bird’s nest. I looked like shit and it didn’t help that Brian and Roger took off only god knows where without telling me so I was stuck at home. They brought the car with them and I couldn’t be bothered to walk outside or flag a cab. It was my turn to buy the groceries but I would rather sleep in than turn into ice. I just stayed indoors and turned the telly on. There was nothing good on so I just sat around and sketched a few things before eventually falling asleep on the couch.
I was suddenly at a stage wearing a purple jacket that was adorned with rhinestones of different colours. I was holding a silver microphone and so were Brian, Roger and another man beside me. He was holding a golden bass that seemed too heavy to be carried around in that lax manner. He was taller than Roger and me and had the most intricately designed outfit I had ever seen. He seemed like he just walked out of a fashion magazine and stood before us on stage while he adjusted his long, brown hair. I started to sing a song I had never heard of before but somehow know all the lyrics to. Brian and Roger started to join in and the man begun to strum his bass, making gold stars appear out of nowhere. The stars shone brightly and illuminated the entire stage, highlighting his entire outfit. I was overwhelmed by the excited screams that originated from the crowd and started another song joined in by Brian’s guitar wails and the man’s deep bass riffs.
I was having a pleasant dream when I was brought back to reality by Roger who had violently shaken me. I squinted my eyes, adjusting to the bright, harsh light that had pierced my eyes and rubbed my eyes. My mind went blank as I had forgotten what I was dreaming about.
I was having a pleasant dream when I was brought back to reality by Roger who had violently shaken me. I squinted my eyes, adjusting to the bright, harsh light that had pierced my eyes and rubbed my eyes.
“Freddie, wake up!” Roger shouted as he continued to shake me.
“Fuck off, I’m awake.” I groggily told him. I wasn’t fully conscious yet but I could still hear him clearly. I scratched my head and sighed as I realised that I had slept through the entire evening and forgot the groceries, guess we’ll starve then. I’m probably going to be nagged on by Brian anytime soon but bloody hell that was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks!
“Did you buy the groceries Freddie?” Brian asked me, putting down his bag onto the coffee table in front of me.
“No I didn’t. Sorry, I overslept. Guess we’ll have to manage with what we have now huh?” I apologised. Normally, Roger would’ve blown off the handle and dragged me to the grocery store while cursing but he was oddly calm.
“You’re lucky I’m in a good mood right now or I would’ve beaten the living shit out of you! Well at the very least you didn’t spend the money on new clothes like you did last week. Could’ve sworn that you had intentionally tried to piss me off.” He said, sighing and walking over to the cupboards.
“That was a beautiful jacket and I know that you had your eyes set on them as well Rog!” I retorted. The yellow jacket I saw on the boutique the previous week looked too much of a bargain to pass, only a fool would not buy it!
“Anyways, why on earth are you such in a good mood? By any chance, did you perhaps find yourself a lover?” I playfully teased, earning a snicker from Brian. Hold on a minute, did I miss something?
“No Freddie, we just had the best math class ever and a potential bassist on our hands.” Brian answered and I felt intrigued by what he said. A potential bassist? Well that’s music to my ears.
“We’ll see about that on Friday. Tell me, what’s your new acquaintance like? From what you described him he seems to be very interesting.” I requested.
“Interesting is an understatement Fred! HE’S A BLOODY GENIUS!” Roger retorted, grabbing himself a can of beer that he apparently keeps in the bottom drawer buried under the utensils and boxes, that sly bastard.
“Brian, you lucked out when you met that boy! He is a godsend I tell you!” He added as he chugged down his drink.
“I have to agree with you Rog, though, I have this weird feeling that I’ve met him before but I couldn’t quite put it together. I must’ve been overlooking something.” Brian stated, looking quite perplexed while staring at seemingly nothing.
“Oh, forget it. You probably ate something weird. At this point we just have to pass that exam and we’ll be done with this goddamned year!” Roger yelled as he threw his papers up in the air and bolted to his room. I shook my head and sighed, I knew that he’ll need those papers he just threw so I picked all of them up and placed them on the counter. I sometimes worry how Roger could just abandon his possessions like that without caring whether or not he’ll need it in the future. The last time he did, he blamed Brian and me for not keeping it. I sighed at that irritating memory and turned to Brian and saw that he had already started to prepare a meal.
“Say, Brian, do you think that we could fix that bloody water heater and the hole in the corner of the kitchen? I don’t want us freezing to death here.” I asked him, hoping that he would have a solution for our problem.
“Unfortunately no Fred, I don’t even know how. Our funds for this month are looking quite bleak and I don’t know if we could afford next month’s rent.” Brian answered as he sighed and returned to what he was doing. I started to fear not being able to return to this flat we had. I had fond memories of this place and it would pain me to part with this building. I just have to depend on my job for a while and endure the harassment from my co-workers and patrons.
“What do you think we should do Bri? Where would we stay if we can’t afford this flat for next month? Oh, what if we actually freeze to death here?! Would anyone even find us here?!” I worriedly asked him, throwing all sorts of questions I had come up with on the spot.
“I just don’t know Fred, I truly don’t! The least we could do now is to do our best with the band and our studies. We’ll get some traction and be able to book more gigs if we’re lucky enough.” Brian responded feeling frustrated with me. We would always depend on him because he’s the responsible one between the three of us and I think that I’m starting to get on his nerves. We would always turn a blind eye on how he felt about this whole fiasco, we just assumed that he would always have the answers for everything we are currently going through.
“I’ll try to find us another place if we lose this one Bri.” I sighed and went to set up the dining table, keeping that conversation we had in mind. I don’t know where to even start looking for a new flat in such short notice, I began to regret telling him that I’ll take care of it. Hell, I don’t bloody know any places that could house the three of us with an affordable rent! The cheapest one besides our current flat is at a place on the other side of town in a dangerous neighbourhood, deathly far from our university. I just wish we had a solution for this ordeal of ours.
It was the day we organised the auditions for the position of our bassist and I felt nervous and excited at the same time. I had hopes that we are going to find our new member here and start to be an actual band instead of three best friends playing around in their parents’ garage, hoping that they’ll make it big. The winds weren’t blowing and snow wasn’t falling from the sky oddly enough. I had a good feeling that tonight will be a good one. I opened the door to the studio we rented for this day and lit the lights, revealing a wide space that could host around a hundred people. I was sceptical that we were able to rent a studio that was dirt cheap at first, ringing all the right alarm bells in my head. To my relief, Roger’s friend was acquainted to the owner of the studio and negotiated with them to give us a lower fee. The smell of the hardwood flooring filled the air as it gave off a rustic and homey feel to it. Brian started to make the place presentable and Roger went off to explore the area and was somehow back with a cup of coffee and a random book he found lying somewhere. I honestly wonder what on earth he does when Brian and I weren’t around, sometimes he would just return to our flat with the most random of objects. The last time he did, he returned with a box of broken trinkets that he claims were left at his workplace the previous night. I wasn’t keen on the absurd amount of junk so I took the liberty to throw all of them out myself which resulted in him being pissed at me for a whole week.
As I wandered through the area, waiting for the people to show up, I took note of the simple yet interesting painting behind me that depicted a blonde woman looking up with her arms crossed and fingers spread, the light revealing her prominent cheekbones and the joints on her fingers. It didn’t take that long for the first person to turn up. The three of us took our places on empty seats and heard him play. We made some small talk but that was just about it really, there wasn’t anything special about him. Though he wasn’t mediocre, he wasn’t exactly proficient. The next few people who came in were more or less the same, either they were good players but have a terrible personality or were very pleasant but played horribly, either that or they were outshining me and I wouldn’t want that to happen. I sighed in disappointment, why do we have such rotten luck? We had a gig next week and we have to have a bassist!
“At this rate, we’ll never find the right one! This is Queen for fucks sake and I won’t settle for second best!” I said in a harsh manner, feeling a bit crossed.
“I have to agree with you there Freddie, they weren’t bad but they wouldn’t suit our style of playing.” Brian said.
“I thought that last one was alright, I don’t see anything wrong with him.” Roger commented.
“Are you joking? That bloke’s personality was terrible and so were his tasteless jokes. I wouldn’t want to be stuck with him!” I declared. The studio was starting to feel suffocating and I felt that the walls would be closing in on us if we didn’t hurry up and find a bassist.
“I thought you guys said that your friend would show up? Where is he?” I asked them and glanced over to the wall clock to check how long we spent in the studio. It was barely two hours but it felt like centuries had passed as I slowly questioned my sanity. My nerves were slowly wearing down as I heard the echoes of the clock ticking with every bloody second that passed without us discovering a competent bassist.
“Just be patient, I’m sure he’ll show up eventually but I’ll have to warn you now before you mess up in the future. If you ever hurt him in any way, shape or form, we aren’t friends anymore and you’re going straight to hell.” Roger growled and went back to his seat after fixing another cup of coffee for himself. What does he mean by that? And I thought I was the most dramatic person I’ve met.
“Brian, what does he mean by that dear?” I leaned over to him and asked.
“You’ll see for yourself Freddie, I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise now do I?” Brian answered and gave me a light smirk. I seriously want to know who they were referring to but all my questions would be answered when suddenly, the door opened to reveal a young man wearing a frilly, white outfit that made me do a double take to assure myself that it wasn’t a woman I was looking at. He had long, brown hair that fell on his shoulders, complimenting his slender physique and fair skin. I caught a glimpse of his eyes and was immediately drawn in by their colour, he had cloudy, grey eyes with a hint of green in them. I had never seen eyes that were so mysterious like his. For some odd reason, I felt my heart pace faster, why was that?
“Hello John, glad you could make it here.” Roger said as he walked over towards his direction and shook his hand. Peculiar, I felt something stir up in me when I watch him make contact with his long and slender fingers.
“H-hi guys, h-how are the auditions going? I hope I’m not too late.” He asked them in a soft and comforting voice that I was immediately enthralled with. What’s going on with me? I shouldn’t be thinking of all of this nonsense, especially to a stranger whom I just met few bloody seconds ago!
“It’s not doing so good I suppose, but you’re not late at all, don’t worry about anything.” Brian answered and smiled at him.
“Yeah, the people who came here weren’t exactly the pleasant bunch. I kind of feel like we are at a dead end now.” Roger shrugged, going back to his seat beside Brian.
“O-oh, sorry to hear that. I-I hope that things would turn out for the better for you guys!” He softly said.
“Hello, I believe I haven’t caught your name yet. My name is Freddie Mercury, what’s your name darling?” I asked him, swallowing the lump that had formed on my throat. Our eyes met and I felt my chest tighten a bit and for some reason, I felt my heart do somersaults.
“H-hi, m-my name is John Deacon, nice to be acquainted with you Freddie.” He shyly said. Oh my goodness, now I know exactly why Roger had forewarned me earlier. He has got to be the most innocent and sweetest person I’ve seen in all of my years! But the way he said my name resounded inside my head, making me zone out for a bit there as I let my mind wander somewhere else. I was brought back by Brian’s gentle nudge to my side, I never noticed that I had been staring at the poor boy all along.
“Oh right, where do you live darling? Do you have your own place?” I asked him.
“Y-yeah, I currently live on my own. I recently moved in s-so I’m pretty new to the area.” He answered, looking a tad uncomfortable and fidgeting with his fingers.
“I brought my bass with me, why don’t I cheer you guys up for a while?” He offered as he gave us the cutest smile.
“Sure, why not? Might as well join in our band if you’re good enough.” Roger said while nodding his head. I was kind of concerned that he might not be that good of a bassist. It would really pain my heart to reject such a pure human being.
John nodded and opened his case to reveal a gold-coloured bass that had stars with the same colour and baroque swirls and patterns embellished on the corners. My eyes were directly focused on how beautiful his instrument looked, I have never seen such a unique bass before.
“Whoa, that’s a very unique bass you have there John. Where did you get it from?” Roger inquired, looking at the bass he held like a little kid brought to a candy store.
“I have to agree with him, I’ve never seen it before. By any chance, did you build it yourself?” Brian enthusiastically asked him.
“I uh, no actually, my dad gave me this bass quite some time ago.” John answered. I noted that he had a saddened look on his face.
“Intriguing. O-oh right! Sorry for interrupting you, continue what you were doing.” Roger said, returning to an empty seat.
He plugged in his bass to an amp and started to tune it. I admired his slender frame and how his clothes looked like it was meant to be worn by him. Though, I never saw that brand or style of clothing before which is weird considering I am well versed in the way of fashion if I do say so myself. The lights above us had shone brightly and formed a halo above his head, making his appearance similar to an angel. Before I knew it, he had started to play some riffs that just blew my mind with their originality and how smooth they were. The sound reverberated throughout the entire room and I felt myself nodding my head to the beat of his bass. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised that he’s secretly a legendary bassist! Though, that wasn’t my main focus. I was so enamoured by how attractive he looked that I didn’t realise that I was gazing upon him AGAIN. Well this time, Roger did notice so he gave me a nudge on my side with his elbow to bring me back to reality, making my face heat up for two reasons. The first one being clear irritation towards his painful gesture that resulted in my side hurting and the second one being embarrassed that I made eye contact with John’s dreamy eyes. I swiftly averted his gaze and tried to regain my composure.
“That was incredible! I never expected you to be a jack of all trades, John! Did you compose those riffs?” Brian complimented and walked over to his direction. I saw a blush form on his cheeks and it honestly was the most adorable thing I’ve seen all day. It made my chest tighten again.
“Yeah, that was mind blowing! What do you think Freddie?” Roger asked.
“I-I think that he’s great, yeah. He’ll be a good addition to the band.” I nervously answered, trying to cover the fact that I had my sights on him the entire time and ignoring the both of them.
“Th-thank you for the compliment, I-I still don’t know how to react to commendations, I don’t really receive any of them quite often.” He shyly said as he proceeded to put away his bass. Why on earth is he so adorable?!
“Anyways, can we have your number? It’ll be more convenient for us if we could ring you if we have made our decision. And honestly, I could ask you for some help for math again.” Brian requested, earning a slight chuckle from him.
“I-I uh, yeah sure.” He said, handing them a piece of paper. They were discussing something amongst themselves and I couldn’t be bothered to hear their ramblings. I just wanted to know more about the angel standing in front of me. “Alright, thank you for your time guys. I have to get going now, I have to run some errands.” He added, waving us a goodbye and gave us a smile. I was hesitant to let him leave as I wanted to get to know him better but I guess I could do that the next time we meet. As he exited the studio I laid back on the sofa and let out a sigh of relief that we met such an amazing person. Suddenly, Brian cleared his throat in attempt to get my attention in which he succeeded.
“Yes? What is it darling?” I asked him.
“So, what was that about Freddie?” He placed his hands on his waist and questioned, slightly raising his eyebrows.
“Pardon? I didn’t quite catch you there, what was what dear?” I inquired, trying to make sense of his earlier inquiry. What was he referring to? I didn’t recall anything that would be considered unusual except for how good looking John was.
“Seems to me like you really have your sights set on him. Don’t go falling in love with him now, alright?” Brian commented. Was I really that easy to read? Well I wasn’t going to let them know anytime soon anyways so I knew I had to lie my way out of this one.
“I-WHAT? N-no I won’t! I just think that h-he had something special about him.” I half-lied, surprised that words could actually form from my mouth considering the fact that I was caught off guard by his sudden question.
“Sure you are Fred, the both of us knew that you were staring at the poor guy throughout the whole audition! Just, promise us that you won’t pull anything funny alright?” He sighed as he told me in a sarcastic tone.
“Me? Oh nonsense darling! I would never do something of the sort!” I dramatically answered him. I saw the both of them roll their eyes almost at the same time.
“Freddie, don’t you remember when you nearly gave your mom a heart attack when you came home and announced that you brought home a cat that you dressed up with MY shirt, saying that it’s your new lover and that you guys were getting married, to which you then proceeded to borrow Roger's shades and took the cat out on a date to his house while you were drunk.” Brian questioned, bringing back all of the embarrassing memories I had supressed in the back of my mind. It brought back all sorts of moments where I just want to punch my younger self right in the face for doing such things.
“Or when you borrowed Kash’s outfits to go for the night out and actually got caught red-handed by her and her friends? I swear, the look on her face was priceless!” Roger added as he shot a shit-eating grin towards me. I never wanted to punch him so much in my life until this point.
“Or when you took all of your textbooks and sold them, only to realise that you slipped your acceptance letter in one of them and searched the entire town to find it?” Brian continued. I felt myself shrink back with embarrassment as I just want to curl up into a ball and die from the humiliating memories.
“WELL THOSE DON’T FUCKING COUNT!” I screamed and covered my face with my hands. Those fucking cunts.
“Yeah, sure they don’t” Roger sarcastically said, rolling his eyes again.
“Anyways, let’s get out of here yeah? I’m all worn out and I guess that we all need a rest.” Brian suggested as he took his coat that was on the armrest of his seat.
“Yeah, we spent hours in here and I thought I was going to die from boredom before John walked in. Honestly, I couldn’t believe that those people actually bothered to show up even though they couldn’t play at all!” Roger responded, opening the door and letting in the cold air that made the hair on my neck stand up.
“Jesus Rog! At least wait until I wear this stupid coat!” I hissed, adjusting the sleeves of my coat.
“Well whatever, let’s go.” He said. I made sure to switch off the lights and locked the door. The three of us didn’t bother to call a cab as our flat was nearby. The wind had subsided and snow started to fall in its replacement and I started to think that the weather tonight wouldn't be so terrible, to which I would soon regret.
Along the way I remembered all of the childhood memories the three of us shared. I remembered this one nerve-wracking experience of the days that led up to me coming out as gay to both of them. Originally, I had been seeing this girl that I didn’t exactly find her attractive as the reason we started seeing each other was because the both of us had a mutual agreement to keep the relationship as a cover for the both of us. She was most certainly into women and she needed someone to be her pretend partner to fool her parents. I would do my business and she would do hers and we decided to leave it at that. We broke off things soon after the both of us concluded that it wasn’t healthy for us to constantly deceive others that way. Later on, I had learnt that she had found another woman and was together with her. Now, I was glad that she found someone but for some reason, I felt something empty inside of me. I knew at that time that I had conflicting feelings towards me having a penchant towards men. I just felt extreme guilt towards my parents, Kash and especially Brian and Roger. I remember breaking down and crying in front of them as I confessed to the both of them but to my surprise they weren’t shocked whatsoever. They both told me that they always knew I was gay all along. I was relieved that they weren’t disgusted by me and instead, was supportive of me. I smiled at the memory, forever grateful to have such amazing people in my life.
We soon returned to the flat only to discover that the gaping hole in the kitchen had let the snow in and made the whole flat arctic. The pipes were frozen and we didn’t know what the fuck should do at this point. I thought that I had sealed the hole with cardboard and some spare wood we had lying around but the wind probably was stronger. I tried to close the door but the hinges were jammed. I tried to give it a kick but now my leg hurts.
“How on earth did snow get in here?! It’s so fucking freezing! I can’t sleep here, I’ll freeze to death!” Roger yelled as he ran to his room and wore more layers of clothing. Brian went over to turn on the heater but it wasn’t going to cooperate with us. The arctic wind blew into the entire flat, lowering the temperature of everything in its path. Even the thick blankets we had couldn’t stop our bodies from quivering!
“Oh god, the heater’s out!” Brian worriedly told us. I felt the cold catch up to me, the layered jacket did nothing to shield me against the cold. I tried to come up with anything that could ease our wretched situation to no avail. I was frustrated that nothing came across my mind when suddenly, Roger came running out of his bedroom with a piece of paper he desperately clutched as the strong gust had attempted to blow it away.
“B-Bri, why d-don’t we ring John and a-ask him if we could stay at h-his p-place for the night?!” He suggested while shivering and rubbing his arms, trying to accumulate heat. I was reluctant to agree with his idea because why on earth would he agree to help us? Logically, you wouldn’t be so trusting towards the people you just met and barely know. Though I was hesitant with his crazy idea, I guess that we’re all out of options.
“Th-That seems like a good idea B-Bri.” I commented, blowing hot air into my hands in attempt to get them to warm up.
“N-NO! You guys a-are insane for trying to r-ring him in this ridiculous hour! D-don't you know any common sense?!” He stammered as he felt the cold kicking in. The wind hadn’t died yet and blew the back of his head, making his curls flutter in the wind.
“WELL I’D RATHER T-TRY TO SAVE MY SORRY ARSE FROM FREEZING THAN HAVING ANY COMMON SENSE AT THIS GODDAMN TIME!” Roger yelled, running to the house phone and started to dial a combination of numbers that John had given them the previous time. Brian just stood there looking defeated and shaking his head while trying to grab anything that could warm himself up. He held the phone against his ear and tried not to stutter while shivering over the frigid temperature.
“H-Hello, is this John I’m talking to? It’s Roger.” He said to the phone and tried to stop himself from trembling as he stuffed his hand into his pocket.
“Hey John, s-sorry to b-bother you at this hour but our heater’s broken and the pipes a-are frozen and uh, could the three of us stay over at your place? I-If you’re alright with that o-of course.” He inquired. I felt nervous as we waited for his response.
Chapter 6: We're Doing Alright
Promenading back to my house felt like I had won an unforeseen gift from the heavens above. I never expected that there would be people who acknowledged my passion as something that has some worth to it. The way they complimented me mad me warm and fuzzy inside. Though, the way Freddie grinned was imprinted into my mind. It was rare to find someone with such a charming smile.
As I was sauntering by the colourful stores whilst admiring the clothes on the mannequins by the display, I felt something vibrate against my thigh. I took out my communicator and the screen revealed that Julie was calling me. It wasn’t at the most convenient of times but I couldn’t prevent it. I knew that if I were to answer her in the middle of the busy street, I wouldn’t be able to hear her and people will give me funny glances. I learnt that the people here don’t have communicators and that they use those things called ‘telephones’ and in every direction I go, there would always be this red box that contains a telephone inside of them. I was abruptly pulled out of my thoughts as the vibrating won’t cease. I let out a sigh and walked towards an empty corner, ensuring that there weren’t any people nearby. I hesitantly answered her call.
“Well it’s about time you answered me, John!” Julie protested as I held the device on my hand that displayed her image.
“Not even a greeting for your older brother? Don’t be so cold Jules!” I joked as I saw her letting out a small chuckle.
“Oh alright you silly goose, Hi John. There, I said it, are you happy?” She sarcastically said while I just rolled my eyes while I gave her a little laugh at her childish act.
“So tell me, why did you decide to ring me?” I asked.
“Oh nothing much, I just missed you a lot. Anyways, how’s your life on earth? Care to update me on your status?” She inquired as she took a bite out of her meringue cookies that she always had on hand.
“Sure, just don’t get bored of my stories.” I answered her.
“In your dreams! I would never get bored of what you have to say, John. You would always tell me the most interesting of tales so why would I get tired of hearing new ones?” She retorted. I smiled at her response and started to tell her what I was doing since I first landed. I divulged her all about Brian, Roger and Freddie. About how I joined a band and the rest of my plans to adapt to the daily life of a normal human. The smile on her face never faltered as I disclosed my activities to her which I was grateful for.
“But John, what are you going to do if they want to visit or ring you? They obviously will be alarmed if you say that you live inside a car! From what I learnt, people who couldn’t afford housing tend to sleep in their cars or son streets!” She worriedly asked me.
“I’ve had that problem resolved earlier this week Jules, so don’t worry about it. I actually bought a house here.” I answered her.
“That’s kind of stupid. Why would you need a house if you have your spaceship? Couldn’t you just shift it into a house instead?” She commented, voicing her disbelief towards my action.
“Well, I have to buy land to place it and from my research, it’s more complicated than you think it is. I honestly don’t want to go through that hassle so I bought a house instead which now that I think about it, might be a nice investment. And if I use the spaceship as a house, how on earth would I travel back home?” I responded, adjusting my collar to straighten it.
“You could’ve bought a car you know. It’s far cheaper than a house.” She said, taking another bite from her cookie.
“No, I considered it but I think that it would be convenient if I could transform it into any vehicle I want instead of buying newer cars. I wouldn’t know what to make use of the older ones then! Don’t forget the fact that I can’t refuel the Cyllene here on earth. I couldn’t risk the chance of it running out when I still have it in a form of a house.” I reasoned as I tried to convince her on my idea which seemed to work.
“Hmm, if you say so. Now for the main question, how spacious is your new place?” She queried as her eyes lit up with curiosity.
“It’s approximately the same size as the royal library, which is better than nothing I guess. I have to admit, I miss my bedroom and the planetarium, the houses here barely had any space! At the very least, the one I purchased had a pool and a courtyard in it. I might’ve gone insane if I were to be cramped up in the small scope!” I replied as I listed down all the house’s features to her. Once I finished disclosing everything, she had a strange look on her face which I couldn’t figure out.
“John, what you bought wasn’t a normal house. You purchased a mansion John, a mansion.” She sighed and said as she had a look of disbelief all over her face. “Look, I know you still haven’t understood any of earth’s common sense as we both grew up inside a palace, but the very least you could do was to do more research or even ask me.” She face palmed and continued. What’s done is done I guess, but I never would’ve thought that such a small residence would be considered as a mansion.
“Oh, I guess it’s a mansion then. I have to go now, I’ll be sure to ring you whenever I can.” I told her as I took another look at my surroundings for any signs of another soul.
“Just don’t do anything that you’ll regret alright? Promise me that.” She requested.
“I promise, talk to you soon.” I bid farewell and turned my device off. I didn’t notice the sleet on top of my head form. I shook my head to remove them and went on my way. Though it was snowing, the dark skies were visible and was a stark contrast from the white, crystallised beads. The roads were bustling but it had died down as I was giving her a ring. I took out my teleporter I had kept in my back pocket and inputted my mansion's coordinates, and before I knew it, I was standing at the front gates of my estate. I still felt joyous whenever I pass through those gates as I would always recall my first encounter with it.
I had been sauntering by the neighbourhood when I noticed a particular house that had tall, black fences adorned with gold embellishments which gives off a mysterious aura to it. I was immediately drawn to the fountain at the entrance which is topped by a statue of an angel holding a lyre that was decorated with rose bushes that looked heavenly to say the least.
I soon learnt from an elderly lady who noted my stares towards the house that the place was vacant as it hadn’t found itself a buyer. I felt relieved and inquired her if I could contact the owner of the property to see if I could tour it as I was a potential buyer. She gave me the real estate agent’s contact and left. I decided to immediately ring them up as I was impatient and couldn’t hold back my curiosity. To my bewilderment, the agent wasn’t scheduled to give anyone a tour today so I was instantly at the top of her list and told me that she could come by and show me the property in an hour or less, what luck! When I was still taken aback from the conversation we had, she hung up and left me there standing mindlessly. Once I processed everything, I decided to explore my potential neighbourhood as a way to acclimate myself to the new area and mainly to kill time.
Once I returned to the property, I met the agent standing in front of the gates. She was surprised that I wasn’t wearing any jackets or any garment to protect me from the cold. I dismissed her questions and changed the topic, hoping that I wouldn’t have to explain anything to her because I knew that I messed up when I left without the coat I had placed near my bass to wear. The trait that I heavily disliked about myself is that I could be very forgetful and shy at times.
We then proceeded to the entrance while I noted every detail present in the gardens. When we approached the house, my eyes were fixed to the impressive architectural design which contrasted greatly from the architectural sites on the moon. The place gave the impression of a palace which made me feel at home. When she opened the main door, it revealed a beautiful staircase with silver railings, illuminated by an intricate crystal chandelier that was suspended from the high ceilings. The estate had a pleasant ambiance to it which enthrals me deeper as she showed me every room in this mansion. The master bedroom had a view of the courtyard which made me feel as if I belonged in a fairy tale. Each guest bedroom had a private bathroom in it which I deemed convenient for anyone who I might invite over. As we were finishing the tour, I had a growing penchant towards this property and wanted to settle in immediately. Since I had not fully understood earth’s common sense, I told her that I would purchase it straightaway, earning a chuckle from her. She thought that I was pulling her leg so I was told to come down to her office tomorrow once I was certain that I had the money. She handed me her office’s address and we soon parted ways and I returned to my spaceship feeling a bit irritated at her remarks.
The next day, I made an appointment and ensured her that I had the means to purchase the estate. When she was still insistent that I was joking around, I presented a briefcase full of money before her and soon, her entire demeanour had changed. I had minor trouble putting the money inside the case as it refused to lock but I found a quick solution for it. She had a look of disbelief and exited the room and returned with a man, wearing a navy suit paired with a white tie. They brought back mounds of paperwork for me to sign which is quite weird now that I think about it. The man explained to me in detail about the entire process which bored me to death. Soon enough, I finished signing everything, we sealed the deal and the woman gave me keys to the estate. Is this what the people that purchase houses need to go through every time?
I sighed at the earlier memory, unlocking the gates and went inside my home, dusting off the snow that had piled up on the angel statue. I was told by a lady about these things called ‘good luck’ and how one can get it. I was intrigued by the idea that humans often believe in things that hold no real power to them but believe that they may bring fortunate things to them. I tested out that idea and cleaned the statue for ‘good luck’ which of course, was just another superstition the people believe in. I smiled at the idea and went inside my newly decorated mansion. I shook my head to get rid of the sleet that had accumulated on top of my head and took my boots off, positioning them near a rack I bought to set my shoes on. I climbed up the stairway and retired to my room, thinking about the wonderful things London has in store for me. I was abruptly pulled out of my thoughts when I was startled by a familiar ringing coming from the house phone that echoed throughout the space.
I sighed and teleported downstairs as I couldn’t be bothered to walk another step. I answered it and placed it on my ear. Just as I was about to say something, a familiar voice stated speaking.
“H-Hello, is this John I’m talking to? It’s Roger.” The voice said. I was surprised that he would call this late into the night, although, it was only 9.
“Yes, it’s me, John. How can I help you Roger?” I calmly asked him, wondering what is it he wanted from me.
“Hey John, s-sorry to b-bother you at this hour but our heater’s broken and the pipes a-are frozen and uh, could the three of us stay over at your place? I-If you’re alright with that o-of course.” He inquired, stuttering from what I assume is the cold temperature. I didn’t know how to react from his question. It felt so sudden and once I processed what he said, I knew I had to help them out.
“Of course I’m alright with it, do you want me to pick you up?” I answered.
“Yes please, if we’re not being too much of a burden. Brian’s car isn’t in the best condition either.” He responded.
“Sorry to hear that. Can I get your address?” I asked him, preparing to take notes on my device.
“Yeah, it’s on the 27th Street, first house from the left. P-please hurry up John, I don’t know h-how long the three of us are going to last.” He said as his voice sounded shaky.
“I’m on my way. I’ll be as fast as I can alright, don’t freeze to death before I get there!” I said as I finished noting it down on my device.
“We’ll try.” He said, hanging up on me. I made sure to take my coat with me this time and went to my spaceship that I parked on my driveway. To not raise any suspicions, I shifted it into a model that I saw on a magazine once. Once I had finished it, I quickly drove off to their shared flat. As I sped up, I felt a growing sense of nervousness as I never had this much interaction with other people before. It was definitely overwhelming but I had to pull through and help my new friends out. Although, I think that I just wanted to see Freddie again. For some odd reason, my heart paced faster whenever he’s in my mind. I think that I might’ve contracted a disease!
“You just had to tell him to pick us up as well? Jesus, Roger, aren’t you being too demanding towards that poor boy?” Brian protested as he placed his hand on his hips and looked somewhat annoyed. I felt irritated towards him, I had saved our arses and this is how I get treated?!
“Well at the very least we have a place for the night alright! I couldn’t care less about your whining, just stay here and freeze to death if you want!” I snapped. Before he could respond, Freddie had stepped in between us.
“Look Brian, there’s only one room for one hysterical queen here and that’s not any of you, it’s me. Now get packing. It’s bad enough that we’re forced to rely on his help, we wouldn’t want to make John wait now do we?” He dramatically said, bolting off towards his room, leaving the both of us in the living room. There was an awkward silence that was getting on my nerves so I decided that I would be the one to break it.
“I know I could be bloody unreasonable at times but let’s j-just get on with it. We’ve suffered enough in this miserable weather and I wouldn’t want to get into another argument!” I sighed, trying to get dissolve my anger and blowing hot air to my hands. He stood there and had silently nodded his head.
“Alright, I’ll start packing my clothes. Don’t forget to bring your books, we have our last finals for tomorrow.” He said as he went to his room.
“OH SHIT TOMORROW’S THE LAST DAY OF FINALS! I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE! FUCK!” I yelled. I was in full blown panic mode and my mind was suddenly crowded with my concerns and thoughts. I ran to my room and emptied out my bag. I rummaged my closet for whatever clothes and undergarments I had and placed them inside my bag. I made sure to pack my toothbrush and brush with me. I couldn’t care less about how my outfit looked as I was too busy making sure that my fingers aren’t frozen. I went down to the living room and heard a knock on the door followed by a ‘hello’ from a familiar voice. I opened the door and saw that John’s cheeks were pink from the cold. I was surprised that he was here in a blink of an eye!
“John! Thank goodness y-you’re here! I’m so sorry for calling you t-this late in the night.” I apologised. “Brian and Freddie will be down soon.” I continued, rubbing my hands together to generate heat.
“It’s fine Roger, are you guys alright though? T-there’s snow everywhere on the floor. If I may inquire, what happened?” He asked in a soft voice. The sleet on top of his head matched the white fur coat he was wearing.
“Sorry you had to see t-that. We’ve b-been having some issues with our flat recently, there’s a gaping hole in the corner of the kitchen and when w-we were away, snow went inside the room and this whole scenario happened.” I explained.
“But why haven’t you guys fixed it?” He innocently queried and had a worried look on his face. Oh fuck, how do I explain our financial situation to him without breaking his heart? I know that the three of us are broke but I don’t want him to worry about us.
“Well we tried fixing it with strong cardboard but the wind knocked it over.” I answered. “It was our only temporary option until we could properly fix it.” I continued, putting my shivering hands inside my pocket. John had noticed that I was freezing my arse off and somehow, I had this feeling that something was off but I couldn’t determine what it was.
“Do you want to wait in my car? It’s got a heater.” He questioned, moving away to reveal his stunning vehicle, dismissing my worries. I was immediately surprised that John owned a Mercedes Benz! I went over and admired the car of my dreams.
“Whoa, I thought I was never going to see this model again! The smooth and streamlined design is just so beautiful with its silver rims and its-” “Roger!” Freddie cut me off before I could finish.
“Don’t you think you’re scaring him?” He shot a nasty glance at me.
“Oh, shit. Sorry, I got carried away.” I apologised as I felt my cheeks heat up either from the cold or the embarrassment. John’s face retained his kindness which I am kind of grateful for.
“H-hello darling, t-thank you for helping us out.” He said while shivering in the cold. Weirdly enough, his face started to redden brightly when he made eye contact with John. Must be from the cold I guess.
“No problem Freddie, do you want to borrow my coat? You look like you need it more than I do.” John offered, taking his fur coat off, revealing the white shirt he wore to the auditions previously.
“W-what n-no, I couldn’t. I wouldn’t want to see you freeze to death in this insane weather darling.” He refused, shifting from foot to foot. Then again, it was weird how John looked so calm in these arctic temperatures when the rest of us were freezing our arses off. He did mention that he was used to the cold which made me wonder, where on earth did he live previously?
“But Freddie, you’re shivering! I’m fine, you should wear it. You need it more than I do.” He insisted and looked at him with these puppy dog eyes that made him impossible to refuse.
“W-well if you i-insist, I’ll take upon your o-offer. Thank you dear.” He hesitantly answered, wearing the white coat on top of his. As I started to wonder what was taking Brian so long, he came down the stairs and brought a pile of books which made me feel bad for him. Just as he was about to take another step, he nearly tripped but had caught himself but not his books. I walked over to his direction to help him carry half of his books which were so heavy I thought that my arms would fall off!
“Jesus Bri, do you really need all of these books with you?” I asked him, shifting the books to have a better grip on them.
“I do actually, I have to cram everything for the last day and I wouldn’t want to regret not bringing anything that I might need for later. Better safe than sorry.” He answered. I was tired of hearing this shit over and over again. He would always overwork himself when finals are here and he will be constantly on edge when we would approach him when he was cramming whatever it is he was studying into his head.
“Well whatever, let’s just get inside the car. It’s bad enough that we’ve kept John waiting for us. Come on dearies.” Freddie said, as he gestured towards the exit. The four of us went to his car which made me really excited. I loved this model and you could say that I had a crush on it, it was my dream car of course. As I opened the back door and sat beside Brian, I was relieved that his car was far warmer than the outside temperature and took off my coat. Freddie sat on the passenger seat and proceeded to take his and John’s coat off because of the comfortable heat the car provided. He started to drive us to his place at a surprisingly fast speed which made tense up. But once I got used to the speed, I quickly calmed down and sat comfortably.
“It’s really nice of you to agree to our absurd request darling, I couldn’t thank you enough for this.” He said, playing around with his coat.
“No, really it’s alright with me. I’m just happy to help my friends.” He shyly replied, smiling as his cheeks were tinted with a pink hue. Great, not only is he a jack of all trades, he’s an amazing person as well? What on earth did we do to deserve him?! There was a moment of silence but it wasn't the uncomfortable type, this silence was surprisingly relaxing as the car was warming our freezing bodies up.
“That reminds me John, if you don’t have enough room in your place, I could sleep on the couch.” Brian offered him, breaking the silence.
“But Brian, I-” “Yeah, I guess we could sleep anywhere you’d like us to. I’ll sleep on the floor if we have to.” I cut him off.
“You don’t have to worry about us darling, we could manage with small spaces.” Freddie told him, trying to dismiss his concerns.
“No Freddie, I-” “Hush now, we wouldn’t want to compromise your comfort for us idiots here. Just don’t worry about it.” He continued.
“Alright, if you say so.” John softly said after he gave up trying to say whatever it is he wanted to say. I wanted to get to know him better so I started a conversation with him. Soon enough, the four of us were engaged in a pretty interesting conversation about his life.
“Wait, so you go swimming in ice cold water? That’s bloody insane!” I said as to continue the pleasant atmosphere we had going.
“Y-yeah, the only temperature we have there is below freezing. Back home, I would always swim with my sister whenever we had time.” He answered and gave me a slight grin. God damn, are all his relatives immune to the cold?
“Bloody hell John, where did you previously live? The fucking north pole?” Freddie jokingly asked him.
“Yeah, you could say that it’s similar to the north pole.” He answered while laughing.
“Yeah right, and what’s next? You secretly have a pet polar bear?” I retorted, giggling like a little girl.
“That sounds like a good plan Rog, I might get myself one.” He answered, his smile still on his face. We all continued our conversation. We took turns in telling each other about our childhood memories and basically anything we could remember.
“Hold on, your name wasn’t Freddie Mercury?” John asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Y-yeah, it wasn’t. I had changed it legally few years back.” Freddie answered as he kept of fidgeting with his jacket and his entire face had reddened once again.
“Intriguing, what’s the story behind that name change?” He innocently inquired. I grinned at the sudden window of opportunity, I knew that I had to mess around with him.
“Well, it was quite the story if I do say so myself.” I answered, giving Freddie what I assume was a smug grin.
“ROGER NO, BRIAN STOP HIM!” He yelled as he had a flustered look all over his face. I turn to Brian’s direction and he had a smile on his face.
“I’m sorry Freddie, but John deserves to know this.” He stated, giving me the green light to start telling him the entire story. I started to piece back all of the memories and remembered the story as if it had happened yesterday.
“It all started when the three of us started to hang out together around our neighbourhood when we were kids. He would always tell us to refer him as Freddie and I thought that it was very odd at first. We grew accustomed to his nickname but what was unexpected was when he showed up to-” “ROGER STOP IT! DON’T FINISH THE REST OF YOUR STORY!” Freddie shrieked from the front seat, interrupting my story.
“And why should I stop there Farrokh?” I flippantly asked him and gave him a slight smirk. The priceless expression on his face made me feel like I had accomplished a great feat.
“Farrokh? Is that his former name?” John inquired.
“Yeah, it is. Now, the real reason he changed his name wa-” “BRIAN DON’T START WITH ME DEAR!” Freddie interrupted as a blush grew heavily on his cheeks.
“John don’t listen to their bollocks darling, it’s all in the past and I don’t want you to get any weird ideas from them.” He turned towards him and tried to dismiss Brian’s and my remarks.
“Why not? I think that it makes you unique and far more interesting.” He answered, tilting his head slightly like a puppy. His statement made Freddie shut up and bury his face in John’s fur coat.
Chapter 7: The Angel and The Swan
Here's a longer chapter that I spent the entire day writing. I had a blast writing the details and I quite enjoyed this chapter. A friendly reminder to keep a look out on the small details here and there, who knows, maybe they'll play an important role in the future??
With all that aside, be sure to leave me kudos and comments if you enjoyed this and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for more than a thousand reads! I genuinely never expected this fic to be read that many times and once again, thank you.
“John don’t listen to their bollocks darling, it’s all in the past and I don’t want you to get any weird ideas from them.” I turned to his direction and told him, hoping that he wouldn’t be disgusted by their stories of my past that I certainly wasn’t proud of.
“Why not? I think that it makes you unique and far more interesting.” He responded, tilting his head slightly and gave me the sweetest smile I’ve seen. I felt my cheeks warm up at his unexpected answer. It made my heart beat faster at the sight of his smile and masked my face in his fur coat from the embarrassment it caused me. Why on earth did he have to say that?!
“Freddie, are you alright? Do you want me to turn the heater up?” He asked me as I looked up from the coat and saw that he had a worried expression all over his face.
“No, no it’s alright dear, I-I’m fine really.” I answered, dismissing his concerns because I wouldn’t want to become a nuisance to him.
“Yeah, he’ll most likely be fine considering the fact that he once drank his paint water on accident instead of his tea. I’m just surprised that he hadn’t been poisoned yet at this point.” Roger retorted to my answer and gave me a haughty grin.
“ROGER!” I shouted from the front seat. If I was drinking coffee I would be choking on it at this very moment. It didn’t help that Brian started to laugh at his joke which made the embarrassment twice as unbearable. As I tried to dismiss their comments and justify myself, I turned my head to see that the smile on John’s face never faltered. I thought that it was very adorable of him to be patient with the three of us.
We continued to joke around and share some more stories from the past. I had a smile on my face as John told us about his antiquities that were surely full of amazements. The more he disclosed about his experiences, the more I felt attracted and a growing curiosity towards him. His stories were very vibrant and full of life if one could say, yet they had a slight hint of mystery in them as if what he divulged wasn’t the full story. I didn’t want to press him further as I know that we were practically strangers a few hours ago so it would made complete sense if he wouldn’t be out in the open with his private life. As we kept the conversation going, I noticed that the scenario outside started to change. Instead of a bustling road, we had turned to a quiet and dimly lit neighbourhood which made me wonder where we were going, because I wasn’t familiar with this part of London. I looked back at Roger and Brian in confusion as the both of them had the same perplexed look on their faces.
As I wanted to question John about our destination, we were suddenly halted by a security officer as we reached a gate that had intricate embellishments on it. I was starting to be anxious about this whole situation as this wouldn’t normally happen to the three of us. Why would the officer stop us from proceeding?
“Is everything alright John? Why did we stop?” Brian inquired from the back seat.
“Oh it’s just the security guard, nothing to worry about. I promise, this’ll be quick.” He nonchalantly answered. How could he be so calm in this situation? He lowered his tinted window to meet the guard’s face. Now, I felt frightened as to what he’s trying to do here and tensed up and sat upright.
“Good evening officer, may I help you?” He asked him in a soft voice and gave him a smile. Now why on earth would he act so friendly towards that guard?
“Oh, good evening Mr.Deacon, I didn’t recognise you there for a second.” The guard responded, “I see you have guests here, are they staying with you?” He continued, tipping his hat slightly as he saw Brian, Roger and I.
“Yes sir, they’re staying with me for the night.” He answered.
“Alright then, have a good night Mr.Deacon.” The guard said as he moved out of our way and the enormous gates before us opened up.
“You too sir.” He responded as we went by the gates. I exhaled as I didn’t realise that I had been holding my breath the entire time as I was worried that there was something wrong. Though I would have to wonder, how the hell would he know the guard?
“John, how on earth do you know the security guard? I thought we were going to your place.” Roger inquired as he took the words out of my mouth.
“Oh it doesn’t really matter, and don’t worry Roger, we’re on our way to my house.” John answered ambiguously, “And uh, sorry in advance if my place isn’t exactly what you guys expected. I really didn’t know I would be expecting guests and I never got a chance to clean the place up.” He shyly continued. Before any of us could say anything, he had stopped his car in front of large, black gates surrounded by black fences with gold adornments of the same fashion.
“Hold on here for a minute alright, I have to unlock the gates first.” He stated, taking his seatbelt off and exited the car.
“Bloody hell, he lives here?!” Brian blurted from the back seat as he was gazing upon the large property.
“No fucking way, you’ve got to be shitting me here. Hell, I can barely see his house!” Roger uttered in distrust, his eyes wide open. I wouldn’t blame him for acting the way he did, it felt surreal as I thought houses like this only existed in movies and novels. As I saw John pace back to the car, I noticed that all this time, I had his coat all along! I felt bad that he had to go out in the cold despite the fact that he told us earlier that he was used to it. I just think that he just wanted the three of us to not worry too much about him though it had the opposite effect on me. He opened the door and I saw that he had some sleet on top of his head.
“Sorry it took a while, the padlock had some ice in it.” He apologised while dusting the sleet off.
“John darling, you live here?!” I exclaimed as I was surprised that his residence wasn’t exactly how any of us expected it would be. I had imagined that he rented a flat with some extra space in it that was suitable for one person to live in and so did Brian and Roger. On the contrary, none of us expected him to reside in a fucking mansion either. God damn, he’s a more complex character than I give him credit for.
“Y-yeah, I do actually. I-I’m sorry if this wasn’t what you guys were expecting, i-it really isn’t much and uh, yeah, it’s where I live.” He nervously answered as he had a startled look all over his face. The three of us were speechless as we didn’t know what to say. I was just overwhelmed by the sheer size of the property as it could probably fit the entire campus!
He drove past the gates and I saw that he had a large fountain with an angel statue on top which immediately caught my attention. Though it was covered in snow, it still exudes a feeling of protection and security which was weird considering that it was only a statue. As I admired his garden that looked like a winter wonderland as the snow covered every inch of grass in his gardens, I couldn’t help but feel my heart race at the excitement it brought me. We reached his driveway and went into his underground garage that to my wonder didn’t have any traces of snow in it.
“An underground garage?! Just how many more surprises do you have for us John?” Brian excitedly said.
“N-not much I guess.” He answered as I saw his cheeks redden at his comment which made my heart melt at the sight of his innocence. We got out of his car and he kindly offered to carry our bags but I had politely refused him as we had caused him enough trouble and wouldn’t want to be rude to the person who had offered us shelter.
After taking a step back, I had a clear picture of the architectural details on the exterior of his residence which was reminiscent of the Buckingham Palace. We entered his mansion and I couldn’t help but feel my chest tighten as I was about to enter the residence of the man I fancy. I just hope that I don’t do anything stupid here as no amount of fortune I had could ever replace whatever it is I may damage. The entire place was dark and the unpleasant silence made me grab the nearest thing to me which was an arm. I didn’t care whose arm it was, all I care for was as long as I didn’t knock or touch anything accidentally.
After John turned a switch on, the whole space was illuminated by the lights above. It was revealed that I had been holding on his arm the entire time.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry dear!” I apologised as I promptly released my grip on his arm and felt my face warm up.
“I-it’s alright, don’t worry about it Freddie.” He answered as I noted that his cheeks were rosy.
As the lights were on, it revealed a large space that had were beautifully adorned with the finest of gold details that made me think of Midas’ touch. The marble floor brilliantly complimented the intricate pieces of furniture that looked like it had been directly imported from the most superb of craftsmen. As I was busy admiring the beauty of his place, my eyes were immediately darted towards the large staircase that had silver railings. At the base of the stairs, pairs of marble angelic statues were located on each side which made the staircase reminiscent of the stairway to heaven. Above it, a sophisticated chandelier was suspended from the high ceilings that seemed like they were made out of crystals. If one were to tell me that I’ve passed and entered heaven, I’d believe that person in an instant due to the pure splendour of this estate. But I have to wonder, how in the bloody seven seas of rhye could John afford such a magnificent estate?
“I-I’m so sorry, this place is a mess, I haven’t got the time to clean up and-” “What do you mean by mess John? This place is absolutely bloody brilliant! You’ve got to be insane to say that this place is unkempt!” Brian interrupted as his hazel eyes sparkled, most likely from the breathtakingly gorgeous interior.
“Yeah, never in a million years would I ever dream of going inside a place like this! It’s stupidly crazy how huge this place is.” Roger excitedly said as he had a stupid grin on his face.
“A-alright then, y-you guys could stay in any room you want.” John said as he helped Brian with placing his books on top of a marble table. I felt as my things were about to slip from my hold but I had caught them in time. Did I hear that correctly?
“W-what?! Any room?! Are you serious?!” Roger asked in a surprised tone.
“Yeah, any room except for the second floor, that’s sort of off limits for you guys. Other than that, feel free to explore the first floor. If you guys need anything at all, feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to assist you.” He answered kindly, giving us another smile. I was speechless at his generosity, not only is he gifted with everything you can think of, he’s also the sweetest person I’ve ever met! God, what on earth did we do to deserve such a kind soul?
“I can’t thank you enough for helping us out darling. You’ve been very, very lovely.” I thanked him. I couldn’t help but look away when I made eye contact with his charming eyes, it made my breathing uneven and my heart beat faster.
“I-I, thank you Freddie.” He shyly answered, “Oh and Brian, if you want more study materials or if you just want to read more books, feel free to visit my library, it doesn’t have a door so you could easily spot where it is.” He continued.
“But where would I find it? Your place is enormous!” Brian enquired.
“Oh right, I forgot. It’s at the left wing of this place. There’s a spare room beside the library, perhaps you could use that one instead. Don’t worry about the bathrooms, there’s one in every bedroom so you don’t have to worry about sharing.” He answered and informed us. Now, I appreciate the privacy and convenience but I just came to a realisation that with all this much space in his mansion, doesn’t he feel lonely at all?
“Well look at the time! It’s pretty late and I have some important matters to attend to tomorrow so I have to retire to my room early. Sorry I couldn’t show you around, enjoy your stay here boys!” He bid us farewell as he turned around and ascended the large staircase. Before long, I couldn’t see his long, brown hair anymore. I turned to Brian and Roger and they had the same confused look on their faces.
“So what do we do now?” I questioned. I looked down and realised that I hadn’t returned his coat yet. I guess I could return it tomorrow.
“I don’t know. I guess we could pick out a room from the multitudes of ones available for us.” Roger answered while he was busy touching and admiring the statues.
“Roger, stop it!” Brian warned him and swiftly swatted his hand. Roger looked at him as if he had just committed bloody murder.
“Ouch! Why did you do that for?!” He yelled while rubbing his hand that Brian just hit.
“You shouldn’t just touch everything you see like that, that’s called being an improper guest.” Brian reprimanded as he had a stern expression.
“No, that’s called being bloody curious and since we’re only here for the night, I might as well travel around the entire property right? Who knows when we’ll get another chance like this?” He retorted. I would have to agree with him, it wouldn’t hurt to go sightseeing right?
“Oh come on Brian, don’t you want to discover every nook and cranny in this place?” I playfully taunted him.
“Sorry, as much as I’d like to go sightseeing, I have to study for the finals tomorrow. It’s the last one for this semester and I couldn’t afford to have a failing grade. Although, I do want to visit his library so I would have to take a small detour and go there.” He answered, clutching his books tightly to prevent them from falling over.
“Oh well, your loss. Might as well pick out a room while we’re at it. Come on Freddie, let’s get to it!” Roger cheerfully said and dragged me with him.
“Just don’t cause trouble and get lost alright!” Brian said as I saw him sigh and shake his head. He must really be done with our shit right now. The both of us giggled like children and went on our tour. We went to the right wing and were intrigued by every little thing like a kid inside a candy store.
On my left side, I had noticed that there was another staircase but I had remembered that he told us not to approach the second storey so I left it alone. The hallway had high ceilings which were illuminated by a large, oval chandelier. We went to the nearest room and went inside which turned out to be a room that had red walls and a king sized bed that had a large canopy above it, similar to the ones the monarchs had. Across the bed was a large painting of a royal banquet which immediately caught my eye because of how striking it was. And sure enough, it was connected to a large bathroom with marble flooring.
“If every room was like this, then I’d like to stay here forever!” I blurted while smiling. Though, it’ll only happen if John and I were together which the back of my mind said that would never happen but it wouldn’t hurt to fantasise no would it?
“Yeah, me too. Now come on, we have more places to explore!” Roger yelled, dragging me back into the hallway. There were numerous amounts of rooms that had been similarly decorated to the first room yet the more we went further into the hallway, the more intricately decorated the rooms were. We went to the last room, only to discover that it wasn’t just a normal room, it was a banquet hall. I was astounded at the size of the hall as it would probably hold more than a thousand people! I could just imagine that if this were the olden times, this place would host the most luxurious of balls held by the royals.
“Bloody hell, just how wealthy is John?! How on earth does he have the money to afford this place?!” Roger said while examining the long, white table which had a single vase in the middle that had no flowers.
“More than we could probably imagine, darling.” I answered, looking up to the ceilings to see that it was adorned with detailed paintings of angelic beings in the heavens above, “I’m starting to wonder whether this is a mansion or an art museum. Just look anywhere you go Rog, there’s got to be either an antique or an oil painting in every corner!” I articulated.
“Oh please, spare me from your art rants now come on, let’s continue our tour. I want to see his swimming pool!” He stated, pulling me by the arm yet again to delve deeper inside the mansion.
We reached the depths of his mansion when we were greeted by an entryway that appeared to be made out of limestone. The marble flooring slowly transitioned to terrazzo and with Roger being Roger, we went past that area and discovered his swimming pool, though it looked more like a hot spring instead. The roof was a large glass dome that had been covered by the thick layer of snow outside. In the middle of the pool, there was a large statue of a lion that spouted water from its mouth. I immediately forgot the fact that it was winter as the place was warm and covered in steam. The heat was getting to me so it was my turn to drag Roger out of that area.
After we exited the pool, we caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a courtyard. I didn’t bother to explore that site as it was covered in snow. The two of us were at another hallway that had large windows that had a clear view of the gardens below. If it weren’t freezing cold and in the middle of the night, I would’ve gone outside and built myself a snowman. Eventually, we ended up back to the main entrance. There was no sign of Brian here so I assume that he went to the library himself.
“Great, we travelled every inch of the right wing! Now what do we do?” Roger asked as he had a satisfied look on his face.
“Well, we haven’t explored the left wing yet, but we have to pick out a room sooner or later right?” I answered.
“You have a point there. But come on Freddie, let’s go to the left wing right now! We haven’t travel around that area yet, maybe there are new rooms for us to discover.” He exclaimed as his eyes lightened up with enthusiasm.
“Oh alright, but after we’re done we have to pick out a room.” I responded as I adjusted my grip on my belongings.
We paced to the hallway and saw that it had a different vibe to it. If the right wing was sophisticated and glamorous, the left wing would be nostalgic and serene with all of the muted decorations. Don’t get me wrong here, they were still magnificently detailed and would’ve easily belonged to an art gallery however, they weren’t as erudite as the previous ones we came across. For some reason, this part of the mansion had a calming vibe to it. The hallway was equally lengthy and seemed to have the same number of rooms. I opened the nearest room to my right and saw that the interior had a monochromatic colour scheme but with similar furniture as the rooms we entered prior to this one. It was a weird design choice if you ask me, why would he have two contrasting themes going on here? But oh well, I guess you could call it an artistic choice.
We went to the other rooms and eventually came across the library where as expected, Brian was in. I could easily recognise those curls anywhere. As I entered the chamber, I was blown away with the vastness of it. It was approximately as wide as the banquet hall yet this place felt like it had more space to it. Weirdly enough, there was a large statue of a swan in the middle of the room. The walls and wooden floorings were adorned with shelves filled with lines of books from every colour of the spectrum. There were shorter shelves that had encircled the statue, acting as a partition. I saw that Brian was deeply engrossed in his reading so I wouldn’t want to bother him but Roger had a different idea in mind.
“Brian, you would not believe what we saw earlier!” He yelled from the entrance, making his way to a table where he was seated. I heard him groan as he was most likely annoyed by his sudden yells.
“Not now Roger, I’ve lost track of where I was because of you! I’d have to start all over again!” Brian said in a harsher tone. I was still at the entrance so I made my way to his table as well. I have to wonder why there were so many books in here, John doesn’t look like the type of person who would read this many titles. But then again I'm not exactly one to judge people by their appearances as looks could be deceiving.
“How’s your progress? Any luck studying?” I asked him as I saw the pile of books he had on the desk.
“Actually, it went really well. I got everything down and I was able to finish earlier than I expected.” He answered, standing up from his seat and returning a book from a shelf near the statue.
“Hey Brian, why do you think John has a statue of a swan in the middle of this room?” Roger questioned as he examined a book in his hands.
“There are many things a swan represents, it could symbolise grace, love, loyalty, and many other things. But considering its placement, I guess it’s most likely to symbolise intuition. But I really don’t understand why he had a statue in the middle of his library though, it certainly is a weird placement.” He answered as he observed it.
“I asked you why he has a statue in the middle of the fucking library not to bore me with your deductions you stupid poodle.” Roger said as he placed the book down, "Anyways, did you know that John has a banquet hall?" He disregarded his earlier statement and asked him.
“A banquet hall? No, no I don’t. Is it located in the right wing perhaps?” He replied with a question.
“Yes it is dear, you would not believe the insane amount of rooms he has in the other side. He has a fucking hot spring there!” I responded as I recalled the earlier encounter.
“Well I’m sure he has plenty of other facilities we haven’t seen yet but with all that aside, have you guys settled on a room yet? I’m just overwhelmed by the sheer size of this place and couldn’t choose exactly one.” He inquired as he returned more books to their respective shelves.
“No, not yet. I’m still puzzled as to which one I should stay in, there are multitudes of places I would like to explore but it’s getting late and I still don’t know where to settle in.” I answered honestly, “Roger, do you know where you want to sleep in?” I turned to him and asked.
“Yeah, I want to sleep in the first room we went to, the one with the red walls. It’s closer to the exit if I have to run outside in case if there are ghosts in here.” He answered. I didn’t think that last statement was necessary because now, all I could think of was how there might be spirits roaming around the mansion.
“God fucking damn it Roger, did you really have to say that last statement?!” I yelled at him.
“Oh come on Freddie, did you really think that ghosts and spirits are really here?” He joked as he had another stupid shit eating grin on his face that I would be happy to smack.
“Well I do now because of you. Now I have to sleep with either one of you so that they won’t fucking haunt me!” I dramatically exclaimed as I had a firm grip on the fur coat.
“Roger, you better take full responsibility of your words and stay with him.” Brian ordered.
“WHAT?! WHY ME?!” He screeched as he had his arms crossed.
“You’re the one who planted those stupid ideas in his head so you better accompany him. God knows what he’ll do to my books and papers if he stays with me.” He deadpanned as he had this disappointed look on his face that just seems like he was very much done with our shit.
“Alright, fine! Argh, whatever. Come on Freddie, the sooner we sleep, the better we could avoid those ghosts.” He said in frustration as he emphasised on the word ‘ghosts’. I don’t know how I’m going to survive a night with him without me smacking him.
“ROGER!” I shrieked which unexpectedly made Brian giggle, “BRIAN THERE’S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT THIS!” I dramatically stated which made him laughed harder.
Roger yanked me out of the library, his face blushing brilliantly as if he was competing with the Christmas lights. We didn’t even bother to explore the entire left wing as we practically bolted to the other side. Soon enough, we arrived at the first room and entered the place. His face was no longer flushed but retained their rosy colour on his cheeks. I placed my things on the wooden table and started to sort my things out.
“Hey Freddie, why do you think that John told us not to go upstairs to the second floor?” He inquired as he unpacked his belongings.
“I-I don’t know, he probably wouldn’t want us to intrude on his privacy considering the fact that we are practically strangers a few hours ago.” I answered.
“Or maybe that’s where he keeps his gold.” He responded. My eyes widened by what he just said and frowned. He really didn’t have to say that.
“I’m just joking Freddie, nothing to take seriously here.” He said while raising both of his arms as a sign of surrender.
“But then again this all seems like a dream you know, it just feels so surreal that we’re practically inside a palace for fucks sake! Not only is John extremely talented and affluent, but he’s also that generous as well? I honestly don’t think we deserve such a kind person Freddie. And here I thought that all rich people were the same.” He commented as he lied down on the bed, “What do you think about him?” He inquired.
“I-I think that h-he’s an interesting character. Yeah, interesting.” I answered awkwardly. I feel my cheeks heat up at the mere thought of him, why do I have to be like this?
“Oh sure he is. Are you sure that’s it? You look like you are hiding something from me.” He continues to question me while he had this weird look on his face as if he knew something I don’t.
“What do you mean? What is there to hide from you?” I enquired as I was starting to be put on the edge.
“If you’re still going to play dumb with me, so be it then. Just a friendly reminder, don’t make yourself look stupid in front of dear John.” He answered with a complacent smile. I felt my heart sank at his answer. Hold on, does that mean that he knows about my secret crush on John? I knew that if I were to respond to his statement that I would’ve just dug my own grave so the best option I have is to shut up and not bring this topic up again.
The conversation died down and we soon got our belongings sorted and I took out a long sleeved shirt that I had bought earlier this week because of the insanely frigid temperature. Even though the room had good insulation, I could still feel the cold. I quickly changed into my sleepwear and lounged beside him. He didn’t even bother to change his clothes, that mad lad. The bed was spacious enough to fit three more people which I was grateful for because I knew that I had a small chance of getting smacked in the face by him. I adjusted the pillow under my head and pulled the duvet under my head, trying to get a good night’s sleep. The thought of being under the same roof as John kept me awake. I just kept tossing and turning until Roger murmured something between the lines of ‘shut up’. I tried to force myself to sleep and eventually succeeded in doing so.
I felt my consciousness return for a moment when I felt the cold air hit my exposed skin which sent chills to my spine, prompting me to curl up into a ball and hide under the sheets. I let out a yawn and felt like I could return to my sleep and for a moment, I thought that I did drift off into another slumber so I shifted my body and hands slightly, only to receive a kick in the face. I instantaneously felt all of the drowsiness wash away from my body when I sensed the stinging pain on my cheek from the resultant blow. I immediately shot up and had a minor heart attack when I identified the person resting beside me, Roger. His body took up the entire space of the bed we were on with his limbs all spread out, if he was any closer to me I would’ve been kicked out of the bed and landed on the cold floor beneath. My thoughts started scrambling for an explanation as to why we could’ve ended up in this position. I ruled out the possibility of us shagging because we both still had our clothes on and I never remembered any of us getting drunk. While trying to come up with another answer, I tried to prop myself out of the bed when a moment of realisation kicked in. We weren’t in my room.
I scanned the area and saw all of the unfamiliar furniture and ornaments that decorated the room, feeling a growing fear as to where the hell we are. Trying to calm myself down was harder than I thought when there is a massive painting right in front of you that had people looking in your direction disdainfully, as if they were judging you for being a fool or whatever acts you committed were improper. Either that or I’m just being paranoid and overdramatic in which the latter was obviously true as I’m the most dramatic person I know. I clenched the pillow behind me tightly and tried to reason with myself whilst trying not to let my mind conjure up fantasies that could possibly hurt my own feelings.
“Alright, so what happened last night?” I whispered to myself whilst trying to remember about our activities prior to this morning. So far, I recalled about our badly damaged apartment and the snow that entered the kitchen uninvitedly as well as a young man named John who auditioned to be our bassist prior to the incident. As the memories kept flooding in when I try to recall them, a wave of relief washed upon my body when I comprehended where we were. Wait a bloody minute, how could I forget? We’re in John’s house for fucks sake! I let out a sigh when I realised how stupid I was.
I got myself out of the bed and the instant my feet touched the marble flooring, I regretted my decision not to wear socks before I went to sleep. In the winter, stepping on marble with your barefoot isn’t the brightest of ideas unless you plan to freeze your toes off. I quickly sprung back to the bed and blew hot air into my feet to warm them up which somehow didn’t wake Roger up. Trying not to rouse him from his sleep, I carefully went over him and went to take some clothes from my bag that I had packed the night prior during the rush. I took out a pair of socks and swiftly put them on. I took a deep breath and walked over to the other side of the room towards the bathroom, clutching my clothes and my towel whilst trying not to trip on the floor. Once I stood on the carpet, I took my socks off and threw them to my bag though, they only landed beside it.
I held the cold brass doorknob and opened the door, revealing ceilings which in addition to seeming so high that they must’ve touched the heavens at some point, also suspended a convoluted crystal chandelier that was turned off. The flooring was also fashioned out of the same marble but was oddly warm with no traces of the cold outside which caught me off guard considering the drastic change in temperature. It had the largest bathroom vanity I’ve ever seen coupled with an enormous mirror with brass ornaments from its frame which collectively created the shape of roses. I was interested in opening the drawers beneath the basin which had been painted white, maybe there would be something interesting or peculiar in them, who knows?
My inquisitiveness took over and I opened its drawers, uncovering some bathroom amenities that gave me the impression that John was being very thoughtful towards his guests. In the middle of the drawer was a bottle of liquid soap which caught my eye with its rose shaped pump, I took it and the brown shampoo bottle next to it and noticed that it was the same brand of shampoo that I liked. I guess that this was a sign of good luck when I saw a tube of conditioner underneath it. I recognised the brand of this particular tube as being in the same class as those expensive household names in the hair and beauty industry which I am well versed in. I had a blossoming excitement as I was looking forward to use the conditioner for I wanted to know whether or not it differs from the regular ones you could buy in the store. I placed the three containers and placed them on the counter next to the basin.
Next to it was a shower that had glass panes that acted as a screen, separating it from the rest of the room with the porcelain tiles of the same colour as the vanity. Despite the fact that the vanity still had unexplored drawers, what really caught my attention was the clawfoot tub that was set on an elevated platform which had silver fixtures with intricately detailed swirls that formed the foot. Behind it was a tall window with white frames that had a view of the courtyard which was covered in snow.
Though the view was indeed beautiful, I disliked having cold air being blown into my body when I’m stripped of my clothes so I closed the windowpane and proceeded to take my garments off and placed them on top of the counter. The thought of relaxing in the tub whilst burning scented candles and listening to opera or classical music came into my mind which brought a smile to my face. I really wish that this could last forever but as luck would have it, I could only enjoy this feeling for today as the three of us were only staying here for a short time.
I let out a sigh that reverberated throughout the spacious room which caught me slightly off guard but that was to be expected. I sauntered to the shower, bringing the soap, shampoo and conditioner with me as I didn’t feel like spending too much time in here. Once I figured out how to operate the shower, I turned it to the warmest setting on medium because I don’t want the water to rain down on me like sharp needles akin to the shower back at our flat. Whilst I poured the shampoo into my palm, its scent of mint with a hint of lavender filled the entire room. I began massaging it into my scalp and hummed a melody that I liked in the process. The minute my hair was covered in foam, I rinsed it off, feeling it trickle down from my head down to my legs. Next, I extruded some of the conditioner from the tube onto my palm and began incorporating it into the ends of my hair. After I finished showering, I dried myself off and put my clothes on. I placed the bottles back to where I found them and exiting the bathroom after combing my hair.
I was greeted by the cold air after opening the door which made my entire body shiver with the dramatic change in temperature though I swiftly adjusted to it. I walked over to the bed and saw that he was still asleep with his mouth agape. I’m most certain that by the time he wakes up, his entire throat must be dry and that he’ll blame me yet again for his own mistakes. I ignored his peculiar position and advanced to my bag, placing all of my unclean clothes inside them into a neat pile. I opened the curtains and saw that it was already bright outside, the harsh light illuminating the whole room and almost blinded my eyes in the process. I knew that Roger and Brian had to take their finals and would probably like it if I were to wake them up now. I clicked my tongue and walked over to him with hopes of attempting to wake him up.
“Roger, wake up.” I loudly said while shaking his arm. There was no reaction from him much to my dismay.
“Roger!” I said in a louder voice whilst I continued to shake his arm. After what it seems like an eternity repeatedly calling his name and shaking his limbs, he finally woke up.
“Oh shut the fuck up.” He said while yawning and scratched his head.
“Well it’s about time that you wake up. Do you know how hard it is to get you to come round?” I quipped and folded my arms.
“Piss off Freddie.” He joked whilst stretching his arms, sitting upright, “What time is it anyways?”
“Is that really how you thank your saviour? I am offended.” I theatrically joked, acting like a woman from those old fashioned romance movies.
“Just answer the bloody question Freddie.” Roger declared whilst looking at me with a what-the-fuck expression.
“Alright you killjoy, I don’t exactly know what time it is. My guess is that it has got to be around 8.” I answered and opened the curtains, allowing the natural light to enter the room.
“Are you kidding me?” He said and groaned, “Why do I still have finals this morning?! Can’t I just have a proper break for once?! And why the fuck is the floor so damn cold?!” He complained as his feet touched the floor.
“Well maybe you should’ve worn socks before you went to sleep dear.” I responded and earned an eye roll from him.
“You know what?” He inquired.
“Shut up” He said and looked at me dead in the eyes. I scrunched my face up and stuck my tongue out at him.
“Whatever, are you going to take a bath or not because you and Brian need to leave soon, you’ve got finals right?” I questioned as he began to get on my nerves.
“Nah, I’ve got to be insane if I’m taking a shower in this freezing weather. I’ve got things to do here.” He answered, opening the door to the hallway.
“What do you mean things to do?” I inquired and furrowed my brows slightly.
“Of course it’s to continue the tour, what else do you think I’m going to do?” He answered, popping his head from the doorway as he was already outside the room.
“Roger, it’s a stupid idea.” I told him while shaking my head. I don’t think that this was such a good idea for him to be up and about considering his curious nature.
“Hey, we could wake Brian up in the process. Now come on you coward, we’ve got an investigation to do!” He responded and pulled my arm, dragging me to wherever it is he was going to explore. Before I forgot, I brought John’s coat along with me so that I could return it to him and thank him properly.
“Bloody hell Roger, could you at least tell me where we are going?” I questioned and caught my breath for the both of us jogged down the hallway, passing by the oil paintings and ornaments as we headed to the large, white door.
“The left wing of course, we haven’t finished touring that area. Might as well finish it off while we still have the chance to do so right?” He answered with a cheeky grin on his face. Oh I don’t think that it’s the only reason we’re there.
“Oh alright, just let go of my arm.” I told him and he did so.
The both of us went past the large staircase at the main entrance and I couldn’t help but think about the second floor and John’s warnings which plagued the back of my mind. What could he have up there that he doesn’t want the three of us to find out about? Surely not his gold as Roger had jested the previous night right? But then again, I don’t think he had any reason to hide his gold as his entire mansion was practically covered in them, ranging from the chandeliers, doorknobs, statues, basically almost everything you could lay your eyes upon! The more I think about it, the more everything seems like a dream that’s too good to be true, how else could John have a mansion as big as a real palace if this was not a dream? Then again, the owner of this mansion seemed like he was a dream as well. Somehow, I felt that John seemed too pure to have come from this world, it was as if he descended from the highest heavens, judging from his innocence and sweet, endearing self. I didn’t know why I felt this way towards him, I shouldn’t be doing this yet it made my interests towards him grow larger.
“What are you looking at?” Roger questioned, bringing me back from my thoughts. I felt my heart race at his sudden question which shocked me for a short while.
“Nothing, just the staircase. Why?” I answered whilst trying to calm my nerves.
“You just look like you’re deep in thought.” He responded, “Probably just thinking about John again.” He said under his breath, making me turn my head in his direction almost in an instant. He had this odd look on his face that just somehow alarmed me. Did, did he just read my mind?
“What did you say Roger?” I asked him while I gave him what I assume was a nasty glare.
“Oh nothing, nothing at all. Let’s continue our adventure shall we,” He answered and gave me a slight grin and turned his back against me, marching towards the other side of the room to the left wing. I just shrugged it off and followed behind him to the next area of the mansion. Though I was reluctant to join him in his little adventure, it was still better than doing nothing inside an unfamiliar place.
Along the way, we agreed to split up with him going to each room to wake Brian up. I told him about where I would be, the banquet hall, once I finished my tour to make things easier for them. We went in our separate directions and I pushed forward with his original plan to tour the hallway. I entered a room that had a set of sofas with sophisticated designs arranged in a particular manner that made it seem as though there was a conference going on with a glass table in the middle. I looked to my right and saw a fireplace which still had its firewood lit. I realised that this room must’ve been either an office of some sort or a lounging area for guests. I guess that having an abundance of rooms, he must’ve ran out of ideas as to what to place in his spare rooms and made this into a sitting area. I decided to leave this room be and carry on with my exploration.
Trailing off to where I left off in my previous tour, I sauntered by to the entrance that led to the courtyard to have a proper look at it for I haven’t done that the night prior due to the unfortunate weather and late hours. I made sure to wear the coat I borrowed and opened the large door before me, allowing for an inevitable unsolicited reception. The freezing wind hit my face, making me draw back as I was caught off guard. I closed the door and took a step forward onto the snow covered ground, admiring the beauty of the view and architectural details of the landscape. In the middle of the courtyard, I noticed that there was a large fountain which was turned off. I wanted to get a better look at it so I promenaded through the thin layer of snow towards it, feeling somewhat motivated to draw a sketch of it though I did not bring my art supplies and my sketchbook with me which was regrettable to say the least. The form of the fountain was obscured by the thick layer of snow so I dusted it off, revealing beautiful Versailles style carvings which encircled the entire tiered basin. Although the scene was exquisite, the chill started to get to me, signalling for me to return indoors. I dusted off the sleet that had formed on top of my head and opened the door at the end of the pathway which connected the courtyard to the hallways.
I clutched onto the coat for dear life after I had underestimated how cold the temperature was and tried to warm my hands up. Eventually, I managed to readjust my body to the temperature and continued to explore the left side of the mansion and ended up in the banquet hall. The spacious room was still the same as yesterday yet it brought a feeling of elegance and nostalgia with its magnificent splendour. Out of the corner of my eye, a distinguishable figure standing in front of the casements made my chest tighten and breathing uneven at the mere sight of his form. Light shining through the tall window panes from the heavens above had highlighted his brown hair which fell marginally over his shoulders, making it seem as though his hair was platinum blonde. I never noticed that I was just standing there whilst looking intently towards him until he turned around and gave a little smile to me which almost made my heart leap out of my chest at his sudden movement.
“Oh, good morning Freddie! How was your sleep last night?” He cheerfully said whilst coming over to my direction, the natural light highlighted his eyes making it seem as though they were shining brightly. I felt my face heat up like crazy and felt like fainting right now at the mere sight of him in a bathrobe which was very alluring to say the least. I couldn't imagine how he didn't feel cold in this freezing temperature with his only apparent clothing being the bathrobe.
“G-good morning to you to darling. It was great, I never thought that I could sleep so comfortably.” I answered and returned the friendly gesture while trying to recover from the slight heart attack. Is it just me or is the temperature rising here?
“That’s great to hear. Do you want a cup of coffee?” He kindly offered and took a sip from his porcelain teacup, steam arising from it.
“N-no thank you. Normally I would be drowning myself in caffeine but I’m currently not in the mood to do so.” I rejected his offer as politely as I can. I didn't want to come across as rude towards him yet I wasn't keen in letting myself into giving myself superfluous inconveniences.
“Hmm, if that’s the case, how about some morning tea then? I have a special blende that you might like.” He recommended.
“Oh don’t tempt me dear. Well then, I accept your humble offer.” I teased in a theatrical tone and gave him a little smile, earning a chuckle from him in response. It lifted my spirits and lightened the gauche atmosphere into a pleasant one, occasioning it as though we knew each other for a long time.
“And um, thank you for lending me your coat. The winters here can be quite unforgiving, especially at night, that’s one of the downside of living here.” I shyly said and took his fur coat off of me, handing it back to him whilst my body already missed the warmth it gave off.
“That may be true but at the very least, the view in the morning can be fairly charming now could it?” He said as he accepted his coat back.
“Would you like some breakfast as well to go with your tea?” He questioned and took another sip of his drink.
“Don’t trouble yourself dear, I couldn’t possibly let you do all the hard work.” I turned his kind proposal down as I didn’t want to burden him with cooking up a breakfast for me. Apparently, my stomach had a different idea in mind when it let out a loud, audible growl that made me want to curl up into a ball from the embarrassment it caused me.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” He concluded and gave me a reassuring grin, “W-which do you prefer Freddie, berries or some bacon on the side?” He questioned.
“Some berries please, i-if it’s not too much of a burden for you.” I replied, trying not to stammer and make a fool of myself in front of him whilst grateful that I was able to let words escape my throat to form a coherent sentence.
“Alright then, I’ll make your tea first. You’re welcome to follow me into my kitchen if you’d like.” He responded and promenaded towards the door opposite of the exit that led towards the right wing. I felt nervous upon accepting his offer and felt bad towards him yet I couldn’t resist his offer when he would look at me with his puppy eyes that just melts my heart.
I followed him to the kitchen and was amazed by the vast space it had and all of the appliances that seemed to be brand new. The walls were painted a creamy white colour with pristine white cabinets with brass handles secured to it. The marble countertops were in a stormy blue colour with gold accents that tied the entire slab together, contrasting the silver sink that was in the middle of it. My gaze returned to the tea that John had brewed for me in a cup that was in a shape of a grinning cat which I perceived as adorable.
“Here you go, be careful, it’s still hot.” He cautioned, handing me the cup. I extended my arm, carefully holding the porcelain handle and thanked him. The tea had a soft, pale yellow colour and had a floral aroma which I wasn’t acquainted with. I blew the hot liquid and took a small sip, appreciating the slightly sweet flavour which had a delicate taste profile to it as it explored the interior of my mouth.
“It tastes wonderful. I’ve never tasted something this unique before, what kind of tea is this?” I commented and took another sip of the tea.
“It’s called white tea, the Silver Needle variant. I heard that it’s supposed to help prevent the common cold, quite fitting for this weather we’re having if I do say so myself.” He answered whilst taking out ingredients from his refrigerator and pantry, placing them on top of the counter.
“I do have to agree with you on that one.” I replied and smiled at his thoughtfulness. He nodded and gave a hum as a response. He started to prepare the pancake batter, mixing the flour and dry ingredients together in a bowl. I was intrigued by how fast his hands moved whilst he whisked the mixture together. I felt that there was still awkwardness between us which was starting to rile me up so I decided to start a conversation with him.
“Say John, where did you used to live in really? Surely you jest when you said that you lived in the North Pole right?” I questioned and took a seat on a chair that was tucked under the counter in front of him.
“Well, I did say that it was similar to the North Pole but to make things short, you could say that it is similar in temperature, they're both extreme. Though, not as extreme as the temperatures from where I come from, it's on another level.” He answered while his attention never waned from the bowl as he started to add milk to the bowl.
“But then again, did you move here on your own?” I asked, drinking the tea.
“Yes, yes I did. Though my mother heavily opposed my decision to do so, I barely got out of that household with the clothes on my back.” He answered with a slight hint of bitterness in his tone yet he retained his smile. I felt a strange sentiment when I heard him utter his answer and commiserated with him.
“I’m sorry to hear that dear.” I responded in a repentant manner.
“Oh don’t worry too much about it Freddie, I’ve dealt with situations far worse than that one particular episode with my mother.” He said with a grin, trying to dismiss my trepidations which had backfired for now, the only thing I could think of in my head is about what the poor soul had gone through in his life.
“John, you’re not obliged to answer my question but If I may ask, how did you erm, how do I put it nicely, abscond from your homeland?” I inquired whilst trying to not make him uncomfortable with my question that I debated in my head whether or not it was appropriate of me to ask. He didn’t seem to be bothered by the slightest at my query which I wasn’t sure as to how to interpret it.
“It’s alright, I’m happy to answer your question. The shortened story is that I actually got help from my father’s acquaintances and moral support from my sister to oppose my mother. I don’t want to bore you with the unnecessary details so I’ll leave it at that.” He kindly answered yet his voice had a subtle hint of uneasiness.
“That’s quite outrageous for your mother to hinder your education! Why on earth would she do such a thing?” I commented for I thought that it was odd for a parent to not want what’s best for their child.
“Well, I don’t think that you’ll want to listen, it really is a long story.” He responded and started to melt butter on top of his pan.
“Oh I don’t mind at all. In fact, I quite fancy long stories.” I answered and took another drink from my tea.
“Hmm, I don’t know, how about another day, yeah? Wouldn’t want to ruin the mood now do I?” He answered and poured the batter onto the pan, producing a sizzling sound. I opened my mouth to respond to his answer but I couldn’t get any words out, immediately closing them back. There was an uncomfortable stillness that ensued between us after he uttered his last words.
“A-alright then, it’s my turn to ask you some questions Freddie.” He cheerfully stated, breaking the silence between us.
“G-go ahead, w-what is it that you’d like to ask me dear?” I asked, stuttering from his sudden question which made my heart leap. I mentally prepared myself for whatever it is he wanted to ask me.
“Which do you prefer to go with your pancakes, raspberries, blueberries or strawberries?” He innocently asked which caught me off guard with how simple his question was, “Or maybe you fancy all of them instead?” He continued and let out a small giggle that warmed my heart in this cold weather we’re having.
“I-I don’t really have a preference so I would have to go with all of the options you offered me.” I answered, hoping that I don’t sound like a glutton and concealed my warm cheeks by taking another drink from the tea and finished it, placing it on the counter top in front of me. He gave me a warm smile in response which did not lessen the warmth creeping up on my face, having the opposite effect on me instead.
“Oh, I see that you’ve finished your tea. Would you like some more? I brewed a teapot full of it.” He offered, placing the finished pancakes on top of the plate he took out earlier into a neat stack and flipping some more.
“Y-yes please, I’d quite like that.” I shyly answered. I knew that I needed something to calm my nerves right now and the tea was probably the best option I had. He flipped another pancake and took the white teapot with blue roses painted on its side and poured more tea onto the cup in front of me, filling it almost to the brim. I took the warm cup and drank some more tea, feeling relaxed to some extent as I felt the warm liquid run down from my throat to my stomach.
“What, you made some pancakes and didn’t tell me?” Roger complained whilst he precipitously entered the kitchen unannounced with Brian following directly behind him, wearing a different set of outfit than the night prior.
“Good morning to you Roger, good morning to you too Brian!” He gleefully greeted with a smile, “How was your sleep last night?” He inquired.
“Good morning Jo- oh. Erm, I feel refreshed now, it was the best sleep I’ve had in months.” Brian cleared his throat and replied whilst he brought his book with him. He had a flushed look on his face when he saw him wearing only his bathrobe and tried to look away.
“Y-yeah, I’d have to agree with curly over here. I slept like a baby last night.” Roger answered and took the seat beside me, looking quite surprised and blushed with his lack of proper clothes.
“Of course you did Roger, you kicked me in the face with your goddamn foot so it would make perfect sense for you to sleep like there’s no tomorrow.” I sarcastically retorted and rolled my eyes, earning a distrusting look from him.
“Do you guys want some pancakes for breakfast as well? It would be nice to have a meal before your finals right?” He recommended, taking out plates from the cabinet.
“Yes please, if you’re alright with that of course.” Brian answered and turned to his head to the right, “What about you Roger?” He inquired.
“Yeah, I guess I’ll have some as well. Do you have some strawberries to go with it?” He responded, taking a seat beside me.
“Of course I do, would you two like something to drink while waiting for these to cook?” He kindly suggested, placing the finished ones onto the other plates and took out a plastic container full of assorted berries from the fridge behind him.
“Sure, I’ll have a cup of coffee if you’re okay with it of course.” Brian answered and gave him a smile.
“Nothing for me, I’m good.” Roger responded and rested his head on his hand.
John nodded his head and flipped another pancake, proceeding towards the cupboard to his left and taking out a glass container full of ground up coffee and a mug from the cabinet. He then swiftly concocted Brian’s requested drink, resulting in the entire kitchen to smell like caffeine and placed the finished drink onto the counter in front of him.
“Be careful, it’s hot. I have some sugar cubes or some milk if you fancy something sweeter.” John said whilst garnishing the dish with berries and placing a porcelain container in front of him.
“No, I’m good. Thanks for the coffee.” Brian thanked him and drank his hot beverage.
John then finished it off by lightly sprinkling some powdered sugar on top of the top layer of the pancake, followed by placing the finished dishes in front of us and made sure to garnish Roger’s with extra strawberries. It was as though this was a restaurant-made breakfast by how appetising and professional it looked. I thanked him and gave him a smile, proceeding to cut out a piece and take a bite out of the mouth-watering meal presented in front of me. The light and fluffy texture it had was easy to chew and was well complimented by the sweetness of the berries that filled my entire mouth. I couldn’t help but smile at the saccharinity of the flavourful bite I took.
“This tastes wonderful! Seriously, how talented are you?” Roger commented and sliced another piece from his portion and scarfed it down.
“It’s nothing, I cook for myself often back home. I’m just glad that I could finally cross out something from my wish list.” He answered and turned on the faucet, washing his kitchen utensils and cookware.
“Oh, what did you wish for?” I asked him, feeling intrigued by what he said.
“It’s for me to be able to cook something for my friends.” He unpretentiously answered, and gave us a smile, showing the small gap between his teeth which made my heart do somersaults with how cute he is. Eventually, we finished our breakfast and helped him to wash the dishes even though we were faced with an initial rejection from him. He had done a lot of things for us and I couldn’t bear to let him do all the work.
“Hey John, what’s on the second floor?” Roger curiously inquired. I could see that John’s smile started to falter and his eyes had this odd red glow to them. I couldn’t figure out whether it was just the lighting effect or his eyes were actually glowing which the latter was obviously impossible.
“Hmm, nothing special, just my bedroom and some rooms, a sitting area, that’s about it.” He answered. Yet somehow his gestures were stiffer than they were prior to his question.
“But why did you tell us not to approach it?” Roger asked. Though I felt like he shouldn’t have asked that question, I wanted to know his reasoning behind his answer as well.
“Well, I’m a light sleeper so I uh, couldn’t afford to be woken up by the noise and yeah. I had to close off the second floor, sorry.” He retorted. Before any of us could respond, we were cut off by his words, “Oh look at the time! Do you guys want a ride to uni?” He suggested. I had a feeling that he was hiding something behind his excuse but who was I to intrude on his privacy in his own home?
“Y-yes but wouldn’t we become a burden to you? I mean, you’ve done a lot for us, John.” Brian answered whilst a worried expression was all over his face.
“I-it’s alright with me, really. I have something to do there as well so it’s like shooting two swans with an arrow.” He told us and from the corner of my eye, I saw that the both of them had the same bewildered look on their faces as he said something peculiar.
“What does that mean dear? Shooting two swans with an arrow?” I asked him, adjusting the sleeves of my shirt.
“It’s an idiom from my homeland. It has the same meaning as the idiom ‘killing two birds with one stone’ you guys have over here.” He answered while pouring himself a cup of tea in a white teacup with red roses painted on the sides.
“Are you sure that we wouldn’t burden you?” Roger asked him to reaffirm his answer.
“Yes I’m sure Roger. Don’t worry about it.” He replied and gave him a reassuring grin. We then proceeded to our rooms to gather our belongings, agreeing to meet up in the main entrance in a few minutes. As I sauntered back to our shared room, I couldn’t get his quirks out of my head. I didn’t know that his simple yet effective gestures could make my heart flutter like a schoolgirl in love. I didn’t know why I couldn’t get him out of my head for I knew that I shouldn’t be feeling these emotions towards him. I let out a sigh and felt a nudge to my side. I looked to my left and saw that Roger had a pissed look on his face.
“Do you mind?” He raised his eyebrow and asked.
“I’m sorry what?” I responded, unsure by what he meant.
“The door you idiot! Open the goddamn door!” He yelled and pointed his index finger towards the door handle which I didn’t realise I was holding the entire time for I was lost in thought.
“Oh, right.” I said whilst pulling down the door handle to open the door.
The familiar door opened up with a creak and I saw the dust particles flying around the room as if it were dancing on thin air for the harsh light that shone through the windows drew attention to it. I continued to start packing up my belongings into a neat pile inside my bag to efficiently use the space I had. Though the last of my finals were last week and I had no reason to be at the university currently though luckily for me, it was at a close proximity to my workplace so I could just walk there. When the both of us finished packing our belongings, we met up with Brian in the main entrance. He had placed his stack of books down beside him, presumably because of their sheer weight.
“Did any of you miss anything?” He asked as if he was our doting mother.
“Nope. Did you bring all of your books with you?” I questioned, looking over from his side to the stack of books.
“Yes, yes I did. Not a single volume left out.” He answered, and cleared his throat, “Anyways, d-do you know where John is?”
“N-no, no I don’t. Probably off to get some clothes considering the only thing he was wearing was a bathrobe.” Roger answered and shook his head. The both of us didn’t respond to his answer as we knew that it was probably the case here. I groaned and hid my face with both of my palms because I still couldn’t get the sight of him in his robe out of my mind.
“I’m terribly sorry for the wait you guys!” John apologised. I looked up and saw him pace down the staircase, wearing a yellow shirt that had a dinosaur pattern all over it with white trousers which made him seem childish.
“Are you guys ready?” He asked whilst clutching a set of keys.
“Yeah. Aren’t you going to wear a jacket mate?” Roger answered and helped Brian carry half of his books.
“N-no, I’m fine like this. It’s not that cold anyways. Come on, let’s go.” He said, walking towards the exit which led to his garage with the three of us following behind him. He turned to his side and switched off the lights, making it feel as though the temperature had fallen below zero in an instant with how sombre and dark the area behind us looked like. We went down the stairs and made our way to his garage which was dimly lit. He meandered towards his automobile and opened his car door, turning the engine on.
“Alright, come on in.” He said and gestured for us to hop inside his car. Like yesterday, I sat at the passenger seat and Roger and Brian sitting at the back seat. Soon enough, we drove away from the garage and made our way to his driveway, passing the fountain and made it onto the road.
Sorry for the long wait! I really have no excuse for taking such a long time to write this chapter and I hope that you guys like this! I had planned on adding more details but I decided against it because it sort of disrupts the flow of this chapter. Oh well.
Passing by the other houses in his residential area felt incredibly bizarre due to the fact that their dimensions couldn’t hold a candle to his mansion for they appeared to look like normal apartment buildings when compared to his. I was starting to slowly lose my grip on reality when I exited his estate, feeling like everything I’ve encountered there was a delirious dream or an acid trip gone right. Either way, it was definitely a memorable experience that I’m certain would probably never occur to me again in my lifetime so throughout my short stay there, I managed to cherish the wonderful event and made sure that I had not forgotten to study for my finals.
The whole ride to the university was quiet but it wasn’t unpleasant. There was a certain warmth inside the car that just felt like we belong together in a way and I didn’t know why I felt this way. It just felt like the four of us were family, which is very odd considering the fact that I’ve practically only known John for less than a week! Eventually, the landscape gradually changed from a bustling Saturday morning traffic to an old and distance between the car and the familiar building closed in and we arrived at our destination. He parked at an empty spot nearest to the entrance and turned the engine off. I carried half of my books I had neatly stacked in a pile and handed the other half to Roger.
“Alright, thank you so much for driving us here and letting us spend the night at your brilliant house darling!” Freddie said in a fervent tone.
“You’re welcome! Do you have a test as well?” John inquired while his cheeks and nose started to redden from the exposure to the cold wind.
“No, I had the last of my exams last week. I’m going off to my workplace to do my shift, it’s nearby.” He answered and slung his satchel over his shoulder.
“Right, are you walking home or are you going to take the bus back to our flat, because god knows that I’m not picking you up.” Roger stated, clutching my books like his life depended on them which made a sense of guilt grow inside of me for I thought that he was burdened and straining his arms by helping me.
“How mean of you to say that Roger.” He vividly responded and glared daggers at him, only to receive a scoff and an eye roll. “I’m going to take the bus, I can’t bear to walk back home in this damned weather.” He answered and folded his arms.
“What time does your shift ends, Freddie?” I asked him. I had planned to deliberate with them about our upcoming performance at the local pub at the centre of the city that we booked a few weeks back which was proven to be much more challenging that it should be due to the fact that they would always take off to either direction, doing whatever the hell it is that they were doing. Especially Roger, he would always disappear to someplace and return whenever he pleases.
“My one hell of a shift ends at 4 pm so that’s some splendid news.” He bitterly answered and let out a sigh, his breath visible under the frigid temperature.
“What’s wrong with your current job?” John inquired and looked at him with a hint of curiosity in his eyes.
“Well, I’ve been working in a fashion boutique nearby for a few months now which I consider to be a stable job with a fair pay.” He answered.
“I don’t see how you would dislike it. What’s the matter then?” He asked.
“It’s just, I have to endure the constant harassment I always get from my co-workers and this one lady who’s a regular there. I just hate the fact that she would always find something wrong with me and annoy the hell out of me.” He replied in an incensed tone and let out another sigh.
“Cheer up Freddie, I’m sure that things will get better.” He affirmed in a jovial voice, trying to brighten his mood.
“I wish. To top it all off, that lady is an acquaintance of my manager! So not only am I unable to complain about these aggravations to him, I would have to keep my mouth shut as well if I want to keep this job! Isn’t that ridiculous!” He brushed his encouragements aside and kept a sombre expression. “Clearly there must be something wrong with me and what I’m doing that she regarded as ‘offensive’.”
“I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with you Freddie.” John asserted in a sweet tone which appeared to have caught him off guard when a blush crept up on his cheeks. Throughout our entire friendship, I've never seen him be this flustered over a compliment before, which is quite impressive to say the least.
“D-don’t bother dear, I’m certain that they just dislike me taking all the attention away from them.” He proudly answered which prompted John to unexpectedly let out a chuckle, bringing a smile to everyone’s face. “Oh, I better get going now, my manager won’t like it if I’m late or miss another shift. Farewell my lovelies!” He articulated whilst ambling towards the other direction and waving us a goodbye.
“Alright then, we have to go to your class first Bri. I could feel the blood flow to my arms slowly being obstructed by the sheer weight of your goddamned books, so you better hurry your arse up and get going. I don’t want to end up with an amputated arm.” Roger declared as he looked back at me and sauntered towards the entrance.
“Wait, hold on just a minute Roger!” I stated in a louder voice so that he could hear me across the increasing distance between us.
“Oh right! Thank you so much for everything Deaky!” He shouted in our direction with a silly grin on his face. I turned towards John’s direction and saw that he had a bewildered look on his face as he heard the last word he uttered. “It’s a new nickname for you John! Suits you perfectly!”
“Deaky,” John softly said, trying out his new epithet. “I-I like how it sounds.” He articulated with a small smile on his face, his hair partially covering his cheeks which were tinted pink.
“I have to agree with you, Roger does have a knack for giving people monikers.” I added for I am fond of his new name. “Oh and uh, see you around I guess. Once again, thank you so much for your hospitality Deaky.” I said, emphasising on his name and promenaded to the foyer to keep up with Roger whilst flashing him a smile.
I looked around for a short period of time before finally locating where Roger was amidst the bustling crowds after catching a glimpse of his sun kissed, golden hair. I hastened myself and skilfully guided myself to his location and caught up with him.
“Hey!” I called out to him and managed to catch my breath for I was pacing in a faster rapidity than I would normally prefer.
“It’s about time you drew near me you poodle.” He said in a caustic tone. “What was your class’ room number again?”
“It’s 3201. I thought that you must’ve memorised it since you dropped by so very often.” I answered.
“Nah, I just learnt where your class was by remembering the tall window across the entrance that’s stained all sorts of gaudy colours.” He responded.
“Well that’s not the most reliable way to remember things. There are two other windows that I know of that had the same colours as that window you mentioned. How on earth did you manage to not get the rooms mixed up?” I questioned, feeling that his reasoning was asinine.
“I-I don’t know, oh shut up.” He answered, stumbling on his own words.
The two of us entered the impressive building and strolled towards the direction of my class. Throughout the hallways, I took note of my classmates that seemed to have overworked themselves with their studies as they had tense expressions all over their faces whilst reading their books or study materials. Surprisingly this time around, I failed to relate to their nervous state regarding the test that I was going to take in half an hour. Maybe the good rest I had last night was the reason behind my composed demeanour. We soon reached my class and he helped me to place my books on an empty desk closest to the exit at his convenience.
“This is the last time I’m going to help you with carrying your bloody things! I’m sure it’s going to get me killed one day!” He stated in a melodramatic tone while he inched closer to the exit.
“Don’t be such a drama queen, that’s Freddie’s job.” I responded to his exaggerated complaints.
“Whatever, I’m going to my class. It’s boring in here!” He reacted, peeking his head from the doorframe. I let out a sigh as I heard the sound of his footsteps getting quieter.
I took out my notes and went through everything I had studied the night prior in John’s library to ascertain myself that I came prepared. I was grateful towards him that he had allowed me to borrow his library that was filled with collections of books from every genre and topic imaginable. That feature was highly convenient for me when I had not comprehended the questions and chapters for I could just search for the answers in the massive compendium of physics reference books.
I wasn’t aware of the time I spent engrossing myself in going through my notes that had passed when I realised that the class had been populated by my classmates and that my professor entered the class, clutching a pile of papers. They started to return to their own seats and the lively atmosphere had died down.
“Good morning class, I am going to hand your test papers out in one moment but first, I am going to inform you about the rules I had set for your test taking.” He said in a cold and stern voice that reverberated throughout the room. “I assume that all of you came prepared and have your own writing materials. If I catch any one of you cheating in any way, shape or form, the consequences are an immediate zero and a suspension from participating in the next two tests in the future. Are there any questions? Ask now for I do not condone inquiring anything as the test ensues or I will regard that as an attempt to cheat.”
The entire class went silent with no one inquiring anything. “Alright then, I shall distribute the papers and once you’ve received yours, be sure to write your name at the top right corner and good luck. You’ll need it.” He stated, putting emphasis on his last sentence in a sarcastic tone.
I received the test papers and caught a glimpse of the questions and came to a realisation that it was similar to the topic I was researching about in the library last night. I opened it and begun to solve the questions. I felt a wave of relief hit upon me when I read through the entire thing to examine what I was up against. Those extra hours of studying paid off for I solved the problems with ease and doubted myself for a moment when I finished the exam earlier than anyone else in the room. To make sure that I hadn’t missed anything or done the questions incorrectly, I double no, triple checked all of my answers and found no error in whatever it is I put down on the piece with black ink.
After going through everything, I just sat there feeling puzzled on what I was supposed to do at the moment for each passing minute felt like an eternity. I was allowed a glimpse of my classmates’ expressions and was surprised that all of them had stressed expressions plastered all over their faces. I decided to keep to myself and continued to space out into the distance. I knew that I would much rather hear a regular lecture than to sit around and wait for everyone to finish while I waste my life away in this depressing-looking space. I returned my writing materials back inside my pencil case and rose from my seat, resulting in me receiving all sorts of stares from everyone in the room. I gathered the papers that weren’t in order and walked to the front of the class to submit my completed exam.
“Done so soon May?” The professor inquired whilst skimming through my answers.
“Yes sir. May I exit the class?” I responded and walked back to my table to pack my belongings.
“Be my guest. See you next year.” He answered my question and returned to maintain a watchful eye towards the rest of the class.
“Thank you sir.” I said and proceeded to place all of my possessions inside my bag and carried all of the books I had took from my shelf and the books I borrowed from the campus library. I felt the weight of all of my properties combined slowly taking its toll on my arms whilst I carefully sauntered towards the door to ensure that I wouldn’t drop a book. The professor had noticed my struggle and opened the door for me. I thanked him and made my way to the library where I finally had the chance to place down my books.
I sorted out the volumes out and placed them into a neat pile, proceeding to return them to the librarian who was stationed at the entrance of the reading room. After I placed the volumes on top of the counter, her expression turned sour, indicating that she wasn’t very happy at the sight of the stack in front of her though she never complained about it. I quickly ran through my head to try to think about what other matter I had that needed to be resolved. Once nothing came into mind, I shrugged it off and clutched my bag tightly whilst I paced down the hallway which was once crowded but now dead silent which is most likely caused by the fact that they had their finals as well.
Going through the silent hallways felt uncomfortable for any sort of sound could easily spook me. I increased my speed as I was starting to feel uneasy, hoping that nothing would suddenly jump out to my face. Once I approached a well-lit area, I heard some murmurs that originated from the headmaster’s office and slowed down to try to hear their conversation which echoed throughout the empty space. All of a sudden, the door opened and revealed that the person the headmaster was conversing with was John. Now, why would the headmaster request his presence?
I walked over to his direction to question him regarding their exchange which had ended before I could reach them. The headmaster returned to his office and apparently, John had noticed my presence and called out to me.
“Hello Brian!” He greeted in a quiet yet lively tone. “How did your finals go?” He inquired and placed his hands inside the pocket of his white trousers.
“It went surprisingly well actually. Those reference books you have in your library came in handy for me.” I responded and stood beside him.
“Well that’s good to hear.” He stated whilst the two of us began to stroll around the floor to kill some time.
“Oh right, I almost forgot to tell you that I had booked us a gig on Sunday next week.” I told him and saw that his eyes lit up and the corners of his mouth had lifted, forming a smile.
“Really?” He looked at me and asked.
“Yeah, really. I was wondering when you are free to make sure that we have enough time to practice somewhere.” I answered.
“Hmm, I don’t think that I have anything planned for next week so I guess anytime next week then.” He responded.
“Great! How does Wednesday sound?” I asked him and saw that he was smiling.
“Yeah, Wednesday sounds good.” He replied and went towards the notice board near the posters. There wasn’t anything in particular that I would consider as interesting that was put up on the board yet he seemed very intrigued by them.
“Hey Brian, are the activities here any good?” John queried whilst reading the posters and adverts posted all over the space.
“I don’t really know, I’ve never bothered myself to try any of them out. Maybe Roger knows more about them than me.” I answered. Now that I think about it, maybe Roger’s already finished his exams and was waiting for us. “Let’s try to look for him. I’m sure that he’s around here somewhere.” I suggested.
“Yeah, sure. Where do you think he will be?” He inquired, sauntering beside me.
“Normally, he would be hanging around the lobby with some of his Biology class friends so I would assume that there’s where he would be.” I responded to his question and ambled in the direction of the exit, discerning a familiar head of golden locks who appeared to be lost in thought and stared off into the distance.
“Roger, hi!” John shyly greeted and paced in his direction, catching his attention.
“Hello again Deaky.” He returned his greeting and turned to my direction. “You done with your finals yet curly? Let’s get the hell out of here before I bore myself to death here.” He yelled whilst squinting his eyes due to his poor eyesight. Just as I was about to counter his statements, John had spoken up first.
“Oh, does he know about the gig?” John turned to me and asked in an excited tone.
“What gig? What did I miss?” Roger asked in a curious manner.
“The gig next week on Sunday. The one that would be our major breakthrough? Did you forget about it Rog?” I replied and raised my eyebrows slightly.
“Oh THAT gig, yeah of course I remember. What about it?” He stated.
“We’re planning to do a practice session on Wednesday afternoon. Are you free that day?” I asked.
“I just have a bit of work to do in the morning but other than that, yeah I guess I’m free.” He answered and slung his satchel over his shoulder.
“Alright then, the only thing left for me to do now is to confirm things over with Freddie.” I said and walked towards the exit. “See you around, John. If there are any changes in our plans, I’ll make sure to let you know and give you a ring.” I said whilst escaping the warmth the building provided and receiving the inhospitable reception the winter has in store for me.
“Goodbye to you Brian and Roger. I better get going now, I have some research to do.” He told the both of us and walked in a faster pace than me in the same direction I was headed for. I was startled by how fast he promenaded towards his vehicle, it was almost as though he was in a hurry. His research must be of high importance for him to rush like that.
Since my car had some problems with the engine, it was temporarily out of commission and I had to resort to riding the bus or catching a cab to commute home with the former option being far preferable financially speaking. I made my way to the bus stop and waited in line for the arrival of the bus which will take approximately 6 more minutes based on the information printed on the timetables. I looked down on my watch that told me that it was around half twelve. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do for there were nothing else I had in store for the entirety of the week. I felt deathly bored for standing around and doing nothing but watch the vehicles speed by. Soon enough, the bus arrived and I hopped on board.
I took a seat beside the window and looked outside, only to see Roger running towards the bus to catch a ride. He appeared to be sweating from the quick exercise he had despite the frosty temperatures outside.
“Oh thank god!” He exclaimed and gasped for air, making everyone in the bus stare at him as if he was an extra-terrestrial being. He soon paid his fare and noticed my presence so he sauntered by the aisles and took a seat beside me.
“Blimey, I thought I was going to have to wait for another ride! At the very least my legs didn’t give up on me like my bloody friend, Samuel did. I swear, he has got to be the most impatient person I’ve met to date.” He stated whilst adjusting his position to make himself comfortable.
“Samuel? Isn’t he that guy from your Pharmacology and Toxicology class? Regardless, I pity him for having to put up with you.” I told him, feeling terribly sorry for his friend.
“Hey! What is that supposed to mean?” He retorted in a blustered tone.
“I’m just stating the facts here.” I answered and gave him a grin to which he responded by sticking his tongue out at me like a child who wasn’t allowed candy.
Throughout the ride home, I had a feeling that there was something that I had overlooked. I wasn’t aware as to what it is exactly, but something just felt off. I stared outside the window, hoping that an idea would pop up inside my head to remind me of my inattentiveness towards whatever it is I’ve forgotten which worked splendidly for the piles of snow jogged my memory. That’s right, the heater and the frozen pipes!
“Roger, could you buy some antifreeze from the store? I’m going to try to fix the heater back at our flat.” I requested which prompted his eyes to widen.
“Oh, right. The frozen pipes.” He said and let out a sigh before he continued his statement, “Alright, I guess I’ll stop by the pharmacy while I’m at it.”
He got off at the nearest stop and soon enough, he completely assimilated to the crowd and I could no longer determine where he is. The bus continued to move to its usual route and I waited patiently for it to finally reach my desired stop. I looked down to my watch and saw that it was nearly twelve, making me yearn for the convenience my own car for I wouldn’t have to adjourn for anyone to enter and exit which was inefficiently a waste of my time. But at this point, I should consider myself fortunate to have a ride home and wouldn’t have to resort to either walking home or flagging a cab. I looked outside the window to observe the scenario outside, letting my mind wander off somewhere.
A thought of the warmth of summer crossed my mind which brought back all sorts of memories of my childhood days spent under the sun. I recalled the time where I would visit a lake near my summer home with my parents. My father and I would take all sorts of pictures with our cameras and of course, I took a lot of stereoscopic pictures that would turn into a three dimensional images when seen at a certain angle. I was always fond of the way the lake would harbour a picturesque scenery with a diverse array of marine life, especially the large crusian carp that my father had caught in one of our fishing trips on another occasion. He would always return the fish he caught into the wild because he wouldn’t want to disrupt the ecosystem. His actions left a long lasting impression on me and inspired me to turn vegetarian.
The sound of compressed air being released from the pneumatic brakes brought me out of my thoughts as I realised that we have reached my stop. I quickly got out of my seat, making sure that I hadn’t missed anything behind and headed towards the exit after I made sure to pay the fare inside a collection box located at the front just beside the driver. I strode to the snow covered pavement and clutched my bag tightly. The bus stop wasn’t that far from my flat so it wasn’t as unbearable as I thought it would be.
I reached the flat and placed my hand on the handle and discovered that the door was unlocked once I opened it with ease. Sirens started to ring inside my head when I entered the flat, feeling that I shouldn’t be alone. I turned on the lights and saw that nothing had changed from the night prior except the fact that the snow had decreased in volume. I placed my bags down near the couch and grabbed whatever object I could find that was lying around which was luckily, a wrench. I slowly walked over to the nearest room and cautiously opened the door. I made sure to check all of the rooms and determined that there were no intruders or any signs of forced entry. There were no signs of any other life in the flat so I breathed out a sigh of relief.
I placed the wrench back on top of the counter and took my bag to my room. I knew that it was a ridiculous idea but I went back downstairs and headed to the kitchen to test whether or not the water was running. I laughed at the thought but gave it a shot anyways. To my surprise, the water was actually running but only at one constant temperature, freezing. At the very least, the pipes weren’t frozen and had thawed out.
I went to check the heater that was tucked away inside a closet near the laundry room because it wasn’t working properly. I wasn’t well informed on how a heater works, let alone fixing one. I groaned and went to the telephone that was set in the living room to give my landlord a call. I dialled in his number and placed the handset close to my ear. After I stood there like a fool while hearing the ringing noise it produced, my landlord didn’t answer my call and I placed it back on the armature angrily, feeling quite pissed with him.
“Damn it!” I yelled out. I was concerned with the state of my flat with the lack of insulation and heating. Though it wasn’t a problem now, it will be when night falls. I wasn’t sure as to who am I supposed to call. I don’t have the contacts for any sort of repairman or plumber so I was out of luck.
Out of the blue, the thought of giving John a ring came across my mind. I decided against it at first and tried to weigh in the pros and cons because I felt that we shouldn’t rely on him too much for everything. I’m most certain that he must be burdened by our outrageous and unruly behaviour yet didn’t have the heart to reject us. I knew that I was in a tight situation and had to think about the best course of action I could take but I wouldn’t want to feel guilty doing so. Despite the fact that it was hard to admit, the positives outweighed the liabilities.
I groaned and dialled in his number, already feeling the guilt all over me even though I he hasn’t even picked up the phone yet. I thought that this was a terrible idea and before I could cut off the transmission, it was too late. The ringing had stopped which signifies that he had picked up the phone. I was caught off guard by how fast he responded and mentally cursed myself.
“Hello? This is John Deacon speaking.” I heard him say over the receiver. My heart started to race when I heard his voice, struggling to think of a response.
“H-Hi John, t-this is Brian speaking. I uh, was wondering if you know the number o-of any repairman or plumber.” I stuttered before I realised how idiotic I sound.
“Why? Is there anything wrong?” He inquired.
“Oh god how do I say this? Uh, my water heater broke and so did the regular heater. It won’t turn on and I’ve tried everything I could think of to try to mend it. To top it all off, I can’t drive my car to fetch a plumber and a mechanic to get it fixed, my car’s got a problem with the engine and I wouldn’t dare to mess with it.” I answered.
“That’s some terrible news Brian. Is it alright if I come over to your place to have a look at it? I could finally use what I’ve learnt in my classes.” He suggested over the phone. I appreciated his concern but I couldn’t risk it. We couldn’t afford another one if the repair goes south.
“I don’t know, it doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea.” I replied.
“Oh come on, It’s worth the shot right?” He persuaded, sounding very convincing. I knew that whether I reject his kind offer or not, both would in all likelihood end in me feeling terribly mortified to have shamefully asked him an odd favour like that.
“Alright then, I’ll see what you could do.” I gave in and responded to his conversions. Somehow, I could hear a faint sound of animal cries in the background from his end of the phone and thought that it was very odd.
“That’s the spirit! I’ll come over as soon as possible.” He said in a cheerful tone and hung up. I was about to tell him not to rush but he sounded pretty excited to see a water heater. I was more curious as to why there was an audible roar in his end of the call. It couldn’t be possible that he purchased a circus. Silly me, of course not, as unique of a character as he is, I don't think that he would go that far to entertain himself, right?
I've just realised that this fic is pretty slow paced isn't it? Should I speed things up or is the slow pacing just fine?
Chapter 10: Waterworks
John helps Brian in solving one of his problems.
I wonder why I would torment and give myself a headache in writing these long chapters and do extensive research about a freaking water heater. Hell, I don't even own one! I even wonder why I make these chapters so detailed sometimes. Was it all worth it?~ yes it was.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A playful breeze went past me, inducing my hair to flutter by the wind as I sauntered to where I parked my spaceship, clutching the keys tight in my grip to not lose them amidst the bustling crowd. Once I found my spaceship, I leaned over and placed my hair that was obscuring my vision behind my ear and reached to the back pocket of my trousers to take out a piece of green saccharine crystal that was wrapped around by a small piece of paper that had a waxy texture to it with a picture of a black cat on a yellow background printed on it. I had received it from the headmaster after we had a talk regarding how my acclamation process was going, which was smooth sailings without any hindrances so far.
I placed it closer to my eye and upon closer inspection, the saccharine crystal had been fashioned to resemble a gemstone with its smooth texture yet angular exterior which intrigued me. I was told that it had a ‘minty’ essence when it gradually dissolves in my mouth and exposed the dark core to my taste buds. I had never heard of this flavour before and was eager to experience it. I placed it inside my mouth and felt my eyes broadened slightly for I was surprised by the sweet and cold savour that had spread throughout my entire mouth. I could feel a chilly sensation whenever I breathe with a fresh aftertaste. The dark core had melted and amplified the stimulating flavour which prompted me to grin subconsciously by how enjoyable the taste was.
Though it was pleasant, it made me lose track of what I was doing. I snapped out of it and entered my spaceship, taking out the teleporter inside my bag. I was dead set on taking a small trip to the zoo they have here in London. I set the appropriate coordinates and teleported my entire spaceship and me to the parking lot of the zoo. I felt my heart race at the excitement of venturing inside the area, especially at the thought of meeting the polar bears and giraffes. But what really got me going was the opportunity to meet the animal called ‘lion’.
Throughout the car ride this morning, Roger brought up another word that I had never heard before, ‘lion’. I forgot what he had said earlier but if I were to guess, we were talking about astrology earlier that day thus explaining the emergence of that word in our conversation. Through a quick search, I soon discovered that ‘lions’ are animals that commonly live in the African prairies with the males having these luxurious manes around their head that reminded me of a crown.
Back home on the moon, there were no such things as animals for they couldn’t manage to adapt as fast as we could to its extreme temperatures and the gravitational forces there. Even if there were, they only existed as robotic animatronics or through holographic projections that were commonly found anywhere on the surface of the moon where civilisation stands. Lunarians like me could only survive because of the technological and biological advances we had. So for me to be able to view the earth’s faunae is truly a lifetime’s opportunity.
I hurriedly went to the entrance and bought myself a ticket after queuing, making sure to grab a pamphlet in order to navigate myself through the exhibits. The sweet lady behind the counter informed me that there would be an exhibition at twelve later in the afternoon that had penguins and seals as the main attractions for its theme was ‘Winter Wonderland’. I knew that my schedule wasn’t busy so I thought that I could spend some time and watch the show. It wouldn’t hurt to learn anything new right?
I went past through the creatively well decorated entrance to an area where I was greeted by all sorts of background noises that seemed to have come from all directions. I strolled throughout the open area that was intriguingly filled with people from all age ranges, stopping by each enclosure to see all sorts of interesting critters earth has to offer. A tall and colourful board, covered with photographs of animals and their information caught my eye which prompted me to stop by and read through the entire thing. I learnt that the nearest enclosure from my position were the primates with the insects and reptile exhibits next to it. Though it was surely curious for me to be here, I wanted to stop by the lion enclosure as fast as possible for I wasn’t capable of containing my curiosity any longer and only then will I be able to educate and entertain myself with the other animals here.
I took my time in going to the lion’s exhibit so I paced slowly and calmly to get the best out of the wonderful attractions before me. To my right, I saw a species that looked odd for it had no fur covering its body yet had these long plum-like coating that were very wild in colour. They had these large bills that ranged in spectrum from yellow to orange to another shade of brown, presumably to be their mouths. The noises they produced were very shrill, on the other hand, when they produced these noises at the same time, they created a wonderful and harmonious melody. I read the plaque below the large cages that enclosed them that they belong to a class of aves, meaning that they were birds.
It was odd that the birds didn’t need to hibernate with the colder climate considered. Perhaps they had abilities to regulate heat inside of their bodies? Either way, those creatures are surely intriguing for me. I continued my stroll and amidst the crowds, I saw another peculiar faunae. This one had a large build and long, black claws that greatly contrasted the fur that’s as white as the snow it was covered all over in. The faunae had small and rounded ears on top of its head with facial features coloured in a prominent black. I felt another wave of excitement crashing upon me when I walked over to it, hearing its adorable growls made me feel like I was going to melt from the sheer cuteness of the creature.
Once again, I read the plaque and was surprised to know that the white creature in front of me was a polar bear. I thought that they only exist in fiction or as an idiom, the truth behold, they are indeed real animals. I immediately recalled the playful banter Roger and I held the day prior to this one where he told me that I was going to buy a polar bear and I responded that I might do that. Though I was only exaggerating, I was sure that I was contemplating whether or not I should really do that. I mean, I do have the resources available to make the offer and I do want to wake up every morning to that big ball of fluff, yet I couldn’t help but feel that I shouldn’t commit to this plan I had conjured up in my head. Do normal people even have polar bears as pets in their houses?
I shook that stupid idea out of my head and went on with minding my own business. Along the way to the lion’s enclosure, I couldn’t help but notice that some children were holding onto these colourful spheres that floated in the air with the only thing grounding them to the earth’s gravitational forces being the white strings they were tied to. I wanted to know more about these round spheres but hadn’t noticed that I was staring at a man who was selling them until a little girl called out to me.
“Hey mister, why aren’t you wearing a coat?” The petite little girl in a yellow padded jacket in front of me asked.
“Oh, I think that this is a nice weather.” I answered her and laid my answers as calmly as I could.
“Well then, do you want one of those?” She queried whilst pointing towards the floating spheres that had multitudes of different colours.
“No, I just wanted to know what those things that the man is selling are.” I responded honestly for I couldn’t bottle up my curiosity.
“You don’t know what balloons are? You’re weird.” She replied with a surprised look on her face.
“Balloons? Are those what they are? What do they do?” I continued to ask her which for some odd reason, prompted her to let out a giggle. Was there anything funny in what I had said?
“Well, balloons are balloons. My mommy told me that they can grant you wishes!” She responded, grinning from ear to ear and shuffled her foot.
“Wishes? What kind of wishes?”
“Any wish you want, silly!”
“How? What are you supposed to do to them?”
“Hmm, my mommy told me that when you let the balloons go, they fly up to heaven and the angels grants the wishes stuck to them.” She answered and raised her hands up to the sky.
“Angels, eh? Interesting.” I looked at the cart which harboured the tied up balloons and quietly said.
“Do you have any wishes mister?” The girl asked with wide eyes that held purity behind them.
“Perhaps I do, but it’s a secret.” I responded and gave the girl a smile, continuing my journey towards my destination. It find it fascinating how young children had this innocence to them and believed everything that was told to them no matter its validity. I never understand how human children could act the way they do without a single care of what was going on in the world around them. It makes me envy them in a way.
Growing up in the palace, my entire life was just full of fulfilling my royal duties that I wasn’t certain about. I never knew what my mother meant by ‘royal duties’ besides being present during the diplomatic meetings she would host in one of the many venues owned by the royal family or simply just enduring the constant insults being hurled at me by my tutors and the ministers who think highly of themselves and try to get on my mother’s good side by pretending to ‘educate’ me.
I shrugged those unpleasant memories away and continued to walk towards my endpoint. Finally, I reached a place cordoned in fences where they were preventing people from falling into the pit below. I managed to get to the front row and saw the lions for myself. Though I heard that they weren’t supposed to come out now, they were lazing around the artificial environment the zoo had constructed to mimic their natural habitat. I felt my heart race when I saw them for myself, they looked far more breath-taking than they were in those holograms back home. I wanted to get a closer look to them but I knew that that would just be reckless and endanger my life.
I leaned forward, resting some of my weight onto the metal bars, to get a better look at them. The lions seemed to be unfazed by all of the visitors surrounding it from above, most likely because of their repeated exposure to human contact had made them used to the attention. I noticed that the enclosure didn’t have remotely any small inch of snow or ice, which is very odd considering that the area was without a roof. I couldn’t think of any explanation that would make sense of the oddity before me. While I was still deep in my thought, I felt my transmitter vibrate against my thigh which brought me out of my thoughts.
It wasn’t a number that I have in my contacts list, so I wondered who would be calling me or something more appropriate considering the situation, how could they have my number. I let it remain unanswered for a while, thinking that whoever is on the other side of the call would hang up and leave me alone. Alas, the caller was persistent and I had no choice but to answer it, hoping that nobody would catch me conversing into the transmitter and think that I’m an insane psycho.
“Hello? This is John Deacon speaking.” I picked up the call and stated, feeling curious as to who would call me.
“H-Hi John, t-this is Brian speaking. I uh, was wondering if you know the number o-of any repairman or plumber.” The caller stuttered, relieving me of my anxiousness when I recognised the voice.
“Why? Is there anything wrong?” I inquired. I wasn’t expecting for him to call me at high noon.
Apparently, Brian’s shared flat had a problem with their water heater not producing any heat and he couldn’t get any help because of his car problems as well. I knew that I couldn’t stand being on the side lines and not helping him, so I had offered to help repair his water heater. I knew that I am currently studying electrical engineering and not mechanical engineering yet I couldn’t help but quench my thirst of curiosity by offering him my assistance. I was quite confident in my knowledge actually since I had read multitudes of books regarding plumbing, waterworks and whatnot during my spare time. Though he was reluctant in letting me see his heater, he eventually gave into my persistence and accepted my offer.
Out of nowhere, the lions started to awaken from their slumber and let out a loud roar that almost startled me. I was careful not to drop the transmitter into the large pit below me and hoped that Brian did not hear the roars. It could potentially induce him to ask me some unnecessary questions that could’ve been prevented if I never set foot on the premises. I made sure that the people’s attentions were directed towards the lions instead of me as I went through the crowd to get to the other side of the zoo, nearly losing my footing on the pavement below for they were most likely eager to witness the lion’s awakened state instead of prioritising another person’s safety.
Earlier, I had told myself to enjoy this opportunity and take my time here nevertheless, I couldn’t help but drop the entirety of what I was doing at the moment and just teleport to his flat. I was tempted to do so, yet I had to make everything convincing enough so that he wouldn’t suspect a thing. I soon strode outside to the parking lot, making my way to where I parked my spaceship and entered the vehicle. I had transformed the interior back to its original state and went to take out the emergency toolbox every spaceship owned. I searched for every tool possible that may potentially be used in the repairs so that I would be prepared for anything. Once I double no, triple checked everything, I had to spend more of my time somewhere else to make my appearance to his premises more convincing.
I made the incredibly idiotic mistake of driving onto the bustling road, only to recall that I had no experience driving in this particular road. I felt a wave of fear and apprehension when I peered at the buildings and structures surrounding me for I never had any sort of recollection of ever seeing them. Before I knew it, the light had turned green and the car in front of me started to move. I didn’t want to halt the traffic from progressing so I just carried on with my journey, driving aimlessly whilst trying to find my way to at least a boulevard I was familiar with. After time spent driving around like a mad man and nearly breaking down in tears, I finally ended up in the right street, one that was headed towards my district.
I exhaled a sigh of relief as I went past the entry gates of my neighbourhood and parked right outside my mansion. I still felt my heart pace rapidly almost as though it was about to leap out from my chest despite the fact that it wasn’t as fast as it was when I was on the road just minutes ago. I nearly gave up on searching for the accurate address and just used my teleporter, knowing full well about the risks it entailed nevertheless, I was thankful that I never yielded into my uncertainties. After going through that horrible experience, I have a newfound appreciation for the technology I had back home. I truly wonder how the people here were able to live their daily life without the knowledge and expertise the moon had widely available for every citizen.
I took deep breaths and calmed myself down, lying down on my back on top of the couch that was previously compressed into the back seat of a car I had transformed my spaceship into, feeling very lethargic even though I barely did anything laborious. I yearned to return to my bed and forget about my self-made problems but I couldn’t just do that, I had to help Brian with his water heater problems so I got myself up and sauntered over to my teleporter and once again, inputted the right coordinates to his shared flat. Before I pressed the button that would immediately transfer everything in the proximity I had set, I stuck my head outside the window to inspect for people nearby. Once I had determined that the coast was clear, I pressed the button and soon enough, I was outside his flat. I tidied my hair to make myself seem at the very least presentable and dusted off the dirt and grime from my adventure earlier, taking a step outside into the sunny yet quiet neighbourhood.
I walked towards the entrance and knocked on the door, hoping that I wouldn’t raise any suspicions by arriving quite early. After receiving no answer, I decided to knock once again. This time, there was an audible thud originating from the other side of the door which made me slightly alarmed but shrugged it off, thinking that Brian must’ve stumbled over something trivial such as his own foot or the carpeting. I waited for a short amount of time for the door to open up, revealing Brian’s long curls hindering his vision as he nearly lost his balance. Luckily for him, I had caught him in time before he hit the pavement.
“Oh, Brian! Are you alright?” I worriedly asked whilst trying to balance the both of us.
“John? Oh yeah, I-I’m okay.” He responded and got himself up, brushing away the dust off of his trousers.
“What happened?” I inquired, peering my head towards the entryway only to see that the space had faint traces of smoke coming from the inside.
“I tried to fix the heater myself but now there’s smoke coming from it. I tried to open the door but I tripped on my own foot because I couldn’t see a thing! Well, I was fortunate that you had caught me in time.” He answered and scratched his head.
“You should’ve waited for me, Brian.” I reprimanded.
“I did, but it started to make these odd noises and I couldn’t help but be curious and see it for myself. I thought that maybe I did fix it when the noises stopped but all I have now is a smoke machine.” He attempted to justify his actions.
“Alright then, let me go back to my car and get my tools for a moment.” I let out a sigh and paced back to my spaceship to get my equipment box. I clutched the box by the handle and walked back to his direction. “So, where is your heater exactly?”
“Right. Come on in.” He directed me towards the heater that was tucked nicely inside a wooden closet near the kitchen. I thought that I was going to suffocate to death when suddenly there was an audible whirring sound that had produced thick a smog which covered the entire area. I hastily ran outside for some fresh air with Brian directly behind me whilst coughing my lungs out to filter out the smoke and dust particles that had entered my breathing canal.
“Brian, within the realm of possibility, did you try to switch off the safety valve?” I questioned him and let out another cough, covering my mouth to not spread my bacteria around.
“Yes, yes I did. Oh, was I not supposed to do that?” He responded and looked at me almost as though he was faultless.
“Yes, you weren’t supposed to.” I sighed and shook my head. “Oh well, what’s done is done. Right now, we just have to wait for the smoke to diffuse out. By any chance, do you have a fan?”
“A fan? No, no I do- oh wait! Yeah, we got a ceiling fan if that’s any help.” He replied while his eyes appeared to light up with determination.
“Perfect! Where is it located in?”
“It’s in the living room but are you sure that you want to get back in there?” He questioned in a concerned tone.
“If that’s what it’s going to take for the repairs to get going, I’ll do just about anything.” I told him and went back in there, trying to locate the fan whilst holding in my breath. Once I got a hold of the switch, the fan started to operate and produce a quiet yet audible hum. Though it wasn’t instantaneous, the smog started to disseminate and clear up the space. I returned to the large closet which hosted the water heater and opened it, revealing a large, white tube that radiated faint heat.
I rolled up my sleeves, placing equipment box beside me and started to check for the gas flow and the pilot lights. The moment I determined that the light was on, I knew that the fault was most likely to be the thermocouple, yet I shouldn’t immediately jump to conclusions. I had to try and see for other problems as well so I checked the thermostat to see if it was the cause for the smog to arise. Strangely enough, none of the components except for the thermocouple to be malfunctioning. I couldn’t wrap my head around the situation and scrambled across my mind to try and come up with a possible problem for this odd heater of theirs. From what I could remember, if the water heater produces a strange noise, it is due to the sediment build up in the bottom of the tank or due to the expanding or contracting of the piping. I wouldn’t want to take any chances in opening up the heater just yet so I knew that I have to have confirmation or some information from him regarding the upkeep of this thing.
“Say, how long have the three of you been living here?” I ambled up to him and enquired.
“If I remember correctly, we’ve been here for around two years now. Why do you ask?” He took a long pause before answering my enquiry.
“Does your landlord ever mention about replacing the pipes or told you about the regular maintenance it needs before snowfall?”
“Now that I think about it, no he never mentioned anything of the sort to either Freddie, Roger or me.” He responded and shook his head.
“Well, based on your reaction there is only one conclusion I could draw up. I think that he’s screwing you over.” I slowly told him to not surprise him.
“What do you mean?” He asked with a puzzled look on his face.
“Let me start this off by saying that regular water heaters should have their pipes and water connections changed before snowfall to make sure that the thermostat is operating well. Everything should’ve been disclosed to the three of you before even signing the lease or notified afterwards. It’s common and proper etiquette for a landlord to do so.” I explained to him and proceeded to disclose everything a tenant should know if they were to rent or purchase a property and everything a property manager or owner should divulge in the lease. At least, it’s what I’ve learnt from my experience reading through the lengthy contract when I first procured my mansion. I still wonder how on earth I was able to memorise the entire thing, even if I had no intention to do so.
After my interminable lecture, I saw the expression on his face souring with every word that came out of my mouth as if the world came crumbling down before him and everything he believed in was a cruel lie played on him by fate. I felt terribly guilty towards him for telling him those things, yet I had to educate him regarding this matter to help him avoid being in the same situation in the future.
“A-are you serious? So all this time, he was supposed to tell us those things and yet refused to do so?” He quietly stated in an enraged tone.
“Well, the more you know. Have you notified your landlord regarding the broken heater yet?” I inquired for I needed the confirmation from him for me to be able to continue my repairs.
“I tried to call him repeatedly but he never answered my calls.” He answered.
“Um, are you sure that you want me to continue to fix your heater?”
“Yes actually, yes I am. To hell with my landlord and his ridiculous rent. I would much rather break the nonsensical rules he had set than freeze to death here. Please, continue.” He responded in an irritated tone.
I proceeded to open up the lower compartment of his heater and oddly enough, there wasn’t any sediment build up whatsoever. I tried to take a look at the pipes, but found no problems there. I thought hard on what the problem might be when I realised that I had not checked the parts where the gas might have flowed through. I checked those parts and discovered something peculiar, a black fur-like structure had congested the gas flow. I took out a slim metal rod and carefully fished it out, revealing a ball of fur that had a foul odour to it which nearly made my breakfast come up again if I hadn’t swallowed it back in time. I quickly gathered the remains and discarded it into a rubbish bin they owned and closed the parts back up once I made sure that there were no debris left in the channel. Now, the only thing I have to do was to replace the thermocouple that I currently don’t have in my possession, which left me with only one option which is to buy a new one. Wait, did I check my spaceship for one yet?
“Christ! What on earth is that?!” Brian loudly questioned in a repulsed tone.
“I have no idea on what it could be, but it’s out now. You might want to immediately throw that rubbish out right now if you don’t want the stench to spread throughout the house. Oh, and by all odds do you have a thermocouple with you?” I turned to him and asked, seeing his face scrunched up as a result of the foul odour.
“No, no I don’t.” He said as he was about to throw out his rubbish along with the bin as well. A bit of an overkill if you ask me, but understandable as to why he did it.
“Well, that makes matters kind of more complex, Brian.” I stated and placed my tools on the floor.
“And why is that?” He yelled from outdoors.
“If I recall, I might have one but I had forgotten where I had placed it. So we’re left with two solutions now, one more time consuming than the other.” I answered his question in a louder tone so he could hear me.
“Either way, we’re going to end up in the same result right?” He responded, re-entering his flat.
“More or less, yeah. Now, are you in a hurry? Because your answer will decide which option I will go with.” I inquired.
“Um, not really but I have a shift later at 3.” He answered and placed one hand on his hip.
“Well then, I guess you’ll have to guard the heater while I’m gone then.” I stated.
“What do you mean? Where are you going?” He asked, looking quite bewildered.
“Out to buy the thermocouple, silly. I know a hardware store nearby that carries all sorts of things. I’ll be back soon so don’t try anything funny with the heater.” I told him and was about to exit his flat when he suddenly called out to me.
“At least let me give you the money to buy one.” He loudly stated while he climbed up the stairs.
“Don’t worry about the money, consider it a gift for letting me join your band.” I answered and gave him a smile, exiting the premises before I could hear his counter statements.
I returned to my spaceship to pretend to drive off into the distance when in actuality, I just teleported myself to an empty space to search for that spare thermocouple I had on hand. If I recall correctly, it was at the captain’s quarters, bottom left drawer where I found my toolbox. So I moseyed towards the room and opened the drawer, searching for a short period of time before finding what I needed. I then teleported back to the end of his street to pretend yet again that I had returned from the store. I parked outside this flat again, and was relieved that I was finally able to finish the repairs.
“Well that was quick. Was there a hardware shop nearby?” Brian inquired, stepping out of the kitchen.
“Yeah, there was one. I have the thermocouple now so that’s some good news.” I responded and walked in his direction.
“I didn’t do anything to the heater if that’s what you’re going to ask.” He stated and raised both of his arms slightly.
“Alright then.” I responded and continued to do the repairs, relieved that the heater’s state was exactly the same as I had left it. I opened it up again and proceeded to remove the thermocouple line along with the gas line and the line for the pilot light, continuing to slide the entire burner component out of the water heater. I removed the thermocouple from it and installed the new one, continuing to place everything back to its place and turned on the gas that lead to the heater and lighting the pilot up.
“Phew, that was tiring.” I said and took a break by stretching out my limbs and exhaling a tired breath.
“Is it over?” Brian questioned and entered the room with a bottle of water.
“Yeah, you should have your warm water up soon enough. Why don’t you give it a try?” I suggested and gestured towards his faucet. He placed his bottle on top of the counter and turned the faucet on, placing his hand under the running water. There was a short amount of time spent before his face had lit up and he had a look of relief written all over his face.
“Alright! It works! I can’t thank you enough for helping me, John! How can I ever repay you?” He expressed his gratitude and gave me a million dollar smile.
“You don’t have to repay me, Brian. I just wanted to help a friend in need. It was purely coincidental that I happen to be at home when you gave me a ring.” I responded and packed up my tools.
“Right, I was meaning to ask you something John.” He stated and dried his hands on a tea towel nearby.
“Sure, ask away.” I told him as I was closing my box.
“What were those loud roars I heard from your end when we were on the phone?” He inquired and nearly gave me a heart attack when he uttered the last of his words. I mentally cursed myself while I tried to come up with a good excuse to cover my whereabouts.
“O-oh those roars? I-it’s j-just the telly playing a documentary about the lions. Nothing to worry about.” I stuttered and hoped that it didn’t come out as awkward as I thought it did.
“I never thought that you’d like watching documentaries, John.” He stated and took a sip from his drink.
“Neither did I. Anyways, see you next week and good luck with your shift.” I bid him farewell and strode towards the exit and waved him a goodbye.
Now, all that’s left for me to do is for me to have my usual swim in my swimming pool back home and I’ll be done for the day. Perhaps I can practice playing my bass for the rest of my afternoon to kill more time. Either way, I have to find a new activity for me to do so that I wouldn’t be bored.
I'm so sorry this took a long time for me to write. I was occupied in writing a new idea I had in mind (another fanfic, yay!) and I am rewriting the first chapter because of the whole cringe factor I had when reading it again. What was I seriously thinking when I wrote that chapter?!