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The Winner Takes It All

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John Deacon was never a fan of clubs, much less night clubs, and even lesser gay night clubs. It wasn't that he had a problem with them or anything that went on in them, it was just that they simply weren't his scene. He felt out of place in clubs, like he didn't belong in them. John was a quiet person who waited to speak his mind, and clubs were not for quiet people who waited to speak their minds. Clubs were loud, reckless, wild places. Clubs and John simply didn't mix. 

Freddie, John's new bandmate and frontman of Queen, had taken him, Brian, and Roger to the club where the four of them were currently sitting and waiting for thier drinks, the Mystic. The Mystic was a gay club that seemed to be particularly busy for a Thursday night for reasons John didn't quite understand but didn't question. The lights inside were dimmed out but there were Christmas Lights surrounding the bar and the inside of it as to provide some light for the bartenders and there were a few neon lights throughout the club. It made it difficult to see but it was tolerable enough. 

"Why are we here exactly, Fred?" Roger asked, taking a sip of his beer. "We've been here for almost half an hour and we're just sitting here, doing nothing."

Freddie turned to face Roger. "I never said you couldn't do anything. Go on, dance if you want to." Roger looked out at the sea of men, then back to Freddie and took another sip of his beer. "That's what I thought. We're waiting for Ginger Beer."

"Ginger beer?" Brian asked. "The drink? We could go pick that up at the shops, Fred."

"No, not the drink, Ginger Beer, the band, darling. They're playing here tonight," Freddie explained, taking a sip of his drink. "I thought it would be good to go out and see a show, and why not a band?"

"Not another cover band, Fred," Brian groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose. 

"It's not another cover band, dear," Freddie said. "They play their own music." 

Roger scoffed. "You've taken us to see another band when we could be practicing our own stuff?"

"Please, darling, I know you aren't missing a 'date'." Roger sulked at this, taking another sip of his beer and turning away from Freddie, who then turned to John. "What do you think, John?"

John hesitated. "It's...good to go out and see some other bands, I suppose." John rested his drink on his knee, his finger tapping the edge of his glass as he patiently waited. "What kind of music do they play?"

"Glam, prog, whatever they feel like playing, dear. I saw them a few weeks ago at a club in Middlesex. They were very good, almost as good as us," Freddie answered. "Their frontman isn't quite as boisterous as me, but we can't have two of me, now can we?"

John shook his head. After a few more minutes of chit-chatting between the four, a stage lit up and one by one four band members slipped out, the drummer, the guitarist, the frontman, and then finally the bassist. As the band situated themselves in their places, the man who appeared to be the owner of the club stepped out onstage. 

"Sorry for the hold-up, everyone, but without further ado, I present to you: Ginger Beer!"  With that, the owner quickly rushed off stage and the frontman stepped up to the microphone, adjusting it to his face and looking out over the audience. 

Brian nudged at Freddie side. "Take some notes, Fred," Brian stated, making Freddie swat at him. John chuckled before looking back at the stage. 

"Thank you for being here, everyone, we really do appreciate it. My name is Ginger," He said, pointing at himself. Ginger had, as expected, long straight ginger hair that went down to his shoulders. He was very pale, and based upon his accent he was Irish. "Our drummer,  Henry," Ginger threw his thumb behind his back and Henry waved. "Our guitarist, Grace," Because of the guitar covering everything and her short blond hair, John hadn't even noticed that their guitarist was a girl. "And our bassist, Sam." Sam gave a shy wave. His hair wasn't that long, it was brown and went down to a little bit lower than his ears and it was curly but loose. 

With that, the band started up. As Freddie had said, the band did play a lot of prog rock, but he didn't see how they were exactly 'glam'. He decided to bring this up to Freddie. Not that he didn't like the band, he was just a little confused. 

"Oh, don't worry darling, they're just warming up. Their bassist, Sam, when he plays his song, I have a feeling you'll like them so much more."

"I never said that I didn't like them, Fred, I just don't really see the glam," John explained, but the drums overshadowed his voice. He sighed, returning his attention back to the band. As the song transitioned he watch Sam step up to his own microphone, looking out over the crowd. Sam was nervous, John could tell. Sam shook his head, looked down at his bass, then back out at the crows. "This is something I wrote called 'Love You Till'."

The song started up, and instead of Ginger singing, Sam sang. "I know you're gone, I read that note," He sang, playing the bass and closing his eyes. It was if he had memorized the song backward and forwards. His hand moved up and down the bass with ease as he plucked and hammered out chords. "I read it and I felt like I would choke." He briefly opened them to look down at his bass and then back out at the crowd. "I still feel you though, but you've left me behind. How was I to know you'd be so unkind?"

The drums picked up and so did the guitar, and Ginger stepped back up to his microphone. 

"You said love you till, babe!" Ginger and Sam sang together, Ginger sharing a smile with Sam as they sang. "Love you till when, I don't know! But I'd hate for you to spoil the show."

A drum solo followed that, but it wasn't quite what the band - Queen, that is - had expected, especially not Roger. The drummer, Henry, and poured glitter onto the drums while Ginger and Sam were busy with the chorus, only having to keep up with the bass drum. As he played, he coated the stage with silver and gold, finally giving off the 'glam' John had asked Freddie about. 

"Show off," Roger muttered, taking a long but rushed swig off of his beer. 

"You're just jealous he's sober enough to pour something other than beer all over his drums," Brian replied, carefully sipping at his own drink. 

The song soon came to a close, as did the band's performance and after a quick bout of clapping and cheering, the club returned to its normal state of darkness and dancing. Freddie stood up and began walking away from the bar. 

"Where are you going, Fred?" Roger called out after him. 

"To meet the band, darling, where else?"

With that, the other quickly followed behind him and into one of the back rooms, where Ginger Beer was packing up their things. The back room was small, barely larger than a bedroom and it harbored a couch, all of the cases for instruments sitting on the floor or on a side table that had been crammed into a corner and the band's drumset on a rolling platform that had a rope attached so it could be pulled rather than pushed. The girl guitarist of the band, Grace, was the first to address them. "Can we help you, gentlemen?"

"We simply wanted to meet the band who comes close to rivaling our shows, darling," Freddie stated and stuck out his hand. "Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen."

Ginger looked at Freddie's hand and smiled. "Ginger Waters. It's good to hear what another band thinks about us, you know. It really helps."

Despite the awkward first words, the bands hit it off with each other, well, for the most part. John simply moved around, from conversation to conversation, unsure of a place to fit in. He wasn't sure how to contribute to any of them. He felt bad, though, for his own band. Ginger Beer had a great bassist, Sam, just as good as John, if not at some moments better. But John couldn't sing. He hated his singing voice. It put a damper on his songwriting process, and because of it John barely knew how to write a song. He just played what felt right, or what Brian told him, but he didn't like playing what Brian told him to play. 

"Hey," John heard a voice from behind him, causing him to turn. It was Sam, the very bassist he had just compared himself too. Up close, Sam was pale and not much taller than John, maybe an inch was the only difference between them. "Are you okay? You've been really quiet, mate," Sam said, and John nodded his head. 

"I-I'm fine, I don't really talk much," He stated. Remembering what Freddie had done, John stuck out his hand. "I'm John Deacon," He gave his name and Sam shook his hand. 

"Sam Day," Sam told him. "I saw you play last week in that bar in Southeast London. You were very good."

John blushed at this. "Thank you. I felt really out of place there, I wasn't sure if I was actually okay or not."

"Clubs aren't your thing?"

John shook his head. "Rarely. I just like to play, that's all."

"That's understandable," Sam said. With every word he spoke, John could tell Sam thought about it. He was like Brian in that sense, always thinking things through, but he didn't seem to be a perfectionist, which made him not like Brian at all. John enjoyed that. Sam wasn't rowdy like Freddie or Roger either. 

"So, er, why did you all decide to play here?" John asked, trying to fill up the spaces with a conversation so it wouldn't grow too awkward. Sam shrugged in response. 

"Good venue, large crowd, it's literally called the Mystic, and I guess that's what Grace and Ginger are going for. Like you, I just like to play," Sam explained. 

"You sing fairly well too," John added with a shy smile. Sam chuckled at the comment. 

"Thanks. I could do some improving."

John shook his head. "N-No, I mean it, you sound really good, er, I liked your song a lot."

Sam smiled.  "I appreciate that."

John paused holding in a breath. "Can I ask who it's about?"

"It's weird, really," Sam said, scratching the back of his neck. "It's about when my dad left. He just wrote my mum a note, that's it. I was about eleven, so it was eight years ago. It's been so long and I haven't heard anything from him, so it's just kind of weird to talk about with anyone. Writing it down in a song just made it easier." 

John nodded. "So that makes you nineteen?" 

"Why're you askin'?" Sam said with a cocky grin. John blushed at this, scratching the back of his neck. He didn't intend for it to sound like that, and his actions made it seem like it even more, so he dropped his hands down to his side. 

"I-I was just wondering. I'm nineteen, and I'm the youngest in my band," John explained. "I'm sorry if it came off like, er, something else."

Sam chuckled. "No, no, it's alright. I turn twenty next month." With that, John's heart lifted and he didn't feel as awkward anymore, but bits and pieces of that feeling remained. "So, have you written any songs, John?"

John had to shake his head at that. He never knew what to write. Every time he sat down and thought of an idea, it simply wouldn't come to him. "I just like to play. It's kind of hard writing when you don't have a singing voice."

"Oh, c'mon. I'm sure you can't be that bad," Sam said, but when John didn't continue to speak, Sam took it seriously. "Oh, alright then. Er, what instruments do you play?"

Before John could answer, Roger walked up behind John and wrapped an arm around the younger boy's shoulder. The action slightly startled him, so he flinched at Roger's touch, but relaxed when he knew who it was. 

"Deaky! Deaky, Deaky, Deaky! Please introduce me to the bassist!" Roger said, clearly drunk. John wasn't sure how that had exactly happened, but with as much as he had learned about Roger in the last month, he didn't question it. 

"This is Sam Day," John stated. "Sam, this is Roger Taylor, our drummer."

"And!"Roger said with a finger pointed up," One of the best falsettos in the band."

"We only have two falsettos, Rog," Brian spoke up. 

"Roger, you're a dog whistle," Freddie commented, everyone now joining in on John and Sam's discussion, but now it was simply a 'band' discussion. 

"So, are you four playing here tomorrow?" Ginger asked. 

"Of course, darling. Will you four be here?" Freddie answered, and Ginger could only nod. 

John's stomach dropped. Sam would be watching him play? He didn't like that idea. He didn't want to do that. It wasn't that he was scared of Sam being a better bass player, he simply just didn't want to play in front of him. It felt wrong and John wasn't exactly sure why. 

"We'll see you all tomorrow night," Brian said with a smile, which abruptly ended the conversation and Ginger Beer grabbed their things and left. Sam gave John a wave and a grin before pointing to a table. John gave him a small wave and a shy smile before turning to the table, which had a napkin on it. 

Call me. Coffee? 719-266-2837

John blushed at the note and looked up, but Sam had already left. He folded the napkin and tucked it into his pocket, smiling at the fact that Sam wanted to keep in contact. 

"Now what was that about, Deaky?" Roger asked him, making John turn around. 


Brian rolled his eyes. "You never talk that much to complete strangers, John."

"Looked like you have a crush on that bassist," Roger stated, a-matter-of-factly. 

"I don't," John stated, his face as red as a tomato. "He just wants to meet up for coffee tomorrow."

"That sounds like a date, John," Freddie said, crossing his arms. "Darling, I never took you to be the person to go on a date with a stranger."

"It isn't a date, Freddie."

"Sure sounds like one. Two guys meet up for coffee the night after meeting in a gay club in a backroom."

Hearing that said back to him made John realize it did sound like a date. Was it? Sam had never specified. "He never said it was a date. It's just a number and coffee," John said, almost too quietly. He sighed. John remained silent on the way back to Roger and Freddie's apartment, unsure of what to say. Brian dropped them off first because Brian was the only one of them who had a license at the moment - John could drive, but he hadn't gotten his license just yet because he didn't have any money and didn't have a car - and the long from Freddie and Roger's to John's was a long one. 

"Sorry about those two," Brian said. "And me. It's just, eh, we've never really seen you around guys or girls, John. You're just John."

John shrugged at this. "I can like people, Brian. It's not like I lack the function."

"You're implying that you like Sam."

"I'm not implying anything. I'm simply telling you I'm not a robot who doesn't like people."

"Alright, alright," Brian replied. "So, have you had any relationships then?"

"I-I...nothing serious, no," John admitted. "There was someone a few years ago, but, eh, things fell through."

John didn't like talking about that fact with Brian. He didn't like talking about it with anyone. Now he only stared at his feet, refusing to make conversation with the taller man. It seemed that Brian wasn't too interested in the conversation after John said that, so he too shut up for the rest of the ride to John's flat.