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All that Glitters is Gold

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Robert sat on the couch and curled up with a blanket. Their hotel room was up on the top floor, the biggest suite in the city. Bonzo and Jonesy were a few rooms over in their own suites, but Robert and Jimmy insisted that they share one. They were best friends, soulmates for that matter. Maybe even a bit more.

 

The singer muffled a sharp burp and looked at himself shamefully, then back at the empty Chinese food cartons he ordered for himself. And Jimmy, he thought to himself.

 

It was rather shameful, really. Jimmy had gone out earlier for some kind of errand, and Robert was lonely. And rather stressed. So, of course, he thought the would “indulge” himself while Jimmy was gone. And after binging what could count as a meal for more than 2 people, he only felt worse about himself.

 

Jesus, why am I so disgusting? Robert thought solemnly to himself. He buried himself deeper under the blankets and tried to erase the embarrassment he felt. The guilt was hurting his stomach as much as well as the two pounds of food he just ate.

 

Jesus christ, I might as well have eaten both my goddamn hands, he thought to himself, hiccuping painfully. He didn’t just eat. He also drank. One does get thirsty after all that food, and being a rockstar meant that he could easily buy a $200 champagne bottle no questions asked. Which was why an empty bottle of expensive champagne lay on the floor of the hotel room kitchen.

 

He felt sick, buzzed, and sorry for himself. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying not to throw up; or burp; or do anything, really.

 

He cowered completely under the blankets thinking about what Jimmy might say when he came home.

 

“You’re disgusting. I would never live with a greedy slob who only cares about himself.”

 

He felt his stomach cramp up more at the added stress, and a loud hiccup escaped him. His stomach groaned audibly, and he got up, pacing the room.

 

“He’ll be back any minute now, expecting food. What do I say to him?”   he thought worryingly to himself. His thoughts drifted back to his recent binge, and queasiness overtook him. He let out a string of painful breaths, a hand kept to his abdomen. He cleared his throat, and crept back to the couch in shame.

 

I’m a disgusting person. The singer of Led Zeppelin, and I’m sitting here alone and pitiful, he thought in shame. He pulled his blanket over his head and screwed his eyes shut.

 

His head shot up from his self-loathing when he heard a key turn in the door. He jumped and hiccuped loudly.

 

Fuck. Shit. He’s home.

 

He considered getting up from the couch, running into his room and pretending to sleep. No, that wouldn’t work, he’s almost in the house.

 

Maybe he could just get in the shower. Forever. He sighed in defeat when the door finally opened.

 

“Robert? I’m back!” he yelled as the door opened to the suite, “I didn’t know if you got dinner, so I brought sandwiches!”

 

Robert felt a pang of guilt ripple through his stomach as Jimmy walked in the living room, carrying a plastic bag with two sandwiches in it. He cowered farther in the blanket, hiding his face in shame. He hated himself for overindulging, hated himself for letting it get this far.

 

Jimmy stepped into the living room, setting down the food and looking around, confused.

 

“Percy? You home?” he asked. Looking around in confusion, he finally spotted Robert underneath a mountain of blankets.

 

“Percy, why didn’t you answer?” he asked the moving pile of blankets. When a quiet muffled voice replied, Jimmy frowned. This wasn’t like Robert.

 

“Hey, Robert. Are you okay? You’re not acting like yourself.” he said, putting a concerned hand on Robert’s shoulder. Robert’s face surfaced from the blankets and faced Jimmy shamefully.

 

“I’m *hic* fine-” he said, a hiccup causing Jimmy’s hand to jolt off of Robert’s shoulder.

 

“Did you drink while I was gone?” he asked.

 

“*hic*--maybe..”

 

Jimmy tilted his head to one side, and placed a hand once again on Robert, biting his lip.

 

“You do seem kinda buzzed. But you’re usually pretty hyper when you’re drunk. Something seems...off..”

 

Robert looked up in surprise, muffling another sharp hiccup coming up his throat. Before Robert could answer, a loud groan came from his stomach. Robert cursed himself, cowering deeper under the blankets, hoping Jimmy didn’t hear it.

 

“Was that…..your stomach , Percy?”, he asked in surprise. A tint of amusement was in his voice. Robert felt shameful, disgusting. He can’t find out. He would be angry.

 

“No, of course not.” he said quickly, his face still under that blankets. Jimmy was not convinced.

 

“Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t seem like yourself today.” he asked once again. Robert felt his face heat up with embarrassment.

 

“I’m *hic* fine Pagey. Don’t worry about me.” he weakley said. His stomach hurt from stress. And indigestion.

 

“Okay...well, I’m gonna put the food in the fridge. You want any?” Jimmy asked. Robert shook his head, his stomach lurching at the thought of food. Jimmy was about to walk into the kitchen, when Robert froze. He forgot to clean up in the kitchen. Everything was there for him to see.

 

Fuck.

 

“W-WAIT!” Robert practically yelled, grabbing onto Pagey’s arm and pulling him onto the couch.

 

“W-what is it Robert?! Are you okay?!” Jimmy asked in surprise, slowly sitting back on the couch next to him.

 

“Y-you can’t go back in there.” he stammered, “Well….not yet…”

 

“Uhhh...why not? I need to put the food away?” Jimmy said back. Robert glanced nervously at the kitchen, ready for the embarrassment he would face.

 

“You just can’t!” he yelled nervously. Jimmy raised an eyebrow.

 

“What is up with you today? I’ll be right back! Just give me 30 seconds!” Pagey said to his quivering friend.

 

“But-” Robert stammered. But Jimmy was already walking toward the kitchen.

 

When the guitarist stepped in the kitchen, he noticed the many empty cartons of food, and the bottle of champagne across the floor. He was speechless.

 

“Robert?” he called, ready to interrogate the singer. But when he walked back to the couch, Robert was shaking. Tears fell down his face, and he sobbed quietly, his hair poofing over his face slightly.. His eyes were shut and blurry with tears. The blanket was still over his head; he looked like a mess.

 

“Robert…” he said quietly, “what happened?”

 

“I-I’m sorry Pagey! I don’t know what happened! I-I couldn’t do anything and I lost control, a-and I-- Imademyselfsickandimsorry! ” he yelled, tears now streaming down his face.

 

“Hey, Percy...C’mere” he said, beckoning the blonde into his arms. But Robert recoiled, a shameful look on his face.

 

“God, you must think I’m disgusting” he said, pure disgust on his face, “Just an unthoughtful asshole who want everything for himself, and never thinks about how anyone else feels....”

 

Jimmy was speechless. Why would he think that?

 

“Jesus, Robert. Why the hell would you think that?” he asked. Robert stared at the ground, his faced red with shame. He closed his eyes painfully as another hiccup jolted his body, making him cry harder. Jimmy pulled Robert tightly into his arms as he clenched his fists and cried harder.

 

“I-I-I’m sorry Pagey…you’re always so nice. So….charming….and me...I’m just an intolerable whiny kid!” Robert said, sobbing loudly into Jimmy’s chest.

 

“A-and you even bought food for me! I got food. I got it and ate it all like the child I am! I didn’t one think of how you would feel until after I ate it all….”

 

Jimmy thought harder.

 

This doesn’t seem like Robert to cry over food. Or to binge-eat for that matter. Maybe something else happened?

 

“Robert...” he said slowly, rubbing his friend’s back, “Are you sure this is just about eating all the food?”

Robert sniffled, but remained silent.

 

“Robert.” Jimmy pried, “What happened?”

 

“I-I don’t wanna *hic* talk about it….” Robert said quietly.

 

“Okay, love..” Jimmy said gently, “So can we talk about what you did while I was gone?”

 

Robert’s face turned red, and he looked at the floor. Wiping away the last of his tears, he began to talk quietly.

 

“I-I don’t know….I was waiting for you to get home, and I had my part of the food. But before I knew it, I was sitting on the couch eating your food too…..and then I got thirsty…..so I drank....I drank all of it, Pagey….”, he managed to say, swallowing.

 

“So why are you being so hysterical about it?” Jimmy questioned, besides the fact that you’re drunk, he added on in his head.

 

“Cause after I ate, my stomach started to…...hurt. A lot. It really hurts, Pagey. And I felt nauseous, and you weren’t there, and I felt guilty, and I was thinking about today and-”

 

“Hey now, Percy..” Jimmy put a hand on Robert’s shoulder, pulling him into the couch with him, “Don’t get yourself worked up. It’s okay.”

 

Robert sniffled, but continued to look at the ground, his body tense with anxiety.

 

“What’s got you so worked up today?” he asked.

 

Robert hesitated before sighing.

 

“I just...got yelled at today..” he said quickly and very quietly.

 

“What?” Jimmy asked. He knew Robert was a pain sometimes, but what did he do this time?

 

“It was a journalist. That interview that they had with us while you were off in the loo...They said that I was….a slut . That being with you was a mistake. That I would just screw it up or leave you for someone else. And I didn’t really think much of it, but….” Robert swallowed, holding back tears, “But then after I ate your food, I realized how much of a fuckup I am. And I only care about myself. And then I thought about what the journalist said and…”

 

“Robert?”

 

“What if It’s the truth?” Robert asked, tears visibly streaming down his cheeks once again. Jimmy suddenly felt a surge of anger towards the press. How could anyone say something like that to him? I mean, sometimes he was an ass, but he knows how fragile the man can be. Especially when it comes to love.

 

“Robert,” Pagey whispered, “I’m gonna talk to the company where that journalist was from, if you just give me the name of the magazine I can--”

 

Robert’s eyes widened as he grasped onto Pagey’s shirt.

 

“N-no! Please, don’t. It’ll only make things worse..” Robert said quietly, covering his mouth at what he just unwillingly blurted out. He immediately regretted his choice, and retreated back to the blanket. Jimmy’s eyes squinted at the singer, and his balled fists found themselves running calming hands through Robert’s blonde hair, coaxing him out of the fluffy cocoon.

 

He had a feeling that Robert wasn’t telling him everything.

 

“What else happened? Who else said something to you?” he asked quietly, careful not to startle the already frazzled man. Robert cleared his throat before emerging from the blanket and whispering back to his roommate.

 

“Jonesy…”

 

“And?”

 

“Bonzo..” Robert replied, his face dead serious. Jimmy felt Robert rise up from the blanket slightly, and sit up on the couch.

 

Jimmy was stunned. Why would the other bandmates say something to him? And why was Robert having such a rough time talking about it?

 

“Robert, what did they say to you--”

 

“Oh god….Jimmy…...I really don’t feel good”, Robert interrupted, pressing a hand to his mouth. Jimmy pulled Robert slowly into the couch with him, and covered him in the blanket.

 

“You’re okay..” he whispered as Robert let out a string of burps, blushing profusely. Jimmy ran a hand through his blond hair.

 

“Robert. What happened while I was gone?”

 

Robert felt his eyes watering once again as he held onto his boyfriend.

 

“I--they--after the interview, I laughed it off with the others, and dismissed it. But both of them joked that I really was slutty, and they wouldn’t be surprised if I left you once I ‘got tired of you’. I tried to forget about it, but….” Robert let out a hiccuping sob, closing his tear-stained eyes and leaning into Jimmy’s.  

 

“Oh god, Robert. Come here, love..” Jimmy wrapped his boyfriend in a warm hug, “I’ll talk to them.”

 

“Oh god, I’m such a mess, Pagey. I’m really sorry, you didn’t asked to be burdened with all this shit.” Robert sighed into the blanket, wiping away stray tears.

 

“Robert. Don’t ever think that your feelings are a burden. I care about you far too much to just ignore your feelings”, he replied.

 

“h--uuuurp…..I guess…..sorry, I’m being quite rude.” Robert cleared his throat, letting out more silent burps and frowning in embarrassment.

 

“Don’t sweat it. Your burps are kinda cute, you know.” Jimmy said, causing Robert to blush pink and look at the ground. He looked about ready with a comeback, but a painful groan from his stomach had him whining into Jimmy’s shirt instead, arms wrapped protectively around his midsection.

 

“You alright, love?” Jimmy asked, snaking his hands through the singer’s poofy, curly locks.

 

“I feel drunk off my ass and sick to my goddamn stomach, Pagey. What the hell do you think?” Robert groaned, motioning down to his stomach. Jimmy lifted up the man’s shirt and put a hand against his slim abdomen. He felt the bubbles sloshing around in his stomach, making distressed noises. Mostly due to the champagne, he guessed.

 

He thought it kind of cute of his boyfriend to be so vulnerable, curled up. He looked like he needed comfort.

 

“Well, why don’t we unbutton your jeans, for starters?” he asked. Robert nodded warily, and undid his pants, immediately feeling more comfort.

 

“I don’t you know you stay so fit….” Jimmy said quietly, starting to massage circles into Robert’s mid-section. Robert leaned into Jimmy, closing his eyes. He smelled sweat, cigarettes, and fresh air on him. He finally felt the buzz of the alcohol taking full effect, and his closed his eyes.

 

“Thanks, Pagey…” he murmured, slurring his words. Jimmy chuckled lightly, pressing a kiss to the man’s forehead.

 

“Anytime.’