“You should tell him,” Rufus said as he stood next to her a little ways away from the actual stage.
“I can’t and you know it,” Marceline said giving him a strained grin.
“Can’t do what?” Roger asked walking up to the young couple.
“Ask uncle Bri out,” Rufus said as if he were talking about the weather.
“Tye!” she yelled punching his shoulder as hard as you could.
“Ow! Its true and you know it!” The younger blonde said rubbing the spot she hit, “Besides...you need to especially if you want to complete the bond.”
Roger’s eyes blew open as he listened to the conversation.
“Rufus,” she say angrily ready to punch him again. “I can’t and you know why!”
Marceline wrapped her arms around yourself and waited for either Taylor to say something.
Roger looked from his son to the woman who is as much part of their family as Bri and his own are.
“She’s...” he said looking to You before pointing to Brian in awe.
Rufus nodded in the affirmative after.
The trio stood there and faced the stage where Brian fixed the acoustic over his shoulder as he sat on a stool in front of the microphone.
Marceline sighed quietly and longingly as Brian begins to play the chords for “Love of my Life.”
Love of my life, you've hurt me
You've broken my heart
And now you leave me
Love of my life, can't you see?
Bring it back, bring it back
Don't take it away from me
Because you don't know
What it means to me
She froze transfixed by his voice and the tender care that is coming through as he sings.
The Taylor men saw how her right hand wrapped her left wrist where her mark is and wondered if she'd even noticed. They saw the anger from earlier melt and her features soften with each note of the song and pluck of the six string. How she seemed to glow with love admiration and respect.
Love of my life, don't leave me
You've taken my love
(All my love)
You now desert me
The mark at her wrist hummed at each word and she found yourself singing along with him as if in a trance and world all their own.
Roger and Rufus looked on as she harmonized with Brian perfectly not a note out of synch.
“Can you hear that?” Roger asked his son quietly nodding to Marceline.
“I have only heard one other person sing that song with as much feel as she is,” Roger said eyes shining with tears.
Rufus looked at his father curiously.
“Fred,” Roger said quietly as he worked to compose himself.
Rufus nodded in understanding eyes wide and noticed how she caressed the covered mark tenderly as she sang on.
Love of my life, can't you see?
(Please bring it back)
Bring it back, bring it back
Don't take it away from me
Because you don't know
What it means to me
“Do you think he knows?” Rufus asked Roger carefully over your head.
Roger shook his head in shock and quietly said, “He has absolutely no idea. And believe me when I say that he’d have said something if that were the case.”
Rufus nodded and turned his gaze back to the stage where his uncle played on.
Brian for his part looked completely unbothered, normal even. Clear proof that he has no idea of what Marceline mean to him and he to her.
“This is bad isn’t it,” Rufus said sadly gaze still on the stage.
“Yes,” Roger says solemnly and carefully wrapped his left arm around her waist.
You will remember
When this is blown over
And everything's all by the way
When I grow older
I will be there at your side
To remind you how I still love you
I still love you
Rufus and Roger were both in awe and concerned as her love filled voice sang on with Brian and changed as the end of the song drew near. Each note grew sad almost desperate as she tenderly ran her thumb over her soul marked wrist. The boys saw the pleading look in her eyes as your gaze remained glued on the curly haired man. Her heart as well as her mark thrummed at the sight of him as his voice encompassed her in its sweet dulcet tones warming her from the inside out.
The boys grew even more concerned as she sang the final verses of the song, pain filled resignation evident in her voice as she sang thickening with tears. And as awestruck as they were at how well their friends harmonized and how lovely her singing voice is, they can’t help but feel like they are invading a private, intimate even, moment between lovers.
Back, hurry back
Please, bring it back home to me
Because you don't know
What it means to me
Marceline closed her eyes, in a silent plea, as she finished the song. She pulled her marked wrist to her lips pressing a gentle kiss on her mark taking a selfish moment to dream that this is their song he is singing. Their soul song...and it is to each other that they are singing this to.
Love of my life
Love of my life
The final chords of the guitar thrummed signaling the end of the song. This marked the beginning of her tears as her thrumming heart seemed to stop and her mark grew cold. She kept her eyes closed as she dreamed of him coming to her loving grin on his face as he took hold of her in a love filled embrace before pressing a tender, lingering, kiss on her forehead before pulling her on stage to perform with him.
Marceline pulled her hand away from her wrist, a soft hiss escaping her lips as her mark burns, bringing her back to reality. She open her eyes and applaud Brian as the rest of the crowed was doing and drew a deep breath.
She looked to her right and saw Roger for the first time noticing he’s holding onto her. Marceline couldn't be more grateful to him as she sank into him when her body seemed to fall into itself.
“Can we take a mo...please?” She asked Roger quietly, barely keeping it together.
Rufus went to take her from his father but was stopped by a firm negative head shake from Roger.
“I’ll take her,” he said and gently pulled her closer to him and almost dragged her away from the stage entrance.
In a corner safely tucked away from prying eyes Roger held her as sobs took over her small frame.
“It’s alright love,” Roger said rubbing her back tenderly as he held his own tears back.
She worked double to gather herself being mindful of her breathing.
“Slow even breaths love...that’s it,” Roger said worry prominent in his voice, “Breath with me if it helps.”
He started taking deep even breaths and she did as she was told grateful to have him there. They breathed together until her shaking stopped and tears had dried.
“He’s your other,” He said gently as he held her close to him.
She nodded fisting her hands into his shirt on his back.
“Why not tell him?” He prodded gently.
“Because...” She drew a deep calming breath, “Because he won’t accept this... us... the bond. He will get it into his head that I can’t be his or vice versa because I’m too young and he’s too old,” her voice quivered and long dry tears fell again as her mark burned on her wrist.
Roger kept his breathing in check as her walls crumbled and her pain and fear was revealed.
“That he will only be in the way of my future. Not only as an artist away from the shadow of rock legend and Queen member Brian May but as a scientist in your own right as well,” she stopped and worked on her breathing again.
Roger pulled away from her and reached into his back pocket for an unused hanky. He was careful when dabbing away her tears before whipping away his own.
“And you know it’s true,” she said bottom lip trembling up a storm as her fought her emotions from breaking free fully.
Roger pulled Marceline back into a strong hug nodding sadly, agreeing with her statement.
“I know its a fine line I’m walking Rog,” she said after getting herself back under control again, “But I rather have him like this and take what I can get from this than not have him at all.”
Roger drew away again and looked her straight in the eye a serious and concerned look in his eye.
“What will you do the day he finds someone else?” he asked.
She gave him a sad grin and said, “Then if he ever finds out about me and the song then I’ll be as right as I can be in this situation...should he find out and I be rejected then I’ll take one out of Harry Potter and greet Death as an old friend. I rather fade than willingly than deal with the onslaught that will be his rejection.”
Roger sighed holding onto the second wave of tears that hit him at the thought of losing her. He’d taken her under his wing from the day Rufus came home with stories of his new best friend. As odd as it sounds, Marceline, or Lina, had become part of the family long before she was introduced to them directly giving her the support she didn’t know she needed and a niche to call her own with them.
A sad grin appeared under his beard and mustache, pressed a kiss on her forehead, a secret promise. That no matter what happens he’d be by her side until the very end.
“Hey!” A familiar voice called out pulling Lina and Rog out of their small bubble.
Roger turned to see a clearly happy Brian making his way to them.
Lina made quick work of dabbing away her tears mindful of the makeup she wore before slapping a wide smile on her face.
Brian furrowed his brow as he got closer to them seen how she dabbed away at her eyes. Sometimes being tall had its advantages.
“Everything alright?” He asked Roger but looking at Lina with concern.
Roger moved away leaving her open to Brian but stayed close in case anything happened.
“Yes...this song gets to me sometimes. It was and to this day is the song my grandparents dance to on their anniversary,” she said pushing down heranxiety before laughingly saying, “Plus I can’t seem to find my bass.”
Brian laughed and Roger chuckled gruffly.
“Come to the end of the stage I think it’s there,” Brian said waving her to follow him.
She felt his hand a the base of your back thankful that your tank covered as much of your middle as it could. Your mark hummed at his touch, even if it was cloth covered, and you marveled at it as if a well had appeared in your vast desert for you to drink water from.
Lina saw Rufus looking at you apologetically. From that you got that the younger Taylor tried to keep Brian as distracted as possible and for that you were eternally thankful.
“It’s ok,” she mouthed to him picking up your bass from where it was behind him.
“We ready to head in?” Brian said excitedly.
Lina grinned widely nodding her head as she strapped on her bass and prepared to get out.
Rufus and Roger grinned cockily hiding the concern for the moment and went out to the now darkened stage to take their places.
She was about to make her way after them when Brian called her, “Wait...”
She turned to him a small grin fixed on your face. A small grin she had just for him.
He gave her a look over as if making sure she were ok before asking, “Are you sure you’re alright?”
Her grin widens into a smile and she nod before saying, “Yes I’m sure. You don’t need to worry so much about me you know.”
He breathed a laugh making your heart stutter and your mark warm.
“But I do anyway,” he said kindly.
She nodded and turned taking the Red Special from its stand besides her bass' and hold out the legendary instrument to him, “Then come on and bring the house down.”
Brian laughed fully warming her even more but that only lasted a moment before to her horror, his fingers brushed her own on the neck of the guitar as he went to take it.
Bliss, fullness and happiness flowed through her as their bond bloomed into completion.
‘So this is what it feels like,’ Lina thought airly, ‘To be complete.’
Reality crashed into her at the sight of Brian’s expression. Horror, dread and dismay passed through face at the revelation.
Lina sighed giving a sad grin as she let her head dropped and her hand fell away from the Special’s neck.
She looked up to him and saw he was about to say something.
“Please,” Lina begged voice thick, “Please don’t say anything until after...”
Shock appears on his features and she practically run onto the stage.
Rufus and Rog made quick work of their stations and turned to Lina questioning looks on their faces.
Roger’s eyes widen as Lina give him a shaky grin. She pointed to Brian who was near the front adjusting the microphone and nodded giving him the affirmative to his silent question.
His eyes widened at her answer sadness appearing in them. He gave her a firm nod and focused on his kit.
The stage remained darkened to the public as stage setup transition continued allowing Lina a moment to gather herself. She felt the emotional bond flare in her heart, his emotions all over the place crowding hers within. It is clear to her what he will do as soon as this show is over. She wanted to scream at the unfairness of it all but she focused her energy on the concert and plugged her bass in fighting the connection enough to allow her to close yourself from him.
‘Can he even feel me at all?’ Lina wondered.
Reaching out to him through the bond is a bad idea and she was sure that getting shot would hurt less than what will befall her once this concert is over.
Closing her eyes, Lina emotionally huddle herself against a corner allowing the hurricane of his emotions to wreak havoc within her heart and focused on the last four years. How they met, how their friendship formed and grew. A movie reel ran in her head at the speed of light helping keep her calm and put together.
‘I just need to make it through the end of this tour,’ she thought taking deep even breaths.
At the sound of the applause, Lina smiled widely and bowed at her introduction. The remainder of the concert felt like a dream, so she used that haze to her advantage. He hadn’t out right rejected her...this can be part of the dream. Brian and her...firmly connected soul marks playing on stage together. Her mark hummed warming her being as she basked in the feeling of having him near and their bond complete.
The concert done, the four of them made their way to the hotel to rest before going onto their following destination the morning after. Two more concerts and this will be over.
In the car, Lina pulled her knees to her chest and huddled into Rufus as much as she physically could. The air is tense, an uncomfortable silence falling on them like a dark cloud. She could feel Brian’s gaze on her and even though she longed to return it, she kept her gaze firmly staring out the window. If she didn't see him then she wouldn't see the look and emotion that was present when they touched.
At the hotel, she wanted to run to the suite they all shared, but focused on remaining calm. No need to cause a scene. The elevator trip and walk to the suite seemed to drag on and she couldn’t help but wish there was a fast forward button to life to skip over this and her pending conversation with Brian. She breathed a quiet sigh of relief when they reached their suite. The men disperse into their own spaces leaving Lina to nearly sprint to her own room. At the click of the closing door she finally release the gasp of breath she had been holding since the concert. She grabbed her marked wrist and closed her eyes. That’s when they hit...his emotions through the bond. She fell to her knees holding on to her wrist as wave after wave of emotion hits her.
She heard a faint knock at her door.
“Lina,” Roger called, “Everything ok?”
Tears streamed down her face as wave after wave of Brian’s emotions hit her through the bond.
“No,” she gasps out, “Help...me.”
Roger goes in and gasps fear a clear emotion on his face and he called her name in panic as he as he fell to his knees next to her and pulled her into a lying position on his lap.
Roger didn’t know what to do or who to call as her body curled into itself on his lap.
He pulled Lina to his chest tucking her face into his neck and called out to Rufus, “Get in here!”
Rufus ran in followed by a startled Brian.
“Get him out of here!” Roger yelled distraughtly as tears fell from his eyes.
Rufus being nearly as tall as Brian turned to face the man he considered his uncle and nearly dragged him away from your room.
Brian looked torn and sad. Clearly shocked by what is happening not only to Lina but Roger’s reaction to him as he went to enter the room behind Rufus. He stood by the door jam looking into her room and saw how she slumped into Roger.
“Help me put her on the bed,” Roger said as he stood to a kneeling position her top half in his embrace.
Rufus did as he was told and help Roger with Lina's legs.
“Is she going to be ok?” Rufus asked Roger who was taking Lina's shoes off before tucking her into the bed.
Roger looked to Rufus and said, “I’m not sure. What I do know is that she cannot be left alone.”
Rufus nodded looking somber and asked, “Who's going to take first watch?”
Roger looked at his youngest son and said, “We’ll each have one night until we’re back home.”
Rufus nodded and turned to get his dad a set of pajamas. Finding Brian at the door the younger blonde looked at him for a long moment before leaving the roomd.
“Is she going to be alright,” the older man asked Rufus.
“I don’t know,” the younger said honestly, “Just...please tell me you didn’t reject her.”
Brian’s eyes widened. He hadn’t said it out loud or at all even and he told the younger man so, “She...she said not to say anything at the show. Said to wait till after.”
Rufus nodded understandingly and said, “Wait till da’s in the shower, I’ll buy you some time for you to talk. Just please...”
The sentence trailed off as the younger man's throat thickened with tears and thought, 'Don't hurt her.'
Brian wanted to nod in understanding but also wanted Lina to have her own life...
Dodging Roger proved to be harder than either man thought because as soon as he left the bathroom he made a beeline for Lina's room to turn in for the night.
“I think it’s probably best to let her rest,” he said to Rufus and Brian before closing the door halfway.
Lina shivered under the covers and whimpered pressing her mark to her chest.
Roger slipped in next to her and pulled her close into a fatherly hug.
“What do I do Rog?” Lina asked quietly, too quietly.
Roger sighed and took a chance, “Try reaching out to him dear.”
She sighed not wanting to do it but figured it couldn’t hurt more.
Closing her eyes, Lina took a deep breath and opened herself to the bond. Almost like a small child reaching to try something new, she reached to Brian through their bond. To her surprise, he reached back.
Out in the living area where Rufus and Brian sat both awake and alert, in case something happened, Brian let out a gasp.
Rufus stood and knelt besides his uncle and placed his hand on the gasping man’s shoulder.
“Bri?” He asked.
“I...I can feel her,” the older man gasped with a breathy laugh.
“And you hadn’t before?” Rufus asked carefully.
“No, I had felt something before but not since we completed our bond,” Brian admitted.
“She’d closed her end,” Rufus said now understanding what had happened to his sister.
Brian’s eyes widened at that fear now a prominent emotion, “Why did she...?”
“I don’t know. But whatever reason she had for closing the bond, it could be the reason for why she was in the state she was in when da went to her,” Rufus said almost to himself, “She went into shock...from withdrawal.”