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Baby, When You're Gone, I Realise I'm In Love

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"Hold on a second.. what do you mean 'he doesn't know we're coming'?"

"I mean.. I kind of didn't mention it to him"

"...Brian"

"It's his birthday, it's supposed to be a surprise! I spoke to him yesterday on the phone and he said he couldn't wait for us to come over and see him, and it's been nearly a year, John.."

Okay, so maybe it had been a bit of a mistake on his part to not tell Roger that he and John were coming to see him, but like he'd said, it was supposed to be a surprise!

Roger had moved over to San Francisco nearly a year ago, with hopes to chase his dreams of becoming a famous musician, and if Brian was being honest.. he'd missed him terribly. They spoke on the phone a lot, and Roger had been home around Christmas last year for a couple of weeks, but that was the only time he'd actually seen him since he'd left. Brian was busy with his PhD, so he didn't really have the time to take a couple weeks off and fly over to see Roger, and when Roger had said things had quietened down for the moment back in April - and he'd had the money to come home - Brian had been in Tenerife to work at the observatory there as part of his studies.

It had been his twenty-fifth birthday yesterday, and so Roger had called him to wish him a happy birthday and for a chat, but Brian had neglected to tell him about the fact that he and John were flying out the next day for two weeks to see him. It was Roger's birthday the week after his - the first birthday of Roger's that he wouldn't be in London - so it would be nice to see the younger boy.

"Look, Brian.. I know you miss him, and I know he's.. that he means a lot to you, but maybe call him from the airport once we get there and let him know we're coming"

That was another thing, not that he'd ever admit it to anyone except for John - but he was crazy about Roger. They'd been friends for the last five years and they had always been closer than close, just.. not in that way. God, Brian wanted it though. He'd kept the secret to himself until the night Roger had left London, and he just hadn't been able to keep it in any longer. He still felt a little bad about the fact that John had come over to his flat - what had been his and Roger's flat - and had had to sit and comfort him while he got drunk and cried about how heartbroken he was that the drummer had left him behind. John assured him that it was fine, but it was still pretty embarrassing to think about.

Still, maybe John was right though. There was a chance that Roger wouldn't even be there, that he could have gone off somewhere for a couple of days. He'd mentioned his flatmate a couple of times when they spoke on the phone - Freddie - and Brian guessed that they were close, so it wouldn't be totally unrealistic for them to have gone somewhere for Roger's birthday.

"Okay, fine. I'll call him once we land"

Maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.. it would still be a surprise anyway for Roger to hear that they were in San Francisco.

They were quiet for a couple of minutes after that while Brian flicked through the magazine he'd brought on the plane with him, before John nudged him with his elbow, giving him a small smile, "So, are you looking forward to seeing him?"

Brian smiled a little, biting his lip gently before he glanced in the younger man's direction, "I am, yeah.."

Well yeah, he'd really missed Roger. Speaking on the phone to him a couple of times a week certainly wasn't the same as having the drummer live with him. He'd missed their weekly movie nights, he'd missed coming into the kitchen early in the morning before they both left for school to find Roger half asleep at the kitchen table, he'd missed the morning after a hard night of drinking when Roger would nearly crawl into his room and pathetically climb into his bed next to him so they could nurse their hangovers together.

The flat felt too empty without Roger there, without the mess that followed him wherever he went, without his energy that brought life to the flat. John kept telling him that maybe it was time he got himself a new roommate that could take Roger's room, but he just.. he was holding out hope that Roger would move home eventually. Not that he'd told John that, he'd just said he'd start looking eventually.

He was definitely looking forward to seeing the younger man, he just hoped that Roger would be as enthusiastic about seeing them.

 

-x-

 

After what felt like forever - even though Brian knew the flight was really only a little over eleven hours, and they had slept through most of it - their plane finally landed.

Brian had never been to the states before, the furthest he'd ever gone had been Tenerife, so he was looking forward to their holiday. The weather wasn't blisteringly hot, which he was grateful for, but it was definitely warmer than it had been in London.

Once they were let off the plane, he left John at the luggage belt to try and get their bags while he went and found a payphone, dialling Roger's number. The number rang out for a couple of moments, and Brian found himself getting nervous that maybe they weren't there. The phone continued to ring out, and Brian was just about to hang up before the phone was picked up,

"Hello?"

"Hey! Rog, it's Brian"

"Hey, Bri, is everything alright? What time is it over there?"

Right.. London was eight hours ahead of San Francisco and since it was nearing seven in the evening right now, it meant it was nearly three in the morning back home.

"Uh.. that's the thing. I'm not at home, I'm in San Francisco, with John"

"...You what?"

"Surprise?.. I'm sorry, maybe John was right, I should've told you when we were talking yesterday. I figured it'd be a nice surprise for us to come over for your birthday. Maybe it's not a good time though, so don't worry about it i-"

"Brian! I'm delighted you're here, really, and I'm definitely surprised"

Brian was relieved to hear that Roger did sound happy, that he wasn't just humouring him. He liked to think that Roger missed him just as much, so maybe it was actually true.

"D'you want me to pick you two up? I'm not that far from the airport"

"No it's fine, we'll get a taxi"

"Don't be ridiculous. I'll be there in a half an hour"

 

-x-

 

There was a slight delay with getting their bags, so by the time they had both finally gotten their suitcases and had found a bathroom to freshen up quickly, it was well past half an hour since he'd been on the phone to Roger.

They made their way out to the arrivals lounge, both thoroughly exhausted, although Brian smiled when he caught sight of the blonde drummer. He had his arms folded and was leaning against a pillar, chatting to another boy with dark hair who seemed to be wearing copious amounts of eyeliner. Roger smiled when he saw them, pushing away from the pillar he was leaning on to walk over to them.

"Rog.. he-"

He was interrupted by Roger's friend - Freddie, he assumed - who stepped in front of Roger and put his hands on Brian's shoulders, holding him at arms length as he examined him with a grin,

"So this must be Brian! I have to say, Roger, well done.. I've heard all about you, darling, but I'll want to get all the details from you, Roger has a tendency to skimp over the details" He told Brian with a smile, patting him on the cheek.

Brian was utterly confused, and he glanced at Roger who was wearing a sheepish expression on his face, "Um.. deta-"

"Freddie, this is John. Why don't you two introduce yourselves while I have a moment with Brian?" Roger interrupted his question, taking Brian's arm. Freddie's face softened and he nodded, indicating for the two of them to take a step away.

Brian watched Freddie and John saying hello as he walked a couple of steps away with Roger, noticing how the younger boy still had his arm looped through Brian's, "So, I take it that's your flatmate?"

"Yeah, he insisted on coming when I said I was going to pick the two of you up" Roger explained with a shrug, before biting his lip gently and sighing, running a hand through his hair, "Alright, I've got something to confess, and you need to promise you won't freak out"

Brian raised his eyebrows, looking down at Roger who actually looked pretty nervous, "Alright?" "Okay.. so, I would have explained if I'd known you were coming. But uh.. when I first moved in with Freddie, he saw that I was single and he kept trying to set me up with his mates, and I didn't want to go out with any of them, so I kind of told him to stop because I already had a boyfriend back in England.. who's name was Brian, and who I lived with"

Roger was barely looking at him as he spoke, and Brian honestly wasn't sure what he was supposed to say. Roger had told Freddie that he was his boyfriend? And now he was here, and Freddie was under the impression that it was because he and Roger were together,

"And when you called and said you were here, he obviously wanted to meet you, because he thinks you're my boyfriend and I didn't get the chance to admit that it was a lie. I'm so sorry, Bri, it was a stupid idea an-"

"How did we get together?"

"What?"

Maybe it would come back to bite him in the arse, but he really wasn't thinking about that right now. He knew Roger was embarrassed that he was getting caught out in his lie, but Brian wasn't about to make him own up to it to Freddie, he could tell he was already mortified enough as it was,

"Freddie said he was going to make me give him all the details, so we should probably have our stories straight before we end up telling him two different stories"

"...What?"

"We're only here for two weeks, Rog. It'll probably only make things weird and awkward if you admit to him that I'm not actually your boyfriend, so I can pretend for two weeks, if you're okay with that.."

Roger just looked at him, a confused expression on his face, and Brian was starting to feel stupid for even suggesting the idea before the younger man smiled, "You'd really do that for me?"

Like he'd said, maybe it would come back to bite him in the arse, but he couldn't deny that the idea of even pretending to be Roger's boyfriend for two weeks gave him all sorts of butterflies in his stomach. Roger didn't need to know how he really felt about him,

"Yeah, course I would, sweetheart" He teased with a slight grin, and it was with that that he took Roger's hand - and tried to ignore how nice it felt - before leading him back over to Freddie and John.

John raised an eyebrow at the fact that they were holding hands, although he seemed to understand by the look Brian shot in his direction that he was to keep quiet until Brian got a chance to explain to him later, "Nice little reunion?" He asked, and Roger beamed and nodded, "Yeah, fantastic. Come on, let's get you two back to the flat"

 

-x-

 

The drive back to the flat wasn't too far, as Roger had promised, and Brian wasn't too surprised to see that Roger and Freddie's flat was exactly like his and Roger's flat had been back home - just in a different country. Although it seemed Freddie was less of a neat freak than Brian tended to be. The place wasn't dirty, it was just well lived in.. organised chaos, as Roger would call it.

"Okay, John you can have the spare room. Brian, I assume you'll want to share with Roger, which is just as well because you'd be sleeping on the couch otherwise. Although I'd have no problem if you wanted to share with me" Freddie teased with a grin, and Roger rolled his eyes, looping a finger through the belt loop on Brian's jeans and pulling him over until their hips bumped together,

"Just try it, Mercury. I'll fight you for him"

Freddie laughed and playfully flipped Roger off, before brushing a lock of Brian's hair playfully off his shoulder, "Don't mind him, darling. He's possessive, but I'm sure you know that already"

Roger rolled his eyes again, letting go of Brian and looping his arm through Freddie's instead, "Come on, you twat. We'll make some dinner, you two get settled" He told Brian and John, before pulling Freddie into the kitchen.

The two of them dragged their cases to their respective rooms, Brian swallowing when he looked at the bed. He knew it would only look suspicious if he said he'd prefer to sleep on the couch, they were supposed to be boyfriends who'd been living together back in London so naturally they would have been used to sharing a bed. It wasn't like they had never shared a bed before either, but this was different. He felt a little like he was taking advantage of Roger, almost.

He'd gotten as far as opening his suitcase although he hadn't actually taken anything out by the time John joined him, shutting the door after him, "D'you want to tell me what that was about?"

"Yeah.. sorry, John, thank you for not saying anything"

"What's going on?"

"Right, when Roger and I were speaking in the airport, he told me that Freddie had always been trying to set him up on dates, until he told him that he already had a boyfriend back in London. He uh.. he told him I was his boyfriend, and obviously we showed up then before he got a chance to come clean or to tell Freddie we'd broken up or something.."

"Don't tell me you're going along with it?"

"It's only two weeks, John. It's not like it's forever, and once we get through these two weeks then he can tell Freddie we've split up or something"

"And does Roger know how you really feel about him?"

"No.."

"..You're going to get hurt, Brian"

"I won't. It's fine, it's only two weeks.. and it's just pretend"

"Not for you, it's not"

Brian couldn't help but sigh at that, running a hand through his hair. John had got him there. Sure from Roger's perspective, it was just pretend to cover up a stupid lie that he'd told, but it really wasn't for Brian. For years, he'd actually wanted to be Roger's boyfriend. Still, at least he could guarantee his acting would be believable. Still.. it made him wonder how far Roger would want to take this lie. Would they just tell people they were boyfriends and hold hands occasionally, or would Roger want to actually kiss him in public to prove a point? He wasn't sure, and it made his stomach twist to consider it.

What was worse though, was knowing that once they went back to England, it would be all gone. He and Roger wouldn't have to pretend anymore. Maybe he should have told Roger that it was a stupid idea. Still.. thinking of how the blonde's face had lit up when he'd told him he'd go along with it, he was sure he'd manage to deal with with the fallout, whatever it might be.

John was still looking at him with an eyebrow raised and he just sighed, shrugging a little, "It's two weeks.. it'll be fine. Just, please don't say anything to Freddie. Just go along with it?" He asked, and while John still didn't look convinced; he nodded.

He half continued to unpack, although he mostly just took out what he'd need for tonight. Roger had mentioned in the car that he was in work in the morning, so he could finish unpacking properly while he was out. Once he had done that much, he and John decided to join the other two in the kitchen, John taking a seat at the table while Brian leaned against one of the counters with his arms folded, watching the two flatmates heating up leftovers.

"It was very thoughtful of you, to surprise Roger for his birthday" Freddie said with a smile once they had settled down at the table and had started eating their dinner. Brian just smiled, glancing in Roger's direction for a moment, "Well, it's his first birthday not in London and I missed him, a phone call didn't feel like enough"

Well yeah, that much wasn't a lie. He had missed Roger a lot and he'd felt like just calling and wishing him a happy birthday wasn't really enough.

"I didn't even want to come, Brian dragged me onto the plane" John teased with a grin, eliciting a laugh around the table, although Freddie grinned and put a hand on the younger man's arm, "Well I'm more than happy that he did" He said with a grin, and Brian raised an eyebrow when he noticed the shy smile on John's face and the fact that his cheeks were flushed slightly pink.

He'd keep it in mind to ask John about that. Freddie was cute - maybe if he hadn't already been head over heels for Roger he might have been interested - and he definitely seemed to be flirting with John. It'd be nice if something came of this trip between the two. John, much like himself, had been single for far too long, and Brian knew he was lonely.

They chatted while they had their dinner, and Brian barely noticed how quiet he'd been until Roger brushed a knuckle against his cheek. He jolted slightly at the action, blinking at Roger when he just smiled softly at him, "You look exhausted, why don't you go get some sleep? Go on, I'll wash your dishes"

Maybe it wouldn't do any harm, he'd been pretty much dozing off at the table while the other three had been talking. He was exhausted from the flight though. He'd been very sick last year with a crippling bout of hepatitis that he'd gotten from an infected needle while getting inoculations, and he still wasn't totally back to his full strength, he got tired very easily.

So he just nodded, rubbing his face for a moment before he stood up. He said goodnight to the other three before he went into the bedroom - Roger's bedroom. It was fine, they had shared a bed before, and it wasn't like Freddie would be checking to make sure that they were spooning or anything.

He'd been in bed twenty minutes or so, and was just about starting to drift off when he heard the door opening before shutting quietly again. He turned around to see Roger, who was giving him a sheepish smile, "I'm sorry, did I wake you?"

"No, I wasn't asleep yet"

Roger changed quickly before turning off the light and getting into bed beside Brian. It was still early enough that the room was mostly bright, enough for Brian to be able to see Roger smiling across at him,

"It's nine o'clock, you don't have to go to bed just 'cause I have"

"Yeah well, I missed you. Thought we could talk"

Brian smiled a little, sliding a hand underneath the pillow under his head, "We should probably hash out some details actually, before we get caught out"

Roger just nodded, propping himself up on an elbow, "Alright, like what?"

"Well.. how did you tell Freddie we got together?"

"I didn't lie too much. I told him we lived together and that we were in a band and that you were with Tim, but that shortly after you and Tim broke up, I worked up the courage to ask you out. We just went for a drink for our first date"

"And how long have we been together?"

"Four years"

Brian nodded and swallowed a little, biting his lip gently. Four years, that was about how long ago he'd realised he was in love with Roger. It had been shortly after he and Tim had broken up that he'd realised he had feelings for the drummer.

"And is Freddie the only one who thinks we're together?"

"Uh.. no. That's another thing I wanted to talk to you about, we're having a party here for my birthday and all the friends who we've invited are under the impression that we're together. I'm pretty sure Freddie will be calling them all to tell them they can finally meet you"

Maybe this would be a little more difficult than he'd thought. He wasn't sure why, but he'd sort of assumed it would only be Freddie that they'd have to keep up appearances around. He hadn't really thought that everyone Roger and Freddie knew would think that they were together. That brought him to a whole other round of questions, mainly about why Roger had been telling them all that he was his boyfriend, but he could think about that another time.

"Well it'll be fine, we're acting in front of Fr-" He started to say but was cut off by a bone-cracking yawn, covering his mouth with a hand,

"We can talk about it tomorrow, go back to sleep" Roger told him with a small smile as he settled back down against the pillow. Brian was grateful for it really, he'd be more able to think about this tomorrow when he was properly awake, "Alright.. goodnight, Rog"

"Goodnight"

 

-x-

 

When he woke up the next morning, Roger was already pottering around the room, absentmindedly brushing his hair as he hummed quietly to himself. Brian yawned, stretching a little before he just turned to watch Roger, folding an arm behind his head, "You changed your hair" He murmured. Well yeah, when Roger had left, his hair had been a dark sandy blonde and was down to his shoulders. It was blonder now, as well as cut slightly shorter, even though it was still grown out and shaggy looking. Brian had to admit that it suited him rather well actually.

Roger turned to him with a small smile, sitting on the edge of the bed, "Yeah.. driving me mad, it was" He explained with a smile as he put on his shoes, "I've got to go to work, but I should be home about three. Freddie isn't in until later on though so he'll be around if you need anything"

Right, that would be the real test then, wouldn't it? To see if he could be around Freddie by himself without letting it slip that he and Roger were only pretending to be together. Then again, John would be in too, and he hoped Freddie would be a little distracted by the younger man so that he wouldn't spend the evening in an interrogation.

He yawned again as he dragged himself out of bed and into the bathroom for a quick piss, brushing his teeth while he was in there. It was still early, so he just got back into bed once he had gone back to the bedroom, watching Roger search for his keys. Once he had found them, he bit his lip gently as he sat back on the edge of the bed, looking over at Brian,

"I was just thinking.. we've got to be convincing with this, right? So they're probably gonna expect to see us kissing at least once, and it really can't look like it's the first time when it does happen"

Brian was pretty sure he hadn't woken up properly, because there was no way that Roger was suggesting what he'd thought he was suggesting, right?

"So.."

"So we should probably practice"

He could feel his face heating up, but Roger's cheeks were red too, so he didn't feel quite as bad about it. Still, this was like every daydream he'd ever had, he'd just never thought that it would actually happen. He certainly wasn't about to say no though, and what Roger was saying did make sense.. So with that he nodded, shuffling slightly closer over to Roger.

The drummer smiled slightly at him, his lower lip caught between his teeth before he lifted a hand to rest it against Brian's cheek, leaning in to press his lips to Brian's. It was nice, the feeling of their lips moving softly together, Roger licking into his mouth once they had parted their lips. He found he couldn't relax though, his hands balled into fists where they still rested on the sheets. Roger seemed to notice though and he pulled back slightly, wetting his lips with his tongue,

"Relax, Bri.. you're wound tight as a spring" He murmured, waiting until the guitarist had relaxed a little before he leaned back in again. Brian went with it a little more this time, bringing a hand up to rest it on the side of Roger's neck, his thumb gently stroking along his jawline while Roger wound a hand into his hair.

They parted after a couple more moments, the two simply looking at each other before Roger let out what could be described as nothing other than a giggle, "Right, well.. we should have no problem convincing them" He said with a grin, playfully giving Brian's shoulder a shove.

Brian was, well.. he was a little starstruck, if he was being honest. Realistically, he didn't think he'd ever get the chance to kiss Roger, but he'd imagined it so many times. This though, it had been better than anything he'd imagined; Roger was a fantastic kisser. He pulled himself back together before Roger realised there was something up and he smiled, running a hand through his hair, "Yeah, we'll definitely have them fooled"

Roger just smiled again before getting back up off the bed, grabbing his jacket from the wardrobe, "Alright, I'm off. Say it to John if he wants to go out for dinner tonight, maybe" He said with a small smile, waving at Brian as he left the bedroom. Brian could hear him rummaging around in the kitchen for a moment or two, saying a quick hello to whoever was in there before the front door slammed shut a moment later.

Not too long afterwards, Brian dragged himself out of bed, pulling on the thin dressing gown he'd brought with him before going out to the kitchen. He smiled in greeting when he saw John sitting at the table, pouring himself a mug of coffee from the machine there before he sat opposite the younger man, "Morning"

"Morning.. so, how was your night?"

"My night was fine, it was this morning that was interesting"

At John's raised eyebrow, he bit his lip gently for a moment as he thought back on the events of the morning. He glanced back at the bassist after a second to find that he was still watching him,

"Roger kissed me"

Both of John's eyebrows shot up to his hairline as Brian told him what had happened, looking over at him, "He did what now?" He asked, and Brian just smiled sheepishly, "It, uh.. he suggested that we practice, so that it wouldn't look put on if anyone was to see us kissing, considering we're supposed to be together" He explained with a slight shrug.

Okay so he knew that it wasn't real, that that was the only reason Roger had kissed him. It wasn't like Roger secretly had feelings for him and was just now acting on them. He knew that, and yet it was still a bit of a bitter pill to swallow.

"Brian.. why did you agree to this?"

"Because he's my best friend, and he asked me to"

He knew John was only looking out for him, but he just.. he didn't know what else to say. Realistically, he knew that he probably would end up getting hurt at the end of all this. But like he'd said, Roger was his best friend and he'd seemed mortified at the prospect of having to admit that he'd been lying about him and Brian - especially since it seemed everyone they knew here had been told they were together.

Besides everything else, he loved Roger, and he knew he'd do anything for him if he asked.

"Look, I know you're concerned, but it'll be fine" He told him, quietening down when Freddie appeared in the kitchen, "Good morning, loves" He said with a smile, making himself his own cup of tea before he sat down with them. It didn't escape Brian's notice how his eyes lingered on John, or how the younger man smiled and dropped his own eyes shyly. It was sweet really.

"So where do you and Rog work?"

"The market in town, we've got a clothes stall there. It's a bit higgildy piggildy, mostly we just rob and sell each others clothes"

Brian smiled a little as he listened to the older boy, fondly remembering a time a few weeks back that Roger had been bitching to him on the phone about his roommate having sold one of his good jackets. He'd failed to mention at the time that it seemed to be a regular thing - or that he'd been selling Freddie's clothes too.

"So, enough about me. I want to know all the details that Roger won't tell me"

"Well.. I'm sure there isn't much he hasn't told you. We met 'cause my ex-boyfriend and I were looking for a drummer for our band - Smile, and then we found Rog. We were in the band about six months before Tim left for another band, and he and I broke up shortly after that. Not too much longer after that, I asked Roger out and here we are"

"He told me he asked you out"

Right.. details, Brian knew he was going to have to get his act together and make sure to remember all the little things that Roger had told him, or else someone was going to put two and two together, "Yeah, well.. you know him as well as I do, so you know he's full of shit"

Freddie threw his head back with laughter at that, and Brian noticed for the first time since he'd met him yesterday that he wasn't trying to hide his teeth behind his hand as he laughed. He was a nice bloke, but Brian could see the signs of insecurity in him - much the same as he had himself, about his curly hair and too large nose and too long limbs. He just hoped that Roger had never said anything to Freddie about his teeth; considering the fact that the drummer had been a former dental student and had a weird thing about teeth.

"And how did you come into the picture, darling?" Freddie asked once he'd gotten himself under control, turning to John. "Well, they just recruited me as their bassist when Tim left. And they had just gotten together so you can imagine the sickening behaviour I've had to deal with" He explained, smiling when Freddie laughed again. Brian was pretty sure he'd forever be grateful for the younger boy.

"So what's the plan for this party that Roger told us about?" Brian asked, eager for them to get away from the topic of his and Roger's relationship. It was fine, he was pretty sure he would just end up letting something slip. "Well Roger's birthday is on Thursday but we're having the party on Saturday night. It'll be so much fun, you're both going to meet all our friends that are here"

"Are we going out?"

"No, we're just having it here. Cheaper that way" Freddie chuckled. Well yeah, Brian couldn't argue with him there, he and John were in pretty much the same situation that he and Roger were in - broke college students, that was. So he just smiled and nodded, running a hand through his hair, "I look forward to it"

 

-x-

 

Brian somehow managed to get through the rest of the day without fucking up any stories or details that Freddie asked about. He was pretty grateful for when Roger eventually arrived home from work though, as Freddie backed down a little from the interrogations once he had come home.

Eventually Freddie left for work though, and while Brian had told John that Roger had suggested they go for dinner, the younger man had told the two of them to work away as he was going to go out for a stroll. Since it was just the two of them, they had decided to just sit in and make something for themselves rather than go out.

So they found themselves in the kitchen, Brian chopping vegetables while Roger busied himself with frying some veggie burgers he'd picked up on the way home from work. He was good like that, Brian had to admit, he'd gone to the supermarket after work and had picked up a good amount of vegetarian food since Brian would be staying with them for two weeks. They cooked in relative silence, the two of them sharing a bottle of wine while they hummed along to the radio. Eventually Roger yawned, leaving the stove top for a moment while he poured them both another glass, "So, have you any news? Any new boys or girls on the scene?" He asked, and Brian shrugged and shook his head,

"No one new, no.. Tim is hanging around a bit though" He murmured, shooting a quick glance in Roger's direction. Well yeah, in the last couple of weeks or so, Tim had been hanging around a good bit. It was fine, Brian just didn't really know what to make of it. They had been together for a little under two years and things had been great. They'd been in the band together, they'd lived together, it just.. they'd drifted apart. Then the final straw had come when Tim left Smile to join a new band that was interested in him, but it wasn't just the band he'd left. He'd left Brian, he'd moved out, and that was that. He'd been heartbroken for a while, but Roger had helped him through that, and then he'd moved in, and then Brian had realised he had feelings for the younger man. So it was just interesting that after four years, Tim suddenly seemed to be interested again.

Roger glanced over at him, raising an eyebrow, "Just hanging around? You gonna go there?"

"I don't think so.. I mean, there's a reason we broke up last time, y'know?"

"Well.. there wasn't really. He kind of just left you high and dry, just cause he was leaving the band didn't mean he had to leave you too"

"I know, yeah. He did apologise for that though, said he regretted how things went between us and said he wanted to try and fix it" He explained with a slight shrug. He noticed how Roger seemed a little more focused on his wine glass than on Brian though,

"Well I'm not gonna tell you what to do, Bri.. I just don't want you to get hurt" He told him, finally looking back at the older boy. Brian just smiled at him, although John's voice from last night was echoing in his mind. He knew that Roger was telling the truth, that he didn't want Brian to end up getting hurt, but John was convinced that it was Roger that was going to end up hurting him in the end - unintentionally, but still.

"No, like I said; I don't think I'm gonna go there. I'm glad Tim and I are on good terms again, but I'm not looking to get back with him"

Roger really didn't need to know that it was anything to do with him - that one of the main reasons he had no intention of getting back with Tim was because of how deeply he was in love with Roger and that he had been ever since he and Tim had split up the first time. It was easier to just let him think he was being cautious because of how it had ended last time.

Roger just smiled, draining what was left in his glass before pointing over at Brian's, "Come on, drink up. Dinner won't be long"

 

-x-

 

"So what are you gonna get Roger for his birthday?"

Brian glanced up at the question, meeting John's eyes, "I had a look when I went into town the other day, and I saw this gorgeous vintage record player. The one he and Fred have at the moment is pretty shit, so I thought that might be a nice idea?" He suggested with a shrug. Well yeah, they'd had it in the window of a shop he'd been passing, and he couldn't resist going in to have a look at it. He'd been wondering what to get for Roger anyway, so he thought that might be a nice idea.

"How much was it?"

"Nine pounds"

John was quiet for a moment, raising an eyebrow, "Expensive" He murmured, glancing at Brian over the top of the paper he was reading. Well yeah, Brian knew it was pretty expensive, but it was Roger's birthday and he hadn't seen him in nearly a year, so he didn't want to get him a crappy present. Besides, when Roger wanted something, he bought it. Working at the stall meant he got cheap clothes, he had plenty of books, he already had a car. So he just, he thought this would be a nice present.

"I know, but it's Rog. I want to get him something nice" He murmured, looking back down at his mug of tea. John just smiled a little, going back to his paper, "I know you do, it's a good idea for a present"

 

-x-

 

Roger's birthday snuck up on them sooner than Brian had thought it would.

He was well prepared though, which he was pretty thankful of. He'd gone into town and had bought the record player, making sure to hide it underneath John's bed - although just to be safe, he'd stuck a note on top of the package saying 'fuck off, Roger, stay away'. As well as that, he'd gone through Freddie and Roger's record collection one day that the two of them had been in work and had picked up a couple of records that he was sure they didn't have, to go with the record player.

He was relieved to see that Roger was still asleep when he woke up on the morning of his birthday, so he got up as quietly as he could to sneak out and retrieve his presents from John's room, bringing them into the kitchen.

Now came the real problem. After he'd bought the presents, he was willing to admit that he was pretty broke - so while he'd wanted to get Roger a cake, every one that the shop had had that wasn't shitty looking was far too expensive. So he'd decided the best thing to do would be to try and bake a cake himself. The only problem was that he didn't really know how to.

Still, how hard could it be, right?

It seemed that the answer to that question was - very hard.

He wasn't sure what had gone wrong with the first attempt, but he could tell that the batter itself was all wrong before he'd even cooked it. So he'd scrapped that attempt and had started again after poking through the books in the living room until he'd found a recipe for a simple lemon cake. He was relieved to see that the next attempt looked a little better, and he put it in the oven before getting to work on the icing - which he had to admit that he also didn't really know how to make. He was pretty sure it looked okay though, although he hadn't noticed that some of the cake batter in the oven had dripped down to the floor of the oven and was starting to burn. It was only when he opened the oven to check on the cake and smoke billowed out of the oven did he realise,

"Oh, for fuck's sake" He muttered, trying his best to wave the smoke away as he pulled the cake out. He was relieved to see that the cake itself looked okay, that it was just the parts that had dripped down to the bottom that was burned.

It was only when he went to open the kitchen window did he realise that Roger was standing in the entrance to the kitchen, watching him with an amused expression on his face, "You alright, or should I call the fire services?" He asked with a grin, and Brian rolled his eyes, "I'm fine, go away for ten minutes" He told him, although he couldn't help but soften a little when Roger threw his head back and laughed.

Once he was gone, Brian tried his best to make the cake look presentable with the icing before sticking a couple of candles in the top of it. He was glad to see that it actually looked okay.

"Rog" He called as he lit the candles, and Roger appeared a moment later although he had Freddie and John in tow too, "Happy birthday" He said with a slightly sheepish smile, holding out the cake. Roger smiled and rolled his eyes, draping an arm around Brian's waist and pressing a quick kiss to his cheek, "Thank you, I'm sure you went to a lot of effort" He teased with a grin.

He cut the cake soon afterwards and all four of them had a piece, although Brian couldn't help but grimace slightly at the taste. It was definitely supposed to be a lemon cake, but it tasted more like smoke than anything else. Once he caught Roger's eye though, he couldn't help but laugh. It wasn't long before all four of them were in a knot with laughter, and Brian collected their plates once they had all calmed down. The other two gave Roger their presents while he tidied up a little, before he rejoined them at the table, "Alright, next time it's anyone's birthday, I'm not making the cake"

"That's probably a smart idea"

He couldn't help but stick his tongue out at Roger, before getting up to get his own gift. He gave it to the younger man before sitting back down, watching him unwrap the present. He was glad to see the look of shock passing over Roger's face as he admired the record player, before he looked back to Brian with wide eyes, "Brian, this is beautiful"

"Thought you'd like it, alright"

"How much did this even cost?" He asked as he flipped through the records Brian had bought to go with the player,

"Doesn't matter, I knew you'd like it" Roger looked back up at him at that, swallowing as he put the records down. He leaned over to him, threading his fingers through Brian's hair as he pressed their lips together. Brian hummed as he kissed him back, before biting his lip gently once they had separated - although he leaned slightly into the hand Roger still had in his hair, "I love it, Brian" He murmured, pressing another quick kiss to his lips before letting him go.

Brian just smiled a little, glancing quickly over to where Freddie was watching them with a soft look on his face, and John was watching with a slightly sadder expression. He tried not to think about how it was so easy to pretend that Roger had said 'I love you, Brian', but it was fine. He knew Roger loved him in some sort of way, just not the way that he wanted him to. Before he could get any deeper into his own head, he shook it off and smiled, "You can use it on Saturday, have some proper sounding music playing instead of that crappy old record player you had" He teased, grinning in return when Roger smiled back at him.

 

-x-

 

Saturday night came, and the party was.. well, just as Brian had expected it to be. Roger and Freddie's flat wasn't exactly the biggest, so he was surprised at how many people seemed to fit into the small space. Roger had set up the record player so that there was music playing through the flat, and Brian was glad to see that a couple of people had been admiring it. It was nice that Roger had made sure to tell everyone who asked that Brian had bought it for him. He'd already met a few of their friends, Phoebe - who was actually a bloke -, Joe, Dominique, Mary, Crystal - also a bloke - just to name a few. There had been one guy there that Freddie had introduced him to, Paul, who Roger had given a filthy look to when he'd seen him there. Seemed he wasn't too fond of him.

Everyone was drunk too, which was to be expected. At first he'd thought it would probably be a good idea to stay on the sober side, just in case he was to let something slip in his drunken state, but then he'd decided 'fuck it'. It was Roger's birthday but Freddie had been telling people that it was his own last week too, so that they were celebrating a sort of joint party. So he was going to get drunk.

Besides, it wasn't like he'd have to lie about his feelings for Roger.

He'd been in the kitchen with John and a girl they had just met, Debbie, for the last couple of minutes, just making small talk. Apparently she knew Roger from around the shop that he and Freddie worked at. Eventually John had been dragged off somewhere by Freddie though, so Debbie looped her arm through his, "Come on, we'll go find a seat inside".

He followed her into the sitting room, stepping around people in there until they managed to squeeze onto the end of the couch. He was having fun actually, it was nice to be able to just cut loose.

"So, you're Roger's boyfriend?"

"Uh.. I am, yeah"

"Okay, I'll admit that I did try and get in there before he told me he was with somebody, so sorry for that"

Brian still wasn't sure what to make of the fact that Roger had been telling everyone that they were together. What if he had met somebody that he really liked and actually wanted to be with, but couldn't because he'd already told everyone about him? It didn't make a whole lot of sense to him, was all.

"It's alright, I don't blame you" He teased with a grin, before turning slightly to watch Roger knocking back a shot with Crystal. The drummer grinned as he caught his eye once he had put down the empty shot glass, flashing him a quick wink. He turned to say something to Crystal before making his way over to Brian and Debbie, throwing himself down into Brian's lap, "Alright, love" He murmured with a smile, pressing a quick kiss to Brian's lips.

"Deb, keep your hands off my boyfriend" He teased, laughing when she playfully pushed him. Brian wound his arms around the younger man's waist to ensure that he didn't topple off his lap, smiling when Roger leaned into the embrace,

"Don't worry, Rog, I was just telling him how madly in love with you I was, and how I can barely restrain myself around you"

"In your dreams, sweetheart"

He said with a grin and a wink, before turning to press his lips against Brian's again. The kiss lingered though this time, before turning into another, and soon enough Brian had his hands wound into Roger's blonde hair, their tongues in each others mouths.

Debbie pushed Roger again, "Get a room, guys" She told them. Roger flashed a quick look down at Brian, still grinning, and was with that that Brian rose from the couch, Roger wrapping his legs around his waist as Brian held him under the thighs, "Brian!" He shrieked, giggling as he wrapped his arms around Brian's neck.

Brian carried him to their room as best as he could, Roger screeching with laughter every time he stumbled slightly - mostly due to the fact that he was pretty drunk by now. Eventually he got them there in one piece, and he somehow managed to lock the door behind them before crossing the room to the bed, dropping Roger down onto it,

"Alright.. half an hour should be more than enough time to let their imaginations run wild" He chuckled, putting his hands in his pockets. Well yeah, he'd carried Roger to their room and locked the door behind them, it wasn't hard to guess what people would think they were up to. It wasn't as though they actually had to have a shag while they were in here.

Roger chewed his lower lip thoughtfully as he watched Brian, before reaching up and pulling him down by the front of his shirt. Brian toppled unceremoniously onto the bed, landing half on top of Roger before propping himself up on his elbows,

"Rog, wh-"

"We don't have to pretend"

Brian just looked down at Roger, wetting his lips with his tongue - and he didn't miss how Roger's eyes flicked down to watch the action - before the younger man surged up to press their lips together again, hitching one of his legs up around Brian's hips, "It's just a shag.. and everyone already thinks that's what we're doing in here anyway" He breathed, rolling his hips up against Brian's.

Brian could already feel through both their jeans how hard Roger was, and he had to admit that he was getting there himself at the prospect of doing this with Roger, "Are you sure?" He asked, although his fingers were already trailing along the collar of Roger's shirt, flicking open the first button at his throat to bare a little more skin.

Roger simply kissed him again, threading his fingers through Brian's hair as he somehow managed to flip them over, settling on Brian's lap with a leg each side of his hips, "More than sure" He murmured, flashing Brian a filthy grin as he ground down into his lap. That was all it took to make up Brian's mind and he leaned up to kiss him again before reaching for Roger's shirt, undoing two more of the buttons before he decided to simply yank it open the rest of the way, a couple of the buttons clattering to the floor,

"God, you're so beautiful" He breathed, trailing his hands down Roger's bare back as he fastened his lips to his neck, nipping gently at the skin there, "And that might have been the hottest thing I've ever seen" Roger retorted, closing his eyes for a moment as he just enjoyed Brian kissing at his neck before he pushed the older boy back flat against the bed.

He pulled Brian's shirt off him too, although he didn't pop the buttons on it like Brian had, before quickly shucking his own jeans. Once he was in nothing but his boxers, he shuffled down the bed, grinning up at Brian as he pulled his belt off in one fluid motion.

Brian was pretty sure that was an image that would be burned into his mind for the rest of his life - Roger looking up at him with bedroom eyes while he pulled his belt off.

"Can I suck you off?" He asked, and Brian cringed internally at the whimper he heard himself let out at Roger's question, "Yeah, Rog.. fuck" He breathed, tangling his fingers in Roger's blonde hair. The younger man grinned up at him, biting his lower lip as he undid Brian's jeans, pulling them off.

"You sure about this? Last chance to back out" He murmured, trailing his fingers along the waistband of Brian's boxers. They were both so drunk, but like Roger had said - it was just a shag. So he nodded, smiling a little as he ran his fingers through Roger's hair again. The drummer wasted no time in stripping Brian of his boxers before wrapping a hand around his cock, stroking slowly for a couple of moments. It wasn't much longer though before he replaced his hand with his mouth, and Brian dropped his head back against the pillow with a moan at the feeling of Roger's lips wrapped around his cock.

"God, Rog.. you've got no idea how good this feels" He breathed, his fingers still tangled in Roger's hair although his hand was more just resting there, rather than actually pulling or trying to direct the younger man.

Roger kept going for a couple of moments, although he pulled off sooner than Brian had thought that he would. He didn't go far though, softly biting over the sharp jut of Brian's hipbone, "As fun as that was, I'm really too drunk to go any more than one round. So I can get you off like this if you want, or you could fuck me?" He suggested, looking up at Brian from where he was still slowly stroking his cock.

Brian was pretty sure his brain was about to combust just at the thought alone. He pulled Roger up to him though, pressing their lips together in a firm kiss while Roger settled onto his lap again, "Well it'd be kind of selfish, wouldn't it? To let you just get me off like that?" He murmured with a grin before pushing Roger back against the mattress, "Have you got lube?" He asked.

Roger leaned up to rummage in his bedside locker for a moment before tossing the bottle to Brian. He bit his lip gently for a moment, glancing in his direction, "I don't have any condoms"

"Well.. I'm clean"

"So am I"

"Alright, then"

He leaned down to press his lips to Roger's neck as he wrapped a hand around his cock, the drummer gasping at the feeling. His other hand trailed lower though and he pressed a lube coated finger into Roger, feeling Roger winding a hand into his hair once he had, "Relax for me, love" He murmured, letting him get used to the intrusion before adding another finger. He worked his fingers into the younger man, the heat rising in him as he watched Roger writhe and gasp, "Brian.. fuck, I need you, please" He whined, pulling gently on Brian's hair.

Brian worked at him for a couple more moments before he pulled his fingers out, wiping his hand halfheartedly on the sheets, "Alright like this?" He asked, hitching one of Roger's legs up around his hips before pouring a little more lube into his hand, stroking his own cock a couple of times,

"Yeah, Bri, this is perfect"

It was with that that Brian leaned down to press another kiss to Roger's lips, waiting until he was distracted by Brian's tongue in his mouth before slowly pushing into that tight heat. They moaned into each others mouths at the action, and Brian could feel Roger's nails digging into his shoulder where he was holding onto him, "It's alright.. relax" He breathed, sucking Roger's lower lip into his mouth for a moment before trailing his lips down along his jaw instead.

He could feel that the younger man was wound tight as a spring, so he simply kept still while he kissed and nipped softly at his neck, letting Roger get used to the feeling.

Eventually though, Roger shifted his hips a little, looping his arms properly around Brian's neck, "Bri, please" He murmured, although it came out as more of a whimper. Brian pulled away from Roger's neck, leaning back just enough to look down at him as he gave an experimental thrust. Roger let out a breathy moan at the action, and Brian could feel him twisting his fingers into his hair again, "Come on, Bri.. fuck me"

Brian certainly had no arguments with that and he began to move his hips properly, burying his face against Roger's neck again. It didn't take them long to fall into a rhythm that suited them both, and he slid an arm underneath Roger to hold his body flush against his own, holding himself up on his other arm.

"God.. Rog, this.. fuck" He gasped, sucking a bruise into the hollow above Roger's collarbone. The drummer was simply holding on for dear life, one hand twisted into Brian's hair while he held onto his shoulderblade with the other, digging his nails into the skin.

Brian had never imagined that something like this would ever happen. As much as he'd fantasised about it, he'd never in his wildest dreams imagined that Roger would actually want this from him. He wondered just exactly what it meant though. Obviously they had been kissing quite a lot lately, but that was all for show. The only time they had actually kissed in private was when they had been practising that first time, aside from that; it had only been for other peoples benefit. This though.. he had no idea what to think of it. It would have been enough to lock the door and sit in here chatting for half an hour or so before reemerging, letting people think that they had had a shag.

He was pulled from his train of thought by Roger pulling him back up by the hair, pressing their lips together in a messy kiss, "God, Brian.. you feel so fucking good, I'm so close" He whined, arching his head back against the pillow with a gasp when Brian thrusted into him at a new angle, "Shit.. do that again"

Brian did his best to keep up the new angle, holding onto Roger's hip to keep him pressed up against him the way he was, "I'm not gonna last much longer, Rog. I need you to come for me, baby" He whimpered. He could feel Roger's hand pulling at his hair, his heel digging into his lower back, the way he was shaking against him from the pleasure, and it was all too much.

He wrapped a hand around Roger's cock, giving it a few strokes before Roger threw his head back again, arching his back up off the bed as he came over Brian's hand. That alone was enough to push Brian over the edge and it was only another couple of thrusts before he came too, panting against Roger's neck as he did, his fingers leaving bruises against the younger man's hips.

It was another couple of moments before he'd recovered enough to pull out, collapsing next to Roger in a boneless heap after he had. He simply laid there for a couple of moments, still panting, before turning to Roger. The younger man was wearing a blissed out expression, his hair wild around his shoulders, "Shit" He giggled, and another wave of something rose in Brian at how wrecked his voice sounded,

"Shit" Brian agreed with a slight smile of his own. He knew they really should be getting back to the party, but he was finding it hard to move at all right now. So he simply grabbed the closest article of clothing he could find and cleaned them both up a little before pulling the covers up around them as best as he could, running a hand through his hair, "Ten minutes, we'll go back in ten minutes" He told Roger, although he could already feel sleep pulling at him.

They could just nap for a little while, they could get up in ten minutes.

 

-x-

 

When he woke up, Brian could already tell that it was the next morning.

The next thing he realised was how hungover he was.

The third thing he realised was that he was naked. In bed. With Roger. Who was also naked.

Fuck.

On that note, he decided he was better off just attempting to get up rather than lying here waiting for Roger to wake up - and if he died from his hangover from the attempt, that was perfectly fine.

He managed to locate a tshirt and a pair of boxers from where he was before he'd even attempted to move, and he slowly dragged himself out of the bed, pulling on both articles of clothing before he shuffled out to the hall. He decided his first stop was to get a glass of water, and he picked his way through the remnants of last nights party to the kitchen, where he found Freddie already dressed and sat at the kitchen table, seemingly not a hangover in sight.

"Oh, good morning. How're you feeling this morning?"

"Water.."

Freddie simply laughed at him, getting up from where he was sitting to lead Brian over to the table and sitting him down, "You do look a little green around the gills, dear" He told him as he filled a pint glass with water, giving it to Brian, "Did you have a good night?" He asked.

Brian just nodded a little, biting his lip gently. Well, yeah.. he had had a good night. He'd had a bloody fantastic night. He was feeling a little too fragile to even begin to think about what it all meant though, he could save that for later. "I'll get you some breakfast" Freddie told him, busying himself with the coffee machine.

Brian put his forehead down against the table while Freddie made breakfast, and he didn't even realise he'd drifted off until Freddie was gently shaking him awake, putting a plate of toast and a cup of coffee in front of him, "I think I owe you my life" He murmured as he took a tentative bite of the toast.

Freddie pottered around the kitchen while he attempted to finish the slice of toast, and it wasn't long before they were joined by John. As hungover as he was though, it didn't escape his notice that John had emerged from Freddie's room rather than his own, "Good morning" He murmured, sounding just as hungover at Brian felt. He sat next to Brian, taking the glass of water that Freddie had passed to him with a smile, "And how are you feeling?" He asked, giving John another small smile.

"I've been better.. it was a good night though" He said, giving Freddie a smile of his own. Brian almost felt like he shouldn't be intruding on the soft moment, but he was too hungover to even consider the idea of getting up to give them some space.

"Alright, well I promised Phoebe I would join him and Joe for breakfast, so I better get going. Don't worry about the mess, we'll tidy up when everybody feels better" Freddie told them, pressing a quick kiss to the top of John's head as he passed them, before he was out the door.

The two were quiet for a couple of moments as John sipped at his water and Brian attempted to finish his toast, although he gave up, pushing the plate slightly further away from him. Eventually John sighed, rubbing his face, "I need to go lie down again, come with me" He told Brian as he rose from the table. They got another glass of water each before trudging to John's room, both of them collapsing on either side of the bed once they had gotten there.

"So.. you and Freddie" Brian remarked as he looked over at John, who was attempting to sip at his glass of water without sitting too far up. The younger man flushed a little at his words, glancing over in Brian's direction, "Yeah.. um, I guess so" He murmured with a small smile, "I don't know if it'll turn into anything, but he seems to like me" He said with a slight shrug, looking more at his glass than at Brian, who simply smiled as he watched him, "He's been flirting with you since we got here, Deaky. It's obvious he likes you, it's sweet". John just smiled, looking back at Brian, "Yeah, I suppose so. Did you have a good night?"

"I had sex with Roger"

John choked on his water, coughing for a moment before he managed to compose himself, looking over at Brian, "You did what?" He asked, and Brian just shrugged. Well yeah, what else was he supposed to say? He himself didn't even know what any of it meant, or if it meant anything at all. They had both been drunk though, so that had a lot to do with it.

"We were showing off and snogging in front of Debbie and she told us to get a room, so we did and I thought we were gonna just wait in there for twenty minutes or so before joining the party again and pretending we'd had a shag. But Rog kissed me and said we didn't have to pretend, since everyone thought we were doing it already"

"So he initiated it?"

"I suppose.. yeah"

"Did you two talk?"

"It's not like that, John. It was just a drunken shag, it didn't mean anything" John just looked at him, sympathy obvious in his expression. Well yeah, it had clearly meant something to him. As if on cue, there was a slightly pitiful knocking on the wall between John and Roger's rooms and Brian sighed as he glanced over at John again, who just nodded at him, "Go on, I'm going back to sleep anyway"

He got up then, dragging himself from John's room to the next door down, letting himself into Roger's room. He was met with a rather pathetic looking sight, the drummer curled up still under the covers, watching him with a miserable pout on his face, "I think I'm going to die"

Brian just rolled his eyes, shutting the door behind him before joining Roger in the bed - although he stayed well over his own side of the bed. He passed him the glass of water he'd had with him, watching him drain half the glass before curling back up how he had been, "You're being dramatic" He told him and Roger just nodded, "Yeah, I am really hungover though"

Brian bit his lip gently, watching the younger man for a moment since he'd closed his eyes and nestled back down against the pillow. It wasn't unusual for Roger to wake up from a night of hard drinking to have forgotten half of the night, so he just.. he wondered, "Rog? How.. uh, how much of last night do you remember?"

Roger just rolled his eyes at that, "I'm aware we shagged, if that's what you're really asking". Brian was quiet, although he could feel his cheeks flushing slightly. Alright, that was that. He was surprised Roger wasn't more apprehensive though, if he was totally aware of the fact that they had slept together. He'd been expecting him to back right off.

Roger seemed to sense that he was thinking too hard though, because he rolled his eyes again, reaching over to give Brian's arm a gentle thump, "Look, it happened, yeah? It was just a shag, we were both ridiculously drunk, that's all it was. It didn't mean anything and it doesn't have to become anything, alright?"

Brian just swallowed and nodded, biting his lip gently. Right.. He knew Roger was saying that because he'd assumed Brian would be panicking over the fact that they'd slept together, that he thought he'd be worrying about whether they had fucked up their friendship or not.

It wasn't Roger's fault that he didn't know he was actually breaking his heart.

"It's forgotten about, alright?"

"Yeah.. forgotten about"

He should've known that last night wouldn't change anything. In all fairness though, he wasn't sure what he'd been expecting. Even when Roger had still been living with him back home, he'd had plenty of meaningless one night stands, and it had only happened once or twice that Roger had brought someone home a second time after he'd slept with them the one time. So he wasn't exactly sure why he was expecting a sudden change of heart from the younger man.

Maybe it was because - for him anyway - it wasn't just a meaningless shag, and he'd hoped Roger would have been able to see that and would maybe feel the same way. He knew he shouldn't have been surprised though that nothing had changed.

It was with that that Roger dragged himself up into a sitting position, rubbing his eyes for a moment before he turned back to Brian, "Fred said something about breakfast, he gone already?" He asked, and Brian nodded, "Yeah, I met him in the kitchen before he left" He murmured, although he could feel himself how he'd sort of withdrawn a little. Roger seemed to notice too, and he curled up next to Brian again, looking up at him, "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm just hungover"

"...Are you sure? It's got nothing to do with last night, has it? 'Cause I just.. I don't want it to ruin anything between us, Bri"

Brian just sighed a little, running his fingers through his hair. That was just it, wasn't it? At the end of the day, Roger was his best friend, and he didn't want to ruin that either. He knew Roger would never love him back the way he loved him, but even though that was the case; he'd rather still have him as his best friend than not at all. Maybe it was time to try and get over him, now that he knew he'd never have a chance.

So he smiled, shaking his head a little, "It's not, promise. I know I called you dramatic but I think I might be dying too" He said, and Roger just smiled in return.

It would be fine, Roger was his best friend and he was sure in the knowledge that that wouldn't change.

 

-x-

 

He yawned as he plucked a can of beans from the shelf, dropping it into the trolley John was slowly pushing along behind him. They hadn't done much for the rest of the day yesterday, Freddie being the only one who wasn't suffering with a bad hangover. Once the older boy had gotten home, the four of them had spent the rest of the day lounging around in front of the television, and had ordered takeaway for dinner rather than anyone attempting to cook.

Now that all four of them were feeling a little more human, Freddie and Roger had insisted that they would stay home to clean the flat properly if Brian and John would head out to the supermarket to get them some food. So that was where they found themselves, and Brian was waiting for John to start with the questions. They hadn't had a minute by themselves since he had talked to Roger yesterday morning, so he was expecting him to start any second,

"So.. what did Roger say?" John asked, feigning interest in a box of pasta that was on the shelf in front of him. Brian rolled his eyes, taking the box and dropping it into the trolley too.

"That it was just a drunken shag"

"That's it?"

"I think.. I think he thought that I was worried it would ruin our friendship or something, so he made sure I knew under no uncertain terms that it meant nothing, that it had only happened because we were drunk, and that it didn't have to become a thing"

It still stung a little to think about it, how Roger had made sure to assure him that it had meant nothing to him. Then again though, Brian knew he couldn't be pissed at the younger man for it. He didn't know..

"Are you alright?"

"I will be. It hurt to hear that but I know that he doesn't know how I feel about him, so it's not his fault. I mean, it's not like I was expecting him to drop to his knees and declare his love for me. I love him so much that it hurts sometimes - and I know now that he doesn't love me back - but he is my best friend and I'd rather have that than not at all. So I think I should try dating when we get home; start trying to get over this instead of holding onto the hope that he feels the same way about me"

It felt good to get it off his chest actually, to talk to somebody about it. He knew he couldn't talk to Freddie and certainly not Roger about how he was feeling, so he just.. he was grateful that John had agreed to come with him.

"I'm sure Tim wouldn't have a problem if you called him.. or there's that girl from school, Chrissie, she seems to be sweet on you"

Brian just smiled and rolled his eyes, playfully nudging his shoulder against John's, "Slow down, we're not even home yet" He chuckled. Maybe it wouldn't be the worst idea though, Chrissie was nice and - like John said - she seemed to like him. Plus she was nothing at all like Roger, so that was a plus.

He'd think about it when they got home.

 

-x-

 

He was surprisingly okay over the next couple of days actually. He'd expected things to be a little frosty between himself and Roger, but he was relieved to find that that wasn't actually the case. Since they had Freddie and their other friends well and truly convinced by now that the two of them were actually a couple, they had been able to tone down the public displays of affection a little, and that suited Brian fine. Now that he was determined to get over Roger, he really didn't need the younger man throwing himself at him at every opportunity.

Of course, they still acted like a couple a little. Roger would playfully kiss him on the cheek at times when they were talking to Freddie, or Brian would sit with an arm thrown around Roger's shoulders when they were settled down in front of the television, but if he was being honest; they had done all those things before anyway.

It was fine, and now that he knew without a doubt that Roger didn't feel the same way about him, he was finding it a little easier to distance himself from the whole thing, rather than holding out any hope that Roger might have actually wanted him back.

He was currently sat in the sitting room while Roger pottered around, looking for his jacket and his keys. It was nice to see that even though Roger had moved halfway across the world, that he hadn't changed his habit of losing his keys before he left the house every time. The television was playing in the background, but Brian was reading the paper, only half listening while Roger continued to search, "You sure they're not in the bedroom?" He asked, not looking up from the paper.

Freddie and John had both gone out for the afternoon, and Roger was just getting ready for work. If Brian was being honest, he was rather looking forward to a little time by himself actually. He hadn't decided if he was planning on going out or not, but even so, it'd be nice to just have some alone time.

Roger emerged from the bedroom again, triumphantly holding the set of keys up, "You really should get yourself a dish for the keys" Brian told him with a smile as he shoved his feet into his boots, rolling his eyes once he had straightened up, "Yeah, yeah.. but I always find them, don't I?"

He said with a grin. He pulled on his jacket, patting himself down to make sure he had his wallet as well as his keys, "Alright, I'm off. I should be home about six, no idea when the other two will be home" He said with a shrug, before leaning down and pressing a quick yet tender kiss to Brian's lips, "See you later, love"

Brian was a little stunned at the casual action, considering there was nobody home that they had to act in front of. It was just the two of them, and yet Roger had still kissed him. It seemed the younger man hadn't realised what he'd done until after he'd done it, and he blushed a little, jerking back from Brian slightly, "I, uh.. sorry, I'm sorry, I wasn't th-"

Brian cut him off by rising up to him slightly and pressing their lips together in a firmer kiss, bringing a hand up to rest against Roger's jaw as he did. He knew that he'd been trying his best to get over Roger, but just.. maybe the fact that Roger had kissed him first here was an indication of something.

Roger kissed him back for a moment before he jerked back again, putting a couple of steps between himself and Brian as he slapped a hand over his mouth, "Shit.. that shouldn't.. we shouldn't have.." He started, before trailing off when he noticed that Brian's cheeks were flushed and that he was looking at the ground rather than at Roger, the muscles in his jaw clenched tightly. He was embarrassed, sue him.

"Brian.. do you- do you fancy me?"

Brian wanted the ground to open up and swallow him at Roger's question, or he at least wished that something dramatic would happen that would prevent them from having this conversation any time soon - he would take a tree falling through the roof of the flat, for starters, or an earthquake.

Eventually he sighed, running a hand through his hair. He was pretty sure there was no point in lying, he'd already given it away, and it was pretty clear that Roger already knew what was going on, "Yeah, alright? I do" He murmured, finally dragging his gaze up to look over at Roger, who looked a little like he'd been slapped in the face.

He could see the cogs turning in the younger man's brain, trying to make sense of the whole situation. Eventually he frowned, folding his arms, "Then.. why did you agree to this stupid plan if you felt that way, I never would've- oh God, we fucked and I-"

"Yes, we fucked and you said it meant nothing, and you'll never love me back. I'm aware, Rog.. there's no need to remind me"

"Wait, love? You love me?"

Brian cringed internally, running his hands through his hair again. He knew he probably could've gotten away with it if he'd told Roger that it was nothing, that it was just because they had been acting like a couple that some of the feelings from that had bled over, but he'd had to open his big mouth and now Roger knew he was in love with him.

"Yes.. alright? I love you. I'm in love with you. I agreed to this stupid plan because you asked me to. You were obviously embarrassed at the idea of admitting to Freddie and everyone else that you had lied about us, and I figured that it would be fine. John told me all along that I was an idiot for agreeing to it, but how was I supposed to say no to you? I never expected us to sleep together, and when we did I thought that maybe it wasn't all pretend for you too, that maybe you felt something. I'm not mad though, I.. I know you didn't know, when you said all those things"

Roger still looked dumbstruck, like he didn't know what the hell he was supposed to say in response to all of that, "How.. how long have you felt like this?" He asked, and Brian swallowed, bringing a hand up to rub at the back of his neck, "Since shortly after Tim and I broke up, I suppose.."

"Wh- that was four years ago, Brian"

"Well, at least I wasn't lying when I told Freddie I've been in love with you for four years"

Roger was still just looking at him like he wanted to say something, but like he had no idea what he was supposed to say. Brian could hardly blame him, it was a lot that Brian had just thrown at him and he knew that if their situations were reversed, that he probably wouldn't have any idea what to say to Roger. It hadn't escaped his notice though that the younger man had glanced at the clock a couple of times.

"Go to work, Rog"

"But you're upset"

"Yeah, well.. I was upset when you left and moved halfway around the world, but it didn't stop you leaving then, did it?" He shrugged, and he could have slapped himself when he noticed how Roger flinched at his words. He just had to keep reminding himself 'he didn't know'.

Roger sighed and walked out into the hall, although Brian frowned when he heard him on the phone instead of the front door shutting. He joined him again a moment later, kicking off his boots and shrugging out of his jacket, "Now, my boss thinks I've been up all night vomiting my guts up and that I won't make it in today" He shrugged as he planted himself down on the couch beside Brian.

"I don't want to talk about it anymore, Rog"

"Good, cause were not going to. We're going to watch.. Star Wars" Roger told him as he flicked through the channels on the television before settling on the film playing. Brian just folded his arms, looking over at the younger man.

He hated this.. He hated that Roger knew how he felt about him, he hated that he was being so understanding about it, that he was insisting on staying here with him rather than leaving him to wallow in self-pity. He almost wanted Roger to get angry and shout at him, to accuse him of taking advantage of him. He'd feel a little less shitty about it if they had actually fought about it. Roger was just being so.. nice about it, though.

It felt like pity though, and Brian cringed at the thought.

 

-x-

 

The next couple of days passed exactly as Brian had thought they would.

The topic hadn't been mentioned again, and from an outside perspective? It probably didn't look like things had changed all that much, but he just.. he could tell. The casual touches had stopped almost completely, Roger seemed to be hyper-aware of whenever he got a little too close to Brian. He was still being overly nice to him too.

Brian wasn't sure how their cover hadn't been blown, he was pretty sure they looked nothing like a couple nowadays, he wasn't totally sure they even looked like proper friends anymore. Roger was being too polite to him, and it killed him that things were in such a weird place between the two of them.

He was washing the dishes with Freddie one evening, the two of them more listening to the radio than actually chatting. Brian ordinarily would have felt a little rude for that, but he just.. he was in a mood. Freddie was humming along to the song on the radio though, so Brian was pretty sure he didn't mind the lack of conversation. Roger had left for work earlier, and John had popped down to the supermarket, so it was just the two of them alone in the flat.

Eventually Freddie turned to Brian, a slightly hesitant expression on his face, "Brian, darling, is everything alright between you and Roger?"

"Not really, we've had a bit of a.. spat, I guess. Things aren't great right now" He murmured. He hadn't even realised how upset he was over the whole thing until he heard how choked up his voice sounded, and he could feel himself welling up at the realisation. He sniffled a little as he wiped his eyes with his sleeve, and Freddie sighed and pulled him into a hug once he had dried his hands. He let Brian simply cling to him for a couple of moments, the guitarist's face buried against his shoulder.

"Shh, it's alright. Do you want to talk about it?" He asked as he steered Brian towards the kitchen table, sitting him down. Brian shook his head though, wiping his eyes again, "Not really, no" He murmured, not quite looking Freddie in the eye.

Well yeah, he couldn't really explain to Freddie what exactly was wrong or what had happened. While things were still weird between himself and Roger, he hadn't told him that they had to stop pretending to be a couple. They were just.. still going with the flow. Besides, he and John were only here for another three days anyway, he could get through three more days.

Freddie just sighed, reaching out to brush Brian's unruly hair back off his shoulder, "Look, I know it's none of my business really, and I don't know what happened, but.. you're leaving in three days. Roger has been living here almost a year, and he's been home once in that time, and you've been over to see him once. You really don't see each other that often, and I know both of you will end up regretting it if you leave without the two of you having fixed this. Besides, if what happened was that bad, you probably would have left already" He told Brian, giving him a reassuring smile.

That was it really, he knew he would regret it if he left while still on awkward terms with Roger. As well as that, it hadn't really occurred to him that he and John could leave early, but thinking about it.. he really didn't want to.

He nodded again, rubbing his eyes properly with the heels of his hands, "You're right, Fred. Sorry, I'm crying like a baby here"

"Hey, don't apologise. I'm not going to be angry with you for being upset"

"It's just.. I don't know how to fix it. I put my foot in it, and he's being so overly nice when I wish he would just shout at me or something. I know how to deal with him when he's angry, I don't know what to do with this"

"Listen, honey. Roger loves you. He's probably just as upset over this whole thing as you are"

Brian sighed, biting his lip gently. Yeah, maybe that was the case.. He knew that Roger wasn't in love with him, but that he loved him all the same. They were best friends, they had been for the last five years, they had told each other things they hadn't told anyone else, Roger was the first person he had gone to when he'd been upset over his breakup with Tim. It really wasn't worth throwing that all away because he couldn't keep his feelings in check.

Maybe it was about time he tried to fix this.

 

-x-

 

He wasn't sure really how he was supposed to approach the subject with Roger. Obviously he didn't want to do it around the other two, and he just.. he wanted to make sure he knew exactly what he planned to say before he said it. This wasn't about trying to get Roger to love him back though, this was just about clearing the air between the two of them and letting him know that it was okay that he didn't, and that he didn't want to lose him as a friend.

So on that note, he waited until the day he and John were supposed to leave, when Freddie and John had gone out for a stroll and had left he and Roger alone in the flat. They had just been mooching around for most of the day, minding their own business, until Brian decided it was about time they talked.

Roger was in the bedroom and Brian could hear him singing quietly, strumming at the guitar they had in the flat as he did. As much as he knew they had to have this talk, he couldn't resist just lingering outside the bedroom door for a couple of moments, listening to Roger sing. He forgot sometimes how much he loved the younger man's singing voice - considering they hadn't played together in a long time now, but it really was a thing of beauty.

Eventually he let himself in, giving the younger man a small smile as he perched on the end of the bed. Roger just smiled back at him before looking back down at the guitar, strumming a few gentle notes. "That's lovely" Brian murmured, folding his arms,

"Thanks, I wrote it myself"

"What's it called?"

"Drowse"

"It's beautiful"

Roger just gave him another one of his blinding smiles before looking back down at the guitar, his hair falling in a curtain that blocked his face from Brian's view when he looked down. God, he was so beautiful. Brian was floored every time he saw the drummer in a light like this, but he had to remind himself that he was here right now to assure Roger that he was okay with things staying as they were.

"Rog, can we talk?" He asked, and Roger looked up at him for a moment before he put the guitar back down on its stand, turning to face Brian properly, "Sure, what's on your mind?" He asked. Brian couldn't help but notice though that he looked a little worried, as though he was afraid of what Brian wanted to talk about.

"I just.. I want to apologise. I never meant for you to find out how I felt about you, we're best friends and I never wanted to put that sort of strain on our friendship. I'm so sorry if you feel like I took advantage of you, I never wanted that to be the case, and I know I should have put a stop to it when we slept together that night. I talked to Freddie the other day and he made me realise that I couldn't leave here tomorrow with things still like this between us, you're my best friend and I'd rather have that than nothing. So.. it's okay, I don't want you to feel bad or anything because you don't feel the same for me. I'm gonna go on dates when I get home, try and get a girlfriend or something. Next time I see you, I'll have gotten over you, and that's okay"

He'd barely finished speaking before Roger had leaned over to him, pulling him into his arms. He didn't know what to say really, so he just wrapped his arms around the younger man, holding him close. Eventually Roger leaned back a little, giving Brian a slightly shaky smile as he looked up at him, "You promise you'll be okay?" He asked, and Brian nodded.

Well yeah, he had to be. Roger didn't love him back, so he could either resent the younger man and end up losing him in the end, or he could accept that and try to move on. He knew exactly which option he preferred.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I just didn't want to leave without fixing things between us"

"Things between us were never broken.. just a little bruised, was all" He murmured, giving Brian a small yet reassuring smile.

Brian could only smile back at him.

 

-x-

 

It was an odd atmosphere the next day as he and John finished off packing their things. It was early enough in the morning but they wanted to get to the airport early enough to make sure they had enough time before their flight.

Roger and Freddie were helping them pack, considering in the space of the two weeks that they were here, their belongings seemed to have spread throughout the flat. Still, the four of them were rather quiet. Brian was glad that he and Roger had cleared the air between them yesterday, but that didn't mean that he was overly happy about leaving, he'd still miss him once they got home. He knew John wasn't too happy about leaving Freddie behind either, considering the latest development in their relationship. It was sweet really, how John had sort of lingered as they were going to bed last night before Freddie smiled and took his hand, leading him into his room.

Not that he was jealous at all, especially when he and Roger retired to their own room for the night and stayed firmly put on their own sides of the bed. Not at all.

Eventually they left for the airport, Roger driving with him in the passenger seat, while Freddie and John curled up together in the back seat. Once they got there - the drive there entirely too short for Brian's liking - they got their bags out of the car, and Freddie and Roger walked them in to the departures lounge before they had to go through security.

Once there, they gave Freddie and John a moment alone, while he and Roger walked off a couple of feet. Brian knew he was being far too quiet, he just.. he was a little sad about having to leave. Eventually though, Roger stopped him from walking by pulling gently on his sleeve, pulling the older man into a hug once he had turned back to him. Brian just sighed and wrapped his arms back around Roger, resting his head lightly against the head on his shoulder, "I can't believe you're leaving already" Roger murmured against his shoulder.

Brian could only nod, tightening his arms ever so slightly around the younger man, "Yeah, neither can I. Fastest two weeks of my life"

"Promise you'll call all the time, and come over again next time you have the chance"

"I will. You should come home too when you have a couple of days, your mum misses you"

He did too, he knew he'd gotten entirely too used to having Roger around all the time over these last two weeks, so he knew it was going to be pretty shitty now to have to go back to England without him. Still, he was going to just have to get used to it again. Roger's life was here now, and his was still back in London.

Eventually he pulled back slightly, although they hadn't let go of each other. He just smiled at him for a moment before he let go, putting his hands in his pockets as he took a step back from Roger, "I am gonna miss you, but I meant what I said yesterday"

"I know, and I'm gonna miss you as well"

Brian sighed and pulled Roger in for another tight hug before he noticed that John and Freddie seemed to be finished saying their goodbyes. So with that, he let go of Roger again, grabbing a hold of his bag again as the other two approached them. John gave him a small smile which he returned, nudging him gently with his shoulder, "I'll call you as soon as we get home, alright?" He told Roger, trying to ignore how thick his voice sounded - as though he was on the verge of tears, which wasn't actually too far from the truth.

He said goodbye to Freddie too before he and John headed off for the security gate, turning to give Roger a quick wave over his shoulder before they left.

After that, it wasn't too long after they got through security that they boarded the plane, and the two of them were quiet as the plane took off. Brian was flicking through one of the in-flight magazines they'd been given, while John fiddled with the headphones that had been in the seat. Eventually John sighed, glancing over in Brian's direction,

"So, that was a eventful trip"

"You could say that, yeah"

"Brian, look.. I'm really sorry things didn't work out how you'd hoped between you and Roger. I know you were looking forward to the trip and it must have spoiled it a little"

"Well, I'm happy I got to see him. I wished things could have turned out a little differently, but at least I know now. Ever since I realised how I felt about him, I'd been wondering if there was a chance he could feel the same way, so at least I know now that he doesn't. It means I can try to move on. I think I might ask Chrissie out when we get home, see if that could turn into something"

"Good, I'm glad you're making the best of it. Roger loves you, there was no way he was gonna let you walk out of his life altogether"

"I know.. and I'm happy for you and Fred, I'm glad you found him"

"Yeah, so am I" Brian just smiled at that, taking the headphones off John to untangle a knot in the cord that the younger man had been struggling with. Once he'd given them back, the two of them settled back down for the rest of the flight.

 

-x-

 

Once they had gotten home, Brian didn't know what to do with himself for the first couple of days.

Obviously there was the time difference to get used to again, so he was pretty jet-lagged for the first few days that they were home. He got back into the swing of things soon enough though; got back to his studies and to his part time job at the school he taught at. Still, he was somewhat restless after their trip, and he could tell that it was probably pretty obvious. He was antsy, like he couldn't settle down or something.

Eventually though, about a week after they had gotten home, he worked up the courage to ask Chrissie out when they had crossed paths on campus and had been chatting. She'd said yes and they agreed that Saturday evening worked for both of them.

So that Saturday, he brought her out for dinner and they went to the pub for a couple of drinks afterwards. He walked her home at the end of the night, and kissed her at her front door when they were saying goodnight, and it was all a very boring affair. She was a lovely girl and she was obviously very into him, but he just.. he wasn't really feeling it. He felt bad about it considering he hadn't had a bad time tonight, but he just found he didn't really fancy her.

He walked home after she had gone inside, letting himself into the front hall to his flat before sighing when he saw a figure sitting on the floor against the wall, curled in on himself. The latch to the front door had broken ages ago - before Roger had left even - and had never been fixed, so it wasn't unusual for him to find a homeless person had wandered in to the hall, especially when the weather was bad. They could never get into the actual flat though, so he didn't mind too much, it was just the main hall that he and his few neighbours shared.

He fished his keys out of his pocket as he approached the front door, biting his lip gently as he glanced at the figure on the floor, "Sorry, mate, I've got no ch- Roger?" He asked as he recognised the person he'd been stepping around, crouching down to gently shake him awake. Roger startled slightly as he blinked up at him, before smiling when he realised that it was Brian who had woken him, "Brian! Hey, sorry I probably should've called earlier to see if you'd be home"

"I was on a date"

"..Oh, with who?"

"Chrissie Mullen"

"Oh.. nice girl, how was it?"

"It was alright"

Roger put his hands in his pockets as he stood up, biting his lower lip gently as he looked up at Brian. If he was being honest, Roger was the last person that he'd expected to see on his doorstep this evening. They'd spoken on the phone a couple of times since he'd gotten home and Roger had never mentioned any plans to come home, so he just.. he was caught off guard. He also noticed that Roger looked a little nervous, as though he had something on his mind.

"Come in" He told him as he unlocked the door, letting Roger walk ahead of him into the flat. It was weird having the younger man back in the flat, now that he had gotten used to him not being there. Still, his room was still empty, even though he had promised John that he would start looking for a new flatmate, "You changed the locks" Roger remarked once they had gotten settled, "I still have my key, thought it would have worked"

"Yeah, the lock broke a few months ago, had to get a new lock and keys since there's always strangers out in the hall. Which, you know that, Roger, you shouldn't be dozing off in the hall where anyone could wander in"

Roger just smiled and rolled his eyes while Brian told him off, as though he knew that the older man wasn't really ticked off at him for doing so. Which was besides the point, it was just.. silly, of Roger.

He bit his lip gently as he looked over at him, his fingers idly toying with the ends of his own curls, "What are you doing here, Rog?" He asked, and he noticed how Roger shifted a little where he was sat at the opposite end of the couch. He still had that antsy look about him, and Brian was starting to get a little nervous about whatever it was Roger had travelled halfway around the world to say, "I just.. I wanted to talk" He murmured, and Brian just looked at him while he waited for Roger to continue,

"Look, I know we talked before you left and we cleared the air after everything, but I just.. I still had a bit of a bad taste in my mouth after you'd gone, and I had no idea why. I don't know, I had a lot of time to think after you had gone home, and I kind of realised a few things. But mostly I was just kicking myself for having let you go like that. I don't know what I was expecting, considering you have a job and you're in school, and your life is still here, but I didn't want to have to watch you go and I didn't really realise why until after you'd already gone"

Brian just frowned a little as he looked over at Roger, cocking his head slightly to the side. He didn't get it, Roger had travelled halfway around the world not even two weeks after he'd last seen him, to tell him that he hadn't wanted him to go home? He smiled a little, biting his lip gently, "You could've said all that over the phone, Rog"

"That's true, I couldn't have done this though"

With that, he leaned over to press his lips against Brian's, bringing a hand up to curl it around the back of the older man's neck. Brian simply melted into the kiss for a moment, his own fingertips resting gently against the pulse point in Roger's neck. Eventually though, what they were doing caught up to them, and he pulled away, looking at Roger with his eyebrows raised,

"Rog, I- I told you, I'm tr-"

"I feel the same way for you"

When Brian just looked at him, Roger cleared his throat before continuing, "Like I said, it was unbelievably shitty having to watch you go.. and I didn't understand why until after you'd gone, and it's because I want you too. I didn't think I did, and I was so caught off guard when you told me you loved me, but I just.. it was only after you left that I realised how desperately I wanted you to come back. I missed sharing a bed with you, and kissing you, and God.. that night we slept together, I didn't think it meant anything, but it meant everything"

Brian's head was spinning a little bit, if he was being honest. This morning, he'd gotten up knowing that he was going on a date with Chrissie tonight. He had made up his mind that he was going to get over Roger. He'd expected to come home from his date and maybe watch some television with a cup of tea before heading to bed. He certainly hadn't expected to be sitting here with Roger, listening to the younger man confessing that he actually wanted him back. Still..

"Rog.. I can't. Not while you're halfway around the world. I know we were pretending that we were doing the long distance thing, but I can't actually do that, I can't be with you and only get to see you once every few months"

"Then.. I guess it's probably about time I broke the news. Freddie and I had a chat, and we decided we're going to move back home"

"You.. what?"

"It makes sense. Both our families are here, and he's got John now. Our jobs over there aren't anything worth staying for really, and we've made enough of a name for ourselves music-wise that we should be able to get off the ground over here too. Besides, you're here"

Brian was the one who initiated the kiss this time, holding the younger man's face between his hands as he pressed their lips firmly together. He just.. he was a little overwhelmed. Roger was actually moving back home, and it was - partially, if not mostly - because he wanted to be with him. He felt Roger's hands coming to rest on his hips as they kissed, and he just let himself enjoy the feeling of their lips moving together, of their tongues sliding together. This was the first time that they had kissed properly; that they hadn't been doing it for practice, or for show, or because they were both drunk and horny. It was everything Brian had ever wanted, and it meant everything to know that they were both on the same page.

He felt one of Roger's hands coming up to rest against his cheek as he kissed him, before the younger man pulled away just enough to look properly at Brian, "Are you crying?" He asked, and Brian smiled sheepishly, wiping his eyes with his sleeve, "Sorry, I'm just.. I never thought that this would actually happen" He murmured. Roger simply chuckled and rolled his eyes, pressing a kiss to his forehead. Brian knew he was being silly really, but he was just a little overwhelmed at the fact that this was actually happening.

"So when will you be home for good?" He asked as they both settled back down onto the couch, resting his arms over Roger's legs once he had thrown both of them over Brian's lap. "Probably not for a few weeks, we haven't talked to the landlord yet and we've got quite a lot of crap lying around the flat that needs to come home. Fred and I have brought a suitcase full of stuff home already but it'll probably be a while before we've got everything back"

"Fred is home too?"

"Yeah. He knew I was coming here though, so I think he's either gone to his mum's or to see John"

Brian just hummed a little, his fingers toying with a slight tear in the fabric of Roger's jeans just at his knee, "I'm sure John will be delighted to see him" He said with a small smile. Well yeah, he knew that coming home from San Francisco hadn't been fun for John either, since.. well, he wasn't sure if John and Freddie had decided to be officially together, but he knew there had definitely been feelings involved. So he was pretty sure it would be a nice surprise for the younger man to see Freddie home too.

"Yeah, it's cute.. Freddie was pretty head over heels for him"

They were quiet for a couple of moments, Brian leaning slightly into Roger's side while Roger threaded his fingers gently through Brian's hair. It was nice, Brian honestly couldn't think of anywhere that he would rather have been right now.

"We'll have to sort out a flat too before we get home, I really doubt Freddie would be too pleased at the idea of either roughing it or sleeping at our mum's houses until we find somewhere"

"Don't be ridiculous.. your room is still here. John kept saying I needed to find a new flatmate, but I uh.. I never got around to it"

"Well, what about Fred?"

"Well.. he could have your old room, if you're okay with that? My room is big enough for two"

"Brian May, are you trying to get me into your bed? Thought you were supposed to be a gentleman" Roger teased with a grin. Brian simply laughed and rolled his eyes, playfully pushing Roger before letting the younger man pull him in for another kiss.

 

-x-

 

He wasn't sure what time it was when he woke up the next morning, all he could tell was that the room was bright and the bed was warm.

He yawned and stretched before turning over onto his side, a smile spreading over his face at the sight of Roger next to him. The drummer was still asleep, his face slack with sleep and his mouth slightly open. It was nice to see that last night hadn't been a dream, that he hadn't just imagined Roger coming home and confessing how he really felt about him. He was still finding it a little hard to wrap his head around, but he really couldn't have been happier.

He settled for just watching Roger sleep, smiling a little as he snuffled slightly into the pillow. It was an odd contrast actually, Roger was rarely this quiet or still when he was awake - Brian still had no idea where half of his energy came from - so it was oddly peaceful to just lie here with him and listen to the birds chattering outside. Still, that wasn't enough to stop him from reaching over and jabbing him lightly in the ribs until he stirred, rubbing his eyes as he looked over at Brian,

"What?"

"Oh good, you're awake. Good morning"

"You're a prick"

Brian just smiled a little and shuffled closer to Roger, wrapping an arm around his waist, "I just wanted to see your beautiful blue eyes, is all" He murmured with a grin, noticing how even though Roger rolled his eyes, his cheeks flushed a faint pink colour. Whatever, he knew it was cheesy, but it was worth it to see Roger blush.

He smiled a little as he pressed their lips together, feeling Roger running a hand through his hair as they kissed. Okay so Roger was still half asleep, and he was pretty sure both of them had morning breath, but he really couldn't have cared less about any of that right now. Roger eventually dragged himself up, throwing a leg over Brian to straddle his hips before leaning back down to press another kiss to his lips, "You're still a prick for waking me up, but you could make it up to me with morning sex?" He suggested with a grin, trailing his lips down the length of Brian's neck.

"Seems fair, I suppose" Brian shrugged, pressing another quick kiss to Roger's lips before pulling the younger man's t-shirt up and over his head, dropping it off somewhere to the side afterwards. He was just about to pull his own t-shirt off when they heard the buzzer at the front door. Brian sighed a little as he dropped his head back against the pillow,

"Ignore it" Roger murmured, rolling his hips slightly in Brian's lap. As much as it took every ounce of willpower Brian had, he rolled Roger off his lap, pressing a kiss to his temple before sitting up, "Later, I promise" He told him before getting up out of the bed. He pulled on his dressing gown as he went to the door, raising his eyebrows when he found Freddie and John there, "Oh.. good morning?"

He let them both into the flat, cringing a little when Freddie beelined directly for the bedroom and stuck his head in the door, "Hello, darling. Hope we didn't interrupt anything naughty" He teased with a grin as he noticed Roger's state of undress, "You did, actually. I was just about to get shagged, so whatever you two came over for better be good" He told Freddie, pulling on his t-shirt again as the two of them joined Brian and John in the kitchen.

Brian glanced over from where he was making four cups of tea, smiling a little when he noticed the soft look John was giving Freddie. He brought the cups over once they were ready, sitting next to Roger at the table.

"So I take it Roger has broken the news to you, then?"

"Yeah, I'm delighted to hear it"

"Good, San Francisco was never meant to be forever, anyway. So it'll be nice to come home"

The four of them just sat and talked over their tea, and Brian smiled when he felt Roger's hand come to rest on his knee under the table. He did notice however, that the younger man was being a little quieter than he usually was. Still, he figured he was probably still just waking up. Eventually though, Roger cleared his throat, "Actually, while the two of you are here, there's something I need to confess to" He murmured, biting his lip gently,

"John, I know you know already, but, uh.. Fred. Brian and I are together, but it's a pretty recent development. As in it happened last night.. it was stupid, but when I first told you about Brian ages ago, I only said that to get you off my back 'cause you were trying to set me up. Then he and John came over and I sort of panicked, and I begged Brian to pretend to be my boyfriend while they were here. So.. I just wanted to get that out in the open, and I'm sorry I lied to you"

"Well.. finally! I didn't think you were ever going to tell me, I thought I was going to have admit that I knew all along when I was giving my speech at your wedding or something"

There was silence in the flat after Freddie had spoken, Brian simply looking at the other boy with his eyebrows raised, while Roger looked a little like he was going to spontaneously combust, "You.. what?" Brian was just as confused as Roger. Freddie had known all along that they were only pretending to be together, and yet he'd gone along with it too?

"How the hell did you figure that out?"

"Because, darling.. you're a fantastic drummer, but please don't ever give up your day job to become an actor. I'm pretty sure I know you almost as well as Brian does, and you're a terrible actor. It was obvious that you and Brian were close, but that you were trying far too hard to make it believable"

"So why didn't you say anything?"

"Well, as obvious as it was that you were acting.. it was just as obvious that Brian wasn't acting. I don't know how you didn't notice, but it was clear from a mile away how crazy he was about you. So I thought if I just left you both to it, and pretended I didn't know any different, that maybe something would develop. Obviously I was right"

Brian honestly didn't know what to say. Freddie had known all along that they weren't actually together, but he could see exactly how Brian felt about Roger? He wasn't pissed or anything that he'd kept quiet about it, he was just.. he'd thought they'd been a little more subtle than that!

Roger still just looked confused, his mouth hanging open slightly until Brian reached over with a slight smile and shut it for him, "You'll catch flies, love"

"But.. I.."

"It doesn't matter, alright? What came before doesn't matter"

Roger simply folded his arms and sat back in his seat, before sticking his tongue out at Freddie, "You're definitely going to have to make this up to us, you bitch" He told him. Freddie just laughed, playfully kicking Roger under the table.

 

-x-

 

Freddie and John hung around for most of the day, the four of them just chatting about Freddie and Roger's plans to move home and what would happen after. Roger had agreed to move back in with Brian, and he had suggested to Freddie that he could have his old room if he wanted, but it turned out John had beaten them to it. Not that he was definitely moving in, they had both assured them - for the sake of not moving too quickly - but that he was staying there for the time being while he looked for a place, and if they both decided that he was better off there, then that was that.

Eventually though, they had left, and Brian and Roger had spent the rest of the afternoon not doing a whole lot except for having dinner and lounging around on the couch.

"I want to take you out tonight"

Brian glanced over at Roger when he spoke, raising an eyebrow, "Alright, where?"

"It's a surprise"

Not that he didn't like surprises, but Roger's surprises tended to be a little on the unpredictable side. Last time he had decided to surprise him had been for his birthday last year, he'd thought it would be a good idea to try and sneak them into the observatory and planetarium in Greenwich after hours. What he hadn't known though was that there was some important research going on at the time, and had almost gotten them both arrested.

Roger rolled his eyes when Brian just looked at him, playfully pushing the older man, "I know what you're thinking, we won't get in trouble this time" He told him with a grin, and so Brian nodded and shrugged, "Alright, fine"

Roger insisted that they wait until it was dark out before the two of them left, and they headed out to Brian's car, "Let me drive, it's still a surprise" Roger told him, getting into the driver seat once Brian had agreed, "And another thing, will you wear this until I tell you to take it off?" He asked, handing a scarf over to Brian, who just looked at it, "You want me to wear a scarf? In August?"

"Over your eyes, you idiot. Like a blindfold"

"Oh"

With that, Brian allowed Roger to tie the scarf around his eyes, the younger man tucking his hair out of the way to make sure it didn't get caught in the knot. He couldn't help but smile though when he felt Roger pressing a kiss to his cheek once he had put the scarf on him, he was sweet really. After that, they started driving, and Brian settled back in the seat.

He had no idea where they were going really, or what to expect. Roger really hadn't told him anything, so he figured there was no point in even trying to guess where they were going.

He glanced over in Roger's direction even though he couldn't see him, his hand finding the younger man's on the gear stick between them, "Don't be mad at Freddie, by the way"

"For what?"

"Not telling us that he knew all along, I know he had good intentions"

"Yeah, I know. I'm not mad at him"

"Good"

After what felt like about half an hour of driving, Brian eventually felt the car slow down before coming to a stop. After a moment, he heard the driver seat door slam shut before his own door was opened, and Roger helped him out of the car, "Alright, don't take off the scarf just yet, give me a second" Roger told him, leaving Brian by the car. He really had no idea what the younger man was up to, although he could hear a faint rustling.

He felt Roger's fingers at the back of his head after a second, loosening the knot before taking the scarf off, "Well, what d'you think?"

Brian blinked for a moment as his vision adjusted, before taking in the sight in front of him. He had no idea where they were, a field somewhere, he assumed the trail that the car was parked on would lead them back to the main road. On the grass, Roger had laid out a blanket and had lit enough candles that the small area was dimly lit, and there was a bottle of wine and two glasses at the edge of the blanket. Brian eyed the wine warily for a moment, considering one of them was going to have to drive back. Roger noticed though, and he smiled and elbowed Brian, "It's non-alcoholic, I'm not stupid. It's probably shit, but I thought it would be a little more romantic than a bottle of coke" He said with a small smile.

He took Brian by the hand, pulling him along to the blanket where they both sat down, "This is lovely, Rog" Brian said with a small smile as he watched Roger pouring them both a glass of the wine, "It gets better, look up" He told him, and Brian gasped as he looked up.

Since they were a little further out from the city, the night sky was clearer than Brian had seen in a long time. It made sense now why Roger had wanted them to wait until it got dark out. He loved the stars, and despite the fact that he was in the middle of doing his PhD in astrophysics, he rarely got the chance to do this. He barely even noticed that Roger had pressed the glass of wine into his glass until he looked back down at the younger man, "Rog, this.."

"Come on, lie down"

The two of them laid back on the blanket together, Roger curling up against Brian's side as they watched the sky, "Will you show me some constellations, Bri?" He asked.

Brian took a moment to just watch the sky, doing his best to identify some of the constellations above them. There were the few that were pretty obvious, the big and little dipper, as well as Cassiopeia, but there was one that he was trying his best to identify. Eventually he found it though, and he smiled as he pointed up in the direction of it as well as he could,

"Alright, see that bright star above us there? That's Regulus, that's the first point on the constellation. So follow that up, and then there's four stars that loop around like a backwards question mark, it's called The Sickle, d'you see that?"

"I think so?"

"Right, so go back to Regulus then, and connect that with the next bright star we see to the left of that. Once you see that, there's one above it and another one to the left. Those three connect in a triangle, and then that connects to The Sickle that we saw a moment ago. Can you make that out?"

"Yeah, I think I so?"

"That's Leo, your starsign" He looked over at Roger when he heard the younger man huffing out a quiet laugh, and maybe it was a little cringy but the only word he could think to use for the way Roger was looking at him was 'starry-eyed'. He raised an eyebrow, and Roger just curled back into his side, "I really have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking at, but it's sweet how enthusiastic you get about this" He said with a small smile. Brian just chuckled and wrapped an arm around Roger's shoulders, pressing a quick kiss to his hair, "Sorry, I'm probably boring you"

"You're not. I wanted this to be a nice surprise for you. I haven't got a notion when it comes to the stars or constellations or anything of the sort, but it's nice just getting to watch you enjoy yourself like this"

Brian honestly had no idea how he had gotten so lucky as to fall in love with somebody like Roger. Like he'd just said, Brian knew Roger had pretty much no interest in any of this, but he had driven them all the way out here in the middle of the night, and was sharing a bottle of non-alcoholic wine, just to give Brian a chance to look at the stars properly. It was sweet and romantic, and Brian didn't know what he had done to deserve something like this.

He smiled a little as he leaned over to him, cupping his cheek in his hand as he pressed their lips together. They simply just held each other for a moment as they kissed, and Brian eventually pulled away just enough to breathe, although he kept his forehead pressed against Roger's, "I love you, so much"

Roger smiled a little, his eyes still closed as he brought a hand up to brush the back of his knuckles softly against Brian's cheek, "I'm getting there" He whispered, pressing another quick kiss to his lips.

Brian honestly wasn't expecting Roger to say it back, so to hear even that he was getting there made something warm rise in him. He'd been waiting nearly five years for Roger to love him back, and especially after everything that had happened on his and John's trip; he hadn't been expecting it to happen any time soon, if ever. He'd gotten exactly what he wanted, and he was more than happy.

He'd been waiting for five years, he could wait a little longer.