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But We Can Call It Paradise

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It had been the height of summer when he'd met Simon.

It had been an extremely average, even notably poor British summer, but - for Gary - it had felt, inside his heart, like the long sizzling summer of 1976. Since joining the Radio 1 line-up, every summer had felt like it had gone on forever - but especially this one - my god... Sweltering under the duvet, tossing and turning, boiling and unable to keep cool - night after night of waking up sweating from the hot, sticky dreams about him and all the things he wanted to do to him... Flipping the pillow over, endlessly, to the cold side in a bid to sleep - having no option, eventually, but to stumble into the bathroom, his mind dizzy and fogged, and his arousal aching, two minutes with his own hand the only relief.

He knew it would never be enough. At first, he'd surprised himself with his own desires; there was no shortage of glamorous women within the studios - a veritable feast of eye candy - for, in those days, when there was less of a focus on political correctness, shall we say - things were different - and female employees were often not chosen for their intelligence and aptitude for the job, if you catch my drift. But, instead of gawping open-mouthed at the big-bosomed beauties bustling about the place, he'd found himself bored by them and desensitised after a while, and he'd started to seek something else, even if he - himself - didn't know what at the time.

Save a Prayer by Duran Duran had been playing away to itself when they'd first met, that warm and lazy Monday morning - quietly minding its own business, in the background - an earworm which had burrowed into his mind. It was song about love and sex, as roughly around 99% of songs were at the time, but Gary couldn't help but think, in the end, that it felt ironic and almost deliberate in their case.

-- All alone ain't much fun so you're looking for the thrill, and you know just what it takes and where to go --

Gary gently tapped on the toughened, soundproof glass with his knuckles, which mildly startled the deep-in-thought Simon, who was sat at his desk, concentrating on not fouling up his first day on the job. He may have been presenting on radio for years, but the Radio 1 Breakfast Show was quite possibly the biggest show there was out there to present, and it hadn't escaped people's notice that Mayo looked like he was barely out of school, so he was determined to prove any of his doubters wrong. He felt calmed somewhat, however, by the friendly face on the other side of the window, the man to which it belonged now walking through the door and closing it softly behind him. Simon removed his headphones and rose from his seat.

"You must be the new 'breakfast show' presenter," Gary beamed, outstretching his hand for Simon to shake, "I can't believe we haven't met - you've been here a while now, haven't you?"

"We've been like ships that pass in the night," Simon laughed.

"And now our shows are neighbours almost - I'm the DJ on the lunchtime show. I'm--"

"--I know who you are," came the interruption, and Davies closed his mouth and smiled, "You're the one all the girls go wild for."

"That's me," there was a silly grin.

"Ooh, Gary Davies," sang Simon, referring to Gary's on-air jingle.

"And now I see they've sent a cute, new lad to steal my throne."

"Oh, yeah," Simon rolled his eyes in a self-deprecating manner. "Sure. I'm Simon, by the way."

"Nice to meet you. And when all of my female fanbase have disappeared, I'll know whose studio to find them in. I've got my eye on you, buddy," he jokingly flicked his fingers between his own eyes and Mayo's.

"Let me know your type and I'll make sure to save those ones for you," he snorted.

"Shy," Gary said, as cool as a cucumber and not missing a beat, "And blond. That's what I like." He heard Simon gulp.


"I think you're on in a moment," Davies told him, hearing Simon Le Bon's dulcet tones starting to fade out on the record.

"Oh... right!" the younger man scrambled to pick up his headphones, hands to the faders, keen not to leave listeners with a 'dead air' moment. The other man could barely take his eyes off of the rather flustered, though incredibly fresh-faced looking boy - who had charmed him so in such a short space of time - as he exited the space and walked out into the corridor, smirking to himself.

Gary couldn't play that song now, or indeed any song by Duran Duran, without thinking of the moment he met Simon. He couldn't play any 80's love song at all really, if he was honest, without it bringing back memories. And now, in 2019, that he was hosting 'Sounds of the Eighties' on a Friday night on BBC Radio 2, it was difficult finding a single song in the entire catalogue which didn't remind him of those wonderful, special times they would go on to share together. But he didn't mind that - not one jot. After all, there would be plenty more opportunity for such times with one another, now that he was back working at the Beeb - and, despite the fact that Simon had decided to leave 'Drivetime' shortly after Gary re-joined, he would still be around the place for his film review show.

The BBC had frequently started to team the pair of them up for presenting Top of the Pops, back in the late 80's. Christ - Gary had thought at the time - it was the closest thing to being rock stars themselves, being in that environment. Naturally, he had taken to the lifestyle like a duck to water with his white chinos and matching jacket, immaculately coiffured hairstyle and tanned skin - and he'd had more experience at fronting the programme. Married Simon bashfully flinched every time the girls were dancing near him, or trying to put their arms around him; Davies loved the attention but he'd be lying if he'd said he was watching the girls or looking at anyone but Mayo and his sweet, uncomfortable reactions.

They'd just finished going through the Top 40 Breakers and were now enjoying a synthesizer-based performance from New Order with the rest of the crowd, preparing for their next link. And Simon was soon being chatted up. He stumbled away from the teenage female punk rocker who was currently jiving beside of him, dressed in a Madonna-style all-in-one leather number with shorts, fishnet stockings and fluorescent leg warmers, and into Gary's side, wincing apologetically, as Gary guided him away and brought him into a reassuring embrace - grinning - amused by Simon's ungainliness.

"Don't worry - we get to have a breather after this one," Gary soothed, gently gripping the collar of Simon's shirt, running a finger along the back of his neck and making him flush as they turned to camera, introducing the latest track from the Pet Shop Boys, watching them appear from the dry ice.

As the electronic music thumped away, with the colourful and - what would now be seen as corny - graphics flashing, Gary couldn't deny that it put fire in his belly to think of the success and acceptance of acts such as these - Pet Shop Boys, Bronski Beat, Erasure, etc - and how it somehow gave a sort-of permission to be a certain way - that this was a time where it was alright for a man to sleep with another man. The flames of said fire crackled and popped furiously as the pair headed back to the dressing room for a rest during a brief interlude from filming, as Davies knew they would be all alone for the first time properly this evening.

"God... Mate... I don't know if it's the adrenaline... the atmosphere... or all of those sexy girls around you, trying to grab you, trying to feel you up..." he turned to Mayo and gave a devilish smile, "But it does things to me. Makes me want to have somebody. Here and now. Like I can't wait." Could he have spelled it out for him any more clearly? Apparently, he could have.

"If you want to bring a girl back here, I can make myself scarce - it's fine," Simon replied, as amenable as ever. They may well have been top radio DJ's, but there were so many prima donnas amongst the artists performing on Top of the Pops weekly that rarely was there the space for them to have a dressing room each. But Gary was his friend and he was sure he could find somewhere to go off to if it would make him happy. It just so turned out that the place to make him happy would be in his arms, being here with him.

"You really don't get it, do you?" the older man shook his head.

"Get what?" his voice was small and unsure.

"It's you. I want you."

"Me?" the voice became even more meek.

"Yes," Gary gasped, pushing Simon back against the wall and kissing him with fierce, forceful lips. "You," he managed, his breath taken from him. He could hear the pounding of the techno beats thudding in the distance and it fuelled his desperation.

-- Take a chance. Like all dreamers, can't find another way - you don't have to dream it all, just live a day --

"But I'm... And I don't know if I'm even," he started to stammer. He was so unsure but, then, all of a sudden, he was sure. Taking Davies by surprise, Mayo lunged in for another kiss - this time, with tongue, hungry and sloppy. And, all the while, though Simon was the taller one, Gary had his hands firmly dug into blond-haired DJ's behind, fingernails pulling denim, snagged on material - anything to bring him downwards and bring him closer. They parted and Gary's eyes were glued to the wetness of Simon's lips and chin, with the thrill that he had done that to him. The boy was glistening - sweating too from the heat of the studio lights. "Are you... er... bisexual then? Like David Bowie?" There was a hint of excitement.

"Well... I suppose so," Gary chuckled at the comparison.

"You're so..." Simon started, giggling, "...effortlessly cool, Gary Davies."

"Ooh," Gary laughed. "Let's see if it rubs off on you. If I rub hard enough," he growled. And Simon couldn't wait to allow himself to be grabbed and pulled, hard and any which way that Gary wanted. He practically tripped back over the sofa and landed in the perfect position, all by accident. He tried to get up but the darker-haired man stopped him, teasingly pushing him back with one hand.

"Whu--?" Simon queried, his cheeks pink and his lips full and red from all of the passionate kisses.

"You aren't going anywhere," he pinned him down, a wicked glint in his eye.

"We haven't got the time," Mayo protested, although ruefully. "Bonnie Tyler's on soon and you know she doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Gary raised his eyebrows. Holding out for a hero indeed, and she would be, because they'd be another ten minutes at least - they weren't about to let this occasion pass. Not before long, Gary's jeans and underwear were down to his ankles, Simon slowly tugging his cock as the disc jockey sat half on top of him, kissing him over and over again; Simon had more clothes off than he had left on and, before he could argue - and, believe me, it would taken all of his strength to have argued - Davies was working a fist over his erect penis with the one hand, and the other - with fingers well-coated in spit - was inside of him, two digits fucking him and moving within, making him moan incomprehensible mumblings.

"You like that, don't you?" there was a hiss in Simon's ear, "I bet you'd like all of me inside you, wouldn't you?"

"We can't," the reply sounded almost tearful. "We haven't got... We haven't got a thing - you know," for some reason he lowered his voice, as if it was somehow more embarrassing than anything that had gone before it; they'd been halfway through the session before Simon had actually realised that Gary had locked the door - prior to that, he hadn't even thought about it, and now he was whispering-- "A condom." And Gary scrunched his eyes in disappointment. Simon was right; anyone who watched the news knew that this was not the time to be endulging in unprotected sex, and current affairs were enough to put the bloody fear of god into you. "But I'd let you, if we had one," Mayo breathed heavily into his ear and Davies trembled - that, along with the hand which was gripping into his fuzzy black hair, and the teeth grazing against his neck, made him lose it all rather quickly in his pal's grasp.

Simon wasn't far behind him, as Gary was now able to focus his full - if not now slightly flagging - attention on providing the most pleasure that he could. Gary picked up the speed, once again plunging slick fingers into his partner's entrance and roughly masturbating him to orgasm with his other hand. It was, as it happened, lucky that Simon had taken off most of his clothes, because they would have ended up thoroughly ruined; grunting, he came all over his own chest. And now there were people knocking at the door and the two men felt as though they couldn't move - Mayo with his back flat to the sofa, limbs lifeless, and Davies kneeling on the floor, feeling not nearly as young as he should have upon trying to stand up on wobbly legs.

"Bonnie Tyler should have started five minutes ago," the production manager called through the keyhole, "We're behind time now, lads - and she is not happy - you know what a perfectionist she is!"

"Well, you couldn't have gotten much more perfect than that," Simon murmured, gazing lazily up at Gary, who had finally managed to stand, "Maybe somebody should tell her that..."

And by gosh, it was true - things never did get much more perfect than that - even as the years rolled by. So, it was unsurprising really that it was Simon - of all people - who was responsible for Gary's return to radio DJ'ing - many years later.

Perhaps the Mancunian might never have left radio, had things stayed the same - but all the magic had gone out of the job for him. The magic never left his and Simon's relationship, as far as he was concerned, and they would have several great years of working together and spending time with one another in the studios - but, like with all things - when two people go on to no longer see each other, they simply drift apart. And this was what had happened - it wasn't a particularly sad love story - just an ordinary one. He thought of Simon often; he wondered too if Simon thought of him. That question was answered when a phone call came out of the blue nearly thirty years later, and it was as if the world had stopped when he first heard his voice. Yes, he still loved him, and Gary still loved him too.

Sara Cox was doing a 'Sounds of the Eighties' danceathon, and Simon thought that listeners would enjoy the nostalgia of Gary being a guest on the show. Of course, needless to say that wasn't his only reason for calling him. "Why don't you come down? No-one knows what you've been up to for the past twenty-odd years."

"You think? Nobody will even remember who I am," Gary lamented.

"Of course they will, Gary. Listeners will have really missed you--" he paused. "Not nearly as much as I have," he swallowed, "But they'll have missed you nonetheless."

"Well... I'll be there then - you name the time and I'll be there," Davies found himself frantically agreeing as he spoke into his mobile.

He would be there. How could he wait a minute longer? He would be there, because so would be the kisses - so would be the passion, even if it was slower, softer - even if they were twice the age that they had been then - so would be Mayo's hands grasped into his, albeit shorter and greyer, hair as they made love once again - so would be the adoration. He stared into the screen of the phone, where Simon's name was displayed, and was struck dumb for a second by his overwhelming thoughts, running his thumb over the outside of the metal casing.

"Wild horses couldn't keep me away," he went on to grin, knowing that - even though they weren't speaking over video phone - Simon could have damn well seen the smile on his face as he told him so.

-- Some people call it a one night stand but we can call it paradise --