“That was, by far, the stupidest thing you’ve ever done,” Ringo said as he stared at the splintered remains of the stage, with the broken amps and dented cymbals scattered throughout the mess.
“Oh, c…c-come on now, Ritchie, I was brilliant tonight,” Rory said, gazing proudly at his handiwork.
“Never said you weren’t,” Ringo laughed. “Now, are you sure you aren’t hurt?”
“Promise, I’m fine,” Rory told him for the fifth time, but Ringo still wasn’t buying it.
“You were really crushed under all that—it hurt my metal cymbals, for cryin’ out loud—there’s no way you got out without a scratch.”
Rory met Ringo’s eyes, and his bold smile finally started to fade into a more serious expression. “I mean, my legs will probably be a bit s-sore tomorrow, but that’s not so bad.”
Sighing, Ringo shook his head. Rory always tried to be the tough guy, but Ringo refused to let him suffer in silence. “C’mon,” he said, patting Rory’s arm. “Let’s head to the bathroom, to make sure you’re alright.”
They began fighting their way through the crowd toward the bathroom, with only minimal complaining from Rory. Thankfully, the room was almost deserted. Ringo asked Rory to sit on the floor, to which Rory responded with a raised eyebrow.
“The floor? That’s disgusting.”
“We’re surrounded by alcohol, sweat, and vomit every night, and this is where you draw the line?” Ringo laughed. “Just sit down, don’t want you straining your legs anymore.”
“Fine,” Rory grumbled as he sat. “But if I get s…s-sick, it’s your fault.”
“Sure,” Ringo said as he joined Rory on the floor and rolled up his pant legs. Just as he had suspected—his legs were covered in scratches and a few bumps that would surely turn into bruises in a few days. “Christ, Rory, why did you say you were fine?”
“Didn’t think it was that b-bad,” Rory muttered, watching as Ringo lightly touched a few of the cuts to judge how much pain it was causing Rory. Luckily, Rory barely flinched, and Ringo’s concern diminished—slightly.
“You’re a silly man,” Ringo said as he stood back up to grab a few paper towels. He added soap and water, then got back on the floor to start cleaning off Rory’s wounds.
“You really don’t need to do this,” Rory said, wincing as Ringo reached one of his larger scratches.
“Hey, that’s what friends are for,” Ringo said, flashing him a smile. “Just think of this as an extra reward for helping us win the bet.”
Rory laughed. “If you insist. But c…c-an I at least do something to thank you?”
“Sure,” Ringo said before suddenly dropping his smile and narrowing his eyes. “You can buy me new cymbals to replace the ones you broke.”
Eyes widening, Rory nodded. “N-no problem, Ritchie.”
Softening his expression, Ringo added, “Relax, I’m just messing with you.” They both laughed as Ringo got back to work. With all of Ringo’s help, Rory’s next few days would be as painless as possible.
“…But seriously, new cymbals.”
“Consider it done.”