The world was not an easy place to live for Brian May.
It wasn't easy for all the 'kind souls', or so his mate Freddie always said with an aura of wisdom. To which Brian always answered that there were a lot of beings that had it much harder than him, anyway.
Brian walked briskly on the busy street, the important documents he held strictly plastered on his torso. He had all the papers needed to free another mythical being from a cruel human, but he had to move fast. He knew how things went, and it was a sadly high possibility for the poor fairy to 'disappear' before the conclusion of the deal. She wasn't the first, and wouldn't be the last.
Their world was ruled by the law of the strongest. There was no other definitions. Humans held resources, and the most powerful could have anything thanks to money and relationships. The mythical beings had power, the real power. Strength, wings, magic. No human left alone and weaponless could stand a chance against them. Vampires, demons, dragons and witches could very well live outside the law, wrecking terror against human cities and villages on the outskirts.
Regular humans were at least protected by laws and public forces. Not much, if you were unlucky enough to find yourself in a strong magical being clutches, but if you were careful, as a human, you could live your life in a somewhat peaceful environment.
That left out only two categories of beings: humans less lucky, the poor and indigent, and mythical beings with no strong powers. The latter was the most subjugated. There were no laws to protect them, no rights to be demanded. They couldn't go to school, could enter just shops and public transportation for their kind, had no access to hospitals and could be sold and owned like special luxury goods.
That was the world they created. Was it worth living this kind of life?
Brian, after a long period of consuming depression (which still lurked in a corner of his mind every minute of the day), decided to live. And to do something to change.
He couldn't bear to just close his eyes, take his diploma and go to work for some high name in the scientific circle. And while his mother always expresses her concern about his life choices, with his father and his judging expression just behind her, Brian joined an organisation that battled for the right of the mythicals. It was hard work, usually useless work at that, but Brian held hope. For that one being over 100 they were able to help. For Brian, even that miserable result was important.
Freddie called him disillusioned. Tim told him to get a grip of himself. Brian didn't care. He was stubborn, and passionate. He had a goal, and intended to pursuit it 'till the end of his life.
The wind picked up, and Brian's field of vision neared the zero. It was no mystery that their world was dying. The temperature raised, and half the once green and lustful lands were now deserted and inhabited. Water was scarce, and every hour of the day the city was invested by sand storms. The alarm blasted and Brian, used to the procedure, began the brawl to enter a safe place to wait out the storm.
He was lucky, and soon he could order a cup of coffee in a small bar. He asked to use the phone, only to be told that it wasn't working. Brian sighed and looked at his documents. He hoped that the fairy would still be here by the time he would be able to exit again, but he hadn't much hope.
Brian took his coffee and scanned the hall. There were five tables all already taken by patrons. Some of them seemed regulars, dressed with their working clothes and with a pint of beer before them. Others were, as him, just passer-bys that found shelter. They were looking outside to the sand storm, the once terrifying and astonishing sight by now just a daily occurrence. Brian chanced a look at the window and quickly turned his head. He was positively terrorised by sand storms. The only idea of dying suffocated made chills run down his spine.
Brian let his eyes wander to the patrons, lost in thoughts. However, one man caught his attention.
He was pretty tall, even if not as much as Brian, and had long, slightly curly, hair, of a brown-red colour. They fell over his shoulders in soft waves, and curled at the end in a very endearing way. He was nursing his own cup of coffee in silence, tucked away from the crow. Probably prickled by Brian's stare, the stranger looked up and their eyes met. The boy had delicate features, a bit sharp, pale skin and grey-green eyes that held a curious gleam.
Brian breath hitches. He knew those features. A pixie .
The pixie quickly turned his head, hiding behind his curtains of hair. Brian was confused. It wasn't usual to see a mythical creature without their Master, or without a collar around their neck to show that they were owned. This pixie, however, seemed alone and pretty much unowned. It was dangerous walking around free for them, they could been taken by anyone who stated the claim! Brian association had a list of safe people who could take ownership of a mythical to assure them protection and a dignified life. He couldn't walk away without offering the pixie his help.
With that aim in mind, Brian waded through the bar and to the angle in which the pixie was hiding. When he was near he caught the end of a pointed ear that poked through the pixie's hair. It was all the confirmation Brian's needed. He placed himself in the stranger line of sight and held out his hand in what he hoped was an affable gesture.
“Hello there. I'm Brian, and I can help you” he began, keeping his tone a slight whisper as to not alert the other patrons. Who knows which kind of depraved soul could they be. The pixie raised his head and fixed Brian with an unimpressed look. The curly haired man felt his cheeks going slightly pink at the plain, and a bit annoyed, expression, as well as the lack of reactions. The two men stared at each other for some moments. Then, the pixie scoffed.
“Can you? Help me with what, exactly?” he asked, with a challenging tone. Brian, taken aback, could just gape at the pixie. It wasn't common for mythical beings to be this confrontational against humans. Usually they looked down, answered demurely and called everyone 'sirs'. This pixie, however, seemed quite calm and collected when treating a human with this level of disrespect. Not that Brian minded, but this kind of behaviour could be even more dangerous than walking alone and untaken in the streets. The curly haired man furrowed his brows.
“I'm part of the MRP association, and we could help you find a human, a safe space and a better life” he answered with his usual slogan. It seemed just empty words, maybe, but it was true. They were able to help, at least a bit. The pixie rolled his eyes at that.
“Sure thing, man. Whatever let you sleep at night” he answered flippantly to an increasingly astonished Brian. With anything else to say, Brian took a step back. Could it be that the pixie was already taken by a human who let him go around freely? Seemed a bit unlikely to him. The pixie wasn't paying him any attention, gaze locked on his coffee. Brian decided to chance his luck for a second time.
“Listen, I know that most of you are sceptical in asking our help, or even afraid to, but I can assure you...” he began, trying to 'establish a contact' as the psychologist at his association taught him, but the pixie raised his head just a second later and fixed him with an annoyed glare.
“Most of 'us' can easily live without having people like 'you' bothering us” he replied, with an air of finality. Brian, more confused than before, was also becoming slightly annoyed himself. He was just trying to help!
“We have programs and safe houses!” he remarked, to make his point come across the stubborn pixie. Some patrons near them quieted, interested by the strange conversation. The pixie looked around himself warily before answering.
“I don't need your help. I'm human” he stated, his affirmation more directed to the balding man at his right than to Brian. The curly haired man looked around too, finding more than one interested gaze upon his companion. Still, his claim was rather bold for someone who looked so clearly as a mythical. Stating the false on your species could very well place yourself in prison, or even worse. This pixie was quite brave, if not plainly reckless.
“Are you? Show your ID” someone said in the background, and Brian cringed. That, too, was a rather common practise that Brian found unfair and degrading. Only humans possessed an identity document, with mythical beings only having cards to indicate their owners. And everyone could ask you to show your document if there was a suspicion on your species. This habit tended to expose a great amount of mythicals that were trying to go unnoticed while being unowned.
Brian hoped to not have, with his desire to do something to help, doomed the pixie to an horrifying fate.
The pixie however just rolled his eyes and produced out of his back pocket an ID document, handing it to Brian with a sharp gesture.
“Here, test your theory”.
Brian didn't ask for this but took the document nonetheless, opening it with some trepidation and reading it aloud for everyone to hear.
“John Richard Deacon, born in Oadby. Species human” he stated, surprised. He looked up to see the pixie – well, human, apparently – staring at him victoriously. Brian looked at the paper in his hands, trying to find a trace of forgery, but he couldn't spot anything. It was a regular ID, which looked the same as the one he had in his pocket. He swallowed, embarrassed. The crowd which was looking at the show quickly dispersed, disappointed. John Deacon held out his hand, expectantly.
“But... your ears are pointed” Brian mumbled, to justify his earlier behaviour. Deacon snorted.
“I'm aware. It's not common, but is a family characteristic. I have a medical certificate for that, if you can't placate your curiosity as it is, Mister” he answered flatly, and Brian felt his cheeks burning.
“No, I... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have assumed” he stammered, while John just took back his ID and put it in his trousers. The man just rolled his eyes again, for good measure, and strode toward the exit without looking back. Brian noted that the sand storm, during their encounter, had come to an ending. When he looked again toward the man, he was already disappeared.
“You did what now?”
Brian didn't bother to raise his eyes, already enough embarrassed as it was. He could hear Freddie's laughter booming inside his tiny flat.
“Listen, he looked exactly as a pixie! He even had the pointed ears! How could I knew?” he defended himself, why the hell did he confided in Freddie anyway? It was predictable that his best friend would had only laughed at him.
“Yes, darling, but still. Even the documents? Weren't you humiliated enough?” Freddie's voice trilled, and Brian buried his red face in his hands. Besides, he was unconvinced. The man looked too much as a pixie to not raise at least a bit of suspicion.
“You're probably right, I shouldn't have pressed him. Anyway, I still think he's a pixie” he shared his doubts, only to receive a pillow on his face for his troubles.
“Brian, darling, why the hell do you care?” Freddie moaned loudly, while carelessly slumping down on the couch next to Brian. The curly haired man sighed.
“Because he could be in trouble, carrying around false documents like this! What if someone founds out and claims him? Or worse, turns him to the Government? It is dangerous” Brian pointed out, his values burning a fire in his guts. He couldn't just leave the boy alone in that unpredictable situation, even if he didn't want his help. Alas, he didn't have a clue to find him again. Also, he had a false ID document, which was something worth of taking into account.
“Who could have gave him a false document?” he reasoned aloud, mentally scanning all the names of the outlaws that were neatly written on the association's black list. There were a lot of people, both human and mythical, that could engage in such an illegal, while remunerating, activity.
“Darling, you don't even know if it was false! Why can't you just accept the fact that, perhaps, this John Deacon guy is a human after all?” Freddie complained, pouring himself a glass of wine and refilling Brian's one. The curly man shrugged.
“I'm not convinced. I'll do a research tomorrow, and if this 'John Deacon' doesn't come up anywhere I'll take measures” he promised. It was his job to help, and he was going to do it at the best of his possibilities. Freddie scoffed, schooling his features in an unimpressed look.
“Brian dear, if the boy doesn't want your help you should let him be. There are so many mythical creatures you could focus your attention to” he suggested coyly, and Brian slumped against the backrest. He knew Freddie's was right, but still the mysterious pixie – because he was a pixie, Brian was sure of that – had intrigued him too much to just let go.
“Well, dear, enough with work-related talking! You know what Jerry darling found for me?” Freddie changed topic without much effort, and Brian let him. He decided to close the entire encounter in a corner of his mind, to be thought about in the morning.
“What?” he took the bait, knowing Freddie and his love for the melodrama. His dark haired friend didn't disappoint, and stood up with a flourish.
“Two tickets to the main event of the month” he announced with a posh accent that made Brian laugh.
“Oh really? What event?” Brian asked, he wasn't really a social person, let alone one as good as mingling like Freddie. The other man smiled like the cat who caught the canary.
“Oh darling, I have to teach you everything! You remember Foster's place, the 'EMI Studios'?” he elaborated, showing off a pleasured smirk. Brian paled. He knew Foster's place all right, the most famous night club of the entire city. It was a place at the edge of legality, that served the most inebriating of beverages, in which it was possible to find the worst drugs on the market, and that offered the better, and most sought after, erotic shows of the town.
To say that Brian wasn't thrilled about heading to that place was the understatement of the century.
“Absolutely not” he shouted, shocked. Even if he wasn't happy about Freddie taking too much fun in joining the night club's scene, he could tolerate it, but to think he would drag Brian too... no way. Also, those places were packed with poor mythical creatures forced to work as dancers, or worse, to serve as prostitutes for the most wealthy. No way in hell.
Freddie made a face.
“Brian darling, don't be a party popper” he pleaded mockingly. With his hands placed on his hips and arms akimbo, he vaguely resembled an exasperated mother. Still, as ridiculous as he looked, Brian didn't feel like laughing.
“Those places are exactly what I, and the MRP, are fighting against! I'll never put even a foot inside one of them” Brian claimed, while crossing his arms in a gesture of finality. “Also, you shouldn't either, you're increasing their business and popularity in joining their events” he added, just to be spiteful. Freddie shrugged, unconcerned.
“Maybe, darling. But I'm not part of your association, am I right?” he commented nonchalantly. Yes, Freddie wasn't keen of the current law setting himself, but didn't understand how depriving himself of the joys of life could help anyone. He avoided sleeping with owned mythicals and considered himself clean of charges. Alas, Brian didn't agree on his logic.
“Come on, Brian darling. Think about it. You could find poor souls in need of the MRP's help this way” he suggested, and that caught Brian's attention. As disinterested as Freddie was in the sexual workers fate, it wasn't a bad idea in itself. He should ask for the association's head border approval for this one.
“When is this special event, then?” Brian heard himself ask. Freddie's grin widened.
“You should go shower, darling. You have three hours to get prepared” was the happy response.