things you said when you were proud
The boat was moving on the sea of human hands and Ollie kept looking forward, all the faces in front of him merging into one. He was riding high the excitement wave that usually overwhelmed him by mid-show, and tonight was no exception. Hell, it was even better than usual, with the loud cheering he had gotten after his extended intro for Seeman – he had been quite proud of that one, had worked on it in secret to surprise Till, and he had been rewarded by one of the blinding smiles of the singer.
He could feel the heat in the venue, (could sense the weight of a burning gaze against his back, sending shivers down his spine), could smell the fire all around in the air, could taste the energy coming from the crowd, could feel the bounces of the boat –
the boat was bouncing and he was starting to lose his equilibrium, and the crowd was roaring now and he could hear the music pumping through his blood and the boat was bouncing –
the boat was bouncing and he looked into a fan’s eyes, maintaining eye-contact as he felt the boat turning on itself. The crowd was still yelling loudly and he could have sworn he felt a burning gaze imprinting onto his skin as he disappeared into the human sea.
He saw the boat bounce one more time over his head but never crashed onto the cold, hard, unforgiving ground, on the contrary being held rather strongly by a thousand pair of hands. The crowd was still roaring in his ears and he suddenly came back up to the light, seeing the human sea all turned towards him. It was a bit impressive, being the sole focus of so many people at once, and his attention flickered back to the boat, which was brought back to him as the fans underneath were still holding him up.
A few were taking advantage of the opportunity to get a feeling at his ass, but nothing too intrusive – hell, he even half-wondered if it was on purpose or just trying to get him on position get back into the boat. Speaking of, it finally came back to him and people pushed him up a little higher, giving him a boost strong enough for him to jump back onto it.
The crowd cheered around him and he raised his arms in the ‘v’ of victory before directing his attention back onto the stage, still feeling the heat of a dozen hands imprinted onto his skin. The lights shining brightly the instruments looked fainter from here, and he felt a very brief pang of envy as the boat was steered back to its destination.
Till’s eyes were crinkling when he finally reached the stage once again, and he felt slightly more assured as the singer helped him back where he belonged, hands lingered on his skin as he regained his footing.
“Well done,” he whispered as he clasped his hand on Ollie’s shoulder, fingers slowly disappearing before they resumed their positions for the rest of the show.
Ollie felt the phantom weight of his hand during the rest of the gig, fingers playing out of their own volition on his bass as he kept looking at the singer, who was growling at the crowd, intensifying their passion with each passing song.
That was almost too much for him to handle.
Later that night, when they walked out from the stage, and then into their dressing rooms for a quick shower before putting on some mostly clean and dry clothes, Ollie let his head bang loudly against the shower well, indifferent to the coldness of the water on his skin.
It was barely lukewarm but he didn’t even notice, Till’s heated gaze imprinted on his retina, the firm weight of his hand still burning bright on his shoulder – and his own hand moved down of its own volition, forcing him to bite his lip to keep a moan down.
His infatuation was getting out of hand – ah! – and he didn’t know how he could deal with it. Till wasn’t particularly discreet when it came to sleeping with men – well, discreet enough that neither the press nor their fans would catch wind of it, but not so much that none of his bandmates had ever walked on him in action – but he wasn’t too sure what the singer thought about sleeping with someone else in the band.
“Move your ass Ollie, or we’re going to drive back to the hotel without you!”
Richard’s banging on the door of the bathroom almost made him and he jumped when he realized he had gotten lost in his day-dreaming – if it could be called like that – the water having turned from lukewarm to definitely cold. Swearing out loud, he grabbed the soap and quickly washed himself before rinsing the soap from his body. He then reached for his towel, quickly drying himself before putting on his clothes, grimacing a little as his pants stuck to his still-damp legs.
The whole matter had barely taken a few minutes and Richard was still leaning against the wall in front of the door when he walked about, a cigarette ready to be lit up in his hands, one eyebrow rising in surprise when Ollie barged out.
“I hope you’re not as quick in the bedroom,” the guitarist said with a little smirk, huffing back a little laugh when Ollie moved to cuff him over the head, cheeks tinted in pink. “Come on, the guys are waiting for us, Till’s hungry.”
“He is always hungry after shows,” Ollie muttered, tensing a little at the mention of the singer before forcing himself to relax, the two of them walking in through the corridors in a quick pace.
Richard seemed particularly at ease tonight – probably because of the few girls who had been wearing some very low-cut tops during the concert – but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t pick on something out of the ordinary.
Bastard was perceptive like that – and unfortunately for Ollie, that was nothing compared to Paul’s meddlesomeness, when the other guitarist got in the mood of putting his nose where it didn’t belong.
Sometimes, he wondered what he had done in a previous life to end up with such snooping bandmates.
They quickly made their way outside, where the rest of the band was waiting for them inside the limousine that was supposed to drive them back to the hotel. Paul, Schneider and Flake had taken one of the seats, the guitarist stuck in the middle and yet half-lying on both the musicians, while Till was seated in front of them, a look of vague bafflement on his face.
The guitarist was talking so fast Ollie could barely understand him as he and Richard made a beeline for the free spaces on the backseat, the guitarist moving over Till to end up next to the window, bringing it down a little as he lit up his cigarette, careful not to put ashes all over the ground. That left Ollie free to sit next to Till, and a faint blush crept up his ears as he did so.
Thankfully for him, no one noticed in the dim light of the limo – and it wasn’t for lack of visibility, as there was no hair to hide the state of his ears.
“Took you long enough,” Flake muttered as the car slowly started to drive away from the venue, eyes drifting from Paul’s animated face to look at them one by one, his intense stare almost bringing a blush over Ollie’s cheeks.
It felt as if the keyboardist knew what he had been up to – which was ridiculous, frankly, but…
“Scholle takes time in the bathroom,” Paul said in a song-song voice while Schneider was absent-mindedly playing with his hair, obviously not minding the guitarist half-lying over him.
“I do not!” Richard protested, turning his attention away from the dark streets of the city to glare at Paul, cigarette’s smoke disappearing through the open window.
Everybody stared at him with an unimpressed look on their faces – even Till, who usually didn’t get involved in that kind of petty catfights.
“Besides, Ollie was late this time, not me,” Richard went on, still glaring at Paul – whose right leg was now laying on Flake’s lap while Schneider was still petting his hair.
For all of his grumbling, the keyboardist didn’t do anything to get him to move his leg, and Ollie stared at them for a bit too long before reacting to his name, shrugging without trying to defend himself, cheeks still pink.
“It’s the exception more than the rule,” Schneider said in a mocking tone, and the three of them started cracking up in front of Richard’s fuming gaze – on whose face a pout was starting to form.
Ollie would almost have felt bad about it – almost – if Till hadn’t raised his hand to go and pet Richard’s hair in a comforting gesture, and jealousy started pooling at the bottom of his stomach.
He knew it was stupid of him – the two were the closest pair of the band by far, and they were always tactile with each other – but he couldn’t quite stop the short pang of envy that came every time he saw them sharing that kind of simple affection.
It wasn’t as if anyone was going to pet his hair, but he was eager for that kind of proximity.
For Till to put his hands on him, plain and simple.
Schneider caught his gaze and slightly tilted his head to the side, still playing with Paul’s hair as him and the other guitarist were bickering again, while Flake had rolled his eyes and given up on them, taking his glasses from his nose to clean them on his shirt. Till was intently listening to the conversation, an amused smile on his lips, and Ollie stared at him for a beat too long before turning his attention back onto Schneider.
The drummer raised an eyebrow, a knowing expression on his face, and Ollie felt himself blush a little. That was the problem with creating a band with people you had been living with for quite some time – usually, they knew how to read you, especially when you were crushing on someone.
Till’s leg brushed against his and Ollie turned to look at him, feeling his heart stop for a moment at the view in front of him. There was something quite majestic about Till’s profile, the way the light of the street lamps was cutting the shadows around him just so that he looked much grander than life.
Ollie bit back a noise, feeling familiar warmth pooling at the bottom of his stomach.
No one had noticed anything, of course – except for Schneider, who made a little face before turning his attention back onto the bickering musicians. Flake had decided to join the dance and the barbs were getting a little more acid, all of them still pumped on the energy of the concert.
Till was quiet, hand still playing with the hair at the nape of Richard’s neck, but he made no move to push his leg away, and Ollie wasn’t going to bring his attention on it – not when he was enjoying the close contact way too much.
The rest of the ride to the hotel was both too quick and too slow, and Ollie felt a short pang of deception when the limo finally arrived at destination. Schneider was the first to get out, Paul almost tripping behind him, Flake snickering as he followed suit – and then it was all three of them, Ollie stretching his long limbs as he put his feet back on the ground, Till and Richard on his heels.
“My room?” Schneider offered as they walked through the lobby, directing his attention to the two band members who weren’t ribbing each other.
Till nodded without saying a word, quiet in a way that meant he had burnt a little too much on stage – and that he was more likely to read or try to write some poetry rather than spend the night with a groupie or four. Ollie followed suit, hands in the pockets of his pants, looking away as Schneider stared at him a bit too long, obviously not paying any attention to the over-grown children on front of them.
Paul almost walked into a huge ficus, an accident only avoided as both Richard and Flake hold him back from hitting the flowerpot, the action not enough to get them to stop bickering. It was familiar – and comforting as well, and Ollie felt a weight disappear from his shoulders when they finally got into Schneider’s room, a stack of pizzas waiting for them on the coffee table.
“Why do you even ask if you have already made plans, Schneider?” Till asked with a pinch of amusement in his voice when he saw the food waiting for them.
The drummer shrugged, a little light dancing in his eyes.
“Plans can still change, if the situation requires it,” he said simply before letting himself fall onto one of the huge puff armchairs, gesturing for his bandmates to make themselves comfortable.
He and Till exchanged a look and Ollie felt like there was more to Schneider’s words, but no one else seemed to notice – and maybe it was just his mind playing tricks on him. He settled gingerly at one end of the couch, close to Schneider’s seat – he felt a bit on edge now, but none of the armchairs were appealing enough to him.
Much to his surprise, Till sat down next to him, Richard following on the other side of the couch without having seemed to notice, still engrossed in his bickering with Paul, who bounced on the armchair on the other side of the coffee table. Flake was shaking his head again, settling on the armchair between Schneider’s and Paul’s, looking at the guitarists with a mix of fondness and exasperation on his face – a common occurrence as far as they were all concerned.
Schneider coughed to hide his laugh at the spectacle before handing out plates at those who were interested in having a post-concert dinner. Ollie hesitated for a moment between two different pizzas, a bit envious of his bandmates’ ease at choosing what to eat – and what to drink, considering that beer suddenly appeared on the table, a bottle suddenly swinging in front of his eyes.
“Earth to Ollie,” Schneider said gently while Till nudged his arm, looking at him with a concerned expression on his face.
Oops – looked like he had gotten lost in his thoughts again.
“I didn’t think the boat incident had shaken you up that bad,” Till remarked as Ollie took the bottle with faint words of thanks.
“It did not?” Ollie said hesitantly, cheeks warming as Till put half a pizza on his plate – bacon and cheese and a huge pile of vegetables that looked like the most appealing dinner ever.
Oh no – no, no, no, he was blushing, and over one of the most stupid things ever, and everybody was looking at him now, Richard’s piercing blue eyes seemingly staring straight into his soul.
“You were a bit pale when you came back on stage,” Paul pointed out – and just like that, all bickering disappeared, all his bandmates focusing on him.
Well, him and pizza – and there was a short, silent struggle between Flake and Paul over a bottle of beer while Richard was half-leaning over Till to get some pizza himself, still staring at Ollie with a disconcerting intensity.
Ollie squirmed on the couch, trying to keep his cool as Till’s leg pressed against his again, their arms brushing against one another. There was a serious look on the singer’s face as he settled into the couch and everybody turned to look at him, all in the expectation of his words.
“I propose we toast to Ollie,” he said in a calm voice, looking at all five of them, his gaze lasting on the bassist for the longest time. “Both for getting back on that boat with his pants on,” Paul giggled and Flake groaned out loud, “and for that wonderful outro for Seeman.”
Richard and Schneider cheered loudly and Ollie turned redder than a tomato, which got everyone to laugh before cheering again, Paul loudly clasping his hands together, obviously still riding high his own wave of excitement. Till put an arm around his shoulders and Ollie blamed the fire on his cheeks onto the praise his bandmates were throwing at him, doing his best to hide his feelings.
Six bottles of beer clinked together before being put back on the coffee table, Paul launching himself at Ollie for a celebratory hug. Till laughed loudly at that, a booming sound that had heat pooling at the bottom of Ollie’s stomach, but yet his arm didn’t move, still holding onto the bassist’s lean shoulders.
It took Schneider’s firm – yet very amused – intervention for Paul to disentangle himself from Ollie, cheeks flushed bright, before the rest of his bandmates came to hug him at well, clapping him on the back.
Till was last, waiting for the conversation to roll around them once again before hugging him with one arm, his breath warm against Ollie’s cheeks.
“You and I will celebrate later in my room,” he whispered in his ear, fingers butterfly-light against his neck.
Ollie tensed, suddenly very still, and leaned back a little to stare at him, incomprehension all over his face. No one else was paying attention to them, Schneider and Richard engrossed in a very animated discussion with Paul and Flake.
Till’s leg was pressed a little closer against his own leg, a firm weight that suddenly left nothing and everything to the imagination.
“I…” Ollie started saying before closing his mouth, not knowing what to say, slowly realizing that his cheeks were turning red again.
Till’s eyes were crinkling with amusement, but there was no mockery – just deep fondness, and Ollie felt himself blush even more.
“Or maybe I should you take you out for dinner first?” Till asked in a very low voice, amusement still dancing in his eyes, and Ollie kicked him in the calf none too gently, his cheeks on fire.
“Maybe you can take me out for dinner after, if you want seconds,” he said with his eyebrows moving in a suggestive manner.
Till bit back a laugh and moved to kiss his cheek, a firm pressure that turned Ollie on more than he would have expected, before leaning back into the couch, clinking their bottles together again.
“Your wish is my command, Herr Riedel,” he said with a low growl, licking his lips as Ollie’s pupils dilated, squirming a little on his seat, heat full-bloomed in his stomach.
He wanted nothing more than to drop his dinner and fall into bed right now – and if the warm hand on his thigh and the hungry look in Till’s eyes was anything to go by, he wasn’t the only one.