THUD, SLAM, BOOM
"YOU'RE CRAZY, GINGER! GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"
"JACK LISTEN TO ME, YOU FUCKIN'-"
With a THUD, Jack threw a shoe at Ginger's head.
Ginger ducked, ran over to Eric, and hid behind him.
"What the hell is going on?!" Eric barked, running up towards Jack.
"I told Ginger to piss off, and he ain't listenin' to me!" Jack snapped, standing in the doorway of his room.
"I just wanted to talk to you 'bout somethin'!"
"No! I said, leave me BE!" the Scotsman marched into his room.
SLAM, and Jack closed the door behind him.
Finally, with a BOOM, the bassist aggressively flopped down on the bed.
This was a typical American tour for Cream.
Ever since the beginning of '67, tours became tedious for the trio.
Jack was after Ginger's throat, and Ginger was after Jack's throat.
They recently finished up a show which led to endless fighting all the way up to their hotel rooms.
Eric, Jack, and Ginger were standing in the hall way of their rooms (Jack didn't dare share a room with Ginger, so Ginger bunked out with Eric).
That meant Jack was by himself.
Ginger was trying to explain something to Jack, Jack was on his last nerve, and he marched into his room.
The hall was dead silent after that.
The only sound heard was the shuffling of the men's feet across the brown, matted carpet.
"Now I gotta deal with that," Eric sat on the bed and sighed.
Ginger gently shut the door, pulled a pack of cigarettes out out his pocket, and put one in between his lips.
"Aye, remember, we can't smoke in here," Eric advised, laying on the bed.
Ginger scoffed. "I'm stressed. Besides, we can open the window."
"Bloody hell," Eric shook his head. "You guys are gonna make me kill myself."
Ginger grabbed the lighter off the dresser, lit his cigarette, and stepped closer to Eric.
His eyes scanned the room.
The walls were a stained, faded yellow, the carpet was the same type as the one out in the hall (with extra stains), and the window was facing the building next to them.
No use in letting any light in.
There were small nightstands on each side of the bed.
There was a bathroom near the door, but Ginger didn't dare to look in.
For all he knows, there could be rats, bugs, or maybe even a dead body.
When Eric went to flick on the lamp to his right, the chain broke, and the light was now permanently on.
"Fuckin' great! We're the best musicians in the fuckin' world, and this is how we're gettin' repaid?" Ginger took a long drag of his cigarette.
"Shitty hotel, yeah, but listen. We're only spendin' two nights here," Eric stood up and walked over to the window.
Desperately, he tried to unlock the window and open it.
In that attempt, he snapped off a lock, and now the window can't be locked anymore.
"Ugh!" Eric pushed up the window with all his might, and it finally opened.
Ginger walked over to the window and stuck his head out.
The only thing he could see in the darkness was an alleyway, a trashcan, a part of the sidewalk, and a streetlight.
Ginger popped his head back in, rubbed his temples, and sat on the edge of the bed.
"These bedsheets are..." Eric lifted up the ugly pink, floral covers, scrutinizing every aspect. "They look like they haven't been cleaned in bloody years."
"...you're takin' the bed then," Ginger smirked.
"Well, I guess it won't be too bad."
Ginger finished his cigarette, smashed it out on a pillow case, and tossed the butt into the garbage.
He sighed and gazed over to Eric.
"What started the fight now?" the guitarist asked.
Ginger shook his head. "Nothin'...I'm just sick as hell fighting with him."
"Then why do you keep it going?"
"I don't know how to deal wit him yelling at me," Ginger replied.
"So you yell and argue back?"
"Eric, I don't know what to do! I'm gonna lose me mind! How do I tell him I love 'em?!" Ginger exclaimed.
"He doesn't seem fuckin' into you. So I say give it up."
Ginger stared down at his shoes.
"He needs to give me a chance."
"Try to coax him," Eric crawled into the old bedsheets.
Ginger stood up, yanked a blanket from Eric, and snatched a pillow.
Eric glared at him as he set up his spot on the floor.
With that, the two laid in their "beds," and eventually Eric fell asleep.
Ginger, however, couldn't sleep a wink.
In his head, he was replaying the argument over and over again.
The way Jack's eyes screamed of rage, the visible veins bulging out of his neck, and the occassional line of spit he'd spew out.
How could such a kind, goofy man be so cruel?
Over in Jack's room, he was laying in his bed.
The room was the exact same set up as Ginger and Eric's room, but this time, his window was actually facing out.
The summer moonlight seeped through the thin, white curtains and covered Jack's face.
He couldn't sleep either.
Jack, too, kept replaying the argument.
After the show, Jack was upset, obviously.
Ginger wanted to talk, and Jack didn't want to deal with it.
So, he and Ginger got into one of their usual fights over something insignificant.
He felt bad. Ginger just wanted to strike up an innocent conversation.
Jack turned to his side and shut his eyes.
Ginger had been acting nicer than usual lately.
He'd open doors for Jack, carry his bass to shows, ask him how he was doing, offer to buy him lunch, and more.
Each day, Jack slowly fell more and more for the drummer.
And every day, he'd beat himself up about it too.
"How the fuck did I fall for me worst enemy?" Jack murmured to himself.
Jack drifted off to sleep with that question burning in his mind.
In the morning, Eric was the first to wake up.
He rubbed his eyes, yawned, and stretched.
Peering down from the bed, he saw Ginger sleeping on the floor.
To some, Ginger appeared dead.
But Eric knew the redhead was just a deep sleeper.
Carefully crawling off the bed, Eric got up and put on his shoes.
"Hm, should probably tell the bastard where I went to if he wakes up," Eric scratched his head.
Eric grabbed the old setlist from the night before, flipped it over, grabbed a pen, and wrote "Hey, went to breakfast downstairs. Love, Eric."
He tossed the setlist on the nighstand with the broken lamp and was out the door in seconds.
About ten minutes after Eric left, Ginger woke up from his deep sleep.
He yawned and sat up.
The drummer looked around the room.
He got up, stretched, and spotted the setlist.
Ginger picked it up and skimmed over the words.
"Bastard didn't even bother to wake me up," Ginger shrugged.
He decided to get changed and comb his hair.
Meanwhile in Jack's room, Jack was already up.
He'd been up since 5 o'clock that morning, and it's now 7 o'clock.
Jack had just hopped out of the shower, and he was brushing his teeth.
He stepped out of the bathroom and watched the sun's rays sprinkle over the dew on the streetlights and sidewalk.
He sighed, walked over to the bed, and sat on it.
Maybe he should apologize to Ginger now?
The bassist let the idea simmer and made his way to the door.
He opened it, strolled out, and waited in the hall.
Soon, Ginger strolled out of his room.
The sight of Jack nearly made redhead's heart stop.
Is Jack going to yell at him again?
"Oh, mornin', Ginger," Jack's voice was gravely, trying to shake away the sleep.
"Mornin', how'd ya sleep?" Ginger asked, letting his guard down.
"Eh, coulda been better," Jack softly smiled.
Ginger felt his stomach tie in knots. Jack's smiles were adorable.
Jack came closer to Ginger.
The older cleared his throat. "Jack, I wanna apologize for yest-"
"No, no, no!" Jack grasped onto Ginger's hands and looked up at him. "It was my fault."
Ginger gazed back down at Jack's electric, blue eyes.
He was caught in a daze and eventually snapped out of it. "It was a bit of my fault, too, y'know?"
"I take full responsibility," Jack let go of Ginger's hands. "I accept your apology, though."
"And I accept yours," Ginger grinned.
Jack grinned back. He had this boyish charm to him, and Ginger knew he'd fall quick for the man.
Ginger always warned everyone of Jack's charm.
He used it whenever he could, but Ginger found himself falling for it.
"As a token of...my appreciation, I suppose," Jack scuffed the ground with his shoe. "Why don't I take ya out on a nice dinner?"
Was...Jack asking him out?
No, that couldn't be. It was just a nice gesture.
"Doesn't sound half bad!" Ginger beamed.
Jack's eyes lit up brighter than any light in a dark room. "Okay! Uhm...how 'bout...6 o'clock tonight?"
Ginger nodded. "Deal."
Jack puffed his chest out in pride and walked down the hall.
Ginger sighed and watched as Jack's silhouette disappeared from sight.
He had a...date with Jack to look forward to.
The drummer snuck back into the room and celebrated quietly to himself.
Pretty soon, Eric came back from breakfast and walked in on Ginger celebrating.
"Hell yeah, I got me a date!" He shouted.
The guitarist stepped in, froze, and listened in on Ginger.
"Soon, Jack will be mine!"
"What does that mean?" Eric walked into view.
Ginger stopped and a red blush streaked across his pale cheeks.
Eric raised an eyebrow. "Ginger...you can't lie very well."
"Well...." his voice trailed off. "Jack and I 'ave a date."
Eric's eyes widened. "Wait, what?"
A smile slowly appeared on Ginger's face. "Jack asked me out on a date or somethin'."
"So he's into you, too?"
"Well, I dunno about that, but hopefully!"
The day went by fairly quick.
The three prepared themselves for the show the next day.
Jack was antsy the entire time, and Ginger was actually tolerable.
Eric and Jack were working on new songs in Jack's room, and Ginger took a shower in his and Eric's room's bathroom.
When ten minutes to six rolled around, Jack and Ginger met in the hall again.
"'Ello, Jack!" Ginger smiled.
Jack waved. "How are you?"
"I'm good, but I'm gonna be better when I'm with ya," Ginger flirted a little.
Maybe he's a little too confident.
Jack's face was painted a shade of pink.
"Now where we headin'?" Ginger questioned.
Jack shrugged. "We can go wherever."
Ginger and Jack made their way down the hall.
"Find some restaurant nearby, huh?" Ginger added.
"That works," Jack smiled.
The two made their way out of their rundown hotel, and they began to walk down a sidewalk.
The musicians had no idea where anything was, so they randomly chose a sidewalk and took it.
On their walk, the two chatted about music, their upcoming shows, and how much they appreciated each other.
Ginger nor Jack didn't want to go overboard with the compliments.
After about 15 minutes, they stopped by the window of a small restaurant.
By the time they strolled in, they were the only ones there.
The walls were crimson red, every other table lined up in a row had a small chandelier, and there were two rooms.
One with ten tables, where Jack and Ginger walked in, and the other room probably had the same decorations.
On the walls, there were different photos, memorabilia, and way more.
The waiter greeted them, sat them at a table in the corner, and walked off.
"Damn, this place is fancy," Jack murmured.
Ginger giggled. "Think we can afford this?"
"I'll have you workin' in the kitchen to pay for supper," Jack pointed at Ginger, a grin growing on his face.
Ginger loved seeing Jack so goofy and happy.
He'd much rather take that side of Jack Bruce than the angry side.
Soon, the waiter came back and asked them what they'd like to drink and eat.
"I'll take a Coke," Jack scanned the menu.
"Me too," Ginger said.
"Do you wanna just share fish and chips?"
The waiter scribbled down the drinks and food then walked away again.
"I knew you'd order Coke," Ginger rested his chin on his hand.
"Ya know me well, Ginger. But I knew you'd order one, too!" Jack's eyes flickered with energy.
Ginger could find himself getting lost in Jack's deep, blue eyes.
Jack didn't mind. He was too busy gazing back at Ginger.
What snapped them out of their daze was when the waiter delivered their meal.
They began to eat, continued to talk, and just enjoy each other's company.
Sipping on their Cokes, they shared good laughs and small flirts.
"Y'know, if I get lost in your eyes again, I think I'm gonna need a map to ya heart," Ginger's lips curled into a smirk.
The familiar blush appeared again on the younger's face. "You're flirty, Mr. Baker!"
Ginger winked. "There'll be more than that!"
The drummer felt at ease around the bassist.
He knows that Jack's not going to freak out.
The musicians finished their meal, Ginger offered to pay, and Jack refused.
So, they split the bill and pitched in on the tip.
They walked out of the restaurant and made their way back to the hotel.
The sun already set, and now the stars and the moon were twinkling in the night sky.
Streetlights switched on, and it was quite peaceful out for a Saturday night.
The air was cool, and the breeze carried a small chill down Jack's spine.
Jack shivered, and Ginger took off his jacket.
He wrapped his around the younger and held him close.
Jack grinned up at Ginger.
"I really 'ppreciated that, Jack," Ginger mentioned.
"It was nothin'! I felt like we both needed to get a chance to regroup."
Their walk was quiet besides the occassional car driving by.
That was until Ginger spotted a park.
"Hey, Jack! Let's go to the park!" Ginger gleamed at Jack.
"Oh...okay! Yeah, I'd like that," Jack's eyes met with Ginger's again.
Ginger grabbed onto Jack's hands, and they darted across the street to the park.
There was hardly anyone there, and the birds were no longer chirping.
Everything was sleepy, melancholy at that.
"...Ginger you're still holdin' my hands," Jack motioned his head to Ginger's hands.
"Ah, bloody hell. My apologies," Ginger let go of Jack's hands.
"No, no...watch," Jack held Ginger's hand.
Ginger grasped onto Jack's cold hand in an attempt to warm it up.
"Your hands are fuckin' freezin'," Ginger teased.
Jack let out a chortle. "Why'd ya think I wanted you to hold my damn hand?"
They strolled down the asphalt path.
Ginger and Jack both enjoyed each other's presence.
Jack pointed to a patch of grass off to the side, sort of secluded.
"Why don't we star gaze?" Jack reckoned.
Ginger thought for a second and nodded.
They walked over and laid down on the damp grass.
They turned towards the night, hand in hand, and watched the millions and millions of stars sparkle; their dance lighting up the sky.
The drummer and the bassist enjoyed having the night to themselves.
Calm, gentle, and spending it with one another.
All was silent until Jack cleared his throat.
"I gotta come clean. I, uh, well where do I start?"
Ginger shook his head and sat up.
Jack sat up and studied Ginger's face.
"Jack, I know what you're about to say," Ginger leaned in closer.
Jack's heart began to thump aggressively, and he could feel Ginger's warm hand on his hand again.
Ginger was never a shy man.
Some said he had the confidence of a hundred men.
Jack's breath went shaky as Ginger carefully leaned in closer.
Knowing what Ginger was up to, Jack's lips met with Ginger's.
The two scooted closer to each other, and Ginger huddled his arms around Jack.
The kiss was passionate, but not needy. Soft, compassionate; as if the two have been dying for this moment.
Jack's face felt warm, and he could tell he was blushing quite a bit.
Ginger, on the other hand, he was confident in this kiss.
He couldn't help but to feel a little lightheaded as well.
Jack sunk into Ginger's arms, and the older held him close.
Eventually, they pulled away and stared into each other's eyes.
Words couldn't describe how they felt, and neither of the men could bring themselves to speak.
"Ginger...I love you," Jack faintly stated.
"I love ya, too, Jack. I hate fighting with you," Ginger ran his fingers through the bassist's hair.
"I hate fighting with you, too. I just wanna be happy with ya," Jack rested his head on Ginger's chest.
Ginger felt his heart explode. The man of his dreams was his now.
Now, he was capable of holding, kissing, and hugging Jack Bruce.
Ginger gave Jack's nose a small peck, and Jack's face flushed with red again.
"You're cute," Ginger snickered, holding Jack close.
"Well, you're very handsome," Jack kissed Ginger's cheek.
"So...ya do love me, huh?"
"Yep, always thought you were charmin', and I fell quick," Jack explained.
Ginger rested his arms around Jack, protecting him. "That's what happened with me."
Jack giggled and kissed Ginger again.
This time, the kiss was a little faster, but still full of desire and passion.
It was more playful, and neither one of them wanted to let go.
They were under each other's spells.
When they pulled away to catch their breaths, their hands interlocked.
"I love ya."
"I love you, too."
They held each other close and continued to watch the stars flash their light display.
Jack found himself drifting off to sleep on Ginger's chest.
Ginger didn't mind, obviously.
He ran his fingers through Jack's hair, but then he remembered something.
They have to get back to the hotel.
"Jacky, dear, wake up," Ginger gently shook Jack.
"Hmmphh, what?" Jack groaned.
"We have to get back to the hotel."
Jack's eyes jolted open and sat up.
Ginger stood up, helped Jack up, and the two made their way out of the park.
Hand in hand again, they walked down the sidewalk and to the hotel.
Upon arriving, they checked in and went up to their rooms.
"Y'know, I had a good time tonight," Ginger softly smiled.
Jack took Ginger's hands. "Me too....so what does this mean?"
"Are we uh datin'?" Jack ran his thumb over Ginger's knuckles.
Ginger nodded. "Well, uhm, if ya want."
"'Course I do!" Jack hugged the older man.
Quietly, their bandmate opened the door behind them.
The guitarist was just about to doze off until he heard his band members' loud voices.
"Ya know what I want? Sleep," Eric barged in, peeking his head out of the room.
Caught off guard, Jack and Ginger burst into laughter.
Eric rolled his eyes, mumbled a "keep it down," and closed the door.
"You want to spend the night in my room?" Jack motioned towards his door.
Ginger snickered. "Fuckin' quick, aye?"
"Oh, shut your gob," Jack opened his door, allowed Ginger to walk in first, and shut the door.
The drummer took off his shoes.
Ginger flopped down on the bed and patted the spot next to him.
Jack kicked off his shoes and joined the taller man.
Ginger wrapped his arms around Jack and cuddled him.
The two basked in comforting silence until Jack spoke up.
"Love, guess what?"
"Our song Dreaming? I...wrote that for you," Jack kissed Ginger's hand.
Ginger had a huge smile plastered on his face.
"Mhm!! I loved you...so much. So-"
Ginger grabbed Jack's face and smooched him.
After minutes of chatting, Jack yawned.
"I'll let ya get some sleep now," Ginger pulled the covers over him and Jack.
"'Night, dear," Ginger kissed Jack.
Jack grinned, closed his eyes, and was out like a light soon after.
Ginger instinctively pet the bassist's head.
He shut his eyes and soon joined his man in sweet sleep.
American tours were always hectic for Cream.
The band was holding on by a thin string.
Though now, these tours will be more manageable.
Jack and Ginger were on good terms, and now Eric could get some good sleep.
Maybe the guitarist could stop being Ginger's therapist.