“Jack, I passed!”
James ran up to Jack, and threw himself into his arms. Jack ruffled James’ hair, and looked down at him, grinning.
“I knew you would. And, as congratulations, I got us tickets to see TJR tomorrow night!”
“They’re only my favourite band! Thank you so, so much, Jack!”
“These tickets weren’t easy to get either, so you better be grateful.”
“Believe me, I am!”
They embraced again. James had just passed his police training exam, and was a fully qualified police officer. Jack had just got a promotion, too. Both of them were full of excitement, and couldn’t wait until the following evening. A whole night of rock and roll and the other’s company.
That night, James couldn't sleep, too excited about the following evening. Thinking about Jack made him blush, but he couldn't fully understand why. No position was comfortable enough to lull him to sleep, especially with flushing every few minutes as his mind wandered back to Jack.
Jack couldn't sleep either, too excited and concerned. Policing was dangerous, he couldn't deny it. But he couldn't tell James to give it up. Not only was it hypocritical, but James was one determined person. Even James wouldn't be able to dissuade him from his dreams. Jack would just have to learn to put up with the thought that the person he cared about most in the world was in constant danger.
Finally dawn broke, both boys having got only a couple of hours sleep. They both leapt out of bed and threw on some clothes. Jack set about recording the song he'd written for James. He'd been working on it for months and had finally got it perfect. James started on some paperwork that had been waiting for weeks. He figured that he'd be too hung-over to do it the next day. Neither of them could stop grinning or day-dreaming. At one point, James was startled to see that he'd wasted a good 15 minutes just sitting there, staring into space.
Eventually 4 o'clock struck and James decided it was time to wander over to Jack's to get ready. There was a note on Jack's front door telling James to go straight in. He could hear faint musical noises coming down the stairs so he crept up them as quietly as possible. Soon he realised what the noises were - Jack singing absent-mindedly. James didn't recognise the song, but whatever it was, it sounded good. The next step on the staircase creaked loudly, and the singing stopped abruptly. Jack’s door swung open, and Jack poked his head out.
“Come on then, Mr. Sneaky. Get your arse in here,” James bounded up the rest of the stairs, and walked into Jack’s room. Jack was standing in the middle of it, hands on his hips. He was wearing black skinny jeans and a tight black TJR t-shirt. His dark hair shone when it caught the light. He was grinning and his eyes were shining excitedly, “Fancy a beer?”
James nodded, unable to muster any words. All he could do was grin back at Jack. He dumped his bag on the floor and sat on the bed. Jack walked out of the room and returned a minute later carrying a box of beer. He opened it and chucked a can to James. He opened another one for himself and took a long drag.
“Right,” Jack began as he glanced at his watch, “We’ve got almost an hour here, then we need to get going. It takes about an hour to get to the venue, depending on traffic.”
“Aren’t we just going to get the sub?”
Jack was grinning madly again, “I thought we’d go a bit more up-market.”
“What then? The bus?”
“Wait and see,” Jack winked at James, then downed the rest of his beer. James followed suit.
The hour at Jack’s passed quickly, as did the beer. They got through three cans each, respectively. They were quite giggly by the time they heard a honk outside. James rushed to the window and gasped.
“You hired us a limo?!”
Jack nodded and smiled, then grabbed James’ hand and drunkenly dragged him down the stairs.
“And now we’ve got something a bit different,” the lead singer of TJR began, “It was written by a member of the audience. It’s about someone special. I’ll tell you who it’s about and who it’s by after.”
There was cheering from the crowd as some guitar chords reverberated through the stadium. Jack and James were part of the crowd, yelling and whistling along with everyone else.
While everything else is drifting
You’re the thing that stays
I can’t believe it’s really true
That you actually exist.
Every minute without you
Is a minute gone to waste
Every second I’m not with you
I feel so incomplete.
James thought the lyrics sounded vaguely familiar, but his alcohol-induced brain stopped him from thinking straight. Whatever it was though, it sounded good. Maybe he’d be able to download it soon. Jack couldn’t stop grinning. This night was just getting better and better. He looked over at James who was grinning too. Jack leant over and gave James a huge kiss on the cheek. It wouldn’t do any harm.
All those boozy nights we’ve spent
Sleeping side by side
It’s become as much a part of us
As the hands we hold on to.
That wooden rose you gave me
Has pride of place at home
That tarnished ring that I gave you
Is hanging round your neck.
“We’re going crowd-surfing!” Jack yelled at James, who nodded excitedly, “Give me a hand!” He shouted at the people closest to them. James suddenly found himself being held up in the air, and soon Jack was up with him. They clung onto each other as the crowd threw them around.
Should I see a therapist?
Should I take some pills?
Is my imagination in overdrive?
I can’t believe my eyes.
It really is love this time
But what if it’s not true?
What if instead of my love
I’ve been talking to the air?
James felt Jack’s warmth radiating through his thin t-shirt as they slowly made their way to the front of the crowd. Jack smelt the beer and sweat on James as they were thrown haphazardly onto the stage.
“This is the genius who wrote this song,” the lead singer said, indicating a bewildered Jack, “What’s your name?”
“Um. Jack,” Jack said into the microphone thrust at his face, the shock of the situation slicing through his alcohol-addled mind.
“And you wrote this song about your friend–”
“And what’s your name?” the singer asked, turning to James.
“I’m James,” James replied proudly. He stumbled a little, and Jack grabbed his hand to steady him.
“Jack and James, what a cute couple! Thanks for coming folks! And thanks to Jack for the awesome song!”
And with that, the concert was over. Jack and James found themselves manhandled back into the crowd. They found themselves walking home. They found themselves undressed, asleep in each other’s arms. They found themselves awake, banging headaches.
“Oh my God. I need coffee,” Jack gasped, clutching his head. James nodded weakly in agreement, “Ouch! What the hell am I lying on?” Jack fished out a crumpled ticket from underneath himself. He grinned, and leant over to kiss James.
Jack smoothed out the crumpled ticket, and let his fingers drift along its rough edges. He put it back in his drawer, sighing.