Note from the translator:
This is not a word for word translation. So there will be words missing, or words added when comparing with the original. I gave my best not to change the contents BUT. Sometimes I just had to. The thing is that Kyoux is playing a lot with form and tense, and that made it that bit more difficult to translate. I wanted to leave as much as possible as it is in the original so that the atmosphere and her writing style is reflected. And that might get English people confused sometimes, as it probably would be written differently if the correct English would be used. Of course you'll find mistakes in the text, so please instead of mocking my language skills, just sit back and enjoy a beautiful love story. I decided to try and translate it because I adore their story so much that it would be pity for others not to be able to read it. Especially since the artwork that goes with it is so beautiful. This piece took ...7,5h... hours to translate, so if you don't like the way it's done, please pay me some respect for the hours I've put into this and don't read. But I really hope you'll like it as much as I do.
09. The Blonde
He was screaming himself hoarse.
He was screaming his lungs out. Until his throat hurt. Until he thought he'll puke his lungs up while yelling.
Bending over he held his hand over his diaphragm.
He felt like the reinforcement in the shape of a microphone was totally unnecessary today. But he liked to crush it in his hand and dance with the cable.
He was sure he could overpower the sound of the instruments. He knew he was capable of filling this room with his voice.
And he did.
He filled it with his chaos, his turmoil.
With his emotions that he was holding back.
He was puking them up with his screams.
He needed it.
Feels so good...
Why unload his anger in the flat?
He could do it here to the rhythm of their music.
- I'm tired... damn... - complained the freckled guy. Sitting at the drum set he massaged his arm.
- You better tell us when was it that you did NOT get tired? - the Blonde shot back lifting a brow. But before the drummer got a chance at answering that question, a tall dark haired guy approached Marcin and put his palm to his cheek in a typically "auntie way".
- Well well, our Marcin is recovering to his mean self back - said the bass player in an affectionate voice.
- Fuck off - Marcin grimaced because his cheek hurt. He threw his head back, trying to push the other guy with his boot.
The dark haired guy evidently knew how the Blonde would react, because he swiftly avoided he kick smiling with a malicious satisfaction.
- You better not make fun of him. Heartache is a serious thing - the drummer said half seriously, half jokingly looking at their antics.
- What?! - the Blonde asked whipping his head toward the drummer, still trying to get to the tall bass player.
- Marcin Marcin, we know each other for so many years... you always scream your soul out whenever there are heart troubles in sight. Isn't that so Zbychu?
- Yup - the drummer replied crossing his arms over his chest and nodding his head as if there wouldn't be a statement in the existence that was truer than this one.
- You see, even Zbychu knows that. And Firka knows that too, probably - Firyal busy with packing the equipment away gave the bass man a quick look. But decided it's not really worth it to interfere with the guys' discussion. - Today you howled more than your fair share, so we assume that it's something big - the bass man continued looking down at the angered Blonde - Isn't it true, Zbychu?
- Yup - the drummer confirmed again.
The Blonde was looking at them not believing his own ears.
- Don't be surprised, we are one big family after all - the bass man gave Marcin a pat on the shoulder a bit too heavily. The Blonde grimaced again turning his body in hope of revenge. But the taller guy managed to jump away to a safer distance.
- Yo! Guys, maybe you could start packing away? - Firka gave them a fierce look, a bit impatient at the delay.
The guys smiled in apology, all at the same time. Those faces amused her.
- Yes mam - the boys finally started to pack up. Marcin using the bass man's inattention, approached his crouching form and pressed the sole of his boot to his black tee leaving a gray mark on it.
- Now at least you've got an interesting print on it - the Blonde smiled satisfied with his art work.
- You fucking faggot! - the bass guy jumped up to his feet quickly and made for the already running and smiling offender.
Firyal rolled her eyes.
- So, tell us something about your lover boy - the bass guy started again, giving Marcin a good shove with his elbow.
- Are you writing a book? Or are you just jealous? - the Blonde asked with a mean smile.
- Whoa Jake, didn't know that side of you - the freckled guy smiled taking a swig from his beer bottle.
- And on which side are you? - the bass guy pointed at the drummer with his beer bottle.
- I always support the one with better arguments.
- And you think that...
- Zbychu, are you actually aware of how that sounded? - Firka interrupted the bass guy, saying those words almost into the bottle's neck. She held it close to her mouth and smiled delicately.
They all looked to her. After mulling this thought over they all laughed out loud.
They sat on old sofas that they found in the scrap yard. They were drinking beer just like always after their band practice.
- Putting the "better arguments" discussion to the side, I am curious as well - the drummer said, focusing on the Blonde. -You could share some spicy details with us.
The bass guy nodded urging him to spill.
- Hey - the Blonde looked from one to the other, clearly shocked - I really don't get you two, you never asked me about things like that before.
- Because normally you told them without us having to ask.
- That's right. And lately you broke up with that Nathan of yours, and you were down somewhat because of it. Not really talkative. You weren't up to the band practices as well. So we started to worry - the drummer said.
The Blonde made a face saying: "I have absolutely no clue what is going on here and what the hell happened to my friends".
- Is it still the Nathan problem? Or is it the platonic love you feel for Winter, that won't let you sleep? - the bass guy smiled mischievously.
- Bugger off, I saw him. You don't have to believe me - the Blonde answered almost in a hiss. He didn't like to talk about that. He saw Winter on their 3-day trip, end of. Jake didn't have to believe that.
- Yeah yeah, love is doing strange things to us - The bass guy said skeptically raising his brow.
- Marcin tell them, will you? Otherwise they won't stop pestering you. And you risk having a hole drilled in your stomach - Firka said watching their conversation.
- Well, then Jake besides stomach could probably hook on his ass as well - the drummer barked out a laugh.
- Your jokes are cheap... - he looked at him with disgust.
The Blonde was actually amused by his friends' behaviour.
He was actually in a bickering mood. To pay back for all those nasty comments he got today.
He smiled to himself and leaned toward him. He moved his long fingers over his neck up to his chin.
Tickling him softly. He moved closer so that his face was mere centimeters away.
The bass guy felt his breath on his skin, he saw his smiling lips and hooded eyes all to well.
- Maybe... maybe you are my "lover boy", what do you think... Jake? - he whispered it drawing the words out straight to his mouth, giving him the barest touch with his lips.
The bass guy's eyes flew open, his face flooding with a violent purple blush. He tried to move away quickly which only resulted in his falling over a laughing Firka.
The drummer laughed so hard he was spilling his beer.
- And what do you know - said the Blonde - I thought I lost my "gift" but not quite. - He smiled satisfied, looking down at Jake. It's been a while since he did such things.
- That wasn't funny at all! - the bass guy said, still keeping his distance from the Blonde.
- Do you want a hug? - said Marcin, leaning over him, surrounding him with his body, bending like a cat. The drummer was still laughing.
- Go away you faggot! - the bass guy said sternly, trying to keep him away with his leg.
- Easy, he's joking - Firka patted him on the head and pushed him away in the Blondes direction, because he was becoming a tad too heavy for her.
The Blonde sat down and gave the bass guy a patronizing pat on the shoulder.
- Don't you worry, you'll make a good faggot one day - the drummer barked out a laugh hearing these words.
- You watch your back or else you might lose that beautiful mohawk of yours. - the dark haired guy moved dangerously close to Marcin's face.
- Are you threatening me?
But Marcin didn't hear the bass guy's reply. It was interrupted by a male voice, whose melodic tone filled the whole room.
- I advise to keep your hands off that hair.
The Blonde was sure he heard the voice before. But he couldn't understand why an unpleasant and cold dread crawled up his spine.
They all looked in the direction from which they heard the footsteps.
The silhouette came out of the shadows, all eyes widened.
He was tall, well built.
With light blonde hair.
Fair complexion that reminded of snow.
Cold blue eyes.
And an arrogant smirk.
The lips under the brown gaze whispered soundlessly.
Shivers run again down the Blonde's spine.
Just as cold as the last one. But this time it was more pleasant.
Yup, now he had absolute certainty.
He saw him back then.
Winter approached them, the group gave him a cold and weary look. He stopped in front of the paralyzed band, looking down at them.
- The vocalist except for charisma should have the wow factor - he continued, putting his hands into his heavy leather jacket. - And he - pointing with his head at the Blonde - has it. Partially because of that hair of his.
The band was dumbstruck.
Winter smirked under his nose, seeing no reaction from the band, all the while having the satisfied smile on his face.
- I like the way you reacted to my entrance, but I think it's enough now. I don't have to introduce myself, do I? So I'll just move on to the business. - The Blonde only now realized there was someone else with him, standing behind Winter and a third person as well, hiding in the shadows. - I'm bored with my band, so I decided to play the producer for a while. And I chose you.
- Us? - the bass guy asked.
- Didn't I make myself clear enough? - the light haired guy said coldly - I saw you at the last review. You have a lot to work on, and you are one guitarist short, but you've got potential. Especially your vocalist. He knows how to play with his voice.
Winter looked into the Blonde's eyes intently. And that cold stare made the Blonde weirdly warm.
- You look good on the stage, and probably you understand each other very well. Who is your leader? - he looked them over, stopping for a while on the Blonde's face.
- Me - Firka said coldly, squeezing her beer bottle between her legs.
Winter nodded at the person standing behind him. The woman moved in front of him, approaching the band, she passed a business card to Firyal.
She took it not really caring one way or the other.
- I don't have any more time for you today - the light haired man said - If you decide to work with me, and I think you will, then you can come to me...- he looked toward the woman who quickly checked on the diary leafing gracefully through the pages.
- Thursday at 2pm - she replied.
- Thursday at 2pm - the man repeated - I'll see you then - he smiled at them in a weird way. A bit daring, a bit arrogantly.
He disappeared with his team faster than he came.
They fell silent.
- I don't like him - Firka said at last, squinting.
- He is arrogant and overconfident, that's true, but we knew that... well... we knew it even without knowing him in person - the drummer said to her, still in shock.
- I for one still can't believe I actually saw him. You have my apologies - the bass guy patted the Blonde on his shoulder.
- No problem - Marcin was turning the card over in his hands the one that Firka passed on to him - Are you guys aware of the opportunity we received here? It never occurred to me that we actually could record an album... I always took it more like a... hmm... a hobby of sorts.
- Well... me too. Even the last review was a big deal to me. Too big even - the drummer told him, sitting on the edge of the sofa frowning at his own confusion.
- And I always knew we were able to do more than some small concerts in our own backyard. But Marcin preferred to chase after asses instead of focusing on the voice training. - the bass guy was saying it with a raised brow.
- What the fuck? You are about to cross the line here, man!
- Hey, hey no brawling - Firka tried to calm them down a bit. - We need to decide if we really want it or not. If our lives are enough for us or if we want to try for something bigger. Besides, are you not curious why he knows our language so well? And why was he here? Why is he in our country, our town, and that small band review?
The guys looked over each other.
- We should take a look on Wikipedia, maybe he has some polish roots. Marcin you should know that since he is your "lover boy".
- Shut up, will you? You are extremely annoying today.
- HEY, I SAID ENOUGH! - she raised her voice. She had enough of their arguments. - I'll speak with Marcin, the rest of you think about it in peace. We need to make a list of questions as well, to find out as much as we can - she got up from the sofa and added - Oh my, I still can't believe what happened here.
They walked home in silence.
Her and him
Wondering at the significance of what happened.
Their fun play turned into something serious.
Because their pure and carefree love for music can so simply turn into something big.
Did they ever want that?
So unlikely... so suddenly.
But love has lots of forms.
And many stages.
Maybe it was time to change the shape of that love.
- Nivan you won't believe it! - he entered the flat with the words on his lips. But his excitation was extinguished by a big object blocking his way to which he quickly lowered his gaze.
- What the...? - Firka bumped into the Blondes back. She looked down - Nivan? Alex? What are you two doing on a sofa in the middle of the corridor?!
- We are actually sitting, would you believe? Hi Firyal, Hi Marcin! - the short guy with white dreadlocks sitting next to the Redhead replied, briefly lifting his gaze from the laptop monitor.
- That, I can see - she frowned, shifting impatiently from one leg to the other. She wanted to use the loo, but ultimately couldn't get pass.
- No really, what are you two up to? - the Blonde was trying to get through the tangle of legs. The Redhead moved up his eyes, watching his progress, in which they weren't really helping him. He passed the laptop to Alex, then grabbed the Blondes wrist and pulled him into his lap.
Their faces were suddenly so close that the Blonde felt extremely hot all of a sudden. He gave him a questioning look with his eyes wide open. The Redhead took his feet of the wall pulling them in close.
- I wanted you to let Firka through, I think she is in a hurry - Niv smiled a bit, looking into the Blonde's eyes. Alex moved his legs quickly and Firyal dashed to the bathroom, throwing a long "thank you" over her shoulder.
- Oh my, your kindness knows no boundaries... - the Blonde smiled and pushed his fingers though Nivan's red hair - Did you light up something? - he asked quickly. He wanted to make sure if he was sitting in his lap just because he was stoned.
- Nope, we're good boys today - Alex replied, looking intently at the screen trying to find something on the net.
- Okay... - he looked at the Redhead that was smiling funnily - and what about this sofa?
- It's mine, from my old flat. In Alex's basement I've got some more furniture and decided to move them here. We carried the sofa here all on our own - the Blonde looked at him with brows lifted high.
- You were in such a need of a sofa that you decided to go to Alex's, shove it in a car, drive it over and carry it upstairs to the fourth floor - "no that's just impossible, the Redhead is too lazy for that" - he thought.
- Are you trying to say that I'm too lazy for that?
- No, no way - the Blonde grinned. The Redhead looked at him with a lifted brow.
- This sofa is now yours. That's why it is in front of your room. If you don't want it then I'll take it to my room.
- What do you mean, mine? - the Blonde was bewildered.
- I thought you might want a normal room.
- What do you mean normal?! - the Blonde raised his voice.
- Well, normal. Without the cardboard boxes and with some furniture. So that when coming into that room we wouldn't have the feeling that you are about to move out.
- Nivan's right - Firka said, coming back from the bathroom. With arms over her chest and still in her jacket - I thought I could paint you something nice on the wall - she was instantly consumed by her thoughts. Wondering what she might draw.
The Blonde looked to the smiling Firka and the warm look on the Redheads face. It was very considerate of them, and it warmed his heart.
- Loons - he smiled at them a bit embarrassed but happy.
- You can buy us a crate of beer and we'll be square - the Redhead replied to him.
- I want my share of it since I helped to carry it as well - Alex threw in lifting his hand trying to be noticed.
- You'll drink Nivan's share since he is dieting - he laughed mischievously at the Redhead.
- Fuck off - Nivan pushed him off his lap. The Blonde landed with a thud on the floor laughing with the rest of them.
- What are you doing here? - the Redhead said in a tone that suggested more a statement a fact rather than being surprised when he saw a half naked silhouette in his bed, lit softly by the night stand lamp.
The Blonde was lying on his back, with his hands behind his head, looking at the ceiling.
- I thought that... - he turned his head toward the Redhead - I would come and sleep with you since I'm coming over every night anyway. And sometimes I wake you up in the process so I thought it would be better that way.
Nivan lifted a brow at him and took a deep breath. He was still standing in the doorway, holding on to the towel that was loosely looped around his hips.
- And if you thought that - the Blonde continued - that sofa would make me sleep in my own room then you were wrong. It doesn't work that way.
Nivan's lips lifted in a barest smile.
- Are you aware of the fact that you are pushy?
- Of course - the Blonde replied with a mischievous smile, then bend his leg at the knee and began smoothing the bedding with his foot.
The Redhead smiled and shook his head.
- I want to put some pant on, turn around.
- Can't you go to the bathroom then?
- Occupied, besides this is MY room and this is the place where I always put my pants on. One more comment like that and I'll kick your ass out. See what that leaves you with.
The Blonde grimaced but turned his head away. The Redhead looked at him for a while and then turned his back to him. Letting the towel fall to the floor.
The Blonde didn't even consider not watching. He craned his neck.
He felt something stir in the south regions seeing the long hair spanning over the broad shoulders. Bare, well built back and ass at which sight he bit down on his lip.
His hand involuntarily travelled down his body.
Shoulder blades and the s curve of the spine.
Twin dips at the lower back.
And the light playing and dancing across every curve and dip of his back.
His hand started to move of its own volition over the fabric of his boxer shorts.
It was a while since he did that last time.
He would love to...
He almost forgot himself. In the last moment he took his hand away, putting it under his head. He quickly turned his head toward the wall.
The Redhead was looking at him.
He closed the door and approached the bed.
- I sleep next to the wall, move over - the Redhead said, looking down at his slim body.
The Blonde moved to the right, to make him some space.
The Redhead jumped over him and then pulled the duvet over his legs turning his back to the Blonde.
- Turn off the light.
He turned it off.
The Blonde didn't want to sleep anymore as it turned out. But he pulled the duvet tighter around him anyway cuddling up to Niv's back.
He felt small.
Safe. He liked that difference between them.
He hoped that the diet Nivan was on wouldn't make him loose to much of his overall size.
He didn't want that.
He liked the way his skin felt.
He touched his back with his palm. His fingers danced over his skin.
He took his hand away. Reluctantly. Unwillingly.
He was silent for a bit.
You are stupid. You got hard only by looking at him and a moment of touch.
- Would it be OK for me to jerk off?
- ... - The Redhead was silent for a brief moment - I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
The Blonde propped himself a bit so that he could look into his face.
- I always do that before I go to sleep - he said as if that was his highest right to do so.
The Redhead turned a bit and looked up at him.
- You could do that in your room. What are you actually asking me about? - Niv frowned.
- Okay Marcin, let's make a few things clear - the Redhead interrupted him. - I'm with Josh. The fact that I let you in my bed is enough of a trouble with crossing relationship lines. I do have a soft spot for you, thanks to which I allow you more than I should. So please respect what I give you and don't be a jerk snot. Because I'm not sure if you are aware of it but this situation is not easy for me as either.
The Blonde looked at him with wide eyes. After a while his gaze changed.
To a cold one. Scornful. Genuine.
- You don't love him anyway... - he hissed, his mouth quivered.
He went back to lie down in his spot.
The Redhead's jaw clenched.
Neither of them found quick sleep that night.
They were lying like that, back to back.
So close, yet so far away.