title; Forever young with one foot in the grave.
warnings; drug abuse & language
characters; Callum & Harlen
AN; Just a silly little thing that emerged in my head. No real plot or nothing. Original fiction.
++ Forever young with one foot in the grave. ++
The devil bent my ear today
about his magical elixir
That would make the sorrow go away,
help me forget I’d ever met you
Tell me… can you please take away the misery?
Give me a baker’s dozen please,
wrap me up to go away
Forever young with one foot in the grave.
Callum didn’t want to open his eyes. He could hear cars outside, and the insisting ringing of his phone, he frowned and finally the phone clicked and the tape from the answering machine started, and he heard his own voice say I’m not here, leave a message.
Cal, pick up your fucking phone.
He heard Harlen’s voice beg on the tape. Callum opened his eyes and was assaulted by a massive headache and he closed them again. He ran a clammy hand over his face. He could hear Harlen was still talking to the machine.
If you don’t pick up, i will have to fly home from tour and..
With a groan Callum leaned forward and lifted the receiver off the phone. ”Shut up Jimmi.” He whispered with a woolen voice.
”Cal.” Harlen sounded honestly happy. ”You are a hard man to reach.”
”Maybe.” Cal said, forcing himself to open his eyes again.
”Are you… uhm.. okay?” Harlen asked.
”No, I’m not fucking alright.” Callum growled, slowly standing, looking around in the office to see if there was something left he could drink. He saw a bottle of bourbon that was only half finished. ”It feels like my brain is on it’s way out of my skull.”
”Maybe you should chill a little with the partying, then?” Harlen suggested.
”Yeah.” Cal said, rolling his eyes, screwing off the lid of a bottle, taking large gulps of the liquid, feeling the sweet burn all the way down.
”Did you hear me?” Harlen said, a little annoyance crept into his voice.
”Yeah i heard you just fine.” Cal gasped, trying his hardest not to let his stomach revolt against the alcohol assault. ”Damage… control.” He breathed, seconds before he turned around vomited on the red carpet.
”Sounds like it works.” Harlen grinned.
Cal wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. ”Shit.” He breathed.
”When did you last eat?” Harlen asked.
”Look, Jimmi. If i want your opinion, i will ask for it.” Cal barked angrily.
”Fair enough. Listen Cal, make yourself a cup of coffee, and tell me what’s going on.” Harlen said motherly.
”I don’t want coffee, and I don’t want to talk.” Cal huffed, hanging up the phone. He left the phone on the desk, and walked to the bathroom, he stopped and stared into the mirror, the face that looked back was sullen, gray and sickly. ”Fuck.” He growled, and with a swift jab, crushed the mirror with his fist. Blood dripped on the carpet as he walked back into the office, he went straight to the top drawer of the desk, and pulled out a small bag and a small metal tube. Wiping off the blood from his knuckles in his pants, he arranged two generous lines on the desk, and took the tube. Just then the phone rang again. And why he picked up he wasn’t sure, maybe he did want to talk, or maybe he was just a masochist?
”Cal. For fucks sake.” Harlen sighed in the other end.
”You are such a fucking worrywart.” Cal said flatly. Placing the receiver on the desk, and leaned in over his lines. He could hear Harlen talk, but he didn’t care what the hell he said. Cleared both lines, tilting his head backwards, trying to hold in a sneeze. He sighed deeply and picked up the receiver again. ”Why do you keep calling me Jimmi?” He asked. ”You’re fucking loving this, aren’t you, you little fuckwit.”
For a while Harlen was silent in the other end, and then he lit a cigaret. ”I wish you’d fly out to where i am.”
”Jimmi..” Cal whined, ”Don’t start.”
”Don’t start what?” Harlen asked annoyed, ”I worry about you, okay? I read gossip mags too you know.”
Cal sighed heavily, and sat down in the chair next to the desk. ”Get real Jimmi. A little binge drama is nothing that gets you up of your seat.”
”No.” Harlen admitted, ”But a huge picture of your knight in shining armor with another man, and then stories about your… uhm… binging. Does.”
”Oh.” Callum drew a uneven breath. And reached for the bourbon again. His feet on the table. ”I’m fine, i just need to get that fucker out of my system.”
”You are a terrible liar, Cal.” Harlen laughed.
”What the hell is you want to hear?” Callum suddenly yelled angrily. ”He fucking dumped me for my own intern, suck on that Cal.. seriously!” Callum took a sip of the bourbon. ”So excuse me for having a hard time finding my poker face.”
”Maybe you should go to your dad’s cabin and go scream at a mountain or something.” Harlen suggested.
”Or maybe i should just party till i fall over.” Callum said dryly. ”At least i didn’t get his name tattooed.” He added with a sharp tone. ”You know, the last fucker who’s name i had tattooed left me to fuck roadies, dancers and whatever..”
”I said i was sorry, seven thousand times.” Harlen said listlessly.
”Yes.” Callum admitted, ”Not that will change anything. You are still a fucking pig.” A moments silence, and Callum rested his head on his arm on the desk. ”Why am i such a lousy judge of character?”
”Because you let your cock do the thinking.” Harlen stated.
”I just don’t get it.” Callum whispered, tears evident in his eyes, and he did nothing to keep them from falling. It was not like he could get less pathetic than he felt. ”What the hell did that kid have, that i don’t?”
”Dunno,” Harlen said, ”Less issues?”
”Maybe..” Callum slowly whispered.
Harlen sat and listened to Cal cry softly into the phone. He cleared his throat, ”I told you he was bad news.” He said softly.
”Yeah.” Callum admitted with a whisper. ”Jimmi?” He suddenly said with a tiny voice, ”I can’t deal with this at all. I just want it to go away, and the gossip press is having a fucking field day.”
”Yeah i know, I’m sorry about that.” Harlen said with as much emotion as he could muster. ”So what about you two, I mean Kruize and you, are you at least okay?”
”No.” Callum just spat. ”I wish we were, suppose i didn’t really take it all that well.” He blinked tears out of his lashes, ”Tell me Jimmi, how the fuck am i supposed to take it? He broke my heart, because he wanted to stick his fucking cock up into some fucking fan struck kid. What the fuck? Why wasn’t i enough? I tried I fucking tried Jimmi.”
”I’m sure you did.” Harlen said, ”Why don’t you jump on a plane and come here so i can pamper you a little?”
Callum paused, ”You think i can get there without anyone seeing it?”
”I don’t know.” Harlen admitted, ”But why do you care? If i understand you correctly then it’s not like you can patch things up with him anyway.”
With a cap and dark glasses, dressed in completely anonymous clothes, Callum cursed himself as he landed in the airport of the city where Harlen was waiting in a hotel. He grabbed his bag and walked out of the airport. He noticed a few people with a camera, but it was not him they were waiting for. He just smiled to himself, happy that he might have made it. He stopped outside the airport and stared at a limmo that had a neatly dressed man, holding a sign. ”Malcolm.”
Cal walked over to the man, and took off his sunglasses, flashing his red, tired eyes to the driver. ”You waiting for me?”
”Van Maes?” the driver asked.
”Then it’s you. Sir.” He opened the door and let Callum slip in on the backseat.
He waited in the lobby as Harlen was making his way down. Harlen’s face lit up in a smile. ”Cal!” He wrapped his arms around the shorter man. ”You came.”
”Yeah.” Cal mumbled, allowing himself to wrap his arms around Harlen as well. It was a stiff and formal hug.
”Come on.” Harlen ushered Cal towards the elevator. The entire trip to the penthouse rooms was made in silence. It was not until Harlen locked the door behind him and said. ”You look like shit, man.”
”Tell me about it.” Cal huffed and fell backwards in a soft leather couch.
”So, you hungry?” Harlen asked, ”I am, and i was sorta torn between room service, or taking you out.” He clined his head, ”You don’t look like someone who feels like going out.”
Callum tossed his cap and sunglasses, and laid back in the sofa.
“You gotta stop wallowing in self pity there Mr. Van Maes.” Harlen said, sitting down next to Callum in the sofa. Staring at his friend’s sickly complexion. ”Come on Cal, take a bath and lets get something to eat. Beat that asshole at his own game.”
Callum rolled up into a ball and lifted his head unto Harlen’s lap. ”I don’t want to beat anyone at any game.” He admitted, ”I just want to hide here till it’s all over.”
Harlen ran his fingers through Callums unkempt greasy hair. ”Okay.”
Cal his his face in his hands, ”I’m just so tired.”
”No wonder, if you’ve been at it for like three weeks.” Harlen chuckled.
”Has it really been that long?” Cal asked with such childish innocence that Harlen couldn’t even make fun of him.
”Yeah it has.”
”You know what, take a bath, and i will order some food,” Harlen said, brushing hair out of Cal’s face tenderly.
”Order some bubbles too.” Callum sighed, slowly getting off the sofa.
Coming out of the shower Callum walked out into the hotel rooms dining area, wearing nothing but a towel. He walked directly over and poured himself some champagne, ”Jimmi?” He called. ”When is your gig tonight?”
”Nine.” Harlen said, turning his head to look at Callum, who had clearly not seen him. ”Why?”
”Nothing.” Callum shrugged and came back to the sofas and sat down. He looked at Harlen up and down. ”So is about now you are gonna throw a pity-fuck my way?”
Harlen rose a brow, ”Not unless you want it.”
”Don’t be ridiculous.” Callum laughed. ”I had just expected you to have a hand down my pants from the start.” He took a sip of his glass, ”What can i say? I’m impressed.”
”You know, i do actually have standards.” Harlen huffed offended.
”Really?” Callum ”Well apparently i don’t.” He slammed his glass down unto the table so the foot broke, and the glass shattered.
”Fuck you!” Callum spat. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. ”I don’t know what the fuck i am even doing here.”
Harlen got up and walked over and sat down next to Callum on the sofa. He rolled up his sleeve and pushed the inner side of his arm up at Callum. ”Tell me, what does it say?”
”Callum.” Callum said with a low voice.
”That’s right.” Harlen stated, ”Remember when we had them done?”
”Yeah.” Callum nodded.
”Remember we were absolutely bulletproof?” Harlen asked.
”Yes.” Callum smiled a little.
”Well nothing really changed, maybe you and I aren’t a couple anymore, but i still love you. And i am going to be there for you, just as you would for me.” Harlen said, wrapping an arm around Callum’s shoulders, pulling him close.
”Don’t flatter yourself.” Callum said, but contrary to his words, he snuggled up against Harlen.
”Come on, Cally. Smile a little.” Harlen grabbed Callum’s cheek and shook his head a little.
Callum couldn’t help a little smile. ”You’re such a fucking idiot, Jimmi.” He turned his head and looked directly in to Harlen’s green eyes, ”Besides, don’t you have some fans to go please?”
”Are you coming? Or would you rather sleep?” Harlen asked.
”Depends.” Callum said, surprised at his own answer. ”I mean, I need something to keep my party going, if I’m going.”
”That can be arranged.” Harlen said with a little sneaky smile. ”But what would you want? I’d be lying if i told you that there wasn’t gonna be any cameras and stuff.”
”I don’t know..” Callum sighed, a lazy smile spread on his face. ”Let’s fucking do it then.” He freed himself from Harlen’s arm, and stood. ”Just like in the old days, huh?”
And like in the old days, Callum sat on a crate at the left stage exit with a beer in his hand, tapping the rhythm with his fingers on his knee, watching Harlen and his band. The band had changed, the style had changed, and oh my God, the arena had changed too. Back in the days they had been paid in food and beer, and had lived off singing other peoples songs, stuff like The Commitments and the Stones. Now Harlen sang his own songs, and had row after row in the arena sing along, it really was mind blowing. And Callum could tell that he absolutely loved it, he glowed in the attention. He knew this was what they had dreamed about, and here it was, he was looking at it. Jimmi was a god of electronic rock in his own. Callum took a sip of his beer, and couldn’t help but to send Kruize a thought, maybe he had been a little unfair in his anger. Suppose he was most angry at himself for doing this full circle again. To have his heart broken in the name of rock ‘n roll. Maybe Jimmi was right, maybe he just needed to relax, and let it happen. Move on, because it was quite obvious that Kruize had. It did give him an insane feeling of power, knowing he had that man at the tips of his fingers if he wanted him. The desire of hundreds of people. Maybe that was what he found so damn hot about these performers?
Callum stared at the dark ceiling, listening to Harlen snoring lightly. His whole body felt like lead, and he just wanted to sleep, but his brain was wide awake. The faint smell of sex just made him want to scrub down. He sighed, how had he ended up here? Old habit? Well at least Harlen hadn’t pretended something, and Cal had to admit that it might make him think of other things, but it didn’t. Instead he recalled how he and Kruize had had breakfast on the roof of the building the first time he had stayed over. He remembered the first time they had kissed in public, and how giddy that had made him. He closed his eyes, and unwelcome pictures flashed before him. Callum drew a stuttering breath. He had been so much in love, hadn’t he? It had swallowed him whole, only to chew him up and spit him out. When he and Jimmi had split, he had promised himself he would never fall that much in love with anyone. And yet Kruize had slipped past every defense he had built up. And here he was, using Jimmi as the buffer. Was sorta amusing when you thought about it.
His mind vaguely recalled the bitter statements he had given some journalist that had found him at a party. How he wished he could take that back, but he couldn’t, and now he just had to live with Kruize thinking that he was that shallow. And maybe it was for the best, maybe it would dull the pain of his very last words.