Chapter 22 : 1971. Wall of Sound, part two : Coda.

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George had stretched his long legs in front of him, slouching in his chair and running a hand down his bearded chin. They were listening to a playback of the tune they'd spent a good portion of the day recording and he was tired, but trying to remain attentive. Phil turned the music down on the soundboard with a few deft twists of his fingers. "I think that's the final version. What do you think?" He glanced over at John sitting across from him.


"Yeah." John paused, his eyebrows still furrowed, humming. He was very still for a few seconds, replaying the song in his mind and trying to figure out what was wrong with it, before slowly titling his head to the side. "I don't know. It's good, but something's not quite right with it." He looked to George interrogatively. "Heard anything wrong?" George shook his head. "It's no 'Cry for a Shadow', but it sounds good to me," he replied, grinning as he stood up, stretching his arms over his head. John tried not to stare at the expanse of soft skin that was revealed as George's stupid orange T-shirt rode up.


"I don't know," he repeated, looking back to Phil. "I'd like to play around with it a bit more. Add some back up singing or guitars, maybe." He sounded very unsure, scratching the side of his nose, and Phil sighed. George sat back down, grabbing what he thought to be his cup of tea from the floor. One sip was enough to persuade him otherwise, lack of sugar helping. It was cold and bland but he drank it anyway.


"How about we settle that tomorrow?" Phil proposed softly, taking his glasses off to rub at his tired eyes. "Sleep on it, perhaps?" John made a non-committal noise but nodded, realising that the handful of people helping with the track had thinned out until it was just him, George, and Phil, at the end of that long studio session. Yoko had gone off to bed ages ago, pecking him on the cheek and leaving him to it.


George had stuck around, because he was enjoying himself recording the song, but also in the hope that he and John could talk, just the two of them, without an audience. He was trying not to allow himself to catch onto the glances his friend had been sending him all day, making him fidget a bit, trying not to think about what would happen when it would be just the two of them. The thought of it appealed to him, whatever 'it' meant, but he was steadily straining to persuade himself that it wouldn't be anything special, and that he was only staying for the song.


John was not quite so righteous though, and he assessed the situation quickly, smiling to Phil. "Yeah, go 'ome. I'll juss stay 'round a while longer, ma'be play it some more with George?" He raised an eyebrow at his mate, who casually nodded. George looked down, pretending to fiddle with his cup of tea as his stomach churned with excitement. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been alone with John, and the more he thought about it, the more eager he became to have his mate to himself. "Yeah, I suppose I could stick around. I haven't got anywhere I need to go." John gave a small snort at George's unintentional lack of manners, quite used to it, even finding it endearing.


Phil seemed a tad relieved to be allowed to go home, and left the two of them in the studio without another word, except for a gruff goodnight. George stood up, shuffling closer, sitting down in the seat that Spector had previously occupied. "If you want me to do something different on the guitar, I could lay down a couple of quick takes," he offered honestly, wanting to help out.


"Yeah, could do that," John replied distractedly, trying to appear casual as he shifted to grab a bunch of music sheets, staring at the scribblings on them as if actually meaning to revise it. "Try to record some back up on the slide guitar you used for the nasty song," he added after a while. "I liked that one." George nodded absent-mindedly, easily led to distraction around his mate. "It'd give it a heavier sound," he remarked, trying to keep his mind focused on the task at hand but purposefully bumping his knee against John's, the boyish grin on his face making his friend groan inwardly.

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