Chapter twenty six (part A) : 1973, Fork in the Road

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John stretched drowsily on the couch, long limbs sliding against the cushions and making his feet protrude from the armrest, toes curling. He hummed a bit and pressed his cheek into the warmth of George's shoulder, yawning. After an entire morning spent on George's terrace basking in the sun and playing old rock'n'roll classics, dutifully singing along and surprised by how well they remembered the words and the chords, John and George had had a light lunch around the kitchen table and decided to watch a bit of TV.

John had quickly begun to feel sleepy, comfortably settling against George, cheek pressed to his shoulder, one hand resting lightly on George's stomach, listening to his breathing and to the soft hum of the telly. He'd indulged in a little nap, apparently, and George had let him, adjusting so that John could sleep against him.

It made him grin. "Terrible pillow, you make," he complained, poking the inside of his cheek with his tongue where the pointy bone of George's shoulder was digging against his flesh. He didn't move, though. "A bit too bony, not much stuffing," George agreed, pressing a soft kiss to the top of John's head.

"I think I might have drooled a bit on yer shirt, too. Sorry 'bout that." John patted George's stomach, not sounding sorry at all, making him chuckle softly. "For some reason, I don't think you mean it." He closed his eyes. "I was close to sleeping as well, until you woke me up." John made a mocking cooing noise and George playfully swatted his bum, yawning as well.

The last several days with John had been just what George needed in his life. Slow, quiet days of not doing much of anything, playing music and chatting softly, relaxed. It had been in complete contrast with the frantic and unsavoury going ons at Friar Park. To think that the place had once been his safe haven from the madness and now his estate had become a mad house.

"I never came to Los Angeles for peace of mind before. Bit funny innit? I usually come here to get lost in things I probably shouldn't even consider doing," George said thoughtfully.

John slipped his fingers underneath the hem of George's T-shirt, resting them against the bare skin of his hip gently. He knew what George meant all too well. Drugs, alcohol, women, endless parties... it sounded like the plot of a crappy paperback about poor sad wealthy people, and yet it was his life. "Same for everyone, I think," he pointed out, narrowing his eyes at the television short-sightedly. George hummed in agreement.

"That's why I came, too. To forget about the rest," John added and then paused for a second before carrying on, his voice low. "You know." He straightened a bit, looking into George's brown eyes to make sure he got it.

George knew but he wasn't sure that he wanted to discuss what had brought the two of them here. For the moment their reality was each other, at least for George, and he didn't want to ruin things by talking about unpleasant matters. He needed open communication, still. He'd once been able to talk about everything with John, and he longed for them to share that again. "I know," he replied softly.

George wondered how much this had to do with John speaking on the phone with Yoko the day before. He didn't know what they had discussed and he hadn't asked about it either, not wanting to be nosy. The only thing that mattered to him was that John had stayed, no matter what Yoko had told him.

They'd only been on the phone once since John had (unofficially, they hadn't talked about it or anything, it had just seemed to happen) moved himself into George's temporary residence. He tried not to think about the fact that the next phone call John made to Yoko could end with her asking him to come home.

"Do you miss New York?" George asked, though what he really wanted to know was whether John missed his estranged wife. "The ability to move around freely there is nice," he stated awkwardly, wanting to be supportive. 

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