Title: "Of Warm and Cool Chills" - Part I
Author: bello_romantico, Kat, just me. :)
Warnings: Simply language in this one (I'll get to kissing in the next parts!).
Summary: A set of swings at two o'clock in the morning on a cold winter's night brings two best friends closer than ever expected.
Of Warm and Cool Chills
All bundled up in the coat Mimi bought him for Christmas with a great, bulky scarf wrapped around his neck, John Lennon sits shivering on a dingy, metal swing in a local Liverpool park, close to his elementary school. For some reason, he isn't wearing any gloves and his lithe fingers are curled around the chain of the swing in a deathly grip - he's actually afraid that when he gets up to leave, they'll be stuck there because it's so Goddamn cold.
Sitting placidly on the swing beside him is a seventeen year old Paul McCartney, legs pumping as he glides - flies - through the air - back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The frigid night air rustles the dark fringe of hair above his eyebrows that peaks out from the brim of the ridiculous hat the boy is wearing. Of course, Paul has sensibly remembered a pair of mittens and subsequently isn't shivering like his friend. John, however, knows that even if Paul would offer him his mittens, he'd refuse them because they're the ugliest things he's ever seen in his life. Paul's round cheeks tinged a cherry red from the cold are swollen in a goofy smile as he swings and the sickening enthusiasm on his friend's face should be making John gag, but for some reason it's not. It's not at all.
"Remind me why I'm freezing my ass off on a bloody uncomfortable swing at two in the morning?" asks John suddenly, his warm breath creating a cloud of steam that floats up to the Heavens in seconds. His question is asked with a cheeky grin and a sarcastic arch to his eyebrows, but watching Paul this happy is taking the edge off of his usually biting tone of voice.
The younger boy turns his head to face John as he swings back in a perfect arc and regards his friend with a frown and a laugh. "You're freezing your ass off because you're not moving, you idiot. Move your fucking legs, Lennon!" cries Paul as he gives another powerful pump of his own legs that propels him high into the air. Soaring above the ground at a breakneck pace, Paul throws his head back with a wide smile stretched across his face, arms spread wide like a silly child who fancies himself a bird, giggling madly.
On any normal occasion, John would want to throw a great fistful of snow into his friend's stupid face, but he's... strangely not that irritating tonight. Plus, should he pick up a handful of snow to throw, his fingers would probably fall off from the extra cold.
"My legs are frozen stiff," grumbles John, trying not to sound like his teeth are chattering, still not taking his eyes off Paul - swinging constantly like the pendulum of Mimi's ridiculous clock in the kitchen. "I couldn't move them even if I wanted to. If they have to be amputated, it's your fault, you fucking bastard," quips John trying to wiggle his toes, but not quite sure if he's succeeding because they're completely numb inside his boots.
Paul chuckles and scrapes his feets along the snow streaked with mud beneath him, coming to a halt. The rusty chains of his swing creak and groan - as if protesting his suden stillness - and the younger boy regards his friend with an amused light sparkling in his large eyes. "Are you really that cold?" he asks and all other witty remarks die in John's throat at the look of genuine concern on his friend's flushed face.
John sighs and gives into particularly violent shiver. "Fuck yeah," he breathes and at his blunt response, Paul laughs, a swirling fume issuing from his lips - lighter and prettier than cigarette smoke.
"You want to go home, then?" inquires Paul with a jerk of his head clad in that lumpy, woolen hat.
John is about to answer when he abruptly notices how clearly he can see Paul - his outline is so crisp and stark against the white backdrop of snow. Suddenly, everything on his friend's face just seems to jump out at him - the large, almond shape and slant of his eyes rimmed with lush eyelashes and the absolute perfect contour of his face. The pure whiteness of the snow makes everything sharper, but John can't believe that he's never noticed how stunning Paul is. Maybe it's the fading smile on his red mouth or maybe it's the glitter of exhiliration still present in his gaze - all that John knows is that his friend's beauty has bowled him over and he doesn't think he can ever unsee what he's seeing. He's never really stopped to look at Paul, to tell the truth because usually, when John sees him, his brain immediately identifies him as 'Just Paul', but this - this - isn't 'Just Paul'. Fuck, Paul is beautiful (stupid mittens and all) and this realization makes a tremor course through his limbs.
It's a tremor that has everything to do with a sudden heat and nothing to do with the cold.
This sudden realization happens like all of them do: in a split second - like a bolt of lighting lighting up the sky for a split second. John, however, recovers quickly, standing up abruptly with a brilliant grin splitting across his face. "Walk me home?" he demands more than asks, a mischievous light in his intelligent eyes.
Paul, unware of his friend's racing blood underneath all those layers of clothing, stands and shrugs, "When don't I ever?"
John simply smiles and they fall into step - an unconscious harmony in their strides. Just as they leave the park behind and begin the trek through the snowy field, John collapses unexpectedly with a deafening scream, clutching at his chest.
"Bloody Hell!" shouts Paul, surprised cry ringing in the stillness of the night air as he whirls around to see what's happened. The sight that greets Paul upon turning around, is that of his friend making a snow angel, arms and legs plowing through the previously undisturbed snow. When John notices that his friend is staring at him, he addresses him his best toothy smile, nose crinkling with the mad grimace.
"Somethin' the matter?" he asks cheekily.
A wave of relief clashes with one of anger and Paul only has the time to mutter, "You little fucker," before pouncing on John.
They struggle and laugh raucously, snow flying around them and destroying John's snow angel. Handfuls of the delicate, white crystals are shoved down jacket fronts and flung into faces contorted with laughter. They wrestle playfully and, eventually, Paul loses his ugly hat, his head of dark brown hair set free. The younger boy pushes the older one off when this happens and exclaims with the remnants of a smile, "My hat!"
Sprawled in the snow, John smirks and reaches out to pick up that unfortunate lump of maroon wool. "You mean this?"
"Yes," says Paul, stretching out an expectant hand, "Give it back. I got it for Christmas."
John casts it an unimpressed glance, scrunching up his face in distaste. "Didn't you get anything better for Christmas?"
Paul's eyebrows sink into an annoyed expression and John sees a glimpse of embarassment flash across his friend's eyes. "Just give it back," he says in a firm voice, mouth a serious line.
"Do you remember what I got you for Christmas?" asks John, as he crawls toward Paul, hat still held in a bare hand, smile crooked and cunning.
As John draws closer, Paul gulps and soon finds himself nearly nose to nose with the older boy. "You didn't get me anything," breathes Paul, large eyes searching those of his best friend.
John makes a clucking sound with his tongue in disapproval, shaking his head gently, tip of his thin nose grazing Paul's. "I didn't get you anything?" murmurs John, eyes half lidded as he hovers slightly above his friend, smile softening, "That won't do... I should give you a little something now at least..."
"It's not Christmas anymore," whispers Paul, trembling inside his oversized coat, the cold wind blowing through the park a stark contrast to the hot, hot heat of his body. Involuntarily, he licks his lips and feels his heart hammer expectantly in his chest. Another gust of wind whistles past and Paul likes to think that it has momentarily carried away his sanity because his mind is going to places he's embarassed to say involve John's mouth.
"Couldn't find the perfect thing for you in time for Christmas," says John, lips dangerously close to Paul's and a shudder ripples through the pair of them. "I think I just found it, though."
"Yeah?" asks the younger boy, his trousers completely soaked due to the snow, but the chill in his limbs going entirely ignored - something that feels important is happening and Paul swears he can feel his heartbeat pulsing in his throat and a thrill of excitement is tingling in his every muscle.
"Yeah," mutters John before slanting his mouth over Paul's and both of their worlds promptly turn upside down.