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Author's Note: I was originally going to write Mike/Julian...but the Julian in my head is so in love with Noel, it's unbelievable. Haha. x
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"I'm only saying this because I love you, Noel," Mike said, raising his voice ever-so-slightly, "you need help."

Noel folded his legs up against his chest, hugging his knees, "I'm an adult," he mumbled.

"Age-wise, yeah," Mike stood up, "but if you're dumb enough to do shit like ketamine and coke, you really can't be all that smart," he folded his arms, feeling his anger peaking. Mike loved his older brother, but after Noel's breakdown, everything had gotten worse. Noel went days without checking in and when he did check in, he was off his tits. Mike hoped that the breakdown would help Noel realize that he can't keep putting himself through all of that, but clearly it only made things worse.

"You're not my mum," Noel narrowed his eyes, "why don't you just let me do what I want?"

Mike rounded on him, "because you're fucking killing yourself!" he yelled, "Do you have any idea how scared I am, Noel? I never know when I'll hear from you...if I hear from you at all," he stared at Noel, "I don't want to get a call saying someone's found you dead," he closed his eyes, trying to compose himself.

"Stop being so damn overprotective," Noel snapped as he got up and crossed Mike's parlor, stopping at the door, "I can take care of myself."

"So that's in then? You're just going to walk out on me for giving a shit?" Mike asked, his characteristically soft voice was back.

Noel grabbed the doorknob.

"If you leave, I swear I'll never speak to you again, Noel."

After a moment of hesitation, Noel opened the door and walked out, shutting it softly behind him.

Mike felt like he was going to be sick. For the first time in his life, he felt a deep, unadulterated hatred for his brother. There was only one person he could think to call, and he didn't think twice about calling him.

"Julian, it's Mike," he said when the  voice mail picked up, sounding as calm as he could possibly manage, "I couldn't think of anyone else to call. I just," he sighed, "Noel and I got into a fight and he took off. If you're in the area, could you stop by my flat? I'm home all night and tomorrow...I really need someone to talk to," he hung up his phone and laid down on his couch, staring at the wall. Every possible bad situation was running through his head and there was nothing he could do about it. As upset as he was, he hoped Noel was going to come to his senses and realize how dangerous his lifestyle was.

* * *

"I really appreciate you coming," Mike handed Julian a hot cup of tea, taking a seat next to him, "I didn't know who else to call. You know Noel better than I do."

"I know he'll come around," Julian stirred his tea to cool it off, "he just doesn't like confrontation."

"I know," Mike sighed, "I lost my temper..."

"You had good reason to, Mike," Julian sipped his tea, "I didn't have the nerve to tell Noel how worried I was about him and this lifestyle of his. I'm glad one of us finally said something," he smiled sadly.

"But God only knows what he's going to do now," Mike leaned back into the couch, closing his eyes, "he's fucked off with me and has access to hard drugs," he turned his head and looked at Julian, "you don't think he'd do anything dumber than he already has, do you?"

"I don't know," Julian put his cup on the side table, "Noel likes attention so, if anything, he's probably gone to pout," he scratched his beard, "but, Noel's also unpredictable so for all we know, he could be blowing lines in a bathroom stall somewhere."

Mike covered his face with a pillow, hugging it. He didn't want to cry in front of Julian, but everything happening was hitting him all at once- the flashbacks of Noel's breakdown, the fight he'd just had with him and the sudden realization that Noel could actually die. The tears were unavoidable. At least he had the pillow to hide his hideous crying face, he thought.

"Oh, don't cry," Julian pulled Mike into a side hug, "I didn't mean to upset you."

Mike sniffled and lowered the pillow to look at Julian, "I'm sorry," he wiped his eyes on his sleeve, "I've never been so scared in my life."

Julian got up, "stand up," Mike gave Julian a quizzical expression as he stood up. Immediately Julian wrapped his arms around the smaller man, hugging him close, "you need a real hug, little one," he mumbled, kissing the top of Mike's head.

Until the moment, Mike never knew what Noel saw in Julian. Mike always thought that Julian was stand-offish and grumpy, but now, he didn't seem so bad. There was definitely something about the man, Mike thought, something irresistible that he couldn't quite put his finger on. It must have been how Noel felt.

When Julian let go, he smiled at Mike, "feel any better?"

Mike nodded sheepishly, "I know why my brother likes you so much. You're a sweet man, Barratt."

"You sound surprised," Julian laughed.

"I am," Mike admitted, "Noel would talk about you for hours and I would just roll my eyes. But now I don't think you're half bad."

"I'm glad you're warming up to me," he ruffled Mike's hair, "I know it'll mean a lot to Noel."

"Noel hates me."

"I don't think he does," Julian sat back down, "he loves you more than anything. He told me."

"Why'd he walk out then?" Mike frowned, taking a seat next to Julian. Sitting closer to him than before.

"Noel doesn't like reality. He hates when reality hits him in the face. It scares him," Julian sighed, "his mind is a magnificent place, but it scares me because he can't seen to differentiate between his made up world and the real world."

"You think that's why he got into drugs?" Mike asked softly.

"They alter your mind into thinking things are better than they actually are," Julian looked at Mike, "Noel doesn't like seeing the negativity in the world. It kills him to see wars and general hatred. It kills him to know that the world will never be a happy place," he said sadly, "I wish everyone was as kindhearted as your brother. The world would be a better place."

"You really love him, don't you?"

Julian smiled to himself, "love doesn't even begin to cover the feelings I have for him. He's my whole world."

Mike felt himself blushing. Never had he heard anyone speak so fondly of someone. He couldn't help smiling. If he could choose anyone for Noel, there was no doubt in his mind that it would be Julian. Unable to contain himself, he hugged Julian.

"You're warming up to me pretty quick," he chuckled.

"If you and Noel ever end up together, I would be the happiest man in the world," Mike said, "he doesn't deserve anything less."

"That means a lot, Mike. Thank you," Julian leaned down and kissed Mike on the cheek before standing up again, "I think I'll give Noel a call now to check in. He knows better than to ignore me, because I'll go find him."

* * *

Julian held his phone to his ear, frowning to himself, "it's going to voice mail," he mumbled, ending the call and automatically dialing again. Mike watched him call Noel about five times before he left a message, "Noel, sweetheart, you must be very busy to be ignoring me right now," Julian kept his voice level, but he was clenching the first of his free hand, "so I suggest you call me back as soon as possible. You know I'll come find you. Please, Noel. Even a text. Anything," his eyes didn't look angry anymore, something changed; they looked kinder, sadder even, "I love you, little man," he added softly, hanging up.

"Do you think he'll call you?" Mike asked, watching Julian type out a text message.

"I'm sending him a text too. He can't ignore me," Julian glanced up, "I probably seem like an overprotective girlfriend," he chuckled.

"You have to prod Noel to get him to do anything when he's mad," Mike rolled his eyes, "he can be so stubborn. It's a Fielding thing. I'm just as bad."

"Oh, trust me, I know," Julian looked at his phone, "do you think 'if you don't call or text me in the next ten minutes I'm calling mumma Fielding' is too much of a threat?"

Mike laughed, " our mum can be brutal. I'll be surprised if he doesn't call the minute you send that."

"Good," Julian sent the message and shut his phone, "care to make a wager on how long it takes for him to call?"

"It won't be long. He wouldn't want to piss off-" Mike was interrupted by Julian's phone ringing.

Julian winked and answered his phone, "Alright?" he asked, frowning almost immediately, "Watch your tone with me," he growled, walking into the kitchen.

Mike strained to hear the conversation, but Julian was speaking in a low tone, making it extremely difficult. It was so quiet that Mike jumped when Julian raised his voice.

"Don't you fucking yell at me," Julian said, on the verge of yelling himself, "Well, I support Mike for telling you like it is!" he hit his fist on something; Mike assumed it was the counter, "I'm not angry with you," Julian said, sighing, "dammit, Noel, I'm worried about you and so is Mike," he paused for a moment, listening, "he's in the other room. He called me. I've never seen anyone so upset in my life," Julian walked back out into the parlor, "don't apologize to me. Mike's the one you're hurting," he ran his fingers through his hair, "oh, no. You're not doing it on the phone. Get your perfect little ass over here right now and say you're sorry," Julian chuckled, his cheeks flushing red, "yeah, yeah, yeah. Just come on over. I'll stay," he smiled, "I love you too. See you soon," he hung up and glanced at Mike, "he's, er, on his way."

Mike stared at him, gaping, unsure of what to say. After a minute or so of an extremely awkward silence, Mike spoke, "what the bloody hell just happened?"

"Noel was pitching a fit, so I raised my voice," Julian said nonchalantly, "it works every time. He's like a little kid, and I don't mean it in a bad way," Julian was thoughtful for a moment, "he's just child-like and sometimes you have to treat him like a child to make him respond. No, that was rubbish," he chewed his lip, thinking, "Noel doesn't like people being angry with him, so if you yell at him, he'll try to remedy the situation right away. If that makes any sense."

Mike nodded, "that's exactly right," he half-smiled, "I remember one time when Noel first started going to your comedy gigs, he would come home so upset because he thought you hated him."

Julian cocked an eyebrow, "he sat in the front alone, laughing at every joke like I was God's gift to comedy," he closed his eyes, smiling, "after my set, he wouldn't come up and chat with me, he'd just watch me, grinning. It was well creepy, so I usually just left."

Mike laughed, "did he really?"

"He did," Julian chuckled, "one night I finally sat down at his table after I'd performed and asked him if he'd like a beer. Never saw anyone smile and blush like that in my entire life. He was so excited," his smile widened, "I don't think I'll ever forget the first night we spoke as long as I live."

"Must've been a good night," Mike hugged a pillow, trying to resist the urge to laugh. They were having a good old fashioned girl talk, and it was funny to see Julian turning into a teenage girl as he talked about Noel.

"It was the best night of my life," Julian sat down next to Mike.

"Was it?"

Julian nodded, "because I met Noel."

"Oh, just marry him already," Mike joked.

"I would in an instant."

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
fermentingwater
Jan. 17th, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
This was just so amazing... I have loved all your stories and they just seem to be getting better and better:D

"Noel doesn't like reality. He hates when reality hits him in the face. It scares him," Julian sighed, "his mind is a magnificent place, but it scares me because he can't seen to differentiate between his made up world and the real world."
-This bit was so incrediably Noel and so beautifully written, I stopped to reread it at least 10 times before going on. And the bit where Julian raises his vioce because Noel was "pitching a fit" was just OMG.

Anyway sorry about the long comment I just had to express how much I loved it, on to read the rest now, so excited:)
cockneybetch
Jan. 19th, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
oh, wow! Thank you so much! I'm glad someone thinks my stuff is worth reading. I don't mind long comments. They make me smile. Thank you, again. xx
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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