TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE
Remember I don’t own the Beatles or their families; this is just a fan fiction from my warped mind.
Paul sat at the kitchen table, his elbow on it and his head rested in his hand. He ran his other hand through his hair as the events of the night finally hit him. Three days until what? Until he and John died? Until he saw if Vicky would be safe or if all three would be? The whole thing seemed to overwhelm, he just couldn’t think they could die in the prime of their lives. They still had so much to give, he knew he did and John too. Vicky was a young sweet girl and he hoped she’d make it. You never though of your mortality until it hit you in the face. Now it did as he poured a drink down his throat and felt the burn as the glass hit the table.
Tonight hadn’t turned out as he had hoped. The whole weekend hadn’t. He thought they were safe and he could freely explore his feelings for Rita more. Now, George and Rita had said he was surrounded by a death that couldn’t touch him until Wednesday. Paul shivered at the image of the black hooded shadows watching him and wondered if they were still there. He took a deep breath, held it and then exhaled harshly. He fidgeted with a pack of smokes and then hit them on the table, letting one fall out. He picked it up and lit it. The cigarette drooped from his mouth as he poured another drink. He picked his head up so he could take the smoke from his mouth and have another belt of scotch. It was then he notice his hand was shaking and felt the impact of the fear gripping him. He put the glass down and watched his left hand shaking. With disgust he placed it on the table, his feeling were spilling out physically and he hated that, always did.
He wished John were there with his “No worries we ain’t goin anywhere. You’ll see when we wake on the tenth.” He wished he could be as sure as John, or was John just being a poser. He didn’t know if he was, but he did know that he needed that strength whether John was putting them on or not. Paul wondered how John’s night was going with that beautiful bird he spoke of. It had to be better then what they went through. He wondered what John’s answer to this evening’s event would be.
He poured a few more drinks and pounded them down. He didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t usually turn down great sex, except of courseif it would become too sticky in the end. He laughed bitterly at how ironic that was. Friend’s girls had propositioned him and that was something he never relished or wanted. Well, if she were a looker he’d ponder it a sec and then think better of it. Paul pondered all of this as he had several more drinks and his cigarettes filled the ashtray in front of him. He looked to the window and saw the dawn breaking through the darkness. Light seemed to comfort him a bit as he realized his eyes were growing heavy with sleep. He put out his smoke and with the light of the kitchen walked out into the living room.
He stared at George who slept so soundly. A smile spread across his face as Paul remembered how things were when they were younger. How things seemed simpler. Had it only been a few years ago? To him it felt like a whole lifetime. He sat on the table watching George, oblivious to all around him as he was curled on his side under the blanket safe and warm. He remembered how they had shared many single beds together before the Beatles, and in Hamburg. How they all had laid on each other to keep warm in Neil’s van on early tours, flip flopping when the one on top got cold. They were close; they had to be in order for all four lads to do something like that, and make it through Beatlemania. George and he had been closer back then too. Now, they seemed to be feeling that closeness again, only he didn’t like the circumstances involved in making that so. Sharing one single bed together in their youth seemed so innocent. He longed to curl up next to George, feel safe, warm, and have that innocence back. George had gone a bit sparce tonight, but he did it to save Paul. Paul had felt that love so many times over the last few weeks. He thought about what George had said, how nothing could touch Paul through him. George was his shield tonight; he smiled at how it reminded him of a knight, and George had used himself as that human shield. Now that was love of a true mate.
Paul’s hands held up his head, it fell a few times and he realized just how tired he was. He wondered if George would mind if he slipped in with him, just like they used too. There was plenty of room if he slept on his side like George. Paul’s stomach was in knots, even with all he drank. He looked around nervously to see if the shadows were still stalking him. He couldn’t see them, he hadn’t before and so he figured they just very well could be anywhere. This unsettled him and again curling up with George seemed more appealing. He shrugged and pulled the quilt down a bit and crawled in, careful not to wake George. Snuggled up under the blanket he felt George’s body curl into his and George’s arm flop over his chest. He wondered if George thought he were Pattie. God, he hoped not. But being close made him feel like a child again, craving that safety, and to him that’s was George. Laying there nothing could touch him and he could relax. It didn’t take long before the safe warm feeling of their closeness lulled him to sleep.
Rita came down the stairs dressed in jeans and a shirt of Jane’s. She hated rooting through Jane’s things, but she needed some clothes. She’d return them before they were missed.
The light was still on in the kitchen, and then she wondered if Paul had fallen asleep at the table. She walked in quietly only to find the table scattered with an open scotch bottle, an over filled ashtray with a pack of smokes along with a lighter, an empty glass and a pulled out chair. She wondered where Paul could be? She noticed the time, 12pm, could he be outside? She walked over to the window only to be trampled by a mop of fur that Paul lovingly called Martha.
“You want to go out girl?” Rita bent over and scratched her ear before she stood up, unlocked the door and watched the dog scamper out into the garden.
Looking outside she saw no evidence of Paul. She started to get worried when she heard two soft voices come down the stairs.
Ringo and Vicky were dressed, their hair wet from the recent shower they had taken. All smiles and eyes glued to one another, it took a minute for them to notice Rita standing at the bottom of the landing.
“Morning Rit” chirped a happy Ringo.
“Afternoon it is luv.” Vicky let Ringo know as she smiled adoringly at him.
“Has either of you seen Paul?” That broke the glue that held the look of the couple.
“No” Ringo and Vicky said in unison.
Rita shook her head, “Let’s check on George. Pattie will be worried.”
Rita wandered around to the couch and then stopped dead in her tracks. A smile pulled at her lips as she watched the two sleep soundly.
Ringo smiled as he came around and saw what Rita was looking at. He motioned for Vicky and then he checked a few table draws in the room. He knew Paul kept his camera in one of them and usually had film in it.
“Ah, here we are.” A light flashed as Ringo snapped a few pictures and giggled quietly as the two slept through it.
The two girls tried to stifle their giggles as well. They headed over to Ringo.
“You know you will be tortured if he finds out about that.” Rita joked with him.
“Ah but it will be well worth it now won’t it? “ Ringo snickered as he shot a few more pictures.
Both girls nodded as the three again turned to stare at the two on the couch.
“They used to share bunks in Hamburg. I remember when I stayed with them a few times, to drunk to get to me own flat. It’d be bleedin cold and sometimes with the worn covers they’d sleep double to keep warm.” He smiled fondly at the memories of the fun they had in Hamburg. Then he started laughing.
“Look at George with his arm around Paulie. If I didn’t know better I’d think them queer.” Ringo couldn’t hold the laughter as he howled, taking the camera and moving to stand over by the kitchen door, “Right, Paulie’d make a fit bird don’t ya think? “
Vicky joined Ringo laughing, and soon Rita laughed too at Ringo’s joking.
Paul shifted under the warm quilt as he became aware of noises. Slowly he opened his eyes.
“Ah now see I’ve done it, gone an woken sleepin beauty.” Laugher poured out of the three.
Paul sat up, his hair tousled, face imprinted with a red mark from the cushion he had laid his head on. His head felt as if a band were playing in it. The laughter hit him like a drum kit as his head throbbed with pain. He groaned as he slowly rose off the couch still in the same clothes as the previous night. He squinted his eyes at the three laughing figures by the kitchen. What were they laughing at? Then it dawned on him as Ringo opened his mouth.
“Did you and Georgie enjoy yer kip then?” Ringo’s face was red with laugher as his hand stroked the camera he held.
“Having a lark at me expense are we Ritch?” Paul winced at hearing his own loud scratchy voice.
“Rita got any tea luv. I need to be headin out to the family soon.” Ringo watched as Paul moved mechanically towards him.
Paul’s body was stiff from the couch, his mouth dry as the desert and that God-awful banging in his head. He coughed which seemed to make his head hurt more as he saw the steaming cup of tea that Rita handed Ringo.
“Ah, Paulie don’t be brassed off at me fer laurghin at you and Georgie. You do make the loveliest couple you do.” Ringo just couldn’t stop. Maybe it was nerves from last night, or maybe he just knew why Paul slept with George and wanted to make light of it.
“Bugger off “ Paul spat as he padded softly towards the kitchen.
“Need sumethin fer the ole head do we? “ Ringo kept it up.
“Yes.” Paul grumbled standing directly in front of Ringo.
“I’ll get you something” Rita offered
She went quickly to the cupboard and brought back some aspirin. Paul took them thankfully. He popped them in his mouth and took the mug that Ringo offered. He gagged after swallowing.
“Cor, Ritch a bit of tea with your sugar?” Paul grimaced at the grittiness of the sugar that stuck in his mouth.
“’Cause I’m sweet it is. “ Ringo smiled, “ Paulie I’ll go and develop these for ya.” Ringo held up the camera and then pulled it to him as Paul tried to grab it away.
“Taken some pictures eh Ritch?” Paul’s brow furrowed at the thought of what was on that roll of film.
“ Took a few of you and Georgie. Thought it sweet. Would make some nice Christmas cards I was thinkin.” Ringo smiled ruefully at Paul.
“Give it back you wanker. There’ll be none of that sort for Christmas.” Paul told him softly and adamantly.
“No, I think not sleeping beauty. A lot of mags would love to see these babies.” Ringo howled.
Paul was too weak and pain to argue, and Ringo’s voice seemed to boom in his ears. He held up his hand and lowered it a bit in slow motion to convey the message to quiet down.
“Oh sorry, forgot, you’re hung over. Well, don’t ferget the studio tonite. We sagged off last night so we’ve gotta be there tonight,” Ringo looked at his watch. He kissed Vicky sweetly on the lips.
“ You better be having a lark on me about those Pictures you ponce or when I feel better I’ll cripple you but good.” Was all Paul could say as he quickly ran to the sink in the kitchen and gave up his insides.
“That does it, can’t watch that. I’m off. Gotta get home to the family y’know. Vicky luv, I hope to do this again real soon. Had a nice night of it, sorry I need to leave so soon.” He again kissed Vicky sweetly.
“I’ll see you soon Ritch.” Vicky told him, a silly grin on her face.
“Right then I’m off. Take care of the head son and wake that nit up before Pattie goes barmy with worry.” Ringo smiled, put on his coat, and stuffed the camera in his pocket while Paul was in the kitchen, then opened the door, “Ta” He simply said before closing it.
Rita watched Paul slump in the kitchen chair. His face was a pasty color and he sipped slowly on a new mug of tea. She then looked at Vicky and nodded towards Paul. Vicky knew Rita wanted her to take care of Paul; she shook her head and walked into the kitchen.
Rita was surprised to see George sitting up, the quilt wrapped around him as he sat there in a daze. His face groggy and his hair stood on end. She sat down next to him and placed her hand on his hidden lap.
“ How you feelin?” Rita didn’t have to look at him to know.
“Like Shite, I don’t remember last night to well. Had a dream though, bout Amburg,” He looked up at her with confused eyes, “ No dreams about anything, but that one. We, Paul, and me would sometimes share a bed to keep warm or when we were younger, y’ know stayin at each other’s house. Strange that, haven’t thought of it for awhile.” George sat there in thought.
Rita put her arm around George and gave him a squeeze, “ You didn’t dream about you and Paul sharing a bed. I think he was scared by last night and found comfort in sleeping on the couch with you. You do remember what happened last night right?” She inquired.
George sat putting the pieces together about what happened the night before. His eyes grew wide as the memories fell together in a sequence as if it were a movie. Did he really choke Paul by trying to save him? He knew what he saw was real and knew that Rita had seen it too. He hadn’t meant to scare or hurt Paul and could only figure what was going on in his mind.
“ For fuck sakes Rita. You saw it too I know you did. Is Paulie all right? Oh Christ, I didn’t even think with all I had that they couldn’t touch him until it’s time. I never expected to see those fiends and I was scared too,” George’s voice was a bit panicked as he spoke. His head was cloudy, but he felt it clearing up the more he thought; he wondered what they gave him. “What in bloody hell did you give me?”
Rita stared at George; her face fell serious as she answered him. “ I did see them too and I told Paul, Ritch and Vicky after you were under control. Yes, Paul’s all right, just scared is all. He feels as if the shadows of death are still hanging around him. He’s spooked like I told you, that’s why he slept with you. You made him feel safe. We gave you tranquilizers we had too, you were protecting Paul, but choking him at the same time.” She watched at George’s reaction.
George nodded agreeing with her. He never meant to hurt Paul, just protect him. He was out of control and maybe he did need those pills. He also knew that the aura of death was still around Paul. They wanted him and it scared George as well that he had seen them.
“George he knows that they can’t touch him right now, but still he needed you last night, even if you were sleeping.” Rita finished with a sigh.
George rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands, “ It’s fine really, the pills and Paul sleepin with me. I understand it. Cor, Pattie, did anyone call her?” He bolted upright out of Rita’s arm.
“George relax. Ritch called, told her you were out of it, which was the truth. Told her you were sleeping it off at Paul’s flat. It’s quiet alright I can assure you that one.” Her hand lay on George’s shoulder keeping him in seated as she told him.
“Right, good then I should see how Paul’s doin then leave. Half twelve already? I really need to get movin here. Ta Rita for the help last night.” George stood dragging the quilt around him into the kitchen. He poured some tea, lit a cigarette and sat next to Paul.
Vicky saw George come in and smiled back at his half smile as he poured his tea. She figured he’d want some privacy with Paul, and so she slipped out of the kitchen to find Rita.
Paul’s head didn’t hurt like it did before. The pain had dulled and the tea had settled his stomach. He was aware that George had come in and Vicky stepped out. His eyes traveled to his friend when George sat down.
“You all right there mate? Sorry I got a bit barmy last night. Throat hurt?”
George felt bad and inquired when he noticed Paul didn’t look so good.
“Fine now, the throats good and I can sing tonight,” Paul noticed the surprised look on George’s face, “ Oh, got studio tonight, sagged off remember?”
“Right” George nodded at remembering
“I’m not keen on being choked, but I know why you did it and I thank you.” It was hard for Paul to say. He was looking over his shoulder since he woke for those shadows, but he did want to thank George.
“You slept with me last night. Thought it a dream. I understand why and really don’t blame you. I’m just sorry I spooked you is all. You do have the aura but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Please keep that in mind.” George tried to reassure his friend. It was hard for him seeing these things, but to be on the receiving end was probably much harder.
Paul looked into his mug a bit embarrassed,” Yeah couldn’t sleep even after quiet a few drinks. I hoped you wouldn’t mind. I thought about how we used to share a bunk and it made me feel better. Y’ know those things couldn’t get me with you there with me and I was finally able to sleep. I am a bit hung over, but I’ll mend by tonight. Oh, by the by, Ritch took some bleedin pictures of us. Told me he was gonna make Christmas cards with them. Think he took me camera whilst I was sick in here. Told him to think better of it or I’d cripple him but good.” Paul snickered a little while finishing up what he was telling George.
George gave a lopsided smile to his friend, one of those smiles that warmed your heart, and he hoped it did. He thought about Ritch taking the pictures and knew they wouldn’t go to far, only between the few of them. He still felt a bit bad at what he told Paul and then noticed how Paul smiled weakly back at him. This wasn’t his Paul, the optimist, the one who always looked to the sun with dreams, or the rainbow for that pot of gold. He felt guilty for taking that away from him. He knew he didn’t mind that Paul slept on the couch with him. He’d have done the same thing if it were his life they were talking about. He noticed too that Paul seemed to scan the room every so often. Bloody hell, he thought, now he’ll be looking over his shoulder the next few days.
“Paul? “ George ventured.
“Hmmm?” Paul’s attention focused back on George.
“ Y’ know Ritch aint gonna go showin the pictures around. I’m sure that was his way to relieve the tension,” George sighed as he thought, “ You know I would have slept with you under the same circumstances don’tcha? I’m sorry I even mentioned those bloody shadows, now you’ll be lookin fer them. You can’t see them, I can’t right now and I was so wasted, shite faced I was. Sorry again mate, but listen where is that McCartney optimism eh? Y’ know how you are and sometimes we want ta choke ya over it. Oh sorry not a good choice of words.” George floundered as he tried to talk to Paul. He then chuckled at his inability to speak the way he wanted to. He figured it was everything catching up with them. He knew he had to pull himself together. He had to make a second plan as Ravi had said. Again the burden fell on his shoulders, but he had to hide it. He figured he had spooked Paul enough already. His eyes watched Paul as he listened.
“Haza, I know what yer sayin is true and that yer tryin ta make me feel better. I just…..” Paul found himself getting choked up and couldn’t finish his thoughts. He shook his head and then looked out the window. Again he felt his hands shake, blimey, he thought as he held one hand inside the other. He hoped George hadn’t seen it.
George felt and overwhelming sadness hit him as he saw Paul shaking. He didn’t mention want to mention it and embarrass Paul. He couldn’t let this happen, not to John and especially Paul. John had seemed fine to him, but Paul had lost that spark, the spark that was his inner self.
“ Listen mate, we’ll go to the studio tonight and work on the music. That always makes us feel better. No worries, just play. Remember we will get through this alive. That’s a promise.” George stated adamantly. He wanted Paul to believe him and most of all he wanted to believe it himself. He hoped this wouldn’t be the first promise he’d have to break to his friend.
Paul shook his head to acknowledge George, “ Right that we will. Sing our songs until the music dies.” Came the morbid words from Paul’s lips. His stare was back to the garden again. He wondered when spring would come. If his father would have the roses blooming nicely this year and if the music would indeed die.
George strained to see what Paul was looking at. He got up and walked over, knelt down eye level to Paul and took his hands. Paul wasn’t a morbid person and he needed to get the strength back in him, get him to think optimistically again.
“This will pass, I can assure you that the music will not die, not now, not like this.” George reassured him while gently squeezing his hands.
“Ya might be right there Georgie, might be. I’ll have to let this go. I want to see spring and my flowers. Dad loves to do the roses and they smell so nice. What I really want is to go to liddypool and see them. I’ll call later to talk to the family. I want to go back Georgie.” Paul’s watery gaze fell on the younger man in front of him.
:”You’ll go back to the Pool, see your da, Mike, aunties, uncles and the whole six hundred McCartney’s that sit at the pub or Jin’s. Don’tcha worry son, you’ll go.” George leaned towards his friend and kissed the top of his head, “ Now, take a kip and I’ll see you at the studio. No, sulk ons, ya hear me mate? Just the music and us, ok? And no worries over those shadows, we’ll make them fail. You hear me Paul?” George stood up waiting for a reaction from Paul.
Paul stood up and pulled George in to him for a hug. They patted each other on the backs before they separated. Their eyes locked with understanding.
“Right I’ll take a kip and meet you at the studio and be all sunshine and flowers. No worries just us and the music.” Paul forced a smile.
“Good, I have to see to Pattie. Walk me out?” George smiled
Paul wrapped his arm around his friend and smiled back at him. He’d force himself to feel better. He felt such love for his friend. They walked to George’s car. George stopped and looked in the mirror. He tried to run his fingers through his hair and then stood back up. He gave Paul a hug and then got into his car.
Paul laughed as he watched his friend try to brush his hair down. He leaned into the car as George started the engine.
“Ta mate. I think I’ll take that kip and see you at the studio later.” Paul stood up and hit the car lightly to say good-bye. He watched a wink from George as he backed out of the drive and Paul walked back to the house, feeling more positive. A kip was what he needed and for George to be right.
Pattie looked up at the clock for the hundredth time. She knew something must have happened last night. She shook as she thought about it. She held the old book against her and after thinking for hours decided to take the chance and leave the book in the music room. She knew George would see it and wonder where it came from. She’d have to admit to him what she knew and had done. She prayed he wouldn’t be angry with her. It would be hard to tell him, but she knew at this point that she had too. Lives depended on it so much and this old book held a lot of the answers he sought A row with her husband was worth saving three lives.
She slowly walked into the music room. She carefully placed the old book down on the desk by the phone where he would see it. Pattie stared at it for a few minutes and then turned to walk out before she lost her nerve.
George walked into the house and called out for Pattie. He saw her walk to him. He figured she’d be mad and yell. He was surprise when all she did was give him a long hug.
“Sorry luv” George spoke into her hair.
He felt her nod and hold him tighter, “ I didn’t mean to worry you pet. It’s quiet all right really.”
Pattie’s blue eyes shined up into his dark eyes, “I know and it’s fine. I just missed you is all and was worried. You’re home now and that’s what’s important. You look worse for the wear.” The smell penetrated her nose and she looked up again at him with a smile, “ You could use a wash up luv. You do have a smell to you.”
George nodded, “ Yeah I do. I’m going up to do just that. You going to be here when I come down?”
Pattie knew she had to be. She had to make sure he saw the book and explain to him. She didn’t relish it, but she couldn’t run now could she. Her head nodded yes as he kissed her and traveled up stairs to clean up and change.