pairing: Curt/Arthur (uh duh)
rating: R, mostly for language
summary: The morning after Death of Glitter, Arthur and Curt connect on a level that terrifies them both. When Curt makes an offer Arthur doesn't want to refuse, he realizes that sometimes the mature choices are the ones that hurt the most.
disclaimer: These characters were created by Todd Haynes. No copyright infringement is intended.
warnings: References to sex (nothing too terribly graphic) and some drug use.
a/n: Sooo...this thing happened while I was editing a recent snark. I was doing a lot of wool gathering and fandom brain fucking. Curt began to eat my brain and the next thing I knew this story popped almost full formed from my finger tips. There's a sequel being written. Yeah. I know. I've been all over the place as a writer lately. In a way, it's been helping me creatively, I think.
"Rock and Roll Sweetheart"
Arthur heard liquid splattering on pavement. Was it raining? He felt hot and sticky. Had Malcolm turned off the air conditioner to conserve power again? And who had left the curtains open?
His eyes felt glued shut. In the end it didn't matter since he was blinded by sunlight the minute he got them open. Was he outside? Where the hell was he? What had he done after the concert?
Arthur found himself lying on a dirty mattress and a rooftop. He rolled over to investigate the sound that had woken him. His entire body ached, especially his ass. Well, he'd gotten laid last night, that was for certain.
A flash of silver caught his eyes and he shielded them. As they adjusted, Arthur realized he was looking at Curt Wild. The sound had been of urine hitting the concrete roof.
Though his memories of last night were still hazy, he at least recalled in vague, dreamy sequences what had happened. As the roadie for the Flaming Creatures, not to mention dear friend and housemate, he'd been permitted to attend the concert's afterparty. It had been a very informal affair and quite decadent. Liqueur had flowed like tap water, all manner of drugs had been available for the taking, and everyone had been full of love. For the music, their dying scene, and of course each other.
Curt Wild had taken a shine to him. They'd talked half the night. The button he'd eaten earlier had made Arthur rather bold or perhaps just lowered his inhibition. When conversation had been left behind for making out, Curt had asked him to meet him on the roof top.
From there his memories were increasing disjointed. Arthur knew he'd followed him up. They'd talked a little more, drunk a beer or two, and fucked. He also recalled seeing a UFO that had showered them with glitter as Curt had pushed inside of him, but that could have just been an hallucination. The UFO, not Curt's cock up his ass. Naturally.
"Curt?" Arthur rasped. His throat was dry and hurt a little. He longed for a drink. Anything would do.
"Oh hey," Curt looked over his shoulder. His piss stream had finally slowed to a trickle. "Did I wake you?"
"Sort of," Arthur admitted.
"Sorry," Curt offered sincerely. He finished up his business, gave it a quick shake, then tucked it back into his pants.
Without zipping back up, Curt turned toward Arthur with a rakish grin. "How're you feelin'?"
Arthur laughed, not sure where to begin. Not that long ago, he'd been jerking off to pictures of this man. It was a bit overwhelming. Beyond that though, he was also sore, dehydrated, and felt as grungy as a street cleaner.
"A bit shitty, honestly," Arthur replied.
"Not about last night?" Curt asked. He frowned a little, his brow furrowing.
"What? No! That was bloody fantastic! I'm just a bit sore."
"Oh yeah, sorry 'bout that." His wide grin undercut the sincerity of his apology. In fact he looked downright pleased with himself.
"Prick," Arthur said without real malice.
"Who's a prick?" Curt chuckled as he tackled Arthur. They rolled around on the mattress, laughing like old schoolmates. It also made Arthur a bit horny and he briefly wished he weren't in such considerable discomfort.
Curt mussed his hair and he began to squirm away. "Oh piss off then! I'm enough of a mess already!"
He stopped teasing him and looked deep into his eyes. "Shut up. You're gorgeous."
Arthur felt his face heat up. He was still getting used to people complementing his looks. It did mean a lot from Curt, not just because of last night, but because it was the morning after. Arthur's makeup had long since rubbed off, kissed or melted away with sweat. His hair was a mess and the spray dye had faded. Most of it now stained part of the mattress blue. He was also in desperate need of a shower.
"Thanks," He smiled warmly.
Curt just shrugged. "No problem, man. So what do you got planned today?"
Arthur blinked at that. He really had not one clue. Truthfully, he'd expected to go home with the Creatures last night. Maybe get a bit frisky with one of the boys or perhaps just soak in a hot bath and watch the steam swirl before his eyes. Arthur had not planned being seduced by Curt Wild.
"No idea," Arthur shook his head. "You?"
"Well, I suppose first we need to figure out how to get off this roof." Curt laughed softly and stretched out on the mattress. He closed his eyes briefly before turning his head to look at Arthur.
His eyeliner was smudged and he had some morning stubble. Arthur felt a strange lump in his throat. He swallowed hard, trying to banish it.
"Do we have any more of that beer?" Arthur asked.
Curt made a face. "That ain't gonna do shit for you."
"Maybe so, but do you have any better ideas?"
He sat up and cast around the mattress until he found one. It was hot to the touch and Arthur winced a little. He cracked it open nonetheless and took a big swallow. It was foul tasting and a bit flat. He spat it out and watched with sick horror as the liquid foamed across the concrete and mingled with Curt's puddle of urine.
"Oh god," Arthur groaned.
"You okay, baby?" Curt asked, sounding a bit alarmed.
Arthur swallowed thickly. He felt nauseous, but was pretty sure he wasn't going to get sick. "I'm fine."
"Listen, the club'll probably open their bar in a couple hours. You think you can hold it down 'til then?"
Arthur nodded and was surprised when Curt hugged him. There wasn't anything sexual to his embrace, though. He smelled like cigarettes and sweat.
"Do you live around here?" Curt asked.
"Yeah," Arthur replied.
"With the Creatures, right?"
"Is that where you want to go when we blow this joint?" Curt gently probed.
Arthur shrugged and glanced over his shoulder. He felt oddly shy looking into Curt's eyes. "Where else would I go?"
He felt more than heard Curt's deep breath. "You could come with me."
"What? Don't tease me. Aren't you touring with Jack right now?"
"Yeah," Curt drawled. "We ain't scheduled to leave 'til next week. Why don't you come back to my room? You can get cleaned up, I'll order some room service, and maybe we'll smoke some grass."
It sounded too tempting for words. He was having trouble wrapping his brain around all of this.
"Why?" He asked.
"Why not?" Curt countered teasingly.
"I am, baby. How 'bout this? Why don't you take a load off? I'll go downstairs and snoop around, see if there's an unlocked doors or windows. Who knows, maybe I'll find an over zealous employee opening early."
"Ta, mate," Arthur smiled fondly.
He stretched out on the mattress as Curt got up. The heat made him sleepy and he was off on a doze within a few moments.
The venue was dark. Curt's platform heels made heavy, thudding sounds on the bare floor. It was kind of spooky. He felt like a prowler. As he'd feared, they were locked up tight as a drum.
"God fucking dammit," Curt muttered.
He stole a couple bottles of water out of the fridge behind the bar and grabbed a fifth of Jack Daniels. Curt took a deep pull and sat on a bar stool. Now what? He really should have thought this through. At the time, it had seemed so brilliant. Urban camping. Now he had a young man shagged out, dehydrated, and probably getting sun stroke.
He really didn't want to wait until the place was opened. Curt sighed softly and fished around in the pockets of his pants. Not a blessed thing. Guess he'd have to call collect.
At the bar's pay phone, he dialed 1-0-0 for the operator. After a couple transfers and a long silence, Jack accepted the call.
"Where are you, darling?" Jack asked. His voice was crisp. "You never came back to your room."
"I'm still at the venue," Curt replied sheepishly.
"What? Why?" Jack sounded alarmed.
"It ain't a big deal," Curt assured him.
"Curt, please don't beat around the bush. At least respect me that much."
Curt winced. They weren't lovers but Jack could be such a wife sometimes. "I met someone at the after party."
"I remember that. You were talking with the Creatures' roadie," Jack replied.
"Yeah well, I asked him to meet me on the roof top. We had sex, fell asleep, and now we're stuck," Curt explained quickly.
Jack began to laugh. "Good god, Curt! That's brilliant."
"It really isn't," Curt snapped. "He's sick and I really want to get him out of here. Didn't you make the arrangements for the show? Can't you call someone?"
His voice sounded strange to him. It held a desperate edge and Curt was beginning to feel ridiculous. He barely knew the guy and it wasn't as though Arthur were dying.
"You're serious, aren't you?" Jack sounded astonished.
"Yeah, I mean he's okay right now, but I'd really hate to take him to the hospital. The media would jump all over that shit and it'll end up a fucking game of telephone. Next thing ya know, it'll be splashed all over the tabloids and god knows what that'd do to him."
"Curt, I understand. I'll call the proprietor and get this sorted. Shall I send a car as well?"
"Nah, you know I keep at least twenty bucks on me most the time," Curt replied.
"Bucks?" Jack teased. "I hardly think deer will help your situation."
Curt rolled his eyes but grinned despite himself. "Pounds, quid, whatever. You knew what I meant, smart ass."
Jack chuckled. "Sorry, just thought you could use a good giggle. Why don't you get your paramour inside while I work my magic. Could you read me the number on the phone box?"
Curt rattled off the sequence and Jack was briefly silent as he wrote it down. He sighed softly and was thankful that Jack had approached him that night in Berlin. The man had surely saved his life and perhaps even his career as well.
"Thanks," Curt said.
"No need. Frankly, I much prefer these kinds of messes than tracking you down at some shooting gallery," Jack replied. "I'll call this phone back as soon as everything's complete."
"Cool. See ya."
He hung up the phone and collected the items he'd nicked from the bar. Already he was feeling much better. Briefly be wondered what Jack would say to excuse them being on the rooftop. Star gazing perhaps? He shook his head and laughed softly.
As he ascended the stairs to the roof exit, Curt began to worry about Arthur again. He hoped he'd not been too long on the phone. The passage of time was always a bit fucked to him.
Arthur sat with Curt at the bar. He wasn't sure if maybe he was still kind of tripping, but the place was creepy after hours. The cleaning crew must have been called after the party had broken up. He hoped they got payed well because they'd done exceptionally good work. If Arthur hadn't known better, he would have never believed a concert had been held last night.
Next to him, Curt smoked a cigarette and sipped on his bottle of water. Arthur had already drained his and was working on a second. He already felt a lot better.
"I can't thank you enough, Curt," Arthur told him.
"Don't worry about it, man," Curt shook his head. It's the least I could do. Jack's helped me out of a lot of jams."
Arthur nodded, took a sip of water, swallowed, and took a deep breath. He wasn't sure he'd like the answer to the question forming on his tongue.
"Are you and Jack an item?" Arthur asked.
"What?" Curt chuckled a bit. "Nah, it ain't like that. What about you? Are you seeing anyone?"
Arthur raised his eyebrows. He hadn't really expected that and it was a bit complicated. The Creatures had taken him into their home and on quite a few occasions their beds as well.
"Nothing serious," Arthur replied and it was true. He liked Malcolm, Pearl, Ray, and Billy but didn't consider himself a boyfriend to any of them.
"Cool," Curt glanced at him with a small smirk, "Glad there won't be some jealous boyfriend banging down my door."
Arthur laughed at that. "To be honest, I'm just kinda figuring stuff out."
"Oh yeah? How old are you again?"
"Just turned nineteen."
"You finish high school?" Curt asked.
Arthur frowned, a bit confused by the jargon. Curt saw his expression and quickly corrected himself. "Secondary school, I mean."
"Oh yeah, I did."
"Are you going to university?"
"What are you, my mum?"
Curt tossed a match book at him. "C'mon, don't be a dick. You seem like a smart enough guy. Didn't you get good marks?"
"I did," Arthur admitted with a shrug. "My family really couldn't afford to send me. We owned a record store and I was going to take over for my brother when he went back to uni in the fall."
"Oh, so...what changed?"
"My dad threw me out when he found out I was a poof," Arthur replied simply. His story was nothing unusual.
"Fuck, I'm sorry," Curt said with a grimace. "What happened? Did you tell him and he flipped?"
Arthur groaned at the mortifying memory, especially considering who he was talking to. "Worse. He caught me having a wank to pictures of you and Brian."
"Christ!" Curt exclaimed.
Arthur just shrugged. It had hurt at the time and thinking about it still made him sad, but he'd accepted it.
"Hey, I'm real sorry to bring up bad memories!" Curt apologized.
"It's really not that bad. I've heard worse stories," Arthur replied dismissively. "At least my mum gave me enough money to bus into London and rent a cheap room. All things considered it could have been much worse."
"Very true," Curt agreed.
They lapsed into a comfortable silence. Curt extinguished his cigarette and Arthur admired his profile. A part of him still couldn't believe that he was sitting beside Curt Wild. He wanted to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming but was half afraid to lest he shatter such a lovely illusion. Anyway, he doubted he'd have dreamt up being sick from dehydration and approaching heat stroke.
"So you roadie for the Creatures, eh?" Curt asked.
"Yeah," Arthur replied.
"They pay you ok?"
Arthur shrugged. A good portion of his salary was withheld from him to cover his room and board. He didn't mind, but it wasn't like he had much savings to speak of.
"Fair enough. Why?"
"Well...I was just thinking maybe you'd like to roadie for me for awhile."
Arthur stared, a bit stunned. Of course it was a generous offer and he could certainly see the benefits, but Arthur was hesitant to accept it. Sure he'd get the chance to travel across Europe as well as spend time with two of his rock idols, but what about all the rest? The sleepless nights, jet lag, parties, and groupies? Arthur felt a surge of unwanted jealousy. It wasn't as though he was in love with Curt, but he was really starting to like him. Did he think that he could watch Curt take other attractive young men to bed and not feel rejected somehow?
No, no he couldn't.
Anyway, he didn't want to be a roadie all his life. As fun as the experience has been so far, it wasn't his life's work. Arthur didn't quite know what he wanted to do with his life but slinging amps wasn't it.
"Thanks for the offer but I can't accept," he sighed reluctantly.
Curt shrugged. Arthur was relieved to see he wasn't offended by the rejection.
His head was too full of clouds and daydreams. If he were to be perfectly honest, he was even more terrified of getting caught up with Curt than watching him fuck groupies. He was such an intense man and Arthur feared losing himself in Curt's world. As selfish a thought as it was, Arthur didn't want to lose the self he was just discovering.
"Hey, but we can still hang out today, right?" Arthur asked, suddenly nervous.
Curt turned to him and smiled. Arthur's heart skipped a beat, and the tiny part of him that was already half in love with the man melted at the sight.
"Yeah, absolutely," Curt told him.
The pay phone rang then and both men jumped in surprise. Arthur chuckled and Curt swore as he rushed to answer it.
They were staying at a hotel near Kings Cross Station. It wasn't fancy or even very old, but Jack was secretly a bit of a penny pincher. He self managed his career, made all of his own clothing, and kept his stage shows fairly simple. He believe that the music should be just as important as the image projected. After all, if you had great songs and the talent, it didn't matter how you looked. People would still buy your records and perhaps even attend a concert or two. Guys like Bob Dylan and Neil Young were proof positive of that.
When Curt and Arthur finally got to the comfort of his room, Arthur poked around and had the good grace to be impressed. While he did that, Curt began to look over the room service menu. He didn't think Arthur would be able to handle anything too heavy and all he really wanted was some coffee.
Arthur was brushing his teeth in the bathroom and after a moment the shower turned on. He debated joining him, but quickly rejected the idea. Curt wanted to give him some private time to clear his head and sober up.
After calling room service, he went to the closet and looked for clean clothes. He picked out a pair of jeans and tee-shirt. As an afterthought, he pulled out a second pair of jeans and an old, faded band tee for The Ratz. It had been one of their first designs.
Curt shed his socks and pants, tossed them into a small hamper, and pulled on the clean pair of jeans. He gathered the clothes he'd picked out for Arthur and went to the bathroom. Even with the door open, it was steamy and hot inside.
"Got some clean clothes for you, man," Curt told him.
"Thanks, mate!" Arthur spoke loudly over the water's spray.
Without another word, Curt grabbed the pile of clothes Arthur had worn last night. It was soiled with sweat and beer. They too were thrown in the hamper.
While he waited for room service to arrive and Arthur to finish up, Curt decided to roll them a joint. It was a calming ritual for him, and he idly considered his young guest as he broke up the necessary amount of bud. He was starting to grow quite fond of him, but was painfully conscious of the selfishness of his affection. For as much as he could offer him as a more worldly, wealthy lover, he was terrified of leaving him a resentful, shallow husk of a man.
Despite this, he really did wish Arthur would come with him on tour. It was lonely sometimes. Curt really didn't have much of a taste for groupies anymore. It was a terrible reason to want an affair, but Curt was not known to be an extremely reasonable person.
Room Service came shortly after the shower stopped. Curt tipped well and put the huge tray of food and his beloved coffee on a small table in the room. As he poured a cup and generously sweetened it, he listened to the quiet sounds of Arthur toweling off and getting dressed.
Secretly, Curt liked these quiet moments. He could imagine they were two people falling love. Perhaps they were young lovers on holiday in London. Maybe later they'd go sightseeing or to a cafe in Oxford.
He frowned as he added cream and stirred up his cup. They were, of course, none of those things and it was unlikely that they'd go sight-seeing or go to a cafe for lunch. Jack had once told Curt that he was an incurable romantic. At the time he'd laughed bitterly and told him he'd been inoculated by Brian. It was good to know that he could still dream; Curt only wished the feelings would come up at a more appropriate time.
Arthur felt content. The hot shower had soothed his body aches and the pot was chasing away the last lingering vestiges of nausea. Though he was feeling warm and satiated for the most part, all of Curt's questions from earlier had gotten him thinking.
Since leaving home, he'd just been going with the flow. It had been quite a pleasant flow, but he couldn't deny that his future was tenuous at best. The Death of Glitter show had been The Creatures' last performance. They were considering disbanding and pursuing other things or going to America to take in the underground scenes. Either way, Arthur was out of a job. He knew they wouldn't leave him high and dry, but was also aware that there was only so much they could do.
The ghost of temptation prodded him again. He could work for Curt and probably get quite a lot of money saved if he wasn't spending it on rent or other bills. Yet he hesitated. He knew things might get out of hand between them. With a soft chuckle, Arthur shook his head. He'd been dreaming about being Curt Wild's lover for years and now that the possibility was very real, Arthur was holding back. The irony was almost unbearable.
"What's so funny?" Curt asked as he handed the half smoked joint back to Arthur.
"I dunno," he lied a little. "Think the grass has gone to my head, mate."
Curt laughed. "Yeah, this stuff is pretty good."
Arthur puffed on the joint, not quite inhaling, just enjoying the rich, green smell. Curt seemed much more relaxed than he had a few moments ago. When he'd emerged from the bathroom, Curt had seemed pensive and a bit distant. Arthur had worried that Curt would shove cab fare into his pocket and send him on his way. Instead, he'd handed him a joint and lighter.
"So what are you going to do after this tour?" Arthur asked.
"Dunno," Curt replied with a shrug. "Music's changing, man. You know in Germany they're starting to make music with just synthesizers. It's fucking crazy, man."
"I'll bet," Arthur agreed.
"To be honest, it's a little scary," Curt confessed.
Arthur looked at him as he handed the joint back to Curt. The blonde licked his thumb and forefinger and extinguished its cherry with a quick pinch. He put it away and rolled to lie on his side. Propping his head with one hand and putting the other on Arthur's body, Curt elaborated.
"You know, people think it's so easy. Sing some songs, get some gigs, cut a record, but it's not. This scene is always changing. You can be on top of the world for years but one little slip and it's all over. Even if you don't fuck it up, there's always something new around the corner."
Arthur turned his head and gazed at him. His expression was thoughtful. Arthur felt his throat constrict. He wanted to tell Curt that he would never be irrelevant, but he knew that would be a comforting lie.
"Are you afraid of changing?" Arthur asked softly.
"Nah," Curt replied as he idly pushed at the hem of the borrowed tee shirt. He slid his fingers along the skin revealed, causing Arthur to shiver involuntarily.
"I just don't want to be forgotten."
"Oh Curt. No one will ever forget any of you."
"That's real sweet of you to say."
"It's the truth!" Arthur exclaimed. "What you've done is so much greater than make memorable music. You've given people like me--like us--a voice."
Curt kissed him then, their first since last night. His mouth tasted smoky and bittersweet. Curt pulled him into his arms and Arthur melted against him. They stayed like that for a long time. It was languorous and sweet, nothing like the bruising passion from the night before. Arthur felt so strange in that moment. He was touched with longing and regret.
"Stay with me," Curt whispered against his mouth.
"Curt...." Arthur breathed. He wanted to say yes more than anything, yet he couldn't be so impulsive. Not in this case. There was too much at stake.
He gently pushed Curt away. Arthur sat up and began to speak softly. "Please don't mistake this as rejection, Curt. I like you, probably a lot more than I should."
Behind him he heard Curt shift. His arms wound around Arthur's narrow waist and lips lightly brushed the back of his neck.
"I'm sorry," Curt murmured. "It's asking too much, huh?"
"No," Arthur admitted. "I'm just not ready."
"To commit to someone?"
"That's not it. I don't feel like I'm...mature enough to handle you."
Curt hugged him tighter. Much to his surprise he sighed ruefully. "I know."
They sat together in silence. Curt still held him and occasionally dropped tender kisses on his neck. It wasn't seduction at the moment, but small comforting touches. Perhaps Curt wanted him to be sure there were no hard feelings.
Arthur inhaled deeply before finding his voice once more. "If you're down, I could stay the night."
"I'd like that," Curt replied. Arthur was relieved to hear the smile in his voice.
He was working at a record store and taking night courses at a small, local college. In his spare time he wrote album reviews for an indie music rag. Though it had begun as a hobby, Arthur was starting to consider making it his life's work.
The Creatures had long since disbanded. Malcolm was fronting a new band called Placebo Effect. Pearl had become a studio musician and occasional hired gun for touring bands. Ray had published a biographical retrospective on London's glam rock scene. Billy had run off with some American girl to live in obscurity. He corresponded with them from time to time, but the letters were coming fewer and farther between.
Brian had dropped off the map after his last album had bombed. He'd tried to use the new disco craze to recapture the limelight and had fallen a bit flat. Arthur hadn't thought it terrible, but it had lacked the passion of his old recordings.
Jack Fairy had started his own label and producing. He still occasionally cut records, but it was mostly strange electronic ambience. Though it was well received by critics, the general audience didn't seem ready for such a cold, futuristic sound.
As for Curt Wild, he was still making music. The burgeoning punk scene of England and America had welcomed him with open arms. Arthur had been happy to see him continue to be creative, but had not attended another one of his concerts. Though he liked the brashness of punk rock, the scene was too violent and dismal for his taste.
Arthur had a P.O. Box for correspondence. When he'd been gearing up to move into his own flat, he'd bought one for a sense of security. At the time, he still hadn't much direction to his life. Inside it was a couple bills, a letter from his mum, and a slip indicating he'd received a package for pick up. He frowned. Odd, he wasn't expecting anything.
At the post office's service counter a woman gave him a large, padded parcel and a strange look. He politely ignored her, but was puzzled by it. Though dressed fashionably, there was nothing odd about his appearance.
As he left the building he glanced at the return address. He stopped dead in his tracks and reread it. The package was from Curt Wild. No wonder the woman had looked at him strangely! Resisting the desire to open it then and there, he hurried home.
A tube ride and a few blocks walk later, Arthur stood in his small flat's living room. He tore open the wrapping and removed its contents with a small gasp. Slightly garish clothing tumbled into his hand and a letter fell to the floor. He shook out the clothes and recognized them as the outfit he'd worn to Death of Glitter. Arthur had forgotten it when he'd returned home after spending another night with Curt.
The cheap clothes had been lovingly laundered, repaired, and even looked like they had been dyed to a more vibrant hue. Arthur placed the outfit in a neat pile on the couch and retrieved the letter at his feet. The printing was a bit messy but legible.
Sorry it took so long to get this back to you. When Jack found it in the laundry, he insisted on fixing it up. Then it took forever to track down someone who knew how to contact you.
Anyway, hope you're doing well. Talked to Pearl recently, and he caught me up a little. Congratulations on the job and classes. I mean it, too. Still kinda wish you'd stayed with me, but I'm glad you're making something of yourself.
The return address is for a hotel I was staying at the time I sent this. Don't try to find me. I know that sounds harsh, but I want you to remember our time together fondly. I don't want it to be your albatross. Don't forget but don't long for what might have been.
Live your life and maybe some day we'll cross paths again.
Arthur sat down heavily on his couch. His chest felt tight and his eyes burned. He'd not told a soul about their rooftop rendezvous or why he'd stayed another night with him. Upon getting home, he had told the Creatures that the drug had made him sick and Curt had taken care of him. Arthur wasn't ashamed of what he'd done with Curt on that rooftop or later between the sheets the next evening. It was their memories, no one else's.
With a soft sigh, he folded up the clothes and letter. He took them to the closet, where there was a box deep within its recesses. Inside was concert memorabilia, clothing, and a photo album. He gently put the clothes into the box and slipped the letter into the album.
Arthur slid the box back home, dashed away the tear he hadn't been aware that he'd shed, and got up. In his living room, he dug out Curt's Danger Zone album from his record collection, and put it on the turntable. He placed the needle in just the right spot and opened the windows. The song Gimmie Danger filled the small room and drifted out into the air. In the kitchen he cracked open a pint, sat on the couch, and listened to Curt's rough, American drawl snarl and howl.
Arthur closed his eyes, indulged in a pang of longing, and cradled his memories dear to his heart.