Alright a long time in coming… Chapter 5. This chapter does have a bit of angry stuff in it so it's probably not that great but oh well. Trigger warning for talking about past depression/ suicidal thoughts. If you don't want to read it but want to know what happens feel free to message me and I'll send you a quick description of what goes on.
Special thanks to BaconWrappedRainbows for telling me to write it. I've been really busy. My cast performed two weeks ago and then I spent a week recovering. And then I all this school work going on because I had mocks just last week. but it's kinda longish? so please forgive me.
Thanks for reading!
Benny woke up feeling absolutely sick and horrible. His nose was running, his eyes were running and his throat felt raw but he had work at the barbershop so off he went to work. It wasn't long until his boss realized he was sick and sent him home.
Fortunately Nicely was out so Benny didn't worry about having to deal with Nicely. Instead he just sat himself down on the couch in the living room and fell asleep. He was woken awhile later by Nicely who was shaking and slapping him awake.
"Benny, Benny? Wake up… bloody heck you're boiling" Nicely said.
Benny tried telling him to go away but all that came out was a tired and muddled murmuring.
Nicely put his hand to Benny's forehead and lines of concern appeared on his face. "Ah goodness I need to get you into bed, you're sick with a proper fever alright."
Benny lifted his arms in a tired manner, knowing full well that Nicely would demand to carry him to bed so he might as well not fight it. He was gently lifted up and held in the arms of Nicely who struggled slightly with his weight. When Nicely gained full control of the dead weight in his arms Benny was carried bridal style out of the living room and was carried into his room. Nicely kicked the door closed behind him as they made their way to Benny's bed.
Nicely pulled off his shoes and Benny heard them hit the ground along with his jacket and tie but Benny was barely aware of it. He felt cold and sweaty and just wanted to sleep. Nicely was asking him questions but he just couldn't make out the words as the world turned dark and an uneasy sleep came over him.
When Nicely came home to Benny asleep on the couch. He knew that his flat mate would wake up with an aching back if he continued to sleep there so he made his way over to the couch and starting shaking Benny's shoulder.
"Hey Benny wake up." He said. Benny didn't respond so he started slapping Benny lightly on the face, his face which was awfully hot. "Benny, Benny? Wake up… bloody heck you're boiling" Nicely said.
Benny tried to speak but Nicely couldn't make out the words in the muddled murmuring. He put his palm on Benny's forehead and was surprised by the heat. "Ah goodness I need to get you into bed, you're sick with a proper fever alright." He said and picked him up off the couch and carried him bridal style to Benny's room where he put him down on the bed and took off his shoes, socks, jacket and tie.
He asked Benny a few questions "Benny how did you get so sick?" "Benny why did you go to work this morning?" "Benny is this sickness from you going out when it was extremely cold?" "Benny, Benny, Benny, why did you do this to yourself Benny?" Benny didn't want to reply to any of these questions so he stubbornly ignored Nicely until he fell back asleep.
Nicely left him sleeping there and called the doctor to get some penicillin to bring down his temperature. As the evening advanced Nicely pulled the arm chair from the lounge into Benny's room so he could be around Benny to make sure he was okay. He tried to stay awake by reading but soon he lowered his book and shut his eyes for what was only meant to be a moment but somehow ended being hours.
He was woken the next morning by a knocking loudly on the front door. Nicely sprung up and quickly tried to straighten himself out so he didn't look like he had been sleeping on an armchair fully dressed. He patted down his wild hair and ran to the door yelling "hang on a moment you can stop knocking!"
He opened the door to Nathan who was standing there with his arms crossed and eyebrows raised as he looked at Nicely's frumpled appearance. It was still dark outside he noticed and bloody cold too.
"Good morning Nicely." said Nathan in what was technically a pleasant and kind voice. His sarcasm was not lost on Nicely who yawned loudly an shivered in the morning cold.
"You could say that Nathan, what kind of time is this to wake a sleeping man" Nicely replied
"A man sleeping in his clothes?"
Nicely smiled sheepishly
"It is 5:36 in the morning exactly" Nathan said checking his watch.
"Why?" Nicely asked tiredly.
"Because that is the time of day Nicely. Can I come in?"
The younger man moved from where he was blocking the doorway. Nathan walked by him and into the flat.
"Something has come up with my sister and her son and I have to leave town for a bit, maybe a week? and help them through it, my train leaves in a little less than two hours and I need to make arrangements. I heard that Benny was sick so I thought I'd come over here first and make sure he's okay"
"Since when did you have a sister?"
"Since I was born, she's three years older than me and has a son about your age, he's been causing trouble apparently and she has asked me to visit them and give him a good talking to."
"Wouldn't his father be the one to do that?"
"His father passed away last September"
"I am sad to hear that"
"I don't think they were, he wasn't good for the family. Always travelling abroad, never home and when he was he'd drink the house down"
"Oh dear I had a friend in my childhood whose father was like that, in fact even with all the time I would spend at my friend's house don't ever recall meeting his father."
"I wouldn't wish a man who isn't prepared to stay with his family into any family which is one of the reasons why I still haven't married my doll Adelaide. Please don't tell her I said that Nicely"
"Don't worry Nathan. I won't tell her"
"Anyway How are you Nicely?" said Nathan as they stood outside the door to Benny's room.
"Nicely, nicely. Not too sure about him though" said Nicely gesturing to the man asleep on the bed.
"It's a shame that he's sick, I need to find a place for my next crap game. I was going to give him this list of possible places and get him to go around and try and find me a place. Now I guess your going to have to it, please don't make me any enemies Nicely."
"Yeah, I'm sorry I aint leaving him alone here"
"Hmph I should've known you wouldn't leave his side but I need you to help me."
"Nathan. I can't I've got to look after him and I can't leave on his own if he's sick, what if he gets worse?"
"Nicely, I can get Adelaide or one of her friends from the Hotbox to do that. They are probably better at looking after sick people than you are"
"No... I dunno, I want to make sure he's fine myself"
Nathan let out a deep sigh. "He'll be fine without you, My games and I won't. I'm going to say goodbye to Adelaide now, I'll her to find Benny a good and responsible babysitter"
"Fine then Nathan."
"Don't you find then me, I'm your boss not your mother." He paused before asking "How did Benny get sick anyway? He's not really the type to get sick."
"I'm not really sure I haven't seen him that much over the past weekend"
Nathan gave him a funny look "Really? You two are pretty much inseparable."
Nicely looked at the ground. "Yeah, I thought so too but he just suddenly started going out in the evenings and drinking an-"
"Drinking!?" Nathan said in an astounded voice.
"Uh huh, I thought it was funny too, he never drinks"
"Nicely, he's been clean off the drink for so long now, how could let him go out and get drunk!?".
"I don't know! I figured that was his business and I'd only step in if things got to out of hand" Nicely said in a panicked voice.
"He was a bloody alcoholic Nicely! you don't let them go back to the drink!"
"He was an alcoholic?" Nicely was confused, he got that Benny didn't drink, he got that Benny had had a rough few years before they had meet but he had never known about the drinking until now.
"Wait, you don't know?" Nathan said disbelievingly.
Nicely shook his head frowning. "Not until now"
"Sue me! He didn't tell you that he was a drunk and in a bloody bad spot until I kicked him out of it so hard that he gave it all up like he was going to be dragged down to hell?"
Nicely shook his head again.
"Well I can't blame him." said Nathan.
Nicely put his head in his hands and sighed deeply. It was turning out that Benny was quite a different person from the happy and cheerful fellow he knew. Why hadn't he told Nicely about the drinking, he deserved to know after all they were best friends. Nicely then remembered all the things he would never tell Benny and mentally kicked himself for assuming that his friend wouldn't have secrets too.
Nathan cleared his throat and recaptured his attention. "Uh Nicely, I'm going to pop out and see Adelaide. You don't need to worry too much about him, the penicillin already bringing down his temperature, he'll be fine. Alright?"
Nicely looked up out of his hands and met Nathan's eye. "alright" he said.
Nathan nodded awkwardly and walked to the door where he paused like he was going to say something, he changed his mind and settled for another awkward nod before leaving and turning the flat as silent as a tomb with the click of the door shutting behind him. Nicely closed his eyes, breathed deeply and counted to ten in his head and then suddenly rushed to stand at Benny's side.
"Benny! Benny! Are you awake?" he asked hurriedly.
Benny "yes" he said groggily. "an' I heard what you an' Nathan were talking about out in the corridor."
"Why didn't you tell me about this alcoholic business? What is going on? What have you done to get you so sick? Why don't I know about all this?" Nicely demanded.
Benny blinked a little and then said in a slightly out of it voice "First off, my business is my own and I don't need to tell you anything. I will tell you this though, which I have already told you; I am just sorting through some stuff!" he turned in his bed so he was facing the wall and away from Nicely.
Nicely sat down at Benny's side "what stuff?" he asked.
"It don't matter, leave me alone"
"Sure, sure if it don't matter why's all this happening? Why the drinking? Why do you avoid me like the plague?" Nicely rubbed Benny's shoulder gently, Benny shrugged him away.
"Can't you just leave me alone"
"No. not until you tell me what is going on"
"Fine then I'll tell you if that's what it takes to get you to leave. Some stuff… from my past has come up which honestly I can't tell you about and do not want to tell you about Nicely" Benny sat up and folded his arms across his chest in defiance against Nicely's onslaught which he was sure was going to come in seconds.
"okay." Said Nicely plainly
"okay?" asked benny. He was confused, Nicely wouldn't normally give up on this so quickly. He had been prepared for a flood of demands for answers so he let his guard down only to be met with…
"yeah okay, I'm that's absolutely fine for you to not tell me but I thought we were friends, I know I can trust you with my secrets I'm sure you can at least tell me what's wrong!" Nicely again felt the edge of guilt in his lie, he couldn't tell Benny everything about him obviously because there were things that could destroy their friendship but he was sure there was nothing Benny couldn't tell him.
Benny gave him a look.
"Benny, come on! You can tell me anything" Nicely pleaded.
Benny continued to give him the look.
"please Benny. I thought we were friends." Nicely pretty much whined.
"I'm not going to tell you Nicely, our friendship could end over this, you're going to hate me for it if I tell you. In fact you'll probably hate me so much that you'll tell everyone about it and make me lose my job, home and friends" Benny pleaded back.
"I won't, I promise I won't, we're best friends and nothing you can say right now is going to change that, besides we pretty much have the same job and house and I'll make sure you'll keep the job and house no matter what."
"You don't even know what the secret is, how can you promise anything like that"
"Come on Benny nothing can be that bad, I'm pretty sure you didn't kill my family or anything, in fact I think I'd be glad in you were the cause for my father's passing."
Benny mind suddenly decided it would be a good idea to be stupid so he found himself yelling "For heaven's sake Nicely I won't tell you nothing. All you do is demand at me to tell you about every little part of my life! I'm not going to fucking tell you alright! I don't want to tell you that I had to move here to New York because my whole town hated me when they found out I was gay."
Nicely was so surprised that he couldn't say anything or stop his face from falling into the shocked expression it was in.
Benny might or might not have noticed but continued anyway "I won't tell you about how I got attacked because one stupid man hated gays too much and thought it would be good to knife me because of that!"
Nicely remembered what breathing was and put a hand over his mouth at this.
Still Benny continued "I won't tell you about the dark nightmares filled with pain at the memory how alcohol numbed the nights but turned the days into the same hell! I won't tell you how I felt trying to give up drinking, how much I hated myself, how many days I spent thinking about how I'd be better off dead than alive! GODDAMMIT NICELY I WANTED TO DIE! Do you really want to know why my will cracked this past weekend? Because I... I… oh god no, no, I'm not going to say any more you hate me enough now I can see it in your eyes!"
"Tell me" Nicely demanded, he had heard the angry sounds and hard harshness of the words coming out of Benny's mouth but he hadn't really heard what had been said.
"No." Benny wouldn't look at him.
"Tell Me!" Nicely was desperate to know why something had to be kept a secret from him.
"No!" This time Benny looked him in the eyes and shook his head.
"TELL ME!" He shouted angrily like a small child that had been told half a story and then had been told to go to bed.
"I DON'T WANT TO!"
"TELL ME BENNY! DON'T YOU DARE TELL ME THIS MUCH AND STOP! TELL ME!" Nicely screamed at him
"FINE THEN! YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW! I'm running away. Running away from feelings I guess. I was trying to stop anything like this happening. My life was sorted until I suddenly started having bloody stupid feelings for you! I don't know what I know but I guess I love you or something and I guess you hate me now. So sue me nicely! Feel free to hate me if you like! Just please stop asking me questions."
Nicely stood up quickly, his friend had feelings for him and he didn't understand it. Then the truth hit him that his best friend was gay and he just sort of stared and stared at Benny.
"I told you that you would hate me for this" Benny muttered and turned back to the wall.
It really was a rather pathetic action compared to really ought to be a storming out moment but Benny was sick and so Nicely accepted that in his friend's head their argument had ended with Benny storming out. It was of an emotional punch he felt, being stormed out on by someone he had provoked beyond reason.
Nicely heard the front door open, signaling that Nathan was back. "Benny I don't hate you" he said quietly but Benny was ignoring him.
Nathan walked into the room then and looked at Nicely frowning at Benny who was lying on the bed with his back to Nicely and arms crossed in a very aggressive manner.
"Hey are you two alright? I heard some shouting earlier" Nathan asked knowing full well that the truth was no even if he got yes as an answer or no answer at all.
Nicely answered him after a long pause "yeah" he said for Benny's sake "we're just sorting through some stuff".
Nathan beckoned Nicely to come over to his side "Nicely, Adelaide said she was able to get one of her girls to look after Benny for today"
"Any idea who?" he asked.
"No at all. She said that she would come in about two hours. Tomorrow and Thursday Rusty Charlie will come and look after him. I want you to head out the door as soon as this girl gets here and get out there to find me a place for my game, okay?" Nathan asked the okay with a sharpness in his voice which bothered Nicely.
"Okay Nathan" Nicely repeated the sharp tone back to his employer.
"Good Nicely that's what I want to here." He smiled widely "and Nicely?"
"I not gonna ask no questions about what's going on here but you better not have been yelling at Benny about the alcohol thing"
Nicely looked at the ground. "Yeah I hear you"
Nathan observed the incredibly guilty looking Nicely before speaking again "you did, didn't you? He's sick Nicely, I expected better of you and I can tell that he's mighty upset with you as well. I hope there aren't any bad consequences from this Nicely, I'm saying this as both your friend and your boss."
Nicely continued to look at the ground and nodded. In the last five minutes his world had gone crazy.