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Love, Hope and Confusion

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Roger dropped onto the dirty backstage stage sofa, catching his breath a bit. That was the best fucking show they had ever played. He looked around, noting the others on similar trains of thought. And this was their FIRST show with their new members. Incredible. 

 

"You killed them, Freddie," Roger said, watching the new frontman bounce.

 

We killed them, darling.”

 

Brian grinned broadly, feeling the adrenaline burn through his veins as he looked at the band, John was buzzing in a surprisingly quiet way- unlike the extravagant singer who paraded around the sofa.

 

"Should we go get some drinks?" John asked, looking over to the others. 

 

"Sure, I'm game," Roger mused, getting up.

 

Brian nodded to John, watching as Roger got up with a tired grin on his face, in the dim yellow lights he looked quite beautiful really, this sharp anger softened into a soft glow and he looked smaller. Brian shook these thoughts out of his head, moving to walk out of the room as they went towards the bar. There really wasn’t any place for having feelings in a band.

 

Roger sat beside Brian. His best friend...he wished it was more. He couldn't help sort of gazing at the curly haired guitarist, his shy little smile and all. Brian sipped on the beer, however hard he tried, he couldn't stop slipping glances towards Roger- catching eye contact sometimes. The guitarist hoped that what he felt for the blond wasn't obvious- something like that could ruin their friendship.

 

"Do you wanna drive tonight?" Roger asked him. He wanted to know if he was supposed to be DD. John was already downing shots, Freddie couldn’t drive, so it was him or Brian.

 

"Sure, you go on- have fun." It wasn't as if he could deny those big blue eyes anything they wanted.

 

Roger smiled and nodded. "Cheers," he mused, taking a sip of his beer.

 

Brian moved his mostly full beer glass towards the drummer, shifting towards the bar to order some water, hoping the cold would detract a little from the blush and sweaty palms that had occurred from talking to his friend. 

 

They ended up heading home before too long. Roger wasn't drunk, maybe a little silly. Freddie had fallen asleep in the back seat, and John went home on his own, since the other three lived together. Brian kept his eyes on the road, listening to Roger's sporadic comments and Freddie's breathing. Soon enough, they arrived at their small (but surprising homely) flat. Roger and Brian carried Freddie in, dropping him on the sofa before going into their shared bedroom. 

 

"Truly a fantastic night," Roger mused, dropping back onto his bed.

 

Brian opened his mouth to reply, but then he stopped himself, was he really going to admit anything? Instead he just nodded his head, and started to change into his pyjamas, wishing he had the courage to just say things. He looked at the drummer who had flopped on his bed in his clothes; 'one day,' he thought, 'I'll tell him.'

 

Roger yawned a little, stretching. He probably wanted to undress but he was too lazy. He just rolled over and fell fast asleep, holding his pillow. 

 

The guitarist looked at his roommate, the only man who -at least in Brian's eyes- could make being a tipsy mess look cute. He muttered a quick 'G'night' before turning the light off, sleep slowly crawling on the pair

 

The next day, Freddie was a hungover mess. Roger wasn't as much, maybe a little headache, but the drummer never ate breakfast anyways. He just settled on the sofa with some coffee. John had come round for lunch that day as the boys tried to work out their schedules between studying and the pub gigs that were getting further and further away each time.

 

"I...I hate to say so, but we may have to take some time off Uni to figure all this out," Roger mused. "If we really want to commit to this band thing.”

 

"I think you might just be right," Brian added, knowing it wasn't too bad for Fred and himself who were in their final year, but Roger was in the middle of Uni, and John had only started. "Do you think it'll be worth it? I mean do you see us fifty years from now still together? as a band, I mean."

 

"Fifty years?" Roger chuckled. "Brian, even the Beatles only last ten."

 

"I know, I know," he defended, "But do you think it's worth it? I mean we'll lose out on so much study time- at least we've got summer coming up." Although the boys had planned to travel around doing gigs, the traveling meant that they would have more time to study.

 

"How about...we finish this semester. I'll finish my bachelor's, you get you master's. If you wanna get your doctorate in the future, or if I want a master's, then we'll go back." Seemed like a plan to Roger. Brian smiled, he had always admired how Roger could simplify everything in his head, unlike he himself who overthought and over-complicated everything.

 

"Then it's settled," John agreed with a nod.

 

"Well I reckon, since we have our battle plan all worked out, we can probably call this a rest day, whatcha think, dears?" Freddie looked at them from his seat next to John, seeing the tension between the other two.

 

Roger nodded and got up. "I'm gonna step out for a smoke then."

 

Brian watched the drummer leave, collected his things from the table; "I had better get some study in." He told the others before going into his shared room and getting to work. Roger agreed, going to grab his own things. He focused on all that crazy bio vocabulary for now.

 

Soon, the morning fell away to the afternoon, Brian looked at his books, reading the same sentence several times hoping some of the information would stick. None did. He decided then to give his eyes a break for a while and headed to the living room. Roger was laying on the sofa. He was playing with his flashcards, mumbling terms softly to himself.

 

The dark haired guitarist sat himself on the sofa near the blond's head, "Hey"

 

Roger glanced up. "Hey, mate. How's it going?"

 

"Not too bad," he looked at the bits of paper "have you been able to do much revision?". Brian suddenly felt unsure about himself, the domesticity of the situation was still new to him

 

Roger shook his head. "Mine just sort of.. looks the way it does I think."

 

Brian smiled, "undoubtedly, you'll pass with no revision, you git," the drummer had a history of scraping through exams after putting in very little effort, "wish the rest of us could do that".

 

Roger shook his head. "You're a genius, Brian. Your theories about the universe make my brain melt out my ears.”

 

Brian smiled at that, "Where's the other two at?"

 

"Freddie was hungry, and since he can't drive for shit he decided to forcibly take John with him." Roger chuckled. "Should've seen him drag the poor guy out.'

 

"Pick him up like last time?" Brian recalled the singer hauling John out of the door, ignoring the string of protests "'m surprised I didn't hear it"

 

"Poor guy," Roger mused. "And worse yet, I think he may have a crush on our dashing lead singer."

 

"I did think they were getting a bit cosy," Brian admitted looking down at the shorter man "they're good for each other. Couldn't think of a better pairing." He really could- not that he was bold enough to say it out right.

 

"Yeah, it'd actually be quite cute, wouldn't it?" Roger nodded and set his flashcards down. He'd done enough for tonight.

 

"Well, since I think we've both given up studying for today, whatcha' say to going to get a few drinks?" It was likely going to be the last day they could relax on properly so why not get a little merry?

 

Roger smiled and sat up a bit. "I have some in the fridge, actually. Unless you really wanna go out."

 

"Nah, lets just stay in." He replied, shifting to allow Roger space to sit up. Roger did so, tucking his flashcards in his pocket (no need to lose them).

 

"You just wanting Southern Comfort yeah?" Brian asked, getting up and heading towards the fridge, picking a few cans of cider for himself

 

"Uh, yeah, whatever we got, I don't really care." Roger stretched a bit, stifling a yawn.

 

Brian walked back, handing the drummer his drinks, "There you go, lov- mate."

 

Roger chuckled. "Did you almost call me 'love'?" he asked gently, before taking a sip of his.

 

"Oh, shut up." He grumbled, face heating up with a deep scarlet blush, "This is Freddie's fault- his bloody vocabulary leaching through."

 

Roger shook his head, still smiling like sunshine. "It's fine, Bri, I won't hold it against you."

 

"Of course you won't." Of course he would. Brian smiled at his friend as they relaxed into a comfortable silence side by side on the sofa.

 

"This is a bit dull," Roger notes after a bit. "Can I put on a record?"

 

"Sure." They had a very similar taste in music- it was one of the things that drew them together from the beginning, "What do you have in mind?"

 

"Anything. Maybe something with a good rhythm, something jazzy." Roger got up to search for a record.

 

"Rubber Soul?" He suggested, trying to remember what they owned, "Perhaps Tommy?"

 

"Rubber Soul is perfect," Roger agreed. He grabbed it from their stack of records and slipped it on. "I can get down to some sitar.”

 

"You should get that on a T-shirt, Rog," the guitarist joked, relaxing as the music flowed around them.

 

Roger laughed softly. "I'll look for one," he mused, sitting back beside Brian to lean on him.

 

Brian put his head on top of Roger's, savouring the moment of peace and bliss that wasn't likely to last long in their lives. Casually, probably just because it was comfortable, Roger rested a hand on Brian's thigh. There was no intention behind it. It just happened. Brian hummed at the contact, putting his hand on top of Roger's. He shut his eyes for a moment, basking in the warmth that came from the blond. 

 

Then the door opened.

 

Roger sighed and sat up a bit. "Is that you, Fred?"

 

"Hello, darlings!" the front man called from the doorway, coming into the room moments later; "Well isn't this cosy? Budge up." He said, squishing himself between the two on the sofa.

 

 'So much for peace and quiet' Brian thought.

 

Roger shook his head a bit. "We were just enjoying some down time. My head's gonna explode from all this study."

 

Brian nodded in agreement, handing the singer a beer "Where did John end up anyway?"

 

"Yeah, what did you do with him, Fred?" Roger added, noting the man's absence

 

"We had dinner at his flat, he said he was tired so just stayed there." The singer blushed slightly before continuing "So what have you kids been up to? Something naughty I hope!"

 

"Just chillin’ after I studied enough to wanna lay down on the table and let them go at me like a cadaver." Roger grinned and took another sip of his drink.

 

"Yes, nice imagery there Roger." Brian muttered looking at the clock on the wall. "It's late- I'm gonna head up to bed." he said putting down the empty beer and standing up from the cramped sofa.

 

"Sleep well then, Bri." Roger waved him off. He'd join him soon enough.

 

About half an hour later, when Brian was half asleep in bed, he heard his bedroom door open and close. There was some stumbling around and giggling as Roger maneuvered in the dark. The astrophysicist decided to continue pretending to sleep- simply watch the drummer.

 

Roger hummed a little to himself as he slipped his day clothes off. He tossed them aside and fell back on his bed, playing with his hair a bit as he settled in.

 

Even in the dark, Brian could just about make out the soft body of the blond. There was something ethereal about it, as he watched the drummer fall into bed half naked on top of the covers.

 

He was singing softly to himself. "I am so beautiful...to mee." He giggled and rolled over, shaking his head, before passing out.

 

Brian vaguely recognised the tune as something Freddie had been humming for a few months (in the last few weeks there had been lyrics added, but he didn't think they were the same ones Roger was singing), however- before he could try to remember the proper version sleep took him.

 

***

 

Roger had a headache the next morning. He wasn't super hung over, just hung over enough to whine and beg for someone to please get him food , because he needed the grease. Brian had gotten up earlier than normal, hearing Roger complain about wanting greasy chicken. Leaving to go to the kitchen, Brian made a full English breakfast- still not healthy, but better than fast food. He carried the plates of food and some water towards his and Roger's room, leaving a third in the oven for Freddie.

 

Roger quietly managed a thank you, starting to pick at different things. Roger was not a breakfast person---he rarely ate before noon, always skipped breakfast and just headed off to school. Today was an exception before he felt like shit. He picked out little bits and pieces.

 

The guitarist watched as Roger played around with his food, tucking into his own plate; "How're you feeling this morning?" As if he couldn't guess.

 

"Headache," he replied softly. "Took a few pills."

 

"Do you want me to go get you anything? You're looking rough as fuck, mate."

 

Roger managed a light laugh, shaking his head. "A new head, maybe. I'll be fine, Brian, don't worry."

 

"If you're sure." he said, collecting some clothes for the day before heading towards the bathroom to get changed.

 

Roger just needed the pills to kick in honestly. He got a bit more of the meal in him and he was ready for the day too. Gathering up his books, he headed off to bio, hopefully to be able to focus. Roger scribbled things out quickly. He usually skated by in luck in the end.

Chapter Text

Brian sat in the packed science classroom. 'Perhaps yesterday's long day of study paid off' Brian thought, easily working through his mock exam, however, he found he was getting distracted more than usual. All day he thought about Roger, the way he smiled, the colour of his eyes, how he rubbed his shoulder when he was stressed. He had to admit it was getting out of hand.

***

 

Later, in the cafe were they usually met to have lunch, Brian sat sipping on some tea, watching as Freddie made his way over, "So, Bri, you and Rog, eh?"

John made a face. "Freddie, that seems invasive."

Brian avoided answering, Roger said he was thinking about joining them if there was time and he didn't feel like sharing that information. Instead he watched Fred and John argue about whether it was private or obvious.

He hoped it wasn’t obvious.

Roger wandered over shortly. He sat beside them. "What's the debate?'

"Not much." Brian said ignoring the knowing look Freddie gave him.

"Don't worry about it, Rog, I'm sure you can help us find something more relevant to discuss." John sipped his tea.

"Oh, uh..." Roger thought for a moment. Something to talk about. "Well...I dissected a human heart."

"You and me have two very diverse definitions of the word 'relevant', darling." Freddie complained, cringing at the idea.

"Sorry." Roger mumbled.

"You tried." John replied with a shrug.

"Anyway..." Brian desperately tried to think of a way to get Roger out of the awkward conversation, "Are any of you going to at big meal thing in the main hall, half term party?"

"In these rags?" Roger mused, playing Cinderella as he tugged on his shirt, then chuckled softly. "Course I will be. It's free food, and they had me at food."

"Thought so." Brian grinned.

They had all finished except for Roger, the others getting up to leave; "We're going together, the seating is done by colleges and art is next to engineering on the list." John said as he and Freddie put down some money and headed to the door.

"Wonder who Bri will go with." The singer gave him a pointed look and left.

Roger furrowed his brows, watching them walk off as he shoved in his last few bites. "What's that all about?" he asked, looking off after Freddie.

"Nothing, he's just being a git." Although he was right, the sciences would be sat together so biology and physics were undoubtedly going to be close by.

He decided to bite the bullet; "W-who are you going with?" He hadn't meant to sound so nervous.

"No one particular." Roger shook his head, playing with a lock of his hair on the tips of his fingers. He didn't have a date or anything.

"Well, do you, uh, want togowithme?" Fucks sake that sounded stupid, "As friends I mean." he added, already knowing that he was at best getting rejected, at worst losing his best mate.

"Of course, Bri." Roger smiled and nodded. "Lucky me, you'll be quite a handsome date." he added with a playful wink and a chuckle.

He hadn't meant to blush. Or grin like an idiot. Or stare at the blond disbelievingly. Coming to his senses quickly though, "Not too bad yourself, Roggie."

"Cheers." Roger glanced at the clock and stood up. "I have a lecture to catch, I'll see you tomorrow, Bri."

"S-see you." Why did he have to be this bloody awkward? There were times he thought even John had more confidence than him (not that the bassist or Fred could see what was in front of them - they seemed to be dodging around their own relationship).

***

The next day, Roger couldn't have made things more difficult for Brian. He was wearing a cream colored blouse with sleeves that were tight on his wrists, but then had a bit of loose fabric at the end in a sweet frill. The shirt showed a sliver of his middle, and his bottoms were pale blue bell bottom jeans. A matching denim jacket rested on top, and his shades were thin wire rimmed, pink colored and heart shaped. With his sparkling, pink shoes as well, and a bit of pink lip gloss, he was quite the package.

Brian felt both under-dressed and over-dressed when he saw his date.

He had gone for high waist slacks, matching suit jacket, bright white shirt tucked in but unbuttoned the whole way. And clogs. He hadn't had time to straighten his hair (which was getting long and embarrassed him a little). He generally looked like rather a mess compared to Roger.

"You look beautiful, Roger."

"And you look perfect, Brian, quite proper." Roger smiled and took his hand, his nails softly glossed in the same pale pink as his lips and shirt. "Are you ready to go then?"

"Thanks, and yeah I'm ready." He checked the mirror once more, smoothed his curls, and headed towards where the drummer stood outside.

Roger smiled and walked along with him, hand in hand. They encountered John and Freddie on their way in, both dressed pretty nicely themselves.

"Wow, Brian, you sure found a lovely girl to bring as your date." John teased with a wink.

"Looks like Freddie did too," he countered, jokingly- knowing all of them had been mistaken at least once for women (Roger especially). "Well, what are we waiting for?" he subconsciously pulled Roger closer to him as the crowd got busier.

Roger didn't mind one bit. He stayed next to Brian as they grabbed their meals from the line and sat down together at the designated table. It must have been the old yellow lighting in the room, making Roger's hair look like a halo, or maybe the closeness made Brian imagine things - but he was beginning to see how far he was about to fall. And when Roger laughed at something he had said, he willingly stuck his foot out and allowed himself to plummet. Not that he said any of this out loud.

Roger was just an absolute doll, and he wasn't putting in any effort. Well...to the outfit, but his personality just shone. He was a sweet, petit little thing, especially standing (or sitting) next to Brian. Roger was also a good eater---Brian and Freddie had no idea where he put it all. It was like there was a fire inside of him, just demolishing all the calories he put away every day, because he never put on any weight for it, which made Freddie extremely jealous, as it was something he had to be conscious of. But Roger was just an eating machine, and that was sort of cute in itself. Roger liked Brian too, in his own way. He liked to gaze up at the other while he was studying. He liked the way Brian smiled, his gently pointed nose and his happy smile. Roger did think Brian was quite handsome, though maybe he hadn't fallen quite so far as the astro-guitarist. He just needed a shove.

Brian knew he had to bury his feelings deep down, there was no way they were reciprocated. Hell, he was a depressive giraffe-legged nerd. He didn't have Roger's passion, or Fred's charisma, or John's warmth. He had gotten extremely lucky Roger hadn't bothered to ask anyone and agreed to go with him to this. As friends. The thoughts turned stale in his mouth, he played around with his food (knowing full well that he would get past his mood soon enough).

He had fallen for disaster, he thought.

Roger casually rested his hand on Brian's under the table. Oh God. He was TOUCHING his THIGH. It could've given Brian shivers. And Roger was so casual about it too, just his smiley, chatty self. Somewhere deep inside his mind he screamed. Roger seemed to act as if this was fine. As if it was something that normally happens between friends. But it wasn't - his hand was hot and his leg was trembling so hard Roger must have felt that.

Roger glanced up at Brian, head tilted a bit in concern. "Are you alright, Bri?" he asked softly.

"Yes, just a bit cold." He passed the trembling of as shivering. However this backfired when the blond got closer and started rubbing a little - trying to warm him up presumably.

"We can leave whenever you're ready," He mused, already having put away his third serving. "I don't want to eat their buffet out of house and home," he added more quietly, playfully chuckling and nudging him.

"Sounds good to me," He chuckled at how much Roger could down in one sitting, "Let's just say our goodbyes and get outta here."

"Agreed." Roger tugged him up gently. They said their farewells to a few people before they vanished out of the building.

***

The air outside was colder than normal for that time of year especially, and both of them felt it without their coats. Nonetheless, when Roger suggested they take the longer route home, the guitarist couldn't deny him the scenic walk.

"We do have quite a lovely campus, don't we?" Roger noted, holding Brian's hand as they wandered down pathways and through the scattered buildings, labeled with things like IDC, WCC and DM. All different departments.

"Yeah, it would be a shame to leave it," he looked down at their hands, just about the only thing warm in the cold night, he looked up then.

"Hey, Rog, look- you can see pretty much all the constellations now; Perseus, Andromeda, hell even Leo is visible." he pointed with his free hand to the silvery dots.

Roger smiled and looked up. It was true. He gestured to a large sprawled out 'w' shape. "And that's...Cassiopeia. Crazy, isn't it?" He leaned on Brian gently and looked up. "You know what's sort of silly to me is that when we collide with Andromeda, they're just calling it Milkomeda, instead of some fancy term. Scientists can be so funny."

"What's wrong with a little fun? Might make them shine a bit brighter, you know," Roger now had his head on Brian's chest, both looking up, "In the end, I don't think it's science and numbers that run everything. Just a bit of fun."

"I like that perspective." Roger looked up at him, smiling brightly and nodded. The stars reflected in his eyes, sparkling even more in his big blues.

A few minutes passed, the pair stood in each others arms looking into the sea of stars. "Let's go get home, and warm." Although he hated leaving the moment behind - the starry-eyed blond with the soft lips that curved into a smile tucked neatly into his chest - it was getting late.

"Yes, of course." Roger nodded and held his hand again, ready to continue walking home. God...something had ignited in him. He...he was pretty sure he was in love.

When they got into the flat, it was still locked - Fred must've stayed at John's - but Brian was quick to flick the kettle on and put out mugs, throwing his jacket off onto the sofa. He didn't see the lingering blue eyes on him.

Roger moved to the sofa. He let his jacket slip off, falling back on the sofa with his already revealing top slipping up a bit more, showing off more of his perfect, pale stomach. He absently scratched it, watching Brian work.

Brian carefully maneuvered his way around the kitchen area, then brought out two steaming cups. He couldn't help but take a peek at the blond's bare skin of a second as he handed him a cup. As he waited for his mug to cool, he picked up his guitar.

Roger smiled at that, looking over at him. "You going to serenade me, darling?" he asked, looking up at him happily.

He smiled, his long skilled fingers delicately danced on the strings; saying hello to the minor chord, before he began to pick at them with his right hand. He plucked out a simpler and deeper version of 'All my loving' slowly, letting everything else fade away. He hadn't even noticed he was singing softly along with it.

Roger was basically glowing as he listened. Fuck, he was such a talented guy too, and Brian really WAS crooning to him now. Roger's cheeks were blushing softly and he couldn't take his eyes away from Brian.

Something snapped him back to reality when the song finished. Blushing, he looked up, meeting the eyes of a flustered drummer.

"That....that was beautiful, Brian," Roger said softly. He was absolutely enchanted by the older student now. Enamored.

He cleared his throat, face bright red. He took a sip of his cooler tea and sat back- letting his curls hide his face (for all he hated them they were useful sometimes) "Thanks, sorry I zoned out there."

"No, no, it was perfect. Absolutely lovely." Roger hardly cared about tea. Tea was the last thing on his mind...well HIS tea. He was watching Brian and HIS tea very carefully, licking his lips a bit himself.

Brian shuffled in, sitting closer to Roger than before, guitar meaningless on the floor. If he really did love Roger, he should say something.

Roger hadn't taken his eyes off him yet. He gently rested his hand on Brian's knee again, squeezing it softly, before caressing Brian's thigh gently with his fingertips.

The guitarist leaned into the drummers body, his long arm coming up, delicate fingertips just brushing the soft skin of the blond's face. He stared at the pink lips in front of him (still gloss covered). "Roger, I..."

"If you can't find the words...then just show me," Roger said softly. He reached up and gently cupped Brian's cheek, caressing it with his thumb.

So he did show him.

Moving forward fractionally, their lips met. He felt the warmth and soul Roger emitted like electricity. Eyes closed as his hand felt the softest golden hair he could have imagined. In that kiss he wanted to live forever or else die immediately.

Roger kissed him back, eyes shut. This was the sensation he'd dreamed of. He just never knew it. He never wanted to let go. Their lips couldn't have fit together better: It was like puzzle pieces made of soft, pink silk. When he finally pulled back, it wasn't far. He kept their foreheads together, mouth slightly parted as he attempted in vain to slow his rapid heartbeat. Fuck. "Brian...you...you're..." Roger couldn't find his own words now.

"I love you."

"I love you too." Roger crashed their lips together again with that. That was all he needed.

He can't remember how long they sat there, in each other's arms, on each other's lips. Neither talking - only every pulling away for breath - eyes saying all the words they needed. The night wore on, but the lovers didn't notice.

Roger ended up completely on his back, Brian over him and starting to work down on him. He was writhing, moaning as Brian's lips and teeth wandered his neck. "Mmm...oh, Brimi." Roger breathed, biting his lip as he held a firm hand in the curly head above him.

Brian wandered lower, peppering the drummer's chest with light kisses, feeling the fast melodic heart beat harmonising with his high little gasps and breaths. The hand on his hair sent jolts down his spine as it pulled him back for a kiss.

Roger was obsessed with this sensation. "I need you...need you all the way, Brian." he moaned, gripping the edge of the sofa and the fabric of Brian's shirt, which he desperately needed off.

Brian felt his already open shirt getting untucked, warm hand tickling his ribs as it was pulled off his body. He kissed Roger deeply, sitting back on the sofa for a second "Are you sure?"

"Positive." Roger nodded and looked up at him. His blue eyes now shone with curiosity, lust and wonder.

"Bedroom then." he pulled Roger by the arm, tugging him towards their dorm, both discarding clothing along the way. By the time they reach the bed, Brian has all but picked Roger up, gently dropping him on the bed.

"You're glorious, ethereal." standing back looking at the half-naked blond on his bed.

Roger chuckled softly, cheeks rosy with a bit of a blush. "Oh, you...you have such a way with words."

He crawled over the blond, pressing their lips together before relying "You have no idea how long I have thought about this."

"Really?" Roger asked softly, caressing his cheek. "Mm...I had no idea." Roger closed his eyes, trying to imagine. Brian longing for him for that long? It seemed so unlikely. He didn't have even know Brian was gay...he didn't know HE was gay until now.

Chapter Text

Brian woke up early, like he always does, on his small bed in his dorm, like he always does. However something wasn't normal, and it wasn't until he opened his eyes and saw the golden blond hair and felt the body of the drummer nearly on top of him that he realised what.

The memories of the previous night flooded in. How had they gone from a naff school dinner to him outing himself and them having sex? He didn’t regret it. Best he’d ever had. But what if Roger did, what if it was the mistake that ruined their friendship?

Roger had probably the best night of his life. He'd moved on top of Brian when it was over, just wanting to be held and cuddled by the older man. He was sore...he was pretty sure he wouldn't sit down all day, but he had never felt more alive.

“Good morning.” Roger opened his eyes, peering up at the guitarist, smiling softly.

"Morning," Brian sounded rough- his voice had been overused the night before. The fact Roger was awake and not running for the hills put him at ease. But even he didn’t expect to say what he said next:

"I meant what I said yesterday: I love you.” He hoped to good Roger still loved him and that those weren't words blinded by lust - his certainly weren’t.

Roger smiled warmly. "Love you too, Brimi," he cooed softly, kissing his cheek in a sweet way. He meant it too.

They cuddled together on the small bed for a few more minutes, "How long before we have to move, Rog?" The guitarist was reluctant to let go, fearing he would wake up from a dream.

"It's Saturday, babe," Roger replied smoothly. "But...you know, if you don't want me to starve, might have to get up sooner than later."

"Suppose you're right," he grumbled, slowly getting up, realising he was still naked and that their clothes were still strewn around the flat "I really hope Freddie stayed with Deaky: I do not want to explain this."

"That makes two of us." Roger agreed that they were keeping this relationship quiet. No one needed to know. No one but them. He tugged his clothes on gently, but a fresh outfit.

Something about having Roger as his little secret excited Brian, as he looked at the blond's porcelain neck covered in purple marks (he assumed his was in a similar state).

Roger would make sure he'd cover it up before going out. In a fashionable way, powder or something. He wandered out to the living room, then followed his appetite into the kitchen to see what they had.

Brian had found some clean looking jeans (not a shirt but that was a problem for later), and was moving around the kitchen making cereal and mixed fruits for his breakfast. He handed the blond some coffee "Counted the 1 and 3/7ths myself."

"Such a gentleman," Roger cooed, kissing his cheek before taking a sip and nodding. Perfect. Perfect as could be.

It was strange for Brian to be so domestic around anyone. He loved it, yearned for it. But there were still things in his overly logical brain he needed to work out.

"Where do we go from here?"

"Uh...gosh." Roger nibbled his lip. "Well… I mean.... are we going to be… boyfriends now?"

"Yeah," it was going to be difficult to hide, but Brian guessed it was more than worth it, "If you want to that is."

Roger nodded quickly. "I'd absolutely love to, babe. Really."

Brian grinned deeply at that, walking forward to hold the shorter man face between his hands, lips together in a kiss. They broke apart a few minutes later: "I suppose we should get to that rehearsal."

"Guess so." Roger got up, not really in the mood to, but he'd comply. They couldn't be suspicious anyways.

"Well, I need a shower," Brian decided still feeling sweaty. Somehow confidence overcame him as he continued: "Wanna join?"

Roger smirked. "I thought you'd never ask."

***

The studio hours they had were at odd times - they were basically unheard of and hadn't produced much in the past so they could never get good hours. They'd been lucky that it was a bank holiday and no one else wanted the studio. Brian and Roger arrived later than Freddie for once, so the pair were met with the bassist and singer huddled together on the sofa.

"It's about time." John looked up. "Where have you been?"

"Slept in." Brian hoped they would believe it as he sat in a chair and started to tune up.

Freddie (still half curled into John) piped up then. There was a glint in his eye. "Why? Did something keep you awake?"

"Yeah, anxiety," Roger replied, grabbing a can of beer from the fridge and opening it.

Brian couldn't help but snort at that, trying to sneak a glance as the drummer tuned the skin of the drums - tongue peaking out in concentration - he still felt like it was a dream. He looked back to see two pairs of eyes looking at him. Fuck.

"Right...uh. same." Deacy stood up, deciding to tune his bass. Right on then. He couldn't pry. But he had a suspicion.

"Anyway," Freddie called the room to attention, "I have some ideas I want to try." He decided to have some mercy on the guitarist- wait until they admitted it (he'd known the moment they walked in, Rog's neck scarf slipping slightly).

"Alright, let's hear it." Roger rocked a bit in his seat.

"Well, it's called 'My Fairy King' and..." Brian took notes as Freddie chatted happily about it, vague chords and tunes coming to mind.

Roger thoughtfully patterned out a little drum rhythm. He was thinking about it too

"Also I was thinking that if we have it completed we can take it on tour this summer," Freddie kept talking.

“We don’t know if this tour’s even gonna happen, Fred.”

“Didn’t I tell you? They’ve said yes! We’ll be taking the van across the country.”

Roger stood up quickly. "Are you serious!?"

"How'd you forget to mention that?!" Brian stared at the frontman, watching as smiles broke across the shock on everyone's faces.

"Freddie, this is crazy!" Roger beamed and hopped a little excitedly. “We're gonna tour like a proper band!"

"Yeah!" the four of them pulled each other into a tight hug. "Better bring the scrabble."

"Oh God." John chuckled. "We'll all kill each other.'

"Or fuck each other," Freddie decided to add helpfully, then leaned across to the drummer grinning (so that the others couldn't hear), "If you haven't already."

Roger shoved him away gently blushing.

"It's going to be fabulous." John stepped back. "We'll be the Beatles in no time."

"No... We're gonna be Queen."

Brian could see it, the band taking off, tours and full albums and Rog. It was a future he wanted.

"Agreed." Roger rubbed his hands together. "So let's finish this album."

The session went by quite quickly- they managed to get a lot done, the usually angry owner was happier and offered them more times down the line.

"So what's everyone's plan over the rest of the long weekend?" John asked as they were clearing up.

"Well we've still got a little thing called homework," Roger pointed out, walking out from behind the drums.

"Same, and I'm going to visit my parents at some point." Brian slung his guitar over his shoulder, listening as Fred and John made plans to go watch a film.

"Oh, fun times, what a good boy you are." Roger poked Brian's cheek playfully.

"Do you want to know how good I can be?" It was said jokingly, but he had no idea where the confidence came from - perhaps it was due to the fact that they were alone in the studio now.

"No, that sounds extremely naughty actually." Roger smiled smugly at him, putting his hands on his hips.

Brian blushed, pulling his hair away from his face, "We'd better go, before we do something and get caught."

"Agreed." Roger smiled and sashayed out of the place, humming softly.

'Damn, his arse looked good' Brian couldn't help but stare at his boyfriend, the word still foreign on his tongue. He debated mentioning anything about this to his parents when he visited - but decided against it as they might not approve of such a fast relationship.They'd hardly gotten together either.

Roger headed back to their shared flat with him, insisting they get some food to take home. He didn't feel like cooking.

Brian didn't know what to do. Yes, he had been in the odd relationship over the years, but they had been short and immature and didn't really mean anything. And this was new, all the times he had loved in the past he had never been in love. No one had ever committed to him like that. Would Roger still love him when he forgot to eat for days on end because of stress? When he was in his depressive moods? Did he deserve Rog's love at all?

Roger was probably used to it all. He was pretty sure he was quite insistent on sticking to Brian. Anyway, he tugged Brian back into the apartment with what was left of the food (he'd impatiently eaten some of his in the car) and over to the sofa. "You start, I'll go put the music on." Roger instructed, wandering off and sorting through records until he found one he wanted.

Brian put his thoughts aside, they would do him no good anyway. He got the food sorted and started to pick at some of it as Roger put on Machine head. Roger settled beside him, resuming some noodles that he was devouring throughout the car ride.

"Have you got much homework then?" Brian asked, breaking the silence that had fallen over them

"No, not really, just one short essay." Roger chuckled. "Oh, right, and some Calc. Ugh, maths is too hard. You have to help me."

"It's quite easy when you have the formulae." The pair had often gone over maths in the past, "I can help you tomorrow before I go to my parents house."

"Thanks, you'll save my life." Roger grinned.

Brian smiled back, "What time is Freddie back?" Remembering the singer had gone to sort some things for the stall out.

"One o'clock." Roger leaned on him a bit. "Ugh. And I have to work tomorrow. How dreadful."

"Chin up, Roggie." Brian copied on of the drummer's phrases, putting his arm around his shoulders "Still, a tour of the UK, that's big."

"I know. I'd just rather not fail before I go." He scratched his head.

"You won't. Annoyingly enough you never do," Brian grumbled jokingly "Even when you have done zero revision"

Roger snorted. "I don't know, love...I mean...yeah."

Brian smiled at him, rubbing soft circles into his shoulder with his thumb. Roger smiled at that, giving a little hum and closing his eyes. Bloody hell. Brian had magic fingers.

Brian just held him, letting the blond lean on him as the record screeched to a halt. "I'm gonna get some work done before Freddie gets back." He kissed Roger's head before getting up.

Roger pouted slightly at the loss of his cuddles. He watched him go, shaking his head. Now he'd have to find something else to do. Great.

Brian brought some of his books and notes out onto the living room - wanting to enjoy the music from the record. He sat on the floor so he could spread out his work and quickly tied his hair away from his face.

Roger might as well try to write his essay. He grabbed a large notepad and a pen, laying back on the couch and propping them against his legs. He'd just start with his name.

"You know your name's not worth a mark?" Brian looked up at where the drummer had been looking at his book blankly for the last 15 minutes.

Roger waved him off. "I'm brainstorming. I'm like Mozart: Everything is first perfectly composed in my head before it is FLAWLESSLY transcribed."

"I'll remember that when you're trying to work out your own handwriting." Brian laughed, highlighting his own notes.

Roger sniffed in a snooty way, shaking his head. He'd manage.

"Aww, don't be like that," Brian cooed, "I love you, really."

"I know," he replied flatly. "You just think I'm dumb."

"Why would I ever think that, Rog?"

"S'all you ever say; that it's a wonder I even passed and made it to Uni."

"We don't mean it like that. If we truly thought that we wouldn't ask for your help for essays. Very few people could sell the trash you do and get customers to extortionate amounts. You're the only one that even has a clue how cars work. You're not dumb, Roger Meddows Taylor. We'd be fucked without you." Not just as a band, he thought.

Roger smiled a little at that. "Okay... apology accepted." He kissed Brian's head and then started writing down his introduction.

"Wasn't an apology, you know," it had been a while since either had said anything, both having actually got some work done "I'd be lost without you."

"Well thanks. But I still took it as one I suppose." Roger shifted his feet a little.

He'd gotten a good three pages, maybe four if he added a few details in revision...but he wasn't much of a reviser.

Brian looked at his work; he'd need to do a few more hours to catch up on the day he was missing tomorrow, but all in all he was pleased. "Do you want a drink or anything? I'm calling quits for today and Freddie should be back around now."

"I'm starving," Roger replied. Big surprise there. Overthinking burned way too many calories, he believed.

Brian set up to make a proper meal, more often than not they ate takeaways so why not be healthy for a change? Freddie came in at some point as he was finishing up.

"How was work, Fabio?" Roger asked, looking over Freddie's outfit. He hadn't been wearing that when he left the house .

"Not bad, lovebirds," Freddie dumped his stuff, grinning at the pair "Dinner smells lovely!"

"Thank Brian. I've been sitting here all this time, useless." He shook his head.

"Again: not useless. Although you could set the table." Brian realised that the blond had uncertainties he never let on. The guitarist decided there and then that he was going to try to help work through them

Roger got up and shrugged. He easily found some napkins, plates and things. Maybe he did have some insecurity. He tried to just laugh about it, though. Sort of helped... Brian wasn't sure how to help at first. He knew he was not going to say anything about it in front of anyone until Roger was comfortable. Until Roger accepted his insecurities. He brought the plates to the table "Thanks, Rog."

"Anytime." Roger made sure Freddie wasn't looking, then kissed Brian's cheek. He sat down.

Brian blushed despite himself. The meal and fun chatter, however, dissipated from his mind when he felt the drummers warm hand rest on his upper thigh. Roger couldn't help it. Subtle as it was, he liked to feel close to Brian in little ways. And maybe just a bit clingy. His. Brian was his. It wasn't possessive between the two of them. But something about knowing he was the only one gave him confidence. He pressed his leg up to Roger's.

By this time Fred had grown tired of no one listening to him, "Oh and just before I got here I had lunch with Marie Antoinette and fucked Deaky til he sprouted an extra head and - Why do I bother? Get a room!"

Roger's attention was back on Freddie. He furrowed his brow and squinted a little. "What the hell are you talking about, Fred?" They couldn't be THAT obvious.

"Not that either of you noticed, but Roger; you forgot to cover your neck." Fred grinned, baring his teeth. Brian flushed beat red, his head trying to come up with a good excuse.

"You don't know who I make out with." Roger ran his fingers through his hair. He nudged Brian a little. "Now stop making curly top uncomfortable, will you?"

The guitarist - still mortified - rolled his eyes at the nickname. By that point he wanted to move the conversation away from him; "So you fucked Deaks?"

"Yes, that I can believe." Roger crossed his arms. He had a bit of a confident smile on his face. It seemed like Freddie, going after the shyer, quieter and youngest member of the bunch that hung on his every word.

Brian watched as the pair bickered to and fro for a bit. In truth he enjoyed watching the friendly jibes. Well that and Roger was standing at the table, leaning forward to get a point across - a view Brian wasn't averse to.

"Anyways, I can always ask John if you won't admit it." Roger sat back with a confident smile. John would give it away. He wouldn't mean to, but he would.

Freddie pouted - they all knew it was true. He decided a little payback was called for; "You do that. I'm going to bed. Don't fuck too loudly," he got up and put his plate in the sink. He looked at the drummer and guitarist with a cheeky smile (he was really happy they had finally worked out they fancied each other) "Wrap it before you tap it, kids"

"Too late for that," Roger mumbled, but shook his head and looked back at Brian. "I feel the need to apologize for him. He's obnoxious and uncalled for."

"It's all fine, Rog. I'm not used to being so open about things, I suppose," he probably should have expected Freddie to be crass, but he had never had a proper relationship in Uni so he didn't know how to handle it, "You're smarter than me in these things."

Roger took his hand and gave it a squeeze. "He won't go...spreading it around to everyone, will he? I mean, I don't want to be public about this, Bri, I-I wanted it to be our thing-"

"He's a dickhead. But he won't tell a soul," Fred - for all his gossip and shit stirring - did care for his family, and that included the band. "I like the idea of you being my little secret." He took Roger's hands in both of his, pulling the blond onto his lap. "He's probably told Deaky though."

Roger sighed softly and rested his head on Brian's shoulder. At least this would probably help him feel a bit better about everything. "I know, but...I mean, were we that obvious? I was trying to be discreet.”

"I guess he saw your neck. I'm sorry, love," it was his fault - he left the marks there. He wrapped his arms around Roger's waist, burying his face in the blond mop, "I didn't mean for them to know."

Roger shook his head. "It was my fault. I got myself uncovered. I should've kept my scarf on."

"Do you want to just head to bed?" It was surely better to move from the empty kitchen to the warmth of their bedroom.

Roger nodded and rested his hands on Brian's. "May as well. Not gonna get anything further done sitting here."

"Should we... You know..?"

"What?" Roger didn't know. He hardly cared ether. He sort of just wanted to go to bed at this point.

"Put the beds together. Only if you want to, that is." Brian wanted to feel the warm body next to him as he slept, not only after sex.

Roger smiled softly. He never would've thought of that. "I would love that, darling."

"Well, let's go to bed, darling." Brian picked him up, both laughing, as he carried the blond to their room.

Roger giggled a bit himself. This was quite amusing, and it helped him remember why he was willing to put up with Freddie's shit. He was in love, damn it, that's what mattered. "You gotta promise me," he said to Brian, once they were in bed, "Promise me that you're never gonna leave me alone. I need you, more than you know."

Brian looked at him, half expecting it to be a cheesy line that Roger grinned as he said. But it wasn't, Rog was sat up on the bed next to him with a deep and serious expression etched into his features. Brian put his hands on either side of his face "I swear, Roger. I love you."

"And I love you too." Roger rested his hands on Brian's. He smiled at that. Reassurance felt good. "I always will." he added, leaning in and giving him a soft kiss.

Brian pulled the smaller body towards him, wrapping him in his arms as they let in the dark; "Love you to the moon and beyond."

"Love you more than the galaxy has stars," Roger replied softly, head resting against Brian's chest.

"Love you more than you know." Brian noticed the blond had fallen asleep as he said it, so he closed his eyes and dreamt also.

Chapter Text

The relationship was a pretty cozy one. Roger was still Roger, and he was closer to Brian, but he tried not to overdo it, especially in public. Freddie might've teased, but it didn't bother them too much. Plus, the band was starting to get some local gigs, and the fans were giving them a great response. The boys all loved the feeling of being on stage, and Roger especially loved it when the shows were followed by sweaty cuddles and kisses, normally that led to more because they still had energy after.

It was maybe two months into their relationship at that point, and Roger had never been happier, even if he wasn't having a particularly good afternoon. He was trying to focus on another essay. Truly, he was, but things were bugging him.

He wasn't sure if he was hungry or he had an upset stomach, or if his stomach was upset because he was hungry. In any case, he was somewhat uncomfortable, shifting around and scribbling, but he was crossing out more than he was writing down.

"Brimi," he almost whined, putting his head down on the notepad. "I can't do this anymore. My head is going to explode."

Brian looked up, Roger was sprawled on the sofa looking pale. "What's wrong, Roggie?" He walked around to the back of the sofa, started massaging the blond's shoulders. Over the last few weeks touching was something they'd done more of; Brian loved waking up after a gig, when Roger was still asleep in his arms and just let the world spin.

"Too much information," he said softly, closing his eyes. "Mm...how am I ever gonna be a doctor if I can't even remember how many bones are in the human body with their scientific names?"

"Well... What bones am I touching now?" His hands resettled still on Roger’s shoulders, clavicle, coracoid, scapula. The method worked well, but Brian started to realise the drummer was getting too hot.

"Uh...fuck it..." Roger rubbed his head. "Not positive. Maybe...let's see...one of them's the scapular...scapula, and...I just can't focus." Roger covered his face with a pillow, heaving a sigh. "This is pathetic."

Brian pulled the pillow away and put his palm on Roger's forehead, "You do seem flustered. Have you eaten today?" All four of them were guilty of forgetting to eat.

"I had breakfast, and a snack before I started studying." Roger didn't have a fever, but he was definitely flustered.

"Okay, good," Brian tried to think of other things that would help him focus, "Why don't we take a walk to the coffee shop opposite?" The walk would only be a few hundred yards, but the air was crisp that morning, and with some coffee it should clear his head a bit without taking too much time.

Roger smiled a little. Brian was so thoughtful. He would've probably just tried to smother him in cuddles. "You're a darling, that sounds perfect, love.”

Brian handed Roger one of his own thicker coats "Just in case you are coming down with something, best to stay warm." He grabbed his own coat and the blond's hand. "When's your exam, Wednesday?"

Roger nodded. He smiled as he walked along with him, hands in his pockets for now. "Yeah. It's calculus. Gonna be a bitch."

"I reckon that once you have the order and formulae in your head, you'll understand it perfectly," Brian opened the door to the shop, thick smell of coffee flooding his senses "What are you having?"

"Give me a second." Normally, Roger was a pretty sweet guy. He liked his caramel lattes. But the thought of that at the moment made him wanna throw up honestly. "Let's do...medium americano, room for soy."

"Cool, I'll order up - do you wanna just get a table in the meantime?" Brian asked, eyeing his peaky looking boyfriend. He decided to order himself a strong coffee, needing to stay awake revising himself, and if Roger was getting a cold then he wanted to help.

Roger nodded. "Oh, uh, can you get me one of the tomato and mozzarella focaccias warmed up?" He was suddenly quite peckish and longing for the flavor once he had seen someone go by with one.

"Course, dear," he smiled at Roger, wondering where the appetite came from. Then again it was Roger. Quickly he got his order, bringing it to the table the blond had chosen "Here we are."

"Cheers." Roger chirped happily. He took a bite right away, humming at the taste. It was even tastier than he thought it'd be. And the warmth was really something too. It felt right in his wobbly tummy, actually helped him feel better. Maybe he just needed to eat, he wondered, taking a few sips of coffee.

"Told you taking a break would help." Brian was happiest when his boyfriend was happy- perhaps it was Brian's mentality that made him empathise very deeply with others, or Roger's passion that erupted from his persona.

"You always know exactly what to say and do," Roger mused, looking over at him. His eyes would've been hearts if they could have. "You're amazing, Brimi. I don't know what I did to deserve you."

"Anything for you, babe," he pulled Rogers knuckles up to kiss softly, "I'd give you anything just to see your smile."

"Such a treasure." Roger wanted to kiss Brian then and there. But...they were already risking it too much. This place was quite public, and hand holding, kisses...they were gonna get caught. "Maybe...we should head back to our place," Roger mentioned, gently pulling his hand away.

"We can't hide forever..." he didn't want it to snowball, but the hiding and lies were going to catch up with them, to his mind they might as well announce it first and not deal with the backlash of being discovered

"Babe, it's not exactly an accepting society." Roger held his hands under the table. "This is...I mean, students get pissed about this, and professors...I've heard of students being unjustly failed for less."

"I know... But at least to close family and the boys." As much as he wanted to keep their little secret forever, he also wanted to shout it from the rooftops.

"The boys...well, I mean, I think they already know." Roger shifted a little. "How do you think your family would feel about this?"

"Not sure. Happy I found someone, I suppose... Might be less keen on the gay thing though," he whispered the last bit, painfully aware of the packed cafe they were leaving, "I guess your folks won't take it terribly well."

Roger just shook his head. He'd just disappoint them. Probably his dad especially, but his mum would be upset too. "Might as well let them know. Better they start cutting ties with me sooner than later."

"Roger! None of that. We can wait, if you want before we tell your mum and dad. We are still early doors in this," maybe this was where his insecurities came from? Roger was always confident, more so than Freddie, but there was a doubt that couldn't be shifted. "It feels like we've been together for years, somehow."

"Waiting longer isn't gonna change their minds, Brian." Roger held his still-hot coffee cup in his hands. The whole idea was making him rethink eating that sandwich. He shifted a little, looking down. "Let's just go home, okay? We can talk more about this there."

"Yeah," he led the way out of the shop, waiting on the pavement for his boyfriend, "You feeling okay?"

"Sort of. I think I'm just tired." Roger stayed closed, walking back towards their apartment with him. He was pretty fatigued. He'd probably head right for a nap once they got back to the dorm.

Brian knew the signs of a tired Roger. The drummer would probably sleep for a few hours, so Brian had time to make a fancy dinner, hopefully longer if he ran Roger a bath with bubbles and smelly stuff. Then he'd see if there was an easier way of going through the notes. Brian didn't want to admit that since physics was one of the last exams, he had a bit too much time on his hands

Roger headed to their bedroom once they arrived home. He told Brian to wake him up for dinner, kissing his cheek and heading to isolate himself in. Roger laid back on the bed, carefully slipping on his headset and turning on a record. He was able to fall asleep to one of their more relaxed jazz pieces, probably courtesy of Freddie's tastes.

Brian thought in earnest about what his parents would think of the relationship as he went about his plan. His dad, a traditional fellow, had already surprised him when he was accepting of the band, but he feared this would be a step too far. His mum, whose idea it was for the father son duo to build red special, would probably be happy he was happy (they were similar like that) but she had wanted grandchildren, so he wasn't sure how she'd take the news at all.

Roger woke up, taking the headphones off and rubbing his head. Maybe he listened to the music too loud, because he felt foggy and somewhat weak still. He could smell food, and though his stomach growled softly at the scent, he wasn't sure whether he really wanted to eat or not. Guess he'd find out. He opened the door, and shuffled out into the hall. "Bri?"

"Dinner's still got a bit to go," Roger looked worse if anything, "There's a hot bath ready, and Fred called: he's staying at Deaky's until after his exam, so we have the house to ourselves for a few days."

"Wow. Thanks, babe." Roger smiled and gave Brian a little side hug. He was really outdoing himself. "I'll have to thank Deacy later for putting up with it all for us," he added, before heading into the bathroom.

Brian smiled at that idea, he had laughed hard down the phone to Freddie, who claimed he was being held against his will (John decided Freddie had half a chance of turning up on time to his exam if someone was chasing him to it). But he was glad, in a way, that it gave them time to be themselves before making any decisions.

Roger stripped down, before slipping into the bath. He couldn't deny that it felt amazing. It soothed his whole body, decreasing the soreness and achy sensations that didn't want to leave him be. Roger was careful to keep his hair up out of the way, only in up to his shoulders, but it was something he'd needed and not known.

About forty minutes later, Brian plated up the food, ginger beer rather than lager due to the absence of alcohol in the fridge (he was blaming Fred for that). He went across to the bathroom door, "Sweetheart, dinner's ready!" he put on an exaggerated housewife voice.

"Co-ming," Roger singsonged back, looking to the door with a little smile. He drained the tub, rinsing off and, deciding to be extra delicate, put on a layer of delicately-scented (baby powder almost) lotion and got into his comfy clothes again. He wandered out to the kitchen, sitting at the table and actually feeling like he could eat and enjoy it.

"Bon appétit, mon amour. Voulez-vous du pain avec votre repas, vit de mon coeur?" Brian saw the look he was getting and laughed "Want bread?"

"You know I don't speak German," Roger replied, but shrugged and nodded. He wasn't serious, he knew it was French, but he also knew it was more entertaining if he played around with it. "I'll always take bread, Brian, never ask.”

"I've left a couple of easy to learn maths cheats on top of your notes, they should help with the revision." He said as the pair began to eat their food.

"You think of everything," Roger spoke through a mouthful of warm goodness. He swallowed before he continued. "Mm, too bad you can't just take the exam for me. I know I'd be a great doctor, even if I don't know where the purlicue is...the space between the thumb and forefinger.”

"I'm sure you will. Is it just the skeleton stuff you're struggling with?" He genuinely meant it; Roger knew what he was doing, even if he didn't know the Latin names. In a way that was Roger all over: he was really intelligent, but not in the obvious academic way.

"Sort of. There's other weird things. Like when body parts move certain ways, it's called things. For example." He put his hands together in a bowl shape. "The hollow formed in my hand here is called the 'gowpen'. Comes from old Norse for some fucking reason too. Like, why exactly is that? How do people come up with this shit? Why does the space between my hands in this specific position need a name?"

"Probably something to do with early hunting and eating methods. Stars are the same, having to use a 2000 year old source as a reference for where a star has been doesn't make much sense."

Roger snorted. People needed to update their records, honestly. "It's all too much sometimes. Can you believe we're paying to go through this?"

"It's worth it at the end of the day," he cocked his head, he enjoyed it: but was he only doing it because he was expected to? "Anyway, it'll be nice to have something concrete if the band does gain some popularity."

"That's true." Roger took another bite. "I don't know what I can do with my BA, though. I mean...clearly nothing, since I gotta study for a doctorate, like I'm doing now. It's such a commitment. Hopefully it's a money thing and someday we'll make a lot more than we owe."

"One day." Brian wasn't sure what his future would look like, wasn't even sure what he wanted to do or be. All he knew was that Roger would be by his side throughout.

"Mmmhmm." Roger sat back with a soft huff. "Man, you really know how to feed me, Brian. I'm gonna have to get bigger pants soon." He did feel a bit bloated currently, but he blamed eating so much of Brian's food. Plus he wasn't having a particularly good day.

"Glad you like it, babe" Brian figured 25 was a normal age to start being an adult, which included cooking, "There's more in the pot if you want, I'm stuffed though."

"No, please, we best put it away so I'm not tempted." Roger stood up carefully. He took his dishes, setting them in the sink and humming softly as he did. His spirit was lifted quite a bit now, and he decided to get just a bit of homework finished. He had to, then he could relax.

Brian hugged Roger from behind as he was at the sink. He buried his face in the blond locks- he was ecstatic he'd been able to cheer him up, hell, he even looked less ill now.

Roger chuckled softly. He rested his hands on Brian's, shutting the sink off. "Someone's quite cuddly at the moment, isn't he?"

"So you don't want my cuddles?" Brian had felt like the last few days had driven the pair into isolated study groups, or he'd been in the library for hours, so - while they had seen each other - they hadn't had time to do this.

"I always want them." Roger turned back to him. He looked him over and smiled softly. "We gotta tidy up first, though. Can't leave the leftovers to spoil."

"Yes mum," he whined, joking as he let go and found some Tupperware to put the food in the fridge "I'll probably leave you study for a bit: need to get a book back of Deaky. We need anything from the shop?"

"Uh...maybe check the fridge for regular things. Nothing special...except maybe some strawberries if you see them." Roger had a taste for them, and he knew how to play around with them. He also knew he had some chocolate that would go with them well.

"Okay," they probably needed some milk and flour, as well as beer and the ingredients Brian had used up. "I'll head before it gets too late."

"See you later, sweets." Roger gave him a peck on the lips before returning to other activities.

He had only intended to be gone forty-five minutes, an hour tops. But the road works on the way to John's had meant he had to go the long way both there and back. And then he'd got caught up in a long conversation with Fred and John. It was quite late by the time he got to the shops, which was apparently the destination of hundreds of students (multiple universities could reach the shop) that had just left various discos and parties. In the end, with strawberries and all in hand, he didn't get home until past midnight.

Roger was absolutely flipping out. He didn't know what to do. He called around and everything, even considered going out looking. He was a nervous wreck.

"What the hell happened!?" he demanded immediately, before hugging Brian as tight as he possibly could. He was relieved and furious.

"Sorry, everywhere was busy, the roads were closed," he didn't mean for Roger to get upset- he assumed the blond would have gone to bed by now. "I didn't think you'd still be up"

"I was sick worrying," Roger said into his shoulder as he gripped his arms. He looked up, and his eyes were red. Faded tear stains were on his cheeks, and if he'd calmed down earlier, now he was more stressed than ever. "Strawberries aren't worth it… just come home next time."

"I'm sorry," Brian hugged him back guilt pouring over him, fat lot of good pampering Roger was just to panic him hours later "I.. ugh.. I'm sorry" he repeated quietly, not positive on how to answer "I did bring strawberries though."

"Thank you," Roger replied quietly. He was trying to remain even a small bit hopeful, but he felt horrible. "Let's...put them in the fridge and...try and just relax...get some sleep."

"Of course."

Chapter Text

That night Brian ended up awake - he quite often had trouble sleeping, and as much as Roger's presence helped, it was unavoidable sometimes, a friendly mixture of insomnia and stress nightmares kept him up.

Beside him, however, Brian felt Roger tossing and turning, whimpering in his sleep, which wasn’t normal: "Roggie, are you awake? Rog?"

Roger opened his eyes. He looked over at Brian for a moment. Roger opened his mouth, and he was going to speak, but then quickly closed it and got up. He mumbled something before scurrying off to their bathroom. In no time at all he was emptying his stomach, miserably kneeling on the bathroom floor.

Brian rushed after him, pulling the blond locks away from his face, rubbing his back. After a few minutes of dry heaving, Roger sat back. Brian took a wash cloth and dried the blond's tears, putting it under the hot tap so Roger could clean his face up a bit. Quickly he flushed the loo and grabbed a glass of cold water.

Roger whimpered involuntarily, leaning on Brian as soon as he was beside him. He wasn't feverish, but his cheeks were rosy from the effort of it all. Roger sipped the water a little with Brian's help, sighing in a shaky way.

"M'sorry for...waking you," he said in a hoarse, quiet voice. "Should've been quiet..."

"No! Roger you're ill," he was shocked at Roger's apology, perhaps the insecurities were deeper than he thought "Did you think I would love you less for being ill?"

"No," Roger replied. "Just...didn't wanna bug you." He sighed softly, rubbing his stomach a little. Still felt pretty sore.

"You aren't bugging me." Brian helped him up, letting him lean on him as they made their way back to bed, "Do you think it was something you ate?"

Roger shook his head. If it was Brian's food, Brian would be sick too. He had breakfast seperately this morning, but then he would have felt worse sooner. It must be a bug. "Just stress...maybe caught it in school." He leaned on Brian, closing his eyes.

Brian wrapped a blanket around the younger man, guiding him to lie back half against the mattress, half against himself. "Try sleep it off, see how you feel in the morning." Brian knew that if he still felt bad in the morning, then he probably shouldn't go anywhere.

Roger could only hope he felt better in the morning. He had a presentation to do. He better feel better, he told himself.

***

The next morning, as it happened, Roger's energy was renewed. He was up in time to make and eat a nice breakfast with Brian before heading off to class. It seemed like everything would be fine. But when Roger came home to Brian that night, it took one look to see that something had gone very wrong. He looked like he'd been crying again, and he was quite dishevelled.

"I'm a failure," he whimpered as Brian tugged him into his arms.

"Roggie? What happened?!" Brian panicked as he hugged Roger flat against him, worry spreading across him when sobs shook the smaller man.

"I-I ruined everything," he cried. "I'm gonna fail bio class." It took Roger a few minutes before he had calmed down enough to speak through the whimpers. "I was...was giving my presentation," Roger sniffled. "I was using the projector and...and it was on a dental procedure and...and the image had blood and..." He hardly stuttered through the last bit. "An-And I got sick." He pressed into Brian's chest. Tears poured down his face again. "I fucking threw up in the bin. And then outside the room." He sobbed softly again. "I'm gonna fail. I'm gonna get an F. I'm not gonna be a doctor if blood makes me ill."

Brian pulled roger towards the sofa, settling him on his lap. He’d never known Roger to be afraid of blood "Have you ever felt ill during the dissections? No, exactly. Maybe the bugs still in your system and your still tender- you know, something squeamish and feeling ill on top of that." Brian hugged him close. "Honestly, they can't fail you on sick notice, believe me Roger. If you want, I'll go to your professor tomorrow before your class starts and explain it myself."

Roger shook his head. He'd never been iffy before. "I've cut the cadavers open without batting an eye. It has to just be me being ill. It's such...an odd thing, isn't it? I mean, I was fine this morning, then now I feel shit...but not as bad as before. Same thing yesterday. It's really on and off."

"Do you want to nip over to the doctor's?" He was glad Roger had called a bit, but worry bubbled at even the idea of there being something wrong with his boyfriend.

"I don't know...you think it's that serious?" Maybe he was studying medicine, but Roger was not a fan of the doctor's office. His check up annually was something he just dreaded, and had probably neglected since he left home.

"I don't know what it could be," he knew Roger's reluctance to go to the doctor's about anything was deep rooted, the entire band was like that actually, but he couldn't explain it, "I'll come with you if you want."

"Right...you sure it's not too late tonight?" It was close to five pm. If they went to the hospital, they'd be seen, Roger just wasn't sure about any sort of smaller clinic.

"Course." He wanted to put some confidence in his voice, try mask the fact his brain had helpfully produced him with a hundred or so facts about cancer and the image of a dying Roger, "I'll drive."

Roger nodded and sighed softly. He might as well get it over with. "Let me change real quick, and I'll meet you at the car." Roger went to his room, changing out of his day clothes. He tugged on a hoodie of Brian's over a soft t-shirt and a pair of jeans that were looser at his waist. He would NOT stoop so low as to putting on sweatpants on public, hoodies were okay, but not sweats. The entire drive, Roger was quiet. He felt somewhat nauseous, a mixture of nerves and his underlying illness. Roger leaned on the door, closing his eyes and gently rubbing his tummy with a hand slipped under the sweatshirt. He had to be okay...had to...

Brian glanced at him as they stopped at a junction, offering up a bright smile (which only weakly masked what he felt). Had the situation been different, he'd have loved to see Roger wearing his hoodie- the oversized clothes on him were like for Roger like a tent practically, usually making him look teasing and inviting. Not today. Right now it made him look all the more vulnerable. Brian realised that although he would do anything for the one he loved, he couldn't do everything. If it was something serious- he didn't know what he would do.

Roger checked into the hospital easily enough. He filled in the paperwork quickly, knowing all the things he needed to sign, circle and fill in. After that, it was a matter of waiting.
He didn't care about any looks at this point. Roger stayed pressed against Brian's side the entire time they were in the waiting room. He was chilled by the chairs and the eeriness of the room and he had never felt more nervous about something like this. Once he was called back, Roger carefully sat on the table, letting the doctor look him over. He answered the doctor's questions as he was prodded and checked over, not having a lot of fun with it all.

"Well...I have a few guesses, but we're gonna have to run a few tests." The doctor gave him a cup from the table. "Please fill this in the bathroom. We'll take a blood sample when you're finished."

Brian waited outside the doctor's room, waiting for the blond to return from the bathroom. When he did, he looked sicker than ever. They were told by the nurse to wait for results. Never in his life had Brian wanted to hold his boyfriend's hand more; so he did. Damn society and expectations. Roger needed him.

Roger held his hand back, his pale and soft one trembling and a bit clammy. He really had never been more nervous about something like this. "Brian, I'm...this...what if..." He couldn't even bring himself to say anything more.

"Shush, Roggie," any faux confidence he had mustered on the way in had flaked away, his voice was strained and creaky "I love you."

Time acted slower than ever, 20 minutes fell on them like days. The nurse came out of the doctor's room, "Mr Taylor, your results are back" she said holding the door open.

Roger held his hand tight. He took Brian into the room, not ready to receive the news alone. He sat up on the table, taking a few deep breaths. Now he was prepared for the worse. He could take it.

"Alright...well this is quite a...unique case." The doctor was reading off her board. "Mr. Taylor, your urine and blood tests revealed a spike in human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, which is a hormone only detected after the first month of-"

"Pregnancy." Roger shook his head. "You have to have the wrong test. It's impossible."

"No, Mr. Taylor, we've verified this carefully." The doctor nodded. "We're going to do a quick ultrasound to confirm, but we're almost completely positive that you're expecting.”

The blood ran away from Brian's face. How was that even possible? He's heard of it, but had never seen it. Roger couldn't be... He realised he had been stood there for too long, he sneakily made his way around the other side of the examination table, the only thing he could look at were Roger's frightened eyes looking back at him as the intrusive procedure was prepared.

The nurse smiled at him; "Would you be the father then?" Then it hit him. If this was really happening.

Yes.

Chapter Text

The doctor instructed Roger to roll up his shirt and roll his pants down, exposing his whole abdomen from the bottom of his ribs down to his waist. The doctor spread the cold gel over his belly and they turned the screen on.

"Alright...let's see..."

Roger took a few breaths. His heart was beating quicker and he felt more nervous and chilled ever. If this was a baby...

"Alright...so that little shape is your fetus."

Roger looked at the screen, gasping softly under his breath. It was sort of a bean shape, not quite a baby, but Roger knew what a baby at the stage would look like at… it was all in place. This was incredible. The doctor turned the speaker up next, and they could hear the rapid ticking that was the tiny one's heartbeat. Incredible.

Brian let out a long breath. All the thoughts in his head flying around at a million miles an hour. How was Roger going to cope? This would change everything. Their relationship, lives, band, jobs. Were they ready? When the image appeared on the screen, all grainy and hard to make out, then it clicked into place. It was real. Brian's world stopped, he couldn't feel Rogers hand in his, couldn't hear any of the conversation going on. He could only stare right at the monitor.

At his child.

"You're at about the eight week mark," the doctor noted. "The baby's size and shape line up with your symptoms and what you've told me about your… activities. I'll prescribe you some medication to help reduce nausea and vitamins to give you some supplements. As a male, this pregnancy is going to be more difficult, but it is possible to get you and your child through this. Unless you'd like us to terminate-"

"No." Roger said quickly. Not now that he'd seen them. Never. Not his baby.

"Okay, I'll leave you to get cleaned up." The doctor said, leaving the two alone in the cold doctor's office.

Brian was glad Roger was keeping it. He wasn't going to stop him regardless of what he wanted, but he couldn't help but let a few tears fall in relief that the fetus wasn't being... taken care of. He watched silently as Roger got the gel off of him and fixed him clothes. He couldn't move from where he was until the blond got up. Brian pulled him into a bone crushing hug, letting more silent tears fall down his cheeks.

Roger held him back tight. He was crying softly to himself. A baby. He could hardly comprehend that they were having a baby. "They...they mentioned carriers in bio, but I never...we're still students, we...I don't know, how are we gonna manage this?"

"Together." he sounded small and weak, but tried to hold himself together for Roger's sake. He knew it was too early, that they weren't prepared and that they did still have the world ahead of them. But if Roger needed help, and wanted him- that's where he would be. "If you want me to stay, I'll be right here." He knew it was as much his fault as Roger's, and couldn't blame him if he didn't want Brian around.

"Of course I do." Roger looked up at him. "How could I do this without you? Our baby...ours. I need you, babe. I really do. And regardless of the little one, I need you and I love you."

"I love you too, and the little nugget," Brian put his hand under the sweat shirt. There wasn't a bump, or even any indication of a pregnancy- just a slight swelling, "Our nugget."

Roger chuckled softly at the nickname. It did sort of look that way on the ultrasound. "Yeah, our little bean."

"Let's just go home." Brian could barely remember the rest, collecting the medicine and the prescriptions, leaving, driving, getting home. All he could think of what that little baby would look like. He knew he had more important things to worry over, but would they have Roger's large smoky blue eyes? He hoped so.

Roger made sure he stopped off at the pharmacy so he could pick up the pills. He stashed them quickly in the pockets of the hoodie, then settled in to try and relax. They'd be home soon, with new responsibilities and things to think about. "We'll have to tell the boys, won't we?" Roger mused. They were almost home by then.

"Yeah, but we don't have to do anything tonight," he pulled up on the pavement outside their flat, luckily the lights were still off so they would be alone - they needed time to think through everything themselves first, "Let's just work out how we're doing everything."

"Yeah, agreed." Roger walked inside with him. He grabbed the strawberries from the fridge, along with some peanut butter, sitting on the sofa to dip and nip for a while. "So...as I see it, I'll have to stop schooling after this semester. I'll need to take care of the little tyke and I'll have to work some more in the meantime to raise some money."

"I was going to tell you anyway, but I was looking into teaching at the local school," He was due to start at the beginning of the autumn term if he accepted, "I could take a back-shift job as well. What about this tour though?"

"Oh God...well it's a summer tour, and if it's March now...and I'm just two months..." Roger counted in his head. "I'm not due till October. I can tour."

"Okay, but we'll need to be careful, the loud noises or stress could hurt you or Nugget. And we should tell the boys and our families." It was going to be hectic, but Brian could see it working, "I think we should wait, though, to tell them, I mean. Just encase something... You know." he didn't dare say it out loud.

"Wait till we get through the first trimester," Roger agreed. "Just to be safe. We'll hope for the best till then." Roger paused for a moment, but sighed softly. He nibbled at the berries again, not even thinking about it for a moment. Berries were healthy. Peanut butter was healthy. This would be fine.

"The housing problem should clear up too," Brian thought back to a conversation he had with John about the flats situation (John was getting increasingly more annoyed with his flatmates who tended to irritate him on purpose), they had decided that for the next year, their living accommodation would be better; "John was talking about the possibility of moving in with Freddie. I suggested we get a flat nearby, so we'd be close to the studio and the tube so you can get about easily." In reality the proximity to the tube had been so John and Roger could get to the University easier - since they'd be the only two still in next year, but Brian omitted that. There was no need to bring up that Roger had to quit school.

"Yeah, that's good." Roger nodded. "It just has to be somewhere affordable. Somewhere with at least a corner for this little one to have." Roger's own nursery had been a closet. Yes, a closet. Tucked away in his parent's bedroom till he grew old enough and they had enough funds to give him his own room. He'd gladly stick the bassinet in the closet or by the bed if that were the case.

"I'm sure we'll find somewhere, hell, I didn't even have a nursery when I was little," he remembered he had shared a room with elderly grandma until she passed away when he was three. "What about one of the flats at Nevern square? They're cheap, 5 minutes walk from the market, not far from where Deaky was looking, the studio is 15 minutes drive. I think there's also a little park for Nugget to play in."

"Yeah, let's look into it," Roger agreed. He liked that the baby was already personified. Screw the argument that it wasn't a baby yet, it was Roger's baby, damn it. "Anything else to think about?"

"Umm... aside from stuff we need for the baby," he tried to think, he knew there was a lot to do, but his mind kept stepping across to the small blond child, running around making loud noises, hair curling up at the tips, big blue eyes and delicate thin fingers. "How do we tell the others?"

"Hmm..." Roger shifted a little. "We could be blunt. I feel like if we try to be cute, they'll think it's a joke and I'll start crying or something."

Brian couldn't think of a worse outcome. As much as he loved Freddie and John, they could both take jokes too far and make comments too cutting. In the last year or so, since he had been living with Roger, he had begun to notice the blond's insecurities under the surface. With a pregnancy - the huge changes to his body and the hormones - he had to make sure Roger wouldn't take any comments to heart, especially if someone close said anything. He rested his head on top of Roger's, "Boy or girl, do you think?"

"Oh goodness." Roger shook his head. "I could hardly guess. I can definitely picture a boy or a girl. Either way, they're gonna be fiery as hell, a ton of energy and great hair.”

Brian laughed, moving to stand directly in front of Roger, giving him a slow deep kiss. He broke away eventually, both hands on the still-flat bump, he kneeled down, facing where his child would be, "You're gonna be a musical nugget, huh?"

"Should be," Roger replied softly. "The little thing is gonna be toted around to all our shows and tours once they're born." He was called the baby they, not it. That was a no from him.

"Do you wanna get something to eat?" Brian loathed to change the subject, but he remembered Roger hadn't managed to keep down a meal since yesterday lunch- and now he was eating for two.

"Mm, yeah." Roger took a few more bites of his last strawberry. "What do we have in the fridge, babe?"

"Uh, bacon, salad, cheese?" Brian looked over from the fridge towards his pregnant boyfriend (still felt weird thinking that) "anything you fancy?"

"Well that's quite random...no." Roger thought for a minute. "There's a good taqueria down the block. Maybe we can get something from there."

"Sounds good to me," the place was small and quiet and had a cosy feel about it. When they entered they quickly found a spot in a corner and got chatting, "How different is a male pregnancy?" Brian asked, having not done any biology since high school, and not really understanding that it was possible until a few hours ago.

"Well...the makeup of it is, I have the female internal organs as well as the male ones." Roger stirred his tea thoughtfully. "I obviously got pregnant via...us having sex. Apparently I'm also going to be able to give birth naturally via some...well the doctor said there'll be an opening, and that's enough for me not to question that anymore. I don't know how different the rest of it will be. But I know it'll be more pressure on my body because I don't have all the space that a female does inside of me, so more things will be squished. The hormones will probably be a bit more unruly as well."

"That's rough," Brian already planned on taking a trip to the library, researching as much as humanly possible, "But tell me - no matter what you're feeling, or if you think I won't care. I will."

"I know." Roger squeezed his hand a little. "I'm… I'm nervous about this all, really am, but I think I can manage it. I don't...Brian, I want to make something clear. If for some reason we stop seeing eye to eye or… if we lose our romantic connection, I need you to not keep this going because of the baby. If we end up being friends and the baby is just ours to share, I'll be okay. I need you to promise to be honest with me. Promise."

"Okay, I promise. I never want that to happen, but I understand. If something does pull us apart, I still want to help the baby, still be a father to them," he wanted the opportunity to do for this kid what his father did for him, even if it was earlier than expected, "I wanna be there for you both for as long as I live."

"And I appreciate it immensely." Roger started eating when his plate of soft shells arrived. He was pretty hungry by then, and this was definitely a good call.

Brian played with his food for five minutes when it arrived. The shock was finally wearing off (not really, but his head was getting clear enough to think) and the enormity of the situation fell on him like a tonne of bricks. He knew he had to be strong for Roger, but he also couldn't wait until the blond was asleep so he could sit outside and watch the stars - let everything out.

Roger finished his meal pretty quietly. He was a bit absorbed in his meal and trying to just think about the positives. Babies were cute. A baby that looked like Brian and him would be precious. He could be a decent mum, right? Probably?

By the time Roger had finished, Brian had only managed to pick at the edges. What if he was a terrible parent, what if their Nugget had to have years of therapy because of him?

Roger looked over at him. He pursed his lips in a confused way. "Thinking too hard?" he asked softly, taking Brian's hand in his and rubbing it softly.

"Yeah, sorry, my brain went off on a tangent. Ready to go?" The place was getting busier - there were people outside, workers leaving the pubs on a Monday night. Whilst he didn't think anything would happen, he couldn't help but worry about the rough folk outside. There was still homophobia and (he hadn't really experienced it) but a fair amount of violence. Now more than ever the idea of something happening to Roger stood out.

Roger was especially frightened about when he started showing. The bump… he could probably hide it almost all the way, but God forbid anyone found out or got hostile. He knew he could definitely be viewed as even more of a freak than being gay already made you for something like that. "Right on, let's roll." He made Brian pack up the meal to go and they were off. Roger stayed close to Brian, biting his lip but figuring they were really safer closer when it came down to it. They were home before long, and ready to tuck away.

"Goodnight, my love." He kissed Roger on the forehead, and waited until he was asleep before making his way to the tin patch of concrete with railings on top of the block of flats they lived in. He knew he had to be quick in his minor meltdown (Roger would wake up soon with morning sickness), but the cutting cold of the wind and slight drizzle distracted him. Brian decided to lie down, to look up at the stars as he thought about everything properly - tears streaming just from it all (fear and happiness mixed together). He knew he needed this to calm his mind - God knows what terrible images he could conjure up in his sleep.

Roger was unaware. He would have nightmares of his own, unhappy visions and his nerves playing up on him. Roger would've been holding Brian if he'd known what he was up to. But it may have been better just to let Brian have his space. They both needed to process quite a bit. Roger was up with morning sickness day after day, but he was getting used to it.

Chapter Text

Gradually, it would fade, and by the time Roger hit the twelve week mark, he was able to sleep through the night a few days a week. Not to say there weren't other issues surfacing, like a more frequent need to use the bathroom, continued on and off nausea, and the fact that his pants were just a little tight these days. Roger was adjusting slowly, even as more and more stuff got added to the list of things that repulsed him or things that he suddenly liked but hated before. He was also trying to rein in his sometimes out-of-nowhere mood swings. But Roger knew it was time to tell the others. It might just come out anyways.

They were at band practice that night, Roger was almost eighteen weeks pregnant, and pretty tired after a morning of classes and an afternoon working his new job, at the shops where Freddie had his stall.

Roger was keeping tempo, but he had to call it when he dropped a stick, cursing and shaking his head, as John encouraged Freddie to let them all take five. The singer probably needed a smoke anyway. Roger backed off the drums, moving to their dusty sofa. He sat down, closing his eyes and giving the room a moment to stop spinning. Rog was a bit nauseous at the moment, but he knew his blood sugar was pretty low, hunger nagging his insides.

Brian had spent the last few weeks taking on his new role. He woke up to Roger throwing up most mornings, went to work (his course was fairly home based and he had taken on some cleaning and handyman work as his teaching job wasn't going to start until August). His cooking got experimental as the blond's tastes were changing, and he found himself often ducking from flying books. But it was worth it, for the days he could lie back and put his hands on the growing bump, sing to his baby and Roger - warding away the bad dreams.

But he knew they couldn't keep going like this. The bump was hidden under one of his large hoodies, for now. But things were going to become obvious. He had already got a look of Fred when he asked him to smoke outside, and Roger was crashed on the sofa looking sick.

"Does Nugget want a jelly baby?" He knew the drummer hadn't managed much of lunch so he'd be struggling for sure.

"That does sound a bit appealing," Roger agreed, sitting up a bit. Not exactly the snack he would've chosen, but it would feel nice to have a bit of anything. It wasn't a bump yet, as Roger quantified. The doctors assured him he wouldn't really curve out till about twenty weeks. And even then he might be able to cover it up another month or so, maybe two in Roger's mind, but he'd really be waddling by then.

"You seem sort of peaky, Roger," John noted, lighting a cigarette nearby. "You feel alright?"

"I'm just wiped, dear," Roger replied with a cheeky sort of half smile, though his nose wrinkled slightly at the smell. Smoking wasn't something Roger could handle any more and he obviously wasn't allowed that, or alcohol either. Good thing they made him sick instead.

"Oi! I literally just gave Fred a bollocking for doing that," Brian motioned to the cigarette John had just lit.

"Alright, I'll go outside, Roger you coming?" He offered a second cigarette to the blond.

Roger shook his head. He was just gonna stay right there on the sofa. Maybe he'd take a two minute power nap even.

"Okay, something's definitely happening here." John crossed his arms. "Roger turning down a smoke is not normal. I'm getting Freddie here and we're having an inquisition."

"John! Deaks!" Brain rushed after him, "C'mon, there's no need for this, maybe he's just ill!" But John had left, they could vaguely hear him summoning Freddie, and moments later both came back in.

Roger looked up at Brian helplessly. Well...to be fair, they sort of had to come out with it anyways. They'd concealed this long enough.

"Uhh-hey, Fred," Roger said shyly, sitting up a bit. He felt pretty weak, but he could get through this.

"No niceties, boys, we know something's up with Roger, and we don't want any fluff." John had his hands on his hips, and he nudged Freddie to encourage him further.

"And no beating about the bush!" Freddie added. Brian sat on the arm of the sofa Roger was sat on, grabbing his hand tightly as the pair in front of them shot them odd looks (Freddie side glancing John as if to say I told you so).

"So that's it? You're dating?" John interrupted before either could get a word in, "How'd you convince him to quit smoking?" John must have thought Rogers peaky state was due to withdrawal.

"I'm the one that decided to stop, and it's for my own good." Roger straightened up. Now he was ready to defend himself. "Yes. Me and Brian are together, but there's much more to it than that, especially lately. In fact, it's such a deal that I...I won't...I'm not continuing my studies in the fall."

"You're dropping out?" John gaped. "Roger, you're mad, you're almost to your double masters, you can't give up now."

"Well I can't very well take an infant with me to all my classes, can I?" Roger snapped.

"Y-you're pregnant?" Freddie asked after a long moment of silence. The tension in the room died immediately, "Who's the father? Eh... other father?"

Brian looked up, voice catching in his throat, "Me."

"We're eighteen weeks in," Roger added. “I'll be having the baby in October." Roger squeezed Brian's hand tight, looking down. His stomach hurt and he felt sick and anxious with nerves and worry. Roger felt shit, and he felt like a shit friend from concealing the ordeal as well. But what choice did they have?

"Okay, I'm taking it you're gonna keep it after it's born?" John already knew the answer from the looks he got from the soon-to-be-parents.

Brian looked at Roger (who looked ready to keel over): "Yeah, we're gonna try to make this work. I understand that for you the band comes firs-"

"Ooh, a Queen baby!" Fred spoke finally, grinning from ear to ear, "Dibs being favourite uncle!"

Roger broke out into a hesitant smile. Oh thank God. "I think that's something you'll just have to prove. But the spot of godfather...it'll be an interesting running." Roger gently rubbed a spot on his lower stomach through his soft sweater.

"Is it going to be that difficult to decide? I mean he's an idiot," John gestured at Fred who shot back an indignant look. This, in their way, was them saying 'yes, we'll be here for you', "Can I?" John asked quietly, nodding towards the bump under Roger's hand timidly.

"Uh...sure." there wasn't much to feel, but there was some definite firmness. Roger lifted the sweater, and it was a bit more obvious with just his clingy cotton t-shirt covering him up.

Brian shifted out of the way, watching as John touched the bump. The whole thing had started to feel more real now the boys knew. Roger only had a few more weeks before he started showing properly, and they were due to move into their apartment. But most importantly: nothing had gone wrong.

"Fascinating," John mused. "Have you felt anything yet?"

"Not from the outside, but once in a while I feel a little flutter." Roger had a feeling once the others could feel the kicks, the hands would never leave his stomach. "I bet they're going to get properly hyper when we play live.”

"They?" Freddie for a second thought he had meant twins, but realised that he would definitely be showing if it was, "You don't want to know the gender?"

"Well the doctor hasn't been able to see it yet...but I don't know." Roger shrugged. "I sort of...it might be nice to have it be a surprise. But me and Brian haven't talked about it too much."

Brian nodded, he didn't want to know until they were born. Until then, and much to Roger's annoyance, he had been referring to the baby as Nugget. "I know we should have told you sooner, but... well, you know how things are. Our parents don't even know yet- so please, don't say anything." He hated having to be so over the top with it all, but he often was struck with the nightmare of something going horribly wrong.

"Of course. This stays in the band." John nodded and gently patted Roger's belly. "We'll all be right here to help you guys out, take care of you and do whatever else we can to make this easy on you all."

"We really appreciate it, Deacy, and Freddie too." Roger smiled and tugged his sweater down again, feeling relieved, if still weak.

"Okay, so we good to finish up practicing?" Freddie waited until everyone nodded to stride back towards the instruments, "Baby should be welcomed into a family of fully fledged rock stars, not amateur musicians!"

"Agreed." Roger got up, knees a little shaky, but he assured everyone he'd be fine. He managed to get back on his drums and get through a few more hours of rock and roll before he was ready to faint.

"Where should we go get dinner?" John asked, while they walked out to the car. "Maybe the baby mama should pick."

"Hmm..." Roger leaned on Brian, letting the taller gold him up. "I'm sort of in the mood for Chinese."

"Chinese it is" Brian called out, watching Fred and John leading the way forward. He lingered behind a second, his arm around Roger "You sure you're up to it? We can go home if you want, Roggie." He had noticed Roger slumping across his drums in the later half of the session, and was getting worried.

"It's because I'm starving," Roger insisted, rubbing the bottom of his stomach. He had a few other things bugging him, sure, but he was hungry as hell, and so was the kid. "After that, we can just go home and sleep. But if I don't get some chow mein and chicken in me soon, I'll implode."

They reached the shop before long. Roger knew what he wanted as soon as he arrived. He ordered his selection, letting the others order after while he sat down in a booth, joined one by one with the others. Roger's leg didn't stop bouncing under the table until the food was in front of him and he was digging into the noodles like there was no tomorrow.

"I see the 'situation' is helping his appetite," Freddie remarked, watching the blond eat more than normal. However the meal ended soon enough, and while John and Brian went to pay, Freddie stayed with the drummer, "We will be here for you. Queen's a family. We won't leave either of you behind, or the little one... Unless the baby can drum better than you. In which case you're fired."

"Damn it." Roger shook his head, but he was smiling a little. He really was glad the guys were going to back him up through this. He would've been really upset if it had somehow gone awry, or if they really didn't want to see him and Brian anymore.

Chapter Text

A few days had passed, they only had a few days of school left, their stuff was in boxes ready to go to the new flat, John had found himself and Freddie a similar flat down the road. Things were looking up, in two weeks they would start their tour, they had a decent amount of money saved up and their baby was healthy.

But then Brian received a call from his parents, wanting to visit him before he set off across the country.

That got Roger a bit nervous. "They...are you going to bring me? Tell then the news?" he wondered. It seemed like as good a time as ever.

"I don't know, if I don't tell them now I won't see the until late September - it might be a bit much to tell them when you're nearly due," Brian knew it was going to be a bit much if they turned up and he was in a gay relationship with a child on the way regardless - it might be less of a shock. "You don't have to come if you don't want to."

"No. I won't let you do it alone." Roger squeezed his hand. "We're in this together, for better or worse."

"Thank you, love," the guitarist pulled Roger onto his lap, forehead against his shoulder and hand on the small bump, "Now I just need to work out what to tell them"

"Well...we can just be more...casual at first?" Roger leaned back on him lightly, eyes closed. "Start with the relationship. Then bring the baby into it all."

"I suppose that's best."

They were visiting later that day, Brian had put everything to do with the baby into their room, so they could at least have some time.

"I guess I better make the place a bit more presentable." That was going to be difficult, given the amount of boxes and plastic bags full of things they had (even with Fred moving a week later to prevent too much chaos).

Roger nodded, blowing his bangs out of his face. He helped Brian tidy up, unpacking anything he could, and shoving anything else away in a corner or a closet. The day of their visit, Roger put together some little snacks. Nothing major, but he did make cookies, which caused a fairly big mess, but he tidied it up, and the cookies smelled and looked delicious. They tasted good too, from the sample he gave Brian. Now it was just a waiting game.

Brian did want the approval of his parents, but he knew if there was a choice to be made, his future won out. Not that it would be any easier, he thought, munching on a biscuit. He was looking silently at Roger when the doorbell rang, shaking as he headed towards the door.

"Hi, mum, dad. Come in."

"Brian, still so skinny," his mother tutted, poking his chest. "We figured you might bulk up a bit by now. If this is you forgetting to eat again-"

Roger doubled checked everything when he heard Brian's words. He stood back, almost holding his breath as the two walked in. Roger immediately saw Brian in both of them and knew where he got his looks. He thought it was quite funny too how his mother was scolding her son, as if he were still under her jurisdiction.

"I am eating. Nice to see you too, mum. I'd like you to meet someone, this is Roger," he gestured to the blond, wearing a big jumper (one of Deaky's to avoid any level of confrontation if there was hostility) which hid the bump well enough. They must have thought he was just a flatmate - they'd met Tim and Freddie before, but Brian decided to be blunt; "my boyfriend."

Roger bit his lip a bit. He joined Brian's side, extending his hand. "It's lovely to meet you both," he said politely.

"Boyfriend?" Ruth looked from her husband to Brian. "Brian… you're gay?"

"Umm... yeah. Please don't be angry," everyone stood motionless just staring at each other. Brian felt Roger's hand sneak into his, "I am so sorry. I know it's not what you wanted." He looked down, his parents were very traditional, they had always wanted him to get a good education, good job, marry well to a decent woman, give them a few grandchildren. In that order. No gay involved.

Ruth didn't know what to say. She wasn't really mad. Just surprised.

"How long has this been going on?" Harold spoke up, gesturing to Roger.

"About 6 months. I'm sorry I didn't tell you," he couldn't really fathom a reason why, at least in the early stage before the pregnancy. He decided to move on, his parents didn't look too angry (shocked more than anything), "There's more..."

Roger could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He was controlling his breathing, for now. But this was just...he didn't think he'd ever been more nervous.

"Roger's a male carrier, he can, uh, get pregnant..." Brian elaborated tightening his grip of Roger's hand. He looked up to his parents, his mother looked confused whilst his father still wore a blank expression, "and has."

"Brian..." His mother shook her head. Her son was having a baby this young, out of wedlock, and with another man?

"Well I hope you plan on marrying this young man then," his father said, then realized Roger was a man again. He'd been prepared for a more typical scenario. "Or, well...the equivalent I suppose."

"We haven't really thought about it. I know it seems rushed and unplanned, but it's what we want," the disappointed look his dad gave him made him wish there was yelling, "I guess I'm asking if you want to be there for the baby, as grandparents."

Roger nodded. He was standing as close to Brian as possible, holding his arm and leaning on his side gently.

"Well of course we will, dear," Ruth said, taking Brian's hand. "I'll have to get out your baby things and send them along for you."

"Thank you, for accepting this," Brian pulled his mum into a hug, before pressing back against Roger.

Harold stood back, more reserved, "I don't know about all of this - but if it's what you want, I can't stop you."

"Thank you, both of you," Roger said softly as he smiled. "I promise I'll keep taking good care of Brian, be a nice little housewife… husband or anything you wanna call it."

It wasn't until half an hour later that they left, and Brian took his guard down. In the end, it had gone okay. Yes, they were disappointed that he hadn't come out before, that he didn't use protection, and that he waited until Roger was nearly 20 weeks along before telling them. But they seemed to like the idea of grandchildren, offering various pieces of equipment left over from Brian's infancy - including a little crib.

Roger sat down on the sofa. He nibbled at a few cookies, breathing properly for the first time in hours. "That went a lot better than I expected it to."

"Yeah," Brian swiped one of the last biscuits, "Are you gonna say anything to your parents?" He approached the subject carefully, aware that his hormonal boyfriend was not on best terms with his parents - especially his dad - and he might not want to tell them at all.

"Maybe. I really haven't decided." Roger's hands folded gently and rested on top of his little bump. "I might just keep this to myself. I mean...I'm glad we have your parents but I really don't know."

"I understand," and he did, as much as the help they had from the boys, and now his parents, was useful - they could do it alone if they had to. "Why don't we get some of the leftovers, and head to bed?"

"Sounds good to me." Roger was a bit peckish and he knew he'd need the calorie allotment for the baby. "I'll go get my pills and you fix up whatever we've got," he added, wandering upstairs and supporting his stomach with his hand gently. He grabbed his prenatal vitamins, supplements that made sure he got what he needed, since it was nearly impossible to get all the vitamins he needed from food alone, especially on a budget. Granted, the pills were somewhat pricey, but especially as they were hitting the road and they'd have a lot less food options, and as he was a special case, Roger and Brian had decided they really did need them. He swallowed the medicine up and wandered downstairs again to settle at the dining room table.

"Reheated cheese bake and salad, I didn't want to buy too much since we're leaving soon - so it'll be awkward meals for a few days yet." He served up the plates, "Still you've not been too bad for cravings yet."

"Yeah, I've managed to avoid them and all that."

Roger, truthfully, had been pretending that he really didn't want this or that. He was longing for certain things; tonight would've been a perfect night for him to just indulge in a tray of brownies, but he wasn't going to bring it up. They were tight enough on money as it was. He wasn't going to indulge himself in those things, Besides, he told himself, he'd read in a parenting book about cravings making your child spoiled. He would just keep quiet and try to save as much as he could. This kid's childhood was gonna be tight enough as it was. Might as well save the spoiling for when they could appreciate it. Brian could tell he was hiding something, but chose not to press the issue, not tonight. But, over the following days, he found they were all too busy to come back to the problem.

Roger ate up the food, whatever he was served, and chased it with his water. He had taken to sparkling water lately, since it was better for him than fizzy drinks, and it helped him feel better, keeping away the nausea and helping him fight the heartburn that he was having more and more frequently, the baby putting a lot of pressure on his insides. It kept him sitting upright for a few hours after he ate, even if he fell asleep that way, because getting sick was worse than being a little stiff. Roger decided the living room would be a nice spot to settle for a while, since they had their cable hooked up. He switched on the tv, watching whatever was on with half attention.

Brian made himself busy, there was still stuff needing done for the move. He sat on the living room floor, carefully wrapping up the more fragile of their belongings. Among which, he spotted, was his camera. Quickly, before the blond noticed and threw a cushion at him, he snapped a picture, admiring the low sun streaming in orange through Roger's hair, giving him an ethereal look. That added with the glow he had acquired these last few months, and the small bump peeking through the shirt, made Brian realise that, yes, he chose right.

Roger heard the click, looking over and squinting. "What are you up to there, shutterbug?" he said suspiciously, though he still had a little smile on his face.

Brian clicked it again, this time Rog was smiling sweetly at the camera. "Just tryna capture the moment, you know, memories to tell the grandkids about and all."

"Oh goodness, grandkids." Roger shook his head. "As if they'd want to see old grandma all pregnant and candid anyways. That's not what they'll be into."

Brian laughed, "I see this working out, you know, us, the baby, the band," he shuffled on the floor to end up by the sofa where Roger sat, "I love you."

"I love you too, you well-wishing poodle," Roger teased gently, kissing Brian's head. He sat back a bit after, gently rubbing a spot on top of his bump where he felt a little stirring...and then he really felt it. "Oh...Brian, the baby..."

"What? What is it? There something wrong-" he was silenced by Roger pulling his hand onto the bump. It didn't happen instantly, but soon he felt a small kick right under his hand, making his eyes glaze over; "Hey, Nugget, it's your daddy here, I love you so, so much, baby."

Roger was smiling like sunshine. He could hardly believe it. But things like that made it feel so much more real. "They love you too, Brimi, they can't wait to have you hold them." Roger kept his hand on Brian's, eyes basically hearts at this point.

Brian let the tears fall, resting his head on the pile of hands on top of the bump, still feeling the baby press back against him. "Looks like Nugget's gonna be a drummer."

"Or a footballer," Roger replied softly, heart basically melting at this point. "But I'd be more than happy with a little drummer.”

Brian left one hand on, letting Roger's hands move to the sides of the bump. He grabbed his camera, snapping a picture of their hands, their unborn child. "Maybe a guitarist, eh Roggie?"

"I can imagine, yeah. And their daddy could teach them all the ropes." Roger kissed his cheek. "But I'll be happy no matter what they do, as long as they're happy."

"Why don't I take my little family to bed? One last time in this flat?" Brian asked, pulling Roger up, guiding him to their bedroom.

"Sounds perfect, darling." Roger stayed close to him, supporting his bump carefully. He never really took a hand off it these days, extremely protective, and it kept him grounded sometimes when everything else got too overwhelming.

Brian pulled the cover away letting Roger lie down, getting in after him, peppering his face with kisses, "Do you want to make our last night here memorable? Only if you want to, I know you're tired."

"Let's save it and break in the bed at our new place," Roger replied. "A good send off before tour, you know? We'll need our energy tomorrow."

"I look forward to it," he turned the bedside light off, curling himself over the drummer's body, Brian's chest to his back, all four hands on their child, "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, darling." Roger easily fell asleep in Brian's arms.

Chapter Text

They were packed up and in a new home before they knew it, just in time for finals. Saying Roger was stressed was an understatement, and it was one of the most miserable weeks of his life. Roger was crying after he left his final class, relieved and still terrified for his grades, so overwhelmed that Freddie had to come and pick him up, just to take him home to rest and settle him down. But he made it, and Brian made sure that he knew how proud he was with the baby on the way and all. Plus, they were leaving on tour in less than a week. It was going to be fun.

Brian hadn't told Roger yet, but his parents had brought him his old crib, he and Freddie had spent the last few days painting it. It was now a pale green, stars and planets painted in the cheapest silver paint they could find. Also, as per Freddie's idea, a small black and gold scorpion (since the baby would be a scorpio) was painted on the outside of the header, just under a small crown. Brian set it up in their bedroom, just off to the side of their bed- while Roger was finishing off his paperwork for school leaving. Inside he put some blankets and cosy looking items he'd either found inside the shop (Fred and Rog got some weird things from time to time) or that his parents had donated to them. He had just finished up when he heard the front door open.

"Roger! Wait a minute!" He rushed to meet the blond, putting his hands over his eyes, "I have a surprise for you, dear."

"A surprise?" Roger's mouth immediately perked into a smile. A surprise, huh? That wasn't something he'd been expecting. He was quite curious. "Well, uh...lead the way then." He trusted Brian not to let him fall.

Carefully leading Roger over to the bedroom, standing him directly in front of the crib, "Ta-Da!" He pulled his hands away, letting his boyfriend see part one of his surprise.

Roger was frozen for a moment, then stepped forward, touching the crib rail gently. He looked it over, allowing himself to breathe again as he absorbed the sight. Oh God. This was for his baby. "Brian, you..." was as much as he could get out. He turned back around and hugged Brian tight, crying softly. Fuck, his stupid hormones, they were happy tears.

Brian held him close, feeling his shirt get damp with tears, "You like it then?" He couldn't help but laugh as his boyfriend nodded furiously into his chest. "One more thing..." this last surprised might end with him getting punched or kissed or both.

"There's more?" Roger looked up at him, wiping his tears away. He had a big smile on his face still, biting his lip gently with anticipation.

Brian slowly let go, looking at him as he walked over to his bedside table and opened the door, "Close your eyes again, love."

He waited until Roger did to walk back towards him, present in hand. He put the teddy into Roger's hands, "You can open them now." He watched as Roger first saw the paw in his hand 'Baby Taylor-May' embroidered into it, then as he looked up to the ribbon around the bear's neck, ring dangling off it.

"I know we can't marry, but we can promise. Promise love unbounded, relentless and irrevocable. Promise to each other, and to forever. Promise to our child and our future," he took the ring, pressing it to Roger's palm, "let me promise to you, Roger Meddows Taylor."

Roger was going to melt. This was more than he ever could have expected. Brian really wanted to commit. He had a RING. "Brian...this is incredible." Tears were pouring down his face. He couldn't nod quickly enough. "Yes, it's-it's a dream come true, yes, of course."

Brian pulled him into a kiss, slow and passionate. Eventually: they pulled apart, foreheads touching, "Roggie, this isn't just a way to make it official, or even because you're carrying my child. It's because I love you." He slipped the ring onto his right hand, it would be less conspicuous. And anyway, it wasn't a marriage, that wasn't open to them. But they didn't need it.

"And I love you too, Brimi, so so much," Roger promised. "I'm honored to be carrying our child for us and I never want to be apart from you. You're everything to me."

"I think Nugget is happy too," he could clearly feel the kicking from how close he was to Roger, the bear and the bump between them. This was all he dreamed of. So what if they weren't at the right point in their lives to start a family? So what if they were the taboo society shunned? Brian was holding his love and their future between them. That was his dream right there.

"Of course they are. And after this tour, they'll be almost here."

They embarked on tour, romance stronger than ever. Roger had never been on a proper tour, and he loved it. He did wish he wasn't pregnant sometimes: it made drumming harder, his stamina was lower and it was hard to get comfortable in a crowded van when his size was increasing and he was never comfortable to begin with. But he was thrilled to be making progress and he was having fun. He found himself tired out a lot mid-tour. Come early August, Roger was almost seven months pregnant, clearly showing, and clearly feeling every bit of it. Currently, Roger was sprawled on a sticky hotel bed, still catching his breath from the show at the pub across the way. At least they weren't sleeping in the van that night, or in the back of the bar, but this place was hardly two star.

Brian had been helping take down some of the easier stage lights they used, and was now making his way up to the hotel room. He had enjoyed the tour, they'd even made money on it despite their management, but Brian was glad they only had until the end of August.

Roger only spared a half-lidded glance to the door when it opened. Brian walked in, and he nodded a little. He was expecting the other two boys, probably. Freddie might be off somewhere doing God knows what, and he may be doing it to John. But if Brian was there, Roger was reassured, and he just closed his eyes again, too weak for much else.

The guitarist looked at Roger, who had endured the brutal pregnancy symptoms on the road. Surprisingly, there hadn't been many comments about the pregnancy- fortune of being the drummer was he was hidden partially. But they were getting close to Roger's home town: where his family lived, he knew the drummer was getting agitated.

"You gonna go pick up dinner?" Roger asked softly, after Brian had come in to settle down. He didn't know if Brian had already grabbed something or not. He also didn't know if he'd be eating anything that night.

"Yeah, there's some Chinese," he dropped the takeaway on the bedside, "You feeling okay?"

"Feel like shit really," he replied, rubbing a spot near his navel where the baby had started pressing. Their little drummer was active, very active, and it made for a lot of sleepless times.

"When's your next check-up? 29th?" He hoped it wasn't anything serious, but that's what his mind instantly jumped to the moment Roger frowned. He sat himself at the foot of the bed, rubbing circles onto one of the drummer's ankles.

"Yeah, once we get home." Roger took a deep breath, slowly exhaling and closing his eyes tight. Why did being pregnant have to make you feel like everything is your whole body was out of place and aching? Wasn't it supposed to be a happy time?

"Yeah, all back to normal soon." He served up the food on the polystyrene trays, kissing his cheek and then the bump, "Any new name ideas?"

"Yeah, how about Benoni? It means 'son of my pain'." It was sort of a tease at the kid honestly, he wasn't really considering the name. He sat up carefully, leaning against the back of the bed and steadying himself before starting to snack.

"I'll put it on the list. What about Harry? Or Willow?" He had liked the fairly unisex names, he thought a bit more as he kicked his shoes off and slid next to his love, "Benoni.. Ben for short then?"

Roger chuckled softly. "If we called him Benjamin, yeah. I don't know. I sort of fancy Elliot, James, Leo. A girl could be called...Leona, or maybe Laura. I don't know...I feel like when we see the baby's face, we'll make the final decision." Roger wasn't going to decide before then. His parents had their hearts set on calling him Michael, but once he was born, he HAD to be a Roger.

"That's fair. I reckon we call it a night soon. It's a long drive tomorrow, we're going to Cornwall," he still wasn't sure how Roger felt about being so close to his family, or that they might see pictures of the performance in the paper, noticing the bump.

Roger nodded a little. He'd been avoiding talking to his parents this whole time honestly. Roger had enough stress and worry, he didn't need more on top. Not another headache and bout of nausea.

"Don't feel pressured into talking to them," Brian said, putting their litter in the bin, noticing how Roger was beginning to look more and more peaky, "You rest up, love. I'm going to that little corner shop and get you some sparkling water and strawberries."

"Thank you, dear, that'd be great." Roger smiled softly. At least he had Brian. Brian would be there no matter what. Brian knew what he needed. Brian and their baby would make this worth it. As Brian was out, Roger was quite surprised to have a knock on his hotel door. He figured that John or Freddie had locked themselves out. He walked to the door, looking around, and then... "M-Mum..."

"Roger, darling." His mother went to hug him, but then saw the protrusion of his stomach. "So it's true."

"M-Mum, I.." Roger's hands went to his stomach protectively.

"Roger, how could you let this happen?" Winifred was on the verge of tears. "We tried to raise you better than this. If your father knew-"

"Mum, I'm-I'm sorry," Roger said softly, reaching to his mother, but she only shoved his hand away.

“I'm glad your father will be dead before he has to have his heart broken too." Winifred shook her head. "He wanted you to come and say goodbye. I tried to find you sooner, but you're off touring with that...worthless group, and now you're knocked up with some-some baby freak, some gay parasite."

"Mum, please," Roger pleaded again, tears pouring down his face. "I'm sorry, I wanted to tell you, please let me explain..."

"There's nothing to explain." Winifred stepped back out the door. "I'll tell your father we couldn't find you, save his poor heart from any more distress before we pull his plug. Yes...your father had a stroke. As I said, we tried to find you sooner, but...now I'm glad we didn't. Now he won't ever have to wake up to the sight of YOU...he'll never know that we lost his son too."

Roger was left there, alone, as his mother walked off, crying herself. Roger stepped away from the door, sitting down on the sofa. His father was dead. His mother had dismissed him, disowned him. That was it. He was sort of frozen, tears still streaming. Eventually his hands went to cover his face, muffling the harsh sobs escaping him. This wasn't fair. This just wasn't fair.

As Brian approached the hotel again, he saw an older woman leave, crying. He recognised her - he was about to call out - then it clicked: it was Roger's mum who was storming away crying. 'Something must have happened to Roger' he bolted through the hotel, taking the stairs in twos. He was nearly out of breath when he reached the door, letting himself in. Roger was on the floor, practically screaming, as he sobbed holding his head. Panic attack. Brian held him close, not really sure what he was trying to say. "What happened, Roggie?"

Roger clung to Brian immediately, burying his face in Brian's chest. He was shaking, still crying and hardly comforted. "Dad....my dad....dead...mum hates me..." That was what he could get out.

"Hey, hey, Roggie," he rubbed his back, shushing- there wasn't any point pushing him, so he just held him tight, making his breathing more obvious so Roger could copy it easier, "You're so strong, darling. Do you want to talk about it?"

Roger managed a little nod after a while. It was really the last thing he wanted to talk about. But he had to give it a shot. Roger explained the situation. He tried to be brief. Basically, his dad was dead that night, and his mother never wanted to see him or his 'parasite' ever again. Roger wasn't part of the family anymore.

"I don't even know how to feel," Roger sniffled. "I miss them, but they hate me, so I should hate them, shouldn't I? But...but it hurts so much,"

"You've got your own family now. Not just the baby, but the boys, me. You put your love in us, you chose to, and on my life it will be returned," he sat himself on the floor properly, Roger sitting squarely on his lap "You're allowed to love them, I'm sure deep down your mum's anger comes from love." He let the thought hang in the air for a while, hate is so close to love, she couldn't have disowned her son. Who could turn their back on their baby? Even if they were fully grown? "Do you want to go see him? Your dad, I mean."

"Can't." Roger shook his head. "I don't even know where he is. But I think it's better if I don't. I want to be able to remember him as he was, at least somewhat proud of me...alive." Roger leaned on Brian's chest again, closing his eyes to take a few deep breaths. He may still want those strawberries after this, it had left him feeling a bit low blood sugar. What an ordeal.

"Oh, love..." he didn't really know what to say, this was probably where the root of the insecurities was. "Just because their not proud, doesn't mean you're a failure. You are an exceptional drummer, the best musician I have ever met, the only love I could ever want, and soon you'll be a brilliant mother. You have everything to be proud of."

Roger managed a tired smiled for Brian's efforts. He was quite in love, nothing would change that. Brian could make anything better, honestly. "What would I do without you?" Roger hummed, leaning up and giving Brian a quick but sweet kiss. "Come on...let's move to bed for those berries, shall we?"

"Course," he helped Roger stand up and they got into bed, still clothed mostly, "I can't wait to be back home."

"I can't either. Just weeks to go really." Roger sat back comfortably, using pillows in different places to try and make up for things. He was still quite slight, save the baby bump he was sporting. Blame his metabolism and diet for all that.

Brian just held him, keeping him close so he knew he was safe. He knew their lives would be a struggle, but they would always have each other.

Chapter Text

A few weeks later they did get home. It was the end of August. John was the only one who hadn't left school (he hadn't finished or dropped out), Freddie was due to start working at the airport for the extra cash, Brian had a few weeks before he started teaching, but had managed to fix up their new flat a bit with the help of Roger, who worked on the stall. More generally, this was a week they gave themselves in order to relax.

Roger needed it. He was absolutely exhausted from the tour, and the doctor would probably tell him to lay low. That would be exciting, though. They were getting another ultrasound. They'd see and hear the little one again. Those were some of the most special moments of all. It was the day before the appointment. Roger was feeling quite low-key, but he was trying to be cheery as he sorted through some baby clothes that Brian's mum sent along. Roger could just picture his husband in them, and he was only praying he could get baby photos out of his new… in-laws basically.

"Absolutely no way is there any of my baby pictures are making their way into this house, Rog," he said, fake angrily, trying to lighten the mood, "How're you feeling?"

"So-so." Roger didn't want to tell him how much his head was hurting him, he didn't need Brian fretting any more. "Aw. But look at this one." He held up a little one piece covered in stars, moons and teddy bears. What a lovely indicator of Brian's future passions.

"Nugget's gonna love the stars." Everything was going smoothly - Winifred hadn't contacted them again, baby and Roger were healthy, they didn't have much money; but they had steady jobs, their relationship was strong, there had been talk of recording an album at the beginning of next year, "Mum might've brought the moon and sun shoes, they're quite cute, I think." he tried to remember anything else from his past the Roger would find cute.

"Our little sunshine." Roger shifted the onesie to one hand to gently rub his belly. The little one was quite active, just going off at whatever time they chose. Often it was late at night, or early morning. "You know, one thing I won't miss is my bladder being their punching bag ."

Brian grinned "It suits you; pregnancy. Makes you look so beautiful." He put his hands on the belly, one of his past times nowadays, feeling a hard kick.

"Yeah, I feel like I'm gonna have bruises, and the stretch marks...there are some on my sides now." Roger shook his head. "I know I have the parts, but sometimes it feels like my body really isn't a fan of being pregnant."

"I think the stretch marks are nice," Brian stated, then elaborated when Roger gave him a look, "I mean they're like roots, protecting their treasure, or lightning holding up the sky."

"Aw, babe, you're gonna make me melt again." Roger shook his head, smiling softly despite himself. "I just...I love you, I really love you so much."

"I love you, too." He loved how emotional Roger got about everything. "I'm happy it worked out like this." If Roger hadn't got pregnant, they would have been hiding, and arguing about hiding, and they'd probably have some issues - the tour would have given them both too many opportunities to try to get the other jealous, which would have lead to more arguments. Perhaps, as much as the timing was deemed as fairly bad, it happened at the best time for them?

Roger sat back a bit, setting aside a few more articles. His headache was getting worse, and his stomach wasn't feeling great either. Maybe he was getting hungry again. "Darling, do we have kiwis left?"

"I'll go check, give me five minutes." They didn't, but he could probably run to the small shop a few streets down and get back quickly.

Roger nodded and leaned back in the cushions, closing his eyes. Shit, he felt so shit. He wished he could take some ibuprofen or something, but none of that was baby safe. He was really hoping he wasn't getting a fever, but he did have a slight chill that was unsettling to him,

When he got back Roger was asleep on the bed, baby clothes half done next to him. Brian put a hand to his cheek. He was warm - too warm. "Roggie, babe, wake up, I'm gonna take your temperature, you sure you're feeling okay?"

"Yes, love." Roger smiled softly. "Pregnancy hot flashes. The doctor said it would happen. Don't fret about it, love." He sat up straight, taking the kiwis and peeling one carefully, taking a bite of the fruit. He nodded and took another bite. "Exactly what I needed, thank you."

"If you're positive," he tried to make it look as if he wasn't terrified every time something happened; tried to be the strong one for Roger's sake. But he was so afraid he'd lose one of them- his dreams had gotten worse the further along Roger got. "At least we have the appointment tomorrow."

"Yeah, exactly," Roger added, taking another bite. "We'll be just fine, Brian, don't worry so much. You'll go grey."

"Oi! This," he pointed to his head, "Does not go grey."

However, he did fully believe that he'd have serious heart problems by the time he was 30 because of these last few months.

Roger chuckled and shook his head. "You'd still be just as handsome, darling. I wouldn't worry about it." He waved him down gently, kissing his cheek sweetly and popping a bite of the fruit in Brian's mouth.

"Mmm, thanks," he let Roger finish his snack "I can't wait to see them on the ultrasound tomorrow."

"Me neither. They should be looking like a proper baby now." Roger sucked the last bits of juice from his fingers. "Mm...the sweet stuff's gotten the little bugger wiggling like mad again, dear."

Brian climbed over Roger's legs, not putting any weight on them though. He ducked his head so he was millimetres away from the bump, "Hey, kiddo, it’s your daddy here. You behave yourself in there, no shenanigans, and no keeping your mummy up all night," he kissed all over the belly, lifting Roger's shirt up to kiss the skin, "We love you, Nugget."

"Nugget loves you too, dear." Roger kissed the top of Brian's head. He closed his eyes after, letting his boyfriend coo at their baby for a while. "Alright then, it's bedtime. Let's just lay down, shall we? But not in those jeans, you go and change first."

"Swear you just want me naked," Brian said pulling off his trousers and shirt, staying in his boxers as he passed around the room trying to find his pyjamas. He would start changing somewhere else after the baby was born.

Roger shook his head, mockingly stern. "Always assuming the worst of me. It's no way to treat the love of your life and the carrier of your baby."

"As if you don't love it," he eventually found his night wear, tugging it on and getting into bed, "Joining me or not?"

"Right." Roger shuffled over, laying down with him. It took him a moment, but he settled in, closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths. It wasn't too long before he was able to fall asleep.

***

He woke in the wee hours of the morning, tickle in his throat. Roger coughed and sat up, rubbing his chest. Water, he needed water. Roger carefully got himself downstairs, gripping the railing and taking slow, careful steps. He reached the kitchen, grabbing a glass and filling it up in the sink in a hurry. Roger down the glass, another one after, then set it down, and used both hands on the counter to just lean.

Maybe he really wasn't well. His head was certainly swimming at the moment.

Roger made it to the bottom of the stairs before he got dizzy, and he slipped. He didn't fall all the way down, but his ankle twisted, and he was holding himself up on the railing. Roger gasped and whimpered a hit, lowering himself down to sit.

"Br-Brian," he managed, but it wasn't too loudly.

Brian half awoke at the noise of a thump, his thoughts foggy from sleep. He took very little notice of the noise, but - still mostly asleep - he extended an arm to Roger's side of the bed, make sure he was alright. He startled awake when his arm met the mattress.

Roger wasn't in bed.

That's when he heard the quietest little whimper of his name from downstairs.

Brian bolted out of bed, racing down the stairs, heart in his mouth as he saw Roger looking pale and in pain, hunched over himself at the bottom of the stairs. "Roger! What is it? The baby?"

"My-My ankle...twisted, I-I feel so dizzy, Brian..." Roger went into another coughing spell, doubling over a little. He didn't feel well, not at all. His hands were shaking, and he wasn't sure how much longer he'd stay up on his own.

"I'm gonna call an ambulance, okay?" There was no chance he was taking any risks now, his mind regurgitating worst case scenarios as he dialed the number and requested the help he needed. He got back to Roger, pressing his cold hands up to the drummer's clammy face: this wasn't hot flushes, he was burning up.

Roger leaned on him a bit, softly taking little gasps of breath. He was nervous on top of everything else. What if something went wrong? What if the baby had been jostled? No, he hadn't even really fallen, but… but still... "B-Brimi, I'm scared," he voiced, tears slipping down his face. "The baby...what if the baby..."

"It'll be okay," will it? "The ambulance will be here soon," and if it wasn't? He put his hand on the bump- it wasn't sweet like before, it was desperate. "Have they been moving?"

Roger nodded. "I just felt something… a bit of f-fluttering… they must be so scared." He put his head down, softly sobbing. He couldn't help it, the hormones and his general motherly fretting.

"You'll get through this," he could hear the sirens getting closer "Both of you."

Everything after that was a blur, he opened the door to the paramedics, who practically shoved him out of the way as they swarmed Roger. Brian was left standing, not able to see what was happening, and not understanding the medical talk- only the urgent tones they spoke in. He chewed his lip so hard it bled as he helplessly watched nightmares come true.

Roger was eventually hoisted up onto a gurney and taken into the back of the ambulance. Brian was allowed to ride along, so long as he stayed quiet and in place. Roger definitely was glad for that, taking Brian's hand and not letting go the whole ride. He only did when he had to, and he was wheeled into the back for procedures. That was the scariest time all around.

"We're going to run an ultrasound and see if everything is running smoothly."

Brian felt the hand tightened around his, he squeezed back. The ultrasound machine would take a while to warm up, the wait was agonising. What if it was already too late? They got to the hospital quickly enough, it was too early for much traffic, this was the first place they were sent to - Roger's ankle having been strapped up on the way.

"Okay, here we go." The doctor put gel on Roger's belly as the machine finished loading.

Roger closed his eyes. He was almost involuntarily holding his breath, even as he heard the heartbeat. Roger daring open his eyes, and he was relieved. There was their Nugget, looking just as lovely as ever. "Oh darling," he almost whispered, tears pricking his eyes again. "There they are. Our little Nugget."

"They're safe?" The doctor nodded,"Thank you, so so much for keeping Nugget safe, darling." He kissed Roger on the cheek, using the pad of his thumb to wipe away the tears. He looked at the doctor after a long moment "So what caused the dizziness and everything then?"

"He's got a bit of a virus," the doctor explained. "I suggest he take it easy until he sleeps it off. He's also sprained his ankle and should definitely stay off that foot as much as be can for the next few weeks."

“I’ll make sure he does,” Brian promised, “I’ll look after him.”