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Fic: What About Now - Chapter 2

December 5th, 2010 (10:54 pm)

Title: What About Now?
Pairing: Jared/Colin
Rating: R
Feedback: Need it!
Disclaimer: NOT TRUE, and hopefully most will never ever happen. I own nothing.
A/N: Story begins at the O2 Arena concert November 30th.

A/N 2: Dedicated in its entirety to the ever lovely and always supportive legolastariel ! Thanks for the help with this.

Summary: Jared is fighting for his life. Colin is fighting with himself. And the press is fighting for a story.


Shannon did not hear the sound of shots being fired. The explosive rhythm he was beating on his drums, backing up his little brother’s vocals and his best friend’s guitar chords, drowned out the resonance of the many bullets sailing through the air towards the stage. Ricocheting off metal frames surrounding the arena, rapidly changing trajectory, the bullets were later found buried in the concrete walls, the speakers and even one in Shannon’s snare drum.

But he did not hear any gun fire.

It was the screaming of the crowd that alerted him. Being the older brother of one of the hottest guys in Hollywood – along with practically being a rockstar himself – ensured that he had heard a lot of that particular noise. The fact that he had been subjected to so much screaming in his life, immediately brought to his attention that something was horribly wrong.

This was not the excited yells from the audience, catching his crowd surfing, dare devil little brother. This was pure panic. He stopped playing instantly, jumping to his feet from behind his drum stool to get a proper look.

The sight greeting him was of complete and utter pandemonium.

Jared was on his back, hands reaching into the air as if trying to swat away an annoying insect.  Tomo was on his knees, cowering behind one of the main speakers, shaking hands shielding his head and upper body. The Croatian started to frantically scramble towards their lead singer. Several security guys were making their way on to the huge stage, all crawling on their hands and knees, as well. Others were hysterically gesturing and yelling at each other, jumping across the barriers and making their way into the fleeing mass of people, trying to regain some control over the venue.

It suddenly hit him what had happened and he rushed out from behind his drums, not caring for even a second that he might become a target in the process, and ran to his brother.

Something had hit Jared. Someone had hurt him.

He might not have seen or heard any bullets just now, but he had spent enough time on the wrong side of the tracks, to know bullet wounds when he saw them. And judging from the red stain, rapidly increasing in size on his little brothers clothing, he had been shot.

Shannon felt physically ill. He could hear the blood rushing in his ears. Lightheaded and dizzy he sank to his knees next to his fallen brother, his hazel eyes met panicked blue ones filled with pain. And tears.

“Shan…” Jared croaked and the drummer was alarmed to see blood staining his little brother’s lips. The singer tried to curl onto his side and cough, but the many hands suddenly on his body stopped him. Dazed, Shannon realized that Tomo had joined them. Along with him, was a burly guy they all affectionately called House, not because of his status as their official medic, but because of his huge frame.  The man’s name was actually Derek. He was pure muscle, but as gentle as a lamb.

“I’ve called for an ambulance it will be here soon, along with the police,” said House, his voice more professional than Shannon had ever heard it. It was oddly comforting. “But I need you guys to help me – to help Jared. Can you do that?” Tomo was the first to react by nodding shakily, eyes wide. He reluctantly let House place his hands directly on one of the gushing wounds just above Jared’s right knee. The Croatian looked slightly sick as he placed his trembling hands on Jared’s wounded thigh and seemed to struggle with his own reactions; swallowing the bile in his throat convulsively a few times, then tried to look reassuringly up at both Jared and Shannon.

But neither of the brothers gave him any attention. The drummer was desperately wiping the blood from Jared’s mouth, and the injured singer was much too preoccupied with trying to draw air into his failing lungs to focus on anything else. Several more security guys spilled on to the stage carrying medical supplies, started working around Jared.

However, all Shannon could do was clutch his little brother’s clammy hand in his own, continuously cleaning blood away from the younger man’s lips. Jared was gasping and wheezing and kept trying to roll onto his stomach, but several hands would repeatedly force him onto his back once more.

Shannon refused to look any lower than his brother’s face, refused to see the damage House, Tomo and all the random security guys were trying to control. He knew that if he looked, he would see a gaping hole in Jared’s chest and a rapidly growing pool of red staining the ground beneath the singer. Something he could not deal with. The frightening amount of blood spilling from the brother’s mouth was enough to make him feel nauseous, not because it was blood – blood did not scare him, but because it was Jay’s.

 

¤¤¤¤¤¤

 

The moment the man had placed himself next to his wife, Stuart had noticed him. He saw that he was wearing a t-shirt with Jared’s face on it, underneath a black coat. But not a 30 Seconds To Mars shirt, like so many others in the steadily building crowd, a t-shirt with a picture on it that looked to be taken by a regular camera from a several feet distance, like a paparazzi shot, although less professional looking. The man looked like he had not showered in days and his eyes were ice cold. He had an air about him, which was just not right, like he was unable to blend in with everyone else, but trying hard to. Michelle, Stuart’s wife, had immediately dubbed him ‘Creepy Guy’.

The couple had splurged for tickets at the O2 Arena show. They had loved the band from the first time they saw them, and had decided that it would be fun to see them live, once more.

Stuart definitely noticed Creepy Guy, but he did not do anything. What should he have done? It was a concert and many different types showed up to 30 Seconds To Mars gigs. Most people thought it mainly Jared Leto fangirls, but he had seen 70-year-old grandma’s rocking out with their grandkids, along with several men who looked like they belonged in business suits on a daily basis. Middle-aged women and their husbands wearing matching 30 Seconds To Mars t-shirts, like themselves, standing next to Goth’s, Emo’s and Punker’s. He had been to several concerts in his life, being a bit of a music buff. And few bands attracted a crowd as diverse as Mars’s. So he did not do anything. And as soon as the music started playing, his attention was on the stage.

The first time Stuart saw the band live was with his wife and a few good friends at Lollapalooza, having travelled to the states for the summer. He had no idea who they were, any of them – not even Jared Leto. The music was catchy and the energy was great, easily one of the best shows of the day, but what really blew them away was how they interacted with the crowd. They repeatedly tossed what must have been several hundred popsicles from stage, as well as making sure security guys helped those struggling from the heat out of the mass of people, and gave those that needed them waterbottles. During the show Jared climbed to the top of the light tower where he stood and fired up the audience, and when finally down, proceeded to crowd surf excessively – much to the chagrin of the security guys trying to hold on to his belt.

The mood of the audience was crazy. Stuart and Michelle were definitely not the only ones converted to fans during that show. By the end, everyone was yelling and screaming trying to touch the singer who was still riling up the crowd. When they were on stage, they pulled you in completely.

Stuart really wished he had done something about Creepy Guy.

Jared was in the middle of singing The Fantasy, when he and his wife heard someone screaming behind them. Stuart turned around and instinctively looked at Creepy Guy, as they had all stared at him earlier. He was holding a gun. Standing tall with his right arm in the air, pointed at an angle to get the perfect aim, he fired towards the stage, shooting off several rounds.

Stuart just stood there, completely frozen and he was not the only one afraid to move. It was surreal. The crowd was panicking, but he was terrified of moving at all, towards the shooter – or away from him. He was there with his wife and he did not want her or himself to become a target. Then Creepy Guy just put the gun back in his jacket, and started to walk out of there, calmly disappearing into the confusion.

He looked up at the stage. At first glance, it looked empty, except for Shannon still sitting behind his drums, stunned. Then he looked down and saw Jared splayed out on the stage floor, Tomo was crawling towards him while at the same time trying to make himself small. Suddenly Shannon got to his feet and ran to his brother, seemingly not worried about getting shot himself.

His attention was pulled back to his wife, who by now was crying. Tears were flowing down her face, and her mouth was open in shock. This was definitely not what they had expected would happen tonight.

The arena’s security team had taken the floor and was pulling people into groups, frisking them simultaneously.  However, by now the amount of people around had thinned considerably, most having fled the venue in terror. They were pulled along with everyone else; to make sure no one had clear view of the stage. He could not help but stare transfixed at the madness surrounding them. His eyes caught the blood covering Tomo’s hands and long sleeves, before the guitarist disappeared from his sight as well, and the gravity of what had just happened hit him with full force.

He could not help but wonder if Jared was already dead.

 

¤¤¤¤¤

 

Shannon had no idea how long he had been sitting on the stage floor, holding his brother’s hand. It felt like eternity, though it had probably just been a matter of minutes. The chaos around him had faded into the background, even Tomo’s gentle reassurances failed to get his attention. The only thing he could focus on was the disorientated and confused look in Jared’s frightened blue eyes and the moans of pain that escaped his brother’s bloodied mouth every other second.

He was suddenly pulled back gently but firmly, and he watched as the stage flooded with paramedics and a gurney. Everyone was asked to back off, himself included. For the first time, he took notice of the blood soaked rag that had ended up in Tomo’s red stained hands. Before he had a chance to articulate anything, the Croatian had his arms around Shannon. The guitarist was offering a steady stream of comforting words, but he could not get himself to snap out of the stupor and shock that made everything around him seem hazy and distorted.

He watched helplessly as they loaded a struggling Jared onto the gurney, he tried to rush forward but Tomo caught his arm and held him back, and before he knew it, they were hurrying off the stage and making their way out of the building.

Shannon eventually escaped the Croatian’s clutches and chased the gurney desperately. They could not take his brother away from him now. He would not let them. As he caught up with them, he fell into step with the paramedics and put his hand on Jared’s cheek, which seemed to comfort his brother slightly. The singer’s movements had gradually become more sluggish and lethargic, the expressive blue eyes were glazed, as the lack of sufficient oxygen made him weaker and weaker. A part of him wished desperately for the Jared to relinquish his hold on consciousness, no matter how tenuous it was, the pain had to be horrific and it broke his heart.

Entering the restricted parking lot and he was relieved to see the ambulance, as well as several patrol cars and uniformed officers rushing about, putting up ‘Police – Do Not Cross’ tape while others interrogated the venue’s staff. The whole thing looked like a fictional crime scene, staged, as if stolen from a TV show. He could see their beloved tour bus, parked under a streetlight a short distance away. It felt like it belonged in a different world, a world they no longer fit into anymore, a world that had been forever tainted by this night. 

“I’m sorry, sir, but you cannot ride with your brother. We need the extra room to work on him.” A female paramedic, who addressed him while pushing Jared’s gurney into the ambulance and out of his line of sight, abruptly interrupted Shannon’s thoughts. He was just about to object vehemently, when Tomo interrupted by saying it was okay, they would be right behind them.

Never had he felt more hollow and powerless, just standing there, as he watched the wailing ambulance leave the parking lot with its emergency lights flashing, taking his baby brother – his best friend away.

 

¤¤¤¤¤¤

 

Colin woke up on the sand-colored, linen couch, bleary eyed and confused – then surprised, which was quickly elevated to shocked, when he came face to face with Jared, in full Hephaistion mode.

It took a few seconds for the astonishment to settle and the rational part of his mind to kick in. He realized that he had fallen asleep in front of the huge TV watching ‘Alexander’. He had even popped the disc in the DVD player himself. He never dared to watch his own movies, finding it pretentious, as well as uncomfortable to watch himself lying, by playing a fake person.

So far ‘Alexander’ had fallen into that uncomfortable category, for many different reasons. But after Jared broke up with him. Or did he break up with Jared? He was never really sure. Well, after they broke up, he had gotten rid of his collection of movies starring the American, only Alexander was left. He told himself, when he put in the disc, that he was watching it purely to prove that while Jared was certainly still attractive in his eyes, he no longer had any feelings for the man, at all. Another part of him, a part that he silenced immediately, said that he put it in because he missed seeing the other man.

There was really no denying that his heart still sped up whenever a scene featuring Hephaistion played on the screen. Something that could not be a good sign, especially when he took into account that it was not Jared he fell asleep next to at night, not anymore. He debated with himself for a few seconds if he should put on Ondine, but decided that it would most likely tell him something that he did not want to hear right now.

 

2003

The moment their eyes met in the airport in Marrakech, Morocco, they both broke into wide, face-splitting grins.

Colin laughed, making his way over to the smaller man, pulling him into his arms and placing a deliberately much too wet kiss on the smooth cheek. He completely ignored the heavy bags the American was carrying and the confused looks thrown by other passengers in the clogged and dusty terminal. Colin had happily agreed to pick up Jared at the airport, as he was really looking forward to seeing him.

“I can’t believe, I have to work with your skinny arse again! How’ve you been, mate?” said Colin, his strong arms staying locked around the waist of the American.

“And I can’t fucking believe they stuck me with your fat ass in the middle of a desert! They better have some professionals available or you’re not going to last a week, my Alexander.” Jared replied, his eyes dancing with excitement and his slender hands clutching the younger man’s biceps.

“I’ll last longer than you, that’s for certain. I actually have some stamina, along with the ability to last more than 5 minutes without checking my hair.” The Irishman laughed, fondly running his hands through the other man’s much longer tresses, releasing his grip on Jared’s waist in the process.

“I seem to recall you throwing a major hissy fit on the poor, innocent make-up girl who hadn’t given you enough foundation on in Phone Book, making you look translucent.” Jared countered as he batted away Colin’s hands that were enwrapping themselves in his hair.  

“I’m pretty sure that was you, dear.” Colin said, easily falling back into the ‘old married couple’ banter as Shannon had aptly named their teasing. There was just something about Jared’s presence, which made him feel completely relaxed and overly excited at the same time.

They had always had a very physical relationship, both being affectionate people. And it helped that their first interaction in front of a camera had required several touches. It set the trend for their behavior around each other. In the time following Phone Booth, whenever they met, they would automatically greet one another with giant bear hugs, long in duration –and kisses on the cheek. Then came Alexander and touching became more natural than ever, until it felt odd to not have the American pressed up against his side or have his own hand on the other man’s knee or thigh.

Touching felt right, in every single way.

He was brought out of his thoughts by his phone vibrating insistently on the glass coffee table. Something that surprised him more than a little. After he had finished rehab years ago, followed by a more responsible lifestyle and a cleaner image, he was no longer the go-to-guy relied on for parties, and it was increasingly rare that he received any phonecalls after 10 o’clock.

It was now 11.54 PM, at least according to the digital clock on the DVD player.

The name Tomo was flashing on the screen. It took a few seconds for his tired brain to properly place the name into the right context. When the puzzle was completed, he found himself more than a little confused. Pressing the call button, he put the phone to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Colin.”

“Tomo?”

“We need to talk…”

“Why, what is it? I don’t think you have ever called me before, no offense, but I’m not sure I should take it as a good sign that you’re calling me in the middle of the night.”

“Jared’s been shot.”

“No, he hasn’t.”

“I’m sor...”

“No – Look, you can’t just call me and say something like that! No, Tomo. No, just no.”

“I don’t know if Jared mentioned that he had a few problems with a stalker…” The voice on the other end was exhausted and hollow, but Colin had stopped listening. He was not even sure he was still breathing. He felt ridiculous all of a sudden. Like this was not real.

“Stalker? What? Jared, is he…? Is he…you know. Damn it, man, please… Don’t make me say it…”

“He is not dead.” He could hear Tomo swallow on the other end and breathe the word ‘Yet’ into the receiver, probably more to himself than to Colin. “Shannon wanted me to call you. Apparently, you’re still on Jared’s list of emergency contacts and Shannon is going to honor that. So… Look, I need to go. Other people need to know it from us as well, and not the news. I gotta go.”

Tomo did not say anything more and Colin barely registered the click followed by the whining tone of his phone, when the Croatian abruptly finished the call.

He buried his head in his hands, shaking. This was not real, it could not be happening.

Eamon? Or Claudine? Claude. He needed technical help first – then emotional help second. He pushed number 3 on speed-dial, impatiently waiting for his older sister to pick up. “Colin, you fucker, it’s midnight. You know I go to bed early on Tuesday’s I have yoga tomorrow and…”

“Jared’s been shot, Claude.” Claudine immediately fell silent on the other end. “I need you to get me to London, right now. I don’t care how you do it and what I have to do, I just need it to happen okay?” He sounded possibly pathetic right now, he felt pathetic.

There was a long moment of silence from his sister, while she deciphered what he had just said. Colin could not blame her, he never thought he would ever hear the words, let alone say them. But Claudine caught up quickly and when she replied, her voice was both soothing and in control at the same time. Her older sister voice, a tone that Colin had not heard since she called to say Grandpa Eamon had passed away.

“I will, honey, I will, okay? I‘ll call as soon as I have the tickets for you.” He closed the call, and immediately went for speedial number 2.

The moment his brother picked up, on the other end, words started tumbling from his mouth once more.

“Eamon, someone shot Jared. Someone shot him!”

“What? Colin? How…”

“I don’t know, Tomo said something about a stalker. I don’t know what to do!” It was then he realized that he was crying, as the shock of it all was messing with his emotions. At the corner of his eye, he could see the familiar shape of Alicja standing at the bottom of the staircase, wrapped in a silk nightgown, her long hair pulled into a bun. Her youthful features were drawn with worry and she quickly crossed the room and sat down next to Colin.

He wiped at his eyes furiously, desperately fighting to get a grip on his emotions.

“What do you want to do, Colin? Do you want to go to him? You’re still friends. At least, you should be.”

Eamon asked over the phone, trying to cut through the distress that was rapidly taking hold of his little brother.

“Yes. Yes, I need to be there… I need to see him. I have to. It can’t end like this, with us angry and hating each other, like now. Because I don’t hate him, Ea. I don’t. I never could...” Colin was well aware that he sounded like a small child at that moment, teary eyed, his voice strained. But talking to his older brother while upset, always brought forward a very vulnerable side in him.  

“I know, I know,” Eamon soothed. “If you feel like his side is where you belong right now, then follow your heart for once and not your brain, and just go. Call me later, when you know how he is doing, okay?”

They talked for a few more minutes, Eamon’s steady voice grounding Colin, in a way that made him feel like he could do this. He knew what he needed to do. Or more importantly, where he needed to go. His heart would allow nothing else right now. Alicja was staring expectantly up at him, sitting next to the Irishman on the linen couch.

Waiting for an explanation.

This was going to be a long night.

 

¤¤¤¤¤¤

 

TBC

 

Comments

Posted by: ♥Αλετζαντραi Βερονικα♥ (bloodykisses89)
Posted at: December 6th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)

Your cut in farrelleto broke D:

OMG! Is Jared gonna be okay? Don't let him die! >_

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: December 9th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)

Fixed it. :)

You'll just have to wait and see. lol ;D

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: setsu23 (setsu23)
Posted at: December 6th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)

OMG!!!

Damn that creepy guy!!!
At least Colin was informed for a friend and not the press, but, poor Jay!!, i dont want him to die!!! NONONONONONO!!!

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: December 9th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)

Damn him indeed! :) I don't think Colin would have forgiven them if he had learned it from the press, I know I woulnd't have...

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: jhisksan (jhisksan)
Posted at: December 6th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)

I love your writing style, the way you include other people's point of view here is refreshing.

and poor shannon, so broken and shaken up that he almost can't do anything. The way he that he always wipes Jared's mought is just heartbreaking. And colin convincing himself that Jared is not a part of his life then everything falls over when he hears the news.

Goodness they knew about the stalker, you just can't ignore those kind of people they're so unpredictable.

This is awesome as you are

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: December 9th, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)

And I love your commenting style, reviews like yours is what makes writing worth it :D

Thanks, I was not really sure whether or not the alternative POV would work out, but aside from the People Cover it was the first thing I ever did on this story so I was kind of loathe to cut it. But I gotta admit, I was pretty sure no one would like it but me :)

Honestly, who would not be? If it was my bro I would be devastated beyond belief. I was really trying to bring that to live in Shannon, as well as Tomo. And for the whole mouth-wiping thing: I can really imagine Shannon needing something, anything to do, that would feel like it was helping. He is a man of action :)

We usually don't know what we have until it's gone. Or in danger of being lost! And I think that Colin is slowly starting to realise this.

Stalkers are so damn dangerous. Gotta admit that the whole Hive thing shook me up a bit (and is what inspired this whole thing) it could have ended a lot worse.

Aw, thank you so very much. I appreciate it. Hope you like the next chapter :D

Posted by: anabonsh (anabonsh)
Posted at: December 10th, 2010 06:54 am (UTC)

Wow : o you are awesome! This is so good! I must find out what happens asap can't wait for Colin to get to London! Nice job!!!!!

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: December 10th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)

Thanks! I'm so glad you like it :) Don't worry, next chap will be up in a few hours..

Posted by: belelfmir (belelfmir)
Posted at: January 19th, 2011 04:13 pm (UTC)

I think I am missing something, could you post the links to the chapters of the fic?.
I just can find chapters # 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Thanks darling

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: January 20th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)

Is it fixed now? It should be :)

Posted by: belelfmir (belelfmir)
Posted at: January 20th, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)

Perfect! -thanks darling-

Posted by: shiralyndee (shiralyndee)
Posted at: January 23rd, 2017 04:32 am (UTC)

Oh yes this is still one of my favorite stories:)

Posted by: Alice (alice_domoto)
Posted at: February 5th, 2017 05:11 pm (UTC)

I have just started rereading this story! Been five years...Jeez
Absolutely one of my favourites as well :)

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