Disclaimer: Velvet Goldmine and all associated characters, plots and trademarks are the intellectual property of Todd Haynes and Miramax. This is a work of non-commercial fan fiction commentary on the film; no ownership is being claimed and no profit is being made or sought.
Author’s notes: Here are three short, somewhat interconnected C/A vignettes all exploring the theme of reminiscence (and pillow talk, apparently). Atypically, I'm posting this directly here, not just linking to my journal, as that seemed more efficient with three really short pieces.
“Oh No Love, You’re Not Alone”
Warnings: Implied references to internalized homophobia/ self hate.
Author’s note: The title comes from a lyric in David Bowie’s Rock and Roll Suicide. The line sort of inspired this piece...
After only a few nights together, Arthur knows that he tends to sleep better than Curt does - except tonight, apparently. Tonight Arthur can’t seem to stop thinking. It’s not just that he has been biting his nails ragged for the past several days, hoping Curt will call him again,and it’s not just that he’s lying awake with that sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that he gets when he wonders which hook up will be the last time he’ll see Curt. He knows he’s already dangerously close to losing himself and his heart. But of course he always was, where Curt is concerned.
He thinks of the chance meeting in a seedy bar that had brought them together, inasmuch as they are together. Curt hadn’t changed that much since ten years ago - older, of course, a little sadder and wiser, but still the same fearless, beautiful creature. Arthur has always admired that fearlessness - admired him so much that it hurts, sometimes. He wonders if Curt can see that. Curt had sounded so bitter that night when he spoke of changing the world...
Arthur tries not to fidget; he doesn’t want to wake Curt, after all, yet he can’t quite keep himself from tossing and turning. Sure enough, Curt snaps his eyes open.
“I’m sorry,” Arthur says, “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“It’s fine,” Curt says, sleepily. “‘It’s better than being alone.”
A rare admission of vulnerability, that. Arthur thinks, So maybe you will call again, and puts his hand on Curt’s arm, surprisingly bold. Even in the dim bedroom he can see Curt smile.
“What are you up thinking of?” he asks.
“You,” Arthur says, hoping he won’t say too much. “What you said a few weeks ago about changing the world...”
“Yeah. You know - you should know - that you did change it, at least for me. I mean, when I was growing up. Because of your - music, your image, sexuality, everything, I could hate myself a little less than I would have otherwise. A lot less, actually.”
He could as easily have mentioned Brian’s example but doesn’t want to bring him up. Anyway, he hasn’t had eyes for anyone except Curt in years.
Curt exhales audibly. The sound is somewhere between a sigh and - perhaps - a laugh. He raises his hand to Arthur’s face, running callused fingers over his lips. Arthur closes his eyes. He remembers that same gesture, that same gentleness, from ten years before.
“Goodnight,” Curt whispers.
“Look What They’ve Done to the Blues”
Warnings: Do I need to warn for not particularly explicit m/m sex? Really?
Author’s note: The title comes from a line in the original Steve Harley version of Tumbling Down.
“What was it like, that day on the roof?” Curt asks, pinning Arthur’s arms to the headboard and straddling him.
Arthur is a little tipsy, more so than Curt at any rate, but not so far gone that he can’t remember. He could never forget that day. For a moment he is seventeen again, and has just woken up naked and alone on a rooftop, barely able to breathe through the tightness in his chest. He remembers his confusion, his conflict at having had something passionate and exquisite - and ultimately short-lived enough to hurt. Meaningless.
“Really cold,” he says. “Confused. And -” he hesitates, then hears himself say the word anyway. “ - Alone.”
“Did I break your heart?” Curt asks. His tone is playful, but he strokes Arthur’s wrist gently.
Arthur laughs. “Don’t flatter yourself. Not that much, anyway.”
“So, just a little?”
“You know you ruined me for any other lover,” Arthur says, and reaches up to touch Curt’s hair and pull him down for a kiss. Arthur thinks of all the fumbling, awkward encounters he has had with other boys and other young men - laughable, compared to Curt. But he is with Curt now. When they break apart, Arthur is almost giggling.
“You also got me drunk and making an idiot of myself, tonight,” he says. “A sentimental.. idiot.”
Curt grins. “Hey, I like what I’m hearing.”
“Yeah, well, I do plan on keeping you to myself, so you don’t have to worry.”
Arthur wants to sleep, but he wants Curt more, and moves one hand down to unzip Curt’s jeans, teasing him to hardness. Curt inhales sharply. He turns aside to reach for a condom as Arthur attempts to free himself of his own jeans and pants so that he can tuck his legs up onto Curt’s shoulders.
Then, after what feels like an age of aching and waiting, Curt is inside him, thrusting, about to drive him over the edge. Arthur thinks, mangle my mind, before he stops thinking altogether.
He falls asleep soon after they finish, but not before hearing Curt whisper drowsily “I’m sorry if I screwed you over all those years back.”
"Love That Doesn’t Know What It’s Dreaming Of”
Warnings: Brief reference to past drug use
Author’s note: The title comes from an Iggy Pop song, Something Wild.
“You know I seriously considered taking you with me,” Curt says, trailing his fingers down Arthur’s back.
At first, Arthur is so spent and so tired that he doesn’t know what on earth Curt is talking about, or where he had wanted to take him. The comment came out of nowhere and anyway, the feather light touch on the small of his back is highly distracting.
“What?” he asks.
“You’re slow tonight,” he says. “Have I exhausted you?”
Arthur opens his eyes, reluctantly.
“No,” he says. “What is it?”
“I was just thinking about that night, or I should say that morning on the rooftop. You know I really wanted to ask you to - come be a hanger on for me and Jack instead of the Flaming Creatures.”
Arthur is fully awake now, yet it still takes him a moment to register what he’s hearing.
“Wow,” he says. He thinks of all the fantasies he had had as a teenager - that he would leave his stifling middle class life under his parents’ roof, and live openly, and become the lover and muse of someone just like Brian Slade or Curt Wild. That had all seemed to shatter when he woke up alone after an exquisite night and half day with Curt.
Curt props himself up on his elbow to look down at Arthur.
“Yeah,” he says. “I really did like spending time with you - that’s why you had me as long as you did.” He sighs. “You could have been my rebound after Brian. We were touring Europe then. I could have taken you with me and shown you off to the whole world, or at least everyone I knew.”
Arthur smiles at the thought. He can just see it - being at every one of Curt’s shows, at the height of his success. Getting to see the world, or more of it, by his side. Above all, not having to wait ten years to get his reward.
“Wow,” he says again.
“Yeah.” Curt looks away then. He is silent for a moment, and when he speaks again, Arthur can hear the bitterness in his voice.
“But you shouldn’t be smiling,” he says. “I’d have wrecked your life. Knowing where I was back then, I’d have probably gotten you onto smack and all kinds of hard shit - and treated you like crap, too. It would have been a disaster.”
Curt wraps his free arm around Arthur’s shoulders, pulling him closer.
“And I wouldn’t be able to have you now,” he adds.
“You’re probably right,” Arthur says.
He is still smiling, despite himself.