Don't Stop Believing
by Adelaide Elizabeth Morgan

"You might as well face it, Jon." Tico told him as he shrugged his jacket on. "Richie's not coming back. He had such a good time doing his own stuff... He doesn't need us anymore. We're gonna have to start recording without him." Tico left, slamming the door shut behind him. Hugh followed the drummer, looking back over his shoulder at the devastated look on Jon's face.

David looked up from the book he was reading, placing it on the table. He crouched down in front of the chair Jon was curled up in. "Jon, don't listen to Tico. He's just..." David sighed as he stood, slipping on his own jacket. "I'm going out for a drink. You coming?"

Jon shook his head, eyes drifting to the telephone before he looked up at the pianist. "No, I..." He took a deep breath. "Tico's right, isn't he? After all, Richie was supposed to be here over 10 hours ago."

"No, I'm sure he's just... his plane's been delayed or something." David trailed off. If he didn't believe it, how was he supposed to convince Jon it was true? "Don't sit there all night, ok?" He said softly, shutting the door behind him as he left.


Richie sighed as he dumped his bags on the floor, dropping his coat on top of them; damn it was good to be home! He reached for the light switch, but stopped when he saw Jon curled up in the chair fast asleep. With a fond grin on his face, he watched the younger man sleep for a few minutes, before turning and making his way to the kitchen to make himself a mug of coffee. He winced when he saw the time, hoping that Jon hadn't sat up all night waiting for him.

Hands curled around the steaming mug, Richie wandered back to the other room and leaned against the wall. He sipped his coffee as he watched Jon sleep. The singer looked peaceful but Richie knew he'd be as grumpy as anything if he slept in the chair all night. Decision made, Richie reluctantly placed his coffee on the table and gently shook Jon awake.

Jon mumbled incoherently, blinking sleepily up at Richie before recognition set in. "Richie!" He all but threw himself at the other man, twining his arms around his neck, face buried in his shoulder. Richie laughed and wrapped his arms around Jon. His lover was shook against him, almost as if...

Richie frowned and loosened Jon's grip on him, tipping his chin up look at him. "Jon, you're crying... What's wrong, baby?"

Jon pulled away, blushing and scrubbing his face with his hands. He curled up in the chair, watching Richie drink his coffee. "Tico said you weren't coming back. He said... He said you didn't need me... Didn't need us anymore."

Richie took a deep breath, grinding his teeth together. "Tico was talking bullshit," he told Jon as calmly as he could. "He's..." he trailed off as Jon's blue eyes filled with tears. "Jon?"

"You were supposed to have been back fif... fif..." Jon's voice hitched in his chest as he struggled to contain his tears. "Fifteen hours ago."

Richie cupped Jon's face in his hands, kissing him tenderly. "I know. There was a bomb-scare in London. All flights were postponed for a few hours. I tried to call you but my fucking battery was dead and there were lines for all the payphones. I was about ready to storm into the offices, pull a 'do you know who I am' and demand to use a 'phone!"

Jon smiled weakly. "Why didn't you?"

"They called my flight. I'm sorry, Jon. I didn't mean to worry you." He looked again at Jon's pale face and frowned; Jon hadn't just been worried, he'd... "Jon, you didn't believe Tico, did you?"

Jon shook his head. "No, I..." He lied; trailing off when he realised Richie didn't believe him. Unable to meet the guitarist's eyes, Jon nodded.

"Oh, Jonny..." Richie rose to his feet, grabbed Jon's hands and pulled him over to the couch. He sat with his back to the armrest, legs along the length of the seat, settling Jon in his lap. Richie wrapped his arms around Jon, holding him close while he spoke. "Of course I still need you." He pressed a kiss to the soft skin behind Jon's ear. "I love this band and I love you. Yes, I had a great time doing my own album and touring and I'm sure you did the same. But... it wasn't quite right without you. You weren't there by my side on stage, there was no sitting like this with you in my arms and I couldn't do this whenever I wanted to." Richie tipped Jon's chin up and kissed him, pulling away before the singer had chance to deepen the kiss. He stroked his thumbs over Jon's tear-stained cheeks; he'd had a feeling that the band taking this break would have dented Jon's self-confidence. It looked like he was right, but he wasn't expecting Jon to be quite this insecure. "I'm never going to just disappear the way Dorothea did, I promise. I would never hurt you like that, baby. If I ever decided that for some fucking reason I wanted to leave, either you or the band, I'd sit down with you and we would talk about it. I could never hurt you, Jon, I love you too damn much for that."

Jon smiled faintly, twisting up to kiss Richie. "I'm sor..."

Richie placed a finger over Jon's lips, stopping his apology. "It doesn't matter. "He ran his fingers over the dark shadows under Jon's eyes. "You're exhausted, baby. Let's get you up to bed so you can get some sleep and then, in the morning, I'll show you just how much I missed you."


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