30 May 2017 @ 08:36 pm
Sleeping With Ghosts (1/?)  
Title: Sleeping With Ghosts
Author: [personal profile] forameus
Beta: [personal profile] matturemuser & also a big shout out to [personal profile] thekeyholder91
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: M for the moment, but will go up to E in the next chapters.
WARNINGS: none, I think?
Summary: The thing about love, Matt thinks, is that it haunts you just like a ghost.
Disclaimer: Muse not mine - sigh - this is just a work of fiction etc. etc.
Author’s note: woah, yeah, okay, it's been long since I posted the prologue. Sorry about that! At least this one's a bit longer - also, spooky time (but not too much :P).



The house is tucked away in the shady green hills of Moltrasio, on Lake Como, an impressive three-storey building with pedimented windows and lilac-grey façades like something plucked right out of a book. It’s there, in the bunker-like rooms of its rocky basement. that, in rainy-cold October 2008, they start working on the album.

 

They actually start from the living room because, or so Matt says, the acoustics in there are quite good.

 

On the first Friday of the month, they move the drum-kit and four amps up to the room on the first floor, where together they push the sofa against the wall and shut all the doors and all the windows against the frigid lake-winds. There’s a storm outside, and the heating system has been down for hours and, because of some kind of Saturn-in-Opposition triple cosmic-coincidence, there are no logs left to burn in the mantled fireplace either. Dom and Chris both offer to venture out in the rain and buy some themselves at first, but, Matt says, it’s a waste of time and really, it’s not even that cold.

 

It is, though, fucking cold frosty, even.

 

Gaia spends the morning raiding the upstair bedrooms and comes down with armful after armful of blankets and pillows and even a cranky old stove for them; later, in the afternoon, when their fingers have gone numb from the cold and Matt’s all wrapped up in a bright green quilt looking very much like a chubby silkworm, she pops her pretty head in and out of the room and asks her guests if they would like anything to eat, or to drink another cup of tea, perhaps?

 

What a gem she is, they think, as they thank her and thank her for bringing in a whole tray of sandwiches - then fresh fruit, then coffee, then biscuits - and how happy and eager she seems to help. However, Matt, being the dictator-slash-producer as well as the bloody insufferable twat he is, doesn’t particularly appreciate the repeated interruptions.

 

“Would you mind, honey?” He grits when she turns up for the fucki-nth time with a cup of warm jasmine tea for each. “We’re trying to work here, in case you didn’t notice.”

 

Gaia stiffens. It’s a small thing, nearly imperceptible, really, just a slight pinch of the mouth and a shift of the brow. Matt is having none of it, though. The cold has turned his nose and cheeks a bright pink and his mood a steel blue-grey; he tugs the thick duvet tighter around his shoulders and turns his neon-green back on her.

 

End of Conversation, says his only visible feature — namely, a funny tuft of hair on the top of his head Now Go Away.

 

Gaia ignores it.

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry, honey,” she drawls the word out like jam on slightly burnt toast, “I just thought the guys would appreciate it.”

 

“I —” starts saying Chris, but Matt cuts him off.

 

“What, jasmine tea?” he snorts. “As if someone could really enjoy drinking fucking warm perfume.”

 

“You told me yourself you loved it!”

 

“I lied,” says Matt, master of communication fuck-ups. “I hate the stuff. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

 

You are disgusting,” she mutters, “I’m just being nice!”

 

“You’re being a fucking nuisance, is what you are!”

 

Dom rolls his eyes, loudly. “Well, I like jasmine tea,” he says, matter-of-factly. “It’s sweet, and it’s also good for you. Besides,” and he shoots a lopsided glance at cocoon-Matt that really says Shut Your Fucking Trap, You Moron, “it’s awfully cold in here and I think we could all do with a break, anyway.”

 

Matt laughs, because this is ridiculous, because it’s exactly what he isn’t supposed to do. “Really,” he growls, “really, Dom? Because if there’s anyone here who needs a fucking break from all the fucking bullshit, it’s fucking me!”

 

“Jesus Christ, Matt, calm your primadonna tits down!”

 

“Ah, so what - I’m a bloody primadonna now, yeah, just for wanting to get the job done?”

 

“Yeah,” says Dom, and he actually grins, the bastard, “it’s the first day of recording, we’re still missing half of our equipment, it’s fucking freezing and you’re just being a pain in the ass for nothing.” And then, almost as an afterthought, “you twat,” he adds, “sit down and drink your tea before it goes cold.”

 

There is a small “Ahem” behind him, soft and elegant like a cloud, and Chris says, “I wouldn’t mind a cuppa myself.”

 

Matt looks — glares, really — at him first, then at Dom, who’s already sipping on his tea, then at Gaia, just over his quilted shoulder. He considers his fighting options. Matt’s not pleased to learn that he only really has two and that he likes neither of them because: a) if he tells the guys off for drinking tea when they’re all freezing their arses on improvised rehearsals, he’ll come off as a dick; b) if he refuses to drink his tea — which really isn’t so bad at all — he’ll come off as a childish dick and piss Gaia off, like, eternally.

 

Therefore, when Dom pushes the cup in his hands, Matt sucks in a breath and accepts it, but says nothing else. Slowly, slowly he lets that breath out and spins around to finally face Gaia, who’s still standing at the threshold like a ghost, waiting for him to apologise. She’ll be the death of me, someday, he thinks, this bloody woman — and then “Forgive me,” he says, because he really isn’t sorry at all, so why should he tell her so?

 

Gaia tilts her head, considers him for a while; the red light of the nearest amp is catching on her brow like arson and Matt thinks that this flaming-demonic-log is a rather fitting look on her. I’m going to skiiiiin you, her eyes say, silently but with her very same accent. “You are just tired,” says her mouth, sweet like venom, the promise of more arguing in the sharpness of her teeth, “you must all be very tired.”

 

Matt takes a sip of his tea, which turns out to be lukewarm; his fingers weave between each other through the handle of his mug that is still moderately hot, at least. “We are,” he says, glancing at Dom with something akin to apology in his eyes, “I’m just — this is a lot of responsibility to take on, yeah? And it’s my house, innit, and the fucking heaters are not working. I — I might have been a bit of a twat.”

 

“Yes,” says Gaia.

 

“No,” says Dom, very carefully, “no, you’re right. This is a whole lot of responsibility, but not the weather nor the generally adverse conditions are your fault, so don’t take the blame for it.”

 

“Yeah,” adds Chris, “it’s just our first day and you’re doing a bloody brilliant job of it already so, you know — just relax, mate.”

 

Matt’s heart feels a bit lighter in his tiny chest. “You want to call it a day?” he asks them, putting his mug down to rub his eyes, “I think we should call it a day, it’s past six anyway —”

 

“Let us try with the chorus again,” says Dom, already picking up his drumsticks. “I feel like we were getting somewhere before —” and he looks at Gaia then, who hasn’t said a word, but hasn’t left yet either. “Oh, thanks for tea, anyway,” he tells her, “it was very sweet of you, indeed.”

 

“Cheers, darling,” cues in her boyfriend, who hasn’t missed the veiled dismissal in Dom’s voice — if none, he’s only helping her unveil it, really.

 

Luckily or unluckily, in Matt’s case enough, Gaia is no fool, and she catches on pretty quickly. “You’re welcome,” she says, hardly a whisper between her teeth, “let me know if you need anything else.” She looks at Matt then, her eyes daring. “I’m just a buzz-call away,” she tells him, meaning the opposite, letting the back of her head spell it for her when she finally, finally turns and walks out of the room: I’m not your bloody maid.

 

“Shut the door!” Matt calls after her.

 

Vaffanculo!

 

She leaves the door open.

 

“That went pretty well,” says Chris, crossing the room to shut it, “if you were aiming for a week’s worth of blue balls, that is.”

 

“Shut up,” mutters Matt, “that woman drives me bloody bonkers sometimes.”

 

“That’s married life for you, mate.”

 

“I’m not married.”

 

Yet.

 

Yet. Yet

 

Matt’s adding days and days (and days and days) in his head when it happens: a shattering violent blast a motherfucking ball-lightning! He’s never even seen one before! that shakes the bones of the whole house and echoes all around the room for a full two minutes.

 

Shiiiiit,” says Chris, trying to push the singer off his shoulders.

 

“SHIT!” says Matt’s dignity, lost somewhere around the time he’d thrown his quilt in the air and jumped on Chris’ back.

 

“Shit,” says Dom, and he fucking laughs when he turns to look at Matt, still crouched behind the bassist, and adds, “Mate, you were right: the acoustics in this place are fucking marvellous!”

 

And then, of course, the power goes off.

 

 

*

 

 

It’s three weeks after the first incident, and they’re holed up in the underground studio or, as they like to call it, The Bunker, capital letters and all when it happens again. They’re jamming away on the new song (working title: Hooligans) when Chris blows up an amp and Dom breaks through the head of his bass drum while testing his brand-new double pedal. Matt’s guitar picks, all seven-hundred-or-so of them, are also surprisingly nowhere to be found.

 

“I think I saw one on the couch, earlier,” Chris is trying to tell him only, he’s got his head stuck in the hole in the drumhead and Dom’s socked toes somewhere up his nose, so it comes out as a slightly accented thunder-like rumble, really.

 

“What, the pouch?” says Matt, forever misunderstanding. “What pouch, are you fucking taking the piss?”

 

“The couch, you plonker,” supplies Dom, who is tugging at the bassist’s neck and his own left foot in a way that suggests that maybe, just maybe, he could use another pair of hands, “they’re on the bloody couch — will you, you know, help me?”

 

Matt doesn’t even hear him.

 

“There is nothing on the couch!” he shrieks from the other room.

 

Lufhbethher!

 

“Chris says to look better!”

 

“I’ve looked everywhere — why don’t you come and see it yourself?”

 

“Matt, for fuck’s sake, we’re stuck!”

 

“Well, unstuck yourselves then!”

 

“We can’t! Come here and fucking help us?”

 

Matt gives up his quest and pops his head back into the music room. He frowns at the scene: there’s smoke (from the amp, he supposes) condensed in a greyish-black cloud on the far left corner of the ceiling and Dom, who manages to look simultaneously appalled and euphoric that he’s got his foot permanently installed into Chris’ respiratory system.

 

“I don’t understand,” he mutters, and stops in a curious way, like he’s trying to blink something out of his eyes, “this is bloody weird.”

 

“Yeah, well,” says Dom, eyeing the roof suspiciously, “I’m surprised the sprinklers haven’t gone crazy yet. Be a darling and hand me the scissors, will you?”

 

Matt shakes his head slowly. “They don’t work,” he mumbles, starting to cut up the drumskin himself with his pocketknife, “yet. And before you start with your stupid talk about responsibility and possible fire hazards, let me tell you — oh, hey there, Chrissy!”

 

Chris’ head reemerges from the drum bass with Matt’s arm wrapped around it like a safety net. “You fucking stink,” he says, which the singer thinks is rather unfair since he pretty much just saved his life.

 

Dom barks out a laugh. “Yeah, too bad the sprinklers aren’t working,” he snickers, “someone here could definitely do with a shower,” and he laughs again, and Chris looks at them sideways, and Matt giggles awkwardly as he takes a sniff under his armpits and then —

 

They get drenched.

 

 

*

 

 

It’s two days before Christmas, and all the guests have gone back to their homes for the holidays — all except for Dom, who, upon Matt’s insistence, has decided to stay with them instead. He is out at the moment, though, getting drunk on the docks with Nic or something.

 

Matt doesn’t know, he hasn’t asked him; he’s seized this precious moment of peace before the parents-storm to indulge in one of his favourite activities — namely: a nice, long, lazy shag on the living room sofa.

 

Gaia had been sitting there untangling a strand of Christmas lights for the tree (and cursing like a sailor all the while) when it had hit him: for the first time in weeks — maybe a full month — they were completely alone in their own house.

 

It was almost as if someone had put a sign there for him, really.

 

He’s gripping her sides gently, driving her hips down to meet his thrusts, one after another after another and then another, grunting and moaning and possibly whimpering as he feels himself sliding deeper inside of her, wanting to come, just come, as soon as hard as possible — when his phone starts ringing.

 

“Fuck it,” he growls — almost shouts, actually.

 

“I am fucking it,” says Gaia, and she shoves her hips down to prove her point.

 

“I meant —” starts saying Matt, but she shuts him up with a slap on the back of his head.

 

“I know,” she rasps out, “don’t you even think about picking up.”

 

They keep on fucking.

 

The phone keeps ringing. And ringing. And ringing.

 

And. Ringing.

 

“It might be, you know, serious,” says Matt after a while. He’s lost his rhythm, focus, slipped out of her at least five times in the last two minutes. Gaia is not impressed.

 

“If it’s Dom,” she says, tugging at her boyfriend’s elbow as he makes to get up, “I hope he’s fucking drowning in the lake or something because, seriously —”

 

“Why, he might be,” Matt mumbles, picking up the phone, “and that’s seriously not funny - hello?” he says in the receiver. No one answers him. He tries again.

 

“Hello? Matt speaking here — who’s this?”

 

Affhhskskkkkhhh!

 

“Dom, is that you?”

 

“It is him, isn’t it?” Gaia snorts from the sofa.

 

“I don’t—” says Matt, and then he looks at his phone screen, where both Dom’s number and his big honking 100-watt smile (the wanker has set up his ID picture himself) are flashing in a rather obvious fashion. He doesn’t tell her, anyway — she doesn’t really need to know. “Can you speak more clearly, please?”

 

Affshhhkkkahhh!

 

“I — I’m sorry, what?”

 

Afjfksjksjjjjhhh!

 

For a split second Matt fears that Dom might be, indeed, drowning — or at least choking on something; but then, he reckons, he wouldn’t really be able to call him in that case, right? If anything, it looks more like a pocket dial (it wouldn’t be the first time, the last being a memorable mid-shag one). Either way, he chooses to play his cards carefully for the sake of his own balls. He chooses Chris.

 

“Ah - yeah, yes, sorry, really couldn’t hear you there, mate,” he says, scrunching up his nose for good measure. “Of course it’s alright — yes, no, look, I’m in a bit of a situation at the moment, I’ll call you back later, okay?”

 

Afhsjkdkkkdhh!” says the voice in the receiver.

 

“Bye, give my love to the kids!” says Matt, ending the call. “It was Chris,” he tells — lies to — Gaia — Gaia who’s still waiting for him with her legs uncrossed like some kind of sex god sent miracle.

 

“Weird,” she says, pushing a dark, shiny lock of hair behind her shoulder, “I was ready to bet my record collection it was your darling boyfriend.”

 

Matt has to frown at that. “My darling what?” he splutters, his hands flying to his nose to pinch its crooked tip; he takes a few strangely placed steps towards the sofa — despite the unfortunate-timed interruption, he’s still rock-solid — and lowers himself onto it. Gaia smiles, shakes her head a bit, and then possibly gives up the fight as she climbs back on top of him.

 

Matt isn’t going to ruin it all right now.

 

“And just why would I need a boyfriend,” he drawls, moving his mouth on her neck, “when I already have a dead-hot girlfriend,” and he slides both his hands underneath her plush bottom, “who’s looking so very, very naked right here on my lap.”

 

“Why, Lord Bellamy,” she smiles, taking his cock back into her soft palm, “whatever are you going to do about that?”

 

“Oh, there’s just so much I’d like to —”

 

And then all the alarms in the house go off at the same time.

 

 

*

 

 

Matt loses his erection, at least two years’ worth of lifetime and all of his already short-lived supply of patience when the police turns up at his place and finds absolutely nothing; no breaching evidence, no fires, not even a chair out of its place. He calls in an expert to check on his security system the very next day, only for the man - Alfredo, he says his name is - to tell him that it works just fine after a quick glance-over. Matt asks him to double-check. The engineer gets back up on his ladder, fiddles briefly with the panels and then repeats in the same dull tone that there’s nothing wrong with the alarms, mister. Matt insists that there must be some kind of malfunctioning. Alfredo says, “No, there’s not, mister.” Gaia wonders how badly they’ll be sued if she kicks over his ladder.

 

A week later, while they’re all enjoying a drink around the solid durmast table (a family heirloom that goes back to 1874, according to Gaia’s father), all the lightbulbs in the dining room blow up simultaneously, and Matt spills his glass of blood-red wine all over the precious light-wood surface from the fright. The stains never come away completely.

 

He spends the rest of the night arguing with Gaia and, the next morning, after checking the fuse box himself, he sends Dom off to the hardware store to buy two whole boxes of bulbs. The drummer comes back with four. Together, the two of them replace the bulbs in every single lamp in the room, even the overhead lights, while Gaia, still fuming, stares at the scene from a distance, probably thinking about kicking over more ladders.

 

It works — for a while. By dinner time, the lights have all frizzled to their own impromptu death, one after another.

 

(When Alfredo comes back, all he says is, “There’s no problem with the current, mister,” and then he puts brand-new bulbs in the lamps. They all burst after two days. Matt calls in an electrician, then. He, too, replaces all the bulbs. They still pop. Matt gives up.)

 

In February, when the chilly rains become snow, Chris almost gets beheaded by the murderous and possibly sentient saver window in the attic while he’s watching — and filming, for the sake of history — his bandmates building a snowman in the back garden. That same week, they have to take the 50” flat screen TV in Dom’s room down to the garage, because it keeps switching on by itself in the middle of the night with the volume on full blast (and for some weird, inexplicable reason, it’s always a porn channel). This time, though, they choose to laugh it off and blame the events on the drummer’s self-admitted only-too-vivid wet dreams.

 

Then comes March, and things seem to calm down a bit; there are only two minor incidents, both of which include Matt and, curiously enough, a box of coconut-flavoured condoms he swears he never bought (hint: Gaia is allergic to coconut) and a collapsed bedframe (hint: sometimes, Matt thinks he’s actually a drill).

 

Nobody says it, because no one (apart from Matt) really wants to believe it: that the house, the house that keeps trying to murder each and any of them on turns — but which seems to have a predilection for its British owner, anyway — is haunted by a ghost.
 
 
( Post a new comment )
D[personal profile] million_star on May 31st, 2017 12:07 am (UTC)
This is the first thing I see upon getting my computer back after four days and I am very okay with that. Curious to see where this goes next.
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away: < cute lil fucker[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 11:41 am (UTC)
This is the first thing I read this morning when I woke up. I am so, so, pleased that you liked it. *hugs* ♥

mcsparklez: Dom lube[personal profile] mcsparklez on May 31st, 2017 06:17 am (UTC)
Duuuuuuuuuuuude~

Of course it's Dom with the porn, WHO ELSE?!

I'm looking so forward to this and I hope you don't take too long to update. You know I can be very threatening... and stuff.

xx

PS: update Meds

PPS: Mouse Cock
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away: < cheeky bastard[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 11:45 am (UTC)
Bruhhhhhh~

Of course it had to be porn. Everyone knows that whenever a TV is having that kind of "problem" it ALWAYS switches on the last channel you've been watching. Dirty, dirty Dom.

Next week, update. Good girl, here. Meds, forget about it. Mouse Cock, now has a name (hint: starts with E).

♥♥♥
Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga[personal profile] tamarelmensdorp on June 1st, 2017 09:41 am (UTC)
Oh dear god, I might have fallen madly in love with cranky Matt. I especially like him in his neon green cocoon.

I can’t help but being curious about that phonecall though. Did Dom really call? And if so, what did he have to say?

Spooky, spooky stuff ahappening
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away: < mazzoo[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 11:49 am (UTC)
Cranky Matt made me empathise with poor Gaia, tbh. Might be because we're both Italian, but I would have absolutely showered him with hot boiling jasmine tea if he'd said that to me. Still, I kinda like him. *shrugs*

Ahhh the phone call. See, all this stuff might be a bit misleading. But I'm not going to say anything, ho ho ho.
(hint: Iphones don't lie)

Spooky, spooky - or maybe not? Maybe yes? Who knows.

(Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! ♥)
Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga[personal profile] tamarelmensdorp on June 1st, 2017 11:57 am (UTC)
I might have a slight case of Matteritis. I just love the man so much. In real life, I think I might have been pissed... not sure though 😉.
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 12:18 pm (UTC)
Same here. That's also the reason why I love writing him so much. I've been accused of Matt-favouritism in the past... XD

But yeah, no. Still would have kicked him, at least. That's no way to talk to your missus. u_u
Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga[personal profile] tamarelmensdorp on June 1st, 2017 12:25 pm (UTC)
You can always come to me with your Matt favouritism. I am the same.

And yeah, I'm not so verbal in real life. I probably would have gone somewhere to hide and cry.
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away: < red!hair[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 01:24 pm (UTC)
Ha, high five, sis. Even when I try and write stuff from another POV, I sadly always end up making it about that twatty midget... *le sigh*

Yeah, hide & cry could be an option, too... might do that, but only after kicking him. I never go down without a fight. Always react, girl!
Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga[personal profile] tamarelmensdorp on June 1st, 2017 01:49 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking of I ever wrote a story from Dom’s pov. I think I have. Actually I'm working on something that I hope will be a series and that's from Dom’s pov too. My very first fic is Dom pov too, oh, and my first smutt is from his pov too. And another one as well. Hm, not too bad.
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away[personal profile] forameus on June 1st, 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)
Oooh! Exciting! Can't wait to read that! :D

I'm currently trying to translate one of my fics (Meds), which has alternate POV for the chapters, and I'm stuck on the third chapter because of course it's Dom's POV, and of course he's sickly in love with that dork, so I'm all like *cringe cringe* "no, I can't do this!" XD
Tamar Elmensdorp-Lijzenga[personal profile] tamarelmensdorp on June 1st, 2017 03:47 pm (UTC)
I want to finish it first before I start posting. Can be a while since the muses seem to have moved to the Merica's 😜.

And yeah, somehow Dom is harder to write. Let’s not talk about Chris at all. My Wobell try was definitely Matt, but I'm not so sure if it was Chris too.
mjartrod[personal profile] mjartrod on June 4th, 2017 12:50 pm (UTC)
As far as domestics go, and over petty stuff, I'd say that was pretty damn accurate and hilarious haha! Also, how uncomfortable for your mates to be witness to certain stuff, and being "involved" in it, thought that came across really well. I think no matter how used you are to it, it always feels a tad.. third wheel. Four wheel in this case.

««
sit down and drink your tea before it goes cold.
««
Ace.

I'm pleased to see they continue to act and generally feel like males, which is always an excellent thing when reading fanfiction, especially of the slash variety hehe

I wasn't sure if you'd include Gaia as a proper character (I can never do it with significant others, often refer to them depending on the piece but rarely give them lines), so that was interesting to see.

So when's the next chapter up? :D
♫ sick of this space, wish we could be far away[personal profile] forameus on June 4th, 2017 05:34 pm (UTC)
(copy/pasting this from AO3 because I'm cheap AF)

(still love you x2, tho)

THAT was cringe-worthy to write, as a woman. Had I been in her place I would have stolen Dom's drumsticks and beaten him blue and purple. Stupid twat - drink your tea and shut up (of course Dom had to be the voice of reason, here).

You have no idea how much you saying that they *feel* like males pleases me. It's one of those clichés I hate the most in slash fiction, but it's also one I am never completely sure I managed to avoid. ♥

To be honest? I didn't want her to be a part of it. The initial plan was to just mention her (so, post-breakup), but then I started writing and... well, here she is. It can be awkward to write about ex-girlfriends (or actual girlfriends, for all that matters), but I realised mid-plotting that I needed her, at least in these few first chapters. One has to remind themselves, both while writing and reading a fanfic, that this is, after all, fiction - and fiction needs characters.

Next chapter up next week. Maybe.

♥♥♥♥♥