I don't like this chapter much, but it's the best that it's going to get, so it'll do. By the way, slash writers, readers and artists, I decided to make an online forum for slashy goodness, of the m/m and f/f kind. The link's in my profile for those who are interested. Sign up and make a llama happy today! Massively massive thanks to reviewers, lots of glittery love to you all.

May, 1999

Shannon

Little things never happen to us. The women would say it's because we're men, and everything gets blown out of proportion, but I'm serious. Nothing small ever happens. Either nothing happens at all, or there's some life changing event.

The most interesting thing to happen to me in the last few months was my emotional twattage in the hotel room from hell. I have no idea what the hell that was about – I was absolutely all over the place at the time and I felt so unbelievably stupid. I think I was suddenly struck with the aesthetic of it. To me, that was the definition of beautiful, and yet it was so cheap and trashy at the same time. Then there was the scale of it. I mean, I'd never really thought about it before. In the past, it just happened. It was overwhelming, I suppose.

I consider that a large thing.

Since then, nothing had happened, other than the usual. Write, play, disagree with Eric, write some more, play some more, meet some people. Jules hadn't even touched me in anything more than a friendly manner since then. I was deprived, damn it.

That's why, when we were all gathered at Carl's 'humble abode' (as he likes to call it) after a studio session, I knew it wasn't just going to be, "Oh, just wanted to hang out". Eric's presence pounced on that idea and ripped it to shreds anyway. Nobody 'hangs out' with Eric.

"Um…" Carl said.

We stared. There was nothing else to do.

"Er…"

We stared some more.

"Well…"

"For Christ's sake, hurry up! I have places to be, don't you know?"

We didn't, but it got Carl talking, so we have something to thank Eric for. Actually, we have quite a lot to thank Eric for, we just don't like to admit it.

"Sorry. Well…Amy should really be here when I say this – "

Jules made some kind of noise. That's all it can be described as: a noise. Carl glared at him but carried on.

"- But she had to work."

No, I bet she was just frightened of Julian. Most people are.

Carl took a deep breath.

"Anyway, there are two reasons you're all here today," (and one is to mourn the loss of sensible conversation, my mind added before it got frazzled by the next statement). "The first thing I'm going to tell you is that Amy's pregnant."

Amy was pregnant? What? How was Amy pregnant? No, I didn't mean that, I mean when had Amy had time to get pregnant? Naturally, I didn't think before I spoke.

"Is it yours?"

Carl looked frustrated. I'd interrupted him just when he was getting into the flow of things.

"Yes, Shannon, it's mine." And another deep breath. "The second thing I have to say is that we've decided to get married."

We sat there in silence for a couple of seconds, processing this thought. Carl was on a roll at last, so he continued.

"We've set a date – the 14th of September. Amy wants to get married while she's very pregnant. She says it'll make her feel earthly or something. She doesn't make much sense anymore."

He hadn't needed to point that out. It was evident.

We were silent for a few more seconds, before Kim said, as sincerely as he could (which wasn't very), "congratulations".

This brought the rest of us to our senses, and suddenly there was a riot going on in Carl's living room. He brought through a bottle of champagne and some strange non-alcoholic imitation and started pouring.

"Oh, let him have one glass of champagne!" Eric said, when Carl got to me and opened the imitation stuff. I found myself having to thank him silently for the second time that day.

"I've still got more to say," Carl said, and we all sat up straight. "I've been having a bit of trouble figuring out who should be best man. I think Kim'd have a heart attack if he had to make a speech, it's not fair to choose between you two, and besides, one of you would end up getting me in serious trouble, so the logical choice, Eric, is you."

Well, that was unexpected. To tell you the truth, I hadn't even considered it. If I had done, Eric was the last person I thought he would have chosen. He was right though; it was logical.

Eric was beaming and redder than ever before. I don't think there's a situation in which he doesn't flush. Mind you, I don't think I've ever seen him beam, so there must be a first time for everything.

"So…will you?" Carl asked, nervously.

"I…well…of course I will!"

And there was much rejoicing.

Except there wasn't.

Eric really did have places to go and he left after one glass of champagne. Carl challenged Jules to a game of pool, which was stupid. Nobody can beat Jules at pool. This left Kim and I sitting on the bright red sofa. I was sipping at my first glass of crappy-but-actually-quite-nice-non-alcoholic champagne and Kim had just finished his third or fourth glass of the real stuff. He wasn't even doing his usual sipping, he was downing them practically in one gulp. And Kim has never been able to handle much alcohol.

Carl's dog had come to join us, but Kim managed to poke it in the eye.

"Hello dog," I said, and starting massaging his ears (the dog's, not Kim's). "Are you alright?"

"He won't answer you," Kim mumbled.

"I was talking to you."

"Mm."

I turned around so I was sitting with my back against the arm of the sofa and my legs crossed on the seat. The dog wasn't impressed by this change in positions and curled up on the floor to sulk.

"No, you're not. Listen, nothing's going to change."

"Y'wha'?"

I took the champagne off him and poked him in the side until he turned to face me. Hey, shut up, I've never been very good at this comforting thing.

"Just because Carl's getting married doesn't mean he's going to start ignoring us, or the band. He'd have hell to pay from the fans if he did that."

"What are you getting at?"

Now he was paying attention. Good boy.

"All I'm saying is, he's still going to put in all the effort he usually does. Nothing'll change."

I wasn't expecting what came next. Kim stood up and looked me right in the eye.

"You have no idea what you're talking about, Shannon. This changes everything."

"I…what?"

"Don't patronise me. Don't tell me how 'nothing will change'. Everything will change!" he roared, almost shocking me off the sofa. He stormed out, slamming the door behind him.

Jules and Carl were in the room almost immediately after Kim left it.

"What the hell happened?" Jules asked.

"I have no idea," I said, honestly.

"I think we should be going. Amy'll be home soon, won't she?"

Carl nodded.

"Congratulations," I said, giving him a hug.

"Yeah." Jules did the same, and Carl showed us out, looking as bemused as I felt.

"So, what was that about?"

"I don't know," I told Jules as I fastened my seatbelt. It was taking a while; I was still quite shaken up.

He shook his head and started the car, leaving me to my confusion.

What the hell was going on?