This story is written by both TheRedFatalities and jma, any and all characters are created and owned by us. If you wish to use a character please ask for permission! Also, this story is slash/yaoi which means boy on boy love. You don't like, you don't read and flamers will be ignored.

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'Are you insane for Zane?'

Chapter One


'Are you insane for Zane?!' screams the poster. And the use of 'screaming' here insinuates ten-foot-high block capitals in a disturbing shade of fuchsia. Behind the letters is the baby-face of the world's biggest pop star, smiling cheekily and pouting to the audience he imagines. '11th May,' smaller type adds below. 'First gig in the Unmissable tour.'

Unmissable, my ass.

I press my way through a crowd of weak-at-the-knees schoolgirls, rolling my eyes at the way they simper at that poster. One of them even has that idiot's face on her T-shirt, with that same, unavoidable slogan. Mother of God, it's everywhere. The whole fucking world has gone crazy over a cute kid with no brains and a mediocre voice. He's jetting all over the world for gigs in Paris, Tokyo, St. Petersburg. And there's nothing in his mind. He's an untalented nobody who likes to wiggle in front of a camera. Why the hell does that merit this kind of attention?

"Get out of the way," I growl to one pubescent kid who is particularly annoying. "Some of us have a life that we need to get on with."

Harsh? I know.

The girl stops her screaming, thank God, and drops her head. "Sorry," she whispers back – what, she's about to fucking cry?! – before moving her and her bag off the sidewalk. Good.

I enjoy walking through the big city. I could just catch a cab into the office, but my flat's close enough and walking's cheaper and gives me new ideas. Some of the old buildings are beautiful. I walk no matter what the weather; and sometimes even all the way to client's homes when I visit them. I'm lucky in that – my job doesn't keep me in a cramped room. I check up on the administrative side in the office, and then go out and do what I love everywhere and anywhere. I have my office at the flat and then the buildings elsewhere. And if I really have to live a client who lives, for instance, in a different city, I try to drive. Partly because I don't like flying. Mostly because I have a nice car.

Of course, today just has to be ruined by something, and it's that bloody whore of a pop star. Overnight the city seems to have been plastered with his merchandise, as well as the posters. Every CD store has his new album, and the stores which sell TVs all show hundreds of replicas of him laughing in some interview from months ago.

As you may have guessed, Zane makes me sick. Call me a picky bastard, but I'm allowed to have opinions, and I hate that fucking kid. He's always so up himself, and the way he flaunts his sexuality… Bloody hell, it drives me insane. I'm fine with him being gay (Christ, how could I not be?) but I don't need him to drag a new boyfriend with him to every party or wear that offensive shade of pink. Some of us have enough trouble with homophobia without him making those people even more sure that all gays are feminine. We're not. On top of that, I'm against fame as a whole, but this boy in particular stinks of it.

Yes, I make firm opinions on people I've never met.

And I hope I never do meet him.

12:14. Early lunch with Maddisyn. She's back on the cigarettes, and her chain smoking habit is on track. She must get through three or four before the wines arrive. Lunch with Maddisyn is always a detailed affair – no quick sandwich at the back of a café near her office for this little lady. Today we're at the Inclination restaurant, and I'm paying the exorbitant bill. It doesn't bother me at all. Maddisyn's my best friend, and anyway – I share her taste. If you can afford wine and whole lobsters on a Tuesday lunchtime, why not?

The high life is, and the end of the day, a nice life.

"Did you say 'yes' to that girl?" Maddisyn asks after fifteen minutes of silent waiting. I'm comfortable with her, and she with me, and we don't need to speak all the time. Sometimes we meet each other, stay in company for hours, and never pass one word between us.

"Who?" I drawl back, as if there could be any doubt. I signal to the waiter to refill Maddisyn's glass.

"I forget her name," Maddisyn replies with a vague wave of her hand. "Alicia? Alice? Alecka?"

"Adrienne," I correct her simply before shaking my head. "Not yet."

"You're a heartless bastard, Adam," she replies with a loving smile, flicking some ash into the crystal dish for that purpose. "Sometimes I just can't believe you. Don't you feel any guilt for what you're putting her through?"

I roll my eyes and stretch out a little more, taking my time before I reply. "And what exactly am I putting her through, Maddisyn? She's hopelessly in love with me, and she wants to marry. All I'm making her do is wait."

Maddisyn nods, exhaling a dainty feather of smoke before she replies, "I'm surprised at you, Adam. Her papa's so rich I'd have thought you would grab her sooner. Why are you waiting, exactly? She's besotted with you."

"It's complicated," I say with a frown. And it is. I met Adrienne just over year ago, and yes, she is a lovely girl. Just twenty-two, innocent, naïve and sweet. I dated her as a favour for a friend, and apparently our dear Adrienne feels the emotion that I don't. I'm not an idiot – I can tell that she's head over heels for me. And the lifestyle we have together is pleasant enough, I suppose, with posh parties and candlelit dinners. Of course, it's all a farce from my side, but she need never know – and it makes her happy. She's also stinking rich and pressing for marriage, so why not? I'm not sexually attracted to her, but then I'm attracted to barely anyone. And I can just say that 'this commitment isn't about sex'.

Yes, I'm a bastard. And it's not any of your fucking business.

"Just marry her," Maddisyn replies in that incredibly blunt way of hers, the way that I love. I like people who speak their minds. "It will make her happy, and your opinion doesn't count as you seem to be supremely indifferent to either outcome. She wins, and so does your bank balance, while you remain nonplussed and unfazed. I think that's far better a marriage than many I could mention."

It's all true, so I shrug. "Why not? I'll propose to her tonight."

I am quite happy living with a lie till Death do us part.

Evening, and I'm planning to call over the phone and invite Adrienne over. Have surprisingly cold feet. Keep on wondering whether this is the best idea. After all, marriage won't tie me down, but it does mean I'll have to be a bit more discreet with my lovers. But if you look at this objectively, I'm doing Adrienne a favour. I'm making her happy and she will never know the truth.

Since I'm her 'romantic little Adamy' – puhlease, people – I'm going to call her and ask her to meet me on the roof, where I'll set up candles spelling out some sweet line from a movie. I'll steal a slogan from a Valentine's day card, whatever. We'll get engaged and be so for years, maybe, before we marry.

But I think I'll leave it for a few nights. I'm not a superstitious person, but I can't shake the idea that something's about to happen which will change my life.

Fucking hell, I sound like a bloody women's magazine.

The phone rings on the other side of the room. I start walking over to it, looking out the huge glass windows on that wall as I do. I have a penthouse flat, and so I get the best views.

I swear just before I pick up the phone. From here there's one of those bloody huge posters right in view, barely across the block. It must have been put up last night to replace the innocuous McDonald's one that was there before.

I pick up the phone.


'Are you insane for Zane?!' the poster taunts from just outside as I wait for a reply.

'No fucking way,' I want to answer.