hannah_chapter1: (Invasion)
Title: The Bohemians
Author: hannah_chapter
Summary: A night in Paris changes everything.
Pairing: Belldom
Rating: 18/NC-17
Disclaimer: I don't own Muse and this is most definitely fiction.
Feedback: Yes, more, right there, don't stop...
Note: This one's for Emily.

Christopher Wolstenholme.

Poet.

Genius.

Madman.

Exiled from England amid accusations of being a fiend in human form, he cut a swathe through Europe, seducing men and women, overindulging every one of his five senses and, all the while, amassing a truly staggering body of work. His poetry has been studied and puzzled over and followed for well over a century.

But how, exactly, did this happen?

How did the well-respected only son of a wealthy merchant become the physical embodiment of all seven deadly sins?

Scholars have long debated the issue but the answer is quite simple, really.

It can all be traced back to one night in Paris. At the outset of his career Christopher Wolstenholme was a mere pretender, at life and at rebellion.

But one night, ah yes, one night and two men changed everything. These men wanted to change the world. They certainly changed Christopher's.

*******************************

It is a hot summer's night and three Englishmen sit around a table in Le Coin, drinking absinthe and talking of love, life and art.

Dominic Howard is twenty-two, an artist. He paints passionate, scandalous pictures which no reputable art dealer would dare touch. But he also possesses a talent for quick-sketching and this ability and his affable manner brings a small, yet steady, flow of coin from visitors to the city seeking tokens of their stay. Consumption will do for Dominic in just a few short years, cutting him down three days shy of his thirtieth birthday. His paintings, so controversial in his own lifetime, will be rediscovered in the 1960s and championed by the likes of Andy Warhol and Truman Capote.

Matthew Bellamy is twenty-four and he is Dominic's lover. Music is his vocation, the violin his instrument of choice. He supports himself by playing in taverns and on street corners. He might have made a decent living teaching music to the children of rich families, but his surly attitude and bleak worldview alienates many. Matthew will nurse Dominic through his final illness and spend the next five years in a frenzy of activity. He will pour all his love of Dominic, his grief at his passing and hatred for the world that took his lover from him into seven symphonies and a dozen concertos. Shortly after the final note has been committed to paper, Matthew will swallow a tube of paint and join his love. His music will be discovered in the first years of the twentieth century and will, by the century's end, be fully absorbed into popular culture. Matthew's music will be appropriated by advertising executives and pro wrestlers. Two different film directors in two different decades will use excerpts from his work to illustrate the horrors of war.

And here is Christopher, newly arrived from England with pockets full of money and a head full of dreams. Not a true Bohemian, merely a boy playing at being a Bohemian, only tolerated by the others, who both drink absinthe as though it were water, because he pays the bill. Matthew drains his glass and begins holding forth, chiding Christopher.

"You are not a poet, Christopher, how can you be? A true artist must get his hands dirty, experience the ugliness of life, not just the beauty. And how can you document the sharper edges of life if you do not experience them yourself? It is not enough to stand outside a brothel and watch the patrons come and go. You must go there, feel it all, fuck it all, roll around in the blood and the semen and the shit."

Christopher knows he is blushing, can feel the heat rising in his cheeks. He always blushes when Matthew talks about sex for Christopher is, to his profound shame, a virgin. He turns away from Matthew, signals a waiter and orders three more glasses. If fortune smiles upon him, the arrival of more absinthe will distract the musician and he will abandon this topic.

Christopher is indeed fortunate. Their absinthe arrives and Matthew seizes his glass and drains half of it in one long swallow. How does he do that?  If Christopher attempted such a feat he would choke and fall to the floor, ridiculed by the others. Dominic is about to speak, it seems, but is denied when Matthew begins another one of his lectures.

"Why do we even bother? Why waste time on art, or poetry, or music? How can beauty hope to endure in a world such as this?"

"The world is a fine place - " Dominic begins.

"No," Matthew overrides his lover. Dominic does not appear to mind. Indeed, he never does, "the world is not a fine place. It is a rancid sewer, a rotting whore with maggots oozing out of her cunt."

"So melodramatic, Matthew," Dominic chides, "this world has much to recommend it."

"Yes? Would you care to provide an example?"

Dominic smiles gently.

"If you insist ..."

He leans forward and presses their lips together. Matthew moans, grips the front of Dominic's shirt and deepens the kiss. Christopher gapes, shocked to his very core. He knew his companions shared lodgings, but he put that down to economic necessity. He knew nothing of this, did not know they were, well, intimate.

Around them, the patrons and staff of Le Coin go about their business. No one gives the men locked in a passionate embrace more than a cursory glance. Christopher shifts in his seat, tries to examine his feelings. Is he truly disgusted by this spectacle - or is he aroused? Oh, it is difficult to say, he has drunk so much tonight and the green fairy, that saucy wench has him in her clutches. Dominic is the first to take note of Christopher's discomfort. He draws away from his lover and smiles.

"We are scandalizing Christopher with our immoral behaviour, Matthew."

"Is that true, Christopher?" Matthew asks, "do we shock you, disgust you? Or do we intrigue you? Perhaps even ... arouse you?"

Matthew's hand creeps onto the poet's leg and Christopher feels an unfamiliar stirring in his trousers. This reaction does not go unnoticed. His companions regard him thoughtfully.

"Shall we take him with us?" Dominic asks, " we have not had another man in our bed for quite some time."

"That is true," Matthew replies, "but I do not think Christopher would accept such an invitation, if we were to extend one. I am sure this is all too sordid for his sensibilities."

"You do not know me half as well as you think you do, Matthew," Christopher defends himself.

"No?" Matthew smiles, eyes alight with mischief, "then prove me wrong. Come with us, if you have the nerve."

The musician extends a hand in invitation. The artist smiles and does the same. The poet stares at the offered hands for a moment. Then he reaches out and grasps them. His heart thuds once, loudly, in his chest and then subsides.

It is done.

**************************

Matthew and Dominic occupy two rooms: the one in which Dominic paints and the one in which they do everything else. Christopher drops his bulk into a chair in the corner, one hand clutching the bottle of wine he bought on the way here. He watches the lovers as they remove each other's clothes, their hunger for each other evident in every gesture. Dominic cries out as Matthew licks his chest, bites a nipple. He lies on his back and spreads his legs, squeals when Matthew's spit-soaked fingers are thrust deep inside of him.

Christopher squeezes the wine bottle, his prick swelling once again, as Matthew covers Dominic and pushes his prick into the blond's arse. All the spit in Christopher's mouth dries up as he watches them ... fornicate? No, too clinical, too formal. Fuck? Yes, That's the word he's looking for. He watches them fuck and oh, such a difference, such a vast difference between awareness of the concept of homosexuality and actually seeing one man's prick moving in and out of another man's arse! The idea of doing that to a man or having it done to him ... the idea makes his prick stiffen even more than it already has, unlikely as that may seem.

Dominic surges upwards with a hoarse cry and his seed sprays gaudy patterns upon his lover's stomach, for he is an artist in all things. He collapses, limp and utterly spent and Matthew pulls out and wipes himself off with his own discarded shirt.

"What, Dominic," he taunts, "spent already? Well, no matter, I shall find my release elsewhere."

He creeps over to Christopher with a wicked gleam in his eye and a lascivious grin upon his face. The poet opens his mouth, to utter words of protest or perhaps of encouragement, but it is of no consequence, for Matthew covers Christopher's mouth with his own and swallows all his words. Christopher grunts and drops the wine bottle as the musician's tongue snakes its way inside his mouth.

Matthew tastes of absinthe, that bitter tang of wormwood, and of something else, something that is unique to him. It quite overwhelms Christopher. He pulls the smaller man into his lap and they explore one another, touching and tasting and possessing. The poet does not even consider protesting when Matthew undresses him and leads him to bed.

Christopher will write several poems about this experience and they will cause much blushing, fainting and loosening of corsets. But even the most pornographic verse will never capture the true essence of Christopher's first time in another man's arsehole. Dominic, fully recovered from his own tumble with Matthew, rolls onto his side and strokes himself while he watches his lover being taken by another man.

"How I envy you, Christopher," he says, "there really is nothing quite like having a hot arsehole squeeze your prick for the very first time."

Christopher would agree with the artist if he were in full possession of his faculties, but he is not. He has given himself over to absolute pleasure, become a creature of pure sensation, is reaching heights of ecstasy such as he has never known.

The poet has only just recovered from his first bout of manly love when the blond artist takes him. There is pain, oh yes, there is pain, but Dominic soothes him with kind words and gentle touches. They must wade through bitter waters to reach the sweet, he says, there cannot be pleasure without pain. He is right: the pain soon fades and then there is pleasure, more than Christopher has ever known, more than one man can bear and, for the second time tonight, he finds paradise in a man's embrace.

The night will give way to morning and Christopher will take leave of his companions and being his odyssey. But, in a way, this night will never end. It will live on in the hearts and minds of all three man and, long after these mortals have fallen to shadows and dust, in their poems, paintings, songs.

This night will last forever.

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August 2016

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