A new boy threatens Stuart's relationship with John
John hadn't been the same since he met this "Paul McCartney"
Stuart hadn't been there but from what Ivan had told him, it was like love at first sight. Bloody Romeo and Juliet. All that baby faced teddy boy needed to do was sing a few bars of "Come go with me" and he had John whipped. Stuart always knew John had a rather queer side to him, but he'd always saved that for Stu - you know just for a laugh - but now all his attention seemed to be on this kid he'd barely known a week. To make matters worse, Paul was going to replace Stu as bassist in the band. Stuart knew he was crap at bass and that someone else doing it (especially somebody with Paul's skill and talent) would be much better for the band. But letting some doe-eyed kid like Paul McCartney take his place? Not in a million years.
He could tell Paul was out to get him as soon as they'd met. He wasn't taken by the youngster's pleasant manners and charm - he could see right through those cute dark eyes. Paul would suck up to John all he could and before Stu knew it he'd be out of the band for good. Paul would get John to the point where all he had to do was bat his eyelashes and John would be his personal genie. He'd tried many times to convince John to let him keep his bass playing job. But John wouldn't hear any of it. So Stu tried as hard as he could to learn to play it properly, to even be able to tune it properly. He didn't really want to learn bass. £65 he won in that art competition and he'd wasted it on a piece of shit he couldn't be bothered to play. But the thought of Paul holding his bass in his hands drove him halfway to insanity.
He could see them now, huddled in the corner, talking about something or another. They were laughing, John's cigarette poised neatly in mid air. He kept wavering them in Paul's direction but the teddy boy always declined the offer. He wanted to pass off as the poor little sod whose daddy wouldn't let him drink or smoke cigarettes. He looked innocent but Stuart knew that somewhere under that adorable skin, the real Paul McCartney was going to arise sooner or later.
Things weren't about to get any better either.
The boys were just crashing one day in a small room behind a cinema screen in which they had trespassed. Stu, John, Paul, George (some dopey kid Paul had taken under his wing,) Pete Shotton and a few other mates of John who had somehow found their way into the band. They were all talking and smoking, except for Stu who was sitting on one of the beds, furiously trying to figure out how to tune his guitar. He'd always been useless at tuning, his fingers got mixed up and his fringe kept flopping into his eyes.
Bout time I got the bloody thing cut off, he thought to himself as he cursed the tuneless instrument. Paul had somehow crept up on him without him knowing and was peering over his shoulder, watching his failed attempts to tune the guitar with a raised eyebrow.
"You're doing it all wrong."
His voice made Stu jump and the guitar almost fell out of his hands altogether.
"You're meant to pluck the E note first."
"Piss off McCartney, I can do it myself."
Paul wasn't offended by Sutcliffe's rude behaviour. He'd been brought up told that you should always be polite to everyone, even those who were ill mannered towards you. So he waited behind Sutcliffe patiently until the man did something so stupid that he had to intervene.
"No, no." He said, leaning over Stu's shoulder and holding down the E string, "Like this."
Stu blushed, feeling like a right idiot for forgetting something so simple. But he wasn't prepared to admit that he was wrong.
"I said I could do it myself" he snapped and he shoved Paul in the chest. He shoved harder than he planned to. Paul fell off the bed and hit the floor with a loud thud. At once, the room fell silent and everyone craned their head over to see what had just happened. The fall was more painful than Paul had anticipated and he found it hard to blink back the baby tears forming in his eyes. Stuart felt that feeling when you wish you hadn't done something seconds after doing it and maybe if John hadn't intervened he could have helped Paul up and even said sorry.
"What the fuck was that for Stu?" he thundered, marching over to where Paul was lying.
Stuart wasn't used to John getting pissed off with him. The guilty feeling was soon gone.
"He was being an annoying little bugger." He fired back, "So I gave him what was coming to him."
"For god's sake Stu, he's only a kid." He said, diverting his attention to the child who was lying on the floor. John crouched to his level, smoothing back his dark hair. Paul blinked, managing to blink the tears away and smiled at John to show him he was okay. John smiled back.
Stuart felt sick watching them gaze at each other, like they were the only two things in the world. There was a time when John used to look at Stuart like that. But now...
"Stu..." said John coldly, waking Stu from his daydream, "A word."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" John's voice thundered outside the door. The others who'd been left inside had their ears pressed up to the wood, trying to hear the argument going on outside.
"For God's sake John, it was just a little push. Calm down!"
"It's not even that! You've been a right bastard to Paul ever since he first joined this group, giving him a hateful time. Don't think I haven't noticed those dirty looks you give him, the way you blank him like he's nothing. And you wonder why I replaced you as bassist."
"For fuck's sake Lennon your talking like some fucking fairy. What are you, in love with him?"
John paused and Stu could see the blood swell into his cheeks. He knew he'd hit a weak spot. He stood there, waiting for an answer. On the other side of the door, the others held their breath.
John stood there, his hands hanging limply by his side, his bottom lip quivering. Stuart stared at him.
There was another long pause
"Get fucked Stuart." said John slowly, so quiet the boys couldn't hear him
Stuart couldn't believe his ears
"What did you say?"
"I said get fucked!" john shouted at him and he stormed back towards the door. As soon as he opened it, the boys came tumbling out and landed in a heap at his feet. John growled.
"And you lot can sod off and all!"