An anon asked me to write a one-shot based on the song Pilot Jones by Frank Ocean. I only agreed to it because I was extremely emotional that night and wanted to express in words. I didn’t use all of it’s lyrics because some didn’t work with them as a pair of males but I used it to my own way of story telling and added my own little twist to it. You can listen to the song while you read it here, if you want. Enjoy.
Trigger warning: Mature content, drug abuse, mentions of death.
Word Count: ~ 2400 words.
He hung his towel over the hook behind the door and stripped himself bare. His crisp white shirt, his dark blue tie, his pressed grey slacks and black underwear. Thrown off in haste. The shower running made the whole bathroom air thick with heat. His vision blurry from the hot steam and he was reminded of another room that was covered in thick silvery mist. Suddenly his throat was starting to convulse, he was choking and it had nothing to do with the bathroom but everything to do with the smoke in his head.
The smoke that made him think of honey tanned skin, midnight hair and caramel eyes. Eyes that was slightly unfocused from all the substances that flooded his veins, yet clear as day when they fall upon him.
The name echoed in his head like a cursed chant. Just with the name, his head was light again. Almost as light as the nights they shared a joint and a warm bed, with hot skin and even hotter kisses. Those nights that were filled with giggles of their common past and soft whispers of tomorrow. Those nights were long gone but the feel of his fingertips on Liam’s skin was still there. Zayn’s warm breath ghosting his neck was still there. Everything about Zayn was still there. His varsity jacket – back when he was a baseball player and Liam was a quarterback – his paintbrush, his toothbrush and even his little worn out blanket that he had since childhood. Everything. Except Zayn himself.
So Liam stepped under the strong stream of warm water and exhaled as though ridding Zayn of his lungs. It was impossible because Zayn took his breath away. So he began scrubbing himself clean of Zayn’s touch. Scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed away till his skin was red and raw. The lukewarm showers soothing his burning skin but even then, Zayn’s imprints were permanent.
Liam changed the temperature and made the water cool. A comforting cool night threatened to surface in his mind. A cool night that made him think of the cool head he had when he was breathing in white powder on the rooftop of a frat party. His first time. Zayn’s tenth by then.
Turning the knobs to the extreme, Liam made the showers cold. Cold as ice. So cold that his skin was numb. Too cold that he could almost hear crackling noise of his heart freezing. Cold was good. Numb was better.
This was a routine thing he did every time he came home from work.
We once had things in common
Now the only thing we share is the refrigerator
Ice cold, baby, I told you, I’m ice cold (ice cold!)
“Put it away, Zayn. What if Mum comes over?”
“That’s beside the point. People will come and visit.”
“Then we’d just have a party. I’ve got enough all year round.”
With that, Zayn put out his rolled cigarette and stretched his lean arm –peppered with tattoos embedding his skin, the letter L stood alone etched on his inner wrist - to shackle Liam’s wrist. He pulled Liam towards his body and kept him there as Liam gave in, pliant. Soon, Liam would be hunched over the table with white lines that promise euphoria, bent over a couch, flustered and fevered from Zayn’s searing kisses, bucking his hips as he was filled and laid back over the soft mattress smoking away his worries. Worries of bills due and unemployment were never thought of anymore.
You’re the dealer and a stoner
With the sweetest kiss I’ve ever known…
If Liam was a pilot, he would describe loving Zayn equivalent to flying. The steady thrum of the jet engine beneath you as the tires rolled slowly across the runway. The initial tow excruciatingly delayed before it picks up speed and takes off, just as steady. Just like the way he made really slow progress from wanting to pluck up the courage to speak to Zayn. But when he did, the conversation flowed at a comfortable pace and it built up.
Just like their first kiss. They hovered over each other’s lips for the longest time before actual lips met with another pair. When it did, no immediate explosion accompanied. No novel-or-movie-like fireworks burst through his eyes but there was insidious heat creeping underneath his skin. Slow burning amber behind his eyelids as they fluttered shut and surrendered to the sweet, sweet kiss. The glowing ash grew till actual fire ignited.
If Liam was a pilot, he would describe staying in love with Zayn was still equivalent to flying. Just as an aircraft would take off, pushed off the strip of concrete, you would feel as though your body was heavy, pulled back down to earth, and weighed down by gravity. Inertia; basic physics whereby an object would have resistance as its original state of motion (either stationery or moving) is changed when an external force is applied. In his case, his life was stagnant then along came Zayn. All smoke, pink wet lips, and soft dainty fingers. And Liam was swept off his feet and he felt as light as air. Like flying.
But staying mid-air was a difficult feat. There would be turbulences. At first, being thousands of feet above sea level seemed like being on ground because your body got used to it until a thick cloud appeared and the airplane jolted and dipped. Then you realized that you were so high up. The free fall would be liberating at first, the surge of adrenaline rushing through your veins. As the free fall continued, the initial high lost its effect and it will be replaced with fear. A terrifying thought of a fatal impact crossed your mind should the plane crash. This was the exact feeling when an argument broke between them. When Liam had had enough of Zayn’s lifestyle. When Zayn got tired of Liam’s nagging. When blue pills, white lines of powder and silver smoke no longer gave off the same high.
I know what I was on
I had a Pilot Jones
She took me high (Oh did she, now?)
Then she took me home
Sitting in his office, facing the window that stretched from ceiling to floor, overlooking the city’s skyline, Liam tapped out a broken rhythm with his ink pen onto the polished mahogany table. Work was beating his bones and his muscles ached from all the mental strain he was put through. But the effort was worth it because he had a comfortable life, more than comfortable. A large house with well-trimmed, green lawn. A bank account that could last him for years without working. His blood vessels free from any drug or alcohol. Liam was finally sober with his life back on track.
At office parties and charity events hosted by him, people praised him on his good life; his big house, his charms and his big heart. Liam would smile till crinkles appeared at the corner of his eyes and bashfully thank them for their kind words.
But Liam would never admit that despite his huge house, it was empty. Despite his charms, it was all an act. And despite his big heart, it wept of loneliness and void of love.
Thought I was above you…
It was a quiet Saturday morning. Mornings that consisted of cool air, hot coffee, and tossed newspapers. Liam rolled out of bed and pulled on his sweatpants but didn’t bother with a shirt. He stood at the kitchen counter pouring stale coffee down the sink – it reminded him of his life – to make a fresh pot. Suddenly, noises disturbed the peaceful morning. He peered through his blinds and saw his garbage can had tipped over. Thinking of that dreadful cat his neighbor, Mrs Patts, had, Liam went back to his coffee.
Then came a soft knock. Just three taps and no more. When the fourth knocking didn’t come, Liam knew who it was before his heavy arm pulled the door open.
In an untucked dress shirt, tousled hair, black as midnight, bright clear hazel eyes, gaunt cheeks, a blazer hooked over his finger, draped over a lean shoulder, there stood his past.
“Look at you, Li. All fresh out of bed and fit. Must be all the college football.” Came his husky voice next.
They were never intoxicated slurs. No, they were lazy drawls. Deliberately dragged vowels that made Liam think of tongue, lips and teeth.
“You must have looked good too yesterday.” Liam eyed his bedraggled appearance. Easy familiar banter.
“Ah this. I went to a wedding. Sister’s actually.” Zayn answered him nonchalantly. But he was looking straight into Liam’s soul when he continued.
“It was full of love and happy people that I couldn’t take it. I had a few drinks. I usually don’t anymore but yesterday was an exception”
Liam remained silent. This was not the first time Zayn had stumbled across his lawn, drunk.
“I’ve missed you” was all Zayn said. Desperation injected in his tone.
And like clockwork, the same thing would happen. A practiced routine. More like a bad habit that never went away.
Liam would step back from the doorway to allow him in. He would offer him fresh coffee, a quick shower and the rest was history.
But I ain’t been touched in a while,
By the dealer and a stoner,
With the sweetest kiss I’ve ever known.
You see, if Liam was a pilot, he would describe ending his relationship with Zayn equivalent to flying. As you descended towards solid ground after the turbulences, you felt the relief. The sense of security was apparent. You were finally at your destination. That was it, though. Flying itself was a journey, an experience and even though you have reached your destination, you would remember that journey, that amazing experience and what you would want to do is revisit it again. It may not be immediate but deep down you know that you would be back on that plane for another taste of masochistic euphoria.
“God… Zayn…” Liam gasped as his back hit the bedroom door hard, knocking his head in the process, making him stars behind his eyelids. His lips swollen from heated kisses and his skin glistened from perspiration. Zayn’s lips were attached to the hollow of Liam’s neck, tongue traveling up the column of his throat and his teeth nibbled on the soft flesh of his earlobe, murmuring a list of explicit things he would love to do to Liam.
“You have no idea, Li” his tone, an octave lower, thick with lust and desire. “I tried..” he breathed into Liam’s ear as his hand cupped the growing bulge over the sweatpants. “…staying away from you.” He continued as his fingers hooked over the waistband, hanging low over his hips, his knees bent to rest on the carpeted floor as he freed Liam’s manhood from the restraints.
“Hmm.. Yeah..” single-word sentences were the only sounds he could muster in his state of high. He was being swallowed and the hot, soft folds of Zayn’s mouth around his cock were making his brain lighter than any drug could take him. The sturdy bones of his shoulder under Liam’s grasping desperate hands were the anchor to keep him from tilting towards insanity. Or was it sanity? He knew it, then. Zayn was his drug. Zayn was his addiction.
A raspy tongue licking around his glans, tasting pre-cum. Liam couldn’t help but buck his hips forward, his legs almost giving way, the pit of his stomach coiled tight, ready to release the sexual frustration, a slow build up, as though about to take flight….
You thought I was above you,
Above this in so many ways….
The sky was deep orange with flashes of angry red just before the black envelope them to call it night. Liam’s room smelled of sweat, sex and drugs. They had made wild, passionate love through the day. He was spent, satiated, and lulling in blissed stupor. His hand was tracing the ridges of Zayn’s vertebrae, the spinous processes protruding against satin skin, mapping every hollow and mound that was Zayn, even though he already had them memorized.
Zayn was facing away from Liam. He was bent forward towards the bedside table. Three, no, four parallel lines of cocaine set next to each other. They were celebrating their love, Zayn had rebutted to Liam’s protests of the extra cocaine.
Liam refused them and this time, Zayn didn’t force him but instead took all four for himself as Liam slipped into a peaceful slumber after so many insomniac nights.
Go ahead, fly that thing!
But fly alone.
After hours and hours spent in the showers, Liam finally turned the water off and wrapped a towel around himself, not bothering to wipe the beads of water trailing down, his hair falling over his face, dripping water along the bathroom floor as he walked into his bedroom and sat at the edge of his bed, staring at the black nothingness of his tv screen.
Black. Midnight black. And just like that, he was reminded yet again of his lover. How the corners of his lips would tug upwards when his eyes stared into Liam’s sweet, brown orbs. How his husky, velvet voice would engulf Liam as he sung Liam to sleep of castle on clouds and diamond skies. How his warm fingers would intertwine with Liam’s, slipping into its place, like the last piece of a puzzle. How his skin looked waxy and bluish. How rigid his body was when Liam woke up next to him one morning. How quiet the room was with the absence of his breathing. His nose dusted with white powder.
The remnants of the fourth line.
Liam shook his head wildly – sending sprays of water flying – as his hand groped around, underneath his bed for a familiar rolled up joint. He baked it and lit it up – unfiltered – and took his first drag. Deep into his lungs and kept it there for just a little while before exhaling a portion, then he inhaled them in again short sharp breaths to get the maximum effect without wasting weed, just like how Zayn had taught him.
In his pleasant state of delirium, he saw Zayn again in flesh. Warm, flushed and breathing, beckoning Liam to him with arms wide open. He knew it too, then. Zayn was his drug. His addiction.
If Liam was sober, he would describe loving Zayn equivalent to getting high. But that would be too painful.
Imma get one,
I need it,
You’re my Pilot Jones.