Note: “It’s so fluffy, I will die!” That’s what S.M.A. said about this story. With which I agree since we are more into dark and BDSM stuff, so it was a challenge for both of us to write something with so much romantic stuff and sweet talks. But we somehow managed and survived while the story basically wrote itself. XD We warned you! Enjoy! ;)
Note 2: This story doesn’t exactly follow the timeline of real events in the band’s life. We just took a few elements from here and there for the story’s sake.
Characters: Matt Heafy/Corey Beaulieu, Matt Heafy/Ashley Heafy, Paolo Gregoletto
Rating/category: R (explicit), slash, M/M, drama, romance, hurt/comfort, angst, a bit dark, rough sex, light BDSM, light Dom/sub relationship, tons of fluff
Summary: Matt and Corey have a history. And have been dancing around each other for long years. Matt’s voice problems seem to bring them closer to each other, but that also brings up other problematic situations both for themselves and for the people around them.
Disclaimer: This is a product of our imagination and was written only for entertainment and fun. We don’t profit from this fanfiction and we mean no harm or disrespect against any real person, culture or custom that might appear in the story.
Full-sized illustration by Useless-girl
By S.M.A. & Useless-girl
The first day was about doctors, instructions, meds and silence. Lots of silence. Which was really deafening for Matt as he was hiding away in his bunk most of the day, trying to refuse reality. Which wasn't working, of course and he knew he'd have to face it as well as the others in the unusually quiet tour bus. He only accepted the teas with honey and ginger either Paolo or Corey kept bringing him to drink.
The second and third days were a bit better, but he still couldn't really talk. They had to cancel some shows as Matt was on strict orders not to try singing for at least two weeks. He knew it was going to be a hell for him.
And it was after the forced break too once they returned to touring. Not even his wife, Ashley could cheer him up. To save the little voice he'd gotten back since blowing it out, he mostly just curled up with some music in his ears, drinking whatever worked to make him heal faster, watching movies that would distract him enough or trying to write lyrics. But the results of the latter were more often than not too dark or not good enough.
Still while doing these things, he could feel his friends' eyes on him. They sometimes even approached them. Paolo came to him more often to update Matt about things. But he could feel Corey's eyes on him often too. But he was probably resting his voice too now that he had to sing more instead of Matt. That was just another thing that made the lead singer more anxious and pissed at himself.
In fact Corey was trying to distract himself from acting too much like a nurse around Matt. He knew well what a big fighter his friend was and he thought Matt didn't need his pity. Or to feel more helpless. And the truth was, if Corey approached Matt more, he didn't even know how it would be. He felt sorry for the singer, and his other emotions that he kept hidden were threatening to break loose. He couldn't afford that. Their friendship was more important. They have been playing together since they were young kids. Often teased each other too... And played some curious games.... For some it was more meaningful, it seemed, and the feelings stayed to them more than to others...
Rubbing his forehead, Matt sighed, trying to come over his dark thoughts and self-pity. He didn't deserve to feel like that. It was his fault that they were in such a messed up situation. He pushed himself too far with his voice and the wrong technique. Now that he's been practicing a new one, he could see just how wrong he was for not learning at least the basics of singing earlier to avoid such situations.
As he looked up next with his earplugs and music cutting him mostly off from the others, his dark eyes met Corey's brown ones. Even with that worried look they were warm and loving – if not adoring. The next moment his best friend looked away as if he had something very important to check on his phone. But then... maybe he had for real.
Matt hated this situation even more because now Corey's voice tired out faster too since it wasn't used to being used so much. But even if the silent singer knew that Corey would do much more for him and didn't mind helping him out like that, he hated to burden him with this. Matt was the kind of man who liked to come over things on his own, but that didn't always work when you were in a band.
Corey just felt stupid. And a coward too. Matt didn’t deserve this... So with a giving up sigh he got up and walked to the singer and kept trying to get a grip on himself and act as if nothing was on his mind.
"Hey... Need anything?" he asked Matt. It was lame as fuck... One should think that being close to his best friend and band mate and – let be real already – love interest would be easier after going over puberty and growing up in public and fame. But one can be always terribly wrong too...
Matt pulled the plugs out of his ears as he looked up at the buff man who's been his best friend for as long as he could remember. Despite his bad mood, he managed a faint smile as he was sitting there cross-legged and with a straight back on the couch, a blanket on his lap and a scarf around his neck – another attempt to make his throat heal as fast as possible, although he didn't have a cold at least.
His black eyes drank in the majestic sight in front of him. No wonder the fans picked up on his nickname for Corey. 'The king of riffs'. That’s what Matt had called him all those years ago and now the fans were keeping that title alive too. But Matt couldn't blame them. One just had to look at the handsome guitarist or spend a minute with him to feel his nice vibes. He was one of the most talented, loyal and trustworthy people Matt had ever met. And the closest person to him, even if only he knew that. Or so he thought.
He didn't notice how Paolo was keeping an eye on them, listening in on their – for now – one-sided conversation.
Matt didn't really need anything, but he wanted to help on Corey's awkwardness and make him feel useful. So he nodded and mouthed "Water, please."
"Right. One sec," Corey smiled and turned to pick up a non-sparkling and not cooled bottle of water for Matt. On his way his eyes met Paolo's silly smirk and headshaking. Oh what the hell he knew... Matt and his friendship were more important to the big guy than to bring in questions like… 'You need anything else? A hug? A kiss? A steamy night so you would learn to scram again?'
Okay… Corey decided he was just stupid and took a deep breath as he got close to Matt again. "Here you go," he offered the bottle with his usual warm kind smile. Then their fingers touched and he almost let an audible hiss out but managed to just gasp and blush. "I…I'll be there if you need me. And… It will be alright, Matty…" he called the singer on the name only he did and was allowed to. Then retreated to the table opposite Paolo.
"Thank you," Matt mouthed after taking the bottle and as he took a few sips, watching Corey retreat, Matt felt a bit sorry that he didn't grab his hand to keep him there. He wanted to... talk. Ask how Corey was doing. How his voice was and just ask him about general shit. Or maybe more. But he remained silent, deep down treasuring that warm smile and look. Corey's kindness and nickname towards him always warmed Matt's heart. His patience and maybe shyness too.
They had... some history. That was one of the things that Matt didn't really let himself think about. But it didn't mean that sometimes it didn't come back to him. Especially when Corey was being so attentive to him. Or blushed around him as if he was still that young teen in Matt's shady room.
Pressing his lips together, Matt focused on putting the cap back on his bottle, as if he wanted to bottle those memories up too. It was better that way. Or that's what he told himself.
A few days have passed. Matt's wife had to leave them for her own work schedule and the lead singer locked up inside his own head even more. Corey was very worried seeing his best friend like that. Even was talking with Paolo and about how they should do something to move Matt out of that state. Of course Paolo had many great ideas, all including that Corey should face Matt and confess. Which was not a way for the guitarist.
But after the show at the darkness of the tour bus he kept peeking back at the sitting figure in the dark, somehow sensing that Matt would need him...
Having Ashley around was like a safety net in many meanings. But now that she was gone and they could only communicate through text messages, Matt felt more... alone? Isolated? Whatever. He was lost in his own world. While he stayed silent on the outside, there was a lot of noise in his head, slowly but surely triggering his anxiety.
Still, it was better to fight these battles alone than making things harder for his friends and crew. His voice was terrible though. Or at least in his own standards. They were after two shows where they had to rearrange the whole set. Or at least the vocal parts. Giving Corey more to roar and even sing, while Matt was left with his guitar parts and those segments that his hoarse voice could take. Still, after both shows Matt's voice was gone nearly right away. Along with an aching throat. No matter how much honey, ginger or puffs he got to stop that.
That night he thought everyone was off to bed and like he did since Ashley was gone, he was sitting on the couch in the dark, a blanket around his middle as he was staring out the bus' window, a hand on his aching throat as silent tears were running down his face, making Matt sniff quietly time after time.
Corey heard it. It was a sign that he could not resist anymore. Matty crying was a weakness for him ever since they were teens and became band mates and friends.
Silently going over and seeing Matt like that Corey just sat beside him and pulled the leaner body to him and Matt's head onto his wide chest and kept caressing the short hair without a word.
Matt didn't expect to be discovered by someone in such a state, but he was glad it was Corey. It was so tiring to put on a brave face so the others wouldn't worry while Matt's head was filled with that exact feeling. What if they were all wrong? What if he is making things worse with forcing the singing – even with this new technique? What if his voice is done for good? He didn't want to let his friends down. Trivium was their life. That's all they really knew or loved...
So instead of trying to put on the strong warrior mask like he usual did, he let Corey pull him against his bigger body that for some reason always meant safety to the singer. He didn't give a shit about making Corey's tee wet with his tears. Matt just kept a hand on his throat, the other taking hold of his friend as he gave in to the crying.
It took him a few minutes to be able to stop then a few more silent ones to calm down a bit. All the while he rested his head on Corey's chest. Strangely his steady heartbeats managed to help Matt calm down and relax a bit more.
Corey felt awful just sitting there caressing Matt. He felt like he should do more or say something but nothing came into his mind other than 'I love you. It will be okay' and shit like that. "I want to help you. Sorry that I can't…" he whispered finally and planted a feather-light kiss onto Matt's head.
To that Matt lifted his head in the dark, a passing car's headlight illuminating his grateful expression. "You already are..." he said low and hoarsely. "Just... stay with... me," he added, swallowing a few times, his eyes never leaving Corey's dark ones.
Right there. He knew they were having a moment and despite the misery he was feeling, Matt had to admit that he still enjoyed it. He wanted to talk about so many things in that moment, but he just... couldn't.
Corey just pulled Matt closer and slid lower on the couch so Matt could lay on him even more comfortable. Never stopping caressing his head and back they just stayed there in silence till sleep took over them.
Matt had to admit that being surrounded by that familiar scent and presence – not to mention sleeping half-way on Corey for the rest of the night – was quite nice. It was the first night since Ashley was gone that Matt could grab some real sleep, not just short naps here and there.
Although as he opened his eyes, he got a bit startled. By Paolo. Who was standing two steps away from the couch, sipping on his coffee and staring at them like some freak. It was kinda scary for the singer's half-asleep brain.
He felt Corey wake up from the sudden jolt of Matt's body that was still plastered over him under the blanket, but the singer's attention was still on the grinning bald guy. "Fuck you!" Matt rattled hoarsely and put his head back on Corey's shoulder to collect himself.
"Nah, he should fuck you instead," Paolo chuckled sneakily, making Matt freeze then flip him off with his long middle finger.
Corey was awake and heard all of it. And he stroked Matt's shoulder absently while trying to move. That turned into a painful moan as his stiffened neck from that position did not want to cooperate.
"You feel okay?" he asked Matt with slightly flushed cheeks.
Paolo looked like he was about to add another snarky comment, but Matt's attention was back on Corey hearing that painful moan. "Bit better," Matt said while sitting up, eyebrows furrowed then he realized Corey was in pain because of the awkward position he had to sleep in. Because of Matt. Yeah, another thing to add to the list he felt sorry for.
"Sorry..." he sighed then as Corey sat up too, Matt made a circle with his finger in the air, indicating that he wanted his friend to turn around so he could massage some of the kinks out. "And... not... a word!" he glimpsed at Paolo while working on Corey's thick neck. Trying to fix at least this if he couldn't anything else.
"It's okay… I don't really have a neck anyway," Corey added with a chuckle to lighten the mood but turned around and let Matt rub his neck.
Keeping his brown eyes at Paolo to keep it shut. He will have to talk to the bassist about all his remarks nowadays....
"Whaaaat? I'm just observing and enjoying the show," he said but then could clearly read the message in Corey's eyes. So he kept it shut. For now. At least his friends were kinda talking. And touching. That was some progress after all the years pining after each other but never taking the necessary steps. It was sometimes going on his nerves, but oh well... still waters run deep, as they say.
Paolo got another ugly look from Matt too, so he put up his free hand laughing. "Alright, alright! I'm not even here! Coffee and herb tea?" he asked, although he already knew the answer so he walked towards the kitchen area of the bus.
That left the other two alone. Matt's long and strong fingers kept massaging Corey. "You have... a nice thick one," Matt said, suddenly glad that Corey couldn't see his colored cheeks when he realized the double meaning of his words.
"That fits to all of me," Corey said way too soon and turned red also. He meant it on his built, but the double meaning was there nonetheless.
Feeling like nothing left to lose he turned around and raised his eyes at Matt, looking deeply into those dark, dark eyes for long seconds. Then he raised his hand and caressed the side of Matt's face with his fingertips. "Thank you," he said low with a little smile, just enough to show his dimples.
Matt first didn't believe what he was hearing, but then that look and gentle touch froze him. There it was. Another moment. Lately there were more and more as Matt noticed. Truth is, he knew about Corey's feelings towards him, but he never addressed it or tried to talk about it, because... Well, he was probably afraid from many things.
But seeing those beloved dimples again, Matt realized that maybe they should talk some time soon. When he can actually talk again.
"No. Thank you. For staying," he said quietly and hugged Corey a bit awkwardly to him, even if he wanted to... peck his lips or something instead.
The moment was interrupted by Paolo who held the two mugs clearing his throat loud.
"Coffee and herb tea," the bald guy grinned from ear to ear.
"I really think you should stop this and finally talk to him," Paolo said to Corey while sitting in their hotel's bar, sharing a drink or two. Obviously Matt wasn't with them. He was upstairs in his room resting both his body and voice. Probably chatting with his wife or family or fans. He's been trying to busy himself more to take his mind off his voice. Which was luckily healing nicely, by the way. Even if Matt refused to believe that for now.
"How long has it been? More than a decade now, no? I know he's the one you've always really wanted," the bald bassist said just loud enough for the guitarist to hear. Then tossed his drink back and poured another from the bottle in front of them.
"Yeah... Well you’re forgetting serious things about this all…" Corey downed his drink too, putting his glass before Paolo to refill as well. "He shied away from all what we had… Or starting to have. And he chose to marry his high school sweetheart. So... not likely to change any of that," he added drinking more.
"I'm not forgetting anything," Paolo shook his head a bit as he refilled Corey's glass too then took a sip from his own. "You let him shy away, no? I mean... as much as you'd told me during the years makes me think so," he said now without the teasing tone in his voice. This time it was more understanding.
"You know that he knows you're kinda in love with him, right?" Paolo raised a brow, his dark eyes glistening a bit more from the booze they have already consumed.
"Why you think that he does?" Corey looked at him while sipping from the booze.
But what Paolo said had truth in it. He did let Matty be shy and he didn't fight for him when they were teens. Another of his bad decisions. "And even if it's my fault, I can't change these things now…" he added with a sigh looking from Paolo back to his glass.
"Kinda everyone knows who matters. I mean... The way you act around him or talk of him..." he cleared his throat. "And 'funny fact'... he's been looking at you like that more often lately. Maybe this thing with his voice opened his eyes. It's definitely changing him," he shrugged.
"You can try change things between you. Maybe now he's gonna be ready to face his own feelings too. You two are worse than a soap opera sometimes," he chuckled, lightly patting his friend's hand then he looked more serious. "How long do you want to wait? Seriously. When you two will be old men? When it's going to be too late?" he sighed shaking his head again.
Corey didn't say anything to that. All those lines kept going around in his head. His half-drunk brain started creating all kinds of conclusions of Paolo's words. But he could not deny the truth in them.