'All Those Years Ago' is the story of John and George's relationship over the years, on year per chapter, basing ourselves on the facts we all know and then filling in the blanks at our convenience. This story has recently taken a turn from canon to AU. I think readers of the story will be pleased by the recent turn of events in the story. If you'd like to get caught up check out the story archive at those_years_ago ! You don't have to be a member to view the entries. We'd love to know what you think and feedback is always welcome and appreciated. I decided to do an 'epic' picture spam all of all the years we've covered so far. Enjoy!
John Lennon was introduced to George Harrison on a double decker bus by their mutual friend Paul McCartney and the rest is history.
George’s stomach tightened but it wasn’t in fear. It was in adoration. The older boy looked tough. Even though his duck tail hair-style was somewhat flattened due to the rainy weather, the rest of his teddy boy look was well put together, from his drape jacket down to the slightly wet brogues he wore on his feet. George wanted to be John but he felt there was something more to it than that. He didn’t want to think about that though, John unknowingly saving him from these thoughts as he spoke up. -- Chapter One: 1957, Starts and Stops
John gave him a little look, his head tilting forward minutely in recognition but he didn’t smile, eyes lazily sliding from Paul’s face to his shoulder and then to the boy behind him. He wasn’t very tall and looked positively skinny, even scrawny, like a deer in the headlights, his dark eyes huge under the artificial lamps of the bus, wet and bottomless, putting John somewhat uneasy although he hid it all right. The boy had sharp features, high cheekbones, and his jaw was set determinately. It made John grin slowly, malevolently, as he stared at him with hard eyes, no pliancy visible in his expression. -- Chapter One: 1957, Starts and Stops
He leaned towards George, lighting his fag and catching his eyes, a bit surprised by how close their faces were, unable to look away. George's eyes were were dark and brown, like lots of eyes he'd seen before, but there was more to it. A sadness maybe, or a kindness, in the way his eyelids hung, in the way his eyelashes cast a light shade over his cheekbones. -- Chapter Two: 1958, Sitting In
George blinked after a beat when he realized that he was staring into John's eyes and that the older boy was staring back. He pulled back and took a drag off of his ciggie. He'd almost forgotten that John had asked for his opinion and that he hadn't really given it to him. -- Chapter Two: 1958, Sitting In
George was okay, he guessed. He rather liked the kid, in spite of the way he seemed almost too pretty for a guy sometimes. He should have been used to it working with Paul, but George was something different. Paul was too girly for his own good. George was just... strangely graceful and sad, like the old portrait of a tuberculous boy, all pale and skinny. -- Chapter Three: 1960, Sticky Fingers
He swallowed dryly, feeling the familiar heat of arousal spread treacherously in his lower belly as he thought about John's body sitting close to his, the heat of his skin, the occasional bump of their shoulders together, the flash of colour of his eyes when the older boy looked up, thin lips stretching into a smile. The idea of having a wank pervaded his brain, making him shift restlessly. -- Chapter Three: 1960, Sticky Fingers
“Oh, shurrup,” John slurred, following George out, tripping a little over his own feet and bumping into his mate briefly, his chest pressing against George's sweaty back for a second before he found his balance and straightened, not apologizing, refusing to even acknowledge the contact. His mouth was dry though, and his heartbeat quickened. The feeling of George's body against his, fleeting and awkward as it had been, seemed to be burnt into his mind, from the heat of his back to the smell of his sweaty skin. He shook his head angrily. Dammit, John. You need to get laid. He cleared his voice, patting his pockets for another ciggie. -- Chapter Four: 1961, What Do You Mean I Can't Get a Hamburger In Hamburg?
George forgot to breathe for a moment. John looked so adorable when he was drunk, he'd get this goofy expression on his face that made George melt any time. He licked his lips, remembering to breathe again. "Uh," he replied, a bit dazed, shaking his head. -- Chapter Four: 1961, What Do You Mean I Can't Get a Hamburger In Hamburg?
He had to find George first anyway. Of all the people he could have ended up sharing a room (well, more like a closet, really) with, it had had to be George. John would have given anything to switch with someone else, quite sure that it wouldn't be so painful or awkward to share a bed (and a fucking single bed, on top of things) with anyone else than his pretty mate. Not that he disliked the lad, far from it, it was quite the contrary actually, finding himself in need of a wank more often than the usual after seeing George come out of the bathroom half naked, or watching his caressing hands on the neck of his precious guitar, or even after he'd sloppily eaten some sort of creamy cake, for Chrissakes. -- Chapter Five: 1962, Part A: What Happens In Hamburg
George licked his lips, listening intently to the tell-tale signs that showed John was still awake : his light breathing and the tossing and turning of his body. He was thankful for the darkness of the room since his cock had begun to harden at the thought of a wank and being so close to John only made it worse, his mate's body radiating warmth and the scent of booze, ciggies and sweat hanging thick in the air like some kind of aphrodisiac that made George twitch. -- Chapter Five: 1962, Part A: What Happens In Hamburg
John mumbled in his sleep, snuggling into the warmth of the body pressed against his, waking up a little when he felt it twitch and tense up, moving slightly against his bare skin. He knew the person he held so tightly against him was George before he even opened his eyes, his brain not even fully awake and already drunk on the smell of his mate, the smoothness of his skin, the feel of his hair against his face. -- Chapter Six, 1962: Part B, Interlude
He leaned in and pressed his mouth against John's, clutching the older lad's arm. He pulled back when John didn't return his kiss, his cheeks flushed red with embarassment. They were sort of in public. Well, they were out of their shared room, and anyone could have walked into the back of the club. -- Chapter Six, 1962: Part B, Interlude
John just stared for a few seconds, watching George's thin and angular body spread out on the bed, willingly given for him to do whatever he wanted with it. He swallowed dryly, his mouth suddenly parched, eyes darkening a little, arousal piercing him and making his stomach knot and blood pool forcefully down his groin. He rubbed his face with a slightly amazed chuckle, throwing his mate a little smile. -- Chapter Six, Part Two
He sighed, body relaxing just a bit of its own accord as he thought of that mahogany body with the black finish and silver pick guard. His mind drifted on, thinking about John's Rickenbacker and about the way John's fingers seamlessly glided over the strings and produced an incredible sound. John's hands. George sighed, rubbing himself against the mattress, the thought of John's hands turning him on. The feeling of John's finger inside of him was no longer so odd, now. He opened his eyes, feeling rather relaxed. "John, I want more," he whispered, licking lips before speaking again. "You know...your..." he trailed off, hoping John wouldn't make him say exactly what he wanted inside of him. -- Chapter Six, Part Two
It’d been far too long since they had been together just the two of them, and it bothered George that John seemed to be spending more and more time off with Paul writing songs. He felt that his mate had been quite distant with him since they’d returned to Liverpool. Why did it bother him so much, though? They weren’t a couple and they weren’t dating, they were two mates who messed around from time to time. That was what George wanted and that was what was happening between the two of them, but it was also much more than that to him. He wasn’t sure of how John felt, the older lad not being one to show emotions or let people get close to him. George felt things for John, deep inside, not the type of things you were supposed to feel for one of your best mates. -- Chapter Seven, 1962 Part C: ...stays in Hamburg.
He took a final puff from his cigarette and put it out of its misery in the ashtray. He'd told George about Cyn, about her being pregnant and wanting to get married. He'd added the bit about their 'thing' together being only a whim, a youthful mistake, boys being boys really, and having to stop. He'd concluded that they both had to grow up and drop it because they weren't queer, were they?, John was to become a father and a husband and George should better find himself a girlfriend already. -- Chapter Seven, 1962 Part C: ...stays in Hamburg.
George mostly tried to ignore what being that so close to John did to him, but it was rather a difficult thing to do. He would always have a strong reaction to John's proximity, his body warming up, hands growing cold and clammy, his stomach churning. He didn’t think he had much of an effect on John though, he appeared to be cool and ready to start up the next song in this marathon recording session. He looked away from him, not wanting that damned photographer to catch him staring at John, his camera picking up something that had been a secret for more than a year, now. -- Chapter Eight: 1963, Moving Forward While Looking Back
He was fucked, and in more ways than one. His wedding to Cyn hadn't brought any special kind of distraction or even any will to do right by her as he'd hoped (yes, he was just that much of a bastard), and there was no denying his attraction to George, now. John wasn't sure of what to make of it. He didn't feel that way for other blokes, and he certainly didn't like to be called queer but what was there between them, although despicable and wrong, undoubtedly existed. -- Chapter Eight: 1963, Moving Forward While Looking Back
John smiled, sighing and slouching a little more on the bed, some of the tension in his shoulders relaxing unconsciously under George's gentle touch and his kind, tired eyes. “Yeah, look at us...” He stated somewhat dreamily before grinning wide, patting George's hand. “We've gone from sharing a bed in Hamburg to holding hands in New York. Quite the achievement, son.”
George slipped his thumb from underneath the cuff of John’s blazer and covered the older man’s hand with his own instead, gripping it firmly. “Now we’re holding hands,” he grinned broadly. “The toppermost of the poppermost,” he stated absent-mindedly, looking into John’s hazel eyes and feeling a comforting warmness spread throughout his slender frame. John chuckled, not minding the display of affection since it was just the two of them and George didn't seem to mean anything queer by it. “Right there, Georgie,” he agreed, grinning and resisting the urge to pat his mate's cheek. -- Chapter Nine: 1964, Not So Estranged Bedfellows (Part A)
“I should get back,” George said after a while, sounding shaky, staring at the older lad’s shoulder. “Pattie’s waiting for me.” He looked up, seeking out John’s eyes. What they’d done just now didn't change anything to George, he still wanted to pursue a relationship with the doe-eyed blonde. John glanced at him and let out a chuckle, reaching out to pat George's cheek. “Well, all right.” He patted his pockets and found his pack of cigarettes, tucking one between his lips and lighting it, the small flame making his dark eyes glint for a second before it was gone. “You do that,” he stated, lips curling into a smirk. Go and flirt with Pattie, George. His eyes narrowed. It doesn't matter and you know why? Because now I know you're mine. -- Chapter Nine: 1964, Not So Estranged Bedfellows (Part A)
John had somewhat thought he'd lost the game when George disappeared in the bathroom, pleasantly surprised when his friend came back into the room, yelling and visibly upset with all this. John thought he looked breathtakingly beautiful. He finally got up, stepping perilously close, looking into George's eyes. “Do you see me laughing?” he asked slowly, dark gaze unwavering, eyebrows raising seriously. He cupped his mate's face, feeling him shiver and knowing it was very possible he'd just punch him and run, thumb stroking his jaw. “Does it feel like a joke to you?” -- Chapter Ten, 1964: Not So Estranged Bedfellows (Part B)
George wondered how something could feel so right and yet be considered unnatural and wrong. -- Chapter Ten, 1964: Not So Estranged Bedfellows (Part B)
“It's not what I came to tell you, George,” John ground out, eyes widening, heartbeat racing with dread. That was it, then. Either tell him or get out. He took in a shaky breath, looking to the side. He was going to be sick. He was going to break something. “Please,” he mumbled as George's hand sat on the doorknob, his mate's patience apparently wearing thin. “I...” Oh, for fuck's sake. “I love you,” he snapped suddenly, mouth dry and hands trembling. “I fucking love you. And it's driving me nuts, but I do.” He fumed, feeling devastatingly vulnerable, all the air of the room having seemingly been sucked out of it by the uneasy silence that followed.
"You're so incredibly selfish, do you know that?" George replied after a while, his voice low, thick and unsteady with emotion. “Just when I’ve found a bird like Pattie...” he trailed off, shaking his head, trying to process John’s declaration. “You decided that you love me? How convenient,” he drawled, his tone bitter and laced with sarcasm. “You love me?” he laughed, sneering at John with something akin to disgust. "You don't love me. You just don't want me to be happy, that’s what this is all about.” -- Chapter Eleven: 1965: Pains Of Love Be Sweeter Far...
George slipped his hands onto John’s and caressed the skin with his thumbs, making him smile. He inhaled deeply, closing his eyes before exhaling slowly, focusing on his breathing, blocking out the noises coming from the pool. He felt a warmth wash over him and his body relaxed. George wasn't sure of whether it was the pot, the meditation or his mate stroking his knees, but it felt good. John kept his eyes closed a long time before he finally opened them, leaning in to kiss George. -- Chapter Eleven: 1965: Pains Of Love Be Sweeter Far...
“‘m not going to laugh at you,” George mumbled, briefly looking away as John snarled. “What if I told you I felt the same way?” he dropped John’s sunglasses to the floor, sliding his hands onto the sides of his mate’s face, making his eyes widen. “That...” John gripped George's wrists tightly, searching his eyes for any sign of deceit or mockery, fighting against the overwhelming hopefulness that was building in the pit of his stomach. “That'd be good,” he stated quietly, not quite daring to believe it, eyes half closing when George stroked his cheeks, his mate sighing. Maybe he’d regret what he was about to do, but it felt right in that moment. “I love you, John. I do.” -- Chapter Twelve: 1965 B: ...Than All the Other Pleasures are.
John sighed, pulling his rumpled cigarette pack out of his pocket and tucking yet another ciggie between his lips, lighting it contemplatively. He wasn't too convinced by George's arguments, to be honest. He knew what was there, in the mirror, whenever he looked at himself, and he didn't like what he saw. He believed George though, when he said that he loved him, all of him. It didn't really make him feel better about himself but it was comforting to know that someone was just silly (– or stunning, he wasn't too sure) enough to love him, of all people. It made an odd but persistent feeling of warmth glow in his chest. He smiled a little to himself, scratching his chin. -- Chapter Twelve: 1965 B: ...Than All the Other Pleasures are.
He smiled, feeling genuinely happy. George did love Pattie but his mind and heart were elsewhere. John hadn’t attended the wedding. He'd gone off on a holiday with Cyn, Ringo and Maureen and, while George understood that they had a very limited amount of time available for their holidays, John’s absence hadn’t hurt any less. Three years earlier George had had to swallow his own hurt and jealousy when he'd attended John’s wedding, and he'd thought his mate would have been able to do the same thing for him, but he'd apparently been mistaken.
Pattie was his chance to be normal, raise a family, and possibly even get John out of his system. It seemed futile still; even on his wedding day, he longed to be with his lover instead of his wife. He was in love with John in a way he doubted he’d ever be able to love his sweet and well-meaning wife. He didn't want to make her sad and he would try to treat her right, but his heart would never be hers, like it was John's. He held up the back of her hand to his mouth and kissed it lovingly. -- Chapter Thirteen: 1966, Faulty Connections
He missed England somewhat, its grey skies and dewy mornings, and he missed his mates. And George. He missed George, enough to stop and stare at a young man with dark eyes and sharp cheekbones for a few seconds that afternoon, and enough to get vividly accurate dreams featuring George moaning under his body. -- Chapter Thirteen: 1966, Faulty Connections
He knew what had happened between John and Brian in Spain (or rather, what hadn’t happened), but he also knew they had a unique sort of relationship, John probably seeing a bit of himself in Brian and having difficulty accepting that. It seemed to George that John always took out his anger on others for faults that he refused to see in himself. “Are you going to be all right?” he asked, dark eyes filled with concern.
John gave his hand a squeeze and leaned in to press his forehead against the side of George's face. "I don't know. I s'pose," he whispered. He kissed George's cheek very gently, feeling stubble against his lips. "I know we're not supposed to mourn because he's moved on to somewhere better, but we can still miss him, right?" he asked, looking for George's eyes. His lover nodded, a small grin gracing his once pensive face. “It’ll be our secret, eh?” He bumped his arm against John’s, who chuckled. "Don't tell anyone or they'll have us chant mantras until we drop dead from exhaustion!" he mock-gasped, watching George fondly. -- Chapter Fourteen: 1967, Dripping Clouds and Indian Tea
George shrugged casually but he answered far too quickly for there to be any truth to his words. “I can’t recall.” He scratched the side of his nose, ignoring the knowing grin on John's face. Truth be told, he was to that day still a little bit embarrassed about having been the girl in a skit. “Your princess impersonation was spot on. Best actor -actress- out of the lot of us,” he pointed out teasingly. John merely snorted. “Did it turn you on?” he drawled suggestively, although his Thisbe impersonation had been anything but arousing. Far too scandalous, that'd have been.
“Oh, yes.” George batted his eyelashes playfully. “It took every ounce of willpower I possessed not to pounce on you right then and there.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “Good thing I didn’t, though. I don’t think it would’ve been good for our image.” John watched him from above his round glasses, smirking. “Who cares 'bout our image...” he drawled, although he knew that George and he disclosing their relationship was still impossible, in spite of the new-found open-mindedness of their fans. “I'll have to see if I can find that dress again...” he mused, throwing George a grin, who bumped their shoulders together in reply. -- Chapter Fourteen: 1967, Dripping Clouds and Indian Tea
“Speaking of which...” He leaned in a little, hand coming to rest on George's knee. “I could use a few sitar lessons myself, mn?” He watched George, eyes glinting with mischievous intent, but his friend only patted his hand, trying to let him down as easily as possible. “I’d like to get back to meditating,” he stated, genuinely apologetic. It had nothing to do with him not being attracted to John. The desire he had for his lover was still there, but the need to satisfy it above all else was no longer part of him.
John's eyebrows rose on his forehead in surprise and he paused, looking rather dumbfounded and even a little hurt for a second, before he easily concealed it. “Really? I didn't know you liked meditation that much,” he mocked, trying to sound playful but still ending up somewhat cold. George had never rejected him before, at least not that way. He felt an unpleasant feeling crawl into the pit of his stomach, dread at what that meant making a shiver go down his spine. -- Chapter Fifteen: 1968, (Part One), Not So Transcendental
"No," George chuckled, leaning against his side and rubbing his thigh affectionately. “I thought you were Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’ come to life.” He pressed his nose against John’s stubbly cheek, feeling him smile. “Did you?” John leaned away a little, considering George through his thick glasses. “What's up with you? You've been 'too busy meditating' for two months and now you're all over me?” he asked, looking impish but also a little resentful. “Not all the time, John,” George corrected, eyes dark and soft, but John merely pursed his lips. “Well, most of the time, then. Been neglecting me, you 'ave.” He sniffled poshly to show he wasn't too annoyed, though. “What sort of lady d'you think I am...”
“The sort that’ll let me have my way with her?” George proposed, wiggling his thick eyebrows goofily. “Or maybe she’d like to have her way with me. I’m flexible.” He leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to the side of John’s face. He knew that moments like these would become rare once they were back in London and wanted to take advantage of their last night together at the ashram, hoping John would go with it. -- Chapter Fifteen: 1968, (Part One), Not So Transcendental
He wanted to propose getting together more often, but thought better of it. John didn’t seem to have time for anything that didn’t include Yoko, these days. And, as if to prove him right, his mate suddenly bolted up, striding to the window. "About time!" he muttered, spotting Yoko getting out of her cab. "I'll be right back," he stated, patting his friend's shoulder as he passed him by, rushing to the back exit. -- Chapter Sixteen: 1968 Part Two, Silence Is It's Own Reply
John watched him, watched his dark eyes stay downcast to hide his feelings, knowing that he should say something, anything, and try to somehow make it better. What could he say? George and he had been close, once, really close, but they had each followed their own paths, that led to separate lives. He reached out, grabbing George's sleeve to hold him back, fingers gently slipping to wrap around his wrist. His eyes found George's easily, blinking and leaning forward a little, intent on expressing something he could not manage to voice. -- Chapter Sixteen: 1968 Part Two, Silence Is It's Own Reply
“You can't even imagine what it feels like, George. A love like that.” He smirked, knowing he was getting personal and meaner than he should have been. “I've never had such a love. With anyone,” he said coldly. Not even you. -- Chapter Seventeen: 1969: Part One: The Replacement
The soft words hit George like a punch, hurting more than any other insult John had flung at him over the years. He looked visibly shaken and, staring into his friend's eyes, found that there wasn’t any love in them anyone, only nastiness staring back at him. George jerked his chin out of John’s grasp as this overwhelming desire to hurt the other man took over. He was far too upset to respond with an equally cutting remark but before he could truly register what he was doing he had his arms around John’s waist, slamming him against the counter, narrowly avoiding the gas cooker. -- Chapter Seventeen: 1969: Part One: The Replacement
“I am open,” John insisted, looking at the stone George had gave him, his skin still tingling a little from the gentle brush of his mate's fingers. “Wide.” He spread his arms, one of them bumping against George's chest. George laughed, sliding his hands into the pockets of his denim jacket. “Couldn't be more open.” John muttered, letting his arms drop by his sides and slipping the stone into his pocket, unwilling to throw it into the lake where it would be lost forever, keeping it as a reminder of this conversation. -- Chapter Eighteen: 1969, Part Two: In Retrospect
John's eyes widened a little behind his round-rimmed glasses. He hadn't been expecting that. “All right, then,” he said after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence. George's rejection stung a little, but it was less irritating than he thought he would be. “Keeping this one pretty close to the chest, aren't you?” He stole George's tea cup right back because hey, he'd earned that, and George wasn't going to drink it anyway. “I can play something else, if you'd like,” he proposed, easy-going enough. “Juss tell me how you'd like it to be. 'm adaptable.” There was the slightest naughty glint in his eyes before he looked back down, grinning into the cup.
George smiled, briefly. “I remember that quite well.” John threw him a look, amused and slightly annoyed by the innuendo. “Oi. Enough of that lip already, son,” he stated playfully, his tone holding a shade of warning. He rather enjoyed George's humour (well all right, he loved it), but he was put slightly on edge by the constant reminder of their previous affair. Sex with George was not something John allowed himself to think about too often, afraid he would develop too big a craving for it. George was his mate again and John loved him dearly. Everything was well and good. -- Chapter Eighteen: 1969, Part Two: In Retrospect