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Amaranthine

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Sometimes, she really did piss him off. They’d be in the recording studio, and John would be sitting there, minding his own business, trying to lay down a track to his own liking, playing around with the song’s musical arrangement, and its lyrics, and its timing, and its overall tone…and she’d stop dead in her tracks and start telling him to stop fucking about and try conferring with the rest of them before he started completely changing songs that he hadn’t even written in the first place.

Honestly! John fumed to himself. Some people were so bloody hard to please.

But, in a way, John did get a rather odd sense of satisfaction in watching her get angry at him sometimes. Sometimes she’d be so angry with him that she’d fly into a rage, her eyes flashing with dark fire, her long, wavy hair cascading down her back like a waterfall made from pure silk, her-

“John! Are you fucking listening to me?!”

“Sorry, darling. Yes, I’m listening. Please, go on.”

Sometimes, she was so angry that she didn’t even notice if the others smiled indulgently at each other over the top of her head, or even started giggling softly, or made whip-lash sound effects complete with a swish of the hand to indicate how pussy-whipped she had him…

Then again, that last one wasn’t exactly at her expense, was it? And, the more he thought about it, the more John realised that they were probably smiling and giggling at him, rather than her.

But John supposed that was okay. After all, he loved her. She was his lover, his partner, his muse, his creative partner, his-

“JOHN! Listen to me when I’m nagging you!”

John merely smiled dreamily at her, and the whole studio fell into fits of laughter.

Still smiling, he watched as she conferred with Ritchie and George about the song which “John has so spectacularly fucked up for the last five takes in a row!”

“Christ, you’re beautiful when you’re angry with me.”

“Oh, fuck off!” she retorted, but John didn’t fail to miss the way she smiled at him in response. Reluctant thought the smile may have been considering her current state of ill-temper towards him (which, John knew, he probably deserved, considering that he had been fucking up George’s song for the better part of an hour), it was still a smile, and seeing her smile at him like that still made him revoltingly happy, even after all this time.

As much as he may always have (secretly) longed for it, John never experienced an intense, chest-constricting feeling of love for another human being until he was seventeen, which (according to Stu, anyway, one drunken night years later in which many things – not all of them appropriate – were said) was rather late in life.

Certainly, John had his music, and his friends, and his aunt and his uncle and his ever-distant mother…but John didn’t have someone all of his very own to drown and shower in love and devotion and overly-possessive temper-tantrums borne of deep insecurities and a constant fear of rejection and abandonment.

That is, until he saw her.

“Hello,” she said, extending her hand. “I’m Paula McCartney.”

She was the most stunning creature that John had ever seen in his entire life.

“Hello,” John replied, hoping that she’d think his breathlessness was an after-effect of the gig, rather than his own inability to get his tongue to do more than just sit there uselessly in his mouth, struck just as dumb as the rest of him was.

“I’m John Lennon,” he added, stammering a little and cursing himself inwardly when he felt the heat rising in his cheeks in response to the kind smile she gave him in response.

“Pleased to meet you, John,”

John smiled at her shakily in return, knowing that he had probably successfully managed to shatter his tough-guy persona into a million tiny pieces in the space of about seven seconds.

Little did he know what their future held.

//

It's only a few years later and they've gone from nobodies to The Most Famous People In The World in what seems like moments.

John doesn't know what he would have done without Paula there to keep him sane. Grounded.

Sometimes it frightens him, how much he loves her.

The newspapers all want access to the pictures from their wedding, and Paula jokingly tells them that they want a million quid for the pictures. She is the only one who is shocked when they agree.

For the next year or more, the pictures appear in magazines and newspapers around the world – causing Ringo to joke that the media are making as much profit as they can from the photographs, considering their steep selling price – all of which delight in informing the world that the million pounds the couple received for their wedding shots has been donated to charity.

Paula is pleased that the media has found this out. “I’m so glad you got the accountants to donate the whole lot, Johnny,” Paula says. “We’re loaded as it is!”

John smiles. It is the first time that John has not told Paula the whole truth about something. At that moment, all John can think is, Christ, I hope she never finds out.

Paula giggles. “I always knew there would come a day when you would feel passionately enough about something that you’d become interested in what happened to our money.”

John smiles at her. “Oh, in this case, I guess you could say I found a cause I really believed in.”

“What cause is that?” Paula asks curiously.

John smiles. You, Paula. Your future. Just in case I’m not always here. Four-hundred-thousand quid – you’ll never have to work again.

Just in case…

“Ending wars, world hunger and poverty, so that we can all live as one, in peace, of course!” John says airily.

Paula returns his smile. “They really are lovely photographs, aren’t they?” she muses quietly.

John wraps his arms around her shoulders and kisses the side of her neck as he looks down at their picture. Paula in her long, flowing silk gown, flowers in her hair, grinning at him as he kisses her hand and looks at her with such a look of love-struck devotion that John is actually a little embarrassed by the thought of the whole world seeing the picture.

“That they are,” John replies. Because, when he considers it, he honestly can’t think of a better way to guarantee Paula’s future than by flogging pictures of him looking at her like a love-sick puppy to the international media. “That they are.”

//

When Paula informs him that they “needed to have a serious talk", John sits there racing through his mind trying to work out exactly what he’d done wrong recently.

When Paula unfolds a large piece of paper and lies it out on the table in front of them, he isn't quite sure what to make of it.

“Er…?” John asks, dumbfounded. He squints at it – even with his glasses on he can’t work out what the hell he is looking at. “What is it? Some sort of chart?”

“It’s a chart of my cycle,” Paula explains.

“Oh, okay,” John says. Then, realising that he still doesn’t get it, adds, “Cycle of what?”

“My monthly cycle, silly!” Paula exclaims. “Ovulation and all that sort of stuff.”

“Oh, okay,” John repeats.

Paula just smiles, as if she is waiting for something…

“Wait, ovulation?!” John cries. “Oh – I get it now! Okay!”

Paul smiles, and takes his hands in her own. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think – if you agree, of course – that it’s time that you and I inflicted upon this world an offspring.”

John blinks at her. “You want a baby. With me.”

Paula rolls her eyes. “No, I want a baby with Ringo,” she says sarcastically. “I’m showing you the chart so you’ll exactly when he and I will be shagging, so you won’t interrupt us.”

John grins, unable to help himself.

“What? No sarcastic, cutting response about your superior genetics and musical ability?” Paula asks.

“I can’t think of one,” John admits, still grinning. “I just…I just can’t believe that you want to have a baby. With me.”

Paula raises a perfect eyebrow. “Well, yes. You are my husband, last time I checked.”

“Yes, true. We got dressed up and everything.” John reminds her. “I wore that silly tux and you wore that pretty silk dress and the Pope bitched about us to the world media because we didn’t get married in a church.”

“Stupid old prick,” Paula giggles. “But anyway, yes, I think you’re good breeding stock."

John isn't quite sure how to take that compliment.

But he never could refuse her anything.