Fandom: Beatles RPF
Warnings: Swearing, if that bothers you
Summary: George's reaction to Paul's Beatles' breakup announcement - and John's
Disclaimer: I have never met any of these people in my life
It was an April morning in 1970 when George Harrison read the headlines that rocked the world and changed his life.
When John called, he was in a fury.
"Did you read the papers? Did you read the papers?"
"Oh, I read the papers," George said, and chuckled wryly.
"Can you fucking believe--the nerve of that guy. The nerve. He meant to do it, didn't he? That's not just me being paranoid?"
"Oh, he definitely did it on purpose," George said.
"This was supposed to be my announcement!"
"Yeah, he's the one who has been trying to convince us all not to quit for a year and now he's quitting in the papers? It's just like the time he told everyone he'd taken LSD after he spent so long refusing to do it. 'Hi, I'm Paul McCartney, always the last to have the interesting ideas, and the first to be on television talking about it.'"
"I spoke to him - I actually spoke to him on the phone last night,” John said. “He actually called me. I'm such an idiot."
"No, John, you shouldn't blame yourself for failing to realize that anyone, even Paul McCartney, is capable of this degree of assholery," George said, but he didn't feel as angry as he had before. Listening to John's ranting had eased his own anger.
"He was giving me this whole line,"--and here John imitated Paul's voice, but in a mocking, high-pitched way, "'Oh, I'm doing what you and Yoko were doing last year, because I may have hated her guts and called her a Jap tart back then, but now I've decided she's all right, actually'"--returning to his normal voice--"And I'm thinking, 'Glad you finally got the memo, you cunt.' I'm such an idiot."
"He didn't say he was quitting, then?" George asked, although he knew the answer.
"Not a word,” John replied.
"Well, he wants to sell an album. That's how he is." George sighed. "He accepts our foibles, we should accept--"
"An album! He wants to sell a fucking album. You didn't hear me making any big announcements about quitting when me and Yoko released our albums, did I? He thinks he's the fucking Beatles, is what this is about. He's trying to prove he's the fucking Beatles."
"Isn't this the same album that we so kindly let him have the release date he wanted because he screamed at Ringo?” George didn’t bother keeping the sarcasm out of his voice. “Remind me to never do anything nice for Paul McCartney again."
"What does this mean for business?” John asked anxiously. “What does he want? Has Allen seen the announcement?”
"I'm sure he will soon, if he hasn't yet."
"Shit, I should call him,” John muttered. “What does Paul want? Oh, fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. We've been sitting around doing nothing and Paul's in Scotland planning things out with Eastman - fuck."
"Does Ritchie know?" George wondered.
"I don't know. I haven't spoken to him. You remember that meeting last fall?"
"Which meeting?” George asked. “We've had so many."
"The one where I told you all I was leaving the group."
"No, I can't remember that one," George said.
"Paul was making some suggestion - like we should be doing anonymous tours, or something. Can you imagine, the four of us - such a daft idea."
"I really gave up on listening to Paul's ideas a long time ago."
"And you saw the expression on his face when I said I was leaving."
"Like I said, I don't remember."
"And he was - he said, he was actually glad I wasn't going to tell anyone. He actually said, 'Oh, good, that means nothing's really happened.' He actually said that. I'm such an idiot."
"Well, McCartney's an asshole.” George sighed. “What else is new?"
"He's mad because he's not always getting his way anymore. So now he's just sulking and causing chaos 'cause he's not the center of the damn universe anymore."
"Probably," George said. He was running out of steam, and it seemed like John was, too.
John sighed, and there was a breather in the conversation.
"I'd thought he would've told me," John finally said, quietly, wearily. "I'm such an idiot." The phone clicked.
George sighed, and hung up on his end. He went back over to the breakfast table and sat down, giving a slightly disdainful look to the papers by his coffee mug. It was just a pop group. None of this mattered, in the cosmic picture. None of this was important. Really, he was better off without the Beatles, anyway.
George looked at Paul's photo, staring sadly at the camera, an arm around an equally sad Linda. Suddenly George was overwhelmed with a feeling he couldn't name, powerlessness and anger, he thought, but couldn't tell. I would never have done this to you, he thought. I would not ever have done this to you.