Well, perhaps not wiser. Not in Ten’s case, anyway ;)
I recently aged Cal and Ten up to adult, just to see how they took to it. They looked incredible, especially Ten. And, predictably, I had to write something for them as a result. It’s very dark and very AU, in that it won’t actually happen in their arc, but on seeing them looking older and both bearing that Keith Richards-type wastedness (as Ten would say: “It’s all the drink and drugs, darlin'”) I had to explore a sadly-typical rockstar thing with them
First up, a slew of screenshots of older!Ten, looking dark and brooding… and kinda hot. (And yes, he’s preening at that description. *eyeroll*)
And, because rocker!Valois grew some face fuzz (if you’ve not seen that yet, I’ll post it tomorrow *g*) Ten decided to grow some, too. With added commentary from Cal ;)
Cal: Oh, the poor thing.
Cal: I was just feeling sorry for the poor animal that you glued onto your face there.
And now, the short piece of fiction. WARNING: CHARACTER DEATH. (Although, yes, it’s AU and won’t actually happen.)
In an alternate reality, 20 years from now…
“Hey,” Ten said softly as he closed the recording studio door. “You okay? You’ve been holed away down here every night for days.”
Cal just nodded, turning a guitar pick over and over between his fingers. “Yeah,” he murmured. “Fine.”
“You’re about as fine as you are sober.” Folding his arms, Ten nodded at the beer bottles adding a bit of greenery to the room, which stank of stale booze and cigarette smoke. “C’mon, what’s up? Missing the road?”
“That, and other things.” The pick slipped from Cal’s fingers and he closed his eyes, bending with a sigh to retrieve it from the floor.
“‘Other things’ being old Cherry-Top, I guess? Hey hey–” Ten went down on one knee as Cal covered his eyes with his hand, a muscle in his cheek working hard in a way that Ten knew too well. “Hey, don’t… please don’t. That’s the booze cryin’, not you. C’mon, you’re tougher than that.”
“You weren’t the one who found him.” Cal’s voice was rough. “I still see him lying there every night when I close my eyes.”
Ten sighed, resting a hand on Cal’s knee. “I know you do. Why d’you think I hold you so fuckin’ tightly as you’re going to sleep, huh?”
Cal raised his head, and god, Ten’s heart broke. He looked so damn old and weary.
“Why’d we manage to get through it and he didn’t?” Cal rasped. “Fuck knows, we did everything far more in excess than he did. You and I both ended up in rehab, what, twice each?”
Ten smiled, tenderly stroking Cal’s cheek. “I beat you there. I was in twice. You only managed it once.”
The only response was a mirthless “hmf” as Ten glanced around.
“Have you been recording while you were down here?” he asked.
“Couple of things, yeah.”
“Wanna play ’em for me?”
Cal’s blue eyes met his for a long, silent moment. Then, at last, he smiled. “Yeah,” he said softly. “Okay.”
Ten kissed him, then took his hand and led him into the recording booth, closing the door behind them both.