Archie never knew if he held the quality of best mate, but Jax said so, like he might fling daggers at someone, right there at the pub.
Naturally, Archie's eyes grew intense. He could hardly breathe, anticipating the worst.
Yes, he liked having Jax around. He even went up to the college a couple of weeks ago so Archie wouldn't be alone with Maybe and her Australian bloke. Still, it was a bit awkward. But Maybe got along with Jax and he was a laugh. They hung out for a while listening to live music and Jax spent the night.
Of course, it still made Archie grumble when he thought of Maybe's little giggle as she left with her date on her arm, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
They were mates. And yes, Jax slept over and took most of Archie's bed, leaving him in floor.
Perhaps, Archie thought he could wait long enough, Jax would introduce him to his crowd.
But as it was it was getting a might rowdy and Jax wasn't the same. Maybe they weren't mates at all. But here Jax was shouting about it to someone he used to know.
Archie was not a fighter and he didn't like that Jax took such joy in it. He pulled Jax off the fellow before it got worse.
"Come on...just come on, will you... now?" Archie grabbed his arm before he took a slug at the hipster.
Finally, they managed outside in the heat of the night.
"Have you lost the plot?" Archie gritted.
"I was taking up for you." Jax swelled a frown.
"Don't bother. I-I.." Archie didn't know how to explain it. Yeah, he'd been bullied most of his life, but he went on, shedding it like a second skin. He knew he wasn't all that likable, but he honestly wasn't fond of getting to know people. Except Jax, perhaps. "I..think..you're just using me, as an excuse."
"An excuse?" Jax winced hard. "What you going on about, mate?" They walked on.
"You were in a band..and..and people expect you..."
"What?" Now Jax was angry with him. Archie supposed he'd had too much to drink, but seriously, Jax could drink all day and no one would ever notice. He was accustom to large amounts of lager.
"I never thought I'd be Mick Jagger." Jax glared at him.
"Yes, well..no...no..you would never be Mick Jagger, but..its..I think.. they thought you would do more.."
"Do more?" He was shouting and jabbed Archie in the chest.
"Are we having a row?" Archie asked as if this was the end. The end of this very lovely friendship.
Jax wasn't smiling. Archie walked on, in his only decent pair of chinos and very worn out Chuck Taylors.
"Come back!" Jax begged, but Archie kept walking. Finally, Archie sighed and looked at Jax under the orange streetlight.
"No, you should go with me." He was very adamant. "Start up at the college."
Jax needed to think on it. Obviously.
Archie shrugged, and Jax followed.