Status: Just a fun random story for you guys (feat. Tom Holland)

EP and Boy Wonder: The Tale of Pierre Bouvier and the Part Plasma Prince

“Pull the other one.”

Raphael|EP

“So, what gives, man?”

I pulled my in-ears out and cast a sharp look Chuck’s way. “How do you mean?”

The drummer glowered at me, his already thick accent becoming even more pronounced as he said, “You seem different today.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m just tired, dude. Been a while since we did any gigs.” I dared him to challenge me on that.

Simple Plan was doing a once off gig for their foundation, and since Pierre had gone off after Marly I was standing in for him. Though the band didn’t realise I wasn’t Pierre. Well, except for maybe Chuck, who was suspicious of me. Though I’m not sure what would’ve given him a reason to think that way, except for maybe my attitude.

Oh. And, of course, Chuck took the dare.

“Sound check was completely off today, and it wasn’t David’s fault this time.” He pointed a drumstick at me. “You were completely in your head. And not interacting with the fans. So, tell me. Where’s Pierre, and who the Hell are you?”

I shook my head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, Charles. We need to get on stage.” I turned to go, but he moved to stand in front of me.

“You might be able to fool the others. But, I know Pierre. And you’re not him.”

I raised my left eyebrow at him. “You realise how crazy that sounds, right?”

Chuck’s jaw tightened as he appeared to get angrier. “I don’t care! You’re not my best friend.”

I blinked. “Well, that hurts.” I pressed my hand to my heart. Then glanced toward the door, again. “But, we really need to go.”

He shook his head. “You’re right. We need to go, but this conversation isn’t done.” He stepped to the side, frowning at me.

I sighed, replacing my in-ears and making for the door. I paused, though and looked back at him. “No one else can tell, Charles. So, you don’t have to worry.”

Chuck scoffed. “They will if you keep calling me ‘Charles’.”

“Touché. Chuck.” I tipped my fingers to my forehead, pulling down the peak of my cap before exiting for the stage.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Something always shifted in the atmosphere when the fans sang with the band on the final song of the night. Pierre tried explaining it to me once, but I never understood until the first time I replaced him at a show.

Perfect was the perfect – see what I did there – song to end a gig. The lighters and cellphones held up in the air, the voices in unison, even if not all in tune, it was heartwarming, visceral. This was one reason why I looked forward to switching with Pierre. This was one reason I ended up staying here. And not going back home. Even though I was in deep shit as far as that was concerned…

But, now was not the time to think of that…

“Sing with me!” I held the microphone out to the crowd as I started to sing. “Hey, dad, look at me, think back and talk to me, did I grow up according to plan?”

Or maybe I should think about that? Why did I even make the decision to jump ship, as it were? An anomaly opened between my universe and Pierre’s and, well, the rest is history.

David bumped my shoulder with his bass as he pranced passed to stand on the rise next to me. I shook my head to clear my mind and continued to sing, smiling at the fans and reaching out to touch their hands. Trying to be mindful of what Chuck said to me earlier backstage.

Still, my thoughts distracted me. Good thing the song was winding up. And as the last note rang out and I threw a sweat-soaked towel out to the front row, I gave them my thanks and bowed out.

I needed to get out of there. And not just the venue. I had to get back to Jersey State. Back to my world. I couldn’t leave Marly and Pierre over there. And, yes, you’re probably wondering how I knew they were there. Especially since the last I saw them was when Marly was still at that kid, Tom’s apartment in London. Well, Pierre and I have this connection which only I know about. I can kind of sense him. But, only if we’re in the same dimension. And…I couldn’t feel him anymore…

“Pierre? Pierre? Pierre!”

I blinked several times as I realised I was standing in the middle of the band’s dressing room with the microphone still in my hand.

“Why do I still have this?”

Frank, the sound guy, rolled his eyes as he took the mic from me.

David said, “You were completely distracted out there tonight. What’s up, dude?”

“Yeah, Pierre, what was up with that, man?” Jeff added, crossing his arms. Seb, who was leaning against the wall watching, nodded to indicate that he also wanted to know.

I sighed, pulling my cap off and tossing it on a table, glancing at Chuck as I did so. I hadn’t planned on telling them anything; but, after Chuck confronted me, and the fact that I had to leave? Well, I didn’t see that I had any real choice anymore.

“I have to tell you guys something. And I need you to not freak out on me.”

“Not freak out?” David took a step toward me. “What do you mean?”

I dragged a hand over my face before holding up my palms to him. “I’m not Pierre.”

“I knew it,” Chuck said, voice raising in his frustration.

I nodded toward him, but didn’t directly answer him. “My name is Raphael and I’m from another universe.”

“You what?” David blinked at me, incredulity evident. “Pull the other one.”

I shook my head. “It’s the truth. And right now, I have to get back. Pierre is there with Marly. And I need to get them back here.”

David stepped closer again his gaze narrowed on me, obviously studying me to see how I wasn’t his best friend and fellow band member. “You look identical to Pierre.”

I faced him directly. “My eyes are darker. And I’m definitely not as patient as he is. But, you could say that we’re genetic twins.”

Chuck scowled at me. “What does that even mean? How is that even possible?”

I turned to look for a towel to rid myself of the sweat that was beading on my face. Swiping one from a rack on the wall, I draped it over my head before responding. It was a complex question after all.

“I’m not entirely sure how it works. But, considering I was born in a different universe…there’s only a certain amount of genes that go into making up humanity. The odds may seem extremely low in one universe, but if you consider the multiverse theory…” I trailed off when I could see that I’d lost them. Chuck was glaring at me. Jeff and David had turned away to whisper between themselves.

Except for Sebastien who actually looked excited, his eyes so wide that I could see the blue of the irises even from the other side of the room.

“There’s a multiverse?”

I smirked at him. “Well, at the very least there are two. Mine and yours.”

Seb said, “But for there to be the chance that Pierre would have a doppelgänger…there’d have to be many universes.”

“Exactly.” I threw the towel into my bag and slung it over my shoulder. “And, I’m sorry to love you and leave you, but I have to go back.”

Chuck spoke up again. “And how do you do that?”

I could hear the disbelief in his tone, and decided I’d had about enough of it. So, instead of actually explaining I lifted a hand in farewell and vanished from the room. The last thing I heard before the darkness set in as I was whisked back home was Chuck calling out Pierre’s name into the void.