06 July 2014 @ 02:01 am
Title: Upside Down
Author: [livejournal.com profile] kaossbells & [livejournal.com profile] mcsparklez
Beta: the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjaeger
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Belldom
Summary: Based on the mkmeme prompt: A rich music collector has almost everything he ever craved for, almost. One special object is still missing in his collection: Matthew Bellamy!
Warnings: language, violence
Feedback: Is like Matt Bellamy bathing in red glitter; fabulous.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and has never happened. We do not own any of the people mentioned and do not mean to offend.

[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3a] [Chapter 3b] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5a] [Chapter 5b] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7a] [Chapter 7b] [Chapter 8] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10a] [Chapter 10b]

Whitman didn’t talk much during the car ride to the police station. He only gave two or three orders to his subordinates and completely ignored Dom’s request to tell him what was going on. Dom then tried to talk to the other officers but they remained quiet as well, their stony faces cast forward and pretending to not hear his pleading.

When the car stopped he was ungently pulled out of it and got shoved up the stairs. Dom was glad Whitman had refrained from restraining him, because he could see several people watching them, some of them even wearing Muse shirts. That would have gone down well, he thought bitterly. Their band had gotten enough publicity as it was.

Whitman walked in the front while the two officers walked closely behind him, probably to make sure he wouldn’t bolt for the door or find another way to escape. They walked down the familiar corridor to Whitman’s office, but then turned a corner and headed down somewhere else. Dom was confused, but didn’t bother to ask where they were going. He wouldn’t get an answer anyway.

After what felt like hours for Dom, but was most likely only a few minutes, they stopped at a door. Whitman opened it and motioned for him to go inside. Ah, still no talking, then. When he didn’t move immediately, the taller of the two officers pushed him inside and guided him towards a chair located at a table in the middle of the room.

“You could just have asked,” he growled at the officer.

He was forced to sit down before one of his hands was handcuffed to the table. He huffed at that.

“That won’t be necessary.”

The tall man’s face remained blank when he calmly said, “Precaution.”

Well, at least something more than silence. The officer exited the room and Dom was left to his own devices. With nothing else to do, he took in his dimly lit surroundings.

The walls were whitewashed and appeared to be solely made to intimidate him. There were obviously no windows, nothing he could fix his eyes on for longer than a second or two, and so his gaze kept wandering. The only thing that broke the perfect white was the old school one-way mirror directly in front of him. It looked pristine and crept him out just as much as the rest of the situation did. Maybe there were people on the other side of it, watching him and murmuring about what was going to happen to him.

He felt like a serious offender with the cold metal cuffing his right wrist to the table and a room on the other side of that mirror that was most likely full of policemen who wanted to see him sweat. For what exactly he still didn’t know and no matter how much he racked his brains, no plausible explanation presented itself.

It was that moment when one of the younger officers entered the room, pushing some sort of trolley with a TV set through the door and letting in some brighter light from the hallway. Dom watched him silently as the guy gave no indication of wanting to talk. The silent treatment started to grate on his nerves massively. The TV was placed in the right corner of the room so it was out of Dom’s reach. The two chairs on the other side of the table, standing with their backs to the mirror, would need to be turned a bit if the people who’d occupy them at some point in the near future (at least that’s what Dom thought was about to happen, he’d seen enough American cop shows to last a lifetime) wanted to get a good look at the screen, too.

Oh, the cop shows! Dom looked around when the officer had left the room again. Maybe it was just some TV hoax but usually there were cameras in the interrogation rooms instead of these mirrors, weren’t there? He wasn’t exactly sure because, firstly, he had never been in one of these rooms before (and he was grateful for that, although there had been one or two close calls in the past) and, secondly, you never knew how accurate those TV shows really were. Some still used the mirror because, quite frankly, they were frightening.

Dom could see his reflection on the stainless glass. He looked just as pale and scared as he had assumed, but, in his defense, he was probably also as composed as the situation allowed him to be. It was ridiculous really, but that little thought sparked a bit of pride in his chest. No matter what this was going to be about, he knew that he’d done nothing wrong and that they would ultimately have to let him go again. He wasn’t the serious offender they treated him as, after all.

Still, he couldn’t shake the feeling of being confined, trapped even. He remembered some of the pictures from the Guild’s website that had been taken of Matt. The room in the background had never been of much interest to him, seeing as this was about Matt, after all. But now he remembered how similar it actually was to his current surroundings. Plain and cold and lifeless. It was weird but he felt like he was somehow supposed to live through a milder version of the nightmare his friend had been forced into. A much, much milder, old crime film version, but still.

After half an eternity, Dom heard the click of the door again and turned his gaze to watch it open. A tall man he didn’t recognise entered first. His black hair was cropped short and his sharp green eyes immediately locked with Dom’s. He seemed to be rather young, although the suit made him look more serious and older. Whitman was the second person to enter. He closed the door and then retreated into the corner, while the other man stood in front of the table, examining Dom with an inscrutable glare. Then, wordlessly, he sat down in one of the chairs and placed a folder on the table before the quiet staring continued.

Dom felt extremely uncomfortable under the close scrutiny. He didn’t even have the slightest idea who this man was. A police officer, no doubt, but what did he want from him? He looked over to Whitman in hope of getting at least one answer to the many questions swirling in his head, but the CI pointedly didn’t make eye contact with him as if he was uncomfortable himself. The blonde’s eyes lowered to the table.

“Mr Howard, my name is CI Thompson. I believe you already know CI Whitman?” the man, Thompson, spoke up and gesticulated to the corner where Whitman was standing. Dom nodded, then tried to remember where he’d heard the younger CI’s name before.

Ah, yes. He was the officer in charge of the case concerning the kidnapper’s, Napolitano’s, death. He remembered the name from when Whitman had told them about the body. His back straightened. Were there any news?
“Mr Howard, how would you describe your band?”


Dom cocked his head. That question had come completely out of the blue and was, in fact, very confusing. What did that have to do with anything? He looked at Whitman again, who had finally fixed his gaze on the drummer. His expression was unreadable, though.

“Um… Pretty good? We’ve been doing this for over 20 years now and it’s still a lot of fun. Not always easy, but worth it. Our music has changed a lot over the course of our career, but that’s not very surprising, I guess. We’ve changed a lot, after all. Why?”

Thompson nodded at him before he observed the drummer’s face again. Dom felt like an animal in that moment. The uneasiness was constant now, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he wouldn’t like what was going to happen.
“What about your band mate, Matthew? How would you describe him?”

“He’s…” he started. What was he supposed to say? “He’s eccentric. A walking and talking ball of unceasing energy. It’s not always easy with him because he’s a big perfectionist, but we manage alright. I don’t understand what that’s got to do with anything, though?”

Slowly, the CI opened the folder he had previously thrown on the table, and extracted something from it. He slid the paper, a photo, over the table for Dom to inspect. The drummer leaned over to get a better look and instantly felt his body freezing up.

The picture didn’t show much, just a person’s wrist. However, tied around it was an item Dom knew all too well and had already missed dearly.

“That’s my necklace! Where did you find it?”

“I think you know exactly where we found it,” Thompson replied calmly. He took the picture and moved it a bit to the right, not exactly out of reach, but enough to make room for more pictures or other items in front of Dom.

The CI then pulled a CD case from the folder and held it out to Whitman who took it from him and walked to the TV set. He inserted the CD into the player underneath the screen and pressed play. The monitor flickered to life and Dom’s heart skipped a beat.

There he was. He’d lost some weight and his hair was slightly longer, curling around his ears, but it unmistakably were his blue eyes looking down at the keys in front of him. Matt.

Dom felt an incredibly strong longing course through his veins. This was different from looking at pictures or thinking about the singer. Just seeing him, alive, made Dom’s chest ache and swell at the same time, but seeing him breathe and move threw him on a rollercoaster of emotions. There wasn’t enough time to take it all in; the cut on his temple, the split lip, the clean shaven jaw, the soft curve of his neck, the plain black Queen tee that looked like the one the singer had nicked from Dom years ago and was now mainly used to sleep in, Dom’s necklace wrapped loosely around his thin wrist. Dom wanted to reach through the TV screen and just pull him into his arms.

The rollercoaster of emotions took a sharp turn to the left and then just down, down, down into a dark pit on high speed when Matt’s fingers finally moved and the soft melody of Starlight started to fill the otherwise silent room. The longing only intensified when the drummer remembered the last time Matt had played that particular song, for him.

Dom watched transfixed as his band mate played highly concentrated and calm, much like he did at home. He failed to hit the right notes several times, but his face remained soft, his fingers idly ghosting over a cup that was standing on top of the lid. That was weird. Matt would never fail to play this song perfectly under any circumstances, Dom knew that, and the singer was way too hard on himself to simply accept such mistakes. Something was off.

The video ended abruptly when Matt had finished playing. The CD was extracted from the player and put back in its designated case. It then landed right in front of Dom on the table, clattering on the shiny, wooden surface. Thompson stared straight into Dom’s eyes and the drummer realised that the CI must have observed him during the video, as well.

“The video was uploaded to the website last night,” he explained. “We were able to track the IP easily, because the uploader took next to no precaution this time.”

Thompson stopped talking for a moment to let the news sink in. Dom’s heart seared with hope. If they had finally tracked down the uploader, then it meant they knew where Matt was, right? But that didn’t explain why he was sitting in an interrogation room with his hand tied to the table. Unless…

“It was uploaded from your house, Mr Howard. We found the video on the hard drive of your laptop.”

All of a sudden the room was too cold. Dom felt as if he was being thrown into icy water, his body temperature falling rapidly. The blood in his veins must have stopped flowing, as well. Could blood even freeze? Was that the reason? The CI couldn’t mean what Dom thought he was implying, could he?

Thompson placed a wallet in Dom’s line of vision and opened it to reveal an ID. Upon further inspection, Dom could see that it was the kidnapper’s, his angry face staring back at him with blank eyes.

“We found this on your coffee table. Care to explain how it got there?”

“I… I don’t know,” Dom stuttered. This had to be a joke. A terrible, terrible joke. “I haven’t been to my place in weeks. I have nothing to do with this.”

“When did you take it from him, Mr Howard? Before or after you put that bullet in his head?”

“What? No. No!”

“Tell me, why did you do it?” The CI leaned back in his seat. His eyes wouldn’t leave Dom, though. “Did your friend start making decisions without you? Your band is massive and decisions that influence all of you should not be made by one person. Maybe you needed to silence him?”

“What are you- No, for fuck’s sake, what are you talking about?”

Dom pulled at the handcuff in fruitless effort. This was all kinds of wrong. Why were they accusing him of doing something like this to Matt? Didn’t they know that he meant the world to him? He needed to calm down or he’d black out soon, but his pulse didn’t seem to get the memo.

Suddenly, Whitman’s soothing voice cut through his haze. “Now would be the right time to call for a lawyer, Mr Howard. You should-”

“No, no, no,” Thompson cut in. “We don’t need a lawyer here.” He jumped up from his chair and walked around the table so he could then sit on it next to Dom. With his arms crossed, he leaned over to get closer.

“You know what I think happened? Matthew started to get too powerful, taking over the whole band and making decisions you couldn’t accept. You needed to do something, didn’t you? So you hired this man to kidnap your friend and imprison him in a dark room.”

“No, I wouldn’t-” Dom started, but the CI wouldn’t let him speak up.

“He took care of Matthew while you played the worried band mate. He uploaded the pictures for you and gave you the required alibis. What did he do to change your plan? Did he fuck up at your friend’s place? He didn’t do what you wanted him to do, so you had to get rid of him before you were found out.”

“Stop it.”

“You shot him, used your spare key to dump him at Matthew’s place and then pretended to be all shaken up. There are no other fingerprints than yours to be found. It’s quite clear to me that you have done a masterful job, until now that is. What I want to know is, where is Matthew?”

“I didn’t do anything! Stop it. Stop. Please,” the drummer begged and once again pulled at his restraints. He needed to get out of here, away from the accusations. His body screamed at him to get the fuck away.

“Not until you tell me where your band mate is,” Thompson shouted and hit the table with his flat hands. He used the action to push himself up and rise from the table, his right hand shooting out to grab Dom by the hair. He pulled at it so Dom had to look up at him. “I wonder where he got that cut on his temple from? Did you push his head against the wall, over and over again, until he stopped begging you to let him free?”

“No, no, no,” Dom whimpered quietly. The mere thought of someone doing that to Matt made his insides turn, but imagining it was him doing it brought tears to his eyes. He could practically hear Matt’s voice in his head, begging him to stop, pleading him to let him go home. “No…”

He could hear Whitman shouting at his colleague in the background, but it didn’t really matter. By now he was a crying, shaking mess. Weeks of trying to compose himself and getting through this with the least possible damage now became futile as the accusations hit him upfront. Matt was being abused, tortured, and he was the prime suspect. He thought nothing could be worse than his nightmares, but this surpassed every single one of them.

Thompson let go of his hair, but Dom didn’t have the energy to move his head anymore. He stared at the ceiling and let the tears fall freely. Weakly, he whispered, “He’s my best friend.”

“Is that why you haven’t killed him, yet? You locked him away so he’d be out of the way, but you couldn’t bring it over yourself to kill him. Or is it something else?” He cocked his head and observed Dom again, before a smug grin appeared on his face. “You wanted to teach him a lesson, didn’t you? Show him that he couldn’t do as he pleases. But it’s gotten out of hand. You didn’t expect him to resist and you definitely didn’t expect anyone of those criminals to go to the police.”


The CI sighed and put a hand on Dom’s shoulder. If the drummer had had any energy left in him he would have pulled away, as much as the handcuffs would let him. The touch was unwanted and uncomfortable. His shoulder burnt.

“I understand that, Mr Howard. It can’t be easy to be pushed aside. Especially after such a long time together. You had to show him that you were serious. Napolitano was just collateral, right? You’re no cold-hearted killer, I truly believe that.”

He walked around the table to collect the evidence and put it all back into the folder. He made a show out of it and took his time, just so Dom could watch him move around and think about his confession.

“Did he want a solo career?” Thompson continued and waited for a reaction. The only movement Dom made was a roll of his head in Whitman’s direction. “He wanted to leave you guys alone at the peak of your career. And you gave him that. He’s got the attention and you can keep your face. It’s a win for the both of you, right?”

Finally, Whitman pushed himself off the wall and laid a hand on Thompson’s shoulder as a signal to move away, showing that he wouldn’t accept any protest.

“Dominic,” he said softly and Dom looked up. He felt so lost and broken in that moment, begging for salvation. “You need to call a lawyer. Now. You have to say it.”

Whitman looked so trustworthy, a clear contrast to the other CI. Dom remembered how often he’d thought of Whitman as an ally and even now, when the police apparently thought he’d done the unspeakable, he still tried to support the blonde.

Dom had been a fool. He’d thought it was enough to be innocent. That he didn’t need a lawyer simply because the truth was that he’d done nothing wrong. He should have listened to Whitman before. He was definitely listening to him now.

He closed his eyes and could only see Matt’s face, one moment smiling, the other moment crying. Pictures of pain and pure joy. Everything just blending together, much like the voices in his head. He could hear Matt calling his name.

“I… Yes, I want to call a lawyer.”

Dom walked down the corridor next to CI Whitman. His head was full of fresh memories from the interrogation. They hurt, if he was completely honest. How Thompson had questioned his loyalty towards Matt and, by extension, the band. The mere thought of causing Matt any kind of pain was poison to his already battered heart. Fortunately the elder CI had stood up for him when he had needed it most. Calling his lawyer had been the smartest move of the day and he was still a little ashamed that he hadn’t come up with it himself. Being innocent was no guarantee for anything, especially not with a dead set, young CI who was on a murder case. He couldn’t even really blame Thompson. If he was in his place he would probably have done the same. Even the most absurd lead was better than none at all.

His lawyer had advised him not to talk to Thompson again, and, if possible, to none of the other officers. She had also told him that, yes, the evidence was weighing against him, but she had promised to do everything in her power to get him out of his temporary custody as quickly as possible. An empty promise, he knew that. There was nothing she could do. She didn’t have any other resources than the police had, so maybe she could stall them a bit, but that was probably already the end of it. Not talking to Thompson was a big improvement, though. He had seriously felt like breaking down under the policeman’s questions.

“Mr Howard, I am sorry that you have gotten pulled into this,” the older man suddenly broke the silence.

“I shouldn’t really talk to you, should I?” Dom mumbled, but there was no spite behind his words.

“Probably not, no,” the CI sighed and threw him a quick glance.

“I swear to God, I have no idea how all that shit got into my house.” Maybe opening his mouth now was a bad idea, but he trusted Whitman. He really did. If there was anyone who could help him, it was him.

“And I honestly believe that,” Whitman nodded. “I do. But my hands are tied here. Napolitano’s not my case… and Thompson may be a bit… straight forward, but he’s only doing his job. And the evidence… well.”

“I know, I know…” Dom sighed and tried to avoid getting snappy. “I already went through all of that with my lawyer.”

For a moment they fell silent again. The blonde knew that the CI only wanted to help. And he had already done that. After all, he had insured that Thompson didn’t sent his sorry arse to prison straight away. Rationally Dom knew that he couldn’t have done that, but Thompson had looked pretty determined and like he’d go to incredible lengths to put him away and close the case.

“Is Thompson only after me or… I mean, is he also investigating against Chris?”

The thought genuinely scared him. Chris was already going through way too much at the moment, as his recent breakdown had shown to the blonde. He didn’t think the bassist would pull through now. Not to mention what it would do to his family. He didn’t want to see Kelly cry and beg for the police to let Chris go. No. He’d rather give a false confession than send his friends through this ordeal.

Whitman, however shook his head. “He’s only trying to get you. He did try to put Mr Wolstenholme in the position of a possible partner, but there’s no evidence to back this up. He’s safe, don’t worry.”

Dom let out the breath he’d been holding and relaxed a bit. This was all a nightmare, but at least it was only his nightmare. It would probably seem weird to bystanders, but if it came to it, he’d throw his life away just to keep his friends safe.

“Mr Howard… Dominic… is there anything - and I mean even the smallest idea could be helpful here - anything that could refute Thompson’s accusations? I know, watching the video of Mr Bellamy must have been painful for you, but did anything in it strike you as unusual?”

Unusual? Had Whitman really just asked him that? There was literally nothing usual about this video to begin with. Quite frankly, the drummer was still completely shaken up by it. Seeing Matt like that… no. Just no.

“Think, Dominic. Even the smallest detail might help.” Whitman misinterpreted Dom’s prolonged silence and so the blonde tried to focus. “Anything that could give a clue or help us figure this out.”

“Yes, well… when he… when he played he hit a few wrong notes. He never does that. I mean, of course he sometimes plays the odd bum note. But not like that. It did strike me as odd before, but thinking about it now… It has to mean something, I’m sure.” Suddenly Dom got a bit excited. Maybe it was some sort of code? With Matt that idea was well damn possible.

“He’s under constant pressure there, maybe he just… well, maybe he just couldn’t concentrate. Dominic, anything else?” The CI really wanted to do more for him, Dom knew that. But he didn’t know Matt. Even at his worst he could still play Starlight with both eyes closed and his hands tied behind his back. There had to be a reason for his fuck ups. What was so unusual that would justify this? Think. Think, Dominic!

“That cup!” he burst out. “The cup! The one on the piano lid!”

“Yes, we already analysed the logo. It’s from the café you use to frequent, right?”

“Right! Matt never ever drinks when he plays. He does that before or after but never during a song. Never. It’s his golden rule. What if… what if he wanted to draw attention to it? The cup, I mean?”

“That is a possibility. Any reason why he would do that?”

“I don’t know… My necklace… you know, I thought I had lost it. But then there it was. I have no idea how or why he has it now. Maybe…”

“Good, good! This sounds like it could actually lead us somewhere! Keep thinking! When did you last see your necklace apart from in the video?”

He really had to strain his brain in order to remember. When had he first noticed that it was missing? It had definitely been a morning… but which morning? It seemed to have been so long ago… had it been the morning after his shopping trip for Kelly? Yes… yes, that seemed about right. He remembered fumbling with it on the way to the supermarket. Why exactly he wasn’t sure. But yes, that seemed to have been the last time he’d consciously touched it.

“It was… I was grocery shopping, I think. Nothing unusual, just had to get a few things for dinner and the kids. I remember I had to get a package of pasta before I could go home, but I got into conversation with…” He stopped abruptly as the pieces snapped into place. Oh. Oh. Oh fuck! “It was her! She hugged me and told me how sorry she was about everything! God, why didn’t I see? Shit, it was her all along! She stole my necklace! It has to be her!”

“Who? Who are you talking about? Dominic!”

“Suzanne! She is a waitress at this café! The one from the cup! Oh shit, she’s got him! That’s why he wanted to draw attention to it! And the missed notes… he just wanted us to know that something was up!”

By the time their conversation reached its peak excitement-wise, they had already stopped in front of the cells and Whitman gave him an apologetic look.

“Listen, I will follow up on that lead, ask around a bit and investigate her. Maybe she really is a suspect. But for the meantime… I am sorry, but you have to stay here.” The CI indicated one cell with a vague gesture.

Dom’s heart sank at the mere thought of being imprisoned while there was an actual new lead. But he didn’t want to make it difficult for the helpful policeman and so he just nodded. Whitman would find Matt and thereby also prove his innocence. Yes, he knew the CI could do that. And he would. The blonde watched Whitman while he unlocked the heavy iron door reluctantly and with a deep sigh.

“I promise, I’ll hurry. But I cannot tell you how long it will take me to come up with some solid proof. I guess, the only thing I can really do is advise you again not to talk to Thompson and… be patient.”

Again, Dom nodded. Then he looked over at the cell. It looked exactly like he had expected. Cold, dreary and empty. Great. Before he walked in, however, he turned to Whitman again. “Is Chris at the station right now? Is he okay? Will you tell him what we talked about? He needs to know.”

Now it was the CI’s turn to nod. “Yes, he’s up there, asking for you. He cannot visit you right now, but I will tell him, I promise. We will prove your innocence and find Mr Bellamy.”

Dom knew that he really meant it, it was obvious in his face as well as in his voice. Whitman was a good man.
For now, that had to be enough.

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