Note: This was the one song where I knew right from the start what pairing it would be - for some reason this has become my favorite Coldplay song and my SweetBone theme song...
The plot is not very original and the story not how I imagined it, but I just had this picture of a huge yellow teddy bear in my head and it went from there. Sweetness and fluff - but did you really expect anything else? 😉

AJ's favorite color was yellow. Everyone knew this, since he had answered that question about a million times. Therefore AJ didn't think anything of it when he found a huge yellow teddy bear on his bed.
Not many fans gave him stuffed animals - that seemed to be Nick's department - and AJ thought it was cute that someone had gotten a yellow teddy specially for him. He smiled and looked for a note, so he could send the fan who had bought this for him a thank you. But there was none, which was a bit strange, since most fans loved to know that they made an impression. But AJ didn't really think anything of it, he simply set the teddy to the ground and went to pour himself a soda.

The next day he had almost forgotten the incident, when Howie came up to him at rehersals with a wide grin on his face. "Did you get it?" he asked - and AJ was sure that if Howie's calm had not been proverbial his friend would have jumped up and down like a small child.
AJ couldn't suppress a chuckle at the mental image before asking back: "Did I get what, D?"
Howie's smile got even wider if that was possible. "The bear of course!"
AJ almost did a double take - the bear had been from Howie? But why? "_You_ put it on my bus?" he inquired incredulously. "But why?"
Howie's smile faded a bit and AJ wanted to bite his tongue. "Because... well, because it reminded me of you. Didn't you like it?"

AJ could have kicked himself for not reacting better - but he had just been so surprised. He hugged Howie with one arm, using the other to make him look at him. "I love it, D! I'd just never expected it to be from you, that's all..." He could feel Howie's body relax in his arms and saw the smile return in full force. To his surprise AJ felt his heart skip a beat.
"I was in a toy store to get a present for my niece's birthday and I saw this bear on the top shelf and simply _had_ to get it for you." Howie smiled at him one more time before disengaging himself from AJ's arms and joining the others again.
AJ looked after him, still trying to process what had just happened.

After that he found himself watching Howie, trying to figure out if he had changed in some way. But Howie was still the same he had always been and AJ found himself wondering why he had expected something else. 'Because he got me a yellow teddy bear - and that has to fucking _mean_ something!' That answer only added to AJ's confusion.
But after a while things returned to normal and AJ put the whole bear incident into a mental drawer with the label 'Things I Have Yet To Figure Out'. There it was in the company of such important questions as 'Why is Nick forever bumping into things off stage although he never has problems on stage?', 'What kind of stick is lodged up Kevin's ass and what would it take to remove it?' and 'Has Brian _really_ turned into such a bible thumper or is he just pretending?' The question 'Why did Howie buy me a yellow bear and how come it bothers me so much?' fit right in there.

It was a couple of months later when AJ had not been feeling very well for a while that he entered his house after a long hard day in the studio. He was bone weary, too tired to even think of sleep as he shrugged his jacket off and let it lie right where it fell. Then he slipped out of his shoes and made his way to his pool room, intent on relaxing enough that he could go to bed.
But the moment AJ entered the room with the huge painting of Frank Sinatra his eyes fell on something bright yellow sitting in the middle of his expensive pool table. It was a cushion with a smiley face on it and AJ knew at once that Howie had brought this to cheer him up. He smiled, the first smile in hours that he didn't have to force and traced the soft fabric. Noticing a small card leaning against it he picked it up and read what was written on it in Howie's neat hand writing: I hope this made you smile, Aje - you need it! Love, Howie.

'Love, Howie'. 'I hope this made you smile'. The contents of the card kept replaying in AJ's head as he gave the flowers a last look and smile. Then, almost without realizing it, he turned and retraced his earlier steps. But this time there was no weariness in his stride as he closed the door behind him, got in his car and drove a way he would probably have found in his sleep.
AJ felt a bit like a sleep walker as he parked in front of Howie's condo and went up the steps. He used his set of keys to get in and made his way through the rooms, until he finally found his friend in the kitchen, busy making himself dinner. AJ stopped for a moment and took in the sight of Howie, who had obviously not heard him come in, wearing old sweat pants and a faded blue t-shirt with the 'Superman' logo on it, singing along to music from the radio. AJ had certainly seen Howie look better, but for some reason seeing him in this private moment almost made AJ's heart stop.

Howie chose this instant to look up and see AJ standing in the door with a wide eyed look of awe on his face. He didn't seem startled at all, just smiled his warm smile that, as cliche as it was, seemed to light up the room and said calmly: "Hey, Aje - what're you doin' here?"
AJ cleared his suddenly constricted throat and replied, his voice shaking just a bit: "I... I just wanted to thank you. The cushion was... perfect, it really made me smile!"
In response Howie's smile got wider and he simply said: "Good!"

AJ was still staring at him as if he had never seen him before. His mind was racing as it tried to figure everything out. Suddenly AJ heard his own voice. "I love you, too!" He almost choked as he realized what he had just said, at the same time knowing that this was the true reason for his coming here and that there was no denying it.
Howie's smile didn't waver at AJ's confession, if it was possible it just got a shade warmer. "Good", he said - and those were the last words spoken for quite some time.

Coldplay - Yellow

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

I came along,
I wrote a song for you,
And all the things you do,
And it was called "Yellow."

So then I took my turn,
Oh what a thing to've done,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin
Oh yeah, your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
You know
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so.

I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
Cuz you were all yellow,

I drew a line,
I drew a line for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into something beautiful,
You know,
For you I'd bleed myself dry,
For you I'd bleed myself dry.

It's true, look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for...
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine...

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.

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