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i really thought i would never finish this

it feels like the sadder i find my life, the more i want to read--and write--really disgustingly fluffy bits of fiction. that, plus the fact that i recently youtube'd all of season 2 of BBC's Merlin, and you get...well. you get the rest of that awful bradley/colin RPF i posted a year ago, the day i found out about mom.

i haven't written in a really long time and i almost feel like i have forgotten how, but maybe i will dust off the muse and write me some merlin fic. i need an antidote to all the aggressive arthur/gwen action of season 2 =/ i'm sure the writers will manage to somehow wrest a happi endo from the twisted wreckage of arthurian lore, but i'm EQUALLY sure their happi endo will be greatly inferior to mine, where morgana and morgause cohabit a magical dwelling and impress everyone with their beauty, deadliness and vaguely incestuous love, arthur and merlin never stop being each other's most important person and lancelot and gwen both become gentry. (gwen deserves more than to be arthur's beard, i maintain.)




He went to breakfast the next day with the air of a philosopher approaching the scaffold, having spent the night envisioning the possible consequences.

He'd given them names, such as:

Recrimination
Recrimination w/Tears
Stout Denial
Stout Denial II
Amnesia
Electric Fence
Electric Chair
What's a Handjob Between Mates

etc etc.

He was holding out for Amnesia, although occasionally his imagination betrayed him and began to stray down the seductive path of "Mates." There were still at least three more months of filming left to go, and oh god, wouldn't it be nice to not go through the whole bloody getting-to-know-you-sorry-I-don't-speak-French ordeal every single time.

It was certainly best to avoid messing about with the cast altogether, he couldn't argue with that. Though a worldly would-be thesbian from the Lewis auditions had once told him, "If you're going to do it at all, pick a bloke, because he'll never admit to it afterwards."

Bradley remembered thinking at the time that it was highly likely the man was just rationalizing.

Of course, Colin wasn't particularly loose-lipped; he had a discreet personality and probably any amount of Catholic guilt. And it wasn't as if anyone would think twice about them spending time together; what with the going over lines and the occasional candid camera and the even more occasional pint in the evenings, Katie had already started flinging around the word "intertwined" with what he felt was a certain malicious glee.

They were both sensible blokes, weren't they? It wasn't as if they'd go around petting each other's necks and exchanging coy glances, after all. Really, it didn't have to change a thing.

"Oh god, I'm rationalizing," he mumbled into his cereal.

"Rationalizing what?"

He choked a little on his milk. "Morning. Morgan."

"Remind me next time we go out for a celebration that I hate French wine," Colin said without waiting for a reply, and plonked down his tray.

"You're a sight for sore eyes," Bradley said, because it was true.

Colin looked up from fiddling with his scrambled eggs, eyes full of bleary accusation. "You don't look the least bit hungover."

"That's because I'm not," he said, and stabbed into a sausage, eating it with every evidence of great appetite. He took a sour satisfaction in watching Colin flinch. "Some of us, not being infants, can actually hold our wine."

"They asked if I could do an English accent, they didn't ask if I could drink wine like a sponge." Colin lifted a forkful of eggs as if it weighed a kilo, then squeezed his eyes shut. "Why do they keep shouting?"

"Angel! Perfect timing!" Bradley stood up and waved his arms over his head, possibly with slightly more enthusiasm than the exercise really called for. "Over here!"

"'ll kick your fuck in," Colin mumbled from his elbow, where he'd buried his head. The other hand was clutching his hair.

"You, Morgan, couldn't kick over this chair. Coulby, come take a look at this."

Colin was evidently too dispirited to even lift his head in rejoinder, and thus missed Angel's look of genuine sympathy.

"Are you tormenting him, Bradley?"

She was holding a tray in one hand, which was all that prevented her from having her arms crossed, he knew.

"Tormenting him?" He lifted his eyebrows. "Don't think I need to, really."

"Go away and let me die," Colin murmured.

Bradley ignored him. "I'm not the one who decided to pass out when dead drunk like a, a," he stalled in search of a metaphor. "Like an idiot who...can't hold his wine," he concluded. The words were less scathing and quieter than he'd intended them to be, possibly because in the middle of them Colin had suddenly looked up at him.

He waited, but Colin was quiet. Then--

"As you love me, take these eggs away," his co-star said with a certain queasy urgency, and both Bradley and Angel reached for the tray.

"Trash can's that way, love," Angel said, steering him gently by the shoulders.

Bradley watched the two of them go, Colin shuffling along in Angel's wake, an unconscious parody of last night.

So. Amnesia, then.

He was rooted to his seat for a moment, struck absolutely motionless as if by a lightning flash of incandescent rage.

Then he let out a breath, and stared vacantly at his plate of greasy, cold sausages.

Really, it couldn't have worked out better. He was definitely, he decided, vastly relieved.

***

Janice-from-Makeup had taken one look at his deathly pallor and clucked her tongue. Colin had submitted to her ministrations with a look of misery that was almost pathetic enough to call for Bradley's sympathy.

Had Colin actually been spent any amount of time in front of a camera, he might even have deserved it.

The sky had been a dazzling blue over the battlements for over a week. But on the very day when Colin might have been judiciously been given hell for his unprofessional indiscretion, the morning's filming was cancelled due to a cloudburst.

Even the weather, he thought gloomily, was on Colin's side.

Costumes had hustled them out of their armor as quickly as possible ("It's made of metal! You don't want it to bloody rust, d'ye?") and packed them off to practice stunts. This, too, had ground to a halt when Bradley's foot had slipped on the training mat, resulting in a nasty wrench.

Consequently, he was sitting on the sidelines, glumly watching the extras engage in wrestling matches while waiting for Bridget to bring him an icepack.

An icepack thumped to the ground beside him, and he prepared to look up and smile. He got as far as looking up.

"Hey." Colin was shading his eyes, although the day remained grey.

"I thought you were lying down," he said, and then wanted to kick himself.

"I was. I was on a cot in the Infirmary, and then Bridget came in and said she needed an icepack for your foot."

"Oh. Yeah, well," he gestured at it. "It'll be fine, bit of a twist. Nothing to cry about."

Colin's fingers were splayed across the front of his legs, one thumb hooked in a trouser pocket. "They said to prop it up, didn't they?"

"I'm sure it'll be fine," mulishly.

"No sense in turning a wee sprain into a worse one."

"Well, go find something for me to prop it up on, then." He felt a bit of a wanker even as he was saying the words, and then a lot more like one as Colin's head swung slightly ponderously on his neck, casting about for something useful. "Hey, no, never mind. It's okay."

But Colin was already pulling off his worn black hoodie, balling it up.

"Put it back on, don't be daft. You'll catch a cold. If you get sick, I'll never hear the end of it."

"It's not cold." Colin ignored him in favor of shoving the sweatshirt under his foot.

"That would be a lot more convincing if your face had any colour in it." He removed it and threw it back.

Colin fell into a crouch on his heels. "You're angry."

"What?"

"You're angry with me. Or something. You're being weird."

He had to look up, finally. "What do you mean?" It lacked conviction, even to his own ears.

"Last night, is it?" Colin was managing to hold still and look at him directly, which was blatantly unfair.

"I don't know what you're on about," he said in a voice so carefully casual that it was a dead giveaway. Mentally, he held a hand to his face. Physically, he held very still, because Colin was still peering at him intently.

"Did I...was I an arse, or a nuisance. Because if I was, I promise you, I'm being punished for it."

He wasn't sure exactly what it was--the slight hesitation in the veiled apology, the forlorn black heap between them, or the growing conviction that he was being either a giant git or a giant girl about the whole thing.

He sat up a little straighter. "A nuisance--of course you were a bloody nuisance, you nearly threw up on my only pair of dress shoes." It wasn't as hard to smile as he'd feared.

Sometimes it was alarmingly easy to smile at Colin.

"Did I?" Colin bowed his head in what looked like abject shame, then lifted it with a grin. "Hope they were expensive."

"Why, you--" Bradley seized the sweatshirt and tried to stuff it back over Colin's head.

Colin toppled over, laughing, and Bradley lunged to his knees, doing his very best to strangle that long, skinny neck with the limp fabric. They tussled until he accidentally leaned back, putting weight on his injured ankle.

The subsequent profane howl brought the wrath of Andreas down on both their heads, and by the time Bridget bustled over to pour forth her matronly ire, they were united in sheepish chagrin.

"Sorry," Colin mouthed at him as he was led away by a still-clucking Bridget, and pointed down at Bradley's feet.

Bradley managed a smirk.

Yeah, all right. He could do this.

***

"Ok, cut! Next scene, we're back in the castle, got to catch all that lovely slanting light. So Bradley, go get out of your armor and into your court gear."

He took the armful of tunic and cape that Jeannine threw at him. Around a mouthful of pins and a harassed expression, she asked, "Want help?"

There remained a few battalions out of the army of undressed extras, so he shook his head. "I've got this one," and headed back to the trailer.

To his surprise, he heard a muffled yelp as he opened the door.

"Colin? What the hell're you doing in here?"

His co-star ignored him, shrugging into his jacket. "Mine's been taken over by Props. They're trying to blow dry something, I think. They told me to find another space. Actually, Liane said to 'Go fumble your breeches on elsewhere.'"

"And you came here?" He tried very hard not to imagine what he might have seen, if only he'd been a bit faster walking off the set.

"I thought you wouldn't be done yet. And it was closest."

He threw the cape and tunic over a chair. "Well, since you're here, mind helping me lift this thing off? I hate to think of what Janice will do to me if I break another plate off."

"Hang on, almost done." Colin was tugging on his boots, one finger hooked between his sock and the soft brown leather. "Wish they'd invented zippers back then, feels like I'm wearing a set of bags."

"At least they're soft bags, and not made of metal. Also, zippers are anachronistic."

"Yeah, because great big talking dragons are so historically accurate." The second boot was on, and Colin took the two steps necessary to reach out for his hauberk.

He raised his arms obediently, and tried not to hold his breath. "I could get used to having a manservant," he joked.

The armor stopped moving just as the metal collar passed over his face, and he waited for a moment, arms awkwardly suspended in the air.

"What, did it get caught?" He started to wriggle out of the armor from below, when he felt Colin move in closer.

And closer.

"What're you playing at?" He was backed up against the ledge of the counter, and Colin's legs were still bumping into his.

"Not really your manservant. Am I." The armor came off, and Colin's face was oddly close. "Not really your best mate either."

He tried to say lightly, "Script begs to differ." And, "Come off it, it was a joke." And, "Sorry, should learn to take the damn thing off myself."

Instead he said, "Right," and stood very still.

He had just enough time to think that Colin's eyes were very serious, and very close.

Then there was a vicious rapping and Jeannine's voice came through the door, "Are you changed yet, Bradley? Jules asked for a retake, and wanted to know if we could have you back."

She sounded a bit edgy, and Colin had taken a step away, so he called out, "Be right there." He held out a hand silently, and Colin stared at him, suddenly looking a bit lost.

"Can I have it back now?" He hadn't meant the words to come out as abruptly as they did.

"What? Oh--yeah." Colin shoved the hauberk at him.

"Thanks," he said, and not waiting to put it back on, fled.

Outside the trailer door, he stopped and took a deep breath. Jeannine was nowhere in sight, so he pursed his lips and opened the door again.

Sticking his head in, he saw that Colin hadn't moved. "Also, I wanted to state for the record that while we might not be best mates, I think you're not such a bad sort. On occasion. On rare occasion, I mean."

"Do you now."

He couldn't make out if Colin were angry, or disappointed, or simply bemused. He wasn't entirely surprised; things were obviously at a pretty pass when he had to borrow from his character's playbook for How to Deal with Emotional Attachment. "Yes. Definitely. And now I'm going, or Jules will have my hide."

He didn't move from the doorway, though, until he saw the corners of Colin's mouth lift with a helpless smile.

***

He opened the door to the trailer and Colin was standing there again. Only this time, he didn't offer any explanations.

Colin's hands were removing his armor, so smoothly that it seemed to simply disappear. When the chain-mail and shirt were both gone, he began tugging at Colin's jacket, his shirt. Being looser, it took no effort at all to lift them over his head.

He wasn't sure what it was about Colin's pale, skinny chest that inspired a wave of lust so strong it almost made him dizzy. There'd been blokes he'd liked before, of course, there'd been Roger, and his teammate Darren back in school, but it hadn't ever been like this.

And then he was pushing Colin back against the wardrobe, kissing his mouth and jaw and neck, biting his collarbone, hip grinding against his leg.

It felt fantastic, unbelievably good and Colin was panting beneath him, hands frantic and wandering, reaching down to grip his arse.

They were pressed together from knees to shoulders and he wanted even more. "Let me fuck you," he begged, all notions of dignity having clearly exited the room via the window. "You've no idea how badly I've wanted to. You've wanted it too, haven't you?"

Colin was saying something that he couldn't quite make it out. He strained closer, putting his ear to Colin's lips, but even though he could feel them writhing warm and wet, there was no sound.

"What?" he asked, "What?"

And then Colin was shouting at him, but he still couldn't hear a damned thing. It was so frustrating, not being able to make out the words, that he woke up still fuming.

The hotel room was pitch black, and the clock read only 4:22. He lay there until it read 4:30, breathing through his nose.

"That's...really not a good sign," he pointed out to the ceiling.

It looked back at him blankly.

"I'm totally fucked, aren't I."


***

He went through the next week in a mild fog of dread, but nothing untoward seemed to happen.

This was no doubt in part due to the fact that there was simply no time to sit around and let the sexual tension pool. Having wasted two days and a good deal of effort in hustling everything indoors or under tarps whenever things got grey, Production watched the barometer like a hawk. When the forecast was clear, they filmed outside as long as the light was right. The pace wasn't brutal, Jules insisted, merely brisk.

There wasn't any reason to go hang around Colin's room at night now, since sometimes he could hear Colin snoring through the door as early as 10:30. On a few occasions, he did the snoring himself. (He only faked it once, when he thought that someone might be standing just outside his room.)

It was a phase, he was fairly sure. It was a phase and it would pass; no doubt it was caused by their isolation, or a bit of unintentional method acting, or perhaps an early mid-life crisis.

He didn't think it was a budding sexual crisis. It didn't feel like one; he'd been through the smitten-by-blokes thing before. Better-looking blokes, even. This, too, would pass.

If only, he thought wistfully, it would pass somewhat faster.

"You seem tired lately," Angel said to him one day.

"Yeah?"

"Been taking care of yourself? Don't make us sic Bridget on you."

It was the realization that he was about to snap at her that made him think blankly, Dear God, I am tired.

"I'll be all right," he reassured her. "I just...It's the long hours, is all. Acting's hard work, you know."

"Yes, well, we can see it doesn't come to you naturally," she scoffed, but her heart didn't seem in it. "You aren't overdoing it, are you? You've been a bit out of sorts."

He looked at the slightly worried set of her mouth, and felt terrible. "I love this job, Angel," he said with as much honesty and warmth as he could muster. "I wouldn't trade this for anything."

"Even though it means I have to work with you lot," he added, when he felt she wasn't entirely convinced. "It's worth it, getting to be Prince Arthur."

"Rubbish," she said, but her eyes were crinkling. "You took the role so you could stalk Anthony."

"Hey, that was just a perq," he protested.

It wasn't always so bad, somewhat to his own surprise. They were all busy, and it wasn't exactly punishment, making small talk or fooling around. If Colin wondered where the video camera had gone, he never said.

Pretending there was nothing wrong in front of the others was cake, really, compared to pretending there was nothing wrong to himself. If he had to keep it up much longer, he decided, he would go mad.

Clearly, compromises were called for.

His looked something like this: In the daytime, he tried not to think of Colin as anything but a friend.

If he'd done well enough at it, at night he allowed himself to reach into his boxers and jerk off with sharp, short tugs to the thought of Colin's blue eyes looking up at him, while Colin's mouth sucked, hot and tight, at his prick.

It did seem a little counterproductive, he had to admit.

It was at times like these that he missed playing football. Nothing like working up a good sweat to help sublimate this sort of thing.

"A shame there isn't more fighting in every episode," he remarked to Liane.

"Like swinging your big sword around, do you? Typical," she scoffed.

"A workout like that's worth its weight in phallic jokes," he retorted, and meant it.

"Don't fret, love, there's nothing wrong with your physique. It's real heroic-like." She leered at him in a friendly fashion and he grinned back at her.

"If you needed rescuing, Liane, I'd be there in a heartbeat."

"If you ding that shield one more time fooling around with Gil in practice, you'll be the one needing rescuing." She sent him off with a swat to his bottom. (It startled him sometimes, how all the women in Props and Costumes seemed to treat him like a son. Presumably having to tape-measure someone's arse all the time took all the mystery out of it.)

"Grab Colin if you spot him; he said something about taking in his trousers," she instructed as he went out.

"Will do." It was his own fault, he reflected, for always knowing where Colin was.

"They need you in Stitches," he said when he ran across Colin, who was reading in a corner of the courtyard.

Colin looked up, then scrambled to his feet. "Right, Liane, was it?"

"Yeah, she said something about your trousers." He stood there, hands in pockets, examining Colin as casually as he could manage.

"I'll go find her," Colin said, and moved off, book under arm.

"Morgan," he couldn't help calling out.

"Yes?" The sound of Colin's feet halted.

"You should eat more," he said without turning around.

There was a pause, and then, "A body can only manage so much ratatouille."

"Should try the steak sometime, then." He risked a glance over his shoulder.

"You're a right bastard," Colin said comfortably, and left him standing there, smiling rather happily.

He knew he was being pathetic.

On the other hand, he was getting more sleep.


***

"Oh no. Oh, nononono." Colin was actually nudging backwards in his chair.

"Oh, yes. You've got to toast, it's for Richard's health!" Katie's eyes were beginning to take on a merciless glint he normally only saw when she was wearing loads of posh blue fabric and pretending to be psychic.

"His health is fine. No more French wine for me," Colin argued desperately.

"Leave that poor, innocent boy alone, McGrath, and come top us up over here," Richard called from the head of the table, but he sounded unusually mellowed and benign, whereas Katie's jaw was beginning to jut in an amiably determined fashion.

The poor innocent's cheeks were already flushed and he kept stealing glances, of all things, at Bradley. As if somehow Bradley had put her up to a vile scheme of intoxication, specifically with the intent to weaken his defenses against an assault on his honor.

(Possibly the last bit was projection.)

For a moment he wished he'd actually thought of that idea, or had the balls required to carry it out.

Another glance flicked his way, and he forced his eyes back down to his plate, stabbing a piece of tenderloin with deliberate attention. It wasn't his fault that Colin had decided to wear a black shirt tonight, he decided as he chewed. Dark colors did things to him, brought out the paleness of his skin and the contrast of his hair, sharpened the blue of his eyes. It was totally orthodox to admit that, a mere candid reflection on his co-star's good looks.

In retrospect, he thought muzzily, he probably should have had a go at the bread before starting on the toasts. Lunch had been half a sandwich, savaged between takes, and now his brain was floating in a happy wine-tinted sea.

Katie was leaning over his shoulder now, laughing at him, wine bottle still poised to pour. Her skin was even paler than his, her hair just as dark. Colin didn't look nearly as shy as he normally did, grinning at her with every assurance of charm.

Her long hair was brushing Colin's shoulder, but Colin didn't seem at all inclined to lean away.

What was it about Irish people and their ridiculous good looks anyway, he brooded. It shouldn't be allowed, all that dark hair and that really pale skin. The blue eyes were just over the top, really almost an affront.

Angel was talking in his ear.

He turned to her with an effort. "Say what?"

"I said, if you're done moping into your plate, Bradley, do you think you could fetch us the cake?"

"The cake? The cake. Right, I'm on it." It took amazing amounts of self-control not to lurch out of his chair, and he drew himself particularly straight, feeling a justifiable pride. One of their servers drew closer--she was pretty, he'd noted earlier--with an inquisitive smile.

"No--I'm coming back, I mean, I'm going out to get...un gateau."

Ah, she nodded silently, and lifted her brows, "Would you like some plates?" Charming accent.

"Yes. Very much. Merci beaucoup."

An even nicer smile, and he tried to remember how long it took them to get to the restaurant. Could be something there. Shame he didn't have a car. Bleeding shame that he wouldn't have bothered, probably, even if he'd had a car.

"Bradley!" Angel's finger was stabbing into his backside, and he caught a glimpse of Katie frowning at him meaningfully. Clearly the moment for singing was nearly at hand, and as of yet there was no cake.

"Going," and he went.

***

The rest of the evening hadn't been as long as he'd feared. Clearly no one had fancied the notion of spending the next day's tourney scene squinting into the sunlight with a hangover. To make it go even faster, he'd proposed toasts, six or seven of them, as quickly as he could think of ridiculous things to say.

He'd tried, he'd really tried.

Clearly he'd failed, because even before the quiet knock had sounded he knew exactly what he would see.

Except that what he saw, when he jerked the door open, was nothing at all.

"Hullo." Colin was leaning against the wall of the corridor, staring abstractedly at the room opposite.

Friendly, Bradley thought. Musn't sound coy or suggestive. Friendly. "Morgan. Can I help you with something."

Friendly apparently meant brusque, but Colin didn't seem to mind. "Oh," standing up easily, "Thought I'd come check up on you."

"Well, that's...that's a very kind thought. Thank you."

"Just returning the favor," and perfectly naturally, "I'll just come in for bit then," so naturally that Bradley found himself standing aside without thinking.

"Are you implying," his brain was fumbling for something to say, "that I'm so inebriated that I can't handle myself? Because I'm clearly sober, I mean, look at me, I've showered and all."

"Showered, have you? That's a good thing." Colin sat down on his bed, hunching forward. "Must've been fast, we've only just got back."

"Why's it a good thing," he said mechanically.

Colin looked at him then, a sort of sideways look he'd never seen before. There was a shade of hesitation, he thought, but it was gone when he tried to look more closely. "I liked your toast," was all his co-star said.

"There were multiple toasts."

"I was referring to the one about memories."

Making memories, right, something about making memories and magic--raising the cup pointedly towards their resident warlock--together.

"Well...thanks. I'm very touched that you approve of my ability to make toast. Toasts."

"Pretty sad sort of shape you'd be in if you couldn't make toast."

He laughed in a way that sounded a bit nervous even to himself, and cleared his throat. "So you came by to tell me you liked my toasts?"

"No, it was actually more the other thing."

"The other thing."

"The memories bit." Colin's eyes didn't look drunk. If anything he looked faintly alert, assessing Bradley from where he sat on the edge of the bed, elbows on his bony knees.

"Ah." He nodded, then reversed and started shaking his head. "No. I think you might have to explain that one."

"How much do you think I remember?" There was a note of genuine curiosity under the nonchalance.

Remember what, Bradley almost said. I don't know what you're talking about, he considered saying. Look, it's getting awfully late, think we could do this in the morning, he was still mulling over when Colin stood up abruptly.

"Forget it. I'm sorry, I dunno what I was thinking, coming over like this."

That was what did it. "Come on, it's not that, it's--look, what did you want me to say? You're incredibly attractive, fancy a shag?"

Colin pointed a finger at him. "I'm bisexual."

That was a bit of a stunner. "O--kay, that's a start."

"Also, I was once totally naked on stage. So for the love of Christ, would you stop treating me like I'm this ignorant Irish boy?"

"I wasn't, I just--look, it's a bit different this time." He was still reeling from "bisexual". "We work together, you don't want to do this. It'll be all weird and tense on set. And--Colin, you can't be serious. It's one thing to--" He stopped, unsure how to state delicately that it was one thing to admit to yourself that you thought shagging blokes was alright and another entirely to risk outing yourself to the British media by shagging your co-star.

"Look. I've thought about this. I really have. And I think, y'know, it's going to be really brilliant. Because," with the air of one making an extremely valid point, "We're co-stars."

"Because we're--it'll be brilliant if people find out we're shirt-lifters because we're co-stars? Are you or are you not dead drunk, because you're not making very much sense."

"No, they're not going to think about it because we're co-stars! And it's," scratching a forefinger at his temple thoughtfully, "Versimilitude. Life imitating art."

It was hard to restrain his eyes from rolling, but he managed. "You think no one is going to notice us staring at each other all the time because we pretend to be best friends for the show?"

"No," as if Bradley were an idiot child who needed careful explanations, "no one is going to notice because," finger wagging at Bradley, "No one's going to be staring. And if they do notice, they'll just think it's brilliant that we're getting so close, because everyone knows you didn't much care for me at the start."

"I didn't much--that's ridiculous." He crossed his arms. "I was perfectly nice to you. Always was."

Colin looked up at him, expression serious. "You tormented me."

"It was for your own good! You were so...you just moped around in corners, and everyone made such a fuss over you! I mean, it was a bit sickening." He stopped short and considered making a retraction, but Morgan merely folded his fingers together and grinned.

"You know, if that was your idea of making up to someone, you're really lucky I'm here at all."

"Why are you here at all," he found himself asking. But it was said softly, mostly to himself. It was a bit hard to adjust, after all that...he tried to find a word that didn't make him sound like a lovesick girl, and couldn't. But it was never smart to leap for the light at the end of any tunnel, no matter how long or dark it had been.

Colin kept staring at him with a slightly furrowed brow, as if he couldn't understand why Bradley was bothering to argue. He wasn't sure himself.

"Why look for an excuse? To tell the truth, I'm a wee bit keen on remembering the details this time around."

What was it that was making him feel so lightheaded, he wondered. Possibly that giddy sensation was merely a French wine redux. He clung to the remaining scraps of martyrdom, feeling a queer outrage at how easy Colin was making it all seem. "So you're telling me that all this time, all this time I've been agonizing over this bizarre obsession I've developed over you, you've just been swanning around being..." He managed to stop the words "happily queer" and choked out, "interested?"

Bisexual, his brain echoed happily. He said it, he did.

"Well I don't say I enjoyed waking up that morning by myself. I mean, I didn't know what to think."

"Apparently you figured it out, though!"

"Well," Colin gave him a much more assessing glance this time, "Not if you just stand there all night, then, no."

And because he'd studied enough scripts to recognize a cue when he heard one, there was really nothing left but to tackle Colin into the bed.

He paused just one more time, narrowing his eyes while the bedside lamp shed soft shadows all over Colin's face. "You're sure you're sure about this?"

Colin looked up thoughtfully, sniffed. Quirked his lower lip in thought. "Yeah, I'm quite sure."

Which was just as well, because Bradley James was only human.

***

"So...tomorrow." What he meant by that was, Is it going to be Amnesia, or a Handjob Between Good Mates? He was coming down slowly through the haze of orgasm. It had been a good one, they'd taken their time and he was having trouble not sounding breathless. Forming complete sentences, that was also a bit hard.

"Figure that part out later."

He looked at Colin, who wasn't even trying not to sound breathless. "Okay. Yeah."

***

"I knew it," he said, in the short spaces when he came up for air. He kept his fist pumping slowly, though, so Colin wouldn't complain. "I knew it all along."

"Knew what? Oh--god--" Colin's heel kicked out, then dug into the sheets.

"Knew you couldn't possibly be as sweet as they all thought you were--Ow, go easy!"

Colin gasped, let go of Bradley's hair and threw a gangly arm over his face, which did nothing to make his gasped "Oh fuck me--" less audible.

"I am considering it," Bradley admitted, and kneaded his palm into Colin's ass for emphasis.

He paused to look up and admire the effect, then paused again to try and remember just how Colin had wrapped a warm pink tongue around the head of his cock earlier.

It was hard to think in the haze of post-orgasm, punctuated by the sharp hot notes of lust. Also, it had been a while since he'd sucked on anyone's cock and in his boneless state it was taking some effort to maintain even the lazy pace he was taking. Possibly that was why he was strangely unconcerned. It wouldn't be awkward, probably, at least not right away. He was reasonably sure about that.

After all, there was something terribly satisfying about surrendering to the inevitable.

"You're alright, Colin Morgan. I think I might just like you after all."

finis



i don't know what to call this story. i was thinking of "the courtship of colin morgan, or 'since we've got to france it's been especially bad'." does it deserve a title?

the more i see of bradley and colin the more i'm aware of how bad an actor bradley james is; he's terribly good looking but somehow manages to project this feeling of trying too hard. it's almost the exact same feeling that arthur manages to give you, that if he stopped focusing so hard on being the prince of camelot for ten minutes in a row you might actually find out he had a personality. bradley james carries around a camera, bradley james is always ON camera. i suppose that's what makes it so tempting to imagine that off-camera, he is completely and totally aware that he is a giant geek who sits around watching buffy reruns in old sweatpants.
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Comments

omg, aki! I don't watch merlin, but I just wanted to comment and say that HELLO, I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU ARE STILL HERE ♥
CHERRY-CHAN. ahahahaha i am totally not actually here
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CHERRY-CHAN. ahahahaha i am totally not actually here <_< in that i've been sucked away into the worlds of...well, cancer and warcraft, really >_> and haven't been paying anyone outside those worlds a great deal of attention ::sigh:: i hope things with you are well?
cancer, what! why do I never see you on gchat anymore! T_T
XDDDDDDDDDD i will never write RPS for them again, because it was SO HARD to stop getting them confused with their characters! i think i'm actually envious of merlin these days, what with a hottie destined for his future XD i'd like to have some measure of certainty like that -_-
omg, Aki, I'm always so happy to see you update. ♥_♥

What a nice surprise, to read the rest of this fic! I love your Bradley - the perfect mix of jerk and weirdly charismatic, and his moping drew genuine sympathy. *g* Loved his reaction categories at the beginning, hee.

sorry to hear fictional fluff is proportional to rl trouble, though. :| ♥♥♥♥♥

and hey, if you're looking for a nice new fluffy (sort of) rps fandom I know one you might like. <-- *in must-share-shiny-new-fandom mode* ._.
XDDD what, dear, what is it? if you must know i did furtively contemplate another RPS pairing :koffkoff:: what? i like the way zachary quinto looks, sue me.

what's SORT OF rps, then, hmm? are you trying to drag me back into the world of sparkly jpop?
THE BEGINNING OF THIS PART IS STILL ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS YOU HAVE EVER WRITTEN. ♥♥♥
lol cathy it seems to be everyone's favorite, ahaha. <3 ty for reading bb, i know i am ridic for finishing a story a year later -_-
It's okay. We like waiting for you. You can be the Bradley to our Colin, and we'll wait quite a long time for you. :D
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April 2012

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