The first time they meet, Tom holds his gaze for too long. It's a shock to the nerves, largely because Hadley is already full of nerves; he's convinced of the angle he wants to take on Aufidius, but it could all go terribly wrong with the wrong Martius – someone who wasn't game for it. Now here he is, meeting his Martius for the first time, and the man is looking at him.
"This is Tom," they say, and Tom smiles. Hadley utterly forgets the casual speech he was going to give. He's not the type to get starstruck – except how he is, a bit. When this man speaks, millions listen, and for a performer there is no higher recommendation. They say their hellos, they talk for a bit, and Tom immediately puts him at ease with his enthusiasm and attention.
It turns out that's what Tom does with everyone, always so courteous and generous. Hadley likes him instantly. But see how close he comes, see how he doesn't look away when politeness demands - what's that about, then? Such treatment seems reserved for Hadley; the others don't get it. Hadley means to bring it up, but somehow he doesn't.
Days later, over beers at the pub down the way, Hadley leans in so the rest of the cast won't hear him, buzzing about as they are. "I was talking with Josie," he says, and Tom leans close enough to rest their shoulders together. Hadley clears his throat. "Sorry, I. I was talking to Josie about how we'll do Antium."
"You mean how far to take the sex," Tom says, pitched nice and low.
"Uh." Oh, very articulate, Hadley. "Yeah, I mean. The angle."
Tom's eyebrow shoots up, and when Hadley coughs, Tom's wicked laugh draws every eye at their table.
They'll talk about it soon, Hadley decides, and buries his nose in the pint glass.
In the weeks that follow, they have several long conversations about the brutally intimate relationship between these two men, Aufidius and Martius. (Sometimes people forget and call him Coriolanus, and it makes Hadley twitch every time. It's Martius.) It turns out Tom is game for every ounce of Spartan hatefucking Hadley cares to wring from the script – and there's a lot, even on the page. Josie's into it as well, and in the end everybody gets in on the action. From the key grips to the set design to Mark bloody Gatiss, they're encouraged from every quarter, which is really lovely. There was a time when it wouldn't have been so.
Tom is a dream on the subject: passionate and opinionated about exploring the edges of these men, their friendship, their enmity. What draws them together? How are they different, and how are they alike? All these questions they debate for hours in between their swordplay and training.
One day after rehearsal, Hadley throws Antium down like a gauntlet. "Let's just do it," he says. "Let's just run it through it and see what happens."
They do that, borrowing a pair of passing makeup artists to read the roles of the serving staff. They flub lines, they start over, but when they hit the speech - O Martius, Martius! - Hadley lets his heart fill his eyes. He reads the lines like a lover. It's overdone, overblown, but when he hits the end, Tom's eyes have tightened in that way that Hadley is already starting to recognize as a moment of cleverness.
"Do it again," Tom tells him, still on his knees. "I cannot live, but to thy shame - unless it be to do thee service."
Hadley delivers his lines, pours it on even thicker. He drops down to his knees as well, slides a hand to the nape of Tom's neck at here I clip the anvil of my sword.
Tom interrupts him in the middle of a sentence, shifting closer. "Kiss me," he says, taking hold of Hadley's wrist.
Hadley's breath catches in his throat. He'd thought about it, obviously, he'd thought about how he would, but God knew he never could, and now... He leans in and takes a kiss off that mouth, that wicked mouth that snarls at him all day and laughs at him in the pub. It's fast and sharp and hard. His blood surges.
Tom squeezes his wrist a bit, and draws back with that evil smirk on his newly reddened lips. "That's good... but I did mean in the play."
"...Oh. My God, I - "
"I didn't mean - "
Tom wraps a strong hand around the back of Hadley's neck and twists. It's from the fight choreography; Hadley turns into it without thinking, and they both drop to the ground, Hadley on his back. Tom sweeps in and kisses him - deeper this time, and softer. Slower. It's absolutely wrecking. When he's done, Hadley is left shivering on the cold concrete, wondering if his costuming will hide the sudden swell in his trousers. Gentle as that was, he's not sure why he now feels scratched up and bruised.
Tom gives him that smirk again. "It's fine," he says, his voice upsettingly rough. "We're actors."
He climbs up off Hadley then, and holds out his hand. There's no choice but to take it, to let Tom pull him up to his feet. He'd love to crack a joke, to relieve some of the tension, but for the life of him, he can't think of anything to say. Then, blessedly, Tom begins to natter about the staging. In just minutes, he's managed to catch Hadley's interest. When Hadley begs to differ on a particular point, he forgets to be self-conscious, and then they're calling each other idiots in a good-natured sort of way. That's far better.
Some days later, Hadley is doing his best to gently fend off one of the wardrobe assistants - poor lamb's taken a shine to him, but he isn't interested. Tom arrives out of nowhere and slings an amiable arm around Hadley's shoulders. "Come running," he says.
"Yeah, I reckon we'd better," Hadley says, grateful for the excuse.
The wardrobe assistant gives Tom a dark look.
Tom must notice it, he must, because he leans in close enough for his lips to brush Hadley's ear. "Later you can come round to mine," he says, sotto voce. Deadly.
Hadley swallows hard. "I'll just... get my things," he says.
The wardrobe assistant flounces off, and Tom's hand slides down Hadley's back. "Well, go on then," he says, his voice resuming its normal pitch. "You can't run in that."
Hadley can only nod, and wander off to go find his bag.
When they're out, feet pounding on the pavement, feeling the prickling stretch in their sides as the wind rushes by, Hadley remembers. "Thanks, by the way." He's breathless, and the words are blurred. "For... helping me out back there."
Tom laughs, gasping a little. "You were like this... deer in the headlights. Gazelle in the Serengeti. Thought I'd best take you down before... any other blood be shed."
He does that sometimes, Hadley's noticed - speak with a Shakespearean tilt to his language. Perhaps Hadley ought to be doing that himself. He's never done professional Shakespeare before; maybe there's some kind of mindset you're supposed to -
"You should come round, though." Tom's voice cuts through Hadley's spinning thoughts. "After rehearsals tomorrow."
Hadley's mind stutters, and a moment later his feet do the same. He nearly falls, but catches himself just in time to prevent an ugly scrape. He stops, bends down and braces his hands on his knees. Tom's beside him instantly, a hand at the small of his back. He's out of breath too. "All right, Hadley?"
His ankle smarts a bit, but he's all right, so he nods. His head's still spinning with the invitation - Tom's house? But... oh. He remembers, of course - they'd spoken about watching the recent film adaptation of Coriolanus together, the one Ralph Fiennes did. They'd agreed it would be good to review, to distance themselves or thieve from it, as appropriate. All Hadley can do is nod, and get back on his feet.
Tom claps him a few times at the small of his back. "Keep on?"
"Yeah," Hadley says, and they take off again at an easy lope. Once they've found their pace, Hadley clears his throat. "I can come round tomorrow," he says, and gets a brilliant grin for his reward.
That same night, Hadley lies awake in bed, staring up at the dim ceiling. He's run through about twenty scenarios - things he wants to say, things that might happen, things that should under no circumstances be allowed to occur. Tom has not struck him as anything but forgiving, so even if he fucks it up as gloriously as he can imagine himself doing, his career probably isn't ruined. He thinks he'll be okay, so long as he remembers that Tom's always joking. If Hadley should catch him in a meaningful sidelong glance, if he should say something inadvertently dirty, and apparently even if they trip and fall on each other's mouths, it's just nonsense. Don't take it seriously. Behave yourself.
Don't think about the thump of your heart when you're trading lines. Don't think about how much he flirts, how often and how crippling. Don't think about how three people on the production have already hinted that it's all right, that they know, and winked at him. Don't think about that one time they were shouting at each other, and forgot their lines in the pulse of emotion, and Tom's eyes were just too fierce for him to look away, and Josie called break and turned around and walked out and everyone was probably thinking that they were just going to go, right there on stage.
Snarling, Hadley shoves his hand into his pajamas, grips his cock and strips it fast. For these few moments, he lets himself think what it would be like to get Tom under his hands for real, get him naked and wanting, watch him flare and flash and shove and push until they were finally, finally satisfied.
He shudders for long, long minutes before he's through, cock gripped tightly in his hand.
That was important, he thinks. He's got it out of his system now. He can be a professional.
When he arrives at Tom's house the next evening, he hovers by his car door trying to decide whether to bring up the emergency bottle of wine he bought. He doesn't want to seem like some kind of overeager suitor, and nor does he have any intention of getting drunk. That could only end in tears – his, obviously.
He takes it anyway. He's a bloody actor, he can pass it off as politeness. It is politeness.
He checks three times to be sure he's got the right spot to park before heading up and around to the door. Tom opens it with a welcoming smile, ushering Hadley inside with a hand on his back. He keeps it warm in here, Hadley notes - awfully warm.
"I brought this," he says, holding out the wine with a shrug. "I thought about turning up empty-handed, maybe also kicking sand in your eye, but this won out."
Tom laughs easily, taking the bottle from him. "Well, I'd better find us some glasses, then. Come on."
The house is a beautiful though baffling mix of clean-cut modernity and stuffy academia. There are books everywhere, art all over the walls, and every corner has something interesting to look at - but the cabinets and furniture are simple, natural. The walls are unbroken swaths of bright color. Hadley trails Tom, eyes everywhere. A house says a lot about a man.
In the kitchen, Tom pours the wine and tries it, then hums approvingly at his glass. He inspects it closer, studies the bottle and the label - a success. Hadley hides his smile by taking a sip. Finally, a victory.
They pore over Tom's takeaway menus and order over the phone, then go into the living room with its ridiculous home theater system and settle in for the show.
It takes forever for them to get through so much as a single scene. They pause every few minutes to talk, the discussions getting increasingly longer and far-flung. The food arrives, and they argue over who's going to pay for it (Tom wins, arguing that as a proper host with a proper wine-bearing guest, he would be wretched indeed to not provide dinner). They eat, they argue, and before they know it, they've hit the end of Act I and it's 11 at night.
"Don't think we're going to make it through in one sitting," Hadley says. He's sprawled over half of the couch, feet up on the table at Tom's insistence.
"Yeah," Tom sighs, tapping a little tattoo against his belly. He looks over at Hadley, even more unfairly handsome in the buzzing blue light of the screen. "Antium, though?"
Hadley nods; it's really the key part for them. "Yeah," he says. "Let's at least go over that. We'll probably want to watch it twice anyhow."
Tom plays it, and they watch. He pauses it before Gerard Butler has even recognized his enemy. "They're so far apart," Tom says, pointing.
Hadley nods; it's just a continuation of an earlier conversation about the lack of pomp in their production. The tight space of the Donmar lets them get a lot more visceral, strip away all the grandiosity until they're left with just two people. The intimacy rises to the surface almost by default. "We don't need to work a lot to get away from this," Hadley observes.
They play it again. Aufidius looks like he wants to eat Martius; his face is filled with hate and greed. Hadley gestures, and Tom pauses. "Look at that. There's no love there."
"Yeah," Tom agrees, looking over again. He always looks directly into Hadley's eyes. "At this point, you're the last person left in the world I can trust. I know one way or the other you'll treat me with honor, even though no-one else has."
Hadley warms to his topic, leaning in a little. "Yes, because, exactly. I hold you in the highest esteem. You're my perfect match." Tom sits up a little, intrigued and listening. Hadley presses on: "And that's why the only victory that matters is the one over you; you're the only opponent I value. You work the way I work, you think the way I think, you have the honor that I prize, that I need, that is the only measure by which I judge myself. I love you, it's that simple."
Tom huffs a laugh, warm and pleased. "Keep talking like that and we'll need takeaway breakfast, as well."
Hadley's breath catches in his throat. Don't be weird, he reminds himself. It's just a joke. He clears his throat and smiles, tries for a light tone. "But I only brought one bottle of wine."
Tom's smile sharpens, his lashes dipping down. "We're Roman aristocracy, Hadley; you don't need to get me drunk."
Hadley is finishing his wine as Tom says that; he coughs once, but it goes down without turning him into a farce. He puts the glass down, pressing a hand to his chest. Tom just looks up at him from where he's lying against the couch, which is - well, far too close, actually. However did that happen? "So," Hadley says, floundering - and then something terrible happens.
There's a question Hadley's had on the edge of his mind for a while now, and in his mental flailing for something to say, his brain kicks this out: "Hypothetically, in the time they were pillaging the Roman countryside, d'you think they..."
Tom's smile doesn't fade by so much as one watt. "Did they... fuck?"
He's blushing now. Fantastic. "Yeah," he says, because at this point he has no choice but to run with it. "What do you reckon?"
Tom's face goes thoughtful, and he scratches at his jaw. The stubble rasps on his fingers, maddening in Hadley's ears. "Tough to say," Tom says. "I love my wife, obviously."
"Yeah," Hadley says, relieved to agree. "And you made a vow. Your honor would demand fealty."
Tom wags a finger, smiling. "Ah, but it isn't adultery if it's with another man," Tom says. He sits up and turns to Hadley, drapes his arm along the back of the couch. "Not in Rome, not in this era. It isn't even the same act – to join with your fellow soldiers, and to lie with your wife, it's different. I'd be perfectly within my rights to fuck you, if I liked."
His voice keeps drifting lower and lower. Hadley prays it doesn't get difficult to stand soon, and wonders if he could credibly fake a need to use the loo. If he could drag his eyes off of Tom's. Bloody man is mesmerizing.
Tom points at him. "The question before us tonight is whether you would fuck me. Quite technically I'm your prisoner, and you're an honorable man. I'm sure you'd feel an obligation toward me, to protect my dignity - and your own."
"Naturally," Hadley says. His voice is weak. His throat is dry. At last Tom breaks the gaze, but it's only to flicker his eyes down over Hadley's body. Dear God. No, no - it's a joke. Or it's business. It's a joke or business.
Tom meets his eyes again, and... is that a bit of shyness? "But perhaps you can't help yourself. Perhaps the love between us is too intense for dignity. I've already dismissed other men; you're the only one that... interests me. But I couldn't presume to tell you, not straight out. I'm in your service, so... it would be a presumption."
"No," Hadley finds himself saying. "No it wouldn't, you could tell me. I would..." What the hell is he saying? It's business, it's bloody business! He tries as hard as he can to wrench himself back to Aufidius. "I... I already love you. More than any other, more than my own wife. I tell you that in the first moments I see you. I bloody kissed you, Tom, you must know."
Tom looks at him for a long, heavy second. Hadley feels his cock pressing hard against his jeans, feels his heart thud against his ribs. At last, Tom's pleased smile appears again. "Then I guess we did," he shrugs. "It's good, really; it makes the ending that much more tragic, you know?"
Hadley blinks, then smiles and nods his head. "Exactly," he says. "Do you know, I think I've had a bit too much wine."
"Back towards the kitchen," Tom smiles. "Second door to your left."
Hadley takes the long way around the couch, so he can keep Tom at his back. Once he's behind a closed door, he lets himself freak out. Soundlessly, he shouts at himself for a full minute, raging around the tiny washroom. His face is on fire. He categorically refuses to hobble about Tom Hiddleston's kitchen with a monster erection for even one more moment.
He knows, all right? He knows that conversation could have ended another, much better way, and he's fucked it up. So maybe now he's completely blown his shot or maybe he hasn't, but either way it's too late to do anything about it tonight.
He paces the tile again, breathing and trying to focus. Maybe this is not a total disaster. Maybe he can still salvage something here. Whatever this is, he doesn't want it to be over.
Hadley splashes some water on his face. He leaves the loo and finds that Tom's turned off the film and brought up the lights in the living room. He's cleaning up. Hadley hurries over to help, despite Tom's polite assurances. They carry things into the kitchen, and it's okay. Tom seems happy and warm towards him, no awkwardness in the air.
Hadley folds up the takeaway boxes and passes them over, thinking furiously. It's late, and they meander towards the foyer, chatting about nothing particular. At the door, Hadley shrugs his jacket on and then finds Tom's eyes and holds them. "This is the part of a date where I'd usually go for the goodnight kiss," he says. He does his best version of Tom's wicked smile, which is pretty fucking all right. He's not without skills.
Tom's eyebrow raises, and an answering smile begins to come over him. "Well, I had a lovely evening, Mister Fraser," he says, pushing his voice up to edge at a falsetto.
Hadley laughs, Tom laughs, and Hadley steps closer. He slides a hand up around the back of Tom's neck, like they've done in rehearsals a dozen times. He tilts his head back a bit - not like rehearsals, where they're kneeling and Tom's height doesn't matter. This is different, and Hadley knows it the moment Tom sweeps toward him. Their lips meet, and it's slow and heavy, deepening by the second. This kiss was supposed to be short, fun, maybe even a tease - it's none of that. It's becoming quite serious, Tom's tongue on his lips, Tom's hand in his hair, and Hadley knows how this will end. He wants it with a fierceness that surprises him.
But then Tom pulls it back. Slowly, yes, and lingering - but he's pulling away. Apparently, he isn't that sort of boy. Hadley does his best to hide his disappointment, to make it as good as it can be in the last few seconds. Once they're apart, he smiles nervously, hoping for the best.
Tom looks... uncertain. Confused. There's pleasure there, yes, but he isn't...
Well, it won't do to push. Hadley gives Tom's nape a gentle squeeze before he lets go and steps back.
"I'll see you tomorrow," Tom says, and his voice is gravelly. He may not be reaching out, but there can be no doubt he's affected. Hadley is stabbed with a spike of lust just listening to it, the evidence of what he's done.
"Yeah," he says, with a tight smile. "I'll see you at rehearsal."
He skips down the steps, paces out to his car, and speeds all the way home.
The next day, they kill it. Their timing is perfect, their energy building higher with every line they throw at one another. Tom is electric, filling the room with his presence every time he's on, and Hadley loves watching him. It's nothing to give the speeches today. He proclaims his love and hate for Martius with passion, pulling it easily out of his heart. Josie gushes to both of them, delighted by their newfound energy. When they do the fight sequences, they connect more than once, banging each other around. The first couple of times it's a little awkward; they race to help the other up, to apologize, and it feels weird. As they relax into it, they start to grin at each other like feral children, gripping their wooden swords and racing at each other.
When Josie finally calls a halt for the day, Tom slings an arm around Hadley and tugs him toward the dressing rooms. "Come on, I want to talk with you."
Hadley follows along easily. Tom walks them faster and faster down the hall, and when they finally reach Hadley's room, Tom pushes him inside and closes the door behind them, his eyes fixed on the floor at his feet. "Listen," he says. His voice is low and serious. He presses his back to the door, like he thinks Hadley might make a run for it. "Listen, I think we should talk about what happened last night."
Hadley struggles not to fold his arms across his chest. His nerves are singing, his throat tightening. "If it's a problem," he begins, but Tom waves it away, shaking his head.
"That isn't it, no. I was... that was good."
Hadley waits for him to continue, but he seems to have stalled out. "Tom?"
His eyes come up, and there's so much in them. He's so bloody expressive without even trying; it's maddening. There's confusion there, and nerves, and frustrated longing. "I don't know how to ask someone to mess around with me. I know dating, I'm good at dating. I'm a romantic like you can't imagine. But this is... different. I can feel it, the difference, and it's... it's very, very appealing. Please understand that."
Hadley knows exactly what he's talking about. Every time they're together, it's like someone's blown the fuses – as though the lights are flickering, or there's a buzz in his ears. There's nothing gentle here, nothing as sweet as Hadley's other relationships... but it's good, it's very fucking good. He allows his eyes to drift down over Tom's long frame. "I've thought about it since we met. Has it been like that for you?"
"Yeah." Tom's grin flashes, wolflike, there and gone. "I suppose I'm nervous, then. I don't know the rules for this; I don't know... how far it goes."
"It goes as far as you like," Hadley tells him, taking a step toward him. "It goes as far as we want it. But you've never done this before, am I right? Not with a man."
"I went to Eton," Tom laughs. "Wouldn't you think? But no, no, I've never. I've never wanted to, before."
That's usually a dealbreaker for Hadley. He has a complicated life, his work is so important to him and it takes all his energy. For the most part he's sworn off one-night stands and other such screwing around. But he's always been a sucker for passion, and their work isn't suffering for it - just the opposite. The urgency and lust were right there for him today, ready to grasp and use and wield like a weapon. He approaches Tom carefully, slowly. "I don't mind," he says. "I can show you, if you like."
"I think I would," Tom says, those sharp eyes tracking his every move. "But not here? I talk a good game, but I'm afraid I get intensely private about... private things."
Hadley puts up his hands. "Of course," he says gently. "Whatever you like."
"At mine," Tom says, still dragging his gaze over Hadley from top to toe. "Tonight? Along the lines of now?"
Hadley laughs softly. "Yes, of course, I'll... I'll just get my things."
"See that you do," Tom pronounces, and then takes a good, long look over Hadley from top to toe. Then he turns on his heel and sweeps the door open, gone in a moment... leaving Hadley to gaze wonderingly after him. Of all the ways he thought this would go, this was not... high on the list.
They take Tom's car, roaring through the streets. He drives like a madman. "I'm just in a hurry," he says, his reckless grin making Hadley nervous.
By the time they park, he's all too happy to climb out of the car. "You're a fucking menace, you are!" He's laughing when he says it, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.
"Shut up," Tom grins, knocking shoulders with him. That grin turns into a bitten lip, a raw look. "Let's get inside."
They clatter up the steps and Tom fumbles with the key. At last they're in the door, and Hadley doesn't even bother to take off his coat before he's dragging Tom back by the shoulder, the shirt. They kiss, and it's a wild and surging thing. Now that they know they can do something about it...
Tom pulls away far too soon, laughing. "Have to get the alarm," he mumbles, and presses another quick kiss to Hadley's mouth before disappearing into the house.
Hadley isn't quite sure what's going to happen, here. He feels different with Tom, the ghosts of Aufidius and Martius hovering over them, making them fiercer than they might otherwise be. Hadley is also aware that whenever they're together, he feels very strongly about Tom, and that it fades when they're apart - simple transference, happens to a lot of actors, nothing new. He likes it, though, this part of himself. When a man spends his formative years as a dramatist, musician and academic (often called some variety of geek), he doesn't spend a lot of time feeling like a soldier. Aufidius's primal instinct tempered by pure love - it's worthwhile. That purity is Martius's saving grace, in point of fact, and having it here, between them, feels like some terribly intimate secret.
Tom comes around the corner, interrupting his thoughts. "It's done," he says.
It hangs there for a moment, and then Hadley rescues them. "Sofa," he says gently, to Tom's relieved smile. The bed can wait, for now.
Tom leads them into the living room and looks at Hadley for direction. Hadley lets himself slide a hand onto Tom's shoulder and steer him into the room, over to the sofa, and down. It's something Aufidius would do. He straddles Tom's lap and leans down over him, using his hands to pin Tom's shoulders. You're mine now, he thinks, and licks his lips.
Tom shifts under his hands, and when he discovers that he's pinned, his eyes dart to Hadley's, filled with lust. He pushes himself up, reaching for a kiss, only to fall back to the sofa when Hadley won't come down.
"You'll let me show you?" Hadley asks nicely - a counterpoint to the firm pressure of his hands.
Tom shifts and roils like fire. "Yesss," he sneers, his hands settling on Hadley's thighs, his fingertips digging in. "Come on, then, and show me."
"Give me your hands," Hadley says. Tom obliges, and Hadley threads their fingers together and presses their joined hands to the sofa at either side of Tom's head. He goes in for the kiss; Tom's so good at that part. They feed off each other, breathing each other, the slick twist of their tongues setting fires in Hadley's mind.
He holds Tom's hands down and Tom goes wild for it, groaning into his mouth and finally tearing away from the kiss to gasp in air. "Fuck," he breathes fervently.
Hadley sees that expanse of bared neck below him, and lets himself bend down to bite. It's firmer than he usually does, and he has to remind himself not to suck, not to leave any marks for makeup to yell about. That's hard to do with Tom twisting underneath him, cursing a blue streak. Tom yanks one of his hands free and snarls his fingers in Hadley's hair, holding him close. There's something tender about the touch of that hand that makes Hadley forget himself, and bite a little harder.
Tom's gasps are stitched through with an amazed and joyous kind of laughter, as though if he could just get the breath, he'd shout it. At last he digs his fingers into Hadley's hips, shifting beneath him. Hadley eases up, and Tom finds his eyes in the low light. "Let me move," Tom says, yanking him closer.
Hadley grins, all teeth. "You'll have to let me go first."
"Fuck." Tom growls it, trying to shift them both without losing the contact. At last Tom's back hits the couch, and he's managed to get Hadley lying on top of him, their thighs slotted together.
"I know what you want," Hadley snarls, and then gives it to him - a long and heavy press of his hips. They slide together just right, and Tom throws his head back with a wild shout. He surges, dragging Hadley closer with bruising hands on his shoulders. "God," Hadley says feelingly. "You're so..."
Tom looks at him, looks him right in the eye with that wicked fucking leer. "What," he sneers, challenging. "I'm so what?"
Hadley can't help but laugh, short and sharp. This fucker. He grinds down hard again, reaches up to clench his fist in soft curls. "You're so mine," he sneers back, right up against the delicate curve of Tom's neck. "My prisoner."
Tom's laugh is pure evil. "Am I?" he says, his voice buzzing along Hadley's lips.
His foot kicks out; the table slides. Tom gets an arm around him, a foot behind his knee, and then they're rolling, tumbling down onto the plush carpet. Tom scrambles up until he's the one caging Hadley's thighs, he's the one looming down, he's the one with strong fingers jerking Hadley back by the hair until he's gasping for it, the blood pounding through his veins. Tom leans down over him, so close they breathe the same breath, and hovers there, promising a kiss that doesn't come.
Hadley slides his hands down to grip Tom's ass, kneading hard.
They both laugh, just boys at play, and then they're kissing again, savaging one another. Hadley pulls Tom in hard, and feels the thick ridge of cock pressed against his belly.
This is happening, Hadley thinks frantically. This is actually happening.
Pressed up to the couch, they grind against each other until it's painful. At last Hadley tears himself away and braces his hands on Tom's waist. Tom blinks at him, inquisitive. "Point of no return," Hadley says ruefully. "You want to keep on, or...?"
Tom licks his bottom lip, looking down at Hadley like he's dessert. The silence stretches out, and then Tom shifts uncomfortably above him, trying to ease the pressure in his jeans. "All right, yeah..."
Hadley narrows his eyes, sensing hesitation. "...But?"
"You let me take you upstairs, and then I get to have my wicked way with you," Tom says. There's a wink in it, but Hadley can tell he's serious. Tom tuts a finger at him. "You don't touch until I'm done. Deal?"
When Hadley gives it a second's thought, he understands. Of course he would choose to go first, making sure he doesn't take more than he's willing to give. Tom wouldn't want to be unfair like that; he's honorable. He's a fucking gentleman. "I'll keep my hands to myself," Hadley promises. "Until you say otherwise."
Tom lowers his eyes, and there's that shyness again. It's so rare, but so real; Hadley feels privileged to be shown it. It's an act of trust.
He reaches up and cups Tom's face in his hand. He lets his thumb slide over tender skin, feeling the rasp of stubble.
Tom closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens them, he wears a determined look. "Come on," he says briskly, hauling them both up to their feet. "It's this way."
The bedroom is upstairs by two floors, with a massive window that overlooks the city. Tom throws the curtains, then storms back to Hadley. The kiss is skilled, purposeful, loaded with intent. Hadley accepts it, opening his mouth for Tom's tongue and holding him close - that's his job right now, and it's not like it's difficult. Tom becomes fiercer, more confident, and again Hadley forgets his best intentions and pulls them tightly together, biting back.
Tom breaks away and shoves him hard toward the bed. Hadley stumbles, rights himself, only to crash down onto the soft duvet when Tom pushes him again. He crawls up after Hadley, crowding him back up to the pillows until they're pressed tightly together, all the way down, and yes, oh yes, that's better. Hadley runs a hand up Tom's side, only to have Tom grab his wrist and push it into the pillow beside his head. "That's not for you," Tom insists. "Not yet."
"Sorry," Hadley grins. "I swear I'm taking it seriously, I just..."
"Don't do it again," Tom warns, and dips in to bite his lip hard. When he lets go, there's a hot throb left behind.
Hadley lifts his open palm in a pledge. "I swear. I'll be good as gold."
Tom sighs, his eyes racing over Hadley's shoulders and chest. "Yes," he sighs. "I think you will be."
He hooks his thumb into the bottom of Hadley's shirt and drags it up, up, up. It bunches under Hadley's arms, but Tom doesn't seem to care; he runs his open palm over the skin he's exposed. He traces the muscle, muscle they built together in endless hours of swordplay. He tugs at one of Hadley's nipples, earning a sharp gasp that makes him smile and do it again - merciless bastard. The flat of his hand smooths down the dark trail that leads down to Hadley's belt, and he can't help holding his breath, waiting for it.
Tom flicks his belly, grinning. "A bit greedy, aren't we?"
"Blame yourself for that," Hadley growls.
Tom's smile only gets sharper. "Oooh. I like this," he says, tracing along Hadley's belt and dipping just below. "Nothing wrong with a little tease."
"There bloody is," Hadley snarls, arching his hips.
Tom laughs, a deep burst of sound, and then his hand is covering Hadley's cock through his jeans, hot and rough and squeezing tight. Hadley gives in to it entirely, letting his head fall into the pillow and his eyes go unfocused. He groans, pushing up into the touch, and if this is all that Tom wants to do to him tonight, he'd be okay with it, he'd lie here and take it until he got off this way, and he could. He could. When he opens his eyes he sees that Tom is watching him, wonder and excitement warring in his face. There's no hint of shame or nerves, and Hadley can't bear it. "Tom," he gasps. "Tom, please."
Those eyes flash up to his, filled with raw lust. His hand tightens, nearly painful, and then he slides it to Hadley's hip and grips there instead. "Again," Tom breathes, watching Hadley's face so intently. "Ask me again and I will."
"Give me your hand," Hadley asks, canting his hips up and up and up, before he has to let them fall. "Give me your mouth. Whatever you want, give me more."
Tom glances down to Hadley's belt. "Are you close?" he asks, curious.
Hadley weighs his options, and their potential outcomes. "No," he says, gambling on the truth. "Not yet."
Tom's fingers deftly pull the leather apart, the zip down. They work together to shimmy them down, and Tom leaves them snarled around Hadley's thighs. "What about now?" he asks, running a thumb along the inside of one bare hip.
Hadley grits his teeth. "Still no, you absolute wanker."
That thumb travels along, unperturbed, up the length of his bare cock. It swipes along the head, slipping in the slick he's made. When Tom brings that thumb curiously to his mouth, Hadley reaches for him, caught on a tide of lust.
Tom swats his hands away, licking Hadley off his lips. "Behave."
"Closer now," Hadley breathes. He can't stop staring.
Tom plants his hand at the center of Hadley's chest, holding him down. He's using most of his weight; Hadley has to work to breathe. His eyes are dead serious, with that edge of maddening honesty. "If I do it, you can't come. Promise."
Hadley's nodding before he even knows what he's agreeing to. He'd promise Tom anything, when he asks like that. "I won't," he says, once his brain catches up. "I'll warn you if I have to. No problem."
Tom nods, easing up a little on Hadley's sternum. "All right," he says, biting his lip. "I'll trust you."
He eases back further, lifts his hand, but Hadley catches him by the wrist. He can't stand it anymore. "Let me touch you," he asks. "I won't push or anything, I just... want to touch you when you do it. Can I?"
Tom squints at him. "Like... how?"
"Go on," Hadley says, putting his hands out to either side. "If you don't like it, I'll stop."
"Mm." Tom eyes him suspiciously, but he shifts lower, lies down along Hadley's legs. His hands are huge when they coast over Hadley's skin, his hips, his cock. Tom squeezes him softly, and Hadley sighs - he puts his hand on Tom's shoulder, feels the swell of muscle there.
Tom allows that, and leans in. The first touch of his mouth is feather light, and Hadley lies very still, letting him learn his way around. He does just that, feeling the shape and surface with his lips and his tongue. When he takes Hadley's cock inside, he has a few false starts as he learns how to breathe around it, how deep he can take it, how it feels thick and heavy when he presses it against the roof of his mouth.
Hadley touches the side of his face, brushing his fingers against the short bristle of hair. It's unfair for him to be this beautiful, even doing this.
The soft touch makes Tom groan around Hadley's cock, and sink down a little deeper. He grips Hadley's hip and starts to really move, and it's good - God, it's really fucking good. He moves his hips slowly, sliding into Tom's waiting mouth at the kindest possible pace. His eyes closed, Hadley trails his fingers through Tom's hair, just to feel the strands curl and tug. This gentle touch is ruinous to Tom; his fingers flex on Hadley's hips, and his guttural moans buzz along Hadley's wet skin. Hadley feels the gnawing urge for speed, his body urging him to go harder, faster, and it's getting to be too much to bear.
At last he pulls his hips to the mattress, and taps out against Tom's shoulder. "All right," he breathes. "Stop."
Tom lifts away, his eyes immediately going to Hadley's face. "Now?"
Hadley can only nod, closing his eyes for a moment so he doesn't have to see Tom's red mouth so close to his slick and shining cock. God have mercy.
"I want it," Tom tells him, a bit of savagery in it. He wraps his long fingers around Hadley's cock, squeezing tight. "Can you come like this?"
There's no bloody question. Hadley nods, groping blindly for Tom's shoulder. "Get up here," he orders, tugging at him.
Tom hurries to move, to lay where he can grip Hadley's cock and kiss his lips all at once. Hadley abandons the niceties; it's far too late for that. He grips Tom by the hair and drags him down, kissing him with all the desperation he wants, holding nothing back anymore. He fucks Tom's hand with abandon, and this Tom knows how to do; this angle, this way, yes, just like this. In a moment of white heat, Hadley realizes that this is how Tom must do it for himself. He's instantly lost, gasping into Tom's mouth. When he comes, it shakes him deeply - he feels he's let go of more than he meant to.
Tom's looking at him through his lashes, shy. "Good?" he asks, soft and curious.
Hadley makes the mistake of glancing at him; a bloody matinee idol, he's so handsome. He lets his fingers splay out over the small of Tom's back, in the dip and swell there. "Somewhat past good," he assures him, quirking a smile.
Tom grins at him cheekily, but there's a ruddy flush on his face, along his neck. All teasing aside, he's really quite pleased with himself.
He has no fucking idea.
Hadley tugs him closer, slow and firm. He looks Tom right in the eyes, planning five moves ahead. "You're done now, are you?"
Tom blinks at him, all cheek evaporating. "Well, I... obviously there's, um."
"I distinctly recall you saying that I had to wait to touch you until you were done."
"...Ah. I did. Say that." If he wasn't blushing before, he certainly is now. Hadley is intimately familiar with Tom's tendency to say words before he's really thought them through, and it appears this is one of those times.
"I'll ask again," Hadley says, letting his other hand sneak up under the hem of Tom's t-shirt. "Have you quite finished?"
Tom laughs, nervous and reckless. He traces Hadley's hip, his fingers cool on the still-bare skin. "Do your worst," he says, that familiar mad glint to his eyes.
Hadley wastes no time; he grabs hold of Tom and rolls him over, onto his back. Rising up over him, Hadley pulls off his own sweaty shirt and tosses it away, then drags his jeans back up onto his hips so he has some room to move. "There," he says, looking down at Tom spread beneath him. "That's better."
Tom's eyes roam over Hadley's chest and shoulders, over the hard curves. Absently, he covers his cock with one hand and squeezes.
Hadley smirks at the sight of it. "Never one to wait," he says, and it's true - Tom is always jumping into scenes and workout moves before he's even seen half of what's required. Lucky bastard that he is, it often works for him. But not this time, no - Hadley knocks that hand away and takes Tom's cock in his own hand, right through the trousers he's wearing. He knows how to work it right, God knows he's done it enough.
Tom has the unrestrained gall to look surprised, his eyes immediately drawn down to watch. "Oh, Hadley, fuck."
"Not just yet," Hadley tells him, letting go of his cock and dragging him upright. He pulls Tom's shirt off - with prejudice - then shoves him back to the bed. He goes so easily, just as Hadley wants him, his eyes wide and attentive as if he's just happy to learn what comes next. It's infuriating.
Hadley drops down to kiss him, pillage and plunder. He takes everything he wants off that mouth, everything he's wanted to take since the moment he met this beautiful thing, and told himself never, never. But he will have it, and he will have it right now.
Tom yields to it all, clasping Hadley close, opening for him. He makes little pained noises, muffled between their mouths. Hadley silently swears to make those noises get louder and louder. See if they can rouse the neighbors.
He tears away from Tom's mouth and makes his way over that lithely muscled body. He bites unabashedly, leaving his mark in the places he knows the makeup will cover. He deliberately scores the spot where they'll paint a massive wound onto Tom's shoulder, then the other that will cut into his neck. In the play, Martius encounters no end of trouble for refusing to show the plebeians these scars; they are too personal, too private, to be shown to just anyone.
Hadley can feel the moment Tom figures out what he's doing; he goes still and gasping, his fingers digging hard into Hadley's skin. His voice trembles. "You're, you're so romantic."
Hadley only laughs into the red bite marks, and slides lower.
At his waist, Hadley wastes no time undoing the buckles and buttons and zippers. He pulls the clothes away, hurried - he wants Tom naked for him, naked in his own bed. He drags it all off, and Tom lets him, but now he's coming over shy again. He covers his belly with his hands, tension twitching in his long limbs.
Hadley ignores it completely. He slides down and fits himself between Tom's thighs, making him spread wide. "Look at you," he breathes reverently, his eyes everywhere. That cock is thick and proud, lying flat to his belly. He's got a few real scars, matched by the marks Hadley's left on him. "Tom," he says, to make those eyes find his.
Tom looks, and that's all Hadley needs. Once he's seen Hadley down there, seen their bodies twined up in sex, he can't look away.
"That's right," Hadley says encouragingly. "Get the other pillow for your head, come on. Watch me."
Tom blinks at him, then gropes blindly for a pillow. He fumbles it as Hadley curls his fingers around Tom's cock again, this time bare and hot to his touch. "Godyesthat's... fuck." Tom's blind for a moment, his fingers nerveless around the pillow's corner. Hadley watches hungrily, watches him get it together enough to do as he's told with the pillow, watches him fixate on the slide of Hadley's hand.
"Look at me," Hadley tells him, and Tom immediately does it. Hadley drinks in the wide wonder, the helpless, clawing need building inside him. He's so effortlessly fucking expressive, and the thought of how natural Tom is at acting makes Hadley a little angry. For a moment he wonders if he's jealous, and then he realizes that, no, it's just that Tom's skill at their trade is such a massive turn-on that it feels like an unfair advantage. Hadley adds a cruel little twist to his pace, and Tom's breath hitches deep in his chest. His cock bucks into Hadley's fist, and his fingers claw mindlessly into the duvet. He doesn't look away from Hadley's eyes for a second.
"One day," Hadley promises, his voice gone rough and heavy. "One day you'll let me fuck you. On that day, I will fucking ruin you."
Tom snarls, raw and open. His cock pulses hard against Hadley's fingers, wanting it.
Hadley smirks. "Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you? Your fucking new experiences, but you don't have any idea, the things I would do to you."
Tom's lustful fury is climbing higher, Hadley can see it. He reaches out, tries to get hold of Hadley's shoulder, but his coordination is shot; his hand slips on skin, grasping at thin air. "Quit fucking around," he demands, trying to shift up, to get hold of something.
Hadley pins him to the mattress with a hand on his hip. "Now, you've had your turn. I'll be sucking your cock in due time."
Tom falls back into the pillows, a frustrated growl on his lips.
Hadley chooses that moment to lift up that cock and take it deep into his mouth, pressing as deep as he can go. He wastes no time, moving in a fast and heavy slide that has Tom twisting and keening helplessly in seconds. Hands find Hadley's hair, thighs spread wide to give him room, and Hadley listens to the sound of that lovely posh voice being scratched all to shit by the desperate noises he's making.
Hadley works him properly, using all the skill at his command. It's hot to listen to him, hot to feel that body surge and twist beneath him. Hadley runs his hand up Tom's side, digs his blunt fingers against Tom's chest. Tom grabs his wrist and holds on, other hand in Hadley's hair; he's gasping for breath enough to make halves of words. It's all nonsense, what he's saying - want, I, oh, had, yes, fuck, please - but it's good. He's so good, and Hadley will take all of him.
Hadley pulls up strong, slides back down, and then Tom is scrabbling blindly at his skin, leaving hot and stinging trails behind. He gasps, sounding wounded - but Hadley made this decision when he first walked in the door. He holds on tighter, and takes it deep.
Tom tenses all over, and the wail wrung from his throat is long and near painful to hear. He holds nothing back, giving up everything, and as Hadley swallows him down, all he can think is that he was right. There's very little he wouldn't do to fuck this man.
He's a shaking wreck when Hadley finally lets him go. Hadley is charmed despite himself; he crawls up beside Tom and is, oh dear, a little surprised at the vehemence when Tom grabs him close and shudders against him. Of course, Hadley is man enough to cuddle; he hugs Tom tightly and rubs his back, letting him take whatever he needs.
At last Tom seems to collect himself. Hadley cups his neck and smiles warmly at him. "All right, then?"
"Yes," Tom says, returning a shaky smile of his own. "That was... I'll take another, please."
They laugh together, the sort of intimate laugh you can only have with someone in a moment like this. Hadley squeezes Tom a little. "Good first effort, then."
"Really commends the whole experience," Tom says, not smirking, even a little.
"Good," Hadley says, inclined just now to be lenient about all the nonsense. Tom's earned a little nonsense.
They lie together like that for a few minutes, until the sweat cools and sticks. Then Hadley kisses Tom's head and slides his arm out. "I'd best clean up," he says, and Tom extricates himself with a tired-sounding huff. He flops down to the pillows as Hadley heads to the washroom; when he emerges, Tom's gotten his long limbs twisted up in the covers and sheets. Hadley smiles to see it. He's like a bloody four-year-old.
Shaking his head, Hadley goes to find his shirt. He tossed it somewhere... somewhere.
"Hey," Tom calls, his voice muffled by the pillows.
Hadley keeps hunting. "Hey yourself."
"Yeah, right..." Aha! There it is. Hadley grabs it up and takes it over to the bed. "Right! Hi."
"Hi," Tom mumbles. He rolls over and blinks sleepily. "Come sit here for a minute."
Hadley obliges, already grinning. That is a very serious case of bedhead, and Tom hasn't even slept yet. Hadley rubs a hand along it, down over Tom's neck, and watches him arch into the touch like a cat.
Then his clear eyes open, seeking. "Are you leaving?" he asks.
"I should," Hadley nods, warmly rubbing the skin he finds. "We've got a call tomorrow."
Tom nods. "You're welcome to stay, of course."
"'S tempting, but I'd best get back. Got some errands to run in the morning."
"Mm." Tom pushes into the warmth of his bed, of Hadley's hand.
Hadley clears his throat, working up a little nerve. "We should do this again, though? I mean if you like."
Tom's eyes fix on him, heated and seductive. "You did promise to ruin me," he says.
Hadley nearly throws his shirt aside right there, but he really does have things to do. He laughs ruefully. "You're a wretched tart and I'll teach you a lesson about that. Later."
Tom sighs and rolls his eyes. "Fine. I don't wait well."
"Nor I." Hadley leans down and kisses him, slow and slick and full of promises. When they're both a little less certain, Hadley stands up and tugs on his shirt. "It's fight prep tomorrow," he says, wolfish. "We can spend all day getting sweaty, then..."
Tom grins. "Spend all night getting sweaty."
"Right." Hadley grins back. He jiggles Tom's foot under the covers as he leaves, and for his trouble, gets a muffled shout to turn out the lights.