"Potter, I must admit I undergo this constant and incomparable feeling of jealousy," Draco Malfoy said, his cool tones belying the bitterness of his words. "Quite unsettling, considering my given status and background."
"I have nothing for you to be jealous over." Harry Potter stared at him, eyes bright with a mixture of earnestness and confusion. They sat facing each other: Malfoy lounging back in his chair with practiced disinterest, Harry leaning forward. "Malfoy, you grew up with a family, a mum and dad to look over you--"
"To sacrifice you out to the closest megalomaniac, you mean." Draco's voice was steady, but seemed broken at the same time. "But I do what I must. I do what I have to...I love them, you know. They're all I have, really."
"Don't you think I realize that, Malfoy?" Harry stood up, running his hands through his hair, trembling visibly under the the weight of all the conflicting emotions running through him. "I think about that, all the time. I want to understand, I think I can understand, what it's like to be a part of that and...what?" His tone abruptly flattened out, dark eyebrows wrinkling towards each other. "What is it?"
Draco Malfoy was peering around Harry Potter, shaking his head in disbelief. "Oh, no, fucking hell," he moaned, throwing up his hands, before folding them across his chest and sighing. "Look at that, now. LBW, Dan."
Harry Potter, or rather, the young man who played him, spun around and gaped at the small flat-screened television which was perched in the corner of his cast-mate's trailer. Tom huffed from behind him as the commentators of the cricket match crowed over the loss of the batsman. The batsman walked off the field with desolate pride, bat slung over one shoulder as he held up an acknowledging hand to the crowd, all clapping politely.
"No way." Dan placed his hands on his hips and made a face at the screen. "That can't be right."
"There you have it, though." Tom was actually pouting, as Dan noticed when he glanced over his shoulder. He had the back of one pale hand pressed across his eyelids in a rather dramatic fashion. "How many overs are left?"
Dan watched the screen until the graphics swam over the bottom half. "Two left. Three-thirty for ten," he added, indicating the score. Tom let out another huff. "Shall I switch it off or let it torment you further?"
"Switch it off," Tom said, highly disgruntled. Dan laughed as he dug underneath Tom's guitar for the remote, turning off the television. For a long moment, Dan just stared at Tom, watching the other young man snuggle into an old, ugly couch that he'd asked someone to drag on-set for him. It took up nearly half of the trailer, and left just enough space for another chair and a desk. With a satisfied grin at finding a comfortable spot, Tom nodded to himself and then glanced up at Dan. His smile widened slightly.
"What is it?"
"I...um." Dan stopped himself before the words could tumble out and he lost all control of them. Quite accustomed to Dan's rambling manner of speaking, Tom didn't say anything as yet, but went on smiling.
Dan had harboured the most massive of crushes on Tom when they were younger, almost as large as Emma's, really. Emma would come rushing to Dan randomly, relating in furious whispers at something cute Tom had said and Dan had better hear it right now. Dan would hear it of course, mostly because he was half-amused that level-headed Emma could be reduced to such intense blushing. His own crush was fed mightily by Emma's tales, and it really didn't help that Tom was such a sweet bloke. He was almost too nice to be real, honestly.
It was a lucky thing Dan had grown out of that crush; kind of, anyway.
"Come on, duckling," Tom coaxed, grinning. Dan rolled his eyes at Tom's ridiculous nicknames. "Tell your Uncle Tom what's the matter."
"Have a seat, first. You're making me nervous, hovering there like a cloud," Tom said, raising his feet and jerking his chin towards the end of the couch. Sighing in mock-exasperation, Dan flopped onto the couch, wincing as a random spring jabbed one cheek of his arse. Tom chuckled, putting his bare feet into Dan's lap.
"Go ahead," Dan said as dryly as possible, staring pointedly down at Tom's feet, which were long and narrow. "My lap is all yours."
"As it should be." Tom leaned his head against the back of the couch, a self-satisfied expression on his face.
"Aren't you tired?" Dan said, mostly because he didn't know what else to say and Tom blinked slowly.
"Of course I am," he answered, and yawned as if to confirm his response. "It's been a very hard day, hasn't it?"
Dan nodded. There had been photoshoots in the morning, and a short interview; he'd come across as an absolute dork, as usual, what with the uncoordinated speech. Then they'd gone back to filming a night-scene, and it had left Dan feeling so wrung out emotionally, that when he thought about it he felt near tears.
"You don't have to help me now, you know?" Dan said, quietly. "I'll just--"
He made as if to rise, but Tom pressed the heels of his feet into the top of Dan's thigh. "I said I would help you, didn't I? Keep yourself quiet. Don't know why would you need my help, anyway."
Dan said, "Because you're brilliant, you arse," and grinned when Tom tilted back his head and laughed, a husky sound. "No, Tom, seriously. Malfoy is this massive berk and you're so--" sweet "...nice. I wish I could just switch it on and off as easily as you."
"Switch it on and off?" Tom narrowed his eyes, seeming extremely annoyed for a moment. His eyes darkened and his lips thinned out into a thin line. Dan frowned and then glared when Tom dissolved into silly chuckles. "You should see your face! That'll show you, Danno, calling me nice."
Dan pinched him on the leg.
"Ow!" Tom pouted. "Are you here to abuse me, sir, or to take lessons from the great Master of Emotion? You'd better go to Alan if you're looking learn villainy. Evil little shite that you are."
"I'll tell him you said that."
"Tattle-tale." Tom sniffed and turned his head away dismissively, his nose held up in the air. Dan smiled, looking at the bleached-blond strands of Tom's hair shifting in bright waves. Tom had to have his naturally sandy hair touched up every few days, and he complained about it with great cheer. Blond suited him, Dan told him millions of times, but Tom just waved his compliments away.
"I think I've been losing my Harry-mind a little. A lot," he said now, and Tom turned back to look at him, gaze intent. "I'm just...very tired and it's almost the end of it all and just, just, sometimes it's hard for me to bring him back, and I wonder, what would I do, but--"
"Dan," Tom broke in, very gently. "It's all right, mate. We'll have another bit of practice, how does that sound? Talk a bit. In-character, mind, and just be them for a while. No pressure, yeah?"
Dan nodded. "Right. No pressure. Will you--? I mean, I'll start if you...you can start if you like."
Tom grinned at him again, all fond and cheery, and looked away again. He stared at the darkened screen of the television for a long time, and when he looked back, Draco was looking out of his face, blankly.
Dan took a deep breath. A few heartbeats vibrated through the air.
"Stop breathing on me, Potty," Malfoy sneered and Harry scowled at him.
"Get your feet out of my lap, then, you great fuck," and Malfoy snatched his legs out of Harry's lap so quickly that the air nearly ignited from the speed. He swung his legs over the edge of the sofa, sitting up.
"You should watch where you put your lap, then," Malfoy snapped. "Now I've gotten idiocy all over my clothes."
"Who cares about your stupid clothes?" Harry watched incredulously as Malfoy tugged at the crease of his finely made trousers. "Are you...you're completely removed from reality, aren't you? There's a madman out there with my name at the top of his To Kill list, and your family, your family," he insisted when Malfoy cut his eyes away disdainfully, "is helping him dig me out of of anywhere I hide, murder by murder. Don't you understand that? Don't you see it?"
Malfoy snapped around, leaning forwards into Harry's space so fast that Harry couldn't even think of backing up away from him. His eyes were wide, nostrils flared.
"I see it," Malfoy said in a low, hate-filled voice. "Oh, I see it, Potter. But I must do what I can, for who matters most to me."
Without thinking, Harry said, "Can't I matter?" His voice was very small, and it seemed to stop Malfoy cold. He blinked rapidly a few times. Harry took all that fabled bravery in both hands to move those precious few inches and press his lips very gently to Malfoy's.
Malfoy's hand, big and hot, gripped him around his neck and pushed. Harry was forced to tilt his head back, looking up in Malfoy's wild, uncertain expression. He looked as if he was about to tip over the edge of some dark precipice. He wasn't choking Harry, but his fingers seemed to tremble with the rhythm of Harry's pulse.
"Why," Malfoy said, his tone utterly flat, "did you do that?"
"I don't know," Harry admitted. "I wanted to."
"You wanted to." Malfoy seemed bemused. "Can't kiss me like that," he said, but he sounded even more distant. "You have to kiss me like..."
Harry felt Malfoy's hand slip down, resting heavily on his collarbone. Harry licked his lips, watching how Malfoy's gaze dropped to his mouth. He held his breath as Malfoy leaned down and began a kiss the way a cornered general would order a skirmish. Harry gasped under the onslaught of his lips, moaned at the feeling of Draco's, yes, Draco's tongue curling with and lashing at his own. Harry tried to arch up into him, aching fiercely for the heat and strength of his body and Draco let him for a moment, before manhandling him into a position where he was laid flat on his back on the old couch. Draco straddled him like a bird of prey crouched over its catch.
Harry lay there for a moment, just looking up at the other boy's face, exquisite with emotion.
"How far can you take this, Potter?" Malfoy's voice was so low that Harry felt it more than heard it. Harry reached up in a shocking attempt to hug him, pull him closer. Malfoy grabbed his hands by the wrists, and pressed them back to the rumpled surface of the couch. "Answer me."
Feeling anger begin to mix with shocking arousal, Harry snapped, "As far as you can handle it."
Malfoy's smile was dangerous.
Dan came awake like a swimmer emerging from the deep: gasping for air, flailing limbs. He was lying on Tom's couch, in Tom's trailer, covered with a blanket. He was naked.
He felt his eyebrows begin a hasty, confused conference, and then the memory of what happened flooded his brain so fast that he felt faint.
"Oh hell," he whispered. He felt the bruises on his skin, mostly on his neck and chest; the make-up crew was going to pitch quite a fit tomorrow...or later, whatever. He lifted the blanket and looked down at the limp heap of his cock and balls, which twitched in remembrance of how Tom's long fingers wrapped around both their cocks as they panted into each other's mouths. Tom had groaned, going rigid as warm liquid spilled over Dan's belly, come catching on the thick trail of dark hair on his stomach. Dan grunted loudly when he came, and now his cheeks burned at how guttural he had sounded.
He scrambled from out under the warm covers, making a face at the slight ache in his back and legs. His clothes had been folded neatly and placed on the desk, and Dan reached for them. He was pulling on his shirt when there was the sound of a key in the door's lock, and it was pushed open slightly.
"Dan?" Tom's voice floated in through the crack between the frame and the door. "Decent?"
"Yeah!" Dan croaked out and cleared his throat. "Um, yeah. Come on in! To...your own trailer, right."
Tom pushed open the door with one foot, coming up into the trailer. He had a tall styrofoam cup in each hand.
"Sent for some tea," he said, handing one to Dan, who simply stood there staring at it. "Unless you wanted a cigarette?"
Dan swallowed, hard. "Tom. Mate. I'm sorry--"
"Are you? I'm not." Tom settled back into his couch, sipping at the tea. He made a face. "Should have tipped some brandy in this one."
Dan stared at him. Tom glanced up; the sides of his mouth twitched and he looked down back at his own hot drink. "I mean. I'm not really sure of the protocol, right now." He peeked up, and at Dan's incredulous expression, he rolled his eyes. "Come on, Dan, it's not as if I've done that before."
"I haven't either," Dan said and took a bracing sip of tea. He really did want a fag, but he was just going to have to live with this for now. He felt loose and unsettled, and looked up at the sound of soft laughter.
"I have to say," Tom said, smiling widely, "that it's rather spoiled me for role-playing. I expect nothing less than snogging the next time I do that. I think you did brilliantly, too."
Dan closed his eyes briefly and looked away. He felt a crushing sensation in his chest and wanted to leave.
"Dan," Tom said, and the smile in his voice snagged Dan's attention even more, like a knitted sweater on a nail. "Stop being so awkward over there and come sit with me. We'll watch something."
Tentatively, Dan found his feet, walked across the small divide the trailer allowed them and sat in the space created when Tom pulled his legs up. He felt the heavy warmth of Tom's legs settle over his lap once more; the knot in his chest eased up considerably.
"That's it, mate," Tom said, relentlessly lovely and bright as the sun. "We're all right."