Disclaimer: The characters depicted here are come from my imagination and are of no relation to the people whose names they share. No profit is being made from this and no offence is intended.
It was late and the rain was hammering against the windows, an unsubtle reminder of what a day they’d had dodging the weather. Leaning against the wall and gazing out at the darkness, Eoin rubbed the top of his arm absently, goosebumps prickling over his skin where the sleeves of his shirt were rolled up.
Should put a jumper on, he thought. Should have a cup of tea. Should go to bed, what’s more.
Turning away from the bleak outside with a sigh, he leaned back against the wall and stared at the door instead. He was tired, physically, but his brain hadn’t switched off all evening. It was brilliant to be getting more screen time and to be doing some challenging scenes, but being quite so unpleasant for hours on end was more tiring than it looked. Early that morning they’d filmed the Gwaine and Leon fight scene, which had meant an hour or so of trying not to hurt each other while trying to look like they really wanted to, which turned out to be utterly draining. Not to mention the fact that he’d failed on the ‘trying not to hurt each other’ bit and given Rupert’s left arm quite the smack with the flat of his sword. Later on they’d sat side by side and watched Tom being a wonderful bastard, manhandling Colin with unnerving menace. Eoin had put his arm around Rupert’s waist and been overwhelmingly relieved when Rupert had leaned against him, simply because his snarls had been so good and so horribly convincing.
They had another early start looming in the morning. He really shouldn’t inflict himself on other people. But...
...but he was out of the door before he could put too much thought into it, glancing across the corridor at the next door and lingering for a second. He wasn’t sure whether Rupert would be awake, let alone be happy to see him at that time of night, but it wasn’t like it was the first time. They’d reached a point where each other’s rooms were sort of like an extension of their own.
Just four seconds after knocking softly on the door, Rupert opened it and just smiled the kind of smile you couldn’t fake, the warmth of it enough to force Eoin to grab the jamb in his right hand just in case he melted into a puddle of gooey gratitude right there on the carpet.
“Can’t sleep?” Rupert asked, quiet and astute, and Eoin wondered for a moment just how many times they’d done this already.
He shook his head with a smile of his own and asked: “You weren’t in bed, were you?”
Glancing down at himself, fully clothed apart from bare feet, Rupert shook his head and opened the door wider, beckoning him in with a tilt of his head. “Just catching up on emails and stuff. You alright?”
“Yeah,” Eoin replied absently, strolling in and putting his hands in his pockets as he cast his eyes around Rupert’s tidy room. “I just keep thinking about our scene today, you know?”
“Fighting each other, you mean?”
“Yeah. Pretending to hate you. Pretending to hate Colin. Just generally being a bastard to people you love. I know it’s our job, to act, but...”
Rupert closed the lid of his laptop and perched on the edge of the bed, regarding him pensively. “I know what you mean. I’m always worried about brandishing a sword around you lot, as well. Around anyone, but especially you lot.”
Eoin turned to him and smiled. “In that case, thanks for not killing me. Anyway, I was the one causing the damage, if I remember rightly.”
“Oh, that was nothing,” Rupert reassured him kindly, brushing his right hand over his left arm with a shake of his head. “I thought we did a good job, you and me.”
They looked at each other with a smile for a while longer before Rupert realised Eoin was just standing there and he stood up himself, heading for the kettle on the side. “D’you want some tea? I was about to brew anyway. Have a sit down.”
He waved a hand at the bed and Eoin uttered a ‘thanks’ as he did as he was told, drifting over that way. He pulled off his boots and left them near the door, then sat where Rupert had just vacated, pulling his knees up and watching as Rupert went to fill the kettle at the sink.
He was, wisely, wearing a jumper, green and soft and warm, clinging in all the right places as he moved. The sleeves were slightly too long so the cuffs came over the backs of his hands and the neck was slightly stretched, leading Eoin’s eyes to the elegant slope of a collar bone. He shivered, remembering that he should’ve pulled on something warm himself. The urge to dive off the bed and bury himself against Rupert’s chest was unbelievably overwhelming.
The urge to swipe his tongue across that soft hollow at the top of his shoulder was equally distracting. Something - desperation, maybe - tightened the feeling of restlessness in his chest.
“Rupert?” he began, and his voice crackled with uncertainty and plain want. “Can I kiss you?”
Absently chewing on his thumb nail, Rupert glanced over at him in surprise, all movement stilling, only the sound of the kettle boiling breaking the silence. As a multitude of thoughts passed through his head, evident in the slight widening of his eyes, he dropped his hand and tucked that gnawed thumb into the back pocket of his jeans.
“Why?” he asked simply, head tilted. No judgement, no awkwardness, just plain curiosity.
“I just...I’ve wanted to for a fair while, now,” Eoin admitted, before rushing on: “And I never thought I’d ask, you know? I thought it’d be one of those crushes that’d fade after a while and I’d be able to not make a fool of myself and ruin our friendship, but it’s not fading, man, and I really, really want to.”
Rupert smiled, looking faintly overwhelmed. “Of all the people on this crew you could’ve had a crush on - ”
“No, wait,” Eoin interrupted sternly, holding up a finger to stem Rupert’s thought. “Two things. Number one, you are as gorgeous and brilliant as anyone, believe me. Number two - I never said I didn’t have a crush on anyone else...”
Rupert’s attentive expression melted into a grin at that, and he asked: “Who else? Wait, wait, let me guess. Is it another knight?”
“Yes,” Eoin answered with a roll of his eyes, secretly pleased at the easiness that continued between them, his heart slowing to a slightly less dizzying pace.
“Is it...” Rupert trailed off, blue eyes narrowing as he contemplated the options. After a few seconds, he met Eoin’s gaze again. “It’s Hopper, isn’t it?” The look on Eoin’s face apparently said it all, and he smiled in triumph. “I knew it. You two do have trouble keeping your hands off each other, sometimes, now I think of it.”
“What can I say, I’m a sucker for lanky sods,” Eoin said, waving a hand vaguely in Rupert’s direction.
Rupert held his gaze for a long moment, the tea going untouched. His smiled faded and his gaze became intent suddenly as he took a few steps closer, his body language still very much open and relaxed but his eyes intensely interested. “Do you think about us?” he asked, voice lower and softer. “Me and him, I mean. Do you imagine us together?”
Eoin’s heart slammed into his ribcage again. “God, yes,” he admitted hoarsely. “Why the hell wouldn’t I? I have a very vivid imagination.”
Moving to stand over him, Rupert held his eyes for a long, unbearable moment more before leaning in and down and pressing a warm and slightly open-mouthed kiss to his lips.
Stamping down on his body’s instinct to let out an embarrassing moan of delight, Eoin tilted his head and kissed him back, wrapping a hand around the back of his neck to hold him in place in case he entertained any ideas of pulling away.
As it turned out, he had no cause for worry. Rupert was, it seemed, entirely happy to just snog. He even managed to sit down with him on the bed without ever breaking apart. They sat with their legs folded under them, facing each other, hands in each other’s hair and tongues in each other’s mouths. It was beautiful.
Eoin found himself strangely in love with the feel of Rupert through that jumper - the hard curve of his ribs, the bony jut of his shoulder blades, the heat of his skin. When Rupert touched his face, it was partly him and partly the cuff of the long sleeve, warm wool and slightly cool fingers.
When they finally broke apart, breathing hard and fast, Eoin pressed their foreheads together for a few seconds before taking hold of Rupert’s left arm and pushing the sleeve up to his elbow. He winced as he saw the big, dark bruise there right over bone, but Rupert didn’t even look down as he assured softly:
Eoin glanced back up and felt his heart lurch at how close he was to those blue eyes, gentle and yet so intent on him.
“‘m sorry anyway,” he murmured, reaching up to brush the back of his hand across Rupert’s cheek, letting one finger toy with a soft curl for a moment before delving them all in deep and bringing Rupert back in close, their lips meeting again with a new familiarity.
He imagined for a moment that they were in the castle, dark and damp. That he was Gwaine; that Rupert was Leon; that they were the men they spent months pretending to be - the men they held real affection for in their hearts. He imagined them stealing these kisses in the darkness, the sharp metallic smell of chain mail and the soft touch of leather, the rough cold of stone under them.
Rupert chose that moment to tug gently on his hair, his hand buried deep, and Eoin did moan that time, pulling back and dropping his head to catch his breath.
“Alright?” Rupert asked softly, slowly stroking his fingers through Eoin’s hair from root to tip.
Eoin kept his eyes closed, his voice emerging low and breathless. “I was just imagining I was Gwaine, kissing Sir Leon.”
“We’ve moved on to role playing already?”
“God, we really should, y’know, at some point. I just totally turned myself on even more thinking about that.”
“‘Some point’?” Rupert repeated, failing to hide the bemused surprise in his voice. “You mean you want to keep doing this?”
Eoin lifted his head to shoot him a perturbed look. “Please tell me you’re not going to cut me off already?”
Rupert shook his head, eyes earnest. “I just...I thought maybe this was just a...thing.”
“It is, man. It’s a thing I want to do over and over again, alright?”
“Alright,” Rupert agreed, a faint smile crossing his face. “Then next time I’ll be Leon, and you can do whatever I tell you to do.”
“That sounds like it’ll be my pleasure,” Eoin said with a grin, before leaning back in to press their lips together.
+ + + + +
One minute (out of many, many minutes) he was lost entirely in Rupert, and the next, someone came barreling in through the door in all his usual larger than life glory. They broke apart with enough speed to make Eoin worry about whiplash, fear edging his heart beat up yet another notch into overload.
“Rupert,” Tom was saying before he’d even closed the door behind him, “have you seen my...” He turned. Realisation dawned. “Oh!...Oh...”
They must’ve looked fairly comical sat there, guilty looks and obviously kiss bruised lips, but the expression on Tom’s face was only contrite and surprised.
“Shit, sorry,” he uttered quietly, taking a step back, his back pressed to the door. His eyes were fixed on Rupert’s mouth. “I...I didn’t know...”
Eoin cleared his throat before stating the bloody obvious: “We were just kissing...” Part of him sang with relief that it was just Tom and not someone completely random, while the other part reminded him that he had no idea of how Tom might react to the situation. It wasn’t the time to relax just yet, but he tried his best to play it cool. “We’ve just discovered a mutual passion for it.”
Tom’s brow knitted in confusion. “Making out with each other?”
Eoin shrugged breezily. “Making out in general. It passes the time of day, y’know?”
“Oy, what am I, chopped liver?” Rupert retorted, smacking the back of his hand against Eoin’s shoulder and getting a grin in return.
“You taste more like coffee, actually,” he shot back, but the still-daunted look on Tom’s face sobered him up quickly enough and, after a long moment’s silence he asked cautiously: “Are you alright, Tom?”
Tom looked really, really young for a moment there, uncertainty clear in his eyes. “Is this one of those things I’ve just been oblivious about?”
Eoin shook his head. “No one knows. We’ve only just started it tonight.”
More silence, then:
"Can I try?”
Tom’s turn to drop the bombshell.
Surprise flickered only momentarily across Rupert’s face and then he was smiling as he replied: “Of course!” and then he turned his head to look at Eoin, brow creased, and checked cautiously: “Of course?”
Eoin recovered himself and smiled, clapping him on the back. “Of course!”
The relieved smile on Tom’s face was pure Percival, open and honest.
“You know, you really should lock this,” he mused, pushing away from the door and doing just that.
“Sound advice,” Eoin agreed, taking that moment to run his eyes up Tom’s body, cataloguing the short sleeved t-shirt and black trackie bottoms; calculating just how easy it’d be to divest him of both.
“I hadn’t realised Eoin wanted to seduce me when he came in,” Rupert said, “otherwise I would’ve done.”
Tom smiled, standing a little awkwardly, one hand rubbing his elbow. “So why you two?” he asked, waving a hand in their direction. “Out of everyone.”
“I wanted a snog," Eoin shrugged, "and I knew that even if Rupert didn’t want to, he wouldn’t knock my block off for asking.”
“And what, I would?” Tom asked, hurt flashing through his expression.
“No, no,” Eoin soothed, holding up both hands. “Rupert’s a theatre luvvie, though. I thought it was good odds. And his arms are half the size of yours.”
“The truth is, he has a massive mancrush on me,” Rupert explained, giving Eoin’s shoulder another solid smack.
“‘Course he has,” Tom said simply, returning his smile with interest. “But if you think I’ve never snogged a bloke before, Macken, you’re sadly mistaken.”
“Well. You just get more and more enigmatic, don’t you?”
“Did you know he also has a crush on you?” Rupert offered to Tom. “And that he fantasises about us, together?”
“Well, now, ‘fantasises’ might be a little strong,” Eoin retorted, then hastily closed his mouth as Rupert slipped off the bed and started walking towards Tom, all tall, lithe grace. “Or, maybe not,” he murmured under his breath.
Watching it happen was a little like waiting for the latest episode of a favourite tv show, all anticipation and disbelief and wonder curling in his gut. This isn’t happening, he thought. This can’t be happening. What've I started?
Rupert rested his arms out straight on Tom’s shoulders as he looked at him, (Eoin’s brain whimpered ‘Tall, tall, tall’), then he wound them around Tom’s neck and pulled him into a hug, of all things. Tom’s big arms came up around him, one of his hands pressing flat against the small of Rupert’s back, and he heaved a silent sigh as though he’d been waiting for Rupert make that move for months. Maybe he had. Eoin’s insides did another funny little flutter at the sight.
Tom wasn’t like Eoin. He didn’t tend to initiate contact, although it wasn’t that he had a problem when anyone else did. It just wasn’t in his nature to seek it out, that’s all. Eoin couldn’t imagine it, not needing to be touched and hugged. Then again, maybe Tom did need it. Maybe he yearned for it. Maybe that’s why he looked like he might never let go of Rupert.
They were so involved in each other that it was startling when Tom opened his eyes and fixed them on him over Rupert’s shoulder, regarding him thoughtfully. Slowly, very slowly, he started to slide that hand on Rupert’s back upwards, pushing the jumper up and revealing skin and the notched line of vertebrae. Eoin’s gaze dropped like a stone, his mouth turning dry as he watched Tom press his other hand directly over that concave curve, his fingers big enough to make Rupert’s spine look delicate.
“Oh, jesus,” he uttered under his breath, as Rupert arched his back slightly at the sensation, pressing his forehead to Tom’s shoulder.
Forcing his gaze back up, Eoin saw Tom smile at him, all devil suddenly and no mercy. He took a diagonal step and used his hands to bring Rupert with him, leaving them sideways on to Eoin, giving him the perfect view.
He balled his hands into fists in his lap as he leaned forwards, entranced as Tom slid a hand onto Rupert’s face to meet his eyes, blue on blue. Rupert’s mouth quirked in a smile and he moved near enough to leave their lips so, so close, tilting his head slightly. Tom swallowed and closed his eyes, adams apple sliding in his throat. Rupert leaned in and pressed the barest of chaste kisses to Tom’s lower lip, a soft and lingering thing that somehow still managed to send a jolt of lust straight through Eoin’s body.
“Jesus, kiss him properly already!” he urged.
Tom smiled at that and mumbled in challenge: “Yeah, come on, Rupert.”
At which point Rupert smirked slightly, hung back for a moment, then attacked Tom’s mouth with enough passion to almost force an audible sound of relief out of Eoin.
He practically leapt off the bed to move closer, needing to see it all: the tilt of Tom’s head, the hand clutching the front of Rupert’s jumper, the brief flash of Rupert’s tongue sliding into Tom’s mouth...God, they were beautiful.
Truth be told, he’d been watching them together for a fair while. The way they seemed to communicate silently in interviews, giving each other space and time to answer, never disagreeing or talking each over each other, but always with that ribbing banter that made them laugh together. They way they always joined forces for table tennis, nearly always winning, which in turn always involved congratulatory hugs and slaps on the back.
Rupert made Tom laugh, a lot. They were an unlikely friendship in a lot of ways, but they clicked and worked and that friendship never ever seemed to falter.
As they broke apart, Tom looked a little like he was only just holding himself back from shoving Rupert up against the wall and having his wicked way with him. Rupert looked like he wouldn’t mind at all.
“I really think they should consider incorporating this into the show,” Eoin said, catching their attention and grinning at the residual haze of hunger in both of their gazes. He moved closer until he was at Tom’s side, tilting his head up to meet amused blue eyes.
“Can you imagine the uproar if we announced that the knights of Camelot were going to turn gay for each other?” Tom remarked.
“I bet they were, though.”
“If they looked like you two, then they had no reason not to,” Eoin mumbled against Tom’s jaw, standing on his tiptoes to press a kiss there. “By the way, your scene with Colin today was incredibly hot.”
Tom ran a hand slowly down Eoin’s back, part caress, part support as he leaned down to make things easier. “Really?”
“God, yes,” Eoin assured between soft, exploratory kisses. “The way you backed him up against the wall? Fuck me.”
“I could say the same about your fight scene,” Tom said, pulling away enough to look between him and Rupert. “That was hot.”
Eoin turned his head to look at Rupert, who was leaning back against the wall next to them and watching them with dark, interested eyes, his hands behind him as though he was trying not to reach out and touch.
For a moment he was completely taken over by the thought of being overwhelmed by the two of them. They were both a good four or five inches taller than him, and the very idea of them ganging up on him was really...not something he should be thinking about at that time of night.
He sighed and bumped his forehead against Tom's shoulder.
“You know how I hate to be the voice of reason, and you know how I much I would really, really like to drag you both to bed right now, but we have to be up in about five hours...”
He felt the vibration as Tom groaned.
Rupert followed suit and sighed. “You’re right,” he said, reaching up to run a frustrated hand through his hair and leaving it appealingly rumpled (and thus not helping the matter at all). “But we have a day off coming up soon, right?”
Eoin could almost feel his eyes light up at the thought of a whole, uninterrupted day to plot and plan for. “And no one’s gonna change their minds in the meantime, right?”
They both looked at him, eyes roving up the length of his body with a heat he swore he could feel as they shook their heads.
“Good,” he added, clearing his voice slightly as they turned their scrutiny on each other. “‘Cause if tonight is my one and only chance then sod the early start, you can just have me right now. Here, on the floor.”
Tom turned big eyes on him again, then shared a look of wavering self-control with Rupert.
“O-kay,” Rupert said, waving his hands at both of them in a shoo’ing action. “You should both go now. Go. Out.”
“Good idea,” Eoin agreed, heading for the door with Tom at his heels. “Very good idea. Sweet dreams though, lads, eh?”
Tom groaned again.
+ + + + +
Twenty minutes later, lying in bed and really not giving a damn anymore about the rain that carried on pattering against his window pane, Eoin sent Rupert and Tom a text.
‘GUESS WHAT I’M DOING WITH MY OTHER HAND?’
Tom’s reply came back within a matter of moments.
‘If you can text us at the same time, UR DOING IT WRONG.’
Eoin grinned at that and tipped his head back against the cool pillow, waiting for Rupert.
The message took long enough to come that, when it did, Eoin did too. The mental image was just too much to bear.
‘Next time,’ it said, ‘we watch.’