"What's the next fangirl fantasy the writers are going to give into, then?" Bradley asked, grabbing the vodka from Eoin and pouring another round of shots for everyone.
"The next one?" Tom asked from the opposite sofa, looking extremely concerned. "Which ones have they already done?"
"Oh, you think it was my idea to shoot half my scenes topless?" Bradley asked pointedly. "You think I'm some sort of exhibitionist?"
"No, we know you're some sort of exhibitionist," Rupert teased. He reached for his shot and downed it quickly, then reached for another.
"You're a beast," Santiago said appreciatively. "How can you drink like that?"
"I'm part Russian," Rupert said, shrugging. He poured himself a shot of orange juice and sipped at it.
"Really?" Tom asked, his face flushed and his expression dazed.
"No." Rupert grinned. "Anyway, we were talking about Bradley, not me. Bradley and his love of showing off his chest hair."
"It is very nice chest hair," Eoin said. He pretended to tip his hat in deference.
"Why is it," Bradley asked loudly, "that every time we get drunk, we end up talking about my bloody chest hair?"
"Because it's so pretty," Rupert said in a deadpan tone. "We want to rake our fingers through it."
Bradley pulled a face, shook his head, and drank another shot. "I'm done," he said, coughing and setting the shot glass on the floor next to his sofa. "Don't let me drink anymore."
Eoin laughed. "Nonsense. You're just at the point where you should definitely drink a whole lot more."
"You know what I think?" Bradley said, pointing around at all his friends. "I think we should try to convince him to drink!"
Tommy held his hands up. "I've already said no, James. Unlike the rest of you useless tits, I have things to do in the morning."
"Mate." Eoin reached across Santiago to slap Tommy's thigh. "Have you asked her out yet?"
"Who?" Bradley demanded.
Tommy rolled his eyes. "Not again. I'm not asking her out. I don't fancy her!"
"You do!" Eoin insisted.
"Who?" Tom and Rupert chimed in.
Tommy crossed his arms and refused to answer.
Eoin grinned widely. "He fancies Angel."
"I don't fancy Angel!"
Bradley laughed and poured himself another shot. "If I die, you all know who to blame." He nodded at Eoin before downing the shot and shuddering. "Where's the juice?" he rasped.
Rupert tossed Bradley the carton of juice and then turned to focus on Tommy. "You fancy your sister?"
"She's - okay, you know she's not actually my sister, right? And, no. I do not fancy her."
Eoin clapped his hands together. "That's the next fangirl fantasy!" he announced when everyone looked quizzically at him. When their expressions remained blank, he elaborated. "More snogging!" He gestured enthusiastically at Tommy.
"What, incest?" Tommy asked, aghast. "That's not a fangirl fantasy!"
"Everything is a fangirl fantasy," Rupert said wisely.
"Not incest," Eoin said, frustrated. "Snogging!" He pointed at Bradley. "Snogging!!"
"I already snog Angel," Bradley said, his brow furrowed in confusion. "Quite a lot, actually."
"Not you and Angel," Eoin said, pouting insistently. "You and Colin!"
Bradley's mouth fell open. "You've lost me."
"The ultimate fangirl fantasy," Eoin explained. "Arthur and Merlin snogging each other's brains out."
"Oh, God," Bradley muttered, reaching for the vodka again. "If that's where this conversation is headed..."
Santiago allowed Bradley to drink another shot, then pulled the bottle out of his hand. "I'm cutting you off," he said with a smile. "I want you to live."
"Thanks, Dad," Bradley teased.
"I'll take some more of that," Eoin said, yanking the bottle away from Santiago. "You can't tell me you've never thought about it."
"I have never thought about it," Bradley said categorically.
"Well, you're the only one," Eoin muttered before bring the vodka bottle up to his lips.
"You're gulping it," Tom said, a look of disgust on his face.
"What do you mean, I'm the only one?" Bradley asked. "The only one what?"
"The only one who hasn't thought about you and Colin snogging the living daylights out of each other," Eoin explained.
Bradley rolled his eyes. "Just because you're some sort of closet case-"
"Santiago?" Eoin cut Bradley off and slapped Santiago's leg. "You've thought about it, haven't you?"
Santiago shifted uncomfortably. "Um. Not as such, no."
"That's a yes," Eoin translated. "Tommy?" Tommy shrugged. "Another yes."
"That's enough," Bradley said. "Stop taking the piss."
"I'm absolutely not taking the piss. Tom, Rupert, I know you've both thought about it."
"I haven't," Tom defended himself. "Rupert obviously has, but I'm innocent."
"You're never innocent," Rupert said, narrowing his eyes at Tom. "We were just talking the other day about how that one scene in the last episode made it seem like Arthur and Merlin-"
"Stop!" Bradley pleaded. "I'm not drunk enough for this."
"You should stand up," Eoin suggested. "You're drunker than you think. You've had, what, six shots?"
"Seven, I think. No, five. Wait..." Bradley paused to count in his head.
"Anyway," Eoin said, grinning. "That's where the writers should take the show. Arthur and Merlin snogging in the stables, in the bed chambers, in the courtyard, in Gaius' room..."
"Please, God, stop," Bradley moaned. "You're all a bunch of queers."
"You're the one who wants to snog Colin," Rupert said reasonably.
"I don't want to snog Colin," Bradley said, his voice high and frantic.
"Of course you do. Everyone wants to snog Colin."
"I wouldn't go that far," Rupert said.
Eoin shrugged. "All right, so you're the only want who actually wants to snog Colin. But the rest of us definitely want to see you snog Colin. Not to mention the fangirls."
"Why the bloody fucking hell would you want to see me snog Colin?" Bradley demanded.
"You'd be fucking hot together, that's why," Tommy said. Everyone turned in surprise and Tommy smiled innocently. "What? They would be. Everyone one in this room just admitted that they've thought about the two of them going at it. It's because it'd be hot!"
Eoin nodded and pushed the vodka bottle into Bradley's hands. "One more shot. Then we're going to find Colin."
"What?" Bradley spluttered. "Why?"
"Isn't it obvious?" Santiago asked. "They've all lost their minds."
Bradley pointed an accusatory finger at Santiago. "And you're in cahoots with them! Don't pretend otherwise. I heard what you said."
"What, the 'not as such'? Not very incriminating, that."
"I don't need your wit," Bradley spat. He poured himself one last shot, then shoved the bottle into Tom's lap.
"Right," Eoin said once Bradley had drunk the shot. "Where's Morgan?"
"Sleeping," Bradley said loudly. "And you're not waking him up."
"So protective," Rupert teased, getting to his feet. "Come on, let's go bang on his door."
Bradley struggled to his feet and followed his cast mates out of his hotel room, shouting protests that they all ignored as they walked down the hallway toward Colin's room.
"What are you waking him up for?" Bradley asked once they'd all stopped outside Colin's room. "We're not going to snog."
"We'll see about that." Eoin winked and then rapped his knuckles on the door.
They waited half a minute, and then the door opened. Colin looked distinctly disheveled. His hair was sticking up at odd angles, he had pillow marks on his cheek, and his eyes were barely open.
"What's this?" he mumbled, looking around at all the actors standing outside his door.
"We were just discussing how hot it would be if you snogged Bradley," Eoin said happily.
Colin's eyebrows raised slowly as he looked from one eager, earnest face to the next. Bradley opened his mouth to explain or protest or possibly vomit, but then Colin closed the door.
"That's that, then," Bradley said, relieved. "Let's go back. And no more gay ideas from anyone! You should all be ashamed of yourselves. How am I suddenly the only straight one?"
"You've got it all backward," Eoin said reassuringly, slinging his arm around Bradley's shoulders as they headed back to Bradley's room. "We're the straight ones, and you're the only gay one."
"I feel like I've drunk myself into an alternate universe or something," Bradley mumbled. "Is this really happening?"
"Nothing's happened, actually," Eoin said. "We'll get him next time. Don't worry."
"I am so worried," Bradley said seriously as they all filed back into his room.
The next time they all had a day off, Colin accepted the invitation to stay up with all the knights in Bradley's hotel room.
"Are you sure?" Bradley asked as they piled into the van that would take them back to their hotel. "You don't have to."
"I want to," Colin insisted. "Unless, of course, you don't want me to and you were only inviting me because you thought I'd turn you down again."
"Well, you usually do. I just don't want you to feel obligated."
"I don't feel obligated. I feel like I can spend most of tomorrow sleeping, so staying up with you lot sounds like a fun idea. Besides, if I don't go, you'll just come knocking on my door at fuck knows when in the morning and wake me up, anyway."
"Sorry about that," Bradley muttered as the van pulled away from the castle.
Once everyone had convened in Bradley's room, various bottles of alcohol appeared and people started getting down to business.
"Is this usually what happens?" Colin asked, watching Eoin knock back three shots in a row.
"Pretty much," Bradley said from where he was perched on the foot of his bed next to Colin. "Eoin drinks ten times as much as everyone else and never gets drunk, Santiago has a maximum of two drinks, Rupert drinks like a Russian bear until he's a mumbling mess on the floor, Tom gets exceedingly happy and stupid, and Tommy..." Bradley paused to watch Tommy mixing random amounts of alcohol and juice in a tall glass. "Tommy makes himself girly drinks, apparently. He hasn't had anything to drink the last few times because he's always got something stupid going on in the morning."
"What about you?"
"I'm not drinking tonight," Bradley said casually.
"Why not?" Colin pouted. "I was looking forward to seeing you make an arse out of yourself." Bradley shrugged and watched Eoin reach for another bottle. "Bradley." Colin nudged Bradley's elbow with his own. "Why aren't you drinking?"
"I didn't want to leave you being the only sober one," Bradley said, his eyes on Tommy's colorful concoction. "I knew you wouldn't drink and I didn't want you to feel... left out or... or like you had to act all responsible when this lot starts getting out of hand."
"Such a gentleman," Colin teased.
"Well, someone has to be in charge here," Bradley said in his best serious tone. "And you're not big enough to tackle anyone."
"I could probably take Tommy."
"Maybe if he wasn't looking," Bradley said skeptically. "And if he was weakened by the flu or something."
"You have no faith in me."
"There's very little of you to have faith in," Bradley pointed out, poking Colin's side. "I bet you'd be completely wasted after one shot."
"I can drink a lot, actually," Colin defended himself.
"Yeah, I've seen you drink," Bradley reminded him. "And you were, in fact, wasted."
"True, but it took more than one drink to get me there."
"One and a half, maybe."
"One and a half kegs, you mean."
"Yes," Bradley deadpanned. "You drank one and a half kegs all by yourself and lived to tell the tale."
"I am a lean, mean, drinking machine."
Bradley threw his head back and laughed. Colin smiled and turned his attention to the rest of the men in the room, who were all staring at the guffawing Bradley.
"He's pretty when he does that, isn't he?" Eoin asked Colin.
Colin raised his eyebrows. "How drunk are you? We've only been in here fifteen minutes."
"Forty-five," Eoin corrected, checking his watch. "Are you sure you don't want any?" He held up a bottle.
"I'm good, thanks," Colin said politely.
Two hours later, after an evening spent trading embarrassing stories and trying to come up with the most bizarre sexual innuendo, Colin excused himself to go to bed.
"No!" Eoin shouted as Colin started to stand. "We're just getting started. You're going to miss the best parts of the night!"
"And what exactly are the best parts?" Colin asked, sitting back down reluctantly.
"The parts where we ask you and Bradley to snog on that bed."
Bradley let out a groan, but Colin just smiled.
"Back to that, are we? Is that how this always ends up?" he asked, turning to Bradley.
"They're all secretly gay," Bradley said, rolling his eyes. "They're also too drunk to deny it or defend themselves properly."
"Come on," Tom said, grinning widely. "Just go on and do it."
"This is really weird," Colin said slowly. "I think I'll just go to bed, thanks."
He stood and headed for the door, but Santiago grabbed his arm.
"Don't be such a prude, Colin," Tommy teased. "It's just a snog."
"Maybe if I were as drunk as you, I'd agree. But as I'm stone-cold sober, I'm going to go with... thanks, but no thanks."
"You're hurting his feelings," Rupert said imploringly. "Look at his little pout!"
"I'm not pouting," Bradley said, very much pouting. "Let him go to bed."
Colin pulled his arm out of Santiago's grip, waved goodnight, and escaped before anyone could hold him back.
"Next time," Eoin said, turning back to Bradley. "We'll get him next time."
"I don't want him!" Bradley said firmly. "I didn't want him last time, I don't want him this time, and I won't want him next time. Why is that so hard to understand?"
"Mate, we've seen the way you look at him," Rupert said. "It's okay to admit your feelings. We're probably all too pissed to remember it tomorrow, anyway."
"I don't have any feelings," Bradley said, reaching for the last of the vodka. "For anyone. Ever." He downed what was left in the bottle and then reached for the carton of orange juice and drank the last of that as well.
"You're not a monk," Tommy pointed out. "You're just repressed."
"I'm not repressed." Bradley shivered slightly as the vodka warmed him. "You're the repressed ones. If you want to see two blokes going at it so badly, why don't you just kiss each other? Or rent some French porn or something? Colin and I aren't your gay guinea pigs."
"Colin would make a really adorable guinea pig," Tom said, giggling slightly.
Bradley rolled his eyes and flopped back on his bed, wondering how long it would be before his friends started filtering out of his room to go to bed. He wanted to be alone. It wasn't nearly as fun being sober without Colin. He thought briefly of sneaking off to Colin's room for some peace and quiet and maybe kipping on Colin's couch for the night.
But he would never hear the end of it if he spent the night in Colin's room. So, he suffered for another hour before kicking everyone out so he could get some rest. To his annoyance, each of his friends insisted on kissing him on their way out. Most of them went for his cheek or his forehead, but Eoin went straight for his lips.
"Next time, it'll be Colin."
Eoin winked and Bradley shoved him from the room.
Two weeks later, Bradley and the rest of the knights were drunk again. Bradley hadn't invited Colin this time. He was too worried about what Eoin and the others would say. He also wanted to get drunk. The week had been long and full of rough, painful stunts. He wanted to use his night off to relax and drink away the aches in his muscles, not to avoid looking at Colin.
Unfortunately for him, Colin knocked on his door just when he was quite sure he was completely sodding drunk.
"Cols," Bradley said, staring stupidly at his friend. "You should leave while you still have the chance."
Colin merely grinned. "But I can hear all the fun you're having from my room."
"LET HIM IN!" Eoin demanded from behind Bradley.
Bradley sighed and moved out of the way so Colin could come into his room. He closed the door and pressed his forehead against it, hoping the night wouldn't end with Colin hating him.
"Bradley, Bradley, pour Colin a drink," Rupert said as Colin sat down on the edge of Bradley's bed.
"Colin doesn't drink," Bradley said flatly as he turned around and sat back down on the sofa next to Santiago.
"I'll have one," Colin said, smiling.
Bradley clenched his jaw as everyone else in the room cheered. "Colin..."
"One isn't going to kill me," Colin said sensibly. "And, besides, considering how long it's been since I've had a drink... I'll probably be as bad as you lot after just one, anyway."
"That might take you two," Eoin said, handing Colin a bottle of vodka and a shot glass. "We've been at this a while."
Colin winked and downed his shot quickly. He coughed roughly and patted his chest, shivering with a look of disgust on his face.
"God, I hate vodka."
Tom handed a carton of juice to Colin, who gulped down a few mouthfuls before putting it on the floor.
"So, what have you guys been up to tonight?"
"Tommy was just telling us about a girl he used to date, and Eoin is trying to convince him that he'd be happier with Angel."
Tommy gave Colin a closed-mouth smile. "It's been a rough night."
"Why does everyone think you fancy Angel?"
Tommy shrugged. "Probably because it's twisted. Dating my on-screen sister and all that. It shouldn't surprise you by now, but these guys are filthy perverts."
Santiago opened his mouth to protest, but Tom punched him in the arm to shut him up.
Colin laughed and brought his legs up onto the bed. He crossed them and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and looking between all the other men in the room.
"You're already flushed, mate," Rupert said.
Colin shrugged. "Yeah, I told you... I hate vodka. It just makes me really warm and cuddly."
"Cuddly?" Eoin asked sharply, his eyebrows raised.
Colin held out a finger in warning. "I'm not that drunk."
"Then, by all means, have another." Eoin nudged the bottle toward Colin again and Colin took it wearily.
"You don't have to," Bradley said quickly.
"I don't mind," Colin reassured Bradley as he poured himself another shot. "I don't have any plans for tomorrow except running lines."
"With me?" Bradley asked. Tom cleared his throat pointedly.
"Of course," Colin said, shrugged. He tossed back his second shot and then reached for the juice and finished off the carton. "I really fucking hate vodka."
"Welcome to the club," Tommy muttered.
Half an hour later, Colin was sliding off the bed in a fit of giggles while a topless Tom tried to make his pecs dance. Tom was looking slightly alarmed at what his chest was doing, and everyone except Bradley was in hysterics.
Bradley was sitting, slumped in the corner of the sofa, and staring mournfully at Colin. He was waiting for someone to mention how hot it would be if he and Colin kissed. He had been waiting for it ever since Colin knocked on the door. He knew it was coming and he didn't know how to stop it.
"Stop moping!" Rupert shouted, reaching across Santiago and hitting Bradley hard on the knee. "You're such a buzz kill!"
"I'm not a buzz kill," Bradley said, his lips tingling and his words running together slightly.
"You're a buzz kill," Santiago agreed with Rupert.
Tom sat down next to Tommy, still looking down at his wiggling muscles.
"I'm not a buzz kill," Bradley said again, watching as Colin picked himself up off the floor and settled back on the edge of the bed.
"You're a buzz kill," Eoin said decisively. "But I know how we can fix that."
Bradley shook his head and tried to organize his thoughts into a coherent argument, but Eoin was already standing.
"Cols, d'you wanna kiss Bradders?" he asked, his expression serious.
"He's already said no," Bradley said, his voice much louder than he thought it would be. "Remember when he closed the door in our faces and - and - and... and he's already said no."
"Oi, shut up, Bradley," Tom commanded. "Let Colin speak for himself."
"Colin," Bradley said pointedly, "you've already said no, haven't you?"
Colin looked between Eoin and Bradley a few times before grinning. "I never said 'no.' I wouldn't mind it. It'll be good for a laugh."
The room erupted in triumphant yells and Eoin clapped Colin so hard on the back that Colin slid onto the floor again.
"Come on, Bradley," Eoin said, pulling Colin to his feet again. "Come kiss your man."
"He's not my man," Bradley protested as Rupert and Santiago pushed him off the sofa. "I don't have a man."
"Maybe that'll change after tonight, mate," Tommy said, leering.
Bradley scowled and sat down on the edge of his bed. He looked up at Colin's flushed face and cursed under his breath.
"This is great," Eoin said happily, taking Bradley's seat on the sofa. "We should film this and show the producers."
Bradley stood up next to Colin and pointed a stern finger in Eoin's face. "If anyone outside of this room ever hears about this, I will personally murder each of you in your sleep."
"We'll keep that in mind," Santiago teased. "Go on, then."
Bradley pouted and tried to think of another way to postpone the stupid kiss. However, Colin was already turned to face him. Colin already had one hand on his hip and one hand on the back of his neck. Colin was already leaning forward.
When their lips met, Bradley distinctly heard gasping coming from the sofa. He tried to pull back to put an end to the joke and yell at his friends, but Colin held on tightly.
"Loosen up, mate," Rupert said in a low voice. "This is supposed to be sexy. You look like a corpse."
Bradley exhaled sharply through his nose and then parted his lips to lick into Colin's mouth. If they really wanted a snog, they were going to get a snog. And then he would take his mobile out, photograph their stupid shocked faces, and tell the whole crew that all the knights were incredibly gay, not to mention manipulative.
Colin stepped closed and slid his hand up into Bradley's hair. His fingers tugged gently and Bradley gasped into his mouth. Someone catcalled and Bradley's hands moved to Colin's sides of their own accord. Colin's tongue slid against his and he closed the gap between them, pressing his chest to Colin's and holding Colin close. Colin was so warm.
Bradley ignored the comments coming from the sofa and gripped Colin's sides tighter. Colin sucked on Bradley's tongue and Bradley moaned low in his throat. Colin slipped his hand around to grope at Bradley's backside.
Someone started laughing and Bradley pulled back quickly and started wiping his mouth on the back of his hands. He didn't look at Colin and he didn't look at anyone else. People were clapping and howling with laughter and he wanted to die of embarrassment.
He felt a hand on the small of his back and he looked up to see Colin smiling at him.
"All right?" Colin asked in a quiet voice. "It's just for a laugh, yeah?"
Bradley nodded. His head was swimming and he was too drunk to navigate his feelings. The only thing he knew for sure was that he was seconds away from being sick.
He walked away without saying anything and locked himself in the bathroom.
When he was done being sick, Bradley flushed the toilet and brushed his teeth. He sat on the edge of the bathtub and stared down at the tiled floor. He just wanted to go to bed, but everyone else was still in his room. He didn't want to face any of them. They were cruel - all of them, but especially Eoin.
They knew, somehow, that he, too, had always thought it would be hot to snog Colin. But, instead of making it a joke and taking the piss out of him for it, they pushed and pushed and pushed until he actually snogged Colin. And now he would never be able to look at Colin again because it truly had been the hottest kiss he'd had in a long, long time. Colin's lips had been so firm and insistent - yet somehow soft. And his hands had been big and strong and confident. Bradley never would have allowed himself to touch another man's behind, but Colin apparently had no problem with it.
"I'll take care of him, I promise."
Bradley looked up and stared at the bathroom door. That was Colin's voice.
"I'll give him some water and put him to bed. He's just drunk."
"We're all drunk," Tom voice came through the door.
"Exactly," Colin spoke again. "That's why you all should go to bed and leave Bradley to do the same. I won't let him drown in his own vomit, I promise."
"You're a good man," Tommy teased.
"The best man," Rupert agreed.
Bradley heard the door creak open and heard everyone muttering goodbye's to Colin as they filed out of his room.
"Goodnight, Bradley," Santiago called as he knocked on the door before leaving.
Bradley said nothing and waited to hear if everyone had gone.
"You're going to keep snogging him, aren't you?" Eoin asked.
Bradley hung his head again. Why couldn't Eoin just drop it?
"Only if he wants me to," was Colin's reply.
Bradley listened as they said their goodbye's and the door closed again. Colin hadn't sounded like he was joking. He had sounded very serious about kissing Bradley again, if Bradley wanted it.
But Bradley didn't want it.
He just wanted to go to bed and pretend the whole night had never happened.
Heaving a loud sigh, Bradley got to his feet, unlocked the bathroom door, and stepped back into his room.
Colin had turned all the lights off except for the lamp near the bed. He was turning down the sheets and fluffing the pillows.
Bradley cleared his throat and Colin turned to him, smiling.
"I made them leave," he explained unnecessarily. "I figured you probably just wanted sleep."
Bradley nodded and moved slowly toward his bed.
"You should drink this," Colin said, forcing a water bottle into Bradley's hands. "You'll feel a lot better in the morning if you do."
Bradley nodded again and unscrewed the lid. He gulped down over half the bottle, mostly because it gave him something to do other than look at Colin. When he couldn't swallow any more, he set the bottle down on his nightstand.
"Well," he said, surprised by how hoarse his voice was. "I think I'm set."
Bradley forced himself to look up and meet Colin's concerned gaze.
"I have to ask... you threw up because you're drunk, right? Not because... you were so disgusted by kissing me?"
Bradley closed his eyes and shook his head, mad at himself for making Colin think that their kiss had been disgusting.
"It was the alcohol," he said firmly, looking back up at Colin. "Kissing you was the exact opposite of disgusting."
Colin grinned widely and the words that had just come out of Bradley's mouth hit his ears a moment later.
Colin clapped a hand over Bradley's mouth before he could explain. "Did you brush your teeth?"
Bradley nodded. Colin took his hand away and Bradley tried to protest, but was silenced by Colin's tongue slipping back inside his mouth. He wrapped his arms around Colin's waist and clung tightly as the room spun and swan around them as they kissed.
"I need-" Bradley stumbled as he pulled back. He started to fall, but Colin caught him and eased him onto the bed.
"You need sleep," Colin said gently, pushing Bradley down.
Bradley watched as Colin yanked off his jeans and his shirt and then pulled the covers up around him.
"I'll see you in the morning," Colin whispered as he turned off the lamp. "Please don't forget this happened."
"I won't," Bradley muttered, sleep already falling over him.
"Good." Colin kissed him gently. Bradley was asleep before he even heard the door close.
Bradley spent most of the next morning sleeping. When he finally managed to rouse himself, he showered and dressed and tried very hard not to think about anything that had happened the night before.
When he grew too bored and too anxious to stay inside his hotel room any longer, he decided he would take a walk around the French village and maybe find somewhere new to eat lunch. He put his ear to the door and listened carefully for a moment, then opened it to step into what he thought was an empty hallway.
Colin was a few doors down, pulling his own door closed behind him. Bradley froze, halfway out of his room, and wondered if he would be able to slip back inside unnoticed. But then Colin looked up and grinned.
"Hey, you're still alive," he said, walking over to Bradley.
Bradley put on a brave smile and finally closed his door to step fully into the hallway. "Barely."
"Were you sick again?" Colin asked, looking concerned.
"Er, no. Listen, I'm really sorry you had to deal with me last night. Clearly I had too much to drink and, well... you're a real mate for taking care of me. I appreciate it, really. And I'm sorry, again."
Colin smiled unsurely. "It was no problem, really. I've taken care of worse drunks, trust me. I'm sure you would have done the same for me, anyway."
Bradley nodded. "Well, er... I was just... just about to go find some lunch... so... yeah. What were you doing?"
"I was going to go bother Katie. Can I come with you instead?"
Bradley really wanted to eat lunch alone, but he knew he couldn't brush off Colin without being rude. "Yeah, sure. That's fine."
They set off down the hallway and Bradley wondered how long they were not going to talk about what had happened the night before.
When they reached the lobby, Eoin was just coming into the hotel.
"Ah, the lovebirds," he said, grinning as he approached them.
Bradley blushed and turned away, pretending to be interested in the map on the wall.
"Don't tell me you've broken up, already?" Eoin asked.
"Not quite that," Colin said quietly. "We're just going out to lunch. Come on." He grabbed Bradley's arm and led Bradley out of the hotel. "Don't mind him."
"Should we talk about last night?" Bradley asked quickly before he lost his nerve.
"If you like. I've sort of been getting the impression you'd rather not."
"I'm just embarrassed," Bradley said honestly. "I mean, those idiots had me kiss you, and then I got sick, and then I kissed you again..."
"Actually, I'm pretty sure I kissed you. Both times."
Bradley cleared his throat awkwardly. "Yes. Well..."
"You seemed to enjoy it at the time. Was that just the alcohol?"
"No," Bradley said bravely. "No, it wasn't just the alcohol. I really, um... I really enjoyed it. And I knew beforehand that I would enjoy it. Kissing you, I mean. I'm just not really sure what to do with all that."
"Well," Colin said slowly, and Bradley looked up at hearing the smile in his voice. "I suppose the most logical option would be for us to kiss again. Since we both enjoyed it so much."
Bradley let out a nervous laugh, his heart pounding in excitement. "You enjoyed it, too?"
Colin shrugged. "Of course. And, for the record, I also knew beforehand that I would enjoy it. I just didn't think you'd enjoy it. That's why I kept brushing it off the other times... I knew I'd never be able to go through with it sober."
"Well," Colin repeated. He reached for Bradley's hand, brought it up to his lips, and gently kissed the back of it. Then he turned it over and kissed Bradley's palm before slowly lowering it.
"You're a total sap," Bradley said, lacing his fingers with Colin's and wondering when either of them had grown so bold as to walk around the French village holding hands with another man.
"Only for you," Colin teased. "Please don't tell Eoin."
"Oh, God, I wouldn't dream of it," Bradley said, groaning. "We'll never live this down."
"We should exact revenge. I think Rupert and Tom might fancy each other a little bit."
"I think you're right." Bradley grinned and directed them toward a cafe where they could spend lunch planning the details of their revenge against the knights.