“What the fuck did you think you were doing, you sack of shite?” Gordon shouts.
Or rather, he shouts nothing of the sort, but Tony is an expert in deciphering Gordon’s strangled growl-shouts. This one is a true terror of incoherent rage.
“Shut the door, would you please?” he says, ever so politely. People love a pleasant man.
Gordon’s growl is a trifle more subdued this time, but just as furious. Tony translates: “I’ll shut your face, you fucking Englishman.”
“I’m actually not English, you know,” Tony says, rummaging in his desk for the paracetamol. He has the distinct feeling he’s going to need it soon.
Gordon looks at him as if he’s gone mad, then slams the door with a resounding thud. Luckily, the doors in Number Ten are made of sterner stuff than Tony’s old bedroom door. They never had been able to make that hang correctly again.
“Thank you, Gordon,” Tony says.
“What did you were think you were doing?”
This time, no translation is necessary. The words are mumbled but understandable enough, spat out through clenched teeth.
Tony smiles, putting a self-deprecating twist on it. Self-deprecation is always a good technique. “I thought I was being the Prime Minister.”
“You stole my fucking budget,” Gordon says, very slowly and very clearly.
Tony lets his smile turn real, just for a second. “Yes, I did rather.”
They watch each other, prizefighters in the ring, waiting for a moment of weakness. They know each other so well, years of study and years of strife; Gordon’s face spasms, and Tony knows he’s seen the glint in Tony’s eye.
“What are you going to do about it?” Tony asks, softly, mildly.
A moment of silence - and then Gordon is lunging, power and rage co-mingled, and Tony is being hauled out of his chair and tossed across his desk, none so gently, his hips colliding painfully with the edge, papers sliding under his scrabbling hands.
He catches his breath, and laughs softly. “Ah.”
“Shut up,” Gordon spits at him, already reaching a hand around for his belt, all fumble and fury. “Shut the fuck up and take it.”
“Be sure and shout a bit,” Tony says, helpfully, even as his trousers are shoved unceremoniously down. “You’ve a reputation to keep up.”
Gordon’s response is not oral, but it is certainly audible. Tony gasps, already wincing from the power of the blow. He hardly has time to brace himself before the hand comes down again, remorseless and sure.
Later Tony will go to his knees for his Chancellor, as Gordon holds Tony’s head and fucks his mouth until tears stand in his eyes. Sometimes Gordon shouts. Sometimes he finds the words to properly express his fury. Today Tony thinks it will be damning silence, and the coldness of true rage.
(It can’t be good for him.)
But for now, Tony shuts his eyes and braces himself on the Prime Ministerial desk.
As he waits for the next descent of Gordon’s hand, he congratulates himself on another governmental crisis well handled. Interpersonal conflict can be the bane of any government, and it certainly is for his - but with good management any conflict can be negotiated.
Gordon growls above him, and Tony translates: “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.”
But he’s found the money Tony needed.
And in the end, isn’t that what matters?