It was still nearly two months to the end of shooting on series two when Tony mentioned in passing that he had a project lined up for hiatus. He suggested Bradley and Colin audition for it as well, because it was "an exciting opportunity for a pair of promising young actors like yourselves". Looking back on it, Bradley thinks that was the point at which he ought to have heard warning bells or something.
Their shooting schedule was far too tight to allow them to fly to the States for a proper audition, but the casting director agreed to look at an audition tape based on Tony's recommendation. They used Bradley's video camera and an interrogation scene from Tony's copy of the script and then promptly forgot about it once the tape had gone in the post.
That was Bradley's second mistake. His third was answering his mobile when his agent called to let him know he'd been offered the part and his fourth was in taking it.
"What you're saying is you took Tony's word for something and now you're regretting it?" Katie says, and really, Bradley thinks, there's no call for her to be grinning quite so gleefully over his misfortune.
He downs the rest of his pint and glares silently at her, but that only serves to widen her smile. When he gives in and slumps back in his chair, she takes the envelope from the table and slides the script out. He braces himself.
"The Long End," she reads aloud, "a tale of grifting, homosexuality, and murder in post-World War II America."
He closes his eyes and waits for her to go on. The ambient noise in the pub is too loud for him to hear her turning pages, but he knows she is.
Eventually, she says, "So, are you the policeman or the prostitute then?"
"Policeman." He sighs. "And Colin's not a prostitute –"
"Very chivalrous, Bradley, leaping to my defence like that." Bradley's eyes snap open. Colin pulls out a chair and sits, looking serious but not sombre. "Technically Michael's a con man, though I think he's a bit more homme fatale insofar as his function within the narrative goes."
Angel appears at Bradley's other side, depositing four pints on the table. She tilts her head a bit and looks at Colin. "The mysterious seductress who leads our hero astray?" A beat. "Yeah, I can see that."
Colin and Katie laugh, and then Katie says, "You're too pretty by half, Morgan," and gives Colin a saucy wink.
"He's got a love scene with Tony," Bradley points out spitefully, and then reaches for a pint.
Katie's eyes widen and she goes back to reading the script.
"Oh really?" Angel says, her tone more interested than appalled. Bradley is oddly disappointed.
Colin blushes faintly. "I do. It's pretty short, though I don't know Merlin's going to be able to look Uther in the eye for a while."
"Looks like he has more than one with you, James." Katie shoots him a sly look over the pages. "Of course, that won't change how Merlin and Arthur interact at all."
"Fuck off, Katie," Bradley says, and reaches to take the script back. Katie raps him on the knuckles with it and keeps reading.
Most of the love scenes are meant to be shot the first two weeks of filming. Curtis wants them to be "fresh" and to convey the awkward sense of a first-time hookup.
Bradley refrains from pointing out that he is an actor and as such his acting will convey the awkward sense of a first-time hookup. He doesn't actually need his first meeting with Michelle to occur whilst both of them are half-naked and being gawked at by a film crew.
She doesn't seem to mind, though. She sits on the bed, a sheet wrapped demurely around her, and pats the mattress. "Sit down," she says, grinning at him, "and tell me any embarrassing stories you have about Tony." Around them, the skeleton crew of half a dozen run around fiddling with lights and mics and cameras, trying to do the job that twenty or more would be doing if the set weren't closed for these scenes.
He tells her about the baby-pink DS and the incident with the rubber snake, and tries not to think of her as Dawn or Buffy's little sister or a beautiful girl he's sitting half-naked in bed with, because all of those are awkward in their own way.
Once they're lit and framed and powdered to within an inch of their lives, he breaks out the George C. Scott line and she laughs in a good way, with him rather than at him. Then it's 'action' and a half-dozen takes from a half-dozen angles, and when they're done and Michelle is safely tucked away in her sheet again and Bradley's managed not to embarrass himself on any front, Curtis stands at the foot of the bed and beams at them.
"Great," he says. "I'll have to look at the dailies, of course, but from the video I think you really nailed that one, both of you. Bradley, you especially; I really got the sense that Jensen was trying hard to be a normal straight guy but just couldn't make himself feel it."
Coming from Curtis, it's gushing praise, and Bradley would've basked in it if what Curtis was describing was what Bradley'd been going for. At all.
"Take ten and then hit up wardrobe. We'll do the kiss in the car next."
Perfect, Bradley thinks. Just perfect.
Bradley spends the evening tense and pacing about his suite at the hotel, a bottle of scotch in hand. It's a half bottle of scotch by the time he decides that what he really needs to do is go kiss Colin, and he takes it with him when he pushes the connecting door open.
Colin's sitting on his sofa, telly on but the sound low, reading tomorrow's sides. Revising, like a good little director's pet.
Colin glances up, raises one eyebrow just a bit. "Bradley," he says, and then he goes back to the script pages.
Bradley drops down beside him on the sofa and holds the bottle of scotch out. Colin hesitates, but after a second he takes it and takes a drink, then hands it back.
"I think we should kiss," Bradley says, taking another drink himself.
Slanting him a sideways look, Colin nods at what he's reading. "That is tomorrow's plan," he says, and his accent is so thick it's like being back in their first month working on Merlin, with Bradley needing to puzzle out even the simplest of statements.
He wonders if Colin's accent is rebelling against being oppressed all day, bent out of shape by the flat nasality of American vowels. The thought makes him giggle, and Colin does the eyebrow thing again only more pronounced this time.
"I think we should kiss now," Bradley clarifies. "So we don't bollocks it up tomorrow."
Colin drops his script to the floor and turns so he's facing Bradley. "Did it not go well today, so?"
Bradley takes another drink and passes the bottle over. "It was great," he said. "Curtis was over the moon."
A frown creases Colin's forehead. Bradley doesn't reach out to smooth it away.
He does lean in, though, grabs hold of Colin's shoulder and hangs on and leans in, but it's Colin's fingers that touch his mouth first, not Colin's lips.
"Remember this feeling, like," Colin is saying as he pushes Bradley gently away. "Remember it tomorrow and you'll be fine."
It's too warm in Colin's room. Bradley's not sure why he didn't notice it before, but now that he has it's almost unbearable.
He pushes himself to his feet. "Right, then. I'll leave you to your swotting," he says, and pulls the door shut behind him without looking back.
"See what I mean?" Curtis says quietly, and Bradley nods.
He does. It's almost like it's not even him up on the screen – which, obviously, is the idea when it comes to acting, but still it's strange to see. There's a hint of desperation underlying an otherwise impassive kiss. He struggles to remember what he was thinking at the time.
Watching himself arch over Michelle, her short red-painted nails vivid against the pale line of his shoulders, he remembers: Lucy. Remembers, too, his shock and embarrassment at the words hissed into his ear ("James, you are a disgusting pig!") as Lucy pushed out of his lap, and at the involuntary physical reaction that inspired them.
Curtis is right. It's a good performance, hitting all the right notes in Jensen's determined attempt at normalcy.
Maybe he should send Lucy a thank-you card: My Dearest Ms Evans: Courtesy of your misandristic vitriol, I find myself in the enviable position of giving an effortlessly Oscar-worthy performance as a queer cop in denial. May every cock you touch remain limp. Much love, Bradley.
Of course, while it's a relief to figure out what drove him to play it the way he did, the scenes with Michelle aren't really the reason he asked to watch Wednesday and Thursday's dailies. He's a little more worried about the scenes with Colin.
It's only been kisses so far, but Bradley felt out of his depth filming them and isn't at all convinced that he hasn't completely bolloxed everything up, no matter what Curtis says.
The first scene is in the unbelievably huge front seat of the Packard, Colin subtly crowding into Bradley's space, Michael offering Jensen a bribe to keep his name out of the murder investigation. Jensen stops Michael's hand on his thigh, wearing a look that's somewhere between terrified and yearning, and Bradley has never felt so naked, so exposed.
"Swear to me you didn't ventilate this guy, Weatherly," Jensen says, desperate here, too, but not the same way he was with Kristin. "Swear it."
Michael looks at him, wide-eyed but far from innocent, and says, "I swear. I may be a lot of things, Jensen, but I'm no cold-blooded killer."
Bradley can still feel the faint hint of stubble against his palm, the soft fullness of lips on his own. Michael yields to Jensen, leaning into the kiss, and it's Bradley's heart that pounds.
The clip ends and there's a moment of blackness before the next starts.
"That chemistry right there? That's what made the pair of you the best choice for the roles," Curtis says. "Because even though Jensen shouldn't trust Michael, he does, and the audience can see that gut-level connection between them. Between you and Colin."
Bradley nods, filing the words away for later, when he has time and energy to process them.
The next two clips are the same: Bradley, his confusion and uncertainty laid bare as Jensen is drawn into Michael's orbit, circling closer and closer. Michael's hands on Jensen's tie, on the buttons of Jensen's shirt. Bradley's hands trembling as he stops Colin, covers the fear and want with a smile.
"Not yet," Jensen says. "When we've found the guy who's trying to frame you, then we celebrate," and Michael's slow, gentle kiss is a promise.
He's glad when it's over. He's never minded seeing himself on screen, but he's not sure how much more he can handle right now.
When the clip fades, though, Curtis puts a hand out and stops him standing up.
"Hang on, we've got one more. Colin and Tony's scene from yesterday just came back from the lab. I thought you might want to see it?"
Bradley doesn't. He nods. "Sure."
The camera pans slowly up a bed, sheets twisted around two bodies. There's a hint of movement, the subtle flex and extend of muscles beneath the fabric, a broad masculine back sheened with sweat. The view cuts to the side. Tony's forehead rests against Colin's shoulder blades, his body arched over Colin's back. Bradley takes a careful breath.
In the foreground, Tony's and Colin's left hands are clasped, fingers laced together. The focus shifts to the background, to Colin's face. Lips slightly parted, he's panting in sync with Tony's movements, soft moans escaping with every breath. His expression is nearly blank, barring an occasional suggestion of a frown that Bradley recognises as Colin in pain.
He knows it's acting, he does. Still, he can't bring himself to keep watching. He can't leave, either, so he closes his eyes and hopes it's a short scene.
Colin's breathing speeds up, the tempo of the moans increasing. "Yes," he says, the word soft and a little slurred, a little too Irish and not enough American. "Yes, James, please."
Bradley's eyes snap open, his thoughts about looping dialogue instantly derailed. There's no more expression on Colin's face than there was before, despite the need that bleeds into his voice.
"The kid's amazing," Curtis confides, leaning a little closer to Bradley, voice almost lost in the sound of Bradley's pulse pounding in his ears. "I mean, look at that. He's really got Michael down: only putting as much effort into the con as he absolutely has to, lying with his voice but not his face because James can't see his expression. Amazing."
Swallowing around the lump in his throat, Bradley nods. He's standing almost before the clip fades, saying something to Curtis – he hopes whatever it is is appropriate, because he's not thinking too terribly clearly at the moment – and then he's out the door.
It takes a minute for Colin to answer his knock. He stares at Bradley standing in the hall, then looks over his shoulder to the open connecting door and back. "Lose your key?" he asks with a puzzled frown. He's barefoot and unshaven and kind of gorgeous, now that Bradley thinks about it.
Bradley shakes his head. "May I come in?" He has only the barest idea of what he's doing, but he has every intention of doing it properly.
Colin's frown deepens, but he steps aside. "Sure."
The door closes behind him with a soft click, and the ensuing silence is awkward. Bradley has no idea how to break it.
Arms crossed, Colin just watches him. Expectantly, or maybe warily, Bradley's not sure.
"I've been watching the dailies," Bradley finally starts, "with Curtis."
He can see the sudden tension in the set of Colin's shoulders, in the way his expression goes fixed and polite. It's not the reaction he wants. "He called you amazing, said we had chemistry," he tries, but that makes it worse, not better.
"What're you here for?" Colin asks, and it's not angry or hostile but just ... cold. Emotionless.
Bradley closes the distance between them. He's not good at standing around, at talking. "I'm sorry about the other night," he says. "I didn't know. Not until I saw the dailies." He's better at doing.
He reaches out, wanting to put a hand on Colin's cheek, to overlay the phantom touch of stubble against his palm with the real thing. Colin flinches at the movement and an unexpected ache twists beneath Bradley's ribs. He lets his hand drop, stuffs both of them in his pockets against further temptation. "It doesn't have to change anything."
Colin shakes his head slowly. "Yeah, it really does."
"You'd want to be going, Bradley." His expression brooks no argument.
Bradley retreats into the corridor, and by the time he's let himself into his own room, the connecting door is firmly closed.
Curtis looks like he wants to cry, and Bradley really can't blame him. He's lost count of how many takes they've done, each one more awkward and wooden than the last.
He's holding back, he knows he is. He doesn't need Curtis pointing it out on the playback and he definitely doesn't need helpful suggestions. He knows his motivation, too, and knows that what drives Jensen in the scene (knowledge that his time with Michael is running out) is nowhere near what's driving Bradley (fear of losing his best friend).
He can tell that Curtis is about to give up. At best it'll be an early lunch and a request that he get his fucking head straight, and Bradley would rather avoid that particular humiliation, thank you very much. He asks for two minutes before Curtis has a chance to order them to take something longer.
Lying back, he closes his eyes and tries to feel Jensen. He always hated the stupid meditation exercises at drama school, but he's out of options.
"Bradley," Colin hisses from beside him.
"Shut up, Morgan," Bradley snaps. "We can't all get off on being stark bollock naked in front of the whole world. Some of us need a minute to work up to it." He regrets the words even before he's finished saying them.
The mattress shifts a bit. Colin doesn't say anything else. It's a narrow bed, but there isn't a single point of contact between them.
It's possible that it's too late to be worrying about losing his best friend.
He props himself up on his elbows and looks over to where Curtis is reviewing the video again. "Ready when you are."
This time Bradley doesn't hesitate. Jensen presses tender, worshipful kisses to Michael's lips, cheekbones, eyelids, and the tip of his nose. His touches are a curious mix of urgent and tentative, as if he's afraid of what he wants. Michael responds with unexpected passion, demanding Jensen's attention and holding it, one hand splayed against Jensen's lower back and holding him close, urging him on.
As soon as Curtis calls 'cut', Bradley flops onto his back, Colin's hand sliding easily away.
Bradley's achingly hard and breathing like he's just raced to the top of Pierrefonds' highest tower. It's surprisingly difficult to simulate sex while not letting your partner close enough to feel that you're actually up for it.
"I need a pint," he says to no one in particular. The PA bringing him his robe clears her throat disapprovingly. Fair enough. It is barely gone eleven, after all. "And possibly a cigarette."
This time it's Colin who reacts, a snort of laughter he obviously tried to stifle.
"Print that one," Curtis calls out, and relief makes Bradley light-headed. Or possibly it's the lack of blood to his brain that does it.
The crew sets about rearranging the lighting and the cameras for the reverse shots, and Bradley takes the proffered robe from the PA. He manages to get it on without the entire crew becoming intimately familiar with his state of arousal, which is possibly the first break he's caught today.
Curtis is issuing orders, but he looks up when Bradley approaches. "Half an hour, then be back and ready."
Bradley nods. He pulls his mobile from the pocket of his robe and checks the time, then slips on his trainers.
"Oh, and Bradley?" Curtis stops him before he can make a break for his trailer, to wank in privacy. "That was great. Really great. Whatever it was you tapped into for that? Remember it."
He doesn't blush, but it's a close thing.
Bradley's still damp and barefoot from his shower and is debating whether to go out for dinner or order in from room service when there's a knock at his door. His first instinct is to ignore it, because it's either someone with the wrong room or it's Colin, and the idea of facing Colin right now is almost unbearable.
The idea of facing Colin ever again is almost unbearable, honestly, but he's not going to be able to indulge in avoidance for long. They have to work together for a good portion of the next year, and while James and Jeremy are just as patient and kind as Curtis, eventually their patience, too, will run out. Not to mention that Colin is a very determined bloke; if he's decided they need to have this out, then Bradley has no doubt they're going to have it out.
He's not about to do it on an empty stomach, though.
Flipping through the room service menu, he picks up the desk phone and dials. The knocking doesn't stop, but he tunes it out while he orders. If Colin is that desperate to talk to him, he can bloody well come in through the connecting door.
Which is exactly what he does, looking surprised that Bradley's side is unlocked. Bradley rings off.
"We can't keep on like this," Colin says, and immediately heads for the sofa.
Bradley moves to the chair, resting his elbows on his knees and looking down at the bottle of water he forgot he was holding. "I know," he says. "I know."
"Look, you were right, yeah? It doesn't have to change things. We can't be letting it change things."
Nodding, Bradley says, "Can't let it interfere with the job –"
"Sod the job!" The outburst is vehement, and Bradley's head snaps up. Colin's looking at him, expression unreadable except for a veneer of frustration. "I don't want it interfering with us. You're my friend, Bradley. Or you were."
"Am," Bradley says firmly.
Colin smiles just a little. "Okay." He looks a little sad, though, when he continues, "I'm sorry. I never meant for it to get out of hand."
There's that twist up under Bradley's ribcage again. He swallows and takes a breath. "Not your fault," he says with a shrug. He takes the coward's way out and looks back down at the bottle of water. "Drunken passes are always awkward, and unwelcome sober ones are no better. Sorry."
For a moment there's nothing but silence, and Bradley can't help wondering if he's managed to stuff it up even worse.
Then there's the sound of movement, and Colin's kneeling on the floor in front of him, between the sofa and the coffee table. "Bradley?"
Bradley looks up, meets Colin's gaze. Colin's hand is raised, like he's hesitated halfway to reaching out and putting it on Bradley's arm, and he's wearing an odd little nervous smile that Bradley hasn't seen since the first few weeks of their acquaintance. "Yeah?"
"It's not unwelcome if it's in earnest." Colin's fingers finally come to rest against Bradley's wrist, warm and solid and real. "It was only – I'm not after wanting a pity shag, yeah?"
And that's so unexpected he doesn't even know what to say, so he doesn't say anything, just leans in and presses his lips to Colin's, taking Colin at his word. Bradley's never been more in earnest.
He feels Colin's smile against his mouth and he grins back. Pulling away, he says, "You, Colin Morgan, are an idiot." Before Colin can protest, he continues, "And I'm also an idiot, so we're particularly well suited, I think."
Colin laughs. "Talking of idiots, why're we over here when there's a perfectly good bed over there?"
Bradley takes Colin's hand in his, turns it over and presses a kiss to the palm, then laces their fingers together. He stands, tugging Colin to his feet and pulling him close. "We're here," he says, "because it would be unspeakably awkward if we were mid-shag when room service showed up with our meal."
"Our meal, is it now?" Colin's smiling crookedly at him and Bradley kisses him because he can, first the tip of his nose, then his left cheekbone, and finally the soft spot just below his left ear. "You're absolutely mental, you know that?" Colin says, but he's still holding Bradley's hand, so Bradley's pretty content.
He's not sure how long they stand there, necking like ... well, like two blokes who haven't spent twelve solid hours doing this as part of their jobs already today. His jeans are unbuttoned and his tee-shirt rucked up, and he's managed to get Colin's various shirts unbuttoned and off by the time there's another knock at his door.
To her credit, the woman delivering their food doesn't even bat an eyelash, despite the fact that it must be glaringly obvious to her – even after Bradley made an effort to straighten his clothes before answering the door – what they'd just been up to. She sets the tray on the desk, waits for Bradley to sign the bill, and wishes them a polite good evening as she leaves.
He opens the first beer and drinks a few swallows before handing it over to Colin, who watches with an amused expression as Bradley opens the other bottle and drinks most of it in one go. "Just let me have a few chips whilst they're still hot," he says, lifting the cover from the plate closest to him, which turns out to be Colin's sandwich and some sort of cold pasta salad. "Here, this one's yours."
Colin's expression turns from amused to surprised. He sets his beer down on the coffee table. "You really ordered dinner for me?"
"Don't look so shocked," Bradley says. Under other circumstances he'd probably be offended, but he's got a whole night of Colin in his bed to look forward to and he's feeling nigh on invincible. "Grilled portobello mushroom sandwich, or something. I don't know. It seemed relatively free of things that would kill you."
Colin continues to stare at him for a second, and then closes the distance between them. Bradley can feel his eyes widen as Colin drops to his knees and undoes Bradley's jeans, and when Colin takes Bradley's still-soft cock into his mouth Bradley has to steady himself against the desk, thoughts of food all but forgotten.
He slides a hand into Colin's hair and Colin looks up at him from under dark lashes, intense and focused and so absolutely gorgeous that it makes Bradley's breath catch. Or possibly that's due to the slick heat of Colin's mouth. Even as good as it feels, though, Bradley's body is still slow to respond, and after a minute Colin pulls off, sits back on his heels. He looks puzzled and maybe a little uncertain.
"Do you not –" Colin starts, and Bradley can actually feel the blush moving up his neck to his face.
He interrupts, "God, yes. I do, I like it. Only, every time we took a break today? I went and had a wank. That's, like, five times, I think. Plus once in the shower just before you showed up. I haven't got off that many times in one day since I was fifteen." He forces himself to stop babbling.
Colin laughs, but there's no malice in it. "It's no wonder you're starving," he says, tucking Bradley's half-hard cock back into his pants. "Eat something. We've time."
Food is the furthest thing from Bradley's mind at this point, though. He was nervous before, worried about Colin's possible reaction and all the ways this could go pear-shaped, but now that they've embarked on the journey, he's focused. He's committed.
He's desperate to get Colin stretched out naked in his bed.
"Not really hungry anymore," he says, shrugging and offering his hand. Colin takes it and Bradley pulls him to his feet, then reels him in close.
Colin smiles at him, a closed-mouth grin that highlights his dimples. "Is that so?"
"Tragic but true." Bradley shakes his head in mock sadness, arms moving to wrap around Colin's waist. He leans in and says, soft and low against Colin's ear, "I seem to recall someone saying something about a perfectly good bed ... ?" He can feel the shiver that runs through Colin at that, and he's not sure whether it was the words or the tone or something else entirely that caused it, but he looks forward to experimenting until he finds out.
Colin inclines his head toward the far side of the room. "You mean that one over there, like?" he says, pushing the hem of Bradley's shirt up until Bradley has to let go and allow himself to be divested of it.
Bradley retaliates by hooking his fingers through Colin's belt loops, backing toward the bed and tugging Colin after him. "It does seem to fit the criteria." When he feels the mattress against the back of his calves, he widens his stance a bit and pulls one last time, letting himself fall back and bringing Colin with him.
It doesn't exactly work out like he'd intended. Colin flails a little and squawks – not quite a girly shriek, but definitely something Bradley can mock him for later – but catches himself and doesn't stick knees or elbows anywhere dire, and then he drops his forehead to Bradley's chest and laughs until Bradley's seriously starting to worry about him.
Finally, Colin rolls off but doesn't move away, doesn't take his hand from where it's resting against Bradley's shoulder. "I've mentioned you're absolutely mental, yeah?" he says.
"I'm here with you, aren't I?" Bradley shoots back with a grin.
He goes to work on Colin's jeans, spending as much time as possible brushing up against the hard line of Colin's cock whilst ostensibly undoing the button and the zip, until finally Colin shoves his hands away with an exasperated, "You just worry about getting your own kit off," and does it himself.
Bradley does, but once they're there, both of them naked and exposed, Colin hard and leaking and Bradley still barely at half-mast, something flutters nervously in the pit of his stomach. He doesn't cover himself with his hands, but the urge is there.
Colin rolls onto his side and presses a kiss to Bradley's shoulder, then wraps a hand around Bradley's hip, his thumb rubbing small circles on the sensitive skin as he applies himself to the exploration of Bradley's jaw and ear and neck with his mouth. Bradley shivers, the touches sparking along his skin and leaving pleasure in their wake but not generating arousal. Colin shifts his hand and his wrist brushes against Bradley's cock, but he seems entirely unconcerned by the lack of response.
Something must be showing on Bradley's face, though, because Colin stops what he's doing and says conversationally, "You know, I'd be more worried you weren't interested if I hadn't spent the day being randomly prodded by evidence to the contrary." He nudges his cock against Bradley's hip as if to demonstrate.
The blush comes on hot and fast and not at all expected; Bradley isn't generally prone to embarrassment, especially not around Colin. He shifts onto his side, curls his fingers around Colin's cock and feels Colin shudder against him. "I thought I'd been a bit more discreet than that," he says, sliding his thumb across the slit, through the wetness there. He watches as another drop beads up almost immediately.
"I'm glad you weren't." Colin sounds breathless. His hand skims up Bradley's side and over his shoulder, raising goosebumps. "Otherwise it would've never occurred to me that maybe I'd got the wrong end of the stick." He tilts Bradley's face up.
Colin's eyes are wide and dark, and Bradley kisses him.
"I can't imagine how that happened anyway," Bradley says wryly. "I wasn't a bit cryptic." He brings his thumb to his mouth, licks away the salt-bitter taste and watches Colin's eyelids flutter briefly closed. That's promising, he thinks, and pushes gently on Colin's shoulder to get him on his back.
"If it wasn't me giving myself away," Colin starts, but stutters to a halt when Bradley focuses his attention on getting to know Colin's left nipple.
He circles it with his tongue, then blows gently until it peaks. It's different from what Bradley's used to – solid muscle and wiry hair where he expects the soft, smooth curve of a breast – but it still feels good, still feels right. "What did I see in the dailies?" he finishes for Colin, who's watching him, eyes dark and heavy-lidded. He turns his head away from Colin's scrutiny, pressing open-mouthed kisses along Colin's ribs. "Me, giving myself away."
With each successive kiss Bradley works his way further down Colin's side, nipping occasionally at the milky-white skin just to hear him gasp. "And I watched your scene with Tony," he admits. He reaches Colin's hip and bites a little harder at the sharp jut of bone. Colin twitches, like he wants to arch up but is holding himself back, his cock hard and flushed and right there.
Bradley closes his eyes, licks gently at the marks left by his teeth. "I kept thinking about doing that to you," he says as Colin's hand ghosts down his back and then up again, "about how you'd look, how you'd sound with me fucking you."
Colin makes a soft, needy sound, his hand coming to rest on the back of Bradley's head, and Bradley knows what he wants, can feel the effort it's taking for him to keep still. For one terrified heartbeat, Bradley freezes, thinks, I can't, and then Colin's hand is moving away again, caressing whatever part of Bradley he can reach while his body vibrates with tension.
Bradley opens his eyes. Colin's other hand is fisted in the blankets and his lower lip is caught between his teeth. He closes his eyes when he catches Bradley looking, a flush that could be either embarrassment or arousal staining his cheeks, and Bradley nearly gasps from the unexpected ache in his chest.
He slides one hand under Colin's thigh, holding on. The other has already gone to his own cock, which is finally starting to show a respectable interest in the proceedings.
"Do it," he says, and his voice comes out hoarse but he means it. Colin's eyes snap open, wide and surprised, and Bradley repeats, "Do it. Please, Colin. I want it."
There's a moment of hesitation and Bradley can see the internal battle reflected in Colin's eyes, need clashing against the fear that this will be the thing that will prove to be too much, will send Bradley running scared. It's not an entirely unfounded fear.
This is uncharted territory for Bradley, but he wants it more than it frightens him. He leans in and licks a stripe up Colin's cock, sucking the head into his mouth before he can change his mind. It's hot and oddly slick and he's not at all sure about the taste, but it makes Colin shudder and arch up under him and that's good enough right now.
"Fuck, Bradley," Colin breathes as his hand cups the back of Bradley's head, and Bradley thinks, Finally.
He wills himself to relax, moves with it when Colin urges him down further, and it's not easy but he's filled with so much want. He lets himself fall into Colin's rhythm, breathing when he can and swallowing not nearly often enough, Colin's cock shining slickly with Bradley's saliva as Colin fucks his mouth. Bradley times the movement of his fist on his cock with the snap of Colin's hips.
Colin's rhythm stutters and his breathing changes. Bradley recognizes the signs, knows them from the inside. He backs off, pushing against Colin's hand, and Colin lets go instantly. Two quick strokes from Bradley's hand and Colin's coming. Twice that on Bradley's cock and he is, too, and then they're lying side by side, panting and loose-limbed.
Colin takes Bradley's hand and laces their fingers together, squeezing lightly, and Bradley grins over at him. Art may imitate life, he thinks, but it doesn't hold a candle to the real thing.