Arthur Kennedy (no, not one of those Kennedys, just the same last name), the newly inaugurated president of the United States of America, was already exhausted. To be fair, a lot of that was probably jet lag. And the heat. Delhi was punishingly hot, even though the meeting was held the last week of March to avoid the worst of the heat. Fucking global warming. This was his first big international event since his inauguration, and he was eager to prove himself. Which of course, is why he was sneaking a cigarette out on his balcony.
“Bloody miserable out here,” he heard a man’s voice with a British accent behind him.
“Mr. Eames,” Arthur said, waving to the British Prime Minister with his cigarette.
“Can I trouble you for a light?” Eames held out his own unlit cigarette. Arthur flicked his lighter on and held it up for Eames to use.
“I’m surprised my security let you out here.”
“Apparently they see other world leaders as less of a threat. Or possibly they feel confident that they could take me if necessary.”
Arthur leaned back to take a good look at Eames. He hadn’t gotten to spend much time with the British Prime Minister yet. They’d had a call after Arthur took office, of course. And they’d met in person for the first time yesterday at the opening of the summit. Arthur had wondered if Mr. Eames had been flirting with him. Apparently so.
“Quite frankly, Mr. Eames, I’m pretty sure I could take you if necessary,” Arthur said dismissively. True, he hadn’t been in uniform since 2003, but he was still in good shape.
“Looking forward to it,” Eames purred before taking one last drag of his cigarette and then stubbing it out. “Thanks for the smoke, darling. I’m sure I’ll see you soon.”
Eames walked back off of the balcony and had exited Arthur’s room by the time Arthur finished his cigarette. He looked at Nash, his secret service body agent.
“Did that just happen?” Arthur asked.
“Did what just happen, sir?”
“Did the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom come out and join me for a smoke?”
Nash looked uncomfortable. “Your privacy is sacrosanct, sir.”
“Yes, I know, I’m asking...” Arthur resisted the urge to drag his fingers through his hair. “I’m just trying to make sure I’m not losing my mind or hallucinating from lack of sleep or something.”
“Yes, sir. That did just happen.” Nash continued to look uncomfortable. Arthur shook his head.
“Okay, well, I need to head out to the first meeting of the day. You coming, or were you planning on guarding the plant over there for the rest of the morning?” Arthur swished quickly with mouthwash and pulled on his suit jacket.
“Yes sir, I mean no sir,” Nash said, and then quickly spoke into the radio at his wrist “Pointman is on the move.”
Arthur walked into the conference room where a number of the other world leaders were already gathered. Eames caught his eye and waved at him, so he walked over.
“Darling, we were just talking about you!” Eames said enthusiastically. “Have you met the prime minister of Lichtenstein yet?”
“Not yet,” Arthur replied and held out his hand to Adrian Hasler. “Guten Morgen, Exzellenz.”
“Good morning, Mr. President,” Adrian responded in slightly accented English. “Mr. Eames has been telling me all about your exciting election. I didn’t know that you were such good friends.” He raised an eyebrow at Arthur.
“Oh, we actually just met at this summit, but we’ve talked a few times. I suppose our countries have always had a special relationship,” Arthur joked.
The prime minister of Lichtenstein looked confused. Eames looked delighted.
“Let’s go take our seats, then I can fill you in on all the best gossip since you’re new to all this,” Eames said, taking Arthur’s arm collegially. Arthur and Eames weren’t assigned seats next to each other at the table, but Eames simply replaced the nameplate at the seat next to Arthur’s (the Prime Minister of Japan, Arthur thought he saw) with his own. Arthur hoped he wasn’t committing a horrible diplomatic faux pas, but he was willing to allow Eames to take the lead here. Eames had been PM for two years already and was obviously familiar with the whole rigmarole. Arthur looked around the room and saw several other world leaders giving them what could only be described as fondly indulgent looks, although Putin was glaring in their direction. Perhaps Eames was just like this with everyone.
Arthur sat down in his seat and took a deep breath. He could do this. He survived going to war. He survived the process of getting a Ph.D. He survived the very special torture that was a presidential election campaign, and won. He was the goddamn president of the United States of America and he was sitting at the table representing his country at the G-20. He allowed himself to smile.
“Darling! You have dimples!” Eames whispered in his ear.
“Yes, I know,” Arthur whispered back, confused.
“They don’t show up in your fake posed smiles. Apparently I’ve never seen a picture of you really smiling!”
“Shhh, I think we’re starting. We need to stop whispering,” Arthur whisper-scolded Eames, but he felt himself holding back a smile as he did it.
Eames obediently stopped talking, but did start doodling on the note pad in front of him. Arthur snuck a glance at it before turning back to his own notepad. It was a rough sketch of Arthur’s face, with dots in his cheeks with arrows pointing to them labeled ‘DIMPLES!!!!!’
So I mention some actual world leader names. This is not meant to be RPF, but rather just sort of "fun mentions" and saving me the work of having to come up with a whole slate of world leaders.
It was the fourth day of the G-20 conference and there was a sightseeing opportunity in Delhi. As had become a habit, Mr. Eames joined him out on his balcony for a smoke before they went down to the days’ meetings. Arthur though he had heard Nash say “Pointman and (something Arthur couldn’t quite make out) on the move” as they headed out of his room that morning. This afternoon he heard it quite clearly as they walked out of the building toward where everyone was gathered for their tour.
“Pointman and Paisley headed out.” Arthur looked at Eames, who gave no sign that he’d heard anything at all. He glared at Nash who wasn’t paying any attention to Arthur at all, and was instead scoping out their surroundings. He was prevented from immediately asking what the hell was going on, when the Prime Minister of Canada walked up to him.
“Hello Justin, how are you doing?” Arthur asked politely.
“Very well, very well, thanks. Warm enough out here, eh?” Justin responded.
“Indeed,” Eames agreed.
“I just wanted to offer you both a word of advice since we’re going to be out in public for pictures and all that this afternoon. It’s one thing when you’re in private meetings all day, but the press will have a field day with anything you give them in public. So if you’re trying to fly under the radar, you may want to be a little less...” Justin motioned with his hands as if his point was obvious.
Arthur looked at Justin, about to ask what exactly he was talking about, when Eames seized his arm and walked them away, calling a quick thank you over his shoulder.
“Eames, what was that? Did you understand what he was talking about?” Arthur demanded.
“Yes, well, I think I may have twigged to it. I think he thinks that we’re together.” Eames said, looking slightly embarrassed.
“Why would he think that?” Arthur asked. “Is this because of the stuff during my campaign? I’m so sorry, I should have realized that they were never going to give up on that.”
“Well, no, it’s probably largely because of me,” Eames said sheepishly. “I’ve been pretty blatantly wooing you since we met.”
Arthur looked at Eames, his eyes wide and confused as his brain suddenly made a flurry of connections.
“You’re not just like that with everyone?” Arthur asked, feeling something like hope, and a great deal like fear, filling his chest.
Eames looked at him and smiled, shaking his head.
“Is that why my secret service agents have a codename for you?”
“Do they?” Eames sounded delighted.
“They do indeed. So you’re telling me you’re not just being very friendly with me, you were in fact, flirting?”
“Fairly obviously, darling. I’m a little hurt that you didn’t pick up on it.” Eames pouted slightly.
“Is that why no one complained that you kept switching seats so you could be next to me?” Arthur grinned.
“Err, possibly,” Eames allowed.
“And you’re telling me this now, when we’re about to go do a public sightseeing tour that will be photographed down to the smallest detail, why exactly?”
Arthur rolled his eyes, feeling lighter and happier than he had felt since he started his campaign.
“Let’s go see some sights, Mr. Eames, and then we are going to have a talk.” Arthur shook his head and gave a small laugh before heading back toward where the rest of the world leaders were gathered and ready to start their tour.
“Pointman and Paisley on the move,” Nash said into his radio behind them.
Sorry this was a day late, I fell asleep while putting my kid back to bed last night and didn't get it written. But as a reward for your patience, here, have some porn!
That evening, Eames knocked on the door to Arthur’s room. Nash let him in and called to Arthur, “Mr. President, Mr. Eames is here to see you.”
“Thank you,” Arthur responded, coming out into his suite. “If you could make sure we aren’t disturbed,” Arthur said, blushing a deep red.
“Of course, sir,” Nash said, with only a slight smirk. “Pointman and Paisley are in for the night,” he reported into his radio, exiting Arthur’s hotel room and closing the door behind him.
“Pointman and Paisley, I like that” Eames grinned at Arthur waggling his eyebrows. Arthur felt his heart flutter a bit, now that he knew Eames was flirting with him.
“So...” Arthur said, tentatively.
“So.” Eames responded. “I assume that since you’ve invited me back to your room and asked for privacy you’re not just planning to tell me that you’re not interested. Or that you’re straight and all that fuss during your campaign was over nothing.”
“Yes. I mean no. I mean, I’m definitely not straight and I’m definitely interested,” Arthur said nervously. “Would you like a drink or something? I honestly never thought I’d be in this situation so I have no idea what to do,” Arthur laughed slightly.
Eames stepped closer, crowding into Arthur’s space. “All you have to say is yes, darling.”
Arthur closed his eyes automatically and tipped his head back slightly. “Yes,” he whispered. And then the felt Eames’ lips against his and he was kissing the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
He felt like he was flying, or maybe falling. He felt dizzy with the rush of blood and endorphins and he clung to Eames, holding himself up against his strong frame. Eames’ kiss had been gentle at first, but it became fiercer as Arthur pressed himself up against Eames. Arthur felt Eames’ leg work its way between his own, pressing up against his very noticeable erection and he groaned at the contact.
“Oh my god,” Arthur gasped. He found himself grinding up against Eames’ leg unconsciously.
“God, yes,” Eames groaned back, grabbing Arthur’s arse and encouraging him. Arthur couldn’t think, he could only feel: the lips against his neck, his ear, his jaw, and back to his lips, the hands holding him, keeping him upright, and the delicious friction against his cock. Arthur held tightly onto Eames as he continued to ride his leg.
“Yes, yes, right there, oh god, yes,” Arthur babbled as he felt the sudden rush of heat as he came in his pants.
“Fuck yes,” Eames growled as he felt Arthur’s release. He unzipped his trousers quickly and took out his own hard prick and began jerking it with one hand, still holding on to Arthur. Arthur felt light headed and warm and glorious and he wanted Eames to feel like that too, so he leaned forward to kiss him again while reaching down to touch Eames’ cock.
He let his fingers dance lightly over the velvety soft skin at the tip, while Eames thrust into his own fist, not wanting to break his rhythm. Eames was gasping against his mouth in a lovely addictive way, so Arthur reached down into Eames’ pants to fondle his balls. He was rewarded by a warm spurt hitting the inside of his arm as Eames groaned his climax into Arthur’s mouth.
Eventually, with much kissing and fondling, they managed to work their way into the bedroom, by which point they were both naked and hard again. Arthur kissed Eames with very serious intent while pressing him down onto the bed when suddenly he realized, “I don’t have lube or condoms.”
“Damn,” Eames mumbled, “I was so hoping you would fuck me, darling. Oh well.” And Eames pressed back up into the kiss, reaching down to grab hold of both their cocks. Arthur reached his hand down as well, helping Eames hold them together as they thrust against each other. He held himself up over Eames with one arm as they moved together, their cocks rubbing against each other.
Arthur couldn’t get enough of feeling Eames’ body against him, his lips, his tongue, his hand, his cock.
“God,” Arthur gasped out as he felt the drag of skin on skin bringing him to the edge. “Not yet, not yet,” he begged, letting go so he could use both hands for support.
Eames looked up at him wickedly and let go of them to hold his hand up to Arthur’s mouth. Arthur groaned and then licked a long stripe up Eames’s palm before sucking one of his fingers into his mouth. Eames returned a moan as Arthur sucked on his finger and thrust harder against Eames’ hard stomach. Eames finally took his hand back, nice and wet, and wrapped it around both their cocks and began jerking them in earnest. Arthur could barely do anything other than thrust into his tight grip and hold himself up with his shaking arms. Eames came first this time, and Arthur quickly replaced Eames’ hand with his own. He was so close, feeling Eames’ hot wet release sliding and dripping all over their cocks. Arthur gripped them tighter and thrust a few more times before finding his own release.
Arthur lowered himself down onto Eames as carefully as he could and just stayed on top of him, breathing, panting really. Trying to catch his breath. Not just from the physical exertion (although that had certainly been nothing to sneeze at), but from the way this gorgeous, powerful man took his breath away. He closed his eyes and just let himself rest for a moment, feeling the pounding of blood in his veins and the softer thumps of Eames’ heart underneath him.
“Darling?” Eames asked after a moment.
“I’m okay,” Arthur said, forcing himself to roll over off of Eames. “Give me a minute, I’m sure there’s tissues somewhere here.”
“I’ll just pop up and get us a flannel, we’re quite a mess.” Eames said cheerfully, doing just that and returning with a wet washcloth.
“Oh my god, this is such a mess,” Arthur groaned unhappily.
“It’s not as bad as all that,” Eames rolled his eyes and finished wiping down Arthur. “See, good as new. Well, maybe not new, but slightly less gross.”
“No not this,” Arthur said, “But thank you. This,” Arthur motioned between the two of them. “How are we supposed to do this?”
“I don’t know, but I think I’m going to need at least an hour after those orgasms for my brain to work properly, so I propose a cuddle for the time being.”
“Proposal accepted,” Arthur grinned, pulling Eames back into the bed with him and snuggled up against him.
I may have broken my heart just a little bit with this chapter. So be forewarned? I promise it will get better though?
“What are we going to do?” Arthur asked after they’d dozed for a bit.
“Can’t we just be two blokes who met at work who fancy each other?” Eames asked wistfully.
“You know we can’t,” Arthur sighed.
“It’s too bad it’s not the old days when heads of state were supposed to marry each other to form alliances and such,” Eames said.
“Setting aside the fact that we’re both men, so that wouldn’t have been an option anyway, and the fact that getting married after knowing each other for a week is a spectacularly terrible idea, you do know that you’re the head of government, not the head of state, right?” Arthur responded dryly.
“I’ll show you my head of government,” Eames leered playfully, rolling over on top of Arthur. Arthur let himself be manhandled a bit and tipped his face up for kisses. He ignored the way his stomach jumped when Eames mentioned marriage. Even if he hadn’t been the president, even if he’d had a real long-term romantic relationship before, falling this hard for someone so quickly was a bad idea. Arthur knew this. Arthur was sensible. Arthur made decisions based on reason and logic and evidence, not his personal desires. Arthur was pretty sure he was losing this battle.
“Seriously though, is this even legal?” Arthur asked, temporarily halting Eames’ attentions.
“I think so, although I can’t imagine anyone getting through your security. And we have diplomatic immunity, so it doesn’t really matter,” Eames said, trying to return to kissing Arthur’s neck.
“Not is gay sex legal, I meant is it legal for the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to have a relationship. Or even sexual relations. Think about all the conflicts of interest. How the fuck are we supposed to negotiate trade deals if we’re sleeping together? How are we supposed to negotiate with other countries if everyone knows we’re sleeping together.” Arthur began to panic slightly. “Oh my god, can you imagine the headlines? If we have to send troops in someplace and get British support, it will be because I put out. If some sort of treaty negotiation doesn’t go well, it will be because we’re having a lover’s quarrel. That’s assuming I don’t get impeached. Fuck!” Arthur covered his face with his hands, all the drama and the rumors and the controversy from the election spinning around in his head, only worse, now it would be substantiated. Now he couldn’t just hide behind a statement saying that his sexuality wasn’t a matter for public debate. It was one thing for the country to elect a president they knew was probably gay (because what else were they to think about that statement?), but entirely another thing for them to have a president in a relationship with another man.
“Darling, I think you’re making much too big a deal about this. We’ll just follow the suggestion of making sure we’re not too obvious in public. We have plenty of security; they obviously have no problem with this. We can just continue on as we are.”
“No,” Arthur said sharply. “I’m not lying. I had to lie about myself, either explicitly or by omission for too much of my life. That was a promise I made to myself when I ran for office.”
“Well if you’re vetoing a secret relationship, and you’re vetoing a public relationship, what’s left?” Eames asked.
“I don’t think we can have a relationship,” Arthur said softly, reaching up to cup Eames’ face in his hand.
Eames looked down at him, his mouth an unhappy line, but he didn’t say anything.
“It’s not like we really have time for a relationship anyway. We have countries to run. I think we do have something here, but can you think of a worse time to try to start this? We’d never get to see each other. I hear the White House is hell on relationships anyway. I don’t want to set us up to fail,” Arthur explained gently.
“I see your point,” Eames said. “But then why this? Why invite me here?”
“You make me lose my head,” Arthur said, blushing. “I honestly hadn’t thought about any of those things until tonight. All I could think about was you, and that you wanted me.”
Eames gave Arthur a small smile.
“I’ll wait for you,” Arthur said. “I mean, you don’t have to wait for me if you don’t want to, I won’t hold you to that. But nearly everything I was concerned about with you is a concern for any relationship I would try to start. Which is why I’m not in a relationship. So even though four years is a long time—”
“Eight years,” Eames interrupted.
“I appreciate your confidence, but that’s probably unlikely. Regardless. Even though it’s a long time, it’s not like I will be dating other people. So, I’ll be ready to try this when we’re done serving our countries.”
Eames sighed and finally nodded. “That sounds fair. I mean, I can’t say I like it, but you’re right about all of the conflict of interest business, and I have honestly no idea about your country’s rules about presidential relationships. I certainly wouldn’t want you to get impeached due to me.”
Arthur nodded back. “And we can still be friendly, we can still talk. I mean, look at Reagan and Thatcher, they were quite good friends.”
“Well now I know you don’t want a relationship, mentioning Maggie Thatcher in bed! Ought to be a hanging offense,” Eames teased. And just like that, the layer of tension that had fallen over them was broken and they were back to normal. But Arthur couldn’t help but feel like he’d make a horrible mistake.
The rest of the G-20 summit was a special sort of torture. Arthur still saw Eames every day. Eames still sat next to him in the meetings. Eames still teased him and flirted, but it was more muted than before, a little less exuberant. It’s not like Arthur had thought Eames’ behavior had been leading anywhere before, but now that he knew, now that it had... Arthur didn’t really have words for the dull ache in his chest he felt. Especially knowing that he was the one who called stop.
It was honestly better once he was back home. He hadn’t been lying when he said he didn’t have time for a relationship. Being president was an all-consuming job and it kept Arthur busy and distracted from that dull ache in his chest. Usually. Sometimes he couldn’t help missing Eames’ voice. And his jokes. And his hands. And his lips.
“Mr. President, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom would like to schedule a phone call to discuss that extradition situation with Alabama. Can I add that to your schedule tomorrow morning?” Ariadne, his chief of staff interrupted Arthur’s train of thought.
“Yes, of course,” Arthur said automatically before his brain caught up, “you said the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? Mr. Eames?”
“Yes, of course,” Ariadne said, “unless they have a new prime minister I’m unaware of, in which case you should probably fire me.”
“Never,” Arthur smiled warmly at his best friend. He never would have made it to the White House without Ariadne. She was like a tiny ball of frighteningly competent perpetual energy. They’d become instant friends in grad school when it became clear that other members of their cohort were never going to work as hard or care as much as they did. He asked Ariadne once why she didn’t want to run for office and she looked at him like he was nuts and said something like, “Have you seen how they treat female politicians in this country? No thank you.”
“Mr. President, Mr. President, Arthur, Earth to Arthur,” Ariadne said, snapping her fingers in front of his face. “What is wrong with you today?”
“Oh, nothing,” Arthur lied. Ariadne gave him a look that said she didn’t believe him and promised a conversation about it later. “Anyway, what’s next?”
“Darling, it’s been ages,” Eames’ voice was bright and cheerful when Arthur was connected through to him.
“It’s been two months,” Arthur said dryly, “I also have the attorney general for the state of Alabama on the line with me, Mr. Eames.”
“Righto, let’s see if we can sort this bugger out than, shall we?” Eames said, his tone changing from flirty to business-like, although no less cheerful.
Arthur tried very hard to keep his mind focused on the conversation, instead of just thinking about how Eames’ voice made him feel. Or how his heart leapt when he called him ‘darling.’ Or how he couldn’t go two months without moping like a lovesick teenager and how was he ever going to last four years? Well three and a half years now. Arthur worked his way through the rest of the call on auto-pilot, and wished he could come up with a better solution.
Later that evening, Arthur got another phone call. “Mr. President, I’ve got a call from Mr. Eames on line one,” his secretary’s voice came through the intercom on his desk. Arthur’s heart jumped a little.
“Yes, put him through,” he responded, waiting for the phone to ring on his desk.
“Mr. Eames,” he answered.
“Mr. President,” Eames responded. Arthur could almost hear the eyebrow waggle that he knew accompanied it.
“Isn’t it like midnight for you?” Arthur asked.
“It is indeed, darling. But it turns out that chatting with that bloke with the terrible accent while you occasionally offered one or two words was not a particularly satisfying experience earlier today.”
“Yeah,” Arthur said sadly. “I miss you.”
“Oh Arthur,” Eames’ voice, normally smooth and confident, broke a little. “I miss you too.”
“Someone will say something and I think ‘oh Eames would find that hilarious,’ or I have frustrating day and I think ‘Eames would know how to make me feel better’ and I just wish I could talk to you regularly.”
“I know, it’s stupid. I mean, we spent what, a week together?”
“No, don’t say that. It’s not stupid at all. It’s wonderful. And there’s no reason we can’t talk more frequently,” Eames said.
“It’s not like that many things come up between our countries where we need to talk directly all the time,” Arthur said.
“No, but it doesn’t always have to be official. Presidents are allowed to have friends. You’re allowed to make phone calls. I feel fairly confident that’s allowed.”
“I suppose you’re right...” Arthur said, thinking it over. “So if I wanted to call you from the residence, or on my cell, we could talk regularly?”
“That would be absolutely wonderful. I know we’re not doing this, not right now, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be strangers until we’re out of office. After all, there’s always been a very special relationship between our two countries, no reason we can’t be friends.”
“How about Saturdays? We could talk on Saturday evening, or night I suppose for you?” Arthur asked.
“It’s a date,” Eames responded lightly. “Shall we say 6pm your time?”
“Yes,” Arthur responded, a little more fervently than he had intended.
“I look forward to your call. Goodnight, darling,” Eames said with a yawn.
“Go to sleep, Mr. Eames,” Arthur responded, smiling to himself.
Arthur found himself looking forward to their weekly phone calls. It made his week a little more bearable when he knew that he had someone to share it with at the end of the week. He had the time blocked out on his calendar so no one scheduled meetings during the time and so far it seemed to be working. Arthur started making notes of things that happened that he wanted to tell Eames about. His planned topics for conversation flew out the window when Eames answered the phone however.
“Mmmm Arthur,” Eames purred, his mouth caressing Arthur’s name. Arthur closed his eyes, imagining Eames’ mouth caressing other parts of him.
“Eames,” Arthur replied breathily. “How are you?”
“I must say, darling, I’m a little randy. I thought about having a wank before you called, but then I thought perhaps you might be interested in lending me a hand, or well, a voice.” Eames’ voice was low and rumbly and Arthur imagined him lying in bed at Number Ten Downing Street, one hand holding his cell phone and the other on his cock.
“I’m definitely interested, Mr. Eames. How can I be of service?”
“Mmmmmm, that’s a lovely thought. You on your knees, servicing me. Would you like that, pet? My cock in your mouth...mmmm I bet you’re gorgeous like that, aren’t you.”
Arthur dropped down into the chair in his bedroom, his knees giving out on him. “I...I don’t know. No one’s ever said.”
“Oh darling, that’s criminal. You’ve been sleeping with all the wrong people, clearly. I will definitely have to remedy that for you. Well, I’m bloody sure you’re gorgeous like that, because imagining it has me rock hard.”
“What are you doing,” Arthur panted as he struggled to unbuckle his belt with one hand.
“I’m pulling it, of course. Got a bit of lube and my hand wrapped around my cock, stroking it, imagining it’s your hand, or your mouth. Are you touching yourself, darling?”
“Working on it,” Arthur gasped out as he trapped the phone between his ear and his shoulder so he could use both hands to open his pants and shove them down to his ankles. He didn’t need to ruin another pair of pants. One was hard enough to explain. His cock sprang up and he grabbed it, hissing with pleasure as he finally got a hand on himself
“Tell me,” Eames ordered.
“God, I can’t stop thinking about you, how you felt underneath me, how you must look right now, jerking yourself off. I bet you look completely debauched. I want to kiss you and rub myself against you and touch you everywhere. I want my hands on your cock, I want my cock in your ass.” Arthur moaned as he jerked himself harder, thrusting into his fist.
“Oh yes, Arthur, god I want that so much,” Eames gasped back. They stopped speaking in full sentences at that point, instead exchanging gasps and moans and “yes, god, yes” and “fuck yes, darling.” Arthur kept his vision of Eames fixed in his mind, naked and squirming and desperate to come as he finally lost control and shot all over his fist with a loud groan.
“Oh yes, darling,” Eames sighed as he (presumably) came as well. They were quiet except for the sounds of their labored breathing for several moments.
“Fuck that was brilliant,” Eames said finally.
“A little bit beyond the bounds of friendship, I suppose.”
“Do you hear me complaining?” Arthur laughed. “I probably should, but... that was wonderful.”
“Indeed.” Arthur could hear the smile in Eames’ voice. “So how was your week, darling?”
By September, planning for Eames’ Official Visit was well under way. Ariadne came into the Oval during a break in his day to discuss some of the details with him.
“So it’s a three day visit and most of your meetings are on day two and then you have the state dinner. On day three, you’re going to the University of Connecticut where Mr. Eames has been invited to give the Sackler Lecture and you’ll be introducing him. You still need to decide what you’d like to do for the first day.”
“Hmm, could we see the new Lin-Manuel Miranda show?” Arthur asked.
“I’ll have someone call about tickets,” Ariadne made a note. She closed her notebook and looked at Arthur.
“Mr. President, I hate to have to talk to you about this, but with Mr. Eames coming here, we need to determine what the official message on the visit is, and make sure that all of your public appearances coincide with that message. If you need to make additional private arrangements, it would probably be best if you talked to me about that rather than trying to organize it yourself.”
“What are you suggesting, Ariadne?” Arthur looked dismayed.
“I’m suggesting that I’m not an idiot. Neither are reporters. And that flying below the radar is easier when you’re not the President.”
“Mr. Eames and I are not dating or together or whatever you’re suggesting, Ariadne,” Arthur said firmly.
“Oh please, Mr. President. You have a private phone call with him every week. I’ve seen the pictures of you two from the G-20. If you’re not dating him or ‘whatever I’m suggesting,’ you’re definitely totally gone on him. And if you don’t want to look like a school girl with a crush, you’ll listen to me. And if you’re planning on sleeping with him, you’d be better off letting me know so we can plan for it.”
“Are you offering to set up a booty call between me and the prime minister of the United Kingdom?” Arthur asked incredulously.
“Part of my job is to look out for your best interests. You’re not married, you’re not cheating, this doesn’t hurt anyone. I think you should be allowed your privacy if you want it. If there is something going on between the two of you, it behooves you to tell me so it can be planned. We don’t need some sort of walk of shame showing up in the tabloids from either of you.”
That Saturday, during their regularly scheduled phone call, Arthur brought up Ariadne’s suggestion.
“Apparently I’m the worst at being sneaky and ‘if I’m planning on sleeping with you, I’d be better off letting my chief of staff know so she can plan for it’ to avoid ‘walk of shame’ photos,” Arthur said dryly.
“Well, darling, I don’t wish to be presumptuous, but I would be very much in favor of sleeping with you while I’m there, especially if it can be done with discretion,” Eames offered.
“Don’t you think it will just make it worse?” Arthur asked.
“Worse in what way?”
“For us, to deal with it. We still can’t have a proper relationship.” Arthur said.
“No, I don’t. I think it’s already bloody difficult to deal with, and I think getting to spend time with you without being able to touch you is even worse,” Eames said frankly.
“There doesn’t seem to be any sort of legal or constitutional issue, which was my biggest concern. So if we’re discreet, I’d much rather be able to touch you as well,” Arthur allowed.
“So shall we let your staff arrange that for us?” Eames asked.
“Yeah, I guess. They’ll probably put you in one of the guest rooms in the Residence instead of the Blair house. Easier for assignations.”
“Ooh, say that again, darling.”
“Assignations,” Arthur repeated obediently, grinning. Ariadne was right, he was so completely gone on this man. He couldn’t wait until his visit.
“Ariadne, do you have a minute?” Arthur called out to his chief of staff’s office.
“Certainly Mr. President,” Ariadne came into the Oval and closed the door behind her.
“So I... uh.. talked to Mr. Eames about his upcoming visit,” Arthur said awkwardly.
“During your weekly phone date?” Ariadne smirked slightly.
“You think you might show me a little bit of respect?” Arthur said crankily.
“Hmmm, seems unlikely,” Ariadne grinned, “but I suppose I could try.”
“Anyway, I talked to Mr. Eames and we thought your suggestion was a good one and we’d like to take you up on that.”
“My suggestion that pictures of you sneaking out of his room at 4am would be bad for your image?” Ariadne asked with faux innocence.
“Yes. Well. Your suggestion that you would be able to arrange things so the aforementioned scenario didn’t happen,” Arthur said curtly. He wished the seal on the floor would just open up so he didn’t have to have this conversation.
“Ah yes, you’d like me to facilitate your continued relations with the Prime Minister,” Ariadne teased.
“I think I hate you,” Arthur said.
“Maybe you can share your stimulus package with him?” Ariadne continued undeterred.
“I’m sure you’ll have some very productive bilateral negotiations,” Ariadne suppressed a giggle at her own joke as Arthur pointed to the door.
“I said, out!” Arthur ordered.
“Happy to help, Mr. President,” Ariadne said cheerfully as she walked back to her office.
Sorry for missing two days! Between the semester starting and the completely terrible sleep patterns of my kid, it apparently just was not in the cards for those evenings.
Mr. Eames’ official visit to the White House had finally arrived, and Arthur was waiting nervously in his private sitting room. Mr. Eames had flown in that afternoon, but the President wasn’t supposed to attend the flight line ceremony. Arthur was supposed to wait until the arrival ceremony tomorrow morning to greet the prime minister. But instead of staying at Blair House, Mr. Eames had been invited to stay in the Queen’s Suite at the Residence, courtesy of Ariadne’s arrangements. So Arthur was waiting nervously for Eames to be escorted to his rooms. If he even wanted to come to Arthur’s rooms. He had said he wanted to, that’s why Arthur had checked with him before having Ariadne even make the arrangements. But at that moment, Arthur was sitting here alone, and suddenly full of doubt.
Arthur started as there was a knock at the door. “Yes?”
The door opened and Ariadne was standing at the door with Eames. “Hello Mr. President. I was just showing Mr. Eames around, and we made our way to your sitting room. I’ll let you two get reacquainted.”
“Come in, Mr. Eames,” Arthur said, smiling.
“Thank you,” Eames responded with a crooked grin. Ariadne gave Arthur a thumbs up as she closed the door. Arthur heard the agent outside the door say something into his radio. It probably involved Eames’ ridiculous codename. But Arthur wasn’t paying enough attention to hear it. Arthur wasn’t paying attention to anything but the pounding of his heart and the look on Eames’ face.
Arthur took two large strides across the room to meet Eames and suddenly their lips were crashing together as their hands grasped and petted and un-tucked clothing.
“Darling,” Eames whispered as he grabbed a quick breath before they were kissing again. Arthur had spent decades denying himself easy sexual gratification, and he generally thought he had a strong handle on his libido, but he had never wanted like this before. He had never felt his body on fire at the most basic touches from another person. He had never felt his brain blank out like this before, unable to do more than to catalogue all the places they touched. He had never been willing to throw everything away, his career, his reputation, just on the hopes that he could continue to kiss this one person. He had never felt so alive.
Their first orgasms of the evening were nearly as hurried as on their first night together. But neither of them could be bothered to slow down. But after they’d both taken the edge off, they had undressed the rest of the way, cleaned themselves up, and moved to the bed. And now Eames was lying on top of Arthur, their bodies pressed together, as they gently kissed and touched each other. Arthur looked up and stroked Eames’ face, studying it, memorizing it. The scar across his eyebrow. The bags under his eyes. The stubble around his mouth. His lips, plump and red from kissing. His smile lines.
“What are you thinking about, darling?” Eames asked, stroking Arthur’s face in return.
“Your face, how I can’t believe we get this time, but also how it’s too short and you’ll be gone too soon. How I’m supposed to politely shake your hand tomorrow. Whether I’m insane for not wanting to run for a second term. If we can take back the house during the midterm elections next year. What we’re going to do about the situation in Burma.”
“So many thoughts.” Eames kissed Arthur slowly and deeply. “My face is nothing special, we will make the most of the time we have, we will be consummate professionals tomorrow, and pretend we haven’t been consummating all night.” Eames drew back slightly and waggled his eyebrows, waiting for Arthur to roll his eyes at the pun. Arthur obliged him, grinning and rolling his eyes.
“I can’t do anything about your Congress, and we have a whole meeting set up about Burma. But what’s this about you not running for a second term?” Eames asked, a crease appearing in the center of his forehead.
“It was just something I’ve been thinking about. Maybe one is enough. Maybe I can be more productive if I’m not focused on re-election. And my god, Eames. That campaign was hell. Some days I honestly can’t imagine going through another one of those,” Arthur sighed. “Polk was a one term president by choice. He got a lot done. There’s a whole song about him.”
“Darling, you are brilliant at this job, I hope you know that. And I’m not just saying that because you’ve made me come. And I cannot imagine seeing you, Arthur Kennedy, backing down from a challenge because it’s difficult,” Eames reproved him.
“Could we please discuss this later? I have a truly gorgeous naked man on top of me in bed and I’ll be honest, I didn’t think a political challenge is what I was going to be rising to.” Arthur smirked at Eames. He wasn’t the only one who could tell jokes.
“Absolutely,” Eames growled playfully as he returned to kissing Arthur breathless.
Early the next morning, Arthur started when the phone rang with his normal wake up call. He hadn’t really remembered going to bed. He realized he was naked in bed with Eames, and they were both a complete mess. Arthur groaned and reached over Eames to answer the phone.
“Good morning, Mr. President,” chirped Tadashi, his personal aide. “It’s 5:30am and it’s time to wake up. Your breakfast will be sent up in twenty minutes.”
“Thank you, Tadashi,” Arthur said reluctantly, and hung up the phone.
“Eames, Eames, we need to get up,” Arthur poked at his bed partner.
“No, darling, it’s too early to be up,” Eames mumbled, trying to bury his head in a pillow.
“I know, but my breakfast is going to be here in twenty minutes, and we should both have showered by then, we’re rather gross.”
“Ugh, I love you, darling, but do you not understand the concept of jet lag?” Eames complained.
“You love me?” Arthur asked, realizing it was the first time either of them had used those words.
“Oh fuck,” Eames sat up and rubbed hard at his eyes. “Yes, of course I love you. I hadn’t meant to tell you quite like that. But someone kept me up shagging for most of the night after a trans-Atlantic flight, so I’m apparently not at my best.”
Arthur grinned at him, his heart feeling so full it wanted to explode. “Come on, we’ll shower together. And I’ll apologize for keeping you up all night.” He pulled Eames up out of bed and toward the bathroom, where he turned on the water in the shower and let it warm up before stepping in and urging Eames in after him.
Arthur gave Eames a quick kiss and then said “Oh, and Eames, I love you too.” Arthur smirked as he dropped to his knees and swallowed Eames down.
After their only slightly distracted shower, Arthur and Eames emerged to find breakfast for two had been delivered. Arthur was glad to see that Ariadne was correct in her assessment that everything would go more smoothly if Arthur gulped down coffee and forced himself to eat, knowing he had a long day ahead of him. Eames ate a piece of toast and sipped lethargically at his own mug of coffee.
“Should I get them to send some tea up?” Arthur asked.
“Hmm? Oh, no, this is fine,” Eames said distractedly. “Darling, why does that clock say 6:00AM?”
“Because it’s 6:00AM. Well, 6:01, now,” Arthur responded, puzzled by the question.
“And the arrival ceremony isn’t until 10?” Eames asked.
“Yes, I have other work I have to take care of before then.”
“Oh thank Christ,” Eames said, putting down his coffee cup. “I am going back to bed.”
“Oh, yes, I suppose you don’t really need to be up yet, do you?” Arthur said. “Do you... do you want to stay in here, or?” Arthur asked awkwardly.
“I’ll go back to mine, I suppose. That way they’ll know where to find me. Also, my sheets are probably clean.”
Arthur grimaced at the bed, feeling bad for whoever was responsible for taking care of that task. How exactly did people do this?
Eames shrugged back into his clothing from last night and headed over to the door. Arthur stopped him before he opened it to give him a long kiss. Eames sighed happily and smiled at Arthur, his eyes full of fondness.
“See you in a bit, right? Eames said.
“Absolutely. I have to welcome you properly,” Arthur grinned back.
“Oh, I’d say you probably took care of the proper welcome already. But we have to do the one that’s safe for telly, I suppose.”
Arthur laughed and then kissed Eames once more for good measure. “Go have a nap.” He opened the door to see his normal two agents outside of it.
“Ah, Nash, could you point Mr. Eames in the direction of his suite, please?” Arthur asked pleasantly, trying not to be embarrassed.
“Of course, sir,” Nash responded. He motioned for Eames to precede him down the hall and spoke into his radio. “Paisley returning to Queen’s suite.”
Arthur watched Eames walk away for a moment before closing the door to finish preparing for the day. He really needed to get his thoughts in order so he could focus. And he would see Eames in a few hours. And of course that would be in public. Arthur still wasn’t sure how he was going to pull off not looking like he was madly in love with the man he was occasionally shagging, and not officially but sort of dating, who also happened to be the prime minister of another country. Arthur took another gulp of coffee. Yeah. It was going to be a long day.
This one required entirely too much research, because I have OCD. And still I played slightly fast and loose with the gift Arthur gives to Eames. And also I know that the state dinner should be that same evening, but honestly, I didn't know that when I first had Ariadne talking about the potential schedule. So they're going to New York tonight and they'll have the state dinner tomorrow. And we're all going to be fine with it, because this is a pretend story. (This is mostly a note for my brain, which is yelling at me).
Arthur hurried down to the Oval to start taking care of work, and managed to distract himself until Tadashi stepped in to remind him that it was five minutes before ten, and he needed to get to the South Lawn for the arrival ceremony. Arthur stood up, putting his suit jacket back on as he started walking out of the room.
“Pointman on his way to South,” Nash said into his radio as he and the other agents fell in behind Arthur.
Arthur got into position and then exited the White House to the now somewhat familiar strains of “Hail to the Chief.” He took his place on the dais and watched as a black car drove up to the lawn. Apparently Ariadne had taken care of that detail as well, despite the fact that Eames was staying in the same building. Arthur tried to remain calm as the door was opened and Eames stepped out of the car, smiling and waving. He made it seem so effortless. Of course, people said the same about Arthur, and he knew that wasn’t true at all. Just part of the job.
Arthur stepped forward as Eames walked up to the dais, and greeted him warmly, but politely. Every inch the consummate professional Eames promised he would be. Eames looked delighted (but appropriately so, Arthur though), as they shook hands. Arthur took him over to the welcoming committee to introduce Eames.
“Mr. Eames, this is my vice president, Peter Browning. Peter, this is Eames, the prime minister of the United Kingdom,” Arthur said.
“Lovely to finally meet you,” Eames said smoothly.
“Likewise,” said Peter, gripping Eames’ hand firmly. “Arthur speaks very highly of you and I look forward to working with you.”
Arthur imagined this must be what bringing a boy home to meet the parents was like. Except more terrifying. And in public. Fuck, why did he think this was a good idea again? He went a little bit on autopilot as he introduced Eames to the rest of his cabinet and the joint chiefs. They stood solemnly for their national anthems and then Arthur motioned for Eames to come with him as they went to inspect the military escort.
“All this for me, darling?” Eames asked cheekily.
“Of course, pulling out all the stops for our closest ally,” Arthur responded lightly. He managed to get through the rest of the outside ceremony, including the speeches. He thought he didn’t sound too infatuated in his, and Eames’ response was the same level of mildly flirty that marked all of the Prime Minister’s addresses. They processed into the Blue Room for Eames to sign the guest book and then to the Red Room to exchange gifts.
Arthur had spent entirely too long pondering over the official gift he should give Eames. Obviously it should be something classically American, but also something that Eames would enjoy. Something that showed that he understood Eames. But it also needed to represent America’s relationship with Britain. He, in consultation with the state department, had decided on a McCoy Pottery tea set in a paisley pattern from the early 1900s.
“This is lovely,” Eames said as he admired the stoneware with a smile. “It seems you Americans came back around on the tea question, then,” he joked.
“Seems that way,” Arthur smiled back.
Eames’s gift was a large box set of books sitting on the table in front of him and Arthur gasped as he saw the title. It was the Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné.
“You’d mentioned how much you enjoyed Francis Bacon’s work, so I thought this might be well received,” Eames said. “I wanted to get you study for head of George Dyer, but it turns out that it last sold for several million pounds, so I was advised it was a bit out of reach.”
“Thank you, Mr. Eames. This is so wonderful. I can’t wait to look through it,” Arthur said, making a mental note to find out how much it would be to purchase it back from the National Archives. Finally, they headed to the Oval for the official photograph for the visit.
“We’re almost done, right?” Eames murmured to Arthur as they walked. “I’m starving.”
“Did you eat anything other than that toast this morning?” Arthur asked.
“No, I slept until the absolute last possible minute,” Eames confessed.
“Some of us had to do work this morning,” Arthur teased.
“Some of us had a very late night after a long flight,” Eames teased back. “So what’s for lunch?”
“I’m not sure, it’s a state department luncheon and I don’t get to attend,” Arthur responded.
Eames stopped walking for a split second and looked sharply at Arthur.
“Why on earth did you agree to that?” Eames asked, sounding offended.
“Protocol,” Arthur said, rolling his eyes. “Peter will be there instead. But I’ll see you tonight for the show. We’re flying up to New York in Air Force One, so that’s cool, right?”
“Ooh, Air Force One, are you sure you want to show me your...jumbo jet so soon?” Eames smirked.
“Oh come on, let’s get this portrait done so you can head off to Foggy Bottom for lunch.”
“Foggy Bottom,” Eames sounded both delighted and horrified. “You’re just going to leave me with that? How am I supposed to stay serious for a portrait while I’m coming up with all the possible permutations of that joke in my head?”
“I have faith in your consummate professionalism,” Arthur said, dimpling.
“You, sir, are a very bad man,” Eames said grinning widely as they walked into the Oval Office.
The rest of the day had gone smoothly. Eames survived the State Department luncheon and Arthur was getting nothing but good reports about how the visit was going. Their trip up to New York was as uneventful as trying to get a motorcade through NYC traffic could be. The show was amazing, even if Eames’ hand had been slightly distracting against his thigh. Eames had dozed on the flight back to DC while Arthur tried to take care of work for the next day, to maximize the amount of time they could spend together.
Finally, they were back at the Residence. They didn’t even bother with the façade of Eames going to the guest suite first. Ariadne assured him that no one was legally allowed to reveal their sleeping arrangements. And if it did get out, it was better to act as if everything was above board. If they were sneaking around and hiding, then it made the whole thing more sordid than it actually was, which would hurt the optics more if it did get out. Arthur hated having to think of a relationship, or whatever this heady amazing thing he had with Eames was, in terms of optics. But, he though as he looked over at Eames’ sleep-mussed hair and felt a surge of affection, it was certainly worth it.
“Pointman and Paisley in for the night,” Nash said into his radio as he closed the door behind Arthur and Eames.
Eames flopped down on to the sofa. “I think your job might actually be more exhausting than mine.”
“Well usually I don’t get to attend a Broadway show at the end of it,” Arthur responded, carrying two glasses over with him to the sofa. “It’s just seltzer,” Arthur reassured Eames as he looked askance at the glass Arthur handed him.
“Thanks, darling. I think anything stronger right now might knock me flat,” Eames said, taking a long drink.
“Well if you’re too tired, we can just sleep, but...” Arthur started.
“I’m listening,” Eames interjected.
“I was a bit unprepared back in New Delhi, but I’ve rectified the situation. I believe you mentioned wanting me to fuck you,” Arthur offered hopefully. “Or if you’ve rather fuck me, I’m versatile. But if you’re too tired, we can just sleep, that’s fine too.”
Eames tossed back the rest of his drink as if it were spirits and pulled Arthur closer to him. “Darling, I will never be too tired for you to fuck me,” Eames purred. “Also I intend on being exceedingly lazy and lying back and letting you do all the work,” he said cheekily.
Arthur took another sip of his drink and set it down deliberately on the side table. “Well then, Mr. Eames, I suppose you’d better let me take care of you.”
Arthur led Eames back to the bedroom and undressed him before settling him face down on the bed. He quickly stripped and joined Eames, running his hands all over Eames’ strong shoulders, down his back and then squeezing his firm ass.
“God, you’re gorgeous,” Arthur murmured as he continued his ministrations.
“Pot, kettle.” Eames turned his head to retort.
Arthur ignored that and reached over to his bedside table where he’d stashed lube and condoms before Eames’ visit (well, he’d already moved the lube there so it was easily available for their weekly phone calls). He looked down at Eames, considering the situation.
“Hmm, why don’t you roll over for me,” Arthur said, nudging Eames gently. Eames obediently rolled over, revealing a wet spot on the covers.
“Somebody’s eager,” Arthur smirked.
“What can I say, darling, I’ve been looking forward to this for ages,” Eames smirked back at him.
Arthur felt his own cock jump at that admission, which got him back to the task at hand. He squeezed some lube out onto his fingers and pressed one gently against the pucker of Eames’s ass. It sucked him in greedily, as if it had been ready and waiting for him. He added a second finger, which was accepted almost as easily as the first.
“Do this often?” Arthur raised an eyebrow.
“With a partner? It’s been a while. With a lovely prostate massager I’ve taken to calling ‘darling’? Oh quite regularly,” Eames gasped as Arthurs fingers brushed over his prostate. Arthur flushed with pleasure as the image of Eames spread out on a bed with his cock in his hand and a vibrator up his ass flashed in front of his mind. Spurred on that thought, he scissored his fingers to make sure Eames was stretched enough for him. He gently removed his fingers to wrap and slick himself.
Eames’ head was lolled back on the pillow with his eyes mostly closed. He looked absolutely wanton, with his lips plump and pink, his arms stretched out above his head, his legs open, and his hole glistening, waiting for Arthur.
“Ready for me?” Arthur asked, nudging Eames’ opening with his cock-head.
“Will you please just fuck me already?” Eames said exasperatedly, thrusting toward Arthur enough to take the tip of his cock.
Arthur obliged him, pushing in the rest of the way, feeling the ring of muscle give way around his cock. Eames groaned in answer to Arthur’s thrust. Arthur clamped his eyes shut to calm himself for a moment. It had been... years, maybe a decade, since Arthur had last allowed himself to share this intimacy with someone. And the sight of Eames speared on his cock in combination with the exquisite feeling was almost enough to make Arthur come right then and there, before they’d even begun.
“Darling, please...” Eames whined.
Arthur took a deep breath and said, “I’m not going to last long.”
“And I likely won’t either. But if you make me get up and do the work myself I’m going to be very cross with you,” Eames teased.
Arthur smirked at Eames and got a better grip on his legs and began to fuck him in earnest. Eames grinned at him until Arthur hit his prostate, at which point Eames’s head flopped back against the pillow, his lips parted in a pleasurable moan. Arthur bent over Eames, trying to keep the right angle, and reached for Eames’ cock. He stroked Eames in time with his thrusts, knowing he was close and wanting to bring Eames along with him. He shifted slightly, and was rewarded with a spurt of come and Eames groaning obscenities.
“Fuck fuck fuck fuck,” Arthur gasped as he felt Eames’ hole clench around him with his orgasm, tipping Arthur over the edge as well. He collapsed on top of Eames, breathing heavily. “Fuck,” he said, trying to convey all of the emotion and pleasure and absolute terror he felt toward this man in the only word that his brain seemed able to process at the moment.
“Indeed,” Eames responded, sounding equally winded.
Sorry, it gets a little sad again. We're about to return to pining. So much pining. Also thank you to FiaMac who requested hands laced together. It was the perfect addition to this chapter.
The rest of the official visit was a bit of a whirlwind. They had a busy day full of meetings and then the state dinner, which was intense but Arthur knew he looked good in a tux, and Eames was very pleased to demonstrate just how good he looked (Eames, of course, was flawless in black tie, and looked like James Bond). They made it through the trip to Connecticut with only minimal embarrassment. But now it was their last night together and Arthur wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
They were naked in bed, sharing kisses and caresses that were less frantic than previous nights, but no less desperate. Arthur clung to Eames, kissing him hard, his lips and tongue and limbs fighting against their inevitable separation. Eames stroked his face gently, thumbing away the tears that Arthur hadn’t realized he’d shed.
“Shh, shh, it’s all right, darling,” Eames said, dropping kisses all over Arthur’s face.
“God, this is so hard. Why is this so hard?”
Eames didn’t even get the chance to make whatever joke he had come up with in his head. Arthur saw the look on his face, the beginning of the eyebrow waggle and began to giggle. Eames smiled fondly at him and kissed him again before wrapping his hand around their very hard cocks, holding them together.
Arthur thrust up, enjoying the feeling of their cocks rubbing against each other, of Eames’ broad hand holding him. That felt good, but wasn’t what Arthur wanted for tonight.
“Will you fuck me?” Arthur asked in a quiet voice.
“Oh yes, darling, of course,” Eames replied with a groan. He sat up and fetched the lube and condoms from where they’d ended up the night before. Arthur let himself lay back and enjoy the sensation as Eames expertly fingered him open, teasingly brushing over his prostate, just enough to make Arthur even harder.
Finally, Eames had decided Arthur was ready and pushed into him. Arthur moaned with pleasure, the feeling of being taken, of giving up control to someone, of giving this much trust to someone, overwhelming him. Once Eames was well seated, he raised his hands to connect them with Arthur’s, lacing their fingers together. He pressed their joined hands down against the pillow, on either side of Arthur’s head, pushing against them for leverage as he slowly and meticulously fucked Arthur.
Arthur felt like he had been taken apart and was being put back together, like Eames was fucking him back to health. His hands grasped Eames’ hard, pulling him down against Arthur, as if in their joining they could actually merge into one person. Instead of two people who lived thousands of miles apart with responsibilities that made a relationship basically impossible. Arthur tried not to think about that, focusing on that moment, the perfect moment they still had together.
“I love you,” Arthur whispered into Eames’ neck.
“Oh my darling, I love you too. So very very much.” Arthur didn’t have to look to know that there were tears in Eames’ eyes also. Eames continued to thrust into Arthur, trapping Arthur’s cock between them, holding Arthur’s hands tightly as they tried to express with their bodies what words were not enough to say. Arthur’s mouth opened in a silent cry as he came, spurting between them. Eames sped up, holding his hands tighter and fucking him harder until he too found his release.
They cleaned up quickly and quietly, words feeling inadequate to describe what they had just shared. And then Eames held Arthur in his arms as they fell asleep for their last night together.
Arthur was a bit out of sorts for the next week or so. After he’d snapped at his director of communications, Ariadne sent everyone else out of the office and closed the doors.
“Hey, you need to get it together. You can’t act like this to the staff. It’s not fair to them. It’s also hugely unprofessional,” Ariadne scolded.
“What?” Arthur asked, befuddled.
“I’m not an idiot, Mr. President, please don’t treat me like one,” Ariadne glared at him.
“I know you’re not, but what did you mean? I just lost my temper a little bit. I’m not sure why that calls for an intervention.”
Ariadne stared at him in disbelief. “I mean this with the utmost respect, Mr. President, but you have been acting like a horses ass to everyone here since Mr. Eames left. I understand that you miss him, but you can’t take it out on the staff, whom, I might add, were nothing but supportive and helpful during his visit.”
Arthur stared back at his chief of staff. “I haven’t been that bad, have I?” As Ariadne continued to glare at him he shook his head, “okay, I’ve been that bad. I’m sorry, Ari.”
“It’s not really me you should be apologizing to. Everyone’s on edge right now. You need to figure out how you’re going to handle this. Because right now, you’re not handling it.”
“God, Ari, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think I love him. And he was here and it was... well it wasn’t perfect, but it was wonderful. And now he’s gone again and we both have responsibilities. This is why I didn’t want to start anything. Not right now. How am I supposed to handle this?” Arthur collapsed into the sofa with his head in his hands.
“Have you talked to him about it?” Ariadne asked, taking a seat next to Arthur.
“No. We haven’t gotten a chance to talk since he left.”
“Okay, well, that sounds like a good place to start. Should we put your weekly calls back on your schedule?” Ariadne asked pragmatically.
“Yes, please,” Arthur responded.
“So you’ll talk to him tomorrow. In the mean time, cheer up and stop harassing the good people who work for you. You’re in love. Certainly not the worst thing that could happen to you.”
So many feelings. It's gonna be a little rough for a few chapters. But I promise, it's all going to be okay!
“Hello, darling,” Eames answered his phone.
“God, I’ve missed you,” Arthur blurted out.
“Oh me too, darling, me too. I’ve been an absolute bear. You might have been right about having time together making it harder once we’re apart.”
“No, you were right. It would have been torture to have you here and not be able to be with you. It was glorious,” Arthur sighed. “I just miss you even more now and it’s miserable. What the hell are we doing, Eames?”
“We are, for the lack of a better term, dating, I believe. While also trying to do our jobs. Which require us to do this long distance. But we are not breaking any laws. I don’t even believe it’s unethical. I believe that the parts of our populations who will have a problem with two adult men having a consensual relationship would have a problem with our relationship even if we weren’t a head of state and a head of government for different countries. But I also don’t think the fact that people will disapprove of our relationship is a good enough reason to not have one,” Eames said reasonably. It sounded like he’d argued all of that out with himself already.
“No, I agree with you. And honestly, I don’t think we can put this cat back in the bag,” Arthur said. “So what do we do? Do we make some sort of announcement?”
“Can we just continue on as we’ve been?” Eames asked. “I don’t really see how it’s anyone’s business but our own, it’s not as if you’re moving into number ten or I’ll be accompanying you to events or the like.”
“I don’t like lying,” Arthur protested.
“Arthur, darling, if you want us to make an announcement, I absolutely will. Please do not take my hesitancy for anything other than my desire to maintain our privacy. But I don’t think we’re lying. And if it comes up, we should tell the truth. But I think that just announcing that we are dating is a bit presumptuous. When we’re planning the wedding, people might want to know.”
“Do you think—do you think you’ll want that? That we’ll get married?” Arthur asked nervously.
“Don’t you? I can’t give you up even when it seems to be the most logical and sensible course. I want every part of you that I can have for as long as I can have it. I certainly hope that at some point you’ll let me make an honest man out of you.” Arthur could hear the smile in Eames’ voice and he smiled back, even though they couldn’t see each other.
“I suppose so,” Arthur responded. He knew he was dimpling. He hoped Eames could hear it in his voice as well.
“Public service requires a certain amount of private sacrifice. But not everything. And not forever.”
“You’re right. And I thought I was prepared to sacrifice myself for my country. I lived in the closet for years in order to do just that. But this is just so much harder than I anticipated.”
“It’s easier when it’s all theoretical,” Eames said, wistfully. “But we’re not sacrificing each other or our relationship. We’re... putting a pause button on it. A holding pattern. We’ll talk regularly. We’ll see each other occasionally as work allows. And at some point our terms of service will be up, and we can be together without reservations.”
“I like that,” Arthur responded. “A holding pattern. Not undoing what we’ve done so far, but not trying to force our way forward prematurely.”
“Plus lots of phone sex,” Eames added, playfully.
Arthur felt a laugh burst from his chest. “Yes, lots of phone sex,” he agreed.
“So I need to narrow down my long list for possible Supreme Court Justices to a short list. We assumed RBG would retire at the end of the term, but we weren’t anticipating Justice Thomas passing away and opening a seat suddenly,” Arthur explained tiredly. “So that’s how I’ll be spending my holiday.”
“Oh darling, that sounds exhausting. But it’s good to get to fill an additional seat on the court, right?” Eames asked sympathetically.
“It is; it’s just an inconvenient time. Not that I should be complaining about timing when someone has died. But enough about my travails, what have you been up to?”
“I just finished a long meeting with Yusuf, my minister for health, and it looks like the changes we’ve made to the NHS have been successful. We’re still waiting on numbers for the last quarter, obviously, but even just from the third quarter numbers, it seems really promising.”
“That’s wonderful,” Arthur exclaimed. “You worked really hard on that program, and I know you were nervous about how it would actually work once it was implemented. I’m so happy for you.”
“I’m pleased, of course. But now there’s talk about whether we should try to hold a snap election to try to capitalize on our success, since otherwise the parliament won’t expire for another two and a half years. Of course that all depends on if we can convince enough Tories that they should let us hold an election, which means they need to think they have a chance of picking up seats. Ugh, things used to be so much easier before set term limits.”
“I can’t decide if it’s better or worse that there’s no way to have elections earlier here,” Arthur mused. “I mean, I have to worry about the midterms for Congress of course. Since those are always seen as a referendum on the presidency. But I at least don’t have to worry about campaigning right now.”
“Bloody democracy. Why do we keep having to have all these blasted votes, am I right?” Eames joked.
“Careful, you don’t want that sort of sound bite in the wrong hands,” Arthur teased.
“Hmm, you’re absolutely right. If someone’s tapped the line we should definitely give them something much juicier to work with,” Eames voice dropped low and seductive.
“Mmmm, what did you have in mind, Mr. Eames,” Arthur flirted back, leaning back against the pillows on his bed and starting to rub his hand over his rapidly hardening prick.
“Well, I imagine a description of what I want to do to you the next time I see you would serve.”
“I like the sound of that. What exactly do you want to do to me?” Arthur purred.
“Mmmm, well obviously I’d kiss you. I love your kisses. They make me feel weak in the knees the way you capture my mouth and tease me with your tongue. I might just have to kneel down to... take it all in.”
“I love it when you’re on your knees, watching you suck me” Arthur rumbled. He undid his belt and pants and pulled his cock out and began to stroke it.
“Oh and I certainly enjoy pleasuring the president.”
“God, your mouth is amazing. Your lips are gorgeous and so very kissable. And the look of them around my cock is perfection.” Arthur moaned into the phone as he added some lube and began to stroke himself faster, imagining Eames’ mouth in place of his hand.
“Mmmm, I love watching you come, darling. I love it when you get so desperate for me that you can’t even wait for me to suck you, you just have to grind up against me until it’s too much. But I adore it when you come in my mouth, when I’m the one making you come, bringing you to that edge,” Eames interrupted his flow of words with a gasp.
“Are you about to come just thinking about my cock in your mouth?” Arthur asked raggedly. “Fuck it’s so hot how much you love sucking my cock. The way you’re hungry for it, and can’t get enough.” Arthur’s hand sped up, wanking furiously. He was panting as he remembered Eames on his knees, enthusiastically fellating him, and he came with a groan, spilling all over his hand.
“Fuck yeah, darling,” Eames groaned back. “Fuck that was good.”
“Not as good as the real thing,” Arthur said, still breathing heavily, feeling the tackiness of his come on his fingers.
“True, but still quite good.” Eames agreed.
“I love you,” Arthur said, still getting used to the words.
“I love you too, darling,” Eames responded.
They continued in the holding pattern, as Eames had named it, through the end of the year and well into the next, until it was time for the G-20 summit again. This time, the host country was the United Kingdom. And Arthur was going to visit Eames. And he was panicking.
“Ariadne, how am I going to do this?” Arthur asked, pacing back and forth in his Chief of Staff’s office.
“It’s going to be fine, Mr. President,” Ariadne reassured him. “His visit here went very well. And it’s not even a state visit there. It’s just the G-20 summit. You love the G-20 summit! You fell in love at the G-20 summit!”
“We didn’t fall in love at the G-20 summit, we’d known each other four days. You don’t fall in love with someone in four days,” Arthur said.
“But you do love him now,” Ariadne stated.
“Of course I do, which is also somewhat insane. This entire situation is insane. You know that right?” Arthur collapsed dramatically on the sofa.
“No, it’s not. Oh my god, and I say this with all due respect, Sir, you right now are insane. You are making me insane. This situation is not insane. The situation is fine. You will be fine. You will be better than fine because you’re about to go spend a week with the man you love, to whom you normally only get to speak once a week. Take a chill pill, smoke a cigarette, call your boyfriend. Something, anything! Just please get out of my office and let me do my job.”
“I don’t think you can call me insane or say that I’m making you insane with ‘all due respect,’ Ari,” Arthur complained.
Arthur said a silent thanks to Ariadne (or whomever she actually had making the arrangements) for making sure that he arrived the night before the G-20 summit was supposed to start. Once again it allowed Arthur to see Eames before they had to greet each other in public. Once again, Arthur was sitting in a room waiting for Eames to come to him. “Darling, your security is so much more...noticeable than mine. It’s much simpler for me to come to you,” Eames had assured him.
Finally, he heard the knock at his hotel room door and he leapt up to open it.
“Mr. Eames to see you, sir,” the secret service agent outside his door informed him. It wasn’t Nash this time, it was one of his other agents, Fisher, that was it.
“Thank you, Fisher, please admit him and we’re not to be disturbed,” Arthur said.
“Pointman and Paisley in for the night,” Fisher said into his radio as he motioned for Eames to enter the room, closing the door firmly behind him.
As soon as the door was closed, Arthur was kissing Eames fiercely, pushing him back against the closed door. Eames kissed back with equal intensity as he let Arthur pin him up against the door. Eames grinned crookedly at him when Arthur pulled away for a breath.
“I’ve missed you, darling,”
“So much,” Arthur responded as he moved back in for another penetrating kiss.
“Bed,” Eames gasped out, the next time they stopped for breath.
“Fuck yes,” Arthur mumbled, pulling Eames back toward the bedroom, kissing him again. Their movement was slowed significantly by their inability to stop kissing for more than a few seconds, and by their haphazard method of undressing as they progressed toward the bedroom.
Finally, they were naked and on the bed, kissing and touching and rubbing up against each other. Arthur couldn’t even focus on getting off, he just wanted to feel Eames’ skin against his own, to taste him, to feel his weight. Luckily, Eames was slightly more together and was willing to take charge. He held both their pricks together with one hand while he thrust against Arthur. Arthur reached down to spread the leaking fluid over their cockheads, helping Eames hold them together as he slowly and deliberately pushed his larger body over and against Arthur’s.
Arthur felt slightly crushed. And immensely safe. And cherished. And loved, as Eames brought them off. Arthur groaned his pleasure as he felt the warm sticky fluid spill onto his stomach, quickly joined by Eames’ contribution. Eames didn’t stop at the moment of his climax, however, he continued to work their spent cocks with his hand until Arthur thought he would weep from the intensity of the stimulation. And then Arthur’s cock spurted again as he felt his whole body go languid with satisfaction.
Arthur reached up to pull Eames’ head back down for a long kiss, no longer urgent and needy, just loving and languorous.
Thank you to Amy who requested "a thorough rimming." Also I apologize for not posting the past few days. I'm away at a conference and I was busy getting ready. I have the rest of the story plotted out, but I'm not sure how much time I'll get over the next few days while I'm away. Regular posting will resume next week, which should allow us to conclude this story! Thank you for your patience!
“You must be tired, love,” Eames said, after he’d gotten a washcloth to wipe them down.
“A bit,” Arthur admitted, stretched out on the bed with his eyes closed. “Not so tired I won’t be up for round two.”
“Maybe you’d better let me take care of you this time, since you’re the one who’s jetlagged,” Eames smirked, waggling his eyebrows.
“No objections here,” Arthur said stretching out with a groan. He opened his eyes enough to see Eames watching him appreciatively. He tried to smirk, but it turned into a yawn.
“Are you sure, darling? Because we can sleep if you want.”
“Oh I’m sure, I want you,” Arthur said. “But I’m happy to let you do all the work this time.”
“Well then,” Eames rubbed his hands together gleefully, “you’d better roll over, because I have plans for you.”
Arthur obeyed, resting his head on his arms, waiting for whatever Eames was going to do next. Arthur half expected a massage. And he was treated to Eames running his hands down Arthur’s back and kneading his ass. But instead of continuing a back massage, Eames dipped his tongue into Arthur’s crease. Arthur started slightly at the unexpected wetness.
“Is this okay, darling?” Eames asked, continuing to rub at the twin globes of Arthur’s ass.
“Yes, just a little surprising,” Arthur admitted. “But very good. Carry on, carry on,” he teased.
And Eames indeed carried on, starting with broad licks and moving to more delicate penetrating licks. Arthur lost track of time as Eames took him apart, lick by lick, until he was gasping and humping the bed underneath him. His hole felt wet and open and desperately empty.
“Fuck me, please,” Arthur begged as Eames held his hips, keeping him from chasing down the delicious friction.
“Mmmm, what was that, darling?” Eames asked wickedly, his face still pressed into Arthur’s ass.
“Eames, please, please fuck me. I need you inside of me,” Arthur pleaded.
“If you insist,” Eames said, removing his face and rapidly replacing it with his slicked cock. Arthur hadn’t even noticed him preparing himself. Arthur moaned as Eames pressed his cock into Arthur’s needy and wanting hole. He shoved back against Eames, feeling stretched and full and going mad with desire.
Despite Eames’ teasing earlier, he was clearly as desperate as Arthur was, because he thrust into him at a punishing pace. Eames reached his hand under Arthur and grasped his cock, hard and slick already from the thorough rimming he’d received. Arthur let himself go to pleasure, thrusting up against Eames’ cock and into his hand, shuddering as he came all over the duvet and Eames’ hand. Eames finished stroking him through his climax, and then redoubled his efforts, fucking Arthur into the mattress before finding his own release.
Arthur remained sprawled in the bed, with Eames on top of his back, both of them sated and sleepy. He knew he’d want to move eventually, to move away from the wet spot at least. But for the moment, he was content and happy.
Thank you to Amy for coming up with Eames' first name. Hopefully it's obvious why he goes by Eames, lol.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The rest of the G-20 went fairly well. They endured good-natured ribbing from many of the other world leaders (and the glares and enmity of a few, but they hadn’t been friendly before). Arthur tried to enjoy the time he got to spend with Eames, while girding himself for their inevitable separation. However, as difficult as leaving Eames was, it was made even worse when Ariadne interrupted his breakfast on his first morning back.
“Have you seen the news yet?” Ariadne asked abruptly.
“No...” Arthur responded, confused.
“Okay, well, don’t.” Ariadne ordered. Arthur glared at her as he reached for his remote to turn on CNN. “Really, really don’t!” Ariadne said desperately as she tried to reach for the remote.
“Number Ten has not yet issued any statement in response to the picture published in The Sun this morning. It’s unclear, given the quality of the photograph, if Prime Minister Mortimer Eames is actually one of the subjects, or if this is simply baseless libel from a Conservative-backing paper, designed to detract from the successful G-20 summit hosted by the Labour leader.”
“Phone,” Arthur demanded, holding out his hand. Ariadne passed over her phone wordlessly, with the front page of The Sun already pulled up on her browser. It was a grainy, overly zoomed in picture of Eames on his knees, in the midst of giving what Arthur remembered as a phenomenal blowjob. The accompanying headline read “YES, PRIME MINISTER!” in large letters. The photo wasn’t very good, taken from a long distance through a gap in the curtain, and only showing about half of Eames’ face. Arthur’s face was entirely obscured. But Arthur knew it was them, he remembered their last night together in London very clearly. He felt his stomach drop out from under him and a cold chill go down his back.
“Ari,” Arthur choked, starting to feel like he was dissociating from his body. “How?”
Ariadne gently took her phone back out of Arthur’s hand. “I’m not sure, Mr. President, we’re still looking into the gap in security. Obviously for your privacy, but more importantly because if someone with a telephoto lens can get eyes on you, someone with a sniper rifle can too.”
“But they don’t know it’s me, the story is about Eames.”
“Yes, well, that’s probably good right now. We don’t know if they have more pictures or if this is it. We don’t even know where the picture came from,” Ariadne said in a business-like tone.
“I need to call him,” Arthur said.
“I don’t think that’s a very good idea right now, Mr. President,” Ariadne warned softly.
“Fuck a good idea! A good idea would have been to make sure that no one could get a fucking picture of us in my fucking hotel room! I need to talk to Eames on the phone immediately. Privately. Now!” Arthur ordered.
I'm so so so sorry. I promise it's going to get better.
“Are you okay,” Arthur asked, as soon as he had Eames on the phone.
“I’m fine, darling. I’m fine,” Eames reassured him.
“What are you going to do?” Arthur asked.
“I’m not going to tell them it was you, don’t worry about that,” Eames said.
“That’s not what I’m worried about, Eames!” Arthur protested. “I’m worried about you. Our privacy was just massively invaded and a picture of us having sex has been published and whether or not the world knows it was me, they know it was you, and I love you, so it matters!”
Eames took a deep breath. “Yes, I know darling, I didn’t mean... It’s just been a bit of long day for me already. I’ve just had a lot of bloody people shouting at me all morning. YES, I MEAN YOU LOT!” Eames shouted the last bit at the voices that Arthur could hear in the background of the call.
“I think we should come out,” Arthur blurted out, try to get to his point before Eames got dragged off to deal with the PR crisis they had inadvertently caused.
“Absolutely not, darling. There’s absolutely no reason to drag you into this,” Eames said firmly.
“Eames, I’m already in this. Even if the public doesn’t know yet, it’s still me in that picture. Anyone who was at the G-20 can figure out who was in the room with you. It’s only a matter of time before the rumors start and someone leaks it anyway. We might as well just come out together so it’s not as much of a story. We said we wouldn’t lie if we were asked, remember. And it’s far less sordid for people dating each other to be photographed in a compromising position. Still rude and salacious, but not a scandal. Or at least as much of one. Right?” Arthur said logically.
“What does your PR team think of this idea?” Eames asked, clearly doubting that they approved.
“I don’t know,” Arthur said, “I haven’t run it by them yet. But they can live with it. I told them going into this that I didn’t want to make my sexuality a major issue, because at the time it was effectively a non-issue, but that if I was out-ed, I wasn’t going to deny it.”
“Yes, but let me remind you, darling, that you weren’t the one out-ed,” Eames said tartly.
“Do you not want to come out?” Arthur asked. “We agreed when we decided to continue this relationship we weren’t going to lie. So do you not want to continue this?”
“No it’s not that, it’s just...” Eames’ voice became muffled as he clearly covered the phone with his hand to talk to someone else. “Darling, is it possible for me to call you back? I’ve got a million people yammering on at me and I apparently need to deal with them first. Just... don’t say anything about it until we’ve gotten a chance to figure out what we want to do, okay?”
“Okay, Eames. Call me back as soon as you can, okay?”
“I will darling,” Eames responded.
Arthur hung up the phone and then called Ariadne back in.
“So how much of my agenda do you think we can get done in one term?” he asked.
“Are you sure this is what you want to do, Mr. President,” Ariadne asked for what seemed like the millionth time.
“Yes, I’m sure. We said we wouldn’t lie. I always told myself that I wasn’t going to be shoved back into the closet again,” Arthur insisted.
“Not about coming out, you’ve been very clear on that point and I’m not trying to dissuade you. About not running again.”
“You can’t possibly think that the American people will vote for an out, gay president,” Arthur said incredulously.
“I think we should let the American people decide that, sir,” Ariadne said with forced patience. “As much as you might have given a non-answer, I think it was pretty clear that you weren’t straight when you won your last election, sir.”
“It’s different though, you know it is, to be out and in a relationship, ‘flaunting it,” Arthur said with scare quotes.
“Mr. President, I think that you are right that a certain part of the population will not vote for you. They’re called Republicans and they were never going to vote for you. They didn’t vote for you last time, and you still won. I don’t think that you necessarily have to decide between trying to win a second term and being with the person you love.”
“Well we certainly can’t be together for real if he’s still the prime minister and I’m still the president,” Arthur said bitterly.
“Right, but I think you should talk with him about what you want to do, and if one or both of you don’t want to pursue an additional term.”
“I would do that, except I haven’t gotten to talk to him in two days. He said he would call me back and he hasn’t and no one answered when I tried his private line. So I need to figure something out. I need a plan. So right now I can plan for trying to get everything done this term. Which is useful whether I run and fail to get re-elected, or choose not to run.”
“Very well,” Ariadne said resignedly, passing over the folder of notes she had made at Arthur’s request two days ago. “Here’s what we’ve come up with, including different scenarios based on how the midterms go this fall. If you look in the back, you’ll see some of the potential PR strategies we’ve come up with to address your coming out.”
Arthur sat down and started flipping through the documents that Ariadne had handed him. “Good, this is good.”
The next morning, as staff began to filter into the Oval for the morning briefing, Ariadne practically ran through the door.
“Sorry, Mr. President, but I just got word.”
“What happened, Ariadne?” Arthur demanded.
“Mr. Eames is stepping down as Prime Minister. Or has stepped down? There was just a press conference from Downing Street, but it was made by Yusuf Murray, the previous minister of health, who was just announced as the new Prime Minister. He was confirmed by the House of Commons and the Crown this morning. He said that Mr. Eames stepped down due to personal matters and then wouldn’t take any other questions about it,” Ari reported briskly.
“You don’t think...” Arthur’s eyes went wide in horror. Arthur hadn’t wanted him to lie. Arthur reminded him of his promise not to lie. But he hadn’t wanted to come out with Arthur either. So he resigned. “Fuck,” Arthur breathed. “I need someone to get me Mr. Eames on the phone, immediately” he ordered.
There was a flurry of activity as his staffers rushed around, trying to do just that.
“They’re saying he’s not at Number Ten any longer, Mr. President,” his executive secretary informed him from her adjoining office.
“Well, get a phone number for where he is,” Arthur snapped. “We have the resources of the whole United States’ government and we can’t get one man on the phone?!”
“Um, Mr. President, he’s here,” Ariadne said.
“What?” Arthur asked.
“We just got a call up from security, there seems to be a man identifying himself as Mr. Eames down at security, asking to see you. Yes, they’ve checked his passport, it’s him, sir,” Ariadne said, listening closely to the voice on the phone.
“Well let him in!” Arthur thundered.
“Yes sir, we’re getting him a visitor’s badge now and he’ll be escorted here immediately,” Ariadne said, still listening into the phone.
“Thank you everyone, but I need you all to leave right now. I need to have a very important discussion with Mr. Eames.”
“Yes, Mr. President,” his staff chorused as they quickly exited the Oval Office.
We're getting close to the end! I think maybe 4 more chapters? And then I have several extras planned as well. :)
Arthur paced across his carpet as he waited for Eames. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, there was a knock at the door and Eames walked into the Oval Office.
“What the fuck, Eames?” Arthur demanded, even as he was crossing the room to embrace Eames.
Eames buried his face in Arthur’s shoulder and took a deep breath. “It’s been such an awful week, darling.”
“I wouldn’t know, because you never called me back. And then I found out from a briefing this morning that you had stepped down. A briefing, Mr. Eames!” Arthur said bitterly.
“I know, and I’m so sorry, darling. But it was just so horrible with all these people talking to me about the good of the party and the good of the country and all over a fucking tabloid photo of me pleasuring the man I love. I hated that they were making it feel sordid, or like we had done something wrong and we didn’t do anything wrong. The only sordid thing was someone peeping through a hotel room window!” Eames said emphatically.
“Oh love,” Arthur said, holding Eames as tightly as he could. “But then why did you resign?”
“The whole time, all I could think about was how much I just wanted to be with you. We said we weren’t going to lie, and I didn’t want to. But apparently this scandal would be bad for the party and for the country. And what was the alternative? Stay and be miserable without you? End our relationship? Try to continue but be constantly surveilled to see if someone can get another shot?”
“I was ready to come out, Eames. We could have continued. Even if we had to take a break, it wouldn’t have been for that long. I decided I wasn’t going to seek a second term. I didn’t mean to make you think you had to resign,” Arthur said, stroking Eames’ back and feeling terribly guilty.
“Nonsense, I was getting tired of it all anyway. And Yusuf will be brilliant, you’ll see. He’s really largely responsible for the NHS plan. I had an idea and he actually figured out how to turn that dream into a reality. He’s incredible. And this way he’ll get a couple years at the helm to show everyone his brilliance before he has to lead a national parliamentary campaign. I was going to step down before the next election anyway, I just did it a bit earlier than I had planned,” Eames explained.
“But aren’t you worried that this is all people will remember you for? Why didn’t you talk to me about this?”
“I know, I’m sorry, I was going to call, darling, but I didn’t want you to feel pressured to do anything. I just wanted to get out of the spotlight. And anyway, I thought that the best way to avoid a scandal is to provide an even bigger spectacle. I was thinking maybe I’d be known for becoming America’s first ‘First Gentleman,’ if you like the sound of that,” Eames said with a smile, dropping down to his knee, a ring box appearing in his hand.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Arthur asked.
“No, but obviously you don’t have to say yes if you don’t—” Eames couldn’t finish his sentence because Arthur had dropped down to his knees as well and was kissing the breath out of Eames.
“Oh my god. Yes, you idiot. Yes,” Arthur said, punctuating each phrase with another kiss.
Eames smiled under Arthur’s kisses. “We do need to discuss this nonsense about you not running a second term though.”
“Oh my god, will you shut up and kiss me!” Arthur demanded exasperatedly.
“Yes, sir, Mr. President, sir,” Eames teased.
“Oh my god,” Arthur laughed as he pulled Eames’ face back toward his to kiss the smirk off his lips.
And because I'm impatient and a total sap, have a short porny interlude before our boys have to return to real life.
Arthur kissed Eames hard as he was flooded with conflicting emotions. He was overjoyed at Eames’ arrival and proposal, he was a little furious that Eames just decided to resign without saying anything to him (especially after making Arthur promise not to do anything without talking to him), he was nervous about a wedding and having a “First Gentleman.” But the feeling that was rapidly gaining dominance was sheer unmitigated arousal.
Eames’ hand brushed against the front of Arthur’s pants. “Oh hello there,” he purred. Arthur involuntarily pushed back against the pressure. Eames started moving to undo Arthur’s belt buckle.
“Mmmm, that’s probably a bad idea,” Arthur moaned, as he couldn’t bring himself to say no flat out.
“But how bad of an idea, exactly?” Eames continued on, clearly not dissuaded by Arthur’s lukewarm discouragement.
“Door’s... not... locked,” Arthur gasped as Eames got his hand around Arthur’s cock.
“Hmm, I’d best be quick then,” Eames said, before ducking down to take Arthur’s cock into his mouth.
The warm, wet heat of Eames’ luscious mouth was almost enough to make Arthur come right away. He bit back a groan as he thrust up slightly into Eames’ willing mouth.
“Oh fuck,” Arthur gasped as Eames hummed around him.
Eames pulled off long enough to smirk and say cheekily: “Probably not time for that now, darling,” before dropping his head back down and redoubling his efforts.
Arthur gave up any pretense of self-control and lost himself in the pleasure of Eames’ mouth and tongue and lips and hands. He tried to stammer out a warning, but Eames only pulled back far enough to suck hard on the head, which brought Arthur over the edge. He came hard as Eames continued to work him through his orgasm with hand and mouth. Finally, Arthur flopped back against the floor, wrung out. Eames swallowed and then wiped his plump lips, now red from his exertions, with the back of his hand.
“Jesus,” Arthur whispered, his cock valiantly twitching at that erotic sight.
“I’ve wanted to do that for ages,” Eames said, as he gently tucked Arthur back into his pants and zipped him up.
“You can do that anytime you’d like,” Arthur said, still slightly dazed.
“Oh good,” Eames smirked, waggling his eyebrows playfully. “There’s something so alluring about a man in the seat of his power, so to speak.” Eames looked at Arthur on the floor and then meaningfully up to the desk and chair a few yards behind them. “We’ll definitely have to try the desk next time.”
“So you’ve resigned. And you’re going to run for a second term. And you’re getting married.” Ariadne looked from Eames, to Arthur, and then at both them together.
Arthur was sitting on the sofa in the Oval Office next to Eames, holding his hand, as they had explained the situation to Ariadne (after freshening up a bit to make it slightly less obvious what they had just been doing). “Yep. That’s about the long and short of it.”
Ariadne raised an eyebrow. “Don’t try to sound folksy, Mr. President. It never works.”
“I like her,” Eames grinned, elbowing Arthur gently in the side.
“I’m suddenly having severe doubts about this whole enterprise,” Arthur said with over-exaggerated fear. “I’m not sure the dignity of the presidency can survive the two of you scheming against me.”
“Nonsense, Darling, I promise to only ever scheme for you,” Eames responded.
“I’m not entirely sure that’s better,” Arthur said primly.
“Okay, well, I’m going to get communications to draft a statement for immediate release. Do you want to approve the language before it goes out?” Ariadne looked down and made a note in her notebook.
“Yes, um, we will be in the residence,” Arthur said awkwardly, visually confirming with Eames. “You should probably call up first.”
“Yes, I also have something for immediate release that needs the president’s input,” Eames said, waggling his eyebrows inappropriately. Arthur elbowed Eames back more sharply, trying not to laugh at the blatant innuendo.
“And that’s certainly not anything I need to hear anything more about,” Ariadne said briskly, snapping her notebook shut and standing up. “Sirs,” she nodded to them, waiting for Arthur’s wave of dismissal before fleeing the Oval.
“I think you scandalized my chief of staff,” Arthur teased.
“Please. If she can’t handle that, how’s she ever going to make it in politics?” Eames grinned.
“You make an excellent point. Now, I believe you mentioned something about urgently needing my input?” Arthur felt ebullient, like he was floating in a sea of champagne, a little drunk, a little off kilter, and surrounded by bubbles.
“Mmm, yes, darling. I think this could really use your personal touch, if you know what I mean,” Eames purred.
“Suddenly having a bedroom in the same building as my office seems rather brilliant,” Arthur said, standing up and pulling Eames up after him, leading him out the door and toward the stairs to the residence.
“Pointman and Paisley leaving the Oval,” the agent on the door said into his radio.
Arthur was breathless with excitement by the time they reached his suite. He nodded at Agent Fischer as they entered the room, there hands scrabbling at clothing before the door had finished closing.
“This will be your bedroom too,” Arthur said, the impact of what was happening suddenly hitting him. “Oh my god, you’re going to live here with me and we’re going to be married and this will be our room and how am I ever supposed to get any work done!” Arthur stared down accusatorily at his hands, which were busy divesting Eames of his clothing.
“I fail to see the downside to this, darling,” Eames murmured before capturing Arthur’s lips with his own, his hands doing their part to remove Arthur’s suit.
Arthur kissed back hungrily before breaking the kiss to pull his undershirt over his head. “Yes, but even if America is okay electing a gay president, and a gay married president, I can’t imagine they’d approve of me blowing off my job to come up and blow my husband.”
“Really? Because you have a one hundred percent approval rating from me,” Eames said as he finished removing his own clothes, posing obscenely for Arthur.
“You can’t even vote in this country,” Arthur teased, pushing Eames down onto the bed. “What makes you think I care about your approval?”
“I believe in voting with my—Jesus Christ!” Eames’ attempt at teasing Arthur back was cut short when Arthur slid down Eames’ body and swallowed down his cock. Arthur expertly fellated him, holding down his hips as he sucked Eames hard enough to make him squirm. It didn’t take long before Eames was thrusting into Arthur’s mouth while biting his own fist to keep quiet.
“Everyone knows, let me hear you,” Arthur said, pulling off for a moment and then diving back down.
“Oh fuck, darling,” Eames groaned, obediently removing his fist. Arthur hummed with pleasure around Eames’ leaking prick, gathering the salty fluid with his tongue.
“Oh god,” Eames shouted as he came, shooting hot spurts into Arthur’s mouth. Arthur swallowed the evidence of Eames’ orgasm, milking the last drops from him. When Eames began to whine, Arthur slid back up Eames’ body, kissing him deeply.
“That was bloody brilliant, darling,” Eames gasped, his eyes still closed and his body languid.
“Oh there’s more where that came from, Mr. Eames,” Arthur said playfully as he sat back. “I believe you mentioned you were in desperate need of my input?”
“Oh fuck yes, darling, fuck me,” Eames said, pulling his knees back toward his chest, presenting himself to Arthur.
“You’re so fucking gorgeous, and I can’t believe you’re mine,” Arthur said, lightly running his finger around Eames’ pucker.
“All yours, darling,” Eames whimpered, his body on the edge of overstimulation but also begging for more.
“You want me, don’t you,” Arthur said, lubing up his fingers and beginning to open Eames gently, but efficiently.
“So much,” Eames responded.
“I’m going to make you scream my name,” Arthur said, crooking his fingers to hit Eames’ prostate. Eames inhaled sharply.
“You can make me scream anytime you like,” Eames gasped.
“I plan on it,” Arthur said as he withdrew his fingers and slicked himself before pushing into Eames’ waiting hole.
“Fuck I missed you,” Eames cried as Arthur pushed into him slowly, making sure Eames felt every inch of him.
“It’s only been,” Arthur huffed as he bottomed out, “a few days.”
“Bloody awful days,” Eames grumbled. “Please, just fuck me, darling, make me scream.”
Arthur was happy to oblige, pulling Eames’ legs over his shoulders and pounding into Eames. He wanted Eames to forget all the awfulness of people yelling at him and telling him what to do and making him miserable. He wanted Eames to forget everything except that he was here, with Arthur, and Arthur loved him. They were together, and everything was going to be all right.
Eames’ cock had begun hardening again and Arthur reached down with his lube-covered hand and began stroking it.
“Oh god, yes,” Eames moaned loudly, not giving in to his urge to muffle himself.
“Not god,” Arthur grunted, “just Arthur.” Eames moaned in response. Arthur stroked him faster and fucked him harder, reveling in the knowledge that this wasn’t just a few times before they had to separate again. This wasn’t just a holding pattern. This was forever. No more hiding. No more waiting. His own orgasm snuck up on him as he came with a shout, Eames’ name on his lips. Eames’ hand joined his on Eames’ cock which hardened and pulsed and shot once more as Eames’ cried Arthur’s name.
They cuddled and dozed for a bit until Arthur said “I suppose it’s good there haven’t been any major incidents and we’ve actually gotten to play hooky all day.”
Eames groaned as the phone rang. “You jinxed us!”
“Sorry,” Arthur apologized as he reached for the phone. Luckily it was just Ariadne with the press release language for their approval.
“Okay, so maybe it wasn’t a jinx,” Eames allowed.
“I should get back to work though,” Arthur said reluctantly. “I probably shouldn’t take an entire day off to have sex.”
“Well, lucky for you, I’ll still be here when you get back,” Eames said, stretching out more on the bed.
“Lazy bones,” Arthur teased as he began to gather his clothes.
“I will have you know, I had a very busy day. I resigned my position, got a new prime minister installed, flew across the ocean, had a dramatic reunion with my boyfriend, proposed, talked you into running for a second term, and had a remarkable amount of sex. I’m well knackered.” Eames protested, yawning.
“Okay fair,” Arthur conceded. “You should probably have a nap then, because there will definitely be more sex later.”
“Mmmm, I look forward to it. Now you pop off and go run the free world and I’ll be waiting here for you when you’re done.”
“That sounds just about perfect,” Arthur said, grinning. He knew his dimples were showing and he smiled harder as he remembered Eames’ first reaction to them. “I love you.”
“I love you too, darling.”
“A CONVERSATION WITH ARTHUR KENNEDY AND MORTIMER EAMES ON LOVE, POLITICS, AND LIFE AFTER THE PRESIDENCY”
The New Yorker June 17, 20--
Arthur Kennedy was already well on his way to a noteworthy presidential legacy, when two years into his first term he cemented his place in history by marrying Mortimer Eames, who had been the Prime Minister of one of our closest allies, the United Kingdom. Although Kennedy’s first presidential campaign had been marked with questions over his sexuality, he had notably refused to answer such questions, insisting that his private life was just that, private. Despite the controversy during his campaign, Kennedy won the presidential election with a clear majority, setting the stage for a truly momentous administration.
Kennedy had been a rising star in the Democratic Party. Despite his well-known last name, he was unrelated to the eminent Kennedy family. Instead, he grew up in a working class family in Ohio and then he enlisted in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) to support his college education. He subsequently served as an Army officer for eight years, the last two of those on the ground in Afghanistan. Rather than reënlist, Kennedy decided to go back to school, earning a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Connecticut. He went on to work for the Department of State during the Obama administration before deciding to run for office in his adopted home state of Connecticut. He served as a state legislature before Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy encouraged him to run for the vacated seat in the U.S. Senate. Rather than running for a second Senate term, however, he set his sights on the White House, and ran an unconventional, but ultimately successful campaign.
However the biggest upset to convention happened two years into Kennedy’s first term when several hours after Downing Street announced the resignation of Prime Minister Eames, the White House released a statement announcing that Kennedy and Eames were to be married and that Eames would be moving into the White House. That announcement lent credence to a series of rumors that had circulated around Eames and Kennedy’s closeness during the annual G-20 summits and Eames’ official visit to the United States the previous year. They also prompted a rush of speculation about the identity of the second person in a tabloid picture of two men engaged in oral sex, one of whom bore a resemblance to Eames. That picture had been believed to be the reason for Eames’ abrupt resignation, although neither Kennedy nor Eames ever confirmed or denied being the subjects of the photograph.
Kennedy and Eames were notoriously private about their personal lives while Kennedy was in office, and resisted discussing it with the press, although their staff often spoke about their close and supportive relationship. Kennedy and Eames preferred to keep their public addressed focused on policy.
I sat down with Kennedy and Eames at their home in southern Connecticut for their first joint interview since the end of Kennedy’s presidency.
SAITO: Thank you for agreeing to speak with me. You’ve been rather infamous for how private you are with regard to your personal lives. What changed your minds?
[Kennedy and Eames shared a look before Kennedy took the question]
KENNEDY: Well, I’m not the president anymore. I didn’t want to distract from what we were trying to for the country.
SAITO: Many LBGT groups have criticized your unwillingness to discuss your sexuality, given the representational significance of being the first gay president.
KENNEDY: Well, there’s absolutely no way of knowing if I’m actually the first gay president, I just happen to be the first out gay president. And even then, I wasn’t even really out until Eames resigned and proposed—
SAITO: Yes, was there a reason you chose not to come out during your first campaign? Was it just concern over your electability? Why not just deny it if that was the case?
KENNEDY: I grew up at an interesting time to be a gay man in America. I came of age during the height of the height of the AIDS crisis, which was rather terrifying. And I grew up in a time when homosexuality was sometimes tolerated, but not always accepted or embraced, so I learned to keep quiet and not volunteer that information about myself. And then of course I spent over a decade in the military between R.O.T.C. and my active service in the Army, so “don’t ask, don’t tell” was well ingrained in me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about running as “the gay candidate,” and yeah, the idea of it made me nervous, but I wasn’t willing to lie. That was the deal that I made with myself and my staff: I wasn’t going to lie about my sexuality. But I also wasn’t going to announce it because I didn’t see it as relevant. I wasn’t in a relationship and I hardly thought that being President of the United States was going to create relationship opportunities.
SAITO: But it apparently did create at least one opportunity for a relationship. How did that happen?
[Eames and Kennedy shared a smile before Eames answered my question]
EAMES: How does any relationship happen? You meet someone and you click, you feel like they just get you. And then it’s a lot of talking and a figuring out whether they like you too and what you want together and how to make it work. I had watched Arthur’s campaign with a lot of interest in part because he was single and refused to answer questions about his sexuality, rather than just claiming to be straight. So he was rather fascinating to me, even apart from how brilliant his arse looked, and I really wanted a chance to get to know him a bit, so at our first G-20 that year I set out to do just that.
KENNEDY: It took me surprisingly long to catch on, but ultimately Eames’ charms were impossible to resist.
SAITO: So you got together in March of your first term? What made you want to keep your relationship a secret?
KENNEDY: It wasn’t really a relationship at first. In fact, we talked about how we both felt a spark, but we didn’t think it was a good idea to embark on a relationship given how busy we were with our jobs. We thought it would be best to wait.
[Kennedy raised his eyebrows at Eames]
SAITO: But you obviously did not wait?
EAMES: No, it turns out when you meet someone who is perfect for you, a person who is your match in every way, it’s very difficult to not share everything with that person. It started with phone calls. We had a phone call scheduled every week where we would talk about our weeks and our lives and just get to know each other better.
KENNEDY: Because when it came down to it, we’d really only barely gotten to know each other before, even though we both thought we felt something. We thought we would be friends, and then if that something was still there after we were out of office, well, then we could try dating.
EAMES: But when you fall in love with someone, and you think that they love you back, how can you put limits on that relationship? How do you say “stop here and go no further” when neither of you wants to stop?
KENNEDY: So by the G-20 the next year we were in a relationship, although we didn’t plan to go public at that point either. Our relationship was almost entirely long distance, consisting of weekly phone calls and occasionally seeing each other in the course of doing our jobs. We assumed it would stay like that until one of us left office. Which, it did. That just happened a great deal sooner than we assumed it would.
EAMES: I was getting bored anyway, darling. I wasn’t planning to head Labour through the next election cycle, so it all worked out.
SAITO: You’re referencing the scandal over the tabloid picture allegedly of Mr. Eames that was published shortly after the G-20 summit? Was that you in the picture?
KENNEDY: We have always refused to affirm or deny whether that was a picture of us because we don’t want to encourage those sorts of gross invasions of privacy. It doesn’t actually matter whether it was us or not, because someone’s privacy was invaded during an intimate moment, and then the photograph of that moment was published in an attempt to discredit Eames. Our only statement on that photograph is that legitimate journalism should not involve violating anyone’s privacy to that extent. And responsible journalism should not involve publishing pictures that cannot be confidently sourced or identified.
SAITO: Many took Mr. Eames’ resignation as a sign of his guilt. Were you afraid of the repercussions of resigning rather than denouncing the photograph.
EAMES: I got a lot of pressure to deny that it was me in the photograph. I agree with Arthur though, that to address it at all gives it more power than it deserves. If I say it wasn’t me, then will people just work harder to violate my privacy to get another photograph? Even if that particular photograph wasn’t me, I’m certainly not denying that I’ve ever had sex with a man, and I don’t find that fact particularly scandalous or shameful. As I said, I wasn’t planning to head my party through the next election anyway, so it seemed like the most logical course to go ahead and pass the torch. And I think I did Britain a service there—Yusuf [Murray, the Prime Minister of the U.K.] has been absolutely brilliant as Prime Minister and if my legacy is that I helped bring him into power I will be absolutely thrilled with that.
SAITO: Your wedding was seen as rather hurried, and there was some disappointment that you didn’t have a large state wedding. Did you choose to have a quiet wedding in response to the perceived scandal?
KENNEDY: Mostly we just didn’t have any interest in having a wedding as an event. We knew we wanted to get married, so we just wanted to skip ahead to being married. I was still trying to run the country, so my life was, to put it mildly, pretty busy. Justice Ginsburg was gracious enough to perform the ceremony for us and I managed to take a few days off for us to have a little bit of a honeymoon and that was really all we wanted. Then we got back to work.
SAITO: Was it a large adjustment going from being single to being married during your presidency?
KENNEDY: It was, but not in the way that you would think. Being President is hard. I know that seems obvious, but it really is. It’s impossible to do without support. And of course I had supportive friends and staffers, especially my best friend and chief of staff Ariadne, but having a partner was a revelation. Even when Eames and I were in a long-distance relationship, being able to talk to him regularly was essential to me. So getting to have him with me most of the time, living in the same place, that was wonderful. I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through a second term without Eames.
[Kennedy and Eames clasped hands and smiled at each other again.]
SAITO: Now Mr. Eames’ resignation ended his own promising political career. Are you concerned that your work as Prime Minister and your own political legacy in the U.K. has been overshadowed by your groundbreaking role as First Gentleman?
EAMES: And I’m not sure how groundbreaking it was to be America’s First “First Gentlemen” because really when you think about it we’re about as traditional as it gets apart from both being men. Powerful white bloke falls in love with another powerful white bloke, gets married and has a monogamous relationship. We’re basically the opposite of groundbreaking.
SAITO: I suppose that’s a fair point. But back to my question, do you worry that your own substantial political accomplishments will be overshadowed by your spouse?
EAMES: I’m not particularly worried, no, but I’m also not convinced I had substantial political accomplishments. I really am serious when I say that helping get Yusuf into government was probably the best thing I could do for my country.
KENNEDY: Eames is being too modest. He was an excellent prime minister, and his political accomplishments didn’t stop when he left office and married me. His political acumen and experience were invaluable to my administration. We wouldn’t have the healthcare system that we have today if it hadn’t been for Eames, I can say that without hesitation. He won’t take credit for the NHS reforms he accomplished in his tenure as Prime Minister, but they directly influenced the healthcare reform we worked on. Much of the bipartisan support that we got for the program came because Eames sat down with legislators from both sides of the aisle and answered their questions about how the NHS worked in the U.K. and the pros and cons of that experience. And I know part of the reason that he was taken so seriously was because he was seen as a political equal, not “just” as a spouse, even though we’ve had many politically accomplished first ladies. But we needed that bipartisan support, so I was immensely grateful that Eames was willing to help.
EAMES: Of course, Darling.
SAITO: Bipartisan support was necessary for your healthcare plan in part because of the defeat you suffered during the midterm elections. Did you worry about your reëlection prospects?
KENNEDY: Of course, you always worry about reëlection. Obviously we were disappointed by the midterm results, but it had been a pretty momentous few months, and I think the midterm election results showed a certain amount of uncertainty. But I think we proved ourselves, and clearly the voters agreed because they decided to give us a second term and a Congress to help us accomplish our platform. Once people got a chance to really know Eames, they liked him as much as I did.
EAMES: Well not quite as much, I hope.
KENNEDY: I don’t know, have you seen any of your fan communities online? I may have some rivals for your affections.
EAMES: Never, Darling.
SAITO: Now the major accomplishment of your second term was a highly controversial gun control legislation package. What made you prioritize that policy area?
KENNEDY: Well, I had the majorities in the House and Senate, so it seemed like as good a time as any to try to push through legislation that was always going to have substantial opponents.
SAITO: But you could have done that with anything, what made you choose gun control?
KENNEDY: Look, I was a representative in the Connecticut legislature in 2012. I’m still not sure how we went so long after Sandy Hook without doing anything. I mean, I understand politically how nothing happened, but just as a human being, I don’t get it. And even apart from mass shootings, which obviously were horrific, just the sheer number of gun related deaths in the U.S. was appalling. Other countries figured out how to deal with this issue. There was no reason that the U.S. couldn’t. While our constitution preserved some rights with regard to firearms that other countries didn’t have, having a constitutional right has never been absolute. “Congress shall make no law” seems fairly straightforward, but we have all sorts of restrictions on the first amendment that have been found to be constitutional. And rights typically end when they endanger the lives and rights of others. I was finally in a position of power in which I could attempt to do something about it, so I tried to do what I could. Allowing health care professionals to address whether there is a gun in the home is critical for children’s health and safety. Teaching people how to use guns safely before just letting them loose is important. Allowing researchers to actually study the effects of guns is essential for any future policy initiatives. Digitizing gun records so that they are more easily searchable is important to help the police do their jobs. And none of those policy changes even come close to infringing on the second amendment.
SAITO: Do you think your own military background helped provide you with the political cover to push through gun control legislation?
KENNEDY: Possibly. There are Democrats obviously that represent some very pro-gun areas. But I think I was able to convince them, and their constituents that this wasn’t coming from a place of fear or misunderstanding. I obviously know how to use a gun, many types of weapons actually. I spent two years deployed in Afghanistan. I know guns, I understand guns, I respect guns. I also don’t think military grade weaponry has any place in the hands of civilians. And I know the difference between a hunting rifle and a handgun and a semi-automatic weapon. I could speak from a place of authority on that topic.
SAITO: Was Mr. Eames as useful to you on this policy front as he was on health care?
KENNEDY: Well, I don’t really judge Eames by his usefulness to me. And just his presence is always such a boon. But he didn’t play as large of role in this particular policy initiative, no.
EAMES: What Arthur is politely dancing around is that my thoughts on the second amendment are not particularly complimentary and going around sharing those thoughts with members of Congress would not have won Arthur any votes.
KENNEDY: It doesn’t matter what you think about the second amendment, it’s there and it’s not like we were going to be able to amend the constitution. We had to work within its boundaries.
EAMES: This is the trouble that comes from having a codified constitution. Suddenly you need all sort of procedures and supermajorities to change it. All we needed was a majority vote then poof, done!
KENNEDY: Yes and then you’re left in a situation where fundamental rights can be stripped from the citizens of your country with a simple majority vote. Does that seem like a good idea?
EAMES: Well it’s worked out pretty well so far.
KENNEDY: Sorry, Eames and I could go on for hours about the merits of a codified vs. uncodified constitution. We’re total nerds about politics. You can pretend to be shocked.
SAITO: No that’s fine, I’m sure it would be an edifying debate for our readers. But I did have one last question. You call your husband by his surname, “Eames.” Why is that, when he obviously calls you Arthur?
EAMES: That one’s easy. I’ve always gone by Eames among friends because my given name is... ugh... Mortimer. Which my mother always assured me had an impressive family history. But is nevertheless a fairly hideous name. So I’ve never gone by it, and thankfully British public schooling encourages address by surname. Arthur has no such qualms about his given name, so I’m happy to use it. Of course he calls me other things as well, sometimes, but those aren’t really appropriate for public use. [Laughs]
SAITO: Fair enough. So now that you’re out of the White House, what’s next?
KENNEDY: Sleep! [Laughs] No, seriously. You hear all these things about presidents only getting four, five hours of sleep a night. That is one hundred percent true. After eight years? I’m exhausted! I’m taking a nap every afternoon and sleeping until ten o’clock every morning.
EAMES: This is absolutely true. But yeah, we’re not really sure what we want to do next. I mean, what do you do after you’ve been President of the United States? Or Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and then First Gentleman of the United States? I suppose we’ll start a foundation or something. Right now we’re just enjoying the luxury of free time. We were very lucky and very proud to spend much of our lives in public service. But we’d like to take a little time just to be us. I’m sure we’ll be back at it soon enough.
KENNEDY: Yes, we can’t seem to let a problem go unsolved if we think we have something that will work. I’m sure we’ll figure it out. In the mean time, I would really like to get another cat. Or two. Marcus and Julius are starting to get older and I’d really like to get kittens now that we have time.
EAMES: Or a dog! We should get a dog!
KENNEDY: We could get both. So that’s apparently what’s next for us: pet acquisition.
Hiroshi Saito has been editor of The New Yorker since 2020 and a staff writer since 2018. He is also the author of Lost in a Dream: The Potential Pitfalls of Running a Non-Profit
Thank you so much to everyone who has read and comment and sprinted with me on this. I had so much fun writing it and I hope you've had as much fun reading it. A special thanks to Oceaxe and Brooke and Fia and Amy who were always willing to offer suggestions for things (and especially to Amy for this chapter who requested gun control as the major second term policy initiative). I have a few ideas for one-shots, mostly from Eames' POV to fill out this universe a little bit more that will go into this series. So subscribe to the series if you don't want to miss them! Thank you for reading!