Bradley's idea to go out and let off steam was tempting. Work had been hard - in the best way, but still hard: long hours, intense scenes, difficult lines. So much so that Colin's first desire was to simply fall into bed and sleep for about a month. But realistically that wouldn't happen, not yet. He was too wired. He was used to getting psyched up every morning at the crack of dawn and keeping the energy flowing 'til long after sundown. It wasn't the kind of thing you could switch off overnight, however exhausted you were.
However, what Bradley proposed was a night of clubbing, which Colin wasn't so sure about. He wasn't mad keen on clubs, given a preference he'd rather go to a gig or something. But the last time they'd been out he'd dragged Bradley off to see a band, and Bradley had been nice about it even though it wasn't really his thing, so Colin figured he owed him.
Then there was the fact that Bradley seemed to think they might actually get laid.
There were two problems with this: one, that getting laid for Bradley meant finding a girl, and two, that it would most likely be a one-night stand. Both of which made Colin a bit uncomfortable. The only girl he'd slept with had been a friend first, and the only one-night stand he'd had was a boy. Neither had worked out particularly well. The girl wasn't his friend anymore, and while getting a blow job from a stranger at a party was fun, it left him feeling hollow and empty and kind of shallow afterwards.
There was another problem, though, one that Colin had tried his best to ignore for the past few months in the hope that it would go away. One that he knew he could live with, probably indefinitely, because he'd managed it all through drama school with Iain Sedgefield, and no-one had ever found out. But that didn't mean it was something he wanted to have to face unless he had to.
Because the biggest problem was that, to Colin's frustration and annoyance, he fancied the arse off Bradley James.
"This is great," beamed Bradley as they walked out into the night. "Look at us! Two attractive young blokes out on the pull on a Friday night."
"It's Wednesday," said Colin, pulling his hood up against the evening chill. Cardiff didn't seem to have taken the concept of summer on board. At least it wasn't raining.
"It's not like we've got an office job, is it? Fridays are only good because you get Saturdays off. It just happens that we've got a Thursday off. So Wednesday is our Friday."
"Whatever you say, Bradley."
"Although, there might be one slight problem, actually."
"Yeah?" Colin looked hopefully at Bradley. A last minute hitch would be perfect: they could give up on the whole stupid idea and go back to the pub for another pint instead. They did really good cider.
Bradley frowned. "I suppose it's really Wednesday for a lot of girls. As in, they get a Thursday tomorrow, not a Saturday. So they won't be coming out."
"Maybe we should come back Friday."
"We'll be in France by Friday."
"Oh, yeah. What a shame. Still-"
"Are you trying to wimp out on me, Morgan?"
Colin put on his best innocent expression, peering out from under his hoodie with wide eyes. "No! 'Course not. Wouldn't dream of it."
Bradley gave him a quizzical look, which meant he wasn't a hundred per cent certain Colin wasn't taking the piss, but decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. "There's always students," he said. "Or shift workers. Like nurses." He grinned lecherously.
Colin struggled for a moment with the image of his mother in a nightclub. By the time he'd recovered they were past the bouncers, through the doors and there was no turning back.
The strange thing was, however uncomfortable he felt (and he was beginning to realise that Bradley wasn't exactly at ease, either), there was something about the two of them together that seemed to make them irresistible to women. Colin had never received so much attention from the opposite sex, and overwhelming as it was, it was also undeniably pleasant. It helped that Bradley did most of the talking, and as Bradley observed over their third drink, girls often came in pairs: the outgoing one, who would naturally fancy Bradley, and the quiet and reserved one who would be all shy smiles for Colin. Thus they were the perfect pulling team.
Except, they weren't actually pulling. It turned out that they were both quite fussy about the kind of girl they fancied, neither of them had drunk enough to attempt dancing, and Bradley's peanut trick wasn't nearly as appealing as he obviously thought it was. Colin was starting to harbour hopes that Bradley might be persuaded to give up and go home. Colin quite fancied spending an hour or so back at the hotel listening to antidote music, before he passing out and forgetting the whole sordid ordeal.
It was around the fifth drink that Colin excused himself from a conversation with a local girl called Sarah. In fact it could hardly be called a conversation; what with accents and competition from the music neither of them was really getting what the other was saying, and Bradley (who was making little headway with Sarah's friend, whose name Colin didn't catch) kept interrupting anyway. So Colin bowed out to go for a piss, expecting Bradley to be alone again by the time he returned.
He was surprised, to say the least, to find their adopted spot at the bar deserted when he got back.
It took him a couple of minutes to work out that Bradley was on the dance floor.
It took him another ten seconds to realise Bradley was dancing with Sarah.
Five seconds after that, Bradley dipped his head and kissed her.
And one second later, Colin fled.
Cardiff harbour was flat water and shadows of boats and glistening metal railings. Colin wrapped his fingers round cool steel and squeezed tight, fighting down all the stupid, unreasonable feelings that were stuck in his chest. He wanted to cry, but that was stupid. He had no claim over Bradley. He wasn't his lover, wasn't his boyfriend, wasn't anything, just, maybe, almost, his friend. His colleague, for fuck's sake.
Man, how could he be such an idiot?
Colin squeezed his eyes tight against tears as the first splash of rain hit his cheek.
Shit. He should have run faster. Farther. Or not at all. Shit.
"Colin, are you okay?"
Colin took a deep breath, forced his shoulders down, blanked his face, but kept his eyes fixed on the black boat-shapes just in case. "Sure. What are you doing here?"
Bradley stood at his side, back to the water, leaning against the railings. Colin felt Bradley's eyes on him. Always could. He resisted the urge to return the look.
"Just making sure you're okay," Bradley said. "Thought maybe you'd had a couple too many. Didn't want you puking all over Cardiff High Street by your lonesome."
"I'm fine," Colin said. "It takes more than a couple of... whatever those were. Just wanted to be by myself. You can go back."
Bradley shrugged. "Not bothered."
"Thought you wanted to get laid."
"Well, obviously. But it's getting kind of late. Time to cut our losses, maybe."
"Looked to me like you were winning." Colin bit down on his lower lip, cursing himself for letting the words slip out.
"Yeah, well. Wasn't the same without you."
Colin laughed, couldn't help himself, and finally turned his head to look at Bradley. "You would have had to do without me at some point."
"I suppose so. How d'you feel about orgies?"
They both laughed then, and Colin started to feel a bit better. Bradley sidled closer and bumped his shoulder; familiar, comforting. Colin wondered when they'd got like this, and how he hadn't realised what was happening in time to stop it.
"I did have a threesome once," Bradley said, conversationally. His arms were folded over his chest, and he scuffed at the ground with the toe of one trainer, looking down.
"Such a stud," said Colin, teasing. "How did you manage to talk two girls into sleeping with you?"
"Actually..." Bradley's voice was slow and quiet, and Colin stilled. "It was a girl and a guy. Her boyfriend, in fact. She had kind of a kink for two guys doing it together and he liked to share, so... hm."
Colin blinked down at his hands, still clutching the railing, trying to process this information. "You fucked both of them?"
"Yeah. Among other things."
"I didn't know you... I thought you were straight."
"Well, there you go. Full of surprises, Bradley James."
"I've never done anything like that," said Colin, waited a beat, heart pounding, then added, "Just guys on their own. And girls, a girl, but, guys. Um."
"I thought so," said Bradley, softly.
He turned around, and put a hand over Colin's hands on the rail, and said, "you're cold," and Colin turned his head and quick as that he kissed Bradley, just a peck, a tiny, huge, important, pointless thing, on his cheek.
Bradley twitched, startled, maybe disgusted or offended, maybe not, and cleared his throat. He looked at Colin, though, and Colin looked back, their eyes locked on each other as the black water quivered and the rain dripped off Colin's nose, and Colin said, "I," and Bradley said, "if," and they said "sorry," at the same time, and then Bradley slid his fingers through Colin's hair, and cradled his head in his broad, strong palm, and kissed him on the mouth.
Colin's eyes drifted shut, lashes quivering, and he stuttered his lips open, soft, letting Bradley show him how to move, how to take, how to give.
Then Bradley's forehead was resting against his, and Bradley's fingers were rubbing circles around the tense point on Colin's neck, and all Colin could do, all he could say was, very quietly, "Bradley, take me home."
They walked back to the hotel holding hands. Carefully, surreptitiously, hidden by the dark and Bradley's jacket, but palms together and fingers locked in secret, and it felt incredible. There was no-one around; the restaurants and pubs were shut, late nighters still at parties and clubs and behind closed doors. They took to talking, just ordinary, pointless talking, as if nothing had changed and they weren't holding hands, and Colin's lips weren't still tingling from Bradley's kiss.
Eventually they got back to the now-familiar steps and doors of their hotel, and Colin had to let go of Bradley so they could negotiate their way inside and across the lobby, Bradley nodding at the receptionist politely, just like he always did; Colin smiling, head ducked down, and then they were at the lift. It seemed to take forever to arrive, but when it did it was empty and suddenly Colin was pressed against the mirrored wall, handrail digging into his back, and Bradley was kissing him again. Colin wound his arms around Bradley's neck and kissed back hard, urgently, wondering where Bradley had learned to kiss like this, and what else Bradley had learned to do, and why the fuck Bradley was suddenly pulling away, until he realised the lift doors were sliding open: they'd arrived at the fourth floor. Their floor.
Bradley's door was closest to the lift so that's the one they fell through, kissing again as Bradley kicked the door closed behind them, shrugging out of his own jacket, cursing when it got stuck, one sleeve bunched up at the wrist. Colin laughed, half nerves and half because it was funny, Bradley struggling with his own clothes like that. Bradley looked exasperated for a moment, before he saw the funny side too. He shook his head and muttered to himself, "great seduction technique, James."
Colin's heart skipped a beat at the idea he was actually being seduced, and by Bradley of all people. He should probably put Bradley right on that point, but in truth he found he liked the idea of Bradley being in control. Just a little. Something about Bradley made him feel safe, disturbing though the concept was.
"Better," Bradley said, finally free of his jacket, which he flung on the chair behind him. "Well, this is going well so far, don't you think?"
"It's alright," said Colin, grinning like an idiot.
"Ah, Colin Morgan, master of the understatement." Bradley grabbed Colin's hand, and reeled him in. He laced their fingers together, and nibbled at Colin's knuckles. "Tell me, Colin Morgan, what d'you want to do now?" He swiped his tongue where his teeth had just been nipping, and Colin struggled to get any kind of coherent thought together at all.
"Have sex?" he ventured.
Bradley chuckled at him.
"Why, what d'you want to do?" Colin said.
"Oh, I thought we'd drink tea and watch the footy."
Colin laughed, and hit Bradley on the shoulder, and noticed the way Bradley's eyes lit up.
Bradley touched Colin's neck, fingers sliding down, under his hoodie, under his t-shirt, until they found his collarbone. His touch was soft and gentle, romantic even. Maybe because Bradley usually did this with girls. Or maybe it was just Bradley. "I've wanted this for a while," Bradley said, a confession out of nowhere. His eyes flicked up to meet Colin's, seeking approval.
"Me too," Colin said, fighting the urge to make a joke of it. Hesitantly, cautiously, he moved in and kissed Bradley on the mouth. A small brush of a kiss, then another, then he took it deep, tongue sliding into Bradley's mouth, flicking at his teeth. Bradley's arm slid around his waist; his fingers slid into his hair; his hips pressed against Colin's.
"Bed," Bradley grunted, barely breaking the kiss. Still kissing, still holding, he staggered them both across the room until Colin's legs hit the bed behind him. Colin let himself fall back, dragging Bradley with him to collapse in an untidy heap on the soft, white duvet. Still kissing. Long, hot kisses, Bradley's tongue wriggling inside his mouth, everything wet and slick and messy, Colin's dick so hard he couldn't help but grind it into Bradley's thigh. Bradley seemed to like that a lot: he pressed back, giving Colin a rhythm to thrust to. He made noises from his throat that Colin had never heard him make before. But Bradley's hands were still gentle, stroking through Colin's hair, touching his skin like he was something delicate and precious.
Bradley tugged Colin's t-shirt and hoodie off in one go. Colin shivered, part-cold, part-thrill, and then Bradley's hands were on him, strong and warm and careful, stroking his sides, his chest, his arms, his belly, while all Colin could do was gasp like a landed fish and clutch at Bradley's shoulders.
"I know this is a bit of a cliché," Bradley said, "but you're very beautiful."
Colin laughed at him.
"Well," Bradley said, stroking Colin's cheek. "For a skinny little Irish boy, obviously."
"Shut up." Colin nipped at Bradley's wrist.
Bradley shook his head sadly. "You're going to have to learn how to take compliments, Colin. Didn't they cover that in media training? You're supposed to smile graciously, not bite people."
Colin nipped at Bradley's wrist again. Bradley hissed in a breath, and Colin did it again, lingering this time, sharp, not quite breaking the skin but close. He darted out his tongue and felt Bradley's pulse, lingered there. Beat beat beat...
"Oh God," Bradley whispered. Colin looked up: Bradley's eyes were closed, his cheeks flushed. He was chewing his lower lip. Colin released Bradley's wrist and kissed the tiny indentations his teeth had left. Then he worked his way up Bradley's arm, alternating kisses and bites until he reached the inside of Bradley's elbow. He swirled his tongue there in tiny, wet circles, pressing into tendons and dips and soft, soft skin.
"Oh fuck," Bradley whimpered.
Colin moved up Bradley's arm, irritated to find his progress impeded by Bradley's t-shirt. Fortunately a swift tug on the hem was all it took to persuade Bradley to take it off, yanking it clumsily off his head, swearing as it got stuck on his ears. Finally Bradley was shirtless, and Colin skipped the rest of his arm and just settled right in on Bradley's chest and shoulder and neck. His mouth. Bradley's kiss was hungry now, urgent, stealing Colin's breath, sending his already racing heartbeat into overdrive.
"Don't want to rush this," Bradley said, mostly, probably, to himself.
"'S okay," said Colin, not minding very much about anything except how fucking good it all felt.
"No, really. Seriously. I want to make it good. God, listen to me. I'm thinking too much. You're a bad influence on me, Colin Morgan."
"I do my best," said Colin, and started to nibble on Bradley's ear.
"Okay, thinking not a problem I care about when you do that." Bradley's hand twitched convulsively on Colin's hip.
Colin chuckled, nuzzling into Bradley's hair, which was soft and smelled of styling stuff and shampoo and outdoors.
Bradley took to kissing him again. Long, slow kisses, and when Colin slipped his tongue into Bradley's mouth Bradley very gently sucked it, and somehow it felt more like Colin was fucking Bradley's mouth with his tongue than actual kissing, and Colin had forgotten pretty much everything except the slip and slide of tongue and lips and how much he ached, until Bradley slipped a hand inside Colin's jeans.
Colin jerked back from the kiss, suddenly completely and entirely focused on not coming in his pants as Bradley's fingers closed around him.
"Mmm, you been packing this all this time, Morgan?" Bradley hummed into Colin's ear.
Colin dissolved into helpless laughter, which at least helped a bit with the not-coming. "I can't believe you said that."
"Well, it's nice," said Bradley, a little hurt, running his thumb appreciatively over the head of Colin's cock. "What did I just say about compliments?"
Colin held Bradley's gaze as he pressed his palm over the bulge in Bradley's jeans. "Yeah," Colin said. "You too."
Bradley's eyes glazed over and he licked his lips, and suddenly Colin was all ache and need again. He scrabbled for Bradley's zip, reasoning that the best way to take his mind off his own pleasure was to focus on Bradley's.
It soon transpired, however, that Bradley had the same idea. This resulted in a somewhat undignified scramble to get jeans undone and underwear dealt with. Colin won, managing to get Bradley completely naked first, but his victory was short lived; the newly naked and very beautiful Bradley James took it into his head to stop trying to get Colin's jeans off , having freed his erection from his underwear, and decided to shuffle down the bed and start licking Colin's cock instead. In a matter of moments Colin had to clutch handfuls of Bradley's hair and squeak, "stop!"
Bradley blinked up at him, lips wet. "What's wrong?"
"I'm going to come all over your face is what's wrong."
Bradley looked back at Colin's cock, and gripped it very firmly by the root. "That's okay," he said, with a little shrug."
"But I w-want, I...."
It was too late. Bradley's fist was so hot, and Bradley's tongue swiped the end of Colin's dick and that's all it took. He couldn't even get a second warning out; everything was too late and just right and so fucking good. Bradley's mouth engulfed him, owned him, drank him down; Bradley's lips pressed against him, slick and messy, and when all Colin had left was the last few dribbles, Bradley smeared his cheek through it, wallowed in it, and then Colin realised he wasn't breathing much any more, and flopped boneless and helpless on the bed, using every ounce of energy he had left to suck air into his lungs.
The glow spread through him like warm-to-the-bone sunshine or the rich, dark whiskey: pure, absolute pleasure.
Eventually he became aware of his jaw aching. After a few moment's contemplation he deduced that this was because he was grinning his head off. He opened his eyes.
Bradley was grinning his head off, too.
And wiping his face with a tissue.
"Oh God," Colin said. "Sorry, Bradley."
"Do you always come that much?" Bradley asked. "Because if you do I think I'll need a wet suit next time. Possibly a snorkel."
Colin blushed scarlet, but Bradley was still smiling. "It's been a while," Colin said, sheepishly. "And that was really...."
"Yeah," Bradley said, and leaned down to kiss him. Soft, tender. Tasting of him. Smelling of sex. Colin revelled in it.
"I should," he murmured, reaching down vaguely between their bodies, but Bradley caught his wrist, pulled it up to kiss the tip of Colin's index finger. "There's no rush. You're gonna get hard again in a minute, right?"
Colin couldn't imagine ever getting hard ever again. "You think?"
"Oh yeah," said Bradley. "And then I'm going to fuck you."
Colin blinked at him. "I've never," he said, not something he'd necessarily wanted to admit to, but it was the first thing that came into his head, and none of his censorship circuits were engaged yet. He was convinced, in fact, that some of them had been completely fried, at least where Bradley was concerned.
"Really?" Bradley said; not as Colin might have expected, all brash disbelief, but gently. Tenderly. Wrapping his fingers around Colin's hand, kissing his palm. "So you prefer to top, then? Or....?"
"I've never, either. Um."
"Oh!" said Bradley. He licked Colin's thumb, found his index finger again, ran his tongue up from the bottom knuckle to the tip. Sucked the end very softly and wetly into his mouth, swirling his tongue over the pad as if tracing Colin's fingerprint before letting it go with a soft slurping noise. He smiled. "It doesn't matter. There's plenty of other things I can do to you."
Colin grappled with a moment's disappointment that he couldn't properly articulate, especially when Bradley was having oral sex with his fingers.
"See," Bradley said, looking not a little smug. "Hard as iron again."
And Colin was. During the course of their short conversation he'd gone right from completely sated to theoretically interested to fucking horny. Apparently refractory periods didn't exist when he was this close to Bradley and Bradley's amazing mouth.
"Tell me," Colin said, "tell me what you want."
"Shhh," said Bradley, and kissed him.
They made out for a long time, Colin stroking Bradley's face and neck and shoulders, Bradley very thoroughly exploring the inside of Colin's mouth with his tongue, pausing now and then to lick his ear, his chin, his throat. From time to time Colin reached down or rocked his hips to offer Bradley's cock some attention, but every time Bradley stopped him with a little growl of "not yet," until Colin finally decided enough was enough, and ignored him, his wrist squirming out of Bradley's grasp and continuing on its journey down between their bodies. As the back of his hand made contact with his own cock, so his palm found Bradley's.
"Oh, sweet fuck," Bradley murmured.
Colin smiled to himself, and set to work. His fingers curled naturally around Bradley's length. He gave it a few gentle pulls, trailing his little finger over Bradley's balls, pressing his thumb just underneath the head, and whispered, "Bradley? You liking that?"
"God yes." Bradley's hips started to rock. The end of his dick was sticky-wet with precome, hot and slick. His breath was short and every gorgeous muscle on his body was getting tight.
Bradley laughed, and stuttered out, "what d'you think?" and Colin was about to take pity on him, but Bradley grabbed his wrist again, held him still. "Wait. Try this."
Bradley wriggled around a bit until his cock and Colin's hand and Colin's cock were all pressed together in one glorious knot of hard and hot. Bradley wrapped Colin's fingers around them both, and started to rock against him.
Colin tightened his grip a little, jerked them both with quick, shallow strokes, and it took no more than a dozen before Bradley yelled out and came, spilling all over Colin's hand, his belly, Colin's belly, Colin's arm. Thick and white, and Bradley scooped some of it up and painted Colin's lips with it, which felt like the sexiest, dirtiest thing that had ever happened to him. Bradley was still shuddering in his arms, looking down at himself coming and Colin still wanking them both because fuck it just felt too good to stop, even though he wasn't close except then he was, and Bradley touched his balls, just there at the side, just there, how the fuck did he know that, and Colin heard Bradley whisper, "that's it, Col," in his ear, and it certainly was, that, and Colin was pumping sticky-wet between their already messy bodies, making incoherent little noises matched only by Bradley's feeble gasps.
He lay panting for a while, letting the pleasure roll through his body, gradually becoming aware of the comforting sensation of Bradley stroking his back, knuckles brushing softly over his shoulder blade.
"Should shower," he murmured into Bradley's chest, and promptly fell asleep.
"This is going to be interesting," Bradley said. He was trailing his fingertips up and down Colin's arm. It tickled a bit, but Colin was enjoying the contact too much to complain. He felt warm and clean from the shower, cosy in clean sheets, curled up to the solid comfort of Bradley's body. So ridiculously happy that he kept grinning; he even burst out laughing once or twice, much to Bradley's amusement.
"Because we might never get out of bed?" he said.
"Because when we do get out of bed, we have to decide who should know we've been in bed."
"Yeah?" Bradley stopped stroking for a moment, making eye contact, checking.
"It's nobody's business," Colin said, not quite able to articulate how possessive and protective he felt about this - whatever it was - that he and Bradley were on the brink of. "Things are crazy enough."
Bradley grinned one of his most wicked, mischievous grins. "Just our secret, eh?"
"Yeah," Colin said, and kissed Bradley's nipple to clinch the deal. "Just our secret."
"Cool," said Bradley, and resumed his tickling of Colin's arm. "After all, it's not like anyone would ever guess just from looking at us."
"Not in a million years," said Colin.
"So... this is okay, then, Colin? You and me? Really? "
Colin looked up again and grinned. "Relax, Bradley James," he said. "You pulled."