Edgar had been the first to raise so much as an eyebrow and it had never been explicitly decided that anything was a secret – they were both unattached to anyone else and it would have been no bother to the people they knew, but it ended up under wraps nevertheless.
Simon and Nick had been on set running lines for a couple hours and it just wasn’t clicking. “Don’t do it like that, you need to do it like Mike.” Simon sighed; “You can do this, come on… almost done.”
“I can’t. I’m done.” Nick replied, taking off his glasses before rubbing his eyes.
“Come on.” Simon sunk down close to him on the beanbag and pressed a kiss to his collar bone; “One more time through your scenes and I’ll buy dinner tonight.”
Nick sighed, “You bought dinner last night.” He let his head rest against Simon’s for a long moment before adding; “I think I’ll just go to bed early.”
“Don’t Nicky, don’t be like that. Come on, let’s give it a go. Pick up at scene one.”
Edgar stepped in, looking around the set quietly – as though they actually lived there and he was intruding on their space. “He sounds all right to me.”
“Christ, Edgar.” Simon swore, rolling out of the beanbag and to his feet. “Didn’t know you were still here.”
Nick waved his script, staying comfortably snuggled into his spot.
Edgar nodded and smiled, “So, eh… you two are…” He raised a coy eyebrow – a look Simon would be able to read even at the most subtle a year later, but was not yet accustomed to.
“Running lines.” Simon answered, gesturing to the script. “Did a run through with Jess earlier and thought we may as well stay here until its right.”
“Or until I beat him senseless.” Nick groaned.
“Oh, yeah… that. He’s fine, you’re fine, Nick. Don’t let him bully you.”
“Oi, bully yeah.” Nick chuckled, reaching up and tugging gently at Simon’s jeans.
“We’re probably done soon, he’s losing his confidence.” Simon shrugged and shot Nick a dirty look that was lost on him, but clearly caught by Edgar.
“I can leave you alone, if you like I can, it’s not an… issue.”
“We’re going.” Nick pushed up off the beanbag with a slight groan, shaking his rolled script at Simon. “We’ll try again in the morning.”
“Yeah, all right.” Simon shook his head as Nick fumbled a battered pack of cigarettes from his hip pocket.
“Can I ask something?” Edgar licked his lips, watching Simon almost instinctively reach out with a light; Nick’s apparently lost or forgotten. He didn’t bother pausing for a response and asked; “What’s going on here?”
Simon raised an eyebrow, “How do you mean? I told you, lines – you know… that show we’re filming?”
“No, no… I know that. I just… you know…” He raised both eyebrows and offered a shy shrug. “You guys. Your whole… thing.”
Blissfully ignorant of Edgar’s facial expressions, Nick sighed a soft plume of smoke and answered; “Simon thinks he can make me an actor.”
“You are an actor.” Simon responded loudly, and then turned his attention back to Edgar – slowly realizing what the implications may be. He played it dumb; “I don’t know what you’re on about. We’re going for a bite at the curry place down the road a bit – want to come?”
“Ugh, not curry.”
Edgar deftly avoided the attempt at dodging his question. “No, I mean more… personally.”
“I don’t…” Simon let out a too-loud chuckle, wiping his palm across the thigh of his jeans. “What’re you suggesting?”
“He wants to know if we’re poofs.” Nick sighed, a cough catching in his throat.
“No! No. That’s not what I meant. I meant just if you’re… more than friends I mean.” Edgar nervously chewed the corner of his lip, refusing to back down. “I mean, I don’t care if you are but we’re sort of like family now – right?”
Simon’s face stilled as he seemed to be searching for an appropriate expression. With a nervous chuckle, he flashed another oversized smile; “Oh! No, no… that’s silly.” He laughed again, “Me and Nick? Bumming?”
Edgar chuckled under his breath and nodded; “It’s okay if you are, I mean… it’s not like I’ve never, you know…”
“We’re not gay.” Simon’s voice took on a more serious note. “I’d have told you if I was.”
“Yeah, right.” Edgar shook his head and quickly changed the topic; “Exteriors tomorrow, then?”
Simon nodded, looking to Nick as he pushed up out of the beanbag and walked away. “Yeah, right. Erm, we should probably be going… late, you know? Early day… see you in the morning, then.”
Edgar watched as Simon scurried to catch up to Nick’s quick pace, and then decided it was best to go the other way.
“You lied.” Nick muttered as Simon caught up to him in the carpark.
Simon opened the passenger door, leaning heavily on the abused car they’d been driving. “Not explicitly.”
“You did, what’re you ashamed now?” Nick’s voice rose slightly, barely above speaking level. “Weren’t ashamed last night.”
“I didn’t lie! And I’m not ashamed, it’s nobody’s business is all.” He slid into the seat, waiting for Nick to take the wheel. “I didn’t know what to say, okay?”
“Truth is a good start, innit?” Nick groaned, taking his seat but not yet digging the keys out of his coat pocket.
Simon sighed and closed his eyes.
“You did.” Nick responded to the statement Simon didn’t even have to make. “And you made a joke of it.”
“Well… yeah, I joked a bit… but…” He fumbled for an excuse, settling on; “It’s funny though. Me and you.”
Nick took out his keys and looked at them a long moment before dropping them in Simon’s lap. “I’ll take the bus.”
“Oh, stop it Nicky.” Simon grumbled, “I didn’t know what else to do. He cornered us.”
“He asked an honest question, he’s got a right to know.”
“He doesn’t. Nobody does.” Simon shook his head, slowly opening his eyes to see Nick staring him down. “It’s just me and you.”
“But what if it isn’t?” Nick shrugged, “We can’t just keep goin’ on like this isn’t happening.”
“Why not?” The words sounded rough, distant for Simon. He lowered his eyes and ran his hand over Nick’s knee – brushing against the steering wheel in the small car. “People do it all the time. Just some things you don’t need to talk about.”
“Never said we have to talk about it… just maybe you should tell him, you know. Or I can. I don’t want to lie about anything.”
“We don’t have to. We don’t have to tell him, and we don’t have to lie. We don’t have to do anything.” Simon shook his head, realizing he’d taken to rambling as he tried to calm the potentially volatile situation. “He probably won’t ask again.”
“And if he does?”
“I dunno… do the same thing you do when the geezers at the pub give you shit.” Simon shrugged, smiling to himself when he felt Nick’s hand clap over his own.
“I think he might cry if I called him a fucking cunt and punched him in the arm.”
Simon looked up, catching Nick with a broad grin; echoing it with his own. “Maybe just shrug it off, you know. Crack a joke. Maybe if we ever decided to… you know, go official…”
“Don’t.” Nick sighed, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“I know.” Simon licked his lips and nodded slowly. “I didn’t mean to lie, you know… we just… we never really talked about it.”
A long silence passed between them before Nick picked up his keys and started the engine. “Curry, then?”