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"You know," Michael says, laughing, "I was forty-two before anyone let me do this."

"What?" David's got his eyes closed in fierce concentration, thighs spread too-wide and trembling around Michael's hips. They've been at this for long enough that he's feeling the stretch, sort of under and alongside the thick pressure of Michael's cock inside him, rubbing wetly against all manner of good places. He's having a lovely time, all things considered, but he doesn't see why he should be asked to think about parsing words while he's trying to focus on the impending wave of orgasm that's braced to break over him.

Michael rolls his hips, presses his mouth to David's throat and laughs again. This time, David can feel the vibration of it inside him, and that's -- oh.

"Glad it's so fuckin' funny," David protests, scrabbling a bit. Michael's back is damp with sweat, slippery in his grasp. "Do what?"

"Mmm." Michael takes him by the hips, suddenly, firmly; pins him down against the bed and gives it to him in a series of short, fierce thrusts that make David cry out despite himself, his cock pulsing precome into the shallow of his navel. "Fuck a bloke, obviously."

"You what?" David's finding it hard to think. He can't see a bat anyway without his specs on, but now there are little splats of colour fuzzing at the edges of his already-blurry vision, a state of affairs that's worsening with every churn of Michael's hips.

"You knew me in the 90s," Michael says -- or rather, tries to. His voice is ragged and very, very Welsh, his breath hot in David's ear. "Right little princess, I was. Even guys my own age just wanted me to take it."

The image comes into David's mind unbidden, immediate: Michael, with his wild dark curls and that fuckin' earring, nine stone soaking wet, writhing on some massive bloke's cock. "Christ," he manages.

Michael's hand finds its way between them, makes a fist around David's cock. He's close already, and Michael barely has to squeeze before it's like he's wringing precome out of him, slow and sure.

"I'm a switch," Michael says, "actually." He's moving faster now, his hand moving sticky-slick on David's prick, working the foreskin wetly up and back over the head. The motion of his hips picks up too, relentless thrusts of his cock over David's prostate.

The picture in David's mind metamorphoses. He's never thought of it -- fuck, why hasn't he thought of it? Michael, all firm strong thighs and broad shoulders and that one white curl that drives David mental, on his hands and knees on the bed. Michael grinning at him, come on, David, put your back into it.

"Are you?" Michael gets out, barely a breath now. "A switch?" He presses his face to the hot line of David's throat, nips at the hollow of it. "Would you fuck me?"

"Jesus wept," David moans, almost a prayer, and comes.

**

After that, it's just -- well, it's there. In David's head, on his mind when he's trying to think about things like how many apples to buy and whether the time spent getting to Heathrow would cancel out any time saved by flying up to Glasgow rather than taking the train. They didn't continue the conversation after Michael had come, and part of David wonders if it was all just talk, the kind of thing Michael often says in the heat of the moment -- either to get himself off, or David, or both.

The thing is, he can't think why Michael would have brought it up if he hadn't liked the idea at all. It felt like testing the waters, like he was feeling David out with more than just his mouth and his dick.

David wouldn't call himself a switch, not really. When he's with a man, he likes stubble against his throat and a cock in his arse and the bruise-hard grip of fingers holding him down, making him want. But that's when he's with A Man, and whatever this is between them, it isn't something nameless, faceless; it isn't generic. This is Michael and, David's realised, he wants Michael any way he can get him.

**

Since filming stopped, they've seen each other on a slightly sporadic schedule. That's how it is when you have friends in the industry; it doesn't change just because you pick up a bit of a casual shagging habit. It might be three times a week and then nothing for three months. One glorious fortnight they spent almost exclusively in a hotel suite in Cardiff, after which the casual factor no longer felt so casual and David struggled to walk for days. By this point, they knew every inch of each other.

Except that, apparently, they didn't.

It's a month or so before they see each other again after The Conversation. Michael's in London to talk to a bloke about a thing -- David didn't really pay attention. He was too busy revelling in the thought of hearing Michael's spectacular laugh in his ear again; touching his hair; inhaling the scent of him, all warm skin and Persil and cologne.

There's affection between them, something a little more than friendship and a little less than love. It's in that thrilling middle ground where David prefers his feelings to live, enough that a text message leaves him giddy but not enough that he'd worry he's endangering anything for this. He won't ever upend his whole life for Michael, but he'll never have to. They work, just like this.

And, perhaps, in ways they've yet to try.

***

They don't go immediately to bed. They used to, once upon a time, when they met, but it's like a circle: first it was long nights sweet with tension, lingering over whisky and ending the evening in separate rooms. Then it was all frantic sex, yanking at belt-buckles, pinning each other against doors. More than a few lightbulbs gave their lives in the process. Now, they've reached a point where they can have both: a lazy hour or two in a hotel bar and then, afterwards, the slow undressing and the thorough adolescent snog, rutting against each other with their jeans still on. When they fuck, it's deliberate, delicious. They kiss until their mouths tingle and every one of David's senses is full of Michael, the warmth of him and the taste.

Today, that's how it is. They've been snogging on the sofa in Michael's hotel room for twenty minutes before Michael suggests, his voice sex-roughened, moving it to the bed. His hair is mad where David's raked his hands through it and there's a mark in the hollow of his throat which his collar won't quite cover. David leans up to admire his handiwork, kisses it, and says "yeah -- fuck, yes please."

The walk from sofa to bed is far enough for both of them to get belts unbuckled and jeans tugged off. Much as it's theoretically sexy, the thought of peeling someone else out of their clothes, the reality is it's all fun and games with shirts and ties but then any form of skinny trouser throws a spanner right in the middle of proceedings, especially if there are also, God forbid, shoes. So David wriggles his jeans off and watches as Michael bends over to tug his feet out of the clutch of his trousers, and --

"Fuck it," he breathes, reaching out to palm the curve of Michael's arse. What's he got to lose, right?

Michael half-turns, grinning at him over his shoulder. He's in nothing but his dress shirt, sleeves rolled up and collar open, and it is, David thinks, a good look on him, by which he means it makes David want to shove him into the pillows and rip the damn thing off him. They've similar colouring, fair Celtic skin, but David's freckled to within an inch of his life and Michael is flawless, blemishless, almost everywhere. David looks at the vulnerable nape of his neck and thinks of marking it. Swallows.

"Last time," he says, voice half a croak, "you said..."

He trails off. Michael's grin widens a bit, and he reaches back to flatten his hand over David's.

"I asked," he corrects, gently. "You never answered."

"Well, I." David can hear his voice doing the thing it does when he's nervous, picking up that posh-Paisley edge like his mam used to use on the phone. Talking up. It makes him sound tremulous and a bit camp, not at all the sort of man who might settle a second hand on Michael Sheen's round arse and say: "I want to, if you. I wanna fuck you."

Still, that's -- that's what happens. He says it.

He says it, and Michael's eyes go hot and bright, agate-green, and the grin, if even possible, broadens.

"Oh," he says, fitting several different vowels into the sound. "Oh, David."

"I've never," David warns him, thinking he'd better get the words out before he gets too distracted by the way Michael's pressing back against him, fitting his body back into the curve of David's, his arse against David's cock.

"I'll show you," Michael promises, low and warm. "Come here."

David goes, down onto the bed and into his arms. He half expected they'd go straight to it like this, braced over the end of the bed, but as Michael arranges himself on his back and gathers David in, he doesn't know why. It's different, but at the same time it's familiar, lying in the cradle of Michael's spread legs. Michael is warm underneath him through the thin shirt, solid. David slides his hands up the outsides of his thighs, groping; then thumbs at his hipbones in a way he knows will make Michael kick and squirm, cursing David's name.

"Don't tickle me, you bastard."

"I'll do anything I like with you," David says. He's testing it out, partly -- weighing command in his mouth, watching Michael's reaction.

Beneath him, Michael only squirms some more, a flush crawling up his neck from the open vee of his shirt collar. "Will you, now?"

"Within reason."

Michael laughs again, lifts his chin, and David kisses him.

God, he loves kissing Michael. He loves it so much it feels almost disloyal, but the truth is, nobody else has ever been able to do to him what Michael does with a kiss. His mouth is soft and clever and his tongue crooks sweetly against David’s and, thirty seconds in, David’s always hot all over, his whole body pulsing with want. The way Michael's kissing him now is just as good as always but, David realises slowly, it's not quite the same. Where usually he might push his tongue into David's mouth, now Michael's sucking David's into his. He loops his arms around David's neck, pushing his fingers up into his hair in a way that makes his scalp tingle. He is, David recognises, being kissed rather than kissing, and the thought goes straight to his dick.

He pulls away, gasping, and he can see on Michael's face that he's noticed David's noticed. The ridiculous Cupid's bow of his mouth is kiss-bitten and red, and his eyes, which always look slightly as if they've been lined in kohl, are hot and dark. David doesn't understand how Michael can be such a study in contrasts: his firm thick waist and his salt and pepper beard make David weak, but God, that face.

"You're really fuckin' pretty," David says, soft, against Michael's mouth. "D'you know that?"

Michael shifts underneath him, his body going loose under David's weight. "I was once," he concedes, shrugging. He's looking up at David under his lashes, some old instinct kicking in, and he arches his back a little, widening the splay of his legs. But there's something uncertain under the coyness, too, and David can't be having that. David won't be having it.

"Fuck once." David kisses him again, hard, all tongue. He puts his hands under Michael's thighs and hefts him, decisively enough that Michael makes a sharp shocked sound into his mouth, clinging. Satisfied, David lifts his head to kiss Michael's cheekbone, the gorgeous pixie tip of his nose, and then his mouth again. "You are so, so fuckin' pretty. You're beautiful."

This time, when he kisses him, Michael surges up against him, lets David in completely. It makes David feel powerful, protective in a way he's only ever felt with women. Michael's knees are braced either side of their bodies, and David notes absently that he seems to do the opposite of what David himself tends to; instead of gripping David tightly with his legs, he's spreading himself as wide as he can, as if to make room for him. The thought of it, of Michael open wide for him, makes David's breath catch and his cock pulse and he ruts down hard against Michael, pressing the hot line of his dick against Michael's, trapped between them.

"Oh, God." Michael breaks away, panting. His head falls back, and David seizes the opportunity to lean in and nip at his long throat, kissing a hot line down from the lobe of his ear to the notch of his collarbone. Michael lifts his hips, rubbing himself against David's stomach, and tugs at David's hair, so David lets himself be guided, nuzzling into the dip of Michael's chest and then sucking one pink nipple into his mouth.

"Oh, Jesus, David." Michael's grip on his hair is almost painful now, but he's arching his chest up into David's mouth and it's intoxicating. David can feel how hot he is, can feel the dampness of his cock, sweat and Michael's own slick, against his abdomen. He tongues at Michael's nipple, scrapes with his teeth, and breathes out hard through his nose when he hears Michael curse as if he can't bite it back.

"All right?"

"Fuck you," Michael says, not at all confidently. He swallows, hard enough that David can track the motion of it in his throat, and then reaches up under the pillow for -- David realises -- the lube. "Here, be a gentleman."

"D'you stash that there before I came here?" David asks. He's trying to be cavalier, but his fingers tremble on the cap of the bottle, betraying him.

"I'm a slut and I don't apologise," Michael says curtly. "I'm an abject tart. Whatever you like, David, I'll say anything, just get that on your cock."

That startles a laugh out of David. Michael throws him an almost scandalised look, but then the next moment, he's laughing too, and David feels, for one beautiful moment, absolute serenity. This is just Michael, just Michael and him. Michael wants this, wants him, and David -- God. David definitely wants it, too.

"How do I…?"

"Put your fingers in me," Michael says, gently, and David has to close his eyes for a second. He bites his lip, fiddles with the lubricant until his palm is brimming with it.

"Your cup runneth over," Michael observes.

"Fuck off."

He starts with one finger, then two, and that shuts Michael up, all right. Michael's hot around him, the muscles of his body clenching so tightly around David's fingers, David almost can't believe he'll ever be able to get anything else in there. David wonders how long it's been since Michael's let another man fuck him. He almost doesn't want to know.

"Will it fit?"

He knows it's a stupid thing to say even as it's coming out of his mouth. He doesn't expect Michael to snort and say "who do you think you are -- Ringo fucking Starr?"

"Is he a byword for massive cocks?"

"Obviously," Michael says, then: "before you ask, he hasn't fucked me. But you're going to."

David shifts his fingers, splays them a little bit, and watches, enraptured, as Michael shivers all over, head tipping back. David crooks his fingers up, rubs, and he must have found something good because now Michael's splaying his legs still further, arching.

"You know," David says, a little breathless, "you know exactly what to say to a man in bed. Please put your penis in me, it's not that big."

"Mmm." Michael leans up as if with an effort, pulls David down by the back of the neck and kisses him, wet and open-mouthed and wanting. "Come on, David, fuck me with your perfectly average dick. You know you want to."

David laughs again. Michael's grinning too, and as David looks down at him -- as David withdraws his fingers from the tight clasp of Michael's body; as he repositions himself between his legs and presses the head of his cock to Michael's slick little hole -- he realises that's the best part of all of this. With Michael, sex is fun. It's hot, and it's satisfying, and it makes David's body ache with something sweet he daren't name, but most of all, he loves the flash of white teeth as Michael laughs at him and the way Michael groans and wriggles beneath him, all show, as David pushes inside. He loves the way Michael winks at him as he lifts his hips; the fact that Michael can say, in a slightly affected voice, "told you I was good at this," and it only makes David want him more.

Once he's inside, it's -- well. It's different. Michael seems to sense the tremor of anxiety in him: his expression alters minutely and he cards a hand through David's hair, gently now.

"David," he says, soft. "Come on, love. You feel so good. You know how to do this."

He does, David realises, dimly. Michael's soft and warm underneath him, the hair on his chest prickling against David's as David, carefully, withdraws, then thrusts forward again. Michael makes a low sound in his throat and David, encouraged, repeats the motion.

"That's it." Michael's hand slides from David's hair to his nape, possessive. "Fuck, yeah, that's it, sweetheart." He's hard against his stomach, wetness gathering at the head of his cock. As David moves, he's fascinated to see the wetness intensify, until there's a strand of it glistening between Michael's prick and his stomach, like David's fucking it out of him. Breathless, he rolls his hips, and Michael groans, clenches around him, which -- God --

"Michael --" It's instinct, now, to take Michael by the hips, to hold him still, to -- fuck -- to rut him. Something at the back of his mind tells him he should feel apologetic, but if anything, Michael's breathing more raggedly, spreading his thighs wide and fucking himself back onto David's cock. His fingers grip David's shoulderblades, then his waist, then back up to his shoulders, and David shivers, trying to gather his faculties and remember what Michael does when they're like this, how Michael fucks him.

It's an effort to push a hand between them, fumbling for Michael's prick. Worth it, though. Michael's blood-hot and hard and wet in his hand, the flare of him smearing slick all over David's thumb and wrist when David presses there. When David starts to stroke him properly, Michael whimpers, throws his head back; his feet arch and scramble for purchase on the mattress, and David crowds in closer between his legs, pushing himself as far inside Michael as he can get.

"How's this?" He can barely form the words. He breathes them, rather, into the sweat-damp hollow of Michael's neck. He's fucking Michael shallow and quickly, now, and Michael trembles underneath him, swallows thickly. Clutches at his hair.

"Keep -- Christ, David." The long lashes flutter. David's close enough that he can actually see Michael's face: the sharp line of his nose, the beautiful curve of his upper lip where a sheen of sweat has collected. David's breathing hard, wanting him; wanting to be good for him. He fucks him, rolls his hips in a slow figure of eight against his inner walls, and then picks up the pace again: ragged little thrusts that make Michael's muscles tense and his cock jump in David's hand.

"God, sweetheart -- sweetheart --"

He knows, he always knows, when Michael's close. It turns out that his tells, when being fucked, are much the same as when he's fucking. He talks too much, babbles nonsense until, all of a sudden, he's silent, not even breathing. David fucks him through it, jacks his cock until his wrist cramps, and gasps his relief when Michael arches up suddenly beneath him like a wave cresting, crying out so loudly David fears for the neighbours.

"Fuck, there you are, that's my petal, Michael, love --"

Nobody ever said David wasn't prone to his own nonsense. Something breaks in him, feeling Michael come hot and wet between their bodies, candlewax splatter of it all up over David's abdomen and chest. Michael's clenched up around him, squeezing his cock, and David bites his lip, snaps his hips, tries to breathe.

"David," Michael breathes, when he can speak again. "Come on, love -- come for me, sweetheart, give it to me, let me have it --"

He comes with a shout, buries it in Michael's shoulder. Beneath him, Michael shivers and stretches, smoothing a hand down the long line of David's back.

"You're so good," Michael says, a soft low lilt in his ear. "My sweetheart, cariad. So good at fucking me. I knew you would be."

David turns his face, nuzzling the curve of Michael's neck. He can't speak. He hopes Michael will know, all the same, what he means.

***

Michael's got the room all night. They lie there a long time in the sweaty tangle of sheets, and then there's the shower to be enjoyed, with its quirky little inset shelf and its confusing array of showerheads. After that, there are terrycloth robes, which still make them both feel fancy after all these years. They lie together on the sofa and David lets his fingers trace patterns up and down Michael's thigh where the robe has fallen open, revealing the soft, pale inside.

"So," Michael says, eventually. "Next time…"

"Next time, it's all to play for," David says, and smiles at him. "Don't you think?"

The look in Michael's eyes leaves no doubt, but he spells it out anyway: "Absolutely."