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This Time, He Remembered

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It had been dark and cold, all light drained from the Earth in a surreal suction as the sun and earth moved around each other.

He stumbled, legs heavy after the night out with the cast. He knew he shouldn't have challenged Katie to a drinking competition but the night was young and he had no second thoughts about the next morning after he saw the predatory glint in her eyes. Another step, another stumble, but this time steady hands caught him.

"I got you." Colin murmured, slinging Bradley's arm across his shoulders, "I got you."
Bradley looked at him fuzzily, a cloud of alcohol blurring his sight but making each light send a shot of pain through his head. He couldn't think straight. "What're you doin' here?" he asked sluggishly.

He heard the light sigh, felt a warm breeze ghost across his forehead and the quiet answer, "I don't know, Bradley. I just don't know."

When Bradley woke up the morning he didn't remember any of it.

The next time Bradley drank too much was at the season four wrap party, his head swirling with thoughts of what he could do with his time off as he watched Angel deep in conversation with Katie. Both girls were laughing, heads dropped back, necks stretched, eyes crinkled at the corners. He smiled and ordered another drink.

An uncountable amount of hours later he heard a soft voice muttering to the barkeeper to call him a cab and Bradley made a show of lifting his head from it's perch on the counter.

"I don't want to go yet." He complained, though his head screamed otherwise. Every move was a lightning bolt through his skull, electrocuting his very being.

"You don't have a choice, Bradley, you were practically snoring on the counter." An Irish accent pointed out. Colin.

Bradley pouted until the cab got there but when he found himself tucked into the warm blankets of his hotel bed he was grateful for the intervening party. Even if he couldn't remember who it was.

Bradley barely acknowledged the ball hitting him in the head but the next thing he knew he was lying on his back with a deep throbbing pain at the back of his neck. He heard shouting, but it sounded off, as if it were coming through a tunnel, the echos ringing through his ears. Someone's face swirled above his, distorted.

"You've got to stay with me. Hey! BRADLEY!" The person yelled, but Bradley succumbed to the pain, letting his body drift away.

Bradley woke up in the ambulance, the sirens whirring above him and two voices muttering beside him.

"Is he going to be alright?" Anxious and frightened the voice was small, like a little boy lost in a shopping mall. It sounded familiar, though Bradley couldn't place it.

"I'll be fine." Bradley muttered and he felt their gazes shift to him. Slowly, Bradley dragged his eyes open, finding solace in the worried blue ones hanging above him.

"Hey." Colin whispered, looking as if he were debating something against himself and losing.

"Hey." Bradley whispered back, eyelids dropping back down his eyes, hiding the other man's sky-blue irises from sight. Bradley sighed as a light brush of fingertips brushed along his palm then seemed to gain confidence and held his hand. Bradley fell back into the darkness, the warmth in his hand never ceasing.

When he awoke, the last thing Bradley remembered was playing football.

Him and Colin had a fight.

Bradley had been ranting about his latest ex and Colin had been his shoulder until he had started shouting, for what Bradley could tell was no apparent reason.

"Well, maybe if you stopped going for the idiots who only want you for your money and fame then you could see that people around you love you." Colin had shouted, eyes growing wide after he realized what he had said.

Bradley stared at him, calculatingly, "Oh yes and who would these people be?" Bradley's voice was icy cold and distantly, Bradley noted that Colin didn't deserve this but he couldn't stop.

The color in Colin's cheeks rose, "I-I don't know." He stammered and Bradley leeched onto the opening.

"Exactly. And why do you think it's okay for you to be judging my relationships, when in the last five years I've known you, I've never once seen you with a girl." Bradley was yelling at this point and Colin reeled as if he had been slapped.

"I-I'm sorry." He heard from Colin's lips, as Bradley stared into his fleeing back.

Five minutes passed and the look of pain and betrayal on Colin's face registered in Bradley's mind. "Fuck." he muttered to himself, rummaging through the bottles of alcohol he had stashed around his hotel room, "Fuckfuckfuck."

He woke up to his cell phone's insistent ringing and a pain in his head that could only be caused by one thing, yet he couldn't remember anything past filming the previous day.

When he got to set, he was met with a distant Colin Morgan. Bradley wished he could remember.

It was New Year's Eve. Lights, fireworks, people but most of all, alcohol. Bradley made a beeline for the barkeep, asking for a beer.

After ten his head was starting to pound. Colin noticed, he always seemed to, Bradley noted, and ushered him back to his hotel. After Bradley staggered out of the cab he heard a sigh behind him and Colin climbed out behind him.

"Whatcha doin Cols?" Bradley slurred, leaning up against the taller man in search of something sturdy.

"Bringing you to bed, what does it look like?" Colin responded, slithering an arm around Bradley's middle and escorting the blonde inside. They got to Bradley's room without problem, and Colin dropped him onto his bed.

Vaguely, Bradley heard the clink of glass in the kitchen and a tap gushing out water but he was too interested in the softness of his pillows to understand what it was.

"Come on, Bradley, drink up." Colin negotiated Bradley into a sitting position and held the glass to Bradley's mouth as he swallowed a few mouthfuls. "Are you gonna be okay?"
Bradley nodded and Colin heaved another sigh, kneeling next to the bed and untying Bradley's trainers. "You're an absolute imbecile, you know that right?"

Bradley nodded again and Colin chuckled, pulling at the laces of Bradley's other shoe until it came undone and setting it neatly next to his right one. He helped Bradley out of his shirt, but left him to do his own pants, instead seeking out a pair of pajamas.

Bradley slipped into the quickly and slid under his blankets, eyes falling shut on contact with his pillow. He felt the gentle touch of lips against his cheek and this time, when he woke up to the sound of eggs frying in the next room, Bradley remembered.

Slowly, Bradley made his way into the kitchen where he found one fully clothed and showered Colin Morgan manning the stove and trying to fry up some eggs.

"What's all this?" Bradley asked, voice rough from sleep and a hangover.

Colin turned to smile at him, "You're up!"

"Thank you for pointing out the obvious." Bradley answered and in response Colin stuck out his tongue before turning back to the eggs.

"There's coffee on the counter if you want some." Colin flicked his spatula in the direction of a steaming mug.

"Thanks." Bradley sighed before taking a mouthful and relishing in the deliciously bitter taste of fresh coffee.

They ate in silence, letting the soft melody of London streets lull them into a false sense of security. When Colin moved to stand up Bradley caught his wrist.


Colin sat back down, face revealing his confusion.

"Last night..." Bradley started and Colin's eyes grew minutely bigger, "You helped me back here?"

"Yeah, you druken arse." Colin responded, eyes lightening up at the banter.

"So it was you who kissed me on the cheek last night?" Bradley asked, and Colin's breath seemed to catch in his throat for a second.

"What? No."

"No? Shame," Bradley sighed, leaning back into his chair and waiting for the fish to bite.

"Shame?" Colin asked, confusion returning to his face in waves.

"Yeah, cause if it had been you I could have done this." Bradley said before standing up slowly, eyes locked on Colin's and beckoning that he do the same. Colin stood on shaky knees and Bradley grinned before closing the distance between their lips.

Bradley's hands shot out to Colin's hips, tugging him forward so that their bodies slotted together. He felt hands curl into his hair and smiled into the kiss, licking lightly at Colin's bottom lip before pulling back.

"I-I always thought..." Colin trailed off and Bradley sighed, kissing the edge of Colin's mouth gently.

"You thought wrong." Bradley said, nuzzling Colin's cheekbone causing a shudder to wrack the smaller man's body. "I love you."

The last three words seemed to send a shock through the air and as Bradley thought back, it seemed both him and Colin were in a frenzy of need and desire, tugging at clothes, nipping bruised lips.

Colin stirred next to him, curling further into Bradley's side, seeking heat and Bradey allowed himself to watch. He studied the mop of unruly black hair that attached to ears much too large for Colin's tiny frame. The light slanting through the windows tinged Colin's cheekbones a pale orange and his dark red lips were swollen from Bradley's kisses. Bradley soaked in the long expanse of alabastor skin marked by love bites ranging from deep purples to light pinks all leeched onto Colin's neck. The whipcord muscle below the tight skin, the fine hairs that trailed down to his cock, and remained smattered across Colin's legs. Bradley photographed it all with his mind, soaking it in, getting drunk off the mere sight of a sex-addled Colin.

"By the way," Bradley whispered into Colin's ear and he felt the eyelashes against his cheeks flutter, "happy birthday, Cols."