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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:33 am
Title: DVD Extras: Most Proud Of
Author: [insanejournal.com profile] lilithilien
Fandom/Characters: Merlin, Bradley/Colin
Word Count/Rating: ~2000 words/PG
Summary: Bradley rushing to check on Colin + awkward comment about stunt = overprotective!Bradley fic
Disclaimer: This is utter fabrication, every word of it, except for the dialogue that came directly from this interview (starting ~2:12). And the fact that Bradley did rush over to see if Colin was okay. Because you can't make this stuff up!!
A/N: Those DVD extras are proving very inspiring. This is for the lovely [insanejournal.com profile] aelora who didn't think I was silly for obsessing. I had more betas on this than a 2K bit of RPS deserves. Thanks to my dear [insanejournal.com profile] sarcasticchick who read until she fell asleep (hopefully not because of the story) and to the lifesaving lovelies [insanejournal.com profile] shellydkitty and [insanejournal.com profile] aldiara, who both agreed to help me at the spur of the moment so I could post tonight, because I'm impatient like that.

It's been hours, but the fists that have clenched his gut since early morning are only now starting to ease. It's not that Bradley's never been frightened before. Sometimes in the soles of his feet he can still feel his tyres slipping on the early morning ice; sometimes when he touches the scar that stripes his thigh he can hear the screech of metal on tarmac with only his leg in between. Yeah, he knows what it feels like to be frightened, to watch his life flash before his eyes, to see a lorry crash through the motorcycle he was riding just seconds before. But Bradley doesn't remember it ever being this unnerving.

They'd started that morning with some dry runs just to give Colin an idea of what the stunt would feel like. Bradley stretched on the bed to watch as Colin ascended slowly, looking like a wingless angel flying in reverse. When they were satisfied that the wires were all sound, when Colin assured Jeremy with that uncontainable grin that yes, I'm ready for more, then they'd done it with a bit more force. Bradley hadn't thought anything of it at that point—these were trained stunt coordinators, Colin was well prepped, they'd never let anything happen to their star—but he had thumped his knuckles against the wall just to test it. Solid medieval stone, perfect for holding back raiders and cracking fragile heads.

And then they did the first take.

It took less than a second for the wires to carry Colin from the ground to the wall. Nothing like an ascending angel this time; this time he hurtled like a cannonball through the air, as if his body was being used to lay siege to the castle keep. Less than a second, but when Colin crumpled to a heap at the base of the wall, Bradley could have sworn he'd seen his life flash again.

And yes, he had been the first one at Colin's side as he tried to stand, wobbly as a newborn colt on untested legs. And yes, he might have lost it, just a little bit, when Holliday slagged him for it. And maybe he shouldn't have gotten angry enough that her eyes widened with sudden understanding as she looked from him to Colin and back again. But the soles of his feet itched and that stone was as hard as tarmac and there'd been eight more takes—eight more times that Colin's body had been carelessly thrown through the air while Bradley stood there motionless, enchanted and uncaring. It'd been the finest acting job of his career to date and no one would ever even know.

As soon as they finished they'd been split up for different scenes. Colin only made a goofy face at him before they parted, when Bradley was sure he definitely didn't sound like a mother hen for suggesting he stop by first aid.

It's been hours, and only when Bradley sees Colin wind his way slowly through the crowd of extras do the fists clenching his gut finally start to relax. Colin moves stiffly, there's none of his normal carefree loping, but he's wearing that same ridiculous grin that he'd plastered on between every take—the one that screamed yes, as a matter of fact, I do enjoy getting pelted repeatedly into a wall. Bradley's stomach unclenches when he sees Colin, but his fingers itch to pull him aside and peel back his clothes, just to make sure that he's really undamaged.

He's so intent on Colin that he doesn't notice Annette, their PA, is walking beside him, not until she's right on top of them.

"They want us for an interview." Colin sounds almost apologetic as he jerks his head in the direction of the trailers.


"Yes, now, Bradley," snips Annette. "If you'd bothered to read your dailies you might know that." And yes, now she mentions it, he does remember some mention of that, but he'd pushed it to the back of his head long before Colin first dangled in the air. "They've done Colin and now they want the both of you."

It's a ridiculous interview, of course, and the questions are utterly mundane. How is filming at Pierrefonds? What's it like working with big names like Tony? Is he optimistic about the series' future? It's the kind of interview he could do in his sleep, so Bradley stands there with his fake yes, I'm an actor smile and blathers on about how much he's learned from Anthony and wonders how much longer it'll be before he can pull Colin into his trailer for a thorough inspection.

But then the reporter asks what they're both most proud of, and Colin has the nerve to say it's getting to do his own stunt. As he cheerfully talks about putting on a wire and getting shot six feet into the air, Bradley can almost hear the smack his body made when it slammed. He gives up on his fake actor's smile. It's futile; it's all he can do to contain his anger within his clenched jaw. Of course the stunt was perfectly safe, he knows that, and Colin really did think it was great fun getting smacked up against the wall, and dammit, Bradley is proud of him for being a trooper and doing it. But none of that diminishes the panic he felt every single time Colin's body, looking so brittle and small, crashed into solid rock.

Unable to say any of that, Bradley copes the only way he can. "You've given it away," he complains in what he hopes comes across as a mature concerned about the series tone rather than a petulant but you could've gotten hurt one.

Colin stares at him for a second, seeming to stumble, then shrugs with an awkward laugh. "It's what I do."

It makes Bradley feel like a complete tool. Colin hates being interviewed, and for a few minutes there he'd been animated and engaged—before Bradley had to go and ruin it. "Okay," he offers in apology, wishing he'd said nothing, "never mind."

"It's my moment, man. Don't take it away from me," Colin deadpans.

It's a recovery so brilliantly wry that Bradley wants to hug him, right there with the cameras on them and the reporter sniggering at the exchange. Bradley plays right into it. "Well, if you're going to give away the story before we…"

Colin flashes one of his patented disarming looks, one that says you're not fooling me, I know just what you're playing at, even as he deflects. "What are you most proud of?"

Really? He's supposed to say something halfway intelligent now? There's lots he could say—I'm proud that I watched you practically kill yourself without stopping you, I'm proud that you make me raise my game every time we do a scene together, I'm proud that I haven't screwed this up between us yet, whatever this is—but he hasn't even said any of that to Colin yet. Proclaiming it to the world is perhaps premature. Bradley has no idea what he answers instead—something about being part of the Merlin team and giving his best to what they're creating or some such rubbish. He's given up escaping this without sounding an utter berk, and he can only hope that the director will edit out the most inane bits.

The reporter's just as unimpressed by the answer, apparently, and wraps it up as soon as Bradley stops talking. Annette hustles him off to interview Tony, taking a moment to shoot a stink-eye at them—at Bradley—as she leaves. "You're both wanted on the parapets. Now."

Colin takes one step but it's a step away from him, and Bradley's not having any more of that. Not today. His hand strikes like a cobra and catches a thin elbow, snapping Colin's wide-eyed attention back to him.

"Not yet. We need to do something first."

Colin's trailer is closest, so that's the one Bradley pushes him into. Not hard, mind—it's an infinitesimal fraction of how fiercely he's wanted to, after this unbearably long afternoon of wondering and waiting—but his hand on the narrow shoulder still makes Colin wince. Bradley's gut wrenches again, his insides scraped raw, each twist fuelling his imagination of how badly Colin's been injured. Outwardly, though, he merely glowers as Colin shifts awkwardly into the room.

"You're hurt."

Colin's eyes roll in an amused, exacerbated orbit. "I'm sore, that's all."

And Bradley wants that to be true more than anything, but his imagination has been running wild all afternoon. He felt how hard that stone was, he remembers how bones shudder and crack when they meet that kind of force, and it chokes his voice when he says, "Take off your shirt."

Blinking, Colin stares at him, obviously unsettled. "Your Arthur voice won't work on me, you know. I'm not your manservant."

No, he's not, Bradley knows that, but he can't trust his voice right now not to command Colin to do as he asks. He can barely trust his fingers to unhook Colin's thin belt, for his hands not to hurt him as they roll the thin linen up Colin's sides. He certainly can't trust himself to look away from the colourless skin that appears, his heart easing inch by bruiseless inch, while Colin stands frozen like a sculpture carved of ice.

"Did you not think I could do it?"

The question, feeling cold and every bit as exposed as bare skin, is as far from what Bradley's thinking as it's possible to be, and it drags his attention to Colin's eyes. Guarded, they scrutinise him, daring the truth out of him. The truth is that Bradley sees other images overlaid on them: that of his mother, face puffy red when he woke up, that of his father crying beside his hospital bed. Even then, he'd wondered whether it might be harder to watch someone hurt than it is to be hurt yourself. But he'd never known that for sure until today, when he felt the itch in the soles of his feet and the twist in his insides and that urge he had to swallow down, nine horrible times, to keep Colin safe.

But doubting Colin? That idea had never crossed his mind. "No, I always knew you could do it. But I didn't think I could."

The clock on the wall ticks through several seconds as Colin studies him, puzzling out his meaning. He must find something he believes there, finally, because at last he swallows and lifts his arms. Gently, so gently that the linen doesn't even drag against his skin, Bradley slips the tunic over his head. Colin should be all lily-white limbs and gooseflesh beneath, porcelain and flawless, but he's not. His shoulder blades are shaded red as if his blood flows too close to the surface, and down his left side curls a long, wide ribbon, rouge-coloured.

"They'll bruise," Bradley says, already picturing them turning to mottled puce.

"Aye, but they'll heal," Colin answers.

And Bradley just has to touch. He lets himself—Colin lets him—conduct a slow, thorough inspection, sweeping his fingers in the white spaces in between, memorising their outlines so the injuries won't swell again in his imagination, mouthing careful kisses against the undamaged shoulders as if he could wipe away the ache.

"Hey," says Colin softly, his hand reaching over his shoulder and burying itself in Bradley's hair, "we'd better be getting on."

"Yeah," Bradley agrees, wanting to hold onto this for a little while longer. With each touch, the fist that's been twisting his guts all day subsides a little more, replaced bit by bit by fingers that soothe. "Watching that," he says, and he can only say it because he can't see Colin right now, "it's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do."

It's been hours, and only now, as Colin turns and gives him that yes, you're an idiot but you're my idiot smile, does he not feel frightened anymore.

~~~ The End ~~~

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
As previously stated, this is made of adorable squee! Yes, by all means, make sure he's okay, Bradley. Check with your tongue if you have to! *g* Lovely job, darling!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
*smooches* I know you're getting a lot of Merlin pushed on you these days, and now RPF -- you're a goddess for reading this. Thank you SO MUCH!!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Am printing it off to go read it right now! x
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
WOOT!! I do hope you enjoy it!

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I love overprotective!Bradley--he's just so squishable! I'm so sorry I failed to comment when I reread it a 1/2 hour ago. I followed the link to the vid above, and then I was stuck in Colin and Bradley video diaries and interviews and pretty much acting like a squeeful fangirl, much to the embarrassment of the cat on my lap.

Like I said before, this is utterly adorable and I heart Bradley's obvious affection for Colin, and Colin's goofy smiles and Bradley's locked jaw and interview fumbles and the ending is gorgeous. ♥ you!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
Dude, you do NOT apologise -- you betaed the beast! (Thank you again!!) And I'm totally excited that you are watching the video diaries now, because ♥♥♥. They turn everybody into squeeful fangirls. Seriously, Bradley James' laugh is the key to world peace, I'm convinced of it.

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
Awww!!! I love this and have been waiting for someone to write something based on that scene. Wonderful!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah, my first response after seeing Bradley dash over was "I want fic!" but then nobody coughed it up. I'm so happy that you liked it!!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
Ohh, this is wonderful! With how Bradley and Colin interact in interviews and the video diaries, it's really hard not to ship them!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
It's so hard! I'm not usually a huge fan of RPF, but they are so cute together that I can't help it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
[identity profile] luisadeza.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
Awwww, protective Bradley! ♥ I fully understand though, I'd be worried about Colin as well.
I love how those diaries inspire you by the way! :D
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
Colin needs to be looked after -- and Bradley's just the man to do it! *nods*

They are VERY inspiring. I don't know what I'd do without them. (Seeing as mine have not arrived yet. *grumps lots*)
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 06:02 am (UTC)
This was very sweet and adorable. I loved it a lot. I can totally relate to Bradley here. *hugs him*
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it -- I love overprotective!Bradley quite a bit myself!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
Okay, so apparently overprotective!Bradley is my kink because I didn't even realize there wasn't pr0n. *facepalms* And Colin behaving so much like "Oi, you're an idiot" - so adorable!

And it's all for me!!

*tackleglomps you*

I loved this!! Loved! Loved! Loved! There really is nothing worse than someone you care about going through pain, so I can sincerely empathize with poor Bradley. Hee. Poor Bradley.

*more tackleglomps*
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
Well, enabling must be rewarded, you know! ♥

Overprotective!Bradley (and overprotective!Arthur) is a total kink for me! Every single time Arthur pushes Merlin behind him to face the Big Bad himself, I have to rewind and squee loudly. I'm sure you've never done such a thing.

I'm so glad you liked it! and that you didn't mind the missing smut. I originally intended it, but then Bradley!muse was eyeing me like "after all this you think I'd risk hurting him? Are you insane?" So it just wasn't going to happen in front of my eyes. But later that night, back at the hotel, ooooooh yeah.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
AWES! This was absolutely adorable, darling, well done ♥
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you BB!! *hugs* I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting! This was very sweet!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
You're so welcome! I'm really glad you liked it!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 11:15 am (UTC)
Here from Aelora's rec.

This was delicious! If there's any more of this candy in the future, I sincerely hope she links to it as well. Lovely!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you found your way over. There will be more -- these DVDs are like a huge candystore of prompts.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I like to think that's exactly what happened! <3
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
Of course it did!! I'm sure of it!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
oh, what a great take on that glimpse of bradley rushing over to colin's side! and i really like how you tie it in with that other interview :D. which i obviously have to watch again now to check for bradley's disgruntled expressions ;)

i hope you feel inspired to write the story behind some of the other video diary incidents :D
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
YES you've got to watch it again! I was so intrigued by it when I saw it before, because Bradley usually gives good interview. But when Colin started talking, he immediately went cross. I couldn't figure out why -- did he not like Colin getting the attention? he coudn't really be worried about revealing plot points, could he? -- and then when I saw that new scene on the DVD it all fell into place.

The diaries are like a candystore of prompts, aren't they? I am going to write at least one more, and it's going to be a longer one, because the idea literally makes me squeal with delight. But then I must put the RPF away because I signed up for the Big Bang in the Head. Are you doing it?!!

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 01:23 pm (UTC)
Sleep gooooood ;)

Oh, this was so *mrphs*! Seriously - I know there was no porn and all, but it was almost like it was still there with all the tension and the build and you could just feel Bradley's need to touch and then when he finally gets to see/touch it's like a massive collective sigh and you feel his relief and guh. *purrs happily at overprotective!Bradley*

I'm so glad you finished this! Love it to pieces.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you finally got some sleep. Staying up 30 hours in a row isn't good!!

Thank you! I wanted porn, I really did, but it would have been too forced, especially with Bradley!muse going, "Are you kidding me? He's hurt!" I'm sure they're just waiting to get back to the hotel.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 02:05 pm (UTC)
I was hoping someone would write fic around that bit and this is lovely :)
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
It had to be done! Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you liked it!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's just so adorable! I love it!
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much -- I'm so glad!!
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Awwww. I loved this! And while I'm all for the smut, the story was much better without it. I'm now imagining that Colin has to convince Bradley that he's fine and that he wants to have sex NOW, please. Lol.

You are writing something about the cheek comment, right? RIGHT?! ;) If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! :D
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)
I'm now imagining that Colin has to convince Bradley that he's fine and that he wants to have sex NOW, please.

*nodnod* Yes, that's exactly how I see it! And Bradley's all "are you sure?" until Colin bends him over the table and shows him just how sure he really is.

Hee! The cheek comment is pretty awesome, it does need to be written. But sadly, I'm up to my ears right now in Merlin Big Bang prep -- I just figured out what I'm writing tonight, and my head's all over that. 35K words, am I insane?!

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. That was just stunning. I love the depth to Bradley in this. I think you've done an excellent job.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
YAY! Thank you so much, I'm so happy that you liked it! I do love when Bradley shows his deeper side.
[identity profile] nicolasechs.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
Monday, February 23rd, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh. Oh, Bradley. You give such good Bradley voice. Thank you. Especially for this bit:

But doubting Colin? That idea had never crossed his mind. "No, I always knew you could do it. But I didn't think I could."
Monday, February 23rd, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's the best compliment in the world, I really appreciate it! I'm really glad you enjoyed reading this!
[identity profile] kirusai.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
Sunday, March 1st, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I actually rewatched both the interview and the DVD extra bit after reading your story.

I can't believe I didn't notice it the first time around! Bradley's face just got so grim when Colin began talking about his stunt. Might be my imagination, but I sensed Bradely was getting progressively more annoyed as Colin rambled on :P

From the DVD extras, I think Bradley was really worried about Colin being flung into the wall; I don't blame him. Colin looks so freaking frail!


I meant to say I LOVED THIS PIECE, and I really, really adore both boys in your fic. I've read quite a few RPS fics, but yours hit it home for me :P

Thanks so much for sharing!
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
Gah, I know, doesn't Colin look like he's just being slammed up there? Poor guy, he really must've been sore.

Thank you! I'm so glad that you liked this -- and that you saw that in the interviews. It's twigged me for so long so I had to explain it away. I'm so glad that worked for you!
Sunday, March 29th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
So anyway... was re-reading this last night *smiles* and realised I'd never actually seen the interview you linked to at the top. But I've just tried it and it's been removed, dammit =( Do you know where else I can see it?

Monday, March 30th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
Gah! People aren't allowed to remove things like that! I think I have it saved off at home, I can upload it when I get back. (Hopefully you'll remind me...)

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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
Seriously brilliant and heart wrenching. Oh man, cannot tell you how much I loved the soft, sweet flow of that, the silent terror in Bradley and how wonderfully you melded that into the interview they'd given. Just superb.
Thursday, April 16th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm really glad that you liked it -- I still can't get over how uncomfortable Bradley looked in that interview!