Saturday, May 9th, 2009 04:04 am
Title: Accidents Will Happen
Author: [insanejournal.com profile] lilithilien
Fandom/Characters: Merlin RPS, Bradley/Colin
Word Count/Rating: 3000 words/NC-17
Summary: It isn't like Bradley hasn't thought about it. A lot. It's more that the timing's never right, that at first he's still reeling from a nasty split with Michelle, that he isn't even sure he's that into guys. Besides, he has no clue which side Colin comes down on, and he really doesn't want things to get weird between them... Valid excuses, all. In the end, not one of them matters.
Disclaimer: Utter fabrication and gross lies.
A/N: When plotty Big Bang plot gets too plotty, fluff comes out. Or as fluffy as I ever get anyway. What can I say—uncommunicative boys are my weakness! Thanks to [insanejournal.com profile] aelora who convinced me not to pitch this in a fit of pique. Extra helpings of fries and baklava to my lovely porn aficionados betas [insanejournal.com profile] shellydkitty and [insanejournal.com profile] aldiara.


The first time, at the wrap party, is a complete accident. Less a "tripped on a banana peel" accident and more a "Colin and I were in the toilets at the same time and ended up tossing each other off" accident, but an accident all the same.

It could even be called a gin-and-Jägermeister accident, but that would be giving Katie far too much credit (the shots were her idea) and he can't have that. After all, she and Angel were certain the two of them had been going at it like rabbits the entire time they'd been filming in France. And it isn't like Bradley hasn't thought about it. A lot. It's more that the timing's never right, that at first he's still reeling from a nasty split with Michelle, that he isn't even sure he's that into guys. Besides, he has no clue which side Colin comes down on, and he really doesn't want things to get weird between them...

Valid excuses, all. In the end, not one of them matters. Not when Colin is propped up against the bathroom stall, his lazy gin-soaked grin drawing Bradley closer, close enough to touch one minute—and the next, when they really are touching, suddenly not close enough. It's just a drunken handjob, with the complete lack of finesse that implies. Messy as hell, too rushed and too slow for all that, it's really nothing special. Not that Bradley can remember, anyway. Granted, he doesn't remember anything about that night other than that hurried handjob, so in the scheme of things he reckons it's a standout.

The next day he remembers, though, in all its technicolour pain. Hangovers are bad enough, but hangovers on a train where all you can do is down more plonk to dull your senses are another beast entirely. Colin looks more ragged than he does, though, which Bradley notes with some satisfaction. His fear of things turning weird disappears when Colin hunkers down beside him and mutters things like "kill me" and "the light's too orange" and "wine, more, now" until they pull into St Pancras. Once there, they're separated, Bradley's family scooping him up and Angel taking pity on Colin and dragging him into her taxi.

And that's the last he hears from Colin for weeks.

~~~


For someone who barely speaks ten words of French, Bradley dreams in it often enough. In his dreams Colin is chattering away en français, and Bradley understands and answers in kind. When he wakes, the local Devon accents sound harsh, foreign to his ear.

~~~


The next time isn't quite an accident, but it's not planned either. It happens right after they hear the Beeb has signed Merlin for a second season. The news isn't unexpected, of course; there've been plenty of hints and whispers from those in the know. But actually having the paperwork is different somehow. The others must've thought so too. In fact, it's Tony who rings to say he's booked the Jewel Bar for a private party and could he catch the train up from Plymouth? And obviously Bradley says yes and jumps on the train with no thought of where he's going to kip that night. If worse comes to worst, he figures he'll book a room somewhere. He's got another year of wages, after all.

But it doesn't work out quite like that. As soon as he walks in, he sees Colin standing by the bar, and when their eyes meet, Bradley realises that he's never thought of Colin as ... well, as luminous before. His cheeks have got some colour in them, whether from a holiday in the sun or whiskey Bradley isn't sure, and his smile ... his smile is everything that Bradley's suddenly certain he's been missing for the past few weeks.

They're inseparable that night, just like they'd been on the set but more somehow, and when much later Colin leans into him, when he slips his hand around Bradley's waist for no good reason, then it's only natural for Bradley to lean towards him too. Colin tastes of bourbon and his tongue is silken and oaky in Bradley's mouth, intoxicating even without the drink. Bradley's only thought is why the hell did we wait so long?; fortunately Colin's thoughts are clearer, lucid enough to roll them into a taxi and give the address of his Hackney flat before lunging back for Bradley's lips.

The rest is lost in another alcohol-fogged dream. Haze smoothes the rough edges of their clumsy fumbling, leaving just quick snatches of memories: miles of skin and hands everywhere and the entire world tinted with the blue of Colin's eyes.

But it's the grey dawn that Bradley wakes up to, painfully sober and too warm from the body stretched alongside. It takes a second to remember what happened, and then it takes longer than that to recover from the panic. Sleeping with your co-stars is a bad idea at the best of times. Sleeping with co-stars who've become your best friends can only turn weird. "Don't let this turn weird," he prays to some unnamed deity, even as he pays far too much attention to how the first rays of morning sun seem to love the curve of Colin's shoulders.

Colin comes to life slowly, stretching his long limbs like a cat testing whether his nap has to end. At last he turns to Bradley, his face a complete blank. "Well, this is weird," he says.

"Yeah," Bradley agrees, his prayer sticking in his throat, a hard lump that he struggles to swallow. In a flash, he sees their future: awkward apologies and uncomfortable silences, averted eyes and hardset jaws, Colin's blue eyes turning cold when they land on him. He rolls out of bed without looking back. "I should go."

And what else did I expect? he wonders as he wanders out amongst the sanitation workers and stock traders and vegetable sellers, the inhabitants of early morning London. There's moments when he thinks he could turn back, could show up back at Colin's door with two coffees and the Guardian like that's what he'd intended all along. But his feet keep carrying him further away, step by step down into the Tube station, and then it's just a few more steps and he's back in Plymouth.

~~~


Colin keeps telling him something. It seems like it must be something really important—Colin is pacing and waving his arms wildly—but Bradley's French isn't that good, even after all those months there. Still, Bradley gets the sense that he should be able to figure this out—Colin was never this hard to understand before, even when they first met—but he doesn't, and he can tell that Colin is getting more and more frustrated, and he wakes up wishing he knew what to say.

~~~


Bradley tries hard not to think about Colin in the weeks he's been home. His strategy works, for the most part. There was that one time he seriously thought of ringing him, but then he'd gone back and forth about whether or not it was a good idea for ages. By the time he actually thought it just might be, it was nearly four in the morning. He'd put his phone away, and in the next day's light it hadn't seemed like such a good idea anyway.

Besides, it's Christmas, the time of the year that Bradley's mother's insanity reaches certifiable levels. His days are spent on crazy errands hunting for gardening supplies in shops packed with tinsel, his nights with his sisters reminding him that he's far from a prince or any kind of sex symbol, should that thought ever stray across his mind. There's precious little time to think of Colin even if he wanted to.

So he's surprised, but pleasantly, when Angel calls on Boxing Day.

"Get me out of here!"

She laughs. "Good Christmas then?"

"Alright, yeah. How about you?"

"Lovely, thanks. We spent it with my grandmum in Wembley. Listen, I just wanted to see what time your train arrives."

"Huh?"

"Only I've promised Mum I'll get her dinner, so I want to make sure I'm back in time for you to store your gear." When he doesn't say anything, Angel asks suspiciously, "You'll be stopping here, right?"

"Angel, I've got no idea what you're talking about."

"Colin's surprise birthday party."

And that's something that Bradley would have remembered, definitely. "What?"

"Don't tell me you forgot! You promised you'd be here, just before you left Tony's party."

Well, unless he'd been distracted.

"So it's a New Year's Eve party then?"

"And Colin's birthday. Don't you want to be the one to wish him a happy birthday?"

"Not especially."

"Bradley"—and there's a definite threat in her tone this time—"be there. And get him something nice."

~~~


"C'est tres étrange," Bradley dreams he says, but there's nobody there to hear.

~~~


And so New Year's Eve finds him speeding towards Paddington Station, a prickling wariness in his head and the lamest birthday presents ever in his bag: Tricks to Freak Out Your Friends for its prank potential and Round Ireland With A Fridge because the premise was so absurd and sounded like something Colin might try. He hopes they're light-hearted enough to say "we're still mates, right, even though we've gone and bollixed things up." He hopes Angel has some wrapping paper he can use; all he'd found at home had fat Santas all over it and he knows Colin wouldn't appreciate that. She'll harangue him over it, he expects, but he can put on his long-suffering martyr act and she'll never realise that he's missed this, sort of.

He expects that, but he doesn't expect to find Colin waiting at the gate as he leaves the platform. He's had his head tucked in a book, of course; his finger's still holding his place as he clutches it to his chest.

"Neverwhere?" asks Bradley dubiously. "Is that supposed to be ironic?"

"Only if you read it in Earl's Court," quips Colin. And it doesn't matter whether Bradley gets the joke or not; this is Colin, with his smile too wide and his eyes too bright and just like he's supposed to be.

Except he's not supposed to be, not here, anyway. "What're you doing here, mate?"

"Come to collect you," Colin answers, as if it's the most natural thing in the world. "And to give out to you—I thought we'd a deal to tell each other if anybody ever planned a surprise party."

Bradley's struck with a moment of panic, a split second to weigh up the various threats on his life for what he knows and doesn't know. The girls with their schemes and their...their looks end up a few lengths ahead. "A what? What are you on about."

"Jesus," groans Colin, "you're a worse liar than Katie. Aren't you supposed to be an actor or something?"

Fair enough. They can't say he hadn't given it a go. It's easier now to fall into his stilted robotic speech to pronounce, "A surprise party why Colin I do not know what you mean."

Colin giggles—he really does, and Bradley knows it's not that he's being that funny. But he's tempted to giggle himself and he wonders if Colin feels like he does right now, filled with a giddy pleasure that's unexpected and all the more welcome for it. He would probably have stood there for too long with his own gormless smile if an approaching train hadn't raced by, lashing his fringe violently across his eyes. He uses the distraction to shoulder his bag and to remind Colin, "Don't remember us having any pact though."

Colin looks concerned for a second as they start towards the exit, then asks, "No? Well, we should have done."

"Well, we do now."

"Right." And Colin grins, distracting as before, and Bradley doesn't think; he just follows him out of the station and into a waiting taxi. Colin settles just the far side of the middle of the seat; it's not too close, but it feels like that to Bradley. He can feel Colin's heat, this close he's sharing the same air, and it makes him feel almost dizzy. He clears his throat.

"You've been waiting here all day?"

"Fuck me, no. I knew you'd be on this train—you're too much of a lazy scouser to get up for the earlier one."

"Why?"

Colin's supposed to just say something light, like he wants to make sure Bradley doesn't get lost on the way to Angel's. Anything like that, it doesn't matter what it is, as long as it doesn't mean anything. But then a second passes, and another, and Bradley realises it does mean something. Colin's quiet, too quiet. Bradley feels himself starting to sweat even though it's December and his breath is misting even inside the cab. This is when Bradley needs to step up and make a joke, fill in that line about getting lost that Colin's obviously forgotten to deliver. He opens his mouth, the words on his tongue—

—and they're swallowed by Colin's lips.

Colin's kiss is thorough and more than just a little dirty. His tongue slithers all around Bradley's mouth, like its searching for those words he was about to say so it can blot them out. Bradley's more than fine with that—he's having trouble thinking of any words he might want to say. He's having trouble thinking what words are, actually, when for once he and Colin seem to be communicating just fine.

But then Colin has to go and pull away. He looks embarrassed, almost, with cheeks flushed and his lips just ever so slightly swollen from the kiss. Bradley can't help staring at them, and Colin doesn't help by licking them, slowly, like he's not sure what he's doing himself.

"When I said it was weird," he says, and Bradley reluctantly pulls his gaze from those edible lips back up to Colin's eyes, "I meant it was weird, but not weird weird."

Oh. So that's what this was about. And Bradley's not sure he wants to think about all that, because if he does then that uncomfortable awkwardness will come back. That feeling doesn't belong here, not now—not when his lips are still tingling from the force of Colin's kiss.

But that mouth is too far away now, still talking—trying to talk, anyway, even if he's not making a lot of sense, and even if Bradley's not really listening. "I mean, it wasn't like a bad weird," he catches at the end.

Typical Morgan, but Bradley knows exactly what he means. Still, to be an arse, he clarifies, "Are you saying it was a good weird?"

For that he gets one of Colin's sideways looks and a smug grin. "You know, I think I like you better when you're not talking." And Bradley doesn't care if the cabbie is watching the whole thing—or even filming it, really—because he has to lunge for Colin and taste that smugness right from the source.

The few minutes to Colin's flat take forever, the wait for the lift even longer. Suddenly Bradley needs more than the brief snatches he gets of Colin's skin, the sparrow-light touch of his hand and the warm curve of his neck. He gets it as soon as they're through the door, Colin eagerly wiggling out of his shirt at the same time as he's tugging Bradley's over his head. And it's good, it's scarily good, every bit as heady as the last times even without a drop of alcohol in his blood. It's that he blames for not freaking out when he notes that Colin's picked up his flat, like he would for a date, or that when Bradley falls under his lean muscles it's onto a made-up bed.

"It is weird though," he says as his teeth graze the sharp edge of Colin's collarbone, only realising after the words are out that he's continuing a running conversation that's only in his mind.

But Colin doesn't miss a beat as he replies, "Yeah. But it could be brilliant."

It's less what he says that convinces Bradley, and more the familiar intensity of his blue eyes—that expression that never fails to catch his attention, so much bigger than both of them, and far bolder than what you'd expect a string of a guy like Colin to be capable of. It should be weird, that predatory way that Colin stares, like he's prey, like Bradley is his to explore and taste and touch. He shouldn't be as turned on as he is, so sensitive to Colin's teeth teasing his nipples, so hungry for the lash of Colin's tongue across his stomach, so quick to moan that Colin laughs against his skin. It shouldn't feel so right, when Colin finally finally slides his lips around Bradley's erection, when he's pushing two spit-slick fingers inside him, and Bradley's bearing down, feeling his muscles give around the intrusion. He's never thought he wanted this before, but the thought of Colin pushing his cock into him, the thought of himself stretching open for him, makes him come with a hard shudder.

When Colin comes a few minutes later, pulsing into Bradley's hand while he licks a wet stripe across Bradley's ear, Bradley shivers and holds on so tightly that he forgets to mind what might be weird, or awkward, or uncomfortable. And this time it's no accident at all.

~~~ The End ~~~




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