Excerpt from "The Fundamental Things" - Merlin rpf, will be R/NC17
The trailer door closed behind her and Bradley turned back to Colin. “Why didn’t you tell them?”
Colin swallowed. “What?”
“That we’re not...that you don’t...”
“Would you do that to me, in front of all of them, if it was the other way around?” Colin shook his head. “Jesus, Bradley, what sort of a friend do you think I am?”
“A better one than me, clearly,” Bradley murmured. “Hell, Colin, I’m so sorry.”
“For what, for kissing me or for not asking me how I felt before you did it? Or perhaps for telling Tatum and Johnny how you felt about me before I got to hear it? Unless, of course, that wasn’t true, because after all you weren’t listening to most of the conversation, were you?” Colin’s voice caught and he turned away.
Bradley reached out, laid the lightest of touches on Colin’s back but the other man twisted away as if it stung him. “Don’t.”
“Colin, please, I wasn’t... Oh god, this is such a mess. What are we going to do?”
“You heard her. She can make it all go away.”
That squeezing pain was back in Bradley’s chest. “That’s not what she said. She can stall, but we have to say or do something. Is that...is that what you want...for people to think it was a joke?”
Colin spun around, his eyes shimmering. “Isn’t that exactly what this is, Bradley – one big, bloody joke? Half the world thinks we’re fucking like bunnies in our French love nest; the management is royally pissed off; most of the cast and crew will probably be secretly congratulating us; we’ve fulfilled half of fandom’s innermost fantasies and broken the other half’s hearts. All because you thought it was a good idea to stick your tongue down my throat out in the street, before you’d even–”
“Shut up,” Bradley shouted over Colin’s tirade, “just shut up, Colin. Don’t you think I know all that? Don’t you think I wish I’d never touched you?”
The words shocked them both into silence. Bradley stared across the trailer at Colin, his chest heaving. Eventually, he reached for his hoodie and shades. “Say whatever you want, to the press and to the crew. I won’t contradict it.” He turned away and walked over to the door. “And for the record,” he added quietly as he depressed the handle, “everything I said was true.”
Colin’s reply was drowned out by the cries of recognition as Bradley opened the door and the media pack at the edge of the compound spotted him. He could hear Colin calling his name as he stepped out of the trailer and the air filled with drone of a hundred zoom lenses closing in on him like a swarm of invasive insects, but Bradley kept his head down and kept going.