Title: Being Alone (Blaming You)Author: awyvernPairing: Colin/BradleyRating: PG-13/Teen and up (to be on the safe side)Word count: 1,662 wordsWarnings/content notes: Fluff, pining.Thank you to:
L and C for betaing for me.Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and I know nothing about the real Colin and Bradley and their respective lives. This is only for fun and no disrespect or harm is meant towards either of them. I make no money off this.Summary: Sure, Colin works almost all the time, but when he's not, he can't stop thinking of a certain someone who just isn't here.Author's notes: For Yvonne, who wanted "little Brolin fluff" for her birthday. This is what happened.On AO3.
Colin’s a bit frustrated. He’s been frustrated for quite a while, with his secret boyf—
Shit, buggering fuck.
Let’s start over. Colin’s a bit frustrated, because he hasn’t seen one of his best friends for months now. Because said best friend just keeps travelling all over the fucking planet. Mostly to the U.S. (and a bit to Australia, too), but wherever he is, it’s too far away. It’s not within tube distance, anyway, which definitely makes it too far. In a crisis, Colin would even consider getting on a train and go wherever he has to (France, Wales, Scotland, wherever) to meet Bradley, but he can’t when he’s all the way over in bloody America (or stupid Australia).
So, life’s tough on Colin right now. He tries to not care and throws himself into Mojo with everything he’s got. Six days and eight shows a week, he lets Ben Whishaw hump him while he’s tied up against a jukebox. Six days and eight shows a week, he emotionally pours his heart into the end scene, leaving him drained and tired for hours afterwards. Oh, well. At least it’s a little bit easier now than it was the first couple of weeks.
Then there’s how to deal with the fans. Not that he’s complaining — 99 per cent of them are lovely, really. Lovely and respectful, if maybe a bit hysterical sometimes. Only the ones who follow him as he tries to leave can be a bit terrifying.
But mostly, they’re great. Really.
Besides giving positive feedback on his performance in Mojo, the fans also keep his thoughts away from Bradley most of the time, but then sometimes... Sometimes they mention his name, or say something about Merlin, and that’s enough to remind Colin of all the good stuff that used to happen on set in France. How they laughed and touched and flirted, and then grew even closer (closer, closer, closer, until they couldn’t get any closer). How their lives then generally felt less controlled than now — despite how huge London is compared to tiny Pierrefonds.
Today, on his way home from the Harold Pinter Theatre — the same as every day — Colin disappears into the crowd to the best of his ability. He loves winter, because then he can hide in a thick coat and a beanie. Frankly, what’s not to love about winter?
Right. That Bradley has escaped the admittedly rather chilly British Isles to enjoy the sun in California, of all damned places. Fucking winter.
Kicking a stone off the pavement, Colin trudges along. He’s on his way home. His house’s not big, and it’s not particularly high-end by any standards, but at least it’s his own space. The air is chillier today than it has been lately, and a small shiver runs along his back as he tucks his arms closer to his sides and shoves his hands down further into his pockets in a vain attempt to keep warm.
He just manages to catch the bus, meaning he won’t have to wait for another twenty minutes for the next one, but still has a ten minute walk from the bus stop to his house. It’s fine, though. Sometimes he wishes he was in California, too, and not just because Bradley is there. Well, okay, mostly he wishes it because that’s where Bradley is, but a milder climate would be nice. Just for a while. Just for a couple of weeks. Two weeks of not having to keep under the radar and being able to go out together. Two weeks of restaurant dinners and nice evenings. Two weeks of maybe some theatre, or going to the cinema, or just hanging out with Bradley’s friends.
Two weeks of being close to Bradley, really. That’s all he needs right now.
But he can’t have it, because there is a bloody ocean between the two of them.
The frustration hits Colin full force when he can’t find his keys just as he’s about to unlock the door. Growling, he briefly considers emptying his entire backpack onto the street before realising he has to calm down before someone spots him doing something completely irrational. That would really be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it? Getting publicity after losing it outside his own home probably wouldn’t be a great thing, especially after all the flak he is getting from some fans about looking “too thin,” and messages prompting him to eat more, to not “waste away”. His agent wouldn’t appreciate the headlines, he knows.
Colin breathes in deeply and goes to lean his head against the door. He miscalculates the distance a bit, and the sound his forehead makes as it hits the wood is a louder thud than expected. It also hurts quite a lot more.
Rubbing his forehead, Colin swears under his breath and bends down to grab his backpack (which might have ended up on the ground, though — to his defence — it’s not emptied) when the door opens.
“Whatever are you doing?”
And for a blinding second, Colin’s sure he’s imagining the voice, but then it becomes obvious that he isn’t, because he’s looking into Bradley’s face, and it’s such a beautiful face with such a beautiful frown and even the way he looks tired is beautiful. Colin takes a deep, shaky breath before practically launching himself into Bradley’s arms.
“Oh my God,” he whispers into the warm neck which smells so familiar that his whole body aches with it, “You’re here? You’re really here?”
“Yes, idiot, obviously.”
“Well, how the fuck should I know, maybe I’ve been run over and am being taken to a hospital as we speak and am dreaming this entire thing? Or maybe I’ve finally lost it and gone mad like you claim I’ve already done, you know? Or maybe my mum is right and I’ve worked too hard lately and have finally started hallucinating? But I guess that’d qualify as going mad, too, though, wouldn’t it?”
Bradley gives a short laugh, and Colin can feel the rumble in his chest against his own skin. It’s nice. It feels like home.
“I promise I’m here.”
And the voice is low and soft and maybe a bit tired, but Colin just nuzzles his nose into the space under Bradley’s jaw and hugs him tighter, and doesn’t even notice that he’s being gently manoeuvred into the hallway and that the door is closing behind them. He doesn’t let go, doesn’t wantto let go just yet in case he’s actually hallucinating the entire thing and he really is alone in the hallway after all, hugging his backpack like a full-on lunatic.
But the smell is right — whatever it is he’s hugging definitely smells like Bradley. And it’s warm, too.
“Bradley, God, I’ve missed you. So, so much. You don’t even understand.”
“I might, actually,” Bradley says, his voice sounding a bit shaky for unknown reasons.
Colin honestly doesn’t care why Bradley’s voice is shaking, he just tries to snuggle even closer where they’re standing in the hallway. Colin’s still in his coat and beanie, but he doesn’t care about that either, because he still doesn’t quite feel like letting go. Not yet... but soon. Ish.
There’s a soft chuckle and Bradley’s arms loosen around Colin’s shoulders.
“Shouldn’t you take your coat and stuff off?” he says, slowly rubbing Colin’s back with his palms.
“Sure, sure,” Colin answers with a half-caring shrug, but doesn’t let up on the embrace.
“Really, you should get your coat off. If you do, I’ll make some hot chocolate?”
Hm. A tempting offer, but first Colin needs to know something.
“Why are you here? I mean— not that I’m complaining, but I thought you’d stay in the US until Christmas?”
“Yeah, about that...”
Bradley carefully extracts himself from the hug and starts peeling off Colin’s coat and then his scarf and beanie. He doesn’t continue talking until Colin’s a lot less clothed than before (though — sadly — nowhere near naked), and he has stuffed all the garments into the tiny closet in the hallway.
“I...” Bradley starts and pauses to press a soft kiss to Colin’s lips before continuing, “I sort of, um, missed something when I was over there, so I, um, decided to go home and, um, sort of... get it.”
Colin smiles and leans into Bradley’s embrace again, “‘Something’, eh?”
“Well, yeah... or maybe, you know, someone.”
“Oh,” Colin says and goes quiet for a while as his thoughts chase each other like happy otters inside his skull. “Really?”
Bradley’s breath brushes over Colin’s neck and they stay like that for a long time, just holding each other and breathing and being. It’s nice, so much better than anything Colin’s felt in a long time — in months, even.
“You know,” Colin says eventually, “‘Something’ is happy you’re home, too, let me tell you.”
The startled laugh he receives as a response makes Colin smile. Carefully, he squirms out of the hug but doesn’t let go of Bradley’s hand.
“Didn’t you say something about hot chocolate? ‘Cause I think that new family show is on soon and I think we should check out the competition.”
Bradley snorts, but follows Colin into the sitting room. “Competition?”
“Yeah,” Colin says, feeling almost high just on Bradley’s presence, “didn’t you know? It’s ‘the new Merlin’. And keeping track of your competition is serious business, Bradley.”
He tries to keep a serious expression as he looks Bradley dead in the eyes, but it only lasts for a second. Then he starts giggling and can’t stop. When he sees Bradley’s lop-sided, slightly hesitant smile, Colin starts laughing for real and he laughs and laughs and laughs until Bradley leans in and kisses him again.
It’s hard to laugh when someone’s kissing you. Not impossible, mind you, just difficult. And though Colin loves to laugh, maybe he loves kissing Bradley more.
Today, anyway. Today, he definitely loves Bradley more than anything.