Anyway, that's not the issue, the issue is that the shortlisted story is partly character study and Sissy and Louisa being in love while also being total dicks to each other but it is also partly REALLY POORLY-WRITTEN LESBIAN PORN? Like, PG-13, but if my mother/people from my church ask me to read this I AM GOING TO LITERALLY DIE.
For one, they really super do not approve of porn, and I think the possibility that I would write porn MIGHT ACTUALLY KILL THEM TOO? For another, even at my poetry group where there have been at least two ~sexy poems~ and one woman has this romance novel she reads out which is FULL of porn, I am the least likely of suspects for porn-writing and also I CAN BARELY READ OUT REGULAR POEMS AND SHIT, IF I HAVE TO READ THIS I WILL IMPLODE FROM SHAME. For yet another, it's so bad. Like, it is all rubbing between thighs, that is literally the language used, which sounds vaguely painful and also RIDICULOUS.
And there is a ceremony which involves PEOPLE READING OUT THEIR WORK and thankfully it is optional because I am not going to stand in font of a crowd and read badly-written porn unless I decide implosion is an excellent life choice.
ANYWAY HERE IS THE FIC I PROMISED.
Alexander/Hephaestion, college AU.
A/N: This is actually a continuation of another fic on the meme because it VICIOUSLY FAILED TO FINISH and I wanted Alexander and Hephaestion to get together in a horribly fluffy way and have all the sex. HENCE THIS. Just to warn you, this is also not finished.
Caesar’s leaning by the changing room door, barely able to stop himself collapsing with laughter. Personally, Alexander can think of three better pranks than this off the top of his head, but Caesar is his best friend, and Alexander’s loyal like that.
And here’s Heph, skinny, hilarious, Heph, the focus of virtually all their pranks. Alexander grabs his head, ruffles his hair. God, his hair’s soft. For one weird moment he wonders what it smells like, but by then he’s slung his arm over Heph’s shoulder. “Hephaestion, my man.”
“Alex,” says Heph, wearing the unimpressed face they’ve come to know well over the past few years of pranks.
“Don’t be like that. We might change our minds.”
“Knowing you, that can only be a good thing.”
“No, we want to apologise,” says Caesar, trying very hard not to laugh.
“We’re really, really sorry,” says Alexander, not even trying to look repentant, “and we were hoping you, and all your swimming team buddies, would come to our party.” He pats his shoulder, hard as he can. “Just to make it up to you.”
Heph raises an eyebrow. “You really expect me to believe that?” He ducks out from under Alexander’s arm, and walks away. He can be fast when he wants to be. Being that skinny must help with velocity.
“I told you we should pants him,” snaps Alexander, glaring at Caesar.
“Why do all your pranks involve seeing him naked?”
“Naked is classic, man!”
“Naked is gay, man.”
“I've slept with more women than you have.”
“Your mom doesn’t count,” says Caesar, but the effect is ruined by him beginning to giggle like a five-year-old at his own genius.
“Does yours?” says Alexander, but Caesar‘s too busy laughing at his own joke.
Alexander isn’t sure at what point they found out Heph’s favourite coffee place, but it was some time between stealing his phone and stealing his girlfriend (it didn’t last long - kissing her wasn’t half as fun when an infuriated Heph wasn’t watching), but either way, they know. Caesar’s busy almost choking on his coke as he remembers one of his own ‘classic’ jokes, so Alexander leaves him to it, wondering why and when, exactly, the coolest guy in their high school had become such a douche.
Heph, thankfully, is on his own, sipping one of those ridiculous girly coffees flavoured with caramel with frothy tops - Alexander is too manly to drink anything but beer, but if he did drink coffee he would make sure it was black and hadn’t even flirted with the sugar bowl. But obviously, Heph’s so skinny and long-haired and pretty he’s practically a girl anyway - wait, pretty, where had that come from? Alexander blinks, but he’s already sitting opposite Hephaestion, who rolls his eyes when he sees who it is.
“Can’t you leave me alone? I’m sure there’s a girl somewhere who’s waiting to give you a fake phone number.”
“Like Hayley, maybe?”
“Her name was Helen, and fuck off.”
“Oh, you wound me, Hephaestion. I’ll be crying about that one for a week.”
Heph glares at him. The girlfriend joke was a little cruel, admittedly, and rather against his purpose in coming here, but he can’t help it sometimes. It’s so easy to make Heph pout and glare and lose all ability to make a good come-back that he slips into it even when he’s supposed to be playing nice.
“Listen,” he lays a hand on Heph’s arm, making sure to hold on tight enough that Heph can’t just pull away. “We are really sorry, and we do really want you at our party. Who knows, Hayley might even be there.” He tries out the grin he uses on women, warm and dazzling and lots of teeth. It usually works.
Heph sighs. “You’re not even trying, are you? This is another of your stupid jokes, there’s probably not even a party, and you can’t even be bothered to act like a human being when your beloved prank war’s in question.”
Alexander shakes his head. “Did you not notice the smile? That was a pretty amazing smile, Hephaestion. You can’t say I’m not trying when I smile like that.”
Somehow Heph manages to pull his arm out of Alexander’s grasp, and he stands up, pulling his bag over his shoulder. “See you at the next swim meet, Alex.”
“Wait,” Alexander stands up, barring his way. He sounds a lot more convincing than he feels. “I’m serious. All of this, all these stupid jokes, all the insults, all the nicknames, all of it - it’s because I want you, Hephaestion.” Wait, shit, that wasn’t what he was going to say. Sometimes his mouth gets carried away with him. It used to happen when he was giving pep talks to the football team. Sometimes roaring happened.
Heph doesn’t even try to look wide-eyed and adoring. He doesn’t even look shocked. “Oh, very funny, gay jokes. You’re quite the humourist, aren’t you? You realise you’ve already used every gay joke under the sun on me?”
“No - ” he grabs Heph’s shoulders, looks him dead in the eye. “Have you never heard of sublimation? All those gay jokes,” he leans in, breathes in the smell of apple shampoo and expensive aftershave, “they’re because I want to be gay, with you.” Oh, this has gone too far. He shouldn’t be putting this much effort in for a stupid prank that wasn’t even his idea. They don’t even have any ideas for what they’ll do once the swim team appear. It’s officially the stupidest fucking joke ever, and this is coming from a guy who still thinks clingfilm wrap on all the toilets in the swimming pool is hilarious.
He watches Heph’s adam’s apple bob as he pulls away, and he wonders how that would feel against his tongue, Heph’s ridiculous girly hair wrapped over his fist. There is officially something wrong with him. Are there diseases that suddenly make you attracted to people no normal human being would ever be attracted to?
“So, come to my party, yeah?” he says, finally loosening his grasp, and patting Heph on the shoulder, once. He’s not sure when it became his party, either. He walks out before Heph can say something about how he’s a terrible liar. He’s a fucking brilliant liar. All of his ex-girlfriends’ parents could tell you that, except they couldn’t, because they still don’t know the truth.
Caeasar nudges him with the back of his hand. “Hey, how did you manage it? Well done, you fucking dickbag!”
Alexander looks up, and there, looking lost and kind of nervous, is Heph, wearing a black jacket that makes him look kind of...well, kind of... But Caesar is already walking towards him, whooping with laughter. Heph looks up at him, and it’s mostly annoyance in his eyes, but Alexander could swear there’s a hint of betrayal there.
Heph walks away, and Caesar continues trying to laugh himself to death in the middle of the dancefloor. The rest of the jocks haven’t even noticed Heph’s brief presence. A part of Alexander thinks that all his effort deserves better than the hacking noise Caesar’s making right now. He walks past him, through the hall and out into the cold night air.
He can see Heph in the distance, shoulders hunched against the cold, moving as ridiculously fast as ever. “Hey, wait up!” he calls, and Heph turns around, breath curling from his lips and defying anyone who thinks smoking isn’t sexy. Not that he’s smoking, it’s the cold, but frankly that makes more sense than Hephaestion being anything that could be remotely considered sexy.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake - can you just start being a complete fuckwad again? I’m actually beginning to miss the urge to punch you in the face.”
“Come inside, it’s cold.” Alexander licks his lips. “And maybe you can, you know, come inside.” He waggles his eyebrows.
Heph shakes his head. “You’re not even good at this.”
“Hey,” Alexander grabs his arm. “I’ll have you know I’m fucking amazing at this. In fact,” he leans in, so close he can count Heph’s eyelashes, “I’m fucking amazing at a lot of things.”
“Oh, like mocking me, like humiliating me, like putting jello in the fucking swimming pool and blaming me - ”
Alexander laughs. “You have to admit that one was pretty funny.”
“Yeah, Coach Howick didn’t seem to think so.”
“Well,” says Alexander, “I’m better at fucking than I am at all those put together.”
“Really,” says Heph, raising his eyebrows. “I bet you’ve never given anyone a blowjob in your life.”
Alexander splutters. “Well, I’m - ”
“Exactly,” says Heph, and turns away.
“Hey! You don’t get to walk away from me! You’d be lucky to have me, thinspiration boy!”
Heph keeps walking.
“I guess I’ll just see you in your wet dreams!” Heph keeps walking, and Alexander resists the urge to punch something. “What if I get you a drink?”
Heph turns at this. “I’m not going to let you roofie me, Alexander. I’ve heard the rumours. In fact, I think I started the rumours.”
Alexander gapes. “You don’t - I’m the one that fucks up your life, not the other way around.”
Heph laughs. “I’m kidding.”
Alexander crosses the distance between them. “You’re not supposed to do this to me,” he says, all crazy eyes and snarl. Crazy eyes have scared the shit out of far tougher guys than Hephaestion, and what kind of a name is that anyway?
Heph, to his credit, barely swallows. “Do what?”
And Alexander thinks how he’s spent the past three days putting up with increasingly graphic images of things he’s pretty sure he doesn’t want to do to anyone, never mind a size zero nerd king from the swim team who’s supposed to exist purely to make him laugh. But he can’t exactly say that, so he grips the back of Heph’s neck and kisses him like he’s been wanting to do this for a lot longer than three days.
And Heph doesn’t pull away, and he can taste mouthwash and heat, and he’s just pulling away so he can bite Heph’s lips until they’re swollen and red and Heph’s panting into his mouth, and then he realises exactly what the fuck he’s doing, and he jerks back, wipes his mouth, stares at Heph in horror. And fuck, his lips are already red and swollen and glistening with his spit. More than that, he can feel the blood shooting to his groin, sweet and hot and sharp in his veins.
“Fuck you, Hephaestion!” And he turns and practically runs, because if he looks at that mouth any longer he’s going to end up kissing it again, sucking the air out of Heph’s lungs until neither of them can breathe properly.
He can’t bring himself to grind against some girl whose name he won’t even remember in the morning, not with his brain presenting a glorious greatest hits of Heph, Heph swimming in his sperm-count-destroyingly tight speedos, Heph making noises in the back of his throat that Alexander is pretty sure he didn’t actually make when he kissed him, and that only gets him wondering what it would take for Heph to really make those noises.
And before long his pyjama pants are in some dark corner of the room and he’s thrusting into his fist like he needs this, ‘hephhephheph’ spilling from his lips like the name was made for him to wrap his tongue around, thinking about Heph’s skin beneath his fingers, about Heph’s swollen lips wrapped around his cock like he’s fucking delicious, Heph looking up at him through his eyelashes like some freshman sucking a lollipop, about Heph’s cock slick inside his fist, and he comes with his eyes shut tight to the image of Heph smiling around his cock and the mere thought of what it’d be like to come down his throat.
He comes back to himself with sticky sheets and sweat cooling on his skin. Oh, he’s so far gone there’s no coming back.
He walks past Heph’s coffee place after practice. It’s not even on the way, he has no excuse. And Heph isn’t even sitting inside, which makes him want to punch walls for reasons he doesn’t care to imagine. Fuck, he’s going to go to the gym, and then he’s going to get all this pent-up energy out and then he’s going to see a psychologist. And then he turns round and there’s Heph, Heph and his stupid boyband hair looking like he’d rather be mobbed by twelve-year-old girls. And if he thinks about marketing posters of his face as balm for sore eyes, well, that’s just last night’s alcohol talking.
“I could get a restraining order,” he says, but there’s no bite behind it. He sounds more tired than anything. “Could you just...stop, please?”
“I’m not doing anything.”
And Heph sighs, runs his fingers through his hair. “I really - I don’t want to be part of whatever elaborate prank this is. You got me, okay, well done. That’s enough.”
“You think this is a prank?” Alex looks around. “I wanked over you last night.”
Heph rolls his eyes. “You can’t say that to people. And no, you didn’t.”
“How do you know? Were you outside my bedroom window last night?”
“Enough!” and Heph, for the first time since Helen, sounds genuinely rattled. “I am not having sex with you so you can laugh in my face the next morning. Go back to your frat house and torture pledges until you forget about this shitty plan of yours, alright?” And Heph pushes past him and walks inside.
And like the hopeless castrated puppy dog he now is, he can’t help but follow. “I wouldn’t laugh,” he says, sounding almost offended. “Unless you were shit.” He pauses. “You’re not shit, are you?”
“If I say yes, will you let me drink my coffee without having to think about you in a sexual context?”
“Only if I can tell every girl on campus exactly how shit you are.”
“Right now I almost think that’s worth it.”
“You believed me last night!” he says, sounding about as petulant as a five-year-old being denied his favourite sweets.
Heph drags his hand through his hair. “I will literally pay you to make you leave.”
Alex snorts. “I have more money in my sock drawer than your entire family makes in a year.” He leers. “You wanna see my sock drawer, Hephaestion?”
“You are not soliciting me in my favourite coffee shop. I like the coffee here, Alexander, and I want to drink it again. Preferably without having to smell the dead animal piss you call cologne.”
“Yeah, well, at least I don’t smell of chlorine and desperation.” He leans and sniffs, pressing his nose against Heph’s mess of curls. And no, he hasn’t been wanting to do this for as long as the look on his face as he closes his eyes makes it seem. And no, he certainly doesn’t relish the working of Heph’s neck as he swallows. “And lust,” he murmurs, low, right in Heph’s ear.
And Heph, true to fun-destroying form, ducks away and scowls like he’s just told him a particularly creative way to kill his puppy. “No,” he says, in the tone of a University Challenge contestant correcting grammar (and he really shouldn’t be allowed access to BBC World), “you give me the opposite of a boner. You give me a no-ner. Because you are a fuckweed, and if you did wank to me last night, it was probably to me crying as you burnt down my house with my entire family inside.”
“Can I at least buy you one of your weird coffees?“ He wrinkles his nose. “I don’t know how you can consume that much sugar this regularly and still have teeth.”
Hephaestion grits his teeth. “Is that what it’s going to take to make you leave me alone? You get to tell Caesar you tricked me into a date? Fucking fine, but I’m having a muffin.” He glares. “And a sandwich. And actually, another muffin.”
“You can eat the entire cafe if you promise to suck me off,” he says, and he doesn’t miss the slight shiver that passes through Heph when he says that. “What, the idea appeals?”
“It’s the kind of shiver you get when you watch Wes Craven movies,” he says, flat.
“When your boyfriend is licking your neck?” Alexander finishes. Heph stops and stares, and Alex blinks. “What, I was just talking about blowjobs and it’s that that gets you? Is there something I should know about your neck?” he says, waggling his eyebrows like some 70s sitcom Casanova douchebag.
And Heph blinks and rolls his eyes and says, “You know what? I think if I said ‘drop’ you’d blow me right here, just to entertain your stupid little hyena boyfriend. I think maybe you love him more than you love yourself.”
Alexander’s eyes go glaze-y for a moment before he says, “I wouldn’t shag Caesar with your mom’s strap-on.”
Heph wrinkles his nose. “You’re a despicable human being, you know that?”
“That’s what your mom calls me in bed, yeah.”
Heph punches his shoulder, and it’s almost playful. “Stop with the mom jokes. You’re seriously determined I don’t forget you’re a frat boy, aren’t you?”
Alex beats his chest with his fist, “Greek and proud, bro.”
And Heph shoves him towards the counter, “Just buy my lunch before I shop you to the tween police for stealing all their jokes.”
And so he’s sitting in some hipster coffee shop where the kind of people he likes to throw balled-up paper at in seminars and make loud jokes about as they walk past come to drink the kind of coffee normal people wouldn’t even sniff for a bet, watching Heph lick crumbs from his fingers and foam from his top lip. Heph seems to do an awful lot of licking these days, and it’s making him shift uncomfortably in his seat. Perhaps he just never noticed before, but who wouldn’t notice live pornography happening right in front of their face?
“So,” he says, “what do you do for a living? ‘Cause if you play your cards right, it could be me.”
“Nothing sexier than offering to pay me,” says Heph with a stretch of his lips that barely counts as a smile.
“No, come on, what’re you gonna do when you leave uni?”
“Join the Olympic swim team,” he says, with a rueful laugh. “Shit, I don’t know. My dad wants me to be a lawyer, but all I want to do is swim. You?”
“Join my dad’s company,” he says, “I’ve already got a five-year-plan. The only problem is that it’d be too damn easy.”
He laughs. “You could always try and see how many sexual harassment lawsuits you could rack up in a year.”
“Won’t need to if I'm still fucking you on the side, babe,” he says, puckering his lips.
“Do you ever turn it off?”
He shrugs. “Why would I, when I’m so good at it the electric bill’s quadrupled since I joined?”
Hephaestion sighs and crumples the muffin case in his hand. “Right, you’ve had your fake date. Now it’s time to go home and laugh about how much of a genius you are.”
Alex blinks at him. “Is your self-esteem really that low? As much as I’ve tried to fight it, I actually like you, Hephaestion. And by ‘like’, I mean ‘want to fuck you until the fucking floor breaks’.”
Hephaestion swallows and pulls his jacket from the back of his chair, sliding it on in a surprisingly elegant motion. “You’ve spent our entire time at college together trying to make me hate you more than Justin Bieber and Robert Mugabe combined. You really think you’re going to convince me in the space of a few days?”
“...Yes,” says Alexander in a frustrated squeak.
“Sorry to disappoint you,” says Heph, striding out the door.
Alexander stands in front of him. “What do I have to do?”
“Nothing,” says Heph, wearily. “Because the game’s over now. Go home to Caesar and laugh about what an idiot I am before you jerk each other off.”
And because Alex is a fucking idiot who couldn’t resist a chance to flirt if it were with a giant snake leading him into a pit of penis-shaped knives, “That what’ve you’ve been fantasising about for the past few years?”
“What, you’re going to bring him round to my dorms and try for a threesome? Forget it, Alex,” he says, like steel. “Just, seriously, forget it.”
“I wish I could!” he snaps. “It’s like you’re burned on my eyelids. Every time I close my eyes - there you are, getting more and more obscene by the fucking second. Do you really want me to wank myself to death? Doesn’t that make you feel even a little guilty for being so fucking hot?” And he’s panting, breath coming in hot short little puffs against Hephaestion’s lips, lips he still can’t stop staring at even in the middle of this chintzy fucking coffee shop.
“Do I have to read you the dictionary defintion of forget? You could write an entire porno about me and it still wouldn’t erase everything you did.”
And Alexander drops to his knees until everyone’s staring without a hint of shame. “Forgive me, Hephaestion,” he breathes. “Or do I have to blow you in the middle of Trying Really Hard Not To Be Starbucks?”
“We aren’t in a romantic comedy, so get the fuck up,” hisses Hephaestion, “and how do you know the guy who runs this place isn’t fucking Mitt Romney or something?”
“You really want to sell your soul for coffee when you could easily get that delicious taste by drinking the vomit of people who live solely on candy?”
He’s still kneeling there, so Hephaestion shoves a hand beneath his armpit and drags him up. There’s a ‘boo’ from someone who clearly doesn’t understand that people do not shag in public just for their entertainment and should probably be introduced to the internet, home of all pornography.
“I don’t know how I’m going to make you pay for this, but - ” and suddenly both Alex’s arm and Heph’s face are dropping, “this was the prank, wasn’t it?” And he’s gone, with that skinny man velocity Alex would be jealous of if he hadn’t been in at least twenty more embarrassing situations. He shrugs at the entire population of the coffee shop aka Hippymandria and walks out, cursing the name of Hephaestion the cocktease.
And he goes round to Hephaestion’s dorms. Because he’s exactly that sort of idiot.
The girl in the common room is perfectly friendly until he tells her his name, at which point she shoots him a glare that’s so teeming with rage that it almost counts as eyehatesexing and turns to her copy of whatever book Tumblr is reading this week. And he’ll have to make sure no-one ever finds out he knows Tumblr exists.
He wanders around, wondering if Heph’s door will have hipster glasses or a ‘Please Fuck Me Alexander’ sign on it or something equally helpful. As it is, he recognises Heph screaming ‘fuck you’ to Damien Rice, which frankly even he is too cool for, and adding ‘Alexander’ to each line. He suspects he doesn’t mean it in a good way.
He pushes open the door which is, both conveniently and idiotically open, and says, “Sometimes I wonder if I really do want to bend you over the nearest flat surface, and then I remember how good you are in my head.”
Heph grinds his teeth together. “How can you possibly humiliate me more? You planning on going the whole hog and making me fall in love with you before the great ‘you’ve been Fucker’d’ reveal?”
“Sounds fun,” says Alexander, stepping into the room. “I bet I could make you fall in love with me with one well-timed thrust,” he says, moving his hips in a way sorority girls generally found incredibly sexy after a few slammers.
Unfortunately the only drink Heph has had in the past few hours was Definitely Not Starbucks’ nine thousand calorie coffee, and so his thrust is met with an arch of Heph’s eyebrow instead of a highly alcoholic tongue down his throat.
Alexander’s brow furrows and he sinks down on the bed. “Seriously, mate, I’m sorry. If I had a way to get Caesar to apologise that didn’t involve using my blackmail folder I would, but I promised myself I’d save that for if he tried to shag my mom, and sadly that’s still a possibility.”
Bella Swan fic, spoilers for Breaking Dawn.
I love him. That’s the only thing I know. And is that so wrong, to love so much it changes the shape of you? The Bible says we become one body, and surely that means that separated we’re only half a person? My mother warned me about this, told me to stay on rations, kisses on cheeks, fill my days with friends and laughter and foolish things. But what girl has ever listened to her mother? I’m Persephone and no Ceres can save me now.
I care about Angela. I care about Jessica to a degree, but he pushes everything out of my head but him, and the rest are left clinging to the clifface of my memory. You think I don’t know what Romeo and Juliet means, but I do, it’s just that I’d die for him if I can’t live for him.
This is my happy ever after with blood on its teeth. I’m the living dead girl, Little Red Riding Hood who became the wolf. There are times I look for the cracks, wonder how something so sick could feel so perfect. It feels like a fairy tale. I feel like a fairy tale, like I’m made of ink. And then I look at him and I stop caring.
Charlie Brooker/David Mitchell, response to prompt: The media somehow get the idea that Brooker and Mitchell are in a relationship. In the course of their denials, whoops, it becomes true.
A/N: There was a fill but I WROTE ONE ANYWAY BECAUSE THAT IS APPARENTLY WHAT I DO. Also I never got to the part where they fuck, sorry.
“Oh, don’t they have anyone more interesting to write about?” muttered Charlie, catching sight of his face out of the corner of his eye. “Hasn’t Kerry Katona got the decency to get caught doing heroin off Katie Price’s arse?”
He turned rather resentfully to look at the headline, wondering whether he’d somehow managed to do a Russell Brand and was facing the wrath of Daily Mail readers everywhere. No. He blinked. He was going to have to get glasses. As though his face wasn’t bad enough without adding decorations. He blinked again. Thick glasses. Perhaps people wouldn’t be able to see his eyes. Lucky bastards. Third blink. Fuck, he was having hallucinations. He hadn’t even been out last night. Had someone sneaked into the house purely to spike his coffee? He felt slightly affronted that they hadn’t bothered stealing anything. Maybe they had and he’d just hallucinated the lack of theft.
He frowned to himself. Just his luck to have hallucinations about his sordid fantasies becoming front-page fodder. He heard the familiar sound of Fifty fucking Cent emanating from his phone. He’d still yet to change ringtones or get Al back for that. Maybe subconsciously he liked it.
He repressed a shudder as he checked the number. David Mitchell? He took a deep breath, determined not to sound squeaky and ridiculous or as though he’d been hallucinating about newspapers covering the affair they definitely weren’t having, because if his luck had become so phenomenally shit that he’d forgotten that, he was going to stab his bastard of a brain until it couldn’t torment him any more.
Oh fuck, Mitchell was talking already, quite fast. Something about bastard newspapers and enemies with access to tabloid editors and wait, wait a minute, no. Oh fucking no riding a fuckwit’s mother, this was actually happening, and the pinch that was more of a hacking using fingernails hurt and when he found the fucker that had done this he was going to rip their balls off with a nutcracker and send pictures of them to every fucking rag from London to Aberdeen.
“Charlie? Charlie, are you still there?”
“No, I’ve gone to send out invitations to the party I’m having to celebrate this glorious day. Yes, I’m still here.” Charlie drags a hand through his hair and lets out a ragged breath.
“Have you pissed off any tabloid editors recently?”
“No. And before you ask, I know plenty of people who hate me enough to do this, but as far as I know none of them have the resources.”
“Well, I know for a fact that nobody cares enough about me to bother doing this.” He pauses. “That wasn’t as pathetic as it sounds, I assure you.”
“I was hoping you’d give me someone to blame for this. I’ve been wanting to punch someone in the face for weeks. There’s no chance it’s Piers Morgan, is there?”
“Not really, no. Charlie – just a warning, I wouldn’t go back to your flat for a bit.”
“Oh, come on, surely the thought of me doing anything sexual is so repulsive they’ve all hanged themselves at the thought.”
“I’m afraid not.”
“And where am I supposed to go?” said Charlie, suddenly rather angry. “I like my flat, that’s where all my video games are!”
“You have friends, don’t you?”
“None that’d be able to put up with me for more than a night.”
David sighed. “Are you asking if you can come round here?”
“No!” said Charlie, affronted. “Well. Sort of. Where is ‘here’, anyway, the nuclear bunker you had installed because you’re a paranoid little shit?”
“I wouldn’t be insulting your one chance at spending the night somewhere other than the street.”
“I’m sure I could get myself arrested if necessary.”
David sighed again and gave Charlie the address.
It was a miserable-looking place, and Charlie said as much as soon as he walked in the door. With more creative metaphors, of course, because there was no chance a crisis would dampen David Mitchell’s skills as a wordsmith, and so he had no choice to keep his chin up above the mountain of shit he was buried in too.
“What exactly were you expecting?” said David. “Mints on your pillow? The presidential suite? Coy little notes about how pleased I am to have you stay?”
“Technology from beyond the 60s, for one thing,” said Charlie. “Fucking hell, Mitchell, what is this place, a museum for the terminally dull?”
“Oh, I’m very sorry, Charlie. Sorry to have inconvenienced you by making you stay here for no other reason than I felt like depriving you of television. It’ll be good for you, anyway. I was thinking of staging an intervention.”
“How long is this going to be necessary, do you think?” David asks.
“What, you’re sick of me already?” says Charlie. “Thinking of going to the loo to vomit at the thought of my face?”
David sighs. “An answer would be nice.”
“Forever,” says Charlie, and puts his feet on David’s coffee table.
They go out for groceries like spies, glancing around and looking shifty, never together. Charlie buys pick’n’mix and beer and cigarettes, and David buys Earl Grey and The Guardian and is guilted into donating to charity.
“They have to put it on the counter,” he says, “and they look at it, don’t they, and then they look at you, like they’re saying ‘look at that rich bastard, he’s not even going to put a penny in, is he?’ And you can’t put too much in, because then you’re flashy, and we can’t have that, but put too little in and you’ll be the stingy bloke and you won’t get the smile and the thanks when they give you your change.”
“When exactly did you get that stick up your arse?” says Charlie. “Because you really should’ve just brought a dildo.”
Charlie doesn’t flirt as much now. It’s the enclosed space, the fact that there’s nowhere to run screaming or set alight if David tells him he’d rather shag a syphilitic tramp who voted BNP than him.
His agent calls. “You need to either issue a denial or an admission.”
I know I said I wrote Sleeping Beauty fic but there is too much here already, so, like, if you want me to dig that up as well I will. Also if you want to see the god-awful Louisa/Sissy. I feel like some horrible little pedlar hawking my wares.
Also vote Obama.