Pairing: Bradley/Colin (Merlin RPS)
Genre: AU - FLUFF
Word count: ~6.100
Disclaimer: This never happened and was written for fun, no money is being made. The cards are (all except for the colored one,) made by André Jordan. Check out his work on his blog A beautiful revolution and support him by buying his books or cards online (or in Urban Outfitters - like I did! Check it out at my tubmlr ^__^) THE COLORED STARBUCKS CARD: made by Mark Johns. Check out his amazing work here.
Summary: They had to tell them one day.
Chapter one | Chapter two | Set of drabbles
Colin was born and raised in a little village in Ireland. Apparently it was very beautiful and all very green; but not really the place Colin had ever imagined himself growing up in and finding himself. According to Colin it was a mind numbing place for the creative and intelligent –Bradley would always tease him and say that’s a bit pretentious, no?
Colin sometimes tells Bradley stories about the place, what it’s like and how he liked growing up there. And it might have been mind numbing or whatever, but Colin’s eyes always get this happy little twinkle whenever he talks about it either way. That twinkle always makes Colin’s eyes look smaller and his ears look a little bigger. It also maybe makes Bradley want to jump his bones a little.
Bradley figures this all might have to do with the great relationship Colin has with his family, especially his parents. Colin calls his parents a couple of times a week, and emails them even more often.
Bradley has no idea what they could possibly have to say to each other when they talk that often. Bradley himself was born maybe half an hour away from the university and goes home for the weekend from time to time to make his mother stop nagging him about it. She calls him sometimes, but that’s basically only when something interesting has happened (like the time uncle William got caught screwing around with the cleaning lady,) and even then the calls never last longer than four minutes.
So when Colin tells him, one lazy morning spent in his tiny dorm room bed, that he’s going to fly home for a couple of days Bradley doesn’t really feel surprised. He just feels dread and maybe a little something close to depression. He huffs and whines and is this close to asking Colin if he can come with (but that would make people -especially Joe and even more likely Colin’s parents- ask questions and Bradley doesn’t know if they’re ready to answer those yet.) So instead he settles for riding along when Joe drives Colin to the airport.
They kiss goodbye in the men’s room when Joe’s gone to get some very needed coffee (it is only 9 AM on a Thursday, after all.)
“Stop sulking.” Colin tells him when they’re back in the terminal.
“I’m not sulking.” Bradley replies automatically, not even trying to not sound sulky.
Colin bumps their shoulders together and smiles. “I’ll be back before you’ll get a chance to miss me, you know.” Before Bradley can huff and disagree again Joe gets back with the coffee, Colin takes a step to the right to put some distance between them.
When Bradley gets home he finds a card on his pillow.
He bursts out laughing so badly that he has to sit down on the bed to make sure he doesn’t fall to the floor. He keeps the card with him for the rest of the day, even if that means having Ben give him weird looks every five minutes.
That night, after Bradley’s been trying to fall asleep for at least an hour, he sends a picture of the card he bought earlier to Colin’s mobile.
You were lying he types, I miss you. After another half an hour he finally falls asleep while waiting for a reply.
Tuesday morning (five days later) Joe has class and so only Bradley is there to pick him up from the airport. Colin’s excited when he gets out of the plane. He’s running on empty, not used to his bed and pillow back home anymore, nor to how terrifyingly cold it gets there. When he spots Bradley’s blond hair and that vest he loves so much his shoulders relax and the grip he had on his bag lessens.
“You’re wearing my hoody.” Bradley notices.
“Yeah,” Colin looks down at the sweater and rubs his hand over the faded letters distractedly, maybe a little embarrassed. “It’s soft, and comfy.”
Colin drops his bag and Bradley steps into his personal space until they fit together perfectly; holding on tightly.
“I missed you.” Colin says, hugging back.
“Don’t ever leave without me, ever again.” Bradley replies.
They get back to Colin’s room, after a car ride that seemed to take so much longer than it should have, and Colin starts unpacking in a very Colinly way. He grabs the bag and just empties the content in the middle of the floor. He goes through the mountain of clothes and stuff for a while, before returning to Bradley’s side with a card.
“I found a shop that sold them, can you believe that?” He grins widely. He’s still a bit tired, but at least he doesn’t feel like there’s electricity running through his veins anymore.
Bradley grins, “This pretty much completely restores my faith in Ireland.”
“Doesn’t it just?” Colin laughs. “I’ll take you there once,” he says, seriously. “You’ll love it, I’m sure. Lots of trees to climb and things like that.”
Bradley smiles back: “And you know how much I like tree-climbing.” He turns the card around. It says: I was afraid you wouldn’t let me go if I didn’t tell you that. And on the bottom: And Spiders have eight legs.
That night, after Colin’s had a long shower and a quick nap, Bradley is sucking a pretty spectacular bruise just under Colin’s collarbone when Joe -very suddenly and completely unexpectedly- bursts through the door. Colin’s hands tighten in Bradley’s hair in panic.
Bradley isn’t sure why, but all of a sudden Joe’s yelling and throwing things (a flyer for some concert some dude gave Bradley earlier, to be exact,) at Bradley before storming back out of the room, slamming the door shut with a loud bang.
The whole thing couldn’t haven take more than forty seconds but leaves Colin and Bradley staring at the door open-mouthed and in quite a daze any way.
“Oh fuck,” Colin whispers, already pushing up and out of Bradley’s embrace.
Bradley wants to protest, wants to get Colin back under the covers, but Colin’s eyes are still wide, and more than a little frantic, so Bradley lets it go and tries not to make his disappointment too obvious.
Colin buttons up his pants again and goes to sit on the edge of the bed. Bradley can see him open and close his mouth a couple of times, the frown line on his brow getting deeper and deeper. “Well, that didn’t go so well.” He finally says.
Bradley frowns himself, “Yeah, didn’t see that one coming.” He shrugs and starts picking at one of Colin’s belt loops. Colin’s still just sitting there, so Bradley starts rubbing soothing circles in the small of his back.
Colin bites at his thumbnail. When Bradley first met Colin he did that quite often, it was one of those things he did when he was nervous or upset, he hardly ever does it anymore though. “You don’t look worried.”
“Because I’m not.” Bradley says honestly.
Bradley knows Joe, has known him since forever, and stuff like that means something. Joe can be a completely sweet and reasonable guy, but sometimes he can also blow up over the smallest thing and Bradley figures today is just one of those days. Bradley predicts that Joe will be apologizing for the flyer-throwing, (it didn’t even reach Bradley, it just took off like a paper plane and eventually landed on Colin’s desk,) soon enough and that all will be back to normal.
And that’s what he tells Colin.
Six days later Colin and Bradley are having lunch at Richard’s. “He didn’t apologize,” Colin reminds Bradley for the fourth time, “And things didn’t turn back to normal. Things have, instead, turned horribly, horribly uncomfortable.”
“Well,” Bradley says, exasperatedly, “Why is it my job to fix it?”
Colin’s eyes widen and he gapes at Bradley. “Uhm. I don’t know, because he’s your best friend? Because you were the one who was so sure that Joe wouldn’t be back so early, and because you couldn’t keep your hands to yourself?”
Bradley turns on that sulky pout-thing he does whenever he really wants Colin to forgive him (and no matter how cute that is – it’s not gonna work this time,) and starts poking at his bagel. “You wanted it too.”
Colin really needs for Bradley to just man up and go to talk to Joe about this, Colin would do it himself but he can’t. He’s tried and failed miserably. He used to pride himself in the fact that he’s pretty good at conflict solution and apologizing to people, but Joe has shot down every single one of his attempts of getting this sorted out.
And Colin would accept the fact that maybe Joe isn’t big on talking about his emotions (as Bradley puts it,) but Colin just knows that isn’t true. Joe is very big on talking about every single thing and so the fact that he does not want to talk about Colin and Bradley being together is making Colin more than a little worried.
“Aren’t you going to finish that?” Bradley asks.
“I’m not hungry.” Colin says, sliding the bag towards Bradley again.
“Doesn’t matter, you should still eat.” Bradley says, trying his best to give Colin a stern look.
“I’m feeling too miserable to eat.” Colin mumbles.
“Oh boo-hoo, I’m Colin Morgan and my life’s just one big mess. My roommate is never in my room anymore, so now I have all that lovely space to myself. My boyfriend is a total jerk who buys me bagels from that deli I love and cream cheese from that other deli I love, which is on the other side of town, by the way, and then he brings it all the way over to my job and makes me eat it.”
Colin stares and make a face.
“You’d be a lot funnier if you wouldn’t be laughing at your own jokes all the time.” Colin lies.
Bradley laughs. “This way there’ll always be at least one person who thinks I’m funny.”
“Cheeky, cheeky.” Colin says, shaking his head. He smiles into the kiss Bradley plants on his lips anyway.
Bradley leaves shortly after, telling Colin it’ll all be fine and Colin believes him, always believes it when Bradley says so. He spends the rest of the afternoon listening to Richard’s stories about old times and unpacking books. When he leaves that afternoon he finds a card in his bag.
Woe is Colin Morgan, it says. It’s signed with a little heart.
Bradley still remembers that one time him and Joe went exploring this little field behind Joe’s house. Bradley’d fallen and broken his leg, he’d never seen Joe more terrified in his whole life, not even when Joe’s own appendix had burst a couple of years later. Joe had stayed with him the whole time except for when he’d ran home for help.
Bradley decides it’s time to go and talk to Joe.
Joe and him aren’t real talkers. Well, they talk plenty, they’ve just never had to talk about something like this. Joe knows all about Johnny-the-neighbor’s-kid, about that time he turned the 4 he got on a math test into a 9, causing his parents to ground him for a month. Joe even knows about his alcoholic uncle who hit him once, causing his family to never talk to said uncle again. Joe knows those things because he’s basically always been there right beside Bradley when it happened, and as Bradley’s best friend he has a right to know about all these important events in Bradley’s life. They’ve just never ”talked” about any of it.
And they wouldn’t be talking about this either if it weren’t for that damned Colin and his ability to put things in such a way that Bradley finds it impossible to say no. It’s his eyes, Bradley sometimes thinks, and those lips, it’s always the lips. If it weren’t for Colin Bradley would have just waited for Joe to stop being an idiot and come around.
But now Bradley’s in Colin and Joe’s room, sitting on Colin’s bed, trying to have a talk about this. Not that there’s a lot of talking going on though. Joe’s sitting at his own desk, pretending to read a book and Bradley, in return, is pretending to believe that Joe’s reading.
At least they’re in the same room together. It’s a start.
“Is it because I was naked?” Bradley finally asks, “You’ve seen me naked before.”
Joe puts down the book and pointedly shoots Bradley a look. “I’ve never seen you naked and in action before, now have I? And now I’ll never be able to unsee that either, by the way. Thanks.”
“… So it is the being naked?” Bradley asks slowly.
Joe groans, “You’re an idiot.”
Bradley sighs and plays with a corner of Colin’s pillow.
“Is it because Colin’s a guy?” And Bradley’s almost afraid to asks, except that wouldn’t make sense because Joe’s his best friend, and a decent guy. “’Cause if that’s the reason, then you’re kind of an asshole.”
“Of course it’s because he’s a guy!” Joe blurts out. “If you suddenly turned up telling me you were dating a girl like… like Emilie or something, everything would be okay!”
“Well,” Bradley scoffs, “Then you’re kind of an asshole.”
Joe frowns a little: “What? No!” He shakes his head, “No, it’s not the gay thing. I don’t care about that.”
Bradley sighs, getting a little frustrated. Maybe if they’d tried this a little more often they’d be better at it. “Then what is it Joe. That time I kissed Johnny all you did was laugh at me and call me a cocksucker for three weeks, but at least we were cool, which we obviously aren’t right now.”
“It’s always been you and me, Bradley.” Joe says, “And then when we got to college it was you and me, and me and Colin. But now you had to go screw him and so now it’s you and Colin and, seriously, what the hell? You’re not supposed to start shagging your mates, Bradley, that’s really unfair to your other mates ‘cause they can’t really compete with that, now can they?”
Bradley stares and so Joe stops rambling.
Bradley doesn’t really know what to say to that. He wants to say he’s not just shagging Colin, but is afraid that actually might make it worse, or something. He also wants to say that Joe will always be his best friend, if that’s what he’s so worried about. Not even Colin can change that. But he doesn’t really want to say that out loud.
So instead they sit there, staring at each other for a couple of more moments, before Joe adds: “I’m just saying, James. Not that I care, or anything, because I don’t.” Joe shrugs his shoulders, going for nonchalant but his muscles are really too stiff to be able to pull that off. He picks up the book again and starts flipping through it.
“Okay.” Bradley says, now picking at the string of his sweatpants, twirling it around his finger and pulling at it softly.
“Okay,” Joe repeats, a little softer.
A long silence stretches out over them. It’s not uncomfortable, it’s just there, giving them time to process, or something.
“There’s a game tomorrow.” Bradley finally says. “Do you maybe feel like going?”
Joe glances at him, “Who’s going to be there?”
Bradley shrugs, “Just you and me. If you’re interested.”
Joe thinks about it for a couple of moments. “Yeah,” he says, “Sure.”
Bradley’s a little relieved, to be honest. Even though he obviously was never worried to begin with.
Colin scrambles up in Bradley’s bed the moment he hears the door open. He wants to ask a dozen things at once, because he wants to know everything at once. In his impatience all that escapes his mouth is: “Whut?”
“Who’s the best boyfriend ever?” Bradley asks with a grin.
Colin lets out a sigh of relief - that is until he notices the bag Bradley’s holding up.
“I brought you some dinner! I know you haven’t been eating a lot these last couple of days and-”
“Please… don’t tell me that’s where you’ve been the last three hours.” Colin pleads.
“What? No!” Bradley shrugs out of his coat and gets on the bed next to Colin, “That’s where I’ve been the last two hours. But, before you start yelling, I was there with Joe. I thought I might as well get something out of this whole situation if I was gonna lay my soul out for him.”
“You laid your soul out for Joe?” Colin asks, somewhat (pleasantly) surprised.
Bradley grins and chuckles, “No.”
“You did talk to him, right?” Colin’s a little panicked, “You guys didn’t just sit there eating lots of meat and occasionally grunting at each other, right?”
Bradley frowns at him. “So that’s how you really see me, huh? As this really manly guy who just… no, you know what? I actually like the idea of you seeing me like that.” And he’s grinning again. Colin figures everything must be alright. No matter how loudly Bradley was exclaiming that this whole silent treatment wasn’t hurting him, he hasn’t grinned like this since the whole Joe-situation happened.
“So you made up, huh?” Colin simply asks, finally taking the bag and peering inside.
“Yeah.” Bradley says. He grabs some of the napkins from inside of the bag, laying them out on their laps before grabbing a bagel for himself.
“What did he say?”
Bradley shrugs, “We talked it out.”
Colin grabs a bagel for himself. “You’re not going to give me any details, are you?” He doesn’t even need the details, he just wants to make sure Joe doesn’t hate them, doesn’t hate him. “Joe doesn’t hate me anymore, right?”
Bradley shrugs and grins when Colin slaps his arm.
Colin seems to think this accidentally-coming-out-to-Joe-incident makes them enter the stage in their relationship where they come out to all their friends. Bradley feels sort of sucker-punched into the whole thing when one day he gets a text from Colin, asking him to come to his room. Bradley runs over there with a bit of a bounce in his step, he hasn’t seen Colin since yesterday and “Can you come over?” is usually code for “Joe’s not here, let’s make out.”
Bradley is pretty much always in the mood for making out.
When he gets to the room, however, he doesn’t quite find a willing Colin lying naked on the bed. No, he finds Colin sitting down with a dark-haired beauty (who Bradley vaguely recognizes as that girl Colin spends quite a lot of time with,) next to him. Bradley stands in front of them and the girl -Katie, Colin calls her- basically checks him out and interrogates him a little for a couple of minutes (So you’re Bradley? Are you gonna take good care of my Colin here? and even: What is it your parents do exactly?) The whole experience is sort of traumatizing and when she leaves to go to class Bradley scoffs at Colin.
“You could have warned me.”
“Hm?” Colin asks, distracted.
“You could have texted me saying: Please come over to meet my friend, Bradley. Or Katie is here, Bradley, care to join us? Or Come stand in the middle of my room while my friend and I stare at you creepily, Bradley.”
“We stared at you… creepily?” Colin asks.
“Yeah you did. She was looking at me like she was trying to decided if she should vote me off the island or not.”
Colin’s mouth goes O shaped for a second, “You thought I’d asked you to come over to make out, didn’t you? That’s why you’re so grumpy.”
Bradley splutters, horrified. “No.”
They end up making out until Joe gets back anyway, and so Bradley can’t say he really minded having to come over that afternoon. It’s just the principal of the matter, really.
The second time it happens Colin’s in the cafeteria talking to some of his fellow students. Bradley spots him and walks over to say hello (and possibly steal Colin away to eat with him somewhere more secluded.) Colin tells him to sit down though, and introduces him to the whole table as: my boyfriend, Bradley. He doesn’t even blink or blush. Unlike Bradley, who has to hide his face behind his cup of water for a couple of moments until he feels the color on his cheeks go down a little again.
“My boyfriend, Bradley?” Bradley asks when they’re back up in his room.
“Hm?” Colin asks, taking off his sweater, “That’s what you are, right?”
And normally Bradley would have made a fuss about it, would have told Colin that they should talk about stuff like that before taking him by surprise like that. But that ”right?”, and the way Colin had said it (smile faltering a little as he bit at his thumbnail,) had pretty much made that impossible, now hadn’t it?
So instead he just nods and smiles at Colin before kissing him and saying: “Yeah. Yeah, I am.”
Bradley thinks Colin simply won’t get it before he’s the one who it’s been sprung on.
On their way up to the pizza place, a couple of days later, they run into Brenda. Bradley thinks this is the perfect opportunity to teach Colin a little lesson. Brenda’s in a couple of his classes and a really fun girl, they went out drinking once and it was safe to say she’d completely out drank all of the guys. It had been a fun night.
“Brenda,” Bradley greets her, “This is my boyfriend, Colin!”
Colin doesn’t quite react like Bradley was expecting him to. He just grins all shyly and grabs Bradley’s jacket sleeve, pulling at it and giving Bradley a look that makes his knees go a little weak. Bradley himself grins back and -to his horror- get just as flustered as he did in the cafeteria, the only exception being that now it’s because of that look Colin’s giving him.
Brenda’s been watching the whole thing, she laughs. “You’re such a square, Bradley.” She tells him, ruffling his hair and waving them goodbye, “Nice to meet you Colin. Bradley, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Colin keeps bumping their feet together under the table in the pizza place, he tells Bradley about that time his cousin’s head got stuck in between the banister at night. He’d been too scared to wake anyone up and so he’d been stuck there all night long until Colin’s mother had woken up the next morning. They laugh loudly and soon the whole restaurant is giving them weird looks; they don’t really care.
When Colin wakes up the next morning there’s a card on his nightstand.
After that it’s Santiago and Angel.
They technically already know about Bradley and Colin, but Colin still wants to grab something to eat with them and introduce them to Bradley officially. Whatever that means, Bradley is not looking forward to it.
Bradley’s fidgeting next to Colin when they get to Santiago’s room.
“We could go back to my room,” Bradley says, pulling Colin in a hug. Colin leans into it, smiles coyly and Bradley feels confident enough to mumble against his jaw: “Ben won’t get back ‘til tomorrow evening and we could-”
Santiago opens the door en Colin scrambles out of Bradley’s embrace, embarrassed and flustered. Bradley feels somewhat smug when he sees the matching embarrassed look on Santiago’s face. Bradley’s got half a mind to drape his arm around Colin’s shoulder, but wisely chooses not to. He did that once when they’d been out drinking and this one girl kept looking at Colin. Colin had not been pleased with it, even less so when Joe had burst out laughing and said: Why don’t you piss against his leg and mark your territory already. Bradley had been really close to punching Joe in the mouth that time.
“Angel’s still getting ready, she said she’d be here in five minutes,” Santiago says, “Want to wait inside?”
“Sure.” Colin smiles, pulling Bradley through the door by his sleeve.
“Uhm, you guys met.” Colin says, and he looks a little uncomfortable. Bradley doesn’t get why, if anyone has the right to be uncomfortable it’s him. But he smiles and says: “Yeah, we’ve met a couple of times,” anyway. He sticks out his hand and shakes Santiago’s. Santiago’s got a really firm and confident handshake; of course.
Colin had expected a lot of things to happen on their little double date. He’d expected Bradley to be a little cross about the whole thing, but to still behave himself like the decent human being Colin knows he is. He’d also expected him to stay clear from Santiago and basically talk to him as little as possible. Colin had even expected Angel to look gorgeous (and make Colin feel fluster about the whole thing,) and for her to charm Bradley into liking her and having a great evening.
What Colin hadn’t expected, however, (the thought had honestly not even crossed his mind,) was for Bradley to be charmed by Angelso badly that he’d not have eyes for anybody else the whole night.
Colin and Santiago stare as Angel and Bradley talk, quite animatedly, about kiting. Yes, kiting. Colin didn’t even know Bradley enjoyed kiting, nor did he know that Angel did, nor had he ever imagined that they would bond over something as strange as kiting.
At first Colin and Santiago have loads to talk about themselves, they talk about class and upcoming movies. Halfway through the night Colin notices that Santiago has started getting a little restless though, he keeps glancing over at Angel and Bradley. He also tries, on numerous accounts, to involve Angel and even Bradley in their conversation but the two of them seem content to just keep talking among themselves, now about pottery. Honest to god pottery. Colin’s a little shocked.
When they say goodbye to Santiago and Angel in front of the dorm building Bradley actually waves at them (well, at Angel,) before turning to Colin and saying: “I had such a nice time.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Colin laughs.
And Colin’s actually very pleased about this, he just likes that Bradley has made a friend he actually wants to spend time with. Bradley’s time is usually divided between school, Colin and hanging out with Joe. Colin is pretty sure this will do Bradley a world of good. Angel is a very nice and very funny girl, and when Bradley’s with her Colin at least doesn’t have to worry about the police calling him to come and pick them up after a drunk night together.
Bradley and Angle have lunch together whenever they have class in the same building, (which is every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.) They also go out drinking coffee in Starbucks (which, okay, Colin finds a bit odd since Bradley doesn’t even really like coffee to begin with,) and they’ve been out to a couple of concerts and movies together. Colin is quite grateful for that, in all honesty, Bradley’s music taste drives him up the wall sometimes.
The first time Colin starts worrying is when they’re at Richard’s one afternoon to get a couple of books and Bradley buys Angel a card.
“What do you think?” Bradley grins, he holds out the card for Colin to see.
Colin chuckles and reaches out for the card.
“Angel’s gonna love it.” Bradley chuckles.
“Oh…” Colin replies faintly, his nails digging in his skin as his hands curl up in fists.
The next day Santiago storms into Colin’s room. He’s desperate and Colin has never seen him in this state before. He keeps asking Colin if he doesn’t think it’s strange they’ve been spending so much time together? but Colin just tells him there’s nothing to worry about, he’s not worried for sure and Santiago shouldn’t be either. When Santiago steps out of the door a couple of hours later Colin calls Bradley.
“Hi, sweetheart!” Bradley says, “How’s the studying going?”
“Not so well,” Colin hears music in the background and people shouting. “Where are you?”
“Having dinner with Angel. She knows the best places, I have to take you here sometimes, you’ll love it.”
“Oh,… that’s great.” Colin lies.
“Where’s Bradley?” Joe asks when he gets back a while later.
“Out for dinner with Angel.” Colin tells him, staring down at his textbook, and he really needs to focus and study just a little bit more for today.
“Again?” Joe frowns, “Isn’t that like the fourth time this week?”
“Yeah…” Colin says, writing something down and scribbling it out again.
“Wow.” Joe simply says before flipping down on his bed.
And Colin wants to ask Joe what he means by that. He wants to ask if Bradley’s been like that before, (if maybe Bradley likes boys and girls?) and if Bradley’s been talking to Joe about leaving him? But he doesn’t, because Colin doesn’t get jealous, and he might just be a little afraid of what Joe’s answer will be.
Colin doesn’t snap, however, until Bradley announces to Colin a couple of days later that Angel and him are going take full advantage of the globalization (the world’s a village and all that,) by borrowing her brother’s car and driving to Disney Land in Paris.
“Paris?” Colin asks, “You’re going to Paris? You don’t even speak French.”
“Angel does, and besides, we’re not going there to mingle with the French we’re-”
And Colin completely loses it. “Ugh Bradley, can you even hear yourself talk? You and Angel are gonna get a car and take a road trip to the middle of France to then go prance around in the most romantic amusement park on the continent?” He knows he shouldn’t be yelling like this, (he’s got very curious neighbors,) but it’s the lump in his throat and the trembling in his knees that keep him going. “You’re being a complete asshole, and I don’t know what you’re planning or what you’re thinking, but she’s got a boyfriend, remember? A very worried and pissed off boyfriend might I add, and he might look harmless but if you push him enough I’m pretty sure he’s capable of punching you in the throat.”
“Colin,” Bradley says, eyes wide and mouth open, “What in God’s name are you yelling about?” He reaches out for Colin’s arm but Colin shrugs him off again. “I have a boyfriend too, I don’t-” His eyes widen in sudden realization and Colin wants to run away and hide, or possibly kick Bradley in the shin and make Bradley hold him.
“You’re jealous.” Bradley says. “You think me and Angel…”
“No.” Colin says in a way that very obviously means the exact opposite. Colin looks at the genuine shock on Bradley’s face and wants to hide again, throws his hands over his face in frustration (and a little in embarrassment.)
“I love you, Colin.” Bradley says. “I don’t- I don’t even think I’d know how to love anybody else. This is probably the hardest and most complicated thing I’ve ever had to do, and I don’t see how anybody else could really be worth the trouble. Just you…”
Colin feels his face heat up behind his hands.
“And Angel’s a girl, Colin,” Colin doesn’t need to see Bradley’s face to know he’s scrunching his nose, “Colin? Can you look at me? ‘Cause I’m feeling a little silly here with you not looking at me while I tell you this…”
Colin pries his hands away from his face, finger by finger, to find that Bradley’s blushing just as hard as he is, if not worse. Bradley reaches out for him again and Colin lets him, let’s Bradley pull him close in his embrace.
“I’m sorry,” Colin says to Bradley’s neck.
“Don’t be.” Bradley replies, “I’m actually kind of happy. I’m usually always the one who acts like an idiot when I’m jealous. It’s just nice to know I’m not the only one who’s… an idiot.”
It’s not really funny, but Colin chuckles into Bradley’s neck anyway.
Later that night, when Colin’s sound asleep next to him in their tiny bed, the rest of what Colin had said comes back to Bradley’s mind and he’s momentarily afraid that Santiago will come and punch him in the throat. Then he just starts grinning like an idiot because Santiago (the bronze God with the bouncy hair and firm handshake,) has actually been feeling jealous of him, Bradley.
Bradley walks around feeling pleased as punch for the rest of the week.
The last step, obviously, is coming out to their parents, as Colin announces to Bradley one night when Bradley’s just about to fall asleep after a rather spectacular blow job. His toes are still tingling a bit.
“Do your parents know about you… preferring guys?” Colin asks him.
“Yeah.” Bradley mumbles sleepily into Colin’s bicep.
Colin buries himself further under the blankets. “How did they react?”
“I don’t know, good I guess?” Bradley says, “How did yours react?”
“They don’t exactly know that I’m gay yet.”
Bradley peers one eye open, “Seriously?”
“Yeah,” Colin’s eyes are droopy and his hair is sticking up every which way, it’s distracting.
“How did that happen?”
“I was never sure - until I’d already moved out here.”
“You weren’t sure before you started college?”
Colin bites his thumbnail, “I wasn’t sure before you kissed me.” He admits.
“Ugh, your parents are going to hate me.” Bradley groans. “They’re going to think I turned you gay.” He can’t help the small smile on his lips anyway.
“They won’t.” Colin says, but it might have sounded more convincing if he wasn’t biting his bottom lip. “What’s your mom going to think about me?”
“My mom’s going to love you, she’s already told me she can’t wait to meet you.”
“What are you talking about?” Colin frowns, “She can’t wait to meet me?”
“Yeah, when I told her about you she said she couldn’t wait to meet you.”
“What do you mean, when you told her about me?”
Bradley blinks, he’s not sure but it looks like Colin’s eyes might pop right out of his head.
“I mean… I told her about us?” Bradley tries again.
Colin sits up in the bed, the blankets pooling around his hips, the cold creeping up on Bradley. “What did she say?”
“Too bad for Johnny.”
Colin stares and Bradley remember that Colin hasn’t been by his side ever since he was a baby like Joe, and that he sometimes has to explain things to him. Bradley sometimes finds it hard to remember a time before his life changed completely when he came to college and met Colin.
“She’s always been sort of worried about me when it comes to stuff like that… and when I told her I was seeing someone, I think it made her happy.”
“When did you tell her?”
“When you were sick that week.”
“And you didn’t think I should know about something like that?” Colin asks, “You didn’t think I should have been there when you told your parents?”
“I didn’t think… it was such a big deal?” Bradley’s always extra careful when he talks to a Colin who’s so close to getting upset with Bradley.
Colin groans and lies back down, burying his face in the pillow. That’s not a good sign. Bradley puts his hand on Colin’s back and tries to rub soothing circles in his skin. “What…” Colin starts, “If my parents…” he doesn’t finish the sentence though, just groans again and Bradley slides closer and puts his arms around him.
“If you want we can tell them together,” Bradley whisper’s in Colin’s ear, “And how could they not love me once they take one look at me?”
A couple of days later Bradley overhears Colin on the phone. “Mom, I have something important to tell you guys.” He sounds so nervous and Bradley just wants to go in and hold his hand. “Next time I come home I’m going to bring someone with me who wants to meet you guys, okay?”
Bradley smiles to himself and tiptoes away from the door again.
He goes to his room to grab a card and scribble something on the back of it, he runs back to Colin’s room and tapes it to the door before texting him Come over to my room when you’ve got time.
I also love you when you’re not moody. The card says. I also love you when you make those cute sounds when you’re sleeping, and when you give me your last French fry. When you say my name, and when you send me a text message before going to bed and it’s full of typos ‘cause you’re so tired you almost can’t keep your eyes open. It’s signed with a big heart. I pretty much always love you.
& The card Bradley gets Angel isn't an Andre Jordan one because that's just between Bradley and Colin. I found a bunch of cards by Mark Johns and thought they were pretty awesome too :)
& I wanted this chapter to maybe show a little that Bradley isn't the only one who gets a little silly and insecure when it comes to the other one :)
& Comments are greatly appreciated!