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Hold Tight and Pretend It's a Plan

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One of the things no one tells you about getting older, David thinks, is that when it comes to sex, negotiation of positions becomes less about preferences and more about possibilities.

“If I'm on my hands and knees too long, my bum knee'll go out.”

“Sorry, love, bending that way will do my back in.”

“We can do that if you want, but there's no way I'll last.”

All this is expected in a marriage, of course. Bad comedians have been making jokes about it for centuries, if not millennia. But when it comes to an exciting extramarital affair—even if said affair is fully approved of, and in fact encouraged, by one's spouse—it all gets a bit discouraging.

“Hold on a minute. There's a Jacuzzi bath in the other room!” Michael declares, like a reverse Archimedes. “I saw it when we first arrived. Want to give that a try?”

David very much wants to. It's a brilliant idea. A respectable amount of time later, he comes straddling Michael's lap, his cock in Michael's hand and his bad knee conveniently placed in the path of a soothing water jet. Michael follows him a moment later, his eyes closed and his face a picture of bliss. That's one of the things David finds so attractive about him. Even in normal life, Michael's every emotion plays across his face. There's no hiding anything with him. David himself is more reserved, more closed off.

David kisses Michael through his orgasm, and when he's done, he slips off Michael to sit beside him, cuddled in close in the bath that seems made for an entire rugby team. “That was great,” David says. It's true, but Michael laughs.

“Once we got there.”

“We got there.” That's all that matters.

Michael opens his eyes. “You were a goer once, though, right?”


“I should have known. It's always the loveliest people who have the most exciting sexual histories.”

“I wouldn't say that.”

“You can tell me about it. If you want.” His voice suggests Michael would like David to tell him.

David resists the actor's urge to embellish, and sticks to the truth. “It's not much. Really. A few girls and boys when I was younger, two other guys since I've been married.” Both close friends, like Michael, because he can't trust anyone else. David loves his family and his career, in that order, and neither would have been well served by “Doctor Who Anal Probing”-themed headlines in the tabloids. “We were a little adventurous. Sometimes.”

David has fond memories of fucking on dining tables and on floors and against walls, of a truly ill-considered handjob in the lavatory of a plane he still can't believe they got away with, and of a blowjob in costume moments before David took the stage. But the memories aren't entirely fond. Even in his thirties and early forties, that stuff was exhausting. “I mostly remember waking up sore the next day. And not,” he adds, “the good kind of sore.” The kind that makes you pop a Paracetemol and wonder why the hell you hadn't used the perfectly comfortable bed, or at minimum, a sofa. “This is much nicer.” He presses his lips to Michael's cheek to emphasize the point.

Michael smiles at him, his hand catching David's beneath the water. “Has anyone ever told you how incredibly sweet you are?” He raises the hand to his lips. He kisses once, gallantly, then lets his tongue trace David's knuckles. It will be a while until David will be up for it again, and he'll probably need a nap first, but the gesture is warm, loving. It goes to David's heart rather than his cock.

Which is something else that's different this time around. His dalliances with men aren't love affairs; it's purely about sex. But Michael doesn't feel like a “friend with benefits.” It seems like he could be more than that, but it also feels like that ship may have sailed long ago.

David knows about the theory of parallel universes. He couldn't explain it in any great detail, but there's a part of him that likes to speculate what might have happened if things had gone differently in his life. He wouldn't trade his family for anything, but what if, in some other universe, there's a David who got together with Michael much sooner? Maybe a David who grew close to him, even fell in love with him, on the set of “Bright Young Things.” That David, he thinks, would likely have kept to the stage, the world being what it was in the early 2000s, maybe done bit parts on television. Probably no "Casanova", definitely no "Doctor Who." And chances are, he would have been very happy regardless.

“You don't look,” Michael says, “like a man who is thinking only about my extraordinary sexual prowess.”

David hesitates, but he can talk about this with Michael. He can talk about anything with Michael. “Do you ever wonder what might have happened if we'd done this much sooner?”

“What, like during filming? I for one was throwing out signals at the table read, but someone took his time to notice me.”

“Sooner than that. Years and years ago.”

“Ah.” Michael looks thoughtful. His curly hair, damp with exertion and with the heat of the bath, hangs limply. David pushes it back, then kisses his forehead. “Well," Michael goes on, "I think you would have certainly been the first openly bisexual actor to play the Doctor.”

“I don't know if that...”

“And,” Michael adds, punctuating the word with a kiss to David's face, then another to his throat, “I would have made damn sure we were the first couple down the aisle the moment same-sex marriage was legalized.”

David laughs, but there's a twist in his gut. “You know I'll never leave her.” The words echo in the ridiculously large bathroom. Who needs a bathroom this large, anyhow? David asks himself. Evidently, the same people who bathe with entire rugby teams.

“I'd never ask you to. I wouldn't want you to, sweetheart. The pair of you are obviously very well suited for marriage. And you and I are obviously well suited to this.”

“This being...” He hadn't meant to start a Big Discussion, but now that it's gone in that direction, David feels he has to follow the thread.

“Fun. Friendship. Great sex, even if it is a bit on the geriatric side.”

“It is not geriatric.”

“A relationship,” Michael continues, “where nobody has to argue about whose turn it is to take out the bins, or who forgot to pick up toilet paper.” He looks at David, a smile on his lips. “How do you feel about that?”

David smiles back. “I feel,” he replies, “like I'm going to drag my geriatric body out of here and go lie on the bed for a bit.”

“And if someone felt like joining you for a bit of a cuddle, leading to maybe a short sleep, then a nice, comfortable blowjob a little way down the line?”

“I think that someone would be very welcome indeed.” With a final, lingering kiss, David stands up, ignoring the mild protest from his knee. He dries off with a plush hotel towel, hanging it carefully on the towel rack before he goes. As he collapses onto the decadently wide bed, David spares a thought for all those other Davids out there, in their alternate universes. He hopes they're happy; he hopes they have what they want.. Because this David, by some incredible stroke of luck, has absolutely everything.