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Things had been… Strange, after their interlude in Hacker’s office. They still had to work with each other, day in and day out, but the atmosphere was changed between them in a way so obvious that even Bernard had started to notice the difference. Hacker couldn’t seem to look at him straight on most of the time, and even when he did his expression varied between open rage and strange confusion. For his part he was subject to extreme pangs of guilt every time he was in five feet of Hacker, which was a brand new sensation and one that he was not entirely comfortable with. They were neither of them, not to put too fine a point on it, entirely at their best.

For once, he was reluctant to admit, he had very little idea how to progress. He had gotten everything he wanted, leverage to get him out of the whole spy business and more besides, but somehow he desired more than that. Hacker to look at him properly again, Hacker to suggest they sleep together again under less deceptive circumstances, Hacker not to hate him with all the passion he could muster. He found himself confused and dazed, longing after things in a way he had never done before.

He had been wandering around in a daze for just over a week, ever since Hacker had icily dismissed him from his presence while wiping his spend off his hand, and he remained in that state as he edged his way into the cabinet room after yet another meeting. Hacker was sitting at the table, his head bowed and his gaze intensely upon his hands.

That wasn’t a good sign, and he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the fact that he wasn’t jubilant at that. He carefully cleared his throat, attempting to gather himself back to his usual level of calm and collected and not at all so distracted that somebody could’ve attempted to take over the civil service right underneath his nose. “Prime Minister-”

Hacker finally looked up at him, and he noted with yet another uncomfortable pang that the expression on his face was anger today. He really should be pleased at that, should be triumphant that another ruse of his had worked quite so well; he shouldn’t feel guilty, or upset, or a little like he was about to be sick. “So you’ve won against me yet again, Humphrey.”

Goodness, that really wasn’t a positive sign. He took in a deep breath, even though he had never needed a deep breath to deal with any minister before, and carefully folded his hands behind his back so that Hacker couldn’t see if he went white knuckled. “Prime Minister?”

“You managed to get in the minds of the other permanent secretaries again, and those permanent secretaries have done a quite wonderful job of getting inside the minds of my cabinet,” Hacker said, his tone more bitter than he’d ever heard it, and pushed back from the table. He had seen his minister in all states of tension, but he had never seen him pace quite so furiously. “The defence minister, once thoroughly in favour of decreasing the budget, now thinks that it would be a terrible idea. The home secretary, who would once disagree with the defence minister on principle alone, is now determined to back him to the hilt. And as for the first secretary of state… I suppose I should be glad that my entire cabinet is united, for once, but they all seem to have united against me.”

Ah, yes. Now that Hacker spoke of it he did know what was going on. Yet another stratagem that he’d put into play just before the spy business; Hacker had wanted to decrease the defence budget, and he had been naturally against such foolhardy action. A week ago it had seemed all consuming, but in the intervening days the matter had slipped his mind entirely. He supposed that he should take it as a good sign, in a way, that the wheels of the civil service were greased well enough to run even without him.

“Why do you hate me so much, Humphrey?” It was hard to take anything as a good sign, however, when Hacker was looking at him with such wounded eyes. Once upon a time he had thought the man laughably incapable of ever hurting him, but now the expression on his face cut like a knife. “Why are you so committed to overturning my every attempt to make a little progress? To implement a few changes? To try and improve things for the average British voter?”

It was on the tip of his tongue to say that he didn’t hate Hacker, in fact quite the opposite, but such words would’ve been foolish and he wasn’t often in the habit of doing foolish things. He wet his lips instead, tried once again to get back on an even footing. “Prime Minister, really…”

“Why are you so committed to acting against me, even when it would be in your best interests not to do anything of the sort?” Hacker simply spoke over him, obviously somewhat past the point of reason. His eyes remained impossibly wounded, ridiculously guilt inducing. “Why are you so committed to hurting me?”

Hacker was talking explicitly, almost undeniably, about their interlude in his office and they both knew it. He was rarely in the habit of being discombobulated, he would’ve sworn on his life a few years ago, but somehow Hacker seemed to manage it on an alarmingly frequent basis. He licked his lips again, fruitlessly for his mouth remained bone dry, and finally forced himself to meet Hacker’s alarmingly direct gaze. “I am only doing my job, Prime Minister.”

“You are doing rather more than that, Humphrey. You are the world record holder at overturning my every single attempt to find even a speck of joy in this miserable position,” Hacker said harshly, refusing to look away even when their eyes met. As ever, between them, this looked to be becoming a power struggle that would leave them both dazed and bleeding. “You’re always watching, always waiting, always plotting like some sick spider in the middle of an impossible administrative web… I should be disgusted by you, downright repulsed. I definitely shouldn’t want you, not any more.”

Somehow he had never, not even once, expected Hacker to actually put the attraction between them - the now consummated attraction between them - into words. His jaw dropped open for a moment before he caught himself, and even when he’d smoothed his face back into some semblance of calm his hands shook behind his back. “I…”

“Not after knowing the lengths you’re willing to go to, the way you’re willing to weaponise my desire against me.” Hacker briefly passed a hand over his face, but when he looked up again it was to stare determinedly into his eyes once more. “And yet… And yet. I still do want you, somehow. Strange, isn’t it?”

The sensible thing, the only thing, to do would be to answer him with another smooth ‘Prime Minister’ and move the subject onto far less volatile ground. Away from desire, away from betrayal, away from the strange energy that had bubbled between them from the very first meeting. He was about five seconds away from opening his mouth, from giving that neutral answer that would save the both of them. But instead, impossibly, he opened his mouth on a different answer instead. “Perhaps not that strange.”

Hacker blinked for a long moment, shocked, and then started to look decidedly suspicious. That was, he had to admit, entirely warranted; he could hardly believe that he had said such words himself. “You would say something like that. Worming your way out of an actual answer, just like always.”

“I’m not attempting to worm my way out of anything, Prime Minister,” he said, even though his common sense was screaming for him to shut up and return them to antagonistic ground once more. For the first time in his career, if not in his life, he shoved that sensible voice down until it went silent. “I know the insidious intimacy of desire. I know how it can seep into your mind and soul, even though you wish it would do anything but. I know the sweet madness of a bad idea, a bad proposition, a bad attraction. I know what it is, to have every part of your self turn against you even though you should know so much better. I know.”

Hacker blinked slowly, seeming actively baffled now. But in his eyes there was a look of reluctant understanding, like he saw far more clearly than he was supposed to. “What are you saying, Humphrey?”

“In short, Prime Minister…” He said, on the edge of the precipice, and chose both do and die at the same time. “That I feel exactly the same way as you.”

He suspected that he could’ve suddenly drawn a knife, and Hacker would’ve been left less shocked. They stared at each other for a long moment, blinking as that brand new information sunk in. That they both wanted this, that they were both undone by the bond between them no matter how unwise it was.

“You know, you should be the person I desire least in the world,” Hacker said eventually, and took a slow and testing step closer to him. The look in the man’s eyes was conflicted, yet again torn between desire and the knowledge that such desire was deadly. “Constantly thwarting me, obstructing my plans at every turn, making a fool out of me every single time I try to be vulnerable with you… And yet.”

“You should hardly be high on my list of esteemed people either, Prime Minister,” he admitted, with a helplessly wry twist of his mouth. It really was terribly humiliating, to admit that he was a human being with desires like any other. “Constantly coming up with noble schemes, and getting in the way, and trying to outsmart me at every single turn… And yet.”

And yet. The desire between them kept bubbling anyway, resolutely crawling on and on even though it should’ve been crushed by the enmity between them long before now. They stared at each other for a long moment more, both thoughtful. If thoughtful was a big enough word; taken aback would’ve been better, unsettled, downright bamboozled by this unsought for bond. They were both men in their fifties, they really should’ve known better.

And yet.

He wasn’t really sure who moved first; indeed, he expected it was some kind of collaborative movement. One moment they were standing close but separate, the very next they were on each other. Hacker bent his head slightly, and he arched up just the smallest bit, and in the next moment they were kissing with a savagery that took his breath away. The last time it had taken a while for his world to shrink, this time his attention narrowed down to the collision of their lips worryingly quickly.

Hacker made a muffled noise into his mouth, one surprisingly close to a groan, and grabbed him by the hips. Before he knew it he was being physically turned, Hacker apparently being stronger than he had ever assumed, and shoved back against the cabinet room table. He kept kissing Hacker, helplessly, even as the man pressed into him so hard that he found himself bent backwards against the wood grain.

This position had its advantages, apparently he was more inclined to submit than he had ever realized before, but was also growing increasingly uncomfortable for his back. He pushed Hacker away just enough so that he could lift himself up onto the edge, and then immediately pulled him back in when he was settled. They kissed in that new position, Hacker stood in between his legs as they learned each other’s mouths.

He had been expecting it to remain like that, just kissing, until one or both of them came to their senses. But yet again, over and over again, he had underestimated just how far Hacker would go when pushed. The man rested his hands on his hips for a moment more while kissing him, and then gave another noise against his mouth and moved his fingers in to start fumbling with his belt.

He realized with some shock that he was already harder than he had ever been, just from this inexpert fumbling, but a part of him still screamed that this was worryingly insane. He broke from Hacker’s mouth with some effort, gasped against the side of his face as the man continued to grope at his belt buckle. “The door isn’t locked.”

Hacker spared him a half a moment glance, anger and lust still firmly intermingled in his expression. “I don’t care.”

“Prime Minister,” he started, attempting to sound appropriately responsible even though most of his blood was currently between his legs, and trailed off into an involuntary gasp as Hacker leant in to bite savagely at an unexpectedly tender spot upon his neck. “If anybody walks in to find a member of the civil service, let alone the head of the civil service, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom kissing on the table of the cabinet room itself…”

“I don’t care, Humphrey,” Hacker repeated, his tone more genuinely authoritative than he’d ever heard it, and finally got his belt open. Once that step had been completed he didn’t even hesitate, merely got his trousers open and thrust his hand inside. “And I intend to do rather more than kiss you.”

For once in his life, Hacker matched bravado to action. He had to bite his lip to stop any sound from spilling from his lips at the sensation of Hacker’s hand wrapping around him, and when that failed to work he followed it up by actually burying his head in Hacker’s shoulder. The man’s hand was confined, and it should’ve been awkward and uncomfortable and possibly even painful… But heavens, if his cock didn’t harden even further at the intimacy of Hacker’s fingers fumbling against it.

Eventually Hacker let out a noise that was almost a growl against his mouth, a far rougher noise than he’d ever heard from the man before, and tugged the zipper of his trousers down fully. He had half a moment to appreciate the new feeling of space, and then Hacker was taking ahold of the top of his trousers and slowly starting to tug them down.

He sat up a little, fully intending to protest this deeply unwise act, but then Hacker flashed a deliberate look up at him and any kind of protest died helplessly in his throat. Instead he found himself briefly batting Hacker away, but only so he could deal with the fiddly matter of his shoes and socks before tugging the man deliberately back in. An assent, an admission that this strange coupling would be continuing no matter how unwise it was.

Hacker got him out of his trousers and underwear with a remarkable amount of speed, and then slid between his now naked legs to kiss him again. He leant back against the table, wanting to feel Hacker’s weight pressed over him, and for once the man took the hint and practically clambered up on the table to get a better angle. He didn’t know if the cabinet room table had ever been put to such a purpose before, but he had to admit that it was admirably capable of taking the weight of two people.

He allowed their frenzied kissing for a long few moments more, like he was capable of doing anything else, and only managed to recall himself to some sort of reality when Hacker started thrusting down against his bare thigh. He pushed him back just a little, so that there was a breath between their lips, and fruitlessly tried to remember what words were. “Wait.”

Hacker looked at him with an expression that was meant to be disapproving, but that instead ended up merely desperate. Heavens, what on earth were they doing to each other? “Humphrey…”

“I’m not asking you to stop, Prime Minister, so don’t worry about that,” he said, as dryly as he could manage given their current positions. He slid a hand into the breast of his jacket, slightly awkwardly with most of Hacker’s weight still on top of him, and tugged out a condom and a packet of lube half-smugly and half-embarrassedly.

Humphrey,” Hacker repeated, a great deal more approving this time, and took both from him with only mildly tentative hands. The look in his eyes at such a revelation was one that was going to stay with him for quite some time, an open warmth that was completely at odds with the way he had been behaving the past few days. “Were you planning this?”

“I’m not sure that a man can ever plan to get fucked in the cabinet room on a sunny Monday afternoon, prime minister.” To tell truth he didn’t know exactly why he had slipped the respective packets of condom and lube into his pocket as he had been getting dressed that morning, but he was unspeakably glad that some part of him had thought it wise to prepare in advance. “I merely hoped on some level, that is all.”

It was more of an admission than he had ever given, and they were both well aware of it. They stared at each other for a long moment in silence, both slightly taken aback, and then Hacker smiled. He expected some mockery, an entirely justified turning of the tables, but instead the man only leant in to kiss him again as he fumbled to get the lube packet open.

Yet again he managed it far quicker than expected, so quickly that he had no time to tense before Hacker was sliding his fingers in between his legs. Not that the man rushed him. At first he merely ran his fingers over the rim, pressing against his entrance until he was gasping and shuddering in a way he hadn’t managed since he was a feckless teenager first discovering what desire was.

It wasn’t long before, entirely uncharacteristically, he was making an urgent noise of protest against Hacker’s mouth and shoving pointedly down against his fingers. Hacker let out a laugh against his lips, a downright filthy sounding noise that he had never thought the man capable of, and finally indulged him with a sweetness that was startling. He started off with one finger at first, getting him used to the stretch, but soon graduated to two when he made another impatient noise. He had always rather enjoyed this part of the process, and with a partner who actually seemed to care for his reactions it was unspeakably pleasurable.

It took a little longer this time, in a way that was rather good for his pride, but before long he was thrusting down on Hacker’s fingers again and making yet more protesting whimpers. Hacker made an indulgent noise, one that he already knew he was inadvertently going to keep in his head forevermore, and finally pulled his fingers out. He got the condom out and on in a few fumbling moves, and slicked up speedily. It took barely any time at all, for him to be firmly back in position and slowly starting to press inside.

It was a little awkward at first, of course it was despite the charmed way that things had gone up until now. He gritted his teeth patiently, as Hacker shifted considerately above him, and forced himself to wait the burn out. Hacker slid in slow inch by slow inch, opening him up, and he had to remind himself that of course being fucked on a table after a long drought was going to take some getting used to. It took several long minutes before Hacker was all the way in, throbbing warmly inside him, and the overwhelming sense of pressure faded away to be replaced by an equally potent pleasure.

Thankfully, and he truly was thankful for this, matters quickly started to get better after that. Hacker checked that he was alright, and when he received a narrow eyed glare for his troubles obviously decided that the best solution was just to get on with it. He started to move his hips, building into a steady rhythm, and it didn’t take him long to catch on and match him. The sense of fullness soon became tolerable, and then thoroughly delicious. He always had liked being opened up.

Hacker was obviously enjoying it too, judging by the stifled noises he was making into his mouth. At first he was content to brace himself on the table, a steady surface instead of a warm and squirming one, but before long he obviously got other ideas in his mind. He slid a hand between them, and started fiddling with the buttons of his shirt. Before he knew it his last barrier was starting to gape open, Hacker obviously determined to strip him fully even though he was already in the process of winning everything from him.

He wasn’t even content with getting his shirt fully open, when matters progressed to that point. Once he was bared on his top too, Hacker leaned back to adjust his position - almost winning a keening cry from him in the process - and then leaned in to close his mouth around his nipple instead. It was all a little too much, a little too overwhelming for an impromptu fuck that he genuinely hadn’t seen coming. He narrowly managed to slap his hand over his mouth before he screamed the building down, found himself biting down on his palm as his pleasure increased in leaps and bounds.

Hacker kept teasing his nipple, seeming almost amused at how undone he was, but was also kind enough to reach a hand between them once more and take ahold of his cock. He had already been hurtling towards the edge at breakneck speed, undone in a way he had never once managed with anybody else, but at that simple touch he felt his body tense up entirely. He had slept with many people before, had even enjoyed it sometimes, but it had never been like this.

Given all of that, it really took no time at all before his cock was leaping against Hacker’s still clothed stomach and he was coming all over his hand and shirt once more. He may have cried out into his hand, but he had to admit that he wasn’t really sure on the subject. For once his head was too dazed, a thousand schemes and plots and plans all subsumed by the rushing force of his orgasm.

Hacker came only a few moments after him, a decided salve to his pride. Within moments they went from two rutting animals, both entirely focused on their joint pleasure, to two slightly awkward middle aged men in a state of dishabille on one of the great tables of state. Hacker removed his mouth from his nipple after a long moment of hesitation, and glanced up at him enquiringly. He stared back down slightly helplessly, genuinely not sure what the etiquette was now.

“Despite everything…” Hacker said eventually, slowly, and gave him the kind of wry smirk that he’d seen across the room a thousand times before. “I really do think that I hate you more than anybody else in the world, you know.”

“And I hate you more than I’ve ever hated any cabinet minister before, which is truly saying something,” he answered acidicly, even though he knew the words he was saying weren’t entirely true. Hatred wasn’t quite the correct word to encapsulate all that he felt for Jim Hacker, even if it was the only word it didn’t terrify him to think. “Come on, Prime Minister. We should clean ourselves before anybody finds us, and draws unfortunately accurate conclusions from our current position.”

“Of course,” Hacker said, sounding not quite relieved, and rested his head against his bare chest for a long moment before pushing himself up on his hands once more. The look in his eyes was just as complicated as the sound of his voice; not quite relieved, not quite regretful, not quite sure what had just happened between them. “Although, Humphrey…?”

“We will be doing this again, of course, Prime Minister,” he said firmly, saving the both of them. The decision probably should’ve been harder, should’ve been decidedly more complicated considering all the risks and complexities of emotion, but instead it felt like the relief he had been craving for so very long. “Except maybe in a more private setting, next time?”

He genuinely hadn’t been sure how Hacker would react, but the slow smile that spread across his face said more than any words. He leaned up for one last kiss, unspeakably pleased and not entirely inclined to explore why, and Hacker allowed it for a long moment before pulling back and out.