Elliot is giving too many notes. Elliot is giving too many notes to Aaron. Elliot is giving too many imperceptive, incoherent, bad notes to Aaron.
Bryan has already tried to intervene diplomatically, without blatantly pulling rank or embarrassing anyone--a tactic which has proven spectacularly ineffectual. And Aaron, with that wonderful glitch in his limbic system, just keeps on nodding receptively. His head tilts to one side in concentration, his upper body bent forward like Elliot is imparting the wisdom of the ages. Like Elliot is the most gifted director to ever grace his presence instead of a neophytic fucking twit who doesn't have the faintest idea how to communicate with actors.
Bryan's limbic system is in perfect working order. He's starting to get royally pissed off.
They've barely made their day. Lupe is circling Bryan crisply and doing things to his wardrobe; she has to poke him repeatedly in order to get him to cooperate. Bryan's gaze is trained across the soundstage.
The expression on Elliot's face is largely obscured by shadow, but he's standing with Aaron and making short, sharp gestures at him with both hands. "Oh, come on, are you kidding me?" Bryan mutters. Aaron is still nodding and tilting and bending, but he's holding his arms close to his chest and starting to scratch at that nook above his collarbone.
Then Elliot makes an especially sharp gesture, his shoulders jerking; Aaron jerks a bit, too. Dismay and confusion glitter briefly in his eyes.
You are not going over there right now, Cranston. You're not going over there now, and here's why. First of all--
"Ow, shit!" Bryan yelps, twisting around.
"Well, don't walk away from me while I'm trying to undress you," Lupe tells him reasonably.
By the time he's managed to untangle himself, Elliot and Aaron are already heading off in separate directions. Bryan pounds off in his own direction, back out to his trailer, where he plops down with a hot bamboo towel over his head and allows himself to steam.
"Oh, sorry, shit--I didn't know you were still--"
Bryan peers out between ice-cold flaps of towel. Aaron is in civilian clothes, his face scrubbed clean, the front of his hair dark and spiky. "No, no, come in," Bryan says quickly, and tosses the towel aside, suddenly wondering how long he's been sitting there.
"You okay?" Aaron is asking him, and seriously, the man should donate his brain to science. Bryan gets up from the sofa, smiling wryly.
"Who, me?" He pats Aaron lightly on the shoulder, then heads into the bathroom to slap on some cold cream. "Fine. Why?"
"Just asking. Long day, right?"
"Mmm-hmm." He finishes washing his face, waits until he's back in Aaron's field of vision to add, "For you, primarily."
"Oh--yeah, I know, with those last couple of takes? I don't know, for whatever reason I was just having some trouble, like, connecting--"
"The only trouble you were having," Bryan interrupts him, "was with Elliot. The guy is completely--" he slices the air for emphasis, "completely out in left field. I'm sorry, not to put too fine a point on it--"
"Yeah, no, no, I know. That's what I was about to say. I was having some trouble connecting with Elliot. But it's only--"
"I don't know what Vince was thinking, frankly. This--"
"He's a good director." Aaron shrugs, helping himself to the Heisenberg Pez dispenser on Bryan's dressing table. "He did that indie film with Lucy Punch. It was actually totally brilliant. Did you see it?"
"No. No idea."
"I can't remember the name. But yeah." Aaron pops a few more Pez in his mouth. "Anyway," he continues between crunches, "Vince wouldn't've hired him if he was a total dick. It's only his first day, maybe he got nervous or something. I'm sure it'll be fine."
Bryan drops back into the sofa, sighing mightily. "Maybe so. But you know, as actors, at what point do we need to stop taking into account the learning curve and just start beating the living shit out of these guys?"
Aaron laughs. "Uh, at least not until the second day of filming, brother. At least."
"Yeah. I suppose you're right," relents Bryan. "Okay." He's still feeling cranky, though, his muscles stiff and nervy with the remnants of adrenaline. Aaron returns Heisenberg to the dressing table, then perches on the nearest arm of the sofa.
"You're not going home?" he asks Bryan after a moment.
"I am. I just need a few minutes."
"You want me to drive you? I'm totally awake."
"No, I'm okay. Just...still trying to decompress."
Aaron's forehead wrinkles. "You want a massage?"
"Oh, no. No, no, no. Then I would fall asleep."
"Well, and then I'd drive you home."
"Sure, yep. Right after you carried me to the car."
"Oh." The forehead wrinkles deepen. "Yeah, it's true, I probably couldn't really get that done."
"You're entirely too much of a cream puff," Bryan agrees, "though I appreciate the offer. Really, I'm fine."
Aaron is quiet for another few moments, then shifts and looks at Bryan again. The forehead wrinkles unfurl abruptly.
"Want me to give you a blowjob?"
They've made it past the part where Bryan glances up and smirks and then quits smirking long enough to hear Aaron's silence and then thinks Oh my holy mother of God. That part was heart-stopping, had to be.
Now he's absorbing all of the elements of the expression on Aaron's face. Game, gentle eyes; upward-tipping chin; light smile with the perfect hint of teeth--Bryan understands right away. This next part is designed to be easier.
He can start smirking again--or not. It's entirely up to him.
Basically what you have in this moment, at least according to the brutally objective portion of Bryan's brain, is a slightly-older-than-middle-aged dude sporting an electric-blue Isotopes ringer and a damp goatee, staring down at the freckles on his knees as his belt buckle flops backward and his pants puddle stylishly around his ankles.
Fortunately, as far as the rest of Bryan's brain is concerned? He is the star of a custom-made porno, having popped a boner with the facility of a dude some twenty years younger. His briefs are Calvin Klein and low-rise and jet black, thank you, and they slide smoothly along the muscles of his runner's calves. And in between his freckled knees, sweetly separating and then stroking up the insides of his thighs, is--ohGod--
A section of his porno-brain shutters, diverts the resources back to its counterpart. Shit. Shit. Aaron. Shit. No. Stop. Stop!
...It might have just a tad bit more impact if he tried saying it out loud. "No," Bryan sputters, "no--stop. Stopstopstop."
That sweet touch is lost in an instant, a draft raising the hair on his flesh. Bryan wants to kick himself--Aaron is rocking swiftly away from him. Dismay and confusion glitter briefly in his eyes.
"Sorry," Aaron says, "I, uh--so you don't want a blowjob? Or...?"
Of course he wants a blowjob. Who the hell doesn't want a blowjob? "No--no, look, just--" Bryan reaches forward blindly, seeks out and seizes both of Aaron's hands. "C'mere. C'mere, c'mere."
"Man, I'm sorry--" Aaron tries again as he levers himself onto the sofa, but Bryan gives a harsh shh and nudges him soundly in the knee. Aaron snorts quietly.
"Um," says Bryan. His voice sounds low and hollow under the heartbeat in his ears. He swallows a couple of times, tugs Aaron closer. "If you're sure you want to--uh. Only if you're absolutely sure...?"
He squeezes Aaron's fingers. Aaron squeezes back emphatically. Suddenly feeling kind of overwhelmed, Bryan turns his head quickly, pressing his mouth to the middle of Aaron's temple.
Breathing there, closing his eyes, he guides Aaron's hand down to his cock.
"Tell me what you want," Aaron murmurs. He swipes a thumb back and forth along the underside of Bryan's cockhead.
Bryan chokes out something nonsensical. He grips the edge of the sofa for dear life.
"Come on," Aaron murmurs again. The nimble thumb gathers up moisture, swirling it all along Bryan’s shaft. "How do you want me to.... You know? God, I just want it to be so fucking good for you."
"Oh fuck. Fuck," is still about the best Bryan can do. If Aaron keeps talking like that, keeps--rubbing--just like that--
A few excruciating moments inch by before Aaron seems to catch on. More excruciatingly still, that exquisite, unbearable rubbing seems to stall out entirely…until Bryan's right hand is grasped and guided down, to be draped gently over the knuckles of Aaron’s left.
"Show me,” Aaron murmurs. His cheek nestles into the crook of Bryan's neck.
"Like that? Okay.... Okay, yeah--just like that?"
"Yeah. Yeah. Just a little harder when you get--right--shit. Yeah. Like that. That--that's perfect--yeah, that's good, that's good--"
He leaves Aaron to it, goes back to gripping the furniture. Aaron works his hand up and down Bryan's shaft, maintaining Bryan's pace, alternating the pressure the way Bryan had shown him--
--and then breezily throwing in this other thing, still mimicking Bryan's technique but avoiding contact with his cockhead, for two strokes, three strokes, four. Occasionally his fingertips dance over the frenulum; Bryan is out of his skull in pretty much no time.
"Oh God. Oh God. Oh God--oh God, fuck, please--"
There's a gentle mumble on his neck, and the home stretch is totally Aaron: his strokes become shorter and more firm, and oh fuck he's bringing his right hand to cover Bryan's cockhead, squeezing and pumping down; bringing his left hand up again, squeezing and pumping down--
Bryan's limbs are trembling helplessly. The back of his head meets the back of the sofa.
"Oh yeah, fuck--fuck fuck fuck--oh my God, Aaron, good--so good--you're so good, you're so good, you're so good--"
The rest is a protracted, guttural groan. Aaron finishes him tenderly.
"Fuck," he sighs into Bryan's skin, "so beautiful."
Of course, by the time Bryan's entire body has gone slack and his chin has dropped to his chest like an anchor, Aaron isn't so much sighing as he is actively giggling at him.
"Yeah, yeah." Some shuffling sounds commingle with the snickers. "I assume you'll be taking that home and washing it," he deadpans, peering up to find Aaron kneading his hands in the bamboo towel.
"Right," Aaron laughs. He flips the towel over, enfolds Bryan's cock with it, caresses him.
Bryan's chin drops right back down again. "Nice.... Royal treatment. I've got some grapes over there in the fridge you can feed me later on, by the way."
"Mmm, grapes," approves Aaron. He pauses a minute, his gaze on his ministrations. "Hey, uh. Can I ask? Why you didn't want...?"
"Huh?" replies Bryan hazily, unable to conjure a thing he wouldn't have wanted. Aaron glances up at him with raised eyebrows.
"Remember? You stopped me before I could--?"
"Oh! Oh, right." Smiling, he sweeps Aaron's chin with his forefinger and thumb. "Clearly I didn't feel like there was anything lacking."
Aaron smiles in return. "Yeah. But I would have--"
"I could see that you would have. And don't get me wrong, I mean--" Bryan lets his eyes widen comically, splays his free hand in a universal Pow! Aaron smiles some more.
"But," Bryan agrees, and sweeps his way up the contour of Aaron's jaw, "I just didn't want anything...from you...that I wasn't completely sure I could reciprocate."
Aaron's expression alters subtly. A tiny muscle quivers beneath the pad of Bryan's thumb. "I wasn't expecting you to.... I mean, the offer was unconditional. I wasn't, like, expecting anything."
"Ugh, do you mind? We're talking about my needs here." Bryan leans forward casually, recoups the towel and chucks it to one side. "So incredibly selfish," he adds, wiggling his Calvin Kleins back over his hips (there's no way to accomplish this casually) and punting his pants halfway across the trailer floor. Aaron sits beside him like a statue, save for the Adam's apple bobbing in his throat.
And save for the moment Bryan shifts toward him, when he recoils in palpable alarm.
"Oh," says Bryan. "Oh--okay, of course, no, I mean--obviously if you're not...."
His hands fly compulsively into a kind of "here's the church, here's the steeple" configuration: ...remotely aroused by me in any way, shape, or form.
But Aaron is straightening up, blinking. "What? " he says hoarsely. "My God, no. No, that is not--not even--"
Bryan lowers his hands into his lap, blinking back at him, bewildered. Aaron hisses in a breath.
And it occurs to Bryan precisely then that Aaron hasn't been his usual easy, free-form self for a little stretch of time now; that even as he was cleaning them up it was strictly his upper body that twisted, the remainder of him carefully front-facing and taut. Now he's just as carefully unfolding, slim legs sliding apart, dress shirt riding up his waistline.
In the subsequent onslaught of relief and desire Bryan forgets Aaron's initial reaction completely, practically topples over in an effort to get at him. This time Aaron doesn't quite recoil, but Bryan hears the wrong kind of hitch in his breathing and withdraws at the last second, shakily.
"Just--give me a minute," Aaron whispers. His eyes are incandescent. Bryan nods his head dumbly.
Aaron unsnaps and peels away his jeans with those same slow, careful movements, pulling himself out almost noiselessly, just the spongy pat of flesh bumping flesh. His erection is stunning and desperate, thick and dark, the head engorged and wine-colored and visibly weeping.
"Oh, my God. Aaron...." Bryan tries for an admonishing look, knows it's ended up unhinged and pleading. Let me. For God sake you have to let me.
Virtually the moment Bryan touches him, ginger as he endeavors to be, everything about Aaron changes. His back stiffens. His cheeks flood with color. He gulps in lungfuls of air like he's been drowning. His fingers scrabble for a hold on Bryan's T-shirt, latching on rabidly right above the hem.
"Oh, fuck," he grates out, "fuck, Bryan, I can't...fuck, can't last, not gonna last--!"
"Oh--oh, okay, shit!" Bryan answers him, gasping. "Come on, it's okay, it's okay! Come on--come on, my God--"
He gets in close to four artless strokes before Aaron cries out, bucks his hips. He ejaculates for what feels like forever, cursing brokenly, hips jerking, cock jerking, forehead pushing into the curve of Bryan's right shoulder.
"Yeah, oh yeah, that's it." He squeezes and releases the back of Aaron's neck soothingly, gasps again into the soft drifts of his hair. "Good, Aaron. Good."
"That honestly doesn't usually happen," Aaron is explaining to him. His tone is lazy and warm, with only the faintest hint of chagrin. He's wrapped around Bryan like a monkey.
"No, no, I believe it." Bryan deposits a kiss on the top of Aaron's ear. "But you know--and not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything, but maybe if you didn't sit there playing nursemaid while your balls are like...." He waves a hand around vaguely. "Seriously. Just--don't do that again. I don't ever want you thinking that's something you need to do."
Aaron tilts his head, nods at Bryan receptively. "Okay. Is that your only note, or...?"
Bryan rolls his eyes. "Whatever," he harumphs. Then, as Aaron audibly coughs back a giggle: "I should've beat the living shit out of him."
"I actually don't think you can beat the living shit out of the director for being mean to me."
"I think I can. I think it falls well within my purview."
Aaron rolls his head forward, laughing now with the same unqualified relish as usual; as usual Bryan grins helplessly in reply. When Aaron comes up for air again, one of his hands comes up, too, cupping Bryan's face from his chin up to his cheek.
"You ready to go home now?" he asks Bryan, softly.
Bryan, still grinning with abandon, turns his lips to Aaron's palm and mouths the answer. He listens confidently for Aaron's clear and happy hum.