Some time apart, she'd said. To think things through, to decide what she wanted out of life and some time for him to decide what he wanted. Just a few days and she'd call, and they could talk about what they'd decided.
How was it that words that seemed completely reasonable could sound so accusatory? And the words 'a temporary separation' didn't seem any less painful to consider than 'divorce.'
David sighed and shuffled through the script pages again, trying to find his place. It was ridiculous to be worrying about this now. He already knew exactly what he wanted: his wife and family, in his home, with him. If Jill came to a different decision during their 'separation' he would simply have to deal with it then.
The words on the script blurred in front of his eyes, and David blinked determinedly. There was nothing to do but wait. He couldn't seem to will away the faint ache of loneliness nestled in his heart, and suddenly David wished he could call his mother, just to hear her voice. He shook the urge away; it was nearly 3 am back home, and he wasn't a child who needed to cling to his mum for comfort.
He could call her in the morning, he decided sheepishly. For now, he just needed to read over tomorrow's script. David took a determined sip of his coffee, grimacing at the taste. For all the money MGM was making from their show, it was quite annoying that they couldn't seem to find him a decent coffee machine for his dressing room.
All right, then. Time to finish this.
He looked up to see Robert peering in at him curiously. He managed a half-hearted smile. "Hello."
Robert slipped into the room and shut the door. "I thought you'd left an hour ago."
"Not yet." He held up a handful of dog-eared papers. "I wanted to go over tomorrow's script before I went home."
Robert raised an eyebrow, crossing his arms over his chest as he leaned against the closed door, and said nothing. He didn't have to; David could tell what he was thinking and couldn't blame him. He'd had hours with the new script, normally he'd have been long finished reading it. As an excuse, it had been quite weak.
"Well, Jill and the children are out of town," David added, reluctantly. "On holiday with her parents," he improvised, deciding that a partial truth was better than a complete lie. "And going home to an empty house just seems rather..." He shrugged, letting the sentence trail away.
"Useless?" Robert supplied, smiling faintly. "Yeah, I can understand that." He brightened suddenly, much to David's dismay, his expression positively gleeful. "I've got it! Why don't we go out for a change? You and me. We could have dinner, maybe go to a club and have a few drinks..."
"Please, no," David groaned, shaking his head. "Going out in public doesn't sound very appealing tonight. I'd prefer that the hair dressers not have to deal with any bald patches tomorrow." He rubbed the back of his head gingerly, remembering his last public appearance the week before. Perhaps he should take a page from those restaurant waitresses and purchase a pair of skates.
Cheerily undeterred, Robert nodded amicably. "Understandable. But that's all right. We can still have a drink together. I've got a bottle of brandy in my dressing room."
"Robert," David protested weakly. He really had just wanted some time alone but in the face of Robert's enthusiasm, it was difficult to say that. Robert talked animatedly with his hands when he was actually excited, and not simply playing a part for the camera or an interviewer. It was somewhat gratifying to see that the idea of spending a little leisure time with David could earn such a reaction.
"It's not great brandy," Robert was saying, his hand already on the doorknob. "But it is a decent brandy. Give me half a minute to find some glasses and I'll be right back!"
"S'not that I don't understand," David slurred, flapping one hand as a sort of punctuation. "I do. I am gone a lot, but this is my job!"
Robert didn't say anything. There was only one small sofa in his dressing room, and somehow, they'd both managed to sprawl out on it, his head resting comfortably on Robert's shoulder. It was just like an episode, David decided, Illya and Napoleon tied up together for some nefarious THRUSH scheme. Only in this case their hands were free to hold glasses of surprisingly fine brandy, no matter that Robert had demurred its quality over and over. That hadn't stopped them from drinking the better part of the bottle.
"Maybe she's lonely," David said, staring moodily at his glass, both it and his hand resting on Robert's chest. He lifted it suddenly and drained the last bit of the amber liquid, letting the glass slip down to thud on the carpet. His hand settled back against Robert's chest, oddly comforted with the feel of his breathing. During the past few weeks, he and Jill seemed to have been sleeping further and further apart, until one night he'd found himself in the guest room rather than his own bed. It seemed even longer than that since he'd been able to rest in someone else's arms and feel...safe. How terribly strange that it was Robert's arms that provided it. David would hardly call him more than an acquaintance at best, but there was no denying his innate friendliness. Perhaps it was time he accepted a bit more of it, rather than assuming that they had too little in common to be more than that.
"And you aren't allowed to be lonely?" It was the first Robert had spoken since he'd started his rambling monologue about his marital troubles. He'd been content to simply listen, drinking his brandy and sometimes resting a comforting hand against David's shoulder.
David considered the question and sighed tiredly. Even the warm glow of the brandy had done little but loosen his tongue. It hadn't offered any grand truths about the world, or his life, that he could see. "I suppose I'm not," he said finally. "I suppose I should be having the time of my life, surrounded by a bevy of women and living the high life. Shouldn't I?" Robert's hand settled on the back his head, the gentle touch a distant comfort. "I'm not though," David gave a brittle laugh. "How terribly unappreciative I must seem! How dare I not enjoy my success? I should do, shouldn't I. I should be delighted with it all."
Robert said nothing, only stroked his hair gently. David closed his eyes, quietly enjoying the soothing touch. "I'm not though," he murmured regretfully. "And I am. Lonely, that is."
"You don't need to be lonely, David." Breathed against his ear, and suddenly this seemed entirely too comfortable. Lying here with Robert, with their shoes in an odd pile on the floor, and when had their legs gotten so tangled together? Robert's breath was shockingly warm against David's temple, perhaps just a bit too fast, and his hand, which had long been resting against David's chest, had somehow crept lower and was resting lightly against his belly.
Oh, dear. He'd heard the rumors, of course he had, but rumors were as inconstant a thing in Hollywood as the pattern of snowflakes so who was to say what might be true. Apparently, this one had had at least a thread of the right of it, and David squeaked as Robert's hand slid lower to toy with his belt. Desperately, he tried to think of a polite way to say, 'get your bloody hands off me' without seeming entirely too rude, or worse, prudish. He had been practically cuddling with the man, what on earth had he expected Robert to think?
David had finally settled on a simple no for a starter, hoping that dismissing the appetizer might keep him from having to go into the main course, and he might have even said it if Robert hadn't neatly managed to unfasten David's belt, one-handed, and slipped his hand beneath David's waistband.
A few glasses of brandy had hardly been enough to make him drunk enough to allow this. And yet... warm lips brushed his cheek, and Robert was whispering, "Shhh, it's all right. We're friends, aren't we?"
"Yes," he managed, barely more than a whisper. He felt Robert chuckle, his hand strange and large as it slid deeper into his trousers and found...God. Wrapped itself delicately around his cock and squeezed gently.
"Let's be friends then, all right?" Robert's voice was deeper so close to his ear, the touch of his tongue oddly shocking though perhaps it shouldn't have been. The man was jerking him off lazily, his fingertips pausing at the head of his shaft to tease the foreskin down like he'd done it before, and he was shocked at a tongue in his ear?
Clearly, his priorities were skewed.
Robert didn't seem to be having any such difficulties, sucking gently on the soft lobe of David's ear until he couldn't help shuddering, trapped between the dual sensation of lips and fingers teasing him. Robert bit down softly, his breath quick and smoky with brandy.
This was...completely insane. Robert was muttering soft things under his breath, barely audible noises that didn't seem quite like words, and his hand was far too large to pretend it was even slightly feminine, but it was soft and warm, and most importantly, it didn't belong to David.
Let's be friends, he'd said, David thought hazily, tilting his head without thinking so that Robert could explore the delicate little place beneath his ear with the tip of his tongue. None of his other friends had ever done this, nibbled little kisses against his jawline while their hands played below his waist, their lips creeping dangerously close to his own.
"You're so still," Robert murmured. "Haven't you ever done this?"
David flushed with guilt, for not stopping this when he should have or perhaps for not deciding quickly enough what he should do, if anything. An apology waited on the tip of his tongue, awkwardly wishing to be spoken but not knowing how to be formed.
"That's all right," Robert added softly, his breath warm on David's lips, their mouths barely touching. "I don't mind."
It was like nothing David had expected, if he'd ever thought about this deep in the animal brain of his psyche. Robert's mouth was easily as soft as a woman's and when David timidly opened his own mouth, touching his tongue against the seam of his lips, they parted sweetly, letting him inside to stroke the soft, dark warmth of Robert's mouth. He tasted simply wonderful, hot and dark, like that brandy and he smelled wretchedly like that Bryll cream he was so fond of. His hand had gone lax, curled loosely around David's cock, and he couldn't help a restless little push into that nearly gone warmth.
Automatically, Robert's grip tightened and David gasped into his mouth, suddenly finding his hands clutching the front of Robert's shirt so he could force their mouths harder together. Robert yielded with terrible ease, obediently following his unspoken lead. Irrationally, anger blossomed in David's chest and he bit Robert's bottom lip, hard enough to feel him wince. Served the bastard right, for getting them into this trouble, for letting David do this rather than just sharing a drink like they were supposed to and tossing him out the door.
Robert's hand never stilled, the palm rubbing across the crown of David's shaft even as he made a soft sound of pain, echoing into David's mouth. Anger slid back into guilt without a whisper, and he soothed the soft, bruised skin of Robert's lip with the tip of his tongue. Intent on the tender skin beneath his tongue, David flinched in surprise when he felt a hand curl around his own, fingertips stroking his palm.
Coaxingly, Robert pulled his hand lower, carrying it with his own until he could press their combined hands against the heavy bulge in his own trousers. David shivered, trying feebly to pull his hand from Robert's, to not feel the hard heat against his palm, even through several layers of fabric. It was one thing to have a hand on your prick, or even a tongue in your mouth, but to touch another man's cock was unmistakably queer.
"It's not that important," Robert crooned against his mouth, both of his hands insistent. "Just two friends helping each other out."
So much for obedience, David thought wryly, reluctantly allowing Robert to press his cock into his palm. It was a tad late to be worrying about which one of them was the queer one. Besides, perhaps Robert was right. This was just a little deviation between friends, hardly anything to fret about. That it sent a little thrill through him to fumble open Robert's pants was purely a sexual thing, reaching into the tangle of cotton and heat to find...oh. Hot, damp skin beneath his tentative fingers. Robert's cock fit in his hand entirely too well, his fingers exploring curiously. Circumcised, slippery fluid at the tip coating his fingers and for a moment, he actually wondered how it might taste.
No. That thought was entirely too strange, even for this. Even if it did feel wonderful, their breath hitching in between soft kisses as they stroked each other. Robert's tongue was moving lazily, slickly, in his mouth, teasing David's tongue into defending itself. Robert was making soft little sounds, deep in his throat, and it made David feel oddly sexy, wanted and needed.
"Ohhhhhhh," Robert groaned into his mouth, his kiss turning suddenly brutal and a surge of hot dampness flooded David's hand. For one moment of idiocy, David thought he'd hurt him, the way Robert was shuddering and trembling in his arms foreign in a way it shouldn't be, and then his IQ seemed to snap back on and it hit him. He'd made Robert come, with his hand. God, he'd made Robert come, and he was still shaking, whimpering softly, his own hand stroking David with quick, harsh jerks, and that was all he could stand, and he came almost silently, biting his lip as Robert's touch gentled, soothing his own tremors.
They were both sweating and sticky, the damp, aching pleasure in David's groin warring with the hard surge of nausea in his gut. Dear god, what had he done?
Panic lit brightly in his chest, and David suddenly had to move, fighting his way out of Robert's loose grip to his feet. His pants sagged down, an extra shard of humiliation and David yanked them back up and fumbled with the zip. Robert was watching him, his eyes dark with concern, and David had to turn away, unable to face him.
"I cheated on my wife," David whispered dully, his eyes painfully dry as he stared at himself in his mirror. His hair was tousled into sweaty tufts, his clothes rumpled. God, what had he done? He could hear Robert moving, fastening his own pants before he stood.
"You did no such thing," Robert countered. "You're separated. That means your marriage is on hold for the moment. Besides, a little assisted jerk off isn't exactly what I would call cheating."
"Considering the fact that you aren't married, I would hardly call you an expert on the subject!"
"David..." Robert started, laying a hand on David's arm. He jerked it away resentfully.
There was a flash of startled hurt in Robert's silence that shifted into annoyance when he spoke, "How delightful. I was just telling myself this afternoon how much I wanted to spend my evening in the arms of a wronged virgin."
"I wasn't..." David started, and flushed under Robert's shrewd look. "Having fathered two children, I hardly think I qualify for the virgin title any longer."
"Then quit acting like one." They glared at each other in silence, each bristling with indignation.
"I don't recall inviting you in," David said icily, trying to cling to his anger and humiliation.
"And strangely, I don't recall you saying no." That finally deflated him. It was true. He had never said no. He'd barely considered it, and nowhere in the middle of their little escapade had he even thought about his wife. How could he possibly...no. This was going to be completely forgotten, set aside, and he was going to move past it. His wife and his children were going to come home and none of them were going to discover what had happened tonight. Period.
"I'm saying it now, then," David said, flapping his hand wearily at the door. "Please, just go."
Uncertainty flickered over Robert's face, chasing away his anger. "I just wanted you to feel better," Robert said quietly, something like pleading in his voice. "You just looked so sad."
David hadn't thought anything would make him feel worse, but why did it not surprise him that Robert had proved him wrong? It made David feel lower than he had thought possible. Somehow, in only a few moments he'd managed to hurt his marriage, his career, and his...his friend? Yes, he decided suddenly, firmly. His friend.
"I know," David said gently, trying to offer some kind of truce. Robert managed a faint smile. Absently, he smoothed his hair back, managing in only a moment to look both rakish and decent. Apparently Bryll cream did have it uses. "Look, it's all right. Just...I'll see you tomorrow, yes?"
"Yeah," Robert agreed, shuffling his feet awkwardly. "Tomorrow."
"Yeah." A moment of silence. "Well, then. Good night."
"Good night," Robert echoed, and he straightened his tie before stepping out the door.
David looked at his dressing room with a jaundiced eye. His script was lying unobtrusively where he had left it, a glass on the floor, another one a small side table. He had wondered where Robert's had vanished to. Nothing to reveal what had just happened there. No sign at all, except for a certain dampness in his trousers.
Gathering up his jacket, David hid that last little sign as well before he picked up his script. He could learn his lines just as well at home tonight. As he button his jacket, something caught his eye. A bottle, sitting on the floor at the end of the sofa. The brandy. David stooped to pick it up, studying it. There were a bare few inches of amber liquid swirling at the bottom and he held the bottle over the rubbish can, ready to drop it in. Instead, he tucked it into one of his pockets with a shrug, flicking off the light before walking out.
No sense wasting good brandy.