note: Oh hell, this has got to be the maddest thing I have ever written. Today I found out I have a million and one uni deadlines and I'm utterly buggered, so any feedback along the lines of 'You are completely mad. However, I may have enjoyed this' would make my day. ♥
eta: the lovely shveller has translated this fic into Russian here.
eta2: you can read this fic in audio here read by dreaming_athena. A big thank you to her!
5. Never leave personal items unattended.
It's not as though Angel knew before she played back the last footage recorded on Colin's video camera that it was going to be Colin and Bradley having sex.
(Of course, if she had known, she would have stolen his camera far earlier.)
4. It's not really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
Angel is chatting to Colin in his trailer when Bradley bursts in saying, "Colin, come and see this."
(Angel never found out what "this" was, but after seeing what was on Colin's video camera, she's pretty sure Bradley dragged Colin away to look at what was inside his pants. Or another fucking huge spider.)
Left alone in Colin's trailer, Angel's eyes fall upon the video camera sitting innocently on the table.
It's not as though it's an invasion of privacy, Angel thinks, picking up the camera and unfolding the display screen. The video diaries are for the DVD extras, so everyone is going to see them at some point anyway. She'll just be getting a sneak preview.
She hits the playback button, and Colin's face fills the screen. He's in his hotel room, and the camera looks as though it's positioned on his dressing table. He's talking expressively with his hands, but the volume is on mute, and when Angel turns the sound back on, she only catches the end of what he's saying in his endearing Irish brogue.
"Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe I'm really here, you know?"
Angel's insides melt. Colin is so sweet, she thinks fondly.
Unexpectedly, someone knocks at Colin's door, and when Colin falls over his own feet to answer it - forgetting to switch the camera off first - Angel somehow knows she is going to end up seeing something private.
Yet that doesn't stop her watching.
"Hey," Angels hears Colin greet someone off camera. She can tell he's smiling from his voice.
"Hey." Angel recognizes the second voice as Bradley's. "You left your hoodie in my room."
"Oh, thanks." Colin's hoodie comes into shot as it's thrown across the room and onto his bed.
There's a brief pause - then Bradley asks, "Are you busy?"
"Not really..." Angel can spot the hint of flirtation in Colin's voice a mile off.
There's another pause - then Colin says, "We should get busy together."
This is the exact point Angel stops seeing Colin as sweet, and starts seeing him as... well, a hussy. If names are actually representational of who we are, Colin would be called hussy.
When Angel hears the door close, she knows she should probably stop watching, but she's one of those people who after seeing the start of a film has to see it to the end. Bradley walks into the shot and makes himself comfortable on Colin's bed, leaning back on his elbows, smirking over at something - someone - off camera. Then, Colin becomes visible, joining Bradley on his bed, climbing on top of Bradley and kissing him, and this clearly isn't the first time they've done this.
"Oh my God," Angel says as they shed their clothes with surprising speed. "Oh my God, oh my God." She covers her eyes, but finds herself spreading her fingers to look through her hands. It's kind of nice watching them... but it's also kind of really weird, because they're her friends. She jabs the fast forward button, suffering at least twenty seconds of accelerated lovemaking, until Colin and Bradley finally seem to be done, cozy under the covers, murmuring softly to one another, and Angel changes the speed of the footage back to normal again.
"Is that camera on!?" Bradley cries out too little, too late.
Colin's eyes widen as they look straight at the camera lens. "Oh shit," he says as he stumbles out of bed, cupping his hands over his crotch (bit late for that, Angel thinks). She can hear Colin fumbling for the off button while Bradley says, "You could have told me I was starring in a porno!"
Finally, Colin finds the off button, and the screen fades to black.
Silently, Angel folds the display screen back into the camera. It takes her several cups of teas to get over the initial shock. Then, she thinks about all the pranks Bradley has done to her, and one word comes to mind and refuses to unstick:
3. The internet is for porn.
Colin practically turns his hotel room upside down looking for his camera, but he can't find it anywhere, and the idea of losing everything he's recorded in France upsets him. Of course, he'll always have his memories, but he really wanted to show everyone back home the red-eyed duck.
After a while he loses hope and starts to accept he's pretty much lost his camera for good, until he remembers he hasn't checked his trailer. Colin goes there and proceeds to make yet another big mess (boys are incapable of looking for anything tidily), when Angel walks in.
"Hi," he answers distractedly with his back turned to her, digging down the back of the sofa.
"What're you looking for?"
"My camera. Have you seen it anywhere?"
"Here it is."
Colin turns around and Angel is holding his camera out to him. Colin smiles with relief.
"Where'd you find it?"
Angel takes suspiciously long to answer. "Over there," she responds, pointing vaguely to an area of the trailer. Colin's pretty sure he checked over there...
"Right," he says, frowning slightly.
"I have to go," Angel announces suddenly, backing up to the door. "See you at lunch!"
Colin sticks his head out of the trailer doorway and watches Angel make a fast getaway. He knows girls can be weird, but they can't be that weird...
It hits him.
"No, no, no, no, no..."
He did delete it... didn't he?
He flicks open the display screen, playing back the last watched footage.
Bradley logs on to his laptop. Overnight his inbox has been flooded with over fifty new emails, and nearly all the subject titles mention the word "gay". He assumes it's all spam and checks out the most recent e-mail from Anthony, which includes a YouTube link. Anthony's always sending him random links to stuff he finds on the internet. It's probably a video along the lines of a dog attacking a shark, or another live stream of newborn kittens (he has that site bookmarked).
Bradley clicks the link. The internet is obscenely slow, so while he waits for the video to load up, he gets a drink from his mini fridge, a gift from Colin after Bradley complained on a daily basis about not owning one. Gulping down milk from a carton, he wanders back over to his laptop. The video is half-way through playing with the sound down, and Bradley is about to drag it back to beginning, when he notices what the video is of....
It's of porn.
Why did Anthony, his on-screen father, send him porn?
What an odd thing to do, Bradley thinks, watching the two men on screen with mild interest...
"Wait a second," Bradley says suddenly, inspecting the video so close his nose is almost touching the screen. "I recognize that arse."
He spits out milk all over the keyboard when he realizes...
"THAT'S MY ARSE!"
Colin's face pops into view.
"AND THAT'S MY COLIN!"
Someone's hammering at the door, and Bradley goes to answer it with milk dribbling down his chin. Fortunately, it's Colin, who's seen worse things on Bradley's face. He takes one look at the milk and doesn't ask.
"MY ARSE IS ALL OVER THE INTERNET!" Bradley yells for all of France to hear.
"What!?" Colin pushes past Bradley and catches a glimpse of his laptop. "Oh my God!" He turns away, covering his eyes.
"What are you doing?" Bradley shakes Colin by the shoulders. "Why are you looking away? That's us!"
Bradley's right, but Colin still can't watch himself. "I can't believe she put it on the internet..."
"She?" Bradley shakes Colin harder. "She who?"
"Angel," Colin brings to light.
"Angel," Bradley says. "Angel put it on the internet." He smiles evilly. "Colin, break out the paper and biro."
The following sign is stuck to Angel's door:
Je m'appelle Angel
Je suis WHORE.
Bradley is in the middle of a nap when someone tries to beat his door down. He rolls out of bed and goes to answer the demented knocking. It's Angel, and a very French-looking man. The three of them look at each other.
"Who's your friend?" Bradley asks Angel eventually with a yawn.
"This, Bradley," Angel hisses hotly, "is the hotel manager. Would you kindly explain to him that I am not actually a whore so he won't chuck me out of the hotel."
Bradley puts his hand over his heart, looking appalled with himself. "Oh, of course!" he says with deepest regret. "I am so sorry, Angel."
He pulls the hotel manager aside.
"She," he explains slowly to the man, "is a pros-ti-tute."
2. Never piss off your fellow female actors.
Bradley turns up on set with a black eye.
The make-up department are far from pleased.
"Colin a bit rough last night?" Katie grins at him in the caves.
Actually, Angel had punched him, but Bradley decides not to mention that.
"Oh yeah. It'll be on YouTube later."
Katie makes a choking sound. "Really?"
Bradley rolls his eyes. "No."
"Are you subscribing to our porn, McGrath?"
"No." A pause. "But if I were, I think you should let Colin top next time."
Bradley takes a mental note.
"What are you doing?" Bradley asks over Colin's shoulder.
"I'm trying to hack into Angel's YouTube account," Colin says, typing away at his laptop.
"So I can delete that video of us."
Colin turns to look at Bradley sternly, wondering when exactly Bradley had a surprising change of heart. "You are joking."
"But look how many views and comments we've got!" Bradley grins, pointing to the figures.
Colin can't believe the words that are coming out of the blond's mouth. "Bradley, think about what you're saying..." He successfully guesses Angel's password after the third try. "Yes! Oh Angel, could you have made it any easier?"
Logged into Angel's account, Colin is just a few clicks away from deleting the video, when Bradley cries out, "Don't terminate our porn!"
Colin throws a worried glance over his shoulder, obviously concerned for Bradley's sanity. Or lack thereof. "I didn't realize our porn was a baby."
"Yes, and you're going to murder it, like you murder everyone, Merlin."
"Sometimes I can't tell when you're acting or whether you're just naturally a prat, Arthur," Colin says, switching to an English accent.
"I like it better when I can't understand a word you're saying," Bradley pouts, and Colin goes back to sounding unclear and Irish.
"Say goodbye," Colin gives Bradley his last opportunity to bid farewell to the video.
"So long," Bradley says, "and thanks for all the fish."
Colin hits 'delete', and the video is erased.
"I suppose," Colin reflects, "if Merlin flops, we'll have something to fall back on."
Fortunately, Merlin doesn't flop, which is a bittersweet shame.
(The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to...)
1. Love, and be loved in return.
Bradley films Colin's cheekbones between takes.
"Say something, Morgan," encourages Bradley, because it's one of those days Colin is acting annoyingly reserved, ignoring the camera stuck in his face.
"Something," Colin replies.
"Ha ha," Bradley pulls a face. "Come on, Morgan, be interesting. Tell the camera something."
"Anything?" repeats Colin.
Bradley makes the camera nod in response.
Colin turns towards the camera with a flirty smile, and Bradley wonders if he accidentally mentioned how in love with Colin's cheekbones he is out loud again. Colin's gaze into the camera lens seems to last forever; it makes Bradley shiver as he watches the display screen.
I love you, Colin mouths.
Bradley stands speechless, and Colin takes the opportunity to pry the camera from Bradley's fingers and turn it on him.
"Say something, Bradley."
Bradley doesn't even have to think about it.
I love you, too, he mouths back.
A comfortable silence settles over the moment as they stare at each other in mute wonder, before eventually they both turn away in embarrassment. Colin lets out a nervous laugh, and their fingers brush against each other's as Colin hands Bradley back his camera.
"If you can't lipread, Merlin fans, Colin and I just confessed our undying love to you."
Of course, by 'you', Bradley really means 'each other'.
But you knew that.