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14 September 2009 @ 12:16 am
It's like a tepid marriage, Mitchell & Webb (R)  
Title: It's like a tepid marriage
Author: valderys
Pairing: David Mitchell/Jack Whitehall, David Mitchell/Robert Webb (implied)
Rating: R
Word Count: 1,389
Notes and Disclaimer: Just a thought that occurred after watching last week's Would I Lie To You, and obviously fictional :)
Summary: David could be accused of nostalgia, it was true, but it was just a little dalliance. No harm done.


He was funny, that was the most important thing. The fact that he was also painfully young, painfully skinny and with hair gelled up into fantastically grotesque shapes was something else again. Trying for a Russell Brand kind of look, maybe? David wasn’t sure what it was about Jack Whitehall, but there was something, he was certain.

They got chatting before the show, and David noticed his fingers danced as he talked, and he made David laugh. Just a casual thing, styrofoam cups of tea in hand, reminiscences of Edinburgh, sleeping five to a room, and someone in the bath. A lot of years ago for David, this coming summer for Jack. It made him ridiculously nostalgic.

Jack was in a pair of jeans so slim-fit David decided he could almost see his bones jutting out under the denim. He couldn’t imagine wearing anything like them, but they suited Jack. He allowed himself to acknowledge that they looked good, in a detached sort of way.

They went in to do the show - Would I Lie to You, series three, with Lee as usual, and Rob Brydon, just for a change. It went well, David knew that, it was funny as hell, hopefully, with taping running late as usual, but at least they didn’t need many re-takes. He was conscious of Jack beside him the whole time, as he rarely was of other people in quite that way. Unless he was embarrassed. But Jack… Jack kept leaning forward, almost into David’s space, and it didn’t make David uncomfortable at all. He could smell him, even, sometimes, musky with a hint of incense perhaps. David couldn’t decide if he was making that up or not, projecting a student kind of scent onto this stranger, this boy, when it wasn’t really there.

Jack being slammed down onto the podium in front of him in a wrestling move had him staring. There were gangling limbs everywhere, ankles in the air, David wanted to wince, couldn’t decide if that would be funny or not. He couldn’t even tell if he was on form himself, or rubbish, because he was so distracted. Lee too seemed quieter than usual. David thought he might be coming down with a touch of something. Obviously, that must be it. Something going round.

They had a break before re-takes, and the director came out to confer with Brydon as David wandered off backstage, just to stretch his legs. Then suddenly Lee was there, bumping his shoulder, and David gave him a look, as he took in Lee’s smirk.

“He’s a bit posh, isn’t he?” said Lee, “Like you. Not a lot of arse on him though.”

David blinked, even as he opened his mouth to reply. As non sequitors go, that could be a prize-winner. He wanted to say, Jack’s actually posher than I am – I only went to Cambridge. But he didn’t.

“Do I really want to know what you mean, or is my sanity better saved if I just nod and smile?” asked David, belatedly.

Lee snorted. “There’s nothing but a handful there. You’ll cut yourself.”

David spluttered out something suitably sarcastic, but he was on dodgy ground, and they both knew it. Lee clapped him on the shoulder, and his eyes went twinkling away like some ridiculous uncle in a seventies Disney film. David felt the sting of Lee’s approval all the way through re-takes, it was sharp, like his own guilt. But when they'd finished, and they were on their way back to the dressing rooms, it didn’t stop him from trying to chat to Jack, even as he hated himself. David told him all about the upcoming series of Peep Show, casually, deprecatingly, mentioning his award, how surprised he'd been. His ears were going pink, he was sure, at the barefaced gall of it, and his stomach felt congealed, like curdled milk. He was hilariously bad at this, of course, but when he invited Jack in for a drink – the good whisky that he kept in his dressing room – Jack didn’t say no. It was as much as David ever expected.

He felt safer once the bottle was down by a fifth. There was a warm glow in his heart, and in his cheeks. Jack was bright-eyed and his limbs were sprawled all over the furniture, he seemed to be made up completely of skinny, flailing limbs. His socked foot - trainers thrown in a corner by the door - brushed David's ankle. David allowed himself to lean a little, across the ratty sofa, a forgivable amount if things weren't going the way he clumsily hoped they would. Jack leaned towards him too, and then slipped, laughing, into David's lap. Jack licked his lips. David's mouth was dry.

There was a certain amount of hero worship going on, David thought, or at the very least some respect for having made it, for having slogged away at it, and not given in or fallen by the wayside. There was also a certain amount of calculation, he supposed. Maybe David could help Jack's career. It was possible. He'd be more well-disposed towards him in the future certainly. All these things were a reasonable man's assumptions, given the dubious attraction of the package Jack was getting in return.

David groaned into his mouth. Jack tasted of whiskey and warmth and youth. He wrapped himself around him like a spider, his hands quick and hot, and David pushed up, desperate for friction, for something more, before it was too late, before he ruined things. Jack whispered filthy words in his ear as David gasped.

It would be over too soon. A fumbled encounter in a dressing room that David would despise the next day. But really - how could he have resisted? When they had chatted, before the show, David had heard cut glass vowels, a deadpan wit, and discovered a mind as sharp as a needle. He’d learned Jack had gone to school in Oxford, and they’d swapped embarrassing stories of growing up amongst the dreaming spires. He’d listened to Jack's ambitions, and he’d made him laugh.

It was a narcissistic thing, perhaps. Or nostalgia. Or bloody-minded self-torture. He'd choose one the next day, when he analysed every word, every gesture, picked it all apart in a glorious orgy of self-loathing. But he defied anyone to fault his lack of willpower. This boy, this young man, so skinny, so clever – so like David, Lee had as good as announced, this posh young man… was nothing like himself. Not really. Jack made it all look effortless, although it was probably an act. Jack was cool, gave every impression he’d always been cool. And that, at least, was one cross that David had never had to bear.

But there were superficial similarities. He remembered Cambridge, the excitement, the talent, the challenge of putting the world to rights. He remembered being picked up, more smoothly than he’d ever managed with Jack or anyone else, by a super-cool older boy, as sharp as a knife, slim as a whip, his blue eyes laughing, his hands dancing. David remembered feeling so lucky, so privileged. He’d never really stopped.

Robert had never slept with him again, but he hadn’t dropped him either. David counted it a win.

They faced everything together, and they made people laugh. Rob had married, had a child. David talked to reporters about how he wanted to find a nice girl and settle down. It was true, up to a point.

He palmed Jack’s hipbone, sharp through his jeans, the material splaying open at the flies. Jack’s cock, red and damp with anticipation, stood proud from its thatch of dark hair, rubbing lightly against David's still buttoned shirt. He slid his hands around, spanning the narrow hips, pushing red marks into the exposed flesh of Jack's belly. He moved to scrape his thumb along the exposed large vein, watching Jack twitch, hearing him moan.

David did want to settle down, he’d said so more than once. He was uncomfortable with the rut his personal life seemed to be stuck in. But he could be disingenuous, and if necessary; he could be judicious. He’d always looked for partners on the comedy circuit, that was right. But honestly?

Thanks to Rob, it couldn’t really be said that David had ever lost his taste for one night stands.
 
 
 
Ros: RW: a friend with breasts and all the rerhosyndu on September 14th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
Delicious.
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
Cheers, m'dear! That means a lot.
Dafnadafnagreer on September 14th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
Oh awesome. I'd been noticing young Jack showing up more and more, and wondering when someone would slash him. I can't believe he was born in 1988 - god, I'm old.

Britcultue question - There's always lots of references to him being posh, but Wikipedia says he's from a "theatrical family". I would have thought those were mutually exclusive, so is it really just about where you go to school?
venus in plaidthecatinthetree on September 14th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
Answer - Whilst generally considered to be so, you have to have quite a bit of money if you want to go though theater in a "posh" way, stage school etcetera. But where you go to school and how you talk is also a deciding factor. :)
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
Yep, that's what I read too - I can only assume it's an old theatrical family with money, and therefore poshness. It doesn't always equate, but theatre etc. doesn't have the stigma it once had, and there are plenty of top drawer people in the Business e.g. Helena Bonham-Carter, Emilia Fox etc.

Mainly I decided Jack was actually quite posh from his accent, and from his schools - the Dragon School and Marlborough College are both extremely expensive private schools. If his family isn't posh, Jack now is, because he will have forcibly acquired some with that background, whether he likes it or not :)
venus in plaid: fanficalarmthecatinthetree on September 14th, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)
Mmmm lovely.
I'm in two minds about Jack Whitehall because he sort of annoys me but he is pretty
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC)
To be fair, WILTY was the only thing I'd seen him on, and he was funny on that, so I like him. I am perfectly prepared to believe that he gets annoying with over-exposure however! :)
chocolatepeach on September 14th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)
Like dafnagreer, I was wondering how long it would be...!

This is brilliant and exactly the sort of fic I love. It gets my thoughts thinking and it feels very believable because it seems to get under David's skin and captures David's neuroses (not once, of course, does he consider that Jack might like him). And the ending is a seriously great subtle punch :)

(Would you mind terribly if I friended you?)
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
Ah, I tend to write thinky fic, with my porn, if there's even any porn, which often doesn't happen :) I actually thought that I probably hadn't captured as many of David's neuroses as I ought to have done, but it's only a ficlet! Of course he's not going to think it's because Jack likes him - can you imagine David doing that? I can't :)

And feel free to friend - us David Mitchell writers should stick together! Although, bear in mind, I don't write fic for comedians very often, I'm afraid, so if that's all you like I won't be a very satisfying journal...
beesmembeesmem on September 14th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like. There's a realism that surrounds this fic that's truly lovely :). (I simply must be friends with somebody who writes fic this well :) Please?)
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
Feel free to friend - although I don't post comedian slash very often, I'm afraid! Currently Merlin is top of my list, but there's been a few eclectic choices lately since I've been writing kink_bingo :)

Edited at 2009-09-14 09:07 pm (UTC)
duckgirlieduckgirlie on September 14th, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
This was excellent.

But reading fic about people who are younger then me is depressing.
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 14th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you - and don't worry about it, you get used to it :) Hell, both halves of this pairing are younger than me!!!
thinkpink20: David Mitchellthinkpink20 on September 14th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
I love how composed and thoughtful it all is; so very David, thinking things through even in the heat of the moment, meaning that nothing can ever really be 'one night' or even a mistake.

Beautifully written and that image you put together of Jack is just perfect. Love it all though, especially David. :)
Valderys: Mitchell and Webbvalderys on September 15th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
I don't think David ever finds it easy to shut off thinking about things - hence the alcohol! But even then I suspect he has trouble. I reckon he beats himself up about it afterwards whether or not the 'seduction' actually suceeds or not! Aww. *squishes him*
cheznoir: robincheznoir on September 24th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Never even heard of Jack Whitehall until i saw him being OMG-ED oat by sme very exciteable girls in Edinburgh this year. He's pretty cute.

Love this :)
Valderys: David Mitchellvalderys on September 25th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
He is, isn't he? :) To be honest, I'd never heard of him before WILTY, but this idea sparked itself as soon as I saw him...
cheznoircheznoir on September 26th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
I saw the episode. I may need to see more of this Jack
splatterdicksplatterdick on November 3rd, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Excellent!