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Fic: Do Tell

By: [info]girlsofthenight
Title: Do Tell
Rating/Warnings: None.
Pairing: Colin/Bradley
Summary: Colin talks to Bradley, although Bradley actually is the problem.
Disclaimer: No characters are mine. They are based on real people but this never ever happened. I do not know them and I don't mean to offend anyone. This is pure fiction
Note: This fic was inspired by those beautiful pictures Dale McCready took of the Cast on-set. This one in particular:

Colin was huddled in his chair, shoulders hunched, legs strangely sprawled out, and the one hand that rested in his lap loosely held on to his script. He hoped people would think that he was actually reading it which was what he had initially intended to do, before they had shot that scene that kept silently replaying itself in his head now; over and over again. Something had been awfully wrong.

His line had been simple:

“You never fathomed me out.”

Merlin said it to Arthur, stressing the fathomed, making it sound half serious, half joking and then waited for his reply; not sure of what he wanted to hear.

Bradley, as Arthur, just held his gaze and answered quickly and somewhat solemn.


No, because he had never fathomed him out. He didn’t know Merlin had magic.

Bradley made it sound sincere and simple, shifting the tone of the scene, as he was supposed to do. And suddenly, just for a fraction of a second, Colin was Colin and not Merlin. And Colin had no lines and Bradley’s boot toe poked him unpleasantly in the back.

Colin shifted slightly in his chair overthinking it all again. Although he knew that Arthur was saying it to Merlin, somehow it had  felt as if, behind his chainmail and dirty make-up and tousled hair and Arthur’s prat-grin, Bradley was actually saying it to him, Colin, as if it was Bradley’s way of telling Colin that he didn’t understand him and in fact, never had.  And if that was true then Colin was not okay with it, not at all.  

The thought that people rarely ever understood him - due to his, apparently, uncommon way of thinking -was not new to him but it had never actually bothered him. It was the reason he always paid so much attention to everything everyone said, to make sure he understood at least them and so far that had worked out really well.

The thing was: Bradley was not people.  

Colin didn’t know why but, from the very first moment they had met, Bradley had been a person with whom he didn’t actually think about how to interact. They just did, and that was what also worked for Merlin and Arthur in a way, because despite their obvious differences, there was a sort of understanding underlying their every interaction. He had never actually worded the thought but he had always presumed it was because, in their relationship, Bradley was the one who had figured it out. It wasn’t that far-fetched either since Bradley had the unnerving habit of watching people pretty closely; which enabled him to imitate them perfectly but also to annoy them completely.

If he didn’t get Colin though, after all their time together, and despite being really observant, then… how did their relationship even work?

Colin clicked his tongue and got up. He was upset.

They were still on the set where they had shot that scene and they would probably stay here for the rest of the day reshooting it because it just hadn’t worked yet. He saw Bradley sitting on the floor on Arthur’s spot, head in his script, one hand absentmindedly playing with the prop-rocks lying around. Just then Colin decided to simply ask Bradley if he had meant what he had said because, truth was, he could always talk to Bradley. He walked over and let himself slide down the wall to sit where Merlin had. Bradley didn’t look up; he knew it was him anyway.

“So,” said Colin as if he was just running lines,” You, ehm never fathomed me out then, have you?”

Bradley looked up, slight amusement dancing in his eyes. “No, Cols, I truly haven’t.”

He said it as if it had been clear from the beginning that this was Bradley and Colin talking, not Arthur and Merlin. Well, maybe it had, since Colin had spoken in his Irish brogue instead of Merlin’s English accent.

“Well, what does that mean?” said Colin. He had no desire to resolve this matter subtly.

“Logically, it doesn’t mean anything at all.” said Bradley and raised his eyebrows, not even slightly surprised at the topic of their conversation. He just went with it like he did with almost everything. “Except that - if you wish to count that- after four years of working painfully close with you, I still never know what it is that is coming out of your-“ he waved a hand in Colin’s general direction, “mouth, next;  which, admittedly, is quite irritating.”

“Oh is it now?” asked Colin, a smile tugging at his lips.

Bradley grinned what Colin called ‘his stupid Bradley grin’ and raised his eyebrows in confirmation, nodding gleefully.

“Well I never know what is coming out of your-“Colin mockingly imitated Bradley’s hand gesture, “mouth, either…but I am also not sure if I really want to.”

Bradley threw his head back and laughed. “You are so bad at this Colin. You are an actor, you know, you should be better at mimicking people.”

Colin turned to Bradley, trying his best at impersonating Tony, and called earnest and alarming: „Saucery!” eliciting a guffawing laugh from Bradley that Colin couldn’t help but join.

It was way too easy for Bradley to distract Colin when it came to everything but acting.

Bradley shook his had before suddenly jerking his head back up - back to the normal world - and went: “Cols, Cols, before I forget. There was something I wanted to ask you.”

Colin was startled for a second and then narrowed his eyes as if it would help him make understand Bradley better.  


“Why is it,” asked Bradley, looking at Colin thoughtfully. “That you are a vegetarian?”

“Subtle topic change there, Bradley. Smooth and subtle.”

“Well at least it made sense.”

“Common sense? I fear not.”


Colin shifted on his spot. “I’ve been a vegetarian for as long as we’ve known each other, why would you ask that now?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” said Bradley, looking at Colin oddly unabashed. ”You are such a private person; I figured you didn’t like to be asked those personal questions, so I didn’t.”

Colin opened his mouth, and then closed it again. The second time he opened it he was glad actual words were coming out of it.

“Bradley … you are so not telling me right now that you actually believe that the reason for your "not fathoming me out" ii that you thought that I didn't like to be asked personal questions and that's why you never did which resolved in you not undertsanding me?”

Colin would have been confused by that if it hadn’t been so completely and utterly Bradley.

“What? That was completely illogical!” said Bradley protesting, raising his script to point it accusingly at Colin.

“Welcome to your brain, Bradley.” answered Colin laughingly.

“My brain,” sighed Bradley, grinning at Colin. “My burden.”

“Yeah yours and that of everyone who has the pleasure to meet you.”

“True that. There should be a “Keeping up with Bradley James”-Award. And you should win it.”

Colin was just about to speak up, voicing a pretended-acceptance speech when he felt suddenly overcome with such a strong wave of affection for Bradley it actually silenced him.

The way Bradley sat there, facing him, babbling Colin’s worries away with nonsense; made him seem completely impossible but unequivocally real at the same time.

Colin would never ever again worry about his relationship with Bradley. Because when Bradley was the person Colin decided to talk to when his problem was essentially Bradley himself, and Bradley managed to say exactly the right things without even knowing what their conversation was about, it was undoubtedly time to stop worrying.

Colin wanted to hug Bradley. He didn’t though. Instead he raised his arm, smiled and stroked, deliberately slow, a few of Bradley’s blond astray strands of hair out of his face, letting his fingers graze softly across his forehead.

Bradley looked at him unreservedly, his blue eyes smiling at Colin, telling him, I don’t know what’s going on inside your head but nevertheless - I know.

It was so obvious now; Bradley didn’t need to know why Colin was a vegetarian, he didn’t need to assume that he figured Colin out or that it was even important. Hack, Bradley wouldn’t even need to know Colin’s name, because no matter the circumstances he would obviously always be the Bradley to his Colin.

So when they shot that scene again, Colin let Merlin smile, accepting all the things Arthur and Merlin didn’t share and this time when Alice called “Cut!” it was a final one.


This was so lovely and gentle. I really loved how B could talk nonsense and yet make C feel so comfortable in their relationship. Great job.
Oh thank you.
I imagine their relationship to be a little bit like that. Colin just seems to feel very comfortable whenever he is with Bradley.
I'm glad that came across. :)

(PS: Adding you as a friend now. :)

That was very lovely. <3
Thank you ♥
I liked the way they worked the problem out through such a bantering conversation showing that there may be surface things they don't know about each other but the understanding exists on a deeper level. Nicely done :)
I just feel that they know each other so well. So, so well that those surface things don't actually matter. (I thought the Interview where Bradley interrupts the Interviewer to ask Colin since when he was lactose-intolerant quite exemplatory. Bradley sounds completely surpised and is all: "I didn't know that!" and Colin is just like: "Whatever." :)
Because they don't need to know these things about each other, to KNOW each other.

So glad that came across ♥

I want to hug this. This is perfect. x
Oh thank you!

I want to hug YOU! ♥

January 2012

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