Title: Chapter One, The Beginning
Author: Sky Blue Reverie skyblue_reverie
Pairing: Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie
Word Count: Approximately 5000
Summary: Conceived as an excerpt from the (fictitious, highly slashy) sequel to Stephen's autobiography, Moab is My Washpot. Hugh and Stephen meet.
Author's Notes: Written for the kink/cliché fic challenge, with the prompt "erotic dreams/wet dreams." Endless thanks as always to my generous, lovely, supremely talented beta Essie. Huge thanks also to the wonderful notatracer for fact checking and super-helpful concrit, to m'colleague msliz4857 for brainstorming, suggestions, and contributing the last two paragraphs(!), and to my darling ennui_blue_lite for encouragement, moral support and just generally being so fabulous. I love you all, truly.
Disclaimer: I beg Hugh or Stephen to sue me for libel - since truth is an absolute defense, I would get to ask them both under oath whether any of this stuff is true. :p
Feedback: I live for feedback.
It would be impossible to overstate the importance of my meeting Hugh Laurie. The very course of my life was to be altered, my existence would revolve around him forever after. I fell in love with him instantly, of course. My feelings for Matthew, the first boy I had ever loved, were but a single drop of rain as compared to the tsunami of my love for Hugh. It was overwhelming, it consumed me. It consumes me still.
We were introduced by Emma Thompson at a party during the 1980 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. That sentence express the bare, biographical boringness of it, but doesn't come close to expressing the life-altering profundity of it - a sensation of which I was keenly aware the moment it happened. I shook his hand, looked into his impossibly blue eyes, and I was done for, finito, caput, heart gone belly-up, and revolting overly-indulgent romantic poetry already beginning to ooze from my depths. Love at first sight may be a terrible cliché, but I'm living proof of its existence. Fortunately for me, my mouth continued to dribble out desultory witticisms, even as my insides clenched, my cock hardened painfully, and my heart, as previously mentioned, surrendered and sent up a white flag before the first volley was even fired.
I cannot do justice to Hugh's beauty with mere words. Black marks on a page could never capture the ineffable, inexpressible grace and powerful magnetism that was, and is, Hugh's. Those of you who have seen Hugh in one of his numerous film or television roles will know of what I speak, although those imperfect media could never capture the overwhelming fascination that is Hugh's and Hugh's alone. For those deprived individuals who haven't, I shall do my poor best. The first thing one notices about Hugh, or at least the first thing I noticed, were his blue, blue eyes. Not an insipid china blue, nor the drab dishwater blue of my own eyes, but a pure, bright sapphire blue. His eyes were the colour of the summer skies over my beloved Norfolk when I used to bicycle down the dirt paths as a grubby six-year-old, smelling the grass in the fields and feeling as free and as happy as I can ever remember being. I could fall into Hugh's eyes and drown there and count myself a lucky, lucky man. I could write odes to his eyes. In fact, I actually did, in the months following our meeting, write disgustingly maudlin odes to his blue eyes. I shall spare both myself and Hugh the embarrassment of reprinting those godawful pieces of 'poetry' here, and I shall spare you the eye-bleeding pain of reading my drivel. You may take my word that the poems were absolutely awe-inspiringly dreadful and in no way did justice to Hugh’s beauty, then or now.
The next thing I noticed was his captivatingly quirky face. He had the most ridiculous groove under his nose, between his nostrils and his upper lip ('philtrum,' my tediously pompous brain supplied), an endearing smile that was somehow cheeky and shy all at the same time, high cheekbones charmingly flushed with rosy colour, and a strong jaw line tapering into a graceful, long neck. That long neck, in turn, led to a long, lean body, lanky but well-muscled, not over-developed, but with enough definition to inform the world at large that here was a boy - a young man - in his absolute prime. All of this was topped off with a mop of unruly light-brown curls. He was only a couple of inches shorter than I was, and we were easily the two tallest chaps in the room.
I knew then that my love for Matthew had been the love for the transitory and fleeting - his beauty that of the cherry blossoms so celebrated in Japan, there and gone in an instant, the very temporariness of the blossoms the essence of their allure. As soon as the coarseness of adulthood made its mark on his features, the ethereal quality which had so transfixed me evaporated, as did my love. It wasn't quick - it was a lengthy, painful process, taking far longer than cruel Time had taken to stamp out the captivating delicacy of Matthew's youthful beauty. Nevertheless, it was inexorable, as inexorable as Matthew's irreversible march into stolid British averageness.
Hugh, I realised immediately, was different. Hugh had the beauty of a symphony, or a painting by one of the old masters - a beauty that would only increase over the years, growing deeper and stronger. My impression, of course, has been borne out by the passage of time, if only I could make him believe it. Hugh would blush to read these words - he is endearingly, frustratingly modest, and cannot at all see his own appeal. All of this passed through my mind in the first moments of our meeting, and it changed me forever.
You may laugh, you may scoff, you may call me a lying bastard, but I will take a polygraph test and swear every oath known to mankind that I knew, I knew instantly, that Hugh was to be the consuming, burning, all-encompassing passion of my life. I knew that I would never want anyone, never love anyone, never lust after anyone, never fit with anyone, the way I did Hugh. And I never have. I do not believe in fate, or destiny, or the guiding hand of the Almighty, or guardian angels, or the proper alignment of stars and moons, but I truly believe that Hugh and I were meant to find each other. If we hadn't met that night, we would have met somehow. I do not consider myself a religious man, nor a superstitious one, but Hugh and I… it was inescapable, inevitable. The thought of never meeting Hugh, never having him in my life, is simply too appalling to be borne. I refuse to consider that it was ever a possibility. I would have found him somehow.
But I meander. Back to the night of the party.
Hugh was as intelligent as he was beautiful, as I quickly discovered, and to my deep surprise he could make me laugh as easily as he breathed. I was accustomed to being the comedian in any given crowd, and though his humour was subtle and self-effacing where mine was obvious and unbearably self-important, he effortlessly had me in stitches with his impressions of professors, fellow students, and public figures. We talked for hours that first night, as I monopolised his attention quite shamelessly, planning his seduction all the while. Seduction isn't the right word really, I knew already that I wouldn't be satisfied with a simple tumble-and-grope such as I'd had with Matthew. Say, rather, that I was planning his conquest. I had to make him mine, body, heart, and soul. My desire for him was as imperative as my drive for survival, and every bit as selfish. I sensed, though, that I would have to tread softly, because any sudden moves might startle this divine creature into flight, and I knew even then that to lose him would be my utter ruin.
Of course the sexual urges - what we'd call today the 'hormones' - of a young man are far stronger than the feeble power of his rational brain, especially when the naturally-occurring chemicals racing through his blood are supplemented by alcohol and cannabis. Thus it was that I had Hugh in the coat cupboard that night.
I rationalised that we could both pretend, then or later, that it was simply a drunken experiment, a great sound and fury signifying nothing. Of course for me, it signified everything. We crushed together into the crowded space, he with his back against the wall, me with my hand braced against the wall over his shoulder, as we stroked each other to completion, desperately, roughly, and without any finesse. It was quick, it was messy, it was sure to leave chafe-marks on both of our genitals, it was the most glorious orgasm I had ever experienced.
As we tumbled out of the cupboard moments later, he was already guilty and shamefaced and didn't meet my eyes as he said a hasty goodnight and left me there, physically sated but more alone than ever. It was to set a pattern between us that would be followed for years.
I still wonder, even today, how things might have been different had I been able to restrain myself, not to push him so far so fast. I wish I could shake my younger self and tell him, for once, to exercise just an ounce of patience, that it would be worth the wait. But of course it would do no good - my younger self would scoff in derision at the notion of a soft, middle-aged, grey-haired git telling him how to conduct his love-affairs, and of course I don't know that things would have come out any differently if I had restrained myself. Maybe they would have been worse; maybe I never would have had him at all.
In any event, it's no good wondering. That's how it happened. I got myself back to Cambridge the next day somehow; I don't even remember now how. I do quite clearly remember thinking that I had just lost my only chance at happiness.
As a result, a crushing depression descended on me. I had experienced such abject misery, despondency and desolation before, and was to experience it again in the future. Twice, I sank to the most selfish, despicable act imaginable and attempted to take my own life. Whether I would have done so on this occasion, whether I would even have succeeded, I cannot say, because as I was sitting in my rooms at Cambridge the afternoon after the party, feeling the black weight of despair settle on me, there came a knock upon my door and Hugh poked his head in.
In those days at Cambridge, door locks were rarely used. One locked one's door only if one were masturbating, picking one's nose, revising for an examination, or engaging in some other grotesque and socially unacceptable behaviour. Nowadays, I'm sure, the doors are littered with locks, chains, deadbolts, iron bars, and security guards are posted at every residence hall to prevent any predation of our vulnerable youth, but in those days we were more innocent and trusting, and as far as I know no harm ever came of it.
At any rate, my door hadn't been locked, so Hugh poked his head into my room directly after knocking.
His hair was still damp and tousled from a recent shower, and he was clad in the most appalling mustard-yellow cable knit jumper and a pair of too-tight dungarees. I was ecstatic to see him, of course, but bewildered - I wondered what could possibly have driven him to seek me out after his clear embarrassment and disgust following our encounter the previous evening. He was blushing furiously already. My body reacted exactly as it had when we'd met - he had immense and inexplicable power over my autonomic nervous system, and I frankly wanted to rip off his hideous clothing, push him into my bed, and ravish him thoroughly. This time, though, I would play it cool. I would give him an out, then follow his lead. I would not make the same mistake twice.
'Oh, hello - Harry, wasn't it?' I began, nonchalantly.
'Ah, Hugh, actually,' he said.
'Ohh, right, Hugh. I'm sorry, I was so completely smashed last night that it's a wonder I remember my own name, let alone anybody else's. I could have had sex in the coat cupboard and I'd have no bloody idea.' I gave him my most beguilingly rueful smile.
Fascinatingly, he turned an even deeper shade of red and began to stammer. 'Sorry, I shouldn't've, I mean, I - I'll just - ' He turned to leave. That wouldn't do at all.
'No, no, don't go! I may not remember much, but I do remember speaking with you - your impression of Margaret Thatcher was positively brilliant. Come in, sit down, make yourself at home. What brings you to my humble abode, as it were?'
He perched uneasily on the chair I offered him, fidgeting and looking for all the world like a schoolboy called up before the headmaster for some rules infraction. He was absolutely irresistible.
'Ah, well, we were talking about The Code of the Woosters and I said I'd quite like to read it and you offered to lend it to me,' he said in a rush.
So I had been enough in control of my faculties to offer him the old book-lending excuse! I congratulated myself on my forethought.
'Oh, yes, I'm sure I have it somewhere around here,' I said, gesturing vaguely to my overflowing bookshelves.
We chatted easily for a while, slipping into the comfortable camaraderie we had felt last night. I lit a cigarette and his attention focused with flattering intensity on my mouth as I drew a lungful of smoke and blew it out again. I raised one eyebrow and offered him the cigarette, he took it and I pulled another one from the pack and lit it, deciding to push my luck a bit.
'So,' I said carelessly. 'You were at the party with Emma, right? Are you two… together?'
Pursing his lips and releasing a stream of smoke into the room, he raised his eyebrow back at me. 'Why, do you fancy me yourself?'
Oh-ho, the kitten's got claws, I thought. 'Of course I do, who wouldn't?' I smirked, letting him take that as a joke or not, as he pleased.
His colour heightened, but he didn't pursue the line of conversation. Instead, he answered my original question.
'No - that is, Emma and I dated for a while, but we're just friends now,' he said.
I decided to push my luck a bit further. 'And are you seeing anyone else now?'
'Nothing serious,' he said, looking into my eyes. I smiled.
The next few weeks were a process of falling in like. I had already fallen in love, of course - that's easy, anyone can do that, even an emotionally stunted barely-post-adolescent such as I was. But I had never liked anyone so much as I liked Hugh, and even more astonishingly, he seemed to like me too. I'm not really sure that anyone had genuinely liked me before. Loved me, yes, my mother certainly loved me, my sister Jo adored me, and even my father and brother, in their slightly exasperated way, genuinely loved me. Others, too, had admired me - with my disgustingly glib tongue and ability to play-act, I had oozed and oiled my way through public school, prison, and my first years at Cambridge, gathering a certain number of admirers and even chums. But for all that, there was always a sense of distance, a space, a wall between me and the rest of the world. They saw what I wanted them to see, were charmed or offended or outraged or amused, and it went no deeper than that.
Hugh saw me. He was the first person who ever did, and I do believe that he remains the only person who has that dubious distinction. He understood me, and understands me, instinctively. There were no heavy, deep conversations about our inner children or the alignment of our chakras or whatever the latest new age claptrap is; there was no need. He knew me; I knew him. It was enough.
Not that Hugh knew everything about me, of course. I was then, as I am now, quite clever at emotional sleight-of-hand, deception, dishonesty, disingenuousness. For example, I memorised his class schedule, his rowing schedule (he was no longer rowing competitively but he still rowed regularly for fitness and pleasure), his study schedule, where he took his meals, and where he went to relax, and I arranged to run into him at least a few times a week. Never quite often enough that he would suspect I was doing it on purpose, but often enough that I would never be very far from his thoughts. I was casual, nonchalant on all of these occasions. It wouldn't do to scare him away.
For his part, he seemed to accept and even welcome my company, seeking me out in my rooms a few evenings a week. By the end of the first week we were writing together, and by the same astonishing alchemy that fuelled our friendship, our writing talents meshed such that the outcome of our efforts was much greater than the sum of the parts.
He blushingly confessed to me within a few days of our acquaintance that he had asked Emma to introduce us - he had seen me performing in the Cambridge Footlights and had thought that perhaps we could collaborate on a writing project he was working on. I was, naturally, immensely flattered by this confession. I did not confess in return that I had been instantly smitten with him, that I planned my days around our 'accidental' encounters, that my every waking thought and most of my sleeping ones revolved around him.
Actually, let's talk about those sleeping thoughts for a moment. The dreams, ah, the dreams. The dreams consumed me to such an extent that I cannot dwell on those months without thinking of them. I had never before been plagued by that bane of the public-school boy, nocturnal emissions. I had experienced a couple such episodes, of course, but they had been few and far between, and no cause for concern or comment. Other boys at school who had frequent wet dreams were, naturally, mercilessly teased, and one boy I know of even had a tape recorder hidden under his bed by his housemates to record his erotic moans and groans, which were replayed later over the school's public address system to the great delight of all, except, of course, the school staff and the unfortunate boy himself.
In any event, such had happily never been my fate, until now. I was grateful that I had my own room in the residence hall because nearly every single evening I was treated to erotic dreams the likes of which my waking imagination, vivid as it was, could never have conjured. Every one of these dreams, of course, starred Hugh, and each was filthier and more pornographic than the last.
Some of them were relatively innocent, mirroring the activities in which we engaged, furtively, in my rooms, in his rooms, in empty rooms at parties, or anywhere else that the urge struck one of us and we could find a bit of privacy. We were all about hands and mouths, and in many of my dreams, I would relive one of our actual encounters, stroking him or taking him in my mouth.
In other dreams, though, I did things to and with Hugh that I blush to contemplate. I fucked him, again and again, burying my cock in that beautiful pale tight arse of his. The feeling of him was beyond anything I had ever known. In my dreams, he surrendered to me completely, begging me to take him, to claim him, to make him my own. He begged me to fuck him, and I gladly obliged, at first slowly, gently, then pistoning in and out of him harder and faster until both of us were sobbing, shuddering, moaning wrecks, his anus clenched around my erection, his legs wrapped around my waist, pulling me deeper yet. I came deep inside of him and he exploded between our bodies, spattering us both. In other dreams, I tied him up, securing his wrists and ankles to my bed, sucked hard on his beautiful skin and left my marks on him, all over his body. At least once, I remember, I dreamt that I pissed on him, marking him as my own in an even more primal way, claiming my territory, drenching him with urine, as he gasped and groaned in ecstasy and told me he was mine, all mine, my very own. I admit that the memory of that dream still has a powerful hold over me. I am aroused almost beyond bearing even as I write these words. In another dream - but no, there are lengths to which even I, self-confessional attention whore that I am, will not go. Some things are best left untold. I am not ashamed of my desires, but I am aware that I am in a distinct minority as to certain proclivities, and so I shall not embarrass or disgust the reader any further with my freakish fantasies.
He never fucked me, in life or in my dreams. My first sexual encounters had left me somewhat wary of being buggered - not that I had been raped or abused or anything like it, but I found that rogering others was much more to my liking than being the one taking it up the john harris. I never dared, though, to push Hugh so far as to suggest that he let me bugger him. But in my dreams, in my dreams I took him every night, in every position imaginable and some I had never known that even my perverted imagination could conceive. I fucked him in private, in public, on stage in front of an audience, in my parents' bed (I'm sure Dr. Freud would have something to say about that particular dream), in a field full of daisies, in a room full of my old schoolmasters who were evaluating my performance, I fucked him standing up and lying down and sitting up with him straddling me and every other variation found in the Kama Sutra plus some that aren't. In dreams, I could say to him the things that I never could in life. I poured out my soul, told him that I loved him, that I adored him, that I needed him, that I could never bear to be parted from him, that I wanted to spend every day for the rest of eternity worshipping him. And in my dreams, he felt the same way about me.
My dreams felt real to me, as real as my waking life. Every detail was sharp and vivid, the sound highest fidelity and the colour vibrant. The feel of Hugh's skin, his heat, his heartbeat, the sound of his voice, the taste of his mouth, it all surrounded me as soon as I closed my eyes and drifted off every night. Despite the fact that I was masturbating more frequently than I had in my life, I was still waking each morning to sheets soaked with sweat and semen, surrounded by the wispy remnants of dreams more intensely satisfying and erotic than anything I had ever experienced. Waking from those dreams was like being torn from the exquisite bliss of paradise, again and again. The dreams… the dreams were perfection.
Our actual sex life was a far cry from my dreams.
I knew that our relationship, such as it was, would last only as long as we could both pretend, however feebly, that it meant nothing. On the one or two occasions when I revealed too much with my eyes or my too-facile tongue, I could see the barely veiled panic in his eyes and I quickly made a joke or a clever remark until I had lulled him back into a sense of security. So we both behaved as if the whole thing weren't happening, or if it were, that it was just youthful high spirits, just a release of excess tension, just experimentation or just fun or just anything but what I so desperately wanted it to be.
I resigned myself to having no more than this - in truth, I didn't believe that I deserved any more. And if some treacherous part of me insisted that I wanted more, even if I didn't deserve it, it was easy to ignore that corner of my mind when he was in my bed, hair mussed, face flushed, breathing hard, eyes fixed on me, trying desperately to stifle his moans so he wouldn't be heard through the paper-thin walls as I took his hard cock into my mouth.
I was notorious at my college for being flamboyantly, almost aggressively homosexual. It was well-known that I had a coterie of devoted boys who fed me peeled grapes and who catered to my every sexual whim. It was equally well-known that I had deflowered half of the rugby team and all of the members of the Choir of Kings College. As with most things that are well-known about me, none of this was even close to true.
There was no one but Hugh. Part of the reason for this was my deep insecurity, both about my body and about my, as I suspected, rather inadequate skills in the amatory arena. But even aside from all that, as soon as I met Hugh, I lost interest in anyone who wasn't Hugh. Of course, no one suspected there was anything more to our relationship than friendship - after all, Hugh was as obviously straight as I was gay. Naturally there were jokes, but none of it meant anything.
Oh, there were undoubtedly those of our circle who knew - who had seen Hugh exit from a room, dazed and flushed, followed mere moments later by yours truly, looking like the proverbial cat who'd swallowed the canary, or perhaps more aptly, the cream. But other than these few, in whose discretion I trusted, no one guessed.
In my previous sexual liaisons I had been, I am sorry to say, much more interested in receiving pleasure than in giving it. I had never deliberately left a partner unsatisfied, but frankly, I had always considered that getting the other fellow off was simply a chore - the price one had to pay for one's own release. Not so with Hugh. With Hugh, I was intoxicated merely by bringing him ecstasy, and cared little for my own gratification. Every moan I drew from him was a victory, every choked gasp a badge of honour. Watching his face as his large, heavy cock throbbed and spurted into my hand or mouth was practically a religious experience.
More often than not, he ended our encounters completely nude, while I remained mostly or entirely clothed. My still-clothed state suited us both down to the ground. On my part, it suited me because of my crippling self-consciousness, especially since my own pale, soft, goose-pimpled, underdeveloped body would appear even more revolting in comparison to his tanned, muscled, fit, healthy physique. There's that word again, healthy. I hated the word but I loved Hugh's body, which radiated health from every molecule of his lean rower's frame. He was completely unaware of his own attractiveness, as I've said, and he never did anything to make me feel physically unappealing by word or deed, but still I felt it keenly. On his part, it suited him because he was in a state of denial about his sexuality, our relations, and everything that it meant, could mean, or didn't mean but should have. He could unbend enough to allow me to pleasure him - he could hardly help that, I seduced him cheerfully and mercilessly at every opportunity - but when it came time for him to reciprocate, that familiar panic would rise in his eyes, and I could see that it had become all too real. So I became adept at casually beginning a conversation as soon as he had recovered from his orgasm, averting any embarrassment for either of us. We both studiously ignored the bulge in my trousers, and as soon as he'd left, I would take myself in hand, close my eyes and recall the event, generally coming in something under seven seconds flat.
I don't mean at all to imply that Hugh was a selfish lover. There wasn't - still isn't - a selfish bone in his body. There were times that he reciprocated, and those are some of the sweetest memories I possess. I still dust them off and replay them on special occasions. But the times when he allowed himself to give in to our mutual hunger to this extent, he also ran from me farther and faster, and stayed away longer.
It became a constant dilemma for me, each time I had him. Would he offer to reciprocate this time? Should I take him up on it or gently deflect his attention? Was the momentary - albeit intense - pleasure worth the days or weeks of angst on his part and anguish on mine that were bound to ensue?
These were merely a few of the questions that filled my days just as dreams of him filled my nights. Even as I wished for easy answers, I knew there were none to be had. For now, I could do nothing but continue on my current course, remaining vigilant for whatever opportunities I could take to be close to him without seeming to care too much.
It was madness, it was agony, it was bliss. It consumed me. Hugh consumed me, and I never wanted it to end.
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