kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
[personal profile] kindkit
Title: Hours and Times
Fandom: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carré
Pairing: Jim Prideaux/Bill Haydon
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Word count: 300
Summary: Bill is Bill; Jim is stoic.
Notes: Written for [ profile] flo_nelja, who asked for Jim and Bill in their youth. Title from this Shakespeare sonnet, of course.

"I must go," Bill says, smiling. His head's pillowed on Jim's thigh, letting Jim stroke his hair with fingers that feel clumsy amid blond silk. "It's rude to keep a lady waiting. Even if she's a tart."

Jim would mind less if it really were a lady, the sort of decent girl Bill might marry. He could think of her as disguise. But he knows what Bill wants with his little shopgirl: what Bill won't give Jim, not tonight, although he's tried everything to get Bill into bed, safely distracted, safely his. "Go, then, and shut up about it."

Bill levers himself up. "Spoilsport. Do quit sulking, Jim."

The best thing for it would be to smile and wish him success. That's what Bill wants. Jim does the worst thing instead. "For Christ's sake, if you can't be faithful, can't you at least not tell me about it?"

Bill laughs, the way he laughs at watercolorists and stupid answers in tutorials. "My god, darling, you sound like a vicar's daughter from Tunbridge Wells."

"Terribly sorry," Jim says, trying to give it Bill's ironic manner. But he just sounds truculent. He rubs his fingers on his trouser legs until they burn, then knots them together, tying down the urge to smash Bill's pretty rooms, or perhaps Bill's face.

"James." As calmly as though Jim couldn't beat him senseless, Bill touches his cheek. "You know I love you. I always shall. But I'm not your, your wife, and you're not mine."

Bill is good at being unanswerable.

A kiss, sharp with the desire Bill's taking to someone else's bed, and then he's gone.

One thing's true: Bill does love him. That's the weight in Jim's heart, the shackle round his ankle. If Bill didn't love him, Jim could have left long ago.

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