Bradley James and louis_garneau: Dinner with the parents
Players only. Backdated. The day after Louis meets Bradley's parents.
"It's almost embarrassing, how much my parents adore you," Bradley whispers to Louis as they're clearing the salad plates and preparing to bring out the main course. He's flushed and warm with wine, his dad has talked about the stock market and the value of the Euro with Louis, and his mum hasn't told too many embarrassing stories. And they've already made it through salad. He grins and leans up to steal a quick kiss. "I'd better watch out, or they'll be after trading me in for you."
"Not a chance," Louis assures Bradley with a smile. "They're simply happy you've made such a good catch," he tells him, eyes sparkling as he drizzles the orange sauce over the roast duck.
"My mother kissed your cheek," Bradley points out, still nearly whispering, still grinning wide. "We're British, Louis. Not exactly a demonstrative people, us. And she's invited you back for hols, she didn't even ask ME if I'd be there. No, you've definitely won them over. Hearts and minds. I've been cast aside for you and you'll definitely have to make it up to me later."
Louis smiles. "Oh, now if that's the case, I can definitely see what you mean. You're right. I'll have to atone in a myriad of ways after they leave," he says, making sure Bradley's parents aren't watching them when he slides his hand between Bradley's thigh and strokes over his cock through his jeans.
Bradley jumps, startled, but that only pushes him closer to Louis and into that teasing hand. "Oh god," he groans, stifling the sound against Louis's shoulder, then growling into the fabric as he pulls back, taking a deep breath to get himself back under control. "Louis! My MUM is right there!" He knows he probably sounds like a scandalized Victorian maiden, but...well, he kind of feels like one, and really, having his parents just around the corner is the best anti-aphrodisiac he can imagine. "And your duck's getting cold," he points out, righteously.
"Merde. We can't allow that," Louis says with a downright wicked smile, picking up the plates and sweeping around the island with a wink at Bradley before he delivers dinner to the table, as skillfully as any waiter in the fanciest restaurant. "Here we go. Canard a l'orange avec les pommes gaufrettes."
"Oh my," Bradley hears his mum say, "Louis, how delightful!"
"This really does look very fine," his dad agrees, and Bradley grits his teeth, wills himself to stop blushing, and joins them.
"He's the most brilliant cook," he agrees as he takes his own seat, grinning up at Louis. "It's just one of his many amazing talents, but it keeps me from living on crisps and bacon sandwiches, so it's one of my favorites."
"There's nothing wrong with crisps and bacon sandwiches," Louis says, making sure everyone's wine is topped up. "Just not seven nights a week." He grins back at Bradley.
"He was raised to eat properly," Martha scolds gently, softening it with a little smile at Bradley. "I blame the horrid food at that school. I'm glad you're keeping him from turning into a walking bacon buttie, Louis. It eases my mind considerably."
"Mum," Bradley protests, again, wondering what on earth he'd been thinking of, bringing them all together like this. He's STILL blushing. Dammit. "Can we please talk about something besides my daily menu? Like, the fact that you wanted to get us a puppy, without even asking first if we wanted a puppy?" He glances at Louis. "I told them we're not here all that often, don't worry."
"Do you want a puppy?" Louis asks. It wouldn't be impossible he knows, and if Bradley did, well, he'd find a way to make it happen.
"He's wanted a puppy for years," Martha answers, nodding, and Bradley palms his face with a groan.
"I'm away on shoots all the time," he reminds her, through his fingers. "It wouldn't be fair to a puppy to have it all alone in the house all the time. And Louis travels too, mum. Don't worry about it," he informs Louis with a grin. "She's just wanting a grandpuppy, is all."
"Well, since you haven't provided me with actual grandchildren...which is actually a good thing, at your age," Martha corrects herself hastily, smiling at Bradley, a mirror of his own smile though he doesn't realize it. "Louis, how do you feel about children?" she asks cheerfully.
Louis half-chokes on a piece of duck but manages to clear his throat with a sip of water. "I haven't given them much thought," he confesses. "I'm an only child and most of my friends are without children but I have nothing against them." He smiles. "I am sure I would enjoy being a father if the opportunity presents itself. If that's something Bradley wants," he adds, looking at his boy.
That's a shameless deflection if Bradley's ever heard one, and he narrows his eyes at Louis, silently vowing revenge, before smiling at his mum. "It's a bit early, mum, yeah? Lay off the poor man. He's only known you a couple of days, let's not go starting the grandchildren campaign already."
"You know I would never do anything to make you uncomfortable," Martha says, lying through her teeth, Bradley thinks uncharitably. "I'm just curious! A mother can be curious!"
"Maybe a puppy *is* a good idea," Bradley answers that, knowing it's a weak rally, but surely they'll all be distracted.
"You should consider it," Bradley's father pipes up unexpectedly, and they all look at him. "Good practice, dogs are."
Louis chuckles. "We'll take it under advisement," he says. "Is your duck alright?" he asks, quickly switching the subject.
Martha's glance clearly shows that she's aware he's dodging the subject, but she nods and beams at him, and Bradley's dad speaks up. "It's completely marvelous," he enthuses as he carefully wipes his mouth, his plate clear. "This is even better than the duck we had in that little place in Switzerland, darling."
"It might be the best we've had anywhere," she agrees, reaching over to lay her hand on Louis's arm, totally comfortable with him already. "It's such a treat to see you and Bradley here together, and see how lovely you are together. Thank you so much for this chance. We do worry about him, so far away and all."
"Well, you don't need to worry," Louis assures her. "I take taking care of Bradley very seriously, and it was very important to me, given the length of time we've now been together, that I finally meet you both."
"So he knows what he's getting into," Bradley mutters into his cup, and then smiles innocently at his father when he shoots him a sharp look. "I mean, of course it's important. I love him, and I love you, and I'm very glad everyone's getting on."
"We hated his last boyfriend," his mum tells Louis cheerfully. "Something of a thug, and a drinker, too. I must say this is a vast improvement, Bradley. You're not neglecting your work, are you, dear?"
"No, mum," Bradley answers dutifully. He adores his parents, he does, but really, he's starting to hope they remember they've got tickets to the local theatre soon. Not only does he want his boyfriend to ravish him, but there's nothing more likely to embarrass you than parents.
"He's not," Louis interjects. "He's very responsible. When he has an early call, he still stays over at the hotel so he won't risk being late."
Bradley smiles at Louis, grateful for the backup. He reaches down and squeezes Louis's hand, just a quick private touch. "I still keep a room at the hotel," he assures his parents. "No falling asleep at the wheel for me. And I've never yet missed a call."
"I know you're responsible, son," his father nods, pleased. "Just have to check, it's part of our job as your parents."
"Mine are the same way," Louis says, understanding completely. He rises to take everyone's plates. "I assume everyone has room for dessert?" When Bradley's mum demures, he adds with a smile, "It's chocolate mousse. Very light."
"See? It's not just me. It's mum's genetics, we're not all naturally tall and lean like you, you know. It's not so bad to skip dessert," Bradley affirms, even as he's standing up to help with the table. "We'll just have a bit, mum. So Louis's cooking can be appreciated."
"I have to work out," Louis protests, sliding the dishes into the dishwasher and pulling the mousse from the fridge. "It's not completely natural."
Bradley rolls his eyes at Louis behind his back, then catches his mum's eye and giggles with her. "The mousse really is light, though," he confirms, as Louis serves it out. "I can testify to that."
"You're spoiling us," his mum protests, after one taste. "This is simply amazing, Louis."
Bradley beams a proud smile at him.
"Thank you." Louis smiles back at Bradley and tells Mrs. James, "Bradley gives me a wonderful excuse to cook. Before I would get home so late, especially during the week, that I would simply pick something up on the way or not bother but now it's something I try hard to make time for, so we can eat well and have dinner together, talk over our days."
Something soft and pleased crosses Martha's face, and Bradley notices it, and smiles a little. There, his mum's seen it. How Louis is trying, working very hard, to make this thing between them possible.
"Families are made 'round the supper table," his dad interjects, nodding, also smiling. "It's a good habit to make. And anything that gets us out of the office for a bit can only be a bonus. You're both too young to be chained to the job!"
Especially when he can have Bradley chained to other things - like his bed. Louis smiles and nods before discreetly checking his watch. "You should be heading over soon. Are you sure you don't want us to walk you over?" he asks.
"Oh, no, we couldn't trouble you, we walk slowly," Martha laughs, taking Louis's hand and patting it. "Thank you so much for the offer, though, you're a dear. We'll just ramble along and do a bit of sight-seeing on the way, won't we dear?"
Her husband smiles and nods at her, standing from the table and offering his hand. "Thank you for the really lovely meal," he says to Louis, shaking his hand firmly. "It's a true pleasure to get to know you a bit better."
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