April 9th, 2011
|06:01 pm - Mexican Food and an Important Conversation|
[players not pups, takes place 3/9 just after Daniel and Jeremy's scene]
Poking his head into his fridge, Sendhil eyes the contents skeptically. Nothing particularly appealing, but his slew of takeout menus is close at hand, and it occurs to him that takeout would be better shared. Fishing his phone out of his pocket, he types a quick text to Daniel.
Hey. Do you have dinner plans?
Daniel's in the elevator, emerging into the lobby of the club when his phone vibrates in his pocket. He smiles as soon as he sees Sendhil's name on the screen, and drops into one of the plush club chairs by the concierge desk to type back a reply.
No, and I could eat a bear. Thoughts?
Sendhil laughs at the reply and spreads his menus out, glancing them over before he types back.
Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Italian, fancy-ass “gourmet” American, pick your poison and come on over.
Daniel laughs aloud, drawing the smile of a tall, nordic-looking blonde woman leaning against the counter clad in only Louboutins, pricey lingerie and a fur coat. She shifts his way, he turns his attention studiously back toward the phone in his hands.
Anything sounds good that doesn't have broccoli in it. Just get lots. Be there in 45.
He nods his good evening to the fur wearer and heads to the parking garage.
As if I would be so cruel as to feed you your safeword. Lots, coming up! See you.
Sendhil smiles as he pockets his phone again and contemplates the menus. Sometimes he feels like an idiot, as much as just hearing from Daniel makes him smile. Maybe it’s the honeymoon phase, but given how happy it’s made him, he’ll take it. Checking his watch, he decides that Mexican wins, as it’s usually the quickest to arrive at his house, and Daniel didn’t sound in the mood to wait long for food. He calls and orders chicken enchiladas, some mushroom thing with huitlacoche, chips with guacamole and salsa, chiles en nogada, and flan for dessert. Okay, maybe it’s overboard, but Daniel did say he was hungry, and there’s always leftovers for lunch.
By the time Sendhil’s showered and changed into his favorite jeans and a black button-down shirt that’s particularly soft, the food’s arrived. The delivery guy’s just walking down the hall to the elevators when Daniel comes out, and Sendhil grins, playing it cool only until the door’s shut behind them and he can press his mouth to Daniel’s. “Food,” he mumbles, holding up the heavy paper bag but still kissing Daniel as he does. “No broccoli.”
"Mmm, smells good," Daniel mumbles. "No wait, that's you." He slips his fingers into the curls at Sendhil's nape and kisses him long and hard. "So good to see you tonight."
Sendhil laughs lightly when the kiss breaks, just from the joy of seeing Daniel. “You too,” he murmurs, brushing his lips over Daniel’s again. Something in his stomach jumps at Daniel’s hand in his hair and he has to make an effort to focus. “Come on. You’re starving, let’s eat on the sofa and you don’t have to let go of me.”
"Okay, lead the way," Daniel makes an effort to not be quite so handsy until they've at least got a bit of food in them. "How've you been? What have you been up to?"
“Auditions, probably fruitless,” Sendhil admits. “I did a short for Funny or Die, though, and a film I did in India is going to release there in April, so I might be going to do promo if my Covert Affairs schedule will allow for it. My agent’s trying to see what she can get out of the publicity.”
"India!" Daniel won't begrudge Sendhil anything that will help in his career, but more time apart is, well, more time apart. "Well, all publicity is good publicity?" He starts pulling containers from the bag, setting out the food. "Is this a Bollywood production?"
“Yeah, but I will not be singing and dancing,” Sendhil laughs. “It’s a comedy, it’s fun. If I go, it’ll only be a week,” he adds, trying to sound casual as he rests his hand briefly over the back of Daniel’s.
"Ahh, well, I can handle a week," Daniel grins and brushes another kiss over Sendhil's mouth, warm and waiting. "I was thinking maybe we might both take a trip home, see our kids. Go together, I mean. I've got to go for costuming so Barbara and Michael will be offering up their private jet." Daniel rolls his eyes at the extravagance. "They'll be coming along, of course, but if I bring a friend, they won't bat an eye.”
“Yeah?” Sendhil breaks into a wide smile, kissing Daniel a couple more times before he realizes they need plates and gets up to get them. “Definitely, I really should go see them soon. And I’d love you to meet them, and to meet your daughter, if that’s appropriate,” he adds, grabbing a couple of plates from his little kitchen and opening the fridge on a thought. “Do you want a beer to go with this? Soda?”
"If anything's spicy, beer, if not, water," Daniel requests. Normally he'd go along and help but the aftereffects of the scene are settling on him now. Relaxing on the comfortable sofa seems just right, for the moment, at least. He leans back and closes his eyes to wait for Sendhil's return.
“Some of it is,” Sendhil replies, grabbing two Coronas and carrying them into the living room with the plates. “Besides, I’m having one, so you can keep me company.” He smiles at how relaxed Daniel obviously is, putting the plates and beers down and starting to serve things onto plates. “A little of everything? There’s no broccoli.”
"Yes, please. Is there ever broccoli in Mexican?" Daniel laughs, opening his eyes but not sitting up, not just yet. "I'm not being lazy on purpose, I'm just a little... hmm, coming the rest of the way down, I guess."
“I’m pretty sure not,” Sendhil says, giving Daniel some mushroom, a chile, and an enchilada, opening the guac and salsa within reach and the bag of warm chips. “Coming down? What do you mean?” Sendhil asks. Lazy Daniel certainly doesn’t bother him, he kind of likes Daniel all cheerful and relaxed like this. He puts the plate in Daniel’s lap, a fork in his hand, and then sits down next to him.
"Mmm, thank you, this all looks really good," Daniel smiles at the plate, then at Sendhil. "Coming down from the scene I ran this afternoon at the club," he says, tentatively, realizing in an instant that he hasn't really talked to Sendhil about playing with other people, and in that same instant, that he really rather hopes that Sendhil isn't, which makes him a huge hypocrite. Something to talk about, then.
“Oh,” Sendhil says, taking his first bite of enchilada quietly. Not exactly what he expected. “This afternoon? Should I... I mean, was it a bad idea to text? You should have said.”
"No, no, we were all done, and he was delivered back into the capable hands of his wife for the continuation of his aftercare, they're staying overnight," Daniel explains. "I thought I was just going to go home and soak in the hot tub." He takes Sendhil's hand and gives him a squeeze. "This is much, much better."
“Okay,” Sendhil smiles, squeezing back. “Wife” is a big relief, and he’s kicking himself for thinking it, but one thing that he’s promised himself to stick to in this new relationship is communicating the things he needs, the things he let himself get shortchanged on in his marriage. They’ve talked about those things, and he thinks Daniel gets it, but maybe it needs to be more explicit after all. “I’m glad you came here,” he offers, sipping some of his beer. “Do you... at the risk of sounding like an ass, how often have you been playing with other people since we started seeing each other?” Yeah, there’s no way not to sound like an ass, saying that.
"Why would that make you sound like an ass? That's a perfectly reasonable thing to ask, considering how things have been going with us," Daniel points out. "And to answer your question, this is the only time, and it wasn't... Well it wasn't the sort of scene we have. My clothes all stayed on."
“Oh. Huh, okay. Well that’s... yeah, it’s fine. I mean, I’m kind of happy to hear you say that he has a partner already, that... you’re here with me. That’s a good thing, if I’m being honest,” Sendhil explains, leaning on Daniel a little as he continues to eat, needing that closeness.
"Okay, how about if we expand the honesty, both of us," Daniel suggests. The food is good, and he is hungry, but it's more important to him that he knows what Sendhil is thinking. He puts his plate on the table and turns to face Sendhil. "I only did this scene because it was something my friend was needing. His wife is my best friend and she couldn't do it for him right now, and it's something I know how to do safely. So I did. I Haven't played with anyone but you on the kink-and-sex level, and not with anyone else since... well, for more than a year." He's still not able to say where he'd been and who he was with, that hole in his life still feels monumental and unhealed.
Sendhil nods, putting his own plate down as Daniel talks and taking both his hands, squeezing them gently. “I’ve played since Olga. Not a lot. Mostly it was... unsettling,” he admits. “Too raw, not... I don’t know. Not right, I couldn’t get into headspace. You know how I am about submitting, and it’s just hard to do that with someone I don’t know and trust already. Which is why I’m so glad we met the way we did, rather than in the club,” he smiles. “We never had that awkward scene as strangers.”
"I know how important your headspace is to you. I wasn't in the same sort of headspace today as I am with you, either. It was so very different," Daniel speaks, but it's less an explanation and more a realization. "I like where I can go with you. And where you seem to go with me. And that is about trust, and the way we've built what we've got. You know, if you said that you needed our relationship to be exclusive, I'd have no problem with that." The words just trip out of Daniel's mouth without filter or hesitation. And they feel really right.
It’d be easy to jump on it, say yes, but Sendhil wants there to be a reason if he makes that demand, and he has to think about what he really needs and what’s just sounding nice. “I think... I don’t need you to be sexually exclusive with me. I need you to be romantically exclusive. And I’d rather you not play with single people, or at least ask me first, depending on the individual circumstances. Selfishly, I don’t want you to fall in love with someone else. I don’t think that could work for me, given what I need from you.” He rests his hand lightly on Daniel’s thigh. “How does that feel to you?”
"That feels fine. I don't want to fall in love with someone else. I'm already in love with you." Daniel smiles, then laughs, honestly happy. Delighted even. "I've been in love with you for a while, I think. I didn't mean for that to happen. I said to myself I wasn't going to do this again..." He takes Sendhil's hand. "But those sorts of promises fall apart in the face of someone who fits so well."
“Probably a bad idea to make those promises,” Sendhil smiles, reaching up and touching Daniel’s cheek, kissing him softly. “Life always kicks you in the ass and interrupts your determination to be a loner, anyway.”
"I keep trying to force it, but I'm, well, I'm a romantic, really. At heart. And I want to believe..." Daniel stops, just keeping Sendhil close for a long moment while he decides how much revelation he can manage in one night.
It’s obvious that this isn’t something Daniel does all that often, and Sendhil’s patient with him, staying snuggled up close as he reaches for the chips, taking one while they’re still warm and dipping it in the guacamole, offering Daniel the bag.
Daniel takes the bag, but drops it in his lap. "I want to believe," he starts again, but pauses once more, pulling a chip from the bag and fiddling with it while he gathers the nerve to go that last step. "I want to believe that this time it'll be right."
“I think it will be,” Sendhil offers optimistically, popping another chip into his mouth and thinking about how to explain. “We both seem to know what we want. We’re very compatible, and we’re grown-ups, we’ll work on things as they come up. From what I know about relationships, that’s what you need to make it right.”
"Well, that and mutual feeling," Daniel says, and instantly regrets it. He crams the whole chip into his mouth, to cover his embarrassment.
“Of course,” Sendhil smiles, rubbing Daniel’s thigh with his hand. “You know I’m falling really deeply in love with you, right? I want to be yours, very badly, and if being a jealous asshole isn’t the most flattering manifestation of it, that’s where it’s coming from.”
"Deeply?" The smile that plays at the corners of Daniel's mouth is going to split his whole face in just a minute. "Deeply is pretty fantastic," he murmurs against Sendhil's mouth, kissing him slowly, passionately, carefully.
The relief is obvious, and Sendhil feels a little bad for not being clearer about his feelings. Still, most of what he feels is gratitude that their desires have aligned, and that he’s got someone so willing now to do the things he needs from a partner. He smiles into the kisses and yields to Daniel, melting against him.
Daniel casts the chips aside. Food can wait. It can wait, but shouldn't be crushed. He brings Sendhil flush against his body, sinking backward so that Sendhil is atop him, at least the upper half of him. Now they can relax and Daniel can kiss his fill and that's what he proceeds to do.
Sendhil grins as he’s tugged, resting happily against Daniel. He could point out that the food’s going to get cold, but he does own an oven for a reason, and what they both need is to be close right now.
"You amaze me," Daniel breathes against Sendhil's jaw, five o'clock shadow brushing Daniel's lips, exciting him. "Climbed into my brain."
“That sounds painful,” Sendhil laughs, though his hands are stroking Daniel’s arms, body pressing against him, trying to get as close as possible.
"No, I know pain. I do. There's none of that here," Daniel promises, looking into Sendhil's eyes and struck for the thousandth time by the warmth and acceptance he sees there. "No more."
There’s not much to say to that but to tip his mouth to Daniel’s, kissing him gently. For all that it’s hard to promise such a thing, he has confidence in what they’re figuring out together.
[comments welcomed and screened]