Karl talks dougray Scott into going for a run - and Dougray makes a confession
players only. backdated.
Karl rolls out of bed, stumbles into the bathroom, then throws on a pair of sweats and an old t-shirt before wandering downstairs. It's unusual for him to be the last one up but Harry had a very early meeting and Dougray likely got up to make him breakfast.
Rubbing a hand over his face, he pours some juice at the fridge and drains the glass before even attempting coherency. "Morning," he nods at Dougray. "Harry left already?"
"He did, yeah. And he already called to say he won't be back till late." Dougray takes the empty glass from Karl's hand and refills it with juice, then nudges Karl towards the table in the breakfast nook. "Sit," he orders, before turning back to the stove to raise the flame under the frying pan.
"I was going to run first," Karl protests but he sits down, more than a little surprised by the strength in Dougray's voice.
"You slept so late, I thought you were ill," Dougray explains, quirking an eyebrow at him. "A small breakfast, then. And then I'll let you go."
"I was tired," Karl says, grinning as he adds, "I'm getting old." Eyes sparkling. "What's on the menu?"
"Black pudding, of course," Dougray teases as he breaks eggs into the pan. "And if you're getting old, then God help Harry and me."
"Hey. I like black pudding. The white stuff too," Karl murmurs, rubbing his hands over his face. "And given the two of you are why I'm feeling so tired, I think you're safe."
Dougray laughs, laying strips of bacon into the pan to sizzle along with the eggs. "Not all of us like to run," he points out, pressing a kiss to the top of Karl's head before he places a loaded plate in front of him. "We have to get our exercise somehow."
Karl laughs. "Fair enough. But do you really not like running?" He cuts a piece of bacon and swipes it through his egg. "You should come with me."
"I'm always suspicious of people who actually enjoy running, you included," Dougray tells him. He refills his mug with fresh coffee, and sits down at the table opposite Karl. "How hard would you beat me if I can't keep up?" Not that it would be a deterrent, really.
"Not very. But if you did manage to keep up, I'd be willing to let you ask for anything you want when we get home."
And that is a thought that just stops Dougray's breath right in his chest, and he coughs a little, trying to get it going again. "Ah." He takes a sip of coffee, trying to cover for his temporary mental breakdown. "I think I might have some sufficient shoes."
"Go get them and put on some sweats and a t-shirt," Karl says, eyes sparkling and grin widening as he quickly polishes off the rest of his breakfast.
In a few short minutes Dougray is back downstairs, trainers and all. And he's already wondering just what he's gotten himself into. True, Karl has an amazing ass, and his daily run is probably a factor, but.... Hell, Dougray thinks. Yeah, he'll go just for that amazing ass. "Ready?"
"Yup." Karl grins. Dougray looks good. He grabs his keys and pulls his ID case over his neck and ushers Dougray out the door, locking up behind them. "We'll warm up downstairs and then head for the park."
Once they step outside, there's a brisk autumn morning chill in the air. Dougray's grateful for it, hoping it will keep his mind clear... and keep his mind off later. He bends over and touches his toes, feeling the stretch in his calves, and asks, "How far are we going?"
"Think you can handle 5K?" Karl usually does ten but that's probably a bit much to ask of Dougray, regardless of the reward promised.
"It's not actually the distance that worries me," Dougray laughs. Five kilometers sounds surprisingly reasonable, though; here Dougray had been expecting something outrageous, like ten. "Now or never, I suppose."
"Especially if you want your reward," Karl points out, chuckling softly. "C'mon." Starting off slowly towards the park.
It's easy, at first. Dougray has no trouble matching his pace to Karl's, and he finds that there is something hypnotic - nearly interesting - about the repetitive rhythm of their shoes against concrete. He refuses to let himself be lulled into complacency just yet, though.
"You're doing well," Karl says, smiling at Dougray. "You've got good form." For once not being lewd.
"Really?" Dougray checks Karl to see if he's being mocked. Then he laughs. "Sure you don't want to run behind me, then?"
Karl laughs. "Maybe when I get you doing 10K and I need something to push me through the last bit."
"Ten?" Dougray shakes his head with a chuckle. "Let's not get too ambitious." His body's warming up now, and he's beginning to think maybe it's not so bad after all. Of course, he has someone to talk to. "How do you not die of boredom when you do this alone?"
"Sometimes I bring my iPod, sometimes I just zone. Daydream I'm running a marathon." Karl shrugs. "It never really seems boring to me."
"Zone, like meditating?" Another thing Dougray doesn't know how people manage. "I guess you'd probably be bored with what I did all day in the lab, though, so I suppose it makes sense."
"What does? That we'd have different tastes?" Karl grins, suddenly tempted to kiss Dougray. He nudges his shoulder instead.
"Well... yeah," Dougray replies, and smiles in bemusement. Okay, stupid observation. "I suppose it's more of a surprise that we find things to talk about at all," he says, giving Karl a wry grin.
"You mean when one of your sirs is such a horndog?" Karl teases, unable to resist.
"Difficult enough to talk when my mouth is full, true." Dougray snickers, and it throws him off his rhythm for a moment.
Karl laughs. "Just learning to run?"
"After all this time, you're still shocked by my lack of grace?" Dougray chuckles. "Maybe I should be running behind you, after all."
"You manage to be fairly graceful sometimes," Karl says, sliding back into an easy grin as he adds, "Course you're usually on your knees or all fours at the time."
"Yes, my balance is much better that way," Dougray points out.
Karl laughs. "Hey, I need to have my run behind me before I'm fully awake," he says. "So, what's new? Anything exciting I don't know about?"
Dougray thinks about that for a moment, then shrugs. How do you just drop something like 'I think I might come out' into the middle of a conversation? "Ahhh, I spoke with my mum the other day," he says, by way of a hesitant beginning. "My brother's wife is pregnant again. Twins this time."
"Twins? Wow." Karl makes a face then grins. "I can't even imagine, well, I can, and what I imagine scares the shit out of me." He shakes his head. "That's great though. They must be very happy. And you too. More nieces and nephews."
"Yeah." Dougray chuckles, picturing his brother, surrounded and outnumbered by very small but very loud people.... Yeah. It's not for him. "More importantly, more heirs and spares. Gets me out of the family calculations entirely."
Karl smiles. "That's always a plus."
"It is," Dougray agrees. He falls silent for a long moment, taking the time to admire the autumn foliage, feel the crisp bite of the air against his skin. Listening to the rhythmic pounding of their footfalls. "I'm considering coming out to them."
It's Karl's turn to falter but he quickly rights himself. "Really?"
Dougray glances at him sidelong, but smothers his laugh at the fumble. "Yeah. I'm still debating whether or not it might kill my father. But then, he's not that well anyway, so perhaps this is the perfect time."
"Well, you know Harry and I'll support you regardless of what you decide to do," Karl says, but Christ, it would make things a lot easier for all of them.
"Thank you for that." Dougray had expected as much, but it's still reassuring to hear it confirmed. "I don't anticipate that it will change my daily life, but I'm getting to the point where I want to be more open with them." Not entirely open, of course; he doesn't think he's ready for that yet. May never be.
"How open?" Karl asks, wondering exactly what Dougray will tell his family.
"I'm gay," Dougray answers, "so, no, I won't be remarrying. It's better if I can get my mum to stop waiting for that."
Karl nods. "What about us?"
Dougray stops short and only barely manages not to trip over his own feet. "Us?" he echoes stupidly, his mind suddenly whirling. "No. I um, didn't think that-- no."
Karl stops too, for a minute, still bouncing in place, ready to keep going. "Okay. No problem. Whatever." He shrugs. It's Dougray's choice to make, not his. And if it bothers him any that Dougray seems almost ashamed of them, he's not about to show it.
Something sounds... off. Karl always has an opinion. And he's usually not shy about telling it to the world. "You don't like that answer," Dougray says, watching him closely.
"It doesn't matter whether I like it or not," Karl answers simply. "It's your life, your family, your relationship with us - you need to make whatever decision's right for you. C'mon." He starts running again.
Reluctantly, Dougray follows, picking up the pace until he's even with Karl once more. It's a long moment before he speaks again. "I can tell them I'm gay," he says, trying to explain something he doesn't have totally clear even in his own mind. "I can't tell them I'm submissive."
"I wouldn't expect you to," Karl says. "There are certain things parents shouldn't know about their kids. And vice versa. When I asked about us, I meant you being involved with both of us - acknowledging us as your partners."
Dougray looks at Karl, uncertain and curious. "Are you ready for that? For that to be public?"
"Harry and I already are." Karl glances at Dougray. "I don't think either of us is a big enough star for anyone to care much longer than a page three tabloid article."
Quiet for a bit, Dougray chews that one over. "I honestly hadn't thought of one independent of the other," he says eventually. "I suppose I need to separate them in my own mind."
"You always think of us as your sirs?"
"No. Well, yes..." Dougray laughs and shoots Karl a look. "That was a trick question. But what I meant is that the submission and the polyamory are linked in my mind, simply because it's how our relationship is built."
Karl nods. "Yeah. I guess that makes sense. I just know I'd like to be able to talk about both my lovers when I'm doing interviews - or thank you both when I win awards, assuming there's more to come," he adds with a soft chuckle.
"Really?" Dougray's bashfully pleased, but more than a little surprised. "I just always assumed that Harry was and would remain the official partner. And I was just... the extra."
"We wouldn't be dragging you all over the bloody world with us if you were just the extra," Karl says, wondering how they've managed to fail so massively in letting Dougray know how much he means to them.
Dougray laughs. "I'm a good extra," he points out.
"You're a very good extra," Karl agrees, still shaking his head in amused disbelief. "And I'd be really tempted to kiss you right now - if you were actually out." He grins.
"You're stooping to bribery?" Dougray laughs again, and slows to a stop. He reaches for Karl's hand and says, "We're out now. I'm out."
"Good." Karl stops, slides his free hand into Dougray's hair, cupping the back of his neck and kisses him, thoroughly.
Dougray moans softly, the sound lost in Karl's mouth. His fingers clutch at Karl's shirt but then he slips his arms around him, holding his lover close and tight.
"Hmm..." Karl licks his lips as they finally draw back. "I like you out."
Smiling, Dougray can't resist leaning in and giving him another quick kiss. "It's a whole new world now, I suppose. And I'm sure the press will be asking you some very intrusive questions."
"Probably," Karl laughs, his eyes glinting wickedly. "And I'll enjoy giving them some very interesting answers."
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