Karl and dougray: after meeting with Lord Scott
players only. backdated to February 24th. after this meeting with Dougray's father.
They don't have far to go. There's a quiet little pub right around the corner with several booths unoccupied at this time of day. Karl slides in on one side, already motioning to one of the servers before his ass even touches the seat. "I'll have a pint of Keith's, please," nodding at Dougray to order whatever he likes before quickly popping back in with "And a double scotch on the side, too. Thanks," sheepish grin flashed at his lover.
Dougray raises an eyebrow and tamps back a smile. "The same," he tells their server, then gives his full attention to Karl. "Should I take it that you're more rattled than you seemed?"
"Not so much rattled," Karl says, rubbing at the back of his neck, "as on edge. I don't do well with parents. Even Harry's freak me out and they like me."
"Well then, perhaps I'm glad I don't have children," Dougray teases, "because you do very well with me."
Karl laughs. He sits back, shaking his head, then leans forward to touch Dougray's hand, fingers rubbing gently over the back. "How do you think we did?"
The question makes Dougray hesitate. Then he sighs. "I don't know," he says, looking up to thank the server as their drinks are delivered. "I don't think they'll ever be ready to present the three of us at the annual New Year's party. But he didn't once bring up disowning me or anything like that, so that's positive."
Karl nods. "And he didn't just stomp off," he says, offering his own read on things.
"Heavens, no. Stomping's not dignified. My mum would skin him," Dougray admonishes, then breaks into a smile. He turns his hand to trace fingertips over Karl's palm. "Do you think you'd ever want to meet any more of them? Or is my father enough?"
"If you want me to meet them, I'd be happy to," Karl says, taking a long sip from his beer. "And I promise to behave as long as they're good to you."
"You're going to behave? Forget it then." Sitting back, Dougray watches Karl, simply enjoying the sight of his lover. "My brother might be more openly sneering than my father, but not by much. We're just... not a very demonstrative family." He chuckles in wry self-deprecation. "Which I think you and Harry had to put up with very early from me."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Karl deadpans. "But if your brother's going to be more openly sneering we'd better have Harry there. He'll be able to hold his own whereas I'll just deck him at some point."
"Maybe Harry could talk and you could deck Marcus. That would be really entertaining." Dougray nods, then takes a large swallow of his scotch. "And I've gotten better," he says, although he's mainly protesting at himself. "I mean, I tell you I love you. Sometimes." He grins. "Sometimes even when I've not just come."
"I know. You don't hear me complaining, do you?" Karl points out with a smile. "Besides, I know what it's like. When you're not used to being shown affection."
There's a flicker of something there, a rare flash of vulnerability. But Dougray's not going to chase it at a time like this. "I know you do," he says instead, speaking softly. "And I love the man you've become in spite of that."
"Thanks," Karl says just as softly, ducking his head a little, the side of his glass suddenly that much more interesting. "The thing is, as far as I can tell your dad's not like mine. He may be an asshole at times but it's obvious he cares for you - even if he can't show it. So... if you want some advice, and you can feel free to take it with a grain of salt, keep that relationship going, no matter what you have to do. Well, aside from giving us up." He frowns, not sure he's making himself clear. "I just mean, if he doesn't want to see us, or wants to pretend you're not living with two men, let him."
"So that we can each politely ignore reality?" Dougray asks with a grin. "Yeah, I think you're right. I mean, as long as it stays polite." He finishes off his scotch in one swallow, savoring the warm burn of it. "The Scott Christmas dinner is really kind of stuffy, anyway."
"Does that mean you don't want us there?" Karl teases. "You know, if they ever came to ours we'd be forced to come up with something suitable for poofters to live up to his expectations." He grins.
"Fuck, you're right." Dougray rubs his hand over his eyes, smiling at the idea. "Well, Dad's already met you, and they know me, so... it would have to be Harry." He shrugs, looking resigned. "Harry would have to wear pink and speak with a lisp. Perhaps expound on his great love for feather boas."
Karl cracks up. "Yeah. Actually... I can see him going for that just to mess with your dad." He grins at Dougray.
Dougray snickers, picturing such an encounter. "It's compulsory, then. We'll simply have to do it." He laughs helplessly for a moment, then picks up his beer. "At least that might throw some doubt into my family's mind about whether I'm the bottom. I'm pretty sure that bothers them nearly as much as the rest of it."
"Certainly." Dougray looks at Karl in question, but explains, "A man who fucks other men has questionable sexual tastes, but at least he's still the aggressor. He's not shaming his gender by allowing himself to be put in the woman's position." He blows out a breath and shakes his head. "God, if they only knew the truth about me. Their heads would probably explode."
Karl smiles. "I don't think it made one bit of difference to my dad whether I was pitching or catching," he says, shaking his head. "But yeah, mine's head would probably explode if he knew the whole story." An impish smile curls his lip. "Kind of makes me want to tell him."
"And then just stand back and calculate the blast radius?" Dougray asks. He smiles, but he's watching Karl closely. "No, sorry, that's what I would do."
Karl laughs. "Close enough," he says with nod, draining his pint. "At least your dad was willing to meet with us. That's a pretty big step for someone like him."
"...Yes," Dougray agrees slowly, thinking it over. "I'm still not... not quite certain what prompted him to do it. Aside from my mother's insatiable curiosity, I mean. I suppose..." he trails off, looking thoughtfully at Karl. "You're right. That really was gigantic for him. I should probably take heart from that."
Karl nods. "I would," he says, touching Dougray's hand again. He smiles. "What do you think he'll tell your mum?"
"After this? Hmm. He'll grumble, I'm certain. Which is several notable steps down from shouting himself red in the face." Dougray links their fingers briefly before drawing his hand back just a touch. "He'll complain that I'm stubborn and won't see reason, and that will likely be the end of it."
"And what about your mum? Does he rule or does she usually get her way?"
Dougray chuckles softly. "My mum is one of those brilliant women who quietly gets her way by convincing her husband it's all his idea," he explains, and his eyes grow a touch more serious. "I don't think she's comfortable with me being gay. She'd certainly prefer I weren't." He purses his lips, thinking for a moment before he continues. "That said, I think she'll accept us as long as we're not blatantly shoving our relationship in her face. And she's probably known I was gay since before I did. Mums are supposed to know these things about their children, aren't they?"
"Yeah, I think so," Karl says, although he's not sure his ever paid enough attention. "What counts as blatantly shoving? Holding your hand? Touching you at all?"
"Kissing in front of them. Perhaps holding hands." Dougray's eyes glint with mischief. "Blowjobs under the breakfast table. You know, normal 'us' stuff."
"Blowjobs are out?" Karl does his best to look wounded. "Fuck. That's not fair."
"Spankings on the stairs. Nakedness in the foyer." Dougray sighs and tries to look sympathetic. "I'm so sorry, Karl. But there are going to have to be limits."
Karl laughs. "If we stay over, would we at least get to share a bed?"
"That's certainly a yes," Dougray answers, relieved that at least the three of them will have some kind of retreat. "We'll have our own suite of rooms. We can do anything we want in there." He gives his lover a grin.
"String you from the rafters?" Karl suggests, grinning back, glad there's a smile on his lover's face and that he seems in better spirits.
Dougray looks thoughtful, and then nods. "There are some very sturdy rafters, Sir. May I look forward to it?"
Karl smiles. "Most definitely."
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