players only. backdated. takes place not too long after Louis and Bradley have a very good morning indeed.
Bradley knows he's lucky; the relationship he's got with his mum and dad is solid gold. They'd arrived at the chateau beaming, his mum chattering on about the limousine Louis had sent for them at the airport, and they'd been briskly appreciative of the luxury accommodations whilst setting down their bags. His mum's already making a pot of tea, and he's been sitting with his dad, chatting, just catching up on everything he's missed back home.
"Here, have a cuppa," his mum offers, bringing in the pot and cups and tucking herself into one of the high-backed chairs once she's poured all round. "And tell us all about your young man. Really, Bradley, we could have stayed at a bed and breakfast!" She smiles at him, pale blond hair and sweet face, beloved, his MUM is here and he can't help but beam back at her, thinking about Louis.
"He's terribly posh," Bradley starts, and his dad chuffs out a laugh, and Bradley can't help but join in. "All right, all right. He's not JUST posh, though. He's a bit of a workaholic, but he's fantastic about getting back in time for supper. He's funny, but might not show it for a bit. He's really brilliant, mum, and he's about the greatest boyfriend I've ever heard of."
"Tell me he at least likes the football," his dad demands, and Bradley grins.
"He likes it when *I* play," he offers, and his mum giggles, setting him off again. "We watch the matches, he's not a crazy fan or anything, but we've got plenty in common. Anyway, you can ask him yourself, he should be getting here shortly, unless there's traffic."
Louis leaves his office as soon as he can, eye on the clock the whole time he's reviewing the training logs. It's only a twenty minute drive to the chateau he's put Bradley's parents up in but the traffic at this time of day can get quite heavy. As he leaves, Marie teases him about whether he's going to bring his future in-laws to see where he works and he makes a face at her. That would go over well, he's sure.
He makes it to the chateau in twenty-five, only a few minutes later than planned, parking his car in the curved driveway and ringing the bell as though he himself were a guest. The butler lets him in and he makes his way to the quarters they've given over to Bradley's parents for the long weekend. There, he knocks on the door, as nervous as he was on the day he collared his boy.
Bradley bounces up off the couch as soon as the bell rings, amused that Louis is ringing at the door in his own bloody chateau. "No taking the piss," he warns his parents, grinning over his shoulder at the glint in his mother's eye as he heads to the door to greet Louis. "I know how you get, be nice, mum."
As soon as the door opens he leans up, still smiling, to kiss Louis on the mouth, take his hand and pull him in. "Hey," he murmurs low. "You made it in record time! They're all settled in and we're having a cuppa, come join."
"Are they happy with their quarters?" Louis asks, linking their fingers and giving Bradley a smile. "We can always move them if there's anything they're lacking."
"No," Bradley laughs up at him, tugging him gently along. "They're definitely not lacking anything. Don't let their stiff upper lip fool you, they're terribly impressed by how posh this place is, and my mother's already made tea, it wouldn't do to uproot them now. Now come in and say hello." He smiles at his parents' expectant faces as he walks in with Louis. "Mum, Dad, this is Louis."
His dad stands up and extends his hand for a handshake, looking cautiously pleased. "Pleasure. Please, call me Frank."
"Merci. It's a pleasure to meet you, Frank," Louis says, shaking his hand firmly before turning to Bradley's mum and taking her hand, his lips pressed to the back. "And you as well, Madame James."
"Oh, please, call me Martha," Bradley's mum practically coos at Louis, and Bradley rolls his eyes where he's careful no one can see. Of COURSE his mum adores Louis. All women seem to adore Louis. "Come in, sit down, please, let me pour you some tea. You simply must tell us more about your work here in France! This place is just stunning, isn't it, Frank? Far more than we could have expected for a simple visit. You really shouldn't have gone to the trouble."
Bradley's dad just nods, well-used to his wife's chatter, grins at Bradley, and settles himself back down. As if he's watching a show, Bradley thinks uncharitably.
"It was no trouble at all," Louis says, taking a seat, "and there's very little to tell. My family owns a chain of luxury membership-only resorts and I'm in charge of the day-to-day operations."
"That sounds so glamorous," Martha sighs, with a smile to Louis, handing him a full cup of tea with a little saucer. "And it must be lovely for Bradley, I know he's always felt a bit guilty about gadding about all over Europe doing his acting, while his boyfriends stay at home."
"Mum," Bradley protests. "You make it sound like I was going off to war and leaving the wife on the homefront!"
Louis bites back a smile. "It can be glamorous sometimes, but mostly it's a lot of work and a lot of travelling, so I'm lucky Bradley understands as well."
"I am NOT the little lady knitting in the garret, I travel nearly as much as Louis does," Bradley informs her, not even trying to hide his own smile. "And he does all the cooking."
"That's probably for the best," Martha sighs, with a little smile to Louis. "Bradley is a danger to himself and everyone around, in the kitchen. Every attempt I made, they all fell on deaf ears."
"He knows that, Mum," Bradley answers, still grinning. "That's WHY he does all the cooking."
Louis laughs. "I love cooking," he tells them. "It's one of the ways I unwind, so I don't mind at all. Besides, if I left Bradley to his and his director's devices, he'd be starving himself."
At that, both Martha and Frank's faces fall, though Bradley rolls his eyes at both of them, huffing out a breath in exasperation as Frank speaks.
"Not again, Bradley. We'd talked about this, the last time!" He shakes his head. "No more gaining, losing, the lot of it's terrible for you. I don't care what parts you're up for or what you think you've got to do. No part is worth gaining two stone in a few weeks, then losing three the month after."
"It's bad for your heart, love," Martha adds, looking worried.
"Mum! Dad. Seriously. Stop, I'm perfectly healthy. I'm healthy as a horse! Look at me." He spreads his arms out, appealing, and Martha's expression relaxes a little.
"Don't you get any thinner, young man," she scolds, as Bradley's face flushes red. He can't believe his parents are going through this with Louis here, and looks at him in mute appeal.
"You're not going to get any help from me on this," Louis informs him. "I agree with your parents and we've talked about how I feel."
Sighing deeply, Bradley just shakes his head and rolls his eyes, though he does take Louis's hand and squeeze his fingers. "I'm terribly ganged-up-on," he declares to the room, before carefully changing the subject. "Mum, where do you want to go while you're here? Tourist places, I mean."
"Your father and I are going on a walking tour of the Roman ruins tomorrow," she enthuses. "And then we were hoping you could join us for supper? Our treat, of course, though you'll have to choose the place." She looks to Louis. "I'm sure you know all the best places around here."
"Actually, I was looking forward to cooking for you while you're here," Louis says. "So, maybe our place tomorrow night?" Glancing at Bradley to make sure that's okay with his boy.
Bradley beams at him, then nods to his parents. "We'd love to have you."
"Darling, we'd be simply thrilled to see your place!" Bradley's mum enthuses to them both, then holds up the teapot again, the look in her eye that tells a despairing Bradley that she's going to tell some sort of embarrassing childhood story. "Now have another cuppa, Louis. We've got so much to catch up on!"
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