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Controlled Love, Part 23: Reconciling

Title: Reconciling
Series: Controlled Love, Part 23. Start the series here.
Fandom: A Bit of Fry & Laurie
Pairing: Tony/Control
Rating: PG
Warning: Extremely corny jokes involved. Seriously, a 6-year-old would find these lame. :D
Summary: Over jokes and coffee, our heroes reconcile.
Disclaimer: No ownership claimed, just oodles of love for these characters.

Reconciling

Tony didn't see Control all Monday morning, which to his mind was just as well. He'd been imaging how it would be when they saw each other again. Would it go easier if they passed casually in the hallway with co-workers around, being limited to merely nodding and offering a polite "Good morning"? Or would the better part of valour be to confront the situation head on, face to face, alone so they could talk it out? Tony wasn't sure; he didn't know if he could even begin to bring himself to talk about all the thoughts spinning around his brain.

Control was struggling with thoughts of their next meeting as well. He had contemplated visiting Tony's office, but Valerie had mentioned how busy Tony looked with his reports; Control did not want to disturb him. The truth was he felt somewhat fearful about seeing Tony again. After all, what could he possibly say? He felt he'd taken advantage of Tony in a weak moment, that he'd intruded where he'd not been invited, and he was rather ashamed of his rudeness. It would serve him right if Tony decided to never bring him coffee again. He uttered a sad, "Boh!" and brushed his handkerchief under his nose.

The morning passed slowly, but eventually, it was nearly eleven o'clock. For a moment, Tony considered not taking Control his morning coffee, but he knew nothing could keep him from his favourite duty, as difficult as it would be today. But there was no denying that his hands trembled slightly as he fixed the beverage just the way Control liked it. He nearly spilt the milk as poured it into the cup. He must be more careful!

As he made his way from the coffee-making area to Control's office, he finalised his thoughts on what he would do, what he would say, and how he would act. He had no idea how Control would respond, but he was determined to be a gentleman about the situation and not make Control feel badly simply because he hadn't acted quickly enough to gain Control's affection. Tony told himself that what had happened in that office Friday night was nothing more than his overwrought fantasy; how could it possibly have been anything else? It felt like the first step in overcoming his feelings and moving on.

He stood in front of Control's door for a few moments, picturing himself simply knocking, leaving the coffee on the floor, and dashing away. But no—he was, after all, a Subsection Chief for British Intelligence; he was a braver man than that. He squared his shoulders, swallowed the lump in his throat, and knocked sharply on the door.

The sound startled Control. He had stopped watching the clock a few hours earlier; it was driving him mad to watch the minutes tick slowly by, and since then he'd lost all track of time. Not knowing who was knocking, he uttered a professional, "Yes? Come in."

His heart fluttered when he saw Tony enter the room. He looked just the same sweet handsome kind Tony as always, dressed in his lovely grey suit and brown plaid tie. Control wondered if the blush on his own face was as deep as the blush on Tony's.

"Oh, good morning, Tony." Control turned toward the window with the lovely view of St. Giles Circus. "It's quite a sunny day, isn't it?" It was easier looking out the window than looking at Tony just now.

"Quite sunny, yes, Control. May I say how observant it is of you to notice?"

"Yes, Tony, you may. Thank you."

An awkward silence, then Tony spoke. "It rained quite a bit yesterday, didn't it, Control?" Control turned to him.

"Yes, you're quite right about that. There was a lot of rain yesterday."

"I noticed that there were still quite a few puddles on the ground this morning as I came to work. The rain must have lasted rather late into the night." Tony was proud of himself. He could do this; he could hold a conversation with Control and keep his thoughts and feelings in check.

"Indeed. I know a funny story about that, Tony. About rain and puddles. Would you like me to tell it to you?"

Tony couldn’t help but smile. "Why, yes, please Control. I would very much like to hear your joke."

"Very well, then Tony, here it is. How do you know it's raining cats and dogs?"

"Well, Control, I know when I have to use a brolly to stay dry and the wipers to keep my windscreen free of water."

"No, Tony, no; that's the question for the riddle. Let me try again. How do you know it's raining cats and dogs?"

"I understand now, Control! My apologies." Tony appreciated that Control was always willing to explain things to him and never made him feel badly when he'd missed the point. "Tell me, Control, how do you know it's raining cats and dogs?"

"Well, Tony, it's because you step into a poodle!" That was one of Control's favourite jokes, and he couldn't help but laugh.

"Hold on a mo, Control. A poodle?" Tony thought for a bit, then his face brightened. "A poodle!" He laughed. "That is quite an excellent joke, Control, because, you see, 'poodle' sounds like 'puddle.' I can understand why our earlier conversation made you think of that joke." It felt good to laugh with Control, and he began to feel quite at ease.

"Exactly, Tony. You've got it just right. Full marks!" Control loved seeing Tony laugh. And it felt good for him to laugh, too. It was an excellent release from the tension that he'd been feeling all morning. It felt very nearly like old times.

Suddenly, Control realised that he'd never thanked Tony for his part in Friday night's successful mission. That wouldn’t do at all. "Tony?"

"Yes, Control?"

Control cleared his throat. "I wanted to say 'thank you,' Tony. You know how successful our undercover operation was the other night? Well, I just wanted to say that I know how important you were to the mission. You and the entire team did an excellent job."

Tony looked down at his shoes and toed the carpet. "Why, thank you, Control. That is, indeed, most kind of you to say. And may I say how your leadership was the heart of our success."

"Thank you, Tony. You are very nice to mention it."

Tony felt it was now or never. "And Control, if it's not being too forward, might I mention your companion? She is very beautiful, and you make a lovely couple. It appeared as though you have known her for a long time." There, he'd said it. He'd gotten out the words, and he was still on two feet.

"A long time? I'm sorry, Tony, I don't like to say it, but you are mistaken. We met only just that night."

As Control explained the story of the ambassador's sister and her sick husband, Tony could feel a heavy burden lifting from his shoulders. He was quite pleased to think that he still had a chance to win Control's heart. But then he remembered Mrs. Control's mention of a new love; if it wasn't The Woman, it had to be someone else whose identity he did not know. And he decided that he didn't want to know. If he couldn't picture her, then he thought it would be easier to let his feelings go, to keep from seeing Control and his love in his mind, and to have this time at the office be just for Control and himself. It would be enough.

They were both content with how comfortable they felt with each other again. It felt back to normal, as though The Incident had never happened in anything beyond their own internal worlds.

"I say, Control?"

"Yes, Tony?"

"I've been standing here for a very long time but not yet given you your cup of nice coffee. Here you go." Tony put the saucer on the desk before Control could reach for it.

"It's ever so kind of you, Tony, I'm sure. Thanks."

"You're welcome. Well, Control, I suppose I should be getting back to my office now. I'm expecting a report from Philip regarding the interrogations. He said that Agent Siviter had quite a bit of success getting information. They've confirmed that the primary operative's code name is Jack; his assistant's code name apparently is Neddy. I don't know if we've learned their location."

"Excellent, Tony, that's good news, indeed."

Tony opened the door and started out. He turned back. "Oh, and Control?"

"Yes, Tony?"

"Have you heard what’s worse than raining buckets?"

"Why no, Tony, I haven't."

"Well, Control, it's hailing taxis!" Tony smiled broadly.

Control smiled in return. "Oh, Tony, get along with you!" He waved his hand in a fond gesture of dismissal, and Tony happily walked out, closing the door behind him. They both felt almost whole again.

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Comments

( 26 thoughts — Share a thought )
jabber_moose
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Heartattack! Oh, this was just wonderful...able to cope semi normally...the Woman is cleared up...they laughed..mnnn
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
Thank you! I figured they each need to find some way to be content, even if they still think they can't have each other. They'll always have Control's office, anyway. :)
clairefry
Mar. 12th, 2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Oh you know that's so weird - I heard someone saying that joke the other day and I thought "Oh dear God..." but imagining it said by Control it was funny!!! Haven't heard the hailing taxis one before - quite funny! I love silly jokes! :-P

Glad to know that The Woman situation is cleared up! Now they just have to swallow their c... *ahem* pride and get on with thing - ie snogging the faces off each other (to begin with!)!

You are spoiling us with so many updates :-) *hugs*
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Hah! It's funny, isn't it? The lamest stuff coming from either of them winds up being cute, dont' you think?

Swallowing their, er, pride happens in chapter 29, I think. ;) Snogging is the chapter before. Hee!
clairefry
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:20 am (UTC)
The lamest stuff coming from either of them winds up being cute, dont' you think?

Very very very cute!

Ooooh yay! Can't wait for chapters 28/9 now! *Flings hands up in the air and does crazy happy dance*
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
hee! I'm looking forward to those chapters, too. I get to really cut loose and let them have at it!
clairefry
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
Oh I'm sure you'll have such fun doing that! :P As muh fun as I'll have reading it anyway! Yay!

I have that picture as my desktop background... *ahem* :D
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
Naked!Stephen is a lovely vision, indeed.

Reminds me of Mr. Smithers who had a sound clip of what sounds like Mr. Burns for his PC boot-up: "Hello, Smithers. I want you to turn me on" in a very robotic, patched-together cadence. Hee!

Did I mention that Stephen tells me my touch is firm but fair? He tells me that often when I turn off the alarm...

*dreams and hugs my Stephen clock*
clairefry
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:50 am (UTC)
It is indeed! I alternate between that pic and one of him in the bath with a yellow duckie! (I have both of them on my bedroom wall to... ahem)

Ooooh I wish I could get someting similar with Stephen's voice!

Stephen tells me that too! Very exciting. However he also calls me sir a lot, rather disturbing. However I normally respond by telling him to shut up and go back to sleep (I am not a morning person, not even for Stephen)!

*joins in with the hugging of Stephen clocks*
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
yeah, I've noticed Stephen calls me sir a lot, too. I chalked it up to the whole gay thing. If he wants to call me sir, I'll play along! :)

I usually wind up waking up just before Stephen gets goes off. I lay there and listen to the birdies, then feel all cosy warm listening to his wonderful voice and snuggle back under the blankies a bit. Ahhhhhh.
clairefry
Mar. 13th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've learned to just play along too! My friend Liam (gay and funnily enough my ex boyfriend) also has one and we have gotten into a routine of at some point during the morning smsing each other with Stephen's good morning greeting!

I sometimes quite like knowing that he's about to talk - the birdies, the slight cough, then THE VOICE! *sigh* But yesterday morning I recall shouting "What do you want? Go back to sleep!" I think it might be something to do with the fact I still haven't got around to getting used to the fact that my dreams of him sleeping next to me are just that - dreams :-(
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Hah. I have a gay ex as well. Small world.

Mmmm... Stephen dreams are yummy. :)
(Deleted comment)
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
Wheeeeeee!
zekkass
Mar. 12th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
They're as awkward as the awkward people of Awkwardia!

Oh, and you have their little Eleven o' Clock thingys down pat, y'know? :D
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
LOL! Awkwardia! As long as it's not Aardvarkia. :)

Why, thanks! Lord knows I've watched the skits enough!
sandssavvy
Mar. 13th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
That is just so perfectly in character for both of them.
Cute chapter.
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Aw, that's lovely of you to say! Thanks; glad you enjoyed it!
henpecked
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
Ah, perfect. You used one of my favorite awful jokes! I have tons of them, too. Hailing taxis! HAH!
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm a sucker for lame jokes.

My son made one up when he was 4 or 5: What do you call it when a jelly truck has an accident? A traffic jam!

I'll have you know that I researched rain jokes on the Interwebs to come up with that hailing taxis joke. The cats and dogs was the only rain-related joke I knew! :D
mibdevotee
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
Hello everyone,I just joined this community after discovering this series. Keep up the good work, msliz4857! I absolutely love, love, love your series! You have me at the edge of my seat everytime. I cant wait for the next chapter! :)
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
The Fry and/or Laurie comm is an excellent place, indeed... I'm sure you'll be most happy here! :)

Aw, why thank you for your lovely comment, my dear. I'm so glad that you're enjoying the series, and I appreciate your letting me know!
skyblue_reverie
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
Ahh, so sweet. I love the way they use their silly jokes to get back to "normal" between them, managing to totally ignore the elephant in the room. *pets the boys* So very, very in character. Lovely.

Hey, btw, just because we've had email connection problems in the past (grrr!) I wanted to make sure you got the email I sent you on... (*goes to check*) March 3rd, and that you hadn't replied and somehow I hadn't gotten it. If not, no biggie, just wanted to make sure we weren't in stupid spam-blocking-limbo again. :(

msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, love! I figured the one thing that could put any kind of normalcy between right now is silly humor, and you can get much sillier than weather jokes. :)

I love that they sound in character. I can hear them so clearly in my head it's almost scary! I'm glad they come across in a way that rings true.

Yes, I got your email. I could have sworn I'd answered; I know I have gotten any more spam notices. *check Sent items* Odd, nothing is there. Waaaaa! Let me try to figure out what happened. I'm so sorry, my dear, and so glad you said something! *hugs* I'll be back to you soon, I promise!
msliz4857
Mar. 13th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
That is, I know I've NOT gotten any more spam notices...

ack!

*more facepalm*
skyblue_reverie
Mar. 14th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
Hee! I knew what you meant, hon. Thanks for checking - I need my Msliz fix! :)
msliz4857
Mar. 14th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
I figured out the problem... totally facepalm-worthy. I'm definitely writing tonight and will fill you in. D'oh!

Awwww, you're so sweet! :)
( 26 thoughts — Share a thought )