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Controlled Love, Part 27: Dinner

Title: Dinner
Series: Controlled Love, Part 27. Start the series here.
Fandom: A Bit of Fry & Laurie
Pairing: Tony/Control
Rating: PG
Summary: Tony has a friend over for dinner. Confessions are made.
Disclaimer: No ownership claimed, just oodles of love for these characters.

Dinner

Control's reply accepting Tony's dinner invitation arrived on Thursday. Tony was extremely pleased. He was rather surprised that Control would be willing to sacrifice time away from his new love but didn't dwell on it. Control had said yes; he would be here in a matter of days.

Tony spent Friday morning cleaning his already spotless home. He wanted everything to be just right so Control would be comfortable. He knew how hard Control worked, and he understood some of the demands the head of British Intelligence was under. He wanted to create an atmosphere in which Control could feel completely relaxed.

Later that day, Tony planned the menu. He wasn't a great chef but could cook simple, delicious meals. He chose roast chicken, fresh green beans, mixed salad and, of course, coffee. He also thought it would be lovely to have fresh bread. He hadn't baked for months, but it made him happy to think of the wonderful aroma that would permeate the air.

Early next morning, Tony shopped for the groceries. He thought that since this was a special occasion, some wine would be appropriate, and he chose a vintage he thought Control would like. His final purchase, bought on a whim from Molly, the kind lady who owned the flower stall around the corner from his flat, was a bouquet of daisies; Tony thought they would add extra cheeriness to his lounge. Returning home, he spent much of the rest of the day in the kitchen.

When the dough was ready, he punched it down and began kneading. As he squeezed and shaped the mass, he let his mind wander. He thought about his plans to go to America and how easy it had been to change his mind after seeing Control again. He was relieved that they'd run into each other at the café; he knew now he could never have Control completely out of his life.

As his thoughts rambled, he began thinking of his fantasies. He remembered the reality and how it felt to hold Control close, hugging him tightly when Tony had said goodbye. He could feel his lips brush against Control's cheek; he imagined leaving a trail of small soft kisses, moving closer to Control's beautiful mouth…

Tony shook his head sharply. He'd battled such thoughts since he'd left the Service. He had to learn to be content with whatever niche in Control's life he could find; yearning for more was too painful. Control was his friend—only his friend—and if that wasn't enough for him then escaping to America would be the better course after all.

As the bread baked, he prepared the rest of the meal. By the time six o'clock arrived, his home was filled with an exquisite mix of aromas: freshly baked bread, roast chicken, herbs, and other delightful smells from his preparations.

Almost more eager than he could stand, Tony spent the remaining time getting ready. He showered, giving particular thought to his wardrobe. He decided on a white shirt, light grey slacks, and his tie in the pattern of an ancestral tartan. He loved that tie, which his mother had given to him on his eighteenth birthday, and wore it only at very special times. It had belonged to her father, who died when Tony was about nine, and was the tartan of his family line. The tie and the photograph of his Grandfather Laurie wearing it were two of Tony's most prized possessions.

He ran a comb through his hair one more time just as he heard a knock on the door.

~~~~~~~

Tony had left him so suddenly that day Control felt something had to be wrong. He thought his best course was write to Tony immediately, telling him exactly how he felt and see what the reaction would be. If Tony didn't reply, then he would assume that something—the firing, no doubt—had happened to have Tony no longer think of him as a friend. It had been a risk, but now that he was no longer Tony's boss, there were no more obstacles to keep him from moving their friendship to something deeper. But that could only happen if Tony wanted it, too. And at the moment, it hadn't seemed very likely to Control that such was the case.

Even so, he had not been able to forget the feel of Tony's arms around him, pressing him close, or the exquisite sensation of Tony's lips on his cheek. He'd been nearly carried away and was just about to turn his head to meet Tony's mouth with his own when Tony had suddenly—disappointingly—pulled away and raced from the café. Control didn't know if Tony had been overwhelmed by emotion or ashamed of his actions or shocked at what he'd done; Control only knew he had to learn if there was any way Tony could feel for him the way he felt for Tony. And Control also knew he wanted to feel their bodies pressed together and Tony's mouth on him again.

It was too good to be true that Tony had invited him to his flat. At first, Control was going to insist that they go out to a restaurant; he didn't like the idea of Tony going to any bother for him. But he thought better of it; he didn't want to give the impression that he wasn't interested in eating Tony's cooking or seeing his flat or accepting his ideas. And it would provide them with a discreet place for Control to say what he couldn't go any longer without saying. If Tony rejected him, it would be much less humiliating to have it done in private than in a crowded dining room.

The days dragged slowly, but eventually Saturday arrived. Control dressed carefully, choosing a dark three-piece suit that he thought fit him particularly well. He liked how the white shirt and dark striped tie looked, and as he brushed his hair, he hoped Tony would, too.

On the way he stopped for a bottle of wine. A polite guest should take a small gift, and a bottle of wine for a good friend seemed just the thing. On a whim, he also bought a bouquet of daisies from a flower stall near Tony's flat. Control thought they looked particularly cheerful, and now that he was nearly there, he was feeling rather nervous and in need of a bit of bucking up.

At exactly seven o'clock, Control knocked on the door of Tony's flat.

~~~~~~~

His first sight of Control took Tony's breath away. He looked so handsome in his suit, and his hair had fallen as it usually did, draping over his forehead. It took all Tony's self-control to keep from reaching his hand to lovingly brush it back into place.

"Hello, Control. You are right on time, which is very punctual of you. It's very good to see you. Won't you come in?"

Control thought Tony looked incredibly dashing in his crisp white shirt and grey slacks. He'd never seen that tie before, and the shade of blue in the tartan was a lovely compliment to Tony's eyes.

"Yes, thank you, I will come in. That's most kind of you."

As Control entered he handed Tony the bottle of wine.

"Here you go, Tony. This is just a little 'thank you' for inviting me over tonight. I hope you like it."

How could I not like it, Control? It's from you, isn't it? was what Tony thought. "That was extremely nice of you to think of me, Control. I do like it, thank you," was what Tony said.

"Also, Tony, I picked up this small bunch of daisies. They certainly look cheerful, don't you think?"

Tony couldn't help but laugh.

"What's so funny, Tony, if you don't mind my asking?"

"No, Control, I don't mind your asking at all. Come with me." Tony led Control to the lounge where he'd placed the flowers he'd bought. "You see, I bought daisies earlier today when I was out shopping. I thought they would make the lounge look somewhat more cheerful. So it's rather funny that you brought along the same flowers thinking about their looking so cheerful."

"Yes, Tony, I agree that's very funny, indeed." Control looked fondly at his friend. "Would you like to put these flowers in water, I wonder?"

"That's an excellent idea! I think there is room for them to fit in with the other flowers if you don't mind, Control."

Control didn't mind at all. He liked very much the idea of the flowers they had each bought being mixed together. He walked over to the vase, unwrapped the flowers, and fit them in among Tony's blooms.

"That worked out quite well, Tony. Good thinking!"

Tony was ever so pleased. The vase was now brimming with the lovely flowers, and the lounge was quite cheerful indeed.

"Dinner is very nearly ready. Would you please come to the dining room while I get everything on the table? I'll pour a glass of wine for you to drink while you're waiting if you like."

"Yes, Tony, I would like that very much," said Control as he followed Tony, "but only if you'll have a glass, too."

"Thank you for offering, Control. That would be quite nice."

~~~~~~~

All through dinner they talked continuously, sharing simple stories of their childhoods and adult lives before joining the Service. It was good to talk like this, laughing over embarrassing stories and finding many past interests in common. The talk was easy, and the time seemed to fly by.

When they were finished eating, Control complimented Tony on how delicious everything was; Tony blushed with pride. He was glad that Control was pleased and seemed to feel so at home. For a brief moment, his mind flashed on the idea that this was Control's home, that the two of them shared the flat and the bed. His blush deepened. He looked away from Control and then began busying himself clearing the table.

~~~~~~~

They had worked together to clean up after the meal and wash the dishes. Control thought of how wonderfully domestic it felt and didn't want it to end. Occasionally their fingers brushed together as Tony handed Control a plate to dry or Control gave Tony a coffee cup to put away.

After they were done, they moved to the lounge. Tony sat on the divan, and Control sat in a nearby chair. Their idle easy talk continued; after a while, Tony asked Control if he'd like any dessert.

"No thank you, Tony. I am 'full to the gills,' as they say. I couldn't possibly eat another bite." Control leaned back a bit in his chair and patted his stomach once or twice.

"I'm glad to hear that as I'd hate to think that you'd come to my flat for dinner but not felt that you'd gotten enough to eat."

"No fear, of that, Tony, I assure you. It was all wonderful. You were most kind to go to so much trouble for me."

"It really was no trouble, Control. I was very happy to do it. I very much enjoy having you visit and share a meal."

"Perhaps next time, Tony, you can visit my house and I can cook for you."

Tony was stunned. He didn't think that was something he could do. Wasn't his love there? It was one thing to know she existed; it was another thing to try to meet her and spend time together. He didn't want to lie to Control; he swallowed hard to get the next sentences out.

"I don't know, Control; I think your love would prefer to have you to herself. I don't want to be seen as trying to take your time away from her." Tony blushed furiously.

Control was confused. Tony knew that Mrs. Control had moved out; what would make him think such a thing? "My love? Her? Tony, you've lost me, I'm afraid. Mrs. Control hasn't come home, and she's never going to."

Tony didn't know what to say. He knew what he had read in Mrs. Control's note. "Forgive me, Control, but now I'm the one who's confused. I have to confess that when you told me about Mrs. Control's letter, it was face up on the desk. I didn't mean to pry, but I was able to read part of it. It was a line where she said she hoped you'd find happiness with your new love."

Now it was Control's turn to blush. Of course his wife didn't know who he'd been distracted by, but she was insightful enough to understand that another love had taken over his heart. And Tony had noticed that line in her letter, and he had assumed…

"Oh, Tony, Tony! No, you've misunderstood, I'm afraid. There is no 'her' in my life right now."

"You've not yet told her how you felt then, Control? Oh dear, that must be very difficult." Tony understood exactly how difficult it was to love someone but not be able to confess one's feelings.

Control looked Tony in the eye. "No, Tony, I've not yet told the person how I feel about them."

"You should, Control, you should! I'm sure she would accept you; anyone would be lucky to have you in love with him." Tony didn't even notice that his little pronoun mistake. Control did, and it gave him a flash of hope.

"Have you ever been in the position, I wonder, Tony, where you've wanted to tell someone you like quite a lot that you, well, actually love them?"

In a quiet voice, Tony replied, "Actually, Control, I'm in that very position right now. There is someone I like quite a lot for whom my feelings have turned into love." He couldn't look at Control for fear of confessing everything.

"Well, Tony, you see, I'm in just that situation myself. This person isn't aware of how deep my feelings are. I'm not sure that if the person knew they would be particularly happy about it."

Tony immediately looked at Control. "Of course they would, Control! You're the most wonderful person; how could anyone not love you? You have to tell her!" Tony's heart was almost breaking, but it was Control's happiness that mattered, not his.

Control left his chair to sit on the divan beside Tony. "That is excellent advice, Tony. I will do exactly what you say and tell exactly how I feel." His heart had never beaten so hard.

Tony's throat was dry and his skin was a mass of goose bumps with Control sitting so near. "Good, Control, it's the right thing. You should tell her tonight, as soon as possible." He couldn't take much more; Control would either have to leave soon or Tony felt he would go mad.

"Tony, look at me."

"I can't, Control."

"Why not, Tony?"

"I… I just can't."

"Please. Tony, please…"

Tony moaned softly at hearing those words and feeling Control's fingers on his chin, gently tilting his head, forcing him to look into those beautiful eyes he loved.

A single tear had traced a path down Tony's cheek. Control brushed it away lovingly with his thumb.

"Tony… my dear sweet Tony," Control said, his voice low and husky, "I love you." He pulled Tony's face to his.

Tony wanted to tell Control he loved him, too. Tony wanted to tell Control so many things. But as soon as Control's lips brushed against his, he melted into his arms and wanted to never leave.

There would be time for talking later.

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Comments

( 23 thoughts — Share a thought )
jadedgothchild
Mar. 16th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
Oh... Oh that's perfect. The awkward wordiness, how they're so polite...

Thank you, this is just what I wanted. *glomp*
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:36 pm (UTC)
*glomps back*

Yay! I'm so glad I could provide what you wanted. That makes me very happy! *dances*
sandssavvy
Mar. 16th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
This is so in character and adorable. I love this chapter.
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, you are so sweet to say so! I can't help but write adorable with these two... well, except for the angst. Now let's see if I can write smex for them! Hee!
mibdevotee
Mar. 16th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
Oh dear, that was so sweet!
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you so much!
mibdevotee
Mar. 17th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
I cant stop reading Controls confession!perfect...
msliz4857
Mar. 18th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Awwww, you're so sweet! And thanks for the re-comment! :D
skyblue_reverie
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC)
Ohhh, so sweet. I totally melted at their flowers mingling together in the vase. I loved how each of them was having a cozy domestic fantasy about the two of them living together. Awwwww. And the confession was just beautiful.

So lovely. Now on to the smexing! :D

msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

Once again, you pick out some of my favorite parts. I was a bit afraid the daisies were over the top, but I decided I didn't care because I like them! Hee!

The confession was a joy to write. Really, all I had to do was copy down what I heard in my head.

Smexing is *cough* coming, my dear! W00t!
jabber_moose
Mar. 16th, 2007 01:19 pm (UTC)
*is leaping about in a delighted frenzy..while sitting down* YES YES YES! *thrilled* WONDERFUL installment, and i don't just mean because they've finally got everything out in the open. Wonderfully written, both in perfect character, as always. so sweet. Perfect timing, too. Its horrible weather out, and i'm about to head to math *makes face* but this warmed me up a good deal!
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
*joins you in delighted frenzied leaping* Yay! I have been DYING to write this chapter, and I'm thrilled that it was time at last! I'm so glad it rang true to you. *hug*

We have about the same weather here, so all of these wonderful comments are definitely making me feel all snug and cozy!
derien
Mar. 16th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)
Awwww, so terribly sweet! Awkward confessions (that work out) always delight me. :) And isn't Tony the little 1950's housewife with his 'making everything perfect so that the hardworking man can relax'!
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! *hug*

I had to laugh at the 50s housewife reference. That wasn't my intention at all (it has a negative connotation to me)! Tony wanted to have everything just right to show his love (even though he wouldn't have admitted it at the time). :)
zekkass
Mar. 16th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
This has the be the absolute sweetest way for them to come together ever. The daisies, the tartan tie, the final confession...

*melts*
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, love! yay for melting! :D

I gave each of my sons a tartan tie a few years ago. I have two different Scots family lines, so I got one tartan for one son and the other tartan for the other. As you might guess, one son never wears his; the other one doesn't wear any other tie! :) (no, unfortunately, NOT the Laurie tartan!)

kalimyre
Mar. 16th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Ah! Oh! I, just. Yes. *melts*

So much love for this. And your little series of drabbles has rather grown, hasn't it? *g* I like how it's Control who takes the first step, who puts the clues together and realizes that his feelings may be returned. He's always been the slightly less naive of the two. And I love Tony, who is trying so hard to encourage Control to be happy, even though he thinks it won't be with him, and he's just so very earnest and eager to please.

Smexing ahoy!
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Yay! Melting is a very good thing on a cold, snowy day such as the one here in my little corner of the world!

your little series of drabbles has rather grown, hasn't it?
ZOMG, I think I'm going to hit 20,000 words by the time all is said and done. Eeeek!

Yes, Control had to be the one to make the move. His only iimpediment to trying (after Mrs. Control left) was their working together. Tony, on the other hand, thought Control was involved with someone else.

I have to confess... I LOVE this chapter. (I know, very braggy and vain of me, but too bad! Hee!)

Excuse me... smexing? I've brought these two together, and yet you expect smexing on top of that?? Egad, woman! Um, I'll get right on that, m'dear! :D
clairefry
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
YES! Oh Yes! I actually jumped up, punched the air and screamed "yes"! (My mum's reaction was hilarious!) Oh my Lord thank-you so, so much my dear! It's all gorgeous and fluffy and so so so Tony and Control! I love that Tony was giving Control advice which would help him tell Tony that he LOVES him! Just beautiful! I love them! I love you!

*On cloud nine in seventh heaven*
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
LOL! You are so totally adorable! :) I can just imagine your mum's reaction was quite funny.

Yes, they both deserved as much lovely and fluffy as I could muster after the previous 26 chapters. These boys have suffered for my art, and I owe them! :D

I'm so glad you liked it, my dear! *loves you back*

*joins you on cloud nine, looking over at the T/C shenanigans going on over on cloud eight*
clairefry
Mar. 16th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
"Adorable" - ha! Never been called that before! Hehehe! :-P

Yes, the boys have suffered a little (er at lot!), but then they will enjoy their rewards so much more now! (And lord do we know they'll enjoy those rewards ;-) )

Liked it?! Loved it, adored it, went mad for it!

Isn't watching T/C "shenanigans" er... intersting! :D :D :D
msliz4857
Mar. 18th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Yay for all your love and support for this series! I'm really amazed I managed to keep it going. Part of me is going to be very sad when it's over!

Yes, I love watchin' T/C doin' their thing! Hee!
(Deleted comment)
msliz4857
Mar. 16th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
*mops up puddle of CW* More melting. W00t!

They deserved some fluffiness! :) Glad you liked it!
( 23 thoughts — Share a thought )