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Controlled Love, Part 26: Café

Title: Café
Series: Controlled Love, Part 26. Start the series here.
Fandom: A Bit of Fry & Laurie
Pairing: Tony/Control
Rating: PG
Summary: A chance meeting and two letters.
Disclaimer: No ownership claimed, just oodles of love for these characters.


Tony spent the next week quietly at home. He had enough money saved to allow him some time to think about his life and where his next path would take him.

It took him most of the full week to decide what to do. Leaving England to start a new life in the States would be difficult at first. But he had lost his heart's two desires; he believed that leaving the country, leaving behind everything that would remind him, would be the quickest way to heal.

Tony had an acquaintance in America. They had worked together for British Intelligence for about six months before the man had been wounded during an undercover operation. The Service had relocated him overseas, providing him with a new name (he'd taken the name of Arthur Meddlicott, a distant relative on his mother's side) and suitable references and curriculum vitae to allow him to gain employment as a history instructor at a small private school in northern New York state.

He'd contacted Arthur, who said he'd quite enjoy having Tony spend a few days' holiday with him. Tony decided to leave in two weeks. He didn't know when—if ever—he'd ever return to England.

That Friday morning he was out on errands in preparation of his upcoming departure. He'd been to the bank to close his accounts, the landlord to pay his final month's rent, a book seller's to pick up a few volumes about America, and the travel agent to make his flight reservations. It had been a very busy morning, and he thought it would be quite pleasant to sit and relax for a while before continuing. He made his way to a nice café a block and a half away.

He was at a small table looking through one of the travel books he'd purchased. The coffee was quite good, and Tony could honestly say that he felt, if not content, then proud of himself for taking positive steps forward. Suddenly, he heard a familiar and much-loved voice.

"Tony? Is that you?"

When Tony raised his head, he was looking into Control's beautiful warm eyes. His mouth fell open in surprise, then he quickly caught himself and answered, "Yes, Control, it is me. Is that you?"

Control smiled broadly. "Yes, Tony, it is indeed me. It certainly is quite good to see you." He thought the pale rose colour rising in Tony's cheeks was absolutely enchanting.

"That's most kind of you to say so."

One or two moments of silence passed between them, neither realising how hard he was breathing. Then two hands simultaneously reached and grasped, sending sharp lovely sensations through both of them. They both began talking at once.

"Control, I've missed you so much…" "Tony, nothing has been the same since you left…"

"Won't you sit down?" "May I sit down?"

"What have you been doing with yourself?"

They laughed—a warm, deep, contented laugh—then took turns asking and answering questions. There wasn't a moment of awkwardness between them for the entire time they were together.

Tony couldn't bring himself to tell Control about his plans to move to America. He didn't want to feel any unhappiness during their talk.

At last, Control checked his watch. "Tony, I'm very sorry to say that I must be going. I have a meeting with The Minister in thirty minutes. I wish I could stay a little longer…"

"I understand, Control, think no more about it. I am very glad we ran into each other today."

"As am I, Tony. I've truly enjoyed our time together. I hope we can meet again sometime soon."

Tony knew it was likely this would be the last time he'd ever see Control; he wasn't able to talk. He merely nodded, then, unable to stop himself, pulled Control to himself in a tight embrace.

Control was surprised yet very pleased. He returned the hug, clasping Tony tight. He felt Tony lightly kiss his cheek. Just as he was about to return the kiss, Tony broke the embrace, mumbled "Goodbye, Control," and quickly left the shop.


A few days after they had run into each other at the café, Tony received a letter in the post written in a familiar and welcome hand.

Dear Tony,

It was ever so wonderful seeing you in the café last Friday. I originally thought it was last Thursday, but then I remembered that I'd gotten a new library book that morning, so it had to have been Friday.

I've missed your coffee and conversations since that unfortunate business about your firing. I was glad to hear you don't hold any difficult feelings against me and that you understand it was the result of some shrewd but rather hard-line political thinking by our masters in Whitehall. Well,
my masters in Whitehall, at any rate. If I had my way, I'd have you labouring under me in some way or another whenever I could manage it.

I was wondering how you might feel about meeting again some time soon. We could have a coffee or perhaps even some food. Since Mrs. Control has been gone I've been eating alone quite a lot, so some company would be most appreciated.

What would you say to this coming Saturday? Let me know if you are interested and where you might like to meet. I rather hope you say yes, as I do look forward to our next conversation.

Your former boss and still friend,

Tony felt the tears of joy in his eyes as he read Control's wonderful letter. How could he ever think about leaving this wonderful man forever? Even if he could never have him as his own, Tony realised that he was happier in a tiny corner of Control's life than out of it completely. And now here Control was telling him that he was lonely and wanted company—Tony's company—and Tony was thrilled.

He immediately sat down at his desk and wrote his response.

Dear Control,

I was pleased to receive your letter and very kind invitation for a coffee or perhaps even some food. I didn't have the unpleasant experience of a Mrs. Tony leaving, but I understand how it is to eat alone quite a lot and want some company to make a meal somewhat more friendly.

You were most kind to say you have missed my coffee and conversations. I will say that I feel just the same. That is, I miss bringing you coffee and your conversations. (I don't want you to think I miss bringing myself coffee or talking to myself!)

I do understand that our masters in Whitehall (well, your masters now) were responsible for my being let go from you-know-where. But of course, with
glasnost and other related phenomena, I can't fault them for their decision. I most certainly appreciate your kind words; if I had my way, I'd be very happy to be labouring under you any way possible.

This coming Saturday sounds just right. I hope you don't find this at all forward, but I'd like to invite you to my flat for dinner. Please come at seven o'clock.

Your former Subsection Chief and always friend,



( 26 thoughts — Share a thought )
Mar. 15th, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)
If I had my way, I'd have you labouring under me in some way or another whenever I could manage it.

Whee, pseudo-Victorian inuendo for the WIN!
Mar. 15th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
Heh. They're dirty in their own pure little way, aren't they? ;)
Mar. 15th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
I think i just died.

Love to all all ALL!

Makes my heart lift for the two

(Mrs. Tony

He's TOO cute)
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
*revives you*

Awww, you are so sweet! I was afraid it was a bit, well, syrupy, but I figured after all the angst of the past 25 chapters, the boys deserved some sappiness! ;)

Hehe... I could hear Hugh's voice talking about not having had a Mrs. Tony. LOL!

So glad you liked it!

PS? Icon!Love!
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:02 am (UTC)
*ded from cute*


Dear lord, that has to be the cutest way ever for making sure they stay together. :D
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
Yay! for cutest way ever! :)

Wait till you see how I bring Tony back to the Service! *rubs hands together* Woo!

Thanks as always, sweetie!
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Oooh you got me crying again! Far toooo cute! Lovely, my dear, just lovely! *wraps Control and Tony up in fluffy cotton wool to keep them protected and together* *squee*
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Well, hopefully they were happy tears this time around! We'll have to take them out of the cotton wool wrapping to they can get down to some serious smexing very soon. W00t! ;D
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
YAY! Yes, definately tears of happiness this time :-) Oooh fun! *slooowly begins to unwrap cotton wool* Wanna give me a hand?! (Silly question I know :P)
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
I'd prefer to give Tony a hand. And Control the other one. *wiggle eyebrows*


*plays strip tease music as you unwrap the cotton wool*
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
That certainly makes both of us! Hehehehehehe! But sadly I don't think we'd stand a chance... seeing as we're merely women and all! Probably best to leave them to it! (Watching in the background of course!)

Woohoo - let the cotton wool unwrapping begin!

Duh-da-da-da Duh-da-da-da...
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
don't go dashing my hopes, now! I'm still planning on a future with one or both of them.

*sporfle* :)
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC)
Oh don't - you know when I was younger I had convinced myself that one day I would be Mrs Stephen Fry... *sigh*

Ah well! We can dream!

*goes off into hysterics* :D :D :D
Mar. 15th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC)
We can have a double wedding... Hugh and Stephen and the grooms, me and you as the brides. no problem! ;)
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Oooh yeah! I already have my wedding planned (heh heh heh!) so I'm sure I can make a change or two to accomodate you and Hugh :P :P :P

*hums Wedding March*
Mar. 15th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Oh, my goodness. They still use the snail mail to communicate! No 21st century e-mails or cell phones for our boys!

All right, enough politeness! Get to the shagging!

Mar. 15th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
They both realize that letter writing is becoming a lost art and want to do the proper thing by corresponding via snail mail.

Shagging? You expect there will be shagging? *consults series outline* Ah, very good... shagging shall commence very soon! :D
Mar. 15th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
A date! *squees madly*

They missed each other so very much, and I'm glad that Tony didn't leave entirely without realizing that. Does he still plan to leave? And what would Control do if he realized he was in danger of losing Tony completely? I imagine it would motivate him to move a little faster. *g* I can just imagine the shock and then immediate near-panic at the thought of Tony leaving the country and never seeing him again. Why, in that state, he's likely to do something drastic. (One hopes, anyway.)

Also, who is Arthur Meddlicott? I recognize the name as a Boffle reference, I think, but I can't place it.
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:22 am (UTC)
Yep, we're on pretty much of a clear path to smexing here. I think I've resolved all the impediments but one: Tony just has to understand that he is Control's one true love. And I think there will be a confession or two over dinner, and then, folks, we've got ourselves clear sailing to ManSex Island. W00t!

LOL! Arthur Meddlicott is the patient in the psychiatrist skit (episode 2x01) who puts bread in his shoes, says "I'm as mad as I am, but no madder!" and writes letters to the Daily Mail. Hugh gets very bug-eyed and indignant, which I absolutely love. :)
Mar. 15th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
*glee* You fixed it! *gears up for saturday's dinner*
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
I'm not sure what an online lynching would feel like, but I have a feeling if I hadn't fixed it, I would find out! Hee!

Yes, I'm very much looking forward to their date. :D
Mar. 15th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Eeee! So cute! Hugging! And cheek-kissing! Letters! And a date! And sexual innuendo! And awwww, Tony might be moving away, and Control doesn't know. *sniff*
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC)
Hee! I'm so glad you liked! LOL, you picked all of my favorite parts; I think the "I'd have you labouring under me" line is probably my very favorite. Neither one of them gets the dirtiness of it, which is, to me, so very them.
Mar. 15th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
Please keep this storyline going! I love those silly sexy two!
Mar. 15th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Why, thank you! There are about 4 chapters yet to go. :)

They ARE adorable, aren't they? Yay!
Mar. 18th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
so much cuteness! they're adoreable. ^^
( 26 thoughts — Share a thought )