Title: Fragile (Beware! RPS!) Part 1 of "Season 3"
Author: Janet F. Caires-Lesgold
Feedback to: jfc@freeshell.org
Archive: Mailing list archives only--others please ask permission!
Category: Romance, angst (Tom's side)
Timeframe: Fall 2003 - same universe as before, during filming of "Shattered"
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sexual interaction
Pairing: Michael/Tom
Summary: He's a method actor

DISCLAIMER: This story is just for the entertainment of my online friends and myself, not for any profit. It is pure fantasy and does not intend to reflect on the actual behavior or personalities of the people named herein. Please do not sue me for my little bit of fun!

AUTHOR'S NOTE: "Season 3" is a new multi-story arc of my Quantum Fics series, which can be found elsewhere in this archive - Enjoy!

DEDICATION: For Tiff, who holds my hand from two hours away.

COPYRIGHT: (C) Janet F. Caires-Lesgold, January 26, 2004, jfc@freeshell.org

Please don't redistribute or alter this story in any way without the express permission of the author. Thank you very much.



He is so into it.

It hurts you to watch him sitting cross-legged on the floor, his arms bound, makeup adding unnaturally dark circles under his eyes. He struggles wretchedly to his feet and stands crookedly, a pane of glass drawing all of his attention.

You want to look away, but you can't, instead searching his face for some sign of your lover, some indication that he's really all right. He's not "all right" at the moment, though, because believing he is that drugged, lost Lex helps him sell it for the camera. If only his belief didn't sell it to you...

He wants you to watch him filming, usually, or doesn't mind if you do, because he knows you're learning, absorbing your craft from his amazing example. Magazines and fansites are starting to pay attention to more than just your facial features, so you must be doing something right. Just one more take, and you can knock off work for the day, too, because it's work just to observe him like this.

The last moment is silent, and you wonder what dumb pop song they'll loop in this time to underline the image of Lex standing so alone in that padded cell. John is there staring at him, but he's on camera, so his fatherly concern is tinged with Lionel's twisted motivations, whatever they may be.

Read-throughs with the two of them are always frustrating, because John never reveals a thing until the cameras are rolling. Michael, however, is always tweaking, asking questions, talking constantly even while he listens. During Lana's lines, though, especially those with you, you know his hand will sneak under the table while you read and fondle you, just to make you crazy.

Speaking of crazy, that loving joker is nowhere to be seen onstage at the moment, and you almost don't dare breathe while the cameras capture his desolation. Waiting to leap to his side is literally painful, only partly because you're pinching yourself on the thigh to keep from pulling a Clarklike rescue of your boyfriend.

"Annnnd... CUT!" a voice shouts, startling you just a little. You shake your head a bit, and wait for the right moment to move onto the hospital set.

John hands his suit jacket to the wardrobe mistress beside you as he passes. "You okay, son?" he asks quietly, noting your tension.

"Just... um, you know..." Telling him why you're here would require more of an explanation than you feel like making, so you just shrug nervously and nod in the affirmative. He pats your elbow distractedly and wanders to the director's station, where you can see that playback has already begun.

The wardrobe people have a little agreement with you today, so they stay out of your way as you step around the camera. They know that when Michael's done here, he's asked the person he trusts most in the world to get him out of the straitjacket.

He has stepped back from the glass and leans with one shoulder against the wall with his head bent, not reacting as you approach. At a respectful distance, you hover within his line of sight and wait. "Hey," you whisper when his stillness starts to worry you.

Slowly, he raises his head and looks in your direction, but not exactly at you. "Hey," he answers, his voice rough as if he'd really been screaming for an hour.

"You ready to get out of that thing?" you inquire, refraining from reaching for him just yet.

"Please," he asks simply before he curls his spine back upright, his eyes tightly closed. He's more like himself now, but still difficult to watch, since you wonder what would happen were he to slip and fall while unable to catch himself.

You move closer, no longer able to keep your hands off of him. First, you reach for his shoulders and pet him a little through the thick canvas. Once you verify that nobody is watching you, you cup the side of his head and cradle it in your hand for a moment, then brush your cheek against his scalp.

"C'mon, Welling. Plenty of time for that later," he whines teasingly, but the strain in his voice makes you understand that he's not quite back from the abyss yet.

Pressing a smile of a kiss surreptitiously on top of his head, you unbuckle the thick leather strap at his elbows and begin to unwind the long sleeves. At your gentle urging, he unfolds his arms stiffly and works his shoulders a little before attempting to relax them at his sides. One by one, the buckles are undone in the back of the jacket, exposing his sweaty t-shirt underneath.

"Hold out your arms," you encourage, and he does so, allowing you to untangle him from the restraining garment, which you leave in a heap on the floor for now. "You ready to go?" you ask, watching his every move like a hawk.

"Gimme a second," he murmurs, circling his arms in their sockets carefully and cracking his neck to either side.

"Are you okay?" you feel brave enough to verify at last.

"Yeah, I'm fine, but my back is killing me. Come back to my trailer?" he invites without a hint of innuendo as he takes a few halting steps.

"Of course," you reply, picking up the jacket and handing it to the waiting wardrobe assistant before following him out of the studio, pausing to pick up your coats, and heading out to the lot.

It's a cold, overcast day, so your eyes relax after the bright Klieg lights indoors. Michael says nothing and doesn't even look at you as you walk together to his space.

He doesn't seem to notice, but you make sure nobody sees you go in his door, which you lock behind you. There isn't a light on, though his speakers already blare with rock music. Following him more deeply into the structure, you pass his shoes along the way and the coat he's discarded on a chair, finding him face-down on the bed in back.

"You need a drink or anything?"

"A beer would be nice," he rumbles into the comforter. "Fucking hot in that thing..."

"I could tell," you chuckle, going to the fridge where you find a couple of cold bottles, then availing yourself of the opener affixed to the fridge door.

He raises up on his elbows to grab the brew and take a long swig, then hands it back to you. "Put this out of the way."

You do as he asks, and, reading his needs before he expresses them, yank off your own shoes and straddle his inert form on the bed, settling your weight on your knees as you sit on his butt. At first, you press your thumbs hard into the muscles along the tops of his shoulderblades through the t-shirt that you've let him keep on so he doesn't get chilled. It feels like trying to poke through the surface of a soccer ball to work out the tension he carries here. He makes no noise except steady breathing for the moment.

Isolating a particularly tough knot, you let go with your hands and position the tip of your elbow against it, pushing with gradually increasing strength. More and more firmly you press down, careful not to slip off of the hard lump, when suddenly something gives.

"Ohhhhhaaaaaaaaaauuuuuhhhhhhh!" he groans deliciously as you break through.

"Guess that was it, huh?"

"Yeah," he murmurs in the same relieved tone. "Do it again just to make sure."

Once again, you look for the tensed muscle mass, finding it much reduced in size this time. Using your elbow like a precision instrument, you aim and attack, leaning most of your weight on a spot on Michael's back smaller than four square inches.

He reacts to your ministrations with a long moan that ends in a yelp of pain, causing you to jump back in case you've damaged something. "Think you got it that time," he reassures you.

Relaxing and stroking the area with your fingertips, you look for any residual stiffness. "Better?"

"Getting there," he sighs. "If it hurts, I know you're doing it right."

"Take off your shirt. I think I've got the blood flowing enough that you won't get cold."

He complies, stretching up a little underneath you and peeling off the sticky fabric so he can fling it on the floor. "Where's my beer?"

Quickly you fetch it off of the dressing table. "Here," you offer it to him.

"That's okay," he waves it away and reorients his folded arms under his head. "Just wanted to make sure I hadn't knocked it over."

You set the bottle back down and smack him lightly on his newly-relaxed shoulder.


"You sounded like you wanted it."

"Sorry all to pieces," he replies snidely with a grin you can hear. "Other side, please?"

Without a word, you obey, searching for and locating a couple of hard bumps and nailing them into submission with the bony joint of your arm. Michael makes noises running the gamut from pleasantly satisfied hums and occasional injured cries, to nearly-orgasmic vocalizations. These last sounds start getting to you, and you have to reseat yourself on his ass in an attempt to conceal your body's response to the images he is putting in your head. An aroused hiss escapes your lips without your permission when your pants slide teasingly against your hardness.

"What was that?" he asks, not easily fooled.

"Anything else?" you interject, ignoring his question.

"No, no, no, Welling. What's going on?"

"Look--this is about you, not me. I'll be fine. Now, did I miss anyplace?"

He tenses his thighs to press his ass up against yours as if to nudge you off onto the floor. "Yeah, toadstool: this muscle that's hard and poking into the mattress."

"You, too?" you exclaim in faint amazement as you ease up off of him and sit by his side.

"Like I could help it, with your hands making me feel that good," he groans, rolling over to reveal the tent in his pants.

"What do you want to do?" you inquire, ready to take care of him in any way he needs.

"Wanna fucking come," he grunts, sitting up just long enough to unfasten his trousers and shuck them with his boxers onto the floor. "Get with the program, bub. Need you naked, pronto." He lies back and watches you impatiently, his full cock bobbing in the air like the drumming of fingers.

Off comes your shirt, and with a flourish, you yank off your belt and shinny down your jeans as fast as possible. "How do you want it?" you check politely, hiding the fact that you're horny enough that you could be talked into just about anything.

"Come over here," he whispers, so you crawl over to hang above him predatorily. He seizes your head with both hands and pulls you down for a beer-flavored kiss.

Helpless to resist him, you fall against his pale skin and begin rutting alongside his cock. Your mouths fit together like perfect puzzle pieces, your tongues taking turns being the tab to push inside, while your hips snap and stroke your penis in the hot, perfect groove between his thigh, his taut belly, and his leaking erection.

Not letting go of your hair, he pulls his mouth free of yours and holds your forehead snugly to his own. "Oh, Jesus," he nearly wails, thrusting his pelvis up into you and coming suddenly. Working with the new resistance, you rub yourself harder against his body and join him in a jerking, startling orgasm.

Your chin slips over his shoulder, as his hands shift to clutch you close. "You were incredible today, Michael..."

"Yeah, but how was I onstage?" He snickers at the long-suffering shake of your head. "Thank you, beautiful. You were just what I needed after that."

"I'm glad I could help."

"Always. You're supposed to save me as often as you can, aren't you?" he asks, nuzzling into your neck.

"I try."

"Good." One hand traces down your back and squeezes your ass sensuously. "Wanna try again?"

And you thought he was into it in front of the cameras...


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