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"Red Carpet Blues" RPS Hugh Laurie/Robert Sean Leonard Rating: NC!7 Word count: 4250

Title: Red Carpet Blues
Fandom: House MD RPS
Pairing: Hugh Laurie/Robert Sean Leonard (Appearances by and references to the usual suspects.)
Rating: NC17
Wordcount: 4250
Notes/Warnings-THIS IS RPS and includes references to family members, significant others etc. If you think that's a bad thing, you shouldn't read it, although you'll totally be hooked if you do.
Another brilliant beta job by Beta Goddess Carol, who had to push me on the ending. I was skimping on the smut, if you can believe it. If you think this is hot, it's all to her credit.
Thanks to all the readers who've gone on the Hugh&Bobby journey and those just starting it. Links to the entire series can be found HERE


Initial inspiration came from Hugh's 2007 Golden Globe acceptance speech .


Summary: Nine months. Three award shows. One fabulous speech. Smut & Angst. Questions asked and not quite answered.






Golden Globes, January 15, 2007

And the winner is…Hugh Laurie for House MD.

Hugh wondered when he’d become the sort of person whose life took place in limousines.

The tinted windows and leather seats were all very well for getting from Point A to Point B when he and Jo were too dolled up to make the bike a practical option, but lately it seemed that he was spending too much time in these things and too many dramas were playing themselves out in their artificial cocoons. This one, for example, between him and Jo.

He’d thought the award ceremony had gone as well as could be expected. Winning was always nice. Lovelier the second time around, as the song went. His speech, written the day before with a bit of input from his better comedy half, had gone over swimmingly and Stephen had been right: nothing funnier than a colonic irrigation reference. Perhaps he’d been a mite obsequious towards David and Katie, but that was what one did under the circumstances.

Now all he had to do was survive the Fox Fest of Self-Congratulation, or the post-Golden Globes party as it was otherwise known, and he could put yet another night of show-business frippery behind him.

Except the look on Jo’s face said otherwise and an automobile stuck in traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard couldn’t possibly be as cold as this particular Lincoln Town car felt right now.

Jo looked beautiful in her silver-grey ensemble, hair done up and the full make-up in place, although she’d look equally stunning padding around the house in jeans and a sweatshirt. He’d never stop thinking he was a lucky bastard to have her, although right now he suspected there was no “lucky” prefacing the second word in her mind. What on earth had he done?

“I don’t suppose there’s any way we could just skip the whole soiree, is there? Just have the gent drive us back to the apartment and claim we were stuck in traffic? Spend a nice evening…playing canasta?”

He’d been planning to make some lewd reference that would bring a smile to her lips and get him off whatever hook he was currently dangling from, but her eyes narrowed and Hugh could tell she was struggling not to tell him exactly what was on her mind.

“Did you think the ‘newly mown grass’ was a bit fulsome?” he asked, almost desperately.

Jo’s struggle for dignity was evident in the clenched fist that clutched her beaded purse before she loosened her grip slightly and turned to him, apparently willing to start a conversation that might end badly and dignity be damned. “I was thinking that Stephen would be rather miffed by his placement in your speech, but then I realised I should be more put out on my own behalf.”

“But I said…”

“Yes, after, David and Katie and your mown grass crew and a few others. I can understand that you put Stephen first.”

He tried not to wince too visibly at the hurt in her voice, but that that wasn’t the end of it.

“Do you know who else you put me after?”

He honestly didn’t. He’d gone on auto-pilot after the prepared stuff. Pete Liguori, of course, maybe Christian…some of the cast members?

“What reason did Bobby give you, exactly?”

Fuck. Make that a double fuck with a fuck chaser.

This was bad. Jo knew or suspected or suspected she knew and either way Hugh’s life was about to go to hell in the proverbial hand-basket.

God, he wanted a cigarette, but the need to smoke right now would be taken as proof of guilt and Hugh had no intention of going down without a fight, even if it was a fight in a limousine.

It was his own damn fault, of course. Loving Bobby had gotten so comfortable that he’d been lazy about hiding it, and his co-star hadn’t been any better. At this point he’d be surprised if the entire cast and crew didn’t know, given the looks they’d exchanged on the set, the “jokes” Bobby made more and more blatantly, and, of course, the time they’d started spending in Hugh’s trailer while reassuring themselves that their “close friendship” was common knowledge and no one would think anything of it. Perhaps not, but it was certainly possible that some sound louder and lustier than a friendly chat about world affairs might have escaped the confines of Hugh’s home in the parking lot.

Hugh’s suspicious nature turned toward Jennifer. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been quite so adamant in rejecting the possibility of a relationship between House and Cameron, despite his perfectly valid concerns about the age disparity.

Jo was still waiting for an answer and if there was ever a time for damage control, this was it, if only he could control his thoughts and responses enough to pull it off.

“Well, he’s certainly earned it.” At the apartment, at the beach house, in the trailer, on his knees… “He’s working his arse off, and barely getting any credit.” Oh god, that arse…don’t think about it right now… “I wouldn’t have these little trinkets if it weren’t for him. You really think they care about how well I can say ‘hairy leukoplakia’ or call some poor wretch an idiot?”

It was a struggle to control his pitch and volume, but a rise in either would be tantamount to a confession. It was all true, but it was also rubbish. Yes, he did think the scenes between House and Wilson had become the heart of the show, and that he’d never have been able to pull those scenes off with any other actor, but thanking him in front of a worldwide audience had been a mistake because it wasn’t about that at all. It was because he couldn’t imagine getting through a day on the set without seeing Bobby, and especially because he was still in thrall to what happened between them alone, and he’d just thrown that in his wife’s face whether she knew it or not.

“Bobby deserves his own slew of awards and if these mindless oafs are too thick to figure it out, it behooves me to give him his due when I get the chance.”

Jo looked at him, clearly dubious, but also wanting to be convinced.

“I do apologise, darling. The next time I’m fortunate enough to receive one of these things, I’ll emulate Mr. Carell and make sure the world knows exactly who I owe it all to.” Now he was ladling it on far too thickly. Jo was shaking her head, but smiling as well.

He took a second to really hate himself before playing his trump card.

“I’ll have to say something to Stephen as well. He’ll be out of sorts. I’m sure I can find a way to make it up to him.”

“Naturally.”

Hugh wiped a hand over his face, hoping to cover the sigh of relief with a faked yawn when he was actually abuzz with adrenaline from the close shave. Too damn close, even for an adrenaline junkie who knew that the drama was part of the allure.

Jennifer would certainly bear watching. He decided to give her and David a victory by acceding more enthusiastically to the kiss they wanted to interpolate in the Dave Matthews episode that was coming up. It was a small sacrifice, really. Kissing a pretty girl so he could keep fucking a handsome man. Stephen’s hero, Oscar Wilde, might appreciate the irony, even if Stephen himself was guaranteed to be in a vile mood.

Why did he put himself through these things anyway when he loathed the tux, the large automobile and the ordeal of the red carpet itself? Was he desperate for public validation? Well, he’d certainly learned his lesson about going “off piste” during an acceptance speech.

With any luck, he wouldn’t even be nominated for an Emmy.



Tony Awards, June 10, 2007

And the winner is….Billy Crudup in The Coast of Utopia.

Ethan seemed to be taking it well, not that he really had much choice. He could hardly throw a diva fit over losing to his own co-star on a night when the show was taking everything it was nominated for. All right, there was no way anybody could beat Frank Langella as Nixon, but other than that, it was a blow-out.

They’d endured the rest of the show and come back to the Marriott to get out of the damn tuxedoes and into some real clothes. Now it was time to head over to the W and join the Utopia party, except Ethan wasn’t moving.

“Come on. Let’s just go and have a few drinks. You can thank Tom for writing you the role of a fucking lifetime and then you can go home and say good night to Levon, or you can go get wasted or whatever you want to do.”

Ethan didn’t turn away from his laptop. He was typing furiously, maybe email or IM or even working on a new book. Bobby couldn’t tell because he’d taken off his glasses and opened a beer, so everything in the suite was a happy blur. He felt totally zonked. Tony week was always an exhausting whirl of parties, interviews, parties, rehearsals, and a few more parties.

He knew the press interest in him had nothing to do with Broadway, but found ways to deflect most of the interviews from What’s it like to work with Hugh Laurie? to Why we need to make sure that schools don’t drop their music and theater programs and sometimes even get in a pitch for the SPCA.

If it were up to him, he’d just order a cheeseburger from room service and crash right here at the Marriott, but he felt weirdly responsible for getting Ethan to that party. The room was started to remind him of the set for a Neil Labute play, not a good place to be unless you were actually onstage.

“Are you looking at porn or something? You can do that after the party. At home.”

This time Ethan did turn around from the desk and fixed Bobby with a particularly unpleasant look.

“I know about you and Uma.”

Bobby fell back on the bed, feeling the beginnings of a full-blown headache coming on. He’d been through this whole Uma thing with Gaby back in November. There was nothing then and there was nothing now. Which Ethan damn well knew because he was the only other person who knew about…Oh shit.

“Look, Ethan….”

“You told her about Hugh before you told me?”

For an adult, he sounded ridiculously petulant about Bobby’s reluctance to share the fact that he was having an affair with a man.

“I wasn’t planning on telling anybody. It just happened. And how do you know anyway?”

“She can’t keep her mouth shut even when she’s just typing.”

“Tell her I said hello, and when is my agent going to hear from Quentin’s agent?”

“She wants me to ask you what’s going on with Hugh and what happened with Gaby. What about Gaby? How come I’m the last one to know?”

Bobby sat up to find Ethan still staring at him. “It was hard enough telling you in the first place.”

“You never held out on me before. Just cause it’s a guy…that’s different?”

“Yeah, it is.” Especially considering what happened before I left.

“Is that why Gaby did the whole Israel thing?”

“Gaby’s fine. She did it because she felt it was the right thing to do. She loves it there. I’m going over in a few weeks.”

“That’s cool. But, what about…”

“I’m not going to talk about it.”

“Then I’m not going to the party,” Ethan announced, taking off his jacket and throwing it on the bed, followed by himself.

Ethan still looked like a kid and it seemed to give him the right to act like one Then he wanted to know why the money guys didn’t take him seriously. He propped himself up on one elbow, reminding Bobby of when they were making Dead Poets Society and having the same conversations. Only they weren’t the same and if Hugh saw this, the two of them on a bed together, no matter how innocent, he’d blow an even bigger gasket.

“He’s got a temper sometimes. And he’s…jealous.”

“He’s the one who’s married,” Ethan pointed out sensibly. Bobby didn’t want to explain it wasn’t Gaby that Hugh was jealous of.

Bobby could say in complete honesty that before the first time he kissed Hugh, he’d never thought of a man that way. Unfortunately there was this recurring dream of Bobby and Ethan and Keanu in a limousine, and Hugh hadn’t let go of it any more than Bobby had.

They’d been celebrating the end of the season with a very personal “wrap party” at the beach house, knowing it was the last time for a while. Hugh was heading back to London the next day for some time with his family and the OBE presentation. He’d be in Los Angeles most of the summer working on The Night Watchman, but Jo and the kids were coming as well. According to Hugh, Charlie was “quite keen” to spend time on the set. Even Rebecca had expressed a desire to meet Keanu.

Although he’d met Jo on several “show biz” occasions, he doubted that spending any serious time in the presence of Hugh’s family was a good idea. It was hard enough living with the paranoia that every one of Jesse’s chipper “Good morning Bobby’s” was really code for “You’re fucking Hugh, aren’t you?” without having to actually look one of the kids, who were all teenagers and probably not idiots, in the eye and do the whole “just friends” routine.

“You know what’s funny?” He sighed. “Hugh does all these interviews where he just comes out point blank and says he’s got this dark side, but he says it so nicely that no one believes him. But it’s there all right.”

And liable to pop up at odd moments, just because Bobby had told Hugh that he was going to New York for the awards, and would be seeing Ethan, among many others. He hadn’t thought anything of it, until he was lying on his stomach with Hugh on top of him and Hugh had picked that moment, a rather crucial one in the proceedings, to mention it.

Bobby had been gasping into a pillow at the now-familiar but never completely comfortable feeling of Hugh deep inside him. After three years there was still something unreal about the whole thing, that he was doing this at all, that it was Hugh, and that he loved it (and the man himself) so fucking much.

He hadn’t gotten over the guilt, still hadn’t figured out what this meant about him, both in terms of his sexuality and his ability to lie to nearly everyone in his life, but none of that mattered when he was in bed with Hugh, especially not when he was like this, legs spread, eyes closed tightly, toes curled, so close…

“Remember this when you see Ethan.”

Hugh’s accent still had that effect on him, especially when it was a throaty whisper, right against his ear, and under the circumstance it took a few seconds to process the actual words.

“What?”

By answer, Hugh found a spot on Bobby’s back and bit into it, sucking hard, making Bobby yelp, even as he thrust hard which produced a full-throated scream. Even with all that clamor, followed by Hugh’s own groaning, obscene climax, he still got the message. He belonged to Hugh. Maybe that should bother him, but it didn’t.

Not that he was going to tell Ethan any of that.

“Well you’re not exactly Mr. Mary Sunshine, are you?”

“No.”

Bobby smiled. What did Bette Midler say? “You gotta have friends.” People who will call you on your bullshit. Bette Midler? Jesus, why don’t I just get a feather boa?

“No wonder you’re attracted to him.”

Yeah. That’s it. Never mind the good looks, blue eyes, brilliant wit and mind-blowing sex.

“Maybe.”

“Kind of like…”

“Please don’t say it…not you too.”

“…House and Wilson.”

Bobby tried not to grimace. The hardest part of the relationship was not letting it come across on screen, despite Uma’s insistence that he’d already failed dismally. The writers weren’t helping either, although it would have been nice if they would provide something resembling consistency from week to week.

“No, it isn’t,” he insisted.

“You’re still holding out on me, Bobby.”

“Trust me. It’s for your own good.”

For a second they looked at each other, and then Ethan cracked one of his goofy grins, before rolling off the bed, shaking his head.

It’s for your own good? Who’s writing your dialogue?”

“Not Stoppard, that’s for sure.” He felt himself on the verge of all-out snickering.

“Not even Tarantino,” Ethan replied, putting his jacket on.

“I think I got some bad Inge or something.”

“Dude, you should take something for that. And you should get dressed. We’ve got a party to get to.”

*****

Emmy Awards, September 16, 2007

And the winner is…James Spader in Boston Legal.

He hadn’t expected to win, of course. He never did. This year, especially. It had been completely impossible to ignore the steady drumbeat heralding the coronation of James Gandolfini. One of these days, he’d learn to ignore the whole thing. Stay home with a good book and a glass of sherry. Not this year though. No, this year, he’d gone again, made the walk down the red carpet, smiled for the cameras, sat next to Lisa and tried not to glance down her cleavage, presented to Sally Field, who appeared to have lost her mind, and listened to the gasps as James Spader was announced as the winner.

By the time the audience had been freed from the Shrine and released into the open air in a completely ungainly cattle stampede for the limos, Hugh could feel the gloom closing in. It shouldn’t matter, but somehow it did. Gandolfini was one thing; he’d been ready for that. Kiefer Sutherland, even. And Bobby had told him that Denis Leary was doing amazing work in “Rescue Me,” but James Spader? For no rational reason, Hugh felt like he’d just been rejected by the entire American television industry and it hurt.

Jo, Stephen and Emma all called with their best soothing platitudes before he even got back to West Hollywood, and none of them helped in the least. The next time the phone started playing “Land of Hope and Glory,” he turned it off, even though he could see it was David Shore’s turn to bolster his star’s self-esteem. He’d tell David that the call came in as his limo was going through a canyon or something. No more calls tonight, he decided. No more bullshit about how he was robbed, or it was some fluke or anything.

Just pour a scotch, light a cigarette and do not think about the way his life was falling apart.

Bit melodramatic there, don’t you think? Not like you’re losing your family or your career or something like that…

No, of course he wasn’t. He was holding things together perfectly. He’d spent the summer working on a great script, even if Mr. Reeves’ star quality outshone his acting ability by several kilowatts, while his wife and children flitted about in various combinations to bolster his image as family man and husband. There’d been whole days of not thinking about Bobby at all, but never more than one in a row.(And rarely a whole night.)

If he couldn’t have an Emmy, he was at least entitled to…

Not your nicest side, is it?

He couldn’t help it. In fact, he’d never apologised for that possessive, jealous snit, because he wasn’t sorry. Obviously he couldn’t have Bobby all to himself. Even he wasn’t capable of that much hypocrisy, but the idea of him being with another man was enough to make Hugh furious, not to mention horny. Hornier.

All he had to do was call. Pick up the phone. Wait for the worst driver in LA to make his way through post-award show traffic. By that time he could have gotten himself off and done the dishes, if that was all he wanted. Any illusions that this was only about sex had gone out the window over a year ago. The words had been said and meant and re-said many times over, but that didn’t make it easier and it didn’t tell Hugh what exactly he wanted or needed right now.

The phone rang. The real one. Only a few people were supposed to have the number, so it might be an actual emergency. Jo or the kids. But…it might be the press. “How do you feel about…?” Four rings and the answering machine would kick in. He let it go three and picked it up, fully prepared to hang up if it was someone he didn’t want to talk to, although he’d probably be too polite to actually do it.

“Hugh, darling…are you all right?” Jo’s voice expressed a mixture of worry and aggravation. Hugh could guess what had happened since he turned his cell off.

“I’m fine, dear. I just didn’t really want to…”

“So, naturally, they’ve all called here. What is it exactly that causes Americans to believe that it’s the same time approximately six thousand miles away?”

“I haven’t figured out that one yet either. If you don’t mind, just tell everyone I’ll get back to them in the morning.” A tense silence followed. Asking her to be his messenger service just because he was feeling put out with the world wasn’t exactly cribbage. “Please, darling. I can’t excuse myself, but I’m not…”

He let it trail off, knowing there’d be a price to pay on the next trip home.

“All right. I’ll have a whole list for you tomorrow.”

“Thanks, darling.”

Now Jo was pissed, as well she should be, and whatever he’d been planning on the tension release front had been rendered unnecessary. He could always pull out the DVDs or forget the whole thing.

Who the hell was knocking on his door?

And the phone was ringing again.

“Jo, I told you…Please!”

“Hugh, it’s me.”

“Bobby…are you by some chance standing outside my door right now?”

“Yeah. And I’ve been knocking for five minutes. I know it’s not exactly discreet…but…”

Hugh dropped the phone and nearly galloped the short distance to the door, hoping Bobby would have had the sense to take his glasses off before making the call.

Bobby looked as desirably unkempt as ever in khakis and a while shirt and, thank the good lord, no glasses.

“Hello,” Hugh said, fighting to make it sound like a friend casually welcoming another into his apartment, instead of a prelude to clutching and kissing that commenced the minute the door slammed shut. Getting his hands on Bobby’s body, needing the reality of warm skin under his fingers to shut up the doubts as well as providing a surge of excitement. For all his fears of discovery, the idea that Bobby hadn’t been discreet about his presence wasn’t as disturbing as it should have been.

Bobby seemed equally anxious to touch him and the attempts to get clothing off while not having to break contact at the lips would have been amusing if they weren’t so frustrating. Hugh quickly discovered that an erection could be easily regained with the proper stimulation, such as Bobby managing to get into his pants, in the British meaning of the term. Hugh felt himself moaning against Bobby’s mouth and thrusting against his hand at the same time.

They’d made love only a few days earlier at the house in Venice, but there was something about these encounters, the ones rife with drama and deception, that stayed with him longest and made it impossible to give up something that he knew in his heart was as bad for him as any vice he’d ever undertaken.

He didn’t know who was orchestrating the ungainly march toward the bed, but they somehow got there wearing considerably less clothing than they’d started out with. Hugh gave himself a second to appreciate the sight of Bobby straddling him, hair mussed and a look of dreamy desire on his face before letting his eyes close and giving in to the feeling of two hard cocks rubbing against each other and Bobby leaning over to kiss him deeply.

His mind started floating as he felt Bobby reach toward the bedside table. Yes, a bit of lubrication might be a good thing, although rough and ready wouldn’t be completely out of place either. Something that fend off the guilt that still hovered at the edge of every encounter until things went far enough to drive it out of his mind, if only temporarily. It was happening now. Slippery fingers reaching under him to find his arse and work their way inside, the movement adding a counterpoint to the friction between them. Bobby had learned to do things with his fingers that drove Hugh absolutely mad, past any guilt or fear. What pushed him to the brink of arousal and beyond was the knowledge that he was the one who’d taught him to do that. At least for right now, Bobby was his.

Who needed an Emmy, anyway?

Tags: hugh&bobby, nc17, rps
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