Thank-you for so many lovely reviewses XD

Here is your Christmas present from me. I hope it is satisfactory ;D

Ten minutes later, Arthur crept miserably back down the stairs.

Ford was sitting on the sofa staring into the fire, his hands clasped loosely in his lap. He did not seem to notice when Arthur entered.

Arthur approached quietly and listened to him. He was muttering something over and over again, Arthur couldn't quite make it out. He would have sworn it sounded like, 'Belgium, Belgium, Belgium...'

He sat down next to Ford, who jumped, giving a slight yelp of surprise. He looked at Arthur, trying to ascertain his mood. Arthur looked at his own knees,

'Sorry,' he said.

'What for?' mumbled Ford.

'Going off like that. Mean,' said Arthur, 'And...not helpful. To you. Or to me.'

'What?' asked Ford, looking more closely at Arthur, but still very confused.

'I couldn't stay up there. I was miserable. You...I couldn't...I can't...but then up there, I thought...I did want to, maybe, but I can't because... because I don't and I'm not sure how to explain the...'

Ford scratched his forehead, his body still in a rather dejected posture, and gazed at Arthur, trying to work out what he wasn't saying.

'Are you saying you want to, but you don't know how to do it? Or you don't want to, but you don't like disappointing me? Or you...Oh!' His face lit up and he sat up straight and looked at Arthur head-on, his confidence returned, 'You're saying you want to, but you don't think you can because there's something about actually doing that that bothers you. Am I right?'

Arthur opened his mouth, shut it again and looked around the room, trying to find something to stare at other than Ford. His fingers drummed nervously on his knees. It took a moment or two for Ford to realise that he wasn't going to get an answer.

'Arthur, look at me. It's obvious, isn't it? You'd never have come back down if you honestly weren't interested, would you? You'd already escaped. So tell me what the problem is and I'll fix it. Promise.' Arthur rubbed his face. He wanted to tell Ford. He wanted to explain how the whole idea of getting romantically entangled with Ford fundamentally didn't fit in with the way he viewed himself, and how he couldn't visualise himself naked and romping around with Ford (actually, he could, that was part of the problem); but he couldn't think of a way to say it without it sounding plain silly.

Ford chewed at his lip and sat back on the sofa, running his fingers through his hair.

'Okay, if you're not going to help I'm going to have to guess. You're hard work Arthur. I hope you realise I've never been to this much trouble to get to do the wild thing with anybody else.'

'Hmph,' said Arthur, still trying to work out if he could say anything at this point that would actually stand a chance of carrying the day.

'Right. I'm going to do this properly. I'll figure it out. Okay, positives: you like me. I know you do, you've only just stopped yourself from kissing me more than once. You also enjoy kissing me – don't argue,' he added, seeing Arthur open his mouth to deny it, 'You do. You can't get away with that with me, I've kissed my way half way round the...uh, the South of England, and I know when someone's enjoying it.'

'Ford, telling me that I'm not your first, not even your second, tenth or hundredth is unlikely to encourage me to go along with your plans.'

Ford waved a hand to dismiss Arthur's words,

'I didn't sleep with them all Arthur. What's a kiss? For some people it's just a way of finding out where you come from.'

'Eh?' asked Arthur, perplexed.

'Never mind,' said Ford, rubbing his chin in thought, 'So why won't you do it? You're worried it's just a one night thing? No. You know it's not. I said I liked you. Um, you want to wait? No, you're dying to kiss me again, so it can't be tha... You're just too caught up in what the village might think. That's it, isn't it.'

'Ford, the village is not going to find out.'

'No, but it's the same thing isn't it? The village, the world, you. You don't think you'd forgive yourself if you let yourself actually have a bit of fun that wasn't strictly in line with how you usually live. Isn't that it? It's like you've got the whole country breathing down your neck disapprovingly, even though no-one need ever know...' He stopped and looked piercingly at Arthur, and knew he was right. Arthur looked up at him, watery guilt in his eyes.

'Right. Well that's the problem discovered. Now we've just got to lose it somehow. Why you disapprove anyway is anybody's guess, but you do. It's obvious now. Any ideas how we can get round this?'

Arthur shook his head.

'What about if I tell you you're being stupid and I just carry on where I left off and you see whether you can't enjoy it?'

Arthur shook his head more ominously.

'Okay, how about this. You tell me what you would be comfortable doing. No, listen,' he said as Arthur started to protest, 'You would be comfortable kissing me. You've already done it, off your own back, you enjoyed it and it's too late to take that back. If you're going to feel bad about that, you've already got an uncomfortable couple of days coming up. You'd be comfortable letting me undo your shirt buttons, because you did let me, even if you did dump me on the floor afterwards. How about you tell me two more things you'd be happy doing, and we do them. I'm happy to take it from there. And...' he paused for effect, 'I won't complain, no matter how many times you dump me on the floor.'

He looked at Arthur, who was clearly fighting a vigourous internal battle. Crucially, however, as yet he was denying nothing.

'I...' he said eventually, Ford leaned forward to listen, 'I don't think there is anything else.'

'Try harder,' said Ford unhelpfully.

Arthur thought. Nothing he could think of was acceptable. Ford was right though, everything he could think of was possible, some of it was even desirable, it just wasn't anything he wanted to have to explain to himself afterwards. On the other hand... why should he have to explain what he did in his own house? Especially to himself. His narrow streak of daredevil elbowed its way to the front of his brain and prodded him nastily, annoyed at being kept chained up so deep in the depths of his brain for so long. If Ford was right, if he enjoyed it, wouldn't that cancel out any feelings of wrongness? If he didn't enjoy it, wouldn't it be good to be able to say he'd given it a shot and that was that, rather than continuing in this half-way house where at any moment Ford could pounce on him?

Arthur took a deep breath. He put a hand on Ford's shoulder, leaned forward till his nose brushed against Ford's hot cheek, and pressed his lips to Ford's. Ford hesitated for a second, then his hands came up to hold Arthur to him, rested on his cheeks, outlining his ears with his thumb and forefinger.

'Really?' Ford asked into Arthur's lips.

'Mmm,' grunted Arthur, scared to try anything more articulate. His brain had gone into meltdown. The idea of actually being able to do this, to let himself go to this extent and really trust Ford, was incomprehensible to him. Why he was allowing it, he still wasn't quite sure. Maybe it was because Ford was right, he had nearly kissed him in the past and if that was going to keep happening, one of these days he was going to give in. It might as well be now, when Ford was making it so easy.

In fact, easy didn't cover it. Ford was leading him along like a small child who wanted to show him a secret cave he'd found. He was excited, his eyes glittering happily at Arthur whenever they opened. He had already made a start on Arthur's buttons once more, and Arthur found that his lead was ludicrously easy to follow. He wanted this. It was so clear now.

Arthur's fingers shook as he tried to undo Ford's shirt buttons. He couldn't look, because the things Ford was doing with his mouth gave him no desire to break the kiss. Ford pushed Arthur's shirt off his shoulders and climbed into his lap to give himself a better shot at the sides of Arthur's ribs. Arthur managed to get the top two buttons of Ford's shirt undone, and whimpered as Ford jerked away to pull it over his head, without bothering to take off the overlying v-neck first.

Ford threw his sweater and shirt in a bundle across the room. Arthur let his hands explore the newly exposed territory. Two ridges of firm muscle bounded Ford's spine and his shoulder-blades were prominent as he held up his arms to grab at whatever part of Arthur he could reach. He kissed his way down Arthur's neck, then back up and across his face, landing the desperate kisses wherever he could. Arthur too was being particularly opportunistic, catching Ford a kiss on the jaw, in the curve of his eye-socket, on the corner of his mouth, wherever the frantic movements of heads and hands brought close enough to target.

Due to a combination of Ford trying to remove his trousers while still sitting in Arthur's lap, and Arthur attempting to hold onto Ford while wrestling his own arms out of his shirt sleeves, they slid off the sofa, rolled to the side and found themselves lying on the rug in front of the fire, half naked, with Arthur staring down at Ford. Ford grinned broadly and tried to drag Arthur down for another kiss, but Arthur held his ground for a moment,

'Ford,' he said shakily, trying to be breezy and failing terribly, 'S–sex on a rug in font of a fire? Do you have any idea how cheesy this is?' He smiled apologetically and Ford pulled more insistently, bringing his head down far enough to whisper in his ear,

'Not cheesy Arthur, warmer than the rest of the house and nice and spacious.' He drew back, bit Arthur's nose lightly and wrinkled his nose in delight at the surprised dog-with-thistles look on Arthur's face. He reached down during this moment of stillness and swiftly unfastened Arthur's trousers for the second time that evening.

It wasn't lack of interest causing the problem. If he didn't think about it too hard, it started to get the idea quite nicely. It was just that whenever he did think about it, complete and utter terror whipped the life out of it more surely than an ice-pack applied by his mother. Ford figured it out fairly quickly, feeling rather proud of himself for the amount of good, practical mental reasoning he had put in today. He folded his arms on Arthur's chest, ignoring the offending organ for the moment.

'Arthur, you need to relax. You've been hard enough work this evening already, without me having to fight the nervous droop as well. What do you think I'm going to do to you?'

'I don't know. That's the problem,' said Arthur, feeling that sudden impotence might not be such a bad thing after all. Ford, however, had other ideas,

'I'm not going to do anything without checking first, okay? I've made that mistake once already, I'm not going to do it again.' He shuffled up and kissed him, smiling to himself as Arthur responded, tongue probing his mouth with a decent degree of expertise, faint stirrings against Ford's leg. Ford reached down and took hold of Arthur's all-but-soft penis. Arthur froze and Ford sat up, still holding it gently and still smirking at Arthur,

'Disgraceful. You have no idea what this does to my self esteem.'

'Your self esteem?' quavered Arthur.

'Yes, mine. Well, I mean, this isn't about whether or not you can get it up, is it? I know you can. I can feel the bloody thing whenever you stop thinking about it for a few minutes. This is about me not being arousing enough to make you forget your nerves and your paranoia and your...God Arthur, don't look at me like that, you'll finish me before we do anything.'

Arthur looked at him in surprise. Ford had looked away, panting, looking rather shocked at himself, as if he really hadn't meant to say that out loud. He looked back at Arthur and there was a warning on his face not to mention it. Arthur took the warning. and watched, distracted as Ford ran a hand from his chest to his groin, smoothing the soft skin just next to the abundance of wiry hair surrounding his...slightly, just slightly, erect penis. A glance at Arthur's face and Ford moved to lie on the floor, one elbow on the rug, the other arm, resting softly across Arthur's hips. A new look of determination fixed itself on his face and he lowered his head to suede-soft skin and started to lick.

A shrill ringing broke the moment, freezing Ford where he was, and allowing Arthur to breathe again. Upstairs the phone continued to ring, oblivious to the problem it had caused downstairs. Arthur brought a shaky hand up to rub his chin, trying to ignore the fact that Ford's breath was still playing merry havoc with his genitalia.

'Damn,' he whispered in a cracked voice. Ford raised his eyes to look at him,

'For zar...pity's sake, leave it Arthur. They can call back in the morning.'

'But I promised I'd be in. If it's who I think it is. It's to do with work, someone I've got to speak to. I said if they rang me after nine-thirty tonight, I'd be in. Ford, it's really important...'

'Go and answer it then,' said Ford, not sounding at all annoyed, just gently permissive. Arthur stared at him in wonder,

'I can't do that!' he shrieked, motioning to indicate their current position.

'I'll keep, Arthur, I've waited this long, haven't I? Go and answer it.'


'Because you'll worry about it if you don't, and I can't deal with that as well. I promise to get you back in the mood when you've finished.'

Under Ford's encouraging stare, Arthur stood up, stumbling as his trousers caught around his knees. He hurriedly pulled them up and half ran, half staggered up the stairs, clutching them closed at his waist.

Contrary to expectations, Arthur managed to reach the phone before it stopped ringing. Downstairs, Ford listened to the muffled sound of Arthur talking to whatever sort of person it was who would ring a local-radio employee urgently about work at just after nine-thirty at night.

Arthur came back downstairs looking a lot calmer than he had as he had ascended. He stopped at the door to the living room, halted in his tracks by Ford standing a few feet in front of him, a slightly manic look on his face, achingly hard and keeping himself that way with smooth, elegant strokes of his hand. He strode towards Arthur and unbuttoned his trousers for the third time that night.

'When I said I could wait...' he said, running a hand up Arthur's bare chest. He pulled Arthur's head down to his, licking Arthur's startled lips and sucking at his front teeth, laughing at his continuing wide-eyed uncertainty.

He stepped back, trusting Arthur not to run, grinning encouragingly as Arthur's trousers descended to his ankles, exposing his slightly more enthusiastic, unembarrassed erection.

Ford stood in front of the fire, outlined in glowing orange flames.

'Want me, Arthur? he asked softly.

'Yes,' croaked Arthur. He waddled forward, stopped, tutted and bent to remove his trousers from around his legs. In his haste he overbalanced and Ford leapt forward to catch him, grabbing him round the waist and toppling towards the sofa with him in his arms.

'I am going to be so stiff in the morning.' said Arthur as his back hit the floor and the edge of the sofa and Ford landed on top of him.

'If you were a little stiffer now, it wouldn't do any harm,' said Ford, eyes twinkling,

'Look, this was your idea.' said Arthur, recovering his composure a little, 'I didn't say I'd...' Ford shook his head and kissed him, which effectively shut him up.

'Joke, Arthur,' he said, pulling his trousers off and sending them to join his own clothes in the corner of the room. He prodded Arthur up to sit with his back to the sofa, then slid down, holding Arthur's hands so that he couldn't interfere, and got back to work where the work was needed.

It was awkward, trying to satisfactorily manipulate Arthur's genitalia into a state of high excitement while lying on the floor with both hands occupied with stopping Arthur from getting in the way or pushing him off. Ford prided himself on having an extremely agile and inventive tongue, but it didn't make up for the fact that his stomach muscles were working flat out to hold him up enough to stop him choking on Arthur which, although pleasant in its own way, was not the way Ford had planned on breathing his last. He brought Arthur's hands together and clasped them both in his left hand with a grip that defeated Arthur's best efforts to release himself.

His right hand now unencumbered, Ford was able to raise himself up enough to attack the job properly. Fingers that suddenly seemed to have been designed with the sole purpose of fondling testicles in mind assailed Arthur and he arched into the touch, small sounds of uncertain pleasure escaping from him as the motion brought him further into Ford's mouth and towards the agile tongue.

There was no doubt as to the efficacy of Ford's actions. Arthur's penis stood happily off, eyeing the ceiling as Ford kissed his way down the shaft, licking and nipping until Arthur couldn't stand it any more. Ford's right hand sloping off to rub its way slowly to a target between his buttocks was the last straw.

'No! Stop! Stop! Ford! Stop!' screamed Arthur, writhing and trying to extract his fingers from Ford's grip. Ford stopped and looked up at Arthur through a mist of curly hair. Arthur gazed back at him and shook his head apologetically,

'Uh, I didn't mean it,' he gasped, 'My mouth is taking orders from the wrong bit of my brain...I give you full permission to completely disregard anything I say from here on in.' Ford grinned,

'Okay. Fine,' he said, and disappeared into the nest of hair again, smacking his lips around Arthur, ignoring his little shrieks and unfounded complaints with a smile that Arthur could feel.

However, when he felt the pressure building and felt hopeless longing emanating from Arthur, Ford stopped what he was doing, slowly let go of Arthur's hands and crawled up his body, resting his arms on the slope of his chest, careful to avoid touching any sensitive areas with his legs. Arthur's breathing was uneven and he took extra little gasps at every prod of Ford's own disregarded erection.

'You know the girls you've been with, Arthur?' Ford asked, carefully monitoring Arthur's reaction as he asked, ready to turn the conversation if it looked like a bad mistake.

'Ye-es,' said Arthur warily, in between breaths. His freed hands wandered up Ford's back and started to trace patterns on his shoulder-blades and up into his hair. He would quite happily have pulled Ford's head closer and kissed him silly at this point, but Ford seemed to have something to say, so he merely looked at him through lowered eyelids and listened for the next sentence.

'Did you always do it the normal way?' Arthur frowned,

'I beg your pardon?'

'Did you always...go in the front door?'

'Euphemisms Ford? I wouldn't have thought that was your style,' said Arthur, twisting a curl lazily around his finger and wishing that Ford would stop talking and get back to that utter torture he had been perpetrating upon him a few seconds before.

'No, well, I thought it might go down better with you. So, did you?'




'You never wanted to have a go...the other way?' He watched Arthur's face apprehensively, but Arthur was too drugged up on his own desire to care what Ford wanted to ask him,

'No. Nice men don't do that sort of thing.'

'They do where I come from,' said Ford, relieved by Arthur's acceptance of the question.

'I didn't know Guildford was that liberated,' said Arthur rather more warily. He let his hand rub over Ford's thigh, mussing the hairs into fuzz.

'You have no idea. Anyway, I'm asking because I said I would. I'm not waiting while you think it over though. You've been lying there getting all my attention, and I'm now officially a desperate man. I want you in me Arthur. You don't even have to get up.' Arthur started at the suggestion and a look of slight panic raced across his face, looking for somewhere to hide. He hurriedly said,

'Uh, Ford, I'm not sure about that. I don't think I want to. Not yet.'

'I'm going to completely disregard that, as per instructions,' replied Ford, not even looking at Arthur's face.

'Please Ford, I... Apart from anything else, well, have you know, protection? It's all they ever talk about at the moment, you know, with things as they are and I...well, I wasn't expecting any company, so I'm not exactly laden down with that sort of thing right now.'

Ford looked straight at Arthur,

'Fair enough. If that's your worry, here's my answer: Do you trust me to tell you the absolute truth here?' Arthur considered for a moment, watching the expression on Ford's face which was, for the first time all night, deadly serious. He nodded slowly, but deliberately. 'Good,' continued Ford, 'I promise I am clean. I'm...a little strange...medically speaking, okay? I can't explain why, but I can't get, I can't even carry, anything nasty in that department. Something in my blood or something. Plus I haven't slept with anyone for...well, long enough. I'm clean and it wouldn't bother me if you were carrying every nasty known to mankind. Believe me?' Arthur thought, reviewed his previous answer, and nodded again.

'Was that your only objection?' asked Ford, his face losing its serious cast again as he began to trace lines around Arthur's penis once more.

'No, I...' started Arthur, but Ford cut him off.

'Don't bother Arthur, I'm going to disregard those too. You will enjoy this. I know you will. You've gone this far, I'm calls are good for some things. It's safe, and it's a whole load of fun and sensation you don't get any other way. Trust me?' Arthur shook his head, but without conviction. Suddenly he wanted to trust Ford. He noted vaguely that Ford had been planning this, but he didn't much care, particularly as Ford had slipped away to lick trails of slippery saliva up and down his throbbing erection.

In a moment Arthur blinked as Ford's own erection flashed past the end of his nose as he settled astride Arthur, kneeling either side of his legs.

Arthur held his breath as Ford eased slowly down onto him, tight and hot and Ford's face broke in a wash of ecstasy. He leaned forward and kissed him, the combination of Ford's obvious enjoyment and the incredible rolling pressure sending him his own personal jolts of intense pleasure, seemed to have pushed aside any doubts that this was a good idea. Ford shifted on top of him, finding the easiest way to move. Then he started a steady rise and fall up and down around Arthur, deeply buried in him, and Arthur gripped his arms tightly and gave in to the little tide of oohs and aahs desperately vying to be articulated. He oohed his way through Ford's first upstroke and aahed his way through his descent. Ford steadied himself on Arthur's shoulders and kissed him back until he couldn't trust himself not to bite hard any more and pulled back to concentrate on the building sensations in his lower abdomen and the washes of pleasure making his limbs tingle. He leaned slightly until Arthur was hitting him just so and groaned a great gasp of satisfaction as he felt his orgasm build and build. Arthur, in a moment of inspiration, had taken hold of the erection jabbing him irregularly in the stomach and was assisting Ford's progress with a slightly clumsy but well-enough founded selection of strokes and pressures, which matched both their tastes and were certainly proficient enough to give Ford the edge to leave milky trails across Arthur's chest and stomach as he flailed on top of him for a moment, moaning his inarticulate thanks, resting his forearms on Arthur's shoulders and his forehead against Arthur's forehead.

Arthur grimaced at the change in angle and the loss of regular stimulation replaced by spasms of tight, binding pressure in Ford's slowly heaving body. Clutching Ford's back, he tried to move inside him, feverishly attempting to race for the finish himself, but Ford was too heavy.

'Ford...' he gasped, running his hands all over Ford's back. Ford opened his eyes and understood. He shook off the drowsiness threatening to overwhelm him, raised himself off Arthur, twisted around and shuffled himself back to sit behind him, pushing him away from the sofa, his legs splayed around him, starting a deft stroking and teasing to replace the aftermath contractions of his own body. He brought his left hand up to Arthur's mouth and nose, gently restricting a portion of his air-flow.

Arthur's teeth grazed Ford's palm as he surrendered to his skill and allowed his head to loll back on Ford's shoulder. Ford rested his cheek on the fine hair on Arthur's head and felt for just the right placement of his hand. He let a finger slip into Arthur's mouth and was rewarded by a soft, wet sweep of tongue and an unknowing, not-quite-gentle bite. He pressed down on Arthur's teeth, covering more of his open mouth with his palm, feeling Arthur's breath whistle back and forth across the damp skin. Arthur sucked hungrily at his finger, moaning as Ford's other hand continued to work, a smooth sliding up and down, now a slight tickle at the base, just so, now a rough thumb-tip across the head making him jerk in Ford's arms and suck sharp, inadequate air between Ford's fingers. A few minutes of vigourous pumping and a perfectly timed squeeze or two and Arthur came, sighing heavily between Ford's fingers, pressing his head hard, sideways into Ford's neck. As his orgasm subsided, Ford's fingers slipped away and Arthur breathed gulps of wood-smoke tasting air, letting his hands fall onto Ford's legs, shaking with exertion.

Ford sat there, listening to Arthur's breathing as his lungs tried to make up for their lack of efficacy during those crucial seconds: Deep breath, deep breath, swallow-gasp, deep breath, swallow-gasp, deep breath, deep breath, deep breath, swallow, deep nasal inhalation, deep breath, swallow, nearly normal breath, normal breath, normal breath, normal breath...

This chapter was written at work, at pantomime rehearsals, at mealtimes and on public transport thanks to the wonders of the Greek alphabet - don't you love writing indecipherable rampant sex right under your boss/director/mother/fellow passenger's nose? ;) All that in order to get it posted before Christmas. I won't have time to update again before Christmas, so a very happy one to everybody concerned, may Santa bring you many fertile plotbunnies ;D