Hello! I was a bit hesitant about posting this, because writing sincere slash for Peep Show of all things just feels odd, but I want to assist in hyperStatic's efforts to get this section off the ground (there really isn't enough Peep Show fanfiction), so post it I shall. I hope at least a little of Peep Show's darkly comic tone shows through, even if this fic is more darkness than comedy.
Set shortly after Mark's wedding.
His new wife has left him in tears; Jeremy's wife has left him for Superhans. It has not, Mark feels, been a successful day. Very few days in Mark Corrigan's life can be unequivocally classed as 'successful', but with this day he has plumbed entirely new dank depths of non-success.
Sophie's face smiles at him from the bottle of champagne as he pours another glass. Jeremy is drinking straight from the bottle, which must surely be breaking some sort of champagne rule. Still, all Mark can see is an empty future stretching bleakly before them; why not drink champagne from the bottle?
He does feel more comfortable with a glass, though.
At least he's not alone. That really would be the lowest possible point, drinking alone on his wedding night. If he drinks himself into a coma, Jeremy will be there to... well, to sprawl unconscious on the carpet beside him, probably, as he's drinking just as much as Mark. Not terribly helpful, but a strangely reassuring thing to know, all the same.
Mark, staring at a blank television screen and thinking of nothing in particular but how miserable he is, becomes slowly aware of a warmth radiating through the fabric of his trousers. He looks down. There's a hand on his leg. It isn't his.
He stares at it for a moment, feeling increasingly that something isn't quite right about this situation, and then looks up at Jeremy, frowning.
"Jeremy," he says, "what are you...?"
"Shh," Jeremy says. He sounds as if he's trying to be soothing, which, as Jeremy attempting to be soothing for any reason is more or less the least soothing thing that Mark can imagine, only serves to make Mark more tense.
"Jeremy," he says, with a little more clarity.
"Shut up, Mark," Jeremy murmurs.
He seems terribly close all of a sudden. Mark wonders fleetingly whether Jeremy is going to kiss him, and then thinks he must be imagining things, and then Jeremy closes his eyes and leans in and – no, definitely not imagining things.
Mark stays perfectly still.
Some part of his mind is back at that game of spin-the-bottle, but, really, it's nothing like that; Jeremy is being slower and sloppier this time (not that he was ever particularly precise), and his hand is still on Mark's leg, and, crucially, Jeremy kissing him now is just one more thing in a long and infinitely depressing line, rather than the low point of Mark's day. The game of spin-the-bottle was in simpler times.
Mark sort of wants to pull away, but – but it's not bad, exactly, just... weird. Some part of his mind is saying you're being kissed, just enjoy it, you should know that you of all people can't afford to be fussy about who kisses you, and, well.
It can hardly make things any worse.
Mark tries kissing back, tentatively, and feels Jeremy's fingers tighten on his thigh. When he closes his eyes, everything feels less real, like a dream, and so he keeps them closed. Dreams he can cope with; dreams are manageable.
He wonders vaguely about imagining that Jeremy is someone else, but nobody comes to mind, so in the end it's just Jeremy here, kissing him, on the sofa in their flat. Jeremy, his life-ruining flatmate, tasting of life-ruining wedding champagne and still smelling, faintly, of life-ruining wedding-inducing piss, and Mark finds he doesn't mind as much as he would have expected himself to.
Jeremy edges his hand up towards Mark's fly. Mark shivers, involuntarily, but lets him.
It means nothing, he knows, which is comforting, in a way, because meaningful relationships lead to marriage and marriage leads to this. Jeremy has lost Nancy; he's lonely; he's going to go after the nearest living being. He'll have forgotten this tomorrow. Mark won't forget, but his list of regrets at the moment is so extensive that he doubts this will even make it into the top fifteen.
For Mark, there's something strangely reassuring just in being this close to someone who isn't Sophie. He may have married her, but that doesn't mean she has to be his world. Which is just as well, because in that case his world would have jumped out of the wedding car with no apparent intention of ever returning.
Sophie. God, this is probably the fastest anyone has ever gone from marriage to adultery. He's even beaten Jeremy. There's something to be fucking proud of.
Jeremy fumbles with the trouser fastening and swears against Mark's mouth and – and Mark isn't going to look, he'd prefer to keep his eyelids as a barrier between himself and the world for the moment, but he thinks Jeremy might have pulled the button off. Which seems almost fitting, really; the rest of his wedding outfit is as ruined as the marriage in which it was complicit, after all.
And then Jeremy draws back, and Mark involuntarily opens his eyes. He feels oddly bereft for a moment, although he is struggling with so many other miserable emotions at the moment that it hardly makes a difference.
It takes him a moment to register that Jeremy has slipped off the sofa and is kneeling on the carpet, and when it hits him he almost forgets how to think.
"Look," Jeremy says.
Mark breathes in, slowly. He thinks he might be shaking.
"I know," Jeremy says, "I know you're going to be weird about this, and I just need you not to be weird about this, because that's, it's just not going to help, so I need you to promise you won't be weird about this."
Mark swallows. "I'm not going to be weird about this."
Not aloud, at any rate. He can promise that.
His best mate is kneeling in front of him on his wedding night, and there's a chance this will make it to number fourteen on his list of regrets, but right now Mark can't bring himself to care.