A/N: In my head, this takes place early on…maybe 84-ish? It's def before Shawn ever came into the picture. Enjoy.

Earl Grey Days

He couldn't believe that being denied what he wanted had placed him at this end result. As he sat in bed with all the covers hoarded around his naked body, he played what had just happened through his head over and over, and it still failed to make much sense. The only conclusion was that an organ more powerful and ill equipped for logic had blotted every bit of fear, denial, and question marks from his mind for a few fiery moments. His cheeks were now burning hotly with his shame, something that felt foreign to him. It wasn't the shame that felt foreign, but the expression of it in a simple blush after sex.

Bret was a proud man who knew that he was excellent in bed, who liked to please his ego by thinking that no one else could please a woman the way he could, and he did not blush afterwards. Despite being married, he never felt guilty about having a stranger between his sheets night after night, but this was no stranger. This was also, no woman. This time, the shame was overwhelming him. It was eating away the explosion of pleasure the other man set off inside of him, taking Bret to a sexual height that he had never before touched. That alone scared the hell out of him, and made the many questions in his mind edge closer to an answer that he told himself all too often was not correct. Where was his confidence? Where was his hubris? It was somewhere under those sheets, at the end of the bed, tangled up between the cotton and his toes, readying itself to fall into a pile of confusion onto the floor, a new neighbor to the lumps of discarded clothing.

He had gone along only at first because this man saw past his pretenses, and still accepted him. That alone was a concept Bret himself still had trouble wrapping his head around, since he didn't accept that part of himself, and didn't want to think about how the rest of his family would treat their golden son should his secret wedge its way out from under heavy lock that he'd shackled it with.

"Bret?"

He startled, as if he'd been alone and not attempting to hide while in plain sight, and exceptionally sexed up. He smoothed a hand over his hair, the dark curls askew and puffy from new explorations. His heart thumped too quickly in his chest, his name seeming at the moment unfamiliar. The big hand placed itself on his bicep, so gently for a thing of such power. The lips that had only moments ago been against his, and all over his sweet-laced skin, smiled kindly.

"Bret, it's ok."

It might have been because the voice was so familiar to him, that the kiss of the English accent calmed his rattling nerves a bit. Still, this was anything from ok. He had just done the thing he'd spent his entire adult life trying so hard to avoid: fucking with another man. He tried to make it less radical in his mind, by reminding himself (as if he had possibly forgotten) that this man was one of his best friends, as if that somehow made the situation less…homosexual. He cringed at the word when it announced itself over the inner speakers of his mind. He nodded slightly, but the look on his face was anything but acceptance. His friend continued to speak to him slowly and softly, as if he was a particularly obtuse student who couldn't understand the equation.

He wondered if Davey would ask him something else: Did you enjoy it? Seemed like the most logical question, but then again, the sounds that had finally let loose from his closed throat in the final moments, and the mess glimmering pearly against his partners (he's not my partner) defined torso, was evidence enough. That question was one that really didn't need posing. Instead, Davey brushed some sweat-stuck curls away from Bret's reddened cheeks.

"Now what?" Bret asked, finally able to make his voice work sufficiently enough.

Did I kill our friendship? Am I gay now? (I'm not gay) Are we gonna do this again sometime? (NO!) Did you like it? What the fuck am I doing? (Yes, now you've got it—hit the nail on the head, Bret. What in thee FUCK are you doing?) He said nothing more, however, just listened to the ever present conversation between his straight self and the other self whom the straight self was intent on keeping hidden in the darkness.

"Oh. Well…how about some tea?" Davey moved off of the bed, the springs giving a soft creak as his weight relieved them. The bigger man moved around the room, seeming not to care that he had yet to pick up a stitch of his clothing and put it back onto his muscled body. Bret watched as Davey fiddled with the coffee pot, which was yielding hot water instead of black coffee, into two cups. His eyes moved slowly from the top of Davey's head with his short-cropped, dark hair, down the thick column of his neck, over those broad, strong shoulders, down his muscled back, which gave way to the double curves of his…Bret darted his eyes away from the other mans ass, looking around the room for anything else as interesting to stare at. The bathroom door would have to do, so he glued his eyes to it, as if his life depended on winning a staring contest with it.

Still, he could sense Davey's smirk as the large man made his way back to the bed. He felt me looking. Bret's eyes dropped from the spot on the door, to covers he clung to.

"Here ya go, Bret. Nice cuppa will set you to rights again."

Oh hell, if only it were that simple. Bret thought to himself, but he took one of the delicate tea cups and looked down into the hot liquid, letting the steam curl up and kiss his face. His fingers toyed with the teabag tab that dangled over the edge of the cup, and then the thread that it hung from. He dared to glance over at Davey again. He was yet to put any clothes on, but his legs were curled in such a way that parts of him were thankfully hidden. Bret watched him bring the dainty cup to his lips and sip. It was almost a miraculous event, because the teacup looked so fragile that Davey simply looking at it would shatter it to pieces. That was something that Bret found very sensual about Davey, that for a man as brawny as he was, he could be so gentle and tender. He had been patient with Bret, and treated him well, in this foray into parts unknown. The look in his blue eyes had been eager, but he had the respect and self-control to keep his pace slow and allow Bret to do things on his own time, not pushing him, not pulling him, but just letting him.

Eventually, the unsure touches and meek kisses had turned eager, deeper, harder, more needful. A fire seemed to have lit in Bret—seemed to have exploded—the more their bodies had so intimately touched. It was as if every wrong glance he had ever made at another man, every bit of longing he had ever had in that direction, every curiosity he had ever entertained, every wet dream he had ever came to, wrapped themselves up together in a raging ball of flame that consumed everything, and it had been too late to stop, and too late to care until the fire was finally—finally—quenched.

And what now?

Now there was tea, sipping it like two old ladies might after a light lunch and a heavy gossip. The image made him actually laugh—and it was Davey's turn to be startled. His jerk of surprise sloshed a bit of his tea over the rim of his cup, and the drops pattered down onto his curvy thigh, and dripped down in tiny, silvery trails. He arched an eyebrow at Bret.

"What are you laughing about, Hart?"

"Nothing…just…trying to imagine you as an old lady."

Davey coughed—that had done more than spill some tea, that had sent it the wrong way down his throat and his own laughter boomed out, interspersed with coughing and a cry that Bret was going to kill him.

"Bret…why would you ever?" He wiped a tear from his eye, his laughter beginning to fade to a few popcorn chuckles. "I do hope that wasn't an image you were trying to conjure up whilst we…"

"Oh god—Davey! Grandmas don't do it for me." Bret paused, his eyes locking with Davey's. "Neither do men."

"Oh go on." Davey waved his hand at Bret, dismissing his words as if they were something as ridiculous as 'the sky is pink' although, in Bret's mind, perhaps the sky was pink. "Drink your tea, Hart." The clouds were of course, black.

So Bret quietly drank his tea, as Davey watched him as discretely as he could over the rim of his own cup. He wondered if a day might come when Bret would see the beautiful blue of the sky for the clouds that were always in the way. He wondered if maybe tonight, he'd helped part some of them, and let a bit of light through. He smiled, noticing that the deep pink of Bret's cheeks had melted away. There was left only a glow to vouch for their doings, but even still, maybe that was enough light to make the underbellies of the clouds sparkle with a gleam of silver: Maybe.