Pairing: Noel Fielding/Richard Ayoade; referenced Noel/Julian
Warnings: sex, language
Summary: A little peek into their marriage, set after the Big Fat Quiz of Everything.
Author's note: There is not Noel/Richard Ayoade tag in AO3, so I feel like I am performing an important service by celebrating this fandom with a weird little ficlet. Thank you, Bluey, for the beta and hand-holding.
“Can we talk about it now?” Noel asks, as soon as he gets in the car. Richard’s lovely wife uses the car’s vanity mirror to arrange his hair into a slightly angrier style. Richard is fascinated as Noel rearranges his fringe and tweaks the hair standing straight up at the back of his head. He has learned not to comment on his wife’s hairstyles. Apparently he is “too buttoned up and boring to know a back-comb from a butt plug,” but he likes Noel’s hair. Richard likes hair that defies gravity. It is a big part of his personal style.
“Darling, let’s not fight. We’ve just done a lovely quiz…” Richard trails off as Noel glares at him.
“You always do this,” Noel snaps. “You always say we’ll discuss it in the car, but what you mean is we’ll never ever discuss it. Ever.”
“That isn’t fair,” Richard argues, despite the fact that it is completely fair. Richard tries to avoid arguments by putting them off. It never works, but Richard keeps trying. It is his way.
“I’m sorry if I upset you…”
“That is a fake apology!” Noel yells, with his arms flailing. “You never listen to me. You don’t have to care how you do on quiz shows. You went to Cambridge and wear spectacles. Everyone already thinks you’re Mr. Intelligent. I went to art school and I have this hair. And I talk like this! Listen to how I talk, it’s half chav, half angry goose. I have to prove there’s something going on under this magnificent barnet.”
“You’re very intelligent, darling.”
“Don’t be condescending.”
Richard clears his throat and reaches deep down and tries to find his very most sincere voice.
“You’re very intelligent, darling.”
“Pull this car over right now, ‘cause I’m gonna stab you up. I am gonna go South London on your genre-spanning ass, and no court will ever convict me.”
Richard sighs. “I do think you’re intelligent. I’m just not good at conveying my feelings through words, intonations, facial expressions, or physical gestures. That has been my burden as an award-winning actor.”
Noel scowls, but then he laughs.
“That is true. You are an idiot.”
“I know,” Richard agrees, not for the first time.
“And that is why I love you.”
Richard strokes Noel’s muscular thighs as his wife rides him with slow and measured movements.
“Mmmm, that’s nice,” Noel moans. “You feel so good. So big.”
Richard remains silent, as always. He has no gift for sexy talk. He has tried and failed, and no amount of coaching has been able to stop him from desperately trying to fill the silence with talk of nonsense, ranging from interesting trivia to observations about the use of stippling on the ceiling. It is better if he remains quiet.
Noel is still wearing his strangely-patterned blouse/shirt-type garment. Richard tried to get him to strip down completely, but Noel was only willing to unbutton the shirt – not remove it entirely. Richard knows Noel is not feeling happy with his body. Richard has never, ever been happy with his own body, but he has reached a fairly Zen state of acceptance. Naked, Richard looks like a skeleton wearing a pair of poorly-fitted adult footed pajamas and a fright wig. It wasn’t the body he would have chosen for himself, but it suits his personality and his lifestyle.
On second thought, maybe it is exactly the body he would have chosen. A comedian isn’t meant to have a perfect body. If anything, Noel is entirely too attractive for his chosen profession.
When Noel leans in for a kiss, his blouse brushes against Richard’s chest. It is silky and soft, the way he imagines Noel’s hair would be without all the hairspray. Richard eagerly kisses Noel and strokes his back through the silken material before rolling Noel onto his back. There is no sound but the wet and vaguely obscene sound of their passionate kisses and the absurd squelch of penetration.
Lying in bed, sated and tired, Richard wants nothing more than to sleep. It was an exhausting day, between the quiz, seeing his father for the first time in years, and taking Jack Whitehall to the park to let out some of his pent-up energy. Noel had gone soft and allowed Jack a third fizzy drink. Jack had gulped it down and spent the entire car ride complaining of a tummyache. Richard and Noel are of very different minds when it comes to nutrition, and it worries Richard. As much as Noel tries to ease his mind by saying, “We ain’t gonna have kids! I ain’t got a uterus,” Richard still worries. How could they ever raise a child together if they cannot agree on whether or not fruit pastilles count as a fruit?
Richard spoons himself around Noel, holding him close.
“Do you really think the sex went wrong?” Richard asks, because he is incapable of letting sleeping dogs lie. “Is it still wrong?”
Noel gives a low chuckle, and Richard can feel it rumbling in Noel’s chest. The feeling is as intimate as anything else they have done. He feels utterly connected to Noel in that moment.
“It didn’t go wrong. It just got different.”
Richard accepts Noel’s reassurance. Things had gotten a bit hairy after the third time Noel had called Richard “Ju” in bed. Noel had tried to play it off (“Oh, Ju… feel so good inside me. Yes ju do, Richard…”), but Richard has never been truly bothered. Julian was and is Noel’s comedy husband. Nothing and no one will ever change that. Richard certainly has no desire to interfere with Noel and Julian’s relationship. He has worked with them on many occasions, and he is well aware that being allowed to write with them and edit their work is an honor, one he does not take lightly. Noel and Julian are protective of whatever spark it is that allows them to bring down the house with the same kind of exchange they have over morning coffee. Richard respects that relationship and the magic that comes with it. Likewise, Noel never complains when Richard goes back to his “real wife” and kids. They always use air quotes when discussing real life, because they know it is bullshit.
Nothing is more real than the joke. Nothing.