Taking the Meeting

Shay Sheridan

Written in honor of "Canadian Blow Job Day," a pornish holiday invented by the irrepressible Brooklinegirl.
Slings & Arrows, Geoffrey Tennant/Darren Nichols. (Or, if you prefer, Paul Gross/Don McKellar.)

In brief, negotiations suck.


"Look. I'm not going to beg. An artist of my stature does not beg."

"Really?" snorted Geoffrey. "Your position on your knees gave me the wrong impression, then. It certainly looks like you're begging."

"Sarcasm is not an attractive quality, Geoffrey. It does not suit you."

Geoffrey Tennant peered suspiciously through narrowed lids. "What brought this on, Darren? First begging, now flattery?" His gaze grew even narrower, if possible. "What are you up to? What horrifying act, what debasement of principle, what betrayal of common sense are you attempting to make me commit?"

"You wound me," Darren Nichols sighed dramatically. "But then you always wound me, Geoffrey, from our first days at university, during the years we've spent as artists--"

"You're not an artist, Darren, you're a hack."

"Is it so hard for you to realize I want nothing more than to help your theatre? Can't you see we're on the same side?"

"We don't even play for the same team, Darren."

"Insults," Darren sniffed. "Nothing but insults."

"This conversation is ridiculous. Get up, Darren. Get out of my office."

"No! I shall remain thus until you hear me out!" Darren folded his arms and rolled his eyes heavenward, in perfect imitation of one of the more desperately abused saints.

Geoffrey passed a hand over his eyes. There was a small headache starting in his left temple, the same headache that always developed after conversations with Darren Nichols. "You're not going to leave?"

"Never."

"Never?"

"Not until you listen to my proposal."

Sometimes acquiescence was the easiest course of action; these days Geoffrey was all about the easy. "All right. I know, I know I'm going to regret this, but tell me what hideous perversion you're contemplating."

Darren's eyes rolled back towards him with a disturbing glitter of triumph. "Oh, Geoffrey! You're a prince! An absolute prince!"

"No, I'm an idiot, but be that as it may. Spit it out, Darren."

"I merely want," Darren purred, "to direct the production of Titus next season."

"No."

"But--"

"Absolutely not! You'll make it something ghastly."

"But it's a ghastly play! Listen! I envision it as what I call a 'bondage extravaganza,' with—"

"No, Darren!"

"--a dungeon filled with whips, chains, blood-stained walls, burly men in leather with zippers—"

"You're demented, Darren! You're a perverted, demented—"

"—with Aaron the Moor as a rent boy who gives Titus a—"

"Good God. You're certifiable!"

"—blow job in the second act."

"Darren!" Geoffrey threw his arms in the air and took a step back. "How many times do I have to say NO!"

"How about a blow job—"

"I said—"

"—right now, Geoffrey?"

"I—" Geoffrey stopped. "What?"

"A blow job. Right now. I'll give you one."

Geoffrey stared dumbly down at the man on his knees. "You'll—"

"—blow you right here, Geoffrey. If you'll let me direct it." Darren lowered his eyelids and looked up through his lashes. It was a studied gesture, but an effective one. "Please. Let me. I promise it'll be good."

Another 30 seconds ticked by.

"Okay," said Geoffrey.

. . .

"Okay," Geoffrey repeated, five minutes later. "Just. . .I don't want a blowjob in the play."

"No?" Darren said plaintively, wiping his lips delicately on the sleeve of his leather jacket. "Pretty please?"

"Well," amended Geoffrey, "not on stage."


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