Genre: PWP (porn without plot)
Length: 1-5k words
Notes: Surrealissimo-fic, as requested by kissfist who asked for RoseyandBauer/Gala smut.
This is pre-film, pre-Dali, when Gala was still married to Paul Eluard (and the two of them were still tramping around with Max Ernst).
Far More Perilous Things Than This by justjen
It’s one of those things they don’t actually talk about. When Gala walks into a room with Eluard on her left and Ernst on her right, that’s when the conversation suddenly become more stilted, when throats start clearing noisily and Rosey finds that he can’t meet anyone’s eyes for more than the briefest fragment of a second. Stupid, of course, to blush so furiously the way he knows he does, because he’s not the one doing anything so reckless, and why should it even matter what other people do behind closed doors? Eluard is Ernst’s mentor first and foremost, that should be what counts; Gala is merely the object of Art’s gaze, and Art has seen and shown far more perilous things than this.
Still, Gala’s predatory smile makes his palms sweat. She appears every now and then in his peripheral vision, and he feels like he’s being hunted, like if he doesn’t pay attention then he’s going to find himself separated from the safety of the herd at this ridiculous party they’re all at, some enormous house just outside the city owned by someone with more money than sense, apparently, judging by the artwork displayed prominently in every room.
For now he’s sequestered himself into the darkest corner he can find, in a chair that’s just slightly too small, his long legs bent awkwardly, fingers clasped tightly around his half-empty wineglass. He lowers his head just enough to avoid the gazes of anyone who walks in front of him, but not so much that he can’t see who’s nearby. So he sees Bauer approach, and can relax a little when he leans, effortlessly casual, against the wall next to Rosey, one hand in his trouser pocket, the other holding a cigarette with studied nonchalance. They exchange friendly smiles, Rosey’s not quite as easy as Bauer’s.
At first they just watch the party together, drinking and smoking in silence, but doing it side by side like this makes Rosey feel less self-conscious because he’s not alone anymore. Like Bauer’s protecting him somehow, and it’s preposterous, he knows, but he doesn’t want Bauer to move away.
After a while, Bauer offers a comment about their host, the owner of this absurdly opulent house. Rosey nods his agreement and they smile, then go back to their silence.
Then it’s Rosey’s turn to speak, so he thinks of a question about Bauer’s last exhibition, and Bauer discards his cigarette and talks a little about his newest work, so then the silence that follows that is more comfortable somehow, and Rosey can lean back a little in his chair, and Bauer turns his back ever so slightly on the party, so it looks like they’re sharing the same little space, the same little area of quiet.
It’s actually kind of nice, as though Rosey’s really being social, and he feels himself relaxing, losing his mental grip on the room and thinking instead about what Bauer has said, trying to make up his own mind about the painter’s ideas of objectless art and the importance of form. Which is why he doesn’t notice Gala until she’s right there, right next to Bauer in this little space that’s supposed to be their own.
He stands, not so much out of politeness as from some desperate fight-or-flight instinct, her shark-smile bringing that heated flush to his cheeks without warning. Rosey hears Bauer’s voice but doesn’t really take in the words, some vague pleasantry about the party, he supposes, because Bauer’s expression is polite but not quite as friendly as it was a moment ago.
Gala dismisses the party as “dull” with a wave of her hand, and asks if they’d like to join her upstairs for some sex.
At first he thinks it’s her accent that’s confused him, or maybe she’s mixed up the words somehow. But no. The look on her face reassures him that he’s heard her correctly. And he knows he’s caught, flustered and flushing like some naïve schoolboy, and all he can do is turn to look at Bauer for support or a way out or something, some kind of salvation.
And there’s Bauer, no longer leaning against this wall but with the air of someone who’s always leaning, casual and unconcerned, and it’s enough to make Rosey at least want to relax, even if Gala’s greedy smile is still there at the edge of his vision, promising him things he knows he shouldn’t want. His mouth opens and closes a couple of times, no words of response at all from his once-busy mind, he feels such a fool and he knows Gala’s amused but it’s the thought of Bauer thinking him a simpleton that embarrasses him more. Which is why he makes a questioning face at Bauer, not Gala, waiting for Bauer’s response.
Bauer takes a few seconds to make up his mind, and Rosey finds this reassuring because it means he’s not the only one who doesn’t leap at the offer of sex with an attractive married woman. So when Bauer inclines his head and holds out one hand in a ‘shall we?’ gesture, Rosey automatically steps forward, ready to follow him.
It ends up being Gala who leads the way out of the room and up the stairs, never once looking back to see if they’re both still behind her. Rosey finds himself in the middle, and as they ascend the staircase he feels Bauer’s hand on his back, steadying him, like Bauer knows he might change his mind and make a break for it at any moment.
By the time Gala has selected an empty bedroom, Rosey can feel his shirt sticking uncomfortably to the small of his back; he wonders if Bauer has noticed the heat he’s radiating, if Bauer finds it disgusting. The room she’s chosen feels far too grand for Rosey’s liking, and he worries about what kind of mess they’re going to leave behind them, and if the house’s owner will discover them and demand that they leave.
Without warning or pretence, Gala begins stripping off her clothes, methodically folding each item and placing them in a careful pile on the seat of a chair, her shoes neatly stowed beneath it. Bauer follows suit, finding a chest of drawers on which to place his jacket and waistcoat. Rosey can only pluck ineffectually at the lapels of his jacket.
When Gala is down to her undergarments, Rosey finds he has to look away, and turns automatically to Bauer. To his relief, Bauer does not laugh at his indecision; instead he clears a space on the chest of drawers and holds out his hand for Rosey’s jacket. Rosey somehow manages to unfasten the buttons and slip it off, handing it over to Bauer who folds it and places it next to his own, followed by Rosey‘s tie. Now they’re at the same state of undress, Rosey feels a little more confident, so when Bauer begins to unfasten his braces, Rosey does the same. Bauer takes off his shoes, and so does Rosey. Bauer begins working on the buttons of his shirt, and so does Rosey. And eventually Bauer is down to his underwear, and so is Rosey, and then together they turn back to Gala.
She’s standing at the foot of the bed, entirely nude but still with that same sardonic smile on her face, and she might as well be a schoolmistress congratulating them on their handwriting when she tells them, “Well done, boys.” Rosey is in no doubt as to who’s in charge of this whole farce.
Her lips purse as she looks back and forth between them for a moment, apparently deciding which of them to swoop down on first. Rosey thinks that his evident discomfort will make him the more obvious choice for her malicious seduction, so he’s relieved when she stands before Bauer, one graceful arm raising languidly to grasp the back of his neck before she pulls him down for a kiss. It’s slow and indulgent, both of them with their eyes closed, so Rosey doesn’t feel so bad about staring, watching the different ways they fit their mouths together. Bauer’s hands slide around her waist like an afterthought, and Rosey watches the way his fingers flex against the blank smoothness of her skin. The noises of their breathing and of hands on skin draw Rosey’s attention, he’s always been attuned to such subtle sounds, like the rhythm of words inside his head or the complexities of the human voice, and so he reasons it is this which causes the stirring in his underwear.
He watches as they break apart and turn, as one, to look at him, Bauer’s right hand still at Gala’s waist. Belatedly, Rosey realises that his mouth is hanging open. He snaps it closed a second before Gala moves over to kiss him, and he has to inhale sharply through his nose.
When his hands finally find their way to her waist, he’s able to focus on how warm her skin feels, and he’s not entirely surprised when his hands bump into Bauer’s hands, still resting loosely on Gala’s hips. She isn’t as forceful as he expects, allowing him time enough to ease up and find out how to enjoy this, pressing herself against him, her head bent right back to reach his mouth. When they’re done, he opens his eyes and looks over her head; Bauer has been watching them, a strange smile on his face that Rosey can’t quite decipher.
Before he can react, Bauer dips his head and presses his lips to Gala’s shoulder. She sighs softly, before applying kisses of her own to Rosey’s chest, and Rosey watches them both, frustrated that the timing of Bauer’s movements is out of synch with that of Gala’s – he is moving slower than she is, and his hands remain still while hers sweep up and down Rosey’s back. He almost reaches down to move Bauer’s hands, to instruct him, but restrains himself, keeps his hands steady at Gala’s waist.
He feels like he ought to be making more of an effort to participate, but he’s not entirely sure what, exactly, he can do. Gala’s head is dipped so low now that anything he could apply his hands to is awkwardly out of reach. Besides, when he glances down he realizes that Bauer already has everything well in hand, so to speak, and since he and Gala both seem content enough to continue as they are, he decides that the best course of action is to leave them to get on with it. So he closes his eyes and tries to concentrate on the general downward trajectory of Gala’s hands and mouth, and on the soft sounds of lips and fingers on skin. Occasionally he joins in with a faint moan of approval or a sharp gasp, to let them know he does actually want to be a part of all this.
As Gala’s hands move lower, he realizes that the noises he’s making are becoming more and more involuntary, and when Gala pulls away and he lets out a disappointed little sound without thinking, he hears her faint snort of amusement.
He looks down to see the two of them straightening; Bauer’s eyes look a little glazed, his usually pale cheeks noticeably flushed. Rosey catches his gaze for a moment, and the second before Bauer smiles is possibly the strangest moment Rosey’s ever experienced.
Then his hand is grasped firmly in Gala’s hand and he’s being led over to the bed, this ancient four-poster affair that Rosey would have turned his nose up at if the situation were different. She kisses him, more vigorously this time, and someone’s hands make short work of removing his underwear before he’s guided on to the bed, and it’s an effort not to care about wrinkling the sheets. He allows Gala to position him just so, head up on the pillows so that he can comfortably look down at her as she climbs up over him, her legs either side of his thighs. She seems to be miles away, his exposed torso and groin seeming suddenly so vulnerable until her deft right hand finds him and suddenly that’s the only part of himself that matters. Gala’s practiced strokes are enough to make his head fall back heavily into the pillows, his eyes closing so that he hears rather than sees Bauer climb up behind her, feels Bauer arranging himself behind Gala, somewhere around Rosey’s knees. He listens for the faint brush of Bauer’s skin over hers, and from her low moans he guesses where Bauer has applied his hands. Rosey thinks it a little unfair that the two of them seem to know exactly what to do without speaking, but he has a vague feeling that if he tries to do anything, someone will push his hands away or tell him to keep still and stop interfering, so he settles for clutching at the bed-sheets as Gala continues to work her hand.
When he dares to peek out from under his half-closed eyelids, he sees that Gala’s other hand is behind her, twined in Bauer’s too-long hair. She looks down at him and manages another one of those hunter-smiles, until Bauer, kissing his way across her shoulder, opens his mouth to nip at her skin with his teeth; she gasps and her eyes roll back before she flutters her lashes. Evidently pleased, Bauer glances up, and from this angle his eyes seem enormous. Even with his teeth still biting down on Gala’s flesh, he somehow manages to grin devilishly at Rosey, and Rosey feels his pulse surging faster.
It’s too much too soon, more than he can process, and he has to close his eyes again. Soon, Gala begins to slow her strokes before rearranging herself, shifting forward, and he can’t even bring himself to look as she raises herself up then lowers herself, enveloping him fully (he tries not to think about how deftly and easily she accomplishes this maneuver). Further down the bed, Bauer moves to follow her, and Rosey imagines the two of them fitting together like two letter Z’s – he pictures Bauer’s knees snug against Gala’s, both their heads bent forward as Bauer presses his lips and tongue to her neck. There’s an inexplicable pang of jealousy at the thought of the two of them matching up like that while he lays beneath them, the odd-one-out, and he tries to bend his knees until his heels dig into the mattress. His thighs press against Bauer’s backside, and after a moment a hand reaches around to press against his kneecap, the fingers curling around the joint. Rosey realises that the backs of his knees are damp with sweat, but the owner of the hand doesn’t seem to care, so neither does Rosey.
Gala’s hands press flat on his chest, not to stroke or tease, he realises, but to support her weight as she begins to rock against him. He can’t see what Bauer’s doing behind her, but both of them are groaning so whatever it is must be enough for Bauer, he reasons. Feeling a little useless laying there doing nothing productive himself, he lets go of the sheets and presses his palms to Gala’s thighs. He keeps his fingers straight, and as he moves his hands, the tips of his fingers graze against Bauer’s thighs; the contrast between the two is appealing, and he continues his up-and-down sweep as Gala and Bauer lift and lower themselves together.
For a while Rosey tries to focus on the sounds the three of them make, heavy breaths and inarticulate moans and the occasional slap of flesh against flesh. Then a hand plucks at his wrist, redirecting his hands to grasp Gala’s buttocks, so he concentrates on the supple softness of those curves beneath his palms, and as she and Bauer continue to move, he finds the backs of his hands pressing against Bauer’s hips and thighs, and that’s something new to focus on for a while. His toes flex and curl as Gala moves, and he bites his lip to keep from making too much noise. Each time he feels brave enough to open his eyes, he notices something new; Gala’s head tipped back on to Bauer’s shoulder, Bauer’s right hand cupping her breast, the rippling of Gala’s stomach muscles as she lifts herself up. And then he sees Bauer looking down over her shoulder at Rosey, and suddenly he can’t close his eyes again.
As Gala rocks faster, her movements becoming less controlled, Rosey feels his heart beating dangerously fast, and he squeezes Gala’s thighs convulsively, a sensation of teetering on the edge that he longs to hold on to. At some point, Gala raises herself high enough that she loses her hold on Rosey, not caring to help him find his way back inside her. Instead, she takes hold of him roughly with one hand while pressing the other against herself, still rocking back against Bauer. Rosey finds the sudden change disappointing and he almost cries out, until Bauer’s left hand, the one that has until now been curled around Rosey’s knee, sweeps down the length of his thigh and around Gala’s hip to cover the hand that’s holding Rosey.
In this new configuration, they writhe against each other until Gala begins to shudder violently, crying out with uncharacteristic abandon. Her grip on him tightens briefly, and it’s enough to send him toppling over the edge, and as Gala begins to still, she reaches behind herself and does something which makes Bauer’s eyes squeeze shut until, a few seconds later, he too is trembling, adding to the warm, sticky mess around Rosey’s groin.
Their combined weight on his legs suddenly dawns on him, and he winces, pushing helplessly at Gala’s thighs. With a lazy laugh, she manages to extract herself from their tangle of limbs and slips from between them, rolling to sit at the edge of the bed. And then, there’s this moment, this brief pause in time when Rosey looks up and it’s just Bauer leaning over him, his legs either side of Rosey’s hips, the two of them struggling for breath and not quite daring to smile or look away for fear of causing time to rush back in and carry everything away from them.
It’s Gala, unsurprisingly, who ends it. She’s not looking at either of them when she announces that they’ve managed to make an otherwise dull evening pass much more enjoyably.
When Rosey looks over, she’s already started dressing again, and then Bauer’s clambering off the bed, pushing his hair back behind his ear. He hesitates once he’s standing again, then turns back to Rosey. Offers him a hand.
Rosey accepts, letting Bauer pull him to his feet.
They dress in silence, pretending to make eye-contact every now and then when really Rosey won’t let his gaze travel further up than Bauer’s chin. They’re both slipping their braces back over their shoulders when Gala crosses the room, looking for all the world as if she’s spent the past hour sitting in a chair doing nothing, hair perfectly in place, jacket and blouse not even rumpled. Only a faint flush of rose in her cheeks gives her away.
She smiles and offers them both a wink before she leaves the room. They listen to her footsteps on the stairs.
Once Rosey’s dressed, he feels he has to go back and straighten the sheets. When he’s satisfied that the bed looks as it did when they came into the room, he turns back to see Bauer waiting for him. He’s pleased, if a little surprised, that Bauer doesn’t laugh at him.
Bauer steps aside to let him through the door. As he steps through, Bauer’s hand presses briefly against his back. They head down the stairs side-by-side, and go back to the party together