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You May Have Seen A Million Entries About This, But This One Has Pokémon.
Fanfiction: Atypical Flatmate Behaviour (Peep Show, Mark/Jeremy) 
1st-Jan-2010 05:03 pm
hope is all we have
So. I rang in the new decade by writing Mark/Jeremy Peep Show slash.

...start as you mean to go on?

(I can't believe I wrote this. I hope someone enjoys it.)

Title: Atypical Flatmate Behaviour
Fandom: Peep Show (why?)
Pairing: Mark/Jeremy (why?)
Rating: R for language and a not-very-explicit sex scene.
Wordcount: 3,000ish
Summary: Jeremy is sexually frustrated. Mark is a person. It was inevitable, really.
Warnings: It may not astonish you to learn that this Peep Show fic emulates Peep Show's style of humour, so if you can't stand the show, which I entirely understand, you probably won't enjoy this (although if you can't stand the show I don't imagine you'd read fanfiction for it anyway). Swearing and awkward, unsexy sex.
Author's Notes: WHAT AM I DOING?

It begins, as do so many of the things that somehow boomerang around to ruin Mark Corrigan’s life, with Jeremy and sex. Or, to be more accurate, with Jeremy not having sex. His latest lady love is a married woman (one might have expected him to have learnt from Elena, had one never met Jeremy before), and an unexpected return of the husband has left Jeremy sexually frustrated and very keen on informing anyone who’ll listen, or indeed anyone who is forced to listen on account of living in the same flat as him.

“My balls are literally going to explode if I don’t have sex, Mark,” Jeremy says. “You’re going to be cleaning my sperm off the kitchen wall for a week.”

Mark winces. “Don’t be revolting, Jez.” He pauses. “And, anyway, surely you should be the one cleaning it up. Your exploding testicles; your responsibility.”

“I can’t clean it up; I’m rolling around in pain. My balls have just exploded.”

“Well, I don’t see how I’m supposed to help in the face of your inevitable testicular fate. I can’t imagine you’re asking me for romantic advice.”

There is a pause, and eventually Mark looks up from his newspaper. Jeremy is looking at him. His expression is speculative, which is more than a little worrying; Jeremy is dangerous enough even when he isn’t thinking.

“What?” Mark asks.

“Well, you’re a person, right? You act like a robot a lot of the time, but you are actually a person. You’ve got” – he gestures, thankfully vaguely – “orifices and things.”

Mark stares.

“So,” Jeremy says. “Why not?”

It takes Mark a very long time to remember how to speak, but eventually he manages it. “Oh, my God, is this a come-on? Are you coming on to me? ‘You have orifices’?”

“Well, you do.”

“How can you think that’s a remotely appealing proposal? ‘Hello, I couldn’t help noticing your body has places where I could potentially insert my penis; fancy a go?’ ‘Would you like to be a receptacle for my sperm?’”

“Look, Mark, we’re both busy people,” Jeremy says. He’s using his ‘reasonable’ tone, which always means trouble. Then again, Jeremy saying anything usually prefaces disaster, regardless of tone. “You’ve probably got work and stuff to do, and I need to know whether I’m going to have sex tonight or whether I’m just going to have to go off and have a wank, so – ”

“You’re actually serious,” Mark says, feeling slightly dizzy. Losing consciousness is beginning to seem more and more like the best possible conclusion to this exchange. “You are actually so sexually frustrated that you’re propositioning me just for the sake of having it off with someone.”

“And so my balls don’t explode,” Jeremy reminds him, gently.

“Your balls aren’t going to explode, Jeremy,” Mark says, pressing a hand to his forehead. Now that he really thinks about it (however little he may want to), this situation isn’t just horrifying; it is offensive. “What, so I’m just the last resort? The fallback option? ‘Nobody else in the world will have sex with me, but that’s all right; there’s always Mark’?”

“Don’t be stupid; there are probably other people in the world who’d have sex with me. You’ve come in front of tons of people.”

“Maybe, but only because you can’t be bothered to seek them out.” Perhaps, Mark thinks, rather wildly, if he keeps babbling, he won’t have to think about the actual proposition.

“Oh, for God’s sake.”

“There are probably people in the world who’d have sex with me, but I certainly can’t – ” and when Mark came up with his ‘just keep babbling’ plan he hadn’t considered the possibility that Jeremy might kiss him mid-babble.

Fuck. Fuck. Jeremy is kissing him. He’s sloppy and overenthusiastic and, yes, perhaps some part of Mark is thinking it’s quite nice to be kissed by someone who isn’t kissing like they desperately want to get away from him, but for most of him it is just really really weird.

Maybe he should push Jeremy away. Yes, it would probably be quite a good idea to push Jeremy away.

He pushes Jeremy away and finds himself at a complete loss for the next step.

“Come on,” Jeremy says, apparently unperturbed by either the kiss’s truncation or the fact that they were just fucking kissing. “Haven’t you ever thought about it? Not once?”

“No!” Mark splutters, because he hasn’t. Has – has he?

He hasn’t. Well, yes, his mind has thrown up the occasional unwanted image, because it hates him, but that can hardly be avoided when one’s flatmate insists on wandering about the flat devoid of trousers, and, frequently, of pants, and oh, God, what if that was Jeremy flirting with him? Did he refuse to acknowledge Mark’s requests for at least a little sartorial respectability in the home because he was hoping that Mark would be overcome by lust?

And now, of course, Mark has to wonder whether he himself was asking Jeremy to put something on not, as he previously believed, because the wanton male nudity improved neither the aesthetics nor the atmosphere of their flat, but because of some subconscious fear of his own even more subconscious attraction.

Christ. This is not the time for a sexuality crisis. Well, all right, Jeremy wants to have sex with him, so it may well be exactly the time for a sexuality crisis, but as far as Mark is concerned no time is the time for a sexuality crisis.

Even if he were gay, which he isn’t, he would have higher standards than Jeremy, surely? He’d go for someone like – well. Someone like Johnson.

But, of course, Johnson hasn’t outright asked Mark to have sex with him. (The idea makes Mark feel odd.)

“Mark,” Jeremy says. “I understand that you like to be all weird and take seven years going ‘oh, do I really want sex, the thing that everyone wants’,” (which isn’t true; Mark certainly doesn’t like being trapped in a perpetual vortex of indecision,) “but I really do need to put my penis in something right now.”

Maybe he could... do Jeremy a favour? He really doesn’t owe Jeremy any favours, but... maybe? There are probably worse men to have sex with, if he has to have sex with a man.

Which, of course, he doesn’t. And there is, on further consideration, a good chance that Jeremy is in fact the worst person he could possibly have sex with in the world. Well, apart from Jeff. Probably best not to go down that line of thought.

Why the hell hasn’t he said ‘no’ yet? That’s fairly damning, on the subject of sexuality crises. He’s had minutes to say ‘no, I’d really rather not have sex with you, thank you for the offer’, and he hasn’t yet.

“Forget it,” Jeremy says, waving a hand and turning away, and – fuck, is that disappointment? That is not the correct response, Corrigan. Where’s the relief? Well, there is relief, he can’t deny that there’s relief (why would he want to deny that there’s relief?), but there’s also – he’s also – fuck it.

“Wait!” Mark blurts.

Jeremy turns around again, with the sort of smirk that usually makes Mark want to punch his face in.



Jeremy, not entirely to Mark’s surprise, turns out not to be a great fan of foreplay. In a way, that makes this easier, because Mark doesn’t have to see his face much, but on the other hand it means that the part that really scares Mark, the actually-being-shagged part, barrels up like a train.

“Are you ready?” Jeremy asks, brightly. Mark can hear his grin. It’s unsettling.

“I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready,” Mark tells the sheets. “I’ve never actually done this before.”

Jeremy’s hand slips on Mark’s bare back. “You’ve never done this before?”

“Is this surprising? Is this unusual?”

“Not... really,” Jeremy says, doubtfully. “It’s just – really? Have you never had sex with a man at all?”

“No. No, this is an entirely new experience.”

“Jesus,” Jeremy says. There is a moment’s pause. “I suppose it makes sense; you’ve barely even had sex with women.”

“I have had sex with women,” Mark mutters. He suspects that he may sound rather petulant. “I’ve had sex with multiple women.”

“All right,” Jeremy says, taking on the air of an instructor. “You’ll be fine. Just relax. You know, if it’s actually physically possible for you to relax.”

Mark tries to relax as much as he can, which in this situation is more or less confined to ‘not hyperventilating’, and makes a small noise that might be assent.

Which is how he ends up on his elbows and knees with Jeremy’s cock in him, which is weird and uncomfortable and weird, and he should really have thought about Jeremy’s history of venereal disease before he agreed to this. He’s probably going to spend this entire encounter mentally forming his plan to sue Durex if the condom breaks.

And then Jeremy starts to move, and – and – and that’s sort of distracting. Jeremy, friend-flatmate-bane-of-his-life Jeremy, is inside him, like he’s Big Suze or Elena or – or – actually, quite possibly any woman Mark has ever known. Maybe not Dobby. Oh, God, he hopes Jeremy hasn’t had sex with Dobby. Even with Mark’s limited experience of being penetrated, he can already tell that he would probably be a disappointment after Jeremy.

That thought is unsettling in so many ways.

Mark makes a couple of attempts to mentally retreat into his familiar, safe war metaphors, but the entire situation is so unexpected it’s as if dragons have fallen out of the sky and anally violated both sides at the Battle of Trafalgar, which isn’t remotely comforting.

“You could do something, you know,” Jeremy hisses into his ear.

Mark is immediately, painfully aroused. Oh, God, what if he has a Pavlovian erotic reaction whenever Jeremy speaks to him from now on? As if he didn’t already have enough to worry about. He’s so busy fretting that it takes him a moment to register what Jeremy has actually said. “Er, such as – what do you mean?”

“I don’t know, anything,” Jeremy says, still riding him (and Mark hates himself for mentally using that phrase) as if sex is a normal, healthy daily activity and not a ritual exercise in humiliation. “I might as well have cut out the middleman and just shagged the bed if you’re not even going to move.”

“Er,” Mark says, feeling himself beginning to sweat for all the wrong reasons. This was a horrible mistake. He can hardly employ his usual ‘escape your shame by avoiding the person you have sexually disappointed’ strategy if he bloody lives with him.

Right. Come on, Corrigan. All he has to do is be a better shag than the bed, make this a bit less impersonal. It can’t be that difficult.

He tries moaning a bit, but it sounds incredibly stupid, so he stops.

Never mind. Maybe if he just – shuffles about a little, which doesn’t sound very sexy but is probably better than nothing. How is he supposed to know what to do? Is there some collective pool of sexual knowledge that everyone else in the world somehow knows how to tap into? It’s probably the same reason everyone else seems to know the rules of having a normal conversation. Bastards.

His awkward shifting seems to have done something, though, because Jeremy lets out a loud moan. Mark resents him for it, because he doesn’t sound nearly as stupid as Mark did, but in an odd way he feels slightly proud of himself. That is audible confirmation that Mark may not have been a complete sexual failure, assuming that Jeremy hasn’t just contracted some sort of stomach upset. Mark’s sexual partner is apparently enjoying himself, which isn’t something Mark gets to think very often, even ignoring the unusual gender of the reflexive pronoun.

As for Mark himself...

Well. If he ignores the self-loathing and the fact that this is Jez, Jeremy, not only a man (with a penis) but the man who has ruined almost every aspect of Mark’s life that Mark hasn’t managed to fuck up himself, it’s almost... all right. Pleasant. Enjoyable, even.

Of course, it is impossible to ignore those things, but Mark still has to admit that, even taking everything into account, this is one of the least unpleasant of his few sexual experiences.

He doesn’t really want to think about what that might mean. If he doesn’t overthink, though, there’s nothing but the experience and Jeremy (Jeremy, God, how did it all come to this? Maybe everyone has sex with their flatmates? Maybe this isn’t any weirder in society’s eyes than ‘oh, took them a while’?), and he can’t cope with that.

He can feel Jeremy shift behind him, and suddenly there’s a hand on Mark’s cock and he yelps in surprise and comes all over the bedsheets. And, yes, it’s been a very long time since Mark has actually achieved orgasm during sex, so that’s nice, in a way, but he did just wash the sheets yesterday and he’s sure Jeremy’s forgotten to buy detergent.

He really didn’t think this through.


When it’s over, Mark is expecting Jeremy to bugger off and leave Mark to salvage the last frail shreds of his self-respect from the raging torrent of shame, a task made no easier by the fact that the actual experience was better than he had been expecting, but instead Jeremy flops on the bed next to him and grins into his face. Mark manages to hold eye contact for almost half a second before he has to roll onto his back.

“Thanks,” Jeremy says, patting him on the arm. “You’re a good mate, really.”

Mark doesn’t know what to say to that. The more he thinks about it, the more convinced he becomes that, no, having sex probably isn’t just what flatmates do. His friendship with Jeremy, a bad idea from the start, is now more twisted than ever, and he’d set to work trying to repress the entire incident if Jeremy weren’t making it rather difficult by sprawling nakedly on the covers next to him.

Lying rigidly and staring at the ceiling, Mark surreptitiously slips an arm over the edge of the bed and feels about for some clothes. All he can find is one sock. He sneaks it under the covers and pulls it on. He feels safer.

Minutes pass. The silence means that Mark has nothing to do but mentally self-flagellate, and he makes a soon-to-be-regretted inward wish that Jeremy would say something.

“I was thinking about you when I was fucking your sister,” Jeremy says, abruptly. “Did I tell you that?”

“Oh, God.”

“I mean, it’s not like it was deliberate or anything. It was just hard not to.”

“Please, Jeremy,” Mark says. “Please, just – stop talking.”

“She was just like you. A better-looking you, obviously, but still you. I was literally shagging you.”

“You don’t mean ‘literally’,” Mark says. Semantic pedantry: the last refuge of a man trapped in the world’s most horrifying conversation. “‘Literally’ means it actually happened.”

“It did actually happen,” Jeremy points out, unhelpfully. “I mean, not then. Not at the same time. That would be weird.”

Mark makes a tiny noise. He thinks he is probably going to cry.

“Anyway, that was all right,” Jeremy says. “You’re not as awful as I thought you’d be.”

Which isn’t brilliant, as praise goes, but is probably better than anything Mark could have hoped for. “...thanks?”

“We should do this again some time.”

“Er,” Mark says, his train of thought screeching to a halt for approximately the thirtieth time this evening. He can’t have said that, surely. Nobody ever wants to have horrendously awkward Mark Corrigan sex a second time. “Do you mean – would we be – in a relationship?”

“We are in a relationship,” Jeremy says, rolling his eyes. “We’ve been basically married for, like, a million years. I’m just saying our marriage should have less repression and more lovely sex.”

Mark’s conviction that their marriage is never going to have less repression aside, this is a terrible idea. This is the worst idea anyone has ever had. Not long ago, accepting Jeremy’s initial proposition held that crown, but apparently its victory was to be short-lived. If Mark has any sense at all, he’ll say no. Actually, if Mark has any sense at all, he’ll devote the rest of his life to developing a time machine and going back to kill Jeremy before they ever met.

“Maybe,” Mark hears himself saying. “I mean – I think that could be... all right?”

Great. Abso-bloody-sodding-lutely brilliant. Evidently, the misery of living with Jez and the misery of Mark’s attempted relationships with women simply haven’t been enough, so his latent desire for self-punishment has ingeniously combined the two into a scenario that is guaranteed to leave him a huddled, sobbing pile of hopelessness on the floor. Just another volume in the Mark Corrigan Sabotages His Life series: one that will take four hundred pages just to enumerate all the reasons why this is a bad idea, make the Booker Prize shortlist primarily by virtue of its enormous length and eventually be disqualified for what the judges will call ‘unrealistic’ levels of unremitting bleakness.

“Wicked,” Jeremy says.
1st-Jan-2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
"inevitable testicular fate" is a most excellent phrase. Or possibly a good band name.
Also "but I really do need to put my penis in something right now"... best chat up line, ever.
I don't like the show. I think I saw 1 or maybe 2 episodes and didn't get it at all. This fic though, I like. If this is the same style as the show this probably confirms that I usually much prefer just fiction to, well, moving images and actors portraying things.
(plus I think I'm a sucker for awkward sex scenes)
1st-Jan-2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
I can never be allowed to form a band, now, because the urge to name it 'Inevitable Testicular Fate' would just be too strong to resist.

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this despite not being a fan of the show.
1st-Jan-2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
I AM HERE: “I understand that you like to be all weird and take seven years going ‘oh, do I really want sex, the thing that everyone wants’,” AND I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THIS IS THE BEST FIC EVER WRITTEN.


ETA: This is the most in-character Peep Show fic ever. Okay, it is the first and only Peep Show fic I have read. But I am willing to be ACTUAL POUNDS STERLING that there is not one more in-character than this. I COULD HEAR DAVID MITCHELL NARRATING IN MY BRAIN.

Edited at 2010-01-01 05:29 pm (UTC)
1st-Jan-2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you think it's in-character! ♥! (Mark and Jeremy are actually so much fun to write that I have no idea why there aren't a million Peep Show fics out there.) Thank you!
1st-Jan-2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
Oh, loved it! Could hear both characters' voices really clearly, and loved the sheer awkwardness of it all.
1st-Jan-2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've never tried to write awkwardness on this scale before, so I'm glad it worked.
1st-Jan-2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have never watched Peep Show but this is nevertheless totally, utterly, and in all other ways hilarious and wonderful. Shine on, you crazy hatbox.
1st-Jan-2010 09:48 pm (UTC)

Thank you; you have made me smile so much. (Have you had your concert? If so, how was it?)
1st-Jan-2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
And there is, on further consideration, a good chance that Jeremy is in fact the worst person he could possibly have sex with in the world. Well, apart from Jeff. Probably best not to go down that line of thought.

Oh God, that is so Mark. I adore this fic.
1st-Jan-2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
1st-Jan-2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what Peep Show is, much less who Mark and Jeremy even are, but this was brilliantly hilarious. *g*

I am also sorry, but when I read "Dobby", I immediately thought of the house elf. Um. Which means I rather agree with Mark about hoping Jeremy has not had sex with Dobby. Er.
1st-Jan-2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I'm glad you were able to enjoy it even without knowing the characters!

...oh, dear, there's an image. Dobby is, thankfully, not a house elf. (So far as we know. That would be quite a plot twist.)
(Deleted comment)
1st-Jan-2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
There is something deeply embarrassing about having one's coursemate reading one's awkward sex scenes, but thank you!
1st-Jan-2010 06:03 pm (UTC)

You have Jez's speech pattern down so perfectly, it's a joy. And Mark's inner monologue that is still frighteningly like my own. And I loved all the mentioned of the other characters - the Dobby reference especially - it's all so in character and in world, if that makes any sense; Peep Show is very much it's own little world and this fitted right in.

I could hear David's narration and - not kidding - the theme tune started playing in my head after the last line.

You are a genius, Riona.
1st-Jan-2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, my goodness, thank you so much! You are ridiculously lovely, and I'm so glad it worked for you, especially as you're one of the first people I think of when I think of Mitchell and Webb.

the theme tune started playing in my head after the last line.

It's not often that a review can make me burst out laughing. Hee!

Do you think I should post this to mitchellwebbfic, or is that just for RPF?
(Deleted comment)
1st-Jan-2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (You have a David Mitchell icon and you've never watched Peep Show? Take David Mitchell, exaggerate him, drop him into a world that wants him to suffer and you have Mark Corrigan.)
1st-Jan-2010 07:03 pm (UTC)
This is AMAZING. I think I love you. And this broke my heart:

Lying rigidly and staring at the ceiling, Mark surreptitiously slips an arm over the edge of the bed and feels about for some clothes. All he can find is one sock. He sneaks it under the covers and pulls it on. He feels safer.

You're such an amazing writer.
1st-Jan-2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! ♥! I'm glad I was able to evoke some sympathy for poor Mark.
1st-Jan-2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
Oh--s;djghs. I've never even actually seen Peep Show but this was amazing in it's own way. Sort of the fic that sends one into choking laughter, which, er, is what happened.
1st-Jan-2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
I may have just punched the air. I MADE SOMEONE LAUGH. (Thank you!)
1st-Jan-2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful.

Beautifully in character from the opening argument about whose responsibility the sperm would be, their voices are bang on; you can just feel that limping functionality they muddle along with. Mark's horrified circling thoughts and how he describes it as 'shuffling about a bit' and then, oh, the sock -- not only brilliant, but just as likely to inspire horrified laughter as the show.
3rd-Jan-2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
This is a lovely review and has made me smile an embarrassing amount; thank you so much! (And you have a lovely icon!)
1st-Jan-2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
This is actually amazing. I bloody love you. (Hello by the way!)
3rd-Jan-2010 10:56 am (UTC)
Hello! I've missed you! Does this mean you're going to be back on Livejournal this year? (And thank you!)
1st-Jan-2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
I may have to track down this Peep Show thing and actually watch it, because this is quite possibly the funniest thing in the world!

Also, Mark makes a couple of attempts to mentally retreat into his familiar, safe war metaphors, but the entire situation is so unexpected it’s as if dragons have fallen out of the sky and anally violated both sides at the Battle of Trafalgar, which isn’t remotely comforting. is the most brilliantly strange sentence I have ever read in my life.

Edited at 2010-01-02 01:38 am (UTC)
3rd-Jan-2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Hee, I'm glad it could amuse despite your unfamiliarity with the source material. Thank you!

Peep Show isn't something for which I can say in good conscience 'watch it!', because it's such a love-it-or-hate-it thing. If you can get past the pitch-black humour and poor Mark's constant humiliation, though, the characters (especially Mark) are wonderfully drawn, and it is often very funny.

Here are a couple of clips, anyway, just so you know who the characters in this story are: one, two.
1st-Jan-2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I've only seen half an episode of Peep Show (before my embarrassment squick kicked in and I had to turn it off before my face actually caught fire) but this is fantastic.
3rd-Jan-2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! (Oh, dear, no, Peep Show is not something to watch if you have more than the mildest embarrassment squick.)
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