Carl and Mats are opposites. Looking at them, it’s apparent that two more different people have seldom existed.
Carl is speed and grace, like a stroke of lightning, cutting through all the ice he needs.
Mats is guts and effort, working his ass off for every inch of ground, and winning it.
When Carl wants something, he’s cool about it, subtle, he works the conversation in the direction he needs it to go, and he gets what he wants.
Mats attacks with utter enthusiasm, and hides nothing, he overflows with infectious insistence.
When Carl realizes that he wants Mats, he spends a good three months watching him. He’s subtle enough that Mats doesn’t catch on until they’re in a hotel in San Jose and Carl says Mats’s name in his sleep.
When Mats realizes that he wants Carl, he pushes him down on the bed and kisses him so thoroughly that Carl swears he sees God and all the angels when Mats pulls away, breathless and wild-eyed.
Carl and Mats are opposites, but Mats doesn’t care because the fingers of his right hand are woven through golden hair and Carl’s mouth is on him, lips pressed against the line of Mats’s hipbone as Mats grabs with his free hand for something, anything to keep himself tied to the earth underneath him. Carl has one hand flat on Mats’s stomach, and the fingers of the other are hooked inside the waist of Mats’s pants, pulling down, his lips and tongue tasting every new bit of skin as it’s exposed.
And Carl doesn’t care because Mats is looking down at him with those eyes, those huge, beautiful eyes, perfect teeth biting into his lip in intense concentration as Carl manages to get his pants down past his waist. Because Mats makes noises that are the hottest thing Carl’s ever heard, he drags his fingers through Carl’s hair again and again, raking lines through it like he’s worshipping Carl with his fingers.
Mats closes his eyes when Carl stretches him with two fingers, losing himself in the sensation. It’s too much, it’s too much, when Carl’s fingers find the place inside of him that draws a moan out of Mats’s very soul.
Carl doesn’t close his eyes even when he presses inside of Mats, even when Mats is so tight around him that he forgets how to breathe for a moment or two.
Mats is loud, moaning and breathing hard as Carl fucks him, but the things he says are sweet words that make Carl feel like this, not anything he’s ever done on the ice, is the greatest accomplishment of his existence. This, here, with Mats Zuccarello beneath him saying god, Carl, please, harder, his accent thickening with every thrust Carl makes.
Carl is quiet, his lips parted just far enough to take quick, even breaths, his teeth clenched in concentration, and everything about him makes Mats so glad he insisted on seeing Carl’s face for this. Carl doesn’t make noises the way Mats does, but his expression is more than enough. His hair frames his face, nearly white in the light of the half moon outside the window, and his arm is beside Mats’s head, bracing his weight over Mats.
Mats is desperate, needy, his hands reaching up, fingertips digging into Carl’s back, his hands sliding easily across Carl’s skin, heated and damp with sweat. He’s passion and fire, and all he wants is the man above him.
Carl is as graceful during sex as he is on the ice, and just as concentrated and powerful. He’s flaxen hair and blue eyes that are just a thin rim of color around the dark circles of his dilated pupils as he rolls his hips into Mats, his forehead shining with perspiration and his gaze intensifying as he wraps his free hand, still slick with lube, around Mats’s cock and works it up and down.
Mats cries out Carl’s name like it’s the only thing keeping him alive. He comes hard all over his own stomach and chest, Carl’s hand drawing it out of him while his cock is still pressing impossible pleasure into every nerve in Mats’s body. Mats’s eyes want to shut, but he can’t close them, can’t risk missing a single second of the look on Carl’s face as he strokes Mats through his climax.
And Carl’s eyes finally close when he’s near to the edge, he rocks back and holds Mats’s hips with both hands, drawing Mats against him, hard, again and again in a few last, desperate thrusts, and Mats thinks he’s never seen anything in his life and will never see anything again that rivals the perfection in front of him.
Mats is loud, desperate…hands grabbing, hips arching in demanding response, and Carl loses every last shred of control he had left.
Carl is silent until the very last, when he lets out a shuddering moan that threatens to take apart Mats’s soul from the inside out. His fingers grip Mats's hips hard enough that Mats knows he'll have bruises the size and shape of Carl's fingertips on his very bones the next morning, and Carl comes, spilling into the condom and riding out his orgasm until his legs won't hold him up anymore and he has to let himself fall.
Mats is exhaustion and satisfaction, sweat and come and panting breaths, and Carl…Carl is a goddamn work of art, sinking down onto the bed next to him, one hand across his forehead, his chest rising and falling with the long, quiet breaths he takes and even the sheen of sweat on his skin just makes him look like a living sculpture, cast in the light of the moon. His fingers find Mats’s between them on the bed as they remember how to breathe again.
Carl and Mats are opposites, but somehow, once they’ve cleaned up, when Mats reaches for him, Carl’s head tilts exactly the right way to fit with his as he kisses him.
And when Carl drapes an arm over him and moves up close to his back, they fit perfectly together, and they’re better than spoons in a drawer, because spoons are the same, they fit together because they’re the same…Carl and Mats fit together because they’re different, they’re like the two pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly right on the skyline of the picture. Earth and sky, impossible to separate, because where one ends, the other begins and sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly where that point is.
When Carl wraps his arms around the dark-haired man in front of him, he cannot imagine how anyone else could be anything closer to exactly what he needs than Mats is.
And Mats leans into the solidity of Carl’s chest and knows that falling asleep and waking up here is everything he has ever needed or wanted.
Carl and Mats are opposites, but they are also more alike than two people have ever been.