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They’re terrible at keeping secrets. Maybe they could’ve if they were still rooming together. It isn’t that people keep catching them in flagrante—Johnny takes his responsibilities very seriously and Patrick has had to learn discretion the hard way—but, after the new terms in the CBA, Johnny didn’t spend a lot of time with Patrick when they were on the road, now that they are, it’s immediately noticeable. It wasn’t on purpose, back then. Patrick liked hanging out with the exuberant younger guys, playing video games late at night, watching movies, doing a round of Cards Against Humanity, drinking. Johnny took that time to recharge, catch up with his family if they hadn’t talked in a while, and back when they were still together, call Lindsey.

Things are different now though. Johnny wants to be in Patrick’s space all the time. He wants to draw his fingers over Patrick’s knuckles, to thumb over the blue tracery of veins in his wrist, to watch the way his shoulder muscles move under his shirt. They don’t mess around on the road, not with the press traveling with them. But sometimes, Patrick will fall asleep in Johnny’s bed while Johnny reads, or when the guys swing by Patrick’s room to collect him for a night of bar hopping, they’ll find Johnny already there, laughing or wrestling or arguing about TV.

Johnny always makes a point of getting up when the guys get there, tossing a ‘later, Kaner,’ over his shoulder and wishing the guys a good night out. That’s uncharacteristic enough, but the problem is Patrick is actually a really good boyfriend. It’s either his sisters’ training or Amanda’s—Johnny doesn’t know. Patrick brings Johnny coffee when he’s flagging. He’ll run to a convenience store to pick something up and wind up grabbing something for Johnny as well. He lends Johnny his ear buds before Johnny can even ask after he breaks his own. He still gives Johnny shit while he does, but it’s a far cry from the sing-song ‘sucks to be you’ he would’ve dished out before.

They spend a lot of time with their teammates—eventually someone puts two and two together. When the moment of truth comes at a restaurant in St. Paul after a sweet win against the Wild, it isn’t even Sharpy, which Johnny would’ve expected.

“Hey, I have to ask,” Kruger says, in the middle of passing Johnny the bread, “you and Kaner are...?”

Johnny doesn’t get it at first—that Krugs is asking him to fill in the blank with the appropriate word. He keeps waiting for the rest of the sentence, but Patrick, sitting next to him, chokes on his water.

“Oh, Jesus,” Johnny says when realization dawns, knowing his face must be flaming up.

Kruger laughs, bright and pleased. “I knew I wasn’t reading that wrong.”

“What? What’s happening?” Shawsy asks, incapable of being excluded from the most exciting conversation at the table, which effectively means everybody else around them is now paying attention.

Kruger leans back in his chair and arches a brow at them. Johnny groans and looks over at Patrick, who’s red-faced and hacking desperately. Patrick shrugs and then dissolves into more coughing, conveniently leaving Johnny to fend for himself on this one.

“Everything all right over here?” Sharpy asks, from Patrick’s other side, slapping him forcefully on the back.

Johnny throws his napkin on the table. Whatever. They can’t fly this under the radar for forever. “I’m dating Kaner.”

The blank faces around him say nobody believes it. Patrick knocks their shoulders together and reaches out to stretch his arm over the back of Johnny’s chair. He lifts his brows confrontationally, making sure to meet everybody’s eyes.

“You’re . . .dating?” Seabs asks, forehead scrunched up in confusion. “Dating each other?”

“I don’t . . .uh . . .” Shawsy starts to say and then breaks off.

Johnny clears his throat and pushes his chair back from the table. “Okay, we’re going to let you digest that.” He meets Patrick’s eyes and nods towards the door. Patrick smoothly rolls out of his seat, setting his napkin on the table and knocking off a cheery goodbye salute.

He crowds in close to Johnny as they head to the door, hand going to the small of his back. His fingertips press in a little, just along Johnny’s spine, and when Johnny glances over to meet his eyes, he looks back with a smile, like he couldn’t care less about how that happened back there, like Johnny’s all he needs. So yeah, he’s a really good boyfriend.

 

*

 

They’re talking in Patrick’s room, Johnny stretched out underneath Patrick, his arm low across Johnny’s chest with his chin pillowed on top of it—pretty much the sappiest position ever. Johnny would never have imagined this in a million years if you’d asked him six months ago, but these days, Johnny can’t not touch him. It’s been torture, these many months in practice, trying to keep it professional.

They don’t say anything about the awkwardness at dinner, just laughing about whether or not Johnny will go with Patrick to see some loud metal band he and his friends like.

“If they like it, you can go with them,” he says.

A loud thumping knock comes at the door.

“Maybe they’re not here!” they can hear Shawsy say through the door.

“We already tried Johnny’s room—knock again!” Saader says.

Johnny rolls out from under Patrick and opens the door to find the entire team milling in the hallway, including Handzus and Rosey, who’d both missed out on dinner.

“Uh . . .” is all Johnny manages before an entire hockey roster pushes its way unceremoniously into a hotel room that can’t really accommodate all of them. He grimaces at Patrick, still sprawled on the bed, clearly bemused.

“I’m sorry about how that went down,” Kruger says, pushing to the front of the pack.

Sharpy and Seabs both snort and somebody in the back shouts, “Like the Hindenburg”

“We,” Kruger says, gesturing at himself, Oduya, and Hammer, “guessed it. We assumed that everybody knew. We just wanted you to know you didn’t have to hide it, because we don’t care—”

“—that you’re boning!” Bollig interrupts.

Shawsy guffaws loudly and everybody else soon follows suit.

“You have our blessing—” Shawsy starts.

“—to bone!” Sharpy finishes. This time the laughter comes even harder.

Patrick stares at them all. To Johnny, he says, wonderingly, “This is . . . this is like my worst nightmare.”

Johnny crosses his arms and rolls his eyes heavenward. He’ll take it though. It’s better than he thought they were going to get when they met that impenetrable wall of silence.

The guys aren’t even paying attention to them anymore, cracking ‘I am Kane and Toews’ jokes. Kruger shrugs at them, more mirthful than apologetic, and Patrick throws his pillow at him. Kruger just catches it and bops him with it.

“All right, all right,” Johnny says, herding them towards the door, “you’ve had your fun, you can go now.”

When they finally all file out and Johnny shuts the door, he takes a moment to lean his forehead against it, right over the mandatory plaque indicating all the fire exits. It feels like a metaphor for something. Patrick comes up behind him, arms sliding around his waist.

“Hey, how are you doing?” he asks, softly.

“Good,” Johnny says, covering one of Patrick’s hands with his own. “I’m good.”

 

*

 

Of course, that doesn’t mean it ends there.

At practice, while he’s tying up his skates in the dressing room, Shawsy settles in beside him and says, “So lemme get this right, are you bisexual?”

Johnny pauses to stare at him. He doesn't—he hasn't—he's not even sure what that means. He knows the label doesn't sit right, it feels like that would make him some sex fiend who can't choose. Or a gay guy who was closeted. Jonny wasn't in any closet, he didn't even know he had a closet until recently. “No?”

“So you’re . . . gay?” Shawsy asks, giving him a quizzical look. “I mean, that’s cool, dude, I just don’t know why you had to hog Lindsey all to yourself if you weren’t even into it.”

“That’s me, finding beautiful women and taking them off the market, just to spite other dudes.” He gets up off the bench and then pauses, tossing a sharp look at Shawsy. “I was into Lindsey.”

“Best head of his life,” Patrick says, knocking his shoulder as he passes by them.

“You are not helpful!” Johnny calls after him and Patrick just laughs and keeps walking. Johnny gives a disgusted snort and then looks back at a positively gleeful Shawsy. “Why aren’t you bothering him about all this?”

“You’re a terrible liar?” Shawsy offers and then cracks up when Johnny flips him the finger.

He doesn’t let it go though, and two days later, he skates up to Johnny during a drill and says, “So you say you aren’t gay, you aren’t straight, obviously, and you aren’t bi, what does that leave? Is there some special fourth option you’ve discovered? A secret preference for Kane DNA? Do you have a thing for his sisters? His mom? Ooh, oooh, is it his dad?”

Johnny whacks the back of his helmet and skates off.

But Shawsy skates after him. “I just don’t get it! I mean, I love Kaner, he’s great. But that guy? That’s your exception?”

Patrick skates by and calls out, “He's hockeysexual.”

Johnny groans. “Still not helping.”

Shawsy just looks at Johnny speculatively, like he’s honestly considering if that’s true. Sharpy, on the other hand, seems to find this hilarious. He laughs and laughs, and then finally, when he’s subsided into quiet chuckles, he says, “There are some hot female hockey players, Johnny. You didn’t want one of them?”

“What, like Julie Chu?” Saader asks. “I’m pretty sure she could break Tazer in half.”

That just sets Sharpy off again. While it’s not the most captainly way of going about things, during their next passing drill, Johnny takes great relish in lasering a puck at Sharpy’s calf. It banks perfectly off his leg and slots right into the goal.

He whoops and then points at Sharpy. “That’s what you get, man.”

“Ow,” Sharpy says, shaking his leg out. “C’mon, Johnny, bush league. You gotta save those moves for Julie Chu.”

“Makes sense,” Shawsy says, “I think she’s taller than Kaner.”

“Hey!” Patrick calls from the other end of the ice.

Later, Johnny thinks about it. It’s not untrue, exactly, the hockeysexual thing. Nobody else plays hockey in a way that makes his heart pound, gets his blood up, and so thoroughly annoys him at the same time. Nobody can thread him passes like Patrick can and nobody has that same on-ice intuition.

Of course the whole hockeysexual thing doesn’t die out. In Detroit, after their shift is over, Sharpy bumps him on the shoulder and says, “Do we need to worry about you jumping on Datsyuk’s dick?”

“What?”

“I mean, if he gets close are you going to be able to contain yourself?”

“Around Datsyuk?” Johnny says back, voice dry. “Yeah, I got that under control. Kronwall though, not sure how I’ll restrain myself.”

“Wait, Kronwall? Really?” Shawsy asks, leaning forward to talk around Steeger.

“No, not really! What is wrong with you?”

A hooking penalty is called and he’s never been so glad to be shorthanded in his entire life.

 

*

 

Eventually the jokes die down. Johnny and Patrick keep it pretty cut-and-dried on the ice. Work is work, even if you love it. The guys get used to Patrick sitting next to him on the plane, his hand on Johnny’s knee. Sort of. They make kissy noises at them when they’re at team dinner and Patrick steals a bite off of his plate without even asking. Which, in true Patrick Kane fashion, only inspires more thievery of Johnny’s meals. And sometimes, they’ll be at practice and their eyes will meet across the ice, and Patrick will smile at him, and then Johnny’s helpless not to smile back.

The third time it happens, it’s as practice is wrapping up. Leddy catches them at it and mimes vomiting. “You two are the worst.”

Duncs is wheeling around the ice loosely with a puck. As he passes by, he says to Leddy, “Pretty sure they always did that.”

“Right, we were so obvious,” Patrick snipes at him, voice carrying over the ice. “And that’s why you totally had no idea.”

He’s glaring, the beginnings of anger noticeable just from the straightened line of his spine. It’s the first time he’s looked even slightly upset through all the teasing.

“Silly me,” Duncs replies, amusement perfectly evident, “I wonder how I missed it nearly every single day.”

“Fuck you,” Patrick says, shaking his head, he looks like he’s trying to say something else, but all that comes out is “just . . . fuck you.”

Before Johnny knows what’s happening Patrick’s storming off the ice and hurtling into the locker room.

Duncs stops in a spray of ice shavings and stares at Johnny, mystified. “What?”

Johnny presses his lips together in a grimace. He honestly has no idea. Even though he planned to have a talk with Mike about whatever mental block they have that keeps them from taking care of business on the power play, he turns around and skates off to the locker room. It’s one of the first times in his entire career that he isn’t the last off the ice.

In the locker room, he finds Patrick furiously unlacing his skates and shucking pads off.

“What’s up?” Johnny says, dropping down on the bench beside him. They’re still new at their relationship, but Johnny’s been pulling Patrick out of scrapes since he was eighteen.

“How could he have any fucking clue? Do you know how long I sat with this while you had no idea? Like I should’ve known somehow that you’d be into it?” Patrick bats an errant glove off the bench. “It’s bullshit.”

Johnny still isn’t sure why this, this of all things is the last straw, why it’s got Patrick slumping forward over his knees his head in his hands. He slides a hand along Patrick’s spine, fingertips skimming over the knobs of his vertebrae. “Maybe I should’ve known I’d be into it,” Johnny tells him.

Patrick shudders under his hand. “Are you into it though?” he says weakly, looking down at his palms.

“What?” Johnny replies, incredulously. He can’t believe that. Is Patrick kidding right now? “Seriously, how can you even ask me that?”

“I don’t know,” Patrick replies, looking over to meet Johnny’s eyes. “I don’t know anybody who’s ever been in our situation before.”

Johnny doesn’t kiss him. He doesn’t take Patrick’s hand in his own. He widens his legs so that his right knee touches Patrick’s left, the sort of touch that could be innocent enough, and quickly moved away from. Patrick doesn’t move away.

 

*

 

The thing that still makes Johnny stop and pause sometimes is the sex. It’s a revelation how fucking amazing it is. He could’ve been having this kind of sex with Patrick Kane for the last six years.

Well, that’s probably not true. He remembers being a rookie, lying on his bed, listening to Kane’s fumbling exploits. Not that Johnny had been much better. He’d hooked up with a couple of girls, had his first real girlfriend at UND, but he’d had his share of disasters. Condoms broke, teeth clinked together, he couldn’t make it last or he kept pulling out too far and sliding out altogether. Sex at that age was one part nightmare to every two parts awesome. He’s got that shit down by now, thank god. His heart couldn’t withstand the anxiety otherwise.

But the sex he has with Patrick fucking Kane is unreal. It’s like being fifteen again. He wants it all the time, all over the place. It lingers in every touch, every glance, every conversation.

Johnny’s learned that Patrick adores kissing. He loves stretching himself out next to Johnny on his bed, fingertips along Johnny’s jaw, languidly making out until he can’t stand it anymore and has to make Patrick stop. Patrick kisses all through sex, tilting Johnny’s chin to keep him just where he wants him. Sometimes he just brushes their mouths together, lightly, the sensation so sweet and piercing that it almost feels like pain. Simple goodbye kisses and I love you kisses and good morning kisses can turn into lengthy affairs.

“I love the way you taste,” Patrick says one evening, pulling away after he’s trapped Johnny against his own kitchen counter to press their mouths together.

Johnny eyes him and Patrick makes a show of running the point of his tongue over his lower lip. “What does it taste like?” he asks, mystified, dragging his tongue across the roof of his mouth like that will give him the answer. It’s his own mouth. It just tastes neutral to him.

Patrick leans back in and kisses him again, dipping his tongue just over the sensitive swell of his lower lip and past his teeth, before drawing away again. “I don’t know.” He says with a shrug. “Good. You taste good.”

The simple statement shouldn’t make the room go topsy-turvy on Johnny, but he’s starting to resign himself to the sensation.

*

For all that it’s good, perfect really, anal hasn’t come up. He’s not sure if that’s on the table or not. They haven’t discussed it. Not even a little bit. In the beginning, Johnny agonized over it. He likes fucking. The handjobs and the blowjobs are good. He doesn’t want to knock it. But he likes fucking, he likes pushing inside, feeling the hot slick clench of pussy around his cock. He likes the way bodies slide together, thighs tight around his hips.

He’d experimented with girlfriends before. Not extensively—he’d always had some pretty firm lines about that. But he’s not sure where Patrick falls on that spectrum, if he wants to fuck or be fucked, or whether or not that’s ever going to be something they do. Johnny figures this is going to be something they have to talk about at some point, but he’s pretty sure Patrick doesn’t want to be the one to bring it up anymore than Johnny does.

He breaks though on the night of a hard loss to the Wild on home ice, who so thoroughly own them it’s mortifying. He wants a drink, several, just to not be so present in his head. Patrick drives them back to his place in silence, fingers tapping along to the music in his stereo. He’s taking it better than Johnny is.

When they get back to Trump, he pours Johnny a finger’s width of the nearly full bottle of Balvenie Doublewood scotch that he’d bought Patrick, and moves to the kitchen to get a beer for himself. Johnny’s tired. He hasn’t been finding the back of the net lately. He wants to down about eight more of these. He’s not in the mood for anything.

At least not until the moment where suddenly he is. Patrick comes up behind him, rising up on the balls of his feet to hook his chin over Johnny’s shoulder.

“God, Johnny,” he says, “do you know how hot I was for you tonight?”

Johnny snorts, but Patrick’s in his space, thighs flush together and hips pressed tight to his ass. He can feel the warmth of the bourbon mixing with steadily growing arousal, pinking up his cheeks and making his breaths come shallow.

“Why’s that?” he asks, taking another swallow from his glass, relishing the slight burn over his tongue before he swallows.

“That pass you shot off through traffic to Sharpy in the first, like there was nothing in between you and him. The way you avoided that hit from Spurgeon, all neat and clean. He slammed into the boards and you were already five feet away.”

He lets Patrick get him into bed.

Patrick winds up on top, lips gliding along Johnny’s throat after he gets them both naked. Johnny’s boneless, tired, leaving himself up to Patrick’s mercy. All he is is sensation, the air in and out of his lungs, the sheets at his back, the soft shush of air from the AC over his skin, Patrick’s strong thigh firmly placed between Johnny’s, their hips moving together. It’s euphoric. Johnny’s dick is fat and stiff, seems like it’s been that way for hours. He ignores it, focusing on Patrick’s lips, the sharp nip of his teeth, the weight of him.

Patrick’s skin is so smooth beneath his palms, milky and pale and just beginning to light up with a flush. Sometimes Johnny thinks he could just spend hours touching him, skating his palms over the thick slabs of muscle in Patrick’s back and the caps of his shoulders, pushing against them, just to watch them shift under his skin. Hours just watching him stripped and spread out, face down on Johnny’s sheets, the pale perfect swell of his ass on display for Johnny’s consumption. He’s thought about it a lot over the last couple of months.

Tonight though, everything is flipped over and backwards in his head.

He must make a noise, because Patrick stops, sitting up a little to stare down at him, brushing the pad of his thumb across the line of Johnny’s cheekbone.

Johnny stares up at him, dazed, taking in Patrick’s slick red mouth and his blue, blue eyes, the proud jut of his shoulders and the hollow at the base of his throat that’s starting to gather sweat. Patrick rocks into him deliberately, thigh pressed into Johnny’s cock. Johnny involuntarily arches underneath him, eyes shutting tight.

He clutches hard at Patrick’s hips and pants out, “You gotta do it.”

“What?” Patrick says breathlessly into his skin, his erection sliding along the sharp cut of muscle at Johnny’s hip, leaving sticky wetness behind.

“I need—” Johnny starts to say and then stops, pressing his cheek into the pillow. When did this become his life? Getting off just by rubbing up against Patrick Kane in a bed. Every time feels better than the last. “Oh, god, You gotta fuck me.”

Patrick seems to stop breathing. He frames Johnny’s face with his hands, making him meet his eyes. “Johnny, what?” he repeats, gaping.

Johnny presses a hand to the small of Patrick’s back, forcing their hips together in a way that makes Patrick hiss and his head drop between his shoulders like he can’t hold it up.

An abortive “Ffff” escapes his mouth, before he kisses Johnny fiercely. “Okay. How—” he swallows, “how do you want to do this?”

“I don’t know, figure it out,” Johnny replies in his captain voice, throwing his arm across his face. His skin is hot and too tight. Sinking his teeth into his own lower lip makes Patrick groan and shudder.

Patrick figures it out.

The first finger is, if anything, the weirdest. Patrick’s hands are not small. They’re broad and capable, with thick knuckles and long fingers. They’re strong, brutally efficient, and compared to the slim index fingers of prior girlfriends, a whole ‘nother ballgame. By the time Patrick’s pushing in his second finger up to the knuckle, Johnny’s settled into it. His cock hasn’t softened at all, not like he was expecting it to. He worried about this, how he was going to stay hard, keep it going. He shouldn’t have. The way Patrick’s looking down at him, concentrated, like Johnny’s a play he’s about to make happen, is fracturing Johnny’s hold on his control. Patrick trembles slightly, the same way he would after a tough workout, like looking back at Johnny is costing him everything.

“I’m trying to—” he breathes, slowly shoving both lube-slicked fingers in deep, angling them up. He hits it at the same moment that Johnny’s about to tell him it doesn’t matter, that this is enough.

It punches a shocked exhalation from his lungs. He feels it all the way into his dick. Patrick does it again, and Johnny tightens reflexively around him, thigh muscles straining. Patrick groans a second time, leaning over him, chin dropping to his chest, his fingers still inside Johnny, letting him ride it out.

He takes several deep breaths and then lifts his head, to meet Johnny’s gaze. His eyes are half-lidded, the barest hint of blue under lowered lashes. “Johnny, Johnny, I’m not going to make it.” He licks his lower lip, looking apologetic, but mostly aroused to the point of franticness. “I gotta get my dick in you.”

Johnny exhales slow. “You can,” he says.

Patrick drags his fingers free, leaving just the tips inside so Johnny feels the stretch for one brief moment before his hand drops away, fingers leaving Johnny’s body with a filthy wet pop.

The moments stretch out while Patrick gets the condom on. Johnny feels good in his skin. He’s aware of every inch of his body, Patrick’s hips against the thin soft skin of his inner thighs, his cock bobbing against his belly, pre-come pearling at the swollen tip, the way the pillows depress on either side of Johnny’s head as Patrick leans over him. In this space, the trauma of the shitty game is isolated and not so painful to think about.

Patrick laughs softly as he’s positioning his dick at Johnny’s entrance, thumb tugging on the rim to hold Johnny open. “You’re acting drunk, you know that?”

Johnny doesn’t bother with a reply, just shifts his hips up, so that the head of Patrick’s cock catches at his entrance, making him grunt and lighting up his nerves. Patrick pushes in slow, drawing Johnny’s thighs up as he does. When Patrick slides all the way home, Johnny doesn’t have a word for it. Good isn’t right, but it’s definitely not bad. When Patrick draws back, making Johnny feels every inch of him, he shudders.

“You look—” Patrick says, cheeks red, hair plastered to his forehead. “Oh god.” He reaches between them, holding himself up with one hand, to trace the swollen rim of Johnny’s entrance. “Johnny, I’m . . .”

“Yeah,” Johnny replies, tightening his thighs around Patrick’s middle to draw him in. “I know.”

Patrick fucks him in earnest then, strong thrusts that have Johnny’s head tipping back on his neck, the ceiling swimming in his view. Patrick gets a palm under Johnny’s ass, fingers digging into the meat of the muscle, tilting Johnny’s hips up.

Johnny cries out. He can’t help it. Patrick’s cock scrapes across that spot inside on every stroke, all of the power in Patrick’s body utilized to fuck him silly.

“You gonna be able to get there?” Patrick asks, voice raw, caught between huffing gasps.

Johnny doesn’t know. Every thrust into his body has shocky white heat racing along his nerves. It’s good, it’s so good, Patrick in him and over him, cock shoved deep inside. But can he come from this? He tugs on the arm Patrick is using to brace himself up, drawing Patrick down to him. Patrick has to pull his other hand out from under Johnny in the process or risk collapsing completely, not that Johnny would mind.

The gap between them narrows, forcing Patrick into these short sharp thrusts that are in danger of making his brain short out, but also trapping Johnny’s dick between their bellies. It slides along the sweat-slicked indentation in Patrick’s abs with every thrust.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Johnny shouts and smacks the bed with his left hand. That’s it, that’s perfect, like a spark plug igniting the synapses in his brain. Johnny knows he’s clutching too tight to Patrick’s bicep, fingers going white-knuckled against the solid iron-strength of the muscle as it strains and tenses under his grip.

“Johnny, you—” Patrick cuts himself off, choking, his spine curving as he tries to get in deeper. Every hot exhalation Patrick makes against his throat has Johnny shivering into it. It’s building and building, the sensation sharpening low in his belly, pressure distilling into a hedonistic charge that finally has him coming so hard he can barely breathe from it.

Patrick must feel it go through him, because he makes a broken sound, and shudders like he’s going to fly apart. Sticky, with jizz smeared all over his skin, Johnny doesn’t think sex has ever been so messy in his life. And it's not quite over. Patrick’s dick gets harder and bigger inside him. When Jonny closes his eyes, he can easily picture what it looks like, fat cock holding him open, stretching his hole to the limit. Pure porn. He must say it aloud, because Patrick curses and goes off like a shot, pushed so far inside him, Johnny imagines he can feel it in his throat.

The sound he makes into Johnny’s shoulder, coming down from it, is closer to distress than satisfaction. “Wanted that to last forever,” he says shakily, pushing himself up onto his elbows to meet Johnny’s eyes.

Johnny blinks up at him, slow, still a half-step behind after that orgasm. Patrick’s face goes from wired and blissed out to perturbed in a second flat. He reaches up, swiping a thumb underneath Johnny’s eye. It comes away wet with moisture. “Was it—I am so sorry—” he says, already moving to roll off of him.

Johnny catches him, draws him in tight with an arm around the small of his back. “Shh, shh, stay,” he says softly, holding Patrick inside him. “It was good. It was so good.”

Patrick lets out a breath, hushed and unsteady, but he doesn’t move. Johnny slants his chin and connects their mouths, kissing him lazy and wet and soft. They stay like that for a long minute, trading easy kisses, Johnny tonguing the inside of his mouth, delicately, like Patrick needs gentling. It continues through Patrick smoothly extricating himself from Johnny’s ass, moving only as far as he needs to so that Johnny can finally let his legs drop back to the sheets. They quake just enough to be perceptible as he straightens them out. Patrick finally pulls away, looking down Johnny’s body. Johnny can’t read his shuttered gaze as he slides a hand along one of Johnny’s quads, using his thumb to press into the muscle just so.

“You good?” Johnny asks when Patrick looks back at him.

Patrick snorts, one eyebrow raised sardonically. “Yeah, dipshit, I’m good.”

He gets out of bed, quietly moving around the room. Cleaning up and disposing of the condom, Johnny assumes. The sound of running water comes from the bathroom. Johnny knows he should get out of bed, clean the mess off of himself, but he just can’t be bothered enough to care. The pillows underneath his head are comfy and he rolls to his side, pushing his cheek into them. When Patrick comes back to the bed and slides in behind him, he’s already nine tenths of the way asleep.

“I’ll deal with it in the morning,” he tells Patrick, trusting him to understand.

Patrick chuckles, spooning up against him.

 

*

 

They’ve jumped that hurdle. And it was unbelievable, straight up amazing. He’s not going to have to dole it out like some once a month you-were-so-well-behaved-let-me-give-you-a-treat kind of a deal. Back at practice, he almost expects the team to just know, like ‘I had anal sex with Patrick Kane’ is somehow written across his face. Sometimes, he can’t even make eye contact with Patrick without finding himself right back in that moment, getting done good like he never knew he needed.

Patrick scores a fucking beauty of a goal against Anaheim that has every part of Johnny desperately wanting to skate into him and kiss him right there, in front of the crowd of Ducks fans. Which is definitely not a thing that they should be doing. When they get back to the hotel, all bets are off. They skip celebratory drinks, blowing off their bewildered teammates, and go back to Johnny’s room. Johnny doesn’t even let Patrick get his suit off, because even though it’s an ill-fitting grey monstrosity with a horrible loud tie that Johnny will burn when he gets half a chance, he still loves the way Patrick looks in it.

It’s a warm southern California night, so afterwards, sated and come-dumb, they go to the outdoor pool to cool off. It’s quiet, with a bit of breeze, dark already, but the sky looks red from all the light-pollution reflected in the smog above the city. Duncs, Seabs, and Bicks are already there, with Duncs swimming knife-precise laps back and forth in the oval pool like he hadn’t had twenty-four minutes of ice time.

“You want?” Bicks says, gesturing to a cooler full of beer next to the lawn chair he’s sitting on. When Johnny nods, Bicks pulls out a bottle of Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA and cracks the top off with his teeth.

Johnny laughs as he accepts the bottle. Bicks is and always will be pretty fucking hard-core.

He takes a long swallow. “Goddamn, I love California.”

Patrick reaches out for the bottle in his hand rather then getting his own. Johnny hands it over without complaint, while Bicks snorts and open up another one for him.

“You didn’t go out with the guys?” Patrick asks as he steps into the pool using the submerged stairs on the shallow end, beer in hand. Patrick hadn’t brought any trunks, so he’s wearing a pair of skin-tight black boxer briefs instead, they cling even more, if such a thing is possible, as the water reaches Patrick’s thighs. Johnny swallows and looks away.

Seabs looks up from his phone. “Welcome to the Old Marrieds Club. Sharpy’s in his room Skyping with his lady, and we’re out here.” He grins and shakes his phone to indicate that he’s texting his own lady. With a sardonic shrug directed at Johnny, he picks up his empty bottle and gestures with it. “Hey, Bicks, beer me.”

“Get your own fucking beer,” Bicks tells him.

Johnny sits at the edge of the pool by the deep end, dangling his legs in, and thinks about it. It’s not that he hadn’t noticed that their veterans weren’t coming out so much, but in a way, he kind of missed it altogether. He’d assumed that, well, to be honest, he’d assumed it was for the old-ball-and-chain reason, not because that shit didn’t interest them anymore. But they seem perfectly happy out here, quietly drinking by the pool. Seriously, where did the freakin’ cooler come from?

Patrick swims over to Johnny, slicking his wet hair back when he surfaces. “Is that what we are? Old marrieds?” he asks, as he props his elbows on Johnny’s thighs and pushes up off of them so that he can reach Johnny’s mouth for a kiss.

Sudden laughter comes from behind them and they turn to find Sharpy walking through the gate in a pair of trunks, towel slung over his shoulder. “Yup, I would say that is exactly what you are.” He ignores them when they both groan, catching Bicks’s eye. “What do we have tonight?”

“Bear Republic and Dogfish Head,” Bicks replies, “Reif chose well with your money.”

“It’s your buy next time,” Sharpy points out, hiking up a flat lawn chair so that he can sit in it.

“I know, I know. Not all of us can sweet talk Reif into doing the beer run for us,” Bicks says, handing over a bottle of the Dogfish Head.

“Hey now. How come he gets a beer?” Seabs asks, outraged.

Bicks looks over at him. “Are you kidding me right now? You are two feet from the cooler. Fucking lean over, man.”

Patrick, still propped on Johnny’s thighs as he treads water, snorts with laughter.

Bicks looks over at them, sizing them up. “Hey, you want in on this?”

Patrick looks up at Johnny, considering and Johnny shrugs back at him. It doesn’t sound bad at all. Johnny would prefer to stay in where he can touch Patrick as much as he wants, rather than pretend they’re just friends at some overhyped club or bar. Patrick smiles at him, the slow one that always knocks Johnny off his feet.

“Yeah,” Patrick says to Bicks. “I guess we do.”

“Great! Your buy next time,” he says sunnily.

“What? No, no, no,” Seabs says. “That is not how this works.”

Duncs finally quits doing laps and dog paddles to the stairs at the shallow end. He sits on them, leaning back on the step behind him, breathing hard. “Hey sorry, got into a bit of groove there,” he says, with a nod at Johnny and Patrick, finally acknowledging their presence.

Johnny just shakes his head, because Duncs is insane. Just looking at him right now makes Johnny’s body groan in protest.

“Hey, Duncs,” Bicks says, holding up a bottle of beer. “Catch.”

He tosses it and Duncs easily snatches it out of the air, using the edge of the pool to knock the top off. “Thanks,” he says, saluting Bicks with the bottle before taking a long draught.

“What the fuck is this?” Seabs cries. Bicks grins back at him.

 

*

 

A few weeks later, on a night where Patrick took Johnny on his knees, his head propped on his crossed arms, he asks him what it feels like. Johnny’s lying in bed on his stomach, still naked, sweat cooling on his body. Patrick lies next to him, propped up on his side, tracing designs on Johnny’s back. He knows now that Patrick loves his back, not just his ass, but everything from the dimples just above the swell of his buttocks to his lats and traps and the caps of his shoulders. He says he loves fucking Johnny from behind, because then he can see all of it, shifting and bunching under his skin.

“Hmm?” Johnny asks, shivering a little at the barely-there contact of Patrick’s fingers playing over his spine.

“You really like it,” he says.

Johnny hums rather than giving an answer.

“We haven’t talked about this shit at all,” Patrick says.

“What do you mean?” Johnny asks, getting his arms under him so that he can turn over and meet his eyes.

“Like,” Patrick clears his throat, “You on the bottom, me on top? Are we going to try this the opposite way? Or . . .” He cuts himself off, blushing.

Johnny shrugs one shoulder. “I figured you’d ask when you were ready. If it’s not something you want . . .” He lets the silence speak for itself.

“No, Jesus, it’s not that. Fair is fair!”

Johnny goes cold, sitting up quickly so he can better meet Patrick’s eyes. “What the fuck, Patrick? You don’t have to do this just because I do it. That’s not what this is about!”

“No, no, that's not what I meant!” Patrick blows out a breath and collapses back on the bed, arm thrown across his eyes so he won’t have to meet Johnny’s. His cheeks are flushed a deep red. “I want you to! I—I just never thought that this was something that I would want, you know? And you just, did it for me so easily. I feel bad, because I do want that. I want everything with you, you know?”

He peeks out from beneath his arm and Johnny nods at him to continue. Patrick sighs. “I guess I’m just shit at asking for it and I don’t—I don’t want to do this wrong.”

Johnny pulls Patrick’s arm down off his face. “Don’t be a fuckhead. There is no wrong.”

Patrick laughs. “Inspirational words from Jonathan Toews.”

“Whatever.” Jonathan pokes him in the stomach hard enough to make Patrick grunt, and gets up to take a piss.

 

*

 

They try it a week later.

“How do you want to do this?” Johnny asks as he’s opening him up. Patrick’s flushed a deep red from his chest to his cheeks; he’s a picture, feet flat on the bed, knees raised, cock thick and stiff. It makes Johnny swallow hard, the way he keeps pushing back onto Johnny’s fingers, soft punched-out noises falling past his lips. The whole thing is going straight to Johnny’s cock, so hard he’s dizzy with it.

“‘Figure it out,’ ” Patrick snarks at him.

Johnny grins down at him, vicious and keen, and drives his fingers straight into Patrick’s prostate. Patrick’s back rises in an athletic arch and the sound he makes couldn’t be described as anything other than a sob. He can be mouthy and loud in bed, but right now, with Johnny twisting two fingers inside him, he’s got nothing to say.

Patrick grabs his dick at the base, fingers closing in a punishing tight circle, when Johnny does it a second time. “On top, on top,” he breathes.

“‘Kay,” Johnny says easily enough, steadily forcing in a third finger. Patrick glares at him, but it’s spoiled by the way he shudders and moans, once Johnny’s fingers are buried to the third knuckle inside him.

The muscles in Patrick’s abdomen ripple and he swallows with an audible click. “Fucking goddamn.”

He closes his knees on Johnny’s arm, stilling it. “Now is good,” he says, with his eyes squeezed shut tight, sinking his teeth so far into his lip the flesh turns white. He clenches reflexively around Johnny’s fingers so tight, once, twice. It makes Johnny’s eyes cross to think about getting his dick in there.

He slowly pulls his fingers free, wiping the excess lube on them on Patrick’s inner thigh.

After a moment, just taking Patrick in, the debauched sight of him, hole shiny with lube, the way his chest rises and falls like he can’t ever get enough air, Johnny rolls over onto his back.

“It’s your show, dollface,” he says when Patrick meets his eyes.

Patrick looks murderous. Unsteadily, he gets to his knees, swinging a leg over Johnny’s hips. For a moment, he hovers above Johnny, watching him with unreadable eyes, slowly jacking his dick.

Johnny looks back, unable to stop the full body shudder that goes through him. Patrick looks wrecked, cockhead disappearing and reappearing in his grip as he strokes himself from base to tip. It’s one of the hottest things Johnny has ever seen, and he knows it’s going to be jerk-off material for the rest of his life.

Patrick widens his knees around Johnny’s hips, slowly sinking down over him. A pause to reach behind him for Johnny’s heavy cock. His hand is dry, so when he fists Johnny’s cock in one expedient stroke, the friction is nearly too much.

“Gotta get you wet, Johnny,” he says, eyes slitted underneath his dark lashes.

He waits for Johnny to find the lube wherever he dropped it on the bed, and if Johnny draws it out a little bit so that he can keep looking at Patrick like this, Patrick doesn’t protest.

He gets his dick good and slick, knocking Patrick’s hand aside. Has to be careful and efficient about it to make sure he doesn’t blow his load right there. Some of the slippery lube drips down his cock, darkening his pubic hair, sliding in shiny rivulets over the V of his pelvic muscles, his “fuck cuts,” according to Patrick.

Johnny runs the fingers of the same hand over Patrick’s hole, just dipping in, kicking a soft huff out of Patrick’s lungs.

Patrick retaliates in kind, taking Johnny’s dick and using it to just stroke back and forth along his perineum, letting the fat head catch along the rim every single time. Finally, finally, when it’s taking every last bit of Johnny’s willpower not to let out a truly embarrassing whine, Patrick lines Johnny’s dick up with his entrance. Inch by inch, he sinks down on him, but slow, so slow, throat working hard as he breathes in and out.

Finally he bottoms out, trembling around him, clenching like a vise with every breath. Johnny’s pretty sure his eyes are rolling back into his head from how good it feels. The vise-like grip Patrick has around him is hot and so tight. His brain can’t even parse what he’s looking at.

“Johnny,” Patrick says, voice broken. “You gotta help me out here. I can’t—”

From the way he says it, Johnny worries he’s hurt him. As he moves to lift Patrick off of him, Patrick’s eyes pop open. They’re dazed and pleasure-drunk, barely any blue left in the irises that’ve been swallowed by pupil. Patrick can’t stop worrying at his lower lip, drawing his teeth back and forth across it, getting it redder and more swollen with each pass. Johnny gives up and lets the embarrassing moan tear its way out of his chest.

Patrick pulls off, a sweet slow drag that has Johnny’s hips snapping up involuntarily. The shocked cry that Patrick makes is perfect. He drops forward like Johnny knocked his arms out from under him.

Johnny sits up underneath him, spreading Patrick’s thighs wider across his lap, forcing Patrick down on him in the process. Head dipping, like it’s too heavy for his neck to hold up, Patrick clutches at his shoulders, leaning in to devour Johnny’s mouth, lips parting with an distinct wet smack when he pulls away to moan.

Johnny pushes his knees wider still and Patrick’s grip tightens on him further. They do this for what feels like hours. Until what they’re doing couldn’t rightly be called kissing, Patrick’s just panting wetly into his mouth. Johnny’s lower back aches. He feels the sensation of it go up to his brain, but he discards it, ignores it altogether.

“Patrick, what do you need?” Johnny asks.

“What?” Patrick asks, rising up so that only the head of Johnny’s cock is still inside, before sinking down again, unhurried. Johnny takes a minute to remember what he was even asking.

“I’m not going to last.” He stops, holding Patrick’s hips still. The tightening in his balls, the fizzing sensation growing in his belly. If Patrick tightens up around him again, it’ll all be over.

So of course that’s what the fucker does, squeezing down so firmly it draws a strangled cry from his lungs. Johnny shakes underneath him.

“You little bitch,” he says.

Patrick laughs breathlessly, leaning back, exposing the long pale column of his throat. Johnny can’t help biting him where his neck joins his shoulder.

Johnny shifts backwards, taking Patrick with him, so that he can at least lean back against the headboard, put some space between their bodies without tipping over. While Patrick’s blinking owlishly at him, Johnny licks a broad stripe across his palm and takes Patrick’s dick in hand. It’s already left a mess of pre-come all over Johnny’s abs, more dribbling out at the tip. He drags a careful finger through it, spreading the fluid. Patrick jerks above him, hands shifting to balance on Johnny’s chest. When Jonnny presses the meat of his thumb just barely into the slit and then down along his frenulum, his mouth opens on a silent cry and fingertips digging into Johnny’s skin.

There it is. Now they’re on the same page. Johnny jerks him off, ruthless and swift, keeping time with the rising and falling of Patrick’s body above him.

Johnny still comes first. He can’t help it. And once again, it's really hitting him—what it is that they’re doing. He almost laughs to think that they were worried they wouldn’t be able to make this shit work. He would if he had the fucking energy, but instead just lets his head fall back along the headboard, practically lolling. When Patrick comes, only moments later, it’s explosive, all over Johnny’s abs, dripping in thick gobs. Patrick trails his weary fingers through it, painting it into Johnny’s skin, nails digging lightly into the sharp ridges of muscle.

“Who knew that would be so hot?” Patrick says, hand dropping. He takes a moment, just to breathe, and then he tightens his knees around Johnny’s hips, raising himself up. They both hiss as Johnny slips free of his body.

Patrick drops flat to the bed and rolls over, hand over his heart, chest rising and falling shallowly.

“Oh fuck.” He takes a deep breath. Johnny raises his head, wondering if something’s wrong. The look on Patrick’s face tells him nothing, but then he’s swiping a hand between his thighs, hissing a second time as his fingers play over the pink, abused rim of his hole. When he takes his hand away, it’s wet with Johnny’s come. The sight is enough to make Johnny’s overworked cock half-interested again. Patrick wipes his hands off on the wrecked sheets. They’ll have to be changed and washed, Johnny thinks idly.

Patrick draws up his knees, eyes tight on Johnny’s the entire time. After a beat, he lets one leg drop to the mattress, so that Johnny can see the viscous mass slowly trickle from his body.

“Jesus,” Johnny says eloquently and hits his head against the headboard.

Johnny’s fucked without a condom a lot. That’s the nice thing about relationships. None of it has ever meant anything though, just a means to an end.

The look on Patrick’s face though, the steady rise and fall of his chest as his breathing returns to normal and his heartbeat slows. This is forever. He knows it. As certain as he’s ever been about anything. He’s so full with the knowledge it’s threatening to burst his heart altogether. He moves down the bed, reaching out to frame Patrick’s face with his hands, because he can’t not kiss him.

Patrick makes a pleased noise in the back of his throat. When Johnny pulls away, he follows him for another quick peck that rapidly turns deep. Really, Johnny should know better. This is simply how this thing goes.

Finally he puts a stop to it, his mouth is so kiss-swollen and abraded, it’s edging away from good and into painful. This time, Patrick lets him go.

“So you’re into cream pie,” he says with a mischievous smile.

Johnny makes a face. “Ugh, fuck you.”

“No, no, Johnny,” Patrick says, the beginnings of laughter evident in his tone. “Whatever you’re into, I’m into.”

“Yeah? What if I flip you onto your stomach, pin you to the sheets, fuck you so hard you don’t know which way is up and all you can do is beg for my cock?”

Patrick stops breathing for a moment, before he grins, flippant and full of false bravado. “If you think you can get it up.”

Johnny laughs, brushes Patrick’s damp hair back off his forehead. That was all he needed to see.

“Next time,” he says, pulling the covers up over them both.

Screw the sheets. They’ll deal with it in the morning.