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It doesn't come out of nowhere, despite what Dylan probably thinks.

And, okay, Mitch knows that the super adult thing to do would have been to just talk about it, sit down on the sofa and bring it up and give his reasons and whatever, but he's forever and always himself, so that's not how it goes.

It goes like this:

Dylan's in the kitchen, rummaging in the fridge for something to eat. It's mid-morning, post-workout food time, so Mitch is expecting him to grab one of the truly disgusting yogurt concoctions he keeps in there for a protein boost. Sure enough, Dylan pops back out holding two mason jars full of goop, and Mitch resigns himself to his fate.

He does choose his moment carefully; he'd woken up this morning just as sure as he'd been last night, but that doesn't mean he just wants to blurt it out. He waits until Dylan hands him his jar and a spoon, waits until Dylan leans against the counter with his own jar, waits until he opens it up and gets a few bites down. He waits, and just when Dylan puts his fourth scoop of gross yogurt into his mouth, Mitch says, "I think we should have sex."

Dylan chokes on his mouthful of yogurt, walking the two steps to the sink so he can spit it out and continue coughing, and Mitch finally opens up his own jar and digs in.

Perfect.

-0-

"So, uh," Dylan says when he's collected himself and cleaned up the gross mess he'd made in the sink. Thank god for garbage disposals, Mitch thinks idly as Dylan sits beside him on the sofa. "That… sure was a thing you said."

Mitch snorts. "Yeah, I noticed."

"Like, correct me if I heard you wrong here," Dylan says, "but it really sounded like you said…"

"Sex," Mitch supplies helpfully when Dylan trails off. "You and me. We should try it."

"Allow me to remind you of a conversation we had when we were, like, sixteen," Dylan says. "I asked you out, you panicked and ran away, I had to convince Dvorak that I didn't do anything--"

"Does he still bring that up?" Mitch interrupts. "I feel like that's something he would definitely bring up."

"He very does," Dylan goes on. "I had to hunt you down, at which point you explained to me that you didn't do sex. Just like that. 'Dylan, I don't do sex,' that's the quote, and I then told you that I didn't want to date you for a convenient lay--"

"Very sweet," Mitch says.

"--and besides, we were in different cities anyway, it's not like I was expecting sex on tap," Dylan continues. "I remember this whole thing very clearly. You were crying."

Mitch rolls his eyes. "You were crying too."

"Yes, but I'm always the one crying," Dylan points out. "You, not so much with the crying."

"I'm not allowed to change my mind?" Mitch asks, frowning a little.

Dylan sighs and pushes his hand through his hair. "You totally are," he says. "Except it's been almost a decade since then, and if you haven't wanted our dicks to touch in ten years, I'm a little confused as to why you suddenly do."

For all Mitch was teasing him a few minutes ago, Dylan is actually incredibly sweet. He's the romantic one, the one who initiates a lot of their hand-holding and sofa cuddles, and he has never once since they started dating pushed at Mitch's boundaries. He's never even approached them, and he never jokes about it. It's part of why Mitch is comfortable enough to ask him now, he knows.

That and, well. He's curious. Sue him.

"I'm not saying we should just, like," Mitch says, waving his hand vaguely, hoping it encompasses all the sex things he doesn't want to jump right into. "But I love you, right, and I trust you. This is a thing you like, and I'm willing to try it for you. With you."

Dylan opens his mouth, but closes it again almost immediately. There's something unsure in his expression. "I don't want you to do something you don't want to do just because you think I want it," he finally says. "We're doing just fine. I'm happy with us the way we are, I promise."

"I know," Mitch says, giving him a small smile. "It's just… the more I think about it, the more curious I get. I'm not against orgasms or anything, it's just that I don't really… I don't know. See the need for sex."

"And we're to the point in our relationship where that's not a blow to my ego," Dylan says. "I guess why now, is my big question. If this is your idea of an early anniversary gift or whatever, thanks, but I'd rather get a Playstation or a dog or something."

"A Playstation or a dog," Mitch repeats. "Equal levels of commitment there, bud."

"With how bad you are at the new COD, I think it is," Dylan shoots back.

Mitch huffs. "Like I don't get that enough from Matts," he gripes. "He's actually better at it than I am now. It's gross. They changed--"

"--the buttons, the game mechanics, the aiming thing, I know," Dylan says, grinning. "You still suck at it."

"Also, no, it's not an anniversary thing," Mitch adds, because he's not letting Dylan derail him on this. "That would be weird. I don't want to, like, put a bow on my dick or whatever."

Dylan stares at him for a few seconds, then absolutely loses it laughing. "A bow on your dick," he wheezes out. "That's it, hypothetical sex cancelled, I'm gonna lose it laughing every time you strip from now on."

"That's gonna make showering awkward," Mitch says, rolling his eyes.

"A bow," Dylan says, still laughing. "On your dick."

"Maybe the bow could be on your dick," Mitch says. "Maybe I could put it there."

Dylan stops laughing really, really abruptly. "You, uh," he says. He coughs a little awkwardly. "You're really serious about this. About trying sex things."

"We can start small, see how it goes," Mitch says, leaning towards him a little. "If it's too weird, we can stop."

"Or if you don't like it," Dylan adds immediately. "I'm really more worried about you not liking it."

"You'll stop if I ask you to," Mitch says patiently. "I wouldn't ask about this if I didn't already know that."

"I might stop if you make a weird face," Dylan says, making a face himself. "This is kind of a big mental switch."

"If you don't want to," Mitch starts, suddenly a little unsure.

"That is definitely not the issue here," Dylan says firmly. His face is kind of red and blotchy; it's the face Mitch mostly associates with Dylan excusing himself so he can go jerk off in peace. "You, uh. Remember the whole… how we were gonna handle the no-sex thing? What we talked about?"

"That I don't care who you sleep with, as long as you're honest with them about it," Mitch says promptly. "And with me about it."

"And," Dylan says. He's beet red everywhere that Mitch can see. "And that you didn't care if I, uh. Thought about you, during."

"Oh," Mitch says, and now he can feel his own face going red, too. At least they match. "Um, yeah. You… did that?"

"I do it a lot," Dylan says in a rush, like it's some sort of confession. "I felt kind of weird about it at first? But you said it was okay, and in case you missed the memo on this, you are incredibly hot."

"Oh," Mitch repeats. He's not really sure how he didn't already know this, but then again, he doesn't ever ask for details about Dylan's hookups. He does remember telling Dylan that he didn't care if Dylan wanted to think about him while he was with other people, but he's not sure he ever thought Dylan was serious about that. "Well, that's… wow, okay."

"Is it okay?" Dylan asks, voice a little anxious. "I mean, I know you said it was, but I never told you--"

"Still fine," Mitch cuts in, giving Dylan a brief smile. He can feel how red his own face is. "That's… flattering? I'm going with flattering."

"You don't look flattered, you look embarrassed," Dylan says, a little frown appearing on his face. The divot between his eyebrows is carving itself a permanent space there, and Mitch thinks it's kind of adorable, even though it makes Dylan groan.

"I can be both," Mitch protests. "Right?"

Dylan laughs a little. "I'm not sure how we're ever going to get to the sex part of things if me talking about how hot you are embarrasses you."

It makes Mitch roll his eyes. "Like you were super smooth the first time you had sex," he counters. "Like you're even smooth about it now, I bet."

Dylan smirks. "Oh, is that a bet you want to make?" he asks, tilting his head a little bit. "The now thing, not the first time thing. I'll give you the first time thing. That was kind of a disaster."

"What, are you gonna seduce me?" Mitch asks, going for sarcastic but definitely not making it there. Not even halfway there, if he's being honest with himself, and the smirk on Dylan's face just grows.

"I can do that," he says, incredibly confident. "We should make a list of things you want to try, and we can put that on there if you want."

"A list," Mitch repeats. "Of, what, specific sex things?"

"At least give us somewhere to start," Dylan says, shrugging. "Look, it's not that I don't want to give this a try, because if you're into it then I'm definitely into it, but I want a little direction. I don't want to do anything that's gonna freak you out."

And that's the crux of it, honestly: Mitch has known Dylan for what feels like forever, has played against him and with him, has liked him for longer than he hasn't and loved him for almost that long, too. He trusts Dylan because Dylan has proven, over and over again, that he can be trusted. He's usually at least one step ahead of wherever Mitch is, and he's great at drawing up the plays and letting Mitch finish them off however he can.

"Okay," Mitch says, giving Dylan a smile. "Let's make a list."

-0-

Mitch insists on writing his list in private; he's got this idea in his head about watching all the porn he can find and writing down everything he sees as an option, but three videos in he's making a lot of faces and not writing much down. He tears the page out of his notebook and starts over, and a few days later, he sighs and throws himself onto the sofa next to Dylan.

"I don't have a list," he announces, leaning against Dylan's shoulder. "I tried, but porn is either weird or boring. Sometimes it's weird and boring."

Dylan laughs and throws an arm over Mitch's shoulders. "Porn is not a good inspiration for actual sex," he says. "Like, not at all, not unless you've tried everything you can think of and everything the sex toy place inspired and you're still looking for something new."

"You're not into the porn stuff?" Mitch asks, pulling back a little bit so he can look at Dylan. "I'm pretty sure I've heard you watching it before."

"Being into watching it doesn't mean I want to try most of the stuff they're doing," Dylan says, shrugging a little. "Most of the stuff I'm into actually doing is really boring on the grand scale of 'interesting things you can do while you're having sex.'"

"Like what?" Mitch asks. "What are you into? Maybe we can just do that and figure it out from there."

"How about," Dylan says, looking really serious all of a sudden. "What if we start with, like, you watching me? And if you want to stop, we'll stop, but if you want to keep going, we'll keep going."

"You've been thinking about this," Mitch says. It's not surprising, really, not at all. TSN can't shut up about how Dylan thinks about the game, and it's not the first time that Mitch has had the somewhat-hysterical thought that TSN should profile Dylan for all sorts of different thinking skills.

"I don't want to screw it up," Dylan says, ever honest. "Or freak you out, or hurt you, or--"

"It's a good idea," Mitch says. "D'you want to try it now?"

Dylan blinks a little. "Now?"

"Day's not getting any younger," Mitch says cheerily. "Unless you only like getting off at night. For all I know, that's true." He actually knows for a fact that Dylan gets off in the shower most mornings, and Dylan knows that he knows that, but a line's a line, and he's sticking with it now.

"You're such a romantic," Dylan says, rolling his eyes. "You can't just will me into it."

"Okay, well, how about," Mitch says, leaning back in. He presses a quick kiss to the edge of Dylan's jaw, his cheek, the edge of his lips. Dylan is smiling by the time Mitch kisses him full on the mouth, and this part is easy, familiar enough. Dylan runs his fingers through Mitch's hair, his usual play, and Mitch puts his hand on Dylan's shoulder. He gives himself a quick mental thumbs-up, then slides his hand slowly up to cup Dylan's jaw, letting his fingers trail lightly over Dylan's neck.

Dylan makes a low noise, so Mitch pulls back a little and doesn't let himself overthink things. "Tell me if this isn't good," he instructs, because he did get the message about porn being a bad teacher, but he's pretty confident that every rom-com he's ever watched wouldn't lead him astray. It doesn't take much for him to swing his leg over Dylan's thighs and straddle him, resting his weight comfortably on Dylan's thighs. He kisses his way up Dylan's jaw, trying to pay attention to the way he's reacting, and then slowly works his way down Dylan's neck.

"How much porn did you watch?" Dylan asks, but his hands are steady on Mitch's hips and Mitch can absolutely tell that Dylan's into something about this.

"Too much," Mitch says, pulling back so he's not speaking directly into Dylan's neck. Finding a sensitive spot is great, but talking to it instead of Dylan's face seems weird. "Not bad, then?"

Dylan snorts. "I don't think you actually need me to tell you that," he says, glancing between them. "Still good?"

"Still good," Mitch confirms. "You let me know if you want to, uh. Move things along."

"I think you should be calling the shots here," Dylan says. "I can move things along whenever you're ready."

Mitch raises an eyebrow. "A few minutes ago you were telling me I couldn't will you into it."

"I'm into it now," Dylan says, glancing down again. "Congratulations. Your will has overcome my very, very low standards here."

"That's an ego boost if I ever heard one," Mitch says, shifting back even more so it's easier for him to slide off of Dylan's lap. "D'you think your low, low standards could maybe jerk off so I can watch?"

There's no way for Mitch to describe the noise that comes out of Dylan's mouth at that, except to say he's pretty sure that it's positive. Dylan tilts his head back to look at him from his spot on the sofa, and Mitch is good enough at picking up on context clues to know that this is what Dylan looks like when he's turned on, when he wants someone. It's kind of a lot, if he's being honest with himself, but it's not making him want to try this any less.

"C'mon, Dyls," he says, voice low as he reaches a hand towards Dylan. "Let's do this."

"Sell that one to Hallmark," Dylan says, but he takes Mitch's hand and stands up. "You sure? It's not like this is your last chance to stop me or anything ridiculous like that, but it's…"

"I'm gonna tell you a secret," Mitch says. He doesn't let go of Dylan's hand as they walk down the hallway. "I've seen dicks before. I've seen your dick before. I do have at least a little bit of an idea of what I'm getting into here."

"It's different," Dylan says quietly. "I just want to make sure."

Mitch stops at their bedroom door and turns to face Dylan. "Hey. Do you trust me?"

"What?"

"Do you trust me?" Mitch repeats, looking Dylan right in the eyes.

"Of course I do," Dylan replies, frowning a little.

"Then trust that I know what I'm asking for here," Mitch says. "And that I'll stop if I get uncomfortable with where things are heading. And that I trust you enough to know that you'll respect that if it happens."

"Okay," Dylan says, letting out a breath. He ducks down a little. "Kiss me?"

"Always," Mitch says, and it's an easy promise to make.

Dylan kisses him and kisses him, and Mitch puts one hand on Dylan's hip and takes Dylan's hand with his other, and it feels like any of the other hundreds of time that they've kissed, but there's no point at which Dylan pulls back. He keeps going, pulling Mitch in close and not making a point to stop when Mitch presses closer still and feels Dylan hard against him.

It feels like forever before Mitch squeezes Dylan's hand and pulls back. "If you're not ready to do this, don't let me pressure you into doing it now," he says, making sure Dylan's really looking at him. "I know it seems like I kind of rushed into this from where you're standing, but you don't have to be ready if you're not feeling it."

"I'm feeling something," Dylan says, but the smile he gives Mitch is soft, kind of sweet. "I'm ready. You're ready."

"Bedroom's right here," Mitch says. "Seems like all we have to do is go in."

"Seems like it," Dylan agrees. He takes a breath, leans in to kiss Mitch one more time, then pulls back and walks into the bedroom.

Mitch follows him, watching as Dylan strips out of his clothes. It's a sight he's seen more times than he could even start counting; they've been in locker rooms together sparingly, but they've been showering together for a long, long time. Also, Dylan's pretty anti-clothing when he doesn't absolutely have to be wearing it, so Mitch has seen him without much clothing on quite a bit over the years. It's still different, knowing that Dylan's taking his clothes off now because they're going to have sex.

Or, well, Mitch thinks as Dylan tosses his pants in the general direction of the hamper, leaving him in his boxers and nothing else. Dylan's going to jerk off, and Mitch is going to watch, and if it doesn't go badly then they'll eventually get to something that probably qualifies as sex. Mitch isn't going to put too fine a point on it, not right now.

"So," Dylan says, taking a step towards Mitch. "Uh. How do you want to do this?"

"How do you normally do it?" Mitch asks. "Other than in the shower. I don't think I want to jump right into shower sex without experiencing, like, bed sex. Is that how you separate these things?"

"I don't think I've ever really thought about labelling sex by location," Dylan says, amused. "Bed, I guess. I'll lay down, and you can… do you want to be on the bed with me, or do you want to, like, pull up a chair?"

Mitch can feel the face he's pulling. "I don't want to examine your dick, Dyls, I want to watch. I think being in a chair would be too…"

"Distant?" Dylan suggests when Mitch trails off.

"I mean, I'm not 100% sure how boners react to intense staring, but I don't want to scare yours away," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "I'll just sit next to you, unless that'd be weird for you."

"No," Dylan says immediately. "No, that's… that's fine. We'll see how that goes."

Mitch gestures at the bed. "After you, I guess."

Dylan nods and walks the few steps to the bed, hesitating for a moment before pulling his boxers down and dropping them on the floor. He sits on the bed and looks at Mitch for a second, then turns and lays down, spreading across the top of the sheets. He rests his hands on his hips, casual and easy, and looks back over at Mitch. "Your call."

It's less weird than it probably could be, Mitch thinks; he knows how to climb into bed with Dylan, how to arrange himself so he's close without touching, how to position himself so he can look. He hesitates for a second before brushing his fingers against Dylan's shoulder, but Dylan looks up at him and smiles when he does it, so Mitch lets his fingers linger.

"You can touch me," Dylan says. "Whatever you're comfortable with. And if it gets weird, let me know, and I'll pull the covers over me or something."

"I'll let you know," Mitch promises. He glances down the length of Dylan's body and sees that he's mostly soft again, and part of him wants to joke about not meaning to scare his boner away, but he's not actually nineteen years old anymore. He keeps his hand on Dylan's shoulder and leans down to kiss him quickly, their lips pressing firmly together before Mitch pulls back. "Show me?"

"Okay," Dylan says, closing his eyes.

Mitch sits back and takes it all in. It's intimate, which isn't really surprising; what does actually surprise him is how familiar it feels even as he's watching something that's so incredibly out of his area of expertise. Dylan keeps his eyes closed and moves his hands slowly, rubbing at the skin at his hips, trailing up his chest to play with his nipples, stroking a little at his thigh before actually moving anywhere near his dick. It's not something Mitch has been around to see before, but it's still somehow him and Dylan in a thousand little ways that he's come to feel comfortable in.

He inhales a little loudly when Dylan finally takes his dick in hand, mostly because he's not sure how things happen from here. Porn would have you believe that Dylan's going to get bigger and harder until his dick looks frankly ridiculous, but Dylan strokes himself slowly, and the growing thing stops before Mitch feels the need to be intimidated by the whole process.

"Thoughts so far?" Dylan asks, voice a little lower than Mitch is used to, a little slow and rough. "Other than your feelings on how weird dicks look. I've heard that one before."

"Yours is great," Mitch lies, and Dylan opens his eyes and laughs, lines creasing his forehead.

"I think I'd rather hear the dicks rant again, actually," Dylan says, letting go of himself. "At least you didn't call it cute."

Mitch pats Dylan's shoulder. "I mean, as dicks go…"

Dylan laughs again and rolls towards the side of the bed, opening a drawer in the bedstand and rummaging around. "No bows," he reminds Mitch. "I don't care how cute you think it is."

"You're no fun," Mitch says, sighing dramatically as Dylan rolls back towards him, tube in hand. Mitch nods at it. "Lube?"

"Yup," Dylan says, opening the tube and squirting some into his hand. "If there's one part of my body I don't want to chafe, my cute dick is probably it."

"It would lose some cuteness points," Mitch agrees. He glances back down at Dylan's dick, which is… definitely not cute, no matter what they're both saying. It's part of Dylan, though, so Mitch is kind of irrationally fond of it anyway, even though it's definitely the part of Dylan he's least acquainted with.

Dylan sighs a little as he wraps his hand around himself again. His hand glides easily, base to tip, up and down a few times before he stops to squeeze himself a little.

"It's good?" Mitch asks, voice a little on the quiet side. He knows he's not interrupting, but he's also aware that this isn't generally a full-volume situation. Or, well, not until the more advanced level stuff, anyway.

"Yeah," Dylan says. "It's good."

"Tell me what you like," Mitch says, leaning in a little.

Dylan snorts a laugh. "You want me to talk dirty?"

"Are you any good at it?" Mitch asks. "I mean, if that's what it is, then yeah. I'm curious."

"It's just…" Dylan sighs a little, moving his hand again. "I know you jerk off sometimes. It's good like that's good."

"Orgasms are fun every once in a while," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "Like, when I remember they're a thing."

"When you remember," Dylan says, turning to grin at him. "That's… something else."

"You turn on like a light switch, and I'm more like the oven," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "It takes me a while, and it's usually easier to order takeout."

Dylan starts laughing, letting go of his dick and throwing his arm across his face. "Are you calling the people I hook up with a pizza place, or…"

"Maybe," Mitch says, fighting to keep a straight face. Dylan keeps laughing, though, and Mitch grins. "That guy a couple summers ago, the one who was just in town for classes at UT--"

"Lyle," Dylan gasps out.

"Lyle, right, how could I forget," Mitch says. "He might have been a pizza place."

Dylan's chest is heaving, he's laughing so hard, and Mitch grins as he tugs Dylan's hand away from his face and leans in to kiss him. Dylan's smiling when Mitch pulls back. "You're my favourite pizza place, though," Dylan says.

"No, I'm our oven, keep up," Mitch says, and Dylan starts laughing again. "Hey, are you still into trying this right now, or have I killed the mood?"

"I could go either way," Dylan says, smiling up at Mitch. "If you want to stop, we'll stop, but babe, us laughing here? That's a good thing."

"Oh," Mitch says, smiling back. "Okay, well, that's good. You might not have noticed, but I'm bad at making things really serious all the time."

"You don't say," Dylan says. "D'you want me to put pants on?"

"No," Mitch says, shaking his head a little. "I mean, if you're still into it..."

"I'm into you being into it," Dylan says simply. "As long as you want to keep going, I'm good."

"I love you," Mitch says, smiling at him. "Put your hand back on your dick."

Dylan starts laughing again, but he does what Mitch says. It doesn't take long for him to get back into it, hand moving confidently up and down, and Mitch sits back a little so he can really take it in.

He's not uncomfortable, which had really been his biggest concern. He hadn't been lying when he'd said that he wanted to try, and that he trusted Dylan, but at the same time, he never really saw himself getting here, doing this. He's fine, though, watching Dylan enjoy himself.

For his part, Dylan looks... kind of ridiculous, really, but Mitch gets that that's how it goes. Nobody looks their best during sex, or so he's been told on several occasions. Dylan's face is red and he's sweating a little, hips moving in jerky little motions up into his hand, and suddenly Mitch wants to be closer, wants to share this more than just watching it. He scoots back towards Dylan. "Hey, Dyls?"

"Yeah," Dylan replies, looking up at him.

Mitch smiles at him. "Can I kiss you while you're..."

"Yes, very yes," Dylan says, tilting his head back. "That's pretty much always a yes, get down here--"

Mitch laughs as he leans in, and yeah. Yeah, this is good.

-0-

"So that wasn't a disaster," Dylan says later, after he's done and cleaned up and back in bed with Mitch. They're both in boxers, cuddling together; Mitch isn't surprised that Dylan wants to break down their sex life like he does game tape, but he is a little surprised to find himself grateful for it. It's very them, he decides, and that's not a bad thing at all.

"It wasn't," Mitch agrees. "Is it normally like that?"

"Like what?" Dylan asks.

Mitch shrugs a little. "Fun, I guess."

"Huh," Dylan says, clearly considering his answer. "I mean, yes and no. I don't sleep with people I don't get along with, so it's fun because it's sex with a friend. But at the same time, I already told you that you're my favourite oven, better than all the other pizza places, so doing it with you is like..."

"Like?" Mitch prompts, not hiding his smile.

"I'm not sure," Dylan admits after a moment. "I don't usually laugh that much, but I'm glad we did. I like laughing with you. I like being with you. You make things better, I guess."

"That's..." Mitch says, swallowing against the sudden feelings in his stomach. "That's really sweet, Dylan."

"I'm the sweetest," Dylan confirms, giving Mitch a cheesy smile. "What about you? Other than laughing, which, by the way, thanks for not outright laughing at my dick."

"You're welcome," Mitch says. "It was hard."

Dylan side-eyes him, and Mitch manages a full two seconds of not laughing before he loses it.

"You're not even sorry, that's the worst part," Dylan says, but Mitch is sprawled out across his chest, so he can tell that Dylan's barely suppressing laughter, too. "That was awful."

"You love me anyway," Mitch says confidently.

"I do," Dylan agrees. "Back to my question, though. You were good with it? With everything?"

"Yeah," Mitch says, patting at Dylan's stomach. He takes a minute to settle himself a little, collecting his thoughts and thinking about how he wants to answer the question. "It was... I liked being close. Sharing that with you, I guess. And it didn't weird me out or make me uncomfortable at any point, so quit worrying about that."

"I'm not," Dylan says, catching Mitch's hand where it's drumming against his stomach and holding it. "You said you'd tell me if it wasn't good. I trust you."

Mitch smiles against Dylan's chest. "Good. That's good."

"Do you want to do it again?" Dylan asks. "We don't have to do anything different. It's not like we have a checklist of sex things to accomplish or whatever."

"Yeah, I tried that," Mitch says, rolling his eyes. "I couldn't come up with anything, so you just took the lead."

"I mean," Dylan says, shrugging a little. "I've done a bunch of stuff before, so I kind of know what I'm doing. And there's definitely some stuff I did before I was ready to handle it, so I can kind of help make sure that doesn't happen for you, y'know?"

Mitch shifts, sitting up so he can look down at Dylan. There's something like worry cramping in his stomach. "When you say--"

"No, hey, no," Dylan says. He sits up quickly and tugs Mitch in. "Nothing that I didn't want to do, nothing that I didn't agree to do. It's just that sometimes your decision-making in the moment isn't the best it could be, and you realise after the fact that maybe doing things just because somebody offers them isn't really a great reason."

Mitch nods, but there's still something twisting in his gut. "If you want to talk about it, I'm here," he says. "You don't have to, but... I'll listen."

"It's not something that still bugs me now," Dylan says gently. "I'll tell you if you want to know, babe, but it didn't even keep me up at night when I was first thinking about it. I didn't mean to scare you or anything."

"Tell me?" Mitch asks, closing his eyes.

He feels Dylan sigh a little. "The first time I had sex with a guy, I was seventeen," he says. "You and I had been together for about a year, and I was fine with knowing that we weren't gonna do anything, but then someone offered. A guy I knew on another team in the O. I said yes, because we talked about how I could, and the guy was offering to trade blowjobs." Dylan laughs a little. "He asked me if I wanted to fuck him when we got back to his place, and I said yes without really thinking about it. It was fine, we both got off, we fistbumped after, and I went back to my hotel room and felt weird about the whole thing before I fell asleep. That's it."

"That's," Mitch says, but he's not really sure how to end his sentence. "Thanks for telling me."

"You're welcome," Dylan says. "Thanks for listening."

"Always," Mitch promises. He lays back down, dragging Dylan with him and curling into his chest. "I'm glad you're a cuddler."

"That has to be one of the first things we learned about each other," Dylan says, amused. "Do you remember that interview with the woman from SportsNet?"

"I thought her face was going to break in half from smiling so hard," Mitch answers, laughing a little. "She thought we were the cutest freaking thing."

"We were," Dylan affirms. "Still are."

"Go team us," Mitch says, patting Dylan's stomach.

"We're fucking adorable," Dylan says. "Let's take a nap to prove it."

"Solid," Mitch says. He's still smiling when he closes his eyes.

-0-

It's almost a week before it comes up again, and Mitch kind of suspects that if he hadn't said anything, Dylan would have just kept waiting.

"Going out tonight?" Mitch asks as they're cleaning up after lunch. It's a code phrase, sort of; they never actually talked about the specifics of how Dylan would go out and hook up, but it hadn't taken long for Mitch to realise that Dylan going out with no specific plans or names attached to it meant that he'd be coming home and heading right to the shower. It's convenient, and it's not like Mitch minds having a sort-of secret language thing with his partner.

"Nah," Dylan says, shrugging. "Why? Need the apartment to yourself for a bit? I'm sure I can find someone to go watch a baseball game with."

"No," Mitch says. Dylan's the code word person in their relationship; Mitch is much more likely to hit a nail right on its head. "I want to try sex again, if you're up for it. I want to see how it goes with me maybe touching you this time."

Dylan nods, fast and a little jerky. "Uh, yeah, sounds good," he says. "Did you want to do that now, or…"

Mitch looks at Dylan, then pointedly at the dishwasher he's loading, then back to Dylan. "I'm learning all sorts of things about what turns you on right now, Dyls."

"If chores turned me on, I never would have survived juniors," Dylan says, rolling his eyes a little, but at least it breaks the weird almost-tension that the mere mention of sex brought up. Honestly, Mitch thought he'd be the one most weirded out by his forays into sex, but there's something almost comforting about Dylan still being the worrier in their relationship. "Also, just for the record, you wanting to try again? I'm into that."

"Good to know," Mitch says, rinsing a plate and putting it into the dishwasher. "I want to get the dishes done first, though, and we either need to do laundry or Amazon some boxers, because our clothing situation is getting a little dire."

"We're not going to Amazon a package of boxers just to avoid doing laundry," Dylan says, a slightly horrified look on his face. "We're not seventeen anymore."

"Tell me you don't know at least three teammates who have done it in the last year," Mitch challenges. "Not even counting rookies. I'd put money on Crouser, at least."

"Crouser isn't actually an adult," Dylan says. "I refuse to believe it. He still brags about the worm thing from the draft."

"Of course he does," Mitch says, amused. "I'll finish up the dishes if you put the laundry in?"

"Deal," Dylan says. He wanders off, and Mitch finishes rinsing the dishes and loading the dishwasher.

They have a workout planned for the afternoon, so with laundry in and the dishes running, they head for the gym. Mitch does his core training circuit while Dylan does a leg day; they figured out a long time ago that while they do most of the same stuff when they work out, they're both too competitive to try to match their workouts. Scary Gary had almost fired them as clients after Mitch's third year in the league, and even though he's retired now, Mitch is pretty sure he'd show up just to glare at them if he caught wind that they were working out side-by-side again.

It's not until they're home, switching the laundry quickly so they can put their sweaty workout clothing into the washer, that Dylan catches Mitch's elbow. "You can say no," he says seriously, as if Mitch ever thought that would be off the table. "I know you said shower sex might be a little too adventurous for you last time, but… want to try it?"

Mitch considers it. "I'm up for trying it," he says after a moment, shrugging a little. "I checked bed sex off my list, so I guess new and interesting locations are now on my to-do list."

"The shower is definitely exotic," Dylan says, grinning. "No hockey ticker on the shower speaker this time, though. Listening to mid-summer trade rumors isn't gonna do it for me."

"Fine," Mitch says, sighing as loudly as he can as he follows Dylan into the bathroom. "Just this once we can leave the shower speaker off. Happy?"

"Thrilled," Dylan replies. He leans in to give Mitch a quick kiss, then turns to start the shower.

Mitch leans against the sink and watches as Dylan leans over, testing the water, then fiddling with the temperature. He's always thought that Dylan was attractive; not having a sex drive doesn't mean that he doesn't have opinions, even though he's heard that it works that way for some people. Dylan's a good-looking guy, but more than that, he's kind and funny and thoughtful. It had taken some time for Mitch to get over his insecurities about Dylan only staying with him until he found a better option, but like Dylan had pointed out earlier, they're not kids anymore. He knows that Dylan's in this for the long haul even if they've agreed not to do anything more permanent about it until they're retired.

He tries to evaluate Dylan now from a purely physical standpoint, but he's not super surprised to figure out that he's pretty bad at it. Dylan's got a pretty stereotypical hockey ass, but it's just a part of his body to Mitch; his shoulders are broad and strong, showing off all the work he's put into his career, but it doesn't make Mitch feel anything but the same appreciation he's always had for Dylan's work ethic.

"I've been told my ass is inspiring, but somehow I doubt that's what you're thinking right now," Dylan says dryly, and Mitch blinks and grins at him.

"Definitely not, sorry," he confirms. "I was trying to get there, though. Does that count?"

"Good enough," Dylan says. "Water's ready."

"Oh, good, we smell bad," Mitch says, stepping into Dylan's space and pushing lightly at his hip. "We can soap off first, right? Or at least rinse?"

"Rinse," Dylan advises, pulling the curtain back and stepping under the water. He holds the curtain while Mitch gets in after him, then drops it. "Or at least, I'm just going to rinse. I'll want to soap off after."

"Okay, fair," Mitch says. "That makes sense, I guess."

"Glad you're trusting my expertise here," Dylan says, tilting his head back in the water. He reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, then turns to rinse his front before stepping past Mitch and pushing him in gently. "Go ahead, turn the temperature up. You know you want to."

"If I'm not poaching myself, it's not hot enough," Mitch says, like he does pretty much every other shower they share. "It's not my fault you like lukewarm showers."

"I just don't like turning into a lobster," Dylan replies, and it's familiar, easy. Mitch grins as he turns the temperature up and rinses off.

"Okay," he says after a solid minute of just letting the water run down his back. Showers are great, and nobody will ever convince Mitch otherwise. "You have a play in mind?"

"Kiss me?" Dylan asks, voice hesitant. "Unless you don't want us to be that close without clothes on. It's… different."

Mitch definitely believes that, but he's doing all of this because change isn't bad, and because Dylan's always, always good to him. "Let's try it," he says, stepping out of the spray a little. "We'll stop if it gets weird."

"Right," Dylan says, and then he's leaning down to kiss Mitch, slow and gentle. It's nice; Mitch likes kissing, always has, and it's easy to settle his hands on the skin of Dylan's hips and pull him a little closer. They're not touching, not quite, but they're close enough that Mitch can tell that Dylan's holding himself back by exactly how much they're not touching.

"Hey," Mitch murmurs, pulling back a little. "You good?"

"That's my line," Dylan says, looking down at him. His hair is flat and falling in his face, plastered to his forehead, and Mitch loves him even when he's kind of a mess. "I'm fine. You?"

"Good," Mitch says. "Kiss me like you mean it, eh?"

"You," Dylan starts, but he's rolling his eyes and hiding a grin, and he cups Mitch's elbows and leans back in with way more intent this time.

It's a great kiss. Mitch loves Dylan's intensity, and he really hasn't made a secret out of how much he likes being the centre of attention at times. It's a lot, being the only thing he's focused on, but Mitch isn't about to complain. He gives himself a quick mental check before shuffling a little closer, angling his body a little bit until Dylan's hip is brushing at his stomach.

Dylan's reaction is immediate; he grips a little harder at Mitch's elbows and turns slightly, pressing his hips forward. It's not the first time that Mitch has been able to tell that Dylan's hard, but Dylan was right: it's really, really different feeling it through a few layers of clothing and feeling it sliding across his abs.

Mitch pulls back a little. "Huh," he says, looking between them. Dylan's not all the way there, but he's definitely well on his way. Dylan's completely still, not moving at all, and Mitch squeezes his hips gently. "Go ahead. This is fine so far."

Dylan makes a noise that Mitch can only call strangled. "Let me just," he says, twisting so he can grab something off of the shower caddy. Body wash, Mitch realises, and he watches as Dylan squirts a little into his hand and then steps back to palm at himself. He looks at Mitch, eyes heavy. "Makes it easier," he says, shrugging a little.

"Can I," Mitch asks, reaching out with one hand. Dylan steps forward again, and Mitch runs his fingers lightly down Dylan's dick, eyes focused on what he's doing. He curls his fingers around the base and slides them slowly back up, then flicks his eyes up to Dylan's face. "Is this okay?"

"Yeah," Dylan says, then, "Hold me tighter? And go a little faster."

"Right, yeah," Mitch says. He doesn't have a ton of experience with jerking himself off, but the principle is the same: pressure and movement, finding the right rhythm to hit that sweet spot. "Tell me how. I can do it how you like it."

"Just like that," Dylan says, leaning his arm on the wall. He's standing incredibly still, letting Mitch do what he wants, but Mitch actually does want this to be as much about Dylan getting off as it is about Mitch figuring out how to give a handjob. Dylan had been active the last time, moving his body as much as he had his hand, and that's--Mitch isn't learning how to have sex so he can go have a ton of it with random people. He's doing this with Dylan, and he wants to do his best to do it how Dylan likes it, to do what makes them both happy.

Mitch stops moving his hand, but leaves it curled around Dylan. "Okay," he says, looking up and meeting Dylan's eyes. "I need you to work with me here, babe. Unless it's normally your thing to completely stop moving when you're sleeping with someone, please feel free to move around."

"You mean, like," Dylan says, pushing his hips forward incrementally.

"Yes, like that," Mitch says. "You're not going to scare me off by thrusting your hips a little, okay? I know I'm not your usual hookups, but I promise I'm not going to break if you're actually into this. In fact, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I'll probably prefer it."

"I'm into this," Dylan says immediately. "Sorry. I guess I'm just not sure what's too much, too fast."

"How about," Mitch says, letting go of Dylan's dick. Dylan lets out a small, disappointed noise before clapping a hand over his mouth, and Mitch snickers a little, patting Dylan's hip in apology before grabbing him there again, holding on like he had earlier. "How about you drive here? Rub off on my stomach. I'm guessing that would work for you."

The noise Dylan makes this time is much louder, much wilder. "It would," he agrees. He grabs for the soap again, putting more on his dick, then rubbing some gently onto Mitch's stomach. "Tell me to stop if it's too much."

Mitch bites back the instinctive rebuke to just trust him, already, the way his eyes want to roll; he's starting to get that it's as much Dylan wanting to reassure himself as it is an actual reminder. He just holds on and steps in, feeling Dylan hot and hard against his stomach, and tilting his head up to kiss him as Dylan starts rolling his hips.

It's not even close to the same as last time. They'd been kissing then, too, but this time Mitch feels like he's actually involved, like he's an active participant in Dylan getting off. There's a lot to take in, from the way Dylan starts slow but speeds up to the way he pauses kissing Mitch to just breathe for a bit to the way Mitch can feel it, feel his stomach get a little sticky between the soap and Dylan's precome. He feels it when Dylan starts moving faster, when he drops his head to Mitch's shoulder and kisses him there, and he definitely feels it when Dylan lets out a choked-out approximation of his name and comes all over Mitch's stomach.

"Dylan, wow," Mitch says, just holding onto him as much as he's sort of holding him up. He's glad now that Dylan had warned him away from actually getting clean first, because he definitely needs to use the soap for its intended purpose, but he needs to be holding Dylan more, getting as much skin-on-skin contact as he can. "That was... wow."

Dylan laughs weakly and presses sporadic kisses against Mitch's shoulder, his neck, his jaw. "Babe," he says, and his voice sounds sort of amazed. "You're so…"

Mitch laughs a little. "That was… intense. Wow."

Dylan smiles down at him. "Same. Definitely."

"I'm glad we can talk about our feelings," Mitch says. He'd try for deadpan, but they're both smiling too much. "And, uh. Speaking of feelings."

"Yeah?" Dylan prompts when Mitch trails off. He's leaning mostly against the wall now, and he gives Mitch a once-over when Mitch steps back. "Uh."

Mitch shrugs. "It happens," he says, and he has no idea why he's embarrassed that he's sort of hard right now, but there you have it.

"It's okay," Dylan says, and he sounds kind of gentle about it. "I can help you out if you want, or I can get out of the shower and let you take care of it. Whatever you want."

"Is it okay if I'm not actually sure?" Mitch says, laughing a little and shrugging. "Part of me wants you to help, but the rest of me doesn't know."

"That's fine," Dylan assures. "I'll get out, you can do your thing, and just let me know when you're done so I can hop back in and shampoo and stuff."

"Wait, no," Mitch says. He bites at his lip a little before nodding. "Watch, maybe?"

Dylan's hand freezes on the shower curtain. "Yeah?"

"Yeah," Mitch says. "It's not going to be, like, a huge show or anything, but you can watch."

"If you're sure," Dylan says, letting his hand drop. "We can work up to it, I promise."

"Let's see how it goes," Mitch says, shrugging a little. He steps back into the spray, rubbing at his stomach to get the worst of the mess off, then gestures Dylan in. "Also, I can't believe you were gonna get out of the shower with come all over you."

"I would've wiped it off," Dylan protests as he steps into the water. He hisses a little. "Jeez, I'm boiling."

"Sorry," Mitch says, grinning. "You can turn it down. I'm gonna stay out of the water for a little while."

Dylan grumbles, but he turns the water down and rinses off quickly, then turns to face Mitch. "Still want to?"

Mitch isn't hard anymore; it's easy for him to ignore arousal away most of the time, so he's not surprised. He shrugs, though, because it's not like he hasn't gotten himself off from scratch before. Just because he doesn't have the body cheat code to skip the warm-up stage doesn't mean he doesn't get himself there sometimes anyway; sometimes an orgasm is the quickest way to get the most muscle relaxation possible, so this isn't totally new territory.

"Yeah," he says, and he's not surprised to find that he means it, but he's still glad about it. "Here goes nothing."

The soap that Dylan had used is on the caddy next to Mitch, but he doesn't need it yet, hasn't ever used it before. He's not sure he'll go for it this time; jerking off in front of someone else after letting them rub off on him is probably enough new experiences for today. He knows how to start, though, how to touch himself to get hard, just how fast to stroke with exactly the right pressure to get his body into it. It doesn't take long before he's leaning against the back wall of the shower, pushing into his hand and coming, breathing a little hard as he feels his body relax.

Mitch isn't sure exactly when he closed his eyes, but when he blinks them open, the looks on Dylan's face is somewhere between really turned on and really amazed. He laughs, a little self-conscious. "Not awful?"

"Is it okay if I kiss you right now?" Dylan blurts out. "That was--you're--"

"Not awful," Mitch concludes, smiling as he steps into Dylan's space and tilts his head up. "Kiss me, c'mon."

"Holy shit, Mitch, I could watch that every day and it would never get old," Dylan breathes before leaning in to kiss him, steady and confident and great. Mitch wraps his arms around Dylan, trying to be discreet about how he's rinsing his hand off behind Dylan's back at the same time, but Dylan breaks off with a chuckle. "Ready to actually shower now, huh?"

"Bodies are gross and make gross stuff," Mitch says, making a face as he wipes his hand across the small of Dylan's back. "Lots of it happens during sex."

"We can use the soap for its intended purpose now," Dylan says, reaching past Mitch to grab it from its place on the caddy. "Also, we need, like. Shower lube."

"Shower lube," Mitch repeats. "We can just bring some of the bedroom stuff in if the soap bothers you that much."

Dylan shakes his head. "There are kinds that don't just rinse off," he says as he grabs the washcloth and soaps it up, then starts running it over Mitch's shoulders. "If you're ever in the mood for doing it in the shower again, shower lube would be the way to go. That way we don't have to keep reapplying."

"Also, your crotch won't smell like Old Spice," Mitch says dryly. "A winning idea all around."

Dylan laughs and drops a kiss on Mitch's forehead, then hands him the washcloth.

-0-

Dylan has a training session scheduled with his brother the next afternoon, and Mitch wants no part in whatever brotherly bonding ritual they've got going on, so he puts his time to good use at home instead.

Namely, he goes Google diving for different kinds of lube.

"Who needs all this?" he asks aloud, slightly bewildered, as he reads description after description. He's heard of regular lube, and he knew in theory that flavoured ones existed, but there's a difference between theoretically knowing that Dvo's girlfriend thinks the cherry one tastes like chapstick and having to see with his own two eyes that someone thought dicks should taste like mint chocolate chip.

"Shower lube," he mutters, trying not to scroll too desperately, as if his laptop is going to judge him and tell someone. There's nothing on the website that specifically says USE ME IN THE SHOWER on it, although there are all sorts of other inventive uses listed that Mitch doesn't think he and Dylan will be trying anytime soon. He goes back to Google and types in what kind of lube can i use in the shower, clicks on the first link, and immediately regrets it, because apparently he can't read an article without signing up for a free sample of lube.

This is his life. He wishes he could just snapshot this moment and show it to himself ten years ago. Or, more likely, show it to Chris, because he might scar his younger self, but scarring his brother hasn't really been a concern since the whole Taquito Incident of 2012.

The article does lead him to the idea of silicone-based lube, though, so he heads back to the sex toy website, finds one that comes in a pump bottle that just seems practical for the shower, and puts it into his cart. He adds a bottle of the water-based stuff too, because that's the kind that Dylan keeps in the bedstand, and then he heads to check out.

When Dylan asks him later, this is where Mitch is going to point to it all going… differently than expected. He has two bottles of lube in his cart, which the site promises will be mailed in an anonymous plain brown box to his door, but when he looks at his total, there's a little message in a box underneath it: add $37.04 to your cart to qualify for a free, fun, sexy mystery toy!

He debates with himself for a minute, then pulls his phone out of his pocket. Tell me not to do a thing

Is it going to hurt anyone? Marty replies in less than a minute. Mitch smiles at his empty apartment; hockey sometimes does weird things to friendships, but even after the trade and the semi-forced retirement, Marty's still one of the first people Mitch reaches out to when he needs something, and Marty's always right there for him.

Nah it's just kinda ridic, he sends back.

Marty just texts back three thumbs-up emojis and a Go for it, bud a moment later, and Mitch snorts and puts his phone down.

"Okay," he says, going back to the lube page. "More, I guess?"

The purchase is made well before Dylan gets home, and he brings Matty with him, so there's no way to maybe forewarn Dylan about the possibility of something weird showing up in the mail. Matty ends up calling his girlfriend and they go out for dinner, and then drinks, and by the time they get home, Mitch has honestly just forgotten about it.

"Hey, babe," Dylan calls as he opens the door a few days later. "There was a package for you in the mail room. It's kinda heavy."

"Oh, shit," Mitch says, turning to watch as Dylan brings in a box that's way too big for any of the things Mitch thought his free gift might be. Even knowing how much lube is in the box isn't making him feel more confident about his prospects here. He watches as Dylan puts the box on the kitchen table "So, uh."

Dylan raises an eyebrow. "What?"

"I might have ordered something," Mitch admits. He turns to get the scissors out of the junk drawer, because it looks like he's going to need them to get through all the tape, and also so he doesn't have to look at Dylan as he says the next part. "I got the shower lube you were talking about?"

"Okay," Dylan says slowly. "Did you get a five-gallon tub of it?"

"No, but I did get three of them," Mitch says, fishing the scissors out and turning back to face the box. "And three of the regular lubes. And some body wipes that are supposed to be really good for cleaning up after."

Dylan puts his hand on the box. "Why did you get, like, a five-year supply of lube?"

"They were doing a promotion," Mitch says, gesturing at the box. "A free gift if you bought a certain amount of stuff."

"What was the gift?" Dylan asks, glancing at the box.

Mitch shrugs a little. "I have no idea. It was a mystery gift."

Dylan leaves his hand on the box while he stares. "You realise there's probably, like, a foot-long dildo in there, right," he finally says.

"Chances are good," Mitch says. "Let me open the box."

"As long as you're prepared," Dylan says, shrugging a little and pulling his phone out as he steps back. "I'm gonna take video. I want to capture the look on your face when you and Dongzilla meet."

"That's fair," Mitch says, slicing the tape on the sides of the box before cutting through the layer on top. He opens it up and pulls out the packing paper, then unpacks his six bottles of lube and two packages of body wipes, and then--

"I don't understand," he chokes out, and he manages to not laugh for an entire four seconds before he collapses over the box, laughing so hard he can't hold himself up anymore. There's no way he imagined it, he knows, because there's no way his brain would have come up with what he'd seen, but he pulls back slightly so he can glance down again, then laughs until there are tears in his eyes.

"Let me see," Dylan's saying impatiently when Mitch calms down enough to get his breathing back under control. "Is it glittery? Does it have cartoon hearts on it?"

"It's not a dildo," Mitch says, pulling back but holding the flap of the box up so Dylan can't get a peek. "It says it's a vibrator."

"Oh, god," Dylan says, already starting to grin.

"It's a unicorn," Mitch says, already starting to laugh again as he pulls the package out of the shipping box, and when Dylan sees it, he absolutely loses it.

Mitch is laughing hard enough that it's hard to see through the tears in his eyes, but he manages to flip the box until he finds the specifications so he can read them off to Dylan. "Thirteen inches long," he manages. "It plugs into the wall. It has a bunch of different speeds, and is also a fucking unicorn."

"Oh my god," Dylan wheezes. "A fucking unicorn. Literally. A sexicorn."

"Oh my god," Mitch echoes, dropping the package to the table and yanking a chair out so he can collapse onto it. "Dylan. Dylan, what are we going to do with it?"

"Can we give it to Ryan for Christmas?" Dylan asks, his voice almost squeaking with how hard he's still laughing. "Oh my god, babe, please?"

It sets Mitch off again, because he can picture it so clearly: the annual Christmas Eve thing they do, Strome brothers and their partners only; Ryan and Sydney and their habit of getting the most embarrassing gifts possible; the sheer look of disbelief on Ryan's face when he opens a goddamned thirteen-inch-long vibrating plug-in unicorn.

"Yeah," he says, wiping at his eyes. "Yeah, that sounds perfect."

-0-

"Hey, so," Mitch says about a week later. Ryan's Christmas surprise is safely hidden in their closet, and Mitch has a reminder in his phone for mid-December; there's pretty much a zero percent chance that he forgets about the plan, but better safe than stuck with a unicorn vibrator. "I want to do something tonight."

"Anything in particular?" Dylan asks, turning to look at him. "Like. Dinner? Netflix? Sex?"

"All three, if you're not vetoing any of it out of hand," Mitch says, grinning. "Netflix and chill, right? Show me what the fuss is about."

"You're about eight years late to that party, but sure," Dylan says, rolling his eyes a little, but he's smiling. "Do you have any plans this time?"

"We should make the fish we picked up yesterday," Mitch says. "I'm up for Netflix roulette, and then I want to jerk you off while we're not in the shower."

Dylan hums a little. "I'll make the fish if you agree to the new Godzilla movie, and then we can do that if you're still in the mood."

"Deal," Mitch says immediately. He likes eating fish just fine, but something about preparing it is kind of off-putting for some reason. "I'll do rice and vegetables."

"Solid," Dylan says.

Dinner is good; neither of them is an incredible cook, but they're far past the point where they burn water. Dylan makes the fish with a garlic sauce while Mitch makes rice and carrots, and it's not a meal that's going to go down in history on either side of the argument, but that's pretty much a win in Mitch's book. Godzilla is also good, not that Mitch really had any doubts about how that one would go, so all in all, it was a pretty good day off.

"So," Dylan says as the credits roll. "D'you still want to mess around?"

"Mess around," Mitch repeats. "People still say that?"

"I mean, some people," Dylan says. "I just did, for example."

Mitch laughs. "Yeah, let's mess around."

Dylan rolls his eyes and stands, stretching a little before reaching his hand out to Mitch. It's not like he has an actual plan, he thinks as they head for their bedroom. It's more that it's been fine so far, and Mitch has lost whatever reservations he might have had about continuing to try things with Dylan. He's not suddenly super into sex or whatever, but he can see some of the appeal; there's a level of intimacy to it, which is always something he's here for, and he wasn't lying when he'd told Dylan that he likes orgasms just fine.

Mitch is kind of expecting Dylan to strip and get on the bed again when they get to the bedroom, but Dylan stops and pulls Mitch in, kissing him quick and sure. "Are you open to suggestions, or do you just want to go with what you said before?"

"What do you have in mind?" Mitch asks. He's definitely curious; Dylan's been pretty content to step back and let Mitch steer since suggesting they start out slow, but Mitch knows that outside input is generally a good thing. He knows that he can say no, too, which is part of what gives him the courage to ask.

"I want to," Dylan says, hesitation clear in his tone. "If you're not ready for me to touch you, then tell me no. And if you're never ready, that's fine, too, but I'd like to try us rubbing off on each other. Kind of like last time in the shower, but for both of us at the same time."

"What are the, like, mechanics of that?" Mitch asks, frowning a little. "Is that a side-by-side thing, or one of us on top thing, or…"

"Whatever you're most comfortable with," Dylan says, shrugging a little. "We can be standing up, too. Leaning against a wall or something."

Mitch shakes his head. "I think maybe on the bed," he says. "I don't want to have to be coordinated enough to stand if we're doing something."

"Sounds good," Dylan says, nodding. He hesitates again. "Again, say no if you don't want to, but I can, uh. Show you more how it usually goes, at least for me, instead of…"

"What?" Mitch prompts when Dylan trails off.

"I'm fine with the, like, just get naked and go for it approach," Dylan says, shrugging. "But there's usually something leading into it."

"Foreplay," Mitch says.

Dylan laughs a little. "Yeah," he says. "It doesn't have to be anything really big or serious or whatever, but it's like… getting you more in the mood, I guess."

"I mean, I play soccer in the hallway with the guys before we hit the ice just like everyone else does," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "I get the idea."

"The hockey analogy," Dylan says, shaking his head and grinning. "I'll just start there next time, how's that?"

"It'll probably be quicker," Mitch says, grinning. "Okay. Go for it."

Dylan bites his lip, suddenly looking like he's half a second away from laughing so hard he ruins any kind of mood they might be trying to set tonight. "Does this mean I have permission to try to turn the oven on?" he manages before laughing so hard that he actually doubles over.

"Oh my god," Mitch says, but he can't keep himself from laughing along. "I mean, do your best, but we're not calling for help if you can't figure out how to uncross the wires."

Dylan wipes at his face as he gets his laughter under control, and Mitch is struck by how much he loves this, loves Dylan. He likes being with Dylan, and he's sure the smile on his face isn't hiding anything about that when Dylan manages to look at him without breaking into laughter again. "Ready?"

"Ready," Mitch confirms. He's not sure what the exact play here is, but he steps closer to Dylan and tilts his head back, and Dylan's still smiling when he leans in for a kiss.

It's mostly what Mitch was expecting, except Dylan's handsier than he normally is, squeezing at Mitch's hips and slowly pushing his hands up beneath Mitch's shirt. He doesn't really do much, just drags his thumbs back and forth over the knob of Mitch's hips, but it's unexpectedly nice. He's not sure if there's some sort of feeling he's supposed to be having here, some sort of "yes, sex now" indicator that he's missing, but he's content to just go with it for now and see where Dylan leads.

Dylan pulls back after a moment or two more, framing Mitch's hips in his hands. "Can I take your shirt off?"

"Only if you take yours off, too," Mitch says. Fair's fair.

"Okay," Dylan says, smiling at him before dragging his hands up, fingers sliding up Mitch's sides, pulling his shirt with it. Mitch is kind of expecting it to tickle, but Dylan keeps his touch firm, and it sends a shiver down Mitch's spine instead. Dylan pulls the shirt over Mitch's head and then drops it behind him, leaning in to kiss him softly before pulling his own shirt off with a lot less ceremony.

Dylan's hands go back to his waist, keeping Mitch close. "Good?"

"Good," Mitch agrees, leaning back in to kiss him again.

It makes Dylan smile, and he turns his head and kisses Mitch's cheek before leaning back a little. "Bed?"

"Sure," Mitch says, stepping back a little. "How…"

"Just lay next to me," Dylan says as he climbs into the bed. "Side by side."

"Okay," Mitch says, following. He props himself up on his side and looks at Dylan. "Now what?"

"I'll diagram it out for you next time," Dylan says, smiling, and Mitch leans in to kiss the laugh line between his eyebrows. Dylan follows when Mitch leans back, and it takes a minute for Mitch to get the hang of the side-by-side thing, but then Dylan yanks one of the pillows down so they can both rest their heads on it and pulls Mitch in, and okay, Mitch can see the appeal of this.

Almost everything is a new and different experience for him at this point, but he can't help cataloguing things he never thought about before: how it feels to press his chest against Dylan's, no clothing between them; how Dylan shivers when Mitch touches his waist; how much he wants to push Dylan's pants down and encourage him to get off. He's not altogether surprised to notice that he's getting hard. Being this close to Dylan, moving this much--there's no real shock that his body is responding to it.

Dylan pulls back just when Mitch is starting to wonder if they're actually going to go any further. "We can keep out clothes on if you want," he offers. "It feels kind of gross if you come in your pants and, like, sit around in it, but if you're more comfortable that way, we can just shower right after."

"I have heard zero good things about coming in your pants," Mitch says very seriously. "I don't want my dick to dry to anything, Dyls. The pants can come off."

Dylan snorts. "Trust me when I say your dick isn't going to stick to your clothes," he says. "Not unless you, like, go to sleep without changing, which would be gross on a number of levels."

"Okay, well, my pants are coming off," Mitch says, rolling away and shimmying out of the rest of his clothes. "You can keep yours on if you like it that much."

"I mean, no," Dylan says, laughing as he pulls his pants and boxers off. "I'm not craving the feeling of coming in my pants or anything."

"Good," Mitch says. "Because I love you and I respect that there are probably sex things that you like but I won't, but I'm pretty sure that one would take some sort of award."

"It might," Dylan agrees, laying back down. "Good thing we don't have to find out."

Mitch grins and leans in to kiss him again, quick and soft. "I'm gonna ask you about the whole body placement thing for this again. Is it best how we were, on our sides?"

"It's best when we're touching, but other than that, there's really no way to tell what's going to be best for us," Dylan says, resting his palm on Mitch's hip but not pulling him in. "Everyone's got preferences. You might not like it with me over you, or you over me. On the other hand, you might prefer being on top of me, because it gives you a lot more control over how things go. Or we can stay on our sides."

"Why is sex a multiple-choice question?" Mitch wonders. "Every time I feel like I have an answer, more options appear."

Dylan snickers. "Aren't you glad we never had to take the SAT?"

"Mood killer," Mitch says immediately. "I can't believe you just brought up the SAT while we're in bed together."

"Clearly you're incredibly upset," Dylan says dryly, glancing down. Mitch's dick is still interested in what's going on, and he narrows his eyes at it. Traitor.

"Back to the sex," Mitch says, looking back at Dylan. "I have no idea how to make it good or whatever. You should be on top."

"It'll be good," Dylan starts, tone incredibly earnest.

Mitch puts his hand over Dylan's face. "Yes," he says patiently. "But why settle for good if we could maybe make it great?"

Dylan pulls Mitch's hand away and just looks at him for a second. "If you tell me we just have to give it 110% and try our hardest, I'm cancelling sex."

"Gotta get it in deep," Mitch says innocently, and Dylan groans when Mitch starts laughing.

"So you want me on top?" Dylan asks when Mitch's laughter dies down. "We can do it like we were before. That's good, I promise."

Mitch flops onto his back. "C'mon," he say, reaching his hand out to tap at Dylan's pec. "Show me how it's done."

"Well, with lube, preferably," Dylan says, rolling the other way. He comes back with one of the pump bottles that Mitch had gotten, and he squirts some directly onto Mitch's stomach. It's cold and a little gloppy, but Dylan tosses the bottle to the side and starts rubbing it around, and before long it's just… everywhere, Mitch decides. It's really the only word he can come up with; it's not good or bad, it's just all over the place.

"Okay," Dylan says when Mitch is apparently coated according to whatever standard Dylan had in mind. He sits back and takes his dick in hand, spreading lube on that, too, and then he puts his clean hand on the bed next to Mitch's hip. "Ready?"

"Ready," Mitch says, smiling at him.

Dylan shifts his weight and then swings his leg over Mitch, settling on his thighs. It's a little weird, mostly because this is the part of wrestling with a teammate where Mitch would try to buck them off, but Dylan just smiles down at him and braces himself so he can somehow hold his hips up and still lean in to kiss Mitch. "Tell me to stop if you want," he says, and then he moves again, and Mitch very suddenly gets the appeal of all the lube.

The first thing that he thinks is that yeah, it feels good, but it's also really, really weird to not be the one touching his own dick. It's not in a bad way, that's for sure, but it's new, the realisation that yeah, that's Dylan rolling his hips down, and that's Mitch's body responding to it. It's odd, and Mitch would be lying if it said it wasn't a little overwhelming, and he's not sure if he means that in a good way or a bad way. He bites his lip as Dylan shifts again, but the noise he was trying to keep in falls out anyway, a quick gasp of breath.

"Okay?" Dylan asks, slowing the movement of his hips.

"Yeah," Mitch says. "Only, uh."

Dylan stops entirely, sitting back. "What is it?" he asks, voice calm as he looks down at Mitch. "Do you need me to--"

"Just," Mitch says, reaching out and curling his hand around Dylan's hip. "Maybe you were right about me being on top."

"Okay," Dylan says instantly, sliding off of Mitch and laying down next to him. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Mitch replies, turning his head so he can give Dylan a small smile. "Just--it’s different."

"It is," Dylan says, reaching over and taking Mitch's hand. "We can stop."

Mitch considers it. He's not upset or panicking or anything like that; it had just been a little too much on the sensory overload, and he trusts Dylan, but maybe handing over the reins entirely the first time someone else ever touched his dick was going a little overboard. "Let's see how it is the other way," he decides. "I think it was just--no control, y'know?"

"That makes sense," Dylan agrees. "We can stay like this, too. Next to each other."

"Let me try it," Mitch says, determined. He shuffles closer to Dylan and leans in to peck him on the lips. "Tell me if I do it wrong."

"I'm pretty sure that as long as your teeth don't go near my dick, you're not doing it wrong," Dylan says, grinning as Mitch situates himself over Dylan.

"I'm not that flexible," Mitch says, rolling his eyes a little. "I think I'd have to go back in time and become a goalie instead if I wanted to attempt that."

"I would still love you even if you were a goalie," Dylan says, settling his hands lightly on Mitch's hips. "Even though that's a really terrifying concept."

"True love," Mitch croons.

"Absolutely," Dylan replies, and the smile he gives Mitch should be out of place here but it somehow isn't, spilling wide and sweet across his face. Mitch leans forward so he can press a kiss to Dylan's forehead, his cheekbone, his smile, and when he pulls back, Dylan looks flushed and happy beneath him.

"Wow, I love you," Mitch breathes out, and Dylan's smile gets even wider.

"Same," Dylan says. He squeezes lightly at Mitch's hips. "Hey. Want to table this, take a shower, and cuddle on the sofa?"

Mitch ducks back in to kiss him again. "That sounds great."

-0-

The next couple of weeks are full of the kind of revelations that the Mitch of two years ago would never have believed he'd figure out: rubbing off on Dylan is fine, but it takes Mitch long enough to get there that it's uncomfortable for Dylan by the end; Dylan enjoys rubbing off against Mitch and doesn't mind if Mitch sits back and jerks himself off after; having Dylan hold their dicks together while they both thrust into his grip is really, really enjoyable. It's probably Mitch's favourite thing so far, and he definitely knows himself well enough to know that it's because it requires them to be really close together, almost breathing the same air as they move. There's also pretty much no coordination required, which is good, because Mitch is learning that rhythm and pace in bed are things that happen to other people, not him.

Dylan is sort of settling more into the idea of sleeping together, too, which is great. He always leaves it to Mitch to initiate things, but he's started offering more suggestions, and he's easing back on asking if Mitch is sure about every single thing they try. It's going well, which is why Mitch is sort of confused at himself when he balks at one of Dylan's suggestions.

"We don't have to," Dylan says, grabbing at Mitch's elbow. "In fact, never mind. With you making that face, I don't think I'd want to even try."

"I just," Mitch says, shrugging a little helplessly. "I have no idea why, but that sounds…"

"You don't have to be into blowjobs," Dylan says firmly.

Mitch makes a face. "Isn't that, like, a thing, though? Everybody likes them."

"Uh, untrue," Dylan says. "There is literally no sex thing that everyone likes. There's also no sex thing that everyone who likes sex likes," he adds before Mitch can point out that yes, he knows ace people exist, thanks.

He sighs instead. "It's weird."

"So are blowjobs, when you think about it," Dylan says, shrugging and sitting on the bed. "You not wanting me to put my mouth on your dick isn't going to ruin sex for me."

"Or my mouth on your dick," Mitch feels compelled to add.

Dylan snorts. "Or that."

Mitch sighs again. "I have no idea why the idea of it weirds me out so much."

"You don't have to," Dylan says, reaching out for Mitch's hand and tugging him down onto the bed beside him. "You're allowed to not like things."

"I feel like I'm not getting the, like," Mitch says, gesturing vaguely. "Full sex experience, or something."

"We don't have a checklist," Dylan says, clearly a little amused. "We've been over our lack of a checklist, actually."

"Maybe once?" Mitch says, frowning a little. "Just so I can say--"

"No," Dylan says, voice quietly firm. "I'm not doing anything you're not completely into trying, Mitch."

Mitch leans into Dylan's side, wiggling until Dylan throws his arm across Mitch's shoulders. "I am curious about it," he says.

"Would you even get hard?" Dylan counters. "Or, like, is your oven unplugged when it comes to mouths on dicks?"

"You repeating 'mouths on dicks' isn't going to help me get there," Mitch says dryly.

Dylan shrugs a little, moving Mitch with him. "Then it sounds like something you don't really want to try. At least right now."

"I can change my mind later if I want," Mitch says, as much testing the words out as he is reminding Dylan.

"You can," Dylan confirms. "But, like, spoiler alert: if you keep making faces when I mention my mouth and your dick in the same sentence, I'm probably not gonna be into it."

It makes Mitch laugh, which was probably at least partially what Dylan was going for. "I'll keep that in mind."

"You'd better," Dylan says, smiling. "Hey, so. We still have a couple of hours until we're meeting the McNuggets for food. Do you want to go downstairs and hit the bikes for a little while, or do you want to take a nice, long shower?" He accompanies the second part with a ridiculous eyebrow waggle, as if Mitch didn't get the implication that he meant something involving shower lube.

"We can do both," Mitch says. "Half an hour on the bikes, then a shower. I can now say for sure that you don't need that long to finish."

Dylan starts laughing, squeezing Mitch to his side. "There are so many reasons you're my favourite," he says. "C'mon. Bikes, then we see how long I can last in the shower."

"Deal," Mitch says, smiling as he stands up.

-0-

"So," Connor says. Dylan's on the floor, having a staring contest with Connor's two-month-old, and Mitch is pretty sure that Lacie is winning. "How are you? How's your summer?"

"Good," Mitch says, giving Connor a smile. "How are the 'let's not have another lockout' negotiations going?"

Connor groans and thumps his head against the back of the couch, and Mitch has always known he was a drama queen, but it's always funny to get confirmation. "I just want to play hockey, you know?"

"Hey, Lacie," Dylan says, reaching out to poke her very gently in the side. "Did you know your dad just wants to play hockey? Remind me when you're older to show you a video. When we were younger, I was pretty sure it's all he knew how to do."

"Stop corrupting my daughter," Connor gripes.

Nuge laughs from the doorway to the kitchen, and Mitch watches as Connor's entire expression melts. "Sorry, sweetheart, but I remember draft-year-you. I wasn't sure you knew what a comb was, except maybe a super broken hockey stick."

"I couldn't comb my hair with a broken collarbone," Connor protests, but he's smiling.

"Good thing being helpless was a cute look for you," Nuge says, smiling right back.

Dylan groans and sits up, cuddling Lacie to his chest. "Not in front of the baby," he whines. "As far as she knows, you two have never once ever had sex. You've never even thought about it."

"We've definitely had less sex than you and Mitch, so that's very little sex in total," Connor says, nodding seriously, and Mitch chokes on air.

"Uh," Nuge says, glancing at Mitch before striding over and plucking Lacie out of Dylan's arms. "Have a nice talk! I'm gonna go make sure the food is… fooding."

"Fooding," Dylan echoes, watching as Nuge and Lacie retreat into the kitchen.

"Mitch?" Connor asks, voice impossibly gentle, and Mitch can feel his entire face flaming as he meets Connor's eyes. "Are you… is something…"

"Whatever you're thinking, stop thinking it," Mitch says. Can eyes blush? His eyes are possibly blushing, that's how embarrassed he is right now. "Please. For everyone's sake."

"Hey, Dylan, can you give us a few?" Connor asks, more steel in his voice as he moves closer to Mitch. He's putting himself between Mitch and Dylan, Mitch realises, and he's as grateful to Connor for being his friend as he is embarrassed by this whole situation.

"Davo," Dylan says, something honestly wounded in his voice, and this is--they're all going to have to talk it out, Mitch knows, but the damage control meter in Mitch's head is doing a quick triage, and cutting Connor off before his brain runs away with ideas is the first step in calming this whole situation down.

"Hey, babe," Mitch says, giving Dylan what he hopes is a soothing smile. "Go help Nuge for a few, yeah? Make sure he's not putting kale in foods kale doesn't belong in."

"Kale belongs in the garbage," Dylan grumbles as he gets up. He hesitates when he's standing, looking at Mitch.

Mitch smiles and holds his hand out. "Just a few minutes," he promises. "Let me talk with Connor."

Dylan takes Mitch's hand and squeezes it before letting go and backing out of the room. "Yell if you need me."

"I will," Mitch says, watching as he rounds the corner before turning to Connor. "You're gonna owe him an apology. I'm not mad and he won't be either, but still."

"Mitchy," Connor says, giving him the expression that Mitch has dubbed 'confused otter.' He really hopes Lacie inherited that one, genetics be damned.

"We're having sex," Mitch says bluntly. There's no use trying to beat around the bush; Connor has clearly already figured it out, and also, he's so very bad at picking up on context clues. "It was my idea. I had to talk Dylan into it."

"Uh," Connor says.

"We're working through stuff together," Mitch continues. "He's not pressuring me into anything. In fact, he's keeping me from doing things that I probably wouldn't be happy doing, because we both know that I'd make it a challenge to try everything anyway, just for the sake of trying it." This afternoon is ringing in his memory, Dylan firmly but gently shutting him down on the idea of oral, but letting him know they can revisit it later on if Mitch changes his mind.

Connor sighs a little, and Mitch is a little glad to notice that he's at least half as red as Mitch can tell he still is. "I don't know what I was thinking," he admits. "I know Dylan would never push you into it, but…"

"But you've known about my no sex thing for almost as long as Dylan has," Mitch translates, smiling a little. "I'm not mad, Connor. Your first instinct was to make sure I was okay, and there's no way I'm gonna be mad at you for that."

"I pretty much accused Dylan of…" Connor says, trailing off. The guilt is heavy in his voice.

"Apologise," Mitch says gently. "He's not mad. A little hurt, probably, but he loves you."

"I'm gonna buy him a whole ice cream cake," Connor mumbles, digging for his phone. "Maybe two."

"Maybe use your words first," Mitch suggests, biting back a laugh. "None of us needs to be packing on empty carbs, especially if we're not gonna be heading into preseason in six weeks like we normally do."

"A whale ice cream cake," Connor mutters. "Or a balloon. A hot-air balloon with a whale on it?"

"Hey, Connor?" Mitch asks, elbowing him a little.

"Yeah?" Connor asks, looking up from his phone.

Mitch leans into him, throwing his arm around Connor's shoulders. "Thank you," he says sincerely.

Connor wriggles a little, but he slings his arm around Mitch's waist and tugs him in so they're sideways hugging. "You like it now? Sex?" he asks quietly.

"It's not..." Mitch starts, pausing so he can try to gather his thoughts. "I'm never gonna be, like, 'oh yeah, I definitely want to have sex right now with no build-up!' But it's good, I promise."

"Okay," Connor mumbles into Mitch's hair. "As long as you're happy."

"This is why you're gonna be co-best-man when we get hitched in a million years," Mitch says. "You're the best, Davo."

Connor laughs a little. "Can you, uh. Can you switch with Dylan? I need to talk to him for sure."

"As long as you promise me you're not gonna buy a cake as soon as I leave the room," Mitch says, untangling their limbs and standing. He narrows his eyes. "In fact, give me your phone."

"Too late," Connor says, smile lighting across his face. "I found the whale one. I'm gonna go pick it up after we eat."

Mitch laughs and shakes his head. "I'll go get Dylan."

-0-

Dylan isn't actually mad, once the initial shock wears off, and he laughs hard enough at the whale cake that Mitch knows all is forgiven. It probably doesn't hurt that Nuge lets Dylan feed Lacie, tucked carefully into his arms as she sucks greedily at her bottle.

"That isn't exactly how I pictured that going," Dylan says when they're driving home. "Not that I really thought about telling Davo that we actually do have a sex life after we spent so long explaining that we didn't have one, but that's definitely not what I would have gone with."

"Sorry," Mitch says. He can feel the apples of his cheeks going red again. "I probably could've kept my cool a little better."

"Hey, no," Dylan protests. They pull to a stop at a light, and Dylan reaches over to squeeze Mitch's knee. "Sorry. That's not what I meant. I'm not upset."

"I'm mostly just embarrassed," Mitch admits. "I thought it was weird talking about not having sex, but wow, explaining that you actually are having it is way worse."

Dylan laughs. "I'm glad Connor freaked out a little," he admits. "Like, it sucks that he thought I might do anything like that? But he was all about protecting you, and I can't actually be mad at him for that."

"That's what I told him," Mitch says, smiling. "And hey, you got a whale cake out of it."

"A fail whale," Dylan says, laughing as the light turns green. "It was delicious."

"And you let Lacie smash icing on everything, so Davo has to do baby bath time," Mitch says. "I see your nefarious plan."

Dylan snorts. "As if he actually minds."

"I mean, no," Mitch agrees. Dylan pulls onto the on-ramp for the 401, and Mitch lets him merge in peace; there's no time of night when the 401 isn't some sort of nightmare. He also might be wondering, because the last time they talked about kids, Dylan hadn't seemed sure either way, but it's been a couple of years since they talked in detail. "Do you want that someday? Kids?"

"I mean," Dylan hedges. He doesn't look away from the road, and Mitch is pretty sure it's as much because he doesn't want to meet Mitch's eyes right now as it is because he's driving. "It's not like all the sex we're suddenly having is gonna make it happen."

"Obviously," Mitch says patiently. "For what it's worth, I think we'd be great dads, but if it's not something you want to do with, like, every part of yourself? I think we'd be great, just the two of us, too."

Dylan does shoot him a quick look at that, but he looks back at the road before Mitch can tell him to watch where he's going. "I didn't think I did," he says after a moment. "But then Connor and Nuge had Lacie, and every time we see them, I think about how it could be us."

"Is that a good thought?" Mitch asks when Dylan goes quiet.

"I think it is," Dylan says, soft. "I don't want to say absolutely yes, and I definitely still don't want to do anything until we retire, but… I think I want to talk about it then."

Mitch knows he's beaming and he doesn't even try to stop himself. "Okay," he says. "We'll table it until then."

"But, like, if this is a roundabout way of you asking me if I have some kind of pregnancy kink...'" Dylan says, and Mitch has no idea if he's being serious or just trying to lighten the mood, but he snorts anyway.

"I mean, it wasn't," he replies. "But now I'm gonna need you to answer that question for me."

"Nope," Dylan says cheerily. "But if that's something you want to try out, I mean, I'm not completely against it."

"Let's table that, too," Mitch says, laughing. "I'll let you know if I change my mind, though."

"I'll be waiting," Dylan says, signalling for their exit.

The rest of the drive is quiet; it's not actually late, because Connor and Nuge's baby schedule means that they start getting ready for bed at, like, seven o'clock now, but the sun is in the last stages of setting when Dylan pulls into their parking lot. Mitch gets their dishes out of the back while Dylan stretches, and the walk back up to their condo is comfortable, easy. They work together to put everything back where it belongs, and then Dylan takes Mitch's hand and pulls him in, kissing him sweet and sure.

"Hey," Mitch says, smiling up at him. "What are you thinking?"

"That I'm about to suggest something else you might not be into," Dylan says. "And that maybe I should save it, because today has been… kind of a lot. Ups and downs, you know? And we could just, like, go to sleep. Or watch a movie first, because it's ridiculously early to go to sleep if you don't have an actual baby-shaped reason to do it, or--"

"Babe," Mitch cuts in. "You're doing the media rambling thing."

Dylan blinks at him, then shakes his head and smiles a little. "Okay, well. First things first, I guess: do you have something you want to do tonight? Movie? Video games? Look at cute dogs on the internet?"

"Dog Rates will still be there in the morning," Mitch says. "I have a chel date with Matts tomorrow, so I want to save all my ass-kicking for that. We can mess around if you want, Dyls."

"You can say no," Dylan starts.

Mitch smiles. "Not if you don't ask me for whatever it is that you want."

"Right," Dylan says. He ducks down to press a kiss against Mitch's mouth. "Bedroom? And I'll ask."

"Okay," Mitch says, pulling back and gesturing down the hall. "I'm ready when you are."

-0-

Sex is, Mitch has found, messy and ridiculous and undignified in pretty much every form, but this…

Dylan is on his back in the middle of the bed, towel spread out beneath him as he reaches his hand towards Mitch. Mitch obediently pumps more lube into Dylan's palm, and Dylan doesn't waste any time, smearing it between his legs as his breath comes out on a shuddering sigh. His thigh shifts towards Mitch a little, making more space, and Mitch isn't in a position to see, but he can tell by the look on Dylan's face that he pushed his fingers back into himself.

"Tell me," Mitch says, then clears his throat a little when it comes out more like a croak than actual words. "Tell me what it's like, Dyls."

"It's good," Dylan murmurs. "It's like… I like this, and my body knows what usually comes after this, right? So it's good on its own, but--" He cuts off to breathe in sharply, closing his eyes as he arches a little. "It's good," he says shakily after a moment. "And I know it's gonna be even better."

Mitch makes himself tear his eyes away from Dylan's face to glance down. The toy Dylan had pulled out of the drawer is tucked under Mitch's thigh; it's hard silicone, reasonably sized, and the brightest red that Mitch has seen outside of a box of markers. He's trying to warm it up a little, maybe, or maybe he's just trying to get used to the almost-slippery feel of it before he uses it on Dylan.

"I," Mitch starts, but when he looks back up and takes in the image Dylan is presenting, he loses his train of thought. Dylan is a mess, sweaty and pretty much covered in lube everywhere that Mitch can see, but he's biting his lip and moving his hips, the fingers of his left hand flexing against his stomach, and it's not like Mitch has never felt sexual arousal in his life, but he's sure as hell never felt it like he does right now. He can't imagine feeling this turned on without this kind of buildup, but that's kind of the point, he figures. Dylan's working with him for the express purpose of this kind of buildup, and it's absolutely going as planned.

"You okay over there?" Dylan asks. There's a note of strain in his voice, and when Mitch snaps his gaze up to meet Dylan's eyes, he looks more than a little wild.

"I'm good," Mitch says, reaching out to lay his hand on Dylan's thigh. "Keep going. I'm just watching."

"God," Dylan groans, long and drawn out. "That's--it's so hot. That you want to watch me do this."

Mitch laughs a little. "Are you gonna come before I get to use this thing?" he asks, and it's not until the words are out of his mouth that he realises how they could be taken, how dirty they probably sound. Dylan groans again and Mitch rubs the pad of his thumb against Dylan's thigh, up and down and back again, drawing something that Mitch can really only describe as a whine out of Dylan's mouth.

"I'm not gonna lie to you, babe," Dylan says. His chest is heaving a little as he moves his hand steadily between his legs. "This is probably not gonna be my best performance, stamina-wise."

"I don't get why it's supposed to be, like, super great when it takes you longer to come," Mitch says, eyes drifting back down Dylan's chest. "Like, most of the point of sex is to get to the orgasms, right? So why are people so thrilled with themselves when they take forever to come?"

"Pride," Dylan supplies. "And, like. We can totally talk about that, but…" He laughs and Mitch can hear it, the sloppy, wet sound of Dylan fingering himself, the way he's breathing raggedly. "Maybe later?"

"Later sounds good," Mitch agrees. He glances up again. "Hey, uh. Question."

"You are full of those," Dylan says, and his laugh sounds a little breathless now.

"Can I?" he asks, tapping at Dyan's thigh. "I mean. Would that be good? My fingers instead of yours?"

Dylan goes almost completely still. "Really?"

"Really really," Mitch confirms, giving Dylan a smile. "I want to make you feel good. I like doing that."

Dylan just stares at him for a moment, but then he's moving all over, pulling his fingers out of himself and propping himself up on his clean hand and leaning over to kiss Mitch, a little frantic, a lot messy. "Yeah, okay," he says against Mitch's lips. "If you want to, then hell yeah, I'm here for it."

"Oh, good," Mitch says. He waits for Dylan to lay back down, but he stays where he is, their bodies pressed right up against each other. Mitch rolls his eyes a little and plants his hand in the middle of Dylan's chest, shoving him over, grinning when Dylan lets out a surprised-sounding laugh as he hits the bed.

"Lube," Dylan directs as Mitch repositions himself between Dylan's spread thighs. "Squirt some in your palm and then rub it all over your fingers. More lube is pretty much always better."

"Got it," Mitch says, pumping lube into his hand and doing as Dylan had said. The lube is a little cold, so he rubs his fingers against his palm until it warms up, then looks up at Dylan. "Do I just… go for it?"

"Yeah, more or less," Dylan says, shrugging a little. "You don't have to be careful at this point. If we were just starting, it's better to go slow, but I'm good to go by now."

Mitch stops. "Wait, then should I just use the toy?"

"You can," Dylan says. "We can keep going with fingers, though. It's not like fingers stop being fun the exact second you're relaxed enough to move on."

"Okay," Mitch says, nodding a little. "How many? One? Two? All of them?"

"Not all of them, god," Dylan says, laughing and throwing his arm over his head. "Start with two. We can go to three pretty quickly, probably, but it's better to work your way up than to--oh," he gasps, and Mitch grins a little. He's barely inside Dylan at all, but clearly Dylan hadn't been expecting Mitch to just go for it.

"Tell me how it is," Mitch murmurs as he pushes harder, sliding his fingers into Dylan. It's not like there's absolutely no resistance, but Mitch was sort of expecting it to be a little tighter, a little harder to move in and out. Instead, the slide is smooth and easy, Dylan's body opening up for him like it would never dream of doing anything different.

"I'm really not sure what to tell you," Dylan says, sounding a little choked. "This is… this is great, babe, shit. A little faster?"

Mitch complies, trying his best to set a rhythm. It's a lot easier when he's not trying to fumble his way towards his own orgasm; it's second nature to ignore how his body takes interest in the way Dylan looks right now so he can focus on making more of those half-choked-back little noises fall from Dylan's mouth. He speeds up his pace, trying to figure out what works best for Dylan as he moves his fingers, bending them incrementally and changing the angle until Dylan lets out a little whine and arches his back, pushing himself down onto Mitch's fingers.

"You can," Dylan says, taking a shuddery breath. "You can do three. Please do three."

"I've got you," Mitch says, somehow pretty sure he's telling the truth as he pulls his fingers out and reaches for the lube again. He maybe pushes back into Dylan with three fingers before the lube warms up as much as it had last time, but Dylan sure as hell isn't complaining. His dick is leaking at the tip, jerking against his stomach as he moves with Mitch, and as Mitch watches, he runs one hand up his chest to play with a nipple and the other down to play with his dick.

"Curl your fingers a little," Dylan says, and then, "a little more, Mitch, please," and then he's moaning unintelligibly, rocking back onto Mitch's fingers and up into the fist he has curled around his dick.

"Holy shit," Mitch breathes out, twisting his fingers a little as he draws back. He's definitely hard, sure, but more than that he feels kind of laid bare, watching Dylan fall apart because of how Mitch is touching him, how he's making Dylan feel. It's a vulnerable, powerful kind of thing, and Mitch lets himself just feel whatever he's feeling. Figuring it out is definitely a job for Future Mitch.

"Can you," Dylan says, and he lets go of his dick to reach down and grab Mitch's wrist gently. "Pull out?"

"Yeah, sure, no problem," Mitch says, sliding his fingers out as gently as he can. "Are you okay? Did I--"

"You're perfect," Dylan says, and his eyes are a little unfocused and his smile is a little too wide, but he's gorgeous and wonderful and Mitch's favourite person ever. "I just--if you want to use the dildo, now's your chance. I'm getting pretty close."

"Oh," Mitch says, glancing to where he'd left it. The bright red dildo is a stark enough difference from their navy blue sheets that Mitch isn't sure how he ever lost track of it, but then again, sex is just one more way that he can lose himself in how much he loves Dylan, so maybe it's not that much of a surprise after all. He looks back up at Dylan. "Do you want me to?"

"If you want," Dylan repeats. "Trust me when I say that I'm gonna get there either way, and I will not be sad if you want to save toys for another time."

Mitch bites his bottom lip a little. "I want to do both," he says after a moment, laughing at himself a little. "I guess I'll--"

"We, uh," Dylan says. He already has Mitch's attention, but he suddenly draws more of it, somehow. "It takes me a little while to get hard again, but if you want to do both, uh. I'm not against that."

Mitch is speechless for a moment. His jaw hasn't dropped, but he feels like if he tries to say much, he'll end up just blabbering. He gets himself together enough to huff after a minute. "I thought you said porn things weren't real!"

"No, I said that porn wasn't a good place to look for sex tips," Dylan says, clearly amused. "And I'm not gonna come, like, five times. I can get it up twice in one night, but that's my limit, and I can only get there if I'm super into it."

Being on the other side of the faceoff dot from each other for so long means that neither one of them reaches for unwarranted flattery; still, Mitch feels his cheeks go a little red. Redder, probably. "Yeah?"

"I'm feeling it tonight," Dylan says, moving his hips a little. "You wanna keep going?"

"Hell yeah," Mitch says, leaning up and pressing a kiss to Dylan's lips. "I want to make this so good for you."

"It already is," Dylan says, eyes crinkling as he smiles. "Go for it, though. I'm not complaining."

"If you need me to stop, just let me know," Mitch says, grabbing for the lube again. He's starting to understand why Dylan felt the need to keep checking in with him. Being responsible for the happiness of someone who's trusting you so completely is… a lot. He likes it, he does, but he's also glad that Dylan smiles and nods as he spreads his legs just a little bit farther apart.

Mitch takes his time warming the lube up; it's at least a little fun to watch Dylan get impatient, to see him try to keep from squirming but fail utterly and entirely. He's pretty sure by this point that he would really enjoy teasing Dylan in bed, but that's definitely something he wants to talk through very thoroughly before they attempt it, so he puts it to the back of his mind and reaches his hand back between Dylan's legs. This is more than enough for tonight, anyway.

Dylan sighs a little when Mitch pushes his fingers back in. His dick is still hard against his stomach, and it jerks a little when Mitch curls his fingers to press against Dylan's prostate. Dylan makes a sound and curls his fingers into the blanket, so Mitch moves his fingers in tiny little thrusting motions, watching as Dylan's breathing grows more and more ragged, as he tilts his head back, as he starts grinding back down onto Mitch's fingers.

It takes a little while for Dylan to get back to where he'd been when he stopped Mitch before, but when he reaches for his dick, Mitch grabs his hand. "Uh," he says. "I can't promise it'll be the most coordinated thing you've ever experienced, but can I?" He hesitates a little before barreling on. "I just want to make it good for you."

"It's so, so good," Dylan says immediately. "But if you want to, babe, then yeah. I'm probably never going to not want you to touch me."

Mitch really wants to kiss him again, but the thing about having his fingers buried in Dylan is that it pretty much ties Mitch in place. He settles for a smile and a curl of his fingers, and then he wraps his fingers around Dylan's dick and squeezes a little. Dylan gasps and thrusts into his hand, and it's way, way easier than Mitch thought it would be to find a rhythm from there, moving his fingers in and out and moving his hand on Dylan in tandem, a steady push-pull that appears to really, really be working for Dylan, if the way he's moaning and moving with Mitch is anything to go by.

"You," Dylan gasps out when Mitch swipes his thumb across the tip of Dylan's dick. "God, Mitch. You're so incredible." His voice sounds wrecked, low and breathless, and Mitch has been in love with him for a long, long time now, but he's still finding new things about Dylan to fall for.

"You're pretty much the best thing in the world," Mitch says. His voice isn't the steadiest it's ever been, either. "I'm just--I'm really glad I love you. You're amazing."

Dylan whimpers and closes his eyes, and Mitch acts on a hunch and speeds up with both hands, pushing into Dylan and jerking him off at an almost frantic pace. Dylan shouts and flexes his shoulders, arching his back hard enough to lift off the sheets a little, and when Mitch squeezes his dick, he thrusts up hard and comes and comes.

"Holy," Mitch breathes out, still moving his fingers inside Dylan. "Oh my god."

Dylan whines but doesn't say much, reaching down to bat weakly at the hand Mitch still has on his dick. Mitch lets go instantly, patting Dylan's thigh in apology; he's very much not a fan of anything touching his dick after he's come, but watching Dylan lose himself like that had sort of made him forget that it gets uncomfortable fast.

"Wow," Dylan says after a minute, voice quiet. "Kiss me?"

"Yeah, let me just," Mitch says, pulling his fingers out gently. He wishes he'd thought to set a damp washcloth on the bed, or maybe bring in those body wipes from the unicorn vibrator incident, but he settles for bracing his dirty hand on the towel beneath Dylan and leaning in to kiss him. Dylan gets a hand around his neck and pulls him down, kissing him slow and breathless. Mitch has absolutely no issue going with Dylan's lead on that.

"Question," Dylan says, pulling back and looking at Mitch. "You can say no, and you don't have to answer me either way right now if you're sure."

"Okay," Mitch answers when Dylan pauses, clearly waiting for confirmation before he goes on.

"Would you be interested in fucking me?" Dylan asks. "Not necessarily tonight, but at some point?"

"Uh," Mitch says, blinking down at him. "That… sounds like something I could do, yeah."

Dylan frowns a little. "You don't sound excited about the thought."

"No, it's just," Mitch says, laughing a little. "I'm not sure how well it would go? I'm guessing it would be over super fast. Maybe I do get why people are excited about stamina."

Dylan laughs, open and fond. "I'm not asking you to do me for days," he says. "If you come as soon as you get in me, that's totally fine."

Mitch sits back and pats the bed, waiting as Dylan props himself up and shimmies back so they're next to each other, leaning back against the headboard. He brings the towel with him, and Mitch bites his lip so he doesn't laugh. He's glad that Dylan thought of it, but it's definitely a sight to see. "I guess I don't get why you'd want to if it would be over so quickly," he says when Dylan settles. "I'm serious, babe. It might literally happen halfway in."

Dylan shrugs a little. "I'm pretty sure you've discovered this by now, but just in case you think it's just you: sex can be about a lot more than the physical parts of it," he says quietly. "If you wanted to, if you were interested in it? That's what it would be about for me, even if you shot off with just the tip in. You'd want to do me like that, and that would be enough. I don't have to get off from it to enjoy it happening. I've got two working hands and a lot of practice jerking off while I'm thinking about how amazing you are."

It's simultaneously the sweetest and the dirtiest thing Mitch has ever heard Dylan say, and it makes him shiver a little. He considers the thought; somehow, he'd never really actively connected having sex with Dylan to the act of getting his dick inside Dylan. He's not against the idea, not at all, and when he closes his eyes to picture it, he's suddenly very, very aware of how hard he is.

"I want to," he says, quiet but sure. "I, uh." He opens his eyes and meets Dylan's started gaze. "Would you want to now? Or, like, when you get hard again, instead of the toy?"

"Shit, really?" Dylan asks. "I--hell yeah, if you're into it."

"I'm into you," Mitch says honestly. Then he snorts and waggles his eyebrows. "And you want me to get into you."

Dylan blinks at him, then throws his head back and starts laughing. "I love you so fucking much," he wheezes. "That might honestly be the best thing anyone has ever said to me during sex, holy shit."

"I didn't get into sex to be second-best at it," Mitch says, making a face like he's offended. "I might have to bow out now, though. I don't know if I'll be able to top that."

"Fuck me first?" Dylan asks, batting his eyelashes. "Unless your incredible wit has killed your boner."

Mitch gives Dylan the most deadpan look he can manage, looks into his own lap, then looks back at Dylan. "I guess I can manage that," he says dryly. "Uh. Is there… what's the play here?"

"Condom," Dylan says. He rolls over and pulls open the bedstand drawer, rummaging inside for a little while before emerging with a foil package in his hand. "I thought I had a few in here. Awesome."

"Were you secretly hoping this whole time, or... " Mitch asks, raising an eyebrow.

Dylan laughs a little. "Nah," he says easily. "It makes cleanup a lot easier if you wrap it up, and sometimes I'd rather make it fast." He tosses the package at Mitch. "You, uh. Ever done that before?"

"Cucumbers in health class," Mitch says, shrugging as he picks it up. "I'm guessing it's a little different when you do it yourself."

"It is," Dylan agrees. "Mostly it's just more slippery, though. The concept is the same."

"I can handle it," Mitch says, feeling pretty confident for a guy who hasn't handled a condom in well over a decade.

"It's easier if you're all the way hard," Dylan adds. "But not, like, super close. Then it gets tricky."

"The condom sweet spot," Mitch says, nodding and struggling not to laugh. "Think I'm in the right frame of mind, or should I do a little more prep work here?"

Dylan grins. "Or I could lend an assist," he says, plucking the condom back out of Mitch's hand. "I've got plenty of practice with condoms."

Mitch inhales sharply. "That's, uh. Probably not gonna help me last."

"Are you gonna come when I put it on you?" Dylan asks, and there's no judgement in his voice, nothing suggesting that he'd be disappointed if that was the outcome.

"Probably not," Mitch says after a moment. "But I'm guessing it'll get me closer."

Dylan leans in to kiss him quickly. "I'm fine with that if you are."

Mitch's laugh is a little shaky, but it's real. "Go for it, I guess."

"Okay," Dylan says, smiling. "Here goes."

Mitch watches as he tears the condom packet open; there's nothing sexy about it at all, but Mitch still feels something in his chest jump when Dylan reaches down, condom in hand, towards Mitch's dick. Mitch gasps when Dylan wraps his fingers around the base, holding it in place as he rolls the condom down.

"Okay," Dylan says, letting go. "At least it was quick?"

"Quicker than me trying to figure it out," Mitch agrees. It's definitely weird to see the little bubble at the end of a condom on his own dick, but Mitch figures that'll pass. He grabs the lube and pumps it a couple of times, getting what he's sure is far more lube than he actually needs and spreading it on his dick. "So do I just…"

Dylan laughs. "Here," he says, laying down again and rolling onto his side. He hikes one of his legs up, and Mitch slides down beside him, pressing forward until his hips meet Dylan's. His dick is nestled against the small of Dylan's back, and he takes a second to just breathe.

"Whenever you're ready," Dylan says, and it's more gentle than it is impatient, which Mitch takes as a pretty big compliment. "Go slow, okay?"

"Do you need my fingers again?" Mitch asks, pulling back a little.

"No," Dylan says. "Just go slow. It'll be fine."

Mitch nods and presses a kiss to the back of Dylan's neck. "Okay, here goes nothing," he says. Porn might be mostly useless, but at least he knows that it's acceptable to grab his dick to help him position it; he's pretty sure he'd just try to stab forward with it without someone putting the idea in his head, and everything is already a sloppy, lubed-up mess. He doesn't need his first attempt at fucking someone to end up with him spearing Dylan in the balls with his dick or whatever.

"Yeah," Dylan sighs out when Mitch pushes firmly against him. It takes a little more force than he thought it would to push into Dylan, but he doesn't come the second he gets inside, which is at least a little relieving. "Like that. Go slow, babe, it's good."

"Yeah," Mitch echoes, pressing another kiss to the back of Dylan's neck. He doesn't really have a frame of reference for how it feels; there's pressure, and Dylan's warm around him, and his dick is very, very pleased about its change in scenery. He's definitely not going to last too long, but he gets what Dylan was saying before: it's not necessarily about getting off, or at least, not entirely. It's about the intimacy, the way he can feel Dylan breathing, the physical, tangible proof of how much Dylan trusts him and loves him. The emotional intensity is doing it for him at least as much as the actual sex, and he takes another deep breath as he slowly pushes deeper.

"Babe," Dylan says, reaching back to hold Mitch's hip. "That's--wow. God, that's so good."

Mitch laughs a little. "I'm glad," he says, voice strained. "It's definitely wow back here. This is… something else."

"You good?" Dylan asks, thumb brushing against Mitch's hip. "If you need to pull out, then pull out."

"No, I'm good," Mitch says, but he draws back a little so he can push back in, keeping his pace slow. "It's good for you?"

Dylan laughs a little and grabs Mitch's hand, drawing it down to his dick, and--yeah, something about this is doing it for Dylan, that's for sure. Mitch definitely isn't coordinated enough right now to manage fucking carefully into Dylan while also jerking him off, but assuming this goes well enough, he can set that as a goal for next time.

"Don't worry about it," Dylan says, pulling Mitch's hand away like he's reading Mitch's mind or something. He laces their fingers together and rests them back on his hip. "I can jerk off after you finish. Go ahead and move, babe, whatever feels good."

"You said to go slow," Mitch says. His hips are already moving a little faster, but he's trying to not speed up too much. "I don't want to hurt you."

"You won't," Dylan assures him. "It's good to start slow, but once we're both warmed up enough, fast is fine. Better than fine." He pushes back into Mitch's next thrust, and--yeah, okay. Mitch tightens his grip on Dylan's hip and lets his hips move how they want, chasing the feeling pooling in his gut, leaning so his forehead rests against the back of Dylan's head.

"Oh," Mitch says, closing his eyes when he feels Dylan tighten around him. "Shit. If you keep doing that, this is gonna end a lot quicker, and it already wasn't gonna be much longer."

Dylan laughs a little and does it again. "Go ahead, babe," he says. "Do what feels good."

"Not a problem," Mitch mutters, which makes Dylan laugh again, but Mitch picks up the pace even more and it makes Dylan's laughter fall into a drawn-out groan as he cants his hips back to meet Mitch thrust for thrust. It really doesn't take much longer; Mitch pushes in hard a few more times and then stays buried deep as his body jerks through his orgasm, his eyes squeezed shut, breathing hard.

It's entirely possible that he's never felt anything this intensely in his entire life, and the tremors keep rolling through him for a while after his actual orgasm ends. He stays spooned up behind Dylan even though it gets uncomfortable kind of quickly, the way he can still feel Dylan clenching around him sporadically even as he's getting oversensitive, the feeling of the condom close against his skin. He's not sure he wants to move away just yet, but Dylan hums after a moment and gently disentangles them, flipping over to face Mitch. "Babe?"

"I," Mitch starts, but he's not sure what else to say.

"It was a lot, huh," Dylan says. He reaches out and puts a hand on Mitch's side, and it helps him settle, helps him centre himself almost immediately. "Wanna cuddle?"

Mitch laughs, still a little shaky. "I want to not be wearing the condom anymore, I think," he says.

"Yeah, good call," Dylan says, grinning at him. "You want to take care of that, or should I?"

Mitch has the sudden mental image of Dylan dropping the condom and jizz spilling everywhere and making a gross spot in the bed, and he can feel himself pulling a face. "I've got it."

Dylan nods and leans back, and Mitch takes the condom off with more care than is probably actually necessary; he gets it into the garbage without any leaks, though, so he's gonna stick with his method. When he settles back on the bed, Dylan scoots down so he can rest his head on Mitch's shoulder and fling an arm across his waist, holding him close.

"Thoughts?" he asks, pressing a quick kiss to Mitch's shoulder. "I'm pretty sure you were enjoying it while it was happening, but I lost you a little at the end there."

"I'm okay," Mitch says, threading his fingers through Dylan's hair. "It was… a lot, yeah. Not in a bad way, but I definitely wasn't expecting it."

"It's like that sometimes," Dylan says. "When it's a lot on the physical side and the emotional side all at once, it can be sort of overwhelming. I didn't even think to warn you about it."

"I'm not sure you could have warned me," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "I'm not upset, Dyls. I'm fine, I swear. I just needed a minute."

"And a cuddle," Dylan says, scooting closer.

"And a cuddle," Mitch agrees, smiling. "But, uh. Assuming my freak-out hasn't entirely killed your boner…"

Dylan snorts. "My boner is a renewable resource."

It makes Mitch laugh, turning his face into Dylan's hair so he can feel it as much as hear it. "I wasn't expecting you to compare boners to, like, solar power. Especially not while we were actually having sex."

"I'm just that good," Dylan says, and Mitch can tell he's only just holding back a laugh. "Going back to what you were saying, though--or, like, what I assume you were getting around to--we can totally be done. You never owe me an orgasm, not ever."

"I kind of want to see what it's like to use the toy," Mitch says, shrugging a little. "But it can be a different day."

Dylan hums a little. "I don't want to make that choice for you, not unless you need me to," he says. "If you want to do it tonight, then I'm in. If you've had enough, then we'll put it off. I know you pretty well, but you still know you better."

Mitch presses a kiss to Dylan's hair. "I love you," he says.

"I love you right back," Dylan says, and Mitch smiles, remembers the argument about who loved who more when they were seventeen and about to be drafted and still stumbling through all the feelings they kept having, the compromise of just agreeing that they loved each other and not worrying about measurements.

"Let's keep going," Mitch says, sitting up. "And then we should shower and sleep."

Dylan laughs a little. "Not to be super gross about it, but if I come again, I'm not making it through a shower. I'll settle for a washcloth bath."

Mitch knows the look on his face is probably horrified. "You're half-lube at this point, Dyls."

"I'm gonna be all Jello," Dylan shoots back. "And sleepy."

"Sex is gross," Mitch announces, and Dylan laughs again as he rolls back towards the bedstand. He returns with another condom, tossing it at Mitch.

"For the dildo," he says when Mitch raises an eyebrow. "Easier cleanup doesn't just mean catching jizz, even though that's a super bonus of condoms."

"Huh," Mitch says, grabbing the dildo and rolling the condom onto it. He's definitely not as quick as Dylan was with it, but it doesn't go horribly wrong, so that's good. "Makes sense."

"And I know I'm already covered in lube," Dylan goes on, "but lube it up. We have to get through all the lube you bought at some point."

"Keep making fun of my lube purchase and I will sneak the unicorn vibrator into bed with us," Mitch says sweetly even as he follows Dylan's directions. "I'll plug it in and put it under your pillow."

"Please don't," Dylan says. "I love lube. Lube is great."

"Lube is awesome," Mitch agrees, tapping Dylan on the thigh with his lube-sticky hand. Whatever; Dylan's already a gross mess, and Mitch is definitely changing the sheets tomorrow no matter how well Dylan towels himself off. "Do you want it like this? On your back?"

"It'll be easier on my side," Dylan says, rolling away from Mitch and pulling his leg up, just like he had before. "Or on my stomach, but I'm not feeling that tonight."

"Too sensitive?" Mitch asks, scooting down beside him. "From before?"

"Nah, not anymore," Dylan says. "A more general 'not into it tonight,' I guess. I'd just rather do it like this."

"Whatever you want," Mitch says, putting his hand on Dylan's hip. "Any special instructions? Other than start slow."

"Not really," Dylan replies. "It's not like I have to remind you to listen to me if I say something, so I think we're ready to go here."

"Okay," Mitch says, squeezing Dylan's hip lightly before moving his hand down across Dylan's ass. He's sticky and slippery everywhere, which shouldn't be possible but somehow is; lube is apparently a miracle of modern science or something, Mitch thinks absently as he lines the dildo up and pushes it slowly into Dylan's body.

Mitch's main thought is that it's strange, watching the dildo slip into Dylan. There's definitely no mistaking it for an actual dick; even beside the fact that it's not attached to a person, the color is ridiculous, contrasting with Dylan's flushed skin, a constant reminder that it's something different and other pressing into him.

"Thrust with it," Dylan says, voice a little unsteady. Mitch has been hearing that tone of voice for years, but he's only now coming to know that it's Dylan's turned-on voice, how he sounds when he's trying not to lose himself in how he feels.

Mitch would love to see what it's like when Dylan does let go and lose himself, actually.

He pulls the dildo out and pushes it back in smoothly, trying to change the angle as he does it again and again. He theoretically knows what he's looking for, but he also knows that his chances of finding Dylan's prostate with any repeated accuracy when he's not actually the one inside him is pretty low.

"Oh," Dylan says, startled and low, and Mitch tries to recreate what he'd done as Dylan starts moving with him. "Yeah, yeah, babe, that's good, like that."

"Faster?" Mitch asks, leaning over so he can press a kiss to Dylan's side. It's a little awkward and silly, kissing his ribs, but that's where he can reach, so that's what he does.

"Faster," Dylan says, reaching for his dick. "Please, faster, yeah."

"Okay," Mitch murmurs, moving the dildo a little faster, a little harder. He's got a firm grip on the base, and he's glad that it's got giant bright red balls at the end, because as ridiculous as they look, it's a good handhold. The dildo is slipping in and out of Dylan easily, and Mitch doesn't want to have to add 'worrying about losing a bright red dildo in Dylan's ass' to his mental list of sex concerns.

"God, that's," Dylan gasps out, moving between the dildo and his hand, taking what he wants as much as Mitch is giving it to him. "I'm so close."

"Tell me what you need," Mitch urges, shifting closer.

"Just," Dylan says, more a whine than anything else. "Keep--keep going. More."

"More," Mitch echoes, but he doesn't need to ask for clarification, not really. He speeds his movements up, fucking Dylan hard and fast with the dildo, now more focused on the way Dylan's moving his hand on his dick than the way the dildo is moving inside Dylan. "Is that good? Do you need more, Dylan?"

Dylan makes a high, caught-sounding noise in the back of his throat and thrusts into his hand, and Mitch doesn't stop, keeps fucking him with the dildo even when Dylan's back flexes, when the jerk of his hips goes erratic and short, when the muscles in his arm tense and still. He keeps going until Dylan relaxes, almost melting into the mattress.

"Okay, enough," Dylan manages, and Mitch stops.

"Let me pull it out," Mitch says, but Dylan makes a noise and moves before Mitch can do it, falling onto his back before dragging Mitch down to kiss him, sloppy and sated.

"Mitch," Dylan breathes out, maybe half an inch between them, and there's something almost reverent in his voice.

Mitch hums and leans back in to press a chaste kiss against Dylan's lips. "Now we're both all gross," he says, smiling when Dylan laughs and pulls him even closer.

-0-

It's kind of crazy how quickly sex slots into a semi-regular place in Mitch's life. Sure, he programs a reminder in his phone every few nights so it doesn't slip his mind and therefore stop happening entirely, but for something he pictured never happening for him at all, it's surprisingly easy to make it a routine part of his life.

It's nice to have a new kind of routine, because some of his old ones get shoved out the window pretty abruptly as July melts into August. Mitch was expecting the news to break eventually, but he's surprised at how fast it comes, all in all. Connor calls a full month before training camp should have started: there's no agreement between the players' association and the league, and there's going to be another lockout.

"Well," Dylan says after Connor hangs up, presumably to move down his list of people he wants to notify personally. "That sucks."

"Yeah," Mitch says gloomily. "I mean, on the bright side, we're not rookies, so they can't make us go play for the AHL. We can go to Europe, I guess."

Dylan's eyes light up. "We can go to Europe together," he says excitedly. "We can… holy shit, babe, we can play together until the NHL fixes its shit."

"So forever, then," Mitch says, laughing when Dylan rolls his eyes. "But we should totally do that. Get our agents to find us contracts on the same team, find a place in, I don't know, Sweden…"

"Definitely Sweden," Dylan says, smiling as he unlocks his phone. "I'm texting my agent. Tell yours it's time to phone tree with mine so we can make it happen."

Mitch laughs. "What, have you never had sex in Sweden before? I'd be just as happy in Switzerland."

Dylan's still smiling down at his phone. "I mean, there's a lot of stuff I've never done in Sweden. I hear the skiing's nice."

"We've never played there before, so I guess that's another thing," Mitch says, nodding.

"I've never," Dylan says, then clears his throat, and that's when Mitch clues in that Dylan's actually going somewhere with this. "Never gotten married in Sweden before, either."

"You," Mitch says. He looks carefully at Dylan, but Dylan's still looking at his phone, like he hadn't just dropped one hell of a bombshell there. "Dyls?"

"I just," Dylan says, and he finally puts his phone down and looks up at Mitch. "I love you."

"And I love you," Mitch says, reaching out. Dylan takes his hand without hesitating. "And you have always said that you wanted to wait until after we retired."

"I don't want to wait anymore," Dylan says simply. "I mean, if you still want to, then I'll wait for you. But it's legal in Sweden, and we're less likely to get outed by someone recognising us. We'd just be two Canadians there on work visas as far as the government knows."

"Married," Mitch says, smiling slowly. "We'd have to figure out how to get our families there."

"Family vacation," Dylan says instantly. "Christmas, maybe. How would you feel about a Christmas wedding?"

Mitch laughs, a little shaky. "You're sure? You want to do this now?"

"I'm sure about you," Dylan says, smiling and squeezing Mitch's hand. "And whether we do it now or we wait and do it after we're done playing… well, I'm sure."

"And if we're already in Sweden, it'll be easy to, like, take a quick weekend honeymoon to Switzerland," Mitch adds. "So we can put two new countries on the 'places we've had sex' list."

Dylan smiles at him, wide and happy. "We're doing this?"

Mitch leans in to kiss him, quick and sure and happy, then leans back and grabs his phone. "I'll text my agent."