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After he comes out of the post-orgasmic haze, Patric really takes stock of his companion. Carl Hagelin -- Hags, he'd said -- is stretched out on his back beside him, his bad arm held carefully against his chest.

"I didn't hurt you, did I?" Patric asks, touching his good shoulder gently. He knew Carl was rehabbing it from watching him with the trainers at the gym today. They hadn't really discussed it over their quick lunch or on the short drive to Carl's apartment. They hadn't discussed much of anything over the last hour, except whether Patric wanted it harder, faster, more (unequivocally, the answer was yes).

"No," Carl says. "It just aches after the meds wear off. Healing, but slow. You know how it is. You think everything's good, and then it tightens up again." Carl sits up slowly, careful of his shoulder. "I need water." He looks down at his belly, crusty with jizz and dried lube, and makes a face. "And maybe a shower."

Patric sits up as well. "I'll just, uh--"

"I might need some help," Carl interjects. He indicates his arm. "Not sure I can wash my hair one-handed."

Patric begins to apologize -- he thought Carl had more mobility than that -- but Carl winks at him and saunters toward the bathroom. "You coming?" he asks over his shoulder.

Patric scrambles to follow.

They shower perfunctorily at first, scrubbing away the evidence of their post-workout cool-down. Patric squeezes soap into Carl's hand for him but otherwise leaves him to it until he gets to his hair. Patric lathers the shampoo between his hands and steps in close. Carl leans into it as Patric massages his fingers through his hair.

As Patric helps him rinse out the soap, he catches a flash of ink he didn't notice earlier, a soulmark or maybe two, tucked behind Carl's ear and hidden in his hairline.

"Is it okay if I--?" Patric tilts Carl's neck, and Carl turns easily. Patric brushes his hair out of the way so he can get a better look.

He has two marks, though they're clearly meant to be a duo, one right on top of the other. The first one is a little man with a big nose and wild hair, dressed in overalls and holding a hockey stick. The second is a half-sun, or maybe a crown, with seven pointed rays.

"My linemates in New York," Carl says. "They both have mine."


"You're not jealous, are you?" Carl asks, his tone light but his eyes guarded. Patric wonders how many people have been disappointed to learn it's not their insignia burned into his skin.

Patric doesn't have any soulmates, nor any soulmarks that he knows of. His parents both have marks, but they don't match. His sister has one, too; she met her match in school when they were children. They were best friends until one day they weren't, pulled apart by new interests and changing lives. So having no perfect match has never been the sort of thing that bothered him. He finds people who have them intriguing, though. The fact that Carl has two just makes him more interesting.

Patric grins and shakes his head. "How could I be? We only just met. Besides," he says, running his hand up Carl's side, "I'm the one that has you naked."

"That's true," he says. He lifts his chin and kisses Patric, slipping him more than a little tongue. "Don't tell Mats, but you're much prettier than them, too."

"Don't worry, I won't."

"Do you have any?" Carl asks. "I didn't notice--"

Patric shakes his head. "Not that I know of, unless I have one on my ass."

"I think I would have seen it if you did," Carl says with a laugh before he kisses him again.

They make out under the spray until the water goes cold. Patric won't get it up again for another couple hours probably, but Carl's dick gives a twitch of interest against his thigh.

"Should we move this back to the bedroom?" Patric asks, cupping his hand around Carl's dick.

"Yes, we should." Carl reaches around him to turn off the water.

They don't make it back to bed. Patric blows Carl there in the bathroom, a towel under his knees, while Carl grips the counter one-handed. After he comes, he sinks to the floor beside Patric.

"I don't think this is quite what the PT had in mind when he introduced us this morning," Carl says with a sly grin.

"Probably not," Patric admits. "But I'm glad he did."

Carl squeezes Patric's knee and leans in to kiss him one last time. "So am I."