When Jonny’s finally, thankfully free, he calls upon a decade of learned tendencies and finds Patrick in the first place he looks: Inside the quieter, more private trainer’s room, lying on the lone treatment table with his eyes closed. His gear is long gone, only skin-tight Under Armour left behind, and the lights are low.
He’s very mindful about his recovery time, likes to unwind in peace, at his own pace; and Patrick does look peaceful apart from his usual fidgeting fingers, picking at his already bitten-to-hell cuticles, tapping an indiscernible pattern against his ribcage. He’s waiting for the twelve o’clock massage he gets on any and every second consecutive practice day in Chicago. It’s a relief to see him following his normal routine, and Jonny can’t trust himself not to, so he shuts the door when he steps through it, throws the deadbolt securely in place with an audible clack of metal.
“Mmmm, Paulie never locks the door,” Patrick notes, a curious smile in his voice that tugs at the corner of his mouth. His eyes never open. Whether it’s the result of his usual commitment to mystery and nonchalance or a headache, Jonny doesn’t know.
Please. Don’t be a headache.
“S’not Paulie,” Jonny confirms, scanning Patrick’s face for evidence of an elbowing—a cut on his cheek, a bruise on his chin, a mark on his forehead. He didn’t see Patrick go down in practice, but once he learned what happened, it was all he could think about. Not seeing it himself almost made it worse, giving his mind room to wander around and think too hard about how bad their collective luck’s been lately. Jeremy couldn’t shut up fast enough; Jonny couldn’t get changed to get to him fast enough.
“If you’re here to check on me, just know you’re coming up third overall once again,” Patrick informs him, his smile turning smug at his own chirps, per usual. “And if you’re here to get worked on, me first.”
It’s certainly not the first time he’s heard a riff on that zinger, but Jonny huffs a genuine laugh anyway, perfectly content to play along if Patrick’s feeling well enough to dish it out. More relief floods him, mixing with everything else that comes with being alone with Patrick, drawing Jonny in, always closer. He sits on the edge of the table at Patrick’s hip, thigh pressed close to his side, and places one hand over Patrick’s where they rest on his stomach. His eyes slowly blink open to meet Jonny’s, heavy-lidded and beautiful and so blue.
“Yeah, yeah,” Jonny starts, “If I’d gone higher, just think how lost you’d’ve been without me all these years.”
“You should’ve gone higher,” Patrick answers, defensiveness instantly washing over his previously teasing tone. Then, with quiet sincerity as he tangles their fingers together, squeezing Jonny’s hand in both of his, “Obviously can’t say I’m not glad you didn’t.”
“Blue’s more your color, anyway,” Jonny smirks, winking at him, and before Patrick can hop on his usual soapbox about how the St. Louis and Team USA jersey blues are ‘cut from a totally different cloth,’ as he likes to preach, Jonny asks, “Who else came to check on you?”
“Guess,” Patrick prompts, playing with Jonny’s fingers now instead wreaking havoc on his own.
“Well, your mom, obviously,” Jonny says automatically, as if that wasn’t a tap in, “And…uh—”
He doesn’t think he saw Sharpy around or anything, so Jonny can’t figure out why he’s making a thing out of it.
“My mom, obviously, aaand…?” Patrick coaxes, his smile growing too wide and too pleased, giving way for realization to hit.
“Oh, no,” Jonny groans. “Not my mom, eh?”
“Oh, yes,” Patrick says, delighted. “Because I’m her favorite.”
“Not a chance in hell, bud,” Jonny refutes with a laugh, unable to subdue the ridiculously indulgent smile he knows to be taking over his face. “That’s where I’m first overall, and you’re like, a second-rounder.”
“Bullshit,” Patrick argues, “I’m inside the top ten, at least! She calls me like, every day!”
“Yeah,” Jonny deadpans, “Because she’s looking for me and knows you’ll always answer her on the first fucking try.”
“Exactly, and she appreciates me for being reliable, Jonathan,” Patrick says, pointedly, “Since her quote, unquote ‘first overall son’ leaves her on read all the time.”
Jonny rolls his eyes. The subject’s... touchy, and Patrick knows it. “We can’t all be about the every night Skype sessions.”
“Every night? Come on,” Patrick says, emphasizing each word with a new level of pouty, faux outrage that Jonny would dare, as if it’s not basically true. “It hasn’t been that bad since rookies, and nobody even fucking uses Skype anymore. It’s called FaceTime, old man.”
“Jesus, whaateever,” Jonny grumbles, “Fuck, at least I know you’re not concussed if your head’s this far up my ass about calling my mom, who—by the way, in case you haven’t noticed—has been staying at my apartment for over a fucking week now.”
Jonny moves to stand, mildly irritated now, and Patrick sits up halfway, grasping at his arm to stop him— “Wait, wait, no, no, no. You came in here to be nice to me, remember?” He spreads his hand wide across Jonny’s thigh, grips the inside of it to hold him where he’s perched on the edge of the table. Patrick gives him what Jonny knows to be his best, most alluring smile. Unfair. “Let’s get back to where that part was going. You locked the door and everything.”
It’s Jonny’s turn to pout a little now, and he’s going to cash in. “Yeah, I sure did, and look where it got me.”
“It’s all about the next play, baby,” Patrick whispers, his other hand trailing up Jonny’s forearm to his bicep, then to the middle of his chest to grip his shirt. He pulls, just a little, to see if Jonny will give. Jonny does, just a little, to see if Patrick will pull harder. At the end of it, only a fraction of an inch remains between them. “Look where it’s got you now, eh?”
Jonny gives in with a barely-there brush of lips, then a real kiss, long and slow and filthy deep, little bite left over from before. It’s so easy, all the fucking time, to get distracted by how completely he wants him. Even when Patrick’s being a pushy little shit, it never outweighs that ache, that need to scratch the ceaseless itch that only Patrick can get to just right.
“You’re really okay?” Jonny asks between kisses and breaths that grow more intense with each one, too affected for the space and position they’re in. He cradles Patrick’s face in his hand, lets the other roam Patrick’s body, sliding over the stretchy fabric that hugs him perfectly, obscenely in all the right places. Jonny can count every superficial muscle in his abdomen, can see the outline of his dick where it stiffens between his legs. “Where’d he get you? I didn’t see.”
“Chin,” Patrick says on a muted gasp when Jonny touches him, a light, teasing trace of fingers along the length of him before sparing him and taking them elsewhere. Patrick swallows audibly, his voice shaky when he continues, “They checked me out. Everything’s good. I’m good—” as if Jonny eased up because he thought Patrick was too injured to fool around and not because they’re in the trainer’s room at Fifth fucking Third.
Maybe it’s already too late for easing up. It makes Jonny flush hot all over that Patrick’s wound up, too, to feel his arms wrap tightly around his neck and bring them even closer. Jonny rests their foreheads together, breathing him in, then letting it out, brushing his thumb gently over Patrick’s chin. He murmurs against his mouth, “I’m very glad to hear that.”
“Why are you doing this to me when Paulie’s coming any minute?” Patrick asks, with no real suggestion in his voice that he actually wants Jonny to stop. “I have a fucking boner , and Paulie doesn’t give happy-enders.”
“Maybe I do, though, huh?” Jonny shrugs, kissing the corner of his mouth, along his jaw and down his neck. “Tell Paulie to get lost.”
“Oh, yeah, maybe you do, though, huh?” Patrick repeats, slightly mocking, a challenge in his voice even as he clutches his fists in the shirt at Jonny’s back. “Think you can do my massage as good as Paulie?”
“How many times I gotta say it, Peeks?” Jonny asks, smiling into Patrick’s skin, warm and flushed against his lips. He lets his hand venture between Patrick’s legs again, circling his thumb over the head of Patrick’s dick through his pants. Patrick moans in his ear, and Jonny’s smile spreads wider, pleased to finish his thought before he sets about finishing off Patrick—
“I know what the fuck you like.”
“Yeahhh, you do, baby,” Patrick encourages, pulling Jonny’s mouth back to his. “Lemme see.”
Jonny kisses him once more with feeling, then pushes him, gently, back down to the table to show him how it’s done.