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This was a terrible idea.

Jay had no clue what had possessed him to open his mouth. What weakness had he succumbed to by saying those words out loud? Naito had kissed him. Maybe that was it. That wasn't just a kiss, though. It was something beyond anything he had ever imagined. The carefulness of it was unlike anything he had ever known. Had anyone ever treated him like that? Been so patient and kind? And to have it be Naito? The only person he had ever…

This was a really terrible idea.

Selfish and stupid and greedy. They had kissed - that should be enough. Jay was always reaching too far and too high. Aiming for something impossible. He was going to be one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. He was going to be IWGP Heavyweight Champion - no matter what it took. His ambitions had always been a little bit too big for his own body.

Just like his dreams had always been too big for his heart.

Those were more nebulous and more specific all at the same time. And so many of those dreams revolved around Tetsuya Naito. In his dreams, he still main evented Wrestle Kingdom but his opponent was only ever one man. It would never be right until they stood across from one another on the biggest stage possible as equals. But those dreams of Naito weren't just related to wrestling. Those ones were harder to visualize and hold onto in the morning. The vaguest of impressions of a hand holding his. The taste of lips against his own. Things that seemed more impossible than impossible.

Naito's lips were soft.

It felt like a detail that he was never meant to know. Something forbidden that he shouldn't have been allowed to see. But Jay was one that Naito had kissed. Had held so tenderly that it made his eyes water a bit at the corners to even think about it. He was the one that Naito had taken to an anxiety-ridden dinner. It was his room that Naito was going to spend the night in.

And he was the one that Naito was waiting on - assuming Jay could ever find the courage to open the bathroom door.

There was only one bed in his suite. He didn't share with anyone - CHAOS had an established traveling routine when he joined and he hadn't wanted to be a nuisance so he just took care of himself. So he and Naito were going to share a bed. Sleep side-by-side. Jay had dressed for sleep in the bathroom and now he was second-guessing himself. He usually just slept shirtless in a pair of sweatpants but maybe that was the wrong choice for tonight. And he couldn't exactly change since he had left his bag in the room itself after telling Naito to make himself comfortable.

Who said that anyway?

What was he doing?

How had all of this even happened?

It had just been a normal day. A normal night until that moment he had turned a corner to find Naito there waiting for him. And Naito had kissed him like he had been waiting for days and days to do just that. Somehow - even more remarkably - he had sensed Jay's apprehension and had stepped back to let him take the lead. For as long as he lived, he was certain that he was never going to forget the sight of Tetsuya Naito, standing completely still with his eyes closed as he waited for Jay to find the courage to kiss him.

What was he supposed to do with something like that?

Because the only thing that his mind could come up with was to ask Naito to spend the night. How pathetic had he sounded at that moment? Struggling with words he had always held back. Jay had never been one to be vocal about the things he wanted or needed. Had usually just kept such things to himself. But Naito was kind in the way he was drawing those words from where Jay had kept them buried. His words and his feelings.

Taking a deep breath, Jay focused his mind on not on the kisses they had shared but the sensation of Naito's hand stroking his hair and how it felt. How safe and wanted it made him feel. And that was the thought he kept with him as he opened the door.

Naito had turned all of the lights off except the small lamp beside the bed and it gave a lifeless hotel room a sort of warm intimacy. Or maybe that was simply the effect of Naito himself. Sitting up against the headboard and under the covers, he looked as if he was always supposed to be there. Like they had done this a hundred times. Jay had to force himself to swallow when he finally noticed that Naito wasn't wearing a shirt and his pants were that lump on the floor near the bed. There was no way he was naked, was there?

Jay both wanted and didn't want him to be naked with an oddly equal fervor.

It wasn't like he hadn't ever seen Tetsuya Naito in nothing but shorts before and even if it had been months, he had touched him dressed like that before too. But this was entirely different. This was in his hotel room. This was Jamie and Tetsuya. This wasn't grabbing and grappling. It was kissing and caressing and sleeping and Jay was almost certain that his heart was going to explode.

"Are you ready for bed, cosa dulce?"

Jay had no idea how Naito kept managing to make his voice sound so gentle but he never wanted him to stop. He nodded and that soft smile only became a little softer as he walked toward the other side of the bed. Pulling the blankets back was easy but that was where his body stopped. His mind froze.

The only thing he could do was stare at his fingers and the contrast between them and the light gray sheet. What was he doing? This really was a terrible idea. It was too much. Why had Naito even agreed to stay in the first place? Slowly, Naito's hand entered his field of vision and Jay couldn't stop the smile that crossed his face. With more firmness than he expected, his hand was grasped and Naito started to pull him forward. He tried to stop on his side of the bed but it seemed like that wasn't quite what Naito was going for.

He was still being pulled forward but now both of Naito's hands were on him, holding him semi-upright as he knelt almost awkwardly on the bed. It felt silly for half a second until Jay caught the look in Naito's eyes - a mixture of playful and longing that he had never seen before - as those hands pulled him even closer and into a kiss.

Naito was holding more of his weight than Jay was really comfortable with but any sense of that faded as their lips moved together. There wasn't as much hesitancy - from either of them - in this kiss. It would be so easy to fall even further into Naito's arms. Just let him pull him all the way into his lap and stay there for as long as they both wanted. He couldn't, though. Not yet.

Not yet.

Even as they separated, Naito seemed to want to keep him close - one of his hands had a gentle yet steady grip on the nape of his neck. And that smile. How was he ever supposed to sleep tonight when Naito kept smiling at him like that?

"Better."

It had been a better kiss than their earlier ones, even if the idea that there was that much to compare was something Jay's mind was still having a hard time processing. That first kiss would always be special, though. Something he had known that he would never be allowed to have.

"Better?"

This close, Jay could see the way the corners of those eyes crinkled when Naito's smile deepened.

"Mmm… it had been too long since I kissed you."

Oh.

In what universe was Tetsuya Naito - the Ungovernable One - a closet romantic? Or this seductive? While he had no issues - much to his occasional detriment - imagining Naito enticing someone into his bed, tonight didn't quite feel like that to Jay. Naito had been so patient and careful with him - treating him as if he was hoping for something beyond tonight. And as difficult as that was to believe - and as badly as Jay wanted to see Naito's eyes darken with pure need - it felt right. They felt right.

Those things he had wanted felt like they were right there within reach.

So Jay leaned forward and kissed him again.

This kiss was deeper - in more ways than one. Hands tightened and fingers gripped yet further. Jay allowed himself to let a hand slip into Naito's hair, even as it threw him off-balance more. But Naito was there - keeping him from falling by pulling him yet closer. His fingers lightly dug into Naito's scalp as they just kept kissing one another. Every time Jay thought they might be stopping - for even a moment - Naito simply took a breath and leaned back in.

It was overwhelming in the best possible way.

Once more and then Jay had to - reluctantly - hold Naito back for a moment by resting their foreheads together. But they were both breathing hard and Jay hoped it was all right if he left his eyes closed for a little while. It was so much - he idly wondered if Naito realized just how good of a kisser he was.

"Naito…"

He sounded as out-of-breath as he felt. It should be more embarrassing than it was but Naito's chuckle was warm and soft.

"My apologies, cosa dulce." He was apologizing for that? "I got carried away."

"So did I."

Naito shifted and then there was the lightest of kisses pressed against his forehead. It was so incredibly tempting to let himself climb into Naito's lap and stay there - no matter how mortifying that particular want was.

"I noticed." Jay felt himself withdraw a bit at that. All of this could be too much for him but the absolute last thing he wanted to be was too much for Naito. "No, no, no…" And of course, he noticed that too. "This is a good thing." Another soft kiss - this one to his cheek. "I want you to want me too."

Oh.

What in the fuck was he supposed to say to that?

How did he tell Naito that he was all that he wanted? The only one Jay had wanted since the first time he had watched him climb into a ring with his own two eyes?

"I…" Frustration squeezed his eyes closed even harder. "I…"

Why was it so hard to just say it? He felt it. He knew it. Had known it for so long. Naito wanted to hear it - to know it. He had just said so.

"Jamie." Naito's hand was back resting along the side of his head again, fingers gently playing with strands of his hair. "The words will come. I'll wait for them. It's okay."

The only thing he could do was nod in response as Naito placed a featherlight kiss on each of his closed eyelids. It was harder to open his eyes so he could take in the tenderness written into each feature of Naito's face than it probably should be but maybe he could be patient with himself too. Sitting back, Jay gave himself a little extra physical space so he could breathe. Think a little clearer. Somehow, it already felt odd to not be touching.

"I'm glad you stayed, Naito."

It was a simple and true statement but it brightened that face anyway. He liked being able to make Naito happy. Liked how he could.

"Me too." The warmth in Naito's eyes was so easy to see as he reached forward to caress Jay's cheek like the not-touching felt unwelcome to him too. "Are you ready for bed, cosa dulce?"

It hadn't been that long since the first time Naito had asked him that but Jay knew his answer had changed in a way that mattered. The hesitation he felt had faded - not away - but dimmed and dissipated until what remained was yearning and curiosity. And somehow, it felt less like being greedy and more like wanting something they both wanted.

With another nod, Jay adjusted his position so he was lying down, sliding beneath the blankets. The room darkened as Naito apparently turned out the light and his eyes tried to adjust to the lack of light. He felt Naito shift until he was lying down too - the mattress dipped and the blankets moved as he settled in.

Now what?

They were both lying there on their backs, completely still and silent. How did you say 'good night' to someone when you were like this? Jay was in so far over his head - his awareness of the heat of Naito's body so acute that he was vaguely worried about his heart exploding again.

"Jay?"

And now his voice was back to being gentle and careful. Would it be too much to roll over onto his side to look at Naito with what little ambient light there was in the room? Was that where the line was? Was that asking too much?

"Yeah?"

"Could I…" There was a long and weird pause and it felt like this time it was Naito trying to find his words. "Hmmm… sweet dreams, Jamie."

Jamie.

It was a name that he had tried to abandon. Tried to throw overboard into the ocean at some point as he travelled away from home to become a wrestler. Tried to leave behind in America after his excursion ended. Was trying to replace it outright with the Switchblade. And after all that, he had given it with only the slightest hesitation to a shy and nervous Tetsuya Naito as they held each other.

But what had Naito started to say before that? He didn't quite have the courage to ask.

"Good night."

Rolling over would make sense, wouldn't it? Lie on his side facing outward so he didn't crowd Naito or accidently try to cuddle with him in the middle of the night. Moving away was another of those things that was probably harder than it should be but being close to Naito had an almost addictive quality to it. The sort of sensation that Jay longed to linger in.

But this was okay. It was good. Naito was still right there on the other side of the bed. As far as Jay could tell, he was still lying on his back; although, it felt like he was looking at him even in the darkness - could almost feel his gaze on his bare back. Maybe if he closed his eyes and took deep breaths, he would be able to convince his body that it was time to sleep. It was entirely unlikely given how keyed up every single one of his nerve endings was but he needed to try.

And that wasn't going to help.

There was the lightest and barest of touches near the middle of his back and every muscle in his body tensed in response. The sad sigh that was far too loud in the quiet room echoed between them and an urge to comfort - wild and insistent - rose up from deep down in him in defiance of his own discontent. Naito's fingers brushed along his shoulder blade and down his spine, leaving between a trail of warmth and affection.

"Is this okay?"

Jay nodded but the room was too dark. Naito was never going to be able to understand him if he didn't speak but even as he lay there with his mouth half-open, he couldn't form the words. That trail continued even more slowly. There didn't seem to be any pattern to it as far as Jay could tell - it was simply a gentle caress.

"Jay?" Naito had somehow gotten even closer now, those fingers ghosting up his arm and across the top of his shoulder. "Do you want me to stop?"

No.

Yes.

Each answer was equally correct but Jay had no idea which one he wanted to give. The moment felt more intimate than any of the kisses they had shared. Each caress felt more and more like it was merely the first of many. Like this was something he would be allowed to get used to. Like those moments like this were something that they both wanted to get used to. Like another night would follow this one and then another and another.

"No."

It was a single word but he couldn't take it back. Couldn't erase it. And it seemed as if his voice had given Naito a little bit more courage or motivation or something because Jay felt him coming closer. Hands carefully adjusted his body positioning until Naito was spooned around him with Jay loosely held in his arms. The heat of that body that he had felt before was even more intense - engulfing him almost in its warmth. But despite their closeness, Naito was still being careful with him.

There was something tentative about the space between their bodies.

They weren't completely pressed up against one another. There was still that distance separating them. Jay could hear Naito breathing but couldn't feel those breaths against his skin. Couldn't feel his weight against his back. Sliding backward felt like asking for too much again. Wanting something else he couldn't have. But he was too aware of that tiny gap.

"Tell me if this is too much…"

The words were whispered so close to his ear that it tickled, even as it sent a pleasant shiver down to his toes. But then, Naito was pulling him back into his own body and that space started to disappear. And that was even better. But he didn't know how to tell Naito to keep going - to hold him as close as he wanted to. They were closer now but it wasn't quite enough.

And Naito didn't seem to be moving any further.

Those handful of centimeters of distance between them were too much. That need to be closer - to be so entangled with Naito that they couldn't be separated - was this throbbing ache in his blood. It made no sense. This time last night, Jay had laid in this exact bed completely alone with not a single thought that Naito would ever be there with him. He hadn't even dreamed about it - trying with everything that he was to push down that wanting and longing and hoping that this would be the night that it finally disappeared. This was so far beyond anything he had ever imagined but it was as if getting that first taste - that first kiss - had awakened something eager and impatient within him. Naito was curled up behind him but not quite - not completely. And Jay wanted more. He didn't know how to ask for it but he wanted it.

With a deep breath that made Naito's fingers tense up, Jay shifted his body backward until they were touching, back-to-chest and skin-to-skin. That heat was even more intense now but in an entirely different way. It was as if it was trying to warm him from within - reaching down inside his heart to light a flame that would never go out. Could never be doubted.

Naito's hold on him had tightened yet further the closer he got and it felt better than Jay knew how to explain. Those were words that he definitely didn't have. And even more vocabulary left him as Naito took advantage of their new position to nuzzle into the crook of his neck in a move that made them both sigh.

"So bold, cosa dulce." Any anxiety Jay felt was erased by the quiet and tender tone of Naito's voice. "I like this better too."

Even as Naito peppered barely-there kisses along his neck, Jay relaxed more into their embrace. Oddly enough, it was vaguely difficult to hold back a laugh of all things. Not because each brush of those lips was ticklish but there was this joy building up inside of him that needed some sort of release. It was different from anything he had known before and Jay knew the cause was the man curled around him.

But his hyper awareness extended beyond his own feelings to that tension in Naito's fingers. And there was something not quite right there. Jay had felt them tense up a few moments ago but shouldn't that tension have drained away by now? It made sense if Naito had been worried that he was going to move away or something like that but why was it still there? Didn't lying like this feel as right to Naito as it did to him?

Jay tried to caress Naito as best he could from the position that they were in. Fingers trailed along those arms and he alternated between carefully grasping the hand that he could easily reach and lightly caressing the back of it with his thumb. There really was a tension in Naito - something that he was holding tightly within himself.

And there. That sound - Jay was certain that was a whimper Naito had tried to muffle by burying his face further into the crook of his neck.

"Are you okay?"

His own voice was shakier than Jay would like but he didn't want to get this wrong. He wanted Naito to know the same comfort that he did. And something was wrong.

"We should try and sleep."

Naito's voice trembled ever-so-slightly in a way that Jay had heard just once before. Back in that random room Naito had pulled him into, his voice had shook just like that when he had asked Jay if it was too much to want to spend more time with him. It was what had given him the idea that Naito just might be as overwhelmed as he was.

There was that urge to comfort and soothe again and Jay had no intention of ignoring it this time.

Quickly - before he lost his nerve - Jay rolled over in their embrace. Whether it was out of surprise or something else, Naito gave him the room to do it but Jay stayed close and those arms stayed wrapped around him. He couldn't quite see Naito's expression - there wasn't enough light - but somehow he easily found the side of his face in the dark.

"What's wrong?" Naito's cheek pressed a little into his hand and Jay both felt and heard him sigh. He didn't want to push but he wanted him to know that he was there for him too. "Take your time."

Naito's hold on him tightened just a little but he didn't say anything. So Jay leaned up and tried to place a gentle kiss of his own on Naito's forehead - his aim wasn't perfect in the dark but it was close enough. They laid there in silence for a little while. Jay wasn't sure for how long but it wasn't important. Being together like this was.

"I haven't done this before."

"You've definitely kissed someone before."

The words escape before he can stop them but Naito's amused chuckle told Jay there was no reason to be too embarrassed.

"It's good to know that you enjoyed yourself." And now Jay was certain that his cheeks were bright red again - thankfully they couldn't be seen. "I have too. The way you taste, cosa dulce..."

Naito followed that up by turning his head so he could press a lingering kiss into his palm and there wasn't anything that could stop Jay from squeaking. Just a little.

"I…" Another kiss to his palm. "What haven't you done before?"

And another light laugh filled the scant amount of air between them.

"All of this. I've kissed others. I've been with others…" A wash of irrational jealousy rushed through him. "... but I've never slept with someone. Never held someone like this. It's…"

It took a moment but Jay realized that they were both trembling. Naito pulled one of his arms out of their hold and Jay immediately missed the closeness with not-too-surprising swiftness. With a gentle reverence, Naito grasped his hand, pulled it away from his face, and brought it to rest over his heart.

"I feel you in here, Jamie."

And with everything that he had tried to forget that he once was, Jay wanted to answer him. To tell him that he felt the exact same way. That he had never felt like this before either. But he couldn't.

"I…" He swallowed but that still didn't help. "Naito, I…"

"It's all…"

Impatience reared its head once more.

"No, it's not."

Jay almost ripped his hand out of Naito's grip, reached for where the back of his head should be, and tugged him forward. For a moment, their teeth crashed together and their noses weren't aligned quite right but the kiss quickly settled into something fierce but in sync. He didn't have the words but he could speak like this. With his wanting and longing. With the passion he barely let himself acknowledge existed.

Each brush of their lips was a sentence. Each moan was a declaration. Jay told Naito how right all of this felt to him. How his arms were the only ones he had ever wanted around him. How deeply he felt Naito in his heart too.

As their mouths moved together, their hands wandered and Jay could only hope that he left the same imprint on Naito's skin that he was leaving on his. The same soothing burn. There wasn't a single part of him that didn't feel completely alive right now. Every nerve ending he possessed was keenly attuned to every aspect of Naito's body and Jay could feel him holding back again.

Trying not to overwhelm him again.

His eyes started to fill with tears and Jay wondered if Naito not noticing was probably too much to hope for.

"Cosa dulce…"

The words were murmured against his lips as Naito shifted their embrace into something with more care than need. Even in the dark, Naito knew.

He knew Jamie.

Unerringly, his tears were gently wiped away. Everything about Naito in this moment was gentle.

"You're so careful with me."

Jay hated how hoarse his voice sounded. How often it cracked. It felt like weakness to him. But all Naito did was tenderly kiss his forehead again. It wasn't fair that he could see so easily in so little light. How much of his expression could Naito see?

"I always will be."

For a moment, Jay wanted to protest. Complain that he didn't need to be treated like that. It wasn't necessary. But it was - in a way. Maybe not always but right now? And as they laid there - side-by-side and holding on to one another - there was only one thing that Jay's heart had a problem with.

"I'll be careful with you too." Somehow, Jay knew that Naito was smiling that soft and warm smile again. "Tetsuya."

If Naito was trying to hide his small gasp, he wasn't quite quick enough to do it. And this kiss was different from all the others. Slow but not tentative. Steady and sure. A demand and an invitation.

"Please say it again." And that trembling was there again in his voice. "Please, Jamie."

The name came easier than anything else he had said tonight.

"Tetsuya."

Leaning forward ever-so-slightly, Jay assumed that they would start kissing again but Naito - Tetsuya - surprised him once more.

"Could I hold you?"

He wasn't sure exactly what Tetsuya meant. Wasn't that what they had been doing before? But Jay knew that was his half-asked question from earlier.

"Okay…"

And as Tetsuya wrapped his arms completely around him again, he leaned backward and Jay started to understand what he meant. But it wasn't until his head was resting over Tetsuya's heart that Jay realized what he wanted. He was curled up against Tetsuya's side - held tenderly and with affection. It would be so simple to fall asleep just like this, especially as Tetsuya fixed the blankets around them - tucking them in.

"Is this too much?"

Still so careful.

"No. This is…" So many words and so little ability to say them but he wanted to. "... this is just right."

 

-fin-