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Jack slips the keycard into door, waiting for it to turn green before he pushes it open. His steps are measured and carefully quiet, because apparently Connor might be sleeping.

(“I’m going to get my phone charger,” Jack announced not five minutes earlier, pushing himself up from the floor of Sean and Johnny’s hotel room, and Ekblad immediately asked if Jack could grab his.

“Sure,” Jack said, “whatever.” Ekblad tossed his key, hitting Jack in the side of the face, and then, as Jack was about to step into the hall, yelled after him—

“Davo might be napping, so try not to wake him up. He gets cranky.”)

Which—look, Jack had a moment and forgot that Ek and Connor were rooming together. It happens. But he was already committed to being a nice person, or something, and trying to back out to avoid having to look at Connor McDavid more than is absolutely necessary at practices is too weird. The kind of weird that everyone will notice and comment on and probably make him talk about.

So he pushes the door open quietly, his own phone charger shoved in the back pocket of his jeans. It’s poking a little, uncomfortably tight. The room is quiet and dimly lit, the shadows dragging into the small hallway next to the bathroom.

The door clicks shut behind Jack, and he takes a few tentative steps forward. Suddenly, there’s a flurry of noise from the part of the room he can’t see yet, rustling covers and something that might be the clicking of laptop keys. He rounds the corner, and Connor is sitting on the near bed, his legs under the covers and a computer next to him.

“You’re not Eks,” he says. His cheeks are a little flushed, maybe from sleep.

Jack shrugs. “He asked me to get his phone charger,” he says. “Sorry if I woke you up.” He can be friendly and—nice, and stuff. He did it at the combine, and at the draft, and he can do it now. It matters more now that they’re on the same team anyway.

“Oh,” Connor says. “Right, yeah.” He squirms a little, the motion visible under the thick duvet on the bed, and Jack narrows his eyes. Why does Connor nap with his laptop? “It’s okay,” Connor continues, “I wasn’t really sleeping.”

There’s a heavy silence, the kind that drags on uncomfortably until Jack is feeling pulled too thin by it to continue. “Why don’t you come watch movies with us?” he says, which is a stupid thing to say because doesn’t care whether Connor McDavid watches movies with them, not really. But he doesn’t want to be a dick, and he doesn’t want to leave him alone here in his room feeling excluded or something either.

Connor bites his lip, and doesn’t meet Jack’s eyes. “I’m just gonna—finish napping,” he says. He’s flushed again, even more than he was when Jack came in. His eyes flick minutely to his laptop, sitting open on the bed next to him, and suddenly all the pieces click into place. Jack feels himself flushing as well, blood rushing to his cheeks the way it does after a hard shift, and he bites his lip to keep from laughing with the intense discomfort of the moment.

“Oh, shit,” he whispers, loud in the silence of the room. Connor definitely hears.

Jack, with tremendous dignity and poise, flees the room, making it halfway down the hall before he remembers that he didn’t actually get Ekblad’s phone charger. Squaring his shoulders, he turns around and heads back. It’s not like he can say he forgot it because he was traumatized by walking in on the next Sidney Crosby jerking off.

He knocks this time, and Connor’s voice is strained when he says, “Who is it?”

“It’s Jack,” he says, resigned. “I forgot the charger.”

“Oh,” Connor says, and then, “Come in, I guess.” He sounds as resigned as Jack feels.

When Jack steps into the main part of the room this time, there’s a twist to Connor’s mouth. Somewhere between self-deprecating and determined. He hasn’t put his computer to the side this time—it’s balanced precariously on one of his legs—and he’s more flushed than before. His lower lip is red, like he was biting on it.

“Um,” Jack says, mostly trying not to stare. One of Connor’s hands is on the keyboard, but his other arm is under the covers. He isn’t pretending that he wasn’t jerking off before Jack came in, looks like he’s challenging Jack to say something about it. “Where’s Ekblad’s phone charger?”

Connor jerks his head toward the desk next to the TV. There’s an iPhone charger lying there, plugged into the outlet on the side of the lamp. Jack stares at it, and tries to ignore the way he wants to keep looking at Connor. It’s only a few steps farther into the room to grab the charger, and he forces his feet to move.

Instead of grabbing it and fleeing the room, he coils it up carefully, taking his time to make sure it isn’t going to tangle before he shoves it into his pocket. Connor clears his throat, and Jack’s eyes snap up. Connor looks—edgy, maybe. A little uncomfortable. Jack wants to say something teasing, or maybe something cruel, but he can’t quite make the words come out of his mouth.

It’s hard to not look at the flush on Connor’s cheeks, the tension in the line of his shoulders, and think about what he looks like when he jerks off. Which he was doing right until Jack came into the room.

Which he probably wants Jack to leave so he can keep doing.

“Jack,” Connor says, and he’s pleading a little bit.

“What?” Jack asks, trying not to smirk.

“Do you mind—” Connor starts, and he lets the sentence trail off. Jack knows what he means, of course.

“Do I mind what?” he asks, giving in to the temptation to be a little cruel. Connor doesn’t deserve it, but the opening’s too good to pass up.

“Do you mind leaving,” Connor hisses through his teeth.

“Oh,” Jack says, fake casual. “Is there a reason—”

Connor looks annoyed, now. Annoyed and a little desperate. “Jesus fucking Christ, Eichel,” he says. “You know why I want you to leave.”

Jack shrugs one shoulder. “What if I don’t want to leave? What if I want to hang out here with you?”

“For fuck’s sake,” Connor says. He’s so easy to needle. It’s not hard to see how he got into that stupid fight their draft year, not when all you have to do is prod a little and he starts to fume. They only play twice a year, with conferences and everything, but Jack could needle at him, get under his skin until he loses his temper. Push until Connor pushes back.

“You’re just watching a movie, right?” Jack says, trying to repress a smile now. “Or were you going to take a nap?”

“Sure,” Connor says, and it’s not casual, but the edge to it is different from how he sounded a few minutes ago. “Why don’t you stay and watch the movie with me? I can start it over from the beginning.”

Connor’s cheeks are pink, and Jack’s not going to say anything about it because he’s sure his ears are tomato red. It’s a challenge. He’s calling Jack’s bluff and Jack—well, Jack can’t let him win.

“Okay,” he says. He sounds deceptively calm as he takes a few steps forward and throws himself onto the bed next to Connor, lying on his stomach and propping himself up on his elbows. “What are we watching?”

Connor doesn’t answer immediately, just messes with his computer for a few seconds, and then spins it so that Jack can see what’s pulled up on the screen. It’s porn, which is what Jack expected. That’s what people watch to jerk off; it’s what he watches and of course it’s what Connor McDavid watches. He didn’t actually think that Connor jerked off to hockey highlights or something.

It’s not like, weird porn or anything. Jack remembers finding some incredibly unnerving stuff on dares from Brandon and Sonny in high school and this isn’t that, it’s just some girl taking her bra off and crawling down a generic bed to blow some dude who looks exactly like just about every dude in porn. Another dude shows up in the corner of the frame and slaps her ass, which is a little unexpected but still not like. Weird.

It’s hot enough, and Jack has never pretended he isn’t easy. He can feel himself chubbing up, his dick pressed against the mattress through his pants. The girl reaches around to jerk the second dude off while she’s still blowing the first one, which is like, yeah, okay.

Connor squirms a little, but doesn’t pause the video. He doesn’t seem to be watching that closely, and he isn’t jerking off either. Jack doesn’t want to say anything, but he also isn’t sure how long he wants to lie here, watching Connor’s porn and pretending he’s not turned on.

Things pick up a little on the computer screen; one of the guys is taking the girl’s pants off, leaving her in just a lacy piece of underwear that he pushes aside to finger her. The guy she’s still blowing fucks up into her mouth a few times, and Jack has to take a deep breath to keep from grinding against the bed. Above his head, Connor clears his throat pointedly.

“I thought we were watching a movie together,” Jack says, glancing up, and a strange expression crosses Connor’s face, like maybe he can’t believe they’re stilling clinging to this pretense.

“I can’t really see it like this,” he says, and Jack—well, Jack also can’t believe they’re still clinging to this pretense, but he’s approaching sex-stupid and like, fuck it, right?

“Okay,” he says, rolling onto his back, ignoring the way Connor’s eyes flick down to his boner, and crawling up to lean against the pillows. Their legs don’t touch, not with Connor under the covers and Jack on top of them, but that’s the only reason. Connor keeps the computer entirely on his lap, and Jack leans slightly to be able to see the screen better, trying not to brush his shoulder against Connor’s.

He mostly succeeds.

The loud, almost too-loud sex noises coming from the computer interrupt the strange tension between them. The girl is blowing the other guy now, and he’s moaning exaggeratedly, throwing his head back like it’s the best bj he’s ever gotten even though it looks pretty unimpressive. Jack opens his mouth to make a snide comment about Connor’s taste in movies when the other guy leans over the girl’s head to kiss the guy whose dick is getting sucked.

He snaps his mouth shut, suddenly unable to look away from the screen. Oh, he thinks, crystal clear in his mind, and then he can’t quite make his brain form anything else.

The dudes keep kissing, long and messy, the wet sounds of it audible even from the crappy speakers of Connor’s computer, and Jack doesn’t say anything. He—it never occurred to him that Connor might be into—really, into anything that wasn’t as boring as he seems, most of the time.

(“He’s got layers,” Jack remembers Dylan Strome saying on FaceTime one night, months ago, a little drunk and bored enough to have called Jack just to listen to him bitch about Canadian media. “You just have to let him trust you enough to show them.”)

Jack’s pretty sure he hasn’t earned Connor’s trust, but here they are. And Connor is apparently into dudes kissing other dudes.

Dudes jerking other dudes off.

Against his better judgment, he lets his eyes flick up to Connor’s face, which is carefully schooled as he stares at the screen. His breathing isn’t entirely steady, but his hands are still, and Jack suddenly really wants to know how much he wishes he was jerking off right now.

Honestly, Jack’s not sure how much longer he can go without getting a hand on his dick, just to relieve the pressure.

The scene jumps, and suddenly the girl is on her knees between the two guys, one of them fucking her while she blows the other, and they’re kissing over her head. Jack’s hips jerk against the air, and there’s a jolt of terrible, soft friction from his pants that makes his eyes fall closed.

Connor is better at controlling himself, lying perfectly still and not looking over at all, at least not that’s Jack’s caught. Jack feels a bit of a mess, caught on the edge of desperate and trying not to tip over, trying to keep himself from jerking off. From flipping over and rubbing off against the bed to the sounds of sex and the way Connor has drawn his lower lip between his teeth, his only visible concession to the fact that they’ve been watching people fuck for what must be ten minutes now.

Jack tries not to stare at him. He forces his eyes back to the computer, where the guys are still kissing, sloppy and desperate. The way Jack would kiss someone right now, if he had someone to kiss. The one getting blown pulls his dick out of the girl’s mouth, rubs it along her cheeks, and then just watches while she gets fucked, working his hand up and down the shaft. Jack’s pretty sure he’s supposed to be focusing on the girl, but he can’t tear his eyes away from the guy’s dick, huge and red and shiny with spit.

It’s been a while since he fooled around with a guy, and he can hear Connor’s breath hitch slightly next to him, and now he’s thinking about that. About Connor touching his dick. About pushing the computer away and kissing Connor, messy and with too much tongue, until Connor goes soft underneath him and lets Jack have his way.

The scene on the laptop shifts again, a jarring jumpcut, and now one of the guys is going down on the girl while the other one fingers him, slick noises and groaning loud in the forced stillness of the hotel room. Jack’s dick feels like it’s throbbing, held in too tight by his jeans, and there’s not enough blood left in the rest of his body for him to care about what Connor thinks. They’re watching porn together. He’s done weirder things with teammates.

The scrape of his zipper is louder than he thinks it will be, and Jack refuses to let himself glance over at Connor to see if Connor is looking. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t need to know.

He pushes his jeans down, and then his boxers, leaving them tangled high on his thighs. It’s just enough to get his dick out, so that he can curl his hand loosely around the base, relishing the pressure for a few seconds. His eyes close, involuntary, and he opens them again when there’s a particularly loud groan from the computer. It’s a low, masculine noise, and when he looks over one of the guys is fucking the girl while the other guy slides into him.

Jack can’t keep himself from glancing at Connor, to gauge his reaction. If he knew what he was getting into with this. If he chose this on purpose or thought it would be—something else.

Connor is looking at him. His eyes are fixed on Jack’s hand on his dick, even though it’s completely still. Jack watches as Connor’s eyes track up his body and then they’re looking at each other, and Jack doesn’t know how to look away.

He wants to say something to break the tension, maybe a comment on how fake the porn noises sound, but he can’t remember how to make his mouth work. Connor’s stopped gnawing on his lip, so it’s just there, red and a little chapped, his mouth hanging open slightly.

“Fuck,” someone says in the porno. Jack doesn’t look to see who; he doesn’t really care. The sex sounds speed up, get louder, and he strokes himself twice in quick succession before he stills his hand again.

“Oh,” Connor breathes. One of his hands is still under the covers, but he’s not moving it. He’s not doing anything, just. Staring at Jack while Jack watches porn and jerks off.

“Yeah,” Jack says, aiming for casual and falling a few steps short. “It’s hot,” he adds, probably unnecessary. Connor can see his dick, but. The tense silence is demanding words.

Connor’s voice is so soft, is the thing. He’s always quiet, but somehow he seems even quieter now, when he says, “Yeah, it is.”

He doesn’t do anything about it, though. Jack feels a little bit like he’s on display, now, with Connor’s eyes on him and his pants down. He’s used to this, in a way, used to the feeling of putting on a show. He can do that.

It’s easy to refocus on the porn, fix his eyes on the shifting bodies and let the sounds of slapping skin, of overdrawn moaning, wash over him. He tightens his grip on his dick, strokes up to the tip slowly a few times, and then once hard and fast, twisting at the tip. It’s too dry, his hand rough and dragging on the sensitive skin, but he’ll be leaking soon and that’ll be—it won’t be as good as lube or lotion, but it’ll be enough. He won’t have to ask for anything.

Connor’s eyes are heavy on him, and try as he might, Jack can’t ignore the knowledge that he’s being watched. He cants his hips into the next thrust, and Connor breathes in sharply. Jack’s skin feels like it’s tingling, like Connor watching him is a physical touch.

Two more strokes, both quick, and then he loosens his grip and trails his fingers around the tip of his dick, thumbs across the slit and feels the precome beading there. The people on the computer screen have changed positions and Jack didn’t notice it happen, and he’s too focused on the warmth of his own hand to care. Connor is so close that Jack can feel the heat radiating from his skin.

He’s still trying not to look at Connor, trying to keep everything focused internally, but it’s hard with Connor so close. It would be so easy to touch, to lean into Connor’s space and take—take heat, and contact, and touch. He’s pretty sure Connor wouldn’t stop him.

“Are you gonna—” Connor asks, and the sound is startling. It’s the first thing either of them has said in long minutes. Connor’s voice is a little rough, a little strained. There’s no way he isn’t hard under the blanket. He was jerking off before Jack came into the room, and now he’s been watching porn and—getting a private show.

Jack’s not entirely sure what Connor is asking, though. Is he gonna—what? Come? Yeah, eventually. Stop? Well—if Connor asks him to. Something else—touch Connor? Let Connor touch him? He doesn’t even know the answer.

Connor clears his throat. “Are you gonna—finish?” he tries, managing to get all the words out this time.

“Sure,” Jack says. “Not like I’m gonna go to movie night with a raging boner.”

Connor exhales, a huff that might be a laugh. “What if I asked you to stop?”

Jack’s hand on his dick stills, but he keeps it resting at the base. “Are you asking me to stop?” he asks, and he lets himself look over, meet Connor’s eyes.

There’s a determined set to Connor’s mouth. “No,” he says, achingly soft. “But—if I did.”

There’s layers buried in the question; Connor’s asking more than it sounds like he is and Jack isn’t sure what the right answer is.

“Then I’d stop,” he offers, keeping his voice as light as he can. “I can jerk off in my own room.”

Connor exhales again. “Okay.”

They’re both silent for a moment, and then Connor—slowly, deliberately—reaches out and touches Jack’s shoulder. Jack flinches away from the contact, unexpected and out of tune with everything else that’s happened, but he stills himself quickly and leans back into it.

“You should keep going,” Connor says, low but not quiet the way he sometimes is.

“Yeah?” Jack asks, and his voice is rougher than he thought it would be before he opened his mouth.

Connor nods. Jack curls his fingers again, loose but not slack, and jerks himself slowly. Connor’s breath hitches audibly and—it’s nice to know that this is affecting Connor, that he’s not just observing dispassionately. It makes it easy for Jack to tighten his grip and move his hand faster, just on the edge of too rough but not quite, the way he likes it.

Their shoulders are touching, and Jack feels it when Connor moves his arm, but it’s just once, not the rhythmic muscle movement it would be if he was jerking off under the covers. Connor’s breathing is heavier than it was, though, and there’s tension in the lines of his body.

“Can I—” Connor says, and Jack thinks he knows what Connor is trying to ask, and the answer is an emphatic yes, but he’s—he’s not sure, and he’s not ready give Connor the blank check of a yes to an unasked question.

He shoots Connor an expectant look, tilting his head to one side. His hand on his dick slows, but he doesn’t stop, trails his fingers around the head and drags one nail, softly, up the vein on the underside. Connor watches the movements, enraptured.

Jack clears his throat.

“Uh, yeah,” Connor says, the words fumbling. “Can I—touch you?” His voice cracks, uncertainty cutting through it, and it’s a little comforting that Connor feels off-kilter too. It’s not like Jack came in here thinking he would want Connor McDavid to touch his dick, but he does want it now, and it’s unsettling.

Connor’s fingers are warm when he places them softly on top of Jack’s, probably from the way he’s had his hand tucked under the covers against his skin. It makes Jack shiver, and he shifts his hips into it, involuntary. After a moment, he pulls his hand out of the way and it’s just. Connor’s warm fingers, slightly callused, trailing up the underside of his dick where it’s resting on his stomach. Jack hisses, sucking in air through his teeth and Connor makes a noise low in his throat, like he’s pleasantly surprised by Jack’s reaction.

Connor circles his fingers around Jack’s cockhead, slides his thumb across the slit and smears the precome beading there. “Oh,” he whispers when Jack’s hips jerk harder than he expected them to, pushing into Connor’s hand and seeking more friction.

Still, Connor keeps his touches soft, slow and experimental. A few loose strokes up the shaft, a gentle twist at the head, a thumb pressing against the sensitive spot just under the head that makes Jack gasp aloud.

“Have you ever done this before?” Jack asks, the question hitting him out of the blue. He gasps out the last word, because Connor tightens his fingers until they’re just a hair from too tight and that’s—exactly how Jack likes it, and it’s getting harder to focus on anything else.

Connor shrugs, and Jack can feel the motion against his shoulder. “Just by myself,” he says, not quite casual.

“It’s good,” Jack says, the words unsteady. “You’re—this is really good.”

“Yeah?” Connor asks, moving his hand a little faster now. His grip is still perfect, the motion just shy of painful and so intense that Jack can feel his abs shaking with how hard it is to keep still. Jack feels warm all over, shuddery good and tingly in the pit of his stomach.

“Yeah,” Jack says, emphatic this time. “It’s—fuck, Connor, it’s perfect—”

Connor swallows audibly, and Jack can see his hips work under the covers, an aborted motion that probably didn’t feel nearly as good as he wanted it to. Sheets are crappy friction, soft and featherlight and not ever enough to get off. He doesn’t do anything else, though. Doesn’t start actually jerking himself off or anything.

Instead, he jerks Jack a few more times, and twists harder on the last upstroke, sliding his thumb across the slit again. Jack makes an embarrassingly loud noise this time, and more precome spurts against Connor’s fingers. Connor smears it around, making a mess of his fingers, and Jack has to close his eyes for a moment. He takes a deep breath, and then another before he opens them, glancing over at Connor, whose eyes are fixed on his hand, sharp and attentive.

Jack wants Connor to look at him, he wants to be able to make out the emotions on his face and try to figure out what he’s thinking as he trails his sticky-slick fingers back down Jack’s dick and starts stroking again. It’s smoother now, the way eased by the mess Jack is making, and Connor moves his hand faster.

“I’m gonna,” Jack says, his voice more controlled that he feels, and Connor nods but still doesn’t look at him. He tightens his grip just a hair more, moves his hand faster, twists, and Jack comes with a punched-out noise, his hips arching off the bed. It feels like there are sparks skittering down his spine, and Connor strokes him through it, until it’s too much and Jack has to push his hand away.

There’s streaks of white across Connor’s hand, a few drops splattered on Jack’s shirt. Connor is holding his hand awkwardly above Jack’s hips, staring at it. Jack doesn’t think he’s touched himself at all since he came into the room, and somehow, that makes heat pool in his stomach again. He’s not going to be ready to go again for a few minutes but he could—help Connor out.

Connor is so still, not moving his hand or his hips, and his breathing is shallow. The moment is taut, like the air between them is drawn thin, and Jack worries it’ll shatter if he speaks.

He does it anyway.

“Do you want me to—” he starts, losing direction in the middle of the sentence. “I can—help you out?” He makes it through on the second try, and Connor drags his eyes away from his jizz-covered hand, actually making eye contact with Jack.

He bites his lip, and he doesn’t answer.

“It’s okay if you don’t,” Jack says. “I just thought—since you—I could, you know, it’s fair.”

“Right,” Connor says. He glances down at Jack body, his dick still hanging out, and then back up at Jack’s face. His eyes are sharp, appraising. “Do you want to?” he asks, and Jack sucks in a breath through his teeth.

It’s not exactly the kind of question you can answer with “I don’t know,” even if that’s true. He doesn’t not want to, and there’s an appeal to the idea of taking Connor apart, watching him as he shudders through an orgasm. Of being on the same page in this as well as everything else they have to share now. Their friends, this team, the pressure of being expected to save a franchise.

Connor is waiting, his eyes flicking away from Jack’s and then back, not holding his gaze for more than a few seconds. Jack wants to look away, but he also never wants to look away, wants to hold Connor in this moment, quiet and almost intimate.

“I want to,” he says into the lingering silence between them, and there’s shock writ clear on Connor’s face, but he doesn’t move away.

“Yeah?” Connor asks.

Jack answers quickly, maybe too quickly, but it doesn’t matter. “Yeah,” he says, and his voice is steady. He nods, and then Connor mimics the motion.

“Okay,” Connor says. His computer is still propped against his leg, though the porn ended a while ago and it’s gone to sleep, a black screen reflecting his face back toward them. Jack reaches across himself for it, snapping it closed and pushing it to the foot of the bed. It’s the first time he’s reached into Connor’s space today, and he pulls away faster than he means to, retreating into the safeness of the small bubble of space around him.

“Right,” Connor says, and then he pushes the covers that have been pooled around his hips down. He’s been wearing a shirt this whole time, but his boxers are around his ankles and he’s not wearing any pants.

And he’s hard, his dick dark red against the pale skin of his stomach. Tanner than Jack, maybe, but still shockingly pale compared to the flush of his dick. It’s a nice enough dick, Jack supposes, a little thicker than his and curved slightly to Connor’s left. He’s not cut, which Jack hadn’t really considered, and there’s a bit of shininess peeking out at the head. Jack curls his hand gently around the base and strokes up slowly. The angle is terrible, and Jack’s grip isn’t tight enough for it to really be good, but he likes the way Connor feels in his hand, his dick firm and warm but the skin soft.

Connor makes a soft noise when Jack tightens his hand on an upstroke, and another when Jack slides his thumb across the slit, pushing under the foreskin a little bit. He turns his head to watch Connor sink his teeth into his lower lip again, still red and swollen.

Jack thinks he wants to get his own teeth on it, suck it between his lips and see if Connor makes more noises, if he can swallow soft contented murmurs from him. Instead, he twists himself around, kneeling over Connor’s thighs to get a better angle on Connor’s dick with his right hand. He strokes a few times, fast and hard and tight, and Connor whines like it’s too much.

“Sorry,” Jack says, low and sincere. He could lean forward and drag his teeth across the tendon in Connor’s neck, tense and visible, or across the jut of Connor’s collarbone, the scar he knows is there. It’s hard not to, when so much of Connor’s skin is so close.

He loosens his grip on Connor’s dick until he’s barely touching, just trailing his fingers up and down it, and this time the noise Connor makes is needy. Jack ignores it, and circles his fingers around the tip. It’s an exploratory touch, shifting them until Connor reacts and cataloguing the way he does. When he hisses, or bites down on his lip, and tries to muffle a groan. It doesn’t take much, just soft touches, teasing ones, until Connor is squirming and making low noises. Trying to get Jack to touch him more.

This time, Jack obliges, wrapping his hand tight around Connor’s dick again and stroking up and down. It’s dry, but the downstroke pulls his foreskin back and Jack sees precome beading at the tip. He reaches with his other hand, catches it, and then second-guesses the motion. Connor did this so—simply, and now Jack is straddling him, using both hands, studying the way he reacts.

He wants to slide his mouth around the tip of Connor’s dick, curl his tongue against it and see if that makes his hips jerk. Connor is so controlled, even now, with Jack’s fingers all over his dick and Jack pinning him to the bed. His fingers are sticky-damp with Connor’s precome, and he should use it to smooth his hand when he jerks Connor off more, but it’s so easy to just push a little more.

Jack’s never been any good at resisting a challenge. He sticks his fingers into his mouth, closing his lips around them and sucking a little. Connor’s eyes go wide, and his mouth hangs open silently for a few seconds before he whispers, “fuck.”

Smugness curls in Jack’s stomach, not unlike the arousal that’s still simmering there.

It’s not as easy to jerk Connor off with his non-dominant hand, but he wraps his spit-slick fingers around Connor’s dick anyway, using his other hand to keep himself from resting too heavily on Connor’s thighs. He’s barely moving his hand, though, tiny motions that are slow and loose, and Connor’s head is tipped back against the headboard now.

“Come on,” he says, eventually. His voice is rough. Jack increases everything, just a little bit. Longer strokes, a little tighter, a little faster. Connor makes another frustrated noise, and rocks his hips up. “Jack,” he says, somewhere between annoyed and pleading.


Connor rolls his hips again, harder this time. Fucking himself with Jack’s loosely fisted hand, and Jack is just staring at it. The way Connor’s dick slides through his fingers, flushed and leaking. The way his skin moves, and the way more precome beads.

He moves his thumb just enough to catch it on Connor’s next stroke, but he lets Connor keep doing all the work. His hips are moving faster now, and there’s more friction, and everything is so warm between them. Jack’s not hard again, and he doesn’t think he can get it up again for a few minutes, but he kind of wishes Connor hadn’t gotten him all the way off. He could have rocked back down against Connor, gotten them off together. Skin on skin, sloppy and maybe a little desperate.

This—he’s not desperate, not anymore, but Connor is getting there, his eyes falling closed and his mouth open, soft noises falling from it almost constantly now.

“Jack,” he says, and this time it’s just—begging. “I need more—” a choked gasp “—please, just. Tighter.”

His face is so red, and his dick is redder where it’s pushing through Jack’s fist. Jack has no idea how to keep from obliging him, not when he wants to know what it looks like when Connor comes. Wants to feel his dick jerk and spurt in his hand.

Jack tightens his grip, and Connor pushes up against him two more times, and then a third, and then he he exhales on a soft “oh,” and arches off the bed, coming on Jack’s hand, splattering his own shirt. Jack strokes him through it, catches a little bit of the come on his fingers, and stays there looking for probably longer than he should.

He ought to climb off Connor, wash his hands. Pull his pants back up and splash water on his face and go back to watch movies with the guys.

It’s surprisingly difficult to convince himself to move. Connor isn’t making eye contact, but he’s looking at Jack—at his shoulders and his chest and his hands and the side of his face. He hasn’t pushed Jack off, or told him to leave. That’s—it’s something.

There’s so many things Jack could do in this moment, and none of them feel quite right. The silence isn’t entirely comfortable, but it’s not entirely uncomfortable either. Neither of them is breaking it, not yet. The impulse to reach up and rest his thumb on Connor’s lower lip comes out of nowhere, but Jack gives in to it. Connor’s mouth is red, flushed from him biting on it, and it makes Jack want to do the same.

He touches it instead, the end of his thumb tugging just a little bit. It’s the hand he used to jerk Connor off, the one he had in his own mouth only a few minutes ago, and there’s still some of Connor’s spunk on it. Connor’s eyes flick down, and he clearly registers that, and then he opens his mouth just a little bit anyway. Enough to suck Jack’s thumb between his lips, between his teeth, and curl his tongue around it.

“Oh,” Jack whispers. That isn’t what he expected. A lot of this hasn’t been what he expected. Connor hasn’t been what he expected, and mostly that’s a good thing.

He pulls his hand away from the warm heat of Connor’s mouth after what feels like not nearly long enough—it’s making him think about things they can’t do right now. Things that maybe they won’t do ever.

“I should—” Jack starts to say, and then he changes his mind. His thumb is wet when he curls his hand around Connor’s neck, but Connor doesn’t flinch, just fixes him with a slightly uncertain gaze.

Jack kisses him.

For a moment—for what feels like an eternity—Connor doesn’t react. His mouth is closed, a little slack against Jack’s, but not responsive. And then he sucks in a quiet breath, and he moves his mouth against Jack’s.

It’s not—it’s a closemouthed kiss, a little slow, a lot cautious. Jack doesn’t want to ask for too much, but he strokes his thumb down the tendon on the side of Connor’s neck, and Connor’s mouth falls open just a hair. Jack isn’t sure he remembers how to breathe, but he drags his teeth across Connor’s lower lip, and Connor’s mouth opens more.

They’re barely touching; lips, Jack’s hand on Connor’s neck, the spots his thighs are pressed against Connor’s, but that’s it. When Connor slides his tongue across Jack’s, it’s another connection, and it makes Jack shiver. His hand tightens, his fingers tucked through the ends of Connor’s hair. One of Connor’s hands lands on his thigh, squeezing a little.

Jack is slightly off-balance, pitching forward, and Connor’s grip is grounding. He feels like he’s falling, metaphorically mostly, but literally too, like one wrong move and he’s going to tip forward too far and end up pressed to Connor from shoulder to hip.

Connor breaks the kiss before it happens, trailing his mouth across Jack’s jaw and then pulling back. His eyes are wide and his lips are even redder than they were before they kissed. Before Jack kissed him.

“I,” Connor starts, breathless. “I didn’t expect that?”

Jack huffs out a low laugh. “Me neither.” That makes Connor laugh, and Jack can feel the vibrations in his hand, the one still curled around Connor’s neck. Connor’s skin is warm, and soft everywhere Jack has touched it.

“I liked it, though,” Connor says. His voice is small, but it’s unwavering.

That’s—Jack has no idea how to answer that, the tiny, always surprising thread of courage that runs through so much of what Connor does.

“Me too,” Jack says, even though he has to steel himself to do it. And then, “I’m glad I stayed to watch a movie with you.”

Connor laughs again, louder this time, and he’s smiling up at Jack when he stops. Jack smiles back, unable to stop himself. “I can’t believe you actually—”

“Me neither,” Connor says, and then they’re both laughing. “We should do it again some time,” he adds, and Jack’s grin feels irrepressible.

“Can we skip the movie next time?” he asks, and Connor rolls his eyes.

“Sure, whatever you want.”

This time, though, Connor’s the one who moves in to kiss Jack, and Jack is easier for it than he thought he’d be. When he pulls away, slightly out of breath and squinting at Connor, he has to take a few seconds to compose himself before he frowns and flops sideways onto the empty half of the bed.

“I should take Ekblad his charger before he comes looking for it.”

“Shit,” Connor says, and then he laughs again. “He totally will, too.”

Jack’s whole body feels loose, though, from endorphins and his orgasm and the way they’re laughing together. It’s a lot of work to convince himself to stand up and examine the damage to his shirt.

“Um,” he says, and Connor laughs again. It’s infectious. “Can I borrow a shirt?”

Connor throws one at his head while he’s splashing water on his face in the bathroom, and it’s plain white. Tight around the shoulders, but otherwise inconspicuous.

He has one foot out the door when it occurs to him, and he turns, stepping back into the room.

“Do you want to come?” he asks, and Connor’s smile is unlike anything he’s seen all night.