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We Pick Ourselves Undone

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 Will, despite what he knew a lot of people thought, did not actually run on anger and...well anger. He had a lot of emotions that were constantly battling for their five minutes with him but could not always place them, did not understand why this one came after the other or what they meant so he was frustrated before he even had to deal with the world. Attempts to get to know them better were always short lived; there had always been so many other things that needed his energies, things that would help to give other people a chance to become fully functioning, happy human beings.

 He had known that it was a shitty way to treat himself ages before he met a group of people not related to him who genuinely cared. Before he got Chris’ intense friendship and Bitty’s warm hearted fussing, before Rans & Holtzy were a gentle presence keeping an eye on him, before Jack Zimmermann showed honest concern for him. Before he let Nursey love him like he was worth it.

 Loving Nursey was...he knew he did, very very much, but he sometimes worried if what he felt, what he was able to feel, what he was able to express, would always be enough when every part of Nursey seemed to be full of a love he had thrown himself into without a second glance, showing it with big gestures and sure words. When he saw how Chris and Cait were so openly and easily besotted with one another. But not being showy with his emotions was who he was, and Nursey had fallen for that, so he supposed it would be okay.

 “My beautiful, wonderful boyfriend.” Nursey had said one day out of nowhere, as was his habit, sitting on the stairs to the basement to watch Will fix the fucking franken-dryer like it was interesting. Will waited but it did not seem anything else was coming so he shot a frown over his shoulder at Nursey, the yellow hallway light creeping down into the basement and catching on the sharp line of his cheekbones. “What?” He asked, smiling at Will like he was either hiding something or teasing him, it was hard to tell sometimes.

“What do you mean what, what were you gonna say?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?" 

“Uhuh.”

“Fucking weirdo.”

“Love you too babe.”

“Yeah love you, still a weirdo. What does that say about me?”

“That you need higher standards.”

 Will snorted as he went back fiddling with the wiring. He was not an overly jealous guy, he had learnt a lot time ago that it never did any good, but he still preferred not to dwell on either of their standards. He never thought Nursey would ever have his head turned and take off with someone else, he knew Nursey too well for that, knew what love looked like too clearly after growing up surrounded by it to ever doubt him. (He had once, so sure he was so unloveable, so impossible to want he had half convinced himself Nursey just wanted someone easy to fuck until graduation - and Will had been so willing to be that just to pretend he knew what it was like to be desired.) It did not mean he did not think Nursey’s heart was an idiot, but with being on the SMH he was used to idiots by now.

“...so it’s just a question of keeping the knowledge to the elite is what I’m getting at I guess? I fucking haaaate the idea of agreeing with Foucault, he gets a huge boner every time someone does and I do not want to give a dead french dude the satisfaction! But it makes this essay sooo much easier to write.” Holster let his note pad drop onto the table with a thud and shot Will a look over his glasses. “Why the fuck did I let you talk me into philosophy?”

“Just said I was taking it.” Will shrugged. 

“Yeah, and Rans and Nursey are both doing chemistry.” It was one Ransom and Holsters’ D-men things. There had to be a symmetry in almost everything they did, even down to course choices. Which seemed to work for them as neither suffered from low GPA's.

“Yeah, and you could have talked me into doing literally anything else.”

 Holster raised an eyebrow at him, lips twitching around the chirps that were forming, but he controlled himself. “Let the record to show that I had some sick chirps brewing but your boyf is right there and he hits pucks crazy hard.” They all glanced down the table at Nursey who was sat frowning at a spot on the table with glazed eyes, warm bottom lip sucked into his mouth.

 There was a moment of silence where they all waited for him to realise he was being stared at before Holster threw a pen lid at his ear, jerking Nursey out of his thoughts. “Hey, I’m saying how I’m restraining myself from not innuendo-chirping Dex.”

 Nursey blinked at them all for a moment before leaning back in his chair grinning, stretching his arms over his head so his chest strained the fabric of his henley. “But I like it when Dex blushes, please continue.”

 Will shot him a look of betrayal as everyone on the table made cooing noises at them, knowing full well his face was showing the warm felling he always got whenever Nursey let everyone know how attractive he found him.

“What could I have talked you in to Dexy? A wild weekend of econ spreadsheets and projections, or a trip between stacks for some detailed history books? Whatever you want, take my hand and let me take you far, far away from this philosophy hell!”

“You let him come and Rapunzel y’all out of dorms he'll just take you to the econ building, its not worth it Dex.”

“How many whispered words about screwdrivers and pinterest would it take for you to do something wild and dirty with me, like law."

“We should really do the consent talk again Holtzy, can't let the LAX bros get to him like this.”

 Will sighed and turned the page of his book loudly. “I’m taking back my captain vote.”

“Take it...can he do that?” Ransom squawked. 

“Dunno bro I need to check asap.”

“Who you gonna give it to?" Lardo grinned from next to Bitty.

“The gross jock strap you won’t throw out.” Will muttered, Lardo snorting as scandalized yell went up from the captains, the library already braced for their hourly ruining of the peace and quiet.

 That was the first time he noticed Nursey being distracted. Okay, more distracted than usual. It was annoying to admit but he had been able to tell ‘distracted by the muse’ Nursey from plain old distracted Nursey before they even got together. Just like Nursey claimed he could tell the difference between Will’s blushes which was bullshit but also made him blush harder whenever he remembered it.

 Nursey being on his own planet was not uncommon, but getting side-tracked from his battle through the Florentine dialect of medieval Italian for his love of Dante was very strange - he had such a hard on for dead Italian epic poets it had almost been endearing until Nursey had mentioned Virgil probably had freckles and Will got suspicious. And then he had told him about Catullus always being angry and that “I totes see him as a lanky ginger” which made Will not want to think about it anymore.

 He did not consciously look out for any unusual pre-occupation from his boyfriend, he did not have enough time to look for all the weird things Nursey did, but he still caught the same pensive look from the library when Nursey was washing up, at movie night, while walking, while he was tying his skates, even while he was being an artsy fuck on Instagram. And that was just what he noticed, who knows what he missed when he was doing other things.

  Will ended up watching him one afternoon, sat unmoving at Will’s desk for nearly five minuets with his solid legs thrown out in front of him, frowning at a point on the wall just to the side of his laptop screen. Will sighed as he put his engineering book down and curled up on his side to watch Nursey for a moment. People who had not looked at him, really looked at him, called Nursey pretty, but Will had looked at him a lot and he knew that was not the right word for his sure, well made features - devastatingly handsome fit much better. Will had always thought so, he realised looking back, always liked the mossy grey colour of his eyes and the bow of his lips, always liked the line of his nose, the noble tilt of his chin.

 He took one last glance at Nursey’s pinched eyebrows and tense mouth before speaking. “Hey D.”

 Nursey started, inhaling loudly and looking over with his eyebrows raised questioningly, expression softening as his large eyes flicked over Will. He turned, slinging one strong arm over the back of Will’s chair. “Yeah habibi?” 

 Will blushed, catching the moment Nursey saw it and blushing darker when he smiled at him. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” Nursery assured, standing easily.

“You’ve looked distracted recently.” Will said, turning to look up at Nursey as he came to stand next to his bed.

 Nursey’s answer was to knock Will’s leg with his knee and slide him onto his back as he lay down half on top of him, curling one arm around his head and fingering at a few waves of his hair, taking his time to gently kiss all over Will’s face. 

“Nursey, that’s...Derek!” Will protested, starting to laugh. “Stop avoiding the question.” 

“Uhh m’showing what's distracting me. Keep up.” He murmured, running his free hand down Dex’s side to hold his hip.

“No, if that’s distracting you I’d know about it...well I’d hope I’d know about it.”

“You would definitely know all about it.”

 Will gasped, thrown from his mission by Nursey’s kisses, by his thick thigh wedged between his own, by the heady scent of cocoa butter and cologne that brought back memories of all the times Nursey had made him feel really, really good. “Good to know.” He breathed against Nursey’s lips, running a hand down the solid muscles of his back to dig his fingers into the meat at the top of his thigh.

“Gonna let me make you feel good now, baby?” Nursey asked into his neck, pressing his thigh down against Will’s dick.

“Urgh Derek, fuck...I won’t let it go that easily. I want to but I won’t!”

 Nursey took a couple of deep breaths before pulling back to look him in the eyes, looking a little frustrated but expression open. “Yes I am distracted. It’s nothing bad, it’s nothing serious, it’s just me being a dope. October is hitting me hard this year.”

“You can talk to me if you want, I might not be any help but…”

“You will, you have. You help me by being you, by loving me back, and being the only person in the world to turn down an offer of me getting them off.”

 Will burst out laughing, “Ayuh, I’d like to see you try and get me to believe that.”

 Nursey was smiling his dazzling smile, just the right amount of teeth, the perfect sparkle in his eye, dimples out to ruin. “Is the truth only true if we believe it or does it stay true despite our belief?”

“Truth is the truth no matter what people believe. Earth still went ‘round the sun when people thought otherwise, you maniac.”

“Poindexter has spoken.” Nursey said, shifting so his hips were no longer pressing Will’s into the bed. “Honestly,” his warm, rough palm cupped Dex’s cheek, “I’m just being a shit student, I’m sorry I worried you.”

“S’okay. I can stop worrying you’re gonna propose.”

That startled a nervous laugh out of Nursey. “Yeah spent three months of my non-existent salary on a wonderful invisible ring for you hope it takes your breath away.”

“Money has never stopped you.”

“Interpretive dance of an engagement ring.” Nursey said straight faced, holding Will’s gaze for a moment before they were both laughing.

“If you even think about doing that I promise you I will kill you.” Will sniggered, wrapping his arm around Nursey’s broad shoulders to finger the fuzzy, soft hair on the back of his head.

“I’ll get a whole flashmob to do it, in times square.” 

“Oh my god you are dumped .”

 Nursey did not even blink, just slid his thumb over the little piece of bare skin between Will’s shirt and sweatpants he always seemed to find. “Am I? I’ll get my stuff and go then.”

“Please, been cluttering up my room for ages.”

 Nursey ran his lips over the line of Will’s jaw, moving to leisurely nip at his bottom lip. “First things first, my boxers you’re wearing.” He breathed, slipping his hand into the back of Will’s sweatpants, gripping his ass gently as they kissed lazily, luxuriating in the slide of their tongues against one another.

“I think we should get back together.” Will murmured against his lips, his own fingers running under Nursey’s t-shirt and over the bumps of his spine.

“Agreed.” Nursey said into his neck, chilled nose searching out the warm dip of Will’s collarbone.

“No, get up, you have work to do.”

“But you’re so warm and your skin is so soft and you smell so good, lemme live Poindexter, let me recharge.”

“You’re grabbing my ass.” 

“Vital part of recharging.” Nursey said, voice muffled by Will’s neck, settling in closer against him, their feet tangled together. 

“Your hand will go numb.”

“So be it.”

 Will looked down at the top of his head and sighed, reaching out for his book and using Nursey’s shoulders to rest his arms on as he tried to find where he had stopped paying attention.

 Nursey was still strangely distracted and Will tried not to be worried about it, he did not want Nursey to think he did not trust him to be honest with him. Besides Halloween was coming up, which of course meant a kegster, and he needed to make sure the crazy shit Rans & Holtz pulled this year did not damage the already precarious structural integrity of the Haus. Or burn it down.

 He should have just gone to a State School.

“So. Halloween 2k16.” Holster started as he budged Ransom along the couch at Annies. “Lets get some ideas on the table.”

“As your honoured captains we wish to involve you all in the process.” Ransom declared airily as he pulled up an Excel sheet.

“Seance in a graveyard.” Lardo declared.

“That is how people die in horror movies!” Bitty gasped as Chowder perked up.

“We could try and talk to dead hockey players!! Wow I wonder what the afterlife is like?” 

“I am not being killed by the zombie of Wayne Gretzky.” Ransom scoffed.

“...He’s not dead?” Will said as Lardo spoke over him. “Sounds p sick way to go if you ask me.”

“Sooo Ouija board in the basement?” Holster checked, fingers hovering over the keyboard.

“No waaaay.” Nursey drawled as he perched on the edge of the couch, handing Will his coffee, going to cradle his to his chest then thinking better of it and handed that to Will as well. “First of all, it’s a commercialised Chinese tradition. Secondly, we have Haus ghosts already.”

“They’re not real!” Ransom hissed.

“I can hear y’all yellin’ when they grab your ass.”

"They’re not real, Bits!

“Ohh oooh maybe if we do the theme Haus ghosts they’ll stop grabbing Ransom’s ass!” Chowder enthused.

 Will let the planning go on around him, sniffing the mugs in his hands to check which one was his, recoiling as cinnamon and nutmeg made his nose itch. He glowered up at Nursey who was gesticulating at Lardo about something. This fucker and his ‘weaken the consumerist hold on this country’ rants - which Will agreed with wholeheartedly - still leapt upon the pumpkin spice bandwagon when fall rolled around.

 He, on the other hand, was much more low key about counting down the days until the peppermint Christmas everything came out.

“Yoooo totes emoji pumpkins!” Holster hollered as Dex put Nursey’s drink down, sipping his own coffee. “Bit’s! Emojis!”

“Lard’s and me are on thiiiisss.” Bitty was already on his phone, Lardo leaning over C to get a look.

“Me and you, Dexy, Mulder and Scully.” Will rolled his eyes at Nursey. “We would be perfect! We have great chemistry, you’re like, a crazy sexy ginger and I have great hair.”

“Wow.” Bitty breathed, shaking his head at them.

 “You let this guy talk you into dating you?” Ransom demanded of Will. “I would have at least made one favourable comparison between your shared senses of loyalty and intelligence before being complimentary in regards to you cheekbones in relation to Gillian Anderson’s.”

“He is an expert in cheekbones. He own’s the best in the Boston area.” Holster assured sagely.

“Aw bro!” 

“You two are fined.” Lardo muttered.

“You cannot fine the truth!” 

“Watch meee.”

 The talk descended into what their costumes should be, Lardo making Holster wheeze with laughter when she said she was going to come as the ghost of Kent Parson’s Pong cred. 

“I mean, never heard of shark aliens but, like, why not?” Will shrugged, “Not like we have any reference for ‘em.”

“Oh wow!” C beamed, wriggling in his seat, “I can combine my shark and aquaman costumes!”

“You have your costumes already?”

“Oh no, I usually just alternate between the two. I used to go in my goalie gear until I ruined a wooden floor with my skates.”

“Skates!”

“Yeah. It had to be authentic.”

 Will opened his mouth and found himself at a loss for words, something that happened quite a lot around C. In a good way, he was the most genuine person Will thought he had ever met. He glanced up at Nursey as he always had something to say, and especially a good-natured chirp at C to get back at him for all the times he stopped his shots in practise, but Nursey was staring into the depths of his coffee with a genuinely troubled look on his face. Not since he caught Nursey checking him out a few months ago had he seen him look like that. When he realised Will was looking at him he turned to him with a wink, “I want to believe in the beauty of the world. I want to believe in it’s endlessness. I want to believe in the purity of light. But what I believe in is your ass.”

 Will was aware of C cracking up and everyone asking what he was laughing at as he glared up at Nursey who took a cool sip of his coffee. On any other day the hot drink he was holding would have been the only thing that saved Nursey from an ass kicking, but today he was so relieved that Nursey’s stricken expression was nothing, so amused that he had pulled that face while coming up with that he burst out laughing too, the three of them incapable for a good five minutes as they kept on setting one another off.

 He should have known better than to trust Nursey at face value. When he put his mind to it he could get words to do whatever he wanted and had years in the pressure cooker that was Andover to perfect burying what was bothering him. Will was so mad at himself for falling for it until the unforgiving nature of Hockey that eventually gave him up.

  On the ice Nursey became a different person, serious and focused and, when the occasion called for it, good with his fists. He was never not switched on and never mistimed a pass, infuriating Will early on in freshman year with how in the zone he was. This practice it was like Will was skating with one of the Tadpoles for the first time; having to put on leg burning bursts of speed to catch pucks that were going to miss him by feet, play’s just not gelling, their line drills the slowest they had been since the start of freshman year.

 It was embarrassing and everyone noticed, Holster and Ollie coming up to him to quietly ask what was up like he was the one messing up. It made him so angry. Sure Nursey was the one who always had his head in the fucking game but it was not like Dex was any less dedicated. Or good. And he was fucking furious that Nursey was keeping something big enough from him to distract from Hockey. He held off snapping at the team, he had done some growing up in the past year, but he knew he could not keep it up as he felt himself slip into one of his temper-spirals, everything slowly narrowing down until it was just him looking at his anger until one of them (him, alway him) snapped.

 He was blocking Tango a little too aggressively when a clatter from the other side of the ice broke his concentration. He glanced over to see Nursey skidding along the ice on his side and coming to a stop just in front of the visiting teams bench, rolling over to lay on his back before smacking his stick on the ice so hard it drew the attention of everyone who had not notice him fall.

 "I didn’t touch him Dex, I wasn’t near him.” Whiskey was saying as he skated past, looking as worried as his placid brown eyes ever allowed. Will nodded at him, no-way Whiskey would take anyone out like that even if he could knock Nursey on his ass.

 Ransom got to him just after Will dropped to his knee’s and flicked off a glove to lay a hand on Nursey’s shoulder for all the good it would do, you could hardly feel anything through the pads. “You okay?”

 Nursey looked up at him with tired green eyes, frustration and embarrassment writ large on his face. “Yeah, bad day.”

 “Don’t worry man, we all get them.” Ransom offered his hand and easily hauled Nursey up past Will, “What I do when I have off days is skate it out. Just do some laps with a puck until your head is more in the game. And if it takes all of practice at least you’ve done some puck control, eh?”

 Nursey nodded, knocking gloves with Ransom and smiling at Whiskey when he handed him his mouthguard that had gone skittering off when he fell.

“Derek.” Will said gently, touching Nursey’s wrist with his bare fingers. “ Are you okay?”

“Like I said, bad day. Bit distracted.”

 Will took a deep breath, he was worried about Nursey, worried and annoyed, but the middle of practise was not the time or place to have it out. “Is the light hitting my eyes poetically this morning or something?” He said, knowing it would fall flat before he even said it.

 Nursey smiled like he appreciated the effort. “Something like that”

“Want me to do laps with you?”

“Nah, I’m good. You go and keep Tango on his toes.”

“Oh yeah thanks a bunch.” Will grumbled as he pulled his glove back on with his teeth. “Don’t fall on your ass again.” He knocked the rim of their helmets together gently before skating off with long lazy strides, tapping Tango on his right shoulder with his stick as he skated past his left, tugging him into a headlock when he turned.

 Tango laughed as he struggled away, skates flailing uselessly on the ice, grinning at Will when he finally let him go and somehow easing his tension. Will had always had sharp edges that meant his humour, his affection, the way he was around people came off as cold, which he supposed he was, but his team had helped him sand down the edges and accepted the few rough bits left. It was more than any of his friends back home had ever done and it meant the world to him.

 He was still pissed at Nursey though, but if anyone could put their anger away for later it was Will, getting on with doing some edgework with Ollie and Tango while sparing the occasional worried glance at Nursey as he skated past

  The locker room was not it’s usually chirpy, fuck I need to carb load RIGHT NOW self as everyone showered and changed, there was a chill in the atmosphere that Will knew was coming from him and for once he did not feel self conscious about how any of them interpreted the scowl on his face.

 It was almost like a year ago, everyone scuttling out the doors as quickly as they could so Jack could have words with them, except this time there was no-one to mediate, it was just them.

  Chris and Bitty were the last to go, C taking forever to do up his shoes while shooting them nervous looks. Eventually Bitty sighed deeply and dragged C out after him so they were finally alone, Nursey sat in his cubby with his shirt half buttoned and Will in his socked feet, the silence around them only broken by the drip drip drip of the leaky showerhead.

“Hit me with it.” Nursey sighed, sitting back in his cubby when Dex glanced over at him, face carefully neutral and body language open.

“Hit you with what?”

“About what the hell I was doing in practice.”

“Oh please, don’t try and get in first with your ‘know thyself’ crap to make me feel bad about being mad at you!"

“I’m not…”

“You’ve avoided this once before, don’t you fucking dare try and do it again!” Will snapped, closing his mouthguard case with a snap that was sharp in the unnatural quiet around them. “I asked you what was wrong and you told me it was nothing, just school, and now you’re fucking up in practise. You never fuck up in practice. Ever. Not even when you had this big secret crush on me that you wrote into pages and pages of fuckin poetry were you like this.” Will shoved his mouthguard in his bag, turning away from Nursey to try at hide his angry red ears and the emotions he knew where in his eyes. He had liked being the biggest un-chill moment in Nursey’s life, and he hated himself for being jealous of what was affecting Nursey more than he ever did. “And you won’t tell me. You tell me it’s all fine and I can see it’s not. You fucking lied to me!” 

“It’s not a big deal.”

“Do you ever think before you open your mouth?”

“It’s not a big deal! It’s nothing. I am making a big deal out of it.”

“You are...what is that supposed mean? Jesus fucking CHRIST Derek can you not be normal for once in your life!”

 Nursey scoffed. “Like you’re normal.”

“I am gonna love watching you dig yourself out of that one.”

“You’re weird, I’m weird, Chris is weird. Holster is the weirdest person I know! You should know by now you've not surrounded yourself with 'normal' people.” 

“So lying is hipster is that what you're bullshitting me with?”

“Do I have to tell you every little thing that goes on with me now?”

“No, course not.”

“Then why is it such a big deal I lied?”

“Because its a fucking LIE Derek! A. Lie! If you can lie to me once you can do it again and again and I wouldn’t even know.” Emotion entered his voice without him meaning it to. There was a wet feeling in his throat and his chest was was bone dry, anger a familiar white noise between his ears. "I trust you, and you're making me think I shouldn't." He saw the moment Nursey came to his own conclusions, annoyed frown turning into wide eyed panic as he jumped up, nearly hitting his head on his pads.

“I’m not cheating on you. I promise you right now babe it’s nothing to do with…”

“I don’t...why would I think that? You love me don’t you?” If you cheated you could not have loved who you cheated on, because love meant you respected someone too much to hurt them. Respected someone enough to be honest with them. It may be a naive, small town, black and white, childlike view of things to someone like Nursey but it’s what he knew was right. Just like he knew Nursey loved him.

“Yes of course, I love you so much. But I…” Nursey trailed off, looking at Will with a mixture of relief, regret and a tinge of what Will thought was surprise. Of course he would be surprised, why would that not be a constant worry for Will when Nursey was everything he was not.

 Will shouldered his kit bag, throwing a “Good talk” over his shoulder as he made to leave, the wet feeling climbing up his throat to try and become tears.

“I’m sorry Will. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you it’s..I’m worrying about your birthday.” Nursey blurted out when he got to the door.

 Will paused, squeezing his eyes shut and taking in a deep, deep calming breath. Of course it was. Form anyone else that would be the worst lie ever, but this was Nursey. He was not even surprised. Only Nursey would let something as stupid as that consume him, only they could make something as boring as a birthday into a full blown fight.

“I don’t know what to do or what to get you ‘cause we haven’t even had our first anniversary yet and everything I want to get you or do is just too much...or Jack can do it for you.”

“Jack?!” 

“He can get you free rink-side tickets to whatever game you want, get you any merch you want, introduce you to NHL players, private tours of the stadium…”

“He does that for the whole team Derek!”

“Yeah but…”

“I do not have a crush on Jack Zimmermann! For the last time!”

“I know, but you think he’s hot.” Nursey whined like it was the worst thing ever.

“I think Laverne Cox is hot too, and Sidney Crosby, and you don't care about them.”

“I know. But you don’t know them.”

“Okay. We are so off track here. My birthday!?”

“That’s why I didn’t want to say! Because it’s mad stupid to be so caught up with this. I’m sorry." 

“Why are you getting so worried, it’s just a birthday.” Will's birthday fell just before the Maine cut off date for the class below, so instead of being the oldest in the year he was doomed to always be the baby, always picked on, having to work harder to get the good grades and push himself to be the equal of his classmates on the ice. His parents used to throw him nice parties growing up but he hated the reminder that he was finally catching up to everyone in age just as they started to get older again.

 Nursey’s head snapped back like Will had just insulted him, shooting him a wide eyed, bemused look. “Just a birthday? You’ll be nineteen!”

“So? Just a relaxed day will be enough Derek.”

“You can’t. But I...Will!”

“What?”

“I want to do something nice for you.”

“Then do it, don't get all weird about it.”

“...I want to buy you a car.”

“No fucking way.”

“But your car…”

“I know, it’s a piece of crap, but no Nursey. That’s too much nice.”

“...wasn’t going to be a fancy car.” Nursey muttered to himself and Will let himself relent, pushing the lump of his emotions away as he dropped his bag.

“Nursey. Derek. I...that’s such a nice thing to want to do, but no thank you. Not...not right now, okay? Too soon yeah?”

“This is exactly it. This is why I didn’t say anything because I do actually know when I’m being extra and I just... This is it for me, you’re it for me but you’ve not had a, a big relationship like this before and I don’t want you to move at my pace I mean shit it’s not even a year and I’m thinking about marriage and I’m really trying not to because you - no-one can dictate how you do these things but you never got the chance to explore what your sexuality is before we got together. It’s so fast, this is so fast. And I want to give you the world and it’s too soon I know but this is honesty. My truth. My truth it that I want you - everyone- to know how much I love you. My honesty is that I want to...oh fuck. Shit.” Nursey put his head in his hands and let himself fall sideways into Ransom’s cubby, groaning like he had been shot.

 Will had heard everything Nursey said, but something was being hidden behind the numb feeling of shock that had settled all the way down to his fingertips, a meaning finally extracting itself from the words whizzing around his head, “...you wanna marry me?”

“Not like, right now.” Nursey groaned, letting his hands fall to his sides as he dropped his head between his knees. “FUcking shit.”

 That was a big thing, Will knew that was a big thing, a scary thing, but he did not feel fear nor the crushing magnitude of what Nursey said. He had spent most his life knowing no-one would love him, if he ever married it would be to someone who did not want to be lonely, just like he did not want to be lonely. To be so loved, even by an extra son of a bitch like Derek Malik Nurse, felt...warm. “You have no chill at all.” 

“This is not the time William!”

“Totally is, you wanna maarrryy me.” He sing-songed, managing to keep a wobble from his voice. “Do you have a book filled with our combined surnames? If not I’m gonna be so disappointed in you.” 

“I’m not telling you either way.”

“You totally do, m’gonna have to find it now.” Dex went and sat down in Holster’s cubby, pressing his cheek to Nursey’s shoulder and kissing the soft cotton of his t-shirt.

“I’m so sorry.” Nursey sighed quietly, wrapping his strong fingers around Will’s hand. “And thanks for not freaking out.”

“I know you liked me for ages before I liked you, and I know you’re a great big romantic idiot who deals in forever's so I’m not surprised. But I uh...I might freak out in a bit but right now I’m just happy that you love me so much, I guess?” 

 Nursey turned to look at him for a long moment, eyes more grey than green under the artificial lights, a tiny pinch between his eyebrows that Will could not identify. “Come here.”

“Wha…” Will started, letting himself be dragged into Ransom’s cubby and pulled to sit across Nursey’s lap. “Dude, locker room.”

 Nursey was not listening to him, he was holding Will’s face with his dry hands and giving him such an intent look it made the back of Will’s neck sweat. “Did you not know how much I love you?”

“Uh yeah, you make it clear by being dramatic about it all the time. But wanting to marry someone? Is huge?”

 Nursey’s eyes flicked over his face before he leant in. “I know I’m in trouble, but can i kiss you?”

“Sure.” Will whispered, slipping an arm around Nursey’s neck as he kissed him gently, chapped lips moving over his with the utmost care, one muscular arm holding Will firmly around the waist as he stroked a thumb over his cheekbone.

“Boys are y’all… y’all!” Bitty’s scandalised voice broke them apart, peering around to look at Bitty’s head that was peaking around the door.

“What’s happened are they still...” C babbled, freezing just inside the locker room to look at them with wide eyes, “...oh wow. Oh no!”

 Will looked up at Nursey to make a joke of it but he was still gazing at him intently, the heat in his gaze pooling in Will’s stomach as he blushed brightly. “Oh.”

“Did we...oh we really did inter - okay y’all out we go!” Bitty started yelling, waving his arms at them. “Y’all are not getting up to that in here, out ya go.”

 Nursey blinked slowly as he let Will go, not even having the decency to blush as Bitty huffed at them and C kept shooting them knowing looks as they headed off to grab some food before class

 

Lardo: Do I need to hide a body?

Holster: I can get hold of some bleach but that never fools CSI:New York

Lardo: that show is the woooorst

Holster: Umm how dare?

Lardo: Original is way better.

Ransom: Is it unethical to dismember a fellow D-man.

               ?

Holster: I thought I knew you Lards I really did.

Chowder: No one is dead guys don’t worry they are both living

                and kissed and made up and everything!!!!1

Ransom: Totes what someone hiding a body would say.

Holster:  We came up with that idea about How Get Away With this Murder btw

Lardo: Which one was it C? I bet it was Nursey

           Dex could fight like a whole sasquatch.

Ransom: Adam. I can SEE YOU I GET the PUN.

Dex: I could and I have

Jack: What is going on?

Holster: THEN APPRECIATE IT JUSTIN

              D&N have finally fought to the death.

Nursey: Wanna be mad at you Lards but I would totes let Dex kill me.

             Btw no-one is dead.

Ransom: How do we know this isn’t a clever trick to throw the po po?

Bitty: Ransom it is highly unethical to dismember anyone!!!!

         Never do this thing!!

Jack: I’ve only been gone half a semester.

Lardo: It’s lord of the flies here brah.

Holster: If you didn’t murder each other does that mean you had make up sex in the locker room?

             I don’t mind

Ransom: As long as it was safe,consensual, & u cleaned up after.

Holster: And hydrated that is super important

Ransom: Hope you didnt fuck on the logo!!

Shitty: As your lawyer I advise no-one ever mentions this convo or dearly departed Derek M Nurse again.

Bitty: Don’t worry, no sex was gonna happen on the logo

Ransom: Ooooh did Bits get a shooooowwww.

Dex: All your support of my choice to live as a murderer is greatly appreciated.

 

 Thankfully Bitty and C were the kind of people who could conveniently forget the fact they had caught Nursey looking like he was about to fuck Will in Ransom’s stall, happy they had barged in when they did and not gotten more than they really ever bargained for. The same could not be said for Nursey’s neighbours that afternoon who were treated to Will’s whines and moans as Nursey fucked him with his fingers, alternating between sucking his dick and licking at his hole.

“I want you so badly all the time.” Nursey whispered into the V of his hip, rubbing off on the sheets as he dug his fingertips right into Wil’s prostate so his hips arched off the bed, nails digging into Nursey's shoulder. “I love you so much.” Nursey’s ground out, leaning his weight on Will’s abdomen so he thumped down onto the mattress, grinding his hips desperately onto Nursey’s thick fingers, heels scrabbling on the bed as he came all over himself. “I love you more than anything, never forget it, never doubt it, I love you.” He whispered into Will’s stomach, rubbing his face into Will’s come which was so gross but also really hot, jerking off onto Will’s leg.  

 They did not fuck...ya know, p in b stuff...that often because Hockey season, and whenever they did do it they switched, but Will was starting to suspect he might prefer bottoming. Not that he was ever disappointed when Nursey asked him to fuck him, he liked it a whole bunch, but he liked the stretch and the fullness of Nursey inside him more. Liked the care Nursey took to relax him, like that all he had to do was relax, liked it when they had to pause and Nursey could barely hold it together. He even liked the loose, slippery, sated feeling afterwards, loved how gentle Nursey was when he cleaned him off, skin tingling pleasantly as Nursey curled around him and kissed his hair and ran soothing hands over his skin. 

 That he might, probably did, prefer it like that bothered him a little bit. His high school team-mates views on these things still rattled around in his head underneath everything Shitty, Lardo, and Rui from the soccer team (head of the LGBTQ society who Will had emailed a few times about stuff) had said about masculinity and the toxic nature of the patriarchy and all that. He did not have such low self confidence that he believed himself to be weird or less of a man for liking it, but everything had just gotten so good and he was not sure how it would change things if he admitted this out loud; change his behaviour and his relationships with people, change how Nursey treated him even though he knew it would not be on purpose - it was Nursey for fucks sake.  

 Will was not actually thinking about any of this while he raked up the leaves from the Haus lawn. Not for dibs. Sometimes he just needed to do some mindless physically labour to clear his head from whirring through the millions of things on his mind at any one time. Lardo had said it sounded like his version of meditation when she asked him why he did all this stuff which was okay he guessed, seemed a bit better than actual meditation though as you actually got something done but whatever.

“Hey Dex.” A voice called out from the front of the Haus, Will straightening from picking up a few errant leaves to see Jack coming over to him holding a mug of something. He was visiting for the day as it seemed the NHL machine could function without its new toy for a little while. “Bitty made you some french press coffee, he’s just putting some blueberry cobbler in the oven for you for when you’ve done.”

“Amazing.” Dex sighed, taking his cap off to push his hair back off his forehead, shoving it back on as he lent on the rake and took the mug from Jack, cupping it in his gloved hands to let the heat soak into skin that had not known until now that it was cold. “When did the Haus get a french press?” He asked, taking a sip.

“Ransom got it to impress March." 

“Huh.”

 They stood in comfortable silence for a moment, Dex sipping the smooth creamy coffee and Jack with his hands shoved in his pockets looking at the clouds. They were not close friends, not like Jack and Bitty were, but they had always gotten along well. Happy to sit together and alternate between watching history documentaries and British wildlife shows, comforted to have someone as socially ungainly as themselves to have awkward conversations with in peace.  

“Bitty wanted me to have a Dad talk with you I think.” 

“Uhh, about what?” 

“He thinks you have something on your mind but he’s not sure, you’re kinda hard to read.”

 Will took another sip of coffee, raising his eyebrows at the irony. “Yeah. No offence? But I’m not sure if you’re the one to talk to. It’s kinda personal.”

“Well, I’ve showered with ya, bud. Things kinda get less embarrassing when you think about it like that.”

 Will blushed under the tingle of the cold in his cheeks and got even more embarrassed. He did not know how to feel about an NHL star knowing what he looked like naked. Tried not to laugh at how pissy Nursey would get if he heard Jack say that. 

“Should we have a talk with Nursey about how wide you’re grinning at that?” 

“Don’t start, he’s already jealous ‘cause I said...I said your ass was huge.”

“But it is.”

“Exactly.” Conversation died for a bit, Jack picking up his camera to get some shots of clouds through the half bare tree, of Will’s work boots at the edge of the leaves, the air misted up with his breath, his thin freckled fingers peeking out from hand-knitted fingerless gloves to wrap around the mug.

“Is it weird taking photo’s of your hands?” Jack asked as he set up the shot.

“Eh, probably. I don’t care.”

“Cool.”

 They stood together looking through the photo’s, Will pointing out the ones he liked and listening to Jack talk about things like light and exposure times. His voice was deep and mellow, the french accent more pronounced when he was relaxed so Will had to listen a little harder to pick up words through the unfamiliar inflections.

 Jack was just as hard to read as Will was, but whereas the confusion with Will came from his constant scowl and emotional awkwardness Jack’s was because of, well, everything. Will’s chest always aching when he thought about the extraordinary boy playing in the Q who had ended up in rehab. It made you want to be honest with yourself around him; people calling Jack not up to it and mentally weak on every media platform available was a far worse burden to carry than Dex liking it in the ass.

“So, what’s on my mind? It’s about sex stuff.” Jack glanced up at him, ice blue eyes open and fixed on him with his full focus, letting Will know he was listening. “It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it. I can go talk to Ollie or Bitty - but I’m not sure Bitty will know about it with how much he complains about being single.” Will took a deep breath, stopping himself before he started babbling.

“Even if I’m not on the team anymore, even though I am no longer your captain, I have your back still.”

“I…” Will blinked in surprise, not really expecting that. Jack was in his first NHL season which was hard enough without the media waiting for him to bomb, Will would not blame him for having more important things on his plate than one of his old NCAA Tadpoles. “Got your back too, for what it’ worth.”

“I know. And it's worth quite a lot."

 Will took in a deep breath, gripping his mug so hard his fingers started burning, facing this like popping a dislocated shoulder back in. Just do it. “I’m worried ‘cause I think I like it a lot when Nursey...when I uh... don’t top and if I tell Nursey that it will change things. I know what people - some people - think of guys that like it like that.”

 Jack’s only reaction was a slight raise of the eyebrows as he looked at Will who was taking refuge in his coffee. Kinda hoping he could fall right into it and drown to be honest. 

“It won’t change anything. Nursey loves you a lot, and will love you all the more for trusting him with that. If he does not, or treats you differently, then he’s not worth your worry.” Jack said bluntly, seeming to pause for a moment to let Will be shocked. It had never occurred to him to put himself first like that, so used to being there for others, working as a team, trying his hardest to fix something even if it seemed impossible.“You are no less of a man for looking at yourself and accepting all of it. What people say does not matter. I can tell you that from experience. All that matters is here.” He pressed his knuckles so lightly over Will’s heart he could barely feel them. “And here.” He tapped Will on the head and then pulled his hands back into his jacket. “We’re all very young, so things won’t go as smoothly as we’d like looking back, but you make the most of it. I only think different of you in that I admire how upfront you were, and how touched I am you trust me.” 

“Of course I trust you, you’re the captain.” He snapped his jaw shut, feeling his face heat all over again in mortification. “I mean, Rans & Holtzy are great guys, and really great captains, but I couldn’t...not with them. They're too bro-y.”

“It’s okay. Was I of any help?”

 Will nodded, if Jack could look the NHL in the face again after it nearly killed him then Will could do this. “Yeah, yeah you were. Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. Hey, heard you finally dumped the Senators?”

“Got boring supporting such a successful team so I thought I would switch it up and get behind this shitty little franchise out of Providence for a bit.”

“Ohh yah, heard about them. Their new signing is a bit of a lump, needs to get to more optional skates.” 

“Nah, he’s the best one out there.” Will let Jack look awkward for a moment before saying. “Well apart from literally the whole rest of the team.”

“Fuck you buddy.” Jack laughed. “Hows about I kick all your leaves about, eh?” 

“Uhh this is where I sleep.”

“Chirped ya self there.”

“Won’t care when I get Shitty to sue you for half your NHL salary.”

 Jack tipped Will’s hat down over his eyes as Will laughed, flailing with his mug to push it back up again. “You know, haven’t jumped in a leaf pile in ages.” Jack mused when Dex could see again, a twinkle in his eye Will had only seen since he joined the Falc’s. Dreams coming true will do that to a man he supposed.

“Fuck it.” Will flung the rake down and bent to put the mug next to it. Jack was already airborne when Will straightened, landing in the pile with an explosion of red and gold leaves.  

“That was a whole hour’s work just gone!” Bitty’s called as he hurried towards them, wrapped up in his coat and scarf, looking on fondly when Jack sat up on his elbows.

“I’m having fun, that thing you do outside of Twitter." 

“Ha ha Mr.Zimmermann .”

“Hey Dex, get a good run up, eh. I wanna take a photo of the leaves flying.”

“Y’all!” He heard Bitty exclaim as he hit the ground, the smell of clean dry leaves surrounding him as a few hit him in the face, the sound of Jack’s camera rapidly shooting next to him.

 There was only a moment’s pause before Bitty joined them, landing on Jack’s other side with a lot more care than either of them had shown. “Y’all should be more careful now. What would the Falc’s say if y’all’d’a got injured jumpin’ about in leaves.” 

“Don’t worry,” Dex sighed as he rolled onto his front, tossing some leaves at Bitty, “his ass broke his fall.”

 Will thought about that day as he looked out of Nursey’s apartment window a week later, remembering the light feeling of mucking about in the leaves until Bitty had to make a run for the poor heating of the Haus while Jack tried to help tidy the mess they had remade of the lawn.

 He had noticed how happy Jack had looked that day, nose and cheeks red from the cold and a light in his eyes, smile so much more easy than Will ever remembered it being. He had not ever thought that Jack was not happy last year, but then he had not thought he was sad until he had been sat between C and Nursey laughing at some dumb story Cait was telling with not a single thing distracting from his happiness.

 Other people would not cure all ills, he knew that, but his friends, made him want to be at peace with himself.

 Whatever had made Jack smile easily, be it finally making it into the NHL or the girlfriend Rans & Holtz were sure existed, Will hoped it did not have a penchant for the dramatic like the idiot that what was currently making him happy.

 Nursey had told Will to keep the afternoon before his birthday free from “your usual overworking shit” so he had assumed the plan had gone from ‘I’m an idiot let’s buy someone a car ’ to ‘I’m an idiot let’s go to dinner in Boston and stay in an expensive hotel'. Not that he would have hated that, he was not so uptight he would not have enjoyed himself, but Will needed warning before going to fancy places so he was not so awkward it made everyone else uncomfortable.

 He could imagine the Yelp reviews. “The service was smooth and polite, our waiter extremely charming, and the lobster was divine but there was this ginger kid who ruined the whole ambience of the restaurant by being really weird about everything.”

 Their evening had actually been really low key and intimate. The only Nursey moment was when he had picked Will up from his dorms in his pristine white BMW coupé which attracted everyone's attention, Will almost walking into the doors when he had seen Nursey leaning on it looking like every single zero on the end of his allowance.

 They had eaten at the Pan-Asian restaurant on the edge of town that was fancy enough to be mostly free of students and to bring people out of Boston to eat there. The food had been great and Nursey his usual charming asshole self (“Shall we order the lobster in honour of the occasion?” “Shall I put one under your pillow?” “Where would you get it? Are you Lobster Man? Do you whistle and they come?” “A Landlubber like you wouldn’t understand.” “Ooh pirate talk, kinky.”) so Will had been distracted from the fact his best shirt was two years old and his shoes had scuffs on them while Nursey looked so good in his tailored blazer with paisley shirt tucked into slimline trousers, curls perfectly ruffed and stubble just right.

  They were at Nursey’s apartment now, him clattering around in the kitchen doing god knows what while Will looked out at the rain. It always rained on his birthday, Nursey had gone on about how it was romantic rain like he was trying to apologise for it but Will did not mind it; watching rain trickle down windows always relaxed him and he liked watching the shimmer of drops hitting the water while it pitter-pattered on the hood of his waxed jackets.

 He ran a hand down his tie and sighed. They were going to bone tonight, pretty standard college boy romance, and like a college boy Will was looking forward to it, but he knew this was one of those points where he should tell Nursey what he liked. If he did not say anything it would weigh on him for even longer and all the good advice Jack had made the effort of giving him would go to waste. If things got weird then Will would just have to deal with it.

“Doesn’t matter doesn’t matter.” He muttered to himself. “It’s your birthday stop being a little bitch.”

“What’s that babe? Baaabe. You are looking all kinds of beautiful right now.”

“Shut up.” Will said automatically, glancing over at Nursey who was crossing over to him, blazer off and sleeves rolled up and looking utterly devastating

“What? I'm a hoe for well built pretty men staring artfully out of windows. And that shirt is doing the lord's work, Mashallah.” Nursey bumped their hips together, wrapping a strong arm around Dex’s middle. “Did you have a nice dinner babe?"

“Lovely D,”  Will pressed a chaste kiss to his lips, “thank you.”

 Nursey just smiled at him, sweeping his thumb over the soft worn fabric over his ribs. “I got something for you.”

“Is is car key shaped?”

“What would you even do with that? That’s a stupid present.” Nursey teased, pulling a flat blue box from his back pocket and pressing it into Will’s hands.

“Fuck, why is this so cold?”

“I hid it in the freezer.”

 Will gave him a long look. “You’d make like, either the worst or best spy.” He opened the box carefully, aware Nursey was eyeballing him while he looked at the solid band of what looked like silver, decorated in a smooth outwards spreading geometric pattern and inlaid in turquoise.

 “My grandma gave it to me to give to, yanno, the girl. Not that you’re a girl but you are what she meant. It’s Navajo silver, she used to make them but now my uncle’s taken over umm…” Will stared at the bracelet, at the clean beauty of it, and shook his head. Nursey could not help himself and Will would not change him for the world. “You won’t offend anyone. My uncle sells them online they’re not sacred or anything.”

“This one isn’t though. This is special.”

“It is. And so are you.” Nursey’s arm tightened around him, dipping his head so their faces were close together. “I know you don't do jewellery, but how about you wear it just for me?”

 Will looked up into his pale eyes which were open and hopeful and every so slightly intent. He swallowed. Fuck it. “I think I, when we fuck, I prefer bottoming. I like fucking you a lot, but I like that best.”

 Nursey looked like he had just had his skates hooked out from under him, forgetting to blink until he had to then doing it rapidly, head jerking back slightly as he slipped his other arm around Will. “Is that...well I am. Not bothered. Either way, you know that. Uh, tonight I was gonna...um.” He took a deep breath. “Thank you for telling me and this in no way changes my opinion of you.” Will opened his mouth to ask if he had been talking to Jack then thought better of it. Instead he dropped the box onto the windowsill and slipped the bracelet onto his wrist, watching Nursey track the movement. “It looks good.”

 Will took a moment to look at it, pushing it up his arm a little bit then down to his hand, noticing how narrow it made hit wrist look. “Looks good ‘cause it suits me or look’s good ‘cause you gave it to me?”

“You know the answer to that.” Nursey said against his jaw, nipping at his ear as he grabbed Will by the thighs and picked him up with only minimal effort.

“Christ Derek.” Will gasped, clinging onto Nursey and trying to not overbalance them as he bent his head down to kiss over his mouth. Nursey somehow managed to get all the way into his bedroom without dropping Will, kneeling on the end of the bed to gently tip him down onto the sheets that...were covered in rose petals?

Covered.

“Wha…” He started but then Nursey was getting his head stuck in his shirt, throwing it on the floor as he crawled up Will’s body, the light pouring in through the open door catching in every dip and shift of muscle under his soft, unmarked skin. “Oh fuck.”

 Nursey tugged Will’s shirt out from his jeans and got his calloused hands on Will’s skin, pressing stubbly kisses to his stomach. “Derek, Derek, I gotta go freshen up.”

“No you don’t.” He muttered, pushing his hand up Dex’s body to thumb at a nipple as he tried to get Will’s tie off one handed.

“Uh yeah I do.”

“You’re a nice clean all american boy Dexy.” Nursey grunted, almost strangling Will with his tie.

“Fucking stop oh my god.” Will pushed himself up and pulled his tie off himself, throwing it over the side of the bed. “I showered before dinner, but that was like two hours ago. I think I should…”

“I think I need to fuck you right now.” Nursey said as he ran his hand up the inside of Will’s thigh, pressing in close to him, “I won’t stop you if you really want to, but fyi I really don’t care.” 

 Will looked at Nursey in his soft grey-green eyes that were dark with wanting him. He had done more than Will had, he knew what he liked and wanted with greater clarity, and they both made a point of not defaulting to his experience when Will was unsure but sometimes it was better to just roll with it.

“Okay.” Will agreed, running his hands all over Nursey’s smooth, muscular back, his thumbs catching in the dimples above the swell of his ass, letting his blunt nails scratch over his ribs. “S’your sheets.”

“Yeah they are, and I want to fuck you on them right now.” Nursey murmured against his lips, fiddling with the buttons of his shirt before tugging it over Will’s head.

“Oh now? Thought we were gonna watch Jack’s game.”

“You’re such a…” Nursey growled, the rumble in his deep voice making something tingle along Will's spine. He was fucking weak for that growl.

“Such a what?” Will asked, jutting out his chin as he leant back on his hands.

 Nursey’s eyes felt like they were burning him as they flicked all over his pale freckled body, his fingers digging into Will’s thighs. “You are so hot.”

 He got his hands down Nursey’s pants while he crowded against Will, trying to make his neck break out in a rash with his stupid fucking stubble, “Hey, want me to suck you off while you finger me?”

 Nursey paused, licking over the hot skin he was leaving behind before looking Will in the face. “No, I want to open you up slowly and then fuck you so hard you can't speak.”

“Oh.” Will breathed, tightening his hold on Nursey’s heavy dick as he tried not to melt back into the bed.

“Was that too much?”

“No that was...just right.”

 A slow smile spread across Nursey’s face and Will felt like he was about to catch fire. “Imma dick you down just right.”

 Somehow Will managed to hold in a laugh, rolling his eyes to try and hide his amusement from Nursey as he gave him a gentle shove. “No, no more sex, you ruined it.”

“You don’t mean that Will.” Nursey rumbled right into his ear, shuffling in closer to Will so he almost wobbled back into the pillows, having to open his legs wider to make room for Nursey’s body. “I know you know I’m right. I know you’re wet for my mastery of English.”

 That started a laugh out of him, feeling Nursey’s soft lips smile against the side of his face as he moved in for another kiss.

 Clothes ended up flying around the room along with a few handfuls of rose petals, Will giggling madly when Nursey pushed him down on the bed and reached for the lube with a few pink petals caught in his curls. “Only need a couple more for a flower crown.” He grinned, poking at Nursey’s head with his toes to make his point. 

“Get your foot away from me unless you want me to suck your toes.”

“Gross.”

 Nursey put his hands on Will’s knee’s and he let his legs fall open easily, flushing when Nursey grabbed him by the hips to pull him in closer. “How many fingers do you want?” 

“A hint of three.”

“Hint?” Nursey laughed. “Wanna feel it tonight baby?”

“Want to feel you opening me up with your dick.”

“Holy fucking shit. Oh my god. Will don’t even play. How am I gonna fuck you right if you say things like that i’mma go off.”

 Will hoisted his legs up and shrugged at him. “Not gonna let me down on my birthday are you Derek?”

“Oh god.” Nursey groaned, pouring lube on his fingers.

 The pressure of something inside him was still weird, but a good weird, especially when he had one of Nursey’s warm hands on the inside of his thigh and his stubble dragging over Will’s abdomen as he left soothing kisses on his skin.

 Nursey made sure he let the pads of his fingers bump over Will’s prostate with every slick twist of his hand, Will hiccuping in breaths and grabbing at Nursey’s soft sheets to ground him, feeling sweat beginning to pool at his lower back and stick him to the sheets as he pushed back against the fingers inside him.

 Just when the burn of three thick fingers began to ease Nursey pulled them away, dropping forward to hold himself over Will with one arm, hand gripping his hip as he settled between Will’s thighs. “What do you want baby?”

“What you had in mind sounded quite good.”

“Yeah, but this is your birthday so…”

 Will used the element of surprise and those core strength workouts from over summer to roll them over so he was settled on top of Nursey, his legs trembling slightly as he let his fingers press into Nursey’s amazing (they should be it was a total vanity project) abs. “Well, riding you isn’t the worst thing, let’s start there.”

 Nursey pushed himself to sit up as Will went to find the lube from where he had dropped it, sitting back on his heels to watch Nursey roll on a condom. Dicks were dicks, not the most aesthetic things in the world and he had seen way too many comedy ones drawn on shit in high school to ever find them mouthwatering or whatever. But Nursey had a nice one as things went, thick enough to leave him feeling empty for ages after he had been stretched open by it.

 Will shifted forward on his knees as Nursey slicked himself up, holding his dick against his hole and pressing his cheek into Nursey’s hair when he buried his face in Will’s neck, hands in his hips to support not to guide. Will moved steadily to get the head inside him, the burning stretch making him gasp in deep breaths as he carefully sunk down until his ass brushed Nursey’s thighs, legs trembling and a moan caught in his throat, nerves on fire as he let the feeling of being pushed wide open so deep inside wash over him.

 “Oh yeah baby,” Nursey was muttering into his jaw,“you take me so well.”

 “You don’t exactly struggle to take me.” Will murmured, rocking his hips gently, long arms resting on Nursey’s strong shoulders. "I know you’re bigger but I’m startin’ to think you’re flattering me"

“I never honey my words to you.” Nursey grinned as he ran his lips up to Will’s ear. “You’re sweet enough baby.” He growled, tightening his grip on Will’s hips as he ground them down.

 Will let out a weird half snort, half moan as he began to really move, rocking his hips down hard and a little uncoordinated, pressing his knee’s down into the mattress to get more traction as he put his leg days to good use. Already red from effort and the zing under his skin, the little breathy noises he started letting out made him blush harder, fingers threading through Nursey’s curls as he kissed him open mouthed and dirty, hand trailing over Nursey’s shoulder to his chest, palm fitting perfectly around the strength of his pec. “Got any more cliche’s for me?”

 Nursey grabbed his ass hard, restricting Will’s movements to barely anything as he began fucking up into him. “No. Think you can shut up for five seconds?”

 Will tipped his head back to hide a smile, letting his eyes flutter closed as he enjoyed the feeling of Nursey fucking up into him so hard he had to grip the headboard for balance, gasping every time Nursey’s dick dragged over his prostate. He let his head roll down to look at Nursey who was gazing up at him in that way he had that made Will shudder. "Make me.”

 Nursey’s eyes widened, a pinch of irritation on his face but he did nothing, pausing the movement of his hips as he waited for permission. Will gave it by ducking to kiss his cheekbone gently, moaning out loud when Nursey grabbed his hips and slammed Will down on his dick as he ground up into him. “Challenge.” He growled, doing it again so Will cried out. “Fucking.” Again. “Accepted.” Again.

 He left Will bereft and annoyed by pulling him off his dick, pushing and pulling him until he was facing the end of the bed, bracing his hands on Nursey’s ankles when he tugged his hips up none too gently. He grabbed Will’s ass, massaging his cheeks with his palms before landing a light slap to one that was just as loud as the gasp Will let out, the sting making his toes curl.

 “You’ve already done that bit.” Will threw over his shoulder when two fingers back into him. Nursey looked up from his ass to give Will a mulish gaze as he pressed in two fingers from his other hand and very carefully started stretching his hole open. Will’s eyes widened, a strangled moan catching in his throat as he realised what Nursey was doing, as the stretch made him race to catch his breath and his dick throb where it hung heavy between his legs. Nursey held his gaze until Will tipped his hips up against his fingers, finally looking down at what must be an obscene view (it certainly fucking felt obscene to be held open like that) before taking aim and spitting right into him. “You did NOT JUST…”

“Yeah, I did.” 

 Will panted in a few hard breaths before dropping his head. God he found that so hot, everything about it. Fuck.

 He hissed when the fingers slipped out, letting go of Nursey’s ankles so he could get out from under him. The mattress shifted as Nursey settled in behind him, rough fingers brushing over his sparking skin as he carefully picked a few petals off Will’s sweaty back. He watched his own fingers curl into pale blue sheets and crumpled pink petals as Nursey slipped back into him, arching his back to press his ass into Nursey’s hands that were pushing his cheeks apart while he fucked him so slowly, Will’s body pleading with him to ask for more, harder, faster, but he could get out was a needy whine,

 A little noise of relief escaped him when Nursey pressed a hand into the centre of his chest and hauled him onto his knees, steadying Will with one burning hand on his waist and getting into his fast and deep thrusts straight away. It forced little noises out of Will, grabbing onto Nursey's arms as he pushed back on Nursey's dick. “You really love having my dick in you don’t you?” Nursey breathed against his ear,“You love me fucking you, love me taking care of you, making me feel so good. Oh baby you make me feel amazing.”

 The loud, wavering moan Will let out surprised the both of them, Nursey’s rhythm faltering for a moment but he got going again quickly, slipping an arm around Will's chest and effectively pining his arms, strong hand gripping Will's wrist and pressing the warm metal of the bracelet into his skin, a sharp counterpoint to the honeyed, all purveying ache of his arousal. “Oh my god.”

“You like that baby? Like me taking what I want”

“Yes.” Will breathed quietly, face burning, shuddering as Nursey nuzzled his rough jaw against Will’s sensitive cheek until he turned his face so they could kiss, sloppy and broken by moans as Nursey ground in deep.

“It is good?” Nursey whispered into his skin, Will whining in response as his head dropped back on Nursey’s shoulder. “Tell me it’s good Will, when you’re happy I’m happy.”

“S’good.” He breathed as Nursey began pounding into him again, biting at the mess of beard burn at the base of Will’s throat, the sting just another sensation he could barely process. It just all felt really, really good. So good Will was trembling, slack jawed and skin on fire, every breath a moan.

 “Can’t believe how warm and tight you always are, how responsive. You make me feel so good baby. Fuck. Can't believe how lucky I am.”

 Human beings did not melt, Will knew this despite his traumatic experience with Wizard of Oz as a kid, but it felt like he did just that in Nursey’s arms, losing all control of his limbs as he let Nursey take his weight.

“Still with me, Will?”

“Yeah I’m...yeah.” He whined when Nursey stopped moving, pressing his hips back to try and grind on his dick.

“Wanna break?”

“No.”

“How d’ya wanna come?”

“Wanna see you.”

 Nursey smiled against his neck, nosing at Will’s face so he could kiss him softly, grinding into Will gently. “You like seeing me, huh?”

“Ayuh.”

“I like looking at you too. Gonna pull out now.”

“‘Kay.” Will sat down heavily on his heels after Nursey slid smoothly out of him, pitching forward to plant his face into the mattress in protest at being so empty and so hard, lube covered ass sticking up in the air. He knew Nursey would gently open his cheeks and lick over his hole but grumbled anyway, Nursey catching his hand when he made a weak swipe at him.

“Move or I’ll move you.”

 Will sighed and flopped onto his side, going easily when Nursey arranged him so his head was on the pillows that were overly cool against his heated skin, hips twisted to the side with his top leg bent on the bed like he was stretching. Nursey sat back as he rubbed more lube over his dick, biting on his bottom lip as he looked over Will before shuffling forward to bracket Will’s bottom leg with his knees as he pushed in again.

“Oh. OH yes oh.” Will moaned, gasping when Nursey dropped down onto him so his chest was pressing along his twisted torso, one hand supporting his back and the other cupping Will’s hot sweaty face as he kissed him, hips pumping into him deep.

“Who’s are you?” Nursey breathed against his lips. 

“Yours.” Will breathed out, tangling his fingers in Nursey’s hair so the last errant petal fell from his curls.“An' you're mine.”

 Nursey hummed in agreement, kissing down his jaw. “Never let anyone this close. Let them touch my body and not my heart but, ah fuck, Will...I’d let you rummage around in my soul.” He dragged a hand down Will’s chest to grab his arm and press his hand into the pillow, resting his fingers on the bracelet. “Don’t fuck just anyone like this. Only fuck this good with you baby, ‘cause you feel so good. Take me so well. Like you were made for me.”

“Oh, oh Jesus. Oh Fuck. Derek.

“Is that a good spot? Yeah?” Nursey grunted, slowing his pace when he got no answer. Will had the side of his face pressed into the bed, eyes screwed shut and digging his sharp teeth into his bottom lip so he did not fall apart. He was so hot and sweaty and there were rose petals stuck to his ass and legs and his dick hurt but he wanted Nursey’s warm breath on his face and his body pressed against him, thought he would die without it, almost sobbing when Nursey ground against his prostate. “You just keep taking it. I got you, Will, I got you.”

“D..oh…”

“That’s it, you keep taking me, that’s all you gotta do. ‘Cause you’re mine and I’m gonna take care of you.” Nursey muttered, fucking Will until he came with an inelegant grunt, pushing in deep, having to lay most of his weight onto Will as he wobbled.

“Please…please.” Will heard himself beg, suddenly desperate to come now Nursey had, trying to move back on the dick that was still blissfully hard inside him.

 He nearly cried when Nursey began moving again, a warm hand jacking off Will’s ignored dick until he came all over the sheets, shuddering and twitching, almost silent. He could not move, could not speak, could not think, white noise between his ears, just aware of his dry mouth and and sheets sticking to him, the aftershocks making his leg twitch.

“Will, Will you did so good, you did so good baby.” He was aware of Nursey speaking and grabbed his arm when he made to pull away, thinking he might have let out a distressed noise. Nursey was slowly softening inside him and it was getting uncomfortable, the slip of the lube gross but Nursey not being pressed against him felt like the worst idea. Like he would sink so deep into the bed he would never get out again.

 He was aware of strong arms curling tighter around him, fingers stroking his cheeks and hair, dry lips kissing him softly. “It’s okay, it's okay, I‘m right here, Will. I’m here I got you. I love you, and I’ve got you, and I’m not going anywhere.”

  They stayed like that for a good while, wrapped around one another while Nursey tried to kiss comfort into his skin, Will letting out a deep breath and swallowing when he finally got a trembling hand to touch Nursey’s face. “I love you too.”

 Nursey let out a long sigh of relief. “You need water, I’mma go get some and run a bath. You’ll be okay?”

 He pressed a kiss to Nursey’s nose and nodded, laying still and letting the warm air of the room evaporate some of the sweat on his skin, whole body heating at what had just happened.

 What had just happened?

 One moment it was just great sex and then it got all intense and Will was…he felt weird, gut twisting in something that was almost like shame.

 He knew from the couple of fumbles he had had in the back of car’s how awful you could feel after sex. He always got any of his short lived high-school girlfriends off, he just googled the G-spot it wasn’t fucking brain surgery, then she would jack him off and he would feel so gross and uncomfortable on the drive to drop her home, confused as to why people were desperate for this, expecting there to be something wrong with him. This was nothing like that, just an unpleasant version of the overwhelming feeling he had the first time Nursey had fucked him and Will was so relieved. He never wanted to have that feeling again, and never with Nursey.

 Will raised his heavy arms and gripped the bracelet, twisting it around his wrist as Nursey knelt on the bed next to him. He chugged down the glass of water Nursey pushed into his hands, partly because he was thirsty as fuck and partly so he did not have to interact with Nursey while he gently wiped up his come. 

“Happy birthday love.” He whispered, looking so soft and sated Will forgot his embarrassment long enough to sit up and kiss him.

“Thank’s babe.”

 Nursey tried to help him across to the bathroom but Will pushed him away with a tut, cheeks flushing under the lingering red from exertion, wanting to press up against Nursey’s side but feeling it would be too much, too needy after what had happened. He needed to...needed to assert himself. He had been scared things would change when he told Nursey and Will's hazy brain was almost sure it already had.

He stood hugging himself while Nursey slipped into the warm water, keeping his eyes down when he climbed in after him but still tucked his head under Nursey’s chin, settling back against his chest with a tired little sigh. It always felt good to be curled up against Nursey.

 They sat for a while enjoying the quiet and the warmth, the clean citrus smell of the bath bomb stopping Will from passing out. Eventually Nursey brought his arms to lightly wrap around Will and he flinched without meaning to, barely perceptible, but Nursey felt it and froze. Will’s stomach dropped, shoulders tensing up around his ears when Nursey slowly moved his arms back to the side of the tub, holding himself still.

“Will.” He said softly as Will wrapped his arms around his knees, the twisting in his chest making him feel like he was imploding. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothin’.”

“I’ve done something, haven’t I?” Will forced in a ragged breath in reply to the panicked edge to Nursey’s voice. “I’ve hurt you. Will you need to tell me so I can...”

“I’m fine. It’s…I’m sore but that’s...that was just a lot.”

“Oh.”

“I fucking...I don’t even know. I got off on it, what you were saying and how you were, but it was just a lot and me and my emotions don’t speak very often. So I, I liked it a lot, but it was too much. For me. I can’t do that again, it was too intense. All that and…” the fact he was it for Nursey. That did not freak him out, he knew that, but it showing itself like this was too much. But he knew he was not capable to telling Nursey that without hurting him, and Will was never going to do that. “That’s why I was out of it at the end I think.”

“Why didn’t you say? Did - did I ignore you?”

 Will twisted to glance at Nursey who looked far too tense for someone who had just come, the warm damp air making his curls slightly frizzy, his skin glowing under the unnatural lights. He was so beautiful, so soft, so stupid. “Yeah. Just fucking now, I said I liked it.”

“But did you want me to be like that? And do those things?"

“Derek.” Will said gently when he realised what Nursey was freaking out about. “You didn’t do anything I didn’t want you to do. Come on man you know me.”

 Nursey took a deep breath, moving like he wanted to touch Will but stopping himself. “Consent can be withdrawn afterwards.”

“Ummm okay. But I’m not doing that.”

“Okay. Okay. Are you okay?”

“I’m a little...overwhelmed. And embarrassed.”

 Nursey made to put an arm around him again. “You don’t need to be embarrassed. Sex is weird and awkward stuff happens.” 

“I felt like the whole world was closing in on me after, I was numb and everything touching me was like pins and needles and. Yeah. I’ve never... during it was like...Did you like it?”

“I like it every time, Will.”

“No, did you like what we did. The whole ‘mine’ thing.”

“Yeah, crazy a lot.” Nursey admitted, being a bastard and saying it with a straight face and doing exactly zero blushing whilst Will's whole upper body flushed. “But. It’s your body and your brain, what you say goes and I don’t want anything that has you shaken like this.” Nursey said gently, swishing his fingers through the water, picking up a floating petal and sticking it to the wall. “What can I do to make you feel comfortable? Anything you need I’ll do it, even if it's giving you space I’ll give it to you.”

 “No! No I don’t want that. What we have is amazing and I don’t....” The water sloshed as Will unfolded himself and curled back against Nursey’s sold chest, pulling one of his arms so it lay gently across his shoulders, not realising he had gotten cold until he had Nursey’s warm body around him. “It’s not your fault.”

“There is no fault, you're feeling stuff out. We're feeling stuff out together. There was bound to be line reached at some point, and I'm glad we kept this side of it.”

“Yeah.”

"And you enjoyed what we did while we were doing it?"

"I did Derek, a whole lot."

"Like, not even 'cause it's your birthday in forty-five minuets, just in general, I want you to be happy and healthy and enjoying being with me. In every way not just in bed."

"I am very happy. Are you happy?"

"Very, very, extremely happy." Nursey held him tighter, pressing his face into Will’s hair. “I’m so happy you can tell me all of this, that we have this relationship. And that you still want hugs ‘cause I kinda need a hug too right now.”

 Will pressing himself closer so he could lean his head against Nursey’s, hooking their feet together. “I always want to cuddle you. Especially in front of everyone so Bitty gets all weepy and makes us cookies.”

 Nursey snorted, running light fingertips over the turquoise of Will’s bracelet, up his arm and over his shoulder to trace patterns on his back. “You cunning fucker. I knew I loved you for a reason.”

“Not my dazzling personality and weird face?”

 Nursey sighed. “Go and fish for compliments someplace else this lake is closed.” 

“You do know lakes can’t be closed right?”

“I’m not helping your cookie plan, no cookies is better than letting this abuse stand!”

“This is my love, his kisses have left burns on my heart.” Will whispered, kissing the pulse in Nursey's neck. “This is my love, my lips taste sweet from his skin." He kissed the angle of Nursey's jaw." This is my love, his ecstasy takes me to the sky.” Will whispered against his lips, grinning when he caught the surge of pink on Nursey’s dark cheeks.

“Oh…”

“Now you know how I feel when you do that to me, asshole.”