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Couldn't conquer the blue sky

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Snowflakes in Dallas

The name was ironic apparently. That's what Andrew said. Tyler guessed that was really the only explanation for a bar in Dallas named Snowflakes. Tyler wasn’t entirely sure that Andrew hadn’t come up with the name while high on organic compost, or whatever it is he does in his free time. Whatever, they paid on time and were largely free of douchey frat bros. Andrew was also cool about working around his school hours and didn't make him wear a uniform, Tyler was sold.

Snowflakes isn't a gay bar as such, but there is a fading rainbow sticker in the corner of the front door and they attract a diverse crowd. Tyler doesn't assume anything but he does pretty well with the clientele. That’s another reason Tyler likes the job. The first time he fucked a guy in the back room Andrew had been too busy tripping over himself to be cool with it that he hadn't got in trouble at all. Well, until Kristen found out and told him in no uncertain terms he could fuck whoever he wanted but not in her bar. She did admit to being impressed at his ability to get guys’ numbers though.

He's mostly thinking about the paper he hasn't started that’s due in two days when Jamie comes in the first time. He asks for a beer and tips well and so Tyler slips him a flirty grin. He’s not really trying to get a number but he's not opposed to the idea. The dude just smiles back, a little red in the cheeks but nothing conclusive and wanders off. Carrie, the only other bartender on that early in the night shoots him an important look. The guy comes and gets a few more beers throughout the evening but they get pretty slammed so Tyler doesn't get the lowdown.

Carrie and Tyler take a break together around nine with a bowl of sweet potato fries and the famous Snowflakes aioli between them.

Carrie lowers her head and whispers, "I can't believe he's still here!"

"Who?" asks Tyler.

"How do you not- Jamie Benn!" she says drawing out the ‘n’ in emphasis.

"I still don't know-"

Carrie shoots him a look of disgust, "captain of the Stars, you pathetic excuse for a Canadian."

Tyler huffs out a laugh at that. "Not everyone from Canada cares about hockey Carrie-baby."

"Don't lie to me sugar-lips,” Carrie says, a nicknamed she’d coined the very first shift they worked together.

"Not my sport babe, too many homophobic dickwads.”

Carrie giggles at that. “Harsh, baby-face, harsh.”

“But fair,” Tyler replies.

“What exactly is your sport then?” She pushes her hip against him on the way back to the counter, pushing him without noticing into the aforementioned Jamie Benn, captain of the Stars. Tyler looks up and locks eyes with Jamie, who'd obviously heard everything and looks... hurt, if anything. Tyler momentarily feels a bit shitty but dude probably has a swimming pool filled with money, he'll manage ok.

Tyler turns to Carrie, “Is hooking up at the gym a sport?”

“Oh yeah sure, I hear they are planning to add it to Olympics.” she says dryly.

+ + +

Jamie goes to the bar because Jordie has a crush on a girl, which to be honest is the beginning of way too many of his stories. It's not like their usual hangouts but, whatever, they could probably use a change. It doesn’t hurt that the dude behind the bar is hot as shit. Hot enough that Jamie wishes he'd worked out a way to pick up in public. Probably the grin he got from the guy was just looking for a tip, but Jamie wants... Jamie wants. Unfortunately he's supposed to be running backup for Jamie and the psych PhD student he's trying to get a date with. Plus there's that whole ‘not out and terrible at picking up dudes who don't play hockey’ thing.

Jamie thinks Emily is way too good for Jordie but she doesn't seem to agree and he guesses that's all that matters. She was supposed to bring some friends but they'd all bailed leaving Jamie to awkwardly third wheel. He gets a few more beers than he really wants, just to give his hands something to do - and a little to talk to the guy with the tats and the pretty mouth. He walks past the bartender just as he calls hockey players a sport for homophobes, which is either terrible or awesome timing depending. The guy doesn't look that worried when Jamie catches him saying it either, laughs a little and gives him a challenging look.

It's not to say that Tyler isn't a little bit right. Jamie has played with plenty of guys who fit that description. He guess’ it comes with the territory a bit, Jamie’s come across plenty of douche-bag meatheads in his time playing the game. Even in Dallas, well, Jamie loves his team and he doubts any of them mean to be bigots but he's sure a few of them have some pretty backwards views on gay people, even now . Not of him, he's out to his team and they love him, but that's because they know him.

It’s still August, Jamie’s not busy at the moment. The weather alone is reason to retreat indoors, to aircon. He’d like to think that if it was during the season or even September he wouldn’t be so stuck on it, on him. The first time Jamie goes back to the bar Tyler isn't working. The second time he's right there behind the bar and Jamie gets a beer and tries not to be too weird, sits in the corner, playing with his phone and wondering what exactly the play is now.

+++++++++++++++

Tyler doesn’t entirely forget about Jamie Benn being at Snowflakes (he can’t help but hear his name Carrie’s breathless voice of excitement) but he’s got summer classes to finish and some drama with renewing the lease on the apartment he shares with Brownie. Fucking real estate agents, man. When he sees Jamie back in the bar a few weeks later he surreptitiously Snapchats a pic of him and sends it to his mum and Brownie. Yeah Tyler IS Snapchat friends with his mom and yes that does give him a complete heart attack he’s gonna send her a nude one day.

Brownie replies immediately with a shirtless pic of Benn, obviously hastily googled, with “get on that” in his familiar Snapchat chicken scratch. Tyler appreciates Brownie’s support, he really does, but he doesn’t think that’s happening. Carrie isn’t in tonight and Tyler’s pretty sure that Trent, the other bartender on tonight hasn’t seen a hockey game in his entire life so he can just pretend Jamie isn’t there. Tyler’s mom texts him a few hours later, because she doesn’t really get Snapchat, with a series of exclamation marks and “ask him about the Stars’ powerplay” which Tyler also isn’t going to do.

At some point during the night Jamie’s joined by a few guys, teammates Tyler guesses. The bar is starting to get crowded but Tyler still notices them joking and laughing with Tyler, making him blush and then pushing him up towards the bar in a way very reminiscent of girls in high school. There may even be catcalling involved. Jamie stumbles a little as he reaches the bar, and Tyler didn’t think he was that drunk.

“Hey,” he says, “look, I get that you’re not a fan,” and he seems to shake his head at that word choice. “But my team- friends are giving me a hard time, can you just pretend for a minute I’ve got game?”

Tyler feels pretty wrong-footed at that, “You sure you don’t want to come back when there’s a girl behind the counter?”

“Nah, my friends want me to chat up someone I’d actually want to sleep with.” Jamie says, and he doesn’t sound drunk.

“Are you gonna tip me for this, man?”

“Depends how well you sell it, really,” Jamie replies.

And Tyler is fucking terrible at not rising to a challenge. Honestly that’s the reason behind half his ink and why he ended up moving to fucking Dallas with Brownie. It’s basically his life story. Plus he fucking loves to flirt, and with the heat in the air Jamie’s hair has gone a little curly and his cheeks are blushy and-

Tyler leans over the bar and pokes Jamie in the (firm, strong) bicep. “Tell me about yourself then big boy, and not the hockey star bullshit.”

Jamie blushes more at that. “Um, I’m pretty boring.”

“Work with me here dude,” Tyler implores and Jamie does.

 

+ + +

Jamie gets the hot bartender’s number, written on a Snowflakes napkin right next to his name, Tyler Seguin. But the next day he really isn’t sure if that was just part of the charade or not. It takes a whole week of staring pensively at the way Tyler’s cursive falls apart between the ‘g’ and the ‘u’ but in the end Jamie texts him. He makes it open ended, he doesn’t want to be a creep if Tyler was just being a good bartender. Tyler replies though, that he’d be down to get some Mexican sometime. Maybe, maybe, Jamie does a gesture reminiscent of a goal celebration alone in his room when he gets that text.

He’s not sure what it is exactly, a date date or a friends date or a thanks for getting my friends off my back dinner so he doesn’t dress up too much. He’s relieved that Tyler is just in jeans and a black v-neck t-shirt. He wears it well though and in the lighting of the restaurant Jamie can seem him so much better than at Snowflakes, and he'd already thought the guy was fucking gorgeous. Here he can see his tattoos and the way they move with muscle of his upper arm, the way his lips pull into a smirk and the stretch of his shoulders when he stretches across the table for the chilli sauce. So, yeah, that’s pretty distracting.

Despite Tyler’s distracting, y’know, existence, dinner goes well. They shoot the shit about moving to Texas from Canada: having to buy a whole new wardrobe, how bad they fared their first summer and discovering Mexican food. At the end of the night they head their separate ways with a vague, “we should do this again.” Jamie goes home with a stupid smile on his face and something warm growing inside him. The grin lasts about twenty four hours, the warm growth (like a fucking parasite, he thinks) seems to be staying for a while.

+ + +

They go out for a few more... whatever they are, dinners or drinks depending on their schedules. They share stories from their childhoods: imaginary friends and broken arms and what got them in trouble at school. Jamie laughs a bit too hard at the story of the time his sister convinced him to dye his hair and instead of going Leaf’s blue it went Barbie-pink. They move onto adolescent indiscretions, alcohol poisoning and shoplifting and a detour into first boyfriends.

When Tyler gets home after that final dinner he breathes two frustrated breaths into the empty silence of his and Brownie’s kitchen. Tyler doesn’t believe in the friendzone, thinks that it’s bullshit made up by straight guys who want girls to fall in their laps, so he’s not sure what’s holding him back from Jamie.

Apparently Brownie heard him breathing which is kinda creepy but also further evidence of their unmistakable bro-bond, and he wanders into the kitchen, takes one look at Tyler’s face and lets out a belly laugh.

“Dude, I can’t believe it’s taking you this long to seal the deal.”

“Fuck off. I’m getting there.”

“You gonna get there some time this century?”

“Fuck off,” he replies without heat.

Brownie’s face goes a little soft at that. “Chill Segsy, I know you like him.”

Tyler blinks a little uselessly at that and Brownie’s already left the kitchen by the time he’s got a comeback. He’s right though.

+ + +

The next time they get dinner together it's at a fancy Italian place, linen tablecloths and candles, menus on thick cream paper, half of which Jamie only understands through context. When they've finished eating and are waiting for their plates to be cleared Tyler makes an off handed comment about the Bruins and proceeds to let slip that he’s stopped turning off the TV the moment there's hockey on. Jamie kinda wants to lean across the table and kiss Tyler right there and then for that. Although, he’s kinda in a constant state of wanting to do that if his honest.

Jamie finds himself saying, “you know hockey players, bunch of homophobic Neanderthals.”

Tyler laughs and bobs his head in recognition, “I’m starting to change my mind on that. They probably aren’t all dickwads, right?”

Jamie finds himself holding his breath, “yeah?”

And Tyler squeezes his hand under the table, which is nothing really, nothing at all but Jamie feels his heart rate race like he’s in the middle of a shift on the ice. They grin at each other a bit stupidly across the table. So stupid in fact that Jamie hurries to get the bill and get out of there so they can be stupid without an audience.

+ + +

Tyler’s been to Jamie’s a few times, glanced at Jordie’s smirking face, a massive TV, a tiled kitchen, that’s basically all. Tonight though he barely notices where he is at all, notices everything else instead. Jamie shoving him up against the door the moment it’s closed. His stubble pricking his cheek as their lips meet. Jamie’s lips are a little dry but Tyler doesn’t care, enjoying the urgency with which he moves against him. Jamie’s tongue licks inside his mouth as his hands ruck up Tyler’s t-shirt. Tyler shivers at the feeling of Jamie’s hands on him.

Jamie steps back and says, voice a little growly. “Take off your shirt”.

Tyler pulls off his t-shirt, and preens a little, loving the look on Jamie’s face, barely a foot from him but not touching.

“Fuck, Tyler."

“Yeah, man, c’mon,” Tyler says, torn between wanting to bask in Jamie’s adoration and wanting to feel Jamie’s hands on him again. Jamie makes the call, tracing his fingers along the lines of Tylor’s stomach, making Tyler giggle a little at the pressure. Tyler returns the favour, pulling at Jamie’s soft grey t-shirt, enjoying firm bulk of Jamie’s belly and the underlying strength of his whole body.

“Hey, babe,” Tyler says, enjoying Jamie’s full body shiver at the pet-name. “You got a bed?” he asks, fluttering his eyelashes for the fun of it.

“Sure do honey-bunch,” Jamie says and leans forward to nip at Tyler’s neck earning himself a slightly unmanly squeak.

Jamie then bodily pushes him down the hall and through his bedroom door. “Take off your pants and get on the bed.”

Tyler laughs at his frankness and does so, showing his jeans down and falling onto the bed almost in one movement. He lies on his back, propped up on his arms. “Your turn,” he says.

“I’m yeah, no I’m gonna- like, in a second. But, let me just...”

Jamie doesn’t finish that thought but he sits down next to Tyler on the bed. He runs his hands from the ball Tyler’s shoulder, across his chest, down to the jut of his hip and back again. His fingers are firm and then flighty, but his attention is constant. Tyler’s pretty embarrassed by how hard he gets, by the whiney whimper that his lips let out entirely without his permission. Eventually, eventually, Jamie's hands find their way to Tyler’s dick and he almost jerks off the bed at that. Jamie’s gaze, more than his hands, hold him in place. Fuck Tyler wants to explore that.

Future plans go out of his head when Jamie scoots around so his knees are on the floor and then brings his mouth down to Tyler’s cock. He takes Tyler down eagerly, fingers wrapped around the base, warm heat enveloping the shaft and head. Tyler sits up more so he can watch Jamie take his dick so well, so eager. Jamie’s lips are stretched and his cheeks are red and Tyler’s so into the whole thing. Into the sweet hot suction, into the look on Jamie’s face, into Jamie on his fucking knees for him.

Then, Jamie stops and leans up, pushing his own finger into Tyler’s mouth, getting it nice and wet. He stares at Tyler intently while he does it and Tyler puts on a show, sucking so his cheeks hollow out. Jamie huffs out a laugh at that, “Easy cowboy,” he says and kneels back down on the floor.

Tyler totally knows it’s coming, but Jamie’s finger coupled with the heat of his mouth makes him groan, pushes him close to the edge, sets his mouth babbling. “Jamie, babe, so good, you’re so good to me, your mouth, fuck.”

Jamie pulls back at that, fixes Tyler with a look filled with heat and finishes him off with his hands. Tyler comes with a bitten off sigh, and lies there, a mess of come and sweat and endorphins. Jamie gestures for him to shuffle up the bed and lies next to him.

+ + +

Tyler looks a fucking delightful mess and Jamie feels a little breathless with want. It always gets him hot, pulling someone apart like this. Makes his desire stronger to see them lose it.

“I’ll get you back, dude,” Tyler offers.

Jamie snorts at that. It’s not like he’s anti being a dude to Tyler but he wants a little more than that, ‘I’m holding you to that, hopefully you’ll be getting me back lots of times.”

Tyler grins, “yeah, that. We should totally do that.”

“Wanna be my boyfriend?” Jamie asks, a little bit joking, a lot not.

“Yeah, um,” Tyler says, “I think I’d really like that. Fuck, man.”

Tyler looks a little overtaken with a sudden case of feelings. Jamie takes pity, kisses him on the forehead, and then dips his head to bite Tyler’s ear and whispers, “now, are you cool with me coming all over you?”

Tyler shudders. “Yeah, I am so ok with that.” He stretches out, making his body a blank canvas for Jamie.

It doesn’t take him long, there’s a lot of pent up longing, and Tyler is dirty-talking like a champ.

“Next time, God, I want to try anything. Would you tie me up?”

“Yeah, god, yes,” is all Jamie manages in reply before he comes.

After a few minutes silence Tyler chuckles. “Fuck man, that was really fucking amazing.”

“Yeah?” Jamie says. Tyler doesn’t looking uncertain really, which Jamie likes. “Pretty sure we’re boyfriends now, no take-backs.”

Jamie grins, “nope, no take-backs. I’m really glad Emily wanted to meet Jordie at your stupid bar with the stupid name.”

“Look, dude, it's ironic. I wouldn't expect a meathead hockey player to understand,” Tyler says, smirking.