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in good faith

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“So, I’m an asshole.”

Jon doesn’t look away from his monitor, though it takes some willpower not to let his gaze slide over to the door of his office. “Accurate,” he says, hitting save and starting to close everything up. He got less done than he’d like, but considering it’s a deserted Sunday and he’s only here to calm down, it’s not bad.

Pat’s laugh isn’t particularly happy, but it doesn’t sound miserable, either. “I shouldn’t have said those things.”

“Also accurate,” Jon says, this time turning his head to look over.

Pat is leaning in the doorway, his uninjured arm slung up the frame and folded behind his head, his fingers scratching at his scalp. He’s dressed, button-up shirt and jeans, which is a relief after several days of pyjamas and sweats.

“Done feeling sorry for yourself, then?” Jon says, leaning back from his desk.

Pat flushes a dull pink, pulling his arm down and straightening. “You don’t have to be a dick about it,” he says tightly. “I came here to apologize.”

Jon sighs, passing his hand over his face and then drawing back through his hair. “Yeah. Sorry.”

“Well, I am,” Pat says stiffly. “Sorry. You’re right, I shouldn’t—it’s not fair. And I was rubbing it in your face, even if I didn’t think about it like that.” He takes a breath, nose twitching. “I should have thought of it like that.”

“It’s not like I want to be coddled,” Jon says, tilting back in the chair. “The last thing I want is for you to feel sorry for me.”

“I don’t,” Pat says immediately. “Honest to God, Jon, I don’t pity you. I don’t—I don’t forget you played, but that’s not—it’s not who you are to me. You’re not not a hockey player.” He says the last bit in a rush, like he’s been thinking over the words for the last few hours.

“But you still think I’m jealous of you,” Jon says, heart beating fast as he says it. He folds his hands together on the desk, tightening his grip to keep them steady. “Or maybe not of the hockey—of the money?”

“No,” Pat says, jaw tight, gaze wide and fixed on Jon. “I was upset, I didn’t mean any of that. Not—not anymore. Jesus, Jon, what’s mine is yours, right?”

“Not legally,” Jon says carefully. “Illinois doesn’t have common-law status for couples.”

Pat laughs, a sharp, disbelieving sound. “Fuck, come on. You really think I’m talking about what the law says?”

“I’m a family lawyer, Pat,” Jon says, rueful. He pushes back from the desk and stands up. “Hard to not think about it that way.”

“We share a house,” Pat says. “You pay the bills—”

“I pay a part of the bills for a house you bought,” Jon interrupts. He’d insisted on handling a fair portion when they moved in together last year, even though Pat had seemed confused that he’d want to. Maybe they should have talked about it more, but Jon hadn’t wanted to make the transition more difficult. “I’m not paying market rent, not even close. You buy most of the food, you pay at restaurants, you foot the bill for vacations. I own my clothes but the rest of it is you. If we break up—”

“—we’re not—”

If,” Jon continues grimly, “I move out, start all over from scratch, and your bank accounts wouldn’t even notice. So no, what’s yours isn’t mine, Pat. Not even close.”

“So let’s get married,” Pat says, crossing his arms across his chest.

Jon barks out a laugh. “That’s not what I’m saying at all.”

“You’d get half, if we got married,” Pat says. “Right?”

“Of your future earnings,” Jon corrects. “And I wouldn’t, because we’d sign a fucking prenup, or you’re an idiot.”

“No I wouldn’t,” Pat insists.

“Yes, you would,” Jon says. “Your lawyer would kill you, otherwise.”

“You’d fight him off,” Pat says, grinning. “Jon—”

“We’re not getting married,” Jon cuts him off. “Especially not because you think I need the reassurance.”

Pat waves a hand, like Jon’s insistence is meaningless. “Whatever, that’s not—I don’t think you want my money. I don’t think you wish you were me, okay? You’re the most zen person I know, it’d make no sense. So I forget that whining about it when I get hurt,” he gestures to his shoulder, damage invisible but still keeping him off the ice, “and can’t play for a few weeks is a dick thing to do.”

“You’re allowed to be upset,” Jon says. “I shouldn’t have said that it didn’t matter, that your season was unimportant. That was me being an asshole.”

“But…” Pat says leadingly, tipping his head to the side.

Jon sighs. “But listening to it for three weeks was…not fun.”

“I was kind of a baby about it,” Pat says, mouth twisting and shoulders curling in.

Jon shakes his head. “No, you weren’t. I don’t mind taking care of you. You were hurt, that sucked, I’m there for you. But the big picture shit—I know you wanted this season, I know you wanted the record, but at the end of the day you’re going to be fine, you’re going to get more chances. And I—I can’t even…” he trails off, words dying in his throat as Pat watches him steadily.

“You can’t even see clearly,” Pat fills in softly.

Jon shuts his eyes, pushing down the rush of hopelessness that’s never completely gone away. “It could be a lot worse.”

He feels Pat’s breath before Pat’s hands are on his face, pulling his head down just enough to touch their lips together. Pat’s thumbs smooth across his cheekbones, and Jon keeps his eyes shut as Pat traces the delicate skin beneath his eyes, drawing soft lines out to his temples. “I’m sorry I forgot,” he says.

They’ve talked about it, but only barely. Peripheral vision loss, Jon had told him, dismissively. Occasional loss of focus. Pat asked once if it’s why he doesn’t drive, and Jon had told him the truth. He could probably get a doctor’s note, now, get his driver's license back, but it’s hard, imagining being behind a wheel again, even though he doesn’t remember the last time.

Pat seems to sense the shift in Jon’s mood, and forestalls it by tucking in closer, mouth sliding against Jon’s neck where his pulse is still too fast, hands coming around to rest on Jon’s hips and pull him tight. It’s a good distraction, Jon’s favourite, and it’s easy to push back until Pat’s pressed against the edge of his desk, his warm, muscled body pressed against Jon from thigh to chest.

“I’m sorry I made you feel shitty,” Pat says, muffled against Jon’s neck.

“S’fine,” Jon says, pressing his cheek against Pat’s temple. “I shouldn’t have implied your season didn’t matter.”

“You’re right, though,” Pat says lightly. “I’ll be back next year.”

“You will,” Jon says fiercely, squeezing tight.

Pat leans back over the desk, a grin catching at his wide mouth, eyes crinkling up. “How about I make you feel good?”

It’s sappy as hell, Jon knows, but Pat’s never as beautiful to him as when he smiles. He smiles back, feeling that helpless tug in his chest, and leans in to kiss him. It’s an awkward clash of lips and teeth, both of them grinning, but when Pat slings his injured arm around Jon’s neck and tugs him in close, it shifts, everything clicking into place.

Pat slides his hand up the back of Jon’s neck, twisting his fingers into Jon’s hair. Jon wraps his arm around Pat’s waist, fisting his shirt and holding him firmly, forearm pressed against the small of his back. Jon moves his knee between Pat’s, adjusting his stance until he can feel the hardening bulge of Pat’s dick against his thigh and press his own into Pat’s hip.

Jon’s soft, but it still feels good to rub against the firmness of Pat’s hipbone. He likes the way Pat thickens up fast on his leg, humming into his mouth and tightening his fingers until he’s pulling painfully at Jon’s hair. The sting pushes at the nausea in Jon’s stomach, built up after a day of fight-flee-finding each other, breaks it into pieces that Jon trusts Pat can wash away. It’s not their first argument—not hardly, neither of them are acquiescent enough for that—but Jon’s never had to walk out in the middle of one, before.

Here, with Pat pressed tight and warm against him, Jon can let go of the fear that he wouldn’t be able to walk back in.

“C’mon,” he says, pulling his mouth from Pat’s. “We should go, let’s get out of here.”

Pat kisses him again, free hand coming up between them to hook into the v of Jon’s t-shirt, nails scraping against Jon’s breastbone. He slides his mouth along Jon’s cheek, tongue flicking out against Jon’s ear. Jon groans, turning his head to the side, unable to resist the wet, nerving tease of Pat’s tongue on the delicate, oversensitive skin.

“Keep doing that,” he says, a low rumble in his chest, “and I’m going to fuck you right here instead.”

Pat lets out a huff of air, right into Jon’s ear. It tickles and arouses both, and now Jon’s getting hard, cock swelling tight in his briefs.

Pat swipes the flat of his tongue wetly over Jon’s earlobe and then draws it into his mouth, teeth closing down in a bite that doesn’t last long enough. Jon’s hips twitch on their own accord, driving his dick against Pat’s hip. “Pat,” he groans.

Pat pushes against his chest, fingers splayed across Jon’s collarbone, and leans back enough to catch Jon’s gaze with his own. “Okay,” he says seriously.

“Okay what?” Jon says, trying to catch his breath, get his dick to calm down so they can leave.

“You should fuck me here,” Pat says, lips twitching.

Jon laughs. “What—no!” he says, pulling away. “In my office?”

“Got a perfectly good desk,” Pat says, letting Jon go.

Jon gives the desk behind Pat a skeptical glance. To call it tidy would be grossly generous, though his piles are at least relatively in order. He’s about to point out that it’s not impossible for his coworkers to also be in on a Sunday when Pat leans down and opens a drawer, pulling out Jon’s bottle of hand cream. Jon shuts his mouth and watches as Pat puts it down beside him, smirking, and drops his hands to his belt.

“When did you get so shameless?” Jon says, watching as Pat undoes his jeans and shoves them down his hips, boxers going with until he’s standing bare-assed in front of Jon, dick stiff and flushed.

Pat smiles; it’s oddly sad, though the furrow of his brow smoothes out right away. “Since you taught me I was allowed to be,” he says.

It’s like a kick to the gut, in the best of ways. Jon brings his hand to his mouth, pressing his lips hard into his teeth, all the air gone from his chest. Pat tips his head, blue eyes bright and understanding, before he turns around. He spreads his thighs wide enough to keep his jeans off the floor, ass unblemished. Pat’s usually got bruises on his thighs—his pale skin marks up easy—but it’s been three weeks since he was on the ice, and will be more before he takes any kind of contact. All his marks now are from Jon, except for the quickly-healing scar under his shirt.

Pat flinches when Jon’s fingers graze across his skin, then settles, palms sliding against the desk until he’s halfway bent over.

“Shoulder alright?” Jon says, reaching for the moisturizer. It’s not ideal, but they’ve made do with less. Pat likes the burn, anyway, likes to feel the tug of skin as Jon fucks him.

“Don’t push me down and I’ll be fine,” Pat says, rocking back as Jon smears cream over his hole, slicking him up before pressing in with his thumb. “Mm, yeah.”

Jon pulls out his thumb and coats up his fingers instead, pressing the tips of two into Pat. Pat takes them easily, pushing back against Jon’s hand. When Jon’s fingers are buried to the hilt, Pat clenches down tight, then relaxes, back arching. Jon tucks his thumb down and rubs at his taint, pressing back behind his balls until Pat’s squeezing around his fingers again, a low groan spilling out.

There’s nothing like getting your dick in someone, but fingering—Jon would be hard pressed to come up with something he liked doing more. It’s such a focused task, not even the distraction of his own cock getting in the way. He loves how he can shut everything else out and just see Pat, think of nothing but the way his body stretches to accommodate him, tight muscle and smooth walls. Jon pushes the tails of Pat's shirt up his back, thumbing at the juts of bone along Pat's spine as he works Pat open, so caught up in it he nearly misses Pat saying his name.

“Jon. Jon.”

Jon glances up at Pat, who’s looking back over his shoulder with an amused smiles. “Sorry?” he says, pulling his fingers free and going back for more cream.

Pat watches him for a moment, tongue sliding across his lower lip, and then gives him a look full of fondness. “I really love you,” he says. “Would you put your dick in me already?”

Jon snorts, slapping his dry hand against one cheek and then bringing it back to unzip his fly. “True romance,” he says, fishing out his cock and then slicking it up. He pushes against the head with his thumb, keeping the shaft straight with the flat of his palm, and shoves inside with a quick pop.

Pat makes a satisfied, short sound and looks forward again, settling back on his heels. Jon widens his stance, getting low enough to slide right in, biting his lip against that first, awkward sensation of his foreskin pulling back. When he’s three-quarters of the way in, Jon draws back with a sigh, the tight drag around his cock sending a shivery arc of pleasure through him.

“You remember the first time?” Jon asks, pushing back in slowly, this time not stopping until his hips are pressed up against the swell of Pat’s ass. He grinds in, rolling his hips until Pat inhales sharply. He slides out an inch and fucks back in, getting another gasp out of Pat, his own skin going hot at the sound, at the sight of his greased-up cock disappearing inside.

“Yeah, fuck,” Pat says under his breath, rocking up on his toes and then settling back against the desk. “Uhn—which one?”

“What do you mean, which one?” Jon says. He leans in, careful to keep his weight off Pat’s back, and fits his hand around Pat’s cock. It’s wet at the tip when Jon drags his thumb across it.

Pat laughs, going tight around Jon’s cock. “The first time I met you, or the first time you did this?” He punctuates his sentence by rolling his hips back against Jon, taking his cock in deep.

“Oh,” Jon says, pushing Pat’s shirt higher up his back. He digs his nails in and rakes them down, pink blooming in narrow stripes along his spine. Pat’s cock twitches in his hand. “The very first time.”

Pat doesn’t answer right away, and Jon slows his hips back down to a stop, thumb rubbing steadily just under the head of Pat’s cock. He’s sweating in his clothes, pants still buttoned, t-shirt dampening up under his arms. Jon’s hardly undone, cock not even visible like this, and Pat’s rumpled up, bent over and exposed. Pat’s so careful with his image, these days, it gets Jon right where he lives knowing Pat’s never hidden from him.

Not once, not from the very first hour they met.

“Yeah,” Pat says finally. Jon thinks it embarrasses Pat, thinking back to how needy he was. It embarrasses Jon, how much he liked it, but that’s not what made him think of it.

Jon slides his fist down Pat’s cock and back up, tightening over the head, just the way Pat likes. “I knew who you were. Right away, when I saw you. If I...if it upset me, that you’re a hockey player, an NHL star, I never would have gone home with you in the first place. It didn’t, and it still doesn’t.”

“There’s a difference between a hook-up and living with someone,” Pat says, too sensible.

“Well,” Jon says, smoothing a hand over Pat’s ass and then digging his fingers in, pulling him wide so he can see Pat’s pink, stretched hole as he slides back out and then shoves in, all breathlessly tight friction. “I never was very good at the hooking-up thing.”

“Got attached,” Pat says, smirk in his voice that makes Jon grin.

“You could say that,” Jon says, dry. He curls in closer, planting a hand beside Pat’s waist, keeping his weight supported but letting Pat feel the heat of his body. “I wish I hadn’t got hurt. I wish I could have played. But I wouldn’t trade you for any of that. Not for a second. Alright?”

Pat nods jerkily, head dropping between his shoulders for a breath. “I—good. That’s good.”

Jon’s vision swims—it fucking would, right now—edges going dark and mid-ground blurring out, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t stop him from fucking Pat, dick pressing in again and again, hot friction just the right amount of too much. It doesn’t stop him from squeezing Pat’s cock in his fist, spreading beads of precum over the head and rubbing in short, careful strokes. It doesn’t stop him from choking out Patrick when he comes, pulling out so he can mess Pat up, come slicking up his ass and thighs.

He lets go of Pat’s dick to drag his fingers through the mess, then pulls Pat up against his chest. Jon’s softening cock nestles in between Pat’s wet cheeks, and he wraps his come-slicked hand around Pat’s cock, jerking him off quickly.

“You’re gonna get us all dirty,” Pat says, leaning back against Jon heavily. Jon tucks his free hand up under his shirt, spreading his fingers wide across his belly and feeling Pat’s abs clench and release as he works up into Jon’s grip.

“As if you don’t love it,” Jon says, low in Pat’s ear. “Shameless, hm? Filthy and covered in come?”

Pat answers with a groan, going stiff in Jon’s arms. Jon pulls his cock up and pushes the head into the folds of Pat’s shirt, milking him hard as Pat’s cock twitches and spurts.

“Fuck,” Pat says when he goes limp, chest heaving. “Wow.”

Jon snickers, feeling a little hysterical now that he’s come. He shuts his eyes against the blurring and presses his cheek to Pat’s temple. “I can’t believe we did that,” he says, fingers digging into Pat’s stomach in a nervous twitch.

“It’s basically tradition,” Pat says, reaching down to tug his boxers and jeans right up over the mess. Jon steps back, sinking into his desk chair. His dick’s softening up and he tucks it the rest of the way back in, zipping up and then trying to wipe away the wet spots on the front of his pants as Pat turns around and waves at him in demonstration. “Buttoned-up lawyer, banging in his office! It’s a porn classic.”

Jon snorts. He’s just in a t-shirt, no buttons to be had. “What, you wanna do the IceHouse showers next?”

“Would be easier clean-up,” Pat says, making a face. “It’s gonna be a sticky walk.”

“Uh,” Jon says. “You didn’t drive?”

“Um,” Pat says, looking sheepish. “No? It’s like, fifteen minutes. I needed the air, anyway.”

“Oh, geez,” Jon says, looking down at the smears on his trousers, and then back up at the dripping mess on Pat’s shirt. Pat’s already unbuttoning, stripping down to his undershirt. They’re gonna look wrecked. “I’m calling a cab.”

Pat looks like he’s about to protest, but Jon forestalls him with a raised hand.

“Nobody gets to take pictures of this,” Jon says, standing up and meeting Pat’s gaze. “This is just for us.”

Pat chews on his lip, looking thoughtful. “You sure you don’t want to get married?”

“I don’t think you’re gonna toss me out,” Jon says, rolling his eyes.

“No—I know, but,” Pat waves a hand between them abstractly. “To say that we’re—each other’s. Forever.”

Jon bites back on his instinctive no way, and takes a breath. His vision’s clearing up, enough that he can see the uncertainty in Pat’s expression. Jon’s been certain since before they moved in together, certain not just that he loves Pat but that he trusts Pat to be there for him. Things go wrong, maybe could go wrong here, but he’s not looking for proof Pat thinks it won’t. Maybe Pat didn’t think of it that way, maybe he’s still worried Jon’s going to wake up one day and decide he can’t be with him anymore. And that—that’s not something Jon can stomach, not if he has a choice.

“Ask me again when we haven’t just had a blowout fight and make-up sex in the office where I deal with divorce on a daily basis, how about,” Jon says, aiming for light but feeling it settle inside him anyway, heavy and solid and unshakeable.

Pat’s expression breaks into a grin. “Fair,” he says, punching Jon in the arm. “Now how about that cab?”