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eye to eye and nose to nose

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Poins is a sporting fellow, still sweat-damp from the tennis courts of London, and Hal can't wait to pluck the fresh shirt away from his back, undoing him in their crunch of hipbones and thighs and hands as readily as a pickpocket avails himself of a purse. They collide with one another against a filthy wall, in an alleyway where sex can be easily procured for those who've tired of small beer and knocking rackets about, and for one crystalline moment it is as if they are strangers -- Poins' fingers bruise-tight on the backs of his thighs, Hal fumbling blindly through underclothes he knows as well as his catechism, making short sharp strokes on Ned's yard, whose dimensions and particular character he would also know in the dark. He knows his body backwards and forwards, he knows him by the salt of his sweat, and is it not a shameful thing that a prince should know any one of his anonymous subjects by taste--

When Ned comes (accompanied by a sharp laugh, fist balling against the nape of Hal's neck) he goes slack all at once, the knotted-up muscles of his shoulders loosen.

The first step he takes once Hal's released him is lost in stumbling; he straightaway falls back against him, panting for breath. Hal's chief interest is keeping him upright, dispensing with wit and catching him in a kiss; he feels frightfully lost in the whirl of sour breath and fresh cloth and salt, and for his own part distinctly unsatisfied.

"Come and bathe with me, Ned, you're inexcusably grimy--"

"And famished," he says hopefully, knowing (like any good knave) the way to make the best of Hal's sudden flashes of generosity when they occur.

"Then we'll remedy both together."

Hal helps him to dress again, wiping his hand on his shirttail discreetly and undoing the efforts of some poor devoted laundress. His own state of frustrated lust is not so unbearable, and they can't afford to linger. Going away together, loose-limbed Ned tries to take him by the arm; the prince quickens his pace with a swagger in his step and manages to evade him. Ned doesn't take it personally.