“Uhm. I have questions,” says Bram, blinking first at me, then at the costume I’ve laid out for him, “like, a) why are you in a bathrobe, and b) what the fuck is that?”
They are such very, very good questions.
The thing is, when you have a boyfriend who’s genuinely sweet, and loves you a ludicrous amount for some unfathomable reason, and puts up with all your quickly shifting fandom obsessions, you sometimes don’t realise he hasn’t been right there with you and followed whatever the latest thing is that gets you all babbling, and passionately argumentative, and possibly aroused.
(I’d like to point out there’s two sides to this, as I have never before dating Bram Greenfeld felt the need to jump and yell in the bleachers as we cheer some ridiculous soccer game that I can only very vaguely follow. Love is all about compromise, is what I’m saying.)
“Er, uhm. You know about Spartacus? And how I’ve got really, really into it lately?” I attempt to be all casual about it but frankly that’s a doomed endeavour if ever I knew one. The bathrobe doesn’t help.
It’s not like Bram doesn’t know. He’s heard me babbling. He’s listened patiently to all my meta about character motivations and meaningful cinematographic choices, and costumes, and unexpected historical accuracy, and how nobody appreciates Castus, and how conflictingly hot Marcus Crassus is, and blah blah blah. Mostly he’s listened to a lot of me fancying a lot of scantily clad gladiators with awesome weapons.
He’s even watched the occasional episode with me, but he’s super-squeamish about gore, so that didn’t go over too well. It’s hard to explain how emotionally meaningful and not at all gratuitous this show is while Spartacus is slicing off some dude’s face so his brain goes splooshing out in graphic detail.
I mean, work with me here, Sparty.
“Yes, it was hard to miss,” Bram says dryly, while still staring at the costume. I will grant that it’s debatable whether some flimsy leather shorts, a belt and a whip can strictly count as a complete costume, but. You know. Spartacus.
“I mean,” I try valiantly to sound casual, “You did say you’d be happy to cosplay anything I liked with me. In fact, if I recall correctly, anything out of your awesome, perpetually horny, ridiculous brain are the exact terms you used.” I cough. “And I need hardly remind you that the whole Poe and Finn interlude was your idea, so…”
Bram is flapping his arms at me. “Okay, okay, sure, but,” he says, staring at the costume. “Dare I ask?”
“It’s Doctore!” I reassure him hastily. “The gladiator trainer, remember? Oenomaus. He’s awesome. You thought he was awesome. And he and Gannicus clearly just need to fuck already to sort out all their issues, so…”
Hopefully, I shrug the bathrobe off my shoulders.
It wasn’t too difficult a costume, as there isn’t much more to it that to Doctore’s. Raggedy leg-wrappy trousers with as much leather as I could reasonably fit in. A shoulder brace/armour thing with metal down one arm, leather straps across the chest, and two swords (borrowed from our drama department’s costume stash, but not too bad). Admittedly, my hair isn’t long enough and my abs would shriek in girlish terror if faced with Gannicus’s and run away forever, but then again, that dude drinks wine for breakfast so how real can his abs actually be?
(Yes, I know the actor’s abs were real and the wine wasn’t, but let a guy dream, okay?)
I squirm some more.
“You’re.” Bram clearly his throat. “Uhm, you’re all… oily.”
“And so shall you be! The oil is in the bathroom!” I realise I said that with possibly too much enthusiasm, as Bram is staring at me all aghast.
“Er, I mean,” I attempt to rein myself in. “If you’re up for it? You really don’t have to be!” I add hastily, feeling stupider by the second. “It’s totally… I mean. Oh god. You think I’m a total freak now, don’t you?”
If I could, I would just sink into the ground, Gannicus armour and all. What good is being a God of the Arena when your boyfriend thinks you’re a creep?
Unaware of my being-swallowed-by-ground ambitions, Bram has picked up the whip. Seeing the dark leather slide between his long fingers is doing seriously unfair things to me. I gulp.
Bram frowns, spreading the length of the whip between his hands. “Do you seriously want me to… use this?”
I feel my cheeks flush with heat. The thing is, I really, truly love Spartacus to an insane degree, and I’ve had… so many feelings while watching it, but Oenomaus working his whip was possibly one of the most powerful moments of all.
“Well, I mean,” I say, looking anywhere but at his face, “it’s not, I mean, I researched, and this one is super-soft, if you’re worried, but, like, just, maybe a little, er… yeah?”
I don’t tell him that I’ve used it myself, over my shoulder, and got so hard I came inside of thirty seconds. I will maybe tell him that eventually but first I need to know that he’s not… you know… grossed out beyond belief.
It’s hard having inspiring fandoms.
“Bram…?” I ask, because he’s just standing there staring at me still, and if he doesn’t say something soon I’m gonna have to whip that bathrobe right back over me and then find myself a nice steep cliff to throw myself off of.
“Where,” he mutters, “where do you want me to use it?”
I take a deep breath and put all my cards on the very metaphorical, very structurally unstable table.
“Where do you think?” I ask, spinning on the spot and wriggling my ass at him. It’s in those very amateurish Gannicus trousers, but to be honest, they’re not doing a whole lot to preserve my modesty.
I hear his breath hitch. That’s a good thing, surely?
“Okay.” His voice is clipped and neutral, and before I have the chance to say anything else, he’s grabbed the leather shorts and belt and whip off my bed and disappeared towards the bathroom.
“…okay?” I say, stupidly, to my empty bedroom. My heartrate is going a mile a minute. I mean. It’s hard to admit to this stuff. It’s hard to admit to this stuff to myself, never mind someone else, even if I do trust Bram more than anybody else ever. The thing is, I like sex with Bram, just the two of us, being us. It’s real, and hot, and really quite unbelievably conducive to getting me off even when I’m just thinking of it at idle moments, like falling asleep or in the shower or what-have-you. But. But I also love – in a heart-stopping, breath-compromising, scary-but-hot way – the fact that I can be myself with Bram, even if myself isn’t myself, if you know what I mean. That I feel like I can trust him with all my secrets, all my fantasies, and not have him laugh at me, or be totally weirded out.
Maybe. I mean, I don’t know. Relationships are hard, okay?
I’m halfway towards taking my stupid costume back off after all when the door opens again and there’s Bram, and, oh god.
He’s… glistening. He’s shiny. He’s not as ripped as Oenomaus, obviously, because no human under the sky could be, but he’s… I mean. He’s sporty, so it’s not like he’s entirely un-ripped. And the sight of his chest, all covered in oil, and his shoulders, which are wider than I ever really realised they were, and his muscled thighs and calves protruding from my flimsily knocked-together gladiator shorts, are just, well, they’re… they’re impressive.
“Right, he says,” and if there’s a hitch in his breath, that’s probably just me projecting things. Right?
“Gannicus. Uhm. We must. Er. How dare you speak to me of friendship? You who believes in nothing?”
He’s squinting at me, half-stern, half slightly panicky, but honestly, under the circumstances he is doing very, very well, and I nod to tell him so, even as I pose at him, all pretend muscles and cocky grin.
“I believe in some things, brother.”
He scowls at me, which is really quite appropriate to either Bram or Oenomaus, and cracks the whip he’s holding. The snapping noise makes me straighten my spine.
“You ask for trouble,” he says, dark and low. I’m not sure how he manages that deep-timbre growl, but holy hell is it ever working for me. I smile at him, as fierce and intent as I can manage, and undo my pants.
“I ask for no more than I can handle. Does Oenomaus shy from conflict?”
He’s pressed up against me suddenly; I know he’s fast from watching him on the field but somehow I never think to apply it to this, to him and me alone together. A dumb part of my brain still has him down as cute and shy and hesitant, and it’s not like all those aren’t true things about him, but there’s also the other part, the part that makes him push me down and whisper dark velvety dirty things into my ear, and smile and look coy after he’s made me come so hard I scream.
It’s that latter part of him that tells me, darkly, “Let’s see if you can handle this, my God of the Arena.”
He pulls back from me, faster than I can react. The whip comes down on my ass, and even covered with fabric, the sensation sends a jolt right through the core of me, down to my groin, getting me immediately, dizzyingly hard. I groan.
“Is this the penitence you seek?” he growls. Holy shit, he must’ve paid more attention to that show than I thought. There’s another searing smack across my backside, and another. It’s entirely different from whipping myself. I gasp, half wanting to get the hell out of his way because it does hurt; half wanting to get closer, because the way it hurts is so good. He yanks down my trousers and I don’t struggle, whimpering as I arch my ass into the sudden freedom of the air. Then it’s the whip again, a sharp, fiery pain, followed by the warm caress of his hand. “You go so red,” he murmurs, breathing hard, “so quickly.”
The whip comes down again, and then again. I think I lose time altogether, in the quick flurry of heat and pain and lust all mingling together.
“Fuck, fuck,” I gasp at some point, and then I’m yanked around, and Bram whispers "Sorry" and pushes me down so my back hits the bed. I hiss at the sensation of cool cotton against my heated flesh. Next thing I know his mouth is on my cock and his hands around my buttocks, which are hot and throbbing from the way he laid into them. There’s a curious incongruity because most of me is still prepared for the fiery sting of the whip but what I’m getting instead is soft and wet and sucking on the tip of my dick, while Bram’s hands cup my balls, gently rubbing and squeezing, and somehow that’s almost as bad, the soft agonising throb of pleasure when I was braced for pain.
“Simon,” he says, sounding as pained as I feel, rolling us around so I’m on top. How is he this oily? I think dizzily and nonsensically. He must’ve really slathered on that oil. I mean, not that I mind. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything as good as Bram’s bare skin sliding against mine, all slick and hot.
“Do you.” He swallows visibly, in a decidedly non-Oenomaus way. “I mean. Do you wanna… you know, try again?” He shifts beneath me, opening his legs, and my breath hitches.
He’s gone dark with blushing, and I can relate to his misgivings. The only other time we tried this was… not great. I don’t know if it was just me being crap at it, or him being too nervous, or the fact that his mom was in the house at the time and a part of me couldn’t help imagining her bursting in on us, all, “Are you using condoms, boys? Be sure to be super-safe about this!”, but all things considered it was pretty faily. Since then we’ve stuck mostly to the other way round because, you know, that seems to work for both of us.
But here we are, and he’s all… panting and, and, oily and really, I have forgotten what Oenomaus even looks like, because all I can see is this. This crazy, lovely, panting boy with his heavy-lidded eyes and his soft, gasping mouth. This boy who can destroy me just with a gentle nip to my lower lip like this.
“Yeah,” I murmur against his lips, and kiss him and kiss him because honestly, at this point it would cause me physical injury not to have his tongue inside my mouth. “Yeah, if you wanna?”
He nods, and spreads his legs wider so my hips settle against his. I bite the inside of my cheek, because it’s the only way to guard against making a truly embarrassing noise at this, the sensation of him, hard, straining cock and spread, toned thighs and all that fucking trust. I’m afraid I’m going to come just at the feeling of it, before we’ve even done anything. I focus hard on grabbing some lube and a condom from my bedside drawer instead. My hands shake a bit as I slather the lube on him. He moans when I circle the rim with one finger, small, teasing motions. Gradually I push a finger inside to stretch him, slowly, slowly. He's so tight. I curl my finger experimentally and he makes a noise, his teeth sinking into his lower lip. His thighs flex beneath me.
"More," he says softly, bucking slightly. I add a second finger, working them slowly inside together. He clenches briefly, but then relaxes; I lean down to capture his small gasps right off his lips. He kisses me back, open-mouthed, breathing hard. My fingers slide into him more easily now, and he's moving against me, rocking his hips slightly, his cock rubbing against my belly on every move, leaving a wet patch. He's got one hand curled around my upper arm, fingers digging in hard. His eyes have fallen half shut.
"Bram?" I'm a bit oxygen-challenged myself, and trembling with the strain of holding back. My balls feel heavy and hot and achy and I feel like if I looked down, I could actually see my cock throbbing.
"Okay," he pants against my mouth, pushing up again. "You can, I think. Here, let me...” and there’s the deft slide of a condom over my cock. He slicks me up, and I hiss at his touch; even through the latex, his fingers are still wreaking utter havoc on me.
When I finally push in, I can’t help moaning at the feel of him, so tight and hot around me. It’s no use pretending I’m Gannicus, because probably imagining that would make me come faster rather than slower (I think that dude’s sense of control is honestly overrated), so I just push that aside, and move my hips, and slide my lips against Bram’s again. Soft, his mouth is so soft and gasping, slick, silky tongue inside my mouth, and oh, the way he’s tightening against me is going to kill me.
I pull back and thrust, and thrust again, and there’s this curious moment where Bram goes all pliant beneath me, legs spreading wide, and goes, “oh,” against my neck, and then his hands are digging into my buttocks, which are still hot and sore from the whip, and I cry out and slam forward, harder than I meant to.
But Bram is shaking his head, staring up at me with half-lidded, heated eyes, and lifts to meet my thrust. "No, that's... do it again," he pants, hooking his calves behind my knees, and pulls me in close. "Like that. Harder."
My head swimming, I do it again. I fuck him harder liked he wants me to, like I want to, and he keeps making noises, and keeps squeezing my cheeks, and I want to scream. Instead, I sink my teeth into his shoulder, and he bucks beneath me, gasping my name, and then I lose it, just lose it completely. There’s the dizzying, all-encompassing sensation of pumping into him, just letting myself go, and him saying, yes, and there, and oh god Simon yes don't stop, and then he spurts, wet and sudden against my stomach, and goes so tight around me I spit out every curse word I know, and then I come and come until I think I’m going to black out.
I think I do, at least for a moment. The next thing I know is Bram’s hand through my hair, soothing and familiar and feeling so, so good. We’re still all tangled up together. I haven’t even pulled out, and everything feels sticky.
I don’t care.
Bram chuckles; the vibrations of it rise up through his chest into mine.
“I,” he murmurs, weakly, “am Spartacus.”
I’m so destroyed I can’t even laugh.
“Don’t,” I tell him, and put my mouth on his just to make sure.