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A potentially career-ending injury.

The words had been playing over and over in Finn’s head since he took the hit, since he felt something tear and then his kneecap shift way too far and his whole leg went out from under him. He’d been replaying them since he heard the sound of the team medic’s voice, then his coach shouting for the rest of the team to make a hole and let the stretcher through.

He heard them again when he found himself surrounded by the staff at the ER, his leg held completely immobile in the biggest brace he’d ever seen, and the word ‘surgery’ being thrown around like it was a given.

Turned out it was.

He couldn’t walk until they reattached his patellar tendon, anyway, which involved drilling into his bone, like that wasn’t totally gross. When he woke up to a nurse checking his IV and his mom hovering around his bed and, like, petting his hair and stuff, the first thing he thought of were the words he’d heard come out of his coach’s mouth.

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, son. This is a potentially career-ending injury.

After one night in the hospital the doctors sent him home with another brace on his leg, a pair of crutches, a prescription for Oxycodone, and another scrip for physical therapy. And Finn was no stranger to sports injuries, so he knew what that meant. It meant more pain and zero sympathy, and Finn was just going to have to suck it up and deal with it, because slacking on his recovery meant he might as well quit the team and get it over with.

It was bad enough he was sidelined for the rest of the year -- at least were the words the team medic had used -- right at the start of his sophomore season with the Bengals. Not exactly his dream team, but staying in Ohio meant he was close enough to home to keep his mom happy, and in his first year as their new quarterback he’d led the team to a handful of pretty respectable wins.

But if he couldn’t come back from this injury, all anyone would remember about him and his brief football career would be the sad story of the rookie quarterback who got taken down by some freak of nature in a Saints uniform and busted up his knee in the third game of his second season. And there was no way Finn was going out like that, not if he could help it.

“How you doing, hon?” his mom asked as Finn gingerly tested his weight on his bad knee.

The doctor had told him to start laying off the brace as much as possible, that the faster he could move around without the support of the brace holding his knee steady, the sooner he’d start to see some of his strength return. Every step felt like someone had punched him directly in the center of his kneecap, but he kept walking anyway, biting back a gasp at a particularly sharp burst of pain and waving off his mother when she went for his arm.

“I’m okay, Mom. I need to use my leg to get my strength back.”

“But maybe you shouldn’t tire yourself out right before your physical therapy,” she said, and he didn’t roll his eyes at her, because she couldn’t know what kind of torture she was leading him into.

She’d been staying with him since she found out about the hit he’d taken. His stepdad, who’d seen it happen live and in HD, was the one who broke the news before anybody from the Bengals organization even had a chance to call. As soon as Burt saw him go down he’d started making phone calls of his own, and by the time Finn had a surgery time scheduled -- for the day after it happened, because this was his career they were talking about and his coach wasn’t going to let them mess around with the team’s investment -- his mom and Burt were already barreling through medical personnel and Bengals staff alike to get to him.

It was kind of awesome, but the ER had given him a pretty sweet Vicodin drip, so he probably would have thought anything was awesome at the time. Still, it was nice to have his mom around to make him sandwiches and get the remote when he accidentally knocked it off the bed, to get him home from the hospital and set up in the apartment he’d been renting in Cincinnati since he signed with the team.

Burt drove back to Lima the same day Finn went home, but his mom stayed behind, and six weeks later she was still hovering around him, using up all the sick time she’d banked at her own job, then going on family medical leave just to make sure he didn’t fall and crack his skull open in the shower or something. He’d tried telling her she didn’t have to stay, that he wasn’t totally friendless and there were people who could look in on him.

Except that was kind of a lie, when he really thought about it. He knew people in town, sure, but they were all his teammates, and in the middle of the season he couldn’t count on them to be around to check on him. There were staffers from the Bengals who didn’t travel with the team, but he was discovering pretty quickly that once he was out for the season, he practically didn’t exist where management was concerned.

A few of the older players had sympathetic wives who might check up on him, but that felt a little too much like asking for charity. Besides, it was way too easy for rumors to get started, and even though the rest of the team knew exactly why they could trust him around their wives, that wouldn’t stop the press from stirring up trouble.

His stepbrother wouldn’t have been his ideal choice either, but at least Kurt lived in Cincinnati, so it wouldn’t have been such a big deal for him to move in with Finn, just until he could get around on his own without too much trouble. Except that Kurt had picked this semester to take a leave of absence from The Art Institute of Ohio and go to New York to try out for Project Runway, and that meant he wasn’t even around the one time Finn needed a favor.

Which was how he ended up being led into his first physical therapy appointment by his mother, letting her do the talking like he was some little kid. And it was embarrassing enough when the receptionist smirked at him, but when his therapist appeared in the waiting room to call his name, Finn sort of wished he’d taken the hit to his head instead of his knee.

“Finn Hudson,” the guy called, even though Finn and his mom were the only two people in the room. He was almost as tall as Finn, with wavy brown hair that Finn was pretty sure he had highlighted, and warm brown eyes that traveled from Finn to his mom and then back. He was smiling in what was probably supposed to be a reassuring way, but Finn had been through this before, so he knew better.

“Yeah,” Finn mumbled, levering himself out of the chair he’d been sitting in, and when his mom reached to help him up he blushed hard and pulled out of her grip.

“Will Schuester,” the guy said when Finn reached him, holding out a hand for Finn to shake.

His grip was strong, and Finn swallowed a groan at the torture he knew he was in for. Still, Will was easy on the eyes, at least, and Finn wasn’t above perving on his physical therapist if it helped distract him from the pain.

“I’ll be handling your therapy for the next few months,” Will said. He glanced past Finn to his mom, and Finn didn’t know him or anything, but he could have sworn by the way his mouth quirked that he was trying not to laugh. “Your mother’s welcome to join us for the consultation.”

“That’s okay,” Finn said, and he didn’t look back to see whether or not his mom wanted to come in, because she definitely was not welcome.

Will grinned, and yeah, he was definitely making fun of Finn for bringing his mom to his appointment. And Finn couldn’t even blame him, really, because he was a grown man and a professional athlete, and he shouldn’t need his mom to take care of him.

He sighed and waited while Will told his mother how long she could expect to wait, then he followed Will down a short hall and into a private room. “Please, have a seat.”

He gestured toward a chair and Finn sat down, straightening his leg in front of him and trying hard not to feel like he was back in the Principal's office. Except Will didn’t look like any principal Finn had ever had; he was wearing a pair of running pants, for one thing, and his t-shirt sort of clung to his chest in a way that let Finn know exactly what kind of shape he was in. It was distracting, and when Will cleared his throat Finn blinked and looked up at his face.

For a second Will just kind of smirked at him, like maybe he could tell what Finn had been thinking. Then he looked down at the file that was open on a short counter, scanning what looked like a page full of chicken scratch before he looked up again.

“I see Dr. Sylvester performed your surgery.”

“Yeah,” Finn said. “She’s kind of scary.”

Will laughed, his smile bringing out a pair of dimples that framed his lips in a way that made Finn’s mouth go a little dry. “She’s...intense. But she’s the best when it comes to this type of injury. You’re lucky she was available.”

Finn didn’t bother pointing out that his job probably had a lot to do with her availability; instead he just nodded and did his best not to look as dumb as he felt. He wasn’t sure how well he pulled it off, especially when Will laughed again and nodded toward the exam table that took up most of the room.

“I’d like to check your range of motion and assess your scar tissue. I’ll just get you a gown and step out for a minute.”

“It’s cool,” Finn said, levering himself up out of the chair. “I mean, it’s not like I’m going commando or anything.”

A second later he was kicking off his shoes and pushing his own running pants down. Once he was down to his boxers he dragged himself onto the exam table, putting most of his weight on his good leg and using his arms to hoist himself up. It wasn’t until he looked at Will again that he realized maybe most of his patients didn’t just drop trou right in front of him like that. Will’s cheeks were a little pink, anyway, and Finn felt himself blush when he realized that he probably did look as dumb as he felt.

Then again, he spent most of his time in locker rooms full of guys in various states of undress, and he’d stopped being self-conscious about it a long time ago. Sitting on an exam table in his boxers and an OSU t-shirt was almost fully dressed compared to the way some of the guys he’d shared a locker room with wandered around.

If Will was embarrassed he recovered pretty quickly, flashing another smile at Finn as he stepped in front of him and reached for his right knee. His hands were just as strong this time as when he shook Finn’s hand, but they were warm and kind of soft too, and when he ran them up Finn’s thigh Finn wished suddenly that he’d opted for the gown after all.

“You’re a professional athlete?” Will asked, though Finn could tell it wasn’t really a question. He’d already read Finn’s file; that much was obvious, which meant he already knew how Finn had torn his patellar tendon in the first place.

“Yeah. I’m...I was the quarterback for the Bengals,” he answered, wincing at the way his voice broke, and he hoped Will would chalk it up to the pain in his knee. “If I can come back from this injury I might even get my job back next year.”

Will nodded, glancing up to give him a sympathetic smile, and Finn felt himself relax a little. Will’s hands were still resting on his thigh, and okay, that was kind of weird, but instead of going all porno on him Will looked down and ran his thumbs hard along either side of Finn’s quad.

“Well, the good news is your quadriceps muscles haven’t atrophied as much as they could have. You started off in top physical condition, so the six weeks you’ve spent in a brace haven’t completely destroyed your muscle tone.”

Finn nodded as Will’s hands left his thigh, just barely catching himself before he blew out a relieved breath. Then Will reached for his knee again, fingers tracing the scar tissue just below his knee, and Finn gasped before he could stop himself.

“Does that hurt?” Will asked, frowning down at Finn’s incision site, and Finn shook his head and willed himself to stop blushing before Will looked up and caught him.

“No,” he said, voice kind of gruff and he cleared his throat before he tried again. “Just feels a little weird still, that’s all.”

Will nodded like that wasn’t a weird thing to say, then he braced Finn’s kneecap with one hand and looked up at him again. “It’s bound to for awhile yet. Look, Finn, you’re a professional athlete, so you know the drill here. PT’s hard and it’s going to hurt some. Dr. Sylvester refers her important cases to me because she knows I’m not going to baby you and let you get away with slacking on your rehab.”

“I’m not a slacker,” Finn said, and when Will raised an eyebrow he shrugged. “I mean, we’re talking about my career here. I’ll do whatever it takes to get back on the field.”

For a second Will just looked at him like he was trying to decide if Finn meant it, or if he was just saying what he figured Will wanted to hear. Then he smiled and let out another one of those little laughs that made Finn’s skin feel kind of tight.

“Good. If you keep up with your exercises and you’re committed to your recovery, I don’t see why we can’t get you back out there.”

Will smiled at him again, and it was kind of weird, having this conversation while some guy he’d just met had his hand on Finn’s knee, but he figured they were going to be spending a lot of time like this for the next couple months, so he might as well get used to it.

“The first thing we need to do is start working on breaking up some of this scar tissue. We’ll do this at the start of every session, but I’m going to show you how to do it for yourself too.” While he talked Will pushed his hand against the side of Finn’s knee to hold it still, then he used the thumb of his other hand to dig into the scar tissue. “The trick is to keep your knee stable while you move the scar tissue around. Breaking it up like this will stop the scar from healing too tightly and keep you from getting your full range of motion back. You should do this every day, okay?”

Finn nodded, lip caught between his teeth to keep from swearing while Will worked. It didn’t hurt, exactly, and the warmth of Will’s palm on the side of his knee was distracting enough to keep him from focusing too much on the weird feeling. He kept it up for a few minutes, but just when it actually started to feel sort of good, Will let go.

“Just a few minutes once a day should do the trick,” Will said, smiling when Finn nodded. “Now let’s check your range of motion and see where we’re starting from.”

Checking his range of motion hurt more than Finn really wanted to admit, mostly because he pushed his knee to the limit in the hope that he could bend it far enough to get a decent number. When he hit 40 degrees his knee started to groan, and when he tried to push it a little further the pain was so bad he thought for a second he might pass out.

“Whoa, take it easy,” Will said, hand on Finn’s shoulder and that was the first time a physical therapist had ever said those words to him. “Right now I just want to see what you can do. Why don’t you get dressed again and we’ll go to the gym and give the bike a try.”

‘Try’ was one word for what Finn did on the bike, but ‘fail’ came a little closer to the truth. He could barely move the pedal with his right leg, and the few times he actually managed it his foot slipped off and sent blinding pain shooting through his knee. By the time Will helped him off the bike Finn was breathing like he’d run ten miles, and he was in so much pain he had to fight back tears.

After that he thought maybe Will would send him home with a list of exercises and a PT schedule, but instead Will made him get on another table, then he gripped Finn’s leg again, one hand on his calf and the other on his thigh, and bent his knee for him. It was brutal and Will bent his knee way further than Finn would have done on his own, and when Finn swore at him Will just laughed and told him to suck it up.

And it wasn’t like he had a choice when Will was leaning hard on him, pushing and pushing until Finn couldn’t fight the tears anymore.

“Son of a bitch,” he said when Will finally let him up, wiping hard at his eyes and blushing because seriously, he was in the NFL. He’d taken hits from guys three times his size; he shouldn’t be crying over a PT session.

“You did really well,” Will said, grinning and clapping him on the shoulder like Finn hadn’t just completely humiliated himself. “We got your range of motion to nearly 60 degrees.”

Finn let Will help him off the table, testing his weight on his sore leg before he followed Will out of the gym. A few minutes later Will was ushering him back out to the waiting area with a list of exercises he was supposed to do at home and a schedule for his physical therapy for the next two months.

“Once we get through the first eight weeks we’ll see where you are,” Will said, hand on Finn’s shoulder and Finn told himself the whole touchy-feely thing probably came along with his line of work. Not that he was complaining; Will had great hands, and Finn liked them even better when they weren’t busy trying to make his leg do things it couldn’t handle anymore.

“Thanks,” Finn said, glancing at the stack of papers in his hand and then back at Will.

When he found Will still smiling at him Finn wondered exactly how he was going to make it through the next eight weeks, let alone a whole year of rehab, with Will smiling at him like that the whole time. Like he knew exactly what Finn was thinking and he didn’t mind one bit, except Finn knew that wasn’t true, because even if Will was interested, he was Finn’s physical therapist, which meant he was strictly hands off.

He couldn’t even feature heavily in Finn’s fantasies, because he sure as hell wasn’t jerking off with his mom in the next room. He felt himself blush, then his mom appeared next to him and he blushed even harder.

“How’d it go?” she asked, her hands on him already like she was afraid he was going to fall over if she didn’t support him.

Which, okay, it felt a little like he might, but that was mostly because of the amount of torture Will had put him through during their session. Or maybe it was because he could still sort of feel Will’s hands on him, but he wasn’t thinking about that while Will was smiling like he was trying not to laugh and shaking Finn’s mom’s hand.

“Finn did about as well as we can hope for, considering,” Will answered, casting a glance in Finn’s direction, and yeah, he was totally laughing at Finn. “Don’t worry, Mrs. Hudson. He’s in good hands.”

“I’m sure he is,” she said, smiling back at Will like she was in on the joke, and Finn barely caught himself before he rolled his eyes. “And it’s Mrs. Hummel. But please, call me Carole.”

Finn waited until Will introduced himself, then he mumbled something that might have passed for ‘thanks’ and nearly pulled his mom out of the clinic to his car. His mother slid into the driver’s seat, starting the engine before she turned to watch him gritting his teeth against the fresh wave of pain from bending his knee far enough to get into the seat.

“Will seems nice.”

“He’s a total sadist,” Finn muttered, hand on his kneecap and breathing through the pain. “All physical therapists are. They get off on torture.”

And he was pretty sure it was true, but that didn’t stop him from thinking about strong, sure hands resting on his thigh, or the warmth of Will’s palm pressed against his knee while he worked on Finn’s scar. So he was a sadist with great hands; it didn’t matter either way, because he’d only be in Finn’s life long enough to torture him until Finn was healthy enough to get back on the team, and that was all Finn wanted from him.

~

It took Finn a week and another physical therapy session to convince his mom to go home. He kept up his exercises all week, went to the gym in his apartment complex every day and fought with the stationary bike until he nearly cried from pain and frustration, and by the end of the week he could bend his leg enough to drive his car.

Even then his mom didn’t want to leave, mostly because she was afraid he was going to have a spasm or something while he was behind the wheel and either kill himself or somebody else. He wasn’t even a hundred percent sure she was wrong; he just wasn’t dumb enough to admit it.

But he drove them to his next physical therapy appointment, and when Will came out to the waiting room to get him, Finn levered himself out of his chair and said, “Dude, please tell my mom that it’s safe to go home.”

Will just smiled at him, the bastard, then he clapped Finn on the shoulder and steered him into the clinic. “Let’s see how you’re doing first.”

“Seriously,” Finn said, but he hopped up on the table in Will’s exam room as soon as Will shut the door. He was wearing shorts this time, so he didn’t even have to drop his pants before Will got his hands on Finn’s knee. And Will must have appreciated it, because he was touching Finn almost as soon as he sat down. “My stepdad’s going to put out a hit on me if she doesn’t go home soon. It’s been like two months.”

Will laughed and ran his hands up Finn’s thigh, fingers just brushing the edge of his shorts and Finn tried to suppress a shiver. “I take it your folks don’t live in Cincinnati?”

“Nah, we’re from Lima.”

Will’s hands slid down to his knee, and Finn hissed at the feeling of Will’s thumb digging into his scar tissue. Will looked up at the sound, but instead of asking if he was hurting Finn he just said, “My parents live in Lima.”

“Oh, yeah?” Finn said, voice sticking a little on the words when Will’s hand slid under his knee. “Is this the part where we figure out we went to the same high school? Because I’m pretty sure I’d remember you.”

For a second Will just smiled down at the top of Finn’s knee. And he wasn’t sure what Will was smiling about, exactly, but it was a great smile, so Finn wasn’t going to try to stop him.

“I’m pretty sure I was a few years ahead of you,” Will said to the top of Finn’s knee, then he looked up at Finn and shrugged. “But no, I didn’t go to school in Lima. I grew up here, actually. My parents moved here before I was born for my father’s job, but a couple years ago my grandmother got sick, so they moved back to Lima to be closer to her.”

The whole time he talked his thumb was moving on Finn’s scar, his other hand under Finn’s knee to lift it up off the table and kind of bend it a little. He knew he shouldn’t enjoy Will touching him as much as he did, but it was hard to remember that when Will’s hands were on him.

“So what are you, like, twenty-eight?”

Another little smile, then Will’s hand slid out from under his knee. He turned his back on Finn and pulled open a cabinet, then he pulled out a towel and rolled it up. A second later his hand was back on Finn’s thigh, lifting it far enough to slide the towel under his knee.

“I’ll be thirty-two in a few months.”

Will gripped the ends of the towel and pulled up, and Finn bit down hard on his lip and tried not to be a complete wuss about a little pain. He distracted himself by doing the math, subtracting his own age from Will’s and okay, seven years and change was a little bigger gap than he figured, but it wasn’t like it mattered. He wasn’t dating Will, for one thing, and even if he was, a few years wasn’t going to make a difference.

“Looks like you’ve been keeping up with your exercises,” Will said, lowering Finn’s knee back to the table and easing the towel out from under it. “Your range of motion’s already improving.”

“I told you, I’m not a slacker,” Finn said, grinning when Will looked at him. “I can bend my knee enough to drive now.”

“You don’t want to push too hard. It’s easy to reinjure yourself when it comes to your patellar tendon. If you push too hard too fast and tear it again, getting back on the field will be the least of your problems.”

Finn nodded, his smile fading at the serious look on Will’s face. “I won’t push it, I promise.”

“Good. Just stick with the routine I set up for you and you should be fine. Now let’s head to the gym and see how you’re doing with the bike.”

Finn followed Will down the hall to the gym where another therapist was working with a small group of people. It looked like they were mostly doing their own thing, and Finn wondered how far along they were in their recovery to not need individual attention anymore. He wondered how much longer he got Will’s undivided attention before he found himself herded into the gym with a bunch of other people to ride the bike without Will’s hands on him to steady him whenever he got a little wobbly.

“Listen,” Finn said when Will helped him back off the bike, “I know the rehab for this kind of injury usually takes a year, but what are my chances of being ready to report back before the start of next season?”

Will let out a deep breath, one hand still resting on Finn’s shoulder to steer him toward a table near the wall.

“It’s pretty early to tell yet, Finn. You’re making great progress with your strength and your range of motion, but it’s only been a week. I’d like to see you get to ninety degrees by the end of the first month, and after that we’ll see where we are, okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” Finn said.

It wasn’t exactly an answer, but he hadn’t really been expecting Will to make him any promises anyway. There was no way he could guarantee Finn would ever be a hundred percent, let alone as early as next August. Finn swallowed a sigh and let Will help him onto the table, then he stretched out and gripped the sides of the table and tried not to cry when Will bent his leg further than ever.

Will’s hands were on his thigh, pushing his knee up toward his chest, and it would have been kind of a turn-on if it wasn’t for the fact that every extra millimeter he pushed for sent fresh pain shooting through Finn’s knee. He knew he was just stiff from not bending his knee for six weeks, and that Will wouldn’t push him any further than was safe. But that wasn’t how it felt when Will put his weight behind the next push, and Finn didn’t bother holding back the stream of obscenities when Will’s hand slid under his knee to bend it a little further.

“Fuck,” Finn said when Will finally let go. He was breathing kind of hard, face flushed and his leg sort of trembling. He sat up and swung his leg carefully over the side of the table, but when he started to slide off Will put a hand on his waist to stop him.

“I want to show you a new exercise before you go,” he said. “It’s not that bad, I promise.”

He grinned when he said it, which meant it was going to suck. But Finn had said he was willing to do whatever it took, and he wasn’t going back on that just because it hurt. So he nodded and let Will push him back onto the table, his legs still dangling over the side.

“You can do this on your kitchen counter at home,” Will said. “That should give you enough clearance, even at your height. You just let your leg hang like this, then you push your heel down as hard as you can against the cabinet.”

Will put his hand behind Finn’s heel while he spoke, and Finn took the hint and pushed as hard as he could against Will’s palm. After a few tries Will stood up, grinning and resting his hand on Finn’s thigh.

“That will help you get the strength back in your quad,” he said, his fingers tracing the muscle in question while he talked, and Finn wasn’t positive, but he got the impression Will didn’t even know he was doing it. “The bike will help too. You want to get as much strength back as possible to support your knee. And don’t neglect your other leg; if you don’t work on strengthening both of them, you’ll just overcompensate for your injury and end up hurting your other knee too.”

“Got it,” Finn said. Will was still touching him, and Finn didn’t really want him to stop, so he didn’t move to get off the table again. “So now will you tell my mom she can go home?”

Will laughed, then he did let go of Finn, backing away a few feet and Finn was sort of sorry he’d said anything. He slid off the table and tested his weight on his leg, and when it didn’t give out on him he followed Will out of the gym. They walked down the hall to the waiting area, and when they stepped through the door, Will put his hand back on Finn’s shoulder.

“Carole, it’s great to see you again. Finn’s making really fantastic progress,” Will said when Finn’s mom stood up. “I understand your concern, of course, but as long as he’s driving without discomfort I don’t see any reason he needs a chauffeur.”

“See, Mom, you can go home. I’ll be fine. Go back to Lima before Burt files for divorce or something.”

“Finn, your stepfather’s not going to leave me because I’m taking care of you,” Carole said, rolling her eyes in Will’s direction, and how they’d gotten on the same side when they barely knew each other, Finn had no idea. “He loves you, honey. Besides, I don’t like the thought of leaving you here with no one around to look in on you.”

Like it wasn’t humiliating enough that Will had to see his mom fussing over him like he was still a kid, now she’d basically called him friendless. Which wasn’t even true – not really, anyway. So he hadn’t had a lot of time to meet people since he moved to Cincinnati; that didn’t mean he didn’t have any friends in town.

“Mom, come on, I told you some of the guys from the team will stop by when they’re in town. And Kurt will be back eventually.”

The truth was no one actually knew when Kurt would be back. It depended how far he made it in the audition process, and if he got cast on the show there was a chance he’d be gone for at least a few months. Even if he didn’t make it on the show, he might just decide to crash with his friends in New York until Christmas, and by then Finn would be almost three months into his physical therapy.

“Tell you what,” Will said, squeezing Finn’s shoulder for a second before he let go, “I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to give you my cell number. That way if you have any questions or concerns at all, you can give me a call.”

Will paused long enough to jot a number down on the back of a card, then he handed it to Finn’s mom. Which wasn’t fair at all, because if anybody should be getting total access to Will, it should be Finn. And he wasn’t crazy about the idea of his mom calling his physical therapist to check up on him, but he couldn’t help wondering if Will giving his mom that kind of special treatment meant...well, something.

~

Even Will’s number didn’t quite convince his mom to go back to Lima. She was still hanging around Finn’s apartment two days later, anyway, going on about making sure the place was cleaned up and cooking everything in sight to stock the freezer with so Finn wouldn't starve to death after she left. What she was really doing was stalling, but Finn knew better than to think he’d ever get her to admit it.

Which meant she was still there when Finn’s doorbell rang, and it was her who pulled it open to reveal the Bengals’ tight end standing in the hallway.

“Hey, Mrs. H,” Puck said, flashing a grin that was kind of creepy when Finn’s mom was on the receiving end. “How’s the cripple?”

“Classy,” Finn called from the couch as his mom stood aside to let Puck in.

He watched Puck cross the room and throw himself down in the chair across from Finn, smirk still firmly in place as he glanced at the leg Finn had propped up on the couch. “Whatever, you’re just pissed because you’re sidelined and I’m getting all the glory.”

“Damn straight I’m pissed,” Finn said, pushing himself up a little higher on the couch and wincing when his knee bent.

“Nothing straight about you, Hudson,” Puck said, and Finn rolled his eyes and didn’t throw a pillow at him.

He’d gotten used to Puck’s weird, constant flirting with pretty much anyone who made the mistake of moving in his vicinity during their first year on the team. Some of the guys assumed they were hooking up, probably because they were the only two guys on the roster who hooked up with other guys, but Finn knew what a disaster that would be. Puck was cool, and they hung out, sure, but he was just looking for a good time, and Finn...well.

It wasn’t that he was looking for a relationship, exactly. He didn’t go out of his way to meet new people, which explained how he ended up with his mom taking care of him during his recovery. If he’d been dating someone when it happened, chances were good that his theoretical boyfriend would be the one getting him water and the remote. Then again, that kind of thing implied a pretty serious commitment, and Finn had never dated anybody that seriously.

For a long time he told himself it was because he didn’t have time to focus on anything but getting drafted by the right team, but once he realized that dream he still kept making excuses. And now here he was, still single and sidelined for at least a season, with nobody for company except his mom and the one guy from the team who cared that he was gone, and that was only because the rest of them couldn’t handle Puck’s...Puckness.

“Honey,” his mom said from across the room, and Finn glanced over to find her standing near the door with his keys in hand. “I’m going to the grocery store to stock up. Do you boys need anything while I’m out?”

“You got any beer?” Puck asked, but Finn ignored him and shook his head.

“We’re good, Mom, thanks.”

Once she was gone Puck got up and crossed to the kitchen, and Finn heard him pull open the fridge. He came back carrying two beers, then he handed one to Finn before he sat down again.

“I see your mom’s still wiping your ass for you.”

“Gross, dude. And I’ve been trying to get her to go home for weeks. My physical therapist even told her she could go, but I think she’s afraid I’m going to fall and crack my skull open in the shower or something. When she comes back you have to tell her you’ll stop by and check up on me. She’ll leave if she thinks people are coming over.”

And he knew how pathetic that sounded, but it wasn’t like Puck wouldn’t be in the same boat if this had happened to him. Finn wasn’t even sure Puck’s mother would come take care of him, because she didn’t have a husband at home to pay the bills while she fussed over him, and Finn was pretty sure Puck had a little sister still in high school.

“You want me to lie to your mom? I’m surprised at you, dude.”

“Hilarious,” Finn said, frowning at Puck over his beer. “Anyway, it’s not lying. You’re here, aren’t you?”

“Only because I know you start to have, like, DTs and stuff from the withdrawal when you haven’t seen my pretty face for awhile.” Puck grinned when Finn rolled his eyes, so he didn’t admit that it was kind of nice to see a familiar face that didn’t belong to his mom. Nobody from Bengals management had called for weeks, and Finn was starting to feel like he wasn’t even on the team anymore.

“Whatever, I saw you on ESPN two days ago. Speaking of which, that game was kind of a disaster.”

“Tell me about it,” Puck said, all traces of teasing gone from his voice. “That’s why you need to hurry up and get back out there.”

“Yeah, well, don’t hold your breath. My physical therapist says I’m making good progress, but he won’t even talk about next season yet.”

Puck winced in sympathy, and for a few moments neither of them said anything else. Every professional athlete lived in fear of exactly the kind of hit Finn had taken, and they both knew how serious it was. But Puck was never serious for long, and Finn was sort of grateful when he grinned a few seconds later and leaned forward.

“So is your PT hot at least?”

Finn pictured Will, pictured the smile that made his dimples come out and the way his eyes sort of crinkled at the edges when he was laughing at Finn. He pictured Will’s hands on his thigh, sort of resting there even when they were just talking, like he was looking for an excuse to touch Finn. And he knew better, knew that Will was probably so used to touching random people that he didn’t even know he was doing it. But it felt good anyway, and when Puck laughed at him Finn knew he was blushing.

“I’m gonna go ahead and take that as a yes.”

“What does it matter? Not like I can do anything about it,” Finn said, and yeah, okay, he sounded a little bitter, but he figured he had a right, considering. Will was the first guy he’d met since he moved to Cincinnati that he really wanted to get to know, and the fact that he was off limits mostly just made Finn want to punch something.

“Dude, are you kidding me?” Puck shook his head and leaned forward to set his empty bottle on the coffee table. “What, you think just because he’s your PT he’s above a little fooling around? Please. It’s one of the perks of the job.”

And the thing was, if anybody would know, it was Puck. Which made Finn glad Puck wasn’t the one seeing Will once a week, because the thought of Will ditching his professional ethics to hook up with Puck made Finn’s stomach turn.

“Whatever,” Finn said, and now he just sounded kind of sad. “Will’s…I don’t just want to hook up with him. I mean, if something was going to happen I think I’d want it to be more than that, you know?”

“See, that’s why you’re going to die a virgin, Hudson. You never want to hook up with anybody. You’re the only NFL player I know who doesn’t take advantage of the fame to get a little action. I swear, some of the dudes who’ve come on to me weren’t even bi. They just totally lose it when it comes to a solid win for their team.”

Finn rolled his eyes and didn’t answer. Instead he drained his beer and set the bottle down on the floor next to the couch so he wouldn’t have to move his knee any more than necessary. It wasn’t like he hadn’t had sex since he joined the NFL, but Puck was right about him not taking advantage of every offer that came his way. There were plenty of people who’d probably hook up with him just because of his job, but that wasn’t what Finn was looking for.

What he was looking for was someone…well, someone kind of like Will. Somebody cool that he liked hanging out with, someone he could talk to about something besides football. Not that he didn’t love the game, but there was more to life than his job, and if he was going to date somebody he’d rather they go out with him because they liked him, not what he did for a living.

Will didn’t seem to care all that much about his job, and the fact that he was the hottest guy Finn had met in ages didn’t hurt either. But he was still Finn’s PT, which meant that even if they did hook up, that was all it could be.

~

Puck was still hanging around when Finn’s mom came back from the grocery store, and the fact that she picked up more beer while she was out was just another sign that she’d been staying with him too long. She didn’t even blink at the pile of empties on Puck’s side of the table as she walked into the living room to smile at Finn.

“Good news, hon. Your brother’s back in town.”

“What? When did he get back?” Finn asked, sitting up a little straighter and yeah, he’d been parked on the couch way too long, because his knee groaned with the movement.

“Last night, according to Burt. I’ve convinced him to come over for dinner so I can hear about New York before I leave town.”

“I figured he’d be gone another couple months,” Finn said, frowning as he watched his mom head for the kitchen to get started on what was apparently a welcome home and a farewell dinner. “Do they give them a break before they start filming or something?”

“He didn’t make it onto the show,” she said, leaning out of the kitchen long enough to frown at him. “So take it easy on him. Burt says he sounds pretty miserable.”

“What show?” Puck asked.

Project Runway. You know, that reality show where a bunch of wannabe fashion designers try to beat each other out for a spot in a fashion show or something. Man, I can’t believe he’s back in town and he didn’t even call.”

“I thought you guys weren’t really tight,” Puck said. “I mean, he never comes to games or anything. I’ve never even met him.”

Finn shrugged and didn’t answer, because the truth was, Puck was right. Finn tried, but Kurt mostly ignored his existence until Finn’s mom called and guilted him into coming over when she was in town. So mostly Finn saw him about as much as he saw their parents, which was kind of pathetic, considering they lived in the same city.

“Noah,” Finn’s mom called from the kitchen, “would you like to stay for dinner? You can meet Kurt.”

“You know I’d never pass up a chance at your cooking, Mrs. H,” Puck said, grinning when Finn rolled his eyes.

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, dude. You’ve never been around Kurt when he’s in one of his moods,” Finn said. “He can be kind of a bitch.”

This time Puck rolled his eyes, then he smirked and reached for his beer. “Dude, I block guys twice my size on the field all season long. I think I can handle your little brother.”

Finn wasn’t so sure, but he didn’t say so. He’d known Kurt since high school, and if Puck wanted to learn the hard way, it was his funeral. At least Finn didn’t have to worry about Puck hitting on his stepbrother; he wasn’t even close to Kurt’s type, and all the flirting in the world wouldn’t impress Kurt when he was in a mood.

He was still parked on the couch an hour later when the doorbell rang, and when Carole called from the kitchen for one of them to get it, Puck took one look at him before he rolled his eyes and stood up. He set his beer down on the coffee table and crossed to Finn’s door, turning the lock and then pulling it open. Finn couldn’t see from where he was sitting, but he could picture the look Kurt was probably giving Puck without having to see it.

“‘Sup,” Puck said, and Finn could picture that look, too.

He couldn’t hear Kurt’s answer, but a second later Carole appeared in the entrance to the kitchen, drying her hands on a dish towel Finn didn’t even know he owned and grinning like Kurt was the one she’d given birth to.

“Kurt, honey, welcome home,” she said, then she dragged him forward into a hug and Finn got his first glimpse of Kurt’s expression. Sure enough, he looked pissed, and Finn figured that had as much to do with being forced to spend the evening with family as it did the fact that he was currently having the life squeezed out of him by his stepmom.

“Kurt, this is Noah, one of Finn’s teammates,” Carole said when she finally let him go. “Noah, this is my stepson Kurt.”

“‘Sup,” Puck said again, but there was something kind of weird about his voice, and Finn frowned and shifted a little on the couch to try to get a look at his expression.

“Charmed, I’m sure,” Kurt answered, rolling his eyes and barely glancing in Puck’s direction before he followed Finn’s mom into the kitchen. And it didn’t really surprise Finn that Kurt couldn’t be bothered to say hello; what did surprise him was the fact that Puck followed them into the kitchen too.

He levered himself off the couch, swearing at the stiffness in his leg and the way his knee threatened to go out from under him. He’d been sitting in the same position way too long, and he could just imagine what Will would say if he saw Finn struggling to stand up. Probably that he should spend more time doing his exercises and less time couch riding and drinking beer, and it wasn’t like he’d be wrong or anything.

Finn frowned at the thought and took a couple tentative steps toward the kitchen, swearing the entire time at the pain radiating up his leg. When he got there Puck wasn’t rooting around in the fridge for another beer the way Finn expected. Instead he was leaning against the counter staring at Kurt while Kurt pretended he wasn’t even in the room. His back was to Puck while he told Finn’s mom all about New York and how he’d been robbed just because they’d already decided before any of the designers showed up that they didn’t want another Christian Siriano to win this year.

“And to add insult to injury, I didn’t even get to meet Tim Gunn.”

“Who?”

At the sound of Puck’s voice Kurt let out a sigh and cast a dismissive glance over his shoulder. “I wouldn’t expect a football player to know anything about the fashion industry.”

A second later he had his back to Puck again, talking to Finn’s mom while she took dinner out of the oven and nodded every time he paused for breath.

“Dude, it’s not too late to get out,” Finn said, keeping his voice low so Kurt and his mom wouldn’t hear him. “It’s too late for me, but you can still save yourself.”

“No, I’m good,” Puck said without even looking at him. He was still staring at the back of Kurt’s head, eyes kind of wide and his mouth sort of open, like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. And Finn didn’t really get it, but if Puck had his heart set on his mom’s spinach lasagna, Finn wasn’t going to kick him out.

~

After his mom finally went home Puck started coming by a lot more. He’d been stopping by whenever the team was in town, but now it was every single day he was in town. Finn would have accused Puck of being in cahoots with his mom or something if Puck didn’t ask about Kurt every time he came around. He wasn’t even trying to be subtle about it, which was the best reason Finn could think of to warn Kurt away from Puck.

And he would have, if Kurt ever stopped by, but so far Finn hadn’t seen him since dinner on his mom’s last night in town. Finn tried not to take it personally; he knew Kurt was pretty bummed about not getting chosen to be on the show, and Finn couldn’t blame him. Then there was the fact that Finn was the quarterback for the Bengals -- well, he used to be, anyway -- and Kurt’s dad understood sports a lot better than he understood fashion.

So Kurt kind of held that against Finn, and Finn didn’t really blame him for that either. Except now Finn was off the team for at least the rest of the year, and he was a little surprised Kurt hadn’t taken the opportunity to gloat some.

It was on a physical therapy day when he heard from Kurt next. When his doorbell rang Finn was busy trying to decide if it was too cold out to wear shorts to PT again, or if he should take the risk of sitting on a table in front of Will and his -- seriously, fucking fantastic -- hands in a pair of boxers without embarrassing himself so much he’d have to switch clinics.

Which meant he was distracted when he answered the door, and when he found Kurt standing in his hallway, giving him a once-over that told Finn exactly what Kurt thought of his wardrobe, Finn just stared at him for a few seconds.

“Are you planning to stand there catching flies all afternoon?” Kurt finally asked, then he brushed past Finn into his apartment.

“Sorry,” Finn said, closing the door and turning to watch Kurt drop that bag he was always carrying around on Finn’s couch. “I guess I’m just surprised to see you.”

“Yes, well, my father called and insisted I come over and check on you. Apparently he and your mother are well aware that you’re incapable of taking care of yourself.”

Kurt let himself into Finn’s kitchen while he talked, opening the fridge and glancing at the contents before he made an impatient noise and closed it again. Finn watched him pull open a few cabinets, making the same noise every time, then he turned to look at Finn again.

“Honestly, what have you been feeding yourself?”

Finn shrugged and tried to remember the last time he’d actually cooked. “Delivery, mostly.”

That got him a familiar eye roll, then Kurt was rooting around in Finn’s junk drawer for a pen and some paper. “While I’m sure a steady diet of pizza and Chinese takeout seems like a well-balanced nutritional plan to your less than sophisticated palette, it’s certainly not going to do you any favors in the waistline department.”

Kurt paused to glance pointedly at Finn’s torso, and Finn frowned and glanced down at his stomach.

“This is why so many professional athletes end up morbidly obese after they retire. Once you stop training four hours a day, the cheeseburgers tend to catch up with you.”

The whole time he talked Kurt was writing, but before Finn managed to get close enough to get a look at the paper, he was folding it and shoving it in his pocket.

“Dude, it’s not that I’m not happy to see you or whatever, but I can take care of myself. You don’t have to check up on me.”

“That’s what I told Dad, but now I see that I was wrong.” Kurt sighed like he was seriously over it already, and that was totally unfair, because it wasn’t like Finn had called him or anything. “Where are you going in that ensemble, anyway?”

Finn looked down at his track pants and faded Titans t-shirt. There was a pair of shorts still dangling from his hand, and when he remembered where he’d been going he glanced at the clock on his stove.

“Physical therapy. And I need to get a move on or I’ll be late,” he said, reaching for his keys where he’d tossed them on the counter the last time he actually left his apartment.

“I’ll need a key,” Kurt said, arms crossed over his chest and sort of frowning like the idea of actually having a key to Finn’s place hurt him a little.

“Why?”

Kurt rolled his eyes for the second time, then he let out a sigh that probably could have won him some kind of award. “Because someone has to make sure you don’t die of malnutrition, and unfortunately that responsibility seems to have fallen on my shoulders. I’m going to the grocery store and I’ll likely get back before you. So I reiterate: I’ll need a key.”

Finn frowned at him for another second, then he reached around Kurt to dig through his junk drawer for the key his mom left behind when she went home. He handed it over, then he reached for his wallet. “I think I’ve got some cash...”

Kurt stared at the twenty in Finn’s hand like it was contagious, then he reached out and closed two fingers around it. “Well, that will pay for my coffee, I suppose. I’ll let you know how much more you owe me when you get home.”

Before Finn could ask what he was planning on buying, exactly, Kurt was gone, grabbing his bag off the couch and heading for the door like he had an appointment to keep. Finn shook his head at his brother’s retreating back and looked down at his clothes one more time, then he rolled his eyes and followed Kurt out of the apartment.

~

As soon as he got to the clinic Finn ducked into the restroom and changed into his shorts. Getting his own pants off wasn’t that bad, but getting back into them on his own was still a little tricky. His knee was bending a little more now, which made it easier, but in a tight space like a public restroom the weird balancing act felt a little dangerous. It took a little longer than he expected to get his shorts on and up over his thighs, and by the time he let himself back out into the clinic’s waiting area, Will was already waiting for him.

“Hi,” Will said when Finn emerged from the bathroom, glancing down at his bare legs and raising an eyebrow. “How’s the knee?”

“It’s getting better,” Finn said as he followed Will through the door that led into the clinic. “I can bend it a little further, I think.”

Once they reached the exam room Finn levered himself onto the table, gripping the sides to keep him steady when Will’s hands landed on his bare leg. Will’s thumbs dug into his scar tissue, fingers resting on either side of Finn’s knee and warming his skin. It felt good in a way Finn knew he shouldn’t let himself get used to, but considering how much time he had to spend with Will’s hands on him, it wasn’t like he had a lot of choice.

Finn bit his lip when Will’s fingers shifted, thumbs still massaging the spot just below his kneecap as his fingers kind of slid behind Finn’s knee. It tickled a little, mostly because Will’s touch was so light, and Finn wanted to push for more, but he knew better. The last thing he wanted Will to figure out was just how much Finn liked the feeling of Will’s hands on him, because if he knew he’d stop doing it, and now that Finn wasn’t playing football, his weekly appointments with Will were the only thing Finn looked forward to.

“So your mom went home,” Will said, and Finn blinked and flushed when he realized Will was looking up at him.

“Yeah...uh...she’s been gone for awhile.”

“But you’ve got some sort of support system in place, right? Your emotional well-being is just as important to your recovery as your therapy, and I know it’s easy to isolate yourself when you’re not able to work out with your team, but it’s important that you not let that happen.”

“Oh. I mean, yeah, my brother’s around, and one of the guys from the team stops by whenever he’s in town. Mostly to drink my beer and perv on my brother, I think, but it’s not like I’m stuck in my apartment alone all the time or anything.”

“Good,” Will said, then his hands stopped moving. For a few seconds he just stood there with his hands on Finn’s knee and looked at him, and Finn got the feeling he was missing something. “That’s good. It’s important to have a support network in place.”

“Yeah, you said.”

Will cleared his throat, then he nodded and patted Finn’s knee before he let go. He turned his back on Finn to reach into a cabinet, pulling out a towel and rolling it up before he looked at Finn again. They’d been through this enough times now that Finn knew exactly what Will was planning, but he still let Will lift his thigh and slide the towel under Finn’s knee instead of doing it for him.

And yeah, okay, it was kind of pathetic to want that touch too, considering how often Will touched him during their sessions, but Finn wasn’t above pathetic. He’d stopped being above much of anything when it came to Will a couple weeks ago, and as long as Will didn’t figure it out, Finn figured it wasn’t hurting anybody.

“So you and your brother get along well?”

“Yeah, I mean, he’s my stepbrother, technically,” Finn answered, watching as Will gripped either side of the towel and pulled up hard on Finn’s knee. “We get along okay, I guess. He can be kind of a pain in the ass, but he’s the only brother I’ve got, you know?”

“I don’t really know, actually. I’m afraid it was just me and my parents. I always wished I had brothers and sisters, though.” Will smiled and let go of the towel, easing Finn’s thigh up so he could pull it free. “You’re right, you have gained some range of motion. You’re almost to ninety degrees. That’s great progress.”

He tossed the towel in the laundry bin and turned back to Finn. “Let’s head to the gym and see what you can do on the bike today.”

Finn nodded and hopped off the table to follow Will down the hall to the gym. This was his least favorite part of the session, mainly because Will kept his hands to himself while Finn was pedaling. He hung out and talked to Finn the whole time, though, and Finn knew he didn’t have to. He’d seen some of the other trainers put clients on bikes and then take off for twenty minutes, but Will hadn’t ditched Finn once during their sessions.

He figured it probably had something to do with the fact that he was on the Bengals’ roster; maybe his coach or the team medic had called in a favor and gotten him special treatment. Not that Finn wanted anybody pulling strings for him, but if it meant he got Will’s undivided attention for an hour every week, Finn was willing to take it.

Besides, once he got off the bike they got to his favorite part of therapy. Namely the part where he got to lie on a table while Will pressed his body weight down onto Finn’s knee, bending his leg until he wanted to cry, yeah, but it got them up close and pretty damn personal, too, so Finn was willing to deal with some pain.

"So you didn't grow up with any cousins or anything?" Finn asked once he was on the bike, pedaling slowly while Will watched.

Will shook his head, then he grinned and kind of looked down and yeah, that was pretty cute. "No, no cousins or anything. I have a couple, but they both live on the west coast so I don't really know them."

Finn nodded and sat up on the bike, flexing his shoulders experimentally before he leaned forward again. "Yeah, it was just me and my mom for a long time, so I know what it's like to be the only kid. I think Kurt misses it more than I do. That's my brother."

Will nodded like Finn was making perfect sense, which was kind of crazy, because Finn didn't really know what he was talking about. Still, he liked it when Will smiled at him, and Finn would talk about anything as long as Will kept smiling.

"When did your mom get remarried?"

"When I was in high school," Finn answered. "That's kind of how they met, at one of those parent support group deals."

"What about your dad?"

"He died when I was just a baby. I don't remember him or anything."

"Finn, I'm sorry," Will said, and the funny thing was, he sounded like he meant it.

Finn shrugged and pedaled a little faster, working his knee more than he had in any of his solo workouts. "It's okay. Like I said, I didn't know him. Can't miss something you never knew, right?"

"I don't know, I kind of missed having a brother."

Finn grinned and slowed down again, reaching down to rub at his knee. "Burt's pretty cool, though, as stepdads go. He's totally into football, so that helps."

"How's your knee holding up?" Will asked, frowning at the way Finn was rubbing it. "Don't push too hard, Finn. If it's bothering you..."

It was, a little, but saying so meant cutting his time with Will short, and Finn would rather deal with a sore knee later than give up time with Will.

"I'm okay," he said, shifting on the bike seat to find a more comfortable angle for his knee. "So what about you? You watch any football?"

Will shrugged and looked over his shoulder like maybe he thought somebody was listening to their conversation. But there was nobody there, and when he turned back to Finn he looked a little flushed.

"Sure, you know, Thanksgiving, the Superbowl. Nothing else on TV, right?"

"Oh, yeah? You more of a basketball fan or something?" Finn asked, and he wasn't sure why, but he was sort of disappointed to hear Will didn't follow football.

Will shook his head, looking down and grinning at the floor again and Finn's heart skipped a beat. "Truth is I'm a runner, mostly. Track in high school, some races locally, you know. It keeps me in shape, anyway."

He wouldn't get any argument out of Finn on that one; even in track pants and a t-shirt Finn could tell he was in great shape. When Finn caught himself looking he blinked and cleared his throat, then he flushed and looked up to find Will kind of smiling at him.

"Yeah, I run too, mostly in the off-season. To stay in shape, you know.” Finn stopped pedaling and looked down at his knee, wincing when he thought about how sore it was going to be tomorrow. “Well, I used to, anyway."

"We'll get you back there, Finn." Will took a step forward, hand on Finn's shoulder and squeezing for a second before he let go. "What do you say we call it a day on the bike and do some stretching?"

Finn nodded and climbed off the bike, then he followed Will across the gym to one of the tables along the far wall. It always felt a little weird, doing this part out here in front of whoever else happened to be in the gym, but Finn figured it was better if they had an audience. If they were back in the exam room where it was just him and Will, there wouldn’t be anything to stop Finn from doing something like leaning up and kissing Will when he was stretching Finn’s knee. And if he did that Will would probably quit as his therapist, which meant Finn would have to start over with somebody new.

Somebody he didn’t look forward to seeing every week.

Somebody who’d probably treat him just like any other patient, maybe even ditch him while Finn was on the bike to go do paperwork or check his e-mail or something.

The thought was depressing enough to keep Finn from doing anything stupid, but he’d have to, like, die not to notice the way it felt when Will gripped his leg at the top of his calf and pushed it up toward his chest, then leaned on it until his chest was pressed against Finn’s leg.

“Fuck,” Finn muttered, and when Will laughed Finn had to fight hard not to grin right back at him. And he was pretty screwed if he got off on the sight of Will enjoying inflicting pain on him, but he was starting to get used to the idea that he was kind of hopeless when it came to Will.

~

When Finn got home Kurt was already there, just like he’d said he would be. Only he wasn’t alone; Puck was standing in Finn’s kitchen, leaning against the counter watching Kurt pull things out of cabinets and then put them back in other cabinets like it was his kitchen and not Finn’s.

“Dude, how am I supposed to find anything?”

“I’m simply reorganizing your kitchen in a way that makes far more sense,” Kurt answered, pursing his lips in Finn’s direction without actually looking at him. “It’s perfectly logical; you should have no trouble at all finding whatever you need if you just stop and think about where it should be.”

“My kitchen didn’t need reorganizing,” Finn said, but Kurt didn’t even pause in the process of pulling Finn’s collection of NFL beer mugs out of the cabinet above the sink.

“Yeah it did. Kurt says that’s the reason you can’t cook for shit,” Puck said, smirking when Finn glared at him. “He says your chi’s all messed up.”

“Feng Shui.”

“What?” Puck asked, and when he looked at Kurt it was all attention, like whatever Kurt was about to say was the most important thing Puck had ever heard. Finn rolled his eyes and reached into his fridge for a beer, noting that at least Kurt had managed to pick up the kind he liked.

“It’s Feng Shui, not chi. The Chinese art of achieving balance through aesthetics.”

“Yeah. That,” Puck said, nodding in Kurt’s direction and smiling when Kurt rolled his eyes.

“What are you even doing here?” Finn asked. He reached into a drawer for his bottle opener, but all he found was a stack of expired coupons and half a roll of duct tape. “And where’s my bottle opener achieving balance now?”

Kurt sighed and pulled open the drawer next to the stove, digging around for a second before he came up with the bottle opener. And Finn didn’t get how that was supposed to make sense, because the stove was all the way across the kitchen from the fridge, which, hello, was where he kept the beer. He took it without comment and popped the top off his beer, then he dropped the opener back in the tape and coupon drawer and leaned against it so Kurt couldn’t move it again.

“Seriously, dude, what are you doing here?” he said to Puck. “I thought you were playing the Packers this weekend.”

Puck shrugged, then his gaze slid back toward Kurt where he was still hiding everything in Finn’s kitchen so he couldn’t find it. “We don’t fly out ‘til tomorrow. I figured I’d come by, see how you’re doing.”

“Yeah, right,” Finn muttered under his breath, but if they heard him they chose to ignore it. So the great support system he’d told Will about was made up of a brother who didn’t give a damn what Finn thought about...anything, as far as he could tell, and a friend who was only hanging around because he wanted in Finn’s brother’s pants. “Unbelievable.”

“What was that?” Kurt asked without looking up from the row of beer mugs lined up on Finn’s counter.

“Be careful with those, it took me forever to track them all down.” Finn gestured toward his NFL beer mug collection with his bottle, and this time Kurt did look up, but only long enough to roll his eyes. “Anyway, it’s nothing. I was just thinking about something Will said during physical therapy.”

“Yeah? He finally offer you a happy ending?”

Finn scowled at Puck over the top of his beer, but Puck just laughed and looked at Kurt again. Kurt hadn’t looked at Puck once since Finn got home -- hadn’t even acknowledged he was in the room except to school him about the whole Feng Shui thing -- but Finn watched his brother’s cheeks turn pink, and he caught the little smile Kurt was fighting. And that was just great, because if Kurt froze Puck out long enough he’d get bored eventually and find someone else to stalk, but if Kurt was actually interested Finn was going to have to warn him off Puck before Burt drove all the way from Lima just to kick his ass for letting Kurt get his heart broken.

“No,” Finn said, still glancing between Kurt and Puck, and they weren’t even looking at each other, but he could feel the vibe coming off them anyway, and suddenly he felt like he was the third wheel in his own kitchen. “He was just asking me if I had a support system. You know, family, friends, somebody to check up on me or whatever. He says you guys are important for my emotional well-being. I told him he wouldn’t think that if he met you.”

Puck snorted a laugh at the joke, but Kurt just pursed his lips and looked at Finn. “Who is this person?”

“My physical therapist.”

“Hudson totally wants in his pants, but he’s too much of a wuss to go for it,” Puck added, grinning and ducking out of the way when Finn aimed a punch at his shoulder. “Whatever, dude, you know I’m right. What’d I tell you? Sex is the ‘physical’ part of PT. It’s practically expected.”

This time Kurt did look at Puck, one eyebrow raised and sort of giving him the once-over before he turned back to Finn. That look would have made most guys check to make sure their balls were still attached, but Puck didn’t even blink. If anything his grin got even bigger, and seriously, Finn so didn’t need this.

“As thrilled as I am to hear that you’re in the hands of a professional who takes his job seriously rather than thinking with his dick,” Kurt said, his gaze sliding sideways again and that did make Puck grin even harder, “did it occur to you that maybe he was just trying to find out if you were dating anyone?”

“What? No.” Finn shook his head, but the truth was Will had acted kind of weird during that whole conversation. He seemed pretty concerned about how Finn spent his free time, anyway. At the time Finn assumed Will was just making sure he wasn’t so depressed about being out for the season that he needed an intervention, but it was possible that was just his way of finding out if Finn was single.

Then again, he could have just asked. It wouldn’t even have been that weird; doctors asked that question all the time, then they gave the same speech about emotional support or whatever that Will had given him.

Finn shook his head a little harder, and when Kurt and Puck looked at each other like they couldn’t believe how dumb Finn was, he found himself wondering just how much time they’d been spending together. None, as far as Finn knew, but if they were already talking to each other without using words, maybe things were further along than Finn thought.

“No way. Will’s not into me, you guys. For all I know he’s straight.”

“Dude, you’re the quarterback for the Bengals. Tons of straight guys in this town would tap that just to say they had.”

“I was the quarterback for the Bengals,” Finn said, and he tried not to sound as miserable about it as he was, but he had a feeling he failed. “Besides, Will doesn’t even like football. He pretty much said so today.”

“Whatever. I still say go for it. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Finn opened his mouth to say that the worst that could happen was Will telling him that he was flattered, but he wasn’t interested, then showing up to his next appointment to find himself transferred to another therapist. The worst that could happen was Will never touching him again, because even if it was pathetic, that was pretty much the best thing about his life right now. But Puck was already back to staring at Kurt’s ass, so instead Finn just shook his head and drained the rest of his beer before he reached into the fridge for a fresh bottle.

~

Finn was pretty sure Will wasn’t interested in him. Just like he was pretty sure Puck didn’t keep stopping by to check up on Finn, and he was almost as sure that Kurt wasn’t suddenly hanging out at his place every day out of brotherly concern. Granted, he’d taken the semester off for the whole Project Runway thing, so it wasn’t like he had classes to worry about until January. But Finn was positive that Kurt could have found plenty of stuff to keep him busy that didn’t involve cooking and grocery shopping and acting like Finn’s mother if it wasn’t for the fact that he liked the way Puck looked at him.

Whenever Puck did show up Kurt mostly ignored him, but that just seemed to make Puck like him even more. It was weird and kind of fucked up, but it was obvious Kurt was kind of getting off on the attention. And that was just fine as long as they stuck to the weird flirting, but Finn had known Puck for awhile now, and he knew as soon as Kurt gave in, Puck would lose interest and move on.

On the day of Finn’s next PT session Kurt showed up right on time, yet another bag of groceries in hand, and at least he’d stopped giving Finn a bill every time he turned up with his fancy gourmet ingredients.

“Puck’s not here,” Finn said, but he stood aside to let Kurt in anyway. “The team won’t be back until tomorrow. And I’ve got physical therapy in like half an hour, so you can take a break from babysitting me for the day if you want.”

Kurt brushed past him into the kitchen like he owned the place, which he kind of did, lately. He was the only one who could find anything now that he’d rearranged all Finn’s cabinets and drawers, but he was the only one doing any cooking, so Finn tried not to complain.

“Please, why would it matter to me if your friends are hanging around getting in the way? I’m here to keep your mother happy so my father won’t call and harass me about family and his bizarre sense of obligation every five minutes.”

Finn could tell Kurt really expected him to believe it, but he could see the way Kurt’s cheeks flushed at the mention of Puck’s name, and he didn’t miss the fact that Kurt was putting another container of the fresh salsa Puck polished off all by himself in Finn’s fridge. A six-pack was next, but it wasn’t the kind Finn usually bought, and when he spotted the label he frowned.

“How do you even know what kind of beer Puck drinks?”

Kurt turned even more red, but he just shrugged like he didn’t know what Finn was talking about. “It was on sale. I thought you might enjoy a change of pace.”

They both knew that was a lie, just like Finn knew Kurt wasn’t hanging around just to keep Burt happy. Still, it wasn’t like Finn minded having him around, and anyway he’d been waiting for a chance to warn Kurt about Puck.

“Listen, I have to get to PT,” Finn said, reaching for his keys and tucking his wallet into the pocket of his running pants. “But if you feel like hanging out, I’ll be back in about an hour.”

“It’s fine, I’m done here,” Kurt answered, closing the fridge door and looking at Finn. “I’m ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“To drive you to your physical therapy session,” Kurt answered, then he rolled his eyes like Finn was the one not making any sense here. “You don’t expect me to hang around here by myself, do you?”

Finn opened his mouth to ask why today should be any different from any other day, but he already knew the answer. There was no chance of Puck showing up while Finn was gone, which meant there was no reason for Kurt to hang around doing his fucked up impression of a fifties housewife. In the end Finn just shrugged and followed Kurt out of his apartment, and when Kurt made a beeline for his Navigator instead of Finn’s BMW, he didn’t complain.

Lately driving the Beamer just reminded Finn that he might not be able to afford the payments if he didn’t make it back onto the team, so it was kind of a relief to lever himself into Kurt’s SUV. There was a lot more leg room in the front of Kurt’s Navigator, too, and Finn let out a sigh when he stretched his leg all the way out and leaned back against the seat.

They didn’t talk much on the way to the clinic, and as soon as they got inside Kurt parked himself in the waiting area and pulled out his phone. He was already texting by the time Finn changed into his shorts and sat down next to him, smiling at his phone like whoever was on the other end was the funniest person in the world.

“Who are you talking to?” Finn asked, leaning in to get a look at Kurt’s phone, but as soon as he did Kurt tilted it out of view.

“None of your business,” he answered, but sure enough, he was blushing again, and that told Finn everything he needed to know.

“Listen, Kurt, I’ve been meaning to talk to you.” Finn ran his hands over his thighs, then he glanced toward the door that led into the clinic to make sure Will wasn’t standing there. But the coast was clear – and it figured Will would pick today to run late – so Finn took a deep breath and turned back to Kurt. “It’s about Puck.”

“What about him?” Kurt asked, still staring at his phone, but Finn could tell he had Kurt’s attention.

“Don’t get me wrong; Puck’s a cool guy, and he’s fun to hang out with. It’s just…he’s not really the commitment type. He hooks up a lot, especially on the road. I know it seems like he’s totally into you right now, and he probably is, but as soon as you stop acting like you’re too good for him, chances are he’ll get bored and find somebody else to treat him like garbage.”

Finn paused for a second, frowning at his own words. It was kind of true that Puck looked for people who treated him like he was disposable, and the fact that Finn had never stopped to think about how sad that was…well, it probably didn’t make him a very good friend.

“Thank you for the warning,” Kurt said, a cold edge creeping into his voice that Finn had heard plenty of times before, “but I assure you there’s nothing going on between me and your friend. He’s free to hook up with anyone he likes.”

“So you’re not texting him?”

Kurt looked up from his phone then, eyebrows raised and looking at Finn like he was something gross Kurt had found on the bottom of his shoe. “Where would I even get his number?”

Finn could think of a lot of ways Kurt could have gotten Puck’s number, starting with Puck programming it into Kurt’s phone himself when Finn wasn’t looking. He shook his head against the image of all the things Kurt and Puck could have been doing while Finn wasn’t around to see, like Kurt and Puck making out in his kitchen, or Kurt and Puck on his couch.

“Look, I’m just trying to keep you from getting hurt here,” Finn said. “We’re family, right? We’re supposed to look out for each other.”

Kurt opened his mouth to answer, then something caught his eye over Finn’s shoulder and he closed it again. Finn turned to follow his gaze, his own cheeks flushing a little at the sight of Will standing in the door that led to the clinic.

“Hi,” Will said, glancing from Kurt back to Finn. “I hope I’m not interrupting.”

Finn blushed a little harder and stood up, shaking his head and crossing the room to brush past Will. He figured maybe it was kind of rude not to introduce Will to Kurt; it was Kurt’s first time at the clinic, after all, and Will had just been asking Finn a week ago about his support system. But Kurt wasn’t all that thrilled with him right now, and the last thing Finn needed was for his brother to get him back by filling Will in on Finn’s crush right in front of him.

And yeah, okay, maybe he had a little crush, but it was only because there was nothing else going on in his life. If he had football to distract him it would be easy enough to ignore it until it went away, but right now all he had going on was Kurt and his stalker situation, and Will.

Finn let out a sigh and followed Will into the exam room, sliding onto the table and looking up to find Will watching him. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Will said again, and when he smiled Finn was pretty sure Will was laughing at him. But the thing was, he didn’t mind that much, and that just made him even more pathetic. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, why?” Finn asked, frowning when he realized he’d been sitting on the table for a full thirty seconds, and Will hadn’t touched him yet. In fact, he was still standing a couple feet away, arms crossed over his chest and watching Finn like he was expecting him to start crying or something.

Will shrugged and glanced toward the door for a second, his face a little redder than usual and if Finn didn’t know better, he’d swear Will was blushing. “That conversation in the waiting room looked a little intense. I thought you might want to talk about it.”

“How much of that did you hear?” Finn asked, and he was pretty sure he hadn’t said anything embarrassing, but the truth was he couldn’t remember.

“Not much,” Will said, but his gaze slid kind of sideways, and Finn could tell he was lying. “Look, Finn, I know we just talked about the importance of a support system, but stress can be worse for your recovery than not having support. There’s no reason to stay in a bad relationship just because your mobility’s compromised.”

And now he was positive Will was blushing, but he had no idea why. He opened his mouth to ask, but all that came out was a choked, “Relationship?”

Will blushed even harder and turned his back on Finn, flipping Finn’s file open and shuffling a few papers before he answered. “It’s none of my business, I know, but as your physical therapist it’s my job to get you back in fighting shape, and that means treating any symptom that might result in reinjury. You sounded concerned about whoever your friend was texting.”

“Yeah, because he’s about to get his heart stomped all over by my best friend. Puck’s fun to hang out with, sure, but that doesn’t make him boyfriend material.”

“Finn, jealousy is a perfectly normal emotion. But it can cause undue stress, and…”

“I’m not jealous,” Finn interrupted, frowning at Will’s back until it finally dawned on him what Will was talking about. “Will, seriously. I’m not jealous, okay? I’m just trying to keep my brother from getting his heart broken so his dad won’t kill me.”

“Your brother?” Will said, looking up at Finn and okay, maybe Kurt had a point about Will wanting to know if he was single.

“Yeah, the bitchy queen in the waiting room. He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my brother. I’m not dating anybody.”

Will blinked at him, then he swallowed and looked down at Finn’s knee, and Finn didn’t bother trying not to smile. “Oh. Well, like I said, it’s none of my business.”

Before Finn could answer Will was moving forward, stopping just in front of the table and reaching out to rest his hands on either side of Finn’s knee. Just for a second he didn’t move at all, and Finn held his breath and waited for Will to look up at him. He wasn’t sure what he’d do when Will did; kiss him, maybe, or just smile like a fucking moron and hope Will kissed him instead of laughing him right out of the room.

But Will didn’t look up, and before Finn worked up the courage to kiss him anyway, Will’s thumbs dug into his scar. Finn tried and failed to stifle a sound that was somewhere between a moan and a gasp, his cheeks flushing to match Will’s, but even then Will didn’t look up. His hands were resting on the sides of Finn’s knee, thumbs moving in soothing circles, and it felt so right that Finn was pretty sure he was going to go through withdrawal when his time with Will was up.

“Why’d you think I was gay, anyway?”

Will did look up at him then, and the look on his face made Finn’s breath catch in his throat. His eyes were a little darker than usual, lips kind of parted and his thumbs stopped moving on Finn’s knee. For a second Finn thought Will really was going to kiss him, and he felt himself sway forward, just a little. Then Will cleared his throat and looked down, shrugging and resuming his massage of Finn’s scar tissue.

“It’s not the kind of thing that’s ever going to end up on SportsCenter, but this is your hometown now, Finn. People see you out, and they talk. I guess you could say it’s an open secret.” Will paused and looked up again, an embarrassed smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. “All the gay football fans I know are thrilled to have you batting for our team, as it were, myself included. And as long as you keep winning, the straight fans are willing to look past it.”

It wasn’t like Finn was all that surprised. Puck didn’t exactly try to keep a low profile when it came to his love life, after all, and everybody knew Finn was his closest friend on the team, including the press. So even if Finn was into girls, the guilt by association thing would be enough to start a few rumors. The fact that they were true didn’t really matter, except that until now Finn hadn’t expected Will to know any of those rumors.

The fact that Will had just come out to him might not even mean anything, but he wanted it to. Finn’s heart beat a little harder as Will worked on his knee, every touch warming Finn’s skin and sending little shivers down his spine.

“I thought you didn’t really follow football.”

“When did I say that?” Will asked, but he wasn’t quite looking at Finn, which meant he knew exactly what Finn was talking about.

“Last week,” Finn reminded him anyway, but he couldn’t quite hold back a smile. “And when we first met you kind of acted like you didn’t even know who I was.”

Will’s thumbs stopped moving again, then his hands slid off Finn’s knee and Finn frowned at the loss of contact. Will turned away from him again to reach into the cabinet for a towel, and when he turned back to Finn he was wearing that same guilty smile Finn had seen a couple times now.

“You were expecting me to ask for an autograph, maybe? Or show you my scrapbook with the articles from your OSU days?”

Finn let Will slide the towel under his knee, making Will do all the work the way he always did. Now that he knew Will had been playing it cool all this time Finn was even more determined to make Will touch him as much as he could; everybody had a breaking point, after all, and Finn had nothing else to do for the next eight months except figure out exactly what Will’s breaking point was.

“I’d kind of like to see the scrapbook,” he said, grinning when Will blushed and tugged even harder on the towel. “If you show it to me I’ll even sign it for you.”

“That’s very funny,” Will said, blushing even harder and Finn had to grip the edges of the table to keep himself from reaching out and touching. “Your range of motion hasn’t changed since last week.”

As soon as he said it Finn remembered where he was and what they were supposed to be doing, and he frowned down at his leg where Will was still forcing it to bend. “Is that bad?”

“It’s only one week, Finn,” Will said. He lowered Finn’s knee back to the exam table, then he reached out and laid a hand on Finn’s thigh just above his knee. His fingers lingered for a second, then he slid his hand under Finn’s leg and pulled up enough to slide the towel out from under him.

Finn swallowed against the thrill of want that rolled through him, gripping the edges of the table even harder, and he was pretty sure there were going to be marks in the padding in the shape of his fingernails before they were finished. But he didn’t care, because Will’s hand was still on him, fingers sort of stroking the thin skin at the back of his knee like he didn’t even know he was doing it.

“If there’s no change again next week we’ll revisit your exercise routine. But for now, there’s no cause for alarm. Your leg might just need a little time to adjust to all the work you’ve been putting it through.”

Finn’s only answer was a jerky nod, mostly because he was afraid if he opened his mouth that Will might realize what he was doing and stop. It kind of tickled, but it felt awesome too, and really, Finn would be just fine if Will never stopped touching him like that.

“You’re shaking,” Will said, and when Finn looked down at his knee, sure enough, it was kind of vibrating against the table. Will didn’t pull his hands away, but his touch got firmer, palms pressed to Finn’s thigh and sliding up to knead at his muscle, and okay, that was so not helping. “Has this happened before?”

“Uh…no,” Finn answered, shaking his head and willing his knee to settle down. “First time.”

“No weakness? No unusual fatigue? You haven’t been trying to do too much on your own?”

“I don’t think so.” Finn watched Will’s hands slide all the way up his thigh, right to the hem of his shorts, fingers pushing under the fabric a little and seriously, how was he supposed to calm down when Will was practically feeling him up? “Honest, Will, it’s been fine. The backs of my knees are kind of ticklish, that’s probably what started it.”

Will frowned like he didn’t really buy that, but it was as close to the truth as he was getting, so Finn just shrugged when Will looked up. His hands were still resting on Finn’s thigh, and he was so close that Finn knew all he had to do was lean in a little and he’d be close enough to press their lips together. At least then he’d know one way or the other, and he could get on with his life.

Then Will cleared his throat and let go of Finn, took a couple steps backwards and just like that the moment was gone. “Okay. Time for the gym, then, if you’re sure you’re up for it.”

“Yeah,” Finn said, because the last thing he wanted to do was go hang out in a room full of people when they could just stay right here, but if he said no Will would just send him home, and that was even worse. “I’m up for it.”

~

Without any real schedule other than his weekly PT session, the holidays sort of snuck up on Finn. He knew it was November, but he didn’t really think about what that meant until one day Kurt showed up at his place with a bag of groceries, a giant roasting pan, and Puck carrying a huge turkey. Finn blinked at the sight of his brother and his teammate letting themselves into his place like they did this all the time, then he frowned as Kurt started barking orders and Puck just followed them without complaining.

“What’s going on?” Finn said, frowning at the giant turkey chilling in his sink and the roasting pan that definitely didn’t belong to him sitting on his stove.

“Thanksgiving is tomorrow, Finn,” Kurt answered, frowning up at him for a second before he shook his head and went back to taking groceries out of the bag. “Our parents will be here in the morning, and I can hardly serve Thanksgiving dinner in my dorm room, so your apartment will have to do. Speaking of which, Noah, would you run back down to my car and get the cooler out of the back?”

“You got it,” Puck said, smirking and brushing past Finn on his way to the door.

“And you guys just happened to run into each other by the meat counter?” Finn asked when Puck was gone.

Kurt rolled his eyes and didn’t even look up from the onion he was cutting. “Well, you’re no help at all with that knee of yours. At least he comes in handy for heavy lifting. And since the team’s in town for Thanksgiving this year, we might as well feed him. We’ll have to serve early so he can get to the stadium on time, but Dad will be thrilled to finish before the game starts anyway.”

“So what...you guys are dating now?”

“Don’t be absurd,” Kurt answered, but Finn could see the back of his neck turning red, and it didn’t have anything to do with the heat in his apartment. “He can barely form complete sentences.”

It wasn’t exactly a no. The thing was, though, Finn knew Puck, and Puck didn’t date. Puck hooked up, maybe even went back for an encore if the sex was good enough, but he didn’t have relationships. So maybe they really weren’t dating, but Kurt was calling him Noah, and Puck was letting him, so they were definitely doing something.

And Kurt was his kid brother, so Finn knew who’d get the blame if Puck messed up and Burt heard about it. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Still, he’s pretty hot. It’s not like anybody would blame you.”

Kurt did look up at that, eyes rimmed with red from the onions and his whole face flushed. “Dear God, you haven’t slept with him, have you?”

“No,” Finn answered, leaning back against the counter and watching Kurt relax a little. “Have you?”

Kurt let out a drama queen sigh and looked up at him, and yeah, maybe Finn should have waited until he didn’t have a giant kitchen knife in his hand before he started asking nosy questions about Puck and what Kurt was doing with him.

“I just told you we aren’t even dating.”

“Sex isn’t dating, bro,” Finn said, shrugging as the front door opened and Puck muscled an Igloo cooler inside.

“Where do you want this?” Puck asked, but when he looked up and saw Kurt’s eyes he stopped in the door to the kitchen. “What happened?”

“Nothing, it’s just the onions,” Kurt said, but his sniffle kind of ruined the effect.

Puck set the cooler down on the floor and cast a suspicious look at Finn, like maybe he thought Finn was just waiting for Puck to leave them alone so he could make his own brother cry. He rolled his eyes, but Puck was already looking at Kurt again, reaching for a tissue from the box Finn’s mom had left on the counter and handing it to Kurt.

It got him a little smile, the one Kurt usually only busted out for his dad and once in awhile Finn’s mom, and once he saw that Finn knew it wouldn’t do him any good to try to warn Kurt about Puck. Then again, Finn had never seen Puck look at anybody the way he’d been looking at Kurt pretty much since the moment they met.

So maybe he was a little jealous, but only because it seemed like Kurt and Puck were kind of into each other, and Finn was stuck with a crush on somebody he couldn’t have. He swallowed a sigh and grabbed a Coke out of the fridge, then he left them to whatever they were doing with the turkey and the cooler and headed for the living room to play some Madden and not think about Will for awhile.

~

It turned out hosting Thanksgiving in Finn’s apartment was kind of weird. Kurt was in his kitchen by 6:00 am, peeling potatoes and chopping vegetables and when Finn offered to help, Kurt just looked at him like he was speaking Latin. So Finn mostly stayed out of the way, and when their parents showed up just after 9:00, he hung out in the living room with Burt, watching the Macy’s parade and talking about his rehab.

“Will’s pretty confident I’ll be back in shape for next season,” Finn said, reaching unconsciously for his knee while he talked. As soon as he touched it he remembered Will’s hands on him, and he blinked and pulled his fingers away from his leg. “It usually takes a whole year to get back to full range of motion, but I’m hoping to be back in time to work out in the preseason, at least.”

“That’s great, son,” Burt said, smiling and patting Finn’s shoulder before he reached for his coffee. “If anybody can pull it off, it’s you. I’ve never seen anybody as dedicated to the game.”

“Yeah, I’ve been stuck at ninety degrees for a couple weeks now, but Will changed up my workout and he thinks I can get past it soon. I have to if I want to get back to 140 degrees by summer.”

“Just don’t push yourself too hard,” Burt said, frowning at him and Finn kind of wanted to laugh, because it was exactly the way Finn’s mom frowned at him when she was worrying about him getting knocked around on the field and scrambling his brains or something. “This Will person, he’s not pushing you too hard, is he? Sometimes these trainers that are hired by the team forget that you’re a person first and a player second.”

“No, he doesn’t work for the team. My surgeon referred me to him; they say he’s the best in the city at this kind of rehab. Will’s awesome.”

And it was true, so he wasn’t sure why Burt raised his eyebrows when Finn said it. Before he could ask the doorbell rang, but before Finn could make a move to lever himself off the couch, Kurt came flying out of the kitchen. He pulled the door open far enough to squeeze through, then he disappeared into the hallway and pulled it shut behind him.

“What’s that about?” Burt asked, but Finn didn’t want to be the one to tell Kurt’s dad that he was kind of dating the biggest slut on Finn’s team, so he just shrugged and pretended to watch some pop singer belting out “Silver Bells” on the TV.

A minute later Kurt reappeared with Puck right behind him, and it was hard to tell from where he was sitting, but he was almost sure he saw Kurt let go of Puck’s hand when they walked into the apartment. He glanced at Burt, but as far as Finn could tell he hadn’t seen it. At least he wasn’t letting on if he did, and when Kurt stopped next to the couch Finn turned away from Burt to look up at him.

“Dad, this is Noah. He’s…one of Finn’s teammates.”

“Sure, sure, number 82. Good to meet you, Noah.”

“You too, sir,” Puck said, then he held out his hand and Finn rolled his eyes behind Burt’s back, because he’d seen Puck lay it on thick before, but this was something else. The ‘sir’ was a little much, considering Kurt had introduced Puck as Finn’s friend. Then again, if he was working on being Kurt’s boyfriend, first impressions were probably important.

“Dad’s a big Bengals fan,” Kurt said, glancing over his shoulder at Puck and flashing a smile that was a lot shyer than he probably meant it to be. “Sit down; I’ll bring you some coffee.”

“You don’t have to wait on me, Kurt.” Puck grinned at him, and Finn watched Kurt’s cheeks go pink before he turned and headed back to the kitchen with Puck in tow.

Burt didn’t say anything until they were gone, but as soon as they disappeared into the kitchen he turned to raise his eyebrows at Finn again. “So how long have those two been dating?”

“How’d you know?”

“I’ve known Kurt his whole life, son. But I’m pretty sure a stranger could have seen that,” Burt answered, smiling when Finn snorted a laugh. “How much older is this Puckerman than my boy?”

“Puck’s twenty-four, same as me, so it’s only a couple years. But it doesn’t really matter, right? I mean, if they like each other, age is just a number or whatever.”

Burt shrugged and picked up his coffee again, then he settled back on the couch and turned back to the TV. “It can make a difference. You think it won’t, but if two people are at different places in their lives, it sure as hell doesn’t make things any easier.”

He thought about the seven year difference between him and Will and wondered what Burt would say if Finn mentioned it. Then again, there was nothing going on between him and Will, and until there was, there was no point even bringing it up.

~

“My parents want me to come home for Christmas. I’ll only be gone like a week, but if you think it’s a bad idea I won’t go.”

Finn was sitting on the edge of the exam table, knees bare and it was kind of cold in the clinic, but Will’s hands were just as warm as ever. Will looked up when he started talking, eyebrows raised and for a second Finn thought he was going to say no, that Finn couldn’t afford to miss an appointment this early in his rehab.

Except it wasn’t really that early; he’d been seeing Will for almost two months now, and it had been over three months since his surgery. He still had a long way to go before he got back to a hundred percent, but he’d been stuck at 90 degrees for three weeks now, and even though Will said it was normal for progress to slow down around now, Finn couldn’t help freaking out a little.

“Actually I’ll be out of town myself, so I wouldn’t be able to keep our appointment anyway,” Will said. “But I think it’s a good idea for you to go home. Family’s important for your…”

“My emotional well-being, I know,” Finn finished for him, grinning when Will let out a soft laugh. “So where are you going for Christmas? Somewhere more exciting than Lima, I hope.”

Will smiled again, hands still moving on Finn’s knee. “As a matter of fact, I’ll be in Lima too.”

Finn opened his mouth, then closed it again without asking why exactly Will would want to spend Christmas in Lima. They didn’t talk about Will much, but Finn remembered him saying that his parents had moved back to Lima a few years ago, so it made sense that he’d visit them at Christmas. At least it made sense if he didn’t have anybody to keep him in Cincinnati, and Finn felt kind of bad for enjoying the fact that it meant Will was probably single.

“Oh. So are you going for the whole week, or…?”

Will nodded, his thumbs still moving on the spot just below Finn’s knee, but he wasn’t really massaging the scar anymore. Mostly he was just kind of running his thumbs back and forth over Finn’s skin, a lot softer than usual and Finn was always half-hard by the end of their session, but the way Will was touching him right now was bringing his dick to full attention.

“This is a little unorthodox,” Will said, glancing up at Finn and he couldn’t decide if he wanted Will to stop touching him before he embarrassed himself, or keep going until Finn was too far gone to care anymore. “But a friend of mine runs a gym in Lima, and she lets me work out when I’m visiting. If you like you could meet me there for your session; that way we wouldn’t have to skip your PT that week.”

“Yeah?” Finn said, his voice a little breathy, like that wasn’t totally embarrassing. “But…I mean, you shouldn’t have to work on your vacation.”

Will smiled down at Finn’s kneecap in that way that always did weird things to his stomach, thumbs still moving in slow circles and yeah, Finn was definitely going to embarrass himself before Will let go of him.

“I wouldn’t have suggested it if I didn’t want to do it, Finn. Besides, I’ll probably be ready for a break from my parents by then.”

“Not so great for your emotional well-being, huh?” Finn said, grinning when Will laughed. “So I guess you didn’t go home for Thanksgiving?”

Will shook his head and let go of Finn’s knee, still staring down at it for a second like he’d just realized what he’d been doing for the last five minutes. He cleared his throat and turned his back on Finn to reach for a towel, rolling it up a little slower than usual before he turned around again.

“I stayed in town,” he finally said. “My mother tried to guilt me into driving up, but sometimes less is more with her.”

Finn bit back the urge to tell Will that he should have come to Finn’s for Thanksgiving. It didn’t matter, because it wasn’t like Finn could go back in time and invite him, and even if he could, he was pretty sure Will would say no. Then again, it was his idea to hang out during their vacation, and okay, so it was just a PT session, but it wasn’t like Will had to do it. Which meant he wanted to see Finn, and even if it was just at a gym, at least it was something.

“Too bad. If I’d known, you could have come to my place and watched my brother try to pretend he’s not sleeping with my best friend. My mom would have been glad to see you.”

Will smiled and lifted his knee to slide the towel under his leg. “Your parents came down?”

“Yeah. I’m surprised my mom didn’t call you while she was in town to ask a million embarrassing questions. If she finds out you’re in Lima she’ll probably make you come to dinner.”

“I’ll consider myself warned.”

“Hey, it’s your fault for giving her your cell number,” Finn said, flashing a lopsided smile when Will glanced up at him. “Though she’d probably think you’re a total rock star anyway just for fixing my knee.”

“We’ve still got a long way to go, Finn.” Will tugged hard on the towel, and Finn winced and did his best to bend his knee as much as Will wanted. “You’re still right around ninety.”

“Really? I thought I was bending it a little more the past couple days,” Finn said, frowning down at his knee, then up at Will. “I’ve been doing all the new exercises you gave me and everything. Should I be spending more time on the bike?”

Will shook his head and pulled the towel out from under Finn’s knee. “Overdoing it is just going to get you reinjured. I don’t want you doubling up your workouts to try to progress faster.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Finn. Promise me you won’t push yourself and tear your tendon again. Dr. Sylvester will kill us both if you destroy her work.”

Finn frowned, but he shrugged and nodded. “Okay, I promise.”

“Good.” Will’s hand landed on his shoulder, and when he squeezed Finn felt his face heat up. “We’ll get there, but you have to trust me, okay?”

“I do,” Finn said, and when he looked up at Will he realized for the first time exactly how close they were. “I trust you, Will.”

For a second or two Will just looked at him, then he pulled his hand away and made a couple notes in Finn’s file. When he was finished he turned back to Finn, smiling the way he always did right before he was about to hurt Finn in seriously embarrassing ways.

“Are you ready to head to the gym?”

“Does it matter?” Finn asked, but he grinned when Will laughed and slid off the table to follow him out of the room.

~

Christmas at his parents’ house went pretty much exactly the way Finn figured it would. Kurt insisted on driving them home, and Finn didn’t argue, because his Navigator was still a lot easier on Finn’s knee than the BMW. Kurt disappeared pretty much as soon as they got to town, claiming some kind of last-minute shopping emergency involving his best friend Mercedes.

Finn was pretty sure the 'emergency' consisted of mochas at the Lima Bean and Kurt talking about Puck for hours, but he wasn’t invited, so he couldn't be positive. None of Finn’s high school friends were in town, and with their parents at work all day Finn mostly spent his time hanging around the house, watching daytime TV and wondering what Will was doing.

He thought about calling and asking; Finn had his number, mostly so he could call if he had to cancel their session for some reason. But there was no way he was canceling the only thing he was looking forward to, and he couldn’t think of another reason to call. Well. He couldn’t think of a reason to call that wouldn’t make Will want to cancel, anyway.

After all, it wasn’t like they were friends or anything. They didn’t hang out, and when they talked about personal stuff it was always about Finn. He knew that was all part of getting him healthy, that Will was just checking up on where his head was at while he checked on Finn’s physical progress. Still, it was easy to pretend that Will asked because he wanted to know what was going on with Finn, and Finn wondered what Will would do if he started asking questions about Will’s personal life.

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around he was so distracted by trying not to call Will that even his mom noticed. Burt too, if the looks he kept shooting Finn were anything to go by, at least when he wasn’t frowning at the sight of Kurt’s fingers flying over his phone’s keyboard.

“You sure you’re okay, hon?” his mom asked for like the hundredth time, giving him the ‘concerned mom’ smile as she set a mug of hot cocoa down in front of him.

“Yeah, Mom, I’m fine,” he lied. He picked up the mug and lifted it to his lips, taking a sip and then wincing when he burned his tongue. “Same as the last time you asked.”

“You’re sure your knee feels okay. I can get you some more ice if you like,” she said, like he hadn’t even answered her.

“Seriously, I'm okay,” he said again, rolling his eyes and glancing at Kurt, but his brother was still smiling at his phone and typing like he was going for a record. “I got Will’s permission to come home and everything. You can call and ask him if you want; he’s in town.”

“Your physical therapist’s in Lima?” Kurt asked, glancing up from his phone long enough to frown at Finn.

“His parents live here.” Finn shrugged and looked down at his cocoa, lifting it halfway to his mouth before he remembered how hot it was. “I’m meeting him Wednesday for PT.”

“He’s making house calls now?” Kurt asked, raising an eyebrow in Finn’s direction, and it figured he’d choose now to get involved in the conversation.

“His friend owns a gym in town. I’m meeting him there.”

Kurt’s only answer was a funny humming noise, then he was typing again, and Finn figured Puck was about to hear all about the fact that Will was in town. He felt his cheeks flush and looked away, but when he caught sight of Burt’s expression he blushed even harder and looked back at his mom.

“Will’s here? You should ask him to dinner,” she said, and seriously, he was surprised she wasn’t already dialing Will’s number.

“Mom, he’s visiting his family,” Finn answered, because the last thing Will wanted to do while he was on vacation was sit at Finn's parents' dinner table and answer a million questions about Finn’s injury, but what was really pathetic was that Finn didn’t totally hate the idea. “He doesn’t want to hang around here.”

“Well ask anyway. It’s only polite, considering.”

Considering what, Finn had no clue, but he knew better than to ask. Mainly because if he did he knew she’d tell him, and he didn’t really want to hear it. He didn’t want to hear what Burt was thinking, either, and he really didn’t want to know Kurt’s opinion of his pathetic social life. And that was the thing, because they weren’t even friends, so the truth was he didn’t really have a social life.

“Okay, I’ll ask him,” Finn said, his stomach fluttering at the thought, and he couldn’t decide if he wanted Will to say yes or not.

~

Somehow he managed to make it to Wednesday without calling Will and freaking him out so much he canceled their appointment. By the time he got to the gym where he was supposed to meet Will, Finn was starting to drive himself a little crazy, but he got out of the truck he’d borrowed from Burt and headed inside.

Finn walked up to the counter, smiling back at the perky blonde behind the desk. “Hi, I’m supposed to be meeting Will Schuester? My name’s Finn Hudson.”

“Oh, right, Shannon said they were expecting you,” she said, glancing toward the gym just as Finn heard a familiar voice say, “Finn, you made it.”

He turned in time to watch Will walking toward him, smiling like Finn was the best thing he’d seen all day. And he could get used to Will smiling at him like that, which was kind of a problem, because Will wasn’t going to be around to smile at him forever. Finn raised his hand in a wave that he was pretty sure made him look like a moron, and when Will stopped in front of him and reached out to grip his shoulder, he had to swallow a groan.

“Did you have any trouble finding the place?” Will asked, hand on Finn’s shoulder to steer him past free weights and a row of treadmills to the office in the back of the gym.

“No, it was pretty easy,” Finn answered, hands in his pockets to keep himself from doing something stupid like reaching for the hand that was on his shoulder and sliding his fingers through Will’s. “It’s not that far from my folks’ place.”

“Great.” Will stopped in front of the open office door and let go of Finn’s shoulder, but he kept grinning at him for another second or two. “Have you been keeping up with your workouts?”

Finn shrugged, cheeks flushing a little and he wasn’t sure why he was so embarrassed, because it wasn’t his fault he didn’t have access to a bike while he was staying with his mom and Burt.

“Mostly. I mean, I’ve been doing all the stuff on the sheets you gave me, but my folks don’t have a stationary bike. I thought about taking my old bike out and riding around the neighborhood, but I figured if I fell or something and tore up my knee, you’d kill me before Dr. Sylvester ever got a hold of me.”

“Good call,” Will said, his mouth curving into a smirk as he clapped Finn on the back and pushed him forward into the office. “Come on, there’s someone I want you to meet.”

There was a woman sitting behind the only desk in the room, and Finn assumed she was the friend Will had mentioned when he said he worked out at a gym in town. She looked a little older than Will, and she wasn’t exactly what Finn would call beautiful, but when she smiled at him it lit up her whole face.

“Finn, I’d like you to meet my old friend, Shannon Beiste.”

“A little less emphasis on the ‘old’, if you don’t mind, Will,” Shannon said, but her smile got even brighter as she held out her hand for Finn to shake. “Pleasure to meet you. I’m a big fan.”

“Shannon used to coach high school football before she opened this place,” Will said, arms crossed over his chest and grinning back and forth between them like this was the most fun he’d had in forever. “She’s downright unreasonable about OSU ball. As soon as she found out I knew you she demanded I bring you by to meet her.”

As soon as Will said it Finn felt his smile falter, but he caught himself before he looked over at Will and forced the smile he usually pulled out for the press after an exhausting game. He’d done the impromptu meet-and-greet plenty of times since he signed with the Bengals, and he mostly didn’t even mind. But it hadn’t occurred to him until right now that maybe the reason Will had taken time out of his vacation to meet Finn was…well, to show him off.

“Hey, all I said was that if you were coming by to work out, you should stop in and say hi,” Shannon said, casting a stern look at Will that made him shift his weight and look away. “But seriously, you’re welcome to work out here any time you’re in town, Finn. And you don’t even have to bring this idiot with you.”

“Thanks,” Finn said, and this time his smile was a little more sincere. “That’s really cool of you.”

“It’s the least I can do,” Shannon said. “Nobody wants to see you back on that field more than me.”

Finn was pretty sure that wasn’t true, mostly because he was sure nobody wanted him back in playing shape more than Finn himself. But he didn’t say so; instead he just smiled again and glanced over at Will.

“So I guess we should get to it,” Will said, pushing himself off the edge of Shannon’s desk and nodding toward the door. They waved goodbye to Shannon, then Will’s hand was on his shoulder again, steering him past the office to a hallway that led behind the cardio area. “There are some rooms back here the massage therapists use for appointments. They’re mostly empty this time of day, so Shannon’s given us permission to use one of them.”

“Oh,” Finn said, glancing down at the long track pants he was wearing. “I figured we’d just be doing the bike and maybe some stretching. I didn’t bring any shorts or anything.”

Will nodded and guided him into a small room with a massage table in the center, then he closed the door and turned to look at Finn. “Well, as you can see, it’s private, but if you’re not comfortable, that’s fine. I can still check your range of motion.”

“No, I’m good,” Finn said, his whole face heating up and as he pulled his jacket off and set it on the only chair in the room. “I mean, it’s no big deal, right?”

He slid his track pants off without looking at Will, then he tossed them on the chair with his jacket and pulled himself up onto the edge of the table. And he was wearing boxers, so it wasn’t all that different from his usual running shorts. It wasn’t even the first time he’d sat there in his boxers while Will massaged his leg, but it was the first time since he started wondering if he had a shot with Will, and it turned out that made a difference.

“So…uh…how do you and Shannon know each other?” Finn asked, his voice loud in the tiny room.

“I worked my way through grad school as a massage therapist. I did some work for her team when she was still coaching. They were the state champions a few years running.”

Will’s back was to him, his t-shirt wet right between his shoulder blades and under his armpits, and Finn guessed he’d gotten in a run before Finn showed up. He watched Will bend over to reach inside one of the lower cabinets, swallowing hard at the sight of Will’s perfect ass. And he was not getting hard while he was only wearing a pair of boxers, because there was no way Will would miss that.

Finn closed his eyes and remembered the game where he’d torn his tendon in the first place, let himself hear the sickening sound of muscle detaching itself and the pain of his knee bending the wrong way. He mostly tried not to think about it, because it was bad enough trying to recover from it without the constant instant replay of what still might be the last play of his career, but it did the trick when he was faced with Will still sweaty from his run and looking even hotter than Finn remembered.

A hand landed on his knee, and Finn flinched and opened his eyes. “Finn? Everything okay?”

“Yeah, I…yeah. Just thinking about the accident. It kind of sneaks up on me sometimes.”

Will frowned at him for a second like he didn’t really believe Finn, but he didn’t push it. Instead he looked down at Finn’s knee, reaching out and resting warm hands on either side of it. His thumbs found Finn’s scar tissue and dug in, and Finn bit down on his bottom lip to hold back a moan.

“Anyway, I worked with Shannon for a couple years before I graduated and went back to Cincinnati to work at the clinic. We kept in touch, and when she gave up coaching to run this place, I started working out here when I was visiting my parents.” Will’s hands paused on Finn’s knee, then he let out a little laugh and glanced up at Finn. “Shannon always accuses me of taking advantage of her generosity to hide from my mother.”

“That bad?”

Will shrugged and looked down again, thumbs resuming their slow massage. “She means well. It’s just that she’s still not over the fact that I opted not to marry my high school girlfriend so I’d be free to date men. Mostly it’s the lack of grandchildren that bothers her.”

“It’s not like you can’t have kids with a guy,” Finn said, and when Will smirked at him Finn blushed all over again. “I mean, obviously you’d need some help. Still, people do it all the time. One of my brother’s friends has two dads.”

Will shrugged and flattened one hand on the side of Finn’s knee, keeping it still while he dug in hard with his other thumb. Finn gasped and bit down even harder on his lip, but Will just laughed and leaned into him, bracing his hip on Finn’s good leg so he could put all his weight behind his hand.

“Technically I’m not supposed to tell you any of this stuff, you know. It’s not exactly professional of me.”

“What, there’s some rule that says we can’t be friends just because you get off on torturing me?” Finn said, his voice coming out kind of breathy and strangled as Will really dug into a piece of scar tissue near the edge of his incision.

Will didn’t answer right away. He worked in silence for a few minutes, and after awhile Finn assumed he just wasn’t going to answer. But once he was satisfied that he’d caused Finn enough pain he straightened up, his hand stilling on Finn’s knee and looking up at him.

“No, there’s no rule against being friends.”

Finn knew what he wasn’t saying. He knew there was no rule about them hanging out, watching a game or maybe getting a beer together, as long as that was all it was. But what Finn wanted – what he hoped Will wanted – was a lot more than a beer and a football game, and there was definitely a rule about that.

“Good,” was all he said, and if his voice sounded a little more gruff than usual they both chalked it up to the fact that his knee was still throbbing.

Will turned away from him long enough to grab the towel he’d pulled out of the cabinet earlier. He didn’t take his hand off Finn’s knee when he reached for it, and Finn held his breath when Will’s fingers sort of slid across the top of his leg. A second later Will straightened up again, his hand curving around Finn’s knee to slide under it. Finn didn’t quite manage to swallow a gasp, and when Will looked up at him he flushed and let out a shaky laugh.

“Sorry. I told you, the backs of my knees…”

“You’re ticklish, right. I’m sorry, I’ll try to be more careful,” Will said, and Finn wanted to kick his own ass, because now Will was probably going to stop touching him any more than he had to.

“It’s really no big deal,” Finn started to say, but Will was frowning down at his knee, tugging on the towel and Finn winced when he felt the pull in his muscle. “This doesn’t usually hurt so much.”

“Your range of motion is smaller than usual,” Will said, glancing up at Finn for a second before he looked down at Finn’s leg again. “Have you had any unusual pain or stiffness?”

“No,” Finn answered, wincing again as Will lowered his knee to the table. “But I haven’t been keeping up with the bike, like I said.”

“It could be the limitations on your workouts, I suppose.” Will didn’t look all that convinced, though, and as soon as he pulled the towel out from under Finn’s knee and set it aside, his hands were on Finn again. The heels of his palms dug into the hollow on either side of Finn’s knee, and Finn noticed how careful Will was not to touch the back of his leg.

“Is this okay?” Will asked, glancing up at Finn again.

Finn nodded, his heart pounding loud in his chest and he wasn’t sure if it was from the worry in Will’s voice or the feeling of his hands on Finn’s leg. His hands moved to the front of Finn’s calf, thumbs digging in like Will was looking for something, and Finn gritted his teeth and tried not to let on how much it hurt.

“Everything feels fine,” Will said when he finished, hands resting on Finn’s calf and kind of stroking his skin again, and now Finn was positive Will didn’t know how much time he spent just touching Finn. “It could just be stiffness from the change in your routine. Let’s just keep an eye on it, okay?”

“You’re the expert,” Finn answered, and when Will grinned at him his stomach fluttered.

“Well, in my expert opinion, we need to get you back on the bike. And it’s probably a good idea for you to come by and work out the rest of the time you’re here, if you can. Shannon won’t mind.”

“Sure,” Finn said, shrugging and sliding off the table to put his running pants back on. At least a trip to the gym would break up the monotony of the rest of his trip home, and with any luck he’d run into Will again before he left town.

~

The bike was harder than Finn expected it to be. He’d only been out of his routine for a few days, and he didn’t expect it to make that much of a difference. It turned out he was wrong, though, and when Will finally let him climb off the bike and straighten out his leg it hurt more than usual.

“Guess it’s a good thing you volunteered to meet me this week,” Finn said, wincing when he put his weight on his bad leg. “I didn’t think a couple days would make that big a difference.”

Will had been frowning at him a lot since Finn got on the bike, so he wasn’t surprised to look up and find Will doing it again. “Normally I wouldn’t expect it to either, but you have been pushing yourself pretty hard. Most of my clients generally don’t stick to their workouts as religiously as you. It could be that your body’s just reacting to the sudden drop in activity.”

Will’s hand landed on his shoulder, squeezing for a second and Finn tried not to enjoy the feeling. “Let’s stretch you out a little and see if it helps.”

Finn expected to be led to the mats lining the floor on the other side of the gym, in front of the mirror where people usually worked their abs. Instead he found himself being steered back to the private room behind the gym, Will’s hand on his shoulder the whole time and Finn swallowed hard when he realized that Will wanted to stretch him out in private.

He told himself it wasn’t any different than when Will stretched him out in the gym back at the clinic. Just because they didn’t have an audience this time didn’t mean anything was going to happen. But the audience was what Finn usually focused on to keep him from reacting while Will was practically lying on top of him, and he wasn’t sure how he was supposed to distract himself when it was just the two of them with no chance of interruption.

Finn hopped up on the table anyway, then he laid down and did his best to keep his knee from shaking when Will’s hands slid under it. For a second he regretted not bringing a pair of shorts to change into, then Will bent his knee toward his chest and leaned into him and Finn remembered how much worse it would be if he could feel Will’s hands on his skin.

It was bad enough that Will was leaning over him, staring right in his eyes as he bent Finn’s knee as far as it would go, like he was looking for some kind of reaction. And it hurt, but it always hurt, so Finn didn’t bitch about it. Instead he bit his bottom lip and closed his eyes and tried not to imagine how it would feel if Will was bending him in half so he could push inside Finn.

He bit down even harder on his lip to stifle a moan, then the pressure on his leg let up and a second later he felt a hand on his face. And he knew those hands, felt that touch in his dreams most nights, but he’d never felt it on his face before. He’d never felt Will’s thumb running along his bottom lip, easing it free of his teeth and when Finn opened his eyes Will was staring down at him with a whole new expression.

“Finn, you’re bleeding.”

It took him a second to figure out what Will meant, but when he tasted the coppery tang of blood he knew he’d bitten down too hard. “Oh. Yeah.”

Finn ran his tongue along his bottom lip, and when it brushed across the tip of Will’s thumb he saw Will’s eyes get a little darker. As soon as he did it Will pulled his hand away, then he straightened up and backed off and that was so not the way this was supposed to go. He’d seen the look in Will’s eyes just a second ago, and Finn was pretty sure now that Will wanted him too, but he was still blushing and backing up and clearing his throat like he’d just been caught doing something wrong.

“If I’m hurting you that much you have to tell me, Finn. A little pain is normal, but you’re not on the field right now. You can’t just suck it up and power through. If it hurts that much there’s something wrong.”

“Will, it’s…I mean, it didn’t. Honest. It didn’t hurt any worse than usual.” Finn pushed up on his elbows, but when he tried to sit up he found that he couldn’t get the leverage to do it. And that was just great, because he’d just licked Will’s thumb and now he was getting rejected, and he couldn’t even get off the stupid table.

He blew out a frustrated breath and looked at Will; his shoulders were tense and his hand was resting on the back of his neck, his gaze focused on the wall behind Finn, like maybe Will didn’t even want to look at him. Finn rolled his eyes and tried to sit up again, but when he failed a second time he knew it was no use.

“A little help here?”

Will looked down at the sound of his voice, blushing even harder and moving forward to help Finn up. When Finn swung his legs over the side of the table Will reached for his knee, hands moving in a familiar pattern and Finn wasn’t sure how Will could feel anything through his track pants, but he wasn’t complaining about Will touching him some more.

“Look, Will, I probably just haven’t been drinking enough water since I’ve been home. My lips always dry out in the winter and when I don’t drink enough water they crack. I’m not secretly into pain or anything.”

For a second Will didn’t answer, but he didn’t let go of Finn’s knee again, and Finn figured that was a pretty good sign. Then he sighed and looked up, and Finn’s heart skipped a beat at his expression.

“I realize you think I enjoy causing you pain, but I don’t. It’s true that as a physical therapist you have to develop a certain immunity to people’s complaints. Recovery’s always going to hurt some, after all. But that doesn’t mean I like it, and it doesn’t mean I don’t want you to tell me when something hurts.”

“I know,” Finn said, and the thing was, he kind of did. He knew Will; not nearly as well as he wanted to, and not in the way he wanted, but Finn knew enough about him to know Will wasn’t the type to get off on someone else’s misery.

Will’s hands were still moving on him, sort of massaging the muscles around his knee and it felt good in a way Finn was pretty sure he didn’t mean for it to. He wasn’t looking at Finn anymore, like maybe he was kind of embarrassed about the whole situation, and Finn couldn’t blame him there. But that seemed kind of stupid, considering, so Finn reached out before he even realized what he was doing and closed his hand over Will’s. “Will, I know. Okay?”

For a second Will just stood there and let Finn…well, kind of hold his hand. But he didn’t look up, and before Finn could do anything stupid like tug him forward and kiss him, Will was pulling his hand away and taking a step backwards.

“That’s probably enough for today,” he said, the back of his neck turning red and Finn felt his stomach twist into a hard knot. “Just try to fit in a trip to the gym while you’re in town, and I’ll see you back at the clinic next week.”

“Are you going to be here tomorrow?” Finn asked, and yeah, maybe it was kind of pathetic, but he didn’t really care anymore.

Will shook his head, then he looked up and Finn could tell Will knew exactly what he was asking. “Actually, I’m heading back to Cincinnati tomorrow.”

“Oh,” Finn said, and he hoped he didn’t sound as much like he’d just been punched in the gut as he felt. He slid off the table, doing his best to keep his weight off his bad leg as he reached for his jacket and slid it back on. He reached in his pocket for the keys to the borrowed truck, then he looked up to find Will watching him. “So much for asking you to dinner.”

When Will’s eyes went a little wide Finn felt his cheeks flush, but he just shrugged and held Will’s gaze. “I told you my mom would make me ask if she found out you were in town. It was her idea, not mine.”

“Finn…”

“Yeah?” Finn said, his heart beating so loud he was sure Will could hear it. He was barely a few feet away from Finn, still looking at him like there was something else he wanted to say, but in the end he just shook his head and forced a smile that Finn wasn’t buying for a second.

“Tell your mother I’m sorry. Maybe next time.”

“Yeah, sure,” Finn said, then he turned around and walked out of the room before Will could answer.

~

Finn thought getting blown off by Will was the low point of his trip home, until he pulled into his folks’ driveway and spotted a familiar car parked behind Kurt’s Navigator.

“Un-fucking-believable,” he muttered, slamming his palm against the steering wheel of the borrowed pick-up. He debated turning around and just driving for awhile, but his knee was throbbing and he knew driving around town was just going to make it worse.

He sighed and pushed open the door of the truck, then he eased himself out of the cab and steadied himself against the door. When he was sure he wasn’t going to hit the pavement he swung the door shut and headed for the house, picking his way gingerly up the icy walk.

He wasn’t sure what he was expecting to find when he let himself in. Pornographic noises coming from Kurt’s room, maybe, or even his best friend pressed up against his brother on the nearest convenient flat surface. But Kurt and Puck weren’t making out in the front hall or on the kitchen table or even on the living room couch. They were sitting on the couch, but as far as Finn could tell they weren’t even touching.

“’Sup,” Puck said when Finn walked in, nodding in Finn’s direction and grinning like he’d just won the fucking lottery. Kurt, for his part, was kind of blushing, but he looked pretty happy too, and the sight of the two of them just made Finn feel even worse.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” he asked, and he didn’t even care if he sounded like an asshole, because he’d just been shut down by the first guy he’d really wanted since he moved to Cincinnati, and his brother and his best friend were, like, in love or something.

Puck shrugged and cast a sidelong glance at Kurt before he answered. “I had a little time to kill, so I figured I’d drive up and say hey.”

“You drove all the way up from Cincinnati just to hang out,” Finn said, and it wasn’t a question, because it was obvious why he’d driven up. It just didn’t make a whole lot of sense, because they couldn’t get any privacy here, and they’d already played ‘meet the parents’ at Thanksgiving.

“Like I said, I had some time. Anyway, it’s not like it’s that far.”

“Dude, it’s a two and a half hour drive.”

For a second Puck just looked at him, then he turned to Kurt and leaned close enough to say something Finn didn’t catch. Kurt blushed a little harder, and when he nodded Puck stood up and gestured in the direction of the kitchen. Finn rolled his eyes, but he followed Puck out of the living room, working hard not to limp over to the kitchen table to drop himself into a chair.

“Why are you being such a dick?” Puck asked once they were alone, arms folded across the back of his own chair and Finn found himself resenting even the fact that Puck could sit backwards in a stupid chair when Finn couldn’t even sit up by himself.

“I’m not,” Finn said, but he felt his face heating up and he knew Puck saw it. “Look, I know you, man. I know how you are about relationships, and I know how Kurt is. You’re my bro and all, but Kurt’s my brother. I’m not going to let you use him, then throw him away when you get bored.”

“Are you seriously giving me the ‘hurt him and I hurt you’ speech right now?” Puck asked, and he sort of looked like he wanted to laugh. Finn didn’t even really blame him, but he just shrugged and held Puck’s gaze.

“If I have to, yeah.”

“First of all, not even if you weren’t a cripple,” Puck said, laughing when Finn scowled. “And second of all, I’m not using Kurt because I’m bored. I’m not using him at all. I think I kinda love him.”

“You love him,” Finn said, and when Puck glanced toward the kitchen door Finn looked over his shoulder. He expected to find Kurt eavesdropping, but as far as he could tell there was nobody there. Which meant Puck actually…well, he thought he was in love with Kurt, like that made any sense. “Then why the hell are you guys pretending you’re not even dating?”

Puck shrugged and looked away again, but this time he didn’t look nervous so much as embarrassed. “Because we’re not. Kurt calls it ‘pre-dating’. Kinda like a trial run. If I can prove I’m boyfriend material then he’ll give me a real shot.”

“So you really did just drive all the way up here to…” Finn trailed off, glancing toward the kitchen door again, like maybe Kurt was lurking around, waiting to jump out and laugh at Finn for actually buying such a lame story. But Kurt was nowhere around, and Puck looked a little like he wished the floor would open up and put him out of his misery.

“To hang out, like I said. Dude, he won’t even let me kiss him. I’m starting to lose it here.”

“We’re still talking about my brother,” Finn said, and when Puck winced and nodded Finn knew he got the message.

And yeah, he was still kind of jealous that Puck and Kurt were both getting what they wanted, but he loved them both, and if Puck was serious about his brother, Finn wasn’t going to try to stand in their way. If anybody could handle Puck it was Kurt, he figured, and Kurt deserved somebody who was into him enough to spend two months with nothing but his imagination and his right hand just to prove that he was serious.

“Look, I don’t need to hear the details or anything,” he said, “but I’ve known Kurt for a long time, and I can tell when he’s into somebody. He’s crazy about you, dude. I could tell weeks ago.”

“Yeah?” Puck said, and he looked so hopeful that it was all Finn could do not to laugh in his face.

“Yeah.” He paused and glanced toward the kitchen door again, but Kurt still wasn’t hanging around trying to listen in on their conversation. “Listen, you don’t have another game until New Year’s Eve, right?”

Puck nodded, one eyebrow raised like he was waiting for Finn to let him in on the game-winning play.

“So why don’t you chill here for a couple days. You can crash in my room and ride back with Kurt.”

“What about my car?”

Finn shrugged, working hard to look like he didn’t really care one way or the other. “I’ll drive it back for you. It’s getting pretty boring here anyway, to tell you the truth. I’d just as soon get back to Cincinnati.”

He expected Puck to say no, mostly because he was just as weird about other people driving his car as every other guy in the NFL. But Puck glanced toward the living room again, his expression going kind of soft, and Finn barely stopped himself from rolling his eyes.

“Yeah, okay. Just don’t fuck up my ride.”

“Relax,” Finn said, laughing when Puck scowled at him. “I’ll treat her like she’s my own.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Puck said, but he was already pushing his chair in and heading out of the kitchen to find Kurt and break the news to him. Once he was gone Finn leaned back in his chair and let out a heavy sigh, wondering how long it would take him to pack and just how pissed his mom was going to be.

~

Finn didn’t exactly have a plan when he headed back to Cincinnati. It wasn’t like he was going to drive straight to the clinic, barge into Will’s exam room and throw himself at the guy. He thought about calling, maybe telling Will he was back in town, just so Will wouldn’t freak out if he called Shannon and heard that Finn didn’t show up to work out. Then again, there was no reason to expect Will to call and check up on him; he was a grown man, after all, and it wasn’t Will’s job to make sure Finn kept up with his workouts.

In the end he stopped at the grocery store on the way back into town to pick up beer and enough food to keep him alive until Kurt got home, then he went back to his apartment and pulled Puck’s Escalade into the parking garage. He pushed the door open and swung his bad leg out of the car, wincing at the stiffness in his knee and gritting his teeth against the impact when he hit the ground.

He took a deep breath and steadied himself against the door, then he reached back into the car for the bag of groceries. It was a little awkward, carrying groceries in one arm and his duffel bag in the other hand, trying to keep as much of his weight off his sore knee as he could. And he was only twenty-four, for fuck’s sake, but he felt like he was about fifty shuffling across the garage to the elevator that would take him up to his floor.

He’d almost reached the elevator when his knee seized up, muscles twitching so hard his whole leg shook. It only lasted a few seconds, but Finn felt his knee start to go out from under him and he had to fight hard to stay on his feet. By the time it stopped he was breathing hard, but he knew if he went down he wouldn’t be able to get up on his own. That was the only thing that kept him standing, and as soon as he thought he could move without falling he threw himself at the elevator bay and pressed the button as hard as he could.

It felt like hours before the bell finally dinged, then the elevator door slid open and Finn dragged himself inside. He pushed the button for his floor and leaned hard against the wall, breathing heavy as he watched the numbers go up way more slowly than they ever had before.

By the time the doors slid open on his floor he was shaking just from the effort of standing up, and he wasn’t all that sure he could make it to his apartment. He thought about ditching his duffel bag and coming back for it, but that meant making the trip down the hall twice, and Finn was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to do it. If he knew any of his neighbors he could knock and ask someone to give him a hand, but the amount of time he spent shaking hands and signing autographs for strangers when he was out meant he tried even harder to protect his privacy when he was home.

When he finally reached his own door he wasn’t sure how he’d made it all that way by himself, but he managed to get his door open and get the groceries into the kitchen without dropping them. He tossed the duffel on the floor as soon as he got through the door, and once the groceries were safely on the counter he headed for the living room and threw himself down on the couch.

His phone was in his pocket, and he fished it out and stared at the screen for a minute, debating whether or not to call Will. It seemed like this was the kind of thing he’d want to hear about; it definitely wasn’t normal, and after yesterday he figured Will would be pissed if Finn didn’t tell him. But there was a chance he was just stiff from driving for so long, and if all he needed was some rest and a couple aspirin, he’d feel like a moron for bothering Will over nothing.

He wasn’t sure when he passed out, but when he woke up it was dark outside and his knee had stopped throbbing. Finn took a deep breath and pushed himself off the couch, shoving his phone back in his pocket and taking his time standing up. He made it to the bathroom without any trouble, sighing at the relief of emptying his bladder.

When he was done he washed his hands, then he leaned hard against the sink and looked at his reflection in the mirror. He looked a little gray, from the pain, he figured. Then there was the fact that he hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast, but the truth was all he really wanted to do was make it to his bed so he could pass out again.

He pushed himself off the counter and headed for the bathroom door, but as soon as he made it to the hallway his leg was gripped with another spasm. Finn gasped and grabbed for his knee, twisting his body on his way down so he wouldn’t land on his bad leg and tear his tendon again. He caught the floor with his hip instead, groaning at the impact and gritting his teeth through the pain.

He wasn’t sure how long the spasm lasted, but by the time the worst of it subsided he was breathing heavy and trembling all over. He fished his phone back out of his pocket with shaking fingers, sending up a quick prayer of thanks that he’d remembered to bring it with him. He scrolled through his contacts until he found Will’s number, then he pressed ‘send’ and waited for the line to connect.

“Come on, pick up,” he hissed through gritted teeth, breathing hard through the dull throbbing in his knee and trying not to picture what Will could be doing that would keep him from answering his phone.

After the fourth ring the line connected, and Finn braced himself for voicemail, but instead he heard Will’s voice, low and sleepy in his ear. “Finn?”

“Yeah,” Finn said, panting and breathless and Jesus, he probably sounded like an obscene caller. “Sorry, I know it’s late and all, but Kurt’s still in Lima with Puck and there’s nobody else to call. I guess I could have called 911, but I wasn’t sure it was bad enough for a trip to the emergency room.”

“Finn,” Will said, and he sounded a lot more awake now. “It’s okay. Just tell me what’s wrong.”

“My knee’s having these, like, spasms.” As soon as he said it the pain started again, and he closed his eyes and bit down on his lip until he tasted blood again. “Fuck. It’s never felt this bad before. I’m not sure I can get up.”

“Okay, calm down,” Will said, and Finn wanted to laugh, because that was easy for him to say. “Where are you?”

“My…my apartment,” Finn said, then he rattled off the address and prayed Will didn’t live all the way on the other side of the city. “I can just call an ambulance…”

“I’m on my way,” Will interrupted, and Finn fought back a relieved sob. “I should be there in about fifteen minutes.”

“Great. I’m pretty sure it’s unlocked,” Finn said, then he closed his phone and gritted his teeth against a fresh wave of pain.

According to Finn’s phone, Will showed up eleven minutes later. It felt more like an hour, but that was probably because Finn spent the entire time flat on his back and trying not to pass out from the pain. Finn heard the door open, then Will’s voice calling his name from somewhere near the kitchen.

“Over here,” Finn called, and when Will appeared at the end of the hallway he forced his eyes open long enough to take in his worried expression. “I don’t think I can get up.”

“When did this start?” Will asked, dropping to his knees next to Finn and reaching for the waistband of his sweatpants, and if he wasn’t pretty sure his knee and his career were both totally fucked, Finn would have thought it was kind of hot that Will was undressing him.

“When I got back to town, I guess. I was fine during the drive, but as soon as I got out of the car it felt like my knee was going to give out. I’ve been having these weird spasms ever since.”

By the time he finished talking Will had his pants off, then his hands were on Finn’s leg and straightening it as much as he could. Finn hissed at the sensation and dug his fingers into the carpet, teeth clenched and breathing hard as Will pushed his knee back into a slightly bent position.

“Your muscles are healing too tightly,” he said, hands still resting on Finn’s leg as Will looked up at him. “That would explain the decrease in your range of motion too. You’re healing too well, basically.”

A shaky laugh escaped Finn’s throat, and he closed his eyes and thumped his head against the carpet. “That figures.”

“The good news is, it’s fixable,” Will said. “We’ll just add massage to your weekly session and that should help loosen it up.”

“How long’s that going to take?” Finn asked, forcing his eyes open to look at Will again. “I mean, I can’t exactly walk here. Am I going to have to go back to the crutches?”

Will shook his head, then he let go of Finn’s knee and pulled him into a sitting position. Once Finn was up Will slid Finn’s arm around his shoulders, levering them both off the floor. “We’ll start right now. A good deep tissue massage should help with the pain and the tightness. Which way to your bedroom?”

He felt kind of bad dragging Will out of bed for what amounted to a really bad charley horse, but if Will wanted to take him to bed, Finn wasn’t going to argue. “It’s the one at the end of the hall.”

Will nodded and helped him to his room, pausing in the doorway to feel around for the light switch before he half-dragged, half-carried Finn to his bed and dropped him onto the mattress. Finn winced at the impact and dragged himself up until he was stretched out in the middle of the bed, head on his pillow and looking up at Will.

Some of his best fantasies started out this way, and there was a part of Finn that expected Will to start pulling his clothes off. Instead he climbed onto the bed next to Finn, leaning over him long enough to grab another pillow and then lifting Finn’s knee off the bed far enough to slide the pillow under his leg.

“This is probably going to hurt,” Will said, and he sounded so sorry about it that Finn wanted to laugh. Then Will’s hands started moving on his skin, and he wasn’t laughing anymore. His hands curled around the bedspread, twisting the fabric into two tight knots and he was pretty sure he was going to rip it, but his knee hurt so much he didn’t care.

Sharp, hot bursts of pain radiated out from his knee, down his calf and up his thigh and Will’s hands chased them every time, pushing the pain out along with the tightness in his muscle. Finn didn’t even try to hold back the litany of curses that streamed out of his mouth, spitting them out through gritted teeth as Will worked on getting his knee to relax. Minutes ticked by and it felt like the more Will worked, the worse the pain got. Finn’s vision blurred so he shut his eyes, trying to focus on the feeling of warm hands on him and not the pain they were causing.

Finally, endless agonizing minutes later, the pain eased a little, and Finn blinked his eyes open and looked down at Will. He expected Will to be looking at Finn’s knee, watching the progress of his own hands on Finn’s muscles. Instead Will was staring right back at him, and when Finn saw the look in his eyes he was glad he was lying down.

“How are you doing?”

“Okay,” Finn said, but his voice was shaky and he knew Will could hear how out of breath he was. “It doesn’t hurt so much now.”

“Good.” Will’s hands were still moving, softer now like he was waiting for Finn to catch his breath before he started in again. Or maybe he’d just forgotten what he was doing again, because he was looking at Finn like he was trying to figure something out, and Finn was totally on board with helping him out there.

Then Will blinked and looked away, back down at Finn’s knee and putting a little more weight behind his hands. “So what are you doing back in town already? I thought you were staying in Lima for the rest of the week.”

Finn shrugged against the mattress and pushed up onto his elbows to watch Will work. “It was getting kind of boring hanging out at home. Then Puck showed up and I talked him into letting me take his car back so he could hang out with Kurt.”

“Are they still pretending they’re not dating?” Will asked, glancing up at Finn long enough to smirk, and Finn grinned back at him.

“Turns out they really aren’t dating. Well, not exactly. I guess Kurt’s making Puck prove he’s boyfriend material before he’ll date him for real. Not that I blame him; Puck’s not exactly the kind of guy you trust to be faithful on the road, you know?”

Will shrugged and slid a hand under Finn’s knee, fingers warm against his skin as he bent the joint just a little and dug into the back of Finn’s calf with his other hand. “That seems to be an occupational hazard. I mean, I can understand how it happens. It must be sort of exhilarating, having an adoring public willing to do anything just for a piece of you.”

“I guess,” Finn said, because the truth was he’d never really thought about it. Maybe because he mostly got hit on by girls, but hooking up on the road had never appealed to him all that much. Sure, he’d done it once or twice, but never while he was dating somebody. “Still, it’s no excuse to cheat.”

Will smiled down at his knee, sweet and kind of shy and it was all Finn could do not to drag him forward and kiss him until he finally got it. But the thing was, he had to know what was on offer here, and if he wasn’t taking it, then maybe he just didn’t want to. Finn let out a heavy sigh and fell back on the mattress, hands scrubbing over his face and he didn’t look up when he felt Will’s hands leave his knee.

“Finn? I didn’t hurt you, did I?” Will asked, then his hand was back on Finn’s face, pulling Finn’s hand away from his eyes and when Finn looked up Will was leaning over him. And that so wasn’t fair, because nobody could be that clueless, which meant Will was torturing him on purpose.

“No, I’m good. Just kind of beat,” Finn lied, and he told himself he imagined the way Will’s face fell, just for a second before he caught himself.

“Well your knee’s probably relaxed enough to let you get some sleep,” Will said, then his hands were gone and he was climbing off the bed, and that hadn’t been Finn’s plan at all. “I’m going to stop by again tomorrow and check on you. I don’t like the idea of you being here by yourself.”

Finn knew he should say that he was fine, that he didn’t need Will to stop by and check up on him like he couldn’t take care of himself. He should say that there were plenty of people he could call, that the whole team was in town and even if they hadn’t checked up on him so far, surely one of them could find the time to stop by.

But all of that sounded way too pathetic, and anyway if he said it, there was a chance Will would buy it, and then he really wouldn’t come over. So instead Finn nodded and let Will get him some water and a couple Tylenol, then he closed his eyes and tried to get some sleep.

~

It was noon when Finn finally woke up, his knee aching and his head a little fuzzy, but he felt a lot better than he did when Will first found him on his back in the hallway. He managed to get out of bed without doing any damage, and when he put pressure on his knee it didn’t feel like it was planning to give out on him.

Finn managed a shower without hurting himself, then he stumbled into the kitchen, expecting to find a bag still sitting on the counter filled with warm beer and a few groceries. When he got to the kitchen the bag was gone, though. In its place was a bag of chocolate chip cookies, a slightly squashed loaf of bread, and the box of mac and cheese he’d picked up the day before. He opened the fridge to find his beer sitting on the bottom shelf, and for a second Finn expected to look up and find Kurt rearranging something else that didn’t belong to him.

But there was nobody else in the apartment, which meant that Will had hung around at least long enough to put his groceries away. Well. He’d tried, anyway, which was pretty cute, and it was the thought that counted. He put away the rest of the groceries and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge before he made his way back to the living room and levered himself down onto the couch.

Daytime television wasn’t any less boring after four months than it had been when he first got injured, but he found an old Stallone movie on one of the classics channels and drifted off to the sound of automatic weapons coming from his surround sound system. He woke up again when the doorbell rang, blinking and rubbing his eyes before he pushed himself off the couch.

When he pulled the door open Will was standing on the other side, a paper bag in one arm and leaning on the door frame looking even hotter than usual. He was wearing jeans and a button-down shirt, the top two buttons open to let Finn catch a glimpse of his chest. It was the first time Finn had ever seen him in normal clothes; usually at the clinic he had on workout clothes, and suddenly Finn felt really underdressed in sweats and a t-shirt.

“Do you have a date or something?” Finn asked before he could stop himself, and as soon as the words were out of his mouth he wanted to kick his own ass, because if Will was on his way to meet somebody, Finn didn’t want to know.

Will just smiled and ducked his head and brushed past Finn without waiting for an invitation, so Finn shut the door and followed Will into his kitchen. “My afternoon was clear, so I ducked out of work a little early. I realize it’s difficult to believe, but I do own something besides running pants. They’re just a lot more comfortable when I’m at the clinic.”

“Yeah, well, I can’t really talk. You’ve seen what I wear to work,” Finn said.

Will grinned and opened the bag he’d brought with him, pulling out containers and when the aroma of roasted chicken floated toward him, Finn realized what he was doing. “You brought dinner?”

“I saw your idea of groceries last night,” Will said. “Boxed mac and cheese and white bread? Nutrition is an important part of your recovery too, you know.”

“Hey, I eat okay. At least when Kurt’s in town to do the cooking,” Finn said, smiling when Will laughed. “Besides, white bread makes the best grilled cheese.”

Will rolled his eyes and set the last container on the counter, then he turned to look at Finn. “So do you want to eat first or should I put all this in the oven to keep it warm?”

“To tell you the truth, I’m starving. I haven’t eaten all day.”

Will frowned at him but didn’t comment. Instead he let Finn get a couple plates out of the cabinet, then he pulled forks and knives out of the silverware drawer and handed those over as well. Will pulled the tops off the containers and piled chicken and roasted vegetables and some kind of pasta salad on two plates, then he handed one to Finn and took the bottle of water Finn offered him.

Finn couldn’t remember the last time he’d sat at his dining room table to eat, but when Will headed for it, Finn followed. He kind of liked the idea of sitting at the table with Will instead of parking in front of the TV the way he did when Kurt and Puck were around. Almost like he was Will’s date, and when the idea occurred to Finn he blushed all the way to the tips of his ears.

It wasn’t a date.

He knew that; he did. But it was…well, something. A house call, sure, but Will didn’t have to feed him, no matter how incapable he thought Finn was of feeding himself. He didn’t even have to come over again; he could have just given Finn some more exercises, then gone home and not thought about any of this again until their next appointment.

“I called Dr. Sylvester this morning and got her to call in a scrip for muscle relaxers,” Will said, sliding into the chair across from Finn’s and setting his plate down. “I picked them up on the way over. The bottle’s on the kitchen counter; you should take one before we get started. It might help with the pain some.”

“Thanks,” Finn said, glancing toward the kitchen and then back at Will. And yeah, he got it, this was all kind of Will’s job, but Finn was pretty sure that went way above and beyond, even for one of Dr. Sylvester’s VIP cases. “Just let me know what I owe you.”

For a second Will just looked at him, then he shook his head and looked down at his dinner. “You don’t owe me anything, Finn.”

Finn opened his mouth to answer, but everything he thought about saying sounded stupid, so in the end he closed it again without saying anything. He wanted to tell Will that he did owe him, that Will didn’t have to come over in the middle of the night to help him, just like he didn’t have to feed Finn dinner or pick up his meds or give up another night to check up on him. Except this didn’t feel like Will checking up on him so much as it felt like…hanging out, he guessed. Like whatever Kurt and Puck were doing back in Lima that they weren’t calling ‘dating’.

“Why’d you come over last night?” Finn asked, and he hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but as soon as the words were out of his mouth he really wanted to know.

“You called me.”

“I know,” Finn said, and he felt himself blush again, but he didn’t look away. “But you could have just told me to call 911 and gone back to bed or whatever.”

Will shook his head, pushing his dinner around on his plate with his fork like maybe he was kind of nervous. And it was weird, but it made Finn feel a little better to know that Will didn’t have a clue what he was doing here either. Then Will took a deep breath and looked up at him, mouth set in a determined line and Finn felt his stomach twist.

“You’re under my care, Finn. Of course I couldn’t turn my back when there was obviously something wrong.”

It was a bullshit answer, Finn was pretty sure. Or maybe he just wanted it to be, but he’d seen the look on Will’s face just now, and he’d seen the way Will smiled when Finn asked if he had a date tonight. So maybe Will was trying to talk himself out of whatever was happening here, but Finn wasn’t going to let it go just because Will wanted him to.

They spent the rest of the meal making small talk, mostly about Christmas and how weird it was to go home and barely recognize anyone. It was weird for Finn, anyway, but Will had grown up in Cincinnati, so Lima had never been home for him. Finn figured that probably made it even weirder for Will, but he didn’t seem to want to talk about his folks, so Finn didn’t push it.

Instead he let Will talk about Shannon, and he laughed at Will’s stories about working with high school kids who thought they were in the NFL just because they’d won a couple state championships.

“We didn’t win a lot of championships when I was in school,” Finn said. “I guess that explains why we didn’t have a hot massage therapist on the payroll.”

Will blushed and smiled down at his dinner, then he looked up at Finn through long eyelashes, and Finn’s throat went dry. “I’m pretty sure most of the guys on Shannon’s team would have preferred someone a little more...female.”

“Their loss,” Finn said, shrugging and picking up his plate. He carried it into the kitchen and set it in the sink, then he reached for the bottle of muscle relaxers and shook one into his hand. He chased it with the rest of his water, then he tossed the bottle in the recycling before he turned to find Will watching him.

“Thanks for dinner.”

“You’re welcome,” Will answered. “If you’re ready, I’d like to take another look at your knee.”

He set his own plate in the sink, then he turned around, and if this was a date, this would be around the time Finn would go in for a kiss. If it was a date he might already be thinking about how soon he could suggest they take things to the bedroom. Except it wasn’t a date, and they were still about to take things to the bedroom, and Finn was pretty sure he’d never met anybody more confusing than Will Schuester in his life.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice catching in his throat, and he coughed and tried again. “Yeah, I’m good.”

He led Will down the hall to his bedroom, pausing next to the bed and sliding his sweatpants off before he climbed onto the mattress and stretched out. He told himself it was no different than sitting on the table in Will’s exam room, that it didn’t change anything just because he was lying on a bed with Will sitting next to him. But he didn’t believe it, and when Will’s hands landed on his calf and slid up to his knee he knew Will didn’t buy it either.

Will’s thumbs dug into his scar tissue, warm and familiar and Finn felt himself relax a little. And it was weird that something that kind of hurt could relax him, but he’d gotten pretty used to the feeling of Will’s hands on him over the past few months.

“How’s it been today?” Will asked, his voice kind of soft, and the sound went straight to Finn’s dick.

“Not bad. I mean, I slept most of the day, so there wasn’t much chance of making it worse.”

Will smiled then, and something about it made Finn’s chest ache so much it was hard to breathe for a second.

“Good. You probably needed the rest.”

“Feels like all I’ve been doing since September is resting.”

“I know.” Will smiled again, amused this time, and ran his hands along either side of Finn’s knee. “Four months down, only eight to go.”

Eight months. He was supposed to lie here for eight more months, letting Will put his hands on him and not doing anything about it. Eight more months before he was allowed to look Will in the eye and say, I want you. Before he was allowed to say, I’m pretty sure I’m in love with you.

“I can’t.”

Will’s hands were still moving on him, but as soon as Finn said it they stopped. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Everything.”

Finn shook his head and tried to sit up, but he only got as far as his elbows before Will reached out to help him. And it was pretty fucking pathetic that he’d made it all the way to the NFL and he couldn’t even sit up by himself, but it was even more pathetic that he kind of got off on the feeling of Will’s hand on his arm instead of his knee for once.

“Finn?”

He reached out and slid his hand around the back of Will’s neck, just holding on for a beat, then another, waiting for the moment when Will pulled away and made up some excuse about having to get home. But Will didn’t pull away, not even when Finn leaned close enough to murmur I’m not waiting another eight months against his mouth.

He didn’t pull away when Finn kissed him. He didn’t pull away when Finn tilted his head to fit their mouths together, or when he parted his lips to murmur Will’s name. It took a second, maybe two, but finally Will kissed him back, breathing hard against Finn’s mouth and pressing forward, mouth open to let Finn in and yeah, this was exactly what he’d been imagining for the past three months.

His hand slid into Will’s hair, fingers gripping tight and when Will gasped against his mouth and slid his hand down the center of Finn’s chest, he knew Will wanted this as much as he did. He knew Will wanted him, and there was no way Finn was going to let him take it back.

“Will,” he said, like a prayer, and maybe Finn would have been embarrassed if he hadn’t been thinking about this practically since the moment they met.

“Finn,” Will answered, breathing his name against Finn’s mouth, fingers clenched around the front of Finn’s t-shirt and holding on. Like he was afraid maybe Finn was going to pull away, and Finn wanted to laugh, because that was the last thing he was planning to do.

“Finn,” Will said again, his forehead pressed against Finn’s and just breathing against his cheek. “I can’t. We can’t.”

“Yeah, we really, really can,” Finn said, his fingers pushing through Will’s hair and his free hand closing around Will’s arm to pull him forward. “You want to. I know you do.”

“Of course I do,” Will said, breath warm against Finn’s skin and sending shivers down his spine. Then he laughed, shaky and sort of surprised, like he couldn’t believe he was actually saying it out loud. “But you’re my client. There are rules, Finn.”

“So I’ll switch clinics.” Finn turned until his lips brushed Will’s cheek, his hand leaving Will’s hair to slide along his neck. “I’ll get Dr. Sylvester to give me a new referral. I don’t care, Will. God, I want you so bad I can’t think straight.”

He wasn’t sure if he moved first or if Will did, but it didn’t matter, because they were kissing again, harder this time and almost desperate, like maybe this was the only chance they were going to get. But Finn wasn’t thinking about that, because he wanted…everything, wanted whatever Will would give him and more, for as long as he could have it.

Will’s hands gripped the hem of his t-shirt and tugged until Finn got the message and pulled back, arms over his head to let Will tug his shirt off. He tossed it on the floor and pressed forward again, mouth on Finn’s neck this time and pressing hot kisses against his skin. Finn moaned and pushed his hands between them to work open the buttons on Will’s shirt, fingers shaking with need but somehow he managed to get Will’s shirt as far as his shoulders.

Will let go of him long enough to ditch his shirt, then his hands were on Finn’s chest, pushing him back onto the bed and yeah, Finn could work with that. He didn’t care about the pain in his knee, didn’t care that he was going to have to find a new physical therapist tomorrow. He didn’t care about anything except the way Will’s mouth felt on his neck and the way Will’s hands felt on him, as strong and sure as ever, taking their time exploring every inch of him.

Finn’s hands slid down Will’s back, fingers pushing under the waistband of his jeans to skim across the top of his ass, and Will made a strangled sound against Finn’s neck and pulled back to look at him. For a second all he did was look, and Finn braced himself for Will to try to change his mind again, but all he said was, “How do you want to do this?”

“Fuck me,” Finn said, and his voice sounded kind of funny, but when Will groaned and reached for the top of his boxers Finn knew it didn’t matter. He lifted his hips off the mattress as well as he could, let Will slide his boxers off and close a hand around his cock and yeah, he knew those hands would feel even more amazing on his dick than they did on his knee.

“Protection?” Will asked, and Finn nodded and gestured in the direction of the bedside table.

Will let go of him and scrambled off the bed long enough to pull open a drawer and retrieve condoms and lube, dropping them on the mattress before he kicked off his shoes and then slid his jeans and boxers off. Finn watched the show, one hand wrapped loose around his dick and stroking while he watched Will peel the rest of his clothes off.

And he knew Will was in good shape, but until he saw it up close and personal he couldn’t really appreciate just how hot Will was. It made his injury even more frustrating, because he knew he couldn’t just reach out and take, not without taking the risk of causing even more damage. So he waited for Will to climb back onto the bed, to kneel between Finn’s legs and press a hand to his injured knee, cradling it like maybe Will was afraid of hurting him.

Then Will leaned in and pressed a kiss to the inside of his knee, and Finn’s heart skipped a beat. His fucking heart, and it would be humiliating if he didn’t already know he was totally fucked where Will was concerned.

“Finn,” Will whispered against his skin, then he pressed his lips to the inside of Finn’s thigh, a hand sliding up Finn’s other leg to rest against his hip. Finn moaned and thrust up into the touch, trying to get Will’s mouth to move higher, and when his lips finally – fucking finally – closed around Finn’s cock he moaned again and reached down to bury his fingers in Will’s hair.

“Fuck,” Finn said, and Will and yeah and even I love your mouth, and maybe later that last one would bother him, because it got pretty close to admitting just how far gone he was. But it was the truth, and for once he didn’t care if Will figured it out.

Will’s hand slid between his legs, easing them a little further apart and Finn bent his good knee automatically, opening for Will, hips rocking up to fuck his mouth and he knew his knee was going to be sore tomorrow, but he didn’t care. He was pretty sure Will cared, though, because his other hand was still cradling Finn’s knee like he was trying to keep it still while he teased Finn’s opening with the tip of one finger.

His mouth slid all the way down Finn’s length, lips red and stretched wide and drooling around him, and knowing how much Will wanted him just made it even hotter. Finn’s fingers flexed in Will’s hair, just this side of too hard, and Will’s mouth slid off him with a wet pop. He looked up at Finn, eyes dark with lust and the sight made Finn’s dick ache with need.

Then Will was climbing over him, careful to avoid his bad leg as he leaned over Finn and kissed him again. Wet and hot and insistent, tongue pushing past Finn’s teeth and breathing hard against his mouth, hands on either side of his face and stroking along his skin. Tender, like he’d been thinking about this for a long time. Like he’d wanted Finn since the beginning too, since that first moment he smiled and held out his hand for Finn to take.

“Turn on your side,” Will said, the words warm against the corner of Finn’s mouth, and he turned into them and kissed Will again before he did what he was told. He stretched out his bad leg along the mattress, his other knee bent and pulled into his chest. Will reached above him for the lube, squeezing a little on his fingers before he reached between them and slid a slick finger inside Finn.

Will’s mouth was on his neck again, feathering hot kisses along his skin as he worked his finger in and out of Finn. When Finn was moaning and pushing back into the sensation Will pulled away, pouring more lube on his fingers before he slid a second in to join the first.

And it had been awhile, so it took a little longer than usual to adjust to the stretch, but Finn bit down on his lip and pushed back into Will’s touch anyway. He wanted Will inside him, wanted Will to fuck him hard enough to make him feel it for days. Finn moaned at the thought and rocked back on Will’s fingers, head twisting to try to look at Will.

“Will, please,” he said, voice shaky and breathless and needy in a way he hadn’t felt for a long time.

Another kiss against his neck, then the corner of his mouth before Will pulled his fingers free and reached for a condom. “How does your knee feel?”

“It’s fine,” Finn said, and it was, mostly. It didn’t hurt any more than usual, at least, but it kind of sucked that he couldn’t really do anything. Not that he really minded letting Will do all the work, in theory, but it was the first time he’d gotten Will naked, and there was a lot Finn wanted to do.

He wanted to run his hands along all that pale skin, feel the hard muscles flexing under his hands. He wanted to push Will onto his back and spend the whole night just kissing every inch of him, wanted to trace the sharp angles of Will’s hipbones with his tongue and swallow his cock until Will was screaming for Finn to let him come.

He wanted to straddle Will’s hips and sink onto his dick, wanted to ride him until he came moaning Will’s name, then let Will flip him onto his back and fuck him all over again. He wanted…everything, but he was willing to wait for all that, as long as Will promised he’d still be around when Finn was finally back to a hundred percent.

Then Will’s chest was pressed against his back again, dick against Finn’s ass and he rocked back against it to drag a moan out of Will. A hand pushed between them to line them up, and Finn shut his eyes tight and focused on the feeling of Will pushing inside him slow. Will’s hand closed around his hip, gripping tight, like maybe he was trying to keep himself from taking too much too soon.

And that was just stupid, because Finn wanted to give him everything. Whatever he wanted, Finn would do it, if he’d just move. Finn pushed back against him, gritting his teeth against the stretch and moaning Will’s name, and Will groaned and dropped his head to Finn’s shoulder and started moving.

He pushed inside Finn and then pulled right back out again, faster and faster, hips snapping forward and dragging moan after moan out of Finn. He reached for the hand still resting on his hip, clutching at Will’s fingers until they slid between his, and Finn dragged Will’s hand up to his mouth and sucked the tip of Will’s middle finger between his lips.

“Finn,” Will murmured in his ear, voice kind of choked, like maybe he was having a hard time holding on. So Finn sucked harder, sliding his tongue down to push into the soft skin between Will’s fingers. This time it got him a gasp, then a moan as Finn let Will’s middle finger slip out of his mouth and sucked his index finger between his lips.

The whole time Will was chanting his name, breath hot against his neck and his whole body shaking against Finn’s like he was only holding on through sheer stubbornness. Finn laughed at the thought, huffing a warm breath against Will’s finger before he let it slide out of his mouth.

Finn’s own dick ached with the need to be touched, and when Will rocked even harder against him he reached down and closed his fist around his own cock. He stroked in time with Will’s thrusts, rocking back into each one and dragging Will as deep inside him as he could get. And it was perfect, but it was nowhere near enough. Finn had a feeling nothing was ever going to be enough, not when he knew there was still more Will could give him.

“Tell me,” Will said, and Finn felt the words against his neck before he registered them. “Tell…tell me when.”

“God, from the minute I first saw you,” Finn said, twisting his grip and thrusting forward hard enough to send a jolt of pain through his knee. “You’re all I think about.”

“Finn,” Will said again, like a prayer this time. Like he’d just been waiting to hear Finn say it, or maybe like he hadn’t even let himself hope. The thought made Finn’s heart clench hard in his chest, and when Will’s lips brushed across the top of his shoulder he thrust back hard to bury Will deep inside him and came.

Will’s arm slid around his chest, holding him close while he rode out the waves of pleasure. His vision went white for a moment or two, but when he came back to himself Will was moving again, rocking forward harder than ever until finally he pressed his face into the back of Finn’s neck and moaned his own release.

Finn waited until the grip on his chest relaxed before he pulled away enough to let Will slip out of him. He turned until they were face to face, ignoring the pain in his knee and pushing forward to kiss Will hard. A hand slid into his hair as Will kissed him back, breathless and panting against his mouth, and even that was hot.

Will’s hand left his hair to slide along his cheek, thumb tracing the lines of his face like maybe he was trying to memorize this moment. The thought made Finn’s heart clench hard in his chest, but he kissed Will back anyway, softer now until finally they were sharing the same breath more than kissing.

“Your knee...”

“It’s fine,” Finn lied, because it hurt kind of a lot, yeah, but he wasn’t about to tell Will that. “Will, I’m fine. I swear.”

Will didn’t look much like he believed it, but he let Finn kiss him anyway, and Finn figured that was good enough for now.

~

It was a little weird, sitting on his bed with Will massaging his knee while they were both naked. It was exactly the same as every other PT session, except for the part where they hadn’t bothered putting their clothes back on first. Not that Finn was complaining, because he liked naked Will a lot, but still, it was kind of strange that Will wanted to work on his knee after they had sex.

It wasn’t right after or anything. For awhile after Will took the condom off and cleaned them both up they kind of faded in and out of sleep, talking about stupid stuff and touching just because they could, making out a little before they closed their eyes for awhile. Then they woke up and it started all over again, and by the time Will started to get up Finn figured it had to be pretty late.

“You can stay,” Finn had said when Will started to pull away, hand on his arm to stop him, and maybe that was kind of pathetic too, but he figured he was already on a roll.

Will caught his hand and lifted it to his mouth, brushed a kiss across his knuckles that made Finn blush before he let go again. “We never finished working on your knee. I really want to get a massage in at least; I’m worried about the way it’s healing.”

Finn had been worried about his knee right up until Will kissed him back. He was worried about his chances of getting back in shape before next season, and he was even more worried about being in good enough condition to start. But as soon as Will kissed him he stopped thinking about his career or even whether or not he was ever going to be able to walk right again. It was probably a pretty good sign that he was in over his head, but he couldn’t make himself care when Will was kissing him.

That was how he ended up on his back again, naked this time, with Will’s hands on his calf and massaging the muscles just below his knee. It hurt a little, but he tried not to show it, because if he did Will would just bitch at him about overexerting himself or whatever, and as far as Finn was concerned, it was totally worth it.

If Will noticed he didn’t say so; instead he kept up the steady pressure on Finn’s calf, strong hands moving up and down his skin and working the tension out of his muscle. And yeah, it kind of hurt, but it felt pretty good too, so Finn was almost sorry when Will stopped. Then Will leaned over and pressed a kiss to the middle of his kneecap, and Finn would have laughed, except then Will looked up at him and said, “Turn over.”

And Finn wasn’t a moron, so Will didn’t have to ask him twice. He pushed himself up onto his elbows, then he let Will help him slide onto his stomach, a pillow under his knee to cushion it. Once he was settled he turned his head to look over his shoulder, mouth open to ask what Will had in mind, exactly. Before he got the words out Will’s hands were on him again, on his shoulders this time, thumbs digging into the tension right at the base of his neck.

Finn groaned and closed his eyes to focus on the feeling of Will’s hands moving on his back. “If I’d known this was part of the deal I’d have hit on you a lot sooner.”

Will laughed but didn’t answer; instead he leaned in, hands resting on Finn’s shoulders while he pressed a kiss to the top of Finn’s spine. Then he straightened up and picked up where he left off, those hands of his sliding over Finn’s biceps before they slid down his back to dig in right under his shoulder blades.

He felt Will shift next to him, then a knee pushed between his thighs to nudge his good leg a little further over, and Finn took the hint and made room for Will to kneel between his legs. As soon as he did Will’s hands were on his back again, strong and sure and running up and down the length of Finn’s back.

The palm of one hand skimmed across the top of Finn’s ass, and he pushed back into the touch, careful not to put any weight on his bad knee and kill the moment. But Will just laughed above him and slid his hands back up to Finn’s shoulders, then he started all over again, working all the way down to the base of Finn’s spine.

Finn’s dick had taken an interest pretty much as soon as Will started working on his knee, so he wasn’t surprised when he realized his hips were moving lazily against the mattress. If he had two working knees he would have pushed up onto them and shown Will exactly what he wanted, but when he felt a hand slide across his ass and a thumb press between his cheeks, he had a feeling Will got the picture.

Will’s thumb slid across his sensitive hole, just teasing, but Finn let out a hiss and pushed back into the touch. Will leaned in to press a kiss to the base of Finn’s spine, thumb still teasing him without pushing inside and it was hot and kind of frustrating at the same time.

“Will,” Finn moaned, grinding his hips back into Will’s touch and ignoring the pain in his knee.

“Careful,” Will murmured against his skin, and Finn would have rolled his eyes, except that his knee really was kind of sore. Will’s hands slid down his thigh, thumbs digging into the tense muscles at the back of his leg and Finn moaned into the pillow and relaxed into Will’s touch.

Will’s hands slid along either side of his knee, cradling it as though maybe he was checking to make sure everything was okay before he moved over to Finn’s other leg. His hands slid up Finn’s thigh, digging into the muscle there and dragging another moan out of Finn.

“Your hands are fantastic,” Finn said, and he wasn’t even sure it was out loud until he heard Will chuckle quietly, then lean over to press another kiss to the small of his back.

Will’s mouth moved down, past the base of his spine and over the curve of his ass, teeth scraping the soft skin on his left cheek as his hands moved up Finn’s thighs. His fingers pulled Finn open, spreading his cheeks and when Will huffed a hot breath over his hole Finn’s entire body shuddered.

Will,” he said again, a warning this time, though he wasn’t sure what he was warning Will against. Maybe Will got it, though, because his hands held Finn a little more firmly, then he pressed forward to push his tongue inside Finn.

“Fuck, Will,” Finn said, and when Will laughed against him and pulled back to sink his teeth into Finn’s right cheek this time, Finn let out a tortured moan.

Finn, Will murmured against his skin, then so gorgeous, and Finn felt a shiver roll through his entire body. He pushed back against Will’s mouth and Will took the hint, tongue sliding between his cheeks again to push past the loosened ring of muscle just inside Finn’s opening.

Finn moaned again, low and it didn’t even sound like him, but he couldn’t make himself care. His hands closed around the sheet underneath him, fingers twisting the fabric until his knuckles went white.

“Will, please,” he gasped, and he didn’t really want Will to stop, but he wanted more...more and more, everything Will would give him.

Will’s tongue pushed inside him again, a little further this time, and it was great, it was fantastic, but it wasn’t enough. Then Will’s finger pushed inside, tongue sliding along his own finger as Finn pushed back to fuck himself on Will’s hand.

“God, I...”

“Shh,” Will answered, pressing a second finger inside him and twisting them just a little, just enough to drag another moan out of Finn. “Just relax.”

Finn bit back the urge to tell Will what he could do with his advice, because the last thing he wanted Will to do was stop. What he wanted...what he wanted was everything, Will pushing inside him again, Will gripping his hips hard enough to leave marks.

Distantly he heard someone chanting pleasepleaseplease over and over again, and by the time he realized it was him Will’s fingers were gone, then Will reached for the condoms and slid one down his cock.

“Oh, fuck,” Finn moaned when Will slid inside him for the second time, hands still clenched around the sheet and he was probably going to wreck it, but he didn’t care.

“If you want me to stop...”

“Don’t even think about it,” Finn ground out through clenched teeth, one hand leaving the sheet to scrabble for Will’s hand. Finally he found it, pressed into the mattress at his shoulder, and Will leaned forward and started moving his hips in a slow, steady rhythm.

Finn closed his hand around Will’s and squeezed hard, wished all over again that he could do more than lie there and let Will do all the work. That he could push Will onto his back and plant his knees on either side of Will’s hips, that he could sink down onto Will’s cock and fuck himself until Will came inside him.

Will’s fingers spread to let Finn’s slide between them, squeezing hard enough to make Finn groan and arch up to try to get more of Will inside. He rocked back against Will as hard as he could without pushing up onto his knees, gritting his teeth against the pain that shot through his leg and squeezing Will’s hand even harder.

Will’s knees were planted on either side of Finn’s thighs, hips rolling with each thrust and he was moving slow, taking his time and it was hard to remember that he couldn’t just push back and take what he wanted. Every time he tried his knee reminded him why it was a bad idea, and the third time Finn hissed at the sudden, sharp jolt of pain, Will stopped moving altogether.

“Fuck, Will, don’t stop. Please,” Finn said, and yeah, okay, he was begging, but he was too far gone to care.

“Finn,” Will said, hesitant, and Finn could tell he didn’t want to stop any more than Finn did. “I don’t want to hurt you. Your knee...”

“I’m supposed to be using it, right?” Finn answered, pushing up on his elbows and looking back over his shoulder at Will. “I’m not gonna tear the tendon again just lying here. So would you move already?”

Will laughed, shaky and kind of breathless, then he leaned over to press his lips to Finn’s. He slipped almost all the way out of Finn, dragging a moan out of him and Will swallowed the sound with another kiss. Then he pulled back, just looking for a few seconds, like he was trying to memorize the way Finn looked right now.

And yeah, Finn got it, because he liked looking at Will too, but right now he needed Will to move. Before he found the words to say so Will dropped his head, pressing a kiss to Finn’s shoulder before Will pushed back inside him in one smooth stroke.

“Fuck,” Finn moaned again, drawing the word out and rocking back to meet Will’s next thrust. “Harder.”

This time Will didn’t argue; he just picked up the pace, arms braced against the mattress on either side of Finn’s shoulders, muscles flexing hard with the effort to keep as much of his weight off Finn as he could. His hips moved faster and faster, barely pulling out before he rocked forward again, filling Finn over and over.

It felt amazing – Will felt amazing – but Finn knew how much better it could be, how much more Will could give him if Finn could just do something. He wanted to cry, or maybe scream his frustration into the mattress under him, but if he did Will would just stop again, and that was even worse than not being able to move.

Then Will leaned over him again, mouth open against the side of Finn’s neck and sucking hard, and Finn moaned and arched up into the sensation. Will was still rocking against him, bottoming out inside him and then snapping his hips back to start all over again. He sucked hard at Finn’s neck, and Finn knew he was going to leave a mark, but he didn’t care.

There were no TV cameras around to worry about, after all, no press to ask questions they didn’t really want to hear the answers to. For all the team and the fans and the press cared Finn didn’t even exist until he got better, until he either got healthy enough to get back on the field or he washed out and made the headlines long enough for the press to dissect his short and disappointing NFL career.

“Finn,” Will murmured against his skin, releasing his neck with a gasp and sliding his tongue along the mark he’d left behind before he pressed his forehead to the back of Finn’s neck and came inside him for the second time.

Finn rocked back against him until Will relaxed and dropped onto the mattress, careful not to collapse onto Finn’s bad knee. He dropped onto his side and reached for Finn, helping him roll onto his back and leaning in to press their lips together. Finn leaned up into the kiss, breathing hard against Will’s mouth and when a fist closed around his cock, Finn moaned against Will’s mouth.

He bent his good leg, hand pushing between them to close his hand over Will’s. “I need...God, Will, I love your hands...”

That was as much as he managed, but Will seemed to get it, because he let go of Finn’s dick and slid his hand lower, past Finn’s balls to push two fingers back inside him. Finn moaned and closed his own hand around his cock, rocking between his fist and Will’s fingers and kissing Will back like his life depended on it. His heart pounded against his ribcage and he breathed hard through his nose, fist twisting with each upstroke and tightening around Will’s fingers to try to get them even deeper.

He was close – so close – but he needed more, just a little, just enough to drag him over the edge. He opened his mouth against Will’s even though he had no idea what to ask for, but somehow Will knew, because he pressed his forehead against Finn’s and whispered, “It’s okay, Finn. Let go.”

Later he’d probably be embarrassed that that was all it took to drag him over the edge, coming on his hand and his stomach and clenching around Will’s fingers as he moaned his release against Will’s mouth. He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, Will’s fingers buried inside him and Will’s mouth moving on his cheeks and his lips and his jaw. It was possible he even blacked out for a few seconds; he couldn’t be sure, but when he opened his eyes again Will’s fingers were sliding out of him and Finn bit his lip against the loss.

He turned his neck until he was facing Will, just looking for a second before he leaned in and brushed his lips against Will’s mouth. “That was awesome.”

Will grinned and kissed him again, then he pulled back and ran his thumb along Finn’s cheekbone. “Do you feel all right?”

“Yeah,” Finn answered, because his knee hurt, but he felt pretty fucking amazing anyway. His whole body felt like it was melting into the bed, and he wasn’t sure he was ever going to be able to walk again when all his bones had liquefied, but at the moment he didn’t really care.

“So is that offer to stay still open?”

And the weird thing was, Will actually sounded kind of nervous. Like maybe he thought Finn was going to kick him out now that he’d gotten off again. Like Finn was ever going to get enough of Will, even after his knee was better.

“Yeah, Finn said again, one hand sliding into Will’s hair to pull him close and kiss him again. “Stay as long as you want.”

~

Finn woke to the sound of the shower running in his bathroom. He flexed his leg experimentally and winced at the ache in his knee, grateful that Will wasn’t still in his bed to see Finn struggling to get up without his leg giving out on him. He managed to get out of bed without stumbling, but he was stiff and achy all over and he was pretty sure he was going to spend most of the day limping.

He dragged himself into the bathroom, glancing toward the shower and the glass door that gave him a clear view of Will leaning back under the spray. It was tempting to invite himself in - it was his shower, after all - but he wasn’t sure if Will was the type to mind. He knew not everyone was into sharing the shower the morning after, but Will was the one who’d wanted to stay, so he probably wouldn’t mind.

Finn reached for his toothbrush and brushed his teeth, watching Will in the mirror as he debated whether or not to take the chance. It was pretty early, after all, and if Will was just trying to clean up and get out to avoid the whole awkward morning after scene, he wouldn’t be that thrilled about Finn climbing into the shower with him.

He was still trying to decide what to do when the water shut off and the shower door opened, and Finn looked up to find Will watching him. “Sorry, did I wake you?”

Finn shook his head, still watching Will in the mirror as he spoke. “No. I mean, maybe. It doesn’t matter.”

“I have a couple appointments this morning,” Will said, but he sounded sorry about it, like maybe he felt bad about leaving. “But I still have a little time, if you want...”

He glanced back toward the shower, then he shrugged and turned back to Finn without quite meeting his eyes. “It’s fine if you don’t.”

Finn laughed to himself, shaking his head and pushing off the sink. His knee was still stiff, and he knew Will could tell exactly how sore he was as he crossed the room and stopped in front of the shower. “To tell you the truth, I could use the help. My knee’s killing me.”

Will frowned at him, but he slid an arm around Finn’s waist and pulled him into the shower, pressing him up against the tiles and reaching for the handle to turn the water back on. Finn’s hands landed on his waist, sliding along wet skin and tilting his head down for a kiss. Will kissed him back for a few seconds, but as soon as Finn’s hand slid down to his ass Will pulled away and reached for the shampoo.

He poured some into his hand, then he reached for the hand sprayer and held it out. Finn rolled his eyes, but he got his hair wet before he handed it back, then he leaned forward and let Will work the shampoo into his hair. It felt good, kind of like when Will worked the tension out of his knee. And that was kind of weird, getting off on somebody washing his hair, but it was Will, so it didn’t really surprise him.

When Will was finished Finn rinsed the soap out of his hair, then he leaned back against the wall again and let Will soap up the rest of him. His hands moved over Finn’s chest and shoulders, along his arms and down his stomach, gripping his dick loosely and washing that too before he dropped to his knees to soap up Finn’s legs. Will’s hands slid behind him to curve around Finn’s ass, and Finn slid a hand into his hair, just to let him know that Finn was cool with whatever he had in mind.

But instead of taking the hint and wrapping his mouth around Finn’s dick Will just smiled and stood up. His hands landed on Finn’s hips, easing him away from the wall and planting a soft kiss on his lips before he leaned back to look at Finn.

“Turn around.”

And Finn was still down with whatever Will wanted to do, so he turned around, hands pressed against the wet tile and ignoring the way his knee kind of shook when he planted his legs as wide apart as he could. But Will’s hands didn’t land on his ass again; they slid down his back instead, over his shoulders and down his sides, washing Finn’s skin and standing back to let the shower spray rinse him off again.

When he was finished he slid an arm around Finn’s waist, pulling Finn back against him and pressing a kiss against the top of his shoulder. And it was nice, just standing under the water with Will while Will planted warm kisses against his skin, but it wasn’t exactly what Finn had in mind for their first shower together.

“Tease,” Finn said, grinning in spite of himself when Will huffed a laugh against his skin.

“You can barely stand up,” Will answered, his free hand sliding around Finn’s waist to rest at the top of his stomach. “It would be pretty difficult to explain to Dr. Sylvester how we managed to tear your tendon if I had to call an ambulance to come lift you out of the shower.”

It was a fair point, but that didn’t mean Finn had to be happy about it. He turned in Will’s grip until they were face to face, hand coming up to rest against Will’s cheek. “So I shouldn’t mention this part of the therapy at my next check-up?”

“Not unless you really do want to find another physical therapist,” Will answered, expression serious and Finn’s heart skipped a beat. “Sue’s got some pretty powerful friends; she could make sure I never worked in Cincinnati again if she wanted to.”

“So you’re not going to kick me out of your clinic? I kind of figured you wouldn’t want to work with me and sleep with me at the same time.”

For a second Will looked like that was exactly what he wanted to do. Like maybe that’s what he’d been planning to say, but now that Finn had said it out loud, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. Then Will shook his head and turned off the water again, letting go of Finn and pushing the shower door open to reach for a couple towels.

“I’m still responsible for your recovery, Finn. I know how important it is for you to get back on the field, and I want to help you do it. But there’s a reason there are rules. It’s not much different than a psychiatrist sleeping with a patient. When you’re in pain you’re vulnerable, and it’s easy to take advantage of that.”

“You’re not taking advantage of me,” Finn said. He shook his head and wrapped his towel around his waist, then he reached for Will and pulled him close. “I’ll find another physical therapist if you want, but I don’t want to work with anybody else. I trust you, Will.”

He wasn’t sure how long they stood there like that - seconds, maybe, or it could have been hours - before Will finally swallowed and nodded and reached up to rest a hand against the mark he’d left on Finn’s neck the night before. “Good. I’m glad.”

Will kissed him again, soft and slow and kind of searching, like he was looking for the answer to some question nobody had asked. And Finn didn’t know the answer any more than he knew the question, but he kissed Will back anyway, arms around Will’s neck and just holding on for as long as Will would let him.

~

Half an hour later Will left him with a promise to call after work and check to make sure his knee was holding up okay. Finn would have liked it a lot better if Will promised to come by instead, because he couldn’t stand the thought of going the rest of the day without seeing Finn, but he wasn’t above taking what he could get.

Will had been gone a few hours when Finn heard a key turn in the front door lock, and a few seconds later Kurt and Puck let themselves into his place. Puck had a duffel bag slung over one shoulder, his other arm around Kurt and Finn was pretty sure it was the first time he’d actually seen Puck touch his brother.

“Hey,” Finn said when they walked in, shifting as carefully as he could on the couch. “I didn’t think you guys would be back until tomorrow.”

Puck rolled his eyes and let Kurt shrug out of his grip and disappear into the kitchen, then he dropped his duffel bag by the door and crossed to the living room to throw himself into the chair across from Finn. “Kurt said he wanted to be back in town early to give me time to rest up before the game. Truth is I think he was just stressed out about you here all by your lonesome.”

Finn hadn’t actually forgotten that tomorrow was New Year’s Eve. He knew the Bengals were playing in town, and he knew that was why Puck had to be back. But he’d sort of figured Kurt and Puck would stick around Lima as long as possible, then drive back the morning of the game so Puck could get to the stadium on time.

He hadn’t thought about what he was doing for New Year’s, and up until now he hadn’t considered that Will might have plans already. Chances were good that he did; he probably had plenty of friends, and that meant he was probably invited to a bunch of parties.

Finn hoped he didn’t have a date or anything, but it wasn’t like Finn had asked before he jumped Will and then practically begged Will to fuck him. So if he was seeing somebody else...well, Finn wasn’t crazy about the idea, but it wasn’t like he could do anything about it.

He frowned at the thought, then he shook his head and looked at Puck again. “Yeah, well, if he’d called he’d know I haven’t been alone. Not the whole time, anyway. Will’s been by.”

“Will the hot PT?” Puck asked, grinning when Finn blushed and rolled his eyes. “So he’s making house calls now?”

“Something like that,” Finn said, because it was pretty much exactly like that, but he wasn’t about to admit it to Puck. It was way too embarrassing to admit that Will really had shown up for a house call, even if that wasn’t how it ended.

“So are you hooking up with the dude or not?”

When Finn blushed even harder Puck laughed, shaking his head and leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees.

“Seriously, you’ve gotta be the only dude in the NFL who still blushes whenever somebody brings up sex.” Puck stood up, stretching his arms over his head and glancing toward the kitchen in time to watch Kurt walk into the living room. “Babe, your brother’s bringing his new boyfriend to the party.”

“Wait, what party?”

“Just a few people, nothing big,” Kurt said, waving a hand like it was no big deal, which meant that it was a big deal. “Since when are you dating someone?”

“It’s his physical therapist,” Puck said. “I told you Hudson wanted in his pants.”

Finn blushed again and ignored Puck in favor of staring at his brother. “And where’s this party supposed to be happening?”

For a second Kurt almost looked guilty, then he tensed and crossed his arms over his chest and Finn knew exactly where the party was supposed to be happening.

“Well it’s not as though I can host a party in my dorm room; it’s far too small. And you’ve seen Noah’s apartment,” Kurt said, wrinkling his nose and Finn wondered when Kurt had seen Puck’s apartment, exactly. “I can’t ask my friends to go there, never mind what your teammates would say if they saw how he lives.”

“Kurt, come on, my knee’s still fucked up and I don’t want a bunch of people hanging around all night,” Finn said, but he knew it was a losing battle. Kurt and Puck had been acting like they lived in Finn’s place for almost two months now, so it shouldn’t surprise him that they’d decided to hold their coming out party there too.

“I’m doing this for you,” Kurt said, like Finn was supposed to believe that. “You’ve hardly left your apartment since your injury, Finn. It’s like you’re becoming a hermit or something. For God’s sake, you’re sleeping with the only human being you come in contact with other than the two of us. It wouldn’t kill you to expand your social circle a little.”

“Who said I was sleeping with him?”

“Whatever, dude, you’ve got a shitty poker face and everybody knows it.” Puck rolled his eyes and crossed the room to stop next to Kurt, hand on his waist and leaning in, and Kurt turned toward him and let Puck kiss him. Just like that, like Kurt kissed his brother’s best friend right in front of Finn every day.

“I’ve gotta put in an appearance at the stadium,” Puck said. He brushed his lips across Kurt’s cheek, then he pulled back and smiled. “See you later, babe.”

“I’ll be here,” Kurt said, smiling right back at Puck, and Finn thought about asking if he actually got a vote in any of this, but he already knew the answer.

He waited until Puck picked up his bag and grabbed his keys, then let himself out of the apartment. Once he was gone Finn looked at Kurt again, taking in his little smile and the flush in his cheeks as he stared at the door after Puck.

“So I guess the trial period’s over, huh?”

Kurt turned back to him, pursing his lips to try to kill his smile, but when it didn’t work he gave up and grinned at Finn. “Noah’s managed to convince me that he’s serious about being in a relationship. And he’s aware of the consequences, should he choose to cheat on me.”

Finn thought about asking what the consequences were, exactly, but the truth was he didn’t really want to know. He didn’t want to hear the details of their weird relationship, just like he didn’t want to know how many nights they’d sat up in Puck’s apartment laying down ground rules without so much as kissing. If it worked for them, hey, he was happy for them and all, but he was fine with not knowing the specifics.

“Look, Kurt, it’s cool, you and Puck. Maybe it’s not obvious or whatever, but you know, as long as you guys are happy.”

“Thank you,” Kurt said, and for once he sounded like he actually meant it. “And for what it’s worth, I’m sorry to spring a party on you at the last minute. It just sort of came up, then Noah made some phone calls, and you were already back here...”

Finn nodded, because he knew exactly how fast stuff happened when Puck started making phone calls. He could even guess which of their teammates Puck was willing to let Kurt meet, which meant there wouldn’t be any drama tomorrow night, at least.

“Forget it. But look, about Will...I’m not just with him because he’s around all the time. I really like him.”

For a second Kurt just looked at him, lips pressed together like he was trying to work something out. Then he nodded once and pulled out his phone, fingers flying on the screen and Finn couldn’t prove it or anything, but he had a feeling Kurt was texting Puck.

“That’s good, Finn. Puck says you’ve seemed sort of lonely lately. It’s nice that you’re finally connecting with someone.”

Kurt stopped typing and looked up, flashing a tight-lipped smile in Finn’s direction. “I need to run out and pick up some things for the party before the stores get too insane. Do you need anything?”

“Thanks, I’m good,” Finn said, but Kurt was already looking down at his phone again, mouth curved in a little smile that told him Puck had already answered Kurt’s text. He had a feeling they were talking about him, but he couldn’t make himself care. Not when he was already too busy worrying about what happened when Will found out Finn’s brother and his best friend were planning a New Year’s Eve party, and there was no way Finn was going to get out of inviting Will to come.

~

After Kurt left Finn forced himself back off the couch and down to his apartment building’s gym. The last thing he felt like doing was getting on the bike; it had been awhile since he’d dated anybody, and letting Will fuck him twice in one night had left him a little sore. But he wasn’t going to get any better if he didn’t keep up with his workouts, so he spent half an hour forcing his knee to push the pedals anyway.

By the time he was finished his knee ached, but he managed to drag himself back up to his apartment without collapsing again. He pulled open the fridge and took out the leftovers Will had packed up the night before, grinning at the memory of what he’d thought was going to be a plain old house call, but turned out to be their first date.

He hadn’t been expecting it – hoping, maybe – and right up until Will kissed him back, Finn figured he was going to get shot down. The fact that Will sort of did shoot him down at first bugged Finn a little; if it was just because Will was his therapist that was one thing, but Finn wasn’t crazy about the thought of wanting Will more than Will wanted him.

Not that he could do much about it. He wanted Will more than he’d ever wanted anybody, and he knew it wasn’t just going to go away if Will decided he didn’t really want Finn that bad after all. He knew what he was risking, putting his heart on the line for somebody he was going to have to see at therapy no matter what happened between them.

But the thing was, they’d only spent one night together and he already knew it was worth the risk. It was worth spending his PT sessions trying to pretend nothing had changed, and it was worth all the shit he was going to take from Puck about falling for Will in the first place.

Finn was icing his knee when his phone rang, and he picked it up expecting to see Kurt’s name on his screen, calling to see if he had enough ice or something. When he saw Will’s name instead his stomach did a weird little flip, and he pressed ‘send’ and lifted the phone to his ear.

“Hey.”

“Hi,” Will said, the sound of his voice making Finn’s whole face heat up. “I had a break between appointments, so I thought I’d check and see how your knee was feeling.”

“It’s okay,” Finn said, because it wasn’t, but there wasn’t much either of them could do about it. “A little sore. I rode the bike for about half an hour anyway. I’m icing it now.”

“I’d like you to alternate ice and heat. The heat will help with the stiffness in your muscles.”

“Yeah, sure,” Finn answered, because it wasn’t like he didn’t know that from years of playing football, but technically it was Will’s job to tell him this stuff. “So listen, my brother got back today.”

“Oh?” Will said, and Finn knew he was imagining it, because there was no reason for it or anything, but he thought Will sounded kind of nervous all of a sudden.

“Yeah. I guess he and Puck are officially a couple or whatever, and they invited some people over tomorrow night. I know it’s New Year’s Eve and you’ve probably already got plans, but if you wanted to stop by, you could. It’s not a big deal, just some guys from the team and maybe a few of Kurt’s weird fashion school friends.”

“Finn...” Will paused, and Finn braced himself to hear that he already had plans. It wasn’t like he’d just been sitting around at home every night waiting for Finn to come along, after all; a guy like Will probably got hit on all the time, and the chances of him hanging around at home alone on one of the biggest date nights of the year were pretty slim. He probably had a date long before he met Finn, and he wasn’t just going to cancel at the last minute because they’d hooked up once.

Will cleared his throat and Finn closed his eyes, running a hand over his face and telling himself he was fine with whatever excuse Will came up with. “It’s not that I don’t want to.”

Finn’s stomach dropped and he told himself he’d known this was coming, that he’d known Will was going to find a reason not to come. That didn’t make it suck any less, though, and it didn’t mean Finn wasn’t going to spend the whole night imagining what Will was doing and who he was doing it with.

“It’s cool, if you’ve got a better offer…”

“It’s not that,” Will interrupted. “It’s just…your teammates, Finn. I’ve probably worked on some of them. If they see us together and mention it to the wrong person, I could lose my job.”

“Oh,” Finn said, and he knew the idea of Will risking his job to be with Finn shouldn’t make him feel better, but it beat Will having a date with some other guy. “Yeah, but the guys Puck invited are cool. He only invites the ones who are chill about the fact that we’re both into guys. The ones who’d turn you in wouldn’t show up anyway.”

“I’m just not sure it’s such a good idea.”

“If you’ve already got something else to do you can tell me,” Finn said, and now he sounded kind of pissed, but he didn’t try to take it back. “I mean, it’s not even a big deal or anything. You said yourself there’s no rule that says we can’t be friends, right?”

For a few seconds Will didn’t answer, and Finn was starting to think about telling him to forget it when he finally sighed on the other end of the line. “I don’t have other plans. Nothing I can’t get out of.”

“Great,” Finn answered, working hard to keep the relief out of his voice. “That’s great. It’s going to be fine, Will. Honest.”

Another sigh, and Finn sort of wished he’d waited until they were face to face to have this conversation, just so he could see Will’s face and try to figure out what he was thinking. “So your knee feels okay? No more muscle spasms?”

It was tempting to tell Will that it was feeling kind of tight, just so Finn could see him again. He knew if he did Will would come over and massage it, and if he offered there was no way Finn was going to tell him no. But it wasn’t really fair, taking up all Will’s time, especially when he was bailing on his friends for a party he didn’t really want to go to.

“No, it’s okay.”

“Okay. If you’re sure,” Will said, and Finn told himself he was imagining the disappointment in Will’s voice too.

“Yeah, I’m cool. But if you’re not working tomorrow you can come over early, if you want. You know, watch the game or whatever.”

“The clinic’s closed for the holiday,” Will said, and Finn could hear the smile in his voice. “So I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Yeah,” Finn said. He searched for something more to say, some way to keep Will on the phone a little longer, but he couldn’t come up with anything that didn’t sound totally lame, so in the end he just cleared his throat and added, “See you then.”

~

By the time Will actually showed up, Finn’s knee was pretty sore. He’d spent most of the past day just trying to stay out of Kurt’s way while he freaked out about his party, and yeah, Finn got that he was nervous about meeting the team, but Finn wished he would just take a breath or something.

He’d tried telling Kurt that after a game the guys were going to be too pumped to care much about Puck’s new boyfriend, but that just made Kurt freak out even more. After that he stopped trying to get Kurt to chill and just did what he was told, but he was pretty sure he’d pushed himself a little harder than he should have helping Kurt carry groceries and move his furniture around the living room.

Not that he’d been a lot of help, considering he still couldn’t bend his knee past ninety degrees. When Puck showed up and took over Finn bailed on both of them and collapsed into bed, but when he woke up his knee ached so much he wasn’t sure he’d be able to stand on it. After a few hours of hobbling around his apartment like an old man it loosened up a little, but when he pulled his door open to find Will standing there it was pretty hard to pretend it wasn’t bothering him.

“Hey,” Finn said, leaning hard on the door as he pulled it open far enough to let Will in. “I’m glad you could make it.”

“I’m not too early, am I?” Will asked, looking around like maybe he was expecting the team to be hanging around Finn’s living room instead of at the stadium getting pumped for the last game of the regular season. “I thought I’d take a look at your knee before the game starts.”

Finn shut the door as Will let himself into the kitchen, pulling something out of a bag and setting it in the fridge. Finn glanced over his shoulder in time to see that Will had brought his own beer, some expensive imported brand that he was pretty sure would qualify as ‘gay’ to most of his teammates.

“I didn’t ask you to come over to work on my knee,” Finn said, but he was already wondering how much longer he could stand up before he had to admit defeat. “I asked you to come over because I wanted to see you.”

The smile that got him made it worth admitting how much he wanted Will around, and when Will took a couple steps forward and reached for his hand Finn’s heart skipped a beat.

“And I came, in spite of my better judgment, because I enjoy spending time with you. But since I’m here and we’ve got some time, it can’t hurt to get a massage in at least, right?”

Finn looked down at Will’s hand where it was wrapped around his, thumb sliding along Finn’s knuckles and sending little shivers down his spine. And it wasn’t like he was going to pass on the chance to get Will’s hands on him, so he nodded and looked up again. “Yeah, okay.”

Will smiled again and let go of his hand, then he took a step back and watched as Finn pushed himself off the wall. And he could have lived without the audience, mostly because he knew Will was going to take one look at him trying to walk and know how much his knee was bothering him. But there wasn’t a lot he could do about it, so he limped down the hall toward his bedroom, and he didn’t complain when he lost his balance and Will’s hand landed on his side to steady him.

“How long have you been limping like this?”

“About four months,” Finn joked, but when Will just frowned at him he shrugged and stopped next to his bed. “I guess I kind of overdid it yesterday helping Kurt get ready for the party.”

Will slid his coat off while Finn hooked his thumbs in the sides of his track pants, letting them pool on the floor by his feet before he stepped out of them and levered himself up onto his bed. He winced as he tried to swing his leg onto the mattress, but a second later Will was touching him, one hand cradling his knee and the other sliding under his calf to straighten his leg along the mattress.

“What exactly does ‘getting ready for the party’ entail?” Will asked, his hands already moving on either side of Finn’s knee. And it was hard to focus on anything but the warmth of Will’s skin and the pressure of his palms digging into tight muscle, but Finn cleared his throat and did his best to remember how to talk.

“Uh…you know, carrying groceries, that sort of thing. I was on my feet more than usual yesterday. We moved the furniture around some too, but Puck was here for most of that.”

Will’s hands stopped moving, then he sighed and looked up at Finn. “I suppose it’s a waste of breath to remind you that moving furniture is probably a bad idea until you’re a little further along in your recovery.”

“It wasn’t that big a deal,” Finn said, but when Will’s hands started moving again and his knee protested, Finn knew he was right. “Anyway, I thought I was supposed to be using it.”

“Using your leg, yes. Riding the bike, doing your exercises, walking without the brace. Even bending it as much as possible is a good idea. But moving couches is a good way to tear your tendon again, Finn.”

“Yeah, okay, I get it.”

Finn shifted on the mattress, his knee moving under Will’s hands and he bit his lip to keep from wincing at the sensation. And he did get it, because he was the one who could barely walk here. He already felt dumb enough without a lecture, though, and when Will sighed again he felt even worse.

“I know it’s frustrating,” Will said, hands moving again and Finn didn’t even bother trying not to enjoy it. “You’re used to being in top physical condition, and being forced to slow down is tough for any athlete. But pushing yourself too hard too soon isn’t going to get you back out there any faster. If anything…”

“I know,” Finn interrupted. “I get it, Will. But I really wasn’t pushing myself that hard yesterday. Honest.”

Will didn’t look much like he believed it, but he didn’t argue. Instead he focused on Finn’s knee, working the tension out of his muscles and letting the warmth of his hands sink into Finn’s skin until he relaxed back against the mattress.

Finn’s eyes slid closed when Will’s hands slid down to his calf, strong hands wrapping around the back of his leg and working out the tension there. It felt amazing, and Finn couldn’t remember anymore why he’d tried to talk Will out of doing this.

Will’s hands slid back up Finn’s leg, carefully avoiding the back of his knee on his way to Finn’s thigh. His hands were smaller than Finn’s, but with his eyes closed they felt huge. Long fingers splayed across his skin, and when Finn remembered the feeling of those fingers pushing inside him his legs parted to give Will more room to work.

“Finn,” Will said, voice low and Finn’s eyes opened to stare up at him.

“Yeah?”

For a few seconds Will didn’t answer; he just looked at Finn, like maybe he wasn’t sure if he should say whatever was on his mind. Finn pushed himself up on his elbows, the movement making Will’s hands ride a little higher on his thigh, and he reached out with one hand and closed his fingers around Will’s wrist.

“The game’s starting soon,” Will said, and that definitely wasn’t what he’d been planning to say a minute ago.

“Fuck the game,” Finn answered, tugging Will forward until he gave in and leaned close enough to press their lips together.

Will’s hands left his thigh to press against the mattress on either side of Finn, holding his weight off Finn so he didn’t do any more damage to Finn’s knee. And he knew it was Will’s job to think about that stuff, but Finn was tired of being careful. He was tired of having to think about every move he made, about whether or not it was going to mess up his recovery and keep him off the field even longer.

He gripped Will’s biceps and tugged, pulling until Will took the hint and climbed over him to stretch out on the mattress next to him. Finn turned into him, sliding his bad leg over Will’s calf and okay, maybe that wasn’t the best idea he’d ever had. As soon as he thought it Will’s hand landed on his thigh close to his knee, kind of cradling it from behind and pulling back far enough to look at Finn.

“Speaking of pushing yourself too hard.”

Finn groaned and dropped back down on the mattress, eyes closed so he wouldn’t have to watch Will laugh at him. “This sucks.”

A hand landed on his neck, sort of stroking his skin, then Will’s lips brushed against his. “It’s not forever. It just feels that way right now.”

“Yeah, I know. I just don’t like you having to do everything.”

“I don’t mind, Finn,” Will said, then he did laugh, but it sounded more like he couldn’t believe they were talking about this than that he thought Finn was being an idiot.

“Well I do mind. I’m making it up to you once my knee’s working right again.” Finn pressed forward, brushing a kiss across Will’s jaw, then on his neck just under his ear. “God, Will, the stuff I want to do to you.”

He felt Will shudder against him, then a hand landed in his hair to drag him up until they were face to face again. For a second Will just stared at him like he was trying to convince himself Finn was for real, but before Finn could show him exactly how real this was the front door opened, then Kurt was calling his name.

“Fuck,” Finn muttered as Will flushed and pulled away, sitting up and easing Finn’s leg back down onto the bed. He rolled onto his back, closing his eyes and running his hands over his face before he looked up at Will again. “It’s kind of hard to believe I used to live alone.”

Will huffed a soft laugh, and he was still blushing, but Finn decided it was a pretty good look for him. It made Finn feel a little better about being so pathetic, anyway, especially when Kurt stopped in his bedroom door and said, “Oh,” and Will blushed even harder.

“Will, you remember my brother, right?” Finn said, pushing back up onto his elbows to look at Kurt. “Will’s just torturing me for awhile before the game starts.”

It was the truth, but he had a feeling he was going to pay for saying so during his next real PT session. He still had a couple days before he had to show up at the clinic, though, and maybe if he could convince Will to spend the night Finn could make him forget about the whole torture thing by the time Will went back to work.

“It’s nice to see you again, Will,” Kurt said, like he didn’t know exactly what he was interrupting. “Not that it matters to me, but the game started a few minutes ago.”

“Thanks,” Will said, smiling over his shoulder at Kurt before he pulled his hands away from Finn’s leg and stood up. Kurt nodded and disappeared again, and Finn let Will help him get up. As soon as he swung his legs over the side of the bed Will dropped to his knees, reaching for Finn’s track pants and sliding them over his feet. And it was bad enough that he couldn’t do any of the stuff he wanted with Will, but now Will was dressing him like he was completely helpless.

“I can still put on my own clothes, you know.”

Will grinned at him, and it was pretty hard to be annoyed when he leaned up on his knees and pressed a kiss against the corner of Finn’s mouth.

“I don’t mind, Finn,” he said again, and Finn was starting to think he actually meant it.

~

Once Will got him on the couch he pretty much didn’t let Finn move. He deposited Finn in the living room and turned the game on, then he headed for the kitchen and some ice for Finn’s knee. Finn had no idea what Will said to Kurt while he was gone, but he had a feeling it had something to do with making Finn move furniture, because Kurt turned up every ten minutes during the game to make sure they didn’t need anything.

“You know, if you’re going to date an NFL player you’re going to have to learn something about football eventually,” Finn said after the fourth time Kurt offered to freshen their beers for them. “You might even have to show up at some of the home games and sit with the wives.”

“I know how the game’s played,” Kurt said, chin in the air, but he sat down on the arm of Finn’s couch to watch Puck sprinting down the field. “I could hardly grow up in my father’s house and not pick up the basics.”

Finn grinned and glanced at Will, his cheeks flushing when he found Will watching him. The look on Will’s face was one he’d never seen before, and Finn wasn’t sure what it meant, exactly, but it made him glad he was sitting down. As soon as Finn looked at him Will looked away, reaching for his beer and taking a long swallow, and if Finn didn’t know better he’d think maybe Will was kind of hoping to sit in the stands with Kurt and the wives and girlfriends someday.

And Finn was all for that, but first he had to get better and earn his place on the team all over again. He swallowed a frustrated sigh and reached for his own beer, scowling as he watched the Bengals’ new quarterback fumble a perfectly good pass.

A hand landed on his calf, patting his leg for a second and then just resting there, and Finn looked up to find Will smiling at him. “You’ll get back there, Finn.”

He wanted to tell Will not to make promises he couldn’t keep. He wanted to point out that he’d been stuck for weeks, that he hadn’t made any progress for almost a month. But Will was the best physical therapist in the city, and if anybody could get Finn back there, it was him.

“Yeah,” Finn said, forcing a smile he didn’t really feel. “I know.”

Most of the talking for the rest of the game consisted of Finn and Will yelling at the TV, and Kurt rolling his eyes at both of them. There was a tense moment when Puck took a hit that was hard enough to knock the wind out of him, and Finn thought Kurt might actually cut off the circulation in his arms, he was crossing them so hard. But Will shook his head and pointed out that the angle of the fall couldn’t damage anything important, and he was proven right a second later when Puck stood up and shook it off.

Kurt still bitched when he saw Puck trying to go back out on the field, but he settled down once Coach pulled Puck for the final quarter. They were pretty far ahead anyway, and when they won Finn knew the guys would show up later than planned, but in a way better mood than if they’d lost.

The doorbell rang not long after the game ended, and before Finn could warn Will, Kurt’s art school friends were pouring into his living room. He’d stuck with mostly the girls, probably because Puck suggested that the party would go a little better if there were girls for the team to ogle. Finn had met most of them once or twice, but he didn’t really mind that they more or less ignored him and Will as soon as they figured out that Will was there with Finn.

Still, his living room was getting kind of crowded already, and the more people that showed up, the more Will backed off. As soon as the doorbell rang he pulled his hand away from the spot on Finn’s calf where it had been resting, and by the time the team showed up Will was sitting as far away on the couch as he could get.

Finn wasn’t even sure Will knew he was doing it, but it was pretty obvious he didn’t want any of the guys to think he and Finn were together. And they’d been over all this, which meant Will didn’t believe him when Finn told him that the guys who showed up at the party wouldn’t care.

The team poured into Finn’s apartment in a wall of sound, and Finn forgot about how weird Will was being long enough to miss the rush of a big win. He fought back a frown as a few of the guys he hadn’t seen since his injury stopped to slap him on the shoulder, forcing a smile and a congratulations that sounded more or less sincere.

One by one they drifted in the direction of the kitchen in search of beers, and once they were gone Will looked at him again. “Are you okay?” he asked, and Finn wanted to laugh at the look on his face, because there was no way Will could expect him to be okay with any of this.

“Yeah,” he said instead, shrugging and draining his beer. “I could use another drink.”

For a second Will just looked at him, then he nodded and stood up, picking up Finn’s empty and his own before he headed for the kitchen. He’d been gone a couple minutes when someone sat down in the chair next to the couch, and Finn glanced over to find Azimio chugging a Budweiser.

“Hey, man,” Finn said, nodding when Azimio lowered his beer to look at him.

“What’s up, Hudson? You still crippled?”

“I see you’re still a class act,” Finn said, raising an eyebrow when Azimio laughed. “How about you spend the offseason practicing not being such an asshole?”

“Pretty big talk for a dude who washed out in his sophomore year.”

Finn opened his mouth to tell Azimio exactly where he could take his attitude, but before he got the words out the couch dipped next to him, and he looked over in time to watch Will hold out a beer.

“Thanks, “ Finn said, his fingers closing over Will’s as he pulled the bottle out of his hand.

“I know you,” Azimio said, and Finn looked away from Will’s flushed cheeks to take in Azimio’s puzzled frown.

He looked back at Will in time to watch him nod, looking down at his beer for a second before he looked up at Azimio and smiled. “I worked on your ankle sprain two years ago. Any more problems?”

“Nah, it’s good,” Azimio said, frowning at Will for another second before he glanced at Finn. “Dude, you didn’t make any house calls when I was injured. I had to haul my ass down to that clinic every week.”

“Yeah, well, this is a little worse than a sprained ankle,” Finn said, gesturing toward his knee when Azimio turned back to him. “Dude, have you met Kurt’s friend Santana? She can be kind of a bitch, but she and her friend Brittany come as a set.”

“Shut the hell up,” Azimio said, already scanning the room like he was expecting to spot them making out somewhere. Which wasn’t totally outside the realm of possibility, Finn knew from experience. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Finn said, sitting up a little straighter and swinging his legs over the edge of the couch. He scanned the apartment until he spotted them near the kitchen, leaning against a wall talking to Kurt’s friend Rachel. “There they are.”

“Damn,” Azimio said, and a second later he was gone without so much as a ‘see you later’. But that was kind of the point, so Finn didn’t take it personally. He didn’t look at Will as he stood up, ditching his still-full beer and his…well, his sort of boyfriend and heading down the hall to his bedroom.

He was halfway down the hall when Will caught up with him, hand on his arm and when he said, “Finn,” in a low voice, like it hurt to say his name, Finn turned to look at him.

“Maybe this was a bad idea,” Finn said, and yeah, he got it, because Will was bound to cross paths with some of his teammates in his line of work. But Finn didn’t see how they were doing anything wrong; Will was still looking out for his recovery, maybe even more now that he was seeing Finn more than once a week in the clinic.

“Finn, I’m sorry,” Will said, his hand coming up like he was thinking about touching Finn, but as soon as he realized what he was doing he let it fall back to his side. “It’s not you, it’s…”

“Yeah, I know, it’s your job,” Finn said. “None of these guys are going to say anything, Will. Even if Azimio remembers tomorrow that he saw you here, he won’t care enough to tell anybody. I wouldn’t let any of these assholes in my house if they were the kind of assholes who cared about stuff like that.”

“I know,” Will said, but Finn could tell he was still kind of freaked out.

“Look, can we just…” Finn glanced in the direction of his bedroom, but when he saw that the door was closed he frowned and turned away from Will.

He was pretty sure what he was going to find when he opened the door, just like he was pretty sure he wasn’t going to want to see it. He turned the knob anyway, and when he heard Puck’s voice he rolled his eyes and pushed the door open. Kurt and Puck were still wearing all their clothes, but Puck’s arms were wrapped tight around Kurt and Kurt’s face was pressed into Puck’s shoulder.

“I’m all right, babe. It’s my job to take those kinds of hits. Trust me, tonight was nothing. That dude hit like a girl.”

“Not helping,” Kurt said, mumbling the words against Puck’s shirt, and Finn rolled his eyes and cleared his throat. Puck and Kurt both turned to look at him, but as soon as they saw who it was Puck lost the scowl, at least.

“Dude, what are you doing to my brother?”

“Nothing your brother didn’t invite him to do,” Kurt answered, but Finn could see his blush from across the room. “Now go away.”

“Hello, this is my room. Neither of you even live here.”

“Dude, give me a break,” Puck said, arms still tight around Kurt’s waist and it was the closest Finn had ever heard him come to begging.

He rolled his eyes and glanced over his shoulder at Will, sighing when he caught Will fighting back a smile. “Fine. But if you guys are going to fuck in my bed you’re changing the sheets before I get home.”

He closed the door and leaned against it, eyes sliding closed for a second before he opened them to look at Will. “Sorry.”

“No apology necessary,” Will said, giving up on fighting the smile that had been threatening to form since they walked in on Finn’s brother and his best friend. “Are you going somewhere?”

Finn shrugged, glancing past Will toward the party still going on in his living room. “Guess I’m not really up for a party after all.”

Will nodded and swayed a little closer, hand catching Finn’s to slide their fingers together. “My place isn’t far.”

“Is that an invitation?” Finn asked, but he didn’t wait for an answer before he pushed off the door and pulled Will down the hall and out of his apartment.

~

Will’s place was nice. At least what Finn saw of it on the way to the bedroom looked pretty nice; leather couch, big TV, a whole wall full of bookshelves lining one side of the living room. When they reached the bedroom he looked around long enough to check for signs of anybody else living there, but as far as he could tell Will wasn’t hiding a boyfriend or anything.

Not that he thought Will had another relationship on the side. Except that if he did have a boyfriend, that would make Finn the other man, and cheating was one of those things he’d always said he wouldn’t do. But that was before he met Will; before he threw himself at Will without even bothering to ask if Will was seeing anybody, and if he was already taken it was Finn’s own fault for not asking first.

When he caught himself thinking that Will didn’t kiss him like he was taken Finn laughed, warm against Will’s mouth and Will pulled back to smile at him. “Care to share with the class?”

“It’s nothing,” Finn said, shaking his head and sliding his hands down the front of Will’s shirt to tug it out of his jeans. “I’m just glad to be here, that’s all.”

Will made a noise like he wasn’t really sure he believed that, but he let it go and pulled away from Finn long enough to tug his shirt over his head. He dropped it on the floor and reached for Finn again, sliding his track pants back down and helping him step out of them before he steered Finn toward the bed. And even sitting down was still kind of a pain in the ass, so Finn let Will help him onto the edge of the bed.

When he was sitting Will dropped to his knees in front of Finn, reaching for his shoes and socks and Finn couldn’t do much to help, but he tugged his own shirt off and tossed it on the floor with the rest of his clothes. Once he was sitting on Will’s bed in just his boxers Will looked up at him, hands on Finn’s thighs and moving in little circles. His eyes were darker than usual, fingers flexing against Finn’s skin and it felt familiar, but kind of new at the same time.

His bad leg was stretched out to one side, knee just slightly bent and it wasn’t all that comfortable, but Finn wasn’t complaining. Not when Will was pushing up on his knees to kiss him, lips parted against Finn’s and breathing hard through his nose when Finn’s hands slid into his hair to pull him closer.

He felt Will’s hand slide down his thigh, under his knee and bending it just a little. Finn sucked in a breath but didn’t pull away, fingers tightening in Will’s hair for a second before he relaxed. Will’s hand stayed where it was and he pulled back just a little, mouth brushing Finn’s jaw and then his neck.

“We’re taking this slow, okay?” Will said, and Finn wasn’t all that interested in slow, but it was better than ‘we can’t do this’. “And if you feel any discomfort I want you to tell me.”

Finn pulled his hands away from Will’s hair, reaching down to cover the hand that was still resting on his thigh. “Can you just…not be my therapist right now?”

Will sighed and looked down at Finn’s hand where it was covering his, shoulders sort of slumping and Finn felt his stomach drop. He braced himself for the ‘I’m responsible for your recovery’ speech, like he hadn’t already heard that one too many times. Then Will’s fingers slid through his and he lifted Finn’s hand to his mouth, brushing a kiss across his knuckles before he looked up at Finn again.

“I can try.”

His hand left Finn’s knee slowly, like maybe he was having a hard time convincing himself to let go. When he did Finn reached for it, sliding their fingers together and tugging on both Will’s hands until he pushed himself back up onto his knees to kiss Finn again. And this kind of slow Finn could deal with; Will’s fingers flexing against his, Will’s mouth moving against Finn’s and his breath warm on Finn’s cheek. He liked kissing Will – loved it, even – and Finn didn’t mind if Will wanted to keep doing it for awhile.

As soon as he thought it Will was pulling away, but before Finn could protest he was standing up, pulling his shirt over his head and yeah, Finn could get behind that. He slid back onto the bed, favoring his knee as he settled back against Will’s headboard and watched him slide his jeans off. His boxers were next, and when Finn saw that he was hard already it dawned on him that he still hadn’t touched Will’s dick.

Will had fucked him a couple times, sure, and he’d said he didn’t have any complaints, but that didn’t make Finn feel a whole lot better about the fact that Will was doing all the work in their relationship. The fact was that Will couldn’t even relax enough to forget about Finn’s injury even while they were in bed, and he wasn’t getting a complex or anything, but it was hard not to wonder if Will was just pretending to be fine with doing all the work so Finn wouldn’t try to push himself too hard.

“Come here,” Finn said, holding out a hand, and when Will took it and climbed back onto the mattress Finn’s heart skipped a beat. He swung a knee over Finn’s thighs, keeping his weight off Finn’s legs while he leaned in for another kiss.

Finn reached between them while he kissed Will, closing his hand around Will’s dick and stroking a few times. Slow, grip kind of loose while he got used to the feel of Will in his hand, the weight of his cock and the little noises he made when Finn’s thumb slid across the tip.

Will was still holding his hand, fingers flexing and relaxing as he rocked into Finn’s grip. And it was good, seeing the effect he had on Will, but his hand was too dry, and when his skin dragged against Will’s cock Finn let go and broke the kiss. He let go of Will’s hand and reached for his hips, pushing him back until Will took the hint and pushed up onto his knees.

Finn gripped the base of his cock and leaned forward, glancing up at Will before he wrapped his lips around the head of Will’s dick and slid his mouth down as far as he could go. The angle was kind of weird and he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep it up for all that long before his neck started to ache, but it was worth it to hear Will moaning his name and gripping his shoulder hard enough to hurt. The whole point was to get Will to let go, to make him want Finn more than he wanted to make sure Finn didn’t wake up any more sore than he had to.

The truth was Finn didn’t mind a little soreness if it meant he got to be with Will. Icing his knee because Kurt didn’t like the Feng Shui in his living room was lame, yeah, but he’d spend the rest of the week icing it to get Will to fuck him again.

Finn pulled his mouth off Will’s dick, hand working his length while Finn looked up at him. As soon as their eyes met Will was leaning in, bending almost double to kiss Finn hard. His tongue pushed past Finn’s teeth, fucking his mouth like he was already thinking about fucking Finn, and maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to talk Will into it after all.

Finn’s hands dug into his shoulders, sliding down his back when Will straightened up to grip his hips and drag him forward again. He closed his mouth around Will’s cock and pulled him forward at the same time, hands on Will’s ass to coax him into a rhythm until Will was gripping the headboard and fucking Finn’s mouth.

Will was saying his name over and over, whispering it like he didn’t even know he was doing it, and Finn could get used to hearing his name in that voice. Soft and breathy and needy, like maybe Will really did want him as much as Finn wanted Will. He pulled his mouth off Will’s dick again, one hand leaving his ass to stroke his cock while Finn looked up at him.

“Do you want to fuck me?”

Will’s laugh was kind of shaky, and he let go of the headboard with one hand to press his palm to Finn’s cheek. “It’s not a question of whether or not I want to.”

“Will…”

“I’m not being your therapist, Finn. Right now I’m just someone who cares enough about you to make sure you remember your limits.”

At the sound of the word ‘cares’ Finn’s heart skipped a beat. He didn’t know if Will meant he cared about Finn’s recovery, if he was being the therapist even though he swore he wasn’t. He wanted it to mean that Will felt the same way Finn did, that he wanted Finn to get better so they wouldn’t have to sneak around anymore.

He wanted this to be the real thing, not just a convenient hook-up because they were seeing so much of each other while Finn was in rehab.

As soon as he thought it Will was climbing off him, kneeling next to him and sliding a hand under Finn’s knee to brace it while Will helped ease him down onto his back. When he was lying down Will stretched out next to him, his whole body pressed against Finn’s side and running a hand up the center of his chest to curve around his cheek again. And it felt like the real thing when Will touched him like that, like he just wanted to be as close as he could.

If he let himself believe it and he was wrong, he knew how much worse it would hurt when it ended. He knew it, but he couldn’t stop himself from turning into Will anyway, staring back at him while Will’s thumb stroked along his cheek and his hips moved in tiny, slow thrusts against his side. He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, just like he wasn’t sure which of them moved first. All he knew was that one minute Will was staring at him like he was expecting Finn to disappear, and the next Will was kissing him like he was never going to get another chance.

Like he was committing the moment to memory, and maybe he was. Finn sure as hell was; he wanted to remember every second of this, just like he wanted to remember every second of time he spent with Will.

Finn’s hand slid between them, but before he could close his fingers around Will’s cock he pulled away. Finn opened his mouth to ask what the problem was, but before he got the words out Will was sliding off the bed and reaching into his nightstand for something. A tube of slick, as it turned out, and Finn was too busy being relieved that Will had come around to wonder where the condom was.

He was still wearing his boxers, and when he reached down to slide them off his hips Will’s hands were there, pulling the fabric down his legs. Once Finn was naked Will leaned over him, pressing their lips together to kiss Finn harder this time. Finn’s hands slid down his sides, curving around his ass and pulling him closer, and Will made a noise against his mouth that could have been a gasp or a laugh.

Will pulled back to look at him, thumb stroking over Finn’s forehead, and it was sweet, in a weird way. Finn didn’t try to stop himself from grinning up at Will, anyway, pushing up onto his elbows to kiss Will. When he pulled back Will stretched out next to him again, but when Finn tried to turn onto his side Will’s hand landed on his hip to stop him.

“Trust me?” Will asked, grinning down at him and Finn’s heart twisted hard in his chest.

“Yeah,” he answered, voice kind of breathy, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. “You know I do.”

Finn’s heart was racing and he knew Will could feel it, but he didn’t point it out. Instead he leaned in and kissed Finn again, soft at first, then Finn parted his lips and Will sighed against him and pressed forward to kiss him harder.

He felt Will fumbling for something on the mattress, then two slick fingers pressed inside him and Finn groaned into the kiss and fisted a hand in Will’s hair to pull him even closer. He was breathing hard through his nose, hips rocking down to get Will further inside and kissing Will like Finn needed him to breathe.

“Finn,” Will murmured against his cheek, and he was even starting to get addicted to the way Will said his name.

He spread his legs a little wider, hips pressing up to meet each slow thrust of Will’s fingers. His heels dug into the mattress and he felt it in his knee every time he flexed, knew he was probably going to pay for it later but he didn’t care. He didn’t even care that Will would probably yell at him when he saw Finn limping in the morning, because Will was leaning over him, pressing soft kisses along his jaw and down his neck and when a low, broken moan escaped his throat Finn felt his whole face heat up.

Will laughed against his skin and kissed his way down the center of Finn’s chest, tongue tracing the line of hair that started just above his belly button and ran down his stomach. His fingers were still working in and out of Finn, twisting a little with each stroke and Finn moaned and arched up into the touch every time.

By the time Will’s mouth closed around his dick Finn was grinding down into his hand, pressing down for more, over and over, trying to drag Will deeper. He wanted Will’s cock inside him, wanted Will to push his legs apart and stretch him wide and he didn’t even care how much it was going to hurt. But Will was determined to take his time, tongue teasing the head of Finn’s cock and pressing hard against the vein along the underside until Finn was panting and arching up into his mouth.

He came with a low moan, and Will swallowed around him and kept up the steady rhythm of his mouth on Finn’s cock until he stopped shaking and collapsed against the mattress. Finn reached down with a trembling hand and slid his fingers through Will’s hair, tugging until Will took the hint and slid back up the mattress to kiss Finn again. It was slow and sort of breathless and Finn heard himself murmuring words against Will’s mouth that he was pretty sure didn’t make sense, but he didn’t care because Will’s hands were on him, warm and solid against his skin, and Finn could taste himself on Will’s tongue.

“Will,” he whispered, and it came out sounding more like a moan, “please fuck me. I’m begging here.”

Will laughed again, shaky this time and warm against his neck. “You’re a hard man to refuse.”

“So stop trying,” Finn said, turning his head to catch Will’s lips against his again. He eased sort of onto his side, careful not to move his knee in a way that would make Will stop. He pushed a hand between them to grip Will’s dick, stroking until Will was rocking into his grip and breathing hard against his mouth.

Then Will’s hands landed on his hips, easing him backwards and helping him turn onto his other side. A hand landed on his knee and bent it a little, and Finn bit down hard on his lip to keep himself from hissing and letting Will know how much it hurt.

“Okay?” Will said, the words warm against Finn’s shoulder and he nodded against the pillow and reached down to close his hand around Will’s.

“I’m fine. Please.”

He felt Will nod against his shoulder, then his lips brushed the back of Finn’s neck and he pulled his hand out of Finn’s to reach for the lube. A few seconds later a hand slid between them, then two slick fingers pushed inside him again. Finn groaned and pushed back into the touch, rocking against Will’s hand and when they disappeared again he didn’t try to hold back a groan.

Will pressed another kiss against his neck and shifted away from Finn, the warmth of his chest pulling away from Finn’s back and he felt the mattress dip under him as Will climbed off the bed. Finn lifted his head to try to see where Will was going, but when he felt his knee groan against the movement he dropped his head back onto the pillow and closed his eyes. It felt like forever before Will slid back onto the bed next to him, fumbling with a condom wrapper for a second before he finally got it open and rolled it down his length.

Will reached for the lube again, then he reached between them and Finn pulled his knee up a little further and bit his lip against the pain. A second later Will was pushing inside him, and the stretch was enough to distract Finn from the way his knee complained.

His arm was stretched above him, head resting on his bicep, and when Will’s hand reached up to close around his, Finn threaded their fingers together and squeezed. Will’s other hand was on his hip, fingers flexing against his skin and his mouth pressed to Finn’s shoulder to feather kisses along the curve of his neck.

He was talking again, murmuring words Finn couldn’t quite make out but they sent shivers of want down his spine anyway. He clenched hard around Will, trying to drag him further inside and when Will moaned against his shoulder and slid his arm around Finn’s waist he could tell how close Will was.

Could tell it was going to be over way before he was ready, but he was never going to be ready, because he wanted to keep Will here for as long as he could. Just like this, pressed against Finn’s back and buried inside him, his hand still gripping Finn’s like Will was afraid he might let go.

“God, Will,” Finn said, and he knew it sounded like cheesy porn, but he couldn’t make himself care. “You feel so good.”

Will laughed against his shoulder, warm and shaky and Finn could hear how close he was. “I think that’s my line.”

Finn shook his head against the pillow and tightened his grip on Will’s hand, twisting his head until Will took the hint and stretched up to kiss him. He pulled almost all the way out in the process, both of them moaning at the loss and Finn pulled back just far enough to pant against Will’s mouth.

“I love the way you feel inside me. I want everything, Will. I want my knee to work again so I can bend over and let you fuck me hard. I want to suck you until you’re screaming my name and then ride you until you can’t remember your own.”

That was as far as he got before Will pushed forward one last time and came with a grunt. His teeth grazed Finn’s shoulder, fingers squeezing Finn’s so hard it almost hurt. Finn squeezed back, pressing back and tilting his head to let Will bury his face in Finn’s neck. He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, Will warm and breathing against him, his cock still buried inside Finn and their hands clasped together on the pillow, but as far as Finn was concerned it wasn’t long enough.

He wanted to stay like this forever, right here where he didn’t have to think about his career or his stupid injury or what happened if he couldn’t recover in time for next season. He was almost asleep when Will let go of his hand, then a hand slid between them and Will was slipping out of him, and when he got up again Finn knew he was going to deal with the condom.

Finn thought about getting up, following Will into the bathroom to clean up the lube and maybe offer to let Will drive him back to his place. But he didn’t want to go home; he wanted to stay right here with Will for as long as Will would let him. Besides, Puck and Kurt were probably still doing God knew what in his room, and Finn didn’t really want to walk in on that. So he stayed where he was, eyes closed and listening to Will moving around in the bathroom while he drifted on the edge of sleep.

He woke up again to the feeling of something warm and damp sliding across his ass, dipping between his cheeks to wipe at the lube and Finn’s hole. He moaned at the sensation and pushed back a little, and Will laughed and slid a finger across Finn’s hole this time.

“You know, in all the stories I’ve heard about you no one’s ever mentioned how pushy you are.”

Finn laughed, low and a little deeper than usual, and glanced over his shoulder in the direction of Will’s voice. “Yeah, well, I don’t usually have to work this hard for it.”

Will leaned forward to brush a kiss across the corner of Finn’s mouth. “And I don’t usually sleep with patients, so I suppose we’re even.”

Finn eased onto his back, and when Will’s hand landed on his bad leg to help him he didn’t complain. For a second he just looked up at Will, then he reached up to push a few sweat-damp curls away from Will's forehead. “So why me?”

Will turned into his touch, lips brushing Finn’s palm and he felt the pull of want in the base of his stomach. “I seem to be incapable of saying no to you.”

Finn slid his hand around the back of Will’s neck to tug him closer, leaning up to meet him in a hard kiss. His hand slid into Will’s hair to hold him close, his other arm braced on the mattress to hold him up, and he didn’t let Will up until his abs started shaking from the effort to keep himself upright.

Even then he only pulled away far enough to press his forehead to Will’s, taking in dark eyes and flushed cheeks and a nervous half-smile that made Finn want to keep kissing Will until he never looked like that again.

“Will, I...”

Before he could get the words out Will was kissing him again, pressing him back down onto the mattress and reaching between them to stroke Finn back to hardness. Maybe he knew what Finn was going to say and he just didn’t want to hear it, or maybe he was afraid Finn wasn’t going to say that at all. Either way he was kissing Finn like he was going for some kind of record, and Finn told himself it was for the best and let Will change the subject.

~

Waking up with Will was pretty awesome. Finn had never done it before; the one time Will stayed over he’d already been in the shower by the time Finn woke up. This time when Finn opened his eyes Will was stretched out next to him, chest rising and falling in a steady rhythm, and looking so perfect Finn forgot how to breathe for a second.

He had no idea what time it was. He knew the clinic was still closed for the holiday, so Will didn’t have the excuse of work to kick Finn out before he was ready to leave. But that didn’t mean Will didn’t have other stuff to do, and Finn told himself he wasn’t going to be one of those weird, clingy boyfriends just because he wanted to spend as much time with Will as he could.

If Will was even his boyfriend.

He still didn’t know what they were doing, and he knew he should probably ask, but if this was just killing time for Will then asking would just make it weird, and then Finn wouldn’t even have this anymore. And he really, really wanted this, whatever it was. Even if it was just killing time, Will was the first guy he’d wanted to kill time with in awhile, and Finn was willing to take what he could get.

He was pretty sure if any of the guys from the team heard him say that out loud they’d revoke his status as quarterback, injury or no, just for being such a pussy. He was the star quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, after all, and that meant he was supposed to be…well, kind of an asshole. It meant he could walk into any club in town and know he wasn’t leaving alone, not if he didn’t want to. Guys would line up to hook up with him, just to say they had; girls too, and more than one had offered to convert him since he got drafted into the NFL.

But what Finn really wanted was somebody who gave a damn about him, somebody to come home to after an away game who wouldn’t care if they’d won or lost. He wanted somebody who loved him, the way Burt loved his mom, and he was pretty sure he wanted that person to be Will.

Finn’s heart skipped a beat at the thought, and he eased onto his side, wincing a little when his knee protested. It took longer than it should just to turn until he was facing Will, but he managed it without doing any permanent damage, propping himself up on one elbow and just watching Will sleep.

Which was probably pretty creepy, if he really stopped to think about it, so he was trying not to. He was trying not to think about how hard he’d fallen for Will and just how quickly it had happened, and he was really trying not to think about what happened if Will was just being nice.

Finn reached out and brushed Will’s shoulder with his fingers, and when Will didn’t wake up he let himself run his hand down the length of Will’s arm. He shifted closer until he could press his lips to Will’s neck, then the underside of his jaw. When Will sighed but didn’t open his eyes Finn took a deep breath, then he pressed his mouth to Will’s skin just below his ear.

“I love you,” he murmured, heart in his throat as he waited for Will to open his eyes and look at him, maybe to ask Finn to repeat himself. And he wasn’t sure he’d be able to, but he’d been thinking it for awhile now, so he wasn’t really sorry he’d said it.

His mouth was still moving on Will’s neck, fingers sliding between Will’s and when Will’s hand tightened around his Finn knew he was awake. Finn’s heart pounded hard in his chest, because Will had to have heard him, which meant any second now he was either going to say it back, or he was going to pull back and tell Finn all the reasons this couldn’t work, starting with the part where Will didn’t feel that way about him.

Will did pull back to look at him, but he didn’t open his mouth and start letting Finn down gently. Instead he smiled, and it was maybe a little sad around the edges, but then he leaned in and kissed Finn and he forgot to wonder what the sadness was about. He kissed Will back, hands still clasped together on the mattress between them and closing his eyes to focus on the way Will’s mouth fit against his.

When they finally came up for air Will smiled again, lifting their hands to his mouth to brush a kiss across Finn’s palm. “How’s your knee?”

“No permanent damage,” Finn answered, grinning at Will’s expression. “Seriously, Will, it’s fine.”

“We should go to the gym later.” Will let go of his hand, then he reached for Finn’s hip and slid his hand down Finn’s thigh. “Work it out a little. It’s a little early to add resistance training to your routine, but considering your level of fitness before the accident, you might be able to handle it.”

“I thought I wasn’t supposed to push it,” Finn said, but he was grinning, mostly because ‘we should go to the gym later’ meant Will wanted him to stick around.

“That rule only applies when you’re not under direct medical supervision.” Will smiled back at him, thumb moving in distracting circles on his thigh.

“Is that what we’re calling this?” Finn asked, reaching down to catch Will’s hand and thread their fingers together again.

Will shook his head against the pillow, then he leaned in to whisper against Finn’s mouth. “This is something else entirely.”

~

A couple hours later Finn was still playing Will’s words over in his head. This is something else entirely. Like maybe whatever they were doing meant something to him, like they weren’t just killing time until Finn got better. Finn wanted to ask what it was, exactly, just so they could finally put a name to it. He wanted to ask Will what he’d meant by that, but the longer he waited the weirder it felt to bring it up again.

So he didn’t mention it over breakfast at one of the few open restaurants on the way back to his place, and he didn’t bring it up on the drive back to Finn’s apartment. Since it was a holiday the gym where Will usually worked out was closed, and the clinic gym was out even if it was open, so that left them with the gym in Finn’s apartment building. It wasn’t much to look at, but it had a bike, and everything else they could do in Finn’s apartment.

At least they could use his apartment as long as Kurt and Puck weren’t still hanging around, but the truth was Finn wasn’t sure what they were going to find when they went inside. He sort of expected to find his place trashed and Puck and Kurt still passed out in his bed, but when he opened the door, the kitchen and living room were immaculate.

There were no art students passed out in his living room, no empties on his coffee table or overflowing from his trash can. None of his teammates were face down on his carpet, and when he walked past the room where he kept his computer and the futon left over from his college days, it was empty. His bedroom door was closed, which meant either it was exactly the way he’d left it, or Kurt and Puck were still in there.

He took a deep breath and reached for the doorknob, glancing over his shoulder at Will before he pushed it open and stepped inside. He expected to find his brother and his best friend sprawled across his bed, and once he saw that he knew he was going to have to set the thing on fire and buy a new one. But the bed was empty, and when Finn crossed to the bathroom there was no one there either.

“What’s wrong?” Will asked from the doorway, and Finn turned to take in the sight of him leaning against the door.

“Nothing,” Finn said, shaking his head and glancing toward his bed again. “I just expected Kurt and Puck to be hanging around, I guess.”

“Well, someone must have cleaned up. Maybe once they were done they decided to go somewhere more private?”

“Whatever, as long as they don’t show up again,” Finn answered, and when Will smiled at him Finn grinned back. He crossed the room, doing his best not to limp so Will wouldn’t start fussing about his leg and make him sit down or something. Then again, the bed was right there, and he didn’t exactly hate the idea of Will making him lie down and putting his hands on Finn again.

Finn stopped in front of Will and reached out to tug at the front of his shirt. “So we’ve got the place to ourselves.”

Will’s smile turned up a notch, hand coming up to cover Finn’s where it was resting in the center of his chest. “Nice try, but I’m not forgetting about the gym.”

“You sure about that?” Finn asked, swaying close enough to whisper the words near Will’s ear. “I can make it worth your while.”

Will’s laugh was warm against his cheek, his free hand landing on Finn’s waist and sliding around his back to tug him closer. He turned into Finn, brushing a soft kiss against the corner of his mouth before he answered.

“I have to admit, you are distracting.”

Finn turned into Will, fitting their mouths together and kissing him hard this time. Their hands were still clasped between them, Will’s fingers curling around his and Finn’s heart pounded hard in his chest as he kissed his way along Will’s jaw to his neck.

“That’s a good thing, right?”

This time Will’s laugh was low and a little dirty, and Finn grinned against his neck because he was pretty sure that meant they were blowing off the gym. Then Will’s hand landed on his hip to ease him backwards, shaking his head and Finn swallowed a sigh and let go of Will’s hand.

“Under any other circumstances I’d say that yes, it’s definitely a good thing. But as your physical therapist, I can’t condone skipping your workout two days in a row.”

“We didn’t skip the whole thing yesterday,” Finn said. “Just the bike.”

“But we need to check your range of motion at your appointment tomorrow, and if you’re not using the bike you’re not stretching your knee as well as you could,” Will answered, and it was kind of annoying how logical he could be when he’d been kissing Finn just a minute ago.

“Can’t we just check it today? I mean, we do all the other stuff here, why do I need to come into the clinic just so you can check my range of motion?”

Will sighed and reached up to rest his hand on the back of his neck, and as soon as Finn registered his expression his knee started to ache. He wanted to sit down, to take the pressure off it while Will made up his mind about whatever he was going to say next, but he knew if he did Will would be able to tell it was bothering him.

“You have to keep your appointments, Finn. If you start skipping them someone will notice eventually, and then my colleagues and most likely my boss will start asking questions I don’t have the answers to. If it gets back to Dr. Sylvester that you haven’t been coming in she’ll call your coach, and then you’ll be facing the same questions.”

And he got it; he really did. Finn knew how much Will was risking to be with him, mainly because Will kept bringing it up. He knew it was selfish to keep letting Will do it when he should be the one saying no, that they should wait until Finn was better and Will could date him without risking his own career. But eight months was a long time, and now that he knew what he’d be missing, Finn was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to sit on Will’s exam table and pretend none of it ever happened.

“Will, I…” He paused and let out a frustrated breath, then he shook his head and looked down at the floor between them. “I get it. I’ll be there.”

A hand slid under his chin, and Finn let Will tilt his face up until he was eye to eye with Will again. When he saw the look on Will’s face his heart skipped a beat, and he reached out to slide his fingers through Will’s hair and tug him forward. Finn forgot all about the pain in his knee, forgot to feel guilty about pressuring Will into a relationship when he was the one with something to lose.

Instead he focused on kissing Will back, on saying everything with his mouth and his hands that he couldn’t put into words. And Will had to know how he felt, but if he didn’t want to deal with it right now that was okay. Finn could wait, as long as he got this…Will’s hands on him, Will’s mouth moving against his and his breath hot against Finn’s cheek. As long as he got Will like this he could wait for the rest, no matter how long it took.

Will’s hands landed on his hips, backing him toward the bed and Finn raised an eyebrow when he found himself being eased down onto the mattress. And he wasn’t complaining about getting his way, but he was kind of surprised when Will reached down to pull off his shirt and drop it on the floor.

“Don’t think this means you’re getting out of your workout,” he said, but he was already sliding his pants off, so the effect was sort of ruined.

“Didn’t even cross my mind,” Finn lied, and when Will laughed Finn grinned back at him and reached out to work on distracting him some more.

~

Finn’s next physical therapy appointment was less awkward than it could have been.

It helped that he’d kissed Will goodbye that morning – and kissed him awake, and spent half an hour in the shower just kissing him some more – before Will hustled out of his apartment for work, wearing a shirt he’d borrowed from Finn and looking dazed and a little disheveled and really, really…happy.

When he got to the clinic Finn was still picturing Will’s smile, and when Will walked into the waiting room and smiled at him again it was all Finn could do to keep his hands to himself. Don’tkisshimdon’tkisshim, he chanted over and over in his head as he crossed the waiting room, then brushed past Will into the hall that led to his exam room. As soon as the door was closed Finn turned toward him, glancing over their heads at the ceiling.

“There aren’t any cameras in here or anything, are there?”

“That would be illegal,” Will answered, the words coming out slow, like he was trying to figure out what Finn’s angle was.

“Good,” Finn said, then he reached out and rested a hand on Will’s shoulder, leaning in to press a soft kiss to his lips. He sort of expected Will to back off, to tell Finn they couldn’t do this here, and he’d be right, but instead Will leaned into the kiss, his mouth moving against Finn’s and a hand landing on his waist to pull him even closer.

“Hi,” Finn said when he pulled back again, and when Will laughed and let go of him he didn’t bother trying not to smile.

Will backed off far enough to let Finn cross the room and lever himself up onto the exam table, his leg hanging off the edge at the same awkward angle as usual. He tried bending his knee a little more, but when he felt his muscles protest he winced and stopped.

“How does it feel today?” Will asked, glancing up at Finn as he stepped close enough to rest his hands on Finn’s thigh. He slid his palms down either side of Finn’s leg until he reached Finn’s knee, and he’d touched Finn like this a hundred times now, but it felt different somehow now that they were sleeping together.

“Okay,” Finn answered, hands gripping the sides of the exam table so he wouldn’t reach out and touch Will. “A little tight, I guess.”

Will frowned down at his knee for a second, and Finn braced himself for a repeat of the ‘don’t overexert yourself’ speech. “Lie down.”

And okay, that wasn’t what Finn had been expecting, but he wasn’t complaining. Instead he did what he was told, dragging himself further up the table and letting Will help ease him down onto his back. He didn’t try to stop himself from touching this time, mainly because he needed the help. His hand landed on Will’s arm for balance, and by the time he was flat on his back Will was sort of leaning over him, one hand on Finn’s side and the other sort of trapped under his shoulder.

“Sorry,” Finn said, grinning and leaning up so Will could get his hand out from under him.

It could have been kind of weird, considering, but Will just smiled back at him and straightened up, then his hands were back on Finn’s knee and digging into the muscles at the bottom of his thigh. He closed his eyes against the pain and focused on the warmth of Will’s hands on his skin instead.

If he tried he could imagine what it would be like if he could bend his knee enough to let Will fuck him face to face, picture Will’s face and the way the muscles in his arms and shoulders would flex as he held himself up. As soon as he pictured it his dick took an interest, and Finn blushed and forced his eyes open to find Will still staring intently at his leg, hands moving in a steady pattern up and down his thigh.

Finn watched his face while he worked, taking in the frown that meant he was concentrating and the little wrinkles between his eyes that meant he was still kind of worried about Finn’s progress. He hadn’t thought about it much for the past week, but Finn knew he wasn’t progressing as fast as Will wanted him to, and he had a feeling when they checked his range of motion again it would be the same as it was the last time.

“What happens if I don’t get any better?”

Will’s hands didn’t stop moving, but he looked up at Finn, frowning at him for another second before he let out a sigh. “You will, Finn. I know it’s frustrating when nothing changes for awhile, but this is actually pretty common. A lot of people stagnate for awhile at a certain number before they break through the block. For most people it’s at about sixty degrees; you’re lucky you made it to ninety so you’re not so uncomfortable.”

“But it’s possible I could never get any better.”

“It’s unlikely,” Will said, but they both knew that wasn’t a guarantee. “You’ve progressed fairly quickly, mostly thanks to the fact that you were in such great condition to begin with. Your body just needs a chance to catch up now.”

Will’s hands did stop moving then, and he reached down to help Finn back into a sitting position. Finn swung his legs over the edge of the table, shifting until he found a more or less comfortable position for his knee. When he looked up Will was watching him, wearing that sad expression Finn had seen a couple times now, and his heart twisted hard in his chest.

“Look, if there’s something you’re not telling me…”

That got him another frown, then Will stepped forward to rest a hand on Finn’s thigh. “Of course there isn’t. Why would you think that?”

“Because you keep looking at me like you’re trying to figure out how to tell me you just ran over my dog or something.”

Will let out a little laugh and reached up to curve a hand around Finn’s cheek, and Will had never touched him like that during PT before. It was weird, but it was kind of cool too, and Finn reached out and covered the hand that was still resting on his thigh with his own.

“You don’t have a dog,” Will said, still smiling, but before Finn could point out that he was missing the point, Will was kissing him. It was soft, kind of tentative like he wasn’t sure Finn really wanted Will to kiss him. And that was just dumb, so Finn wrapped his fingers around the front of Will’s shirt and pulled him even closer.

He didn’t let go when they came up for air; instead he pressed his forehead to Will’s shoulder, and when he felt a hand slide into his hair Finn laughed against Will’s shirt. “I’ve kind of always wanted a dog, though.”

Will laughed above him and Finn lifted his head to look at him, grinning back at him and hooking his good leg around the back of Will’s thigh to pull him closer.

“So I shouldn’t be exploring my career options?”

“I’d say it’s a little early for that,” Will said. He let go of Finn and took a couple steps back, reaching into a cabinet for a towel before he moved close again and slid it under Finn’s knee.

“You could stop by later,” Finn said, mostly to distract himself from the pain when Will tugged his knee up. “If you’re not busy tonight.”

Will didn’t answer right away. He kept his eyes on Finn’s knee, easing it up little by little until Finn hissed and gripped the edges of the table hard. When he hit his limit Will backed off, easing up on the towel and looking up at Finn. He was kind of frowning, and Finn couldn’t tell if it was because his knee wasn’t any better, or if it had something to do with Finn’s invitation.

“Still no change,” Will said, hands moving on Finn’s knee like maybe if he just wished it hard enough Finn would get better. “Are you sure you haven’t been particularly stressed about anything lately?”

Finn wanted to laugh, because what wasn’t he stressed about? There was his NFL career, for starters, and there was whatever was going on with Kurt and Puck. Then there was the fact that he was in love with a guy he wasn’t even sure wanted to be with him all that much, and the fact that sometimes he cared more about this thing with Will than he did about getting back on the field was enough to drive him crazy all on its own.

He couldn’t say any of that out loud, though, not without laying all his cards on the table and letting Will know exactly how Finn felt about him. About them, and if Will couldn’t even answer a question as simple as ‘do you want to stop by later?’ then maybe there wasn’t a ‘them’ to stress out about.

“The only thing I’m stressed about is getting back on the field in time for the preseason,” Finn said. He shifted off the exam table, pulling away from Will’s touch for the first time since Finn met him and his fantastic hands. “Maybe we should get going before somebody starts wondering what we’re doing in here.”

“Finn,” Will said, hand on his arm to stop him and Finn glanced at him to find Will still frowning at him. “Are you sure there’s nothing wrong?”

“Yeah,” Finn said, forcing a smile he didn’t really feel. “I just want to get better.”

Will nodded, lips pressed together for a second before he answered. “So let’s keep working on getting you better.”

~

They didn’t talk much for the rest of Finn’s appointment. There wasn’t much to say, at least not that they could say in front of other people, and every time Finn opened his mouth he decided it was safer not to talk at all and shut it again.

He didn’t miss the looks Will kept giving him, but he couldn’t do anything about them, not without saying something that would get Will in trouble. He couldn’t even ask if he was going to see Will later, even if he wanted to admit he was that pathetic. So he just kept his mouth shut and did what he was told, and by the time Will decided he’d had enough torture for one day Finn was sore enough to limp out of the gym.

“You’re okay?” Will asked when they reached the waiting room, hand on Finn’s shoulder, and he’d touched Finn like that a hundred times where other people could see, but Finn flinched anyway.

“Fine,” Finn said. He shrugged out of Will’s grip and took a couple steps into the waiting room. “I’m gonna go home and ice my knee.”

He could tell Will wanted to say something else, but the receptionist was sitting right there, so all he could do was smile and say, “Take care, Finn. I’ll see you later.”

Finn thought about it all the way home, played the words over and over in his head as he tried to figure out if Will meant see you later as in, ‘I’ll be by later’ or just see you around. He knew Will wanted him, but after the past couple days he’d started hoping maybe Will felt the same thing he did. It was easy to believe he did when they were alone, but once they were around other people – people who knew them both – it was easier to believe maybe he’d read too much into what had happened between them so far.

By the time he got home he’d gone around and around about Will so many times in his head that he was sort of dizzy. His knee ached and now his head hurt too, and all he really wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep for a week. He was expecting to find his apartment as empty as he left it, but when he finally reached his floor and let himself into his place, Kurt and Puck were already there.

They weren’t doing anything, as far as Finn could tell. Puck was leaning against the counter in his kitchen, watching Kurt stir something in a pot on the stove. They both looked up when Finn walked in, and when Kurt frowned at him Finn just managed not to roll his eyes.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing,” Finn lied, reaching into the freezer for an ice pack before he looked at Kurt again. “Why?”

“Oh, nothing, it’s just that usually you come back from physical therapy with that dopey, lovesick grin plastered all over your face, and at the moment you look like someone ran over your dog.”

Finn huffed a tired laugh at that and turned away from both of them, limping into the living room to lower himself onto the couch and stretch out his leg. Once he found a reasonably comfortable position he set the ice pack on his knee, then he settled back against the cushions and closed his eyes. He opened them again when he heard footsteps coming toward him, watching Puck throw himself down in a chair and Kurt perch on the arm next to Puck.

“What?”

“You tell us,” Kurt said, and seriously, all this eye rolling wasn’t doing Finn’s headache any favors.

“I’m fine, Kurt,” Finn answered, heaving an exasperated sigh and closing his eyes again. “Or I would be, if you’d stop asking me stupid questions.”

“Dude, don’t make me go all Intervention on your sorry ass,” Puck said, and that was just great, because Kurt was the one sticking his nose where it didn’t belong, and Puck was only taking his side because Kurt finally decided to put out for him.

“Fine, what do you want to talk about? The fact that my career’s probably over? Or should we talk about my pathetic love life instead?”

“Why don’t you start with what happened today and we’ll go from there,” Kurt said, like he was practicing to be a shrink or something.

“Nothing. Nothing happened,” Finn answered, which was kind of the problem, even if he wasn’t exactly sure what should have happened. Will not being able to keep his hands off Finn, maybe, though to be fair he’d had his hands on Finn pretty much the entire time they were in the exam room.

And yeah, he’d kissed Finn a couple times, even though he was working, but Finn had a feeling that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been freaking out about his whole future crashing and burning because of one stupid accident. Kind of like Will felt sorry for him, and the last thing Finn wanted from Will was pity.

“Your career isn’t over,” Kurt said, but his voice was softer now, like maybe he wasn’t really sure. There was no way he could be, considering even Will wasn’t sure, and no matter how many times he insisted Finn was doing fine, Finn could see the worry on his face every time he failed to make any progress.

“But you are pretty pathetic,” Puck added, and when Finn scowled at him he just raised an eyebrow.

“It’s not pathetic,” Kurt said, hand on Puck’s shoulder and Finn really wanted to be happy for them, but they made it kind of hard when they went around being all happy and in love. “Obviously I don’t know what happened between you and Will today, but I wouldn’t call your love life pathetic. A bit opportunistic, maybe, considering he’s the only other person you ever speak to anymore, but not pathetic.”

“Look, bro,” Finn said, sighing and pushing himself up a little on the couch, “no offense, but you don’t really know anything about it.”

“Dude, don’t take it out on Kurt.” Kurt’s grip on Puck’s shoulder tightened, but he shook it off and leaned forward to glare at Finn. “It’s not his fault you fell in love with the guy. You were just supposed to sleep with him.”

And that was just great, because it wasn’t like he’d tried to fall for Will. It just…happened, and Puck should know better than anybody how it could sneak up on you. He opened his mouth to tell Puck where he could stick his advice, but before he did Kurt was talking again.

“Maybe I don’t know that much about it, but I know Will cares about you. He said as much on New Year’s Eve.”

“Yeah, but only because it’s his reputation if I tear my knee again,” Finn said, and he knew he sounded like a little kid, but he didn’t care.

Kurt turned kind of pink, but he shook his head and glanced at Puck before he stood up. “Think what you want. I made chili. It’s on the stove. Don’t forget it and burn down the entire building.”

“Babe, are we not eating?” Puck asked, but he was already standing up and following Kurt toward the door.

“I don’t think Finn’s up for company right now,” Kurt answered, casting a glance in Finn’s direction as he pulled his coat on, and yeah, Finn felt a little guilty, but not guilty enough to argue.

He didn’t try to talk them into staying, and when Puck caught his eye and shook his head before he closed the door Finn told himself he didn’t care what either of them thought. He didn’t care what they thought about him, and he definitely didn’t care what they thought they knew about Will.

~

Finn was drifting in and out of sleep when someone knocked on the door, and he started awake and winced when he moved his knee too fast. “Shit,” he muttered under his breath, then, “All right, all right, I’m coming,” to whoever was knocking again.

When he reached the door he yanked it open, expecting to find Kurt waiting to give him another lecture, maybe, or even Puck ready to bitch him out for being a dick to Kurt. But it wasn’t Kurt or Puck, and when Finn registered Will’s nervous expression he felt his neck start to heat up.

“Will. Hi.”

“Is this a bad time?” Will asked, glancing over Finn’s shoulder and he realized he was blocking the whole doorway.

“No,” Finn said, stepping aside to let Will in. “I just wasn’t sure if you were coming over. I mean, you never said.”

As soon as he said it he knew how pathetic he sounded, and when he saw Will’s shoulders tense a little Finn gave up any hope that maybe Will had missed it. He shut the door and turned toward the kitchen, reaching into the fridge for two beers so he wouldn’t have to look at Will. He rooted around in his drawers until he found the bottle opener’s latest hiding place, then he turned back to Will and held out a beer.

Will took it, fingers just brushing against Finn’s, and how pathetic was it that he got off on even that much contact? Finn flushed and looked away again, turning toward the living room and doing his best not to limp his way back to the couch. He could hear Will following him, and when Finn levered himself back down onto the couch Will sat down at the other end and set his beer on the coffee table.

“I’m sorry, I guess I got distracted by your recovery. I wasn’t trying to be vague.”

“My lack of recovery, you mean.”

Will’s hand landed on his calf, sort of sliding up to his knee and rubbing little circles in his skin. “We talked about this, Finn. A stall in your recovery is perfectly normal. Stressing yourself out about it isn’t going to do you any good. In fact…”

“Look,” Finn interrupted, “could you not talk to me like I’m five? I know you’re my physical therapist and it’s your job to talk me down when I start freaking out about getting better. But you’re my boyfriend too, Will. I’m not really looking for the therapist right now.”

“Boyfriend?” Will said, eyes kind of wide, like he was surprised or something. And okay, they hadn’t been sleeping together that long, but they’d spent the night together twice now, and as far as Finn was concerned that meant this was more than just a casual thing.

“Yeah, I mean, if you’re not, then all this has been...what, pity sex?”

“What? No. Finn, no,” Will answered, then he was moving closer to rest a hand on Finn’s shoulder. “It’s just...you’re under my care, and it’s easy, when you’re hurt and relying on someone to help you get better, to develop feelings you normally wouldn’t.”

“So now I don’t even know how I feel about you?” Finn shrugged out of his grip, mouth twisting into a bitter smile. “I’m not some dumb kid who doesn’t know what he’s doing, you asshole. I love you.”

For a few seconds Will just looked at him, mouth open like he was trying to think of something to say. Some way to let Finn down without fucking up his recovery, Finn figured, like that was possible. Like Finn was planning to show his face anywhere near the clinic again after Will told him he was flattered, but he just didn’t feel that way about Finn.

“I know you think you do,” Will said, and he was kind of twisting his fingers together in his lap like he was trying not to touch. “But you’re under a lot of stress right now, and you’re feeling isolated, and there’s a good chance, once you’re recovered, that you’ll change your mind.”

“Look, maybe I’m stressed out or whatever, but I know how I feel, Will. I know I’d still want you even if we’d just met at a game or some club or something. If you want to bail, fine, but I’m not going to let you sit there and pretend it’s because I don’t know what I want.”

Finn started to move, to pull away and try to save what little dignity he still had, but Will was kind of blocking him in, and short of shoving him off the couch there wasn’t anywhere for Finn to go. He thought about doing it anyway, but before he made up his mind Will’s hand was back, on his thigh this time.

“Finn, wait.”

And this whole situation sucked, because Finn’s leg was still too messed up to let him storm out, to push Will’s hands off him and tell him thanks, but he got the message loud and clear without having to sit through the speech. And it wasn’t like he’d never been shot down before, but it was the first time it felt like someone had reached into his chest and pulled his heart right out.

“I get it, okay?” he said, voice gruff and when he heard it his whole face heated up again.

“No, you don’t,” Will said. “You don’t get it, Finn. You couldn’t.”

“Yeah? Because it sure as hell sounds like you’re blowing me off.”

Will shook his head and let out a little laugh, and now Finn kind of wanted to hit him. Then he looked up, and Will looked so nervous that Finn’s heart skipped a beat.

“I saw the game where you got injured. I saw you take that hit and I saw you go down, and as soon as they carried you off the field I knew Dr. Sylvester would be sending you my way eventually. It’s the first time I’ve ever considered turning down one of her referrals.”

“Why’s that? Not a fan of my throwing technique or something?” Finn laughed, but it sounded kind of bitter, and when Will winced Finn knew he’d heard it too.

“Just the opposite. It was the first time I wasn’t sure I could maintain a professional distance with a client. Finn, I was attracted to you the first time I saw you on ESPN. You did an interview right after your first win, do you remember? You looked so happy, like you really meant it when you said that you felt lucky to be playing football for a living.”

Will paused to smile at the memory, and Finn frowned, because he’d given so many of those interviews he didn’t even remember that one, but it was obvious Will did. Because he’d wanted Finn since that first time Will saw him on TV, and when it dawned on Finn what he was saying he was glad he was sitting down.

“So you’re not breaking up with me?”

Will shook his head again and looked down at his hand where it was still resting on Finn’s thigh, still smiling, and Finn had to work hard to ignore the urge to say ‘fuck it’ and just kiss him again.

“When you kissed me the first time I tried to stop it. Not because I didn’t want you. It wasn’t even for so noble a reason as wanting to maintain a professional distance. But you put your trust in me to help you get better, and it’s easy to confuse that kind of gratitude with attraction or even affection. I mean, you’re Finn Hudson. Eventually you were going to go back to your real life, and I couldn’t expect you to fit me into that world.”

The more Will talked the more confused Finn got, because he’d just said he wasn’t trying to blow Finn off, but it sure as hell didn’t sound like it. In fact, it kind of sounded like he was trying to break up with Finn, or maybe like he was trying to get Finn to break up with him. Except Finn wasn’t even sure anymore if they were dating, so he had no idea if there was anything to break up.

“Look, are you dumping me or what?”

“No,” Will said, and now he just looked scared. “That’s the last thing I want, Finn. I’m terrible at this sort of thing, I know, but I’m trying to tell you that I love you.”

It took a second or two for the words to sink in, but when they did Finn’s heart stopped and then started up again in double time. His pulse pounded so hard in his veins that he was sure Will could hear it, that he could feel it in his palm where it was still pressed against Finn’s skin.

“You do?”

“Since the beginning,” Will said, his smile a little shy and Finn wasn’t sure whether to laugh or just shake him really hard, because he’d been driving himself crazy and it turned out Will had loved him the whole time. “I knew it was hopeless to try and fight it the second I saw you in the waiting room. I tried anyway, because I was still in charge of your recovery and I know how much getting back on the field means to you, but I couldn’t help myself. I know it’s selfish.”

“You’re an idiot,” Finn said, then he gripped the front of Will’s shirt and hauled him forward to press their lips together. “You’re an idiot and I love you so much I can’t think straight.”

He kissed Will again, softer this time, hands still clenched around the front of Will’s shirt and it wasn’t the most comfortable position, because his leg was stretched along the couch next to Will and it was starting to get sore from being in the same position for too long. But he didn’t care, because Will loved him, and he could deal with the ache in his knee if it meant Will was staying put.

“Did you really think I’d dump you as soon as I stopped needing PT?” Finn asked, breathing the words against Will’s mouth and watching Will’s eyes flutter closed. “It’ll be so much better when I’m done with PT, Will. We won’t have to sneak around anymore.”

He surged forward to kiss Will again, ignoring the pull in his knee as he tugged Will closer. For a few seconds Will kissed him back, one hand still on his thigh and the other pushing through his hair to curve around the back of his neck. Then Will was pulling back, forehead pressed against Finn’s and his eyes closed, like maybe he was trying to pull himself together.

“About your physical therapy...”

“Boyfriend, not therapist,” Finn reminded him, murmuring the words against Will’s skin as he kissed his way down Will’s neck. Will laughed, low and breathy, and when he tilted his head to give Finn more room to work, Finn knew he’d won.

~

He wasn’t sure how they got off the couch, just like he wasn’t sure how they made it all the way down the hall to his bedroom. All he knew was that one minute Will was kissing him, and the next he was being pushed back onto his bed and Will was climbing onto the mattress to kiss Finn again.

Will stretched out along his side, careful to avoid Finn’s knee as he slid a leg between Finn’s. Finn’s arms slid around Will’s shoulders, pulling him closer and pressing up to deepen the kiss. Will’s lips parted on a sigh, his hand working under Finn’s shirt to slide up the center of his chest.

It was hard to believe that just a little while ago Finn had been pretty sure he was about to get dumped. Not when Will was kissing him like he had a point to prove, like he wanted to make sure Finn knew just how much he meant it. And Finn got it now, got that Will was kind of expecting to get dumped too, and maybe that made them both idiots, but at least they could be idiots together.

Finn laughed at the thought and Will pulled back, smiling at Finn from up close and Finn grinned and pushed forward to brush another kiss across his lips. “Did you really have a thing for me before we even met?”

Will rolled his eyes, but his cheeks went kind of pink at the same time, which meant the answer was ‘yes’. “I admired your throwing arm. I wasn’t writing our names in a notebook and drawing hearts around them or anything.”

“Not even in your scrapbook?” Finn asked, laughing when Will blushed even harder.

“I don’t really have a scrapbook of your football career,” he said. “That would be kind of creepy, considering.”

Finn didn’t point out that even if it was kind of creepy, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker, mostly because he wasn’t all that sure he wanted Will to know just how pathetic he was. Then again, after today he was pretty sure Will already knew, and he still hadn’t bailed, so maybe he didn’t mind.

“I love you,” he said, hand sliding through Will’s hair and easing him forward.

Will let Finn pull him down into a kiss, taking his time, like maybe he was trying to commit the moment to memory. And Finn knew the feeling, so he didn’t try to push for more. He just kissed Will back, his hand resting on the back of Will’s neck and holding him there.

“I love you too,” Will murmured against his mouth, then against his jaw, I love you over and over as he worked his way down Finn’s neck.

His hand was still pressed against Finn’s chest, under his shirt and tracing little patterns on Finn’s skin. It was distracting in all the right ways, and Finn’s hand tightened on Will’s neck to try to drag him closer. His other hand landed on Will’s bicep, fingers pushing under the edge of his t-shirt sleeve and kind of digging into Will’s skin.

He felt Will’s sharp intake of breath and tightened his grip even more, and he wasn’t even sure what he was asking for, but somehow Will knew anyway. He pulled back far enough to slide Finn’s shirt up his chest, helping Finn sit up far enough to get it over his head.

It was still frustrating to lie there and watch while Will did everything, but he kept saying he didn’t mind, and Finn was starting to think he meant it. Besides, arguing about it wasn’t going to get them anywhere, so Finn let Will ease him back onto the pillows and climb off the bed, shedding his own clothes before he dug the lube and condoms out of the nightstand.

When he was done he climbed back onto the bed, knees planted on either side of Finn’s hips and leaning in to kiss him again. Finn’s hands slid up Will’s back, tracing broad shoulders and the taut muscles in his arms as he tugged Will closer. And they’d done this a few times now, but it felt different, knowing how Will felt about him. Knowing Will loved him, and somehow that made everything better.

It made the hot press of Will’s mouth against his more intense, for one thing. He felt the pressure of Will’s knees against his thighs just a little more, and when Will reached between them and wrapped a hand around Finn’s dick even that felt hotter somehow.

Finn arched up before he could stop himself, but as soon as he did Will’s hand left his dick to land on his thigh. “Careful.”

“I’m sick of being careful,” Finn said, hand behind Will’s neck to pull him forward again.

Will laughed against his mouth, but his hand left Finn’s thigh to land on his hip this time. “You’d have to start being careful before you can get sick of it.”

“Hilarious,” Finn said, but the effect was sort of ruined when Finn’s hand slid down Will’s arm to thread their fingers together. “You know I’ve done everything you said.”

“True.” Will murmured the word against Finn’s jaw, then he kissed his way down Finn’s neck to catch his earlobe between his teeth and tug. “You’ve been a model patient.”

His hand left Finn’s hip to reach above him, then Will straightened up and tore open the condom wrapper in his hand. Finn expected him to slide the condom down his own cock, but instead Will reached for Finn’s dick again. He slid the condom on, then he reached for the lube and squeezed some onto his palm before he wrapped a slick hand around Finn’s cock.

Finn rocked up into his grip, hands on Will’s thighs and watching Will watch him, eyes dark and his lips parted just a little. When Finn groaned and gripped Will’s thighs even harder Will let go, reaching for the lube again and lifting up onto his knees to push two fingers inside himself. Finn’s hands gripped Will’s thighs hard enough to leave marks, watching Will’s eyes close and his lips part a little more as he opened himself up.

For Finn, and if he had anything to say about it, Will wasn’t going to be doing this for anybody else ever again.

The thought made his stomach flutter, heat spreading down his chest and up his neck, and he was glad Will’s eyes were still closed. But no matter how scary it was, Finn knew it was true. He wanted this, just him and Will, and he’d be as careful as Will wanted, as long as Will stayed.

Will’s eyes opened, pupils blown wide and Finn let out a shaky breath and slid his hands up Will’s thighs. When Will leaned in Finn pressed up to kiss him again, tongue sliding past Will’s teeth and arching up against him, and he felt his knee complaining, but he ignored the pain and gripped Will’s hips to try to drag him closer.

“Will,” Finn murmured against his mouth, fingers flexing on Will’s skin and pushing back until Will took the hint and pushed up onto his knees. A slick hand closed around Finn’s dick again, grip loose and just stroking until Finn groaned and thrust up for more.

As soon as he did Will pushed up onto his knees, lining himself up and taking a deep breath before he sank onto Finn’s cock. He paused with Finn halfway inside him, chest flushed and his eyes sliding closed while he adjusted to the stretch. Finn wanted to reach up, to touch the red flush spreading up Will’s neck and see if it was as hot as it looked, but he knew he couldn’t reach without hurting his knee.

Instead he pressed his palms harder against Will’s thighs, smoothing them along warm skin until Will relaxed enough to let Finn a little further inside. It was tempting to thrust up until he was buried as deep as he could get in tight heat, but Finn knew the whole point of Will riding him like this was to keep Finn from moving any more than he had to.

So Finn waited, fingers flexing hard against Will’s thighs and when Will tightened around him and started to move, Finn bit down hard on his lip to keep from coming right then. His hips moved in time with Will’s, shallow little thrusts that he felt in his knee, yeah, but mostly in the pit of his stomach. Will’s hands were braced on his chest, leaning over Finn and pulling almost all the way off just to sink back down again.

Will was moving slow, taking his time and sort of rolling his hips every time he bottomed out, dragging moan after moan out of him. And Finn already knew he was gorgeous, but seeing him like this, pupils blown and chest flushed and fucking himself on Finn’s cock like he couldn’t get enough just made Finn want even more. Everything, and the best part was that he knew Will would give it to him.

As soon as he thought it Will started moving faster, grinding down onto Finn’s dick with every thrust, and Finn angled his hips as much as he could until he found the spot that made Will moan low in his throat. Finn spit into his hand and reached between them, gripping Will’s cock and stroking in time with the sharp movements of Will’s hips.

And it was hot, watching Will rock between his hand and his dick, grinding down for more and then thrusting up, searching for the moment when Finn’s thumb slid across the tip of his cock. His back was arched and his lips were parted a little, and when Will reached for Finn’s other hand and lifted it to suck Finn’s middle finger between his lips, Finn thrust up hard and came inside him.

It took them both by surprise, but Will kept up the steady suction on Finn’s fingers, tongue dipping into the sensitive skin between his middle and index fingers before he sucked Finn’s thumb into his mouth. Finn’s hips were still moving, rocking up to meet Will as he ground down onto Finn’s spent cock. His other hand was still jacking Will hard, and when Finn’s thumb slid over his head again Will let out a low moan and came in Finn’s hand.

He waited until Will stopped shaking above him before he pulled his hand away, lifting his fingers to his mouth to lick Will’s come off his skin. When he looked up again Will was watching him, eyes impossibly darker as he leaned forward to taste himself on Finn’s tongue. Finn felt himself slip out of Will, felt Will’s moan against his mouth and slid his arms around Will’s back to pull him close again.

Will stretched out next to him without ever breaking the kiss, and Finn wasn’t sure how he did it, but it was kind of hot all the same. Then again, everything about Will was hot, and Finn knew he was never going to get enough no matter how long they stayed together.

He turned into Will, ignoring the pull in his knee and sliding his hand along Will’s hip to curve around his ass. Will sighed against his mouth and pulled back, brushing his lips against Finn’s one last time before Will reached between them to ease the condom off. It was kind of a mess, but finally Will got it off and tied, sliding off the bed to toss it and clean himself up.

Finn was drifting on the edge of sleep when the mattress dipped again. Then Will was wrapped around him, warm and solid against Finn’s back, and when Finn pushed back into him Will laughed near his ear. “That definitely counts as overdoing it. Besides, I’m older than you. I need more time to recover.”

“Whatever you say, Grandpa,” Finn said, grinning when Will laughed against his neck this time. He reached down and covered the hand that was resting at the top of his stomach, fingers threading through Will’s and pulling it up to brush a kiss across Will’s knuckles. “You haven’t had any problems keeping up with me so far.”

He felt Will’s smile curve against the back of his neck, then Will’s lips brushed the top of his shoulder. “Only because you’re injured. Once you’re back in fighting shape I have a feeling I’m the one who’s going to need physical therapy.”

And Finn couldn’t argue with him there, because there were all kinds of things he wanted to do with Will. With him and to him, and once his knee finally decided to cooperate Finn figured they’d need at least a week in bed just to make up for lost time.

He laughed at the thought, breathy and low and when Will’s arm tightened around him, Finn leaned back into the broad warmth of his chest.

“I think you can handle it.”

Another kiss, just below his ear this time, and when Will’s grip eased a little Finn turned onto his back to look up at him. Will’s pupils were mostly back to normal, but his skin was still a little flushed, and when Finn reached out to touch his cheek Will smiled and turned his face into Finn’s hand.

“I certainly intend to try.”

~

When Finn woke up Will was still stretched out next to him, propped up on one elbow and just watching Finn sleep. He didn’t even look that embarrassed about getting caught, and Finn grinned and dragged him forward for a kiss.

“So about your therapy,” Will said when Finn let him up for air, and Finn rolled his eyes and let go of him.

“What about it?”

“I want to help you get better,” Will said, reaching out to run his fingers through Finn’s hair as he spoke. “But I think it’s pretty clear by now that I can’t separate our relationship from your recovery.”

Relationship. Just the word made Finn’s heart skip a beat, and he would have been embarrassed about how much he wanted Will if he didn’t know now that Will was right there with him.

“You’re not going to try to put the brakes on until I’m recovered, are you? Because I’m pretty sure I can’t do that.”

“I’m pretty sure I can’t either,” Will answered, and when Finn grinned at him he smiled back. “Which means the best way to help is to step down as your therapist.”

“Oh.” Oh. He probably should have expected it, considering. Will had never been all that comfortable with the idea of sleeping with him and treating him at the same time, and the truth was Finn had been expecting Will to kick him out of the clinic for awhile now. “But aren’t you supposed to be the expert on this kind of injury?”

Will shook his head, but he was smiling like he just didn’t want to admit out loud that he was the best. “Regardless of my qualifications, I can’t be objective with you, Finn. Your progress has been stalled long enough that I can only conclude it’s stress that’s keeping you from progressing. If I’m even part of the reason for that stress, I can’t stand by and watch you continue to struggle.”

Will’s fingers were still pushing through his hair, sort of petting him like he just couldn’t help himself. It felt good, and Finn pushed back into the touch and turned his face up to meet Will’s gaze.

“You’re not stressing me out, Will. I mean, maybe you were, a little, but not anymore.”

Will grinned at him, then he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss against Finn’s mouth. Finn kissed him back, hand sliding down Will’s back to press him against Finn’s chest. It was slow and kind of lazy, like they had all the time in the world, and for once Finn could believe they really did.

“I spoke to Tina at the clinic after you left today,” Will said, pulling back to look at Finn close up. “She’s a great therapist with lots of experience, and she’s willing to take you on in her Tuesday group.”

It bugged him a little that Will had made the decision before they even had a chance to talk about it. Like Finn didn’t get a say, even though it was his knee and his career on the line. But Will’s career was sort of on the line too, and Finn figured if Will was going to choose between treating him and dating him, he’d rather Will chose the dating.

“I don’t know, I was kind of getting used to the individual attention. And the house calls,” Finn said, smiling when Will laughed.

“If I promise to keep up the house calls, will you join Tina’s group?”

“Depends. Are the massages still part of the deal?”

“It’s definitely still on the table,” Will said, murmuring the words against Finn’s mouth as Will leaned in to kiss him again.

When they came up for air Finn let out a sigh, then he nodded and pressed a little closer to Will. “Fine, I’ll join the stupid group. But if it doesn’t work...”

“It will work,” Will interrupted, like maybe he was trying to convince himself as much as Finn. “Tina knows what she’s doing. You’ll be in good hands.”

“I’d rather be in your hands,” Finn said, and when Will laughed again he smiled and slid a hand down Will’s back. “So does this mean we’re allowed to go out together, or are we still pretending we’re just friends until I’m done with PT?”

Will’s smile turned sort of thoughtful, and he watched the progress of his fingers through Finn’s hair for a few seconds before he answered.

“We should probably keep our relationship out of the clinic for now. I was honest when I let Tina and my supervisor know why I was recusing myself from your therapy, but I’d just as soon keep the extent of our involvement to ourselves until you’re done with PT. But as far as going out or being seen by your teammates, I think we’re fine.”

“You sure? There’s a chance if we go out in public together that our picture will end up in the paper.”

For a second Will looked like maybe he wasn’t all that sure, but before Finn had a chance to panic, Will’s mouth turned up in a smile that made Finn’s heart skip a beat. “I’m sure, Finn.”

“Good,” Finn said, murmuring the words against Will’s mouth before Finn kissed him again. And he wasn’t crazy about switching therapists, but if that was what it took to be with Will, he’d do it.

~

When Finn woke up again Will was fast asleep, his lips kind of parted and one hand resting in the center of his bare chest. It was sort of tempting to lean over and kiss him awake, but Finn knew he had to show up for work in the morning, and anyway the reason Finn had woken up in the first place was because he had to take a leak.

It wasn’t that easy sliding out of bed without waking Will anyway, but he was a decent sleeper, so Finn managed it. He padded across his bedroom to pee, then he headed for the kitchen to grab a bottle of water out of the fridge.

The clock above the stove told him it was almost 11:00. Kurt’s chili was still sitting on the stove, and though Finn didn’t remember turning it off, he knew he must have at some point. He didn’t remember eating dinner, either, and he knew how pissed Kurt would be if Finn wasted all that food, so he stuck the pot in the fridge, lid and all, before he reached for his bottle of muscle relaxers and shook one into his hand.

Once he’d swallowed the pill and half a bottle of water Finn glanced at the clock again. 10:53. It was late, but not that late, and unless Kurt and Puck were doing something he didn’t want to know about – in which case he really hoped they just didn’t answer the phone – they were probably still awake.

Finn reached for the phone and dialed Kurt’s cell, and when he picked up on the second ring Finn knew he hadn’t been asleep. “Finn? Are you all right?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Finn said. He leaned around the corner of the kitchen long enough to glance down the hall, but there was no sign of Will. “Listen, bro, I just wanted to say sorry for being kind of a dick earlier.”

“It’s fine, Finn,” Kurt said, then he cleared his throat and Finn figured he was probably blushing. “After all, I haven’t always been as patient as I could be with you.”

It was true; there was awhile there that Finn figured Kurt was always going to blame him for his dad getting remarried, like somehow Burt marrying Carole meant his mom was dying all over again. And Finn got it – he hadn’t been that thrilled about the idea in the beginning either – but after they took the plunge he discovered that it was kind of nice, having a family.

“Yeah, well, we’re brothers, right? I guess that means we have to forgive each other for being assholes sometimes.”

Kurt laughed, soft and genuine in a way that nobody got to hear from him much, and if that was the result of hanging around Puck, maybe Puck was good for him. Finn never would have called it, but it was kind of nice that his brother and his best friend got along so well. He still didn’t really want to hear the details, but at least if things worked out between them Burt wouldn’t kill Finn for…well, sort of introducing them.

“So I take it your change in mood means you spoke to Will?”

Finn nodded, then he remembered that Kurt couldn’t actually see him. “Uh, yeah. He…uh…he came by earlier and we talked some.”

“Good. The moping was starting to get a little pathetic, frankly.”

Finn snorted a laugh, but it wasn’t like he could argue with that one, so he didn’t try. “Listen, what’d he say to you on New Year’s, anyway?”

For a second the only answer he got was silence, and Finn figured that meant Kurt didn’t want to tell him. Then he cleared his throat again, quieter this time, like maybe he was sort of embarrassed.

“He said that you’d talked about me a lot in your sessions, and he could tell how much it meant to you, having a brother. Then he reminded me not to take advantage of your affection by asking you to do things that might put your career and your health at risk just because I knew you wouldn’t say no.”

That wasn’t what he’d been expecting to hear, and Finn was glad he’d asked while they were on the phone so Kurt wouldn’t see him blushing. It wasn’t like Will was wrong or anything, but they didn’t really talk about feelings and stuff, and Finn was mostly fine with that.

“I thought you said he told you how he felt about me.”

“No, I said I could tell he cared about you. Which he obviously does.”

Finn couldn’t really argue with that either, so he just nodded again and glanced toward the kitchen door. When he looked up Will was standing there, leaning against the doorframe looking sleepy and kind of rumpled in a pair of Finn’s sweatpants.

“Listen, Kurt, it’s late. I should let you go, get some sleep or whatever.”

“Let me guess, he’s still there.”

Finn grinned, his expression mirrored back at him by Will, even though he couldn’t hear Kurt’s end of the conversation. “Yeah. Tell Puck I said sorry about earlier.”

“Goodnight, Finn,” Kurt said, and Finn pictured him rolling his eyes as he hung up the phone. He let out a laugh and hung up his own phone, then he set it on the counter and turned to look at Will.

“Sorry. I was trying not to wake you.”

“You didn’t. Well, not your conversation. I think it was the empty bed that woke me.”

It was as good as admitting that Will didn’t like sleeping without him, and Finn could definitely relate to that. He smiled and closed the distance between them, reaching out to hook a finger in the front of his sweatpants and tug Will away from the door.

“You got lonely without me, huh?”

“Something like that,” Will said, still smiling, but it was softer now, affectionate in a way that made Finn’s chest feel tight. “You know, if you wanted to know what I said to Kurt, you could have just asked me.”

He let Will ease him forward to press their lips together, arms sliding around Finn’s back and down his spine to curve a hand around the swell of his ass. Finn laughed against his mouth and broke the kiss, pulling back to grin at Will again.

“Are we gonna stand in my kitchen and talk about my brother or are we going back to bed?”

“That,” Will said, pulling Finn with him into the hall, “is the best idea you’ve had all night.”

~

“You owe me.”

“What for?” Will said, frowning as he stood aside to let Finn limp his way into Will’s apartment. “Why are you limping so much?”

“Because your friend Tina’s a complete sadist.” Finn made his way over to Will’s couch, hand on the armrest and easing himself down onto the cushions. “I think she was actually trying to make me cry.”

Will’s hands were on him before he even got his leg straightened out, balancing an ice pack just below his knee and resting his other hand on Finn’s calf. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she was trying, to be honest. I imagine she thinks I was too easy on you.”

“Yeah, well, she made up for it today.”

Will sighed, hands kind of running up and down Finn’s thigh like he thought maybe touching Finn would make it hurt less. And it didn’t, but Finn liked it when Will touched him anyway, so he wasn’t going to complain.

“She’s probably right. I didn’t push you as hard as I might have pushed anyone else in your position.”

“At least dating my stalker has its perks,” Finn said, and when Will frowned at him again he laughed and bent his knee enough to lean up and grip the front of Will’s shirt.

Finn dragged him forward to plant a soft kiss on his lips, the ice pack sliding off his knee, but he didn’t care. He slid a hand around the back of Will’s neck to hold him there, kissing him until he was sure he’d gotten his point across. When Finn let him up again Will rolled his eyes, but Finn could see the smile he was trying to hide.

Will’s hand slid down his thigh to rest on his knee, warm against the cool spot where the ice pack had been. As soon as Will realized the ice was gone he pulled back to look for it, but when he spotted Finn’s bent knee he blinked and looked up at Finn again.

“What’s your range of motion?”

Finn grinned again, and yeah, his knee still hurt, but it was worth it to see the look on Will’s face. “Just under a hundred.”

“Finn, that’s...wow.” Will paused, glancing down at his knee again like maybe he was expecting it to explode or something, then he flashed that sad little smile of his and looked back up at Finn again. “That’s fantastic. I’m sorry I didn’t step down as your therapist sooner.”

He probably should have expected Will to make this about him and his professional failure or whatever. Ever since Finn’s first appointment with Tina two weeks ago Will had been acting kind of weird about it, and no matter how many times Finn told him it wasn’t his fault, he never listened.

And yeah, maybe it was a little about Will, but mostly it was about the fact that Finn was actually making some progress after almost two months of an epic stall. Two months of worrying about his career and worrying about Will, and even after Will kissed him back that first time he couldn’t relax enough to believe it.

“What, you mean you should have abandoned me to Tina the sadist even sooner? I think I liked it better when I thought you were just sleeping with me because you felt sorry for me.”

He knew it was the wrong thing to say when Will kind of frowned at him and reached down to run his hands along Finn’s knee again. And he felt bad for saying it, but he was still pretty exhausted from Tina’s workout, and he didn’t really have the energy to stroke Will’s ego.

Finn reached out anyway, hand sliding over Will’s to pull it away from his knee. “Look, can we not fight about this? I’m getting better; we’re supposed to be celebrating.”

Will smiled down at his kneecap for a second, and Finn couldn’t help thinking back to all the months he’d spent doing that before Finn finally manned up enough to kiss him. He tightened his grip on Will’s hand, tugging until Will took the hint and looked up at him.

“Well, I’d offer to take you out to celebrate your progress, but if you’re in pain, maybe we should stay in.”

It was tempting, partly because his knee really was kind of sore, but mostly because he liked having Will all to himself. But the fact that they could go out in public was still kind of new, and if Will wasn’t afraid to take the chance, Finn wasn’t going to turn him down.

“No, I’m good. Let’s go out.”

“You’re sure? I don’t want you pushing…”

“Boyfriend,” Finn said, and when Will rolled his eyes Finn laughed. And yeah, he still had to remind Will that he wasn’t Finn’s PT anymore, but he didn’t mind being able to call Will his boyfriend without it sounding too weird or pathetic.

“Okay, if you’re sure,” Will said. He let go of Finn and stood up, and Finn resisted the urge to pull Will back down onto the couch, because he knew if he did they’d never make it out of the apartment. “I’ll just go get changed, then we can swing by your place and get you some clothes.”

Finn nodded and let Will go, pushing himself up a little on the couch to watch Will walk away. He thought about pointing out how much easier it would be if they didn’t keep all their stuff in two different places, but he figured it was probably a little early for that. Maybe once his knee was back to normal and he was back on the team, when he was sure he had a future to offer.

He had a feeling he knew what Will would say if he knew Finn was still worrying about his future on the team. He’d probably point out how much progress Finn had made already, and he’d be right. He’d point out the fact that Finn’s stall was over, that he was making progress again and if he kept it up he might even be ready for the preseason. But there were no guarantees, not even from Will.

So Finn was cool with waiting it out; he was getting pretty good at waiting, and anyway, he knew Will was worth it.

~

Finn didn’t make it back onto the roster in time for preseason. He fought for it, insisted he felt well enough and his knee was strong, but Tina wouldn’t clear him until she was satisfied that he wasn’t lying just to get back on the field. She was harder to convince than Will, even, and between the two of them Finn thought he was going to lose it completely before he ever got the chance to play again.

He was trying to be okay with it, mainly because he knew it wouldn’t do him any good to complain. It wasn’t going to get him back on the team any faster, anyway; maybe if Will was still in charge of his PT, but Tina was a lot harder to distract than Will. He’d gotten desperate enough to try flirting once or twice, but mostly she just laughed in his face and tortured him even more.

So Finn didn’t have much choice but to ride it out, to be patient and keep up with his workouts and hope it would get him back on the team by the start of the regular season.

Having Will around to distract him made it a little easier. By spring they were spending practically every night together, and after awhile Finn couldn’t really remember anymore why he was holding off on asking Will to move in. It seemed like kind of a waste for Will to keep paying rent on a place he barely saw anymore; even Kurt had admitted that it was stupid to keep paying for a dorm room when he spent all his time at Puck’s place, and as soon as school let out for the summer Kurt packed up his stuff and moved in with Puck for real.

He didn’t have that much stuff to move, but it still took a whole day and three round trips with the Escalade and the Navigator to move it all, and by the end of the day Finn was tired and kind of pissed that he and Will hadn’t beaten Kurt and Puck to the punch.

“Why aren’t we living together?” he asked that night, stretched out in his bed with Will kneeling next to him, hands on Finn’s knee to work out the soreness in his muscles from helping Kurt move.

As soon as he said it Will’s hands froze on his leg, then he looked up and raised an eyebrow at Finn. “This isn’t one of those situations like people who get engaged at wedding receptions just because they get caught up in the romance of the day, is it?”

“I’m not really sure what that means,” Finn answered, frowning when Will huffed a soft laugh and went back to moving his thumbs in distracting circles on the sides of Finn’s knee. “But I’m serious. Move in with me.”

“You’re sure you don’t want to wait until the season starts to make a decision like that?” Will asked, and when he looked up again Finn rolled his eyes.

“You’re not seriously still expecting me to dump you when I go back to work, are you? I love you, dumbass. Besides, you’re already here every night. It’s not like it would even be much different.”

“Well, when you put it that way, I can hardly resist,” Will said, but he was grinning at the top of Finn’s knee like he used to do during Finn’s physical therapy.

“You know I’m irresistible,” Finn said, then he reached out to pull Will toward him and seal the deal with a kiss.

~

Will’s stuff was a lot harder to move than Kurt’s. There was a lot more of it, for one thing, and he was kind of attached to some of it, so there were a lot of negotiations about what he was going to keep and what Finn was going to get rid of to make room for it. In the end they kept Finn’s couch and his TV, most of his kitchen stuff and his bed, but they ditched his dining room table and the rest of his bedroom furniture to make room for the stuff from Will’s place.

It took most of the summer to work out all the details, but by the middle of August they were reserving a truck and putting stuff in boxes to move across town. Finn talked Puck and Kurt into helping, and the promise of free beer and pizza ensured the help of a few guys from the team who stayed in town during the off season.

They wouldn’t have needed all the extra muscle, except Will kept bitching at Finn to take it easy every time he tried to do anything. And yeah, he got it, one wrong move and he could set himself back a whole year in his rehab, but the truth was his knee felt pretty good.

It didn’t matter how many times he insisted he was fine. The second Will spotted him trying to lift anything heavier than a beer he frowned and shook his head and pulled whatever it was out of Finn’s hands, and when Finn reminded Will that he wasn’t Finn’s therapist anymore, he just laughed and threatened to report Finn to Tina.

Kurt wasn’t any better; every time he caught Finn trying to help out, he just said, “Finn, your knee. Let Noah get that.”

And every time Puck appeared out of nowhere to do Kurt’s bidding, which would have been kind of funny if Finn wasn’t so frustrated that he was mostly standing around while everybody else did the work. Even joking around with the other guys about how whipped Puck was didn’t make him feel that much better, mostly because he had a feeling they were saying the same thing about him behind his back.

He couldn’t even blame them when Will kept sidelining him, taking boxes out of his hands and steering him out of the way if he so much as thought Finn might try to help with any of the furniture. It sucked, but there wasn’t much he could do about it except stay out of the way and wait until the last box was inside and the truck was returned and it was just him and Will alone in their apartment for the first time.

“Let’s not do that again…ever,” Will said, dropping onto the couch and taking the beer Finn held out for him. “I’m exhausted.”

“Funny, I feel like I could go for a run,” Finn said, and when Will rolled his eyes Finn grinned. “You wouldn’t be so wiped out if you’d let me help.”

“But if I had let you help and you’d hurt yourself, I would have had to explain myself to Tina and Dr. Sylvester. And frankly, you’re a lot easier to deal with when you’re angry than either of them.”

“I’m not going to hurt myself, Will. I’ve been running for a month now. My knee’s fine.”

Will let out a tired sigh and sank a little further into the couch, reaching for Finn’s hand and tugging him a little closer. “When does the regular season start?”

“Next month, you know that.”

“Right. So you have less than a month to convince Tina that you’re ready to play again. Do you really want to risk that just to help move a few boxes of books?”

“You have more than a few boxes of books,” Finn said, but his smile was softer this time, and when Will smiled back at him his heart skipped a beat. “Seriously, what’s with the library?”

He leaned in and pressed a kiss to the side of Will’s neck, tongue sliding along salty, sweat-slick skin. Will made a little humming noise in the back of his throat and tightened his grip on Finn’s hand, tilting his head to give Finn more room to work.

“I had a lot of time on my hands before I met you.”

Finn laughed against Will’s skin, because it wasn’t like he believed that or anything, but it didn’t really matter. He could keep as many books as he wanted – hell, he could turn the whole apartment into a library for all Finn cared – as long as he meant it when he said he was planning to stay for good.

“What if I get traded?” Finn asked, murmuring the words close to Will’s ear.

“Hmm?” Will said, and when Finn pulled back Will blinked at him a few times like he really hadn’t heard what Finn said.

“You said you never wanted to move again. I can’t promise I’ll get to spend my whole career in Cincinnati. What happens if I get optioned by the Dolphins or something?”

For a second Will just looked at him, then he pulled away long enough to set his beer on the coffee table before he turned into Finn again. He leaned forward and pressed their lips together, taking his time kissing Finn before he pulled back to look Finn in the eye.

“How about we get you back on the field first, then we’ll worry about what happens if you get traded.”

It wasn’t really an answer, but to be fair, it was their first day of living together, and Finn wasn’t even back on the roster yet, so maybe it was a little early to start worrying about something that might not even happen. Besides, there were plenty of players who left their families in their hometowns and traveled for practices and games during the season. It would suck to be away from Will that much, sure, but it would be better than giving Will up altogether.

Anything would be better than giving Will up, and maybe that made Finn as pathetic as he figured his teammates thought he was, but he didn’t really care.

“Yeah, okay,” Finn said, lips brushing Will’s as he spoke. “So do you have enough energy for a shower or do you want to go right to bed?”

Will grinned at him up close, hand on the back of Finn’s neck and tracing little circles on his skin. “I think I could manage a shower before bed.”

Finn laughed and pressed a firm kiss against his lips before he stood up and pulled Will to his feet. “I better come with you, just in case.”

“Definitely,” Will answered, his hands already working Finn’s jeans open as Finn dragged him down the hall to the bedroom.

~

Finn’s last appointment with Tina was scheduled for a week before the regular season started. He’d been working out with the team some, but he wasn’t officially back on the roster, and he knew that wasn’t going to happen until Tina and Dr. Sylvester both signed off on it.

He’d been released from regular physical therapy a few months ago, but he checked in with her every month or so, and she sent his progress reports to Dr. Sylvester’s office. This check-up was his last chance to convince her that he was ready to get back on the field, and his heart pounded a little harder than usual as he pulled up in front of the clinic and killed his engine.

He hung out in the waiting room for a few minutes before Tina came to get him, smiling and motioning for him to follow her to her office. They passed Will’s door on the way, but it was closed, so either he was in there with a patient or he was keeping a low profile while Finn was in the clinic.

Either way it didn’t really matter; Finn was there to find out whether he was benched for another season or not, and it wasn’t like Will could do much to help. He swallowed a sigh and followed Tina into her office, watched while she shut the door and then flipped open his file.

“So, Finn,” she said, turning toward him long enough to smile, “how’ve you been?”

“Good. Great. I feel awesome, seriously. I’ve been running on the treadmill a few times a week, and I’ve been through a couple workouts with the team. My knee’s held up great, honest.”

“And you haven’t had any pain? No stiffness?”

“No, it’s good,” Finn answered, flexing his knee while he spoke like maybe he could convince her if he moved it enough. “The massages help. Will…well, you know.”

He felt his face heating up, and when she smirked and wrote something in his file he knew she’d caught him blushing. She knew about him and Will, but they didn’t really talk about it during their appointments. He’d never brought it up before, and when she asked him how his personal life was going she never actually said Will’s name.

Still, it wasn’t like she didn’t know who he was dating, so he figured there was no point in pretending. Besides, if everything went the way he hoped this would be his last official appointment, which meant the next time he walked into the clinic it would be to see his boyfriend.

He watched her make a few more notes in his file, then she closed it and looked at him again. “Well, you do seem to be on the right road. You’ve been back at a hundred percent range of motion for a few months, and if you’re holding your own in team workouts I don’t see any reason you can’t go back to work.”

“Really?” Finn said, eyes kind of wide as he watched Tina write some notes on a form and then sign it.

“I don’t see why not.” Tina shrugged and looked up at him again. “Dr. Sylvester has to sign off still, but unless she hates you or something she probably won’t keep you off the team for another season.”

He couldn’t think of a reason for Dr. Sylvester to hate him; she’d never been all that talkative during his follow-up appointments, but she hadn’t acted like she cared about him one way or the other. Still, it was hard to tell with her, and he figured if she hated him she probably wouldn’t care enough to tell him.

Finn nodded and stood up, following Tina to the door and stopping to shake her hand. “Thanks, Tina. It was cool of you to take over my therapy and all.”

She smirked at him again, then she shrugged and pulled the door open.

“It’s cool. I kind of like knowing that Will owes me.” She paused and glanced out into the hallway before she turned back to him. “But the next time I want to see you is at the clinic Christmas party, okay? Don’t mess up your knee again and end up back in my office.”

“You don’t have to worry about that,” Finn said, mostly because he wanted to believe it.

He waved goodbye and headed back toward the waiting room, glancing at Will’s door on the way past to find it still closed. Finn considered knocking, but if Will was trying to keep a low profile at the clinic Finn didn’t want to mess it up for him. And yeah, he kind of wanted to tell Will the good news, but he could wait a few hours until Will got home.

Finn stopped to say goodbye to the receptionist, then he fished his keys out of his pocket and headed for the parking lot. He was halfway to his car when he spotted someone leaning against it, and when he realized who it was his heart skipped a beat.

“Hi,” Finn said when he reached Will, stopping and glancing back toward the clinic, but he couldn’t tell if anyone was watching.

“Hi yourself,” Will said. He nodded toward the car and Finn took the hint, unlocking the door and rounding the front of the car to slide into the driver’s seat. Once they were inside Will turned to look at him, reaching over to catch Finn’s hand and thread their fingers together. “So? How’d it go?”

“You mean Tina didn’t already tell you what she was planning to do?” Finn asked, and yeah, maybe he was torturing Will a little now, but he was pretty cute when he frowned, so Finn figured it was worth it.

“She won’t talk about your case with me at all, you know that.”

Finn grinned at Will’s expression, then he leaned across the console and planted a firm kiss on his lips. “Lucky you’ve got me to fill you in, then.”

“Does that mean she cleared you to go back to work?” Will asked, the words warm against Finn’s mouth and he really wished Will could blow off the rest of the day and go home with him.

But he knew better, so Finn just nodded and slid his free hand into Will’s hair to kiss him again. Will kissed him back, one hand still tight around Finn’s and the other riding high on Finn’s thigh. It felt good, but it was kind of a tease too, especially when Finn knew Will was going back into the clinic soon. He let out a frustrated groan and pulled back, but when Will laughed he couldn’t help smiling.

“I guess you can’t blow off the rest of your patients to come home and help me celebrate.”

“Unfortunately, no,” Will answered. “I already owe Tina; there’s no way she’s going to cover for me. But I promise to make it up to you tonight.”

“I’m holding you to that,” Finn whispered, fingers stroking the soft hairs at the back of Will’s neck and sending little shivers down his spine.

This time Will groaned, eyes closed for a second before he pulled away. Finn let him, but when Will started to reach for the door Finn reached out and caught his hand.

“If Dr. Sylvester hated me you’d tell me, right?”

“Why would Dr. Sylvester hate you?” Will asked, frowning at him, and when he put it that way Finn had to admit he couldn’t think of an answer.

“No reason,” Finn said. He let go of Will’s hand, and when Will kept frowning at him Finn grinned and pressed another kiss against the corner of his mouth. “Go back to work before I forget you’re the only one with an actual paycheck and drag you home anyway.”

For a second Will looked like he was considering telling Finn to put his money where his mouth was, but then he shook his head and reached up to curve his hand around Finn’s cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too. See you at home,” Finn said, and he liked being able to say that even more than he liked the thought of getting back on the team.

~

The first game of the season was in Denver. Finn thought about trying to talk Will into coming with him, but it would mean taking time off work, and Finn wasn’t sure how comfortable Will would be sitting with the wives and girlfriends in an unfamiliar stadium for the first time.

It would be one thing if Kurt was there to keep him company, but he was a couple weeks into the first semester of his senior year, and Finn knew he couldn’t take the time away from school just to keep his brother’s boyfriend company.

And maybe it was for the best, because Will was trying to pretend he was cool with Finn getting back out on the field, but Finn could tell he was nervous. Hanging out in the stands watching Finn take hit after hit probably wasn’t going to make him feel any better, and yeah, it wouldn’t be much better watching at home on Pay-Per-View, but at least he could go to the fridge for a beer if things got too intense.

He missed falling asleep with Will, but it was only for a couple nights, and anyway he hadn’t played in so long that he was pretty wiped out after the game. That didn’t matter to the press, though, and when Finn came off the field after their first win of the season he pasted on a smile and tried to focus on the questions being shouted at him.

“Finn, how’s your knee?”

“It’s great,” Finn answered, his grin a little more genuine as he flexed it. And yeah, okay, it was a little sore, but he’d run harder tonight than he had since before his injury, so it wasn’t all that surprising. “I feel awesome.”

“It’s sure not holding you back,” another reporter said, and Finn turned to grin at a second camera. “The analysts are already calling tonight the best game of your career so far.”

“Yeah? Maybe I should take a year off between every season,” Finn joked, grinning when the reporters laughed.

Another microphone was shoved in his face, and Finn blinked and squinted when a flash went off. “Your injury has ended a lot of careers, but you’ve come back in less than a year. What’s your secret?”

Finn felt his face start to heat up, and he smiled and looked down at the ground for a second before he looked straight into the camera. “Well, my family’s amazing. They’ve really supported me this past year; I don’t think I could have come back so soon without them. That probably sounds pretty cheesy.”

The reporters laughed, and Finn grinned again and blushed a little harder. “But I think my real secret to a quick recovery is regular massage. It’s amazing what the right pair of hands can do.”

He didn’t have to look to know how hard he was blushing, but when the press shouted a bunch of follow-up questions he just smiled and waved and pushed past them into the locker room. He took his time showering and changing back into his clothes, and by the time he got back to the hotel he was tired enough to pass out as soon as he got back to his room.

Except when he got there Puck was stretched out on the other bed, cell phone pressed to his ear and smirking, and Finn really didn’t want to hear whatever he was saying to Kurt. He rolled his eyes and dropped his bag on his bed, grabbing his phone and shutting himself in the bathroom before he pressed Will’s speed dial.

“Hey,” he said when Will picked up on the first ring, grinning at the sound of Will’s voice. “Miss me?”

“Not as much as you miss me, apparently,” Will answered, and Finn could hear the smile in his voice. “The secret to your quick recovery is regular massage, huh? Tina’s not going to be impressed.”

“Yeah, well, sometimes the truth hurts.”

Finn listened to the sound of Will’s soft laugh, his heart pounding hard and wishing suddenly that he had talked Will into coming to Denver.

“It’s nice to be appreciated,” Will said, then he paused for a second before he added, “I do miss you. It’s silly, I know. You’ve only been gone two days.”

“Two days too long. Next time you should just come with me.”

For a few seconds he just listened to Will breathe, closing his eyes to picture Will stretched out on their couch in one of his ratty t-shirts and a pair of sweatpants, phone pressed to his ear and smiling just because Finn had paid him a dumb compliment in a post-game interview.

He hadn’t even said Will’s name, and it sucked that he couldn’t tell the press how amazing his boyfriend was. But he knew, and maybe it didn’t matter so much what a bunch of strangers thought about it.

“Finn,” Will said, his voice low and kind of breathy, and the sound went straight to Finn’s dick, “I would go with you. If you were traded, I mean.”

For a second Finn couldn’t answer; his throat tightened up, and he had to swallow hard a couple times before he could get his voice to work with him again. “What about your job?”

“There are other jobs,” Will answered, and Finn couldn’t swear to it, but he had a feeling Will was laughing at him. “There’s only one you.”

And it wasn’t like he could argue with that, so instead Finn just cleared his throat and leaned a little harder against the sink. “Good. I mean, I can’t exactly make it through a whole season without your hands, right?”

Will didn’t answer right away, but Finn could hear him breathing, and if he kept his eyes closed and tried hard enough he could picture Will there with him, feel Will’s hands on him and his breath on Finn’s skin when Will whispered in his ear.

“I love you too. See you tomorrow?”

“Count on it,” Finn answered, voice low and thick and full of promise. As far as he was concerned, tomorrow couldn’t get here soon enough.