Brent’s oddly absorbed in something on his laptop when Duncan comes into the hotel room. “Hey,” Duncan says, tossing his keys and phone onto the dresser before flopping down on his own bed. He turns on the TV, starts flipping through channels. “Anything on?”
“I’unno,” Brent mumbles, doesn’t look up.
“Hm.” Duncan looks from the TV to Brent every few seconds. Brent’s frowning deeply, biting his lip. “Whatcha doin’?”
“Just, uh. Reading this thing.”
That hardly seems true; Brent’s completely focussed on it, hasn’t even looked at Duncan yet. “You are coming tonight, right?”
“In like, twenty minutes? Everyone’s going downtown.”
“Oh, right. Yeah, totally.” Brent’s gaze is still glued to the screen. “To the, uh. The thing.”
“It’s called a bar.”
He doesn’t say another word until Duncan finally drags him out the door.
Whatever he’d been reading must have been absolutely fascinating, though, because he reads something on his phone until the early hours of the morning, and again on the plane from Edmonton to Calgary. When Duncan finds him doing the same thing again in their hotel room that evening, his curiosity finally peaks.
“Seabs,” he begs, shutting the hotel door behind him.
“What is so interesting?”
Duncan ignores this as an answer, goes to sit next to Brent. Interestingly, Brent angles the laptop away from him.
“Oh, come on, Seabs,” he pleads, and Brent sighs.
“Just a sec,” he says, and, fascinatingly, he’s blushing.
“What?!” Duncan leans over, and Brent shields his screen.
“This thing I found,” he says, blushing even darker now. It makes Duncan want to kiss him, but that’s nothing new. “Well, I mean, I didn’t find it, Corey sent it to me, and I don’t know where he found it, and I, uh, um?”
“Aaaaand?” Duncan prompts.
“Anditsaboutyouandmefuckinginthelockerroom,” Brent blurts, and Duncan can only stare at him.
“In the locker room.”
“Well.” Duncan thinks this over. He tries not to appear like this is something he fantasizes about. Because he doesn’t. (It doesn’t matter that he thinks about doing it in the showers and the weight room and on the ice and on the bench. That’s irrelevant; it’s not the locker room). “Who’s on top?”
“Jesus fuck, Duncs,” Brent chokes out.
“Hey, you’re the one that read it. Who?”
“You are,” Brent says hoarsely. “Um. So. Yeah.”
“Hmmm.” Duncan leans back on the headboard. He can definitely envision this. He definitely needs more details, though. “What part of the locker room?”
“Well, you know. On the bench? The floor? Against the lockers?”
“Why do you need to know that?!”
“Just doing thorough investigation,” Duncan shrugs.
“Well, it’s on the bench.”
“Does it matter?”
“Deeply.” He sees the way Brent blushes anew at that.
“In front of my locker.”
“Okay.” He falls silent for a while, sees all this overly clearly. Brent’s staring at him. “Why?”
“Why do we do it?”
“Why… why do you want to sleep with me?” Brent asks, a little too quietly, and it confuses Duncan.
“Well, yeah. Right. Are we in love?”
For some reason, Brent looks down at this, an inexplicably injured look on his face. “Well,” he says, somewhat reluctantly, staring at the screen, “I am.”
Oh. It makes sense, almost. If Duncan substitutes in a single puzzle piece – one he’s always wished desperately actually existed – it all makes sense, why Brent would be upset over a story like this.
“You know I’d never do that, right?” Duncan says, testing the waters. Brent looks up.
“Sleep with me?” he asks, then looks shocked at what he just said. “I mean, um. No. I mean, what?”
“I mean, do all that to you. Like, lie to you.”
“You’re not. In this, I mean. In it, I… I know you’re not, but I, according to this, want you so much I’d take you any way I could get, and do it anyways.” Brent’s voice gets progressively quieter. “And, um. You know it, in this, we’re both aware of it.”
Duncan’s starting to think that the puzzle piece, the one that says secretly in love with Duncan, might actually exist after all, the kind of piece that gets forgotten in the box, isn’t found until its place is empty as the very last piece needed to finish the puzzle.
“I meant,” Duncan says patiently, “I wouldn’t put you through that.”
“But…” Brent still doesn’t look at him, “it’d be okay, I wouldn’t mind. If this was- you know.”
“I mean hypothetically, of course,” Duncan adds, doesn’t miss the way Brent flinches a little. “Because, you know, in real life. It wouldn’t be like that.”
“I mean, maybe there’d be the opposite problem, but there wouldn’t be that whole me not loving you thing.”
“…what?” Brent looks up, confusion written all over his face.
“Seabs,” Duncan sighs, hides a smile, because although it’s kind of adorable how slowly Brent’s getting this, he’s sure Brent’s a little too torn up to appreciate that. “Let me put it this way. If this were to happen in real life, it’d be very different.”
“Well, it’d be in a goddamn hotel room or something, where we wouldn’t be interrupted, and it’d be a bed and not a bench, because a bench would hurt you, and I’d be in love with you.”
Brent stares at him in silence for so long, Duncan thinks he completely misinterpreted this entire situation, that he’s been wrong about this all along.
“We’re in a hotel room right now,” Brent says. Duncan grins.
“You fuckin’ bet we are.”
“On a bed.”
“And- what about that last thing?”
“Don’t worry about the last thing,” Duncan says, “I’ve got the ‘in love with you’ thing covered from here to forever.”
“Hmm. Me too,” Brent frowns for a second, “so the way it goes in your head, who’s on top?”
“Depends,” Duncan takes Brent’s computer from him, sets it on the bedside table. “I believe in taking turns. Kinda worried I’m not gonna live up to what you’ve been reading, though,” he says, grins at the way Brent shakes his head like this is absolutely ridiculous.
“The only thing that got right was how much I fucking love you,” he says, and then he’s pulling Duncan close, kissing him soft and desperate and when Duncan pushes him back on the pillows and kisses him again and again, the little moans Brent pushes into his mouth send his thoughts reeling. “That, too,” Brent says, a little short of breath when Duncan leans back slightly.
“It, uh. It said you were a really good kisser.”
“And I am?”
“I dunno, I forgot, show me,” Brent grins and Duncan rolls his eyes.
“I bet they got your pathetic pickup lines just right.”
“Actually, theirs were kinda good,” Brent says, frowns.
“I wouldn’t worry about accuracy, in that case. If you thought they were good, I’m sure they were perfect for you.”
“The one they had you use sucked though,” Brent says, looks up at him, as if this is a normal conversation, like Duncan isn’t on his hands and knees above Brent, Brent’s hands fisted in his shirt.
“What’d I say?”
“You said, um. That you’d seen the way I’d been looking at you.”
“And then I begged for you to sleep with me,” Brent frowns.
“Huh.” Duncan leans down, kisses along Brent’s neck. “Well, I’m gonna say something different now, if you don’t mind.” Brent looks at him expectantly, kind of hopefully. “I’ve been in love with you since we first met, and I kind of don’t want anything more than I want you. Just, you know. FYI.”
“FYI,” Brent repeats, grinning, “okay, well, FYI, I liked that a lot better.”
“I did.” Brent blushes a little, and God, but Duncan’s already in love with that look, and he’s seen it maybe four times, ever. He’s going to have to figure out how to get it more often. “I thought, um. That you wouldn’t be.”
“Wouldn’t be,” Duncan scoffs, “Brent, being crazy into you is like, written in my DNA or something. I don’t think I’d be the same dude if I didn’t love you.”
Brent smiles brightly, “same here. So could you, you know,” he squirms under Duncan, tugging on his shirt, “get around to showing me just how much?”
Duncan loves every little noise Brent makes while he does just that, and he could get used to this, already is, the way Brent responds to his touch. The way they fit together is unreal, that it could even exist at all unbelievable. It’s the kind of thing Duncan thinks should be impossible, this thing that is such an important, natural thing in his life. It should be amazing to anyone, something people will write about one day.
Then again, Duncan thinks, grins as Brent groans filthy things, they’ve already been written about.