The whole thing is Stalberg's idea. "Gay bars are great," he says. "No one's going to bother us, and we can just get wasted."
"Oh, yeah," Jimmy says, "because it sucks so much when chicks hit on you." He throws a towel at Stalberg.
"How do you not get hit on at gay bars with a face like that?" Sharpy asks, squeezing Stalberg's cheeks.
Stals twists out of his grip and throws the towel back at Jimmy. "Everyone can see how much I love the ladies. It'll be fun. Kaner, Tazer, you're in, right?"
Kaner's laughing at last year's rookies - Jon should probably stop thinking about them that way and accept them as teammates - but he says, "I'm in," and there's no way Jon's going to let him go to a gay bar with them without supervision, so he says, "Yeah, we're in."
Of course, once the plan is made, it only grows, to the point that it's more than a dozen of them taking over a couple of tables at the back of a crowded bar full of dudes in Boystown.
Jon sticks to beer, and not much of it. Probably one of them shouldn't be wasted, and he's the captain. It turns out to be a good idea when Sharpy comes back to the table with a handful of drinks he's in danger of spilling because he's laughing so hard.
"Toes, man," he says through the laughter, "you need to go rescue Kaner."
This is why Jon is mostly sober. "What's he doing?"
"Some dude is hitting on him, but he's too dumb to know it. If no one stops him, he's going to go home with this dude and have no idea what's going on when he wants to hook up."
Jon rolls his eyes. "Why do I have to go?"
"You're wearing the C," Sharpy says. "And he's your bff."
"Not for long if he keeps this kind of shit up." Jon gets up, though, and twists his way through the crowd to the bar. Sure enough, there's Kaner talking to some dude who's staring at him like he wants to eat him, with three other dudes hanging around like they're just waiting for their chance. Kaner can't get a girl to hit on him to save his life, but put him down in a gay bar and dudes flock to him. Figures.
There are enough people crowded around the bar that it takes Jon a minute to get to Kaner, and another to muscle his way through the dudes waiting for their chance so he can throw his arm around Kaner.
Kaner turns into it with a grin, and doesn't seem to notice that Jon has his arm around his waist instead of his shoulders. "Jonny! Have you met Ryan? This is Ryan."
Jon nods at Ryan. "Hey."
"This is Jonny," Kaner tells Ryan, and Ryan clearly has no idea who the fuck they are, because he looks more disappointed than anything else. "Jonny is awesome."
Jon smiles at him. Ryan looks even more disappointed.
"Can you believe that Ryan's never played NHL 12?"
Jon looks at Ryan, with his Cubs tee and flannel shirt. "Not everyone is into hockey," he says.
Kaner's face twists up. "You're into hockey." He accompanies this declaration with a poke to Jon's stomach.
"Duh. So are the rest of the guys, and Sharpy's buying."
"Sweet." Kaner holds out his hand for a high-five that Ryan reluctantly gives him. "Good to meet you, dude." Kaner slings his arm around Jon's shoulders and lets him lead them back to the table.
They're greeted with raucous laughter. "Managed to pry him away?" Sharpy says.
Jon rolls his eyes. "The C means he has to do what I say." He pushes Kaner into a chair and takes the one next to him.
"You wish." Kaner takes one of the shots from the center of the table, then seems to notice everyone else still laughing. "What?"
Jon pats his knee. "Nothing, dude. Just take the shot."
Kaner pauses and looks at him. "Aren't you doing shots?"
"Someone has to be sober enough to keep you out of trouble."
Kaner does the shot, but elbows Jon in the side. "That never stopped you before."
Jon elbows him back. "Maybe you're just getting worse."
Kaner pokes him in the nose with his empty shot glass. "Maybe you're getting more serious."
Jon rolls his eyes and takes the shot glass away.
They go back, most of the same group and a couple of other guys, a week later, and Jon isn't even surprised when Leddy comes back from a trip to the bar and says, "You'd better get Kaner."
Jon puts his beer down and stands up. "What now?"
"I'm pretty sure he's looking to get his ass beat by some dude's boyfriend."
"How is that different from all the times he nearly gets his ass beat by some chick's boyfriend?" Jon doesn't really expect an answer to that, so instead he goes looking for Kaner.
Kaner is engaged in some sort of rapid-fire conversation that involves a lot of throwing his arms around with some dude who has the same terrible haircut he does. The boyfriend is behind the other dude, and he looks like a motherfucking linebacker. A motherfucking angry linebacker with his arms crossed over his chest.
Jon has to elbow a couple of guys waiting for the situation to explode out of the way so he can get to Kaner. He plasters himself to Kaner's back, throws his arm across the top of Kaner's chest, and rests his chin on Kaner's shoulder. It's nothing he wouldn't do in any other bar anyway.
Kaner turns his head and grins when he sees Jon. "Jonny totally agrees with me, right dude?"
"That depends on what the hell you're talking about," Jon says. He's agreed with Kaner without asking what he was agreeing to before, and he's not about to make that mistake again.
"Hockey is the best fucking sport in the world."
"Oh, yeah, that I agree with." That's true and it makes Kaner happy, but more importantly, it makes the linebacker relax, even when Kaner and the other dude exchange numbers before Kaner comes back to the table with Jon.
It becomes a thing, and the guys who didn't go with them the first two times go with them the third, and of course this time it's not just a bar full of dudes drinking. This time there's a DJ, a makeshift dance floor, and enough of the kind of music Kaner's into that Jon downs two shots as soon as they get there. He can't drink too much if he's going to keep an eye on Kaner, but there's no way he's dealing with this completely sober.
"I don't get it," Shawsy says. "Kaner can't score a chick, but gay dudes love him."
Jon can't see Kaner from where he's sitting, and he really doesn't want to know what he's up to.
"He's not even that good looking," Sharpy says. "Now Krugs here," he reaches across the table and pats Kruger's cheek. "He's a good-looking guy. You'd think dudes would go for him."
"What about Tazer?" Seabs says. "He's got the whole quiet mysterious thing going on."
Jon rolls his eyes. "I'm going to make sure Kaner's not getting in trouble."
Kaner isn't in trouble, exactly, but he is bro dancing in the middle of the dance floor with a bunch of dudes who are all just waiting for their chance to take him home. It's a sacrifice, but Jon dances with him for a bit - "Dude, you suck at this!" Kaner yells, and Jon shoots back, "No, you suck at this!" - and everyone else backs off. Kaner comes to the table for a beer after, so that's good.
Abby comes with them to the bar, which is stupid. "You have a babysitter for the night," Jon says, "and this is what you're doing with it?"
"Patrick promised me this would be worth my time," Abby says.
She seems to be enjoying it, and Kaner stays close to the table most of the night.
Jon comes back from the bar - it took a while because it's busy and some dude wanted his autograph - to find Abby sitting next to Kaner and struggling to keep a straight face while some guy hits on him.
Abby moves after Jon hands out drinks so Jon can sit next to Kaner and stretch his arm out along the back of Kaner's chair. The guy glances at Jon but keeps talking to Kaner for another minute before he says, "Hey, this is cool, but do you want to get out of here? Your boyfriend's welcome to come too."
Kaner says, "Uh."
Jon leans forward, moving his arm from the chair to Kaner's shoulders and putting his other hand on Kaner's knee. "No."
The guy shrugs. "Your loss."
He takes off, Kaner turns to look at Jon, Jon sits back in his chair, and the rest of the table laughs like it's the funniest thing any of them have ever seen.
"Dude," Kaner says, "what the hell? That guy thinks you're my boyfriend?"
Sharpy pushes a shot at Jon. "Everyone in this place thinks he's your boyfriend."
Jon does the shot. He deserves it now.
"That guy," Sharpy continues, "thinks he's your possessive boyfriend."
"You've been cockblocking me?" Kaner's outrage starts another round of laughter.
"I'm sorry," Jon says, "did you want to go home with him?"
"No," Kaner says. He shifts toward Jon, so their shoulders are pressed together. "But I could have told him that."
"Right," Jon says, "just like you've told every other dude who's hit on you at this place."
Kaner just looks confused. "No one else has hit on me here."
Abby says, "This was worth the use of a babysitter."
Jon takes Kaner home with him. Kaner's had enough to drink trying to match Duncs shot for shot that someone needs to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't die in the night.
When they get into Jon's condo, he props Kaner up against the wall and crouches down to take his shoes off.
Kaner grins down at him. "If you're my boyfriend, does that mean you're going to put out?"
Jon snorts. "Not a chance." He stands up, and Kaner tips into him, throwing his arms around Jon's shoulders.
"Come on, baby."
Jon can't help laughing. "Nope." He practically drops Kaner onto the guest bed and leaves him there. He comes back with the aspirin and two bottles of water and stands over Kaner while he drinks at least the first bottle.
"Bossy." Kaner sits up and leers at him. "Are you always like this?"
Jon shoves him down onto the bed. "You'll never find out. Don't die in the night." He turns out the light on his way out of the guest room.
"You're a shitty boyfriend," Kaner yells after him.
Kaner's still alive in the morning, so Jon thinks he's more than discharged his duty.
The next time they go to the bar - because of course there's a next time, and Jon's not going to let Kaner go by himself - Jon goes to the table with everyone else and resolves to let Kaner fend for himself. Now that he's been clued in, he can turn people down on his own.
Shawsy returns from a trip to the bar and says, "Kaner's ruining your reputation."
Jon takes his beer and stares Shawsy down. "How is he ruining my reputation?"
"You're supposed to be his boyfriend, but you should see the line of dudes flirting with him."
Jon shakes his head. "He's on his own now. If he doesn't want to go home with them, he's going to have to tell them no."
"That's very big of you," Sharpy says. "What with the way you've been fending them off."
Jon leans back in his chair. "He's a big boy-" he ignores the laughter that accompanies that - "he can take care of himself."
Shawsy and Sharpy both look dubious, but they let Jon pick up the thread of Duncs and Seabs' conversation instead of insisting he go do something about Kaner.
Jon gets involved enough in the conversation that he doesn't even notice Kaner coming to the table and standing behind him until Kaner's arms are draped over his shoulders. Jon kind of pats Kaner's arm but doesn't let it interrupt his conversation until he realizes Kaner's not leaving. Then he twists to look at Kaner.
"Did you want something?"
"No, I'm good." Kaner's smiling at him, and it's disturbingly like the smile he uses when he's trying to hook up.
Jon pats his arm again and turns back to a conversation that has now been completely derailed.
"I think it's sweet," Sharpy says, head tilted at an angle to consider them. "It's been, what, almost six years? And they're still being affectionate." As if he and Abby aren't syrupy sweet whenever they think no one's looking. Which isn't the point.
"I thought being in the NHL was going to be all hockey and partying," Shawsy says, "and instead I'm surrounded by boring old couples."
"We're not old," Jon says at the same time Kaner says, "We're not boring."
"We need shots if we're going to have this conversation," Shawsy says, and when he gets up, Kaner slides into his chair. He keeps one arm around Jon's shoulders the rest of the night, though.
They have a free evening the night before a game in St. Louis. Jon intends to go out for a quiet drink with T.J. to catch up, but Kaner invites himself along, and then decides they shouldn't deprive Shawsy or Jimmy of the chance to get to meet Jon's "college bff," and then Sharpy gets involved and pretty soon his quiet drink has turned into half the Blackhawks and one lone Blues player mingling in the lobby of the hotel trying to decide where to go.
Stalberg gets a sly look on his face, and Jon sees it coming just before he says, "There has to be a gay bar in St. Louis," setting off a round of laughter from Jon's teammates and garnering a confused look from T.J.
"It's a thing," Jon says.
T.J. looks from him to Stalberg and back again. "Because he gets hit on?"
"He doesn't," Jon is forced to admit. "Kaner does."
T.J. laughs so hard he has to bend over and put his hands on his knees to support himself. "This I have to see." He pulls out his phone, and Jon has to listen to one side of a conversation where he says, "Hey, babe. No, I just need to know a good gay bar. No. Kane. No, but I'll tell you all about it later. Thanks. You too." He hangs up and claps his hands together to get everyone's attention, gives out an address, and herds them all out of the hotel and into a couple of cabs.
The bar is a lot like the place they go in Chicago, and they send the younger guys and Kaner to the bar while the rest of them take over a couple of tables near the dart board. The guys come back with beer but without Kaner, and Jon ignores all of them in favor of talking to T.J.
Sharpy heads to the bar for a round of sodas a little while later and comes back with a frown on his face. "I think you'd better go get Kaner," he says to Jon.
"He can handle himself," Jon says.
"I think he's trying to handle himself without causing a scene. This guy's pretty persistent."
Jon puts his drink down. "I'll be right back," he tells T.J. Knowing his team, T.J. will have heard the whole story of Kaner at the gay bar by the time he gets back.
Jon assesses the situation when he gets close enough to see Kaner and the guy hitting on him. Kaner could take the guy, but the guy's crowded too close and has one hand wrapped around Kaner's arm. Kaner's leaning back as much as he can with the guy on one side and an oblivious couple on the other.
Jon walks right into Kaner's space, knocking the guy's hand away in the process, and puts his arm around Kaner's waist. Kaner's arm comes around him and grips a little tighter than Jon was expecting. The guy still doesn't look convinced, so Jon leans over and presses a quick kiss to Kaner's temple.
"I don't know why you're at the bar," he says. "We have a table."
"Bossy," Kaner says with a grin. He doesn't bother saying goodbye to the guy when Jon pulls him away.
There isn't enough room for them to walk side by side between the tables. When Jon lets his arm slip away from Kaner, Kaner catches his hand instead, and they walk back to a table full of hockey players laughing at them holding hands.
Stalberg moves without being told so Kaner can sit next to Jon. They stop holding hands, but Kaner sits close enough that their shoulders touch and Jon gives Kaner his soda.
"Is he a good boyfriend?" T.J. asks, leaning forward to look around Jon.
"He's all right," Kaner says with a shrug. "He won't put out, which sucks, but sometimes he'll buy my drinks."
Jon elbows him in the side, but not hard enough to make him go anywhere.
"Sex is a very important part of any solid relationship," T.J. says. His mouth twitches, but he doesn't laugh.
"You know you're in trouble," Sharpy says, "when you have to take relationship advice from the likes of Oshie."
"Fuck you," T.J. says. "My lady is perfectly satisfied."
T.J. and Sharpy chirping each other about their relationships distracts everyone from Jon and Kaner, and no one even notices when Jon puts his hand on Kaner's knee and squeezes.
They go back to the hotel pretty early, since they have a game tomorrow. Kaner heads upstairs with everyone else while Jon hangs back to say goodbye to T.J.
"Gay bars," T.J. says.
Jon shrugs. "It was Stalberg's idea."
T.J. starts snickering. "And they all hit on Kaner."
It is pretty funny. Jon finds himself chuckling too. "Who knows what they see in him."
"If anyone would know, it would be you." T.J. pulls him into a hug. "Good to see you, even if we're going to destroy you on the ice tomorrow."
Jon snorts. "You can try." He thumps T.J. on the back. "Thanks for not minding about all of that."
T.J. laughs. "Highlight of my night." He's still laughing as he walks away, which is fair; Jon's grinning too, in the elevator and all the way up to the room.
Kaner's brushing his teeth, so Jon changes and elbows his way in next to him. Kaner elbows him back before he finishes and cedes the sink to Jon.
"Hey, so, thanks," Kaner says when Jon comes back to the main room.
Jon stares at him for a moment before he realizes Kaner means with the guy at the bar. "You could have handled it."
Kaner makes a face. "Probably not without ending up as a headline."
Considering the things Kaner's done that ended up as headlines, he's probably right.
The gay bar has settled in as part of their routine, enough so that Jon isn't surprised when he agrees to go out and finds that that's the destination. Kaner sticks with them and takes the chair next to Jon. He puts his arm around Jon, leans in too close, and says, "You should buy me a drink."
Jon crosses his arms over his chest. "You should buy me a drink."
Kaner gives him that smile again, the one that's like the one he uses when he's trying to hook up. "Come on, baby," he says. "I'll make it worth your while."
"I'll give you ten bucks if you do it," Sharpy says from across the table. He's watching them like they're his own personal entertainment.
Jon holds his hand out, takes Sharpy's twenty - he says, "Bring me change," like an asshole - and goes to the bar. The bartender is at the other end of it, flirting with a guy with really great hair.
"I don't think you're going to get his attention anytime soon," the guy next to Jon says.
Jon leans against the bar. "I can wait." He looks across the room, but there are people between him and his team.
"Yeah, probably not a good idea to cockblock the bartender," the guy says, and Jon turns toward him, grinning.
The guy checks him out, then looks down the bar. "Can't really blame him. You see guys that hot in here very much?"
Sharpy could give the guy a run for his money, but Jon shrugs. "I haven't noticed. I'm usually here with people."
"And yet you're at the bar alone." The guy leans toward him. "Alone tonight?"
"No," Jon says, not bothering to move away from the guy. The guy wants to flirt with him, whatever. Jon's getting drinks and going back to the table anyway. "They're here." He waves toward their table, not that they can see it from there. "But they're assholes."
The guy gives him a lopsided smile. He's hot enough when he does it that he should be able to get the bartender's attention himself. "I guess that's lucky for me."
Jon smiles back at him. "I guess."
"Dude." Kaner appears at Jon's side. "What's taking so long?" His shoulder presses into Jon's, and he laces their fingers together.
"Bartender's trying to score."
Kaner leans between Jon and the guy he's been talking to so he can look down the bar. "Sharpy's hotter."
Jon bumps Kaner's shoulder with his own. "Should've sent him to buy drinks."
Kaner shrugs and sort of leans on Jon. "If the bartender's that into that guy, he wouldn't even notice Sharpy." Kaner holds out his hand to the guy Jon's been talking to. "I'm Pat."
"David." David shakes Kaner's hand.
"Jon," Jon says, since David's looking at him like he expects something from him.
"Come on," Kaner says. "I think we stand a better chance at the other end of the bar."
"I was enjoying a break from you assholes," Jon says, but he also says, "Nice talking to you," to David and lets Kaner pull him away.
Being at the other end of the bar does get them noticed, although the bartender goes right back to flirting with the guy with the hair while he fills their order.
Kaner turns toward Jon. "I think David's trying to kill me with the force of his mind."
"Well, he was flirting with this really hot guy, and then you took him away."
"Shut up." Kaner shoves him a little, a weak check that's more affectionate than anything else. "You're not that hot."
"Says the guy holding my hand."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Kaner says. "Did you not want me to? You want to go home with David?"
"Don't be an asshole."
Kaner shakes his head. "I'm the best boyfriend you've got."
Jon rolls his eyes and doesn't point out that Kaner's the only boyfriend he's got. Or something.
They have to stop holding hands to carry the drinks, but Kaner squeezes Jon's hand before he lets go. Jon squeezes back.
Jon doesn't notice the first time he does it, not at the time, but he's in the locker room and he's starving, so he's eating an energy bar, trying not to gobble up the whole thing in three bites, and he holds it out for Kaner to take a bite. He takes another bite for himself, then holds it out to Kaner to let him have the last bite. Kaner smiles at him, and he smiles back, and it doesn't seem weird at all.
He still doesn't notice it the second time, when they're sitting at the counter in Jon's kitchen having omelets Jon cooked but made Kaner help cut things up for at three in the afternoon because sometimes their schedules get weird. Kaner makes a face at the green onions that made it into a corner of his omelet, so Jon rolls his eyes and reaches over to cut that part off and eat it himself.
It doesn't become something he notices until the third time, when they're at a team dinner out of town, at a table with a bunch of other guys, Sharpy and Shawsy across the table arguing about whether the steak and potatoes or the salmon and rice were the better choice. Jon has the salmon, because the potatoes are definitely not in his diet. He takes a bite of them from Kaner's plate, though, for the comparison, and turns his plate so Kaner can get at his rice, and looks up when the conversation stops.
"Was the waiter getting a little handsy last time he stopped by?" Shawsy asks.
"He did look like he was two seconds away from slipping Kaner his number," Sharpy says.
Jon frowns at them. "What are you talking about?"
"This is what that's about," Shawsy says, "right? The whole eating off each other's plates couple thing?"
"Or are you just preemptively staking your claim?" Sharpy asks.
Jon looks at Kaner. Kaner looks back. Jon lets the corner of his mouth tug up into a smile and gets a sparkle in Kaner's eyes back. Then Jon reaches over and takes a piece of Kaner's steak, and Kaner takes a bite of his salmon. They both manage to contain their laughter enough to not choke on their food. Sharpy shakes his head at them in disgust anyway. Just for that, Jon lays his arm across the back of Kaner's chair and says, "We'll have a slice of the chocolate cake to share," when the waiter comes by to ask if anyone wants dessert.
He and Kaner were messing with the guys, mostly, but he thinks about it later, when they're moving comfortably around each other in their hotel room, about how he didn't even think about eating off of Kaner's plate or having Kaner eat off of his.
"Kaner," Seabs calls across the video room, "you're in, right?"
"Depends on what you're talking about," Kaner calls back.
"Tennis." Seabs holds up a couple of Wii controllers, the strap of one already around his wrist.
Jon tries not to make a face. He'd rather play Mario Kart or NHL 12, but Kaner likes the Wii Sports games. Probably because he plays with his sisters whenever they're around.
"I'm out," Kaner says. "We were going to catch a nap." He leans toward Jon, their shoulders just touching.
There's a look Jon can't interpret on Seabs's face.
"You know we're all taking naps, right?"
Kaner's grin splits his face. "Yeah, but Tazer needs his beauty sleep." He grabs Jon's face, his fingers warm on Jon's cheeks, and turns it toward Seabs. "Just look at him."
Jon pulls his face out of Kaner's grip and stands.
"Aww, come on, baby," Kaner says, standing up with him, "don't be mad. I didn't mean anything by it."
Jon rolls his eyes. "I'm going up for a nap."
"We're out, dudes." Kaner takes off his hat and resettles it on his head, backwards this time. "I'll kick your asses if you're still playing later."
Kaner stands close in the elevator, shoulder to shoulder with Jon, and folds down onto his bed with a sigh in the room.
"You could've stayed," Jon says, just to see what Kaner will do with that.
"It's cool," Kaner says with a shrug. He pokes at his phone for a minute before putting it on the nightstand between their beds. "I can always catch up with them later."
Sometimes Jon's life seems like a neverending series of bland hotel rooms. At least there's HBO, and they're in for the night early enough to watch a movie before bed.
"Scoot over," Kaner says.
"You have your own bed."
"Yours has a better view of the TV." Kaner brings the pillows from his bed with him, so he can build himself some sort of nest-fortress thing to lean against.
"Comfy?" Jon asks when Kaner's finally settling down.
"Yep." Kaner says it with a typical shit-eating grin, then takes the remote from Jon, adjusts the volume, and puts it on the nightstand.
"Anything else you need, princess?"
Kaner elbows Jon. His elbows are too pointy for that to be comfortable. "Shut up or we'll miss the credits."
"You shut up." Jon shoves Kaner, not hard enough to actually dislodge him from his pillows, and they both shut up.
They're about halfway through the movie when Jon realizes Kaner's not just sliding down the bed to make himself more comfortable. His eyes are closed more than they're open.
"Go to bed if you're falling asleep," Jon says.
"I'm comfortable here." Kaner's eyes blink open for a moment before falling shut again.
"At least get under the covers. If you fall asleep there, you're just going to wake up in twenty minutes and tell me to turn up the heat."
"You leave it too cold." Kaner wriggles his way under the sheets and blankets. "It's unnatural."
"It's better for sleeping."
"Whatever," Kaner mutters.
He's asleep in about five minutes. Jon leans over him to get the remote and turns the volume down. He can still hear it, but it won't disturb Kaner. Although he's seen Kaner conk out like this before, and there isn't much that's going to disturb him until morning. That's why Jon doesn't even think about it before climbing in beside Kaner when the movie is over instead of taking the other bed. This is his bed, and it's not going to bother Kaner anyway.
They go out to a straight bar - Jon curses the fact that he has to qualify that now - and pretty much everyone drifts away from the table after a while to try to pick up, leaving Jon with Sharpy alone while Kaner gets another round.
"You going to go stop your boyfriend from taking her home?" Sharpy asks, and Jon looks through the crowd to see a curvy blonde smiling up at Kaner.
"He can do whatever he wants," Jon says. "He's not my boyfriend."
"You sure about that?"
"What are you saying?"
"Let me put it this way." Sharpy leans in. "I'm married to the goddamn love of my life. I don't want to be with another woman. But when Abby's not around," he shrugs, "I look. You're not looking, not even when Kaner's not around."
Jon leans away from Sharpy and looks at the bar, just in time to see Kaner shake his head at the blonde and come toward the table.
"You're only looking at him," Sharpy says, and then he leans back in his chair, out of Jon's space, before Kaner gets to them.
Jon takes the shot Kaner hands him, and tosses it back after Kaner clinks their glasses together. Kaner brought them a couple of beers, too, and Jon watches Kaner's lips against the mouth of his beer, the way his throat works when he drinks.
They hit the gay bar again - of course - on another DJ night, when the place is mostly packed. Kaner drags Jon to the bar for a shot, then out onto the dance floor. It's about half a dozen songs of Kaner bro dancing and never wandering far from Jon before the DJ switches gears into something that's made for grinding more than dancing.
Kaner moves right over to Jon, gets close enough that they're pressed together from chest to thigh, and then turns around, leans his back to Jon's chest. Jon wraps his arms around Kaner, one just below his collar bones, the other just above his hip bones. They're pressed close, but it's dark and loud enough that he can't judge Kaner's reaction. After a moment where they barely move to the beat, Kaner sinks into it, tips his head onto Jon's shoulder and reaches back to hook his arm around Jon's neck.
They stay like that for the rest of the song. Jon looks down before he lets go, to see that Kaner's just as hard as he is, and then he goes to the bar to get them a couple of bottles of water.
Sharpy gets up when Jon gets to the table, so Jon can take the chair next to Kaner. Jon hands over Kaner's water, then puts his arm over Kaner's shoulders, his palm curving over the jut of Kaner's collar bone. Kaner puts his hand high on the inside of Jon's thigh.
They leave with the first group of guys headed home. Jon ignores Sharpy's look and gets into a cab with Kaner and lets Kaner give the driver Jon's address.
Jon lets Kaner go in first, turns to lock the door behind them, and gets Kaner's arms around him, Kaner's face pressed into the back of his neck.
"You're a good boyfriend," Kaner says. "You'd be better if you'd put out."
Jon turns around. "Kaner-"
"I really want you to put out," Kaner says, and he moves his hands up, fingers cupping the back of Jon's head and pulling Jon down an inch or two so Kaner can kiss him.
The kiss gets messy fast, mouths open, Kaner's tongue everywhere, Kaner rubbing up against him.
"Okay," Jon says, because how can he not with Kaner all over him? "But not here." He wraps his hand around Kaner's wrist and pulls him toward Jon's bedroom.
"Bossy," Kaner says. He's grinning when Jon turns to look at him, and Jon walks backwards the rest of the way to his room, watching Kaner grin at him.
Jon flips the light on and stops next to the bed where he reels Kaner close and goes back to kissing him. It doesn't take long before Kaner's pushing, hands under Jon's shirt rucking it up as far as he can get without Jon's cooperation.
"You see me naked all the time," Jon says when he pulls it off.
"Not the same." Kaner reaches for him, but Jon stops him so he can tug Kaner's shirt up over his head first.
It's not the same, not when Kaner's bare chest is pressed to his while they make out. Kaner grinds into his thigh for long enough that Jon gets the message and works Kaner's pants off. There's a moment where Kaner almost falls over and laughs as he grabs Jon's shoulder. They end up pressed close together, which kills their laughter.
"Get your pants off already," Kaner says.
Jon shoves him, just hard enough to make him hit the bed. Kaner goes with it, slithers up the bed and pulls the blankets out from under himself so he's lying only on Jon's sheets. He stretches, not even in a particularly sexy way, but it emphasizes the fact that he's naked and hard in Jon's bed.
Jon sheds his pants and gets into bed to settle himself onto Kaner, using the inches and pounds he has on Kaner to cover him completely.
"Fuck," Kaner says. "You're a great boyfriend."
Jon lets Kaner grope him while they make out and rub up against each other for a while, and then he takes Kaner's hands off of him, laces their fingers together, and presses Kaner's hands into the bed above his head.
"You're such a control freak," Kaner laughs.
"Like you're not getting off on it," Jon says, because he can feel Kaner's dick between them and he can see Kaner's eyes darkening.
"Oh, I'm getting off on it." Kaner spreads his legs a little, changing the slide of their bodies together. "I'm getting off on it so hard."
It's like the worst kind of porn dialogue, even if having Kaner say it to him is hot, and Jon kisses him to shut him up, gets distracted by mouthing at Kaner's neck with Kaner's breath loud in his ear.
"If you're getting off on it," he says after a bit, "then come already."
"You come," Kaner says. "What are you waiting for?"
"You." Jon grips Kaner's hands, watches Kaner's mouth open in an O, rocks down into the arch of Kaner's body. "Come on. Come for me, Pat."
Kaner makes a noise, raw and uncontrolled, and he bucks up hard against Jon. Jon grinds down into him, lets Kaner grip his hands so hard they hurt.
Kaner comes between them, squeezes Jon's hands even harder before he relaxes his grip a little. "Best fucking boyfriend ever," Kaner says. Half of it is a mumbled mess and he's melting into the bed.
Jon laughs and kisses him. Kaner doesn't do much to help, but Jon doesn't need him to. Kaner's body beneath him and Kaner's easy acceptance of Jon's kisses are enough. When Jon comes, it drains everything out of him, and he collapses onto Kaner, trusting Kaner to handle his weight.
Kaner squeezes his hands. "Let go of me. I want to touch you."
"You are touching me." Jon wriggles a little to make Kaner feel their skin rubbing together, but he lets go of Kaner's hands.
Kaner puts his hands on Jon's face and kisses him. It's messy, with lots of tongue, and Kaner's still mouthing at Jon's lips when he says, "You're the best fucking boyfriend I've ever had."
Jon turns it into a real kiss and doesn't bring up the fact that he's the only boyfriend Kaner's ever had.
They go to the gay bar, of course, and instead of letting Kaner go to the bar himself, Jon goes with him. The moment Jon's attention is on ordering drinks, some guy sidles up to Kaner and starts talking to him.
Jon hands over his card for the drinks, and while he's waiting for the bartender to run it, he presses himself to Kaner's back and puts his arm across Kaner's stomach. Kaner leans into him, puts his hand on Jon's arm, and tilts his head to the side so Jon can kiss his neck.
Jon has to let go to sign the slip. The guy disappears while he's doing it.
"You're such a cockblock," Kaner says to Jon when he leans close to get half the drinks off the bar.
Jon says, "I promise you'll get your dick sucked tonight," and leads the way to the table.
There are two chairs waiting for them, and Kaner pulls his as close to Jon's as possible.
"Not going to let the men of Chicago try to talk their way into your pants?" Sharpy asks.
"They can still look," Kaner says with a gesture down his body, "but I already have a boyfriend."
Shawsy looks at Jon, then around at the bar. "We could find you a hotter one."
Jon says, "Fuck you," and Kaner smirks. Jon braces himself even before Kaner leans into his shoulder and says, "Well, he puts out, so I think I'll keep this one."
Shawsy groans and puts his head down on the table. "Now I'm thinking about it. Can we please go back to the days when you weren't scarring me for life?"
Jon drapes his arm over Kaner's shoulder and onto his chest.
"I thought we were too boring before," Kaner says.
Shawsy groans again. "I take it back. Be boring. Boring was great."
"You're going to have to wait for that," Sharpy says. "I know you didn't know me then, but way back when Abby and I first got together, we couldn't keep our hands off each other."
"You can't keep your hands off each other now," Jon points out.
Sharpy cocks his head. "True." He shrugs. "Guess you're out of luck, Shawsy."
"I hate you," Shawsy says. "All of you. And one of you is buying me a beer and a couple of shots to make up for it."
Jon resettles his arm over Kaner, hand flat over his heart. "Not me."
"Me either," Sharpy says.
"Get your own drinks," Kaner says. He turns and gives Jon that smile he uses when he's trying to pick up. "I'm not going anywhere."