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Ground and Pound

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Joseph is a bit orangey, which isn't exactly out of the ordinary in Los Angeles, but it makes a contrast with his usual paleness. Tom licks the flat of his thumb and experimentally swipes it over the carroty divot of Joseph's collarbone, just visible over the collar of his tee, then checks to see if any of the boot polish spray tan stuff has come up with the application of saliva. It hasn't.

"Did you just lick me?" asks Joe.

He sounds more amused than put out, bless him. It probably helps that Tom waited until they were alone at last, alone, alone alone, thank fuck. "No," says Tom, and dips his head, takes a proper taste of the skin under Joseph's earlobe. "Now I have," he points out, just in case Joe missed it somehow. Joseph's skin tastes as it always does, a bit salty, soft under the tongue, elastic and thin and tempting for teeth.

"Ow, ow," Joseph says, grinning and tipping his head away from Tom's gently snapping jaws. "Easy, Cujo. I need my jugular for being alive."

"I'll be gentle," says Tom, bringing a hand up to curl round the other side of Joseph's head, holding him steady. "Just, let me," and this time he's more careful about where he sets his teeth, worrying the soft tip of Joseph's darling ear between his incisors. Joseph's breath catches audibly and he goes obligingly still, but not — Tom suspects — out of fear for his jugular this time.

Tom gets hard in the space of two or three heartbeats, it seems. He lets go of Joseph's ear, slips his hand down and holds him by the hips. Exhales shakily, abruptly overwhelmed with possibility: alone, alone, thank fuck, alone and here with Tom, and in the privacy of Joseph's place, and with hours ahead.

"How should we do this?" Tom asks, seeking some direction beyond the urgent immense throb of 'now, now, now' that's filling up his brain.

"Remember the first time we fucked?" asks Joseph, getting Tom by the shoulders, squeezing, dimpling at him, naughty and delightful and real.

Tom pulls a puzzled face like he's trying to remember. "Remind me," he says, "were you the one with the"—

—"And you said you couldn't stop thinking about holding me down and fucking me?" Joseph interrupts, not bothering to play into Tom's game.

"Did I say that?" Tom asks, genuinely surprised and amused now. He remembers thinking it — he'd rarely thought anything but, for weeks — but it's a revelation to be told that he'd actually given voice to the notion. "It's a bloody miracle that line worked," he says, impressed.

"Well," says Joseph, "except how you didn't, not really. You were sort of — sweet about it." He licks his lips, digs his thumbs into Tom's biceps on both sides, hard. "Gentle," says Joseph, with plush teasing diction, even more teasing lines popping up to bracket his smile.

"You didn't seem to mind," Tom points out, unbothered. "But I take it you'd like to sample what I was offering after all?" And, god, would Tom like to, to push Joseph down and take him the way Tom couldn't stop imagining all those long days back in Pittsburgh, in London.

"If I say 'uncle'," Joseph adds, digging his thumbs in yet harder — the pain helps Tom focus, which is probably the point — "then you stop." Joseph eases up, meets Tom's gaze, steady and hot and unafraid. "Otherwise, show me what you got, Hardy."

Tom blows out a sigh, creases his brow, looks hesitant, and then takes Joseph down to the floor with a quick sweep of his legs, no mercy.

Joseph laughs, satisfyingly disarmed, sprawled under Tom in the middle of his living room floor, but it's only a second before his hands twist free and he's pushing at Tom, giving back as good as he got, quick clever digs and grabs that have Tom losing his advantage almost embarrassingly fast. It takes another twenty seconds of desperate laughter-rent wrestling before Tom remembers that he was thirty pounds heavier, the first time.

Another breathless minute and far less laughing later, and Tom realizes that Joseph, too, isn't the Joseph of then. This is Don Jon Joseph, this is Joseph plus fifteen or twenty muscled pounds of his own added to the scant inch of god-given height advantage he already has over Tom. Tom strives against Joseph, half-gasping, half-stunned, and thinks, oh no, you don't, you bloody well can't, you — redoubles his effort, maybe too late, because Tom's the one giving ground, and giving ground, and for every time Joe's on his back, Tom's there twice.

It ends with startling abruptness: Tom's about to pin Joseph, claim victory and victory's spoils, when suddenly he's not. Suddenly he's looking up at Joseph, unable to move arms or legs any further than Joe will allow it. Tom's pinned.

He's motherfucking pinned.

Joseph looks almost as surprised as Tom feels, Tom notes as he pants for air — but Joe's not giving an inch, leaning down hard enough that it hurts. Jesus fucking christ, it hurts. Tom arches his back, and Joseph twists his grip and squeezes his thighs and Tom shouts with shock.

Only one move, from here, Tom knows. He sags back, not far, and licks his lips. His voice is dry, cracked open with want, when he speaks: "Uncle."

Joseph's answering laugh is a choked-off affair, like a crow of triumph shot through with mute abject surprise. "Uncle?" he repeats, not letting up. "Uncle?"

Tom nods, tipping his chin up and then over to the side, showing Joseph his own jugular.

Joseph lets go in stages, obviously not quite trusting that this isn't a gambit on Tom's part: wrists, then thighs, and then finally mouth coming down and closing, rough-soft, over the tendon of Tom's proffered neck. A bite, a scrape of teeth, a lick. Joe's head lifts and his hips grind down, hardness to hardness, insistent and halfway between promise and threat. Tom shakes, flexing his fingers but not daring to move, not with Joseph's teeth still bared. He's a bowstring, he's a cap over a fireplug, but he has to wait for Joseph to — to —

"Turn over," says Joseph, shoving at him, and now that Tom knows it's there, it's impossible he could have overlooked it: Joe's strength is overpowering, his every touch leaving Tom winded and yielding.

Tom turns over and Joe immediately settles back over him, cock to arse though it's through layers of denim and underpants. Joseph's hand shoves up at the hem of Tom's t-shirt, the fabric biting at Tom's sides and stomach. Tom flattens palms to floor and bears it, because there's Joe's mouth, his tongue, dragging over bared skin, tasting, scenting.

Owning, Tom admits, and rolls his hips down into the floor with the thought. Joseph sits up in response and pushes down with a fist between Tom's shoulder blades, driving the breath from him, pinning him flatter still. “Tom," he says, "quit squirming. I'm trying to hold you down and fuck you."

Possibly Joseph is smiling as he says this; sounds like he is. But Tom's face is mashed into the floor and he's beyond smiling, himself. He's too desperate for smiling, god, Joseph's arse, Joseph's thighs, Joseph's big casual hand shoving into Tom's back.

"Hey," says Joseph, now, leaning forward and speaking close to Tom's ear. The new angle pushes Joe's erection against Tom's arse again. "Hey, you have to say 'uncle' if you"— Joseph says, very quietly, like they're on set and he doesn't want the boom mic guy to hear.

Tom nods, best response he can give, and Joseph accepts it, pausing to kiss the nape of Tom's neck before he sits back again. "Okay, then."

That's the last of gentleness from ever-gentlemanly Joseph, it turns out.

Joseph's got rough fingers, has had as long as Tom's known him, but now guitar calluses are edged by weight-lifting calluses. So it's with hard fingertips that Joseph shoves Tom's shirt back up, to his armpits this time, with scratchy squared nails that he yanks at Tom's jeans. Loose though they are, he can't pull them far with the fly still fastened, but he seems satisfied for the moment to bare the top of Tom's arse, the beginning of the cleft there. Joseph pushes his thumb down under the waistband, and even with his long digits he can't reach, quite; the tip of his thumb presses in just above Tom's arsehole.

Tom smashes his cheek into the carpet and grits his teeth and does his best not to lift his hips, to help Joseph make that last half-inch difference between this not-enough push and the perfect hard-tight screw that Joseph's thumb would provide as it drove inside. Tom said uncle, before, so now he waits at Joseph's pleasure. He waits.

Joseph bends close again and licks the knob at the top of Tom's spine, backs up a little and exhales slow to make Tom shiver involuntarily. "Did you ever think I'd get you like this?" he asks now, as though he's genuinely curious, low voice like a curl of smoke inside Tom's head. "Did you ever imagine that a year later I'd have you like this, face-down on my floor, trying not to beg for some part of me in your ass?"

Tom knows he's meant to answer, but he's got nothing, no words. No, he wants to say, no, I couldn't have dreamed it, no, no, but there's just so much about Joe that Tom never dreamed.

Tom's used to wanting; he'll spend every day for the rest of his life wanting shit that's no fucking good for him, wanting chemicals and alcohol and all manner of ways he can shut down the voices in his crowded stupid head.

But a year ago, he didn't know about this: the quiet that comes of wanting Joseph, of knowing he'll have him, of trusting both the clawing need and the promise of its satiation. Joseph is heavy over him, and good, and strong, and inside Tom's head it's weirdly quiet, peaceful — for now, for this moment, anyway.

Tom's got no words.

"I never knew," says Joseph, letting his whole weight fall heavy on Tom now. "I had no fucking idea." He wrenches on the collar of Tom's tee, enough so that a few stitches pop, enough to make Tom feel the smallest bit choked, but who cares when Joseph is nosing his shoulder, kissing, taking his time. "I think you're more yourself than any other fucking person I know," Joseph says. "How do you do that?"

He doesn't wait for an answer this time, just releases Tom's shirt collar and pushes up, off, moves away. Tom closes his eyes and breathes. Joseph doesn't keep him waiting long, and when he comes back he doesn't waste any time either, hauling Tom back with an arm round his waist.

"Come on," Joseph says, shoving, hurried, "get up on your knees, come on, up," and Tom is going, he's going, but Joe's pushing anyway. "Get your fucking pants open, get," Joe's saying, almost confusedly now, his fists and fingers colliding with Tom's until they're sort of tussling for the same purpose and slowing each other down as they go, elbows and thumbs and wrists bashing together as they rip at Tom's fly. "Fuck, come on," Joseph keeps saying, grinning and edgy and furiously fucking hard where he's grinding against Tom's arse. "Let me."

Tom's jeans come open at last and then Tom needs both hands back to hold himself up, because Joseph's hand, fuck, big and hot and not even a little gentle or sweet, just working Tom's cock through his underpants with hard grip and hungry strokes. It hurts and it's amazing.

"This is what you were going to do to me?" Joseph asks. "This what you wanted? Did you think I'd try to stop you?" He squeezes briefly.

Tom finds his voice, at last, struck with the idea of how Joe would have reacted if Tom had — he wouldn't have, of course, but — if he had. If Tom had.

"You might have tried," says Tom around a weird helpless smirk. "Just to feel me shove you back down. You want to shove me back down, Joseph?"

"Think I wouldn't?" Joseph asks hotly, and now he's working Tom's underpants away and down his thighs, hurrying his hand back, flirting with the foreskin of Tom's cock, already wet and slick and pushing back. "Try me, come on."

Tom swings an elbow out hard to knock Joseph off balance, manages it, just, twists out of Joseph's grip and shoves back onto his haunches. He's not trying to get away, of course — going the wrong direction for that. Tom's after exactly what he gets: the hard slam of Joseph's arm round his chest and the forceful delicious press of Joseph's body pushing Tom back down towards the floor. Tom resists for all he's worth, just to hear Joseph grunt and swear and gather himself for a wild show of force that has Tom head-down to the floor again, grinning.

"Jesus fucking christ," Tom gasps, properly winded and somewhere between giddy and turned on as fuck. "That's perfect, that is."

"Hold still," Joseph says breathlessly, and fuck knows when he managed to slick his hand up but here are two of his fingers pressing in. Two, fast and sure, like Joseph knows Tom can take it even though they've been apart for weeks. Two, in-out-in-spread-curl, two making Tom's ears ring and his vision go grey and his mouth fall open on a long silent exhale. Two that Tom isn't close to used to before Joe adds a third, fuck, fuck. Tom isn't aware of coming up onto his elbows but he must have done because Joseph's free hand presses him back down.

"Uncle?" says Joseph, like he's not fucking three fingers into Tom's arse and pressing Tom into the floor, like he's being solicitous.

"Fuck you," says Tom — eloquently, he thinks, given the conditions — and rolls his hips seeking an angle that hits that bright hot spot.

"No," says Joseph, "fuck you," which is terrible and not funny even by Joe's standards. Tom wants to tease him but he can't at the moment because Joe's pulled his fingers back and he's pushing the head of his cock in, in, god, he's still got Tom pinned — there's another terrible unfunny pun in there but Tom can't, he can't, his brain is going to overheat in a moment if he doesn't manage to shut it up again.

"Try me," says Joseph, like Tom said something. "I dare you," he adds in that low sweet smoky voice, the fucker — ha, there’s another pun, another —

Tom pushes up against the pressure, the grind, of Joe's fist in the middle of his back, gains not an inch. Shoves harder, and Joe stops him short.

"That's it," says Joseph, smug and insufferable, cock hard and insistent in Tom's arse. "I've got you. I've got you." And he leans forward — Joseph's chest tight against Tom's back, now, Joseph's forearm like a band across Tom's chest, Joseph's mouth brushing Tom's neck. "I've got you," Joe says again, soft and sure — and that does it at last: drains out all the thoughts in Tom's head again until he's left with the blissful sense of being subsumed, possessed, taken over for a little space of time.

Tom is properly off his head, now; it's fucking marvellous.

Joseph fucks into him in sweet swift little curling thrusts, shuddering breath and impressive control, and it goes on and on while Tom hangs his head and sweats and gasps. When Joseph finally shifts back again and urges Tom down to his elbows, the angle's different, good. Joseph takes a long time, though, to work up from those shallow-quick circles to deep long glides, and from there to something hard-fast-steady that has Tom groaning and rolling his hips back to hear the slap of skin to skin, the vulgar perfect collision of their bodies.

Tom’s maybe meant to keep shoving back into Joseph, keep testing him — that much is suggested by the bruising grip of Joseph’s hands on his hips, like he doesn’t want to drop his guard — but Tom’s got no fight left in him. He’s spending all his energy in better ways, in spreading his knees far as he can, in bracing himself against Joseph's thrusts, in pushing back into them. In choking down the sounds he wants to make, because he wants to hear Joseph over him, behind him.

Joseph's in impressive enough shape right now but he's working hard. His breath is harsh and fast, moving in steady rhythm with his hips’ now and then he shifts his fingers and exhales a staccato burst of fuck, fuck, yeah, ineloquent and blunt and all the more amazing because of it.

Joseph's held out a long time, now, Tom thinks dimly; he can't be far from the edge, he can't be. And as for Tom himself — it feels like years now that he's been maybe four or five strokes from coming — but he knows he can't come until Joseph wants him to, and Joseph isn't touching him, not yet. Not yet, Tom thinks, but soon.

Can't be anything but soon, the way Joseph's moving, the way he sounds, the way his thumbs are rubbing the sides of Tom's hips. Joe's close.

But Joe — Joe stops.

Just — stops. Stops, pressed deep inside Tom, rocks his hips slow and shallow twice, three times, holds steady while they both heave in lungfuls of air, Tom stunned and winded, Joseph apparently — apparently waiting for something, some sign, some moment. His hands ease up and drag closer together, and then his thumbs are pulling Tom's arsecheeks apart a little, holding him yet more open. "Yeah, Tom," says Joseph with that bass voice that doesn't seem like it could fit in his springy taut frame. "Fuck, look at you."

If Tom had his wits about him he might retort that he can't see whatever it is Joseph's admiring, not from this angle, not without a mirror. But truthfully, Tom knows exactly what Joseph's seeing, what he's admiring: Tom split open, spitted on Joe's cock, wet and wide and easy.

"God, I could fuck you forever," says Joseph in a reverent tone — but there's a threat to it, too, a dark line round the edge. He could, Tom feels, somewhere between panic and awe, Joseph could just keep him here forever, pinned. It's a terrible thought — like, Old Testament terrible, the kind of terrible that makes your mouth go dry with fear and wonder and feeling oh-so-fragile and mortal and small.

Uncle, insists Tom's brain. Shut up, Tom tells it, firmly. It's Joseph. No room for fear, not really.

Joseph holds him open like that while he rolls his hips in-out in long circles, clearly entranced by the bare slick reality of them, of Joe-in-Tom, the give and take, the glide and pull. Joseph's breathing has settled a little, slow pleased sighs punctuated with catch breaths.

Tom, for his part, curls his hands into fists, squeezes his eyes shut, and bites down against the burning need to fist his cock, end it.

"I think you could probably come from this," Joseph says, not missing anything. "If you had to."

Tom shakes his head mutely. No, can't, couldn't, fuck right off, but one glancing brush of hand to cock and I'll go off for you.

"We've been apart more than we've been together, this year," Joseph says, still moving in that slow-slick rhythm. "S'been lonely, right?"

Every stroke is dragging exquisitely over the exact spot, fuck Joseph and his fucking perfect hips, it's agony and it's amazing.

"I figured some stuff out," Joseph says.

An effort now to hear him, to make sense of him. Tom grits his teeth and clings to the thread of Joseph's low gritty soft voice, like plunging palms sore from barbells into pillowy chalk dust. Soothing but not quelling the burn.

"There's a trick to coming like this," Joseph's saying, "wanna hear it?"

Tom shivers and remembers how to nod, barely.

"Here it is," says Joseph, not quickening his pace, not changing anything at all. "It's really easy, actually. It's all about self-discipline. And I know you've got a fucking ton of that, right?"

Like he wasn't the one bearing witness to Tom's late-night carbfests, like he didn't know the dozen ways Tom nearly broke his own no-coming rule when he was filming Bane. Tom's a mess, he's a disaster, and never more so than in this moment, he’s certain of it.

"So it's simple," says Joseph, blithely continuing, fucking Tom slow and smooth and steady. "You come like this," he says, "or you don't come at all."

Uncle, uncle, uncle, thinks Tom frantically, fucking uncle. Because — Joseph means it, he means to hold Tom to it. He'll pin him and fuck him, and if Tom never comes that means he'll be here forever, pinned and wanting and wrecked, at Joseph's mercy. No, can't be borne, can't be done.

But Joseph's cock is stroking hard and perfect, over and over, and Tom can nearly imagine it, the sweet release of finally coming from nothing more or less than that insistent glide. Tom opens his mouth, ready to tap out, let Joseph win this one, anything to get a hand on his cock, a mouth, a breath of air, fuck — but Joseph derails the idea by suddenly stepping up the pace, moving harder. Tom shakes, chokes.

"Yeah, that's it," says Joseph, though he's wrong, it's not it, it's nothing, it's just more of the same, it's endless — "that's it, Tom."

No, it's not, Tom doesn't say, desperate, and Joseph fucks him harder, faster.

"Yeah, Tom, you can come, you can, fucking come, come on."

Come like this, Tom thinks wildly, or don't come at all. But he can't, he can't, he absolutely can't. It's beyond him, impossible.

But Joseph slams home, deep, holds Tom tight by the hips and says, in a tone of deep satisfaction: "That's it, there you go." And Tom — Tom hardly knows if Joseph felt something Tom didn't, or if he just fucking made Tom come with the power of his brain, but —

Oh, finally. Oh, ecstasy. Oh, weird throbbing endless orgasm, coming untouched with Joseph slick and deep in his arse. But then there's Joseph's welcome hand, callused and big and sure, stroking the rest of the orgasm from him, drawing it out, talking probably, god knows what’s going on behind the screen of rushing static in Tom’s ears.

Tom's barely finished coming when Joseph rolls his hips again, nothing deliberate or coordinated now, just heavy frantic thrusts out of time until Joseph shouts and comes too. Hot and wet, wet inside Tom and wet hand around Tom's cock.

Tom nuzzles his face into the carpet and decides that fucking forever sounds absolutely reasonable and sane, upon further reflection. He could do with this feeling for eternity: the slip of Joseph's come mingled with lube between the cheeks of his arse, the burn of raw skin on his knees and elbows, the wet slick uneven stroke of Joseph's fingers round his softening cock.

"Uncle," Tom says, pleased.

Joseph laughs delightedly and pulls out, knocks Tom off his pins with an easy swipe of his big pushy arms. Tom falls gladly; Joseph tumbles flat next to him a moment later, dimpled and harmless looking, sweaty and pink even through the spray tan. "Don't tell me if you totally let me pin you," he says, reaching over to push sweat-damp hair back from Tom's brow. "Let me have this."

Tom licks his lips, still winded, grinning. "This was not a fixed fight," he says. "I promise you."

"Mm," Joseph gives back, perhaps unconvinced, but going along with it, good-natured as usual. "I don't think I've ever heard you go so long without talking. I'll take that victory, anyway." He grins and drops his hand down to thumb Tom's lips. Tom, naturally, bites the offered thumb, liking the rough texture of Joe's skin, the ridge of his nail, the lube-sweat-sex aftertaste.

"Hey," says Joseph, not objecting, "let's not leave the house, like, at all. Let's just stay here and fuck for the next two days."

Tom lets go of Joseph's thumb and raises his eyebrows. "No computers?" he bargains. "No phones?"

"Unplugged," Joseph promises with absolutely no sense of double-entendre, dear earnest Joseph. "Nothing but you and me and, like, hours of fucking."

Tom pretends to give it some thought while Joseph grooms him with sloppy fond fingers, hair and eyebrows and beard. "How are you fixed for coffee?" Tom asks, finally.

"Oh, loads of coffee," says Joseph. "I mean, I knew you were coming. I stocked up."

Tom nods. "Okay, then."

Two days from now the Batman junket really begins to pick up steam, and from there it'll be a non-stop gauntlet of interviews, premieres, press conferences, answering the same daft questions over and over with the same daft answers, all of it with Joseph sat twenty, thirty feet away, looking orangey and fit and muscle-bound and hugely, ridiculously wholesome, innocent, sweet, gentlemanly.

Joseph looks Tom over now, finally dropping his gaze from whatever he sees in the geometry of Tom’s face. “Are you still wearing all your clothes?” he says, sounding surprised and amused.

“Mm,” Tom says, checking. “Appear to be.”

“Huh,” says Joseph. “I could have sworn — never mind.”

Tom drops his head back down to the pillow of his bent arm and silently agrees. Clothes or no, he’s been naked for Joseph for a long, long while. It should be scary, maybe; it isn’t.