The first time David saw it
When Joe turned around, he was faced with David staring at him with huge eyes.
"Oh. My. God."
"Did you knock?" Joe asked although he knew he hadn't.
"No, but maybe I should have. What is that?" David asked, clearly not remorseful, eyes firmly on Joe's attire.
"What?" Joe asked anyway. David had no business just coming into his trailer uninvited in the first place and then criticizing his wardrobe?
"That...thing you're wearing," David said gesturing vaguely at the object in question.
"You've never seen a bathrobe?" Joe had to ask.
"Oh, I have. In fact I'm pretty sure I've seen this exact one. On my grandmother. Which begs the question, why are you raiding the wardrobe of my dead grandmother?"
"I'll have you know I have a grandmother of my own and this is actually hers. Was. It's mine now, and I like it because it is the most comfortable bathrobe I ever found."
"It's pink," David said as if that alone made any further discussion unnecessary.
"Did you want anything?" Joe said, losing his patience.
"I, uh, yes, there was something. Let me think for a moment." David held his hand over his eyes. "I'll just have to try to block out the image in front of me."
Joe laughed despite himself.
The first time David touched it
"Okay, I'll just go then," David said, not moving at all.
It always seemed like this between them these days. Saying one thing, meaning something else entirely. Never going through with either. They didn't do anything about it. They never even put into words that they wouldn't do anything, because that would mean acknowledging that there was something. Something that couldn't be.
David looked at him, then shook his head. This was when he turned around and left. Only he didn't.
"You'll never get rid of that bathrobe, will you?" he asked, apropos of nothing.
Joe watched him, not sure what he was trying to say, if there even was something beyond the small talk. He settled on saying, "The most comfortable bathrobe you'll ever find."
"Really?" David asked, as if it were somehow important to know. He looked almost lost.
Joe stepped forward and held out one arm. David stared at it, then at Joe's face and back before slowly lifting his hand. He touched it tentatively at first, then began running his fingers up Joe's arm along the soft material.
David looked up at him, hand still on his arm. It was such an innocent gesture, and it wasn't as if he'd never touched Joe before while they were shooting, but it made Joe's face heat up. David put his other hand on the other arm, starting the same path upwards, his eyes never leaving Joe's.
Joe couldn't breathe anymore. This was different. It was no longer ignoring what had built up between them. He didn't know what it was, but it was something and he was excited and scared and utterly unable to stop it.
But David did stop. He removed his hands and took a step back.
"You're right. It's very soft. I don't think I ever felt anything like it before," David said quietly, and Joe took a harsh breath.
The first time David took it off Joe
David watched him critically, his face a grimace.
"What?" Joe said defensively. "I thought why get dressed if you're just going to undress me anyway."
"But it's just...disturbing. This thing still reminds me of my grandmother, and that's not what I want to think about when I'm about to have illicit sex with a married man."
Joe flinched as he always did. He didn't know why David could just say things like that. Why he did say things like that when he knew how Joe felt about it. Joe visibly retreated.
David stepped up to him, took Joe's face in his hands and kissed him. Joe instantly relaxed and melted into the kiss. He opened up his mouth to let David in, because he couldn't not.
When David pulled away, they were both breathing hard.
"This still has to go," David said, pushing the bathrobe off Joe's shoulders until it fell to the ground.
David's gaze traveled down Joe's body, and then his hands followed. Joe pushed into those big warm hands. He never got tired of feeling them on his body. In his body.
David kissed his neck, his shoulder. "Much better," he said. Then he swiped his tongue over one nipple and dropped to his knees and Joe could only agree that this was better. Better than anything.
The first and only time David left it on
"When were you going to tell me?"
Joe didn't look up. He'd known this moment would come. He still wasn't prepared.
"A month ago and I learn this today from Jason?"
"I..." Joe started, but he didn't know what to say. 'I couldn't tell you, because I'm afraid that it's too late. I'm afraid of what you'll do or what you won't do. And I'm afraid because I know that I don't have the right to ask anything of you.'
It turned out he didn't have to say anything.
David pulled him forward into a messy kiss and started pushing him towards the sofa. Joe let himself be led and settled down while David covered Joe's body with his own.
Joe struggled to remove David's clothes, opening up buttons, pushing away fabric, trying to feel skin. He still didn't know what this meant, except that it wasn't over. And maybe, just maybe there was a chance...
"You're still wearing it," David complained, hands pushing at the offending material, and Joe laughed.
"Sorry, just..." He pushed at David to get him to move away so that he could get out of it, but David didn't budge.
"Oh, forget it," David said grumpily. "I'll survive this once. But don't think you'll ever get to wear it again when we have sex." He trailed kisses down Joe's neck and chest where he'd pushed the bathrobe aside. "I'll try to get used to you wearing it, but when you come to bed, it goes off, understood?"
Joe looked at David, asking without words if David was saying what Joe thought he was saying.
David just looked back at him for a long time, before saying, "And you can wash it yourself, just so we're clear."
Joe moved up to kiss David then, wrapping his arms around him and holding on tightly until David started complaining and slipped a hand between them and around Joe's dick. Joe let himself fall back and opened up his legs to give David space to do whatever he wanted to do with Joe.
The first time David wore it
"That's my bathrobe," Joe said sleepily, clad in just his boxers, as he entered the kitchen.
"I know," David said far too awake for the time.
"Why are you wearing it?"
"Here," David said, handing him a cup of coffee which Joe gratefully took along with a quick kiss. Then he continued to answer the question, "It's comfortable."
"I've been saying that for years. You still hated it."
"I don't hate it!" David said so forcefully that Joe's left eyebrow rose. David turned away and poured himself a cup of coffee. "It's warm and comfortable," he added more quietly, still not turning around.
Joe set down his cup and stepped behind David, wrapping his arms around him. "Why aren't you in bed?"
"Couldn't sleep. Didn't want to wake you." David leaned back into Joe.
"So instead you wander about the house and kidnap my fluffy bathrobe?"
"I missed you."
Joe laughed into David's ear. "I'm right here."
David turned around and looked at Joe with the big blue eyes that were always Joe's undoing. "I know," he whispered and then smiled.
Joe smiled back and pulled David close until their lips met in a tender kiss. He opened up the bathrobe, and David deepened the kiss. Joe let himself be distracted, but eventually pushed what was his off David's shoulders, holding on so that it didn't slip to the floor and instead was in Joe's hand.
He moved to put it on, but David protested.
"It's mine," Joe said between kisses.
"Not when we're about to have sex."
David nodded, pushing his hand into Joe's tented boxers with a grin.
"Oh, all right," Joe said and carefully placed the bathrobe on the cabinet behind David, before pulling him into their bedroom.