Dex is only a few feet in front of Nursey’s brownstone, heading home, when it hits him like a bucket of pucks: This is the worst idea in the world.
He should really turn back. March right up to Nursey’s door and say you know what, Nurse, forget it. Forget this. I know you, and you’re gonna make my life miserable about this whether you mean to or not. Let’s just pretend the whole thing never happened. Go back to being D-men and pals, and forget the rest. Done. Finito.
But the heat swimming in his gut is still so fierce. The feeling of Nursey’s mouth on his lingers, like a searing brand in the chill of the fall air. The sureness and firmness of Nursey’s fingers on his skin, the way their bodies had fit together, like they’d been made just for that. The warmth radiating from Nursey’s skin, the scent of him. Dex’s hard again, craving a million things he shouldn’t crave. Dreaming about what might happen next time.
He can’t do it. He can’t cut off the chance to feel that again. He’d do just about anything, endure anything, to get Derek Nurse’s hands on him one more time.
The next day he heads to team breakfast and ends up across from Nursey at the long table. It’s a usual breakfast – the team’s chattering, and Bitty’s showing Ransom another one of those Falconers videos, and Nursey’s calmly buttering his toast looking like God’s gift to Dexkind. Dex’s gaze lands on him and will not be torn away, no matter how hard Dex tries to dislodge it.
The line of Nursey’s throat is strangely graceful, and Dex thinks, yesterday I had my mouth all over that. A thrill comes over him, and he holds himself stiff, trying not to shudder. I had my mouth on him, and I can have it again, anytime I want. All I have to do is go over there.
“Poindexter.” Oh, shit. Nursey’s seen him looking. He’s smiling. That easy, lopsided smile. Dex simultaneously wants to run, punch him, and crawl over the table into his lap. “Something on my face?”
Dex scrambles for words. “Nah. You’re just looking handsome this morning.” He offers Nurse a grin.
Nurse lobs an easy smile back, and it hits Dex right in the chest. His heart speeds up. “Well, thanks,” he says. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
“Oh, God, you guys,” Lardo says. “You are not helping the rumor mill.”
“The what?” they say in unison. Nursey sounds a little more shocked than Dex does, but other than that, they’re in sync.
“Truth, truth,” Holster says, his mouth around a boiled egg. “So what’s up, you two? Something going on?”
“What? No,” Dex says.
“Gross,” Nursey says. And ow, that hurts. Dex tries not to wince. Did he have to say that much?
“Yeah, can’t a D-man compliment a fellow D-man on his stunning good looks?” Ransom says. “Come on, Holtzy. I could name a few examples.”
“Thank you!” Nursey says. “Thank you, Rans. I knew you’d understand.”
“Yeah, thanks, man,” Dex echoes. “I knew someone’d get it.”
“Say no more, boys,” Ransom says with a laugh. “Shit happens at kegsters. I got your back.”
“So, hang on, about all these examples,” Holster says. “These’d be when you told me how handsome I am, right?”
The whole table laughs. Ransom fires back with “Other way ‘round, bro!” and just like that, everyone’s fixating on a different pair of D-men. Dex sits back in his chair, relaxing. Maybe they can pull this off after all.
But when they pack up to leave after breakfast, Nursey rounds the table before Dex can get up and draws fingertips across the back of Dex’s neck. Dex visibly shivers, hairs standing straight up on his arms. He glances over at Nursey, who winks over his shoulder as he walks away.
Afternoon practice. Dex and Nursey are lined up doing passing drills, the puck shooting between them sure and straight as a beam of light. Dex meets Nursey’s eyes and feels invincible. They’re getting so good at this, working together on the ice. They’re not yet Ransom-and-Holster levels of synchronized, but they’re not bickering like they were last year at this time. There are even moments when Dex really feels like they’re two halves of the same whole.
(Like he did when Nursey was under him, like when his cock was grinding against Nursey’s stomach and Nursey was groaning–)
Dex misses a pass. “Damn it,” he mutters, and tries to banish the thoughts from his mind. He concentrates on the cool air around him, the slide of the ice under his skates. It’s simple, he tells himself. Skating and passing. The movement of the stick, the direction of the puck. Down the rink and back again.
But even as he gets his groove back, Nursey’s presence simmers underneath his skin, hot-blooded and intense. The puck comes driving at him, and Dex gets a flash of an image – Nursey pressing him into the boards, pulling off their helmets and crushing him with a kiss –
The puck connects. Dex slams it forward. Chowder can’t even get a piece of it.
In the locker room, Coach Murray tells him he did a good job today. The boys echo the sentiment. Chowder keeps re-enacting the goal, like he’s weirdly proud of missing it. Dex hides in his stall, embarrassed to be the center of attention. He looks down at his knees. A dark-skinned hand reaches out and pats him there, and Dex looks up to see Nursey.
“Good drills today, man,” he says. There’s a softness in his eyes that feels new somehow.
“Yeah.” Dex shrugs. “Thanks.”
“C’mon by tonight if you’ve got nothing going on,” Nursey says.
Dex’s heart leaps, and he prays he’s not flushing. “S-sure.”
After a hasty dinner, Dex packs up his backpack and heads to the west edge of campus toward Nursey’s place. His head is spinning with possibilities as he goes. Nursey could meet him at the door. Could grab him by the shirt and haul him in, push him against the back of the door, kiss him like crazy. Or Nursey could be waiting for him shirtless, lounging on that ultra-comfortable couch of his, just waiting for Dex to cross the room to him. Or, God, what if Nursey’s on his bed…
His whole body humming, Dex jogs up the steps of the brownstone, opens the door into the foyer, then knocks on Nursey’s first-floor apartment door.
“‘S’open,” comes a faint voice. Oh, God, he’s totally on the couch or the bed, waiting…
Dex cracks the door open and steps inside. His heart sinks a little.
No figure awaits him draped over the couch; Nursey’s at the table, studying, his back to Dex. He waves a hand without turning. “Make yourself comfortable,” he says. “There’s beer in the fridge.”
Well, okay. That’s not what Dex was expecting. But okay, maybe Nursey wants to ease into it. He stops at the refrigerator in the little kitchenette, grabs a can, then comes to stand behind Nursey. Boldly, he lifts his free hand and touches Nursey’s shoulder. Just an ambiguous touch, one that could be read as friendly. “What you working on?” he says.
“Paper,” Nursey says, still not looking up. He highlights a line in a poem. “Gender coding in Sexton vs. Plath. These confessional poets are the bomb.” Stretching his arms above his head, he yawns and finally lifts his head. His eyes connect with Dex’s. There’s nothing there. No intent, no wickedness… just Nursey’s usual benign, friendly stare. Dex doesn’t know what to do with that look. “You can feel free to sit, or if you want the couch, that’s cool too.”
“I– uh, yeah,” Dex says. He pulls out the chair across the small table from Nursey and sits. Stares. Doesn’t move.
It takes a minute for Nursey to notice. “Didn’t you bring something to do?” he says. “I mean, if not, feel free to grab Mario Kart or something.” He nods toward the TV.
“No. I, uh. I did.” Dex pulls out his notebook for his history seminar and busies himself with the comings and goings of French kings.
It’s quiet in the apartment. Every turn of a page, every scratch of Nursey’s pencil, sounds like a din in Dex’s head. The tick of the clock above the counter seeps into his skin, aligns with his heartbeat. He taps his own pencil to the beat.
Nursey’s breaths are even. His shoulders hunch forward. Dex’s gaze lingers on the bulge of his triceps through the loose gray T-shirt he’s wearing. It wouldn’t take much to scoot his chair over a bit, to align himself next to Nursey instead of across from him. He could run a hand up Nursey’s arm under his shirt, feel the familiar bunching of his shoulders. Squeeze. Feel Nursey melt beneath him.
He tries to force his brain back to the kings of France. Louises XIV and XVI are all mixing up in his head. Dex puts a hand to his forehead. He rubs his temple with his index finger and frowns. What is he doing?
“Hey,” he says, throat stumbling over the sound.
Nursey looks up. God, his eyes are huge, like smooth stones. “What?”
“Are we – am I just here to do homework?” Dex says tersely.
“What?” Nursey repeats, innocent as anything.
You fucker, Dex thinks. He scowls. “Aren’t we supposed to–” He lifts a palm, shakes it a little, a you know what I mean! gesture.
“Supposed to what?”
Dex sighs and crosses his arms over his chest. All right, if Nurse won’t catch a clue, Dex has got no reason to be subtle. “I thought we were going to make out,” he says, blunt as anything.
Nursey sits up straight, his shoulders going back. His hand falls to his lap, and the book ruffles to the wrong page in its absence. “Ohhh,” he says, like it’s just now occurring to him. “Oh, sure. We can do that.” He smiles.
Seriously, fuck him and his smiles. Dex stays stock still. He doesn’t know what to do next.
Nursey scoots his chair over, just like Dex had thought about doing before. Gets them situated next to each other. He lifts one hand and places it on Dex’s face. A sea of warmth. Dex’s eyes fall to half-mast, and he exhales, pursing his lips into a soft O. His heart goes crazy, fluttering and thumping by turns. Tightening one hand into a fist, he lifts the other and makes contact with the swell of Nursey’s arm, pulling him in.
The first touch of Nursey’s lips is softer than powder, barely there. Nursey breathes against him, hums a little bit, and pulls back. His gaze finds Dex’s, asking for feedback or permission, Dex isn’t sure which. He answers with a nod.
Nursey leans in again, and oh, this is a kiss Dex can feel to his toes. Gentle, warm, Nursey’s lips softly opening. He licks at Dex’s lips, then withdraws, ending the kiss closed and chaste.
Another kiss, another taste. This time Nursey touches the tip of Dex’s tongue with his own. Just that, but it’s enough to send Dex’s blood zinging through him. He presses his forehead to Nursey’s and pants.
“Getting excited?” Nursey observes lazily. His eyes are half-lidded, too close to Dex, blurring into three, then one.
“Just getting started,” Dex breathes, and leans in to seal his mouth over Nursey’s.
Nursey thrills against him, stiffening, and a flood of excitement answers at the base of Dex’s spine. He runs his hand up Nursey’s arm, under that shirt, over the muscled knob of his shoulder. Nursey’s tongue is tart against his. He growls. Nursey lets out a groan.
He made Nursey make that noise. The knowledge settles into Dex’s gut like a hot coal, searing everything around it. Reaching out with his other hand, he grabs Nursey by the nape, hauling him in for hotter and deeper kisses. He swipes his tongue over Nursey’s again and again, groaning, hearing Nursey groan too, reveling in the music of the two of them revving up in sync. He tugs, and Nursey follows, knocking his own chair over with a clatter as he lands heavily in Dex’s lap.
Nursey’s fingers card through his hair, scratch at his scalp. Dex arches and hisses at the feel of them. God, Nursey feels good, but he smells glorious, aftershave and beer and something Dex can’t name. Dex inhales deeply, gets lungfuls of him. His whole body is heating up inside with Nursey’s presence and scent.
There’s no way Nursey can’t feel Dex hard beneath him. No way he doesn’t feel Dex’s cock twitch through his jeans when Nursey pulls on Dex’s lower lip with smooth hard teeth. Dex doesn’t hide it. He arches up, makes sure Nursey notices. His answer is a gasp.
A gasp, and a grind forward, Nursey making sure Dex can feel him, too.
“Shit.” The word’s out before Dex can stop it, hissed between his teeth. Nursey gives a little sound, like a growl, and lowers his head to Dex’s neck. He grinds again and licks, sensation below and above, together, too much, too soon. Dex swears again, louder this time. He grabs Nursey’s hips, fingers digging beneath the jut of the bone, hard enough to bruise.
Nursey groans against his neck. “Fuck, yeah,” he murmurs. “That’s it.”
“Yeah?” Dex digs his fingers in harder. Nursey keens and latches onto Dex’s neck, sucking hard. Shit, shit, he’ll leave a mark, but Dex doesn’t care. He throws his head back and hisses.
“Poindexter.” Nursey drags his teeth across the welt he’s sucked. Dex can’t breathe. “Down.”
It must be the lack of oxygen, because Dex doesn’t have a fucking clue what he means. He fights for breath. “Down?”
“Down.” And then Nursey’s leaning back, grabbing Dex by the arms, falling — no – throwing himself backward off the chair and pulling Dex with him.
“Shit!” Dex scrambles in midair for a panicked half a second. His head’s on a collision course with the table. He ducks, barely missing it. A moment later, Nursey lands with a heavy thud on the floor. Dex comes down on top of him. The chair goes rolling onto its side away from them.
Dex takes in a breath to scream his head off at Nursey for pulling that fucking ridiculous stunt, but he never gets around to it. Nursey’s too quick to pull him down, lock him into a kiss and slot his leg between Dex’s, arching up underneath him so Dex can feel the whole lanky length of his body.
He savages Nursey’s mouth, sucking on his tongue and growling. Beneath him, Nursey is miles of warmth, the twitch of his hips a tease that Dex feels like electricity in his blood. Unable to stop himself, not caring that they’re on the floor or that Nursey’s probably bruised from that stupid fall, Dex breaks the kiss, catches Nursey’s gaze, and rocks against him, his cock hard and straining against Nursey’s thigh.
Nursey cries out. Not a groan, not a sigh – a full-throated cry. His brows knit, and he grabs Dex’s ass, pulling him in harder. The sensation of Nursey’s erection against his leg, sliding and pressing, is so achingly specific and intense that Dex has to spit out a fuck. Nursey surges up to kiss the curse off his mouth, hands on his ass pulling him down in quick, sharp tugs. Dex bites at Nursey’s lips.
He shouldn’t feel this good. None of this should feel this good. They’re basically humping under Nursey’s kitchen table, fully clothed – fuck, Dex is still wearing shoes – but as stupid as the situation is, Dex has never felt so electric all over, never been so fascinated by the feel and look of a body beneath his. He’s braced himself against the floor with both elbows, but now he rests his weight on his right side, lifting his left hand and sliding it under Nursey’s jaw. At the touch, Nursey lets out another quavering cry.
They’re still grinding, filthy and raw, but Nursey’s skin is smooth and soft beneath Dex’s palm. Somehow the gentleness works Dex up even more. He kisses Nurse hard, dimly aware of the increasingly frenzied rock of their hips together. He’s underwater. Underwater, but he’s close to breaking through to the surface. So close. He inhales quickly, summoning enough brainpower to spit out a warning. “Nurse, fuck, I’m gonna–”
The rocking stops. Nursey stills beneath him. Dex grinds down again, desperate, but Nursey’s legs have gone slack, and there’s no answering friction in the quiet cradle of his hips. The feeling that’s been welling up in Dex recedes, leaving behind an ache and a question. “What the–”
“Sorry,” Nursey says. He pushes at Dex’s shoulders gently.
Dex rolls to the side, then rises to his knees. His body is a rush of confusion and excitement and disappointment. .”The– why— why’d you stop? What did I–”
Nursey’s still lying there. The table casts a shadow over his head and shoulders, and his eyes look dark, the lines of his face stark. He blinks up at Dex. “You said you were gonna–”
Dex waits for him to finish the sentence. He never does. God damn it, Nurse makes no fucking sense. “Yeah,” he says. “And?”
“And… “ Nursey pushes himself up onto his elbows, then sits up. “I didn’t want things to get weird.”
What the ever-loving fuck. “It’s already weird,” Dex informs him pointedly. “But now it’s weird and frustrating.”
Nursey shrugs. “Yeah. Well. I didn’t know if it’d be crossing a line.”
“What line? What are you–” What is he doing, arguing this? it’s a line Nursey doesn’t wanna cross. That’s his right. Dex steps on his frustration firmly, forces his higher brain function back online. “Okay, man. If you don’t want to, it’s okay.”
Nursey lobs a half-smile at him. “Thanks, dude.”
And here they are, sitting on the kitchen floor between two overturned chairs, staring at each other. Nursey’s hair is ruffled, and his shoulders rise and fall rapidly as he takes in still-shallow breaths. Dex wants more than anything to crawl over him again, keep on kissing him until they both pass out. But goddamn it, now it’s weird. “So,” he says, looking around the room for some way to continue the conversation. “Um. Mario Kart?”
They play a little Mario Kart, and then Nursey works on his paper a little as Dex watches TV, and that’s it. They don’t really talk much. They don’t touch again. But Dex keeps looking back at Nursey, at the line of his neck and the earnest purse of his lips as he writes. He brushes his fingers over the mark Nursey’s left on his neck. And he wants more fiercely than he ever remembers wanting anything. It aches.
His body’s all wound up, too. When he gets back to his (thankfully empty) dorm room later that night, the door has barely closed behind him before he’s on the bed, unzipping his slacks and reaching down. He comes quickly, Nursey’s face in mid-cry etched behind his eyelids. His whole body throbs and aches for minutes afterward.
He made it home without exploding this time. But just barely. If they are going to keep this up, Dex may have to start excusing himself to the bathroom to finish. He can’t see the level of frustration going down anytime soon.
But he also can’t see himself calling things off. This whole thing is so unexpected and bizarre to begin with, surely he can deal with Nursey’s idiosyncrasies and find a way to enjoy without getting too frustrated. Because as badly as he’d wanted to come – and he’d wanted it pretty badly – he also wanted to feel Nursey’s weight against his, to taste Nursey’s lips and tongue. He still wants it. He wishes it were Nursey he were leaning against now, not his pillow. Even though he’s sated, he still yearns for that touch.
And he still can’t fucking wait until next time.