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It didn't start out as anything weird. Bitty was at Jack's apartment, and they were watching TV; it was getting late, which meant they would go to bed soon. They'd only slept in the same bed maybe a dozen times so far in their relationship, and never failed to have sex before going to sleep.

So bed soon and sex soon were both buzzing around in the back of Jack's brain, but Bitty had already informed him that making out while Mary Berry was on the screen was unacceptably disrespectful. That was fine; Jack had his own rules about sex and making out on game days and before practices and so on. He could respect Bitty's rules.

So when Bitty climbed into his lap to lounge against his chest, Jack knew that it wasn't supposed to be starting anything sexy. Bitty was probably a little cold. He got cold easily when he was tired.

Jack wrapped his arms firmly around Bitty's chest and positioned himself to bear Bitty's weight comfortably. Bitty, who fidgeted sometimes like a hummingbird flapping its wings a hundred miles an hour to stay still when he was trying to watch TV, relaxed into him.

When the show shifted to a baker chatting with Mel about something not immediately baking related, Bitty murmured, "You make a real nice chair, sweetheart."

And Jack... straightened up under him, automatically trying to be not just a real nice chair but the best possible chair. He didn't think Bitty noticed, but that was right. He wasn't supposed to notice. You didn't notice furniture; it was just there for you when you sat down.

Jack felt something in his own brain go still, just like Bitty's fidgeting when Jack held him. He didn't have to think of what they would do later, or what was happening tomorrow, or anything but being the very best thing Bitty had ever sat on.

He got hard, but that was hardly surprising, with Bitty sitting squarely on his lap, and knowing they would probably have sex once this episode of the baking show was over. Bitty gave him one or two sideways looks, flirty and amused, but Jack kept perfectly still, not distracting him from his show. A good chair wouldn't be distracting.

When they went to bed, Bitty climbed right back astride his lap and rode him, teasing him about how he'd obviously been wanting this for the last hour. Jack lay there and let Bitty have him, use him, his brain still quiet and calm until the pleasure of it roared through like wildfire, making everything else irrelevant.

Bitty chirped him a little, for being lazy and making him do all the work, but he'd come as hard as Jack had, and when they'd cleaned up a little he draped himself over Jack like he was his very own body pillow. Jack just held him close and warm and fell asleep before he had to think about any of it at all.

Nothing strange had really happened. It was just watching TV and then sex, which, unless it went really badly, had never seemed to Jack to require much post-game review. He didn't think about it the next day, not until Bitty was switching gears from afternoon baking to fixing a pre-game dinner.

Jack came into the kitchen from a mostly relaxing pre-game chat with his parents to find Bitty straining to reach something on the top shelf of a cupboard. He was obviously a second away from climbing up onto the counter.

"Oh, hey," Jack said. "We should get you a--"

Escabeau was what came to mind, his tongue stalling over the English word.

In the second of searching his mind offered an alternative: not a thing whose name he couldn't remember, but himself, folded down on hands and knees for Bitty to stand on. He'd be better than some wooden thing. He was taller, and able to move exactly where Bitty needed him, and--

"Jack? Honey, please tell me you're not making plans to remodel your entire kitchen so I won't need a stepstool. Just get the pasta down for me?"

"Stepstool," Jack echoed blankly, already walking over to grab the box Bitty was pointing to. He felt vaguely relieved that he'd been knocked out of that train of thought, because it was a game day. He couldn't do anything like that on a game day.

He recognized what he was thinking--recognized that hopeful pulse of heat in his groin--as he handed the box to Bitty, and his brain ground to a halt entirely.

"Sweetheart? Your parents didn't say anything to worry you, did they?"

"No," Jack said, and then, yanking himself back into the correct train of thought because it was game day, "Well, Papa had more ideas on how to beat Lundqvist than I really needed, but maybe..." and Bitty joined him in debating possible plays while Jack chopped vegetables.

It was normal. Nothing strange had happened at all. Not really.

Bitty headed back to Samwell on the last train that night, after the game and a few quick stolen kisses in the car before Jack dropped him off. Jack went home to his bed, which felt empty as always when Bitty had been in it for a night or two and then wasn't. He remembered the night before, feeling like he was Bitty's pillow when they went to sleep, Bitty's chair before that.

He hadn't needed Bitty to pay attention to him when he was being Bitty's chair, because no one would pay attention to a chair. So if he were just a part of the bed... he'd still be waiting for Bitty to come back and sleep on him again, but he couldn't be too sad about it, or worried, because he was just a pillow, just a part of the furniture. He didn't have to think anything. He just was.

He was jerked out of something close to sleep when Bitty texted him that he was home, and he smiled fondly and replied, keeping Bitty company while he took a cab from the train station in Samwell back to the Haus and then wishing him a good night.

When he lay back down, his mind went empty again and he slept almost immediately.

It was like a kind of meditation, he decided the next day. He had had more than one therapist who tried to get him to do meditation, but he'd never managed to quiet his own thoughts like that before. He should tell Carrie at his next appointment that he had finally gotten the hang of it.

Of course, that night he tried it again and, while he did manage to quiet his head, he also got so unbearably hard that he had to stop pretending to be one with the bed and jerk off before he could sleep.

On second thought, maybe his therapist didn't need to know about this at all.

The next time Bitty came to visit for a weekend, Jack couldn't stop thinking about it.

Well, there was a little while after Bitty first got in when he wasn't thinking about anything. But after that, every time he fell silent to listen to Bitty talk, he found himself trying to slip into that quiet state of thing-ness. And that wasn't right; he was supposed to be Bitty's boyfriend right now. He was supposed to be listening.

But he'd been thinking and waiting and wanting for weeks, and now Bitty was here and flitting around the apartment and talking about everything that had happened since they'd seen each other, and Jack just wanted to help him be still. To be a thing that held him up and made him comfortable, to bear his weight and be useful to him. He wasn't any use to Bitty most of the time, and now he could be, if... if that was a remotely sane thing to want, a thing he could find the words to offer. If Bitty didn't laugh, or refuse to play along, or--

He dragged himself out of that circling thought to find that Bitty had fallen silent and was studying him thoughtfully. Jack opened his mouth to try to say something, anything, that wasn't what he'd been thinking, but he felt his face heat and had to look away.

Bitty laughed softly, low and promising. "Well now you really have to tell me what you're thinking, honey, because it looks like it was something good."

Jack winced and looked around for any vaguely plausible distraction. He couldn't even think of a normal sexy thing to claim he'd been thinking of. His mind had been wiped blank of everything but I can't decide if I'd rather be your chair or your footstool or your bed.

"Hey, sweetheart." Bitty stepped closer, framing Jack's face in his hands and meeting his eyes with a steady, concerned look. "You know you can tell me anything. If there's something you want, I... Don't make me start looking up stuff on the internet to guess, we could be at it all night."

They probably would be; he couldn't imagine that Bitty was going to find this on the internet. Although admittedly Jack had no idea what kinds of things Bitty could find on the internet; he did know that internet porn was infinitely varied.

Maybe that would be quicker that figuring out how to say it.

Jack raised his eyebrows a few challenging degrees, tilted his head slightly in invitation.

Bitty breathed a little huff of laughter and dropped his hands from Jack's face to pull his phone out. "Well, okay, I warned you. We can do this the hard way if we have to."

It felt suddenly inevitable that Bitty would find it, would know, now that he knew there was something to know, and without that steady gaze Jack couldn't quite be still. He just wanted to be still.

Jack blurted out, "You should sit. If you're going to be doing research for hours."

Bitty looked at him again, thoughtfully. "Should I? Where should I sit, Mr. Zimmermann?"

On me. Two little words, but Jack couldn't get them out. He gestured toward the couch instead, and his own nervous strides got him there ahead of Bitty, who was sauntering on purpose.

Jack sat, and Bitty stood over him, looking down at him thoughtfully.

Like a chair he wasn't sure he wanted to sit in, like...

Jack raised his arms and held them stiffly out from his sides, bent at the elbow like a robot. Like the arms of a chair. He curled the fingers of one hand, beckoning.

Bitty sat down on his lap. On him.

"Like last time, huh?" Bitty murmured thoughtfully. "You did like that, didn't you? Not just me sitting on your lap..."

"You said," Jack managed, forcing the words out with a mechanical effort. A strange robot feature installed in a chair. A thing, for Bitty to use. To convey information to him, as well as to be comfortable for sitting. "You said I was a real nice. Chair."

"I did, didn't I." Bitty squirmed thoughtfully, sinking back against Jack's chest. Jack wrapped his arms around Bitty, correcting his posture and keeping him firmly in place.

"Well," Bitty said, leaning his head back comfortably against Jack's shoulder, going still and easy against Jack. "I guess I have some reading to do, don't I? Good thing I've got such a perfect chair to sit on while I do."

Jack closed his eyes, feeling the throb of pleasure from the crown of his head to his balls. If he was going to be Bitty's chair for as long as it took him to research something weird on the internet, he could do nothing but this for the rest of the night, and do it perfectly.

"Some boyfriends give backrubs," Bitty muttered, tapping away on his phone. "Some boyfriends make sure you don't need one, huh? I could get used to this, honey."

Jack didn't say anything. He didn't have to say anything at all. Bitty would do the rest; Jack only had to hold him and enjoy the quiet.