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Out Of Nowhere

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One of these days Vecchio was going to call Kowalski on the fridge thing. Kowalski was clearly aware of the fridge; he had no problem updating the countdown to the Blackhawks season opener on the whiteboard every day (today's count: 37). But it was almost always Vecchio or Fraser who actually dug into the fridge to pack up lunch for everybody. Today it was Vecchio's turn, and Kowalski ought to be grateful; when Fraser packed lunches, everybody got healthy stuff like apples and carrot sticks. Vecchio was at least nice enough to Kowalski to throw in a couple Ding Dongs.

Vecchio closed the fridge again and shook his head at the whiteboard. Kowalski wasn't the only one getting excited about the season opener; Fraser had drawn maple leafs on either side of the countdown number. Maybe Toronto was playing Chicago for the opener; Vecchio wondered if he should look that up, maybe buy tickets. It was kind of funny that the whiteboard had gone from carrying messages like "PICK UP MILK, PLEASE" and "MORE MILK" and "GODDAMN THE MOUNTIE DRINKS A LOT OF MILK" ages ago and had basically wound up with tic-tac-toe games and occasional trash-talking about sports ever since. (There'd been some harsh words on the board regarding the Cubs' last end-of-season debacle, and Kowalski hadn't talked to Vecchio for a couple days. Like it was Vecchio's fault the Cubs sucked. The Cubs were notorious for sucking; it was part of the reason Vecchio was a Sox man.)

It was a whole different life from the one Vecchio had walked away from when he took the Langoustine job. No more broken-down slum apartment for Fraser; at some point in the past year and a half, Kowalski had convinced Fraser to move in with him. And when Vecchio got back from Florida, when Fraser picked him up at the airport, he'd just said, "Ray, I wonder if you'd be interested in staying with me and Ray Kowalski while you're still recuperating. There's room, and we'd be happy to have you."

And, okay, Vecchio was maybe a soft touch when it came to Benny, maybe still a little hung up on him, but the Vecchio homestead was kind of crowded these days, and God knew having two guys, two cops, around—two guys who'd get it if Vecchio was a little twitchy after Vegas—didn't sound like a bad deal. He figured he could suck it up and deal with the two of them being all googly-eyed at each other.

Except twenty-four hours into their new living arrangement, it was Benny doing the sucking, and it turned out Kowalski and Fraser didn't exactly make googly eyes at each other so much as they were into... heavy stuff. At first Vecchio just thought Kowalski was a bossy little prick in bed; it took seeing Fraser drop to his knees and look up at Kowalski like he was getting the biggest treat in the world before Vecchio kind of went, oh, they're both into that.

So—not what Vecchio had expected, but Kowalski seemed completely okay with Vecchio and Fraser picking up where they'd left off, and Fraser seemed completely okay with the fact that Vecchio had been bossy enough in Vegas for a lifetime and just wanted things the way they'd been before he left, and Vecchio himself was completely okay with letting Fraser and Kowalski do their own thing. It was a little weird sometimes, sure, but with Fraser around what wasn't? They'd all pretty much gotten used to each other by now; it worked for them.

Vecchio finished packing up lunch for three and headed for the bathroom, shoving the door open and ducking his head inside. Steam poured out through the doorway, but it wasn't enough to obscure the figures in the shower, and the running water sure as hell didn't cover the noises they were making in there.

"That's it, that's it, suck it, suck me—c'mon c'mon c'mon more more more—"

"Jesus, you guys don't quit," Vecchio half-yelled. "You got five minutes—do not make me come in there!"

"Fuck you," Kowalski panted; there was a sharp, muffled sound of protest, and Kowalski moaned. "Didn't mean it, didn't mean it, don't stop, you stop and I'm not gonna let you come for a week—"

Vecchio groaned and pushed the door open, stepping inside. "Come on—"

Kowalski tugged the shower curtain aside. Vecchio took a quick step backwards; these shoes were his Ferragamos, no way did he want shower spray and soap and God-knew-what-else getting on them. Now that he wasn't working in the homicide department, he didn't have a lot of cause to get his shoes dirty, and he was pretty damned happy about that, thank you very much.

But now Kowalski was staring at him with this feral little grin, and Fraser had paused in his cocksucking to look over at Vecchio, too, and as Vecchio stared, Kowalski reached down—without even looking, Jesus—and wrapped his hand around the back of Fraser's neck.

"Didn't say stop," Kowalski said, dragging Fraser forward, and Fraser moaned around Kowalski's cock and sucked Kowalski all the way down his throat.

Way back when it was just Vecchio and Fraser, Fraser hadn't known how to do that. There were maybe some benefits to Fraser and Kowalski being into the heavy stuff, because Fraser did that little move with Vecchio sometimes, too, and it blew him away—pun not intended—every time. Fraser was just so smooth about it, so easy, like it was nothing, like it was jumping off a building or dancing in high heels or throwing a knife across the room and hitting the same spot in a photograph twice.

Okay, so maybe Benny was exceptional. Really, that was fine by Vecchio.

"Five minutes," Vecchio said, but he was starting to think about traffic, about what shortcuts he could take to cut down the drive. "C'mon, guys."

"You heard the man," Kowalski said. He looked back down at Fraser and cupped Fraser's head in both his hands. "Make it good, Ben, make me come—"

Fuck it; even Vecchio was getting hard now, and he was mostly used to watching the two of them go at it. He licked his lips and watched as Kowalski pushed into Fraser's mouth, again and again and again, and Benny must've been doing that thing with his tongue, because Kowalski tilted his head back and clutched at Fraser's hair and came, panting and shaking and thrusting forward until Fraser choked a little and pushed back.

If it'd been Vecchio on his knees like that, his legs would be asleep. Hell, if it'd been Kowalski, he'd probably need both guys to get him off the floor.

Fraser, on the other hand, knelt about ten times more often than Kowalski and Vecchio put together, and so he just rose fluidly to his feet, stealing all the shower spray, and quickly rinsed his face off. He stepped out of the shower and grabbed his towel.

"We were done with all the functional aspects," Fraser said, and how he could sound so normal after blowing Kowalski hard enough to leave Kowalski stunned and kind of loopy, Vecchio didn't know. He also had a boner the size of the Yukon showing, but he dried off, and he didn't ask about it—didn't even lick his lips and give Vecchio a hopeful look.

"All that and he doesn't get to?" Vecchio called over to Kowalski, who yanked the shower curtain forward and stepped back under the spray.

"We talked about it," Kowalski said.

"No time," Fraser said, and all right, there was a little bit of ruefulness and regret in his voice, at least—he was human. But his face lit up as he continued, "I'll get something tonight."

Vecchio grinned at him, and since Fraser was dry now and the floor was clean, just a little damp, he stepped in and ran his hand up Fraser's arm. "Yeah, you will—one way or the other. If he gets stingy with the orgasms, you can always spend the night with me."

Fraser kissed him briefly and smiled. "I know."

Kowalski cut the water; his hand stretched out from behind the curtain to grab his towel. "Hey—wet," he said. "Vecchio? You use my towel again?"

"Yeah, mine was dirty." Vecchio smirked at the shower curtain.

"Mine was cleaner than yours?"

"I'll get a fresh one," Fraser offered, but Vecchio put a hand on his chest and held him in place.

"You need to get into uniform. You got the buttons and all the layers and the Sam Browne; we don't need to be any later."

"Fair enough," Fraser admitted, and went off to dress.

"Towel's fine," Kowalski called out. "But I think somebody forgot it's his turn to do the laundry."

"Yeah, well, it was somebody's turn to do the grocery shopping this week, too, and that didn't happen."

"I meant to get to that—"

"Well, I meant to call the laundry service, but I haven't had time this week."

"You and your fucking laundry service," Kowalski said. He pulled the curtain back; he gave his hair a halfhearted toweling-off and stepped out of the shower. "You realize that's cheating, right? That is totally cheating—"

"I'm pretty sure we agreed that splitting up chores meant the chores just had to get done. Nobody said anything about how. Plus, if you think I'm gonna put my clothes into those death traps at the laundromat, think again."

"Well, if you were at least willing to take a load of towels in, you wouldn't be stealing mine—"

Vecchio held up a hand and turned away. "Service. Quit arguing. It's gonna happen."

There was dead silence from Kowalski; Vecchio glanced back over his shoulder at him. "What?"

"Don't say it if you don't mean it," Kowalski muttered, and he headed to the second bedroom to get his clothes.

It was just the kind of thing Kowalski would say to fuck with Vecchio's head. Vecchio ended up thinking about it at work, and he thought about it when they got home, and he thought about it a lot as Kowalski pulled Fraser into the main bedroom, as he slipped into to the second bedroom and turned down the lights and listened into the darkness.

"Ray, please—please, please, please, Ray—"

"Not yet."


Vecchio stared up at the ceiling; after a while, there were a few more noises, and the thump of the bed against the wall between the bedrooms, and finally Kowalski growled "Now, goddamnit," and Fraser moaned like a dying man.

It wasn't the kind of thing Vecchio jerked off to—not that he didn't jerk off to the two of them, not that he hadn't; he was only human—but something about Benny begging just didn't do it for him.

Which explained nothing about why he shoved down the covers, pushed his boxers down, and got his hand around his cock, thinking about this morning, and the shower, and Service, don't say it if you don't mean it, and he bit his lower lip and came, messy and quiet all over his stomach and his chest, breathing hard while the rest of the household went to sleep.

He'd tried it with Kowalski a few times. There was that once, just after Vecchio moved in, when they were trying to figure out how to get along without things getting awkward or overly competitive, without making Fraser take sides. They split a case of beer and talked about how much it sucked to have Stella leave, how sweet it was when Fraser got something he really, really wanted, whether Diefenbaker had an ear fetish because he was deaf or because he just liked the way ears tasted, and then...

It wasn't bad, exactly; Kowalski could give a decent handjob, and Vecchio was pretty sure Kowalski didn't mind getting jerked off, either. But no bells, no whistles, nothing they wanted to do again in a big hurry. Not when there really was enough of Fraser's sex drive to cover both of them—unbutton that serge and whammo, it was like jumping onto a train, like Fraser was making up for all the years he hadn't gotten any. It was even more pronounced these days—sometimes it seemed like while Vecchio was away, Kowalski had found a switch that turned Fraser up to eleven.

Vecchio had initially spent a lot of time trying not to think about what that switch was, especially since he'd seen the way Fraser looked at Kowalski, the way his eyes tended to lower and he always, always asked for permission for anything. But pretty soon Fraser caught on, and he said, "It doesn't have to change anything about us, Ray. It doesn't have to have anything to do with us, if you don't want it to," and he'd looked at Vecchio with eyes all full of hope, like maybe the three of them could make a go of it even if Vecchio wasn't into all the things Fraser and Kowalski were into, and what was Vecchio going to say—no? He wasn't stupid.

So when it came to being around Kowalski on his own, it was nice knowing they didn't hate each other, could even stand to get naked together now and then, and it made things a lot easier when Fraser eventually got up his nerve to ask for a three-way. It just wasn't so great they needed more right away.

So the second time was after Fraser had been called back to Canada for a week; after five days, Kowalski was bouncing off the walls, irritable and horny, and Vecchio wasn't exactly thrilled with the circumstances, either. And when Kowalski said, "Hey, you wanna?" Vecchio came back with, "If it'll get you to shut the fuck up already, geez," and somehow that didn't ruin the mood one bit.

He let Kowalski take him into the main bedroom, and let Kowalski suck his fingers, and let Kowalski slowly, slowly fuck him up the ass (he did not tell Kowalski that Fraser never did that, that almost nobody had ever done that, but Kowalski was sweet anyway, going real easy until Vecchio started asking if that was all he had), and in the morning he was relieved to wake up alone, with Kowalski snoring away in the other bedroom.

Time number three was one of those weird nights when Kowalski just looked—like maybe he wanted Vecchio to ask for it, like maybe Vecchio should ask for it, and so Vecchio slid over and got a hand in his lap, and he was jerking off Kowalski so slow Kowalski was just about ready to beg—and then Fraser came out of the bedroom and stared at both of them, and the next thing Vecchio knew, Fraser was sucking his cock and jerking off Kowalski at the same time, and that was amazing, amazing enough Vecchio didn't even think about what they'd been doing before that.

Kowalski was a little cranky with Fraser afterwards—there were words between them, which Vecchio drowned out with one of Kowalski's Clash albums, because as far as he'd been concerned, it'd been great—so what if Fraser had taken a little iniative without permission, geez. Talk about micromanaging. In the morning, Vecchio walked out of the second bedroom and blinked at Fraser on the couch.

"Benny, c'mon, you could've bunked with me for the night." He frowned at the other bedroom door. "That better not have been a punishment—"

"No, no, nothing like that." Fraser sat up and cleared his throat. "Ray—I'm sorry for interrupting your time together."

"Wait, what? Whose time together? Me and Kowalski?" Vecchio laughed. "C'mon. The one guy in this apartment who's not ever gonna be interrupting anything is you, Benny. No worries."

"I almost hope that's not true," Fraser said, rubbing at his eyebrow. "But as I said—I'm sorry."

"Well, uh—" Vecchio shook his head, trying to come up with a response, because what the hell did that mean, I almost hope that's not true? All he could think to say was, "Apology accepted." And that was way more talking about this stuff than Vecchio needed, so he'd disappeared into the bathroom. When he got out, Fraser and his sheets and pillows were gone.

So, all in all, Vecchio and Kowalski had fooled around enough for them to get used to having each other around, and more importantly, having each other around naked and fucking Fraser. And they knew they didn't really have enough—whatever, attraction, chemistry, zing—to really go for it when it was just the two of them.

There was sure zing happening in Vecchio's dreams overnight, though. He spent the night tossing and turning and zinging Kowalski into next week, assuming "zing" meant sex where Kowalski begged and then sucked cock and then begged some more, and boy, dream Kowalski could beg like nobody's business. Fraser begging might've left Vecchio cold, but Kowalski... dream Vecchio just made him do more and more of it, made him beg for everything.

He woke up early the next morning with a hard-on that was just dying for some attention, so he stripped out of his pajamas and headed for the other bedroom, opening the door up silently and looking to see if either of them were awake.

Fraser was. He looked up at Vecchio and raised his eyebrows, licked his lips—God bless Benny, up for it even if he wasn't out of bed yet, even without coffee. Vecchio went quietly around to Fraser's side of the bed and slipped in next to him. In this bedroom, there was space in the bed for that; in the other room, three would've been a crowd.

"What can I do?" Fraser murmured.

"Anything you want," Vecchio whispered back. Fraser seemed to shake himself a little, then, and he pressed a kiss to Vecchio's collarbone and slid down the bed, disappearing under the covers, kissing and licking a path down Vecchio's chest, and over his stomach, and oh, yeah, finally reaching his cock, swirling his tongue over the head and licking in slow, broad stripes up and down the shaft. Vecchio rearranged the pillows, got himself nice and comfortable, and then that I'm being watched instinct kicked in, and he opened his eyes.

Kowalski was propped up on one elbow, watching him, eyes still heavy-lidded from sleep. His hair was all mashed down on one side, and he'd slept with his face on his wrist or something, because his cheek had an imprint of ball-chain on it.

But he was licking his lips as he watched—as he watched Vecchio, just Vecchio, because Fraser was under the covers and Vecchio was the only thing to really see, here.

Vecchio glanced down at the Fraser-shaped lump in the covers, and for once he didn't tug the covers back. He set a hand on Fraser's shoulder—it took him a couple tries to find it—and then looked back up at Kowalski.

"You mind if I..." Kowalski glanced down at the front of his own body, and he curled his hand into a loose fist and gestured—and Vecchio swallowed hard, grip on Fraser's shoulder going tight for a second. "It's okay if—I can get up and—"

"No," Vecchio said, groaning and shoving forward against Fraser's mouth; Fraser hadn't quite gotten his cock into his mouth yet, but he was still licking and swirling and, and nibbling, and Vecchio could wait a while if Fraser felt like stretching this out. "Don't—don't get up," he added, a little breathless now. "Just... push the sheet down."

Kowalski stared at him for a second or two, but then he jerked and flailed and pushed at the covers—the man wrapped himself up like a pierogi almost every night, Vecchio didn't know how he didn't strangle himself—until he'd gotten them down past his dick, and he palmed it, licking his lips and looking right into Vecchio's eyes.


Fraser opened his mouth, opened it wide, and started—oh God—slowly sucking Vecchio's cock down, inch after inch after slick, gliding inch. Vecchio hissed and clutched at Fraser's shoulder, and then he nodded at Kowalski. "Yeah," Vecchio growled.

Kowalski went for it, beating off quick but steady, and Vecchio groaned as Fraser started moving back and forth on his dick. "Oh—oh, God, yeah, Benny," Vecchio whispered, rocking his hips forward. Kowalski's arm was moving real fast, forearm tense, ball chain glinting a little, and Vecchio set his teeth together and said, "You're gonna wait, right?"

It broke Kowalski's rhythm; he got his thumb and forefinger into a tight circle just under the head of his cock, and squeezed. "Why the fuck would I do that?"

"'Cause I said so," Vecchio panted back at him, and Kowalski's eyes went wide, real wide, and he licked his lips, leaving them open, parted.

"Yeah, okay."

"Okay," Vecchio agreed, and then he didn't have to think about what Kowalski was doing anymore—he could focus on Fraser, on how good Fraser's mouth was, on how Fraser liked sucking cock so much he made those little desperate moaning sounds around Vecchio's cock.

But he kept looking back at Kowalski anyway, watching him jacking himself, watching as he backed off every once in a while, cock dark and leaking. Vecchio shot him a look when he stopped, and Kowalski shot him a look back—it was like they were flipping each other off across the bed here, while Vecchio fucked Fraser's mouth, while Kowalski stroked himself and didn't come and didn't come.

And it was that look that did Vecchio in, in the end—Kowalski looking daggers at him for making him wait so long, the little fuck-you-fuck-you-fuck-you that he was radiating across the bed, and finally Vecchio pushed hard into Fraser's mouth and closed his eyes and came. Seconds later, Kowalski was coming, too, hot and loud like he'd been dying for it, breathing hard afterwards—Vecchio got his eyes open in time to see the way Kowalski was flushed from the chest up, stomach spattered with come. He looked—

He looked a lot like the Kowalski from last night's dreams, Vecchio thought, and oh shit, he looked good that way.

Fraser came out from under the covers and wrapped himself around Vecchio, nuzzling at the side of Vecchio's neck, rubbing up against him. It got his mind off Kowalski, that was for sure; Ray ran his hand up and down Fraser's back and focused on him. "Ray," Fraser breathed. "Oh, God, Ray—"

Vecchio reached down between them and put his hand on Fraser's cock; Fraser shuddered in Vecchio's arms and started pushing forward, slowly, like he wanted his turn to last, too. It gave Kowalski enough time to reach back to the nightstand, and when he came back with lube, Vecchio had to wonder what the hell he was planning to do with it—he'd come already, Vecchio had come already, the only one who still needed something was Fraser.

But Kowalski curled up behind Fraser and slicked his fingers with lube, and Fraser drew his top leg up and put it over Vecchio's legs, giving Kowalski a little more room, a better angle. Vecchio's angle was the best one here by far, though—he got to see Fraser's eyelashes flutter with pleasure as Kowalski slid his fingers into Fraser's ass.

"Yes, Ray, Ray, oh God," Fraser whimpered, pushing forward into Vecchio's hand, rocking back against Kowalski's fingers. "Ray—"

"Any time you want," Kowalski murmured, kissing the back of Fraser's neck. "You don't gotta ask."

Fraser nodded, and then laughed a little, and said, "I just—don't want it to be soon... oh God, I don't think I can—help it—I... ohhh..."

It was always fun making Fraser lose track of his words, and between the two of them, Fraser got nice and incoherent, managing to babble out Ray and yes and oh, yes, please a few times before just going non-verbal altogether, just rocking between them and grunting and moaning and gasping. Vecchio was probably gonna get a wrist cramp from this, but that was okay—it was worth it.

Kowalski finally leaned forward and kissed the back of Fraser's neck—and it might've started as a kiss, but then Fraser gasped and squirmed and Vecchio could tell he was getting more than just the kiss. Kowalski was biting him, probably nailing his prostate, too, and Fraser clutched at Vecchio's arms and pushed forward one last time and came, painting Vecchio's wrist and forearm and stomach with sticky white stripes. Vecchio grinned at him and leaned forward to kiss his forehead; Kowalski drew back and got his arm around him and gave him a hug.

"Pretty," Vecchio murmured.

"Sexy as hell," Kowalski countered.

"I need a shower," Fraser mumbled. Vecchio snorted, and Kowalski grinned, too.

"Okay. You first," Vecchio agreed. Fraser planted a sloppy kiss on him, then crawled over him so he could head for the shower.

Kowalski threw the lube back into the nightstand and grabbed a hand towel; he swiped his hand, his fingers, and then tossed the towel at Vecchio. Vecchio swabbed at his stomach and arm and threw the towel back.

"So," Kowalski said, kind of wringing the towel in his hands. "So, uh—"

Vecchio just waited. He could apologize, maybe, but then again, he'd watched Fraser apologize for doing something right one too many times to step on whatever Kowalski was trying to say here.

"I'm guessing you didn't hate that," Kowalski said.

"Yeah, nice guess." Vecchio snorted.

"So it's—what? You don't want to do the kinky stuff with Fraser, but me, you want to...?"

Vecchio could feel the hair on the back of his neck standing up; he gritted his teeth and pushed himself out of bed. "Don't fucking flatter yourself," he said, which made no fucking sense at all, none, but it was the best he could do when he was naked and sticky with Fraser's come, when he'd just come his goddamned brains out making Kowalski wait for him.

He caught a glimpse of Kowalski's expression on his way out of the bedroom. It wasn't embarrassed or pissed or anything; Kowalski was just lying there looking thoughtful, eyebrows raised, tip of his tongue licking into the corner of his mouth.

Whatever—whatever, fuck him. Vecchio shut the second bedroom's door behind him and leaned both palms against it for a few seconds. It didn't mean anything. Kowalski could think whatever the fuck he wanted.

Things were normal for a while after that. Normal was kind of a theory rather than a practice in the Vecchio-Fraser-Kowalski household, okay, but Vecchio was used to that. They switched off walking Dief, though that was mostly Kowalski and Fraser; they went grocery shopping; Vecchio's laundry service dropped off all their towels and sheets and clothes, everything neatly folded and pressed. They'd even remembered to starch Fraser's shorts and leave Vecchio's and Kowalski's alone.

And it was fine, it was their crazy life but it was fine, until Fraser caught wind that the Terrance case had been dismissed and Ronny Terrance wasn't going to serve a lick of time in jail despite being one of the major drug distributors in the Chicago area, despite the fact that Fraser himself had personally busted Terrance with a dozen kilos of fine-grade heroin in his car. Something about Vice losing track of the goods—and it wasn't Vecchio, had nothing to do with Vecchio, Vecchio had been elsewhere the day Fraser and Kowalski made that bust, but people looked at Vecchio anyway, like his reputation was still scuffed from that bullshit with Siracusa.

Fraser was more pissed off about that than Vecchio was; Vecchio ignored it, shrugged it off, but Fraser was fuming. When he came home that night, he was ripping pieces of the uniform off as he went to the bedroom, every brass button coming loose with a vicious little tug, and Vecchio stood next to the couch and just stared after him. He'd handled bad days with Benny before all this, before Kowalski, but back then it was a process that involved making dinner—what, he was Italian, he wasn't gonna make dinner when a friend had a bad day?—and then something slow and easy.

It'd been a long time since Fraser had had a bad day like this one, since before the three of them moved in together, and it did not look like slow and easy was gonna cut it for Fraser tonight. Vecchio heard the hangers rattling as Fraser hung up his uniform, heard the loud thumps as he maybe threw his boots down in the closet, and then suddenly Fraser was standing in the doorway, naked and licking his lips and—Christ. He should've been looking at Kowalski, this had to be the way he and Kowalski dealt with days like today, but no, he was staring at Vecchio, making Vecchio work hard not to flinch away from him.

Kowalski put a hand on Vecchio's shoulder and squeezed, and he stepped up, stepped in front of Vecchio and got Fraser's attention. Vecchio backed off some, just watching the two of them; Kowalski walked forward until he was three feet away from Fraser. He snapped out, "Knees," and Fraser went down hard, dropping to his knees like his whole body was made out of lead weights.

Kowalski glanced back at Vecchio, who was holding stock-still, trying to keep his expression neutral. "You wanna go?" Kowalski murmured.

"Yeah, I—yeah," Vecchio mumbled, and he was off to the second bedroom, thinking about the way Kowalski could just say Knees and Fraser would drop, wondering if that was what they did now, if that was Fraser's way of dealing with bad days every time. It was them, it was fine, it was what worked for those two, but Christ, the idea of having Fraser look up at him with those big round eyes, waiting for Vecchio to break him apart and put him back together... it made Vecchio close his eyes and lean hard against the dresser, and when the noises started, when Kowalski's belt came down with that unmistakeable snap, Vecchio stopped breathing for a few seconds.

He started again as soon as Fraser started yelling. Vecchio had heard enough of this, had even watched them go at it once or twice, and it was clear that Fraser wanted every last lick of Kowalski's belt, wanted every single thing Kowalski was doing to him and more.

And he'd been looking at Vecchio at first. God, Benny, you know I can't—I don't—

He was hard, though. Harder than he'd been since—since he'd started having all those goddamned dreams about Kowalski.

Well, that was too fucking bad; he wasn't going to listen in on this, wasn't going to jerk off to it—just no. He fumbled in the nightstand drawer for his Walkman, and he turned the dial up as loud as it could go, breathing hard, trying to stop thinking.

In the morning, he stood at the bedroom door, hand on the doorknob, trying to figure out if he should let himself in this time or not. In the end, he did it, and he climbed into bed with them and wrapped himself around Fraser. Fraser wasn't bruised or anything, not this time, but Vecchio was still cautious with him, touching lightly until Fraser squirmed back against him and let out a soft, pleased sigh.

"Hey," Vecchio whispered against the back of Fraser's neck. "Hey, it's—I'm here, too, okay?"

"I know," Fraser murmured, rocking back against Vecchio. "Ray, I'm sorry—"

"Shhh. No." Vecchio kissed Fraser's shoulder. "Not your fault."

"I should have been more careful—"

"Kowalski should have beat this out of you last night."

"Yes, well. He tried," Fraser murmured.

"Yeah, okay. My turn."

Fraser went totally still against Vecchio for a second, until Vecchio gently rolled Fraser onto his stomach and reached to the nightstand drawer for a condom and lube. By the time he got back to Fraser, Fraser was relaxed again, and Vecchio tried not to think about what he'd said—how Fraser might have interpreted him saying my turn, Jesus. It wasn't that, wasn't going to be that between them.

But he could do this. He could go slow and easy; he could slick up and roll the condom on and fuck Fraser like he always used to do after a bad day—easy, gentle, so slow Fraser just sank into it and moaned while Vecchio moved inside him. He fucked Fraser until Fraser gasped and started pushing back, and then he sped up just a little, went harder just enough, and Fraser was moaning and gasping and coming underneath him, shaking in his arms.

Vecchio slid out and ditched the condom—not done, not close enough to come, but fucking Benny after the fact, when it hurt—that was not his department, that was Kowalski's department, and that wasn't going to change now. Fraser rolled over and reached down between them, and he let Vecchio slide into his fist, kissing him soft and openmouthed until Vecchio came, too, moans cut off against Fraser's lips.

"Good morning," Fraser murmured. Vecchio grunted and rolled over next to him, collapsing; Fraser kissed his shoulder before getting out of bed.

It was a few minutes before Vecchio realized Kowalski hadn't moved an inch. Vecchio looked up, squinting over at him. "What?"

Kowalski licked his lips—licked them like he wanted something, goddamnit. "Nothing."

"Don't give me 'nothing'," Vecchio muttered. "What?"

"I didn't—" Kowalski sighed and chewed on his thumbnail for a second. "I didn't come last night, okay, so that was—"

He had Vecchio's full attention now; Vecchio turned around and shoved the pillows up behind him, sitting up partway. "All that and you didn't? Why the hell not?"

"Wasn't what he needed from me," Kowalski said, and it was real light, the way he said it, all the way up until the very last word. "He gets like that, I gotta wear him out. Can't wear him out if I'm passed out myself, you know?"

"Yeah, okay—" It made sense, but it still left Vecchio frowning. "You couldn't just—" He gestured, and Kowalski's eyes zeroed in on Vecchio's fist, and whoa, there went Kowalski's tongue again, sweeping over his lips like he'd just thought of something he wanted to suck.

Fuck. Fuck Kowalski, anyway. Christ.

Kowalski visibly shook himself, head going back and forth like he was trying to dry off, and then he shook his head in answer to Vecchio's half-asked question. "I could've. I just didn't."

"So do it now, for Christ's sake," Vecchio said, and Kowalski clenched his jaw, swallowed hard. "What, no? You saving yourself for Benny or something?"

"No, I am not saving myself for Fraser," Kowalski said tightly. "But you throw around orders like you wanna watch me do something, and then you get all bitchy about it if I do—"

"That wasn't an order, Jesus God," Vecchio said, and now—now he felt like he was flushing the way Fraser did sometimes, the way Fraser did when he wanted something and couldn't make himself say it. Fuck. "You can jerk off or you can stay hard all fucking day for all I care. Maybe go to work and jerk off in the men's at the 27th, it's not like you'll be the first."

"Oh, classy."

"Like you wouldn't."

"That is just—you know what it smells like in the men's? You seen the stalls? They come up yea high," and Kowalski gestured up at his shoulder. "You gotta be kidding."

And something in Vecchio's brain just—took over, or went crazy, or something, because the next thing that came out of his mouth was, "I dare you."

Kowalski's eyes got big. "You what?"

Vecchio still felt like he was flushing, but he wasn't gonna back down now. "I dare you. Men's room at the 27th. Sometime today. And you tell me all about it when we get home."

"I—you're fucking nuts," Kowalski sputtered. "You—"

"Hey, you don't want to, no skin off my nose," Vecchio said, and now he was working real hard to get the voice right, trying to keep his tone as mild as he could. "But I think we both know you're gonna do it. And you're such a mouthy bastard you're gonna want to tell me every last detail—"

"Jesus," Kowalski hissed. He rubbed his hand over his face. "You—Christ. You really know where to push, don't you?"

Vecchio didn't know shit, but he wasn't going to say so. Not right now, at least. He wondered if this was what it had been like when Kowalski and Fraser got started, if Kowalski just flailed out and said the first thing that came to mind and Fraser got all hot and bothered about it, and they went from there.

"Okay," Kowalski said. He fell back onto the bed, rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes. "Okay okay okay. Men's room. I'll do it."

Vecchio nodded and exhaled slowly, and when Kowalski launched himself out of bed, Vecchio just stayed where he was, wondering who the hell he'd turned into and what the hell he thought he was doing.

It turned out the day was a little too busy for Vecchio to think about it much; there'd been an overnight drug bust on the west side, and there were people to question, there was evidence to check in, and best of all, there was a lead that might connect the drugs to Artolo Scampinelli, somebody Vecchio had been trying to connect to anything at all, an unpaid parking ticket for God's sake, for the year and a half since he got back to Chicago and started working with Vice.

By the time he got to Kowalski's desk, he was just ready to go home and tell Kowalski and Fraser about his day's work—until he got a look at Kowalski's face.

Kowalski narrowed his eyes at Vecchio and tightened his lips, exhaling hard through his nostrils, and Vecchio could read it all over him: He did it. The son of a bitch did it. Holy shit.

Fraser stood up and grabbed his hat. "I think we're ready. Ray?"

"Yeah," Kowalski said. "Yeah, we're—okay. Yeah." He grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair, and he hung it over his arm, keeping it in front of his groin as he followed Vecchio and Fraser out the door.

Out at the car, Vecchio grabbed Kowalski by the shoulder before he could sneak into the back with Diefenbaker. "Uh-uh. Let Benny hang out with Dief," Vecchio murmured.

"What, so you can torture me all the way home? I don't think—"

Vecchio leaned in real close, lips at Kowalski's ear, and he dug down deep for his Langoustine voice. He couldn't help it—Kowalski was just about squirming, and Vecchio hadn't even done anything yet.

"Because I fucking said so," Vecchio murmured, and Kowalski shuddered hard and nodded. Fraser glanced briefly at both of them and slipped into the back seat with Dief, and Kowalski dropped himself into the passenger seat, tilting his head back against the headrest. Vecchio took the driver's seat and looked Kowalski over as he got the car started; Kowalski looked... Vecchio couldn't even put a finger on it. Worn out. Horny. A little bit embarrassed.

"That bad, huh?"

Kowalski's head snapped up as Vecchio pulled out of the lot. "You know how long it took to make sure the men's was empty?"

Vecchio looked into the rearview mirror; Fraser wasn't looking confused or shocked or anything. In fact, he looked a little... sanguine, Vecchio might've said, if he were a slightly-unhinged Canadian who'd been raised by two librarians. Pleased. "I'm gonna guess you got backup."

Kowalski's ears were turning red. He chewed on his thumbnail and looked out the window. "It was that or be up and headed to the john every five fucking minutes to see if it was clear," he muttered.

"I don't mind," Fraser said quietly. "I didn't mind at all, Ray."

"I wasn't talking to you," Kowalski mumbled, still staring hard out the passenger window.

"Well, in fairness, I wasn't directing that statement at you, either," Fraser said. He caught Vecchio's eye in the rearview mirror. "I don't, you know. Mind. If you two are—"

"We're not anything," Kowalski said sharply. "We're not—this was—he doesn't even want to—"

"Hey, don't speak for me, Stanley. It was my idea in the first place."

Kowalski looked back at him; Vecchio kept his eyes on the road, because fuck, it was kind of an effort to hold onto this attitude. But maybe only one of them could have second thoughts at a time—right now, Kowalski was just about vibrating, he was so worked up, and all Vecchio could think was He did that. He did that for me. All I had to do was ask him. And I bet he'd do it again.

"I just—" There was Fraser again, and Kowalski slumped down in his seat, as if Fraser's voice would be any less clear that way. "I want you both to know you have my full support. If there's anything I can do—"

"You can maybe take the second bedroom tonight," Vecchio said carefully. "If you don't mind."

"Hey, fuck you—" Kowalski started, but Vecchio was ready for that.

"You really arguing about this? Really?"

Kowalski rubbed both hands over his face, and out from behind them, a little muffled, he finally muttered, "No."

"Okay, then." Vecchio looked back into the rearview mirror and caught Fraser's eyes one last time. "Thanks, Benny. I'll owe you."

Fraser just smiled, and on the passenger seat beside him, Kowalski took a long, hard breath and dropped his hands into his lap, staring straight forward. Vecchio, for his part, grinned all the way home.

Getting through dinner was rough. Kowalski was acting like somebody'd taken his favorite teddy bear out back and threatened to shoot it; Fraser was quiet, no work stories or Inuit stories or attempts to be supportive of whatever the hell Vecchio and Kowalski were getting into. It might've been a blessing in disguise, though; for all Vecchio knew, hearing Fraser talk about it any more would've made Kowalski explode.

And when it came to making Kowalski explode, well. Vecchio had other plans in mind.

Of the three of them, Fraser was the only one who actually managed to eat worth a damn—well, okay, Dief, but that was Dief—and after Vecchio and Kowalski had finished picking at their dinner, Fraser took their plates to the kitchen and stayed there, leaving Vecchio at the table with Kowalski. Alone.

Vecchio propped his elbows on the table and rested his chin on his hands. "You know, all day long, I thought we were gonna come home and I was gonna be the jumpy one. How about you?"

Kowalski looked up at him. "I thought that at first, yeah. And then I hit the can for the first time, just to take a whiz, you know? It was just after that first cup of coffee, kinda busy, lots of people around, and I thought—fuck, I'm gonna have to come back here at some point and jerk off. And I gotta do it because Vecchio said so."

"Look, maybe you should just tell me—I mean, Christ, I don't know what the hell I'm doing," Vecchio murmured. "Did I cross a line? Was that too much?"

"Oh, hell no." Kowalski sat up. "Hell, no. If that was too much, I would've said so this morning, when you first asked."

"That's the thing, though." Vecchio lifted an eyebrow. "I didn't ask."

Kowalski shifted in his seat, one hand dropping below the table's surface for a second before coming back up. Vecchio knew an adjusting gesture when he saw one, and the thought that Kowalski was getting hard—getting hard just over this conversation, Jesus—well, it eased a few of his worries that he'd gone too far this morning, that was for sure.

"Okay," Kowalski said quietly. "You didn't ask."

"And you're okay with that." Vecchio paused. "With—with me. Not asking."

"I am if you are," Kowalski said immediately, but then he sat back in his chair and rubbed at his eyes for a second. "Okay, no, it's more than that. It's—there's more than that. I just—why me? Why not Ben? Because Ben's great, you know, he's got years of experience with this, since way the hell before I ever met him—"

Vecchio raised a hand and shook his head. "No no no, I'm not hearing this, I don't want to hear it—"

"Hey, fuck you, no—you don't get to be all la la la I can't hear you when it comes to Ben being a submissive and then turn around and try to dominate me. You don't want to with him, okay, fine, but you don't act like he's doing something wrong."

Vecchio blinked at him. "I don't—is that what—" He glanced back over his shoulder toward the kitchen and then leaned forward over the table and lowered his voice. "Is that what he thinks? He thinks I—he thinks I don't—I mean, I was cool with it. With you two doing—you know, fuck, the stuff you guys do, it's just—I wasn't—"

"You still freak a little if he's subby with you."

"Hey, he's my best friend. We were never like that. Before you we weren't like that, and if he—if he was—" Say it out loud, Raimondo. "If he was a submissive even before he met me, it just didn't come up. So that's not us, and I thought he was okay with that—"

"He's okay with it, but you don't think he's wondering why it's okay with me and not with him? I'm sure as hell wondering."

"Because you're a—"

Kowalski raised his eyebrows, grinned ear-to-ear. Smirked, really. "I'm a what?"

Fuck it. He asked. "You're a pushy little son of a bitch is what you are," Vecchio muttered. "I mean, shit, Kowalski, I push you, you push back. Even when we're not in bed. I push Benny, and—" He shook his head. "Point is, I don't want to push Benny."

"You push Ben and he just goes down," Kowalski said quietly. "And you worry about getting him up again."

Vecchio shook his head again, looking away, away from the kitchen now, away from the bedroom, just away.

"But me," Kowalski went on. Vecchio raised an eyebrow, but he didn't look. Couldn't look, not just yet. "You figure you push me the wrong way, maybe I bite your head off. But I don't just fold. I get back up on my own."

"Yeah," Vecchio whispered. "Yeah, pretty much."

Kowalski snorted out a laugh, and Vecchio's head whipped up fast—no way was he going to just let Kowalski laugh at him, no way, but once he actually took a look, he wasn't so sure Kowalski was laughing at him after all. "What, asshole?"

"Just—it's the first time I've ever heard somebody say I'd be easier to top than a guy like Ben."

"It's not just that," Vecchio shot back, but shit—maybe he should've kept that to himself, because now Kowalski was raising both his eyebrows and waiting for him to finish that thought. "It's—it was hot. Because you push back. Okay?"

And, weirdly, Kowalski seemed to sag a little with relief, sighing softly and nodding. "Okay," he murmured. "Okay. Thank you."

For what, Vecchio didn't know, but he wasn't going to ask now. Because now they weren't talking about Fraser, and they weren't struggling through a chat about whether Vecchio was really okay with some of the kinky stuff he'd been living with for the last several months—now they were talking about them, just the two of them, and Vecchio was getting really interested in moving this conversation somewhere else.

"I'm gonna go wash my hands," Vecchio murmured. He stood up and walked around the table, putting a hand on Kowalski's shoulder and squeezing. Kowalski didn't move, but he did take a deep, quick breath, and that was enough to convince Vecchio to keep going with this. "And then I'm going back to the bedroom. So you sit here for a minute or two, however long you need. And then wash up, take a leak, whatever, but come back to bed when you're done."

"Yeah," Kowalski murmured. "Yeah, all right."

"'Yeah, all right'?" Vecchio repeated softly, grinning. "That the best you got, Kowalski?"

Kowalski looked up at him, wide-eyed for a second before the sneer kicked in. "You gonna make me do better?"

"You think I can't?" And he gave Kowalski just the slightest little bit of a smile.

"Fuck," Kowalski whispered, drawing it out long and low. "I didn't—say that." His voice was more than a little unsteady, and God, it was more of a rush than Vecchio had expected. A lot more.

"So we'll do this again. I said, I'm gonna wash my hands, and you're gonna sit here for a minute or two, and then you wash up, you take a leak, you come to bed—"

"Okay," Kowalski said, this time firmly, looking right into Vecchio's eyes. When Vecchio didn't move, Kowalski's lips twitched, and he smirked a little as he offered up, "...Sir?"

Jesus. Vecchio's hand tightened on Kowalski's shoulder, and he nodded a couple of times. "Better," he managed. "Good."

He turned on his heel and went straight for the bathroom, where he closed the door and leaned hard against the counter. He was lucky he could still walk after that; hell, he was lucky the blood hadn't all rushed from his head to his dick and made him pass the fuck out.

"Pull it together," he whispered at himself. "Pull it together. Pull it the fuck together, Vecchio, Jesus Christ."

He gave himself a couple of minutes just to breathe and try to get himself under control, and then he did the usual stuff—took a leak, washed up, stared hard at himself in the mirror trying to get into character. Okay, that was maybe less usual, at least when he was at home going to bed with one of his partners, but he wasn't trying to be somebody else here; he was just trying to find the confidence that he was going to need to pull off—whatever in fuck he was going to try to pull off with Kowalski.

Okay, stop. Think about it. You don't need a whole step-by-step plan, but think about what you want to do, here. Proper preparation prevents poor performance... oh, God, Benny's really rubbing off on me.

First thing: Get Kowalski talking about jerking off today at the 2-7. Vecchio started this whole thing with a dare, and Kowalski had actually done it, so Vecchio deserved the payoff. And, hell, maybe Kowalski wanted to talk about it; maybe for him it was part of the payoff, too.

Second thing: There was no way in hell Vecchio wasn't getting off tonight. Maybe Vecchio hadn't spent all day thinking about it like Kowalski had, but he'd been thinking about it on the ride home, and he'd been thinking about it through dinner, and he was thinking about it now: Kowalski jerked off at work for no reason other than Vecchio told him to do it. It was a rush, it felt good—but it'd feel a whole lot better if Vecchio got Kowalski's hands on him, or—fuck, maybe his mouth, or...

How often did Kowalski get fucked, anyway?

Vecchio splashed a little water on his face and breathed out slow and even. Get a grip, get a fucking grip. It might not go that way. It doesn't have to go that way. Just because he's doing what you tell him doesn't mean he wants your dick up his ass.

Maybe not, maybe not, but if he did, if he was willing to give Vecchio that much—hell, yes, Vecchio would take that.

He dried his face, dried his hands, and that was it—all the prep time he was going to give himself. It was no big deal, right? Kowalski and Fraser did this all the time.

When he was out of the bathroom, he went down the hall into the bedroom and started taking off his clothes, hanging up his jacket and shirt and pants in the closet, belt on its hook, shoes onto the rack, undershirt and socks into the hamper. He might not be in the main bedroom every night, but he sure as hell had dibs on the bigger closet.

He left the boxers, though. It felt like it might be easier to start this without his dick hanging out and his balls flapping in the air; maybe that was stupid, maybe Kowalski wouldn't give a shit, but the hell with it—it was his show, he could keep his damn boxers on if he wanted.

He stood at the side of the bed and waited, arms crossed over his chest, wondering how long it was going to take Kowalski to psych himself up for this.

Not long, it turned out. A couple minutes after Vecchio was finished undressing, Kowalski walked in. Vecchio looked him over—a little flushed, a lot hard. He grinned; he couldn't help it.

Kowalski shot him a look. "What?"

"I like you coming in here with a hard-on. Makes it seem like you really want what you're in here to get."

"Yeah, well, no shit," Kowalski said, rolling his eyes.

And, okay, the eyeroll made it all pretty natural. If Kowalski had come in just looking like he wanted it, Vecchio probably would've frozen up; with Kowalski turning into his usual pushy, sarcastic self, Vecchio just raised an eyebrow and looked at him. "You think you're gonna get it like that, think again."

"You want something, maybe you should say." Kowalski put his hands on his hips and licked his lower lip, and God, the man was such a slut. He had to know how that made him look.

"You know what, I do want something," Vecchio said quietly. "I want you to take your shirt off."

Kowalski nodded, and he pulled his t-shirt up and over his head, dropping it on the floor. He raised his eyebrows and tilted his chin up a little, and Vecchio could read that as surely as if Kowalski had said it out loud: Now what?

"Get your fucking boots off. And your socks. You walk into a room with me for this, you're gonna do it barefoot."

Kowalski's eyes got a little rounder, and some of the attitude came out of him. He didn't even say anything before he was down on the floor, on one knee, getting his boot unlaced and stripping off both boot and sock. He shoved the sock down into the boot, set the boot aside, and went to work on the other one, but his hands were a little shaky; he got the laces knotted before he could get them untied.

Soon enough, though, both boots were off, Kowalski was barefoot, and he stayed on the ground, kneeling, like the sight of that wasn't gonna go straight to Vecchio's cock. Fuck.

"I gotta tell you," Vecchio said—and hell, it was an effort to say this, because it wasn't true— "you being on your knees doesn't do me any good over there."

Kowalski's jaw worked for a second, and his eyes went all narrow again, and he came up on his feet. "Okay, fine—"

"Didn't say I don't want you on your knees." Calm. Calm. Stay calm. If he's getting worked up, you stay calm. "I said it doesn't do me any good with you over there." He made a small gesture with his head, a get-over-here gesture, and said, "Do it again. Right here." He tapped his foot at a spot just in front of him.

"Asshole," Kowalski muttered, but he was starting to flush red around the neck. And he sure as hell wasn't losing his hard-on. And for all that he'd just called Vecchio an asshole, he was moving, coming forward and standing right in front of Vecchio, looking him square in the eyes for a second, and then dropping to his knees, putting his hands behind his back.

It was pretty much all Vecchio could do not to just get his cock out and ask Kowalski—no, tell Kowalski—to suck him; Kowalski's mouth was right there, and the way he was licking at his lower lip, it was like he was begging for it.

But Vecchio had a plan, and getting off was part two. Part one was getting Kowalski to talk about today, and the 27th, and jerking off in the men's room.

He got a hand into Kowalski's hair, feeling the stiff crunch of whatever the hell Kowalski used to make it stand up like that, and Kowalski's eyes slammed shut. Kowalski started breathing hard, and Vecchio thought, From this? Just from this?

"Hey," Vecchio said, giving Kowalski a tiny shake. "You're not gonna zone out on me, are you?"

Kowalski got his eyes open again and glared up at Vecchio. "No," he gritted out, "but maybe I like being down here, okay? Maybe I don't—"

Vecchio waited a couple of seconds, but Kowalski didn't seem real keen on finishing that sentence, so Vecchio tightened his grip. "Maybe you don't what?"

"Maybe I don't get to do this that often anymore." Kowalski licked his lips again—this time Vecchio was pretty sure he wasn't doing it to be sexy, he was doing it because Vecchio was dragging something out of him. "It's been—fuck, a while. A few years. Not since before Fraser."

Jesus. It hadn't really occurred to Vecchio that maybe Kowalski used to do it this way—he was so damned used to seeing Kowalski on top, with Fraser, just taking control all the time and never looking tired of it. "Okay," Vecchio said. He had to work pretty hard to keep the stutter out of his voice; Kowalski used to do it this way, and now he wasn't doing it for anyone except him. Maybe. If Vecchio could figure out what the fuck he was doing.

"You look pretty on your knees," Vecchio said, "but hardwood, c'mon, it's gotta be a bitch. So get up on the bed; you can kneel some more there."

"Thanks," Kowalski said. He actually sounded like he meant it, too, which was a nice surprise. He grunted as he struggled up from the floor, and he climbed onto the bed, getting into a kneel again. Vecchio came up on the bed with him, stretching out on his side and propping his head up on his arm—no reason not to be comfortable while he was watching Kowalski.

"Yeah," Vecchio murmured. "Okay. Get your pants open."

Kowalski unbuckled his belt, undid the first button on his fly, and then there was a series of quick pops and the rest of the buttons were open, too, and Vecchio realized, for the first time, what button-fly jeans were for—they were for being hot as all hell, tailor-made for situations where you were telling someone he could strip for you.

He could see the grey cotton of Kowalski's boxer-briefs under his open fly, and he took a slow breath, trying to get control of himself so his voice wouldn't shake when he gave the next order.

"Push 'em down. And your shorts. Just far enough to get your dick out."

Kowalski came up on his knees a little and pushed his jeans and boxers down, and Vecchio kept reminding himself to breathe. Kowalski was kneeling on the bed for him, dick out, not so much as touching it, just because Vecchio wanted him to.

It didn't last, of course; Kowalski smirked at him and wrapped his hand around his dick, stroking slowly. "You like that?"

Vecchio launched himself across the bed at Kowalski and grabbed his wrist. "Did I tell you to do that? Huh?"

"It's where you were going with it, c'mon—"

"Sure it was. But you do it when I tell you." Kowalski let go of his cock, but Vecchio kept hold of his wrist anyway. He rubbed his thumb across the inside of it, ball-chain rolling up and down against Kowalski's wrist along with Vecchio's thumb. "You gonna behave for me, or do I need to tie you up?"

"Not this time," Kowalski said immediately—and Vecchio could tell he didn't mean it as a challenge. He was serious; the smirk had come off his face, and he was looking Vecchio right in the eyes. "I can't—not this time."

"Okay," Vecchio agreed. He came up on his knees and rested his other hand on Kowalski's shoulder; he couldn't bring himself to let Kowalski's wrist go, not just yet, but he wanted Kowalski to know he was listening. He leaned in—slow, so Kowalski could back away if he didn't want this—and he brushed his lips across Kowalski's, real light. Kowalski shuddered and closed his eyes, and when he licked his lips, Vecchio could feel Kowalski's tongue flick across his mouth.

It was like Kowalski was trying to offer something, and Vecchio wanted to take him up on it—God, did he ever. He brought his hand around to the back of Kowalski's neck and held on hard, and this time when he kissed Kowalski, he licked Kowalski's lips, waited until Kowalski moaned against his mouth, and then he pushed in, sliding his tongue inside so he could fuck Kowalski's mouth just like this, with his tongue hot and rough against Kowalski's and his hand tight on the back of Kowalski's neck.

Kowalski jerked against him. Vecchio had to tighten his grip on Kowalski's wrist to keep him from pulling it away. Kowalski's other hand came up, gripped Vecchio's upper arm—but then Kowalski kind of groaned into his mouth, fingers tightening on Vecchio's arm, and all the fight and shock went out of him. He let Vecchio kiss him, let Vecchio take total control of his mouth, and Vecchio took full advantage, licking hard, tongue thrusting in deep.

By the time he pulled back, Kowalski was shaking a little. Vecchio hoped to hell it wasn't wrong to be this turned on by that, because he couldn't help it—Kowalski looked hotter than anything Vecchio could think of right now, and Vecchio wasn't done with him yet.

"Okay," Vecchio whispered. He pulled Kowalski's hand gently over to his cock again, and Kowalski got his eyes open, looking up at Vecchio with his brow furrowed a little. "Now you're gonna touch yourself. You're gonna do it slow. And you're gonna tell me about today. You stop talking, you stop stroking. Got it?"

"Yeah," Kowalski breathed. He let go of Vecchio's arm and took a few breaths; he wrapped his fingers loosely around his cock. His hand started working, and he licked his lips. "So today," he began, narrowing his eyes, "I got dared to jerk off at work."

Vecchio smirked at him as he stretched out again. "Yeah, I heard something about that."

"And since I didn't get off the night before, and I'd done a pretty hot scene with one of my partners that night—not to mention watched him with my other partner in the morning—I was thinking, okay, I'll duck in, get it over with, take care of the—of the order," he said, stumbling a little, "and get myself off, end of story."

"Except the men's wasn't empty."

"No, it wasn't," Kowalski growled, and his hand went tight on his cock for the next few strokes. "And I started thinking, well, this is gonna be more complicated than I thought."

"So how'd you manage?"

Kowalski took a few rough, panting breaths, hand still moving quick on his cock, but Vecchio wasn't ready to call him on it just yet. If he didn't start talking soon, though...

"I got—I got my partner to—stand guard," Kowalski stuttered. "He—we waited until it was already empty and—he stood out there and—he was gonna tell people there was—work being done, to go upstairs, and so I'm in there and I'm thinking about him standing outside, looking like he does when he's on guard duty, and—fuck, I'm harder than ever in there, but I don't know if I can make myself do it."

"Oh, but you did do it."

"Yeah," Kowalski snarled. He gritted his teeth together and curled forward, hand stopping. "Shit, Vecchio—I'm—I need a break or I'm gonna come right now."

"Okay," Vecchio murmured. He came up on his knees, too, and he put his hands on Kowalski's shoulders. "Lie down."

Kowalski all but collapsed on the bed, and Vecchio pushed and pulled until Kowalski was on his back, hands at his sides. He looked down at Kowalski's legs, still tangled up in his jeans, and he shrugged; now was as good a time to get rid of those as any. He pulled them off, Kowalski looking down at him, and when Kowalski's jeans and boxer-briefs were on the floor, Vecchio paused for half a second and stripped off his boxers, too, leaving them in a pile with Kowalski's clothes.

He climbed back on the bed and straddled Kowalski's thighs, and Kowalski's eyes bulged for a second before he dropped onto his back again, panting hard. "Vecchio..."

"I'm not doing anything," Vecchio said, grinning down at him. "I'm just listening. You need to keep talking."

"Son of a bitch," Kowalski muttered, bringing his hands up to his face and groaning. "Fuck you, Vecchio, just—just fuck you."

"I was kinda thinking we'd do it the other way around," Vecchio said lightly.

Kowalski went stiff under him, hands falling away from his face, and he propped himself up on his elbows and shook his head. "No, I—I can't—fuck." He bit his lower lip and squeezed his eyes shut. That wasn't a turned-on look; Kowalski was freaking out about something. Vecchio climbed off him and stretched out at his side, hoping like hell he hadn't just thrown the whole night into the garbage.

"Okay, okay, not that, not now, it's cool. It's all right." Vecchio put a hand on Kowalski's shoulder. "It's okay."

"No, I don't—look, you want that, you should get to do it, I just—"

"Not tonight," Vecchio said firmly, squeezing Kowalski's shoulder. "Maybe later, but not tonight."

"I'm just saying—"

"Hey, who's topping right now, you or me?"

Kowalski squeezed his eyes shut. "You."

"And I'm telling you we're not doing it like that tonight. So quit arguing." It was the weirdest thing Vecchio had done in—well, not that long, really; he lived with Kowalski and Fraser, after all. But having to tell Kowalski to quit arguing in favor of something Kowalski clearly didn't want to do—that was a new one.

"Okay," Kowalski said. He nodded a couple of times. "Okay. All right—shit, I'm sorry—"

"And quit apologizing," Vecchio snapped. "You can apologize when I tell you you can apologize, you got it?"

Kowalski actually smirked at him. "Okay, that sounds familiar."

"I bet it does," Vecchio muttered, and for once the reminder of Fraser on the receiving end of this kind of treatment didn't make him want to hide under the damned bed—he just wanted to get back where they'd been, before Kowalski freaked out about the idea of getting fucked.

Which—back where they'd been. Maybe that was exactly the way to handle this. Vecchio went slow, made eye contact with Kowalski and made sure Kowalski wasn't going get startled, but he slid back on top of him, straddling his thighs, sitting up so he could take in the view.

And in spite of the few minutes' freakout, the view was still pretty damned good. Kowalski was still hard, still looked good with his clothes off—a little skinny, but Vecchio didn't exactly have a leg to stand on when it came to that—and he was still looking up at Vecchio like Vecchio had something he really, really wanted.

But this time they were both naked, and Vecchio's cock was hard, too, angled down and resting against his right thigh. He reached down and gave it a slow stroke, and Kowalski's body tensed and his eyes got wide, and then he licked his lips. Vecchio had to grin. Definitely the right way to get this back on track.

"I'm trying to remember where we were," Vecchio murmured. "You were telling me a story. Something about you in a bathroom..."

"Yeah," Kowalski murmured. He looked down at Vecchio's hand, at Vecchio's cock—and at his own, which Vecchio was almost pointedly ignoring. "Can I—do you want me to—"

"Not this time. In fact, maybe you wanna be a good boy and tuck those hands behind your neck. Just so you don't get any bright ideas about touching yourself before I say so." Vecchio arched an eyebrow, not sure if that was going to go over well—good boy in particular—but Kowalski just nodded and put his hands behind his neck. "So go on already," Vecchio said sharply. "Keep talking."

"Okay," Kowalski snapped back. "Jesus, getting impatient here, huh?"

"You want that time in the bathroom to be the only time you come today, you just keep stalling."

Kowalski glared up at him, but he licked his lips—he kept that up, Vecchio was going to have to bend down and lick them for him—and then he took a deep breath and finally, finally started talking again. "So I'm in the bathroom and Fraser's outside, and I'm thinking, fuck, how am I gonna do this."


"And then I thought about you daring me to do it, and how you sounded when you called me a mouthy little bastard." Kowalski's voice was getting a little softer now, and he was focusing hard on Vecchio's hand, on the way Vecchio was slowly, slowly stroking his cock. "Because you were right about that. About me. When I was subbing I used to mouth off a lot."

"No shit," Vecchio said; he was pretty impressed with himself for not panting, at least not yet. And he wanted to hear more about that—when I was subbing, God—but he wanted to keep things on track. Step one, get Kowalski to tell him about today; step two, get them both off before they went totally insane. "What then? Did you just pull it out and start beating off in the middle of the bathroom?"

"Fuck, no," Kowalski said. "I went into a stall—I kinda leaned up against the wall..." He licked his lips again. "Fuck. Vecchio, c'mon, gimme some of that..."

"Some of what?" Vecchio asked. "This?" He gave himself another few strokes, and damn, they were really starting to feel good; if he wasn't careful, he'd be coming on Kowalski's stomach in a few more minutes. "You want it?"

"Yeah—yeah, please—"

Shit. Vecchio had just been about to say no, to tell Kowalski he hadn't earned that yet, but hearing please out of Kowalski was more than Vecchio had expected right then. And Vecchio wasn't made out of stone, not most of him, anyway, so he let his own dick go, then reached down and took Kowalski's in his hand. Kowalski moaned out loud and arched up into Vecchio's hand, and it was one stroke, two—and then he stopped, letting go of Kowalski's cock and resting his hands on his own thighs, waiting for Kowalski to stop panting.

"You want more, you better keep talking," Vecchio whispered. "C'mon."

"I—yeah," Kowalski whispered back. He blinked his eyes open and looked up at Vecchio. "So I'm in the stall, and I'm leaning against the wall, and it's kinda flimsy, it's like I could knock it over if I got too out of control. Plus it's short, and I can see all the way down the room, past all the other stalls, and I'm thinking, if somebody walked in, if Fraser lets somebody in, I'm just fucked—no way they're not gonna know what I'm up to."

Vecchio wrapped a hand around his dick again and then slid forward, bent down and braced himself on his arm. Close enough, now, close enough... he reached out and got his hand around Kowalski's dick, too, squeezing it against his own, rocking his hips down so he could feel the warm glide of his cock rubbing against Kowalski's.

Kowalski's hands came out from behind his head, and he reached out, grabbing Vecchio by the hips. "Oh, fuck, yeah," Kowalski growled. "Yeah, more—"

"Somebody thinks he's done talking," Vecchio said. "You're not done, Kowalski. Plus you got your hands somewhere I didn't tell 'em to be, so you got to the count of three to get back where I put you. One—"

"Oh, fuck you, c'mon—"


"—fucking cocktease," Kowalski snarled, but he was moving, his hands were back under his neck, and he was panting again.

"Three," Vecchio said, and he stroked a few more times down both their shafts just because. Kowalski groaned and squirmed and shook underneath him, and God, God, yeah, this was—it was amazing watching Kowalski like this, just fucking amazing. Kowalski was coming totally unglued, and it was all because Vecchio wanted him to do things and Kowalski, for once in his life, wanted to do what he was told.


"Ray," Vecchio whispered. "Can you do that for me? When we're like this? Can you call me Ray?"

"Ray," Kowalski moaned. "Just—my hair hurts I'm so goddamned turned on—"

"Yeah, and I'm gonna do something about that, I promise," Vecchio said softly. He gave their cocks a squeeze; Kowalski let out a really satisfying groan. "But you gotta do something for me first. You gotta tell me about today." He licked his lips; it was tough not just thrusting down and rubbing himself off against Kowalski's cock, against his belly, between his thighs, maybe. He could do that—he could do damn near anything he wanted right now, and it'd all be fair, because he was in charge. Christ, no wonder Kowalski liked doing this so much. "Tell me about today. Tell me about the bathroom. You were in a stall—"

"Right," Kowalski said, soft now, eyes losing their focus. "I'm in a stall, and I get my belt undone and shove my pants down and I start going for it. And, fuck, the men's room smells like exactly what I said it did, and there's people outside, and I can hear Fraser saying, oh, out of order, or work being done, or some shit like that, so I know I gotta be fast about it."

"Yeah?" Vecchio gave their cocks another squeeze. "Were you fast?"

"I just started jerking it," Kowalski murmured, "and it wasn't gonna—I wasn't gonna—it wasn't fast enough or hard enough or something, it wasn't gonna work, and I started thinking about Fraser last night and then I thought, no, not fair, if I'm doing it for you I should be thinking of you."

"Oh, Jesus, Kowalski," Vecchio groaned; he stroked their cocks a few times, thrust down because he couldn't help it by then. He needed something; he wanted more than just this, more than his hand on both of them, and he was going to do it—he was going to, just a little more, just a little more... "C'mon, c'mon, tell me—"

"So I thought about—that time when—oh, fuck, slow down, slow down, please, God, I can't—"

Vecchio took his hand off them and sat back up. "Okay," he said; it was a good thing he didn't have to say much more than that, because he was pretty sure his voice was about as wrecked as Kowalski's. "Okay. Breathe, man."

Kowalski did that, took a couple of big loud breaths, and he shook his head hard from side to side and then looked back up at Vecchio. "Yeah," he murmured. "So I thought about that time when Fraser was gone and I was kind of itching for something, and you said I could fuck you if it'd get me to shut the fuck up, and I just—I was in you, I was thinking about being in you and how it felt like you were in charge anyway, 'cause you kept going on about, oh, is this all you got, you can't do it any harder, you gonna fuck me or what, and—"

"You think about that?" Vecchio asked. He reached down and put his hands on Kowalski's chest, pressing him into the bed. "You think about that time when we—when you—you think about fucking me?"

"Sometimes," Kowalski admitted. He licked his lips again, leaving them parted when he'd gotten them good and wet; Christ, he looked good.

"And you were thinking about that today?"

"I thought maybe I'd come home and tell you, and maybe if I begged good enough you'd let me do it again," Kowalski said, and Vecchio growled down at him and shoved his hips down against Kowalski's, feeling his cock slide past Kowalski's, feeling Kowalski shake underneath him. "And I came like that, thinking about fucking you and begging you and—fuck, fuck, fuck—"

"Yeah, c'mon, do it," Vecchio snarled; he was thrusting hard against him now, cock rubbing against Kowalski's lower belly, sliding past Kowalski's cock, and Kowalski struggled forward and grabbed for Vecchio's arms, like he was trying to get Vecchio even closer, and—Christ, yeah, Vecchio wanted that, too. He dropped down on top of Kowalski and kissed him hard, thrusting his tongue into Kowalski's mouth with the same rhythm he had going with his hips, and then Kowalski was moaning and jerking underneath him, and Vecchio was thrusting through the hot, slick rush of Kowalski's come, and that was it—Vecchio was coming, too, biting at Kowalski's mouth, groaning and gasping until he could barely see straight.

He pretty much fell onto Kowalski, then, and Kowalski grunted, but he didn't try to get Vecchio to move. It was a while before either one of them moved or tried to say anything, and Vecchio didn't miss the part where Kowalski was holding on pretty damned hard.

The stickiness was starting to get to him, though, so he kissed Kowalski on the forehead and slid over to the side. "So," he said softly, and he cleared his throat. "So, ah. You want to—"

"If you tell me to jerk off in the men's again I'm gonna kick you in the head," Kowalski groaned, draping his arm over his face.

"Hey, I'm not a one-trick pony here," Vecchio shot back. "I was just gonna say—you want to do something like this again?"

Kowalski peeked out from under his forearm. "Hell, yeah," he said softly. "You got something in mind?"

"Not yet," Vecchio admitted. "You give me a couple days, though, and I'll come up with something."

"Okay." And, because this night needed to get weirder, Kowalski reached out a hand like they were supposed to shake on it. Vecchio decided not to argue about it; he just shook Kowalski's hand and then sat up.

"I need a shower," he said. "You want to join me?"

"I—" Kowalski frowned a little. "You mind if I don't?"

"Up to you." Vecchio frowned a little, too, looking down at Kowalski, at the bed. "You want me to switch with Benny for the night? We don't have to—you don't have to stay here—"

"I think I'm gonna take the couch tonight," Kowalski admitted. "I could use some space."

The idea of having a bed to himself was actually more appealing than Vecchio had thought; he nodded. "I know what you mean," he said softly. "Okay. Just—I don't want this to be weird, all right?"

"No, that's fair," Kowalski agreed. "Don't want it to be weird, either. Wouldn't be buddies."

"Buddies," Vecchio said, shaking his head. "You want to be buddies after all that?"

"Fuck. I don't know what I want to be," Kowalski said, sitting up and resting his head in his hands for a second. When he looked back up at Vecchio, his expression was guarded. "But I don't want it to fuck anything up, either."

"So we're on the same page, then," Vecchio said.

"Yeah, I think we are. Go ahead and take your shower. I'm all right."

There was a creak at the door, maybe from the floorboards. Vecchio pushed himself up on his elbow, squinting into the darkness.

"It's just me," Fraser murmured.

"Early," Vecchio mumbled back. He looked over at the clock on the nightstand. Just past five. "Can't sleep?"

"No, I slept fine," Fraser said, coming over to the bed. He was in an undershirt and boxers, and he slipped in next to Vecchio, stretching out beside him. Vecchio sank back into the covers; Fraser spooned up along his back and wrapped an arm around his waist. "I just needed—"

"Mmm." Vecchio nodded. He wasn't awake enough to think about what Fraser needed, beyond just being close, and it wasn't unlike Fraser to need something like this in the morning anyway; he dropped off within a few minutes, with Fraser's warmth pressed against him.

The alarm got him up again a couple of hours later. Fraser hadn't moved, but when Vecchio started to turn over so he could hit the snooze button, Fraser got to it first. He pressed his face against the back of Vecchio's neck and hummed out something appreciative, and oh yeah, he had some morning wood going; that was always a good thing.

"Ray," Fraser murmured, rubbing up against Vecchio's ass—yeah, yeah, this could be good; Vecchio struggled in the covers and got himself turned over to face Fraser, and he grinned right into Fraser's sleep-creased face.

"You want something this morning?"

"Just you," Fraser said softly. He rolled onto his back. "Please? We've got time..."

They did, yeah, and Vecchio didn't see any reason to waste it. He leaned over Fraser and dug through the nightstand for a condom and some lube and a towel; once he'd gotten them, Fraser squirmed out of his boxers and kicked them down to the foot of the bed. Vecchio tossed the covers back—Fraser was warm enough to keep both of them comfortable even in the early morning, God knew—and Fraser spread his legs and drew his knees up. He stretched his arms out above his head, stretching out his back, moaning softly.

Vecchio paused, condom out of the packet, just staring down at Fraser. "Benny—"

Fraser pushed himself up on his elbows and blinked down the bed at Vecchio. "I'm sorry—did you want me another way?"

If it was Kowalski, Vecchio would've known he was fucking with him; with Fraser, not a chance. It was morning, his back got stiff, of course he had to stretch, and sure, sometimes Vecchio liked to do it in other positions—Fraser on all fours, Fraser on his side, whatever.

But he could see it, now—he could see what Kowalski was into, with Fraser's arms stretched out above his head, Fraser down to just an undershirt and nothing else, ready to be fucked.


"Ray?" Fraser sat up, reaching out for him. "Is something wrong?"

"No, I—nothing, nothing, I want to—I want you, go on, lie back down..." Vecchio rolled the condom onto his dick—yeah, all his talk about not wanting Fraser to be submissive, and when he got even a taste of it, his cock was rock-hard and demanding attention. Way to be a fucking liar, Raimondo, Jesus.

"I want you, too, Ray," Fraser murmured, lying back down. "More than ever, actually."

Vecchio blinked at him—what the hell did that mean?—but he wasn't going to ask, not now, not right here. Fraser stretched again, closing his eyes—and God, this time when he stretched his back he had his hands behind his head, which reminded Vecchio maybe just a little bit of Kowalski, last night. Only Fraser wasn't struggling with anything; Fraser just looked happy as hell to be here and more than ready to get fucked.

Vecchio grabbed the lube and slicked his fingers; he was maybe going overboard, maybe spilling a little on the sheets, but fuck it; they really ought to change the sheets more often anyway. He put his other hand on Fraser's thigh and then rested his fingers against Fraser's opening, waiting. "Hey," he murmured. "You tell me if I do anything you don't like, okay?"

Fraser's eyes snapped open, and he frowned for a second. "Of course I would, you know that—but Ray, you couldn't possibly—"

"I know. I know." Vecchio bit down gently on his lower lip and started moving his fingers in, and Fraser moaned and all but collapsed onto the bed, squirming down against Vecchio's hand. And, fuck, Vecchio had always known Fraser was a bottom, had never been under any illusions that Fraser didn't just love getting fucked, but after last night—after being with Kowalski, after taking charge with Kowalski, it was hard not to look at Fraser and see all the ways Fraser just loved to give in.

"Ray—yes, God, please, more—"

More, Vecchio thought, and he looked down at his hand, at Fraser's ass—three fingers inside him and Fraser was asking for more. Vecchio wondered how much more Fraser really wanted.

Stop that. It's not you, you don't do this, you love him, you fuck him, that's what you do. That's all. He asks for more, he's telling you to quit with the prep and fuck him already, so just—go on, go on...

"Yeah," Vecchio whispered. He drew his hand back and used the towel to wipe his fingers clean, and then he was stretching out on top of Fraser, getting lined up so he could—there, Christ, push into Fraser and feel Fraser open up and take him.

"Yes—God—" Fraser got his hands out from behind his head, finally, and wrapped them around Vecchio's shoulders, and that was better—so much better, God, just like always, like it'd always been between them. Fraser needed this—needed somebody to be close to him, needed someone to remind him just how bad he was wanted, just how much Vecchio needed him, and Vecchio pressed kisses all along Fraser's cheek and ear and the side of his neck, slowly moving into him, pumping his hips and keeping it all easy, easy. It could still be easy between them.

"Please," Fraser whispered, "yes, please, there—oh, God—" He squirmed down, drew his legs back, and Vecchio pushed up a little, grinning down at him. It was always so damned satisfying when he got the angle just right and Fraser went out of his head. It took him a few more strokes to really find it, really push down into Fraser the way Fraser wanted, but then he was there, rubbing over that spot with every thrust down, and Fraser was groaning and clutching at him and squirming underneath him—gorgeous, Benny was just gorgeous.

They'd done this often enough Vecchio knew he could keep Fraser on the edge for pretty much as long as Vecchio's back could hold out, but today he wanted something else—something more, maybe. He didn't even know what, really, but his body had an answer for him—Christ, his body was practically demanding he take more right now—and so he braced himself and drove in hard, and Fraser gasped, threw his head back, and reached up to get his hands on Vecchio's back.


"Again," Fraser groaned.

That answered that; he sure as hell didn't hate it. Vecchio thrust in again, just as hard, and Fraser curled forward, fingers digging into Vecchio's shoulders. "More," Fraser panted. "Just—please, God, more, more, more—"

"Yeah," Vecchio growled, and that was all it took—he was shoving in hard, giving it to Fraser good and deep, slamming into that spot and making Fraser shake underneath him. Fraser's grip went to Vecchio's arms, and finally down to his forearms, and he held on tight, tighter, groaning out loud every time Vecchio drove into him. The grip on Vecchio's forearms was starting to hurt, starting to ache a little, but the hell with it—he was going to let Fraser hold on tight and he was just going to keep on fucking him until he couldn't wait anymore, until it got to be too much... and for once, dammit, he wanted to see Fraser come apart first.

Fraser gasped again and got one hand off Vecchio's arm, and he pushed it between them, getting his hand on his cock. "Yes, yes, Ray—oh, God—"

Harder, yeah, Vecchio could go harder and harder and—fuck, Fraser was coming, actually yelling underneath him, ass squeezing Vecchio's cock tight, and oh God, that was it, that was all Vecchio needed—he grabbed Fraser by the arm and pinned him down and fucked him fast and rough, the last few strokes lost in a haze of pleasure as he hit the edge and flew right over it, coming with a shout, pushing hard into Fraser's body.

He fell right on top of Fraser when he was done, and while Fraser grunted, he didn't try to move. He was still catching his breath himself, and Vecchio was a little bit smug about that; getting Fraser winded just from being fucked was a pretty nice accomplishment.

After a while, though, Vecchio heard the shower turn on, and he sighed. "He's gonna use all the hot water," he mumbled.

"Do you mind?"

Vecchio grinned. "Not really."

"Good." Fraser gave Vecchio a warm, hard hug, and then gently rolled Vecchio off him. "That was lovely, Ray."

Fraser kissed him, soft and slow, and Vecchio hummed happily against Fraser's lips. Lovely, he thought; God, Fraser had a funny definiton of what was lovely. Not that Vecchio was complaining. Not that Vecchio was complaining one little damned bit. Fraser was sweet enough to help Vecchio get rid of the condom and to hand him the towel from the foot of the bed, so Vecchio wasn't going to complain about anything right now.

"I think I'll go claim some of that hot water before it's all gone, if it's all right with you."

"Yeah, of course it's all right with me. Why wouldn't it be?"

Fraser nodded and ran his hand over Vecchio's shoulder. "I just wanted to be sure. And if you wanted to go in instead of me—"

"I—what, no," Vecchio said, heart jumping right for his throat. "No, that's not—I mean, we're—I mean, last night was—it's not different or anything, we're all still us—"

"A little change can be good for the spirit," Fraser said softly, thumb going back and forth over the spot where Vecchio's neck met his shoulder. "And—well, I'm not minding the results so far. Are you?"

"Christ, Benny, ask the hard questions when I'm all fucked out and haven't had my coffee," Vecchio muttered, closing his eyes.

"I'm sorry—"

"No, no, fair question, okay? Just—it was one fucking day, you know? Today's gonna be something else."

"I certainly hope—" Fraser actually cut himself off mid-sentence, and Vecchio blinked up at him. "I don't mean—what I mean to say is, not that I minded standing guard, but perhaps something less public—"

"Oh, God, that is not what I meant at all," Vecchio moaned. "I didn't mean, something else like I tell him to do something else—" But God, now that he was thinking about it, it didn't seem so bad after all. "Look, go get your shower, okay? Make sure he's doing all right, 'cause I haven't seen him since last night and we kind of—he wanted space after. So—"

"I think he's fine, but I'm glad you're thinking about him," Fraser said, leaning in to kiss Vecchio's cheek before climbing out of bed. "Oh," he whispered, wincing just a little, and Vecchio stared at him, wide-eyed—but as soon as the wince came, it was gone, and Fraser was standing there at the bed like he wasn't sore at all, the big red liar. Jesus. "I'll try to make sure we leave you some hot water."

"Thanks." Vecchio groaned and stretched out as Fraser got up, and when Fraser was gone, he had the whole bed to sprawl over. He could hear the bathroom door opening, the shower curtain opening after that—and for a few minutes, there was nothing but the soft sound of the water. No shouting from Kowalski, so that was a good sign—maybe Fraser was right, maybe Kowalski was doing just fine today. And the sex with Fraser this morning—that was great. Vecchio actually let himself relax for a little bit, closing his eyes and just appreciating how good he had things, how good things could be if he just—if they just—if he and Kowalski could figure out what the fuck they were doing.

Then there was a thud from the shower, and another thud, and Vecchio sat up, frowning in the general direction of the bathroom. Funny noises from the shower were nothing out of the ordinary around here, but Vecchio still pushed out of bed and went in to the bathroom to investigate.

From the way Kowalski and Fraser's silhouettes were moving behind the shower curtain, what they were doing was obvious, and it was another thing that wasn't out of the ordinary here. Fraser was down on his knees in front of Kowalski, and Kowalski was kind of bent over, slamming his cock into Fraser's mouth. Vecchio leaned up against the counter and swallowed hard; he'd seen this before, he'd seen it without so much as the curtain between them, but today it felt different, somehow.

"Take it," Kowalski growled, "c'mon, take it, that's it, open your goddamned throat, Ben, fucking suck it, eat me, c'mon, I'm gonna fucking choke you with it—"

Christ. That was more than Kowalski usually said, but the way Fraser was pushing forward for more, Vecchio didn't think Fraser minded. Vecchio fumbled at the sink for his toothbrush, wanting this to be just another normal day, damn it—just another day where Fraser blew Kowalski in the shower and Vecchio brushed his teeth and flossed like he was used to it all.

But it wasn't every day he fucked Fraser hard enough to leave him sore, and it wasn't every day he thought about himself in Kowalski's place and Kowalski in Fraser's place. Thank God he'd gotten off with Fraser, because if he hadn't—if he'd had to stand out here with a hard-on, watching them, listening to them...

Hell, he wasn't going to get hard again right away and he was still thinking about how good Kowalski's mouth would feel on his cock. Shit.

He brushed his teeth, flossed, washed his face, shaved—all the things he needed to do anyway. He was careful with the razor; even when Kowalski grabbed Fraser by the back of the neck and slammed in and came, panting out "Fuck, fuck, suck me, c'mon—oh fuck, Ben," Vecchio didn't cut himself.

The water cut out; Vecchio wondered how much hot water they'd left for him. At this point, a cold shower didn't sound like the worst idea ever.

Fraser smiled at Vecchio as he stepped out of the tub and dried off; Kowalski had his eyes narrowed, his chin tilted up, lips pressed together. Vecchio blinked at him. What the hell did that mean?

Kowlaski waited until Fraser was dry and had left the bathroom before he said anything, and when he did, his voice was low enough to keep Fraser from overhearing. "Just so we're clear," Kowalski murmured. "I'm not calling off the kink with Fraser."

"I didn't ask you to," Vecchio said evenly, because okay, Kowalski was maybe not as all right as Fraser had figured. Just stay calm. Find out what the fuck his problem is.

Kowalski stepped out of the tub and grabbed his towel. "And the fact that you can put me down if I feel like going there—it doesn't make me your bitch, Vecchio."

Vecchio raised an eyebrow; that was how he wanted to play this? After last night? After all that?

The smart thing to say probably would've been something like, "It's fine, Kowalski; don't get stressed out about it."

What he actually said was, "We'll see about that, huh?" and then he stepped into the shower and tugged the curtain closed, leaving Kowalski standing there dripping wet and gaping at him. He closed his eyes as he turned the water on.

What the fuck was that? What the fuck were you thinking?

The hot water gave out before he could come up with an answer, and he gritted his teeth and got out of the shower as fast as he could.

Kowalski was in a shitty mood that night. Vecchio wondered if he'd been growling at Fraser all day long, because as soon as they were through with dinner, Fraser hopped up to his feet and said, "I think I'll take Diefenbaker for a walk."

Vecchio raised his eyebrows at Fraser and sort of tilted his head in Kowalski's direction, and Fraser gave him a rueful grin in return. Great. Whether Fraser thought Vecchio and Kowalski needed some time alone, or whether he was just trying to get the fuck out of Kowalski's way for a while, it didn't really matter—the point was, Fraser was out of there, and Vecchio was left to deal with Kowalski on his own.

The door had barely shut behind Fraser and Dief before Kowalski was up on his feet, pacing across the room. "You know what, fuck you, Vecchio."

Vecchio blinked at him and sat back in his chair; he wasn't going to get in Kowalski's face until he figured out what the hell was going on with him. "You got a problem?"

"I got a—yeah, I have a fucking problem," Kowalski said. He came back over to the table and leaned down on it with both hands, looking Vecchio in the eye. "Where the fuck do you get off calling me your bitch?"

Vecchio grinned up at him, and Kowalski shoved away from the table, turning around, running his fingers through his hair. Vecchio didn't even try to stop smirking. "If I remember this morning right, and you better believe I do, Stanley, I didn't call you my bitch. You brought that up all by yourself."

"Fuck you—you get one over on me one time and you think everything's gonna be different now—"

"No," Vecchio said, careful and patient, like he was trying to talk to a particularly thick-headed and volatile subject at work. "I don't think anything has to be different. If you never want to get on your knees like that again, that's fine by me."

Christ, he hoped his poker face was good, because he'd been thinking about Kowalski on his knees all damned day, and the last thing he wanted was for Kowalski to say it wasn't going to happen again.

But Kowalski just kept pacing, shaking his head, putting his hands on his hips, then crossing his arms over his chest, then back to his hips again. "You don't even fucking do this," Kowalski muttered. "You don't even want it—"

"You know what, apparently I do," Vecchio said quietly. "And you know what else—it's okay that you're freaking out, because I get it."

Kowalski spun on his heel and looked right at Vecchio. "You get what?"

"I get that you didn't think you were going to get this again. Maybe ever. And now you're living with a guy who wants to give it to you, and it's scaring the fuck out of you."

And that was all it took—the fight went out of Kowalski, and he closed his eyes and nodded. Even Vecchio was a little startled—he hadn't expected Kowalski to just give in and admit what was going on with him that fast.

He stood up and walked around the table, reaching out and wrapping his hand around the back of Kowalski's neck. Kowalski shuddered, and Vecchio squeezed hard.

"Would it help if I said it was scaring the fuck out of me, too?"

"It might," Kowalski murmured.

"Take a look at this." Vecchio unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it up so Kowalski could look at his forearm. There were five fingerprint bruises there, left over from this morning. From Fraser. Kowalski ran his fingertips over them, eyes wide.

"Fuck. Ben did that?"

"Yeah," Vecchio whispered. "He didn't—I didn't ask him to, but we were—I came at him hard this morning. Harder than I usually would. And he was into it, you know? But this—I found these after lunch, and I didn't think, I didn't even realize—but he was holding on that hard."

"He does that sometimes," Kowalski murmured. He was still touching those bruises, still running his fingers over them, feather-light. "He can really cling if you let him."

"I don't want what I have with Benny to change," Vecchio said quietly. "But I think it might anyway. That's what's scaring me right now."

"Yeah." Kowalski nodded. "Yeah, I get that, too. And if you don't want to, if you want to just... stop... if you want last night to be it, then that's all right with me. We just—we go back to how it was. We don't even have to talk about it."

Vecchio nodded, too, watching Kowalski's hand as he kept touching Vecchio's arm, watching Kowalski's fingers and the way he just couldn't stop touching those bruises. He reached up and put his hand around Kowalski's wrist, just above his bracelet. Slow and deliberate, so Kowalski could move away if he wanted. He didn't.

"Is that what you want?" Vecchio asked. "You want it to stop there?"

Kowalski met his eyes, and Vecchio saw the answer before Kowalski even said a word. Kowalski licked his lips and shook his head. "No."

"Me, neither," Vecchio whispered, and thank God, thank God they were still on the same page with this, because the thought of never having Kowalski on his knees again—he didn't want that. Christ, he didn't want that. He wanted Kowalski in all kinds of ways he'd never even fucking thought about before, and the images were coming hot and fast now—Kowalski on his knees in the shower, like Fraser had been this morning. Kowalski tied to the bed, maybe even gagged so all his begging would be muffled. Kowalski all spread out and—Christ, he could say it to himself, he could think it, submissive, waiting for Vecchio to slick him up and fuck him. Kowalski on his back, with Vecchio riding him, making Kowalski wait until Vecchio got off before he could come.

"Give me something," Kowalski said, turning his wrist a little in Vecchio's grip. He wasn't pulling away, it wasn't like he wanted Vecchio to let go, so Vecchio didn't—he held on tighter, and Kowalski let out a soft, groaning breath. "Tell me to do something. Make me—I don't know. Just—make me."

"Okay." Vecchio eased his grip on Kowalski's wrist and rubbed his thumb across the inside of it; Kowalski shuddered for him, and Vecchio just kept rubbing, his thumb sliding those ball-chain beads back and forth across Kowalski's wrist. "Get your boots off."

He wondered if Kowalski remembered that from last night—Vecchio telling him you walk into a room with me for this, you're gonna do it barefoot—but Kowalski was already dropping to one knee, getting his boots and socks off, and when he came back up, he looked a little less shaky, a little more certain about things. That helped a lot, it turned out—it was easier for Vecchio to act like he was sure about this if Kowalski looked like he really fucking wanted it—and so when Vecchio stepped forward again, he didn't hesitate in getting Kowalski's belt undone, in yanking his fly open and popping that whole line of buttons like he'd been fantasizing about all goddamned day.

"You hard for me, Kowalski?" Vecchio murmured. He slid his hand into Kowalski's fly and got a nice handful—hell, yes, Kowalski was hard, and he groaned when Vecchio squeezed his cock. "You been thinking about getting some more of this?"

"I been thinking about it since last night," Kowalski breathed, and Christ, that was—he'd been thinking about this even though he'd been snapping at Vecchio, he'd been thinking about it even while he was worn out from doing it, he'd maybe been thinking about it back at work, every time he went to the men's room.

"I know what I want," Vecchio murmured. "Get into the bedroom and strip down. Wait for me."

"Okay," Kowalski murmured back. He took off for the bedroom, not even bothering to button his jeans back up—not much point, they were going to come right back off anyway, but still. He wasn't hesitating, he was just doing what Vecchio told him to do. It was a rush all over again; it was as good as it had been last night.

Vecchio waited long enough for Kowalski to get undressed, and then he followed Kowalski into the bedroom.

And he pulled up short as soon as he got in the room, because Kowalski was on his goddamned knees facing the bed, hands behind his back, head tilted down and eyes closed. He was like something out of a porno, the kind Vecchio was sure were going to send him straight to hell—not that it had ever stopped him—and Vecchio just stood there for a minute, breathing hard, looking at him.

Kowalski twitched, though, a little tremor running through his shoulders, and he tilted his neck back and forth just a little. "Hey—"

"I'm here," Vecchio said, walking over, reaching down to stroke his fingers through Kowalski's hair. "I'm right here, I just—you look so goddamned good like this."

"Hate to think I'm doing it for nothing," Kowalski murmured. But he was relaxing into Vecchio's touch now, and that helped Vecchio relax, too—he hadn't even realized how tight his own shoulders were getting.

"It's not for nothing. Believe me, it's not for nothing," Vecchio said. "You gonna be okay on your knees for a couple minutes?"

"Yeah—yeah, I think so, but why—"

"I want to get my clothes off." He got his fingers into Kowalski's hair and clutched at him a little—just a little, not like he was trying to drag Kowalski's head back or anything, even though he was thinking about it. "You good with that?"

"Yeah, I'm good with that."

"Okay. Hold on."

"To what?"

"What are you, Benny?"

Kowalski snorted. "Pretty sure I'm not. Hope that's not what you're looking for right now."

"It's not," Vecchio said softly, tightening his grip in Kowalski's hair. "It's really not."

Kowalski hissed out a breath and nodded, just a little, against Vecchio's grip. Vecchio let Kowalski's hair go and headed across the room to the closet. He wasn't going to rush this; having a little extra time might actually help him finish getting into character. Kowalski wasn't Fraser, and Vecchio wasn't Kowalski—he couldn't just turn this on and off on a dime, the way Kowalski did with Fraser, and maybe that'd come with practice, but maybe there wasn't going to be a lot of practice. This could be it—Kowalski could change his mind on it again, decide tomorrow he was through with it.

He put his shoes on the shoe rack and hung his pants up nice and neat, creases lined up and crisp. This time the boxers went into the hamper along with his shoes and his undershirt, and when he came back to Kowalski, he was as naked as Kowalski was. As hard as Kowalski was, too.

He set both hands on Kowalski's shoulders and rubbed gently, and Kowalski moaned and leaned back into him. "Fuck," Kowalski whispered. "Feels good, Vecch—" He stopped, biting off Vecchio's name mid-word, and then quietly corrected himself with, "Ray."

A shiver ran up Vecchio's spine—he'd told Kowalski to call him Ray, he'd told him that last night, but he hadn't realized it was going to stick. "Yeah," he whispered. He gave Kowalski's shoulders another few strokes, more rubbing, letting Kowalski relax under his hands. "Say that again."

"Ray," Kowalski breathed, and Vecchio almost moaned out loud. "Please—can we—can I get off the floor? It's killing my knees—"

"Yeah, yeah, of course, come on." Vecchio offered Kowalski a hand up, and Kowalski took him up on it, groaning as he stretched his legs out. Maybe Kowalski's knees were that bad, maybe not, but either way, Vecchio didn't need to keep him on the floor all night.

"Come up on the bed," Vecchio said, gently pushing so Kowalski was turned around, getting him onto his back and putting him right in the middle of their bed—damn, the thing was big, more than big enough for Kowalski to sprawl, and when Kowalski was all stretched out, he didn't look like a small guy at all—he had long arms, long legs, really long fucking fingers. Vecchio narrowed his eyes at them, remembering how it'd felt when Kowalski had opened him up that one time, fucked him with his fingers before fucking him with his cock. Oh, yeah, Vecchio remembered Kowalski's fingers.


"Thinking about what I'm gonna do with you," Vecchio growled down at him, and Kowalski's eyes got wide. He nodded, licked his lips, just kept watching Vecchio. It was like he was scared shitless and trusting Vecchio anyway, and Vecchio wondered if Kowalski even wanted to snap at him tonight—if he pushed Kowalski, could he get him to snarl?

Try it, said a little voice in the back of Vecchio's head, a voice Vecchio wasn't real sure he was proud of, didn't know if he should be listening to, but fuck it—being nice wasn't what had gotten them this far in the first place. "You'd look real fucking good tied to this bed," Vecchio growled.

That look of open, naked trust vanished off Kowalski's face, and he sat up, glaring hard at Vecchio. "I said no—"

"You said no last time. You gonna keep saying no every time I tell you I want something? Or are you just having an easier time convincing yourself you're not my bitch if you don't do shit you think of as actually submissive?"

"Oh, fuck you—"

"You let me tie you up, and you can do that."

Kowalski frowned at him, like he couldn't quite track that statement, and Vecchio grinned like a shark as he spelled it out.

"We can go at this like we did last night—I can jerk you off and then I can shoot all over you, and you can go to sleep smelling like me. Or you can be a good boy, and let me tie you up, and I'll ride your cock."

"Fuck," Kowalski whispered. He was going red around the neck, like he had last night; it was a good look on him.

"You remember what you told me yesterday? How you'd been thinking about being in me, begging me?" Vecchio just kept grinning, eyes narrowed, showing Kowalski his teeth. "You can have that. You just gotta give me something, too."

"I can't—fuck," Kowalski growled, clenching his fists, looking down at the bed. "Fuck you, fuck you—"

"It's killing you wanting it so bad, isn't it?" Vecchio came up on the bed with him, straddling Kowalski's thighs—this was playing dirty as hell, but Vecchio wasn't above that. Not when it really mattered. He pushed Kowalski's shoulders, and Kowalski fell back on the bed and let Vecchio pin him; he didn't even try to fight.

"You want this," Vecchio murmured down at him. And it was obvious how much Kowalski did want it; his cock was hard, and Vecchio angled his hips down so he could rub his cock roughly against Kowalski's. "You want me to tie you up and ride you. You want to beg me to take you deeper, you want to beg me to ride you harder, you want to beg me to jerk myself off and come all over you—"

"Yes, yes, goddamnit, yes," Kowalski panted, trying to rock his hips up against Vecchio's. Vecchio shifted his weight, though, keeping Kowalski still—he wasn't going to let Kowalski just rub up and take all the friction he wanted. Hell, no. "Just—fuck. I want to talk about this later—can we talk about this later?"

Vecchio frowned at him. "What do you need to talk about?"

"I mean I want it, I do, but—c'mon, Vecchio, more, c'mon, gimme—" Kowalski was really trying now, really squirming underneath him, and hell, a few more minutes of that and Vecchio would forget all about what he was trying to get out of Kowalski, here, and just rub up against him until they were a sweaty, sticky mess. "Vecchio, please, goddamnit—"

Vecchio backed off Kowalski, sitting up straight again. Kowalski got his eyes open, and he looked up at Vecchio like he was confused about why Vecchio wasn't just going for it. Join the club, Vecchio thought. But he'd come into this room with a purpose, and Kowalski had said yes—yes, he wanted Vecchio to tie him up and ride him—so Vecchio wasn't going to give up on it that easily.

"Are we doing this or not?" Vecchio asked quietly.

"Are we—what, are we doing what or not?"

"Am I tying you up tonight or not?"

Kowalski gritted his teeth and looked away, exhaling harshly through his nose. He brought his hands up and ran them through his hair. "I'm not trying to be a tease," Kowalski said quietly. "Just—I got stuff. Baggage from past relationships, you know? Not even relationships, really, just—stupid shit you do when you're a kid and you don't know better, and I want to do that, I do, but we need to—I need to talk it over first."

Hell. It was hard not to be disappointed, but Vecchio nodded anyway. "Yeah," he murmured. "Okay. I get it."

"The thing is, I trust you." Kowalski reached up to Vecchio's hips, and Vecchio put his hands over Kowalski's, squeezing. "I know you're not gonna fuck me over."

"Nah," Vecchio said lightly. "I just wanna fuck you. And even that's kinda new."

Kowalski actually flashed him a grin. "Yeah, well. Feeling's mutual, buddy."

Vecchio grinned back and ran his thumb back and forth over Kowalski's bracelet. "Okay. So maybe we save tying you up for another time." Which meant he was assuming there was going to be another time—they were both assuming that now, and that was new, too. But Kowalski nodded, so they were on the same page there; this was a thing now, something they were going to keep doing. "I bet you still want your dick in me, though."

Kowalski groaned out loud and nodded; his hands weren't as tight on Vecchio's hips as they'd been, and Vecchio was able to turn both of them over so he could get at the insides of Kowalski's wrists. It would've been fun, wrapping some of Vecchio's last-season's ties around them, tying him to the bed, but okay, later—he could live with later.

But hey, wait, what was that—Kowalski was shivering a little under Vecchio, now, hands loose in Vecchio's grasp, and it seemed like he was responding to—Vecchio dragged his thumbnail down the center of Kowlaski's wrist, watching closely. And Kowalski squirmed.

"Huh," Vecchio said softly. He did it again, same wrist, but this time Kowalski jerked a little, his other wrist pulling against Vecchio's grip. He wasn't trying real hard to get free, but Vecchio let go anyway—which didn't matter much, because as soon as Vecchio's grip loosened, Kowalski just left his hand there, resting against Vecchio's open fingers.

"Man, you just can't make anything easy, can you?" Vecchio murmured. Kowalski looked up at him again, eyebrows raised, and Vecchio nodded down at their hands. "I hold onto you and you struggle, I let go of you and—"

"Holding me down's okay," Kowalski said immediately. "You can hold me down."

"Well, why the fuck didn't you just say so, Jesus," Vecchio said, grabbing both of Kowalski's wrists and slamming them down on the bed. Kowalski growled a little, low and soft, as Vecchio stretched out across his body, and Vecchio rolled his eyes. "I wasn't dead-set on chains or anything."

"Like I fucking knew that? Fuck you, too, dickwad—"

Vecchio shoved his hips down against Kowalski's, and Kowalski stopped cursing at him and just turned his head to the side, breath coming out in muffled little groans. He was still struggling against Vecchio's grip, but it was different now—Vecchio was allowed to hold him down this way, he was allowed to just keep Kowalski pinned even if he fought. Allowed was maybe the wrong word here, since Vecchio was supposedly the one in charge, but whatever—the point was, he could do this, and he didn't have to worry about letting Kowalski up.

Vecchio chuckled against the side of Kowalski's neck and then kissed him, soft, real soft. "Pretty sure you're not supposed to call the guy on top of you a dickwad, Stanley," Vecchio murmured.

"Ray," Kowalski breathed, and Vecchio was one breath away from apologizing when Kowalski whispered, "Sorry. Ray."

Oh, Christ, Kowalski wasn't trying to get Vecchio to call him Ray, he was remembering that he was supposed to call Vecchio Ray while they were doing this stuff. Fuck. Vecchio groaned and kissed the side of Kowalski's neck again. "That's good," Vecchio murmured. "That's good. That's real good. How good do you want to be for me, Kowalski, huh?"

"About as good as you make me," Kowalski said, and Vecchio laughed at that, too; at least he was being honest.

He levered himself up, still keeping his hold on Kowalski's wrists, and looked down at him. Kowalski was flushed from his cheeks to the middle of his chest now, and his cock was resting against his stomach, one little drop of clear fluid leaking from the tip. Hard and turned-on, but not going absolutely nuts yet. "You sure about this?" Vecchio asked. "I can keep you pinned down and you're gonna be okay with that?"

"Yeah." Kowalski nodded. "Hell, you can hold on tighter than that if you want." He glanced at Vecchio's forearm, where Fraser had left those marks on Vecchio this morning, and Vecchio shivered, thinking about doing the same thing to Kowalski. "If you—" Kowalski had to stop and take a breath himself; he squirmed hard under Vecchio, like he was trying to get his cock up against any part of Vecchio, anything at all. "If you want to really grab hold of me, it's—I'm okay with that."

Vecchio could read between those lines—you can leave bruises if you want, it's okay—and he nodded down at Kowalski. "I want to," he whispered. Vecchio knew from the laundry drop-off a few days back that Kowalski had a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts clean, even; Vecchio could bruise him, and it'd be fine, it wouldn't have to show. "But I gotta let you up for a second, you realize that? We need a couple things first."

"Oh." Kowalski grinned broadly. "Yeah, guess we do."

"So if I let go of you... are you going to stay right here for me? You're not gonna try to move or go anywhere?"

"Hell, no."

"You promise?" Vecchio raised an eyebrow.

Kowalski paused before giving whatever smart-ass answer had probably come to mind, and he relaxed into the bed, underneath Vecchio's grip. Vecchio let go of his wrists, and Kowalski kept them right where Vecchio had left them; he didn't move a muscle.

"There we go," Vecchio said, and he leaned over to the nightstand, where, thank God, there were condoms and lube in easy reach. Out of towels, though. He frowned and dug around in the drawer for a second, making sure he hadn't just overlooked one.

"Other nightstand," Kowalski offered helpfully; he was still stuck to the mattress like he'd been glued there, and Vecchio stared at him for a second—it should be annoying, it should just be pissing Vecchio off that Kowalski was lying there doing nothing while Vecchio was gathering up the stuff, but no: Kowalski was lying there because he'd been told to lie there, he wasn't gonna move unless Vecchio told him to move, and Vecchio forgot all about the towel he was missing and just sprawled all over Kowalski, kissing him hard, pushing his tongue into Kowalski's mouth and taking over, thoughts all lost to a cascade of mine, you're mine, right now you're fucking MINE.

And Kowalski was moaning, he was letting Vecchio in, he was even stroking his hot, slutty little tongue up against Vecchio's like he was trying to say fuck me, fuck me, fuck me with his mouth, but he wasn't fucking moving. Vecchio got a hand into Kowalski's hair and pinned his head to the pillow, breaking the kiss so he could look down into Kowalski's eyes. "You're so—you are so—"

"Fucking kiss me again, Ray, please."

"I'm gonna do so much more than kiss you," Vecchio growled, but he started with that, with another rough, thorough kiss that left Kowalski's mouth claimed and glossy by the time he was done.

Fuck the towels, fuck taking care with this—Kowalski was lying there with his wrists upturned, and his hair mussed from where Vecchio had grabbed it, and Vecchio's hands shook as he kneeled back up and grabbed for the condoms and the lube. The condom was no trouble, he got it unwrapped and slicked over Kowalski's cock in no time flat, but the lube—it was awkward reaching between his own legs, getting himself slick, not least because the last time he'd been fucked was the last time with Kowalski, and that'd been months ago. So the lube was messy and took longer than it maybe should've, and what was left once he was done he just slicked over Kowalski's cock, but in spite of the wait, in spite of how clumsy it felt to Vecchio, Kowalski was breathing real hard, fingers curled into his palms. He looked like it was taking an effort to keep from moving now, like it was taking all he had to just stay there like he was supposed to. Vecchio swung a leg over Kowalski's thighs and held Kowalski's cock up; Kowalski bit down on his lower lip and squeezed his eyes shut.

"You want this?" Vecchio panted. "You wanna fuck me?"

Kowalski could barely even nod; Vecchio could feel his cock jerking in his hand.

"You want me to hold you down and get this inside me?"

This time Kowalski managed a harder nod; Vecchio gave Kowalski's cock a rough squeeze as a reward.

"You want it, you ask nice for it."

"Oh, you goddamned cock-tease—"

"And how nice is that, I ask you—"

"Please, Vecch—Ray, Ray, goddamnit, please, please, you gotta—I need it, please put it in, please, just, just—please—"

"Yeah," Vecchio growled. He leaned forward, braced his free hand on Kowalski's chest, and got them lined up just right—and oh, it would've been nice if he could've just sank down and taken Kowalski in all at once, but that just wasn't gonna happen, not with the size of the hard-on Kowalski was sporting, not with how out-of-practice Vecchio was at this—hell, he'd never even been in practice.

So it was one inch, and it hurt—Vecchio gasped out loud, tried not to tighten up, but fuck it, it was a lost cause, really; all he could do was keep going, keep taking it until the pain gave way, until his body gave it up—and there, okay, God, another inch, easier now, and he rode up, like he could get a better angle if he gave it a second try.

Only it worked—he took another inch, and another, and then fuck, yeah, it was getting easier and easier, and Kowalski was moaning and pleading and begging underneath him, but those wrists were pinned like it was Vecchio holding him there, and Vecchio groaned out loud as he finally sank all the way down and got every last inch of Kowalski's cock inside him.

"Yeah," he growled. Maybe it burned, but it was the right kind of burn, and Kowalski looked fucking wrecked. "Hell, yeah."

"Ray—fuck, please—"

"Yeah, you'd better say please," Vecchio said, and now that he was here, he could stretch out his arms and pin Kowalski's wrists himself. His right hand was a little slippery with lube, but it didn't matter; he had his weight pinning Kowalski down, all the leverage he needed, and now he could rock forward, pressing on Kowalski's wrists, or backward, sitting down on Kowalski's cock, and—God, this wasn't like giving up control at all, not like most of the times Vecchio had been fucked. This was making Kowalski stretch out flat for him, making Kowalski give something up; Vecchio was just taking everything Kowalski had to offer.

And it must have felt like that to Kowalski, too, because he wasn't even rocking up and trying to bury himself in deeper—he was just lying there, gasping, giving up all these gorgeous openmouthed groans that Vecchio couldn't get enough of. Vecchio tightened his grip on Kowalski's wrists even harder and sped up, wanting to see if he could make Kowalski struggle. Not that he expected Kowalski to want to go anywhere, but if he was feeling so good he needed to fight it, that—that would be something. Vecchio wanted to see that.

"Oh, God—oh, fuck—slow down," Kowalski gasped. "Please, please, fuck, slow down—"

"You gonna come if I don't?"

"Yes," Kowalski hissed. "Fuck, please—"

Vecchio was pretty sure he was going to be sore in the morning, but it was going to be worth it. He leaned forward, resting all his weight on Kowalski's wrists, coming up so just the head of Kowalski's cock was still inside him. Kowalski shuddered, and Vecchio held onto him, tightening his thighs against Kowalski's hips. Kowalski jerked upward a little, like he couldn't help himself, and Vecchio grinned down at him.

"You just want it that bad, huh?"

"Yes," Kowalski whispered, "yes yes yes, oh God—"

"But you don't want to come yet. Right?" Vecchio shoved down on Kowalski's wrists. "Right?"

"Right, right, shit, no, not yet, not yet not yet not yet..."

"So don't," Vecchio murmured. Kowalski looked up at him, face clouded with confusion. Vecchio struggled for a serious look, tried hard not to smirk while he kept talking. "Don't come yet."

Kowalski's eyes widened. "Vecchio—"

"You can come when I tell you. Like last time. Okay?"

"I'm not that good," Kowalski said, squirming hard underneath Vecchio. "You gotta cut me some slack here, I haven't done this in—"

"You did fine last time," Vecchio countered. He moved down, taking another few inches of Kowalski's cock; Kowalski shuddered underneath him, hips straining to get closer, to take more. Vecchio was ready for that, though, and he moved up when Kowalski did; Kowalski didn't get what he was going for. "But say you don't. Say you blow it. What are you going to do for me if you do?"

"I—" Kowalski clenched and unclenched his hands, finally leaving them loose against the pillow. "I'll suck you," he whispered.

And oh, God, that sounded good—that sounded really good, because Vecchio had seen Kowalski do it to Fraser more than once, and even back then he'd thought it looked like Kowalski was one hell of a cocksucker. But hey, Kowalski was begging, here—why not take advantage?

"You'll suck me off twice."

Kowalski scowled up at him, but Vecchio just grinned—and after a minute, Kowalski did, too.

"Yeah," Kowalski breathed, "I'll owe you two blowjobs, okay, so—go on, fuck, please—"

That was enough, the teasing had gone on long enough—by now, even Vecchio was hungry for it, and if somebody had told him a week ago that he'd be all hot and bothered and desperate over the idea of Kowalski fucking him up the ass, he'd have probably clocked that person one. Then again, he wouldn't have pictured it like this—holding Kowalski's wrists, gripping him so hard he was probably leaving bruises, trying to leave bruises, running every second of the show even if it was his ass on the line. Making Kowalski beg.

It was good—the burn had faded now, and there was just this stretch, this gorgeous slick hot glide that was sending shivers up Vecchio's spine with every hard shove down. So it was good, yeah, but it wasn't enough, and Vecchio realized what he needed at the exact same moment he realized how he could get it—he needed a hand on his dick, he needed somebody to jerk him off, and he leaned his weight over to one side so he could pull Kowalski's wrist off the pillow and drag his hand between them.

Kowalski caught on immediately, thank God, and he wrapped his hand around Vecchio's cock and started stroking, all with Vecchio's hand on his wrist, with Vecchio's fingers under those goddamned ball-chain beads, feeling Kowalski's wrist move as he worked Vecchio's cock just right, just right—too fast, fuck. Vecchio clamped down on Kowalski's wrist and growled out, "Slower," and Kowalski did just that, slowed down until it was just right again, until Vecchio was pushing into Kowalski's hand and taking Kowalski's cock with every backward grind, and yeah, yeah, it was good, this was fucking fantastic, he was going to—he was—

"Fuck, Stanley," Vecchio panted, and that was it—he was coming all over his hand and Kowalski's hand and Kowalski's stomach, too, and Kowalski gasped, struggling under Vecchio's grip, trying hard to push in, as deep as he could get.

"C'mon, Ray, c'mon c'mon c'mon I gotta—oh fuck—"

Too late; before Vecchio could pull enough brain cells together to say yes, you can come, Kowalski was shoving up hard and pulsing in Vecchio's ass, groaning with his head thrown back and his eyes shut tight. It was—the guy was sexy as hell, and why Vecchio hadn't spent the last few months watching Kowalski's o-face every chance he got, he didn't know at this point.

He let Kowalski's wrists go when it was all over, and he climbed up and off, legs only a little shaky. Kowalski lay on his back, panting until he caught his breath, and then he reached down and ditched the condom, grimacing all the way. Vecchio cringed when Kowalski just tossed it vaguely in the direction of the wastebasket, but it did make it in—maybe he'd had a lot of practice with that, considering Fraser and all.

Kowalski sighed and covered his face with both hands, like he'd forgotten one of them was still sticky with Vecchio's come. He grimaced and pulled that hand away, wiping it off on the sheet, but he'd left a smear on his cheek.

Vecchio grinned at him. "Missed a spot."

"Like I fucking care," Kowalski moaned. "Jesus, Vecchio."

"Yeah," Vecchio said quietly. "Me, too." He glanced down at himself, at Kowalski, and made a face. "God, we're filthy. You want me to go get a towel?"

Kowalski looked up at him, frowning. "I—yeah, sure, I guess..."

Vecchio paused, already halfway off the bed, and sat back down, wincing at how that felt—yeah, he'd be feeling this one tomorrow. He stretched out next to Kowalski, and Kowalski only flinched back for a second before letting Vecchio put a hand on his chest. "Or maybe you just want to hang out for a minute?" Vecchio murmured. "'Cause I could do that, too."

"Yeah," Kowalski whispered. He brought his hand up to cover Vecchio's, and okay, he hadn't got all the come off of it, but Vecchio could put up with the mess for a little while, he figured.

He didn't have anything to say, really, and neither did Kowalski, but lying there all quiet together wasn't half bad, anyway.

When Vecchio finally got out of bed, Kowalski was dozing—okay, snoring, which Vecchio wasn't sure whether to be flattered or insulted by—and so he took a quick shower, then came out in a pair of sweatpants and somebody's Bulls t-shirt—probably his, could've been Kowalski's, Bulls t-shirts were pretty much community property around here.

Fraser was out in the living room with Dief; Dief was licking what looked like vanilla ice cream out of his dish, and Fraser glanced guiltily from Dief to Vecchio. "He insisted," Fraser said. "I decided it was better not to argue for once."

"You bring home any for the rest of the class?"

"It's in the freezer."

The whiteboard on the fridge read "DAYS TO SEASON OPENER: 25" now, and Vecchio blinked as he noticed the three tickets that had been fixed to the fridge with a little magnet shaped like a polar bear. "Who got the Hawks tickets?"

"Oh—I did, actually."


"Tonight. While we were out. I'm afraid our choices were limited when it came to seating—"

"Yeah, halfway to the nosebleeds," Vecchio said, eyeing the section and row assignment. "But you got us hockey tickets? Kowalski's gonna pass out."

"I think he might have done that already," Fraser said, and as light as it was, Vecchio stopped with the handle of the freezer in his hand and just stood there, looking down at the floor. He could hear Fraser coming off the couch and walking over, and when Fraser put his hands on Vecchio's shoulders, Vecchio just leaned into him.

"Benny, I'm sorry—"

"God, don't be. Don't apologize for anything. You have nothing to be sorry about." Fraser squeezed his shoulders and bent his head down, rested it against the side of Vecchio's neck. "What I said about being here for you—I meant both of you, Ray. And I don't mind. I really don't."

"I don't even—" Vecchio stopped himself; I don't even love him was what he'd been thinking, but it wasn't what Fraser would want to hear right now, and he didn't really want to say it, anyway. "I just—I don't know why him and not you, I don't know why him at all, I don't know why now—"

"Does it matter?"

"Sure it matters, of course it matters, I—don't you want me to—" Vecchio turned around, reaching up to Fraser's henley and getting his hands full of the soft blue fabric. "You're not jealous?"

Fraser paused for a moment, as if he were really giving that serious thought, but he finally shook his head. "Not really. I certainly don't want to be dominant with Ray—well, with either of you. Well, with anyone," he admitted, reaching up and rubbing at his eyebrow.

"Yeah, no, that part I figured out early on," Vecchio said dryly. "I mean of him, Benny. You don't have a problem with me doing something with him that I can't do with you?"

"It would be nice to have a better understanding about why," Fraser admitted, still with his head tilted down, though he'd at least stopped with the eyebrow-rubbing. "But it would hardly be fair for any of us to expect everything in all our various relationship dynamics to be identical. And I'd rather not keep score."

Vecchio tilted his head back toward the freezer. "Scores are for hockey games."

Fraser looked up and smiled. "Precisely."

Kissing Fraser was still like coming home, every single time, and this was one of those times Vecchio didn't realize how badly he'd needed that until Fraser was on him, all over him, his mouth warm and firm against Vecchio's with just the right amount of sweetness and give and take. Vecchio sighed against him and slid his arms around Fraser's waist, and Fraser backed him into the refrigerator and kissed him just like that, sweet and slow and patient, until Vecchio stopped thinking about what was fair and even and just thought about being there. That was better; that was much, much better.

Fraser took the couch that night, and Vecchio took the second bedroom. He woke up around three, according to his clock, when the door creaked open. Even in the darkness, he could tell the guy standing in the doorway wasn't Fraser.

"Hey," he said quietly. "You coming in or what?"

Kowalski closed the door behind him and came over to the bed, and Vecchio pulled the covers back so he could crawl in. Kowalski stopped to ditch his sweatpants, and Vecchio bit back on the urge to ask if something was wrong—if something was that wrong, Kowalski wouldn't be stripping naked to get into bed with him.

"What's going on?"

Instead of answering, Kowalski climbed into bed and slid on top of him, and Vecchio jerked underneath him in surprise; Fraser did this, sometimes, came in looking almost pushy with how hungry he was for it, but not Kowalski. That was new.


"Relax, I'm not gonna—" Kowalski settled down, resting his head on Vecchio's shoulder. "I just needed—"

"Okay," Vecchio murmured. He squirmed a little, rolling Kowalski off to the side—having Kowalski on top of him felt wrong, somehow—but keeping him close. "It's okay."

"Yeah," Kowalski breathed, warm against the side of Vecchio's neck. "I just—I woke up to take a piss and I looked down at my wrists and—"

Vecchio tried to get a look, but it was too dark to make anything out; Kowalski reached over him and snapped on the bedside light. He was still lying on his left side, but he held up his right hand so Vecchio could get a look at his wrist. There were bruises all over it, purple and red ones, and Vecchio eased his hips away from Kowalski's before Kowalski could tell how hard that was getting him. "Fuck," he whispered. "I'm—I don't know, should I be sorry, or...?"

"No, God, don't be sorry." Kowalski looked down at his wrist, too. "Just—I don't want to be on my own right now. And—I mean, if that's weird for you, I can go, I could—I could ask Fraser to keep me company, he wouldn't mind it, but..."

Yeah, but; something about the idea of Fraser hanging onto Kowalski when Kowalski was like this—when it was because of Vecchio that Kowalski was like this—made Vecchio want to, Christ, yell or scream or hurt somebody. "You stay right here," Vecchio whispered, and maybe he shouldn't have said it like that, maybe he shouldn't have just about growled that at Kowalski like it was an order or something, but Kowalski relaxed, nodding and sinking a little more deeply into the pillows.

Vecchio slid his hand down Kowalski's arm—another thing maybe he shouldn't do, but Kowalski had said he didn't need to be sorry, and right now he needed—

He wrapped his hand around Kowalski's wrist—gentle, very gentle, he had enough bruises for now—and Kowalski's eyes closed and his teeth came together and he started breathing a little faster. Vecchio drew Kowalski's wrist up, got it between them, and he kissed the inside of it, which made Kowalski whimper just a little bit, there beside him. Vecchio rubbed his thumb across the spot he'd just kissed, and he tried not to think too hard about how much his brain and body were saying mine.

"So I'm not sorry," Vecchio murmured. Kowalski didn't get his eyes open, but he nodded. "I am anything but sorry. And if you need space, that's fine, but if you need—you know, not space, I'm good with that, too."

Kowalski nodded again. "Thanks," he murmured.

"You want to get some sleep?"

Another nod, so Vecchio reached back to turn the light back off. He stretched out on his side, and Kowalski rolled over, facing away from him—which, for a minute, Vecchio wondered about, but then Kowalski was scooting back, pushing his back against Vecchio's chest, his thighs against Vecchio's, his—oh, God, his ass up against Vecchio's crotch, and he actually laughed softly, the son of a bitch.

"You're really not sorry, huh?" Kowalski murmured.

Vecchio slid an arm over Kowalski's waist, and Kowalski slipped his hand down to lace his fingers through Vecchio's, and Vecchio was not going to think about what they were doing—they were spooning, he was fucking cuddling Kowalski, his face resting against Kowalski's shoulder, Kowalski's hair stiff and tickling against his forehead—but when Kowalski dropped off to sleep, it wasn't long before Vecchio followed him.

Warmth. Oh, God, so warm, and slick, and good—heat and softness, everything curling up soft and slow and good, first licks of arousal moving up his spine, yeah

It was a dream, it had to be a dream. He couldn't remember how this had happened, where all that warmth was coming from, whose mouth—

mouth, oh Christ, and he'd fallen asleep with Kowalski wrapped up with him. He came awake far enough to wonder where in the hell his sweatpants had gone, but no, they were still on, Kowalski had just gotten them down around his thighs, just far enough to get Vecchio's cock out.

And yeah, there was Kowalski, just to Vecchio's side, slick hot mouth moving slowly up and down his cock.

Thank God it was morning, thank God, because the bolt of arousal that spiked through him when he finally got his eyes open and clear enough to see that would've been more than enough to get him coming quick and sloppy into Kowalski's mouth under any other circumstances.

"Early," Vecchio mumbled, which was about the best he could do, considering. Kowalski glanced up at him—he didn't move his mouth, thank God, but he did look up—and somehow, God only knew how, but the guy managed to smirk at Vecchio with a mouth full of cock. Vecchio shuddered and reached a hand down, sliding his fingers into Kowalski's hair. "Yeah, c'mon..."

Kowalski hummed and then sucked and licked all the way up the length of Vecchio's cock, swirling his tongue at the tip before pulling off. "Good morning," he said.

Vecchio started to open his mouth, but then he yawned, and it was a big, full-body yawn, too, the kind that left him a little winded after. "Fuck," he said, afterwards. "That was not a commentary on what you were just doing."

"I didn't think so," Kowalski said. "You want more?"

"Shit, yeah, I want more," Vecchio said. He struggled out of his t-shirt and let Kowalski pull his sweatpants off of him, and Kowalski climbed between his legs and got started in earnest.

Slick, wet, tight-tight-tight—Kowalski knew what he was doing, and now that Vecchio was awake, he wasn't holding anything back. He put a hand at the base of Vecchio's dick, but that was just to keep Vecchio tilted up where he could get a better angle; his mouth was doing most of the work.

Which was fine at first—so much more than fine—but as the buzz started building at the base of Vecchio's spine, as he got closer and closer, he wanted more. He put both hands in Kowalski's hair and pulled—just a little, trying it out to see what Kowalski did—and Kowalski groaned loud around his cock and immediately shoved a hand under his body, so okay, yeah, pulling Kowalski's hair was a good thing. Vecchio leaned up a little further, still tugging Kowalski's head down with every glide Kowalski took down his shaft, and he watched Kowalski's hips working as he thrust into his hand. Kowalski was that turned on just by sucking him, just by having Vecchio tugging on his hair—God, that was great, that was fucking amazing.

He pushed himself up on one arm and kept the other hand in Kowalski's hair; the view was better from here, and one hand was more than enough to keep guiding Kowalski's mouth where he wanted it. What he wanted was more, and he wondered how much more he could take—could Kowalski go as deep as Fraser? He gave Kowalski's head another sharp tug on the way up, and Kowalski pushed forward, throat tighter than tight around the head of Vecchio's cock, and then Jesus, yeah, Kowalski had him all the way, nose buried in Vecchio's pubes, making Vecchio just about sweat it was so damned good.

He let Kowalski up to breathe, but Kowalski didn't seem to give a damn about that; he just came down on Vecchio's cock again, and then again, and Vecchio gritted his teeth together to keep from coming before he'd gotten enough of this—but how the hell could he ever get enough of this? This was—this was amazing, this was beyond amazing, this was—there weren't words for how good this was.

Except he had some words, he realized, because he wanted—"Stanley," he panted. "You close?"

Kowalski pulled his mouth all the way off Vecchio's dick, and Vecchio realized—"Ray," he babbled, "Ray, you close?"

"Go back to 'Stanley'," Kowalski said. His voice was a little hoarse—because of this, because of me, oh fuck, fuck, fuck. "It'll get me there faster."

What the fuck did that mean? Whatever, whatever, now was not the time to argue it. "Okay," Vecchio panted. "So you wait until I tell you, right?"

Kowalski licked his lips and nodded. "Okay. Yeah."

"So—okay, then, suck me, suck me—"

Thank God, thank God, Kowalski did, with Vecchio's hand in his hair pulling him closer and closer every single stroke. When Kowalski had every inch of his cock again, when Vecchio was having to pant for breath, Vecchio snarled out, "Okay, Stanley, get yourself off, c'mon, do it, do it—"

Kowalski shoved his hips down against the bed and his hand, and then he was pulling back, mouth still full of Vecchio's cock but far enough back he could moan around it, every single one of his sounds muffled because he hadn't stopped licking, hadn't stopped sucking even through his own orgasm.

"Jesus, Stanley, that was—so good, so good, so—oh, fuck—" He shoved up into Kowalski's mouth one more time, and that was all she wrote; he was coming, falling back against the bed, the orgasm so deep and intense his vision actually went fuzzy around the edges.

Somewhere after that, Kowalski licked him until Vecchio shuddered and kind of shoved at him, and then he crawled up the bed and collapsed next to Vecchio. Vecchio squinted at him. "You don't have to look that smug," Vecchio muttered.

"Oh, yeah, I do." Kowalski grinned. "That's one, by the way."

Vecchio was halfway to admitting that if that was blowjob number one, number two might actually make his head explode, when the grin just—got to him. And just like every other time Kowalski had managed to get to him since they'd started this, Vecchio started talking without even thinking about what he was saying.

"You spring this on me without my say-so next time and it doesn't count."

"Huh?" Kowalski frowned.

"I mean next time I get it like I want it, not just how you feel like giving it to me," Vecchio said. He didn't even bother trying to push up on his elbows; he wasn't sure he'd be able to keep himself upright, and that would probably undermine his attempt at being a badass. "You want to suck me for free, I'm all for it—" holy shit, was he all for it— "but it doesn't count as your second one unless I tell you to suck me."

"Man, you give a guy a blowjob in the morning and he gets all bitchy on you," Kowalski said, but he wasn't exactly meeting Vecchio's eyes.

Vecchio looked him over, and he reached down and caught Kowalski's right wrist in his hand. It was bruised up a little worse than the left one, and both wrists were showing even more bruising than they had in the middle of the night. Vecchio rubbed his thumb back and forth over the bruises; Kowalski swallowed hard.

"You liked me calling you Stanley?" Vecchio asked softly.


"I didn't know that."

"You've been doing it when we—when I'm—it's like the dog thing," Kowalski said, and for a second Vecchio's eyes went wide and he wondered what in hell kind of kinky sex act Kowalski was describing that had anything to do with dogs—doggie style, maybe, God, he hoped so. "With the bell, you know? You get used to hearing something when you're doing a certain thing, it all kind of comes back every time you hear it—"

"Pavlov's Bell? I call you Stanley and you think about sex?" Vecchio grinned at him. "Oh, God, do you know how much fun I'm gonna have with that?"

"No—" Kowalski looked up at him, and he was frowning and his eyes were dead serious. Vecchio stopped laughing. "No, don't—fuck, I shouldn't have even told you—"

He pulled his wrist back and started to climb out of bed, and as wiped out as he was, between the fact that it was morning and the fact that Kowalski had just given him an amazing blowjob, Vecchio managed to grab him by the arm and drag him back down.

"Hey, no, don't leave."

"You are such an asshole," Kowalski said. He shoved away from Vecchio, sitting up, but this time he didn't try to get out of the bed. "I just, I'm saying, you call me Stanley and it makes me think of going down for you—and now you're gonna—"

"Now I'm not gonna do shit with that except know it when we're in bed," Vecchio said firmly. Kowalski was still looking angry—or, no, not angry, scared. Jesus. Vecchio crawled over to him and reached out, putting his hand on Kowalski's wrist again—who the hell knew, maybe that was the wrong move, too, but it was the best he could do to let Kowalski know he was serious. "Look, I wasn't thinking, okay? I wasn't thinking about it being something important. I give you shit all the time, it doesn't mean I don't—"

Kowalski stared at him for a while, as if that was going to make it any easier to finish that sentence. "Doesn't mean you don't what?" Kowalski asked, finally. Fuck, maybe he really needed Vecchio to say it.

"You're not just some schmuck off the street, you know that?" Vecchio asked quietly. "I mean, it's not just you and Fraser and me and Fraser, and you and me, we kinda happen to live together because we both want to be with Benny. Right?"

"I—no," Kowalski said quietly, looking down where Vecchio had his fingers around Kowalski's wrist. "I mean, maybe it was, at first, but—"

"And it's not just because you've been really fucking hot in bed lately, either," Vecchio said. Kowalski looked up at him and grinned, and Vecchio grinned right back, tightening his grip on Kowalski's wrist. "Though, this said, I'm not gonna kick you out of bed anytime soon..."

"Good," Kowalski said quickly. "'Cause I don't wanna stop, either. And I'm sorry for being such a dick about stuff—"

"Wait, what—you? What? When?"

"The name thing and the—tying me up thing, and the thing where I'm not ready to have you fuck me yet—"

"Pretty sure I'm the one who was being a dick about the name thing," Vecchio said softly, rubbing his thumb back and forth across the inside of Kowalski's wrist. "And I mean—were we in a hurry or something? You don't wanna stop, I don't wanna stop, Fraser's okay with the whole thing, so we don't have to rush it, right?"

"Right," Kowalski murmured. He took a deep breath, like he was steeling himself up for something, and then he leaned over, and Vecchio saw it coming just in time to open his mouth and let Kowalski kiss him. He wondered if Kowalski kissing him was ever not gonna be a shock to the system, something that felt new and just a little bit wild, like they were playing just outside the lines.

He tightened his grip on Kowalski's wrist, and Kowalski moaned against his mouth. "Stanley," Vecchio murmured; Kowalski moaned again, softer. "Fuck, no, I'm not gonna do that to you when we're not in bed. You think I want to share how you look right now with anybody else?" How he felt, how he sounded, all of it. Maybe Fraser, maybe he could stand to have Fraser see Kowalski when he was like this, but nobody else. No way in hell.

"Hope not," Kowalski said softly. "Don't think I could do it for anybody else."

Vecchio wanted to say something to that—Christ, Kowalski deserved a response to that—but all the words just choked up in his throat, and he knew he wasn't going to be able to say a goddamned thing. Instead, he kissed Kowalski harder, stroking his tongue into Kowalski's mouth, and Kowalski held onto him, and held onto him, and just kept holding.

The thing about telling Kowalski that the second blowjob didn't count if Vecchio didn't ask for it was that Kowalski suddenly had an oral fixation to rival Fraser's. He bit his nails—well, he didn't really bite his nails, Vecchio didn't think, but he spent a lot of time with his fingers up near his mouth. He chewed on toothpicks and coffee stirrers and the ends of his pencils. He licked his lips a lot.

And it wasn't like Vecchio couldn't have grabbed Kowalski and done something else with him—not fucking him, because last Vecchio had checked Kowalski wasn't ready for that yet and they just hadn't gotten around to having that conversation, and probably not letting Kowalski fuck him again, because Vecchio wasn't sure he wanted to do it that way every time, but he could've jerked Kowalski off, or made Kowalski jerk him off, or something.

But no, they were both being stubborn as hell about it—throw in Fraser and the three of them could've set up shop as the Three Stubborn Guys And Their Dog—and so Kowalski kept showing off his mouth and Vecchio kept trying not to give in.

It was the goddamned bananas that actually made Vecchio think about it; on Saturday morning, a little more than a week after he told Kowalski it didn't count unless he asked, he spotted them on the counter and actually stopped in place, because he knew damn well why they were there. Fraser looked up from the couch and raised his eyebrows. "Are you hungry?"

"Please tell me the bananas are for you and Dief," Vecchio said, gritting his teeth.

"No, Ray asked me to—oh." Fraser paused; Vecchio could see him working his way through the last week, and damn it, why the hell did Fraser have to think with his lips parted and his tongue poking out to lick at the corner of his mouth? The two of them were going to kill him. "Oh, I'm sorry," Fraser said. "I didn't realize you two were—well, honestly, I knew there was something, but I hadn't figured it out."

"He didn't tell you?"

"No. I'm not really asking him about the two of you and your new—" Even Fraser couldn't seem to come up with the right word, for which Vecchio was grateful; he wasn't sure he wanted to think about what that word might be. "I assume he'll tell me when he wants to talk about it. It's not that I mind hearing, I just—I don't want to intrude."

"Oh, Benny, you're not gonna be intruding," Vecchio said, coming around the couch and taking a seat next to Fraser. "It's hard enough doing this at all, let alone trying to keep anybody out of it. I mean, you live here."

Fraser looked at him for a long, long moment, and Vecchio felt his heart twist up hard in his chest. "Shit," he whispered. "Shit. Is that what—did you think I didn't want to—because it was always okay, it was always okay, I just—I didn't want to intrude, either."

"I did worry at first," Fraser admitted, looking down at his hands. "But Ray kept insisting that you'd get used to it or you'd tell us to 'get a room'—and actually mean it," Fraser said, smiling just a little; Vecchio had told them to get a room any number of times, but Fraser was right, Kowalski had been right—he'd never really meant it. "It's been strange these last few weeks, being on the outside instead of on the inside. I don't mind it, though. To tell you the truth..." He glanced at the bedroom door; Kowalski hadn't dragged himself out of bed yet, and there was no sign he was going to anytime soon. "If you were going to develop an urge to explore your dominant side with someone, I'm glad it's him and not me."

Vecchio flinched hard, and Fraser looked horrified; he reached out immediately and grabbed Ray's arm. "No, no, I didn't mean it like that at all—Ray, if you wanted to, if you wanted me like that, I'd be delighted to offer you that. Any time. Always."

"I—no, it's okay if you don't, I just, I mean, it's not us," Vecchio babbled. "Christ, I—what the fuck did you mean?"

"I mean—you and I have something wonderful already," Fraser said, and Vecchio exhaled hard, relief almost making his head swim. "But having more together—I think it would have made Ray feel like he was the one on the outside, and given—well, given Ray..."

Vecchio winced just thinking about it. "Yeah, I don't—I can't really picture him being good with that. Being left out."

"That's just it," Fraser said quickly. "I don't feel left out."

"No, and I didn't, either, but you and I both know that he'd take it that way, if it was me and you." Vecchio shook his head. "It's not, though."

"No," Fraser agreed, and Vecchio looked at him for a while, wondering if Fraser was really taking on a wistful tone there or if it was just his imagination. Vecchio sighed.

"You know what, you asked me something a while ago. About why—about wanting to understand why. Why him and not you."

Fraser's eyebrows went up. "Yes?"

"So it's—this is gonna sound stupid, maybe, but—I like that he's a smartass. You know what I mean? I like that he's pushing me, I like that I tell him to do something and the first thing he says is 'fuck you', I like—" He gestured vaguely in the direction of the kitchen. "I like that I tell him the second blowjob doesn't count unless I tell him to do it, and suddenly he can't stop licking stuff and he has you go out and buy bananas."

And Vecchio had wondered how Fraser would take all that, had been afraid he'd say something like But I can do that if you'd like, Ray—though he still couldn't picture Fraser saying fuck you to anybody, even on orders—but instead Fraser was just nodding, smiling at him. Which was a relief, no question, but—smiling? "What? Something funny?"

"Oh, no, not funny. Just that it's very accurate." Fraser chuckled softly to himself. He looked down at his hands again, but only for a moment; then he was looking back at Vecchio. "I've never been like that in my life. I've sort of wished I could be, sometimes, but I'm afraid I'm almost painfully well-behaved as a submissive."

"Not just as a submissive," Vecchio pointed out, snorting.

"Ah. Well, yes, that's true. But I'd always thought that Ray—back when he was submitting, that is—was probably exactly my opposite. I imagine he never stops moving unless someone ties him down." Fraser coughed. "I—that wasn't an attempt to get you to tell tales out of bed, if you two don't want to do that—"

"He doesn't want to be tied up," Vecchio said, and God, God, it felt like a weight off his shoulders being able to say that to someone who wouldn't look at him funny, who wouldn't think that wanting to tie up the guy he'd only just started thinking of as his lover and not his partner made him screwy in the head. "He hasn't told me why yet, but he freaked when I mentioned it, so we aren't doing that. He doesn't want me to fuck him, either—I mean, have you ever fucked him? Does he ever bottom at all?"

"He likes it when I penetrate him manually once in a while," and wow, that was a Fraser-like way to say he likes getting a finger up his ass now and then if there ever was one, "but other than that..."

"Yeah." Vecchio groaned. "And I'm gonna have to talk about this shit with him, because he—because we—" He looked at Fraser, wondering if Fraser had figured this out already or if this was going to be news to him. "We're kinda both thinking we're gonna keep doing this. I... is that okay with you?"

"Yes," Fraser said firmly. He reached out and put a hand on Vecchio's knee. "Yes, Ray, it's fine with me. Like I told you—I don't feel left out, I'm not bothered by it, I don't mind—helping, if you need me..." He was turning a little pink, and he was looking down at his hands again, but wow, that was some offer—but then again, he'd already helped out by standing guard at the door, back in the beginning, and God knew he'd been sweet about leaving them all the space they needed. Plus, given the way Kowalski had been licking his lips all the goddamned time, Vecchio had taken some serious advantage of Fraser's mouth in the last week, and he knew from the sounds that came through the wall that Kowalski had been pounding Fraser's ass but good all that time, too; it was good that Fraser didn't mind either of those things.

"Well, good, I'm glad."

"But it's more than not minding."

Vecchio's eyebrows shot up; he looked at Fraser. "More than that?"

"I love you. Both of you. And I know you've been friends for some time now, and that you have your own particular kind of partnership, but watching that partnership... blossom," and oh, God, Vecchio was going to try not to laugh at the way Fraser put things, he was going to try hard, but blossom? Him and Kowalski? "I didn't know it was going to mean as much to me as it has," Fraser said quietly, "but watching the two of you grow closer has been—I'm so happy for you. And, if it isn't too selfish of me to say so, I'm happy for me. It makes things easier for me, thinking that you're not just putting up with each other because of me."

"You're such a mushball, Benny," Vecchio said, but okay, he was maybe feeling a little warmer around the ears himself, after all that.

Fortunately, he was saved from having to say anything else when the bedroom door opened and Kowalski wandered out. "Coffee?" Kowalski asked, stumbling toward the bathroom door.

"I'll get it," Vecchio said, heading for the kitchen. Kowalski gave a sleepy wave, as close as he could get to a thank you, and disappeared into the bathroom. "And somebody picked up your goddamned bananas," Vecchio called out; the snorting laughter he got in response was loud enough he could hear it from here.

The bananas were a spectacular failure; Vecchio was determined to be immune to Kowalski's attempts to use food, no matter how phallic, against him. He'd pretty much gotten used to the rest of Kowalski's new oral fixation, too, although it was weird to suddenly be living in a house with two guys obsessed with licking everything they could get their hands on.

Weird but not bad; after the thing with the bananas, Vecchio realized that two could tango, and he dragged Fraser back to bed early, leaving the bedroom door wide open.

"I wondered if you were ever going to think of this," Fraser said, quickly stripping down to bare skin, leaving his clothes in a messy little pile on the floor. He glanced out the bedroom door. "I think if we put you at the foot of the bed, he'll be able to see you from the living room."

"Okay, I like this new thing where you have a devious side," Vecchio said, grinning. He finished putting his clothes away and took a seat at the foot of the bed; Fraser knelt down on the floor in front of him. "You don't mind, though? I mean, it's not that I don't want you to do it just for you—"

Fraser licked his lips. "I don't mind," he said. He watched as Vecchio put his hand on his cock and started stroking; not that Vecchio wasn't hard just from the idea of doing this, not that Vecchio wasn't even harder from the idea of ratcheting the game of blowjob chicken up a notch, but the idea of drawing this out and making Fraser wait for it for a few seconds was... well, it was enough to keep Vecchio's hand on his cock for a little while. "As long as you understand that I'm not taking sides."

"Hey, no, wouldn't ask you to," Vecchio said immediately. He took his hand off his cock and reached out to draw Fraser's head forward. "C'mon..."

And oh, Fraser was good at this—warm and willing and totally focused on Vecchio's pleasure. No growling, no need to push him down on his knees; Fraser just went, and it was as easy as ever.

There was a flash of movement outside the door, out in the living room; Vecchio looked up in time to see Kowalski doing a double-take and stepping back for a better view. Vecchio met his eyes and grinned, and Kowalski glared at him—but Vecchio knew Kowalski's glares well enough to know a friendly look when he saw one.

Kowalski came up to the bedroom door and leaned up against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest. Vecchio kept hold of Fraser's hair—gentle, though, not the frantic, demanding hair-pulling he'd gotten into with Kowalski—and just kept rocking in, letting Fraser take him, letting Fraser suck him, and oh, damn, it was always just so obvious that Fraser loved sucking cock, that there was nowhere else in the world Fraser would rather be than right here on his knees...

He groaned as Fraser gave him that last little twisting lick, and he didn't try to hold off on coming; he just let himself go, pulsing hot and fast into Fraser's mouth. Fraser grunted—hell, Kowalski grunted, swallowing hard, eyes wide, and when Vecchio was finished, he dragged Fraser up onto the bed.

Fraser looked at Kowalski and licked his lips; Kowalski blinked a few times and shook his head, apparently to get it clear. "You are so gonna pay for that," Kowalski muttered.

"This coming from the man with the bananas," Vecchio shot back, grinning broadly. He looked over at Fraser, and his grin vanished—Fraser looked a little worried. "Hey, no, not you—" He looked back at Kowalski. "He doesn't get punished for this. This was my idea."

"What? Oh, fuck, no—" Kowalski came over to the bed and climbed up next to Fraser, wrapping an arm around him. "You didn't do anything wrong. We're good."

Fraser nodded and glanced from Kowalski to Vecchio. "I suppose there were bound to be some complications eventually..."

Kowalski gave him a squeeze. "Don't worry about it. Give Vecchio another day or two, he'll crack."

"Oh, you think so?" Vecchio snorted. "We'll see about that—"

"I wonder if one of you might be willing to see to something else," Fraser interrupted. He glanced down at himself, where—okay, Vecchio had kind of left him hard and hanging, and so Vecchio reached down, wrapping his hand around Fraser's cock and stroking nice and slow. Fraser fell back against the mattress and closed his eyes. "Thank you kindly," he murmured, and Vecchio was tempted to point out that, hey, once in a while Fraser had his smartass moments, too—but maybe now wasn't the time for that, maybe now it was better just to jack Fraser and watch him react to Vecchio's hand on him.

And Kowalski's, too, because Kowalski gave Fraser one more soft squeeze and then slid his hand over Fraser's chest. Fraser groaned out loud, squirming under their hands—under both their hands—and Kowalski stopped with his thumb against Fraser's nipple.

He looked at Vecchio, eyebrows up. "Hey—you mind if I...?"

"You want to cut in?" Vecchio glanced down at Fraser's cock; Fraser squirmed, hands starting to clutch at the bedcovers.

"No, I want to—" Kowalski rubbed his thumb in a circle around Fraser's nipple, a hard circle. Fraser bit his lower lip, choking off another moan. "You mind?"

Nipple—Kowalski had his thumb on Fraser's nipple, and he was asking if Vecchio minded—oh. Vecchio squeezed Fraser's cock a little tighter, sped up his strokes, all before he realized he was doing it; it wasn't until Fraser started gasping that he realized he'd dialed it up a notch. "Okay," Vecchio whispered. "Okay, yeah—"

Kowalski got his thumb and forefinger onto Fraser's nipple, and Vecchio was expecting maybe something soft, or quick, or maybe gentle for all that Kowalski was clearly about to pinch Fraser square on the nipple, but it was none of the above; Kowalski pulled up and twisted, and Fraser dug his hands into the bedcovers and squeezed his eyes shut and bit off another moan, panting hard as soon as Kowalski let the twist go.

"Other one?" Kowalski asked.

"Yeah, fuck—" But he hadn't been asking Vecchio, and Vecchio shut up quick when he saw Fraser nodding. Idiot, since when is that your call?

Kowalski did Fraser's other nipple, though, twisting just as hard as he'd done the last time, and fuck, fuck, that was hot—if Vecchio could get hard again, he'd be doing it right now.

"Tell him how much you like it," Kowalski growled down at Fraser. "Tell him how much it gets you off."

Fraser licked his lips and managed to get his eyes open. He looked at Vecchio, and his eyes were wide and bright with excitement—God, Benny really did like it that way, and there was no way to hide from it, not with him looking at Vecchio like that and with his cock hard and jerking against Vecchio's palm. "I do like it," Fraser panted. "Very much."

"I can see that," Vecchio said—yeah, okay, he was kind of hoarse here, he was kind of getting out of breath himself. "You, ah—you want some more of that?"

"Yes, please," Fraser panted, lying back and closing his eyes again.

Kowalski obliged him, although Vecchio wasn't sure if he was obliging Fraser or obliging Vecchio or, hell, obliging himself with that. It seemed like all three of them were good with the idea of Kowalski lying on one side of Fraser, twisting his nipples until they went dark and red, and Vecchio lying on Fraser's other side, palm hot against Fraser's dick, stroking him until he started leaking.

The nipple-twisting—God, that had to hurt; Vecchio could see the way Fraser was grimacing now every time Kowalski got his hand into position. But it was still doing something for him, still getting him hot every single time, because he'd take a breath and brace himself and then thrust up hard against Vecchio's hand once he got the pinch, once the pain set in. It was like nothing Vecchio had ever seen—well, in porn, sure, but porn wasn't real, and this was Benny, his Benny, going crazy for Vecchio's hand and Kowalski's fingers and all that hot, twisting pain.

"Jesus, guys," Vecchio said. "This is—"

"You sore enough?" Kowalski asked. He dragged his fingernails across Fraser's chest, slowly, leaving behind white trails that went red, after. Fraser bucked up under Kowalski's hand and stopped trying to contain all the moans; he was squirming and arching and clearly dying for it, and Vecchio just wished like hell he could give it to him—fuck him, maybe even bite him a little, get him off until he was sweat-soaked and babbling with happiness.

But Kowalski actually took his hand off Fraser—what the hell, how he could do that when Fraser wanted it so bad, Vecchio didn't know—and then he was kneeling up in bed, undoing his belt and his jeans and whipping out his cock, and oh yeah, it'd been a while since Vecchio had seen that, but goddamn, it looked good.

"You want it?" Kowalski asked.

"God, yes," Fraser moaned, and Vecchio—Vecchio was right there with him. He didn't know if he wanted to suck Kowalski or jack him or let Kowalski fuck him, but—something, God, something.

Kowalski had matters in hand, though, matters meaning his dick, and he knelt next to Fraser and started working it, quick like he was just going straight to the finish line. Vecchio sped up to match him, and Fraser gasped out loud, and then Kowalski just groaned—hard, like he was aching for it, dying for it, and he came all over Fraser's chest, messy white streaks hitting Fraser right where he'd been pinched and scratched and where the red lines from Kowalski's fingernails were still bright on his skin.

That was it for Fraser; he groaned, too, and thrust his hips up, and Vecchio just held on tight and watched him as he closed his eyes and came, and came, and God, he was just going to keep coming forever, maybe, getting Vecchio's hand thoroughly messy with it.

By the time he finished, he was out of breath, and Vecchio leaned down and kissed him. He kissed back, still tasting faintly like Vecchio, and Vecchio moaned a little, licking that taste out of his mouth.

Kowalski flopped down onto the bed, not even bothering to get his pants the rest of the way off. Vecchio grinned up at him. "What, you're not gonna go get the towels? Some of us are kinda sticky here." Kowalski thrust his hand out and flipped Vecchio the bird, and Vecchio lost it, resting his head against Fraser's shoulder and snickering.

"I'll go," Fraser said, "once I can move again," which didn't do much to calm Vecchio down. He put his hand, sticky as it was, on Fraser's hip, and held him there.

"You don't need to go anywhere," Vecchio murmured. "You don't need to go anywhere at all."

If Vecchio thought that was going to lead to some kind of truce, holy God, was he wrong about that. He had to work late on Thursday, and when he got home, Fraser was sitting sideways at one end of the couch, naked, and Kowalski was sprawled across the rest of the couch, between Fraser's legs, sucking him off slow and steady.

Vecchio hung his coat up, took his jacket off, and came around to the other side of the couch, taking a seat on the armchair so he could watch. He was pretty sure he could claim a minor victory in that he didn't have his cock out and wasn't beating off—yet. Jesus, Kowalski was really going all-out now that Vecchio was here, mouth sliding up and down all the way.

"How long's he been at this?" Vecchio asked.

Fraser blinked his eyes open and looked at the clock. "Forty-five minutes," he said hoarsely, "and thank you very much for being late, Ray."

Vecchio laughed. "Yeah, you're welcome. I guess this is what you meant by not taking sides, huh?"

"Well, I'm not stupid, Ray," Fraser gasped, and then he was closing his eyes and taking loud, openmouthed breaths, rocking up into Kowalski's mouth and shuddering—but not coming, Jesus, how the hell was he holding out through that? Forty-five minutes? Vecchio didn't see how Fraser could last another forty-five seconds.

"Ray—God—please," Fraser panted, "please, please, now, please, nownownow—"

Kowalski hummed out something loud; it sounded like permission to Vecchio. To Fraser, too, apparently, because Fraser curled forward and clutched at Kowalski's hair, holding him in place as he came. As soon as he was done, he collapsed against the arm of the couch and let his head drop back so he could catch his breath.

Kowalski licked Fraser's cock clean and then glanced over at Vecchio, smirking hard. And okay, it meant letting Kowalski win, but at this point Vecchio didn't care—he stood up and started getting his clothes off, and this once, this once, with Fraser half-passed-out and naked on the couch and Kowalski sitting there looking like today was Free Blowjob Day and he wanted to make sure everybody got a turn, Vecchio didn't even bother to fold his clothes up or put them away, he just dropped them in a messy pile by the armchair and then threw himself back down in it, legs spread wide.

"Get the fuck over here," Vecchio said, and Kowalski rolled off the couch and hit the floor on all fours, and for one terrifying, electrifying moment, Vecchio thought Kowalski might actually crawl the six feet across the room.

He didn't, though; he got to his feet and just walked over, but when he got to Vecchio's armchair, he sank down on his knees. "You asking?"

"No, I am goddamned telling you to suck me," Vecchio shot back. "You gonna do it or what?"

"Fuck, yeah," Kowalski said—oh, God, yes, it was Free Blowjob Day after all, and when Kowalski opened his mouth wide and sank down on Vecchio's cock, Vecchio almost came off the chair trying to get more.

Kowalski pinned his hips down, and Vecchio buried his hands in Kowalski's hair. Kowalski wasn't going to draw it out like he'd done with Fraser, apparently; this was one of those take-no-prisoners blowjobs, the kind where Vecchio knew he was going to be done for in minutes if not seconds. He should protest, he thought; he ought to tell Kowalski how he wanted Kowalski to blow him, he ought to make this all about giving orders—but fuck it, no, right now he just wanted to bury his cock in Kowalski's mouth over and over and fucking over again; he could give Kowalski orders later.

"You fucking—Jesus, you're good," Vecchio gasped, and Kowalski let his hips go, let Vecchio take over, gave Vecchio the room and ability to just go for it, fucking his throat and slamming in hard and taking, and wasn't that just like Kowalski, the contrary son of a bitch—the minute Vecchio decided that doing it the kinky way didn't matter, Kowalski was open to having his throat fucked raw. But Vecchio wasn't going to argue with that; he was just going to take Kowalski, fuck him, drive in over and over until the world whited out and there was nothing but the feel of his cock pulsing into Kowalski's hot, willing mouth.

He came back to himself—later, maybe a few minutes later, because Kowalski had gone from being on his knees to being back on the couch, collapsed on the opposite end from Fraser. Vecchio frowned a little, and Kowalski gestured him over.

"C'mon," Kowalski whispered; Vecchio grinned fuzzily, both at the invitation and the fact that Kowalski might not have any voice for days after all this. He stumbled across the room and dropped himself down on the couch, right next to Kowalski, who slumped down and leaned up against him. Vecchio leaned back, and after a moment, Fraser turned around and put his head in Vecchio's lap.

"Hey," Vecchio murmured, brushing Fraser's hair back off his forehead. "You having a good evening?"

"You two are beautiful together," Fraser murmured back, and Vecchio and Kowalski glanced at each other. What the hell; Fraser was right, probably, and it was a little weird being snuggled up with both of them like this, but it felt—good.

Vecchio slid his hand onto Kowalski's knee. Yeah. This was pretty good.

Nobody slept alone that night; the main bed really was big enough for three, and while normally if all three of them slept together, Fraser was in the middle, tonight Kowalski pushed him gently to the side and took the middle spot for himself. It made Vecchio think back to the way Fraser had said I'm glad it's him and not me, about how neither one of them had figured Kowalski would be able to handle being left out; apparently tonight he didn't want to be away from either one of them.

Fraser dropped off to sleep first, and it was one of those heavy-sleep nights for Fraser, the kind where you could've dropped a bomb in the room or invited a whole family of old friends from Inuvik to come in and set up an inukshuk in the living room and it wouldn't have made a difference. Kowalski spooned up behind Vecchio, and after burying his face in the back of Vecchio's neck for a second, he murmured, "I want to tell you about something."

Vecchio half-turned, trying to get a look at him, but it was dark in here, and Kowalski was still trying to stay pressed up as close to Vecchio as he could get. In the end, Vecchio just nodded and went back to facing the wall. "Okay, I'm listening."

"The thing where I don't want you to tie me up—it's not that I don't want it, okay? I just kinda got..." He sighed. "I said before, it's not about you."

"I know," Vecchio murmured. "You want to tell me what it is about?"

Kowalski was quiet for a while; Vecchio figured the best thing to do about that was wait. After a few minutes, Kowalski said, "I started getting into this stuff after I decided I was gonna be a cop."

Vecchio could fill some of that in—after the big fight with his dad, after his father had practically disowned him for being a cop. Vecchio could sympathize; his old man hadn't disowned him, but—no, this wasn't about him, and Kowalski was talking again, anyway.

"There were some rough times along the way, real early on, you know? And I was young, and I did stupid things—more stupid things—and there was one day when I just couldn't stop thinking, and I thought, okay, maybe if I can stop moving it'll make me calm down."

Vecchio nodded; he knew Kowalski could feel that. He reached behind him and put a hand on Kowalski's hip, and Kowalski took Vecchio's hand, squeezing it.

"Did it work?"

"I told the guy I was seeing at the time, my top back then, I told him, okay, tie me up, make it so I can't get out, and then don't let me up until I safeword." Kowalski shook his head. "Stupid fucking thing to do. I mean, fuck, he didn't do anything to me we hadn't done already, he didn't do anything other than fuck me, but all I could think of was the handcuffs—he used police-grade ones and they were digging grooves into my wrists, and he had my feet locked down with leg irons, and those hurt, and he was lying on top of me, and I just started to think, can't get out can't get out, like now that I was all locked up it was the one thing in the world I wanted."

Vecchio exhaled softly; it sounded pretty bad. "Did you safeword?"

"Too fucking stubborn," Kowalski said, very very quietly, and he squeezed Vecchio hard after he said it. Vecchio squeezed his eyes shut, pulling Kowalski's arm around his chest, and he squeezed back. "I was fine—my wrists were fine, ankles were fine, it's not like I was hurt. But I was—I was freaked for a while there. I was kind of a dick to the guy, too. I got out of there fast and he called and I didn't call him back and—"

"Hey, God, hey—" Vecchio rolled over, facing Kowalski, and got his arm around Kowalski's back. "Jesus, Kowalski, that sounds awful."

"Yeah, well. I kinda never got over it, so I don't really—I don't—it was okay if I got held down, you know? But I never wanted to be tied up like that again, tied up so I couldn't get out."

"Fuck, I don't blame you. I wouldn't, either."

"Except I do." Kowalski backed off a little; there really wasn't enough light in here to see much, but Vecchio could almost make out his expression, and if it wasn't clear enough in his face, he could read it in Kowalski's tone, in how tense his body was. "I do want it. I want it like fucking burning. I want to—I want you to do it to me, I want you to fuck me while you do it, I want—"

Vecchio had to slide back a little, hearing Kowalski talk about all the things he wanted; it didn't seem like the time to have his hard-on poking Kowalski right in the thigh. But Kowalski didn't let him move away; he got his arm around Vecchio and drew him right back in. He groaned when Vecchio's cock slid up against his leg; Kowalski was hard, too, and Vecchio could feel it against his stomach. "God, Stanley..."

"I want it, I'm just fucking scared, but hey, I've been fucking scared the whole time we've been doing this, what's one more thing?"

Vecchio cringed. "You were—I didn't know—"

"Oh, shit, no, not like that," Kowalski said quickly. "I mean, like, the good kind of scared, the kind where I kinda go off on you because I want things so fucking bad."

That was good, that was better—Vecchio understood that. "Okay," Vecchio said. "But if you think I'm gonna let you grit your teeth and get through something you don't like just because you think you should, then sucks to be you, because that isn't gonna happen."


"I'm saying I want to tie you up, hell yes, but you're gonna love every fucking minute of it or we're gonna stop."

Kowalski shuddered, and Vecchio rolled him onto his back. Kowalski spread his legs, and oh, God, Vecchio was on him, between his legs, his cock slipping down between Kowalski's thighs. "Fuck," Vecchio panted. "Talk to me about this. Is that why you don't like getting fucked?"

"Don't like—?" Kowalski stared up at him. "No, that's not—I like getting fucked, I just—" He squirmed under Vecchio. "You're gonna think it's stupid. It is stupid."

"Talk to me," Vecchio whispered. "Just tell me. I'm not gonna think it's stupid."

"I just—I let a lot of guys fuck me back then, and a lot of them didn't even like me, and I just—when I stopped bottoming, I thought, let's just stop it altogether, so I don't get tempted to start doing that again."

Vecchio thought that over and nodded. "Okay. But—hey. You know I'm not like that, right?"

"Not like what?"

"I'm just saying, I'm not gonna be one of those guys that fucks you and doesn't like you."

Kowalski grinned up at him—even in the darkness, Vecchio could see that. "You saying you like me, Vecchio?"

"What are you, twelve years old? Do I like you?"

"Hey, you said it first. So what do you say, Vecchio? Do you like me? You like-like me?"

"You are so goddamned annoying—"

"Is that a yes?"

Vecchio growled under his breath and looked into Kowalski's eyes, as best he could. "You got a problem with it if I do?"

Kowalski stared at him for a second, and then he grabbed at him, one leg going around Vecchio's thigh, arms dragging him downward. He leaned up and kissed Vecchio, hard, tongue thrusting into Vecchio's mouth, and Vecchio came right back at him and kissed him back. Kowalski was thrusting up at him, rocking his hips and rubbing his cock against Vecchio's belly, and Vecchio was just about dizzy with how badly he wanted this to be more—he wanted to be inside Kowalski, he wanted to feel Kowalski under him, kissing him just like that, but he didn't want to move—he just wanted to reach down and push in and—

Kowalski dragged his mouth away. "Okay," he panted. "Okay, let's do it."


"Just—get a condom, get some lube, hurry—"

"You sure?"

"Yeah, come on—"

Vecchio scrambled for the nightstand, thanking God the lube and condoms were stocked in both nightstands, and that Fraser was a heavy sleeper—he loved Fraser, didn't want to leave Fraser out, but he felt like a selfish bastard right now, the kind who didn't want to share this moment with anybody. He rolled the condom on—man, they were going to need to stock up again, the last month had been hell on the condom supply—and popped the cap off the lube.

He paused before slicking his fingers, though, just squinting down at Kowalski. He wished he could see better, wished he could watch every last reaction while they did this—but as long as he didn't fuck it up completely, there'd be other times, a lot of other times.

"You ask me if I'm sure one more time and I swear, I will kick you in the head," Kowalski hissed. "Come on, come on, come on—"

"Try to be patient for once in your life," Vecchio hissed back, and he got his fingers lubed up and reached between Kowalski's legs, sliding his fingers into Kowalski's crack and rubbing back and forth until—oh, yeah, right there, and despite being years out of practice, Kowalski opened right up for him, body clenching at Vecchio's fingers just a little bit.

"How did you like it?" Vecchio whispered. "Fast? Slow? Hard? Easy?"

"I—it's gonna be different with you," Kowalski whispered back. "Just get down here, God—"

There was a possibility that hadn't occurred to Vecchio—Kowalski wanted it up close and personal. He finished with the lube and eased himself back down, settling right on top of Kowalski's chest while Kowalski drew his legs back, tilting his hips up.

Being face-to-face was one thing, it wasn't that unusual, but Vecchio was so close to Kowalski he could pretty much spend the whole time kissing him if he wanted. And he might just do it; he kissed him once, briefly, just because he could. "Man—you're bendy."

"Yeah, but I ain't young anymore, I'm gonna pay for it later," Kowalski murmured. "So you gonna fuck me or what?"

Vecchio answered that with his body; he answered that by reaching between them and pressing his cock up against Kowalski's ass, moving in slowly, gasping as Kowalski took him in. Kowalski was whispering at him—yes, yes, yes—and Vecchio was groaning in response, pushing in deeper and deeper, bending down to press sloppy openmouthed kisses against Kowalski's cheek and the side of his neck. "Ray," Vecchio panted.

"Stanley—c'mon, you can say it—"

"Oh, God—" Vecchio had to stop moving; he was going to come any second, he was going to come right now. "Not this time, just—this is us, it's not about taking you down—"

"Fuck," Kowalski growled, and he turned his head, trying to get his mouth on Vecchio's. He kissed Vecchio hard, kissed him for a long time, and when he broke off, he nodded. "Okay," he whispered. "Just us, so—do it, come on, fuck me already—"

"God, yes," Vecchio moaned, drawing his hips back, pushing forward. It was amazing, Kowalski felt so good—tight and slim and angular underneath him, nothing like Fraser, it was like driving into pure desperate need and energy and God, yes, Kowalski was biting at his mouth and scratching his back, and that was all good, all so good. Vecchio groaned and shoved in hard, wishing he could've lasted a little longer, just a little, just long enough to get Kowalski off, too, but there was no way he could last any longer than this—he came hard, driving in deep, kissing Kowalski again so he could blunt all those sounds he was making with Kowalski's mouth.

Kowalski shoved at him, just a little, but when Vecchio tried to roll off, Kowalski pulled him right back up. It finally came to him that Kowalski just wanted a little room, just enough to put his hand between them, and Vecchio pushed up, fought the exhaustion and the urge to collapse so he could hold himself suspended above Kowalski, still buried deep inside him, and watch.

It didn't take long; Kowalski must have been close. He gave himself a stroke, and another one, and then his hand was going fast, and he turned his head and—oh, holy God, he was biting himself on the arm to muffle his noises as he came.

When he was finished, Vecchio sprawled all over him and licked his arm, licked right over the spot Kowalski had bitten down on. "Jesus, you're hot," Vecchio breathed.

"You, too," Kowalski murmured. He slid his arm out from between them and gave Vecchio a tighter-than-tight hug; Vecchio thought his eyes might have bulged a little, Kowalski was squeezing him so hard. It didn't matter. He was fine with that, he was just fine with it.

"You want me to move?" Vecchio whispered.

"Just—over like that," Kowalski murmured, and he rolled Vecchio onto his side again, pushing until Vecchio was rolled into position so Kowalski could spoon up behind him. Just as well; it meant the nightstand was in arm's reach again, and Vecchio could get a towel and strip off the condom and wipe himself down some before dropping the towel over the side of the bed and chucking the condom into the trash can.

"Gotta be all nice and neat about it, huh?" Kowalski murmured against the back of his neck.

"Better than sleeping in the wet spot." Vecchio yawned.

He was almost asleep when Kowalski squeezed him again—a little more gently this time, thank God. "Hey, Vecchio?"


"I kinda like you, too."

Vecchio swatted at him, but he was grinning like a fool as he dropped off to sleep.


The Hawks game was a complete fucking disaster, unless you happened to be Canadian and rooting for the Maple Leafs, which one of the three of them was. Fraser was smug about few things, but apart from the War of 1812 and Canadian beer, the Maple Leafs kicking the crap out of the Blackhawks was at the top of the list.

"The way I see it," Vecchio said, once they were most of the way home, past the worst of the post-game traffic, "we've got a few choices here."


"Well, one, we admit the Hawks had an off night and we let it go."

"Pfft." Kowalski shook his head. "That's no fun."

"Two is we get drunk and yell unkind things about Canadian hockey teams."

"I think you've yelled quite enough unkind things about Canadians in general tonight," Fraser pointed out from the back seat. "Is there an option number three?"

"Three, we go home, and we make Benny apologize for being such a smirky winner."

Fraser raised his eyebrows. "And by apologize you mean—"

"I mean the kind of thing where Kowalski gets his belt on your ass and then fucks you until you're dizzy."

"I really am growing more and more fond of your definition of apologies," Fraser said; he waited until Vecchio was looking into the rearview mirror at him and then licked at the corner of his lips.

"Is that the end of the plan?" Kowalski asked. "Because that works for me, but what about you?"

Vecchio reached over and slid his hand up Kowalski's thigh. "I think, if nobody minds, maybe I want to watch that," he said softly. "And maybe one of you sucks me off after."

"Hey, Fraser, I'll flip you for it," Kowalski said over his shoulder. "Unless you got a better idea."

"Well—" Vecchio glanced back again; Fraser was rubbing at his eyebrow, but he finished with that pretty quick, and there went his tongue again, tip of it sweeping over his lower lip. "It seems to me that if Ray's willing to share the first part of that with us, perhaps we ought to continue the theme of sharing all the way through the fellatio part."

"So you're saying we both suck him off."

"Ah—yes, that would be my idea."



"Drive faster."

"Faster but still within the legal limit, please."

Vecchio laughed and pushed the accelerator. "I'll do my best."