Robbie sagged, breathing hard as his shirt stuck to him with sweat. The perspiration dripped down his nose and onto the floor of the squash court while James, also breathing hard, paced beside him with his hands on his hips.
He had no right looking so pleased over the older copper’s lack of endurance. He also had no right looking so good all flushed and sweating and wearing shorts that made his long, slim legs nearly indecent.
“Come on, sir, we used to play all the time,” James laughed and Robbie noticed his much swifter recovery from the last match.
“When I was fresh out of BVI and trudging along beaches every day. Give me a bloody second to catch me breath… How many years ago was that anyway?” Robbie sunk to the floor and cast a glance outside the court. He was glad to not see any other pairs waiting to play.
“Oh, Sir, you know every new day with you is just as lovely as the first..” James teased with his usual smart-arsed affection.
“Get on with ye…” Robbie laughed lightly and wagged his racquet loosely in the younger man’s direction.
James came close and crouched beside him, all knobbly knees and sarcastic smirks, and those shorts riding up and clinging in a way that made Robbie stick to looking at his face. Sometimes he thought maybe there was a look in James’s eyes, something a little more..
No, he was being daft.
Lewis took the offered water bottle and it jostled between their sweaty hands but James kept firm hold until it was safely passed.
“One more game,” Robbie said after a long drink. He was sure he’d felt James’s eyes on him the whole time.
“You sure you can take me?” James probably had no idea how he sounded, his voice low and teasing with challenge. Robbie shifted uncomfortably as his body stirred with an interest that belayed his current athletic exhaustion.
“Aye lad, don’t count me out yet,” The shifting had turned into an effort to stand even though he wasn’t in the least bit rested. Robbie’s heart still thudded from the last game and his straying thoughts certainly weren’t helping.
If he stood up, played this last game, got it out of his system…
Well, if it didn’t get out of his system he’d at least be too knackered to think about it anymore.
James offered his hand for a help up and Robbie grasped it gratefully but in the blink of an eye he was falling backwards. It was hard to tell what's happening when you are thrown off balance and hit with the weight of an entire man. Perhaps the floor was wet, sweat or water, or perhaps their grip had slipped, but James lost balance as he hauled Lewis up from the floor and the weight and momentum sent him crashing down on top of the older man. In a furious screech of trainers against the floor, Robbie ‘Oofed’ the air from his lungs and found himself covered by the hot and sweaty entirety of James Hathaway.
He should have been worried about the ache in his tailbone and the thunk of his head against the wall but all Robbie could feel was the lean tangle of James across him, askew limbs and damp skin and a face pressed against his chest. His heart raced anew and when James glanced up, flushed and radiating the heat of a thousand suns and ready with apologies, Robbie kissed him.
Robbie could feel him stiffen, feel his hands twitch, and then he could practically feel that big brain catch up with his body. James melted around the older man. His long hands lifted to frame and cradle his face, his knees tucked up to straddle him, and as his lips parted with dawning realization James let out the the sweetest, most wondering sigh that Robbie had ever heard.
When they broke apart, out of breath and aching in completely new ways, Robbie grinned and said the first thing that came to mind, “Aye, lad. I think I can take you.”