“Hey, Jack, there’s something I wanted to ask you?”
Jack looks up from his book, and it takes him a moment, brain still entrenched in the narrative, to register that Bitty’s shifting from foot to foot in the doorway.
Jack sticks his bookmark in and sets his feet on the ground, patting the space next to him on the couch. Because Bitty looks more nervous than Jack has seen him in a long time. He’s twisting his fingers in the hem of his shirt, and he won’t look at Jack, eyes skating around the room. He’s got something in his hand, but Jack can’t see it from here.
“What’s up, bud?”
Bitty takes a deep breath and drops onto the couch beside Jack. He plunks his head onto Jack’s shoulder.
“I, uh, I had Lardo help me pick something out, but I probably jumped the gun and should’ve talked to you first.”
There’s anxiety bubbling in Jack’s chest, but Lardo’s involved, so it can’t be Terrible. “Okay?”
Bitty takes another deep breath, then drops a note into Jack’s lap.
The knot of anxiety dissipates entirely, leaving Jack’s entire body feeling warm and floaty. He grins because anything that comes from the brunch box and makes Bitty that nervous has to be something New and Wild. And Jack’s been feeling a little Wild lately.
Before he can open it, though, Bitty keeps talking.
“She recommended a craft store instead of a sex shop, which I was super hesitant about at first, but then we spent three hours feeling really soft twisted rope and ribbons and I bought a snowman shaped pie dish while I was there.” Bitty takes a deep breath. “Also, I live at the craft store now.”
Jack laughs and doesn’t even bother reading the note, just leans his head against Bitty. “Bud, if you wanted to tie me up again, we already both know it’s a good idea.”
And Jack can’t see Bitty’s face, but he knows it’s red.
“This is different. It’s not so much restraint as it is...art? Like, Lardo sent me all these links with videos full of fancy ribbon patterns and knots and how to make it more about presentation than restriction.”
Bitty reaches over and opens the note for Jack, so they can both read it. “All wrapped up, complete with ribbons and bows”
Jack hums. “Sounds different. Were you hoping to try it out on me?”
Bitty shakes his head, fingers twisting in his collar this time.
“I was hoping you’d try it on me.”
Jack has to just sit and blink for a second.
Because Bitty’s asking him to—
“Bud, are you sure?” Jack thinks his voice breaks, because this. The idea of wrapping Bitty in something soft, something silky, not a restraint, just a brush of ribbon against his lovely skin. It’s Absolutely Too Much for Jack’s brain to handle at this moment.
Bitty’s hand settles on his knee, eyes soft and worried. “Only if you want to, Jack. I just thought since we put the handcuffs on you, we could try something different, but—”
“Bits,” Jack breathes, wrapping Bitty’s hand in both of his. “I—that’s—do you have the ribbon? Right now?”
Bitty blushes. “Yeah.”
Jack looks at him expectantly.
“Lord.” Bitty blushes even redder but gets up and disappears into the hallway, coming back a moment later with a reusable shopping bag covered in tiny rolling pins and cookie cutters.
Jack tries not to grab greedily at the bag, and he doesn’t really succeed, but Bitty plops down beside him and keeps the bag in his own lap.
“I want to reiterate that Lardo helped,” he says, but Jack only has eyes for the edge of ribbon Bitty has pulled from the shopping bag.
It’s red. That’s the first thing Jack notices. At first, he thinks maybe it’s supposed to be for a Christmas package because it’s That Red. It’s Rudolph’s nose red. It’s candy cane red. It’s ridiculous lipstick red.
It’s going to look brilliant against Bitty’s skin.
Jack has a few weaknesses, he’s human enough to admit it, but two of those weaknesses happen to be Bitty in certain colors. One of them is Falconer’s blue.
The other is bright red.
It’s long too, Jack realizes, a little belatedly, as Bitty continues to pull long, satiny material out of the bag, pooling it in Jack’s hands. A handful of temptation is what it is. A whole spool of Ridiculous, Red Temptation.
“Bits,” Jack says, and he probably shouldn’t be in awe of ribbon, there’s enough of it around their apartment with all the gift wrapping Bitty’s been doing lately, but this isn’t for gift wrapping. This ribbon is for Bitty wrapping. So Jack’s a little in awe. He thinks he’s allowed to be.
“You really do like this.” Bitty sounds a little awed too. Like they’ve stumbled upon something that’s stunned both of them, an idea gift wrapped in literal ribbons and bows.
Jack looks up from the red in his hands, thumb tracing the material. “Yeah,” he says, succinct and probably a little lust drunk. Jack Zimmermann has never been a man of many words.
Bitty licks his lower lip. “We should probably do this. Without clothes.”
“Right now sounds good. Unless you’re doing something?”
Jack looks back at his book for a moment. “It can wait.”
The without clothes bit happens as they make their way toward their bedroom, and Jack gets the Truly Wonderful gift of watching Bitty peel off his sweater as they walk. He’s distracted enough by the little shimmy that Bitty does to get out of his jeans that it takes Jack a moment to remember that he’s supposed to be stripping too. And by the time Jack’s pantsless too, Bitty’s perched on their sheets, completely naked, the bright red ribbon pooled at his knees.
And yeah. That’s not what Jack expected to have in his room today, but he’s pretty damn pleased with it. Pretty Damn Pleased.
Jack’s just kind of staring in the doorway, Bitty looking at him expectantly.
“You just gonna stand there and stare or are you gonna come treat my ass like the gift it is?” Bitty raises an eyebrow, and just like that Jack’s feet are moving again.
“Maybe I can do both at the same time,” Jack says, crawling onto the bed and leaning into Bitty so that he lays back. Jack hovers over him, ribbon temporarily on hold, and presses not so gentle kisses to Bitty’s lips. The not so gentle kisses get Increasingly not so gentle until Bitty’s lips are slick and bitten and his eyelids flutter when Jack pulls away.
Jack laughs and sits up again, scooping up the ribbon so that it spills out of his hands, still so, so red, even in the dimmer light of their bedroom. “You come here.”
Bitty huffs and smacks the bedspread with his palms, but sits up, his dick just as upright. “You’re making me do too much work. I thought I was just gonna sit pretty for this one.”
“Oh, you’re definitely sitting pretty,” Jack says, leaning in to kiss Bitty again. “Very pretty, bud.”
“Flirt,” Bitty breathes against his lips, and Jack has to force himself to sit back on his heels so he doesn’t get caught up in Bitty again. It’s too easy, the way they fold into each other, Jack’s surprised they don’t lose days when they really start making out.
Maybe they have. He did get that weird text from Snowy a few weeks ago asking where he was. That was probably a missed event makeout session.
Bitty mirrors his pose, knees folded underneath him, fingertips skating across his own thighs, looking like they’d rather be reaching for Jack.
And Jack remembers from when they did the handcuff thing (Lord, does he Remember) how frustrating it was not to be able to touch. Not to be able to reach out and drag his fingers down Bitty’s stomach, across his things, wrap around his cock.
It won’t be like that this time, less restrictive, more embellishment, but still. Jack’s gonna wrap the ribbon around Bitty, who is already Basically Art, and make him an Absolute Masterpiece.
And then he was gonna buy Lardo the Best Present Ever.
Jack takes the ribbon in his hands and finds what is probably approximately the middle, then pulls it up to rest against Bitty’s collarbone. It’s cool material, slippery and soft, and Jack was right, it looks So Good against Bitty’s skin.
Jack slides the ribbon slowly down Bitty’s shoulder, smoothing it with his thumb as he goes, marveling at the contrast between the bright material and Bitty’s skin.
He goes slow, wrapping in loose spirals down Bitty’s arm, tracing it with his fingers. Jack loops the ribbon around Bitty’s wrist and then looks up at him. “Is this okay?”
Bitty bites his lip and nods.
“Let’s hear it out loud, just to be sure.”
“It’s fine, Jack,” Bitty says, then swallows. “It’s good.”
“It feels good. Really smooth.”
“Me or the ribbon?”
Jack pokes him in the side and then keeps wrapping, making loose loops around Bitty’s wrists before tracing back up his other arm until there are lovely strands of ribbon draped in a spiral up both of Bitty’s arms.
“You can still move, right?”
“Yeah.” Bitty bends his elbows and they both watch, rapt, as the ribbon slides across his skin.
Jack almost can’t describe why it stirs something deep inside him. The color and the texture are a part of it, he knows that, because they’re such obvious contrasts, striking against Bitty’s skin, making Jack watch to reach out and slide his fingers beneath the material and caress along Bitty’s arm.
Maybe it’s the lingerie-like nature of them. They don’t hide anything, they’re more decorative than anything else, but it’s the hint of something else, the excitable part of Jack’s brain thinking he gets to unwrap this gift, gets to have this.
Jack loops the ribbon around Bitty’s shoulder, then trails it downwards. He traces a thumb over Bitty’s nipple, a light, barely-there touch, but it's enough to make Bitty shiver again. Jack grins and crosses the two ribbon ends in a big x on Bitty’s chest, bringing the strands around back, where he can tie a lopsided bow at the base of Bitty’s spine. He has to move behind him to do it, but the view from there is just as enticing.
“I was joking when I said my ass was your gift,” Bitty says, peering over his shoulder at Jack’s work.
“I wasn’t.” Jack presses a kiss to the back of Bitty’s neck, trailing his lips down each vertebra in Bitty’s spine until he gets to where the bow rests against the swell of his ass. “It’s the best gift.”
“You hush,” Bitty says, but Jack can practically hear his smile.
Jack presses another kiss to the dimples just above Bitty’s ass then kisses his way back up to Bitty’s neck.
“Well now you've got me here, Mr. Zimmermann, what are you going to do with me?” Bitty looks over his shoulder at Jack.
Jack can see his hands pressed into their sheets, fingers curled, and it feels even more intimate than usual, the sight of his wrists wrapped together and fingertips tracing one another against their bedspread.
“I’ve got you,” Jack says, and he means for it to be the beginning of a thought, the start of something new for them, but it comes out a little breathy, a little awed. Just, I’ve got you.
Bitty’s face is almost as red as the ribbon, and now that’s something Jack’s Really Loving. “Yeah, you do. You gonna do anything about it?”
Jack ducks his head and his gaze lands on the haphazard bow on Bitty’s back.
“I think it’s been a while since I’ve been inside you,” Jack says, tracing his thumb down Bitty’s crack.
“I think it has,” Bitty agrees, back straightening a bit as Jack’s finger gets closer to his hole. “You gonna fix that, Jack?”
Jack hums and rubs his fingertip over Bitty. “Only if you’re okay with it.”
Bitty laughs. “Sweetpea, I’m more than okay. Let’s get on it—I’d love to see if this ribbon stays cool or if it’ll heat up with me.”
“I think all fabric does that.”
“Hush and grind all up on me, Jack Zimmermann.”
So Jack does. He pauses briefly just to find the lube and then takes his time taking Bitty apart. The opening up is his favorite, the way he can press deep into Bitty’s body. And by the time he’s two fingers knuckle deep, with Bitty’s skin flushed and draped in silk, Jack isn’t completely sure how he’s keeping it together.
He’s Ridiculously Turned On, which is just a thing he accepted as the new norm when he and Bitty first moved in together, but this. This.
The ribbon pulls and bunches when Bitty moves, elbows bent to support himself, back dipped and ass perfectly framed by the lopsided red bow. There are faint lines on Bitty’s arms where the ribbon has slipped, the barest hint of pressure there and gone, but it paints a delicate pattern up Bitty’s skin, a pattern Jack would really like to trace with his tongue.
So he does, leaning over Bitty and adding another finger as he traces the ribbon along Bitty’s shoulder with his teeth.
Bitty shudders and lets out a breathy noise, not much louder than the gentle “ahs” and grunts from when Jack started working his way inside him. He’s flushed deep red and shaking, and Jack is Here For It.
“The ribbon didn’t stay cool for very long,” Jack teases, and his voice sounds breathy too, laced with something that has Bitty shivering beneath him. “But I don’t think either of us really expected it to.”
“Stop bein’ a tease and fuck me,” Bitty breathes, rolling his hips back against Jack’s fingers. His shoulders flex, and it pulls the bow tight across his lower back, the ends of the ribbon trailing by where Jack’s fingers are curled inside Bitty.
And well, Jack has never been able to deny Bitty what he wants.
He pulls out his fingers, smoothing his other hand over Bitty’s back, hooking a finger under a loop of ribbon along Bitty’s shoulder while his other hand finds the lube again.
Jack pushes inside slowly, and he was wrong, This is his favorite part. He’s pressed as close to Bitty as he can get, draped over him, the bow squished between Jack’s stomach and Bitty’s lower back.
Bitty lets out a delicious groan and drops his forehead onto the bedspread, arms trembling. Jack can’t see his wrists pinned beneath him, but he imagines they’re shaking too, wrapped in red, his hands fisted in the sheets below him.
“Is this good, bud?” Jack asks, because he has to know, he has to hear that this is just as good for Bitty as it is for him. Because Jack is on Some Other Level with this. How Lardo figured this out—how Shitty figured this out about him, Jack doesn’t really want to know.
What he does want to know, is that Bitty is shaking to pieces beneath him, wrapped up like the most unprofessionally wrapped gift ever, but something Jack is eternally grateful for.
“Yeah,” Bitty grunts, letting out a gasp and grinding back against Jack when he moves. “Yes, Jack—I, move faster, would you? Lord, I can’t—”
Jack laughs, he has to, and rolls his hips, more of a press and grind than any fast, heated motion. It’s slow and deep, because they’re both riding the edge, both pressed close and hot, hot, Hot.
“Ah, Jack,” Bitty whines, “c’mon.”
And Jack, with one hand full of ribbon and the other snaking around Bitty’s waist to grip his cock, does, in fact, come on.
It’s a surprise, something that starts at the base of his spine and rolls up, soft and slow, a crested wave that builds and builds until Jack is shaking over Bitty, nose at his hairline, breath against his neck.
Bitty follows not long after, letting out a deep, shuddering breath with his orgasm.
“Fuck,” he says.
“We just did.”
Bitty turns his head enough to give Jack A Look, before wiggling his arms.
“Untie me, you ridiculous man. It’s sticky and no longer appealing.”
Jack leans back, looking down at the crushed ribbon between them, spots of the red stained by a few different things. “I dunno, it’s still pretty appealing.”
Bitty rolls over and hooks his linked wrists over Jack’s head, tugging him down for a tired, sweaty kiss. “You’re appealing,” he mutters against Jack’s lips.
Jack tucks his hands beneath Bitty’s ass, untying the bow and taking a few moments more to just hold Bitty close. And cup his ass. Jack’s a multitasker.
He does untie Bitty though, and the faint red lines left on his body are almost like the real thing.
That night, Jack thinks it’s got to be his turn to surprise Bitty with a note, so he gently pries himself away from Bitty’s sleeping form. He sits up far enough to reach for the side table, tugging out the box as quietly as he can.
There are still a lot of notes inside, despite how many he and Bitty have gone through. Jack has a theory that Shitty and Lardo sneak in new notes when they visit. He can’t prove it, of course, but it’s a very Shitty and Lardo thing to do.
He rifles through them quietly, trying to pick one, when something at the bottom catches his eye. He looks over his shoulder at Bitty, still sleeping soundly, and scoops all the folded notes out of the box until he can clearly see the piece of paper taped to the bottom.
His heart thumps in his chest, and he can’t help the way his breath catches.
Jack looks over at Bitty again, at the way he’s turned towards Jack, even in his sleep, the way his face looks calm and young and so, so beautiful. The way Bitty owns Jack’s heart and every piece of him.
Jack looks back down at the note taped inside the box, then carefully reaches in to peel it out. He’s careful not to tear it, folding the tape over the edges, before tucking the rest of the notes back inside the box. He’ll draw a different one tomorrow, or maybe he won’t. Maybe he’ll do what this one says.
No, Jack has to plan for this one. Make sure everything is perfect.
He looks one more time before tucking it safely away in his wallet, smiling Incredibly Wide.
“Make an honest man of him—it’s time you two boys got hitched”