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Be still my foolish heart

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Bitty’s voice is shaking when Jack picks up the phone. He’s breathing shallowly, and all Jack knows is that Bitty only sounds like that when something Happens.

“Bits?”

And when something Happens, Jack’s whole body is frozen, his fingers tight around the edges of his cellphone, listening to the way Bitty’s words sound like they’re being shaken before he says them.

“Jack? Are you there?”

“I’m here, bud, I’m here. What happened? Are you okay?”

“I did something kind of stupid,” Bitty says, then laughs, unsteady and so, so relieved. Jack feels that relief echoed in his own body, and he can still hardly move, still hardly breathe, but the warmth of dispersed anxiety is stretching through him.

Bitty’s okay.

“Whatever it was, we can handle it,” Jack says, because even with anxiety sweats and hands that still shake, he knows the two of them can do anything.

Bitty laughs again, and this time it bubbles out of him like he can’t believe he’s laughing, like everything inside of him has to come out in some way.

“I know. I just—” he takes a deep breath. “I quit my job.”

“Oh.”

Jack should say more because this is a Good Thing. Bitty hates—hated his job. They didn’t deserve him, didn’t treat him well. Jack’s been telling him to find something else for a year now, but Bitty isn’t one to quit when things get tough anymore. Not after everything he’s done.

This is a Good Thing. But all Jack can say is, “Oh,” and it comes out breathy and devoid of any real emotion. But Bitty’s been reading him for years, so he fills in the blanks where Jack can’t.

“I know. And I know it’s time, and that this job was really only ever going to be a placeholder for something I really like, something I actually want to do. I have my vlog and my baking, but I want to do that for more than just fun. I thought I could do this, wait until I found a way to make everything else work for me. But I can’t wait anymore.”

“You don’t have to wait,” Jack says. “You don’t even have to work if you don’t want to.”

“I know that. But I never wanted to be the trophy husband or the gold-digging twink. You make enough money for both of us and I know that, and I’m proud of you. But I need something too. I wanted to do something that made me happy, something that gave me purpose. But this wasn’t it. So I quit. And it feels—I’m just—”

“I’m so proud of you.”

And those are the words that Jack needed.

Bitty goes quiet on the other end of the line, and Jack worries for a moment that the connection has been lost, that Bitty’s somewhere out in the city, unable to hear how Absolutely Unbelievably Proud Jack is.

Then Bitty laughs again, and it’s a little wet this time.

“Thanks, Jack.”

“Come home,” Jack says, and he can move again, starts moving with purpose toward their room, where a little wooden box is perched on their bedside table. “Come home and celebrate.”

“I’m already headed that way. Lord. I quit my job.”

Jack can hear Bitty’s smile now, as he settles a palm over the lid of the box. He pauses, for just a moment, then fishes something out of his gear bag.

“Yeah,” he says, soft and achingly proud, looking down at a different box in his hand. “Yeah, you did.”

***

Bitty blows in through the apartment door like a storm, like the sexiest hurricane Jack’s ever seen. It’s Great, Jack decides, the frenzied way in which Bitty wears his confidence.

He’s weightless, Jack can tell. The heaviness of dissatisfaction is gone, leaving just Bitty, looking young and awake and Alive.

“I feel,” Bitty says, hands running through his hair, already wind-mussed, as though he spent the commute home doing just that. “I feel—Jack, I feel like I could do anything. I quit my stupid job. No more terrible hours. No more angry bosses trying to guilt me into doing other people’s work. Just me. And you.”

Bitty looks up at Jack, grinning madly, beautifully, and Jack knows his expression is the same.

He’s feeling stupidly fond, drunk on pride, and if he goes a moment longer without touching Bitty he’ll combust on the spot. And not the fun kind of combustion.

“Me and you,” Jack repeats, stepping closer. “Bitty, I am so proud of you.”

“Proud that I’m unemployed now?” Bitty says, but it’s not self-deprecating, not tearing himself down at all. It’s uplifting, the way he holds his arms out to his sides like he could start doing Sound of Music spins any minute now.

It’s infectious happiness, and Jack stretches his arms toward Bitty, knowing they’ll fit together, grinning and lovesick, ready for whatever the world wants to give them.

Bitty launches himself at Jack and Jack catches him, he always does, and they spin like he’s just won the Stanley Cup, they spin like they just came out to the world. They spin like Bitty just quit his terrible job.

“I’m proud of myself,” Bitty says into Jack’s neck. “Is that selfish to say? Or weird?”

“Not at all,” Jack replies, arms tight around Bitty’s waist. “You deserve to be happy, bud.”

“Yeah.” Bitty slides down, still on his toes, so that he and Jack are still pressed against each other, breathing each other in. “I guess I do.”

Jack grins, and his hands slide from Bitty’s waist to a little lower, finding their way to Bitty’s ass like a beacon.

“You’ve just quit your job, Eric Bittle,” Jack says, “how would you like to celebrate?”

Bitty bites his lip. “I wanna have crazy, awesome sex with my ridiculously hot boyfriend.”

Jack grins. “I think that can be arranged.”

“Did you find something in the box?” Bitty asks, hands slipping into Jack’s back pocket.

Jack thinks about a different box, about a different celebration.

“I did.”

Bitty tugs the note from his pocket and unfolds it between them.

Jack doesn’t even know what it says. He tucked it into his pocket without even reading it. He’d been too busy trying to tuck the ring box into the back of his side table drawer, antsy for Bitty to come home to him.

Bitty’s eyes widen as he reads, and Jack is pulled back to the here and now, Bitty standing in his arms.

“Lardo doesn’t mess around,” Bitty says.

“We know this.”

“I don’t think we really knew until now,” Bitty says, then turns the note around so Jack can read it.

Women aren’t the only ones who can have multiple orgasms when a few fingers are involved, at least according to my research. Put on some hockey tapes and do some of your own research.

Oh.

“Oh.”

“Oh indeed,” Bitty says, folding the note again. “How many hockey tapes do you have on hand?”

“I play hockey professionally. I have so many tapes.”

“Good. Put on one where you win.”

Jack grins. “I have a lot of those.”

“Good,” Bitty says, then pushes further onto his toes and kisses Jack. “Because this is a winners-only household.” He pats Jack’s ass then slips out of his grip, disappearing into the bedroom.

Jack takes a moment to steady himself, to breathe in all the happiness and pride that he’s feeling.

Then he starts digging for the DVD George sent him from that game with the Rangers, the one with goals on goals on goals for Jack.

Bitty had been in the audience, and apparently, that worked wonders for Jack.

It’d work wonders for them both now, although Jack’s well aware that he’s about to have an Incredibly Inappropriate reaction to hockey tapes from here on out. Whatever, it’s Worth It.

“Living room or bedroom, bud?” Jack calls out over his shoulder, on his knees to reshelve the tapes they won’t use.

There’s no response.

He carefully transfers the DVD into the player and tries again. “Bits?”

He looks over his shoulder, thinking maybe this is Bitty’s way of deciding their bedroom is the answer, but stops.

Because there’s Bitty in the doorway, wearing one of Jack’s oversized t-shirts and nothing else.

“I thought about the shorts,” Bitty says, easy, nonchalant, like just standing there, skin on display, isn’t blue screening Jack’s brain. “But I thought, you know, easy access.”

“Easy access,” Jack repeats, and his tongue feels thick in his mouth. “That’s...good.”

“I figured you’d think so.”

Bitty steps closer, and Jack wishes he could say the effect isn’t devastating, but the end of Jack’s shirt just barely manages to cover Bitty’s crotch, and it’s Hot. Like, Jack’s not even sure he can stand up, Hot.

Behind him, crowds are cheering, and the sound of skates on ice barely registers. The crowds are probably cheering for the mostly naked man in his living room. It’s what Jack would cheer for.

Bitty walks all the way across the room to him, until the hem of that shirt is right in front of Jack’s face.

Jack doesn’t even realize his hands are creeping up Bitty’s legs, brushing over the fine hairs on his thighs, fingertips dipping under the shirt, until Bitty’s breath catches in his throat.

Bitty threads his fingers through Jack’s hair and gives him a moment to marvel, before tugging gently.

“C’mon. I was promised fingers and many orgasms. Deliver.”

Jack laughs and manages to haul himself up, following Bitty’s guiding hands to the couch.

“Which tape did you pick?”

“Rangers,” Jack says, voice rough, eyes never leaving where the collar of Bitty’s t-shirt dips down his shoulder.

“That one’s a crowd pleaser,” Bitty teases, pushing Jack gently back so he’s seated on their couch, legs spread invitingly.

“It’s a you-pleaser.” It doesn’t make sense, but Jack says it anyway. Because most of Jack’s rational thought is Gone. Bye.

Because Bitty is crawling across Jack’s lap and settling along his stomach on the couch. He’s sprawled in Jack’s lap like the best kind of pervy throw blanket, and Jack is already Very Hard.

“Can you still reach the side table lube?” Bitty asks, glancing over his shoulder at Jack, like he hasn’t just Destroyed both of Jack’s remaining brain cells.

Jack just nods and hopes his hands can function without his brain telling them what to do. Thankfully they can, because moments later he’s squeezing lube onto his fingers and carefully tracing along the hem of Bitty’s shirt up to where he’ll take Jack so beautifully.

He barely brushes his thumb over the furled skin before Bitty says, “Are you paying attention?”

Jack doesn’t move for a second, processing, then looks away from Bitty’s ass to the screen, where, by God, hockey is Happening.

“What’s the score, sweetpea?” Bitty asks, stretching his arms out and arching his back like a cat.

Jack circles a finger over Bitty’s hole while his hockey brain (Thank God) kicks in long enough to read the score off the screen.

“Good,” Bitty sighs, leaning into the way Jack’s fingers are prodding at him. “You haven’t scored yet.”

“I’m about to score,” Jack replies, pressing one finger in.

Bitty holds still as Jack stretches him, gliding one finger in carefully. Jack doesn’t go right for Bitty’s prostate, just glides in and out at a steady pace. Slow and building. Making sure Bitty can handle the stretch.

Jack adds a second finger, just as slow, and Bitty sighs as it slides in, like taking this part of Jack into himself is the most relaxing part of his day.

“I scored,” Jack says, and he’s not even watching the screen, eyes glued to the easy way his fingers are gliding in and out of Bitty. But the TV makes a loud noise and Jack has seen this tape enough to know what it means.

“You sure did,” Bitty mumbles, pressing the heels of his hands into the couch.

Bitty’s hips twitch when he adds a third, and Jack presses his other hand to Bitty’s back, keeping him still.

“None of that,” Jack says. “We’re doing research now, and we already know how it turns out when we do that.”

“Then do something,” Bitty says, eyeing Jack over his shoulder.

So Jack does.

He crooks his fingers down and presses in hard, unable to stop his grin when Bitty lets out a shaky gasp and stiffens under his touch. Jack twists his fingers and presses in, over and over, a steady rhythm that matches his own racing heartbeat.

Bitty starts to roll his hips again, but catches himself and exhales shakily.

“Good,” Jack says, rubbing his palm across Bitty’s back. “Good job, bud.”

He’s relentless, stroking a steady rhythm against Bitty’s prostate, then switching when it seems like Bitty’s too used to it, too comfortable. It forces little breathy noises from Bitty, his breathing wet and ragged.

Jack almost doesn’t recognize Bitty’s first orgasm for what it is. His dick is still hard against Jack’s leg, but his head snaps back, fingers digging into the couch as he lets out a low moan.

“Jack!”

Jack keeps pressing, keeps up the pressure against the inside of Bitty, and feels his own dick twitch in his pants at the way Bitty’s shoulders shake.

“Oh my God, Jack,” Bitty breathes, forehead pressed against the couch cushions, ass twitching around Jack’s fingers. “Was that…?”

“You tell me, bud,” Jack says, and his mouth is incredibly dry. He presses in again, merciless, because this is a celebration, this is Bitty finally getting what he deserves. “We’ve done this before.”

“Not like this,” Bitty gasps, and his whole body is shaking, a continuous trembling that Jack has no other way of responding to than to keep twisting and thrusting his fingers. He spreads his palm between Bitty’s shoulder blades, pressing there too, like if he can hold Bitty down, ground him here, it will do something to control the building inside of him.

“It’s never been like this.”

“Like what, bud?” Jack has to ask, even though he knows, can see the way Bitty’s still falling apart against him, all without his cock spilling between them.

“Like—” Bitty can’t even finish the sentence, another gasp tearing through him, an orgasm ripped out of him with ferocity.

After that, Jack can tell, the way it rolls through Bitty, almost a continuous, ruthless cycle. He loses count or doesn’t bother to count, as he continues to score on screen and on their couch.

Eventually it must get to be too much, but there are several goals on the screen while Bitty convulses on Jack’s lap, a gasping, twitching mess. Jack can’t tear his eyes away from the way Bitty takes him deep, the way his shoulders curve back with every wave, the way his thighs shake against Jack’s.

“Jack,” Bitty gasps, fingers digging into the couch cushions, body shaking apart. “Jack, I need—”

“What do you need, Bits?”

“You,” Bitty gasps, and he looks over his shoulder at Jack, eyes wet and lips bit red. “I need you. I didn’t quit my job not to get fucked today.”

“I thought this was going so well,” Jack says, brushing his fingers past Bitty’s prostate again, thumb pressed to the rim of Bitty’s hole.

Bitty shudders and rolls his hips back, trying to take all of Jack, and he’s shaking so much that Jack can’t tell if he’s having another orgasm or just trembling.

“This is great. More than great. But it’s time to put your dick inside me. Like, yesterday.”

“You sure?” Jack wants to, he really Really wants to, but he also doesn’t want to overwhelm Bitty. His rim is already red and puffy, legs trembling where they’re spread across Jack’s lap. Bitty’s never shied away from overstimulation, but there’s a breaking point for everyone. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Bitty inhales sharply through his nose and finally lifts his head long enough to glare over his shoulder at Jack.

“If you don’t fuck me, I’ll do it myself. I earned your fingers and your dick, and damn it I’m collecting.”

Then he rolls his hips down, needy friction against where Jack’s been hard for what feels like forever, stretching toward a squirming lap of sex.

“Okay,” Jack says, and slides his fingers out.

Bitty whines, hips twitching, like he wants to follow them, like he’d give anything to have a piece of Jack inside of him again.

But they can’t do this here.

Sure, they’ve fucked on the couch before, but this is Celebratory Sex. And they’re going to do it somewhere with more room than their couch.

So Jack slides his arms around Bitty and scoops him up, standing in one smooth motion.

Bitty, to his credit, just leans into Jack’s touch, still shaking, cock curved up against his stomach.

It’s a quick trip to the bedroom, the sounds of another goal ringing in their room behind them.

Jack sets Bitty down on the bed and brackets him with his arms, ducking his head down until there is nothing but warm brown eyes and Bitty Bitty Bitty.

“Jack,” Bitty says, and Jack can hear the smile, can feel his lips against his skin. “Not that I don’t love a change in location, but I think it’s time to fuck me.”

“You sure?” Jack teases again, rolling his hips, already reaching for the lube.

“Hold on, let me just ask my dick real quick,” Bitty says, and rolls his eyes.

Jack looks down anyway, because the sight of Bitty’s hard cock, curved up and red, is going to fuel every away game masturbatory fantasy for the next month.

“Did it say yes?”

“Good Lord. Yes, Jack.”

Jack presses down and kisses Bitty as he drags a lube-slicked hand over himself. Even just that touch leaves him tingling.

He presses inside Bitty slowly, well aware of how overstimulated and sore he probably is, of how easily he could break apart beneath him.

If Jack took things slow earlier, this time he takes them glacial. Bitty takes him easy, a glide and stretch that leaves Jack winded, pressing in with gradual rolls of his hips. He actually pulls out a bit a few times, and it’s clearly Driving Bitty Up The Wall.

“Jack,” Bitty whines, pressing against him, rolling his hips like he can get Jack to go faster. Like he can do anything but breathe shakily and dig his nails into Jack’s shoulders.

“Don’t be greedy, bud,” Jack says, even though he does kick it up a notch. The Slightest Notch. It’s still on his terms. “You already had some orgasms. This one's for me.”

“Lies. Every orgasm is for me, even if you’re the one having it.”

“I haven’t had any yet.”

“Which is why I don’t understand why you aren’t doing that right now.” Bitty wriggles in his grip, and his face is so flushed, pink spread down past the collar of his shirt, all of him a trembling mess of nerves.

Jack pushes further in and this time keeps going, letting himself find a home inside of Bitty. His thighs bump the back of Bitty’s, legs spread, an invitation Jack knows he’ll never find anything but thrilling.

“Satisfied?” Bitty asks, now that Jack’s the one trembling, Jack’s the one pressed close, unmoving.

He’s still sweaty, still trembling, but he’s still somehow more coherent than Jack, despite having spent the last several minutes orgasming repeatedly. Jack’s brain is barely online, and Bitty’s looking up at him, still wearing that giant shirt and a wicked smile.

“Absolutely,” Jack says, then pulls out and throws himself completely into Fucking Bitty.

It could probably be classified as an art form, the way Bitty arches beneath him, heels urging him faster. He’s stunning, he always is, something beautiful and feral and, in moments like this, just for Jack. It’s just the two of them, thrusting together and colliding, an exploding star, a bursting universe.

It’s Absolutely Art when Bitty gasps, wide-eyed and completely open, finally coming between them.

It’s a mess when Jack does the same, uncoordinated and unexpected, Bitty clenching around him and driving him over the edge. It’s messy, but really Jack’s just happy to be here, to be a part of This.

And then it’s just breathing, hearts pounding and sweat sliding as Jack attempts to not move but also not crush Bitty where he’s pinned beneath him.

Finally, Jack gives up and just rolls to the side, face smashed into the side of Bitty’s neck.

“Don’t get up,” Bitty orders, boneless and sweaty, his hair an Absolute Nest.

“I was going to give us a minute,” Jack says, wrapping an arm around Bitty’s waist and trying to remember how to breathe.

“Make it thirty,” Bitty says. “Out of respect for the general refractory period, I will give us thirty minutes before I ask you to fuck me again.”

Jack laughs. “Are you sure you can go again, bud? That was a lot of orgasms. I actually lost count after a bit.”

Bitty doesn’t even move, but Jack can feel it in his chest (and Lower) when Bitty replies, “Bless your heart, sweetpea, I’m gonna get another orgasm, even if you can’t keep up.”

Jack grumbles and holds Bitty tighter. “I can keep up.”

“Good, because you’ve got about twenty-eight minutes left.”

It’s been twenty-three minutes when Bitty reaches down and wraps his hand around Jack’s cock.

Jack knows because he’s been watching the clock on the bedside table, wondering if twenty-eight minutes is enough time to draft a proposal in his head, just in case he can’t reach the one on his phone.

He grunts when Bitty grabs him, thoughts stalling out in the middle of what was a pretty damn romantic metaphor about hockey, and decides that twenty-three minutes was probably enough time to get hard, but nowhere near enough time to compose anything.

“You good, bud?” Jack asks, and it comes out breathy, which seems to be a theme today.

“I’m filled with unbridled enthusiasm and bravery, Jack,” Bitty says, hands seeking, fingers sliding along Jack’s sweat-slick skin. “Brimming with potential. And other things.”

“Other things?” Jack laughs, but he can feel his dick actively trying to kill him. “Still?”

“Yes, Jack,” Bitty says, and he rolls them over, settling on Jack’s lap like he belongs there, like this is the throne from which he will take on the world. “Many other things. Care to find out what?”

Jack slides his thumbs over Bitty’s hip bones, tugging him closer. “I think I have an idea.”

“Maybe.” Bitty rolls his hips, and Bitty’s already so wet, so open, they slide together with a smooth burst of need. “But I think I should probably show you, just in case.”

“Just in case,” Jack repeats, and it’s a rumble in his chest, something warm deep inside him, his eyes rolling back somewhere in his head, too soon to be doing this again. But Jack’s not going to stop him. “By all means, bud.”

Bitty takes that as permission or an invitation, Jack doesn’t really have the willpower to determine which at the moment, because Bitty’s grinding down against him, already way past building into something more.

Jack leans up and presses his lips to Bitty’s, sucking his lower lip into his mouth.

The two of them are going at it like they’re still in college, like they can’t get enough of each other in their hands, in their bed. Like they can go and go, until all of them is spilled onto the sheets, drenched in one another and the delicate March sunlight shining through the window.

They rut together, still just as slow, still just as sweet, beating hearts and sliding lips. And maybe they won’t come again, maybe this push and grind will go on forever, the two of them in this room, celebrating all the things they’ve been and all the things they will be.

They do come eventually, pressed together and filthy, shuddering against each others’ lips.

And then it’s just breathing.

Jack can’t say they’re deliriously happy, can’t say that there won’t be something to drag them down, but at this moment, two orgasms deep (or an uncountable amount in Bitty’s case) and wrapped in the man he loves, Jack thinks that they’re as close to deliriously happy as two people can get.

Jack considers this celebration of theirs and there’s a split second where he thinks about leaning over and opening the drawer of his side table, of taking out the little box hiding inside. He thinks about just sliding the ring onto Bitty’s finger without saying anything, giving the two of them something more to celebrate.

But Bitty doesn’t want to be a trophy husband. Doesn’t want his success, his celebration, to be overshadowed by something else.

So Jack will wait. He’ll hold off this different kind of celebration, until Bitty’s found his place. Until Bitty loves his job as much as Jack does.

Then maybe Jack will be the trophy husband. He laughs a bit at the thought, not the implausibility of it, but the sheer, all-encompassing belief that he has in Bitty’s eventual success.

So Jack doesn’t take the ring out. He tries to convince himself there will be a moment perfect for that. That this perfect moment can be about Bitty. Jack is willing to hijack a lot of things, but not this. This is Bitty’s victory, and Jack will let him have it.

“If we keep doing that,” Bitty says, drawing all of Jack back to him. “I don’t think I’d mind being your kept man.”

“Your job can just be to have sex with me,” Jack jokes. “No resume required.”

“I think that’s your main job,” Bitty replies. “Hockey be damned. We’ve found your true calling.” He traces his fingers down Jack’s side, skin flushed. He presses one more kiss to Jack’s shoulder, then rolls over.

Jack snags a couple tissues from the box on the nightstand and starts cleaning the two of them up.

“Huh.”

Jack glances over. “Everything okay, bud?”

Bitty’s looking down at his phone, the soft glow lighting up his still flushed face.

“What is it?”

Bitty bites his lip, but it does nothing to stop the smiling from growing on his face. “This has to be shortest unemployment streak in history.”

Jack’s heart stutters, and his smile feels too big for his face. “Yeah?”

Bitty looks up at him, and he’s radiant, beaming and so, so Happy, that Jack kind of wants to cry just looking at him. He’s breathtaking in his joy.

“Yeah,” he says, and Jack has never seen anyone more beautiful in his life.