It's been a fight with Gene since the first bloody moment, but at least there are new tactics now. When Gene looks at him with that banked fury, it's the other kind of passion, on a good day.
When Sam gives him a push, Gene doesn't--always--shove back as hard as he used to.
The new tactics take them from "You're a bloody idiot and you're wrong," to "Christ, what the hell are you--"
Sam gives Gene a nip on the arse for asking. "You didn't mind it before."
"Not mind--buggering hell--" Gene's half-laughing, half-gasping, and if there's an easier way to get the better of him, Sam's not found it yet.
He'll keep looking, but for now this will do. More than just do, when Gene tugs at his hair.
"What?" Sam asks, sure of the answer but wanting to hear it aloud.
"Don't bloody stop."
"Oh. Thought you might've meant the opposite," Sam says, grinning, and Gene takes a fond swipe at him.
It's just as well this keeps Sam's tongue too busy to talk, or he'd be tempted to say things that would ruin the moment. To remind Gene how much he wants it, how depraved it is, how--worst word of all, never to be said aloud--intimate.
They went from an argument to this--Gene swearing at him again, but telling him to keep on, to toss him off for God's sake or he'll do it himself. Best not to go back to a row immediately after.
Sam can make him shake, make him like giving in, make him beg for more. As long as Sam never points out that he's winning, they'll be all right afterwards, when Gene is flat on his stomach, sweaty and sated, finally naked. He needs a bath, his trousers need a wash, and his vest is in the corner, wet as an iced towel.
Sam's already learned to avoid the smug expression he'd normally allow himself. He keeps his own tally of rounds, falls, and knock-outs, and he's been gaining since they began using the modified rules--best out of however many they get before they're done, no playing the fool where anyone can see, and no bloody stupid Marquess of Queensberry rules.
There are still rules, but they're more obscure.
It's not quite allowed to kiss Gene on his slick shoulder before Sam gets up to clean his teeth, but he doesn't respond till Sam's back. Then he rolls on top of Sam, sniffs his breath once, and kisses him as if Sam doesn't need any air. "Filthy pervert," Gene says, eventually.
Sam hums in agreement, wondering which of them he means.
"Suppose you'll be wanting something."
Sam rocks his hips up, rubbing against Gene's belly. He's been waiting half an hour now. "Well done, you. They'll be making you a detective next."
Gene snorts and kneels up, then goes after Sam with his hands and tongue till Sam decides, in the middle of a white-out orgasm, that this match is a draw.