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It's so fucking easy in the beginning, that's the part Kent can't get over.

You wouldn’t think it’s so easy, given that it’s Jack Zimmermannn and nothing about Jack Zimmermann is easy to figure out. Jack Zimmermannn is so blandly perfect that Hockey Canada might as well have grown him in a fucking science lab, and sometimes Kent nearly believes they did, that they called up Bad Bob Zimmermann during his days with Montreal and asked, "Want to donate your DNA to science for the good of Canadian hockey?" All you need is some mad awesome hockey genes in a test tube, and voila, you have Jack Zimmermann, the perfect hockey playing robot.

Kent always dismisses it after a second or two. One, this isn't one of those dorky sci-fi movies his sister loves to watch and two, if Hockey Canada had conspired to grow the perfect hockey player in a lab, he doubts they would've bothered to make him so goddamn pretty.

The weird part about it all is that Jack clearly has no idea just how fucking good-looking he is.

The weirdest part is how thrown Jack gets when somebody comments on it.

Okay, when Kent comments on it.

It starts out small in the beginning, because Kent loves fucking with people and he loves fucking with Jack most of all, so when Jack comes into their shared room, Kent makes a point of looking him over really obviously before calling out, “Looking good there, Z.”

Jack just blinks at him before saying slowly, “Um, thanks? It's just a t-shirt and jeans though.”

It is just a t-shirt and jeans, but Jack was just bending over his bed to open up his laptop, and so Kent grins and says, “Yeah, but your ass looks fantastic in those jeans, buddy.”

Hand to fucking God, he doesn't even mean that much by it. Yeah, they're still teenagers, but Jack already has an ass that any seasoned NHL player would be proud of, and everybody's fucking mentioned it. It's a running joke in their locker room.

How is he supposed to fucking predict Jack Zimmermann is going to blush when Kent compliments his ass?

But Jack is blushing, his cheeks are turning a deep red, and the longer Kent stares in awe, the worse it gets, until Jack finally stutters out, “I, uh. I'm gonna go wash up for dinner.”

And before Kent can even say anything else, or hum “Baby Got Back” like he was thinking about, Jack's leaving the room.

Kent just stares blankly at nothing for a long second, before starting to grin.

Holy shit, this is going to be great.

*

It is fucking great too, that's the best part. Kent likes to have his fun, likes to mess with people, but there's something about messing with Jack that's just so deeply satisfying for him. He can poke and poke and he'll get a reaction every single time. No matter what, no matter how blatant Kent gets or how he pushes it, he'll get that same wide-eyed disbelieving stare, that same red blush staining Jack's cheeks.

And all Kent has to do to get that reaction is open his mouth and say nothing but the truth.

Because it is true. Jack is way too fucking pretty for his own good, Jack does have an ass that won't fucking quit, and yeah, Kent has been noticing it for for-fucking-ever, and now he gets to actually say so. To Jack's face. Kent's never stolen a thing in his life, but this must be what a pickpocket feels like when they snatch people's wallets in broad daylight. Having to play it cool on the outside, while inside you're just jumping up and down with glee, thinking to yourself, holy shit, look at what I just pulled off!

Kent's not dumb, he's not stupid enough to get really blatant when there's anyone else around, like their billet family, or their teammates, but he can get in close to Jack sometimes when they're in a crowd and say shit like, “That was a fucking sick shootout move in practice today, Z.”

And if he pitches his voice low, rests his hand on the small of Jack's back as he's saying it, Jack's entire body will seem to seize up, and he'll turn to Kent with those pale blue eyes, so wide and so shocked.

When Kent can get a reaction like that, when he can have Jack staring at him like he's the only thing in the room--why the hell would he stop? Why would he do anything else but exactly what he's doing right now?

*

So maybe Kent ramps it up a little bit more.

His body's always run a little hot, so it's not really a chore to lounge around their shared room in less clothes than he normally would wear in December, wearing nothing but his boxer shorts, maybe a t-shirt if he's feeling modest.

Kent isn't feeling modest very often these days.

At one point, Kent's stretched out on his twin bed, in nothing but his boxer-briefs, texting a girl he knows back in Kelowna, when Jack finally looks over at him from the desk and says, his cheeks only a little bit pink, “Are you trying to pose for a magazine there, Parse?”

Jack's chirps have always been so lame that they turn right around and become hilarious, and Kent doesn't even pause before he says, with a shit-eating grin, “Gotta keep up with you, Z. Not all of us can be that naturally pretty all the time, we gotta work at it.”

And Jack's face just goes bright red before he turns away, looking back down at his dumb book on World War I or whatever like it contains the secrets of the universe.

Kent's laughing silently when he goes back to his phone, and if he sprawls out on the bed just a little bit more, spreading his legs in a way that can't be called anything but obscene, it's not like anybody can see it right now except for Jack.

Which, of course, is the whole point.

*

People are always asking Kent how he and Jack get along, like he's actually going to say anything other than, “Oh, yeah, we get along great, Jack's a cool guy.” Even if it weren't mostly true, Kent's not fucking stupid, he's not going to talk shit about any of his teammates publicly, especially not Jack Zimmermann, Canada's Chosen Son.

But no, it is true, Kent and Jack have always gotten along fine, mostly because Jack—for all that he was fucking grown in a science lab—is weirdly easy to get along with. He's not a dick, he doesn't act like a cocky asshole, Jack's just kind of quiet and keeps to himself and is always, always focused on hockey.

Except for when Kent makes it his mission for Jack to focus on something else, whether that's video games, going out with their teammates, having some fun for once in his life—or just focusing on Kent, period.

Because Kent likes having that focus on him, he likes being the one who can make Jack forget himself, likes being the one that can make Jack blush and go silent and still, make him stare at Kent like he wants--

Like he wants something that only Kent can give him.

*

It can't stay like this forever, and really, Kent knew that going in. Either he'd push too far, or Jack would finally say something, and something would finally have to fucking give.

And when it does happen, Kent sees it coming the whole time.

They're coming off a pretty brutal 4-2 loss the other night, and the game-winner came with Kent in the penalty box, so he's still stewing over that a little in the morning, lying back in his bed, when the door opens and it's Jack, coming back from the bathroom, towel wrapped low on his hips, his hair wet and his skin still flushed from the hot shower.

He obviously thinks Kent's still asleep, and Kent considers, just for a second, he considers staying quiet.

But then, Kent has never been good at that. Why start now?

“Hey, Jack.” His voice sounds a little hoarse and Jack turns to look at him, gripping his towel with one hand.

“Oh, hey Parse. Did I wake you up?”

“Nah,” Kent assures him, tossing back the covers and getting out of bed. “I was already up.”

He approaches Jack, not even trying to hide the way he's looking Jack over, and Jack's just—Jack's just standing there, watching him do it. Letting him come closer, come right into his personal space, all without protesting.

And something about that just flips a switch in Kent's brain, and so he finally does it, he finally pushes past the point of any plausible deniability by dragging his finger along one of the grooves along Jack's hip, exposed by that too-low towel, and saying, almost lightly, “Gym time's paying off there, eh, Jack?”

Jack's skin is warm against his fingertip, and when Kent finally drags his gaze up to Jack's face, Jack's eyes are huge in his face, his mouth open before he finally chokes out, “Parse, what are you doing?

And it's funny, it's so funny that when Jack finally asks him this, Kent actually has a real answer.

Kent looks at Jack, and he laughs a little before saying, “I'm doing exactly what I want, Jack.” And he does it, he slides a hand around Jack's hip, pushing down the towel just enough, skin and bone and muscle against the palm of his hand, and Jack looks like he's actually stopped breathing, he's so stunned.

Kent's already in this fucking deep, a few more inches won't hurt. “Exactly what I want, Jack,” he says again. “How about you try it this time?”

Jack finally inhales at that, sharply, throat working for a moment before he finally says, “I—Parse, I can't--”

And Kent kisses him, because he wants to, because he has been wanting this, and because he doesn't want to hear the word “can't” from Jack right now. And it's beautiful, it's fucking perfect, it's Jack's mouth moving against his, Jack leaning into the kiss, Jack kissing him back and groaning into Kent's mouth, his hand tentatively resting on Kent's shoulderblade.

Kent keeps going, he keeps pushing for more, he licks into Jack's mouth and sucks on his tongue, rocks his hips forward until he can feel Jack's dick nudging at him through the thin towel that is still somehow staying up, Jesus fuck, they need to fix that shit immediately.

So Kent yanks at the towel, letting it fall around Jack's feet before he drags Jack in by the hips so that they're pressed right up against each other, Kent grabbing a handful of Jack's perfect ass while he's still kissing Jack, still swallowing up those amazing noises Jack's making, all the while grinding against Jack's hip and wondering if they're actually going to try and fuck standing up or if they can take this to the bed.

“We can't,” Jack's saying now against Kent's mouth, even as they're kissing, even as Kent's pulling them towards the bed, even as Jack's not doing anything to put a halt to this. “Parse, we can't--”

“Fuck you,” Kent says, mouthing along Jack's throat, and when he falls back on the bed and pulls Jack on top of him, Jack doesn't resist at all. “We can do this, Jack. We can do anything we fucking want. Haven't you realized that by now?”

And when Jack moves in to kiss him again, when he helps Kent out of his boxers, when he starts to grind his dick against Kent's hip and not pay any attention at all to the bed creaking under their combined weight, Kent thinks that Jack's finally starting to get it at last.