It’s an average Wednesday night, the night that Roman almost dies.
He never thought it would go this way to be honest. Being in the ring all the time, getting flipped and curb stomped and pummeled as part of his job, he’s actually thought about it a lot. There have definitely been times that he’s thought: I wonder what’s going to happen. I wonder how it’s going to go.
Now that it’s happening he realizes he’d always thought it would be a bigger deal than this. That his death would be a little more tragic than what he’s experiencing right now. He’d definitely imagined some more drama or a bit of fanfare.
Instead of all that though it’s just him and Dean, sitting at a bar on a Wednesday night. Just a regular bar on a regular Wednesday, and Dean’s said something that made Roman choke on his burger so severely he stopped and thought to himself: Well, this is it I guess. This is how it all ends.
“What?” Roman gasps when he finally gets his breath back. He reaches for his beer, grabbing Dean’s instead when he realizes his own is empty. Dean frowns when Roman drains his pint, but other than that he’s got barely any reaction at all. He’s still just sitting on his barstool making a disgusting mess of the bits of food that are left on his plate.
“What, what?” Dean asks. He’s smashing his leftover fries with a fork, watching as the ketchup he’d drowned them in comes squishing up from between the prongs. Usually Roman would roll his eyes and take the fork away like Dean’s a misbehaving toddler and then call for the check. They would argue about who’s turn it is to pay, then they would split it down the middle anyway and leave a ridiculously high amount of money for the tip.
Dean would flip him off about something then - it doesn’t matter what - but they would laugh about it all the way back to the hotel. As soon as they got back they would argue about what to watch in the room before bed, (Roman always wants ESPN, Dean always wants cartoons), and then about the temperature, (Dean always turns the damn air off and Roman has to sweat all night when he’s sleeping if he doesn’t get to the thermostat first), and then about how many lights to leave on when they go to sleep, (Roman likes everything pitch black but Dean leaves the bathroom light on so he doesn’t trip and stumble when he has to piss in the middle of the night).
That’s the way things go when it’s a normal night. That’s the way things have been going between the two of them for years. Everything about this night up until this very moment had been completely normal. It had been comfortable, and familiar, and something they’ve done hundreds and hundreds of times before.
And then, Dean decided to try and kill him.
“What you just said,” Roman says. He puts the empty glass down and signals to the bartender for another round. Dean watches him curiously - Roman’s guessing his face must be doing some pretty interesting things right about now - but he still seems completely unphased. He still seems like what he’s just said was an average, totally normal, run of the mill thing to say.
“About the match the other night?” Dean asks.
Roman nods, because yes. Sure. That was part of it. “Yeah, kind of. I mean--”
“About Seth’s match,” Dean clarifies. He’s grinning now though, the absolute shithead. Roman wants to kill him.
“Right,” Roman says. Dean is still watching him, his expression clear as day, and maybe Roman imagined the whole thing. He’s taken a few really good shots to the head lately. It would make sense. “Sorry,” he says, dropping his head and shoving a hand through his hair. He’s definitely hearing things. “I thought I heard you say--”
“That crossfit must be some serious kind of bullshit,” Dean says calmly, the corners of his mouth twitching into a smile, “Because Seth looks way more flexible out there now than when me and him used to fuck.”
And that. That right there. That’s what’s going to kill Roman.
He chokes on his beer again but this time Dean actually takes pity and smacks him on the back. Roman leans to the side and away from Dean’s hands to glare. He knows his glare can be intimidating to pretty much everyone in the world but Dean. It’s never bothered Roman much until now. He’s never really had to use it on him.
“When you what?”
“Used to fuck,” Dean says. He’s smiling and leaning back in his seat with a smug look on his face. “You’ve heard of it, right? I mean, I know it’s been a long time for you, but sometimes when two people really like the idea of putting their dicks together, they can--”
“Shut up, you fucker,” Roman says. He shoves the bottom rung of Dean’s barstool with his foot.
Dean wrinkles his nose and squints. “Actually I’m more fond of being the fuck-ee, but sure. I could go either way.”
And that is just...everything is so much right now. Roman literally doesn’t know what to say.
“Did you want to get wings or nah?” Dean asks. “I know we just ate but they’re only twenty five cents a wing and they got that disgusting honey bar-b-que shit you like.”
Roman thinks for a second that this is just like Dean. He’s used to Dean’s fits and starts of conversation by now, so the fact that he just casually dropped the fact that he used to fuck their ex-teammate and then immediately switched to wondering if Roman wants more buffalo wings shouldn’t phase Roman at all.
As far as Dean is concerned the conversation is clearly over. Roman is just going to have to move on from this. He drains half his pint in one go and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand.
“Yeah, sure. Wings sound good.”
Roman can’t move on. He tries, though. He really does. They order wings and they eat and they finish watching the game and the night goes on like it normally would. They argue over the check and Dean makes fun of Roman’s driving the entire way back to the hotel and when he follows Roman past the door of his own room and into Roman’s instead that’s perfectly normal too.
Roman’s just going to have to - he’s just going to have to get past this. He’s going to have to forget he ever heard what Dean said, or that fact that him and Seth. Well. That they.
“So were you two like--”
Roman stops, frustrated because he has no idea how to ask what it is that’s bothering him. He doesn’t even know why it’s bothering him, or what the problem really is. Not that Dean notices. He’s already standing with the TV remote, flicking through the channels until he finds Cartoon Network and pumps his fist in the air when Futurama comes on from the commercial break. He’s completely oblivious to the breakdown Roman has been having for the past two hours. It’s almost impressive.
“Were we two like what?” Dean says lightly. He’s yanked off his jacket and tossed it in the general vicinity of the couch. It misses, naturally, and Dean doesn’t move to pick it up. Roman rolls his eyes a little and plucks the jacket up from the floor. Dean looks at him and grins. “Thanks,” he says happily and snaps on his gum.
Roman lays Dean’s jacket on the bed closest to the door and sits on the edge. He can feel the rubber band he’d used to tie his hair back pulling down, and he reaches behind his head to pull it out before clasping his hands together in his lap. Dean is wandering around the room, picking things up and putting them back in the wrong places. The remote winds up on the dresser outside the bathroom door. He unplugs Roman’s phone charger and starts winding the cord around his hand.
“You and Seth,” Roman says. The words feel strange in his mouth. It had taken so long for him to stop thinking of Dean and Seth as the team - the two that he was just an added third party to - but now he feels like maybe he never should have stopped thinking that. Maybe he never should have started feeling like he fit in with them. Maybe it was always the two of them plus him, and never really actually three. “Were you guys together?”
“What, like, were we going steady? Were we dating” Dean teases. He rolls his eyes a little and starts pacing, short jerky paths the cut across the room. He’s in a plain black t-shirt and a pair of jeans. His feet are bare. Dean’s second toe is crooked; it bends the the side and it always has, ever since Dean broke his foot climbing a fence when he was ten, and how can Roman know this - how can he know so many useless, specific things about his teammate, his brother, his best friend - and not have had any clue that he used to fuck Seth?
“I mean, he never gave me his varsity jacket and took me to prom if that’s what you’re asking.”
“No,” Roman huffs, “That’s not what I’m asking.” He’s trying not to be pissed, he is, but it’s not working too well. He stands up and Dean stops walking, pulls himself up to his full height and stands a few feet in front of him. “How long?” Roman wants to know. This is what’s bothering him. This is the part Roman can’t get past.
Dean either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care that Roman is taking this seriously, though. He flutters his eyelashes and puts on a high, breathy voice. “Sometimes it was so wonderful it felt like forever,” he trills. Roman can feel his nostrils flare. If Dean is going to insist on making a joke out of this Roman might have to insist on punching him a few times to make sure he realizes how much Roman isn’t playing around.
“Fuck, Ro, I don’t know,” Dean finally says when he realizes Roman’s not laughing along with him. He sighs dramatically and flings himself back onto the empty bed. Roman starts scooping up all the things Dean’s been dropping on the floor - his shoes and socks and shirt - and piling them all on the spare bed with the jacket. This isn’t the first time Dean’s passed on staying in his own room to stay with Roman instead, and Roman knows exactly where Dean will wind up sleeping later.
Roman waits him out. He’s not going to keep asking questions Dean can give stupid fucking answers to. Dean is going to have to talk to him eventually.
“Just after developmental, I guess,” Dean finally says. His voice is a little more quiet than it has been.
Roman blinks because he’s sure he can’t have heard that right. Because that’s -
“Developmental?” Roman yelps. “That was years ago.”
“I mean, not all the time, you know?” Dean says. He’s sitting up now, legs crossed in front of him and he’s playing with his bottom lip. Every time Roman looks at him he’s pulling on it, or tapping his chin, or fiddling with his hands. “We weren’t like. It wasn’t a thing. We didn’t see each other over holidays or date or, or.” Dean pauses and Roman sits; everything in him starting to calm down as long as Dean talks to him. As long as he explains.
“We didn’t love each other or anything,” Dean says, then scowls. “Which is a good thing,” he mutters, “Seeing as how he wound up being a huge fucking asshole.”
Roman knows it’s not entirely true - Dean saying he and Seth didn’t love each other - but that’s a conversation neither of them are in any sort of shape to get into right now.
Developmental, though. That was years ago. Dean and Seth had been fucking for years and no one ever thought to tell him.
“When did you stop?” Roman asks. He has a feeling he knows, he can sense it, but knowing doesn’t make him hurt for Dean any less when Dean quietly says, “Right about the time he hit me in the back with a fucking chair.”
Roman’s pretty much talked out by this point. Dean is still sitting on the bed, his head down as he chews absently on his thumb. His wrist is bandaged from their match the other night, and Roman is fine about this - or he will be at least - he’s just going to need about five minutes to process it all.
All right. Probably more like ten minutes.
He stands up and he can tell from the way Dean’s head whips up, the way his eyes go wide for the quickest second, that Dean thinks Roman is leaving. He can see the flicker of worry before Dean manages to pull it back, hide it under a look which is purposefully bored and uninterested.
Roman just shakes his head. “I’m not leaving, you dick. I’m just going to shower.”
“Whatever. That’s cool.” Dean shrugs a shoulder and stretches out on the bed, shoving all the pillows around until they’re all pushed up against the headboard on his side of the bed. Dean’s already picked the TV show, and he’s stolen all the pillows, and by the time Roman finishes showering he’s going to have turned off the air so Roman’s going to sweat off five pounds just from sleeping tonight.
Roman wants to tell Dean that he’s really not leaving, that he would never leave Dean, especially not about something like this. That he doesn’t care who Dean is fucking, he was just surprised that Dean was fucking someone they both knew - someone they both loved for so long - without telling him. Roman isn’t going to say he’s not hurt Dean kept it from him, because...well. He kind of is.
“I’m going to take a shower,” Roman says instead. Dean’s not ready to hear all of that and Roman’s definitely not ready to say it.
“Thank god, man, you fucking reek.”
Roman pulls off his t-shirt and socks and throws them at Dean’s face. He can hear him spluttering the entire time he’s getting his shower ready in the bathroom.
When Roman gets out of the bathroom the air is surprisingly still on, blowing cool in the room. The TV is flickering in the darkness, and Dean is curled up in Roman’s bed with the covers pulled up all the way over his shoulders. Roman tosses the towel he had slung around his waist back into the bathroom and digs through his bag until he finds a pair of boxers to sleep in. His hair is damp and he twists it into a bun at the nape of his neck before lifting the covers and sliding in next to Dean.
They didn’t always used to sleep together. When it was the three of them more often than not he’d have a room to himself while Dean and Seth split off together. He’d never really questioned it. Dean and Seth fought harder than any two people Roman had ever seen, but they always had something else between them, an undeniable pull that made them seem like two of the closest people Roman had ever met, even when they were far apart.
It seemed odd to him at first, but then he got used to it. Dean and Seth were just Dean and Seth. He really should have known something was up.
“What’s wrong with the other bed over there,” Roman asks instead of any one of the thousand actual questions rolling around in his brain. He kicks Dean lightly with his foot. Dean shoves him back and rolls from having his back to Roman to facing him, his eyes a piercing blue in the low light of the room.
“There’s shit all over that bed,” Dean says sharply. His forehead crinkles as he frowns.
“That’s true,” Roman says slowly. “Your shit.”
Dean rolls his eyes and kicks at Roman’s ankle. He huffs out a laugh and looks down. Roman can see he’s pulling at a string on the inside of the comforter, twisting it around and around the tip of his finger until it turns purple and then letting the string fall away slowly.
This time when Dean starts to speak his voice is different than before. It’s quieter in a way. Softer somehow. Roman’s only heard Dean’s voice like this voice a few times before. Once when he asked Roman if Roman knew what Seth was planning on doing to them, and then a few days later when he asked Roman if Roman was on his way to leaving Dean too. It makes Roman look up to find Dean watching him closely, his eyes narrowed and head tilted to the side.
“Are you mad about what I told you?” Dean says. His voice is flat and overly calm. “The part about me, I mean. That fact that I--”
Roman catches on to what Dean is saying quickly, and when he does he shakes his head and physically reaches over and covers Dean’s mouth with his hand. Dean’s eyes go dark for a split second before he glares at Roman and bites the inside of his palm.
“Well don’t cover my mouth like that, you fucker,” Dean hisses. “Not until we got a safeword at least. Jesus.”
Roman laughs but it’s not funny at all. He doesn’t want Dean to think Roman actually cares who he sleeps with.
“I don’t care who you sleep with, all right?” Roman says, just to make sure Dean gets it. He keeps his tone even and doesn’t let Dean look away. “You could fuck a girl or a guy or a goat and I’d be fine with it.”
“Well that’s just fucking gross,” Dean says. He laughs quietly, and starts fiddling with the blankets again. “Maybe you want to fuck goats, big guy, but I--”
“You know what I mean.” Roman says softly. Dean looks back up but this time he doesn’t look away. Roman’s used to Deans piercing gaze by now. Sometimes he thinks that Dean doesn’t ever really need to talk to people; he could probably figure out every single thing they think and feel just by the way he looks at them.
“Yeah,” Dean says just as quietly. It doesn’t happen often, but Roman knows Dean’s being serious, and that he appreciates when Roman’s telling him. “Yeah, I do,” he says. His lips twist in a grin then, and he shoves Roman’s shoulder and snorts. “Goatfucker.”
Roman rolls his eyes and laughs. They push each other around a bit in the bed, covers getting twisted and their feet kicking wildly and finally Roman chuckles and playfully grazes his knuckles against Dean’s jaw.
“We good then?” Roman asks.
Dean squints for Roman just a second too long, but he finally says, “Yeah. Yeah, we’re good,” and Roman believes him.
Roman manages to forget about it for a while. It’s something he’s learned about Dean and he files it away with the other random things he’s learned about Dean over the years, like his obsession with watching cartoons and how he sings 80’s music while he showers.
It’s just a thing Roman knows now. Dean loves The Simpsons and the first three Bon Jovi albums and hates avocado and any kind of bean. He drives too fast and drinks too many Big Gulps from 7-11’s and used to fuck Seth whenever they were in the same hotel for the night. He used to fuck Seth (actually used to get fucked by Seth. Dean corrected him when Roman said it the other way. Roman remembers that too) all the time - for years, actually - and when Roman covered Dean’s mouth Dean was okay with it as long as they had a safe word and Jesus - Roman never thought this would be a list of things he knew about Dean but he does now and he can’t ever un know it.
He’s doing fine about it though. He is. Life goes on and they go from New York to Philly to DC and everything is completely normal and nothing has changed and everything is fine. They tag together and they fight on their own and one blessed night Roman beats the ever loving shit out of Bray Wyatt and everything is good. It’s great.
Until it’s a Monday night and they’re in the ring fighting with Randy Orton against the Wyatt’s and Dean takes a punch, a hard fist to the jaw and he falls down on his back in the middle of the ring. His mouth is open and his eyes flutter closed and he breathes out roughly; wet, panting, gasping breaths. His legs are splayed; arms flung to the side, and out of nowhere a thought snakes itself into Roman’s head. It twists around, curling through his brain and behind his eyes and in a flash of white light all Roman can think is: this is probably what Dean looks like when he’s getting fucked.
Roman freezes. He can feel the hard press of the ropes against his palms where he’s standing and holding onto them for dear life. He blinks a few times, and Dean manages to lift his head. He looks up and catches Roman’s eye and something flickers, hot and bright in Dean’s gaze before Roman hears, “Hey. Asshole,” just as Luke Harper barrels into him and sends him flying clear off the apron.
His back bounces against the floor and his head rocks from side to side. He can barely see straight, but even as he blinks his eyes to try and figure out what’s going on he knows it’s nothing good. The crowd is screaming and Orton goes flying out the other direction and then it’s only Dean left in the ring.
When Roman hears the crowd start to count out - the blaring echoes of one, two, three - he knows without even looking that it’s Dean who’s gotten pinned and that they lost. The Wyatts beat them and Roman did what he’s sworn he’d never do since the day Seth decided that teaming with The Authority meant more than staying with his family: he let Dean down. He made them lose. He let someone hurt them again.
Roman doesn’t even try to get up after that. He just closes his eyes and lays there until the lights go down.
“What,” Dean splutters, “the fuck was that?”
They’re back at the hotel, and this time Dean didn’t even try and pretend he was going to his room by himself. He just stalked past his own doorway when they got off the elevator and followed Roman directly into his room, slamming the door loudly behind them.
The past few hours have been...tense. Roman hates to think anything about him and Dean could ever be as uncomfortable as this, but after their loss in the ring Dean just stared at Roman for a bit before stomping off toward the locker room. When Roman got there all of Dean’s stuff was already gone, so he’d packed up his own bag and hoped like hell Dean hadn’t just driven off into the night leaving Roman to fend for himself for a ride back.
Dean had been waiting for him though, leaning back against the rental car with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. He’d stared at Roman with narrowed eyes, but when Roman started to say something Dean just held up his hand and muttered, “No. You shut the fuck up right now,” and climbed into the driver seat.
The car ride was silent. Roman tried to put the radio on but Dean had reached out and jabbed the button so hard to turn it off again it looked like he nearly broke his finger. Roman figured he’d be best off just letting Dean settle before trying to talk to him again, so he stared out the window and watched the street lights pass and wondered how in the hell he was supposed to explain to Dean what had happened during their match.
Roman looks up from where he’s been picking at the loose ends of tape wrapped around his hands. Dean is leaning back against the wall, still in his jacket, arms crossed with one hand up near his mouth. He’s chewing on his thumb and when Roman looks at him Dean glares back but then looks away, his gaze dropping to the floor. For as much as Dean is trying to sound pissed, Roman can hear the uncertainty beneath it, the low lying confusion in his voice.
Roman knows he needs to say something. He needs to fix it. He’d rather drown himself in the hotel tub before making Dean sound like this ever again.
“I’m sorry,” Roman says. He unwraps the tape from his hands and crumples it in a ball, tossing it over toward the bed. It bounces off the bedspread then sails to the floor. Roman doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. “I fucked up.”
“Yeah you did,” Dean snaps.
“I lost my concentration,” Roman tries to explain. He wonders if he’s going to have to tell Dean why, or what he was thinking about, or if Dean is going to just let it slide. “‘Won’t happen again.”
Dean snorts. “It better fucking not,” he says, and Roman thinks that maybe this will be it. Maybe Dean will just think Roman had an off night, or has something random on his mind, and he’ll leave it be.
“What the fuck were you thinking about?” Dean asks, and Roman sighs. So much for getting off easy. “You were fine all night and then I got hit and you just - I saw you,” Dean says. He’s pushed off the wall now and is stalking the length of the room, hands sweeping in wild arcs in the air as he rants. “You were staring into space like you were on another planet, man. What the fuck? You get hit too hard in the head, or--”
“It was nothing,” Roman mumbles. He kicks off his boots and hangs his jacket on the back of a chair. He can hear Dean yanking his things off too; the soft thud of his jacket hitting the floor and the thump when he kicks his boots off and they sail across the room before hitting the opposite wall.
Roman’s stomach rumbles because this isn’t what they do. On Mondays after Raw they shower at the venue and get changed and then go get food and relax somewhere together before going back to the hotel. They eat fries and drink beers and Dean tries to stump Roman on old sitcom trivia depending on what show is playing on the TV behind the bar.
They don’t ever come straight back to the hotel. Dean doesn’t leave the locker room without him and he doesn’t drive them back in dead silence. They don’t argue when they get back and they don’t fight and this isn't them. This isn’t anything that’s supposed to happen and it’s all Roman’s fault because he can’t stop thinking. He can’t stop thinking about Dean, and about Dean and Seth, and about Dean getting fucked and Jesus, fuck, again. Now he’s doing it again and what the fuck is wrong with him?
“Oh my god, you’re doing it again,” Dean yelps. He stops pacing and throws his hands in the air. Roman looks up and whatever is on his face must make him look guilty as shit because Dean’s eyes go wide and he points at Roman, hitting him dead in the chest. “Right now. Tell me what the fuck you’re thinking about right now because you got that dumb fucking look on your face again and I swear to god I’m going to punch it off in about three seconds.”
“Arrrrgh,” Roman growls and bangs his knuckles against his forehead a few times before taking a deep breath and just saying it because fuck it. It’s got to get out there. He can’t keep going on like this without Dean murdering him in his sleep and leaving his body on the side of the road somewhere.
“I was thinking about what you told me that time about you and Seth,” Roman blurts. Dean taps his fingers against his mouth but he doesn’t say anything, just nods a little and rolls his hand in the air for Roman to keep going. “About how you and Seth used to--”
“About how we used to fuck,” Dean says flatly.
Roman squeezes his eyes shut. “Right. Kind of. More like--”
“You were thinking about me and how I used to get fucked by Seth,” Dean repeats. Roman can’t figure out the tone of Dean’s voice. He sounds annoyed, but also resigned, but also kind of sad?
“I thought you said it didn’t matter,” Dean adds. Roman stares at him because Dean sounds angry but also upset and that’s not anything Roman wanted to have happen ever. “I thought you said you didn’t care. I thought you said you were cool with it. But I guess not if you can’t figure out how to fight with me without getting your ass tossed from the ring or--”
And no. No, no, no. Roman waves his hands in the air because he’s got to get Dean to stop talking, to shut the hell up so Roman can explain how it’s not a bad thing he was thinking about but a good thing. Kind of.
“You know, I never figured you to be this kind of asshole,” Dean’s muttering. He’s walking around the room in circles, picking up pillows and pieces of paper and the TV remote and tossing them in every different direction. “Then again I never figured Seth to be an asshole either, so maybe I’m just a really shitty judge of character. Maybe I should get my fucking head examined. Get myself analyzed to see how I keep managing to trust assholes who just keep dicking me over again and again.”
“Dean, stop,” Roman says. He grabs Dean’s arm as he passes and Dean tries to pull free from his grip. Roman’s got plenty of muscle mass and weight on him though, and while he never uses it to his advantage with Dean he doesn’t have a problem doing it now when Dean is insisting on not listening to him for shit. “I wasn’t thinking anything bad about it, ok?”
“Yeah,” Dean snorts. “Right.”
“I’m not lying to you,” Roman insists. He shakes Dean’s arm a little, pulling him in closer until he can feel the heat from Dean’s body next to him. Until he can smell the sweat drying against Dean’s skin. “I wouldn’t do that. I don’t lie to you. You know that.”
Dean stares at him. His eyes are crystal blue and so clear. Roman holds Dean’s gaze and won’t let himself look away. Finally Dean sighs and yanks his arm back and Roman lets him go. He also kicks Roman in the leg a little and shoves at his shoulder.
“Fine. So what--”
“I was thinking…” Roman sighs. He does close his eyes then, squeezes them shut actually, because they last thing he needs to see is Dean laughing when he finally confesses to this. “I was imagining what you look like when you’re...doing that. Not in a bad way,” Roman rushes to add. “In a good way.”
Dean is quiet after Roman confesses. He’s silent actually. Roman waits for Dean to say something. He counts to ten, then counts to ten again, and when Dean still isn’t speaking Roman gives up and opens his eyes to see what expression is on Dean’s face.
He’s not sure what he’s expecting, really. Dean could be so pissed that the second Roman looks at him again Dean will just punch him a few times and storm out of the room for who knows how long. Or he could be embarrassed; blushing and stammering and looking all around at the walls and the floor and basically everything except for Roman’s face.
Dean’s not any of those things, though. When Roman opens his eyes and looks, Dean is grinning at him, smile sharp and eyes twinkling. He doesn’t look mad or embarrassed or upset; he looks happy. Like this is one of the most amusing things he’s ever heard.
Roman feels his face scrunch up in confusion, because this isn’t what he was expecting at all. It’s not even the fact that that Dean’s grinning at him, though that would be strange enough, but it’s more that he’s smirking at him.
“Oh,” Dean says, his lips curving slow and wide. “Oh, really.”
He looks smug, goddammit. So smug Roman wants to kill him. Roman opens his mouth to protest but Dean just grins some more. He shakes his head and quirks his lips and tsks softly.
“Interesting,” Dean says.
“Fuck off,” Roman bites out. “It’s not interesting,” and god fucking dammit, he knew he shouldn’t have told the truth. Telling the truth to Dean about things like this are never the smart way to go. Roman should know this by now. The truth is never good for anything.
“No, really. This is great,” Dean says lightly. He’s smiling at Roman still - beaming really - and he leans in close to pat Roman on the cheek. His thumb curves over the bottom of Roman’s jaw and Roman bats his hand away but not before Dean’s nails scratch against Roman’s skin. Something in Roman’s belly flips over but he firmly ignores it. There is absolutely no way he’s going to think about what that might mean right now.
“This is like brand new information,” Dean says, with a dramatic wink and a leer. ”You let me know if you ever want a first hand look, ok, big guy? Because I can do that for you. I’d be more than happy to.”
Roman knows Dean’s not being serious. That he’s saying what he is as a joke, and to lighten the mood, so he’s got no explanation for the lick of heat that rushes up his spine.
Roman shivers and stares down at the floor so he doesn’t have to look at Dean right now because he has no idea what Dean would be able to see on his face. Hell, Roman can barely even guess what his face looks like himself, he’s certainly not going to offer it up to Dean to see first.
“Anyway, I’m going to shower and then order room service," Dean says like nothing out of the ordinary has just happened. His voice is as normal as ever. He’s walking around actually picking his crap up off the floor, and yeah, food might be good. Trying to put some kind of normalcy to this night is a great idea. Roman feels like he needs to eat about nine cheeseburgers and drink a twelve pack of beer, then lie down and close his eyes and pray for death to take him before morning. Today has been such a long day.
“I’m going to get a piece of chocolate cake as big as my face and eat it until I puke,” Dean adds thoughtfully. "You want to head over when you’re changed and we’ll order together?”
Roman looks over and Dean is staring at him, a small smile on his face. Roman appreciates that Dean is going to let this drop, at least for right now. That’s all Roman can ask for, really
“Food sounds good,” Roman says. Dean smiles gratefully and backs out of the room. “I’ll be right over,” Roman adds.
He waits until Dean is completely gone before he closes his eyes and breathes.
Dean doesn’t bring it up again. He leaves it alone for the rest of the night and when Roman gets in bed with him after they eat and set their alarms for the next day Dean doesn’t make any of the ridiculous comments or dumb faces Roman was expecting.
He doesn’t bring it up in the car when they’re driving to Smackdown the next day, and he doesn’t say anything when Roman swaps their two single rooms for a double since they’re probably going to wind up staying together anyway. Dean naps when Roman goes down to the gym and when he gets back Dean is already out, a note scrawled on the back of the hotel menu saying: went to go find snacks. call me if you want anything.
Roman takes a shower instead. He’s in the bathroom tying his hair back when he hears Dean come into the room, the hotel door swinging open and Dean’s footsteps loud on the floor.
“I got you a vitamin water and some chips and those gummy coke bottles you like,” Dean shouts.
Roman yells out a thanks. He can hear the crinkle of a bag hitting the desk and then Dean is poking his head into the bathroom, flapping his hands around dramatically at the steam. “What time do we have to leave today?” he asks.
“‘Bout an hour,” Roman tells him.
It must be hot outside where Dean was because his hair is curling over his forehead and his chest is slick with sweat. He’s wearing a grey tank top that’s already damp and sticking to his skin. The top of his chest and cheeks are flushed a bright pink.
Roman doesn’t even realize he’s staring until the second he does and then he looks up so quickly he nearly sprains his neck. Dean is leaning against the doorframe, one arm stretched so his fingers touch the top of the doorway and his head cocked to the side. He grins at Roman and snaps on his gum. Roman braces himself, because surely Dean’s going to say something now, but he just drops his eyes instead, and gives Roman a long, slow look, before winking and backing out of the doorway.
“I’ll start packing up the bags,” Dean says. Roman feels his mouth open and close a few times without any kind of sound coming out. Maybe he really did hit his head harder than he thought last night. It’s possibly he’s suffering from a brain injury and doesn’t even know it, because the way Dean is acting is...well. It’s definitely not what Roman expected.
“Come on, Rome. Chop chop,” Dean calls out. Roman shakes his head and turns off the lights in the bathroom. Dean’s already wandering around the room, picking things up and vaguely tossing them in the direction of their bags. It’s the closest to packing Roman’s seen him do since the day they met. “Time’s a wasting and all that. We got places to go, people’s asses to kick.”
“Yeah,” Roman says slowly. He shakes his head and starts getting his laptop and their chargers and the rest of their small things together. Maybe this is just how Dean is going to be about the whole thing. Roman didn’t really expect it, but it’s nice.
Roman’s not going to complain.
Smackdown is always less hectic than Raw because they’ve got a little more time between tapings, so when they get there almost an hour late Roman doesn’t even worry about it. He’s usually good for about a one to two hour span where he shows up later than everyone else no matter what’s going on for the day. No one is happy about it really, but they’ve all come to expect it by now so at least no one is actively waiting for him on show days.
He’s paired with Dean again against Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper tonight. Randy has been split off to fight Braun Strowman on his own, and while Roman doesn’t understand the matchups all the time he’s happy about this one. He needs to fight with Dean again tonight and he needs to kick ass. Roman wants a win and he desperately needs to make up for the mess he made and to personally show Dean that he’s in this, that he’s got Dean’s back one hundred percent.
“I’m going to head down and grab a water before we start taping,” Dean says. Roman’s found his locker room and dumped his bags in the corner. Even for a taped show he needs time to himself and Dean knows that. They’d already seen Seth skulking around the arena, his stupid belt slung over his shoulder and his nasally whine echoing through the halls. Roman pushes it out of his mind. He doesn’t need to think about Seth, or Dean and Seth, or any of that right now. He’s got to focus.
“‘M’kay,” Roman grunts. He’s already started taping his hands and getting his gear out of his bag. He tosses his vest onto a chair and it makes a heavy thump. Dean levels a look at Roman and taps his fingers against his chin.
“You’re good, right?” Dean asks. His voice sounds casual but Roman can tell that Dean is serious. That he means what he’s asking. “I don’t gotta worry about you, do I?”
Roman curls his fingers into fists and takes a deep breath. He’s good. Definitely. He’s got to be.
“I’m great,” he says. When he looks up Dean’s watching him but Roman manages to smile. He’s going to be able to do this no problem. He’s not going to get distracted tonight at all. “I’ll see you out there,” he says, and holds his fist up for Dean to bump his own against.
Dean narrows his eyes for a split second, but then they blink wide open and he grins, easy and bright. “Yeah. All right, brother. See you there.” Dean taps their hands together and when he pulls his own back his wiggles his fingers in the air and makes a quiet little explosion sound.
It doesn’t take long for their match to get announced, and then Roman is waiting by the doors, the blare of his music and the flash of lights letting him know it’s his time to go out. He focuses on the ring, stopping to bump fists and nod at people in the stands as he goes, but he’s on a mission tonight. He’s got to prove to himself and Dean and everyone else that he’s better than he was last night. He’s got to make sure nothing happens to distract him.
The ring bounces under his feet as he makes his way under the ropes, and then Dean’s music is on and he’s strutting his way into the ring. He unzips his jacket and Roman never really watched the way Dean’s hands move other than when they’re punching the people around them. His fingers drag the zipper down and Roman’s eyes track as Dean’s hand hits his waist. His belt is riding low and his jeans are snug on his hips and by the time Dean makes it up next to him Roman has to shake himself to get out of his own head. He bangs his fists on his chest and punches down next to his feet and Dean is bouncing on his heels, his shoulder and arms rippling with muscle.
Maybe Roman’s not as focused as he’s been pretending to be.
The lights drop as the Wyatts walk in and Roman takes a second to compose himself. It’s dark in the arena, the low pulse of the music and the lights flickering on and off in the stands. Roman can tell the exact second Dean steps up next to him. He can smell Dean’s sweat, and the traces of shampoo still in his damp hair and the way Roman’s body goes hot and tight when Dean slides up next to him. Dean’s hand is on Roman’s waist and a shiver runs up Roman’s back as Dean tips his head down and puts his mouth right up next to Roman’s ear.
“Keep your head in the game this time, big guy,” Dean says, his voice low and rough. He grins at Roman in the dark and winks. His face is cast in a blue black shadow and his smile is feral. “You can think about fucking me later.”
Then the lights flash on and the Wyatts music cuts out and Roman has less than a second to stare at Dean, chest pounding and mouth hanging wide. “What?” Roman gasps, just as Bray Wyatt storms across the ring and punches him square in the jaw.
Roman’s lip is bleeding. His entire mouth feels swollen and his eye is throbbing and his ribs hurt from where he got kicked over and over and over again. He can tell Dean feels bad because he hasn’t said anything. Roman’s not heard one word out of him the entire time they were in the locker room getting their things together and showering after the match, or in the car on the way back to the hotel, or in the elevator on the way up to their room.
Dean’s footsteps are quiet behind his. Roman gets the keycard in the slot and lets them in, hefting his bag on top of the bed closest to the door and walking into the bathroom without saying a single word.
“Ah, come on, Roman,” Dean whines when Roman pulls the door firmly shut behind him. He can hear Dean huffing, his footsteps pacing back and forth in the hall outside the bathroom. “Don’t be like that.”
“Don’t be like what?” Roman asks, staring at himself in the mirror. He looks like complete shit. His eye is already starting to go dark with bruises and his cheek is starting to swell. He pokes at his lip and it pulses and throbs. There’s a washcloth on the sink and he grabs it and runs it under cold water before pressing it against his mouth. Roman tries to think of something, anything other than the words that have been swirling around in his brain since the second Dean said them, but he can’t. He literally cannot think of a single other thing.
You can think about fucking me later.
You can think about fucking me later.
You can think about fucking me--
“Why the fuck would you say that?”
Roman’s yanked the door open in time to find Dean standing directly in front of him, his hand raised in an awkward fist. Roman feels his lip curl and he takes a step back, his fingers clenching tight on instinct. He rolls his shoulder and cocks his head to the side because was Dean planning on hitting him now? Really? Dean must realize what he looks like though, because he drops his hands quickly and holds them palms out.
“Whoa. Down, killer,” he says gently. He’s looking at Roman like Roman’s gone insane. To be fair Roman’s not entirely sure he hasn’t. “I was just getting ready to knock on the door, I swear.”
Roman grunts and glares in Dean’s direction. He tosses the bloody washcloth behind him into the tub and Dean’s face furrows in concern for a second when his eyes land on Roman’s mouth.
“You all right?” Dean asks.
And no. No, no, “no,” Roman growls. He stalks past Dean and kicks Dean’s jacket where it’s lying on the floor. Dean can never keep track of his shit. He’s always leaving things all over the place for Roman to step on and trip over, and then when it’s time to leave it takes him twice as long to go because he can’t remember where he’s put anything. He’s messy and loud and oversleeps anytime they go anywhere. He sings badly in the shower and farts in bed and steals all the covers and there’s no reason why - there’s not a single good reason in the world for it - but no matter all of that, Roman can’t stop thinking about fucking him.
“Why the fuck would you say that?” Roman says again.
Dean sucks in a breath and crosses his arms over his chest. He stares at Roman like he knows exactly that Roman is thinking. Like he can see every single truth on Roman’s face no matter how hard he tries to bury it. Roman thinks it’s damn inconvenient to have a friend who knows you as well as Dean knows Roman. It makes keeping secrets a hell of a lot more difficult.
“Why are you lying and pretending it’s not true,” Dean asks.
And that’s just - it’s not--
“It’s not. I mean, I don’t think it’s true.” Roman stammers. “Maybe it’s true. I don’t know.” Dean just stands there, mouth curving into a smirk the longer Roman babbles.
“No, man. Fuck you.” Roman jabs a finger in Dean’s direction. He hates not having the upper hand. Dean waggles his eyebrows and leans over, pretending to bite the tip of Roman’s finger off.
“Exactly,” Dean says. His voice curls around a deep laugh and he sweeps his arms in a dramatic arc, gesturing between the two of them. “That’s exactly what I’ve been saying we should do!”
Roman bangs his fists against his forehead and groans out loud. He has no idea what to do, or how to feel. His fingers are throbbing and his chest is vibrating and part of him wants to kill Dean, wants to punch his face a million times to make him stop talking so much shit. But the other part of him...Christ, the other part of Roman really does want Dean’s been saying. The other part of Roman wants to fuck Dean so badly his hands are starting to shake.
It’s just there, it’s always there, shoved right to the front of his mind lately. Dean is his best friend and his brother and the person Roman trusts and loves more than anyone else in the world, but he never thought about this. It was never anything he expected to want, or to feel, but once the idea took root and started to flicker nothing Roman can do now will stop it.
Roman wants to fuck him. He wants to bite the back of Dean’s neck and hold his hips and fuck into Dean slowly. He wants to feel Dean go tight around him, wants to know what Dean sounds like and feels like when he comes. He just - he wants Dean and enough is enough.
Roman doesn’t say anything else, just crowds Dean up against the door and presses his thigh in, slotting their legs together. Dean hisses through his teeth and his head falls back making a quiet thunk against the wall. Roman’s chest is broader than Dean’s, and his hands are larger. He stretches his fingers out and ghosts them over the curve of Dean’s arm, soft skin over hard muscle sliding under Roman’s hand. Dean’s watching Roman calmly, but his breath is coming out quicker, short bursts of air that fan across Roman’s face.
He touches Dean’s waist and Dean arches his back, curving up and into Roman’s hands. Roman has barely even touched him and he already wants so much. He steps in closer, curls his fingers tight around Dean’s hip and yanks him in.
Dean kisses like he does everything; full blown and focused. He kisses Roman like he’s got a purpose, like he can’t stop, like if he lets go of Roman’s face or stops kissing him for even a second everything will explode into dust. Dean’s mouth is hot, his tongue is wet and he makes these deep sounds, moans and grunts and bits of Roman’s name that have Roman scratching his nails up Dean’s skin, dragging paths against his belly and sides.
Roman’s got Dean pinned against the wall but then Dean flips them, shoves Roman back and takes over. “Fuck, fuck,” Dean mumbles. He reaches behind Roman’s head and yanks the tie out of his hair, digging his fingers into the back when it falls loose around his shoulders.
“So fucking stupid,” Dean murmurs. He bites down on the meat of Roman’s shoulder, then presses his lips against the bruise when Roman hisses. “Been wanting you to fuck me for ages.”
“Maybe you should stop calling me stupid then,” Roman huffs. He pulls Dean’s shirt up and off and his muscles ripple under Roman’s hands. He looks up from Dean’s chest into his face, and Dean is watching him, eyes bright blue and focused. Roman curls his lips in a smile and yanks at Dean’s belt. Dean reaches down to help and they start walking back from the wall toward the bed.
Dean finishes with his belt and pulls it loose, tossing it over his head to fall somewhere onto the floor. He struggles with his jeans next, and Roman looks away only long enough to shove his shorts down his hips and yank off his own shirt. It should be weird, Roman thinks. He and Dean have seen each other’s skin more than any two people would in any kind of normal relationship, but this is different. This is seeing skin with intent. This is seeing someone’s skin because you’re going to touch them and fuck them and have your hands all over them in an entirely different way.
He looks at Dean’s face to make sure Dean is really ok with this, that he’s not having any kind of visible regret, but when he catches Dean’s eye Dean just smiles. He falls back onto the bed and bounces on the mattress, laughing quietly. Roman chuckles along with him because isn’t this just like the two of them. Even though this is new, it’s still somehow exactly them. They’ve managed to take something unique and different from everyone else and make it their own time and time again. From the ring to their friendship and now to this, nothing with Dean is anything Roman has ever expected. Everything with him is like a brand new surprise.
Roman loves it.
He crawls up on the bed, fitting himself between Dean’s legs and touches Dean’s face with fingers that were a hell of a lot steadier a few minutes ago. It’s hitting him now when they’re together like this exactly what this means and it’s just. It’s a lot.
“Don’t go getting all weird on me now, Reigns,” Dean says quietly. He plays it off like he’s joking but Roman can hear the truth underneath. Dean touches the side of Roman’s forehead and Roman looks up to see Dean watching him carefully, his eyes so blue in the low light of the room.
Roman drops his head. He tries to deny it, but this is big for him. This is a thing, and Roman’s pretty shit at things.
“‘M’not,” he says. The air in Roman’s lungs feels too thick. It presses against his ribs, crawling up his throat and making the words nearly impossible to get out. Dean tucks his hand under Roman’s arm and pulls him up so they’re lying chest to chest. He can feel the thump of Dean’s heart against his own, steady and sure. “I’m just…”
“You know I was just fucking around before, right?” Dean asks quietly. He touches the tips of his fingers to Roman’s eyebrow; trails them down over his cheek, across his jaw, and gently taps on the newest bruise on Roman’s lip. “If this isn’t your thing or whatever we don’t have to--”
“It is,” Roman interrupts, because the last thing he wants is for Dean to think he somehow doesn’t want this. He might be scared shitless and convinced he’s going to be truly awful at it, but Roman wants it. He wants Dean. He’s probably never wanted anything more.
“I mean, I want it to be. With you,” Roman adds, just so Dean understands. So he knows Roman’s sure. “I’ve just never actually…” Roman trails off and stares at Dean expectantly. Dean stares back. Roman huffs and nods his head a little, willing Dean to somehow get it, to understand what Roman’s trying to tell him without ever having to say the words.
Dean stares at him a few more seconds until realization finally dawns on his face, and then he breaks out in a grin.
“Never?” he asks. “Really?”
Dean sounds positively thrilled. Roman yanks a pillow out from under Dean’s head and pretends to smother him. “Of course not never, you dick. Just never with--”
“Ahh,” Dean says. He gestures to himself and adds, “Never...”
Roman huffs and looks away before nodding his head a little. “Right.”
Dean picks up the pillow Roman had been holding and hits Roman on the side of the head with it before tossing it onto the floor. He stretches out flat in the bed and spreads his legs so Roman’s got more space to lie in. Roman tips over, his elbows resting on the mattress by Dean’s sides, his hair falling in a curtain around both their faces.
Dean is humming quietly under his breath, the corners of his lips twitching into a smile. It takes a second for Roman to recognize the song, and when he does he wishes he had another pillow handy. This time he’d make sure to hold it over Dean’s face until he completely stopped breathing.
“Are you fucking humming Madonna?” Roman grunts. “I’m going to kill you.”
Dean hums for another second, then shakes his head. “Nah,” he says, his hair falling loose over his forehead and into his eyes. Roman brushes it away from his face and taps his thumb against Dean’s temple. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Probably not,” Roman agrees. Dean is shifting around underneath him and Roman pushes himself up when Dean shoves at his chest and frowns.
“Move it,” Dean says. He leans over the side of the bed and unzips the bag he’s got resting against the night table. Roman watches the ridges of muscles in Dean’s back. Every time he shifts the light makes his skin glow gold and Roman wants to touch him. He curls his fingers back, then realizes that he’s allowed to now. That this time when he thinks how much he wants to touch Dean he can.
Roman lays his hand flat against Dean’s back and Dean jumps a little, before settling and shifting down further to pick something up from the floor. Dean is so warm, his skin is soft as silk and Roman’s belly quivers from the way he feels under Roman’s hand. He wants to map out every inch of Dean’s skin with his mouth. He wants to kiss the curve of his shoulder and the nape of his neck and every knob of his spine until Dean is breathless and shaking underneath him.
“Shove over,” Dean mutters. He’s rolled back onto the mattress and kicks at Roman’s leg to get him to move to the side. There’s a condom and a little bottle of lube in Dean’s hand, and Roman feels his stomach drop. He’s so nervous he thinks he might puke.
“Hey,” Dean says, snapping his fingers in Roman’s face. “You still with me?” He’s busy shoving his boxers off with his other hand, the condom and lube just lying there on the mattress like it’s no big deal. Like this is an everyday thing. Like the idea that Roman is going to fuck Dean is something that is completely normal and not strange at all.
Roman nods, because fuck, fuck, the sight of Dean naked and spread out in front of him is just…
It’s a lot, is all.
“Yeah,” Roman says. His voice is so low he wonders if Dean can even hear him. He’s still staring at Dean’s body, all of his skin and muscles against the white hotel sheets. He swallows deeply and shivers when Dean pulls him in closer by the elastic of his briefs.
“Get these off,” Dean murmurs. He tugs at the elastic and Roman looks down to get his bearings while he shoves them off. Dean whistles when Roman finally kicks them onto the floor, and Roman looks up and chuckles at the ridiculous face Dean’s making at him.
“Daaaaamn,” Dean says and Roman laughs softly. He can feel his cheeks heat the longer Dean stares at him. “All right, lemme get ready. You just--” Dean flaps his hand at Roman which he takes to mean move a little so he leans back on his elbow, watching intently as Dean pops the cap on the lube and drizzles some on his fingers.
Roman knows, intellectually, how this is going to work. Just because he’s never actually done it before doesn’t mean he’s a complete idiot about the mechanics of it all. Still though, nothing ever really could have prepared him for the sight of Dean reaching back, his hips canted forward as he starts to fuck himself on his own fingers.
“Goddamn,” Dean hisses. Roman flutters his hands over Dean’s belly to try and, he doesn’t really know, help him somehow? Touch him to make him feel better? He settles for resting his hand on Dean’s hip, his fingers going tight and holding on.
“You all right?” Roman asks.
Dean nods as he squeezes his eyes shut and bites his lip. “Yeah. Just been a while.”
“Do you want to stop?”
Dean huffs. “And deal with your dick on my own? No thanks.”
“No, I mean--” Roman swallows. He doesn’t want to say it, doesn’t even want to offer because now that he’s got the idea of what fucking Dean would be like he’s getting greedy for it. He wants it so badly he can barely breathe. Still though, he’s got to be nice and offer at least.
“I mean, do you want to stop, period. Not do this at all.”
Dean does stop then. He stops moaning and squirming around and rests back on his elbow, staring at Roman with a deep frown etched across his face.
“If you don’t get your dick in me right now I’ll kill you,” Dean says matter of factly. “I’m not kidding. You’ll be dead.”
It makes Roman laugh, and after a second Dean smiles back at least. “No, just--” Dean hands Roman the lube and then shifts around until he’s on his hands and knees, head hanging down low. Roman’s breath catches hard in his chest. He shuffles up behind him and touches Dean’s back, fingers curling over the shape of Dean’s ribs.
“Can you do it?” Dean asks. He looks back over his shoulder and grins. “I think I’m out of practice. Might need some help.”
Roman’s throat is dry but he manages to nod and croak out, “Yeah. Sure.” Dean hums happily and drops his head down on the pillow. Roman tries not to notice how much his hand is shaking when he drizzles the lube over his fingers.
The first thing that registers when he touches Dean is heat. His skin his hot, his back is hot. Roman is pressed up against the back of Dean’s legs, and he touches the inside of Dean’s thigh with slick fingers.
He thinks it’s probably strange how they’ve barely kissed and the first thing they’re doing is fucking. Roman’s never touched Dean’s dick and Dean’s never touched his. He’s never blown him (never blown anybody actually, but that’s something for another day), and never been blown by a guy. It’s crazy, when he thinks about it, that the first thing he’s ever going to do with Dean is fucking him. In the end though, him and Dean have never really made sense. Not from the start. Roman figures there’s no reason why this would be any different.
When he finally touches him Dean moans so loudly that Roman stops to make sure he didn’t hurt him somehow. Dean shakes his head. “No, just - fuck,” he babbles and pushes back against Roman’s hand. “It’s good. Just a lot is all.”
Roman nods and keeps going. He fucks him open slowly, first with one finger, then two. He fucks him so carefully, curling his fingers then spreading them open and giving Dean time to adjust before he adds more. Dean’s so loud, shifting and moaning every time Roman does something he likes, and Roman can’t help himself from leaning over and pressing his lips to the back of Dean’s neck.
They’re both a mess already. Roman’s used so much lube the sheets are completely destroyed. There’s not a chance in hell they’re going to be able to sleep in this bed tonight, but if the way Dean is arching back and shoving against Roman’s hand is anything to go by he figures he’s at least doing an okay job.
“Ok, all right, come on,” Dean finally says. Roman’s been so focused watching his fingers and Dean’s ass and the way his shoulders shift every time he ruts against the mattress that he’s barely realized how much time has passed. “Roman,” Dean snaps, and Roman finally looks up to find Dean staring at him.
“Hey,” Dean says quietly. Roman can’t hear anything over the pounding of his heartbeat in his ears. He blinks slowly. Dean’s mouth curves in a grin and he says, “You ready?”
Roman is...so ready. He’s been ignoring how hard he is because he’s been so focused on Dean and making him feel good, but it’s like the act of Dean asking him reminds Roman’s dick that it’s going to get to fuck him soon. In a split second he’s achingly hard.
“Yeah.” Roman clears his throat and wipes his fingers on the sheet. Dean fumbles with the condom and somehow manages to toss it exactly at Roman’s head. Roman laughs, fingers trembling a little when he tears open the package.
He rolls the condom on and pats Dean’s hip. Dean stretches out, his face and chest half pressed down into the pillows and mattress. Roman’s fucked plenty in his life so this part at least should be familiar. It shouldn’t feel like such a foreign thing.
Nothing about this is familiar at all, though. Nothing about this is average or ordinary. Roman’s hand twitches where he’s holding onto Dean’s hip.
“Come on,” Dean mutters. He reaches behind himself and grabs Roman’s thigh, yanking him forward enough that the head of Roman’s dick slides against the cleft of Dean’s ass. They both groan at that, long and drawn out, and Roman tilts his head down and breathes out as he slowly lines himself up and starts to push in.
He’s shaking as he does it. His whole body is vibrating with trying to hold himself back and not just fuck into Dean as hard as he can. He doesn’t want to go too fast and hurt him, but it feels like he’s not going to be able to get inside him any other way and Roman just, he needs this now. He can’t think of anything else. Roman pauses a second, because it’s too much, he can’t keep going, but Dean shakes his head and reaches behind him almost frantically.
“No, keep going, just--”
Roman grunts and grips Dean’s hips in his hands even tighter. He kicks one of Dean’s legs out with his knee and it makes Dean tumble down, his body sprawled out on the mattress. His fingers clench in and out of fists in the sheets, and Roman reaches over and lays his hand on top of Dean’s, slotting their fingers together and holding tight.
It takes another long, slow minute, but then Roman is finally inside him. He leans over and touches his lips to the back of Dean’s neck. Dean chokes out a sound. His back is trembling under Roman’s chest and Roman lets him rest a second. He gives him a minute to adjust, and then Dean is shifting up to his knees, driving himself back harder on Roman’s dick.
Roman’s eyes cross with how good it is. Dean is so tight around him and Roman slides out a little and then fucks into him slowly, feeling every slip of skin against skin.
“Fuck, Roman,” Dean swears. He’s got one hand up near his head and the other he flips over so their fingers interlock on the mattress. Roman squeezes Dean’s hand tight. His chest hurts with how much he’s feeling, with how much he wants to be good for Dean. It’s barely been a few minutes but Roman already feels like he’s going to come, like every single nerve in his body is hardwired to his cock. He can’t remember feeling anything like this ever before. It’s as if his entire life has been in black and white until this second with Dean wrapped around him, getting fucked by him, and moaning Roman’s name.
“Do it,” Dean pants. He fucks back even harder and Roman’s eyes practically roll back in his head. “Fucking come in me. Come on.”
Roman can’t stop himself then. He fucks into Dean over and over again, harder and harder each time. Dean is writhing underneath him, and Roman realizes through the fog in his brain that Dean’s pulled his hand away to jerk himself off and that’s - that’s probably the hottest image Roman has ever had in his head. He realizes in a blinding moment that he wants to do this again, that he wants to do this and so much more. He wants to keep fucking Dean and he wants to jerk him off and he wants to suck his dick. He wants to touch every inch of Dean’s skin and fuck his mouth and pull on Dean’s hair until Dean’s shaking and coming all over himself.
Roman just - he wants - and the fact that he has Dean right now is what does it for him. He digs his fingers into the meat of Dean’s thigh and yanks him up and in, groaning loud and long as he comes.
“Fuck, Roman, oh my god,” Dean babbles, and then something happens - Roman is guessing Dean’s coming too - because everything goes so tight around his dick. Roman pulls Dean up even closer to his chest and sets his teeth in the back of Dean’s neck. Dean’s skin is salty with sweat and Roman bites down then licks over the bruise when Dean shivers.
“Jesus,” Dean finally says.
Roman can’t breathe. He’s got his arms wrapped around Dean’s chest like a vise and doesn’t even realize how tightly he’s holding onto him until Dean scrabbles at Roman’s arm, trying to pull it down and off him.
“Can’t fucking breathe,” Dean gasps.
“Shit. Sorry.” Roman drops him then and Dean falls down into a heap, rolling right into the mess on the bed. He flings his arms out and groans dramatically.
“Are you kidding me?” Dean whines. He’s got his eyes scrunched closed and looks so disgusted that Roman starts laughing. They’re both sweaty and gross and completely fucked out and somehow Dean pouting because he fell into the wet spot is the funniest thing Roman’s ever seen.
“It’s not funny,” Dean snaps. He’s opened his eyes and is glaring at Roman, then reaches up to grab Roman’s hair and pull him down. Roman pretends to fight back but he doesn’t try too hard. He figures he deserves whatever Dean’s trying to do to him.
“Come down here,” Dean grunts, and Roman goes. He flops down next to Dean and tosses his leg over Dean’s lap. Dean’s hand finds his way into Roman’s hair and he scritches his head, dragging his fingers up against the nape of his neck. It’s nice to be quiet for a bit. Dean doesn’t say anything for a second, and then he pats Roman’s cheek and says, “Ok. Gimme a few minutes and we can go again.”
Roman blinks. Dean’s still lying flat, his eyes closed now and a smile on his lips. His breathing is evening out, and he looks like he’s relaxed, but Roman thought this was it, really. He figured they would fuck and then clean up and then sleep. He never thought about again.
“Yeah?” Roman licks his lips. Dean blinks his eyes open slowly, and tugs Roman down, kissing the corner of his mouth.
“Yeah,” Dean says. “I mean. The bed’s already a mess so. You know. We might as well.”
Roman laughs quietly, because yes. Sure. Exactly. It’s him and Dean after all. They definitely might as well.
“All right then,” Roman says, and Dean smiles.
If Roman had thought that was going to be it, he was very much mistaken. Not that he’d ever thought about it much until recently, but when he did start to think about it he kind of figured it would be a thing they would do just to see how it would go. They might fuck and it would probably be great but that would be it. Roman never thought it would go badly - he was never worried it might make things awkward between them - but he also didn’t think it would turn into a thing they would do all the time.
Roman was very wrong.
They fuck constantly. They’ve already got the two days after Smackdown off so Roman goes down to the front desk and changes their hotel checkout date from Wednesday to Friday. They’ll have to do a lot of driving to make it to the house show they’re booked at Friday night, but it’s worth it for the way Dean’s face lights up when Roman tells him. Dean locks the door behind him when he comes in and then shoves Roman up against the wall. He yanks Roman’s gym shorts down and blows him right there against the wall, his fingers pressing bruises into Roman’s hips.
They fuck in the bed and over the couch and against the edge of the desk, the hard wood digging into Dean’s thigh so hard he’s got a mark on him for the next three days. They fuck in the shower, hair wet and bodies slick. Roman’s fingers learn all the curves and dips of Dean’s spine. He goes to his knees and sucks Dean off with hands that shake, Dean petting his hair and talking to Roman in the softest voice he’s ever heard.
Dean lays Roman out on the bed and bites across every inch of his skin. He pulls on Roman’s hair and drags his fingers over Roman’s bicep and the third night after a few beers and watching a really horrible movie on pay per view he flips Roman over and fucks Roman with his tongue, his fingers slick and wet and pressing deep inside him.
Roman’s never felt like this before. He’s never felt so much for the person he’s fucking and it’s strange, and odd, how his chest goes so tight he feels like it’s ready to split in two every time Dean touches him, or looks at him like Roman is someone who matters. Fuck, Roman knows, intellectually, that he’s probably the person who means the most to Dean, and it shouldn’t be a surprise for Roman to realize that Dean’s that for him too.
Roman just - he loves what they have, and what they’re doing. He should probably think about that a little more but it’s only been a few days so Roman thinks he can just enjoy it and worry about everything else later.
They do their house shows, and maybe fucking on their off nights is helping them because they’ve never been more in sync in the ring. The Friday show is great but the Saturday show is pure fire. They slay The New Day so badly Roman actually feels a little bit bad about it. Those guys are fun. Roman really does like them. He just likes fitting together with Dean like two perfectly matched puzzle pieces even better.
That Monday’s Raw is insane. Roman is booked solo against Bray Wyatt again, and from the second the lights go down and his music starts, the blood starts zipping through his veins. Roman makes his way down the steps and into the ring, and he can still feel the bruise on the back of his neck where Dean bit down too hard last night. It rubs against his gear and Roman wants to reach back and touch it. He wants to press against it until it swells and throbs and then he wants Dean to bite him again.
Bray circles him in the ring, his lip curled in a sneer. “Where’s your friend?” he asks, low enough that it won’t be picked up by the mics.
Roman clenches his fingers. He knows how Bray works. More than half of his talent isn’t his ring skills, but the way he manages to fuck with your head so badly that when he faces you he’s only facing the parts that he wants to see; the parts that he can beat. He’ll taunt you and singsong in your ear until your concentration is crushed, and then he’ll attack like a rabid bear. It’s vicious and deadly and all the more potent because Roman is expecting it every time they step into the ring. He just doesn’t know which button Bray is going to try and push next.
“You know who I mean,” Bray says again. He flips his hair back, pointy little teeth cutting into his lip. “Your little friend Dean.”
“Shut up,” Roman growls.
Bray laughs again, soft and maniacal. “Aww. Too soon, Roman? You two are so sweet. Always rushing to the others rescue.” He steps in close enough Roman can smell his sweat. “But then again,” he whispers. “That’s what a good boyfriend does, isn’t it?”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Roman spits out, but then he stops, because is he? Not the typical, normal person, “let’s go on a date and hold hands” type boyfriend obviously, but a different kind of boyfriend maybe. A them kind of boyfriend.
“Did I hit a nerve?” Bray says softly. His eyes are sparkling. Roman wants to kill him.
“Oh, something’s gonna get hit,” Roman says, and then he rears back and slaps Bray clear across the face.
Bray stumbles and Roman’s ears start ringing, the thrum of blood rushing through his body and his heart beating hard against his chest. This is the part of the fight he loves the best: advancing on someone, cornering them. Making them realize that you’re in control and nothing they can do will help them.
He beats Bray that night with a single minded focus he’s not had in weeks. He doesn’t feel bad about it, not even a little bit, and he pretends not to notice the way his pulse thumps in time to the word boyfriend over and over and over again.
Dean knows something is wrong with Roman. He has to. Roman is quiet after matches a lot of the time, but tonight he shakes Dean off when Dean touches his arm in the locker room before they leave for the night.
“Good match,” Dean says. Roman only nods because he can’t look at Dean, not really. Not since he started thinking about Dean being his boyfriend and realizing how much he actually wants that.
“You did great out there,” Dean says again. He’s followed Roman into their locker room, talking like nothing is wrong. He’s got to know something is though. Dean is a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.
“Thanks,” Roman mutters. He grabs a towel to head into the shower. Dean had fought Bo Dallas earlier in the night so he’s already showered and changed, his hair damp and sweatpants hanging low on his hips. He leans in the doorway and watches Roman with narrowed eyes. He’s got a bruise on his throat the shape of Roman’s mouth. Roman wants to kiss him so badly his hands are shaking.
“What was Bray saying to you out there?” Dean asks, and this is exactly the conversation Roman didn’t want to have with him right now. He shakes his head and looks away.
“Typical shit,” Roman says quietly.
Dean’s eyes narrow. “Hmm,” he says. He clearly doesn’t believe Roman at all and he shouldn’t. Roman is lying. He’s a lying liar and he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he apparently wants Dean to be his boyfriend. Everything is awful.
“I’m going to go shower,” Roman says. He nods towards the bathroom. Maybe he’ll stand in the shower until all of these ridiculous feelings go the fuck away. Maybe he’ll just stand there and tip his head back with his mouth open until he drowns. Dean told him once that turkeys do that. He didn’t believe him at the time but right now it sounds like a great plan. Roman might give it a shot.
“Yeah,” Dean says slowly. He’s still watching Roman like Roman’s got a million secrets that he’s not sharing. He doesn’t look happy about it. “I’ll meet you at the car.”
Roman wants to say something so Dean knows this is nothing about him and everything about Roman, but he can’t seem to make his mouth work the right way to form words. Dean is frowning at him, jaw set in a hard line and Roman realizes that any time he might have had now to talk to Dean has passed and they’re officially in hostile territory. Waiting to talk until they get back to the room is probably the best plan.
“See you in a few,” Roman says, and disappears into the bathroom.
The ride back to the hotel is silent, and when Dean stalks through the lobby and over to the elevators Roman doesn’t even try and keep up. He’s got the key anyway. He knows for a fact Dean left his in the room on top of the dresser next to the crumpled receipt from the bar they went to the night before and a handful of loose change. Dean’s not going anywhere without him.
The elevator doors slide open and they step inside. Roman’s feeling a little better about everything now. He’d calmed himself down in the shower and realized he was just going to have to talk to Dean. The idea of that is terrifying. Roman would rather face the entire Wyatt family while blindfolded and being set on fire before talking to Dean about his feelings, but apparently this is where he’s at for the night.
They get to the room and Dean stalks over, then pats his pockets awkwardly before turning around to glare in Roman’s direction. “Well?” Dean demands. Roman grins and pats Dean’s cheek as he slides the card into the reader, taking a deep breath as the light turns green and Dean shoves the door open.
Here goes nothing.
“What the fuck,” Dean yells, right as the door swings closed behind them. He’s definitely angry by now. He’s had to know something was going on in Roman’s head and knowing Dean he’s spent the last hour assuming the worst.
Roman loves how he knows this about him. He loves that he can read every emotion as it flickers across Dean’s face. He loves how he knows what Dean is going to say before he says it, and how he knows what Dean’s voice will sound like and how he knows that Dean is angry right now because he’s scared. He loves that Dean is scared that something is going to happen with Roman, because it makes Roman think that maybe he’s not the only one with feelings about this. He loves that maybe it’s possible that they both have a few too many feelings.
Mostly though, Roman just loves Dean.
“Are we boyfriends,” Roman says calmly. He can’t believe how steady his voice is when it feels like every cell in his body is shaking.
Dean stops dead where’s he’s been pacing and whips around to face him. “What?”
“Are we boyfriends,” Roman repeats. When Dean just keeps staring Roman adds, “That’s what he was saying. Bray, in the ring. He was fucking with me, saying that you and me were boyfriends.”
“Oh,” Dean blinks. His face goes blank but not before Roman sees the flash of something desperate and real over his features. “Oh. Ok. Ha. What an asshole, right?”
“Hmm.” Roman clasps his hands behind his back because it’s the only way he can be sure he’s not going to reach for Dean and drag him in. He wants to kiss him. He wants to kiss him so very badly.
“It’s a good question though, innit?” Roman asks. Dean’s crossed his arms over his chest and is staring Roman down. “Are we boyfriends?”
“Aww, I don’t know, Roman,” Dean singsongs. He flutters his eyelashes and pretends to swoon. “Are you going to ask me to prom?”
Roman instantly recognizes it as something Dean said when he was talking about Seth in the very beginning of all of this. He’d sounded so sad then, so broken. Roman never wants to be the reason Dean sounds like that, ever.
“Don’t,” Roman says quietly. He shakes his head and Dean takes a deep breath. “Don’t ever compare me to him. Don’t do that.”
Dean sighs. He walks closer and Roman lets him. When he’s close enough to touch Roman reaches out and puts his hand on Dean’s waist. He pulls him in and Dean catches Roman’s gaze and holds it.
“I won’t,” he says, and Roman believes him. “I wouldn’t. You’re not him.”
I’m not him because I want you still, Roman thinks. I’m not him because I’m pretty sure I love you.
“It doesn’t have to be a thing,” Roman says instead. “And we can hopefully never have this conversation again--”
“Please, god, that would be great--”
“But I think we’re good, you know?” Roman finishes with. He waits for Dean to nod before adding, “I think...this is good.”
Dean’s quiet for a second then adds, “Yeah. Yeah, this is good.”
Roman knows this is probably as much as he’s going to get from Dean right now, and he’s fine with that. He knows how he feels about Dean, and even if he isn’t saying it, Roman knows how Dean feels about him. He squeezes Dean’s hip and goes to step past him and into the room. Dean lets him go, but right when Roman goes to pass Dean says, “Hey,” and grabs Roman’s hand.
It startles him for a second, which is just long enough for Dean to twine their fingers together and tug Roman close enough that they’re chests are touching. Roman looks up and Dean is watching him, his gaze intense and focused. Roman can hear everything Dean’s not saying. He feels his pulse thump in his ears. His chest goes tight and his belly drops.
“Roman,” Dean says. His voice is rough and Roman gets it. He does. He nods and slips a hand around the back of Dean’s neck. Dean’s hair is damp and soft. Roman watches the curve of Dean’s eyelashes when they touch his cheek as he closes his eyes, and then he isn’t watching anything because Dean is holding Roman’s face, and kissing him soft and slow.
For all the times they’ve kissed Roman has felt so many things. He’s felt turned on and excited and so desperate for Dean he was aching for it. They’ve kissed while fucking and after fucking and before fucking, but Roman doesn’t think they’ve ever kissed just to kiss. He doesn’t remember a kiss ever feeling this much like a hello, or a how are you, or an I love you.
This kiss is all of those. Dean tilts his head and licks into Roman’s mouth. His fingers are balled into fists at Roman’s jaw and he slides his hands up and into Roman’s hair, brushing his thumb over Roman’s ear, gently touching his cheek and the curve of his temple. Roman holds Dean just as carefully, trying to show Dean how much he needs him, and wants him, and how he’s going to be here for Dean from now on. This is it for Roman. Dean is it for him.
They break apart, and Roman kisses Dean’s cheek and forehead before stepping back. Dean grins and kicks off his shoes as he walks across the room. He leaves them right there in the middle of the room the same as he always does, and Roman will have to move then later so neither of them trip in the middle of the night when they get up to take a piss, the same as they always do.
Dean will leave his clothes all over the place for Roman to clean up and he’ll lose his room key and Roman will have to look all over to find it for him. He’ll take too long getting ready tomorrow morning because he’s going to unplug the alarm clock tonight and he still hasn’t figured out how to program an alarm into his phone like everyone else in the world.
It’s all the same. Everything is the same. Even though things are different, everything is exactly the same, only better.
Roman has never been happier.
“I’m going to call down for room service,” Dean says. He picks up the phone and presses a button. There’s a paper menu on the bed and he tosses it in Roman’s direction and grins brightly. “I’m going to get a burger as big as my head. You want one too?”
“Yeah,” Roman says. Dean makes a stupid little finger gun sign at Roman and winks. He looks away to start to talk to whoever just answered the phone, and Roman says again, “Yeah, that’s good,” because everything is good. It’s great.
Actually, everything is perfect.