The first time Sidney says it is definitely an accident.
He’s half asleep, in his defense, nodding off over his bowl of cereal and jerking awake to glare when he hears Geno chuckling softly at him. Their feet are tangled under the table, warm on Geno’s heated floors, and Sidney doesn’t have the energy yet for proper indignation at being laughed at.
He barely has the energy to respond to Geno’s sort-of-apologetic-but-not-really kiss, soft and warm and justifying them sitting on the same side of the table even though it’s just the two of them.
Sometimes Geno likes his space in the mornings, and Sidney is good at knowing when to duck out of the way, when English words are few and far between and most other communication happens through short grunts. But other times there are mornings like this, where he pushes himself into Sidney’s space easy as anything, his arms open and welcoming and susceptible to Sidney’s clinging tendencies.
Sidney likes these mornings best, especially when he is slow going, not quite sharp enough for his brain to be firing on all cylinders yet. His neuroses have not yet woken up completely and so facing the world seems both easier and more difficult, more dangerous without his overactive mind to protect him. He feels safest here.
“Thank you,” he says when the kiss breaks, soft and slurred into Geno’s chin.
He doesn’t quite realize what he said until he hears the sharp intake of Geno’s breath, feels his skin heating up a bit against his lips and his cheek. Sidney pulls back, blinking at Geno until his flush fully registers, his eyes round and—dark, heavy-lidded, like he’s either gotten sleepier or more aroused.
By the way Geno’s shifting a little bit in his seat, barely noticeable except for how close he is to Sidney, he definitely doesn’t want to go back to bed just to sleep.
In another moment, before Sidney can quite catch up to what he’s noticed, Geno clears his throat, presses a sloppy, wet kiss to Sidney’s cheek, and says, “You are welcome, Sleepy.” His voice is only a little rough, and Sidney looks at him carefully for a few more seconds before Geno’s smile manages to go fond and amused, once again at his expense.
Sidney shoves him, laughs a little, and says, “Shut up, it’s early.” He kisses Geno again, smiling when Geno laughs against his mouth in little minty huffs.
It’s almost easy to forget about it—Geno doesn’t laugh at him for long, which could be suspicious or could just be Geno forgiving his sleepy brain for its embarrassments. Sidney has been told he talks in his sleep, so maybe this is not the most ridiculous semiconscious thing Sidney’s brain has offered.
He’s only a little more aware of when he says it to Geno again at practice, when Geno passes him a water bottle and he thanks him automatically. Sidney is looking for it only peripherally but it’s enough to notice Geno’s cheeks go pink again, enough to make him start to wonder.
Sidney pays more attention, then. He starts asking for things and favors more often, still kind of subtle about it, just with more attention paid to Geno’s reactions when Sidney thanks him.
“Hey,” he says to Geno, poking him with his toe where he’s reading on the other side of the couch. “Can you get me the rest of the potato salad next time you go to the kitchen?”
“Get yourself,” Geno mutters absently, but he gets up for a drink not ten minutes later and returns with Tupperware and a fork for Sidney, who sits up eagerly.
“Thank you,” Sidney tells him carefully, watching Geno. Geno rolls his eyes a little and picks up his book again, but there is the pinkness high in Geno’s cheeks, slight and obviously still being ignored by Geno. Sidney smiles a little around his bites of potato, prodding Geno into smiling too when he offers him his loaded fork.
He starts mapping out which contexts garner the most severe reactions. Thanking Geno for giving him things he asks for actually spur the least amount of flushing or interest. Favors are relative, too; asking for a neck rub gets him some grumbling and also Geno’s mouth kind of hanging open a little, his breathing gone slightly rough. “Give me some of the blanket,” Sidney demands sleepily, and Geno’s arm goes very tight around him when he mutters, “Thank you, Geno,” after Geno complies.
The best is after kissing, and soon Sidney likes sighing out his thanks when they make out on the couch, likes watching Geno’s eyes go dark and a little wild. “Not have to—” Geno says once, his voice thick and scratchy. His dick is a hard line against Sidney’s thigh and his hips are shifting restlessly, repeatedly, and when Sidney looks at him directly, he is red in the face.
“Thank you,” Sidney says, just as thick, but firm, too, and he squeezes Geno’s cock in his sweats. Geno shudders all over and basically attacks his mouth, and it’s proof, really, that this is the best context.
It’s the best context until a shot from Geno misses and then lands on Sidney’s stick, then finds the back of the net. Sidney is swarmed as Myers skates morosely out of the box, Miller’s swears barely audible above the roar of the friendly Buffalo crowd, and he has no ulterior motives, really, when he leans in close to Geno and says, “Thank you, Geno.”
Geno’s arms go tight around him, and his eyes are hot on Sidney. Way too hot for public, with their team this close and almost three more periods left to play. Sidney thinks about saying sorry, but makes himself just swallow hard and shut up; maybe sorry could make it worse. He doesn’t really know the logistics of this, hasn’t done nearly enough mapping to test them out during a game.
The rest of the game is fine, though, if a little frustrating. Back-and-forth, opened up offense keeps Sidney’s blood humming until the very end, when Paulie breaks the tie and steals the win for the Penguins with only a few minutes left in the game.
After, there is a team meal and then the short flight home, spent mostly restless and apart from Geno. It is early evening when they meet back up at Geno’s house, and very little is said until they get inside and start taking off their coats.
Sidney has just hung his coat up in the closet when he finds himself tugged back and then pushed into the wall. Geno’s eyes are hot again, very dark, the color high in his cheeks and his breathing gone a little harsh. He stares at Sidney, and Sidney stares back, and Sidney is opening his mouth to say—he doesn’t know, maybe to thank Geno again, but Geno just kisses him hard on his open mouth before he can, thrusting his tongue like he knows he has an open invitation.
He stops before Sidney can fully lose his breath, moving down to suck at Sidney’s neck and growl out, “Welcome, Sid.” Sidney doesn’t quite get it for a while, just gasps and tilts his neck and grabs at whatever parts of Geno he can reach. And then his brain catches up and remembers—the goal Geno had basically gifted him, the one he had thanked him for.
“Thank you,” Sidney says, and there is a high break in his voice as Geno bites on his neck a little, worrying the skin until Sidney grabs at his head warningly. “Geno, wait—”
Geno stops, though it looks like that is the last thing he wants to do. He meets Sidney’s eyes and he looks wild and hungry, hair sticking up from Sidney’s fingers and lips puffed and red. He swallows hard and Sidney follows the movement of his Adam’s apple raptly, transfixed, until Geno clears his throat again and looks a little awkward.
“Sid,” Geno starts, and he frowns a little. “Was not—when you say, I am—”
“We don’t have to talk about it,” Sidney says, because Geno looks embarrassed. He’s not really as good as Sidney can be at talking about this stuff; sometimes there are things that he wants to say that he can’t, and he gets frustrated with them both if Sidney can’t get it right away.
This is not the time for frustration, not when Sidney had apparently opened that up on the ice already. Right now, Sidney’s heart is pounding, his dick is swelling in his slacks, and he’s not going to pretend to understand this, but this is another context to map. Geno doesn’t have to be embarrassed about it, and Sidney is determined to make sure that he knows that.
“Another time,” Sidney tells him firmly. “Right now, I wanna keep thanking you for that goal.” He kisses Geno’s slightly stunned look, leans all the way up to kiss the tops of his burning cheeks and the pink tip of his nose, and he smiles warmly and devilishly when he settles back on his heels. “Okay?”
“Not have to,” Geno says. It sounds like it was punched out of him. Sidney rolls his eyes.
“But I want to. Let me?”
“Not gonna say no,” Geno huffs incredulously, and Sidney laughs and presses their mouths together, winding his arms around Geno’s neck to hold himself up on his toes.
They are wearing so many clothes, but right now Sidney is mostly interested in getting Geno’s pants down. He works at the belt and the zipper while his tongue works into Geno’s mouth, and he slides his arms down Geno’s sides to his hips to push the pants out of the way and tug his briefs with them.
Geno hisses wetly as his dick is freed, getting harder the more Sidney glances down at it, and he’s a little distracted when Sidney turns them, backing Geno up against the wall this time. He goes to his knees in a smooth motion that elicits a quiet, surprised noise from Geno, making Sidney look up questioningly.
“Here?” Geno asks, looking around his front hallway like it’s an unacceptable part of the house for a blowjob. Sidney just raises an eyebrow at him, because he thinks the unacceptable ship sailed the day they tried to fuck on Geno’s old kitchen table and broke it just a day before Geno’s parents were set to visit. “Okay,” Geno says eventually, like he can read Sidney’s mind, and he waves a little, a hand gesture that says “go ahead” as clearly as if he’d shouted it.
Sidney goes ahead, and Geno follows him with low, rolling moans, his hips shaking already as Sidney sucks him deep. He has his hands clenched at his sides like he’s trying to behave himself, and Sidney wants to roll his eyes and tell him he doesn’t have to. Instead, he goes deeper, sliding his mouth down until he knows he might choke, and then using his hands on the back of Geno’s ass to push when he’s not sure he can push himself anymore.
Geno says, “Oh, fuck,” and thrusts his hips, once and twice until Sidney’s eyes are tearing up. Sidney pulls back, panting a little and looking up through watery eyes until Geno catches on, and then it’s Geno just fucking his mouth mostly, his hand finally on the back of Sidney’s head until Sidney squeezes helplessly at his thighs, his heart in his throat and his chest very tight.
This time Sidney’s breathing is wet and ragged when Geno lets him up, and Geno strokes his hair while he gasps against his thigh. He mutters something in Russian and Sidney has not quite caught his breath before Geno is guiding his head down again, and he is not behaving himself and that is what Sidney wants.
It’s longer this time, and Sidney’s squeezing turns to clawing a bit, his heart kicking, kicking and panicking quick.
When Geno lets go, Sidney barely has any voice to say, “Thank you,” and barely any consciousness to think about it, but he gasps it out anyway, and it’s a jarring, startling revelation when Geno groans, grabs himself and comes over his hand, striping Sidney’s lips with the first spurt.
For a few moments, there is only the sound of their heavy, heavy breathing in the hallway. Then Sidney pants, “Holy shit,” and drops back onto the floor, lying on his back and blinking rapidly to try and clear his head.
He doesn’t think he’s ever been this hard from giving a blowjob before, even this very special kind of blowjob that they’ve talked about extensively after stumbling into it once.
This is exacerbated by Geno practically collapsing on top of him and knocking the breath out of him once more. His eyes are big and his hands are shaking as they fumble with Sidney’s pants, and when he says, “Sid, Sid,” he sounds frantic.
“Geno,” Sidney says, his throat aching, blissfully grateful for the two days off they have now where no one will hear how fucked up his voice is except for Geno. He reaches up with one hand to palm the side of Geno’s face, smiles at him as encouragingly as possible, and thinks about thanking him once more, for what he doesn’t know this time, because he hasn’t even come yet.
He doesn’t get the chance before Geno is scooting down his hips to his legs, reaching into his opened pants and pulling out his dick. He kisses the tip first and Sidney shudders all over, then fits his lips in a tight seal over the head and sucks just once. Sidney comes hard, his back arching and everything in him clenching tight as Geno swallows carefully.
Sidney unwinds slowly, rational thought gone from him again as Geno moves gently over him, leaning down and pressing soft, wet kisses over his forehead and his heated face. He is murmuring, not in English but something familiar and comforting, a repeated refrain Sidney has heard before after they do stuff like this.
After a while, Sidney has the presence of mind to capture Geno’s mouth against his and kiss him sloppily, and he does that until he feels Geno’s smile unfurling across his lips.
“Okay?” Geno asks when they break apart, the way he always does, and Sidney nods.
He works his tongue against the roof of his mouth a few times; it feels thick and lazy but it feels almost natural now to say, “Thanks,” in a gravely whisper.
Geno groans loudly, closes his eyes and buries his face in Sidney’s neck, and Sidney chuckles even though it hurts.
“Thank you” starts to sound strange and alien when he says it to other people, even though he still does it all the time. Sidney thanks the equipment guys and the coaches, he thanks the trainers who repeat Geno’s concussion information to him when Sidney asks.
He thanks Flower for putting up with him checking his phone ten times while they talk about Vero’s cravings, even though there are never any more significant text updates from Geno than his repeated whining about boredom. “Sorry,” Sidney says, too, and Flower just cuffs him on the head and snorts.
“You think this is bad? I roomed with Geno when you went on IR the second time. He was way worse than you.”
Sidney feels himself flushing, touched and a little embarrassed and unhappy, as always, to be reminded of his own injuries. “At least I listened to my doctors,” he mutters bitterly, because he knows Geno is watching TV and going on his computer and doing all the shit he’s been advised against, even if it’s all “just in case”.
“Get a lot of sleep,” Sidney tells Geno over the phone from his hotel room, and though he can hear Geno’s grumbling as clear as day and it sounds perfectly normal, the relief he feels when Geno sighs, “Fine, Sid,” makes his stomach swoop.
“Thank you,” Sidney says, and Geno immediately sounds grumpy again, his voice going high and whiny.
“Sid, not fair.”
“I mean it, not like a sex thing, just—thank you for taking care of yourself.”
Geno goes quiet, and his voice goes finally soft. “I will, for Sid.”
Sidney closes his eyes and breathes out steadily, happily.
When he gets home at the end of the road trip, he needs to stretch Geno out in his bed, needs to kiss him all over and breathe him in and then wrap his arms around him for a solid while. “Okay,” Geno whispers reassuringly, but he mostly just leaves Sidney to it, stroking a hand down his back every so often and letting Sidney press his ear over his heart.
“Coming back soon,” Geno says, a low rumble under Sidney’s cheek, and Sidney props his chin up on Geno’s chest to look at him, happiness bubbling up under his ribs. “I pass test, Coach say I’m back.”
“Good,” Sidney says, and he presses a kiss to Geno’s sternum and lays his head back down. They had both stripped eagerly in the bedroom, but just lying here for now is fine with Sidney, because Geno warm and solid beneath him feels like just enough.
“Like make you happy,” Geno tells him slowly, careful, like he’d been turning over the words in his head for a long time. He sounds vaguely embarrassed again, so Sidney can guess this is going to be a discussion about the thank you thing, and he’s okay with just drifting a bit and letting Geno try to sort this on his own before he’ll join in and help. “Like give you—anything. Like to know you happy.”
“You make me really happy,” Sidney says. He closes his eyes as Geno’s hand drifts up and down his bare back. “Thank you.”
“Not have to,” Geno says, just a little bit of strain in his voice now. “Sid, I like anyway, always want to, not have to—”
“But you like it when I say it,” Sidney cuts in, and he looks up to see Geno flushed again, biting his bottom lip. “You like it, and I like it too, and—I like to make you happy, too.”
“Don’t know why I like,” Geno says, but there is an unspoken yet tacked on the end, and Sidney knows he’ll keep thinking about it, until maybe he can put it into words someday. Sidney is fine with that. He only needs to know why if Geno wants to tell him; there are things that Sidney likes that he can’t explain, either.
“It’s okay,” Sidney says, and Geno’s arms go tight around him until he shifts up, leans in until he can be thoroughly, insistently kissed.
He doesn’t say it after every kiss, because Geno likes to kiss in bunches, moving around a bit and pecking at different spots of Sidney’s face, scraping his teeth under his ear until Sidney giggles and pushes at him. He does say, “Thank you,” when Geno settles on his mouth again, kissing him deeply and slowly, like he can set up shop here and stay for a while, which Sidney is totally, perfectly fine with.
Sidney only becomes aware of his growing hardness when he feels Geno’s poking at his thigh, Geno’s hand stroking down his back to cup Sidney’s ass and grind him gently down. Sidney sighs and ruts his hips against Geno as directed, not giving up on the kiss until Geno’s fingers start rubbing lightly in the crease of his ass, circling his hole questioningly.
“Okay, yeah,” Sidney mumbles into Geno’s mouth, and when Geno brushes just the tip of his thumb against Sidney’s rim, he adds, “Thank you.”
Geno groans harshly and mutters out thick Russian syllables, strained and compounded by, “Killing me, Sidney,” pushed out against Sidney’s teeth in English.
The words sound difficult and Sidney swallows them up eagerly, pushing back on Geno’s thumb and then making a low noise of protest when Geno’s hand moves away. “What,” he says, annoyed, and Geno chuckles and shifts out from under him to hunt down lubricant.
“Oh,” Sidney says, huffing when Geno pats his ass comfortingly upon his triumphant return to the bed. He has his other large palm wrapped around the tube of lube, and he takes his time getting his fingers back between Sidney’s legs as he warms it up.
Sidney rolls over onto his back, groping at the pillows above him and wedging one under his hips as Geno simply watches, mouth open and wet, fingers still teasing dry over Sidney’s balls and behind them, feathery little touches that just make Sidney shiver.
He spreads his legs further apart, perhaps pointlessly, because Geno just keeps touching him like that until Sidney drags one knee in to bump at Geno’s side. Geno smiles at him, gentle and just a bit dirty, and the pop of the cap on the lube sounds louder over Sidney’s breathing, picking up.
“Thank you,” he breathes out when Geno slips a slow, slick finger inside him, and he wonders if it’s starting to sound ridiculous to anyone but his own ears now. Except Geno’s eyes flutter shut, his tongue poking out of his mouth to lick his lips as he swallows hard, and he shakes his head just a little bit, as if trying to clear it.
Sidney likes that. It is easier to make Geno lose control than it is for Sidney, but sometimes it is not as obvious with Geno; more often he goes quiet, wordless, something contained and splintered instead of broken apart the way Sidney feels.
Thanking Geno wrecks him, though, visibly and undeniably, and so Sidney keeps doing it, even if it starts to sound ridiculous, even though he thinks he’ll blush every time he says it to someone else from now on.
He thanks him for each additional finger he gets, watching Geno shudder and mutter things that sound obscene even in a different language. He gasps out thanks for every brush over his prostate that makes him jolt, sparks shooting up his spine and every part of him starting to tighten up with aroused tension, the muscles in his thighs jumping as they spread for more.
Geno’s hands are shaking too hard to really handle the condom, so Sidney gathers himself as much as he can and does it for him, stroking him with a lubed palm until Geno sharply shakes his head and jerks away, grabbing his balls in one hand and gritting his teeth.
“Don’t,” he says, looking like he’s concentrating intently. There is sweat beaded all over his face with Sidney reaches up to stroke his hair back, and he rubs his fingertips over Geno’s damp, pink cheeks, a little awed.
“Can you fuck me?” Sidney asks, quiet on purpose, flat like he might be asking for some of Geno’s M&Ms or directions in an airport. Geno nods frantically and squeezes the base of his dick. His eyes are hard when they meet Sidney’s, stubborn, but they go softer as shifts into better position and uses his hand to guide himself slowly inside him.
They both still and sigh when Geno bottoms out. Sidney waits a few moments, wriggles around just a bit to relish the fullness he feels, the solid weight of Geno in him and around him and steadily, insistently touchable. He runs his hands up and down Geno’s forearms, braced against the mattress and bringing him so, so close to Sidney, and looks up into Geno’s face.
“Thank you,” he says, and Geno’s face sort of crumples. He kisses Sidney hungrily and messily and starts a slow, hard rhythm, never going very deep but filling Sidney with a solid, careful pleasure that tingles out to the tips of his curled toes.
Sidney hikes his legs up Geno’s hips and takes the pace contentedly, every so often mumbling his thanks when he remembers to, too sporadic to make it a chant but sure to make Geno’s hips go jerky and a little rough against his.
“You keep going, not gonna last,” Geno manages, looking almost wounded, like Sidney is conspiring against him. Sidney just smiles up at him, because he kind of is, and he doesn’t mind being shameless about it.
“It’s okay,” he says. “Whatever you want to give me, Geno.”
Geno’s next words are vicious and breathless and Russian. His hips stutter and pin Sidney’s to the mattress, making him squirm instinctively on Geno’s dick as Geno comes with a long, guttural groan. Sidney brings his arms up to cradle him, smoothing his hands down the strong, corded muscles of his back and lifting his hips only a little to brush his dick against Geno’s stomach.
“You,” Geno pants after a while. “You are evil, Sid.” He’s blushing again, and when he leans up he looks both embarrassed and determined, eyeing Sidney still squirming and starting to feel true, desperate want flaring up in him, his need a solid ache in the pit of his belly.
“Sorry,” Sidney says breathlessly, not meaning it at all. Except he’ll start meaning if Geno doesn’t touch him, if Geno pulls out like he shifts to do. He’ll say it over and over again if it gets that glint in Geno’s eyes, the kind that says he needs to see Sidney come completely undone. Sidney wants Geno to undo him, immediately if possible. “Geno, sorry, can you—”
“Shh,” Geno says. His ears are bright red, and Sidney puts a pin in that, groaning harshly because Geno pulls out. “Don’t start that too, kill me.”
“Please,” Sidney tries, and Geno says something harsh in Russian and slips two fingers inside Sidney, adding a third when Sidney just squirms and bucks his hips. He fucks him with his fingers faster than he had with his dick, massaging his prostate with nearly every stroke until Sidney feels out of his mind, thrashing a little and slamming his feet against the mattress.
The pleasure comes fast and harsh and feels like an assault, and when he comes it is because Geno has simply thumbed over the head of his cock, like an afterthought to fucking him with four fingers now. Sidney seizes up and pants out his last, meaningful thanks, dimly hearing Geno swear in response.
Geno starts kissing him when Sidney starts twisting away from his touch, gentle at first until Sidney manages to kiss back weakly and sloppily.
He is still kissing Sidney when he mumbles “Спасибо,” against his mouth. It is a while before the syllables register and translate as one of the few Russian words Sidney actually knows that aren’t curses, and it instantly makes him feel warm inside, smiling wide.
“You’re welcome,” Sidney says happily.