As he kissed Johnny, Tommaso’s mind wandered. His mind unbuckled a suit of armor and cradled a fragile human and he felt hot all over and as he got a handful of Johnny’s hair, their eyes flickered open and they caught each other’s gaze.
They pulled apart, catching their breath.
The gravity of what they were doing dawned on each one of them in turn, their faces freezing then falling.
“Shit,” Tommaso said.
“I’m sorry,” Johnny said.
“No, it’s my fault, we shouldn’t—” Tommaso stammered. “Our match. The titles. How are we…”
“We both just got a little carried away,” Johnny said, furrowing his eyebrows. “The title shot next week is really important and everybody’s wound up.”
“Just blowing off steam,” Tommaso said.
“Of course, that’s exactly what this was.” Johnny realized they were still touching and he backed away further, piling his player’s handbook and character sheet up to put into a bag.
“Just a little role-playing,” Tommaso said, sounding dazed. “It’s our characters, not us.”
“It’s just our characters that are in love.” Johnny didn’t really sound like he believed that, but they had to, right? For the sake of the team?
They both finished packing up.
“Um, you leave first,” Johnny said, frowning. He was holding his bag in front of him.
“We don’t want to seem like we’ve been up to something,” Johnny said. His eyes glanced at the door. Tommaso reached over to smooth Johnny’s hair where he had mussed it.
“Okay,” Tommaso said. “Hit the lights on your way out.”
Tommaso avoided the rest of the D&D group as best he could the rest of the day, but they all had yoga together at the end of the day and the best he could do was put his mat down at the far opposite end of the workout room from Johnny and avoid eye contact with anyone.
Why had they done that? It felt really good but as he breathed deeply and tried his best to follow the instructions of their very flexible class leader, he couldn’t get his mind off it. Johnny tasted like Big Red. It made perfect sense but was still a surprise. He knew so much about his tag team partner, the man whose life he took in his hands on a regular basis.
He could still taste a trace of cinnamon in his mouth. He breathed out and bent forward at the waist.
Class got over and Tye tried to pull him aside for a talk Tommaso did not want to have today. He made a noise and pushed past him.
“Did you just growl?” Tye asked.
“I growl sometimes,” Tommaso said defensively.
“Gonna growl some more tonight?” he asked.
Tommaso growled for real and walked off to his car. He’d see Johnny back at the apartment and they’d talk about it. Or not. Maybe, hopefully not.
But after doing some errands and perhaps driving in circles around town to avoid going home, he pulled up to the apartment building and saw Johnny’s car. He sighed.
“I’m home,” he announced as he came through the door and dropped his keys in the “don’t lose your keys” basket.
“Hey, I ate already, is that okay? I was really hungry after yoga.” Johnny came around the corner and Tommaso’s mouth went dry.
“Yeah,” he gulped, “sure.”
Johnny flopped down on the couch as Tommaso threw his gear bag down and went to fix a bowl of cereal.
“Crazy day,” Johnny said casually. He turned on the television.
Tommaso sighed and leaned his head against a closed kitchen cabinet. “Do you regret it?”
“Nah,” Johnny said.
“So we’re cool?” Tommaso asked.
“It’s role-playing,” Johnny said. “You can say anything in the moment. Once I accidentally called my DM dad.”
Tommaso splashed some of the milk he was trying to pour onto the counter.
“How much do you think about your characters?” he asked Johnny.
“...a lot,” Johnny said. He muted the TV.
“So do you know Pietro’s favorite foods? What does he wear to bed? What’s his happiest memory?”
“Hmm. Well. Probably shepherd’s pie, a wool nightshirt and sleeping cap, and being invested as a paladin. By the church. You know. Filled with the light and everything.” Johnny kicked his feet up on the couch.
“Has he ever been in love?”
“Well he has now, that’s for sure.”
“Do you think Pietro has ever been with a guy before?” Tommaso asked with feigned coolness. He brought his bowl of cereal into the living room.
“Oh, he’s totally a virgin.”
“He was raised at the monastery, he’s just not very worldly,” Johnny said.
“You thought about this, huh.”
“You didn’t?” Johnny asked.
“Not that part,” Tommaso said. “I guess Torg’s had like the regular amount of sex that a half-orc barbarian would have had.”
“And how much sex is that?” Johnny asked, grinning out of one side of his mouth.
“...I have no idea.”
“That’s why you have to think about these things! You never know when it’s going to come up!”
Tommaso’s arms and legs started to feel tingly. Sometimes that happened when Johnny talked to him, like he had the supernatural ability to give his soul a stinger.
“Put the TV back on,” Tommaso said eventually. Johnny did, and they didn’t talk much more the rest of the night. The sound of the TV drowned out the thudding of Tommaso's heart.
Tommaso went to bed early, but found himself tossing and turning. He felt himself slipping into the place between sleeping and waking where you dreamed but also knew you were dreaming.
And dream he did.
Torg ran his hands up Pietro’s smooth skin, unblemished, lightly dusted with hair. He marveled at every inch, every freckle, every bit of the bright pink flush that spread down Pietro’s neck. He ran the back of his hand against the hot skin.
“What is this,” Torg said.
“I’m blushing,” Pietro said bashfully, ducking his head, though there was nowhere to go, both of them mostly undressed and on an illusory bed in the illusory mansion that Alethia had conjured. (It even had illusory sound-proof walls.) “No one’s ever looked at me like that.”
Torg smiled, running his tongue over one of his tusks. “Like what?”
“Like they want me.” Pietro flushed deeper, but his deep brown eyes made contact with Torg’s. “Like they’re hungry and I’m a feast.”
Torg scratched his beard thoughtfully, sitting back on his heels. “I’ve definitely seen a dragon try to eat you before,” he offered.
Pietro narrowed his eyes. “If that dragon had looked at me like this, that fight might have gone a lot different.”
“Like I said,” Torg growled. “No dragons. Just me.” He put his hands on Pietro’s shoulders and pushed, toppling both of them back down to the bed. And then he kissed him, smiling into Pietro’s laughter, their tongues meeting, their bodies warm inside this safe haven.
Torg grasped a handful of Pietro’s brown hair, impossibly soft, and gripped it. A moan escaped Pietro’s lips unbidden, and it sent a coil of heat up Torg’s spine.
“Have you ever lain with a warrior before?” He growled in Pietro’s ear.
“No, never, no one, not even—” Pietro gasped. “I haven’t...”
The blush returned.
“Shh,” Torg said. “No shame in that, little one. I’m worthy enough to be your first.” He kissed and sucked at Pietro’s neck. “That’s an honor.”
Pietro hooked his arms around Torg’s neck and slid an ankle around his knee. They were still dressed from the waist down, though their boots and armor and most other things had been discarded in a rush all around the room.
Torg pressed against Pietro, grinding his hardness against Pietro’s hip. He felt so close right then and there and had to bite his lip to get control over himself. Barbarians were not known for control, but he would do his best for Pietro on this special night.
They both scrabbled at the fastenings on each other’s trousers, Torg giving up and ripping at his own, tossing the rags aside. “I didn’t like those anyway,” he said, yanking hard on Pietro’s.
Soon they were both completely naked and Torg knelt over his lovely paladin, stroking his massive erection, thumbing his own slit. Pietro clambered up on his elbows, leaning up against the headboard of the illusory four-poster bed. His eyes were wide at Torg’s manhood, and he made no move to satisfy his own cock, hard and bobbing against his thigh.
“Have you touched yourself and thought of this, little one?” Torg leered.
A breath caught in Pietro’s throat. “Yes, and...” he said.
“What other things?” Torg palmed himself lazily, his eyes dark with lust. “Tell me with that beautiful mouth.”
That blush again. “I want to touch it, and kiss it.”
Torg grabbed Pietro’s hand and pulled him up so they were sitting, their legs interlaced. He guided Pietro’s hand to cup his member, wrapping his large fingers around Pietro’s. Pietro tightened his hand and stroked it up and down. That brought a broad smile to Torg’s face. “Ohh, yes.”
“I never thought,” Pietro said. “I’ve wanted this for so long.”
“How long,” Torg growled, sliding his other hand up Pietro’s thigh and getting a grip on Pietro’s cock.
“Ahh,” Pietro said.
“Since I first saw you,” Pietro gasped. “I’d never seen anyone like you before.”
“A vision,” Pietro said. “Someone so proud and unafraid. You kneel to no one.”
“I kneel to one man,” Torg said softly, his gaze intense. “Precious one, my treasure, as long as you’ll have me I’ll never let you go.” Torg spoke the words like an incantation as he felt his legs tangle in the sheets. The prickle of the tag of a comforter pressed against his skin, and the room was too hot, and he opened his eyes.
“Thanks, subconscious,” Tommaso said to himself. “Like that wasn’t clear already.” He sat up and checked the time on his cell phone. 213 am. He got up to get a drink of water.
Johnny’s door was open. The light was on. Tommaso stopped for a moment to stick his head in, see what was keeping Johnny up late, a fragment of his heart wondering if it was the same thing that troubled Tommaso.
Johnny lay on his side, facing away from the door. He had a leg pulled up to his chest and he was...oh. Tommaso froze, knowing he shouldn’t be here, knowing he shouldn’t be watching Johnny do what he was doing, but he couldn’t turn away, couldn’t move a muscle.
He watched as Johnny pressed two fingers inside himself, out and then in again, fingering his own asshole hard. Tommaso had woken up half-hard from his dream but at the sight of Johnny’s beautiful body bent and straining for pleasure, he was fully aroused and absentmindedly palming himself, like his own hands belonged to someone else.
Johnny stirred on the bed like he was going to roll over and Tommaso bolted, not moving especially quietly, running for the bathroom and slamming the door. He grabbed a paper cup, filled it with water, chugged it and left water running down his face and wetting his beard. He shook his head. This couldn’t be happening. They were just roommates. And partners. And best friends.
And everything in that dream felt as real when he woke up as it had felt while he was asleep, and it wasn’t going away.
“Tommaso?” he heard Johnny moan.
Tommaso grabbed a blue bathrobe off a hook and put it on, tying it to cover himself. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
“Yeah? Oh, hey, you left your door open. Want me to close it?” Tommaso asked, feigning casualness.
Johnny looked disappointed. “Oh, sure, I guess.” He had slid back under his covers.
“Or...I can’t really sleep either. Big stretch of days ahead of us.”
“The biggest so far.”
“Having crazy dreams.” Tommaso stepped just inside the door to Johnny’s bedroom, his erection not going away from seeing Johnny’s naked torso, smelling his sweat.
“You too? What about?” Johnny gathered the blankets around his waist, his hands hidden underneath as well.
“Will I?” His eyes were sincere. “Come here.”
Tommaso bit the inside of his cheek as he walked over to the edge of the bed. “I was dreaming about our D&D characters.”
“Oh, the ones that are falling in love? Go figure.” Johnny looked up at Tommaso. “Did you know you talk in your sleep?”
Tommaso’s eyes went wide. “No. I did not know what. What did I say?”
“You said a lot of things. I remember the last bit. My precious one, my treasure, I’ll never give you up...”
“...as long as you’ll have me,” Tommaso finished.
“Is it true?” Johnny asked. The blankets fell away from his nakedness.
Tommaso gulped. “Yes.”
There was silence between them. Tommaso sat down on the edge of the bed. “Will you have me?” he said, finally.
“Yes,” Johnny said, his eyes brimming with tears. “Please, please, I’m such a fucking idiot, I want you so bad, why have we been pretending? For so damn long?”
Tommaso sprang forward, pouncing on Johnny, grabbing him in his arms and kissing him ferociously, moaning and growling into the kiss with the fire of the warriors that kept disturbing his dreams.
Pulling back, Tommaso was serious. “I saw you touching yourself. I shouldn’t have been watching.”
Johnny smiled a little. “Did you like what you saw?”
Tommaso’s eyes were like saucers. He nodded, wiping the edge of his lip and beard with the back of his hand.
Johnny grabbed that hand away from his lips and pulled it down, guiding it to touch Johnny’s wet, open asshole. Tommaso choked on the air in his throat, his cock throbbing under his bathrobe.
“It’s how I blow off steam,” Johnny said, blushing.
“That’s a hell of a hobby,” Tommaso deadpanned.
Instead of responding, Johnny pulled at the tie on Tommaso’s robe and pushed it back off his shoulders. Tommaso let it fall away and pushed off his boxers, suddenly scrambling to make their bodies collide.
“Whaddaya say?” Johnny grinned.
Tommaso’s lip curled. “I’m gonna fuck you so hard the next guy you wrestle’s gonna feel it too.”
Johnny raised his eyebrows. “Timely. Maybe we should have done this before Brooklyn.”
“Do...do you have a condom,” Tommaso asked, suddenly shy.
“Dude. You get as much blood taken as I do. All your tests?”
“Fine,” Tommaso said.
“Mine too.” Johnny’s long eyelashes fluttered closed as he put his hands on Tommaso’s shoulders. “Come in me so hard I can taste it.”
“Oh god, keep talking like that and I’ll just come right now.”
“Then quit wasting time! We’ve wasted enough already,” Johnny said, determined.
Tommaso felt a snarl rise up out of him and he bared his teeth. He hooked an arm under Johnny’s right leg and pulled, sending him flat on his back.
Johnny smiled and spread his legs, bracing against a pile of fluffy pillows.
“Nine hells,” Tommaso cursed as he drove in to Johnny, hitting his mark perfectly, his lover warm and wet and ready for him. When he was fully seated he held for a moment, catching his breath and getting a lungful of the sweet smell of Johnny’s hair. He buried his face in it and nearly folded Johnny in half as he also maintained a grip on his thigh.
“Good thing I’m bendy,” Johnny grunted. “All that yoga.”
“I’ll bend something,” Tommaso said. He reared back and began to move with the seriousness and frantic energy of a shipwrecked sailor paddling for dry land, a starving man given bread, a rubber band stretched until almost breaking and then let go to thwip back and forth with reckless energy.
“I love you,” Johnny gasped. “I love you, destroy me, I love you.”
Tommaso gave one great thrust and the bed knocked against the wall with an echoing thunk. He let go of Johnny’s leg. “You know exactly how close to destruction I can take you.”
“Further,” Johnny said.
“Really?” Tommaso asked.
“Yeah,” Johnny sighed. Tommaso kept fucking him, with awe, as hard as he could at this angle, and Johnny met him stroke for stroke, clutching at pillows or his headboard or his own body for an anchor before he wrapped his arms behind Tommaso’s neck. He kicked his heels up and hooked his ankles behind Tommaso’s back.
He got the picture. Tommaso scooped Johnny up, his hands under his ass, and carried him off the bed. He slammed Johnny into the wall, his back smacking loudly, and Johnny cried out.
“Yes, fuck! Harder!” Johnny shouted, then bit into Tommaso’s neck, sucking red welts everywhere he could reach. Tommaso kept up his driving rhythm as Johnny’s eyes fluttered closed in bliss.
Johnny let go of his grip on Tommaso’s neck and let himself be held up solely by the grip of his lover and the strength of his legs. He braced his hands behind him, writhing in ecstasy.
“I love you so much,” Tommaso gasped, gripping Johnny’s hips tight enough to bruise, kissing hard enough to promise.
Johnny shuddered, gasping for breath, clutching at Tommaso once again, and as his lover filled him, made them feel like they had one body, he came, sticky whiteness splattering against Tommaso’s chest, marking him. His eyes fluttered open to see Tommaso’s unblinking gaze as he dragged his fingers through the come, smearing it on himself, being marked.
And then Tommaso marked Johnny in return as he went off like a primordial volcano, filling Johnny with his seed. He had never felt less civilized. He panted to catch his breath. They both did, breathing heavy, blinking, slowly coming back to earth.
“Wow,” Johnny said as he planted his feet back on the floor.
“Holy god,” Tommaso rasped. He looked up at the ceiling and then back down at Johnny. “Christ almighty.”
Johnny smirked. “What kind of barbarian swears like that?”
“By the three demon princes of the elemental chaos,” Tommaso shot back. “By Grummsh’s sweaty ballsack, by the realms above and below I will never be the same.” He smiled wryly. “Better?”
“It’ll do,” Johnny said.
Tommaso dropped to one knee. “By all that is sacred I swear I am yours for fucking ever, Gargano, for fucking ever, as long as you’ll have me.”
Johnny couldn’t help but smile at that oath.