Fic: Rules of the Game, part 2, RPS: Nash/Nowitzki
“I thought we were getting beer,” Dirk argued as Steve steered him up to his hotel room, another ridiculously nice, anonymous room that held little value to him other than the fact that now, Dirk was in it.
Steve made a face at Dirk’s fake petulance. “If Herr MVP would like to go help himself to the mini-bar, I suggest he do so before we get started.” He leaned in to Dirk’s waist and pressed him to sit down on the edge of the bed. It was a pain in the ass to scale up Dirk’s body every time he wanted to simply kiss him. Steve firmly straddled his hips and nibbled at his lips expertly. It had been a while, but he most definitely had not forgotten just where Dirk liked to be bitten and sucked and grasped.
Dirk responded immediately, arching into Steve’s hands diving beneath his shirt.
“Maybe drinks later,” Dirk decided.
Steve laughed easily in agreement, his body raveling up tightly with desire at how vulnerable and low Dirk’s moans sounded. At the start it had been like this, with Dirk uncertain yet wanting to cling to something; and Steve, willing to take the brunt of fan displeasure for the first two horrific seasons in Dallas, also offering himself as a friend. Sex should have complicated things. Originally neither one knew exactly what to say, but it wasn’t an accident or a fluke when it happened at least once each week. They relied on locker room camaraderie to assure the other they were okay, it wasn’t getting weird. And they were still winning. Improving, even.
Steve was too laidback and frankly didn’t care; he liked Dirk and appreciated the company. If Dirk wanted it, he was more than fine with the arrangement. Dirk himself was young and dependent then, and if Steve couldn’t shake the feeling that he was unfairly leading him on, it was cleared up by the end of the 2002-2003 season. By then they’d learned each other’s preferences, most times stumbled to bed sober and clear-headed, and could talk and joke between the sheets afterwards. Any problems concerned Dirk’s horrible poker face; Steve knew Dirk was in love with him, but there wasn’t an easy solution to that.
Now in bed with him, Steve sighed into his mouth as he felt Dirk’s hand work around to grasp his buttocks and pull him closer. Slowly, the touch lowered to massage the back of his thighs, still tight and sore from the game’s near-forty minutes played at a breakneck pace.
“You gotta stretch more,” Dirk chastised, mumbling against Steve’s lips.
“Gotta do it more.” Dirk pulled away from his mouth to grin. “You’re forgetting you’re an old man now.”
Steve rolled his eyes. Inward, he’d been intensely proud that he’d improved at the game each year since hitting thirty. At most times when players start sliding into supporting roles with dropping minutes, he was averaging solid points and assists every new season, with two consecutive MVPs to show for it. Now he gave Dirk the finger before pushing against his shoulders and shoving him back-down on the bed, layering kisses over his long, lightly stubbled neck.
After tugging off his own t-shirt, Dirk rapidly broke open the buttons to Steve’s. He smiled at the clothing he’d well-maligned and pressed his large palms up against Steve’s chest, running his palms roughly over his nipples until Steve bucked hard against him, groaning into Dirk’s collarbone. Breathing heavily, Steve dragged his lips downward to distract himself with doing the pleasing.
Steve found something so enjoyably incongruous about the much bigger, longer body beneath him. He knew the level of trust Dirk had invested in being together; he liked the visual contrast of someone taller, broader, and stronger dependent on him. He traced Dirk’s abdominal muscles with an exhausted hand, tasted the smooth sweat with his tongue, recalling how thin and gangly he’d been when they first met. He smiled. His fingers pursued the almost white-gold trail of hair that split Dirk’s quavering torso down the middle towards the easy waistline of his sweats, already tugged low.
“I’m thinking,” Dirk cut in, raising his head to watch him, “that we should lose more often.”
A biting laugh escaped Steve momentarily. The loss still possessed a part of his mind; his body’s athletic ache remained with the disbelief and disgust of defeat. Usually the mood lasted about a week or two, when he took a break from training and let himself mentally and physically recuperate before slipping into gym-rat mode again.
“I’d like to do this more when we’re in a good mood, too,” Steve finally said. He raised his eyebrows, imploring, wondering if he were promising too much. Dirk seemed appropriately skeptical but reached down to tousle Steve’s hair, a joking gesture.
“As long as you keep this short. Any longer and it’s a little weird. Cousin It down there.”
“Shut up,” Steve returned, swiping his hands away. “I’m willing to bet you don’t even know what the hell Cousin It is from.”
“I’m Americanized. I can use the reference.”
Steve thought back to the ESPN interview he’d read years ago, when Dirk was asked what his favorite cartoon was and he went rambling on about how US television didn’t carry Germany’s Lucky Luke the cowboy and his faithful horse, Jolly Jumper. Steve had taped the ripped out article to the inside of Dirk’s locker and scribbled, Dude, what the fuck? alongside. Then he and Finley had taken the courtesy of taping Lucky Luke nametags on the back of Dirk’s jersey. It was still funny, no matter how many times Steve recalled the look of embarrassed amusement on Dirk’s reddening face.
Now, though, he wasn’t concerned with arguing fictional characters and haircuts. Steve gave Dirk one more enduring look and mouthed the increasing bulge through the thick, gray sweatpants, knowing it was hardly enough stimulation to satisfy anything. He watched Dirk close his eyes and drop his head back, murmuring discontentedly.
The material was drying out Steve’s mouth. Exhaling hot breath one more time and enjoying the rise of Dirk’s hips, Steve rid him of the pants and boxers in one pull, then paused to fumble with his own belt and jeans.
Heavy-lidded, Dirk sat up and pulled Steve towards him so they were both lying on their sides, eye-level with one another. Steve spared him only a glance before turning his attention again to his own belt, but his hands trembled and he botched the quick job he’d hoped to make of them. Unable to wait, he rubbed himself through the denim, watching Dirk’s body react.
He gave himself up to Dirk’s hand, which hastily unhooked the belt and tugged off the jeans, leaving Steve to kick them off his feet and to the floor. He leaned in for another kiss, but instead Dirk hooked a lengthy, pale arm around him and moved him to his back, trapping him beneath the long, hot tunnel Dirk formed with his body. Steve craned his neck to kiss Dirk’s quavering Adam’s apple. A firm hand warmly engulfed the throbbing between Steve’s legs, and suddenly he was moaning and pressing into the contact, desperate for Dirk to crush the lengths of their bodies together.
A small pang in the back of his head urged to be on top, but when Steve struggled to switch positions Dirk only held him down steadily. He kissed Steve’s lips, whispering for him to relax, that he wanted to do this for him now. The initiative impressed Steve. Dirk had grown into self-assurance, it fit him now without seeming brash, contrived or forced. Steve recalled finding a young Dirk holed up in his dimmed hotel room, static lights of German movies glancing off his solid features and having to drag him out to play pool or grab a drink. It seemed he’d found his confidence.
Waves of prickling heat shivered across Steve as Dirk returned the favor of dragging his lips down to his waist, hand still pumping with growing speed. It was all right, Steve tried to assure himself; he was too tired, his body too beaten, to try to get inside Dirk tonight. He could ask but it just wasn’t as fun if Dirk let him have it easily. It was a race to see who could pin the other’s hands first, who could twist legs until they were spread and immobile on the mattress. Steve usually liked that they could be rougher with each other. The quickness and aggression had the same appeal their court match-ups did. Facing off was competitive, both eager to surprise the other.
After the loss, Steve had thought he’d want this time also to be rough and fast to indulge in the immediate gratification. The sooner he got off, the faster he’d drown his aching muscles in a consolatory rush of adrenalin, in the heat of Dirk’s hand and mouth, tasting him when it was time to return the favor. Suddenly quickness didn’t sound like such a great idea. He didn’t want it over yet.
He reached down and covered Dirk’s hand with his own, stopping him, even as he felt Dirk’s breath inches away from taking him fully in his mouth.
“Tease me more,” he said hoarsely, and held Dirk’s gaze the whole time while he did.
* * *
Phoenix glowed warm on the horizon through the front car window. Steve had spent most of the road trip half-asleep on the passenger’s side, Dirk having to wake him up briefly for a burger at a rest stop in Colorado. There he called Duck and Alejandra, both of whom wanted to know how he was and why he was calling from the Mile High City. He had to hang up early when his nose started legitimately bleeding. Dirk found it the funniest thing ever and was still commenting on it as they crossed the border into Arizona.
“Jokes do come with expiration dates,” Steve retorted as he sopped up the blood with napkins from Denny’s. He was beginning to wish he’d eaten healthier, but after last season he thought he deserved a splurge. Screw it, he thought as he tilted his head back and squeezed the paper. At least their napkins were thick, apparently anticipating grease.
Dirk grinned at him, almost fondly, and once Steve had quelled the gush he could enjoy bad jokes and coming up with quick comebacks. His eyes settled on Phoenix as the highway curved to bring them nearer.
“You gonna hang around for a meal or something?” Steve asked. “I’m sure the girls will want to see their godfather.”
“I’m not their godfather, I’m their jungle gym,” Dirk replied, tossing a smile Steve’s way. “Don’t you teach them crawling all over guests is rude?”
Steve shrugged, relaxed. His body still held a distant ache but it was a new one, the kind that Dirk caused him. It was better than the pain of a loss, though not necessarily easier.
Mentally he braced for the off-season. It might be a long one.end