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It was a game, because everything between Dick and Charlie was a game. It started with Charlie biting his lower lip—a movement that had seemed at once to Dick infuriating and enticing, and had later seemed far too erotic for NBC to be broadcasting on American television. Those green veil eyes would flick up beneath the shadow of Charlie’s brow and dare Dick to make the first move. Love, all. First serve, they said.

The delight Charlie found in Dick was in the challenge of seeing what he could get away with, how far he could go before Dick would see right through him. He would watch Dick’s face, the corners of his eyes and lips, for wrinkles that could signal befuddlement—or a man about to make his first move. There was a thrill to the chase for Charlie. He found some pleasure in being pursued, even in being a bit coy. But for all the butterflies that stage spawned in his belly, there was nothing to compare with the flip of his gut when Dick’s eyes would narrow, and Charlie knew he had set upon his aim.

Dick was firm in body and mind, a stubborn soul with stubborn fingers, while Charlie blew in the breeze like mist and appeared both everywhere and nowhere, nearly invisible. The first kiss was a chuckle, the antecedent for the next word, which in turn pushed out the following phrase from wet lips growing less and less coherent until sentence construction became a herculean task and every word was in itself an ends. It was a rally of swings in quick succession wherein no competitor’s eyes were turned towards the winning shot but instead to surviving the current onslaught.

And so Charlie and Dick kissed both like athletes and intellects, having no time to ponder the paradox. But that was the first round only. Charlie was always the most performative of the two, always looking more for praise and applause. And so he whined with perfect pitch to fill an auditorium and struck his head back into the imaginary beam of a spotlight. Dick took this as a chance to gain an upper hand, but not before admiring the ghostly column of Charlie’s neck. He had a sudden recollection from his Harvard days.

“I’m reminded of a poem by Catullus,” Dick graveled out softly.

“You should tell me which one. His work certainly had… breadth,” Charlie breathed.

Dick chuckled back between their lips. “You could say that. It was to a friend, returning to Rome. I can’t quite remember which one.”

“Carmen 9, perhaps?” Charlie suggested as he tipped his head back even farther. Dick’s teeth struck his collarbone. “applicansque collum iucundum os oculosque saviabor.”

Dick groaned the groan of a man who feels he has no part left of him to translate Latin. “And joining your neck,” He sputtered into Charlie’s pale skin. “I will kiss your beloved mouth and eyes. That’s the one. It’s coming back to me.” He turned his head to suck again at Charlie’s new bruise.

Charlie could only moan. His breaths lost the ability to conceal themselves and stay silent. Each was labored, but somehow graceful.

Advantage, in. Dick’s eyes seemed to say. He challenged: “Now you translate: o, quantum est hominum beatiorum, quid me laetius est beatiusve?

Charlie let out a high keen. The two men’s pelvises bucked involuntarily inward in continuous improvisation.

Oh, of all more blessed men,” Dick took Charlie’s cock into his hand and stroked with the slip of his precome. Charlie gasped on. “Oh, of all more blessed men, who is more glad and blessed than I?

Charlie’s head fell again to Dick’s, and their lips connected in liquid synchronicity. Dick tipped the pair with his sturdiness back onto the bed, trapping Charlie below him, whose hips instinctually rose to stay in contact with Dick’s member.

“He’s a beautiful poet,” Charlie said, voice filled with urges to groan and whine. “But at this moment I am reminded of his more obscene works.”

“You have a pleasant way of telling me to hurry up,” Dick teased, grinding his hips down. “Are you… prepared?”

“Yes, yes!” Charlie’s voice seemed near-sobbing but his face still showed pure bliss. “For so long, Dick, since before you got here. Please,” he cried.

Dick’s wily mouth turned on its corner and smiled. He flipped them once more and himself reclined into the mattress, Charlie straightening his back and catching his weight with his legs so that he sat upright on Dick’s lap, feeling his erection near his entrance. Dick rubbed a finger there as well, looking into Charlie’s eyes, transfixed as Charlie could only stare down open-mouthed. They stared as the court was prepared for the final game.

Three fingers in, Charlie feeling deliciously and deliriously full with what he craved and Dick feeling unrivaled anticipation, the former let his spindly fingers ghost over Dick’s chest. It was thinly blanketed with dark hair. Charlie let his fingertips sink in, feeling the soft hair swirl around his fingers and he moved them.

“I like your chest hair. I never could grow any,” Charlie breathes out shakily, adding a signature self deprecating addendum.

“I think you look like a goddamn angel,” Dick said, staring straight into Charlie’s hollow, hollow eyes. Suddenly Dick could see a bit of their emptiness, Charlie’s need to be filled. The distinctions between emotional and sexual hollowness were at the moment obscured to Dick and all he could bring himself to do was press himself into Charlie.

Charlie moaned, a broad grin on his face and his adjusted his hips to fit the new girth. This was it, this was it! The two of them locked eyes, Dick grabbing onto Charlie’s hips and Charlie gripping Dick’s chest, moving along in the same rhythm, repeating their earlier rally with more intensity, more meaning. They were lost to the sport, not the game—taken over by some preternatural sense of touch and feeling that allowed them to be overwhelmed by action rather than logic. On and on their communal effort wended into the fields of ecstasy.

Close to an invisible destination, they were sure of it. As invisible as Charlie, but the feeling as stubborn and persistent as Dick. In reality, on the bed where these abstract movements of the cosmos took physical form and consummated their dedication, it was match point.

Dick grunted with every thrust, eyebrows knit, but always, always with his eyes on Charlie. Charlie’s chin rose above his neck and, his eyes blown wide, he fixed to face some arbitrary spot in the distance. Dick could radiate in his slender hips and pure chest and his delicate features and eyelashes which fluttered with the rapidity of hummingbird wings. The centerpiece of the vista shone on the expanse of Charlie’s neck, the reddening bruise Dick had created, which shone on the lovers like a sun.

And then perfect white.

Dick blinked. Charlie blinked back, face in heaven. They gyrated through climax, softly breathing, softly keening. Sweating after the exertion of sport. Wondering in how they had so easily met their perfectly suited opponent. Wondering in how an opponent becomes a teammate, a partner, a lover.