There's a dresser in Steve's bedroom. The drawers are filled with the usual mismatched socks and T-shirts, but on the top is a wide, shallow bowl. It's white pottery, sturdy, not graceful, and when Steve dusts it -- not often, but sometimes -- he handles it with care and finds himself breathing just a little faster.
It holds plenty, but what it's really for is…well, it's for wishing. For asking. For talking without saying the words.
It started out as a place for Danny to drop his keys, but now he leaves them by the front door. They don't belong in there these days, even if the bowl's empty.
Like most traditions, it had to start somewhere and this one began with Danny's handcuffs in there one night, out of place, incongruous.
"Are they yours?" Steve had asked, curious, but Danny's mouth had closed around his dick and he'd let the question slip-slide away.
"Don’t forget your cuffs," he'd said the next morning as they dressed.
Danny had glanced at them and back at Steve. "They're my spare pair."
Steve had frowned, started to ask a question, then subsided when he saw the warning in Danny's eyes.
Don't ask, 'cause I won't tell.
He'd known the answer, or part of it at least, anyway. He'd been fucking Danny for six weeks. Long enough to notice the way Danny's eyes widened when Steve's fingers closed tightly around his wrists, the throat-caught moan, the way Danny pressed against him eagerly.
"Think about it. If you don't want to, just…" Danny had smiled, a twist of his lips. "Take them out of the bowl."
They'd stayed there until the next time Danny had come over and then Steve had taken them out, fastened them around Danny's wrists and kept him cuffed all evening, though the movie they'd watched, through the pizza they'd shared, all the way until it was time to go to bed.
He'd taken them off long enough for Danny to strip, brush his teeth, piss, then refastened them again and fucked Danny hard and fast, those trapped hands flexing as Danny tried to touch him and got off so fucking much on not being able to.
He hadn't tied Danny to anything until the bowl had been filled with ties, four of them, silky slithers of color, bright with possibilities.
After that, Danny seemed to have run out of ideas, or maybe he'd just been waiting for Steve to join in, because the bowl stayed empty until Steve dropped a cock ring in and made the bowl ring like a bell.
"For me?" Danny had asked, lifting it with a fingertip and looking intrigued.
"For me," Steve had replied. "You're just the one who gets to wear it."
Not everything in the bowl gets used. Steve's glanced in, shuddered, and gingerly removed a dildo big enough to make him feel seriously inadequate, and gotten his revenge by replacing it a week later with a pair of pale blue panties, man-sized but trimmed with lace.
Danny had worn them to bed, the tips of his ears dark pink, but a shit-eating grin on his face as he posed. Steve had to admit that they suited him, and the sex had been incredible, but the panties had vanished after that and he doesn't plan to ask about them. Ever.
He walks into his room one Friday night and glances at the bowl automatically.
It's empty, but his bed isn't.
He smiles at Danny and starts to undress.
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