The aching bodies prepared to sink gratefully into the seemingly bottomless pool of steaming hot water; water that had been laced with bath salts which filled the room with a heady smell of Sicilian lemons. Hunter immersed himself first before watching as Shawn stepped down, his balance hindered by the niggling back pain he'd suffered after matches for more years than most. Shawn felt the heat working at the tight feeling in his calf muscles and knees before he lowered himself down slowly into the blissful warmth.

Hunter opened his arms and Shawn sat back against him, feeling the strong limbs wrap around him and cross his chest in a soothing embrace. It had been another hard night, one that had required his 'vintage' elbow and the pain from the impact of the landing that shot down his thigh from his hip was going to take a decent soak to ease. Shawn closed his eyes and felt the water rippling up his chest, tickling at the short soft hairs that brought a sandy coloured tint across his still defined muscles.

Together they lie wrapped up in each other, enjoying the silence of the room that was only interrupted by the gentle swish of the water when one of them wriggled their toes or shifted position to get more comfortable. The steam stained the mirrors and with the blinds already drawn it became their own private paradise, acknowledging nothing more than each other's existence. Hunter moved his fingers gently against the collar bone that still protruded with a beautiful line from his lover's shoulder, the contact making Shawn turn his head to that side so he could watch the delicate ministrations. He drew his own hand from the water and placed it over Hunter's, careful not to still it. Both looked on as the skin of their moisture-wrinkling fingers contrasted, the deep tan against the the sunkissed pink. Moments like this were theirs to cherish, no words ever needed, no witty conversation to pass the time.

It was always a bonus when they had time off or the shows passed close to home. Over the years it had become all too easy to get used to rushed showers and early morning wake up calls and forget that instead of raising hell in a hotel bar there were better ways to alleviate the aches and pains of another night in the ring. Tonight they were in their own house, their own bath and their own worlds as both basked in the chance to rest and relax together.

As often as Shawn contemplated how much longer he had left in the ring he never allowed himself to drift as far as considering how he'd retire or when. He'd always figured that when his time was up he'd just know. He'd just pack his bag that last time and walk away. No send off, no ceremonial departure as if he'd upped and died. All his thoughts steered towards a quiet slipping away into the history books until he was, he hoped, entered into the Hall Of Fame and preferably before his maker came knocking to claim back the borrowed time he felt he'd been living on for so long.

The adulation and the cheers for every bump he took, every superkick that connected made it all worthwhile. All he'd ever wanted to do was entertain and be good at what he did. He knew that dream came true a long time ago but it was as addictive as any drug on the market, a comparison he knew more about that he cared to remember. When his music played and he heard the screams and the cheers it was if a magnet pulled him towards the ring whether he wanted to go or not.

Even when they were on tour and it was an almost every night work rota, when his knees and hips felt like they were crumbling like sandcastles at high tide, Shawn still went out there. Still tore the house down every time he could knowing one day that cheer would echo in his mind like the sound of that same sea in a conch shell. In truth he almost looked forward to the day that the kip-up was something that he watched a young buck of 20 doing rather than being laid on his back in the ring wondering whether or not his 44 year old body would show the good grace to do it one more time.

One of other the things that kept him going was being with Hunter. From the first day to the current day they'd been together as much as their varying circumstances would allow. Through marriage and divorce to different rosters and all kinds of scandals and storylines they'd weathered the storm. He felt lucky to have someone so level headed and protective around. For saying he was all man himself it was the best feeling in the world to know that someone else was always there, always looking out for him. His arrogance about how he didn't need anyone had faded over the years and although he knew he didn't need Hunter to have a life, he knew he needed him to have a happy one. At the end of the night when he could hardly walk he'd get carried to the car. On days when he didn't want to move he'd be chided along by the shaggy haired voice of reason that had chased him out of many hotel beds on cold winter mornings and brought the first reviving coffee of the day.

Looking around the bathroom Shawn looked at the unit on the far side of the room and smiled wryly. Gone was the many and various lotions and potions that he'd stacked there over the years. No longer present were the bottles of expensive cologne and array of flashy jewellery causally discarded after another night on the tiles. Now replacing it all was a trade-pack of muscle rub lotion, what looked like a gallon drum of fake tan and the many shampoos and conditioners he had to keep his hair in, let alone looking good. Time was finally catching up with the heartbreak kid and try as he might to retain the physical finery of his prime he was getting old. Old and tired.

Hunter could practically see Shawn thinking. His head was lolled back, the tangled and dampened strands of hair tickled Hunter's skin and the dreamy distant look that was spread across his face gave it away. Drawing his knees up slightly he cradled Shawn against him, never ceasing to be amazed at how beautiful his lover was and how lucky he felt to be the one holding him. It was no secret that Shawn had long been the fatted calf, the golden fleece of the business and try as he might Hunter had never been able to see in himself what Shawn did.

From the first day he'd seen the alluring Texan on a Saturday night wrestling show to the day he'd set eyes on him in the flesh he'd been in awe of the talent and the charisma of the man. The thought of the way his palms sweated on the day he crossed the locker room to introduce himself for the first time had never left his memory and they often laughed about it when reminiscing. The sight of Shawn so close to Big Sexy had been an intimidating but intriguing one that left Hunter trying to figure out whether Kev had made the move so many said he wanted to. Truth was they were never more than friends and one drunken smooch in the back seat of a rental had cemented that. Hunter was always grateful of Shawn's unerring honesty about what he'd done and literally where he'd been both before and after they got together.

Reaching for a sponge from the shelf behind his head he soaked it in the hot water and doused it in a gel that contained all manner of soothing essences and scents. Reaching his arm back around to the front he began to rub the sponge in circles on Shawn's chest, the firm flesh readily accepting the attention. He thought about how many times they'd done this and how many more instances there were to come. His own health problems were still giving him stick and he often wished that the pedigree was someone else's move so he didn't spend every night slamming down and saying a silent prayer that his quads would make it through to the next show. Between them, he thought, they made a hell of a pair. Both less than 100% fit but both 110% committed to doing what they did.

Almost absent mindedly he continued to soap Shawn up, working the sponge lower and lower until it was under the surface of the water and his hand was just below the navel it had thoroughly cleaned. It was the semi-intimate contact that drew Shawn from his daydreaming and a gruff but good natured growl from his lips.

"Hey, what's with getting all sexy on me when you're meant to be scrubbing me up Hunt?"

Neither man made any efforts to move from their positions and Hunter held his hand still in the water, looking down to see that it did in fact look as if he was doing something far less innocuous than washing his lover's chest.

"I'm washin' you, I'm washin' you already. How can I help it if you keep shufflin' up, tryin to put something other than the bar of soap in my hand?"

The mock exasperation in his tone said it all and the sounds of their shared chuckling bounced off the walls and back at them. Hunter rinsed the sponge and began dousing the soap away from Shawn's skin, watching the sponge-wrung waterfalls splash down and leave trails in the white foamy bubbles. He tilted his head down and whispered in the perfectly formed ear that found itself shielded by little more than a few damp and straggly strands of spun gold.

"So, hot stuff, can I do your back now or are you enjoying getting your belly rubbed so much you'd rather stay there and we can raise the flannel on your flagpole?"

His tone was breathy and over the top but he knew it was going to be taken in the way it was truly intended. They just 'got' each other and it was rare for them to argue when it wasn't about who was paying for dinner or the latest Spurs game they'd been to see.

With an over-exaggerated groan Shawn levered himself up from his comfortable supine position and gingerly rolled himself over until he was pressed to Hunter all but nose to hips. He caught sight of the honey brown eyes that he often lost himself in when they actually found the time to appreciate each other and stared into them, his hair dripping cool droplets onto both their bodies.

For a moment they were motionless, the disturbed water still swirling around and washing over the bottom of Shawn's back in waves. Both men wore the signs of a hard knock life in their facial features. Broken noses had been fixed, tiny hairline scars from over enthusiastic blade jobs and slightly bigger ones from hardway busts decorated their foreheads. Lines not deep enough to be wrinkles but not shallow enough to cover up told of their ages and their lifestyles. None of that mattered to either of them.

In the early years there had been some head turning when the new blood turned up. During the original DX days there had been some fumbling and kissing with others in bars and locker rooms but nothing was kept a secret and nothing ever went further than an adolescent level grope. It didn't feel right, didn't feel the same as when they were with each other. Obviously their largely sexless marriages got in the way of their fidelity to each other but it was nothing more than understanding that their careers and their circumstances needed the charade. Ultimately it had got them to where they were, to a place where they could be honest with their colleagues now their names were made.

Hunter soaped the sponge again and began to massage the tight and knotted muscles with it, feeling a pressure on the shoulder of his free arm as Shawn rested his head down on it. He'd never been able to find the words to describe moments like that when the absoluteness of their love became so apparent. Before him was a strong and proud man who had risked letting him in; a man who finally felt safe enough to do that after spending years building a trust that nothing on earth could ever hope to shatter. That man now sought solace from the aches, pains and worries of the world that troubled him in Hunter's arms.



"I like this, y'know. Just me and you...and soap. Its nice, like, real nice don't ya think?"

"Course I do Shawnie, course I do. I mean I get you hot, wet and slidin' all over me. What's not to like huh!"

The playful slap that landed on his free arm sent tiny splashes of water everywhere and Shawn rolled his eyes as he knew he couldn't be seen.

"Hunt, I'm being serious. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy just being with you. Don't matter what we're doing or where we are, as long as it's with you then I'm happy."

Hunter couldn't do anything to stop or suppress the smile that plastered itself across his lips, nor did he want to. The gruff Texan that was nothing more than a few inches in height but a fair few more pounds in weight away from being JBL himself was having one of his moments. His 'moments' were more regular now than they'd been even a half dozen years ago but that didn't make them any less special or unexpected. It wasn't that they never said they loved each other, more that they never seriously spoke about what that feeling did to them both. Neither felt they needed to but it was intimate moments that brought that rush of love back to the surface and made the words appear out of thin air.

Releasing the sponge to float away like an iceberg Hunter curled both arms around until he had Shawn held to him close, planting tiny kisses on the shoulder he could just reach with his lips.

"Shawnie, you know I can never wait to have you all to myself. I almost look forward to us hanging our boots up so I can spend even more time in the day just drivin' you crazy. We'll move back down to Texas, be near your family, nearer the kids, buy a big plot and have somewhere decent to live built for us. We're taking this tub though, I got too many happy memories of hours like this that we made in this tub. Its like a family heirloom really and...."

"Okay, we'll take the tub. I get the picture. But those memories, do they need a little refreshing?"

Shawn slid his hand down from where it rested on the side of the tub and propped himself to one side, lifting his hips slightly, using his fingers to create a wave effect that swished the gradually cooling water over the more sensitive areas of his lover. Hearing a small moan from Hunter's lips was enough of a sign that the reminder of times gone by was a welcome one. He traced a finger along the stiffening flesh and wriggled his fingers over and around it, teasing it to life with the water as an aid.

"Shawn, this is m-meant to be relaxing y'know? We're meant to be winding down, not up...."

"Hunter, we're in the tub. I'm relaxed, you're well, kinda relaxed, maybe a little more than I'd like you to be right now...."

Letting his words trail off Shawn lowered his head to take an already hardened nipple between his lips and gave it an almost obscene open mouthed kiss. Wrapping his hand around Hunter's member he felt it growing and started to jerk it softly to get it to maximum stiffness.

"Hold o-on a minute, you just slapped me for talking filthy and s-suddenly its oke...okay, forget what I just said..."

Hunter felt the hand curled around him grip a little tighter and work a little faster which was taking his mind off all the gentle words they'd exchanged and redirecting it to a place much less about hearts and roses. It was when he caught Shawn looking at him with a lust filled look radiating from his eyes that he knew their peaceful moments were going to turn into something else entirely.

"You ready to get towelled off Hunt? Think I wanna go through to the bedroom and get warmed up a little now the water's getting cold...."

Shawn's words trailed off as he released his grip, smirking slightly at the disappointed mew that he heard in response to his action. He stood slowly, using the sides of the bath to haul himself out of the water and stood for a moment with his bare backside facing Hunter, the rivulets of water running down his skin. Carefully he stepped out of the tub and wetly padded over to the heated rail where an array of soft white Egyptian cotton towels awaited his perusal.

"Y'know Shawn, for a Christian you're pretty mean at times."

Enjoying one last moment in the water Hunter turned over onto his front, careful not to do himself an intimate injury and then rose up onto his knees. His days of levering himself up solely on the strength of his temperamental quads were long gone. He stood in the water, stretching his arms and rolling his neck, the bath having done a sufficient, if not quite complete, job of loosening most of his body up. Looking down he couldn't help but grin when he caught sight of the state Shawn's touches had got him into. Before he knew it a towel thudded against his chest and he heard the door of the bathroom swing open, the steam releasing into the hallway like a backdraft.

As he rubbed at his hair and stepped out onto the bathmat that Shawn always seemed to ignore, Hunter glanced up to see an absolute vision in front of him. With a small towel wrapped around his waist Shawn stood with one arm propped on the door frame, the other rested idly on his hip, the steam billowing round him as if he'd just come through the back of the stage at a rock concert. Dropping his own towel on the floor he walked towards the doorway, consumed with the need to kiss and be kissed, touch and be touched.

As he drew close Hunter paused for a moment to make a mental record of the image before reaching out his hand. The tentative way in which he stroked along the exposed flesh above the line of the towel made them both gasp as they were still sensitive from the calming effect of the water. His fingertips trailed from hip to hip before sliding down over the fabric to make contact with the smooth thigh it so carefully concealed.

"Hunt, I think you'll find touching on a guy like this isn't all too Christian either."

Shawn moved his hand from his hip and cupped his lover's face with it, drawing him down for a kiss that he dominated, firing all his passion into letting Hunter know what he wanted and how badly he wanted it. He was sure that the bath they'd taken would prove to be the calm before the storm, the affection before the animalistic urges took them over. Still being wanted so badly, still being so desired and lusted after by the man he'd spent most of his life with was a powerful aphrodisiac for Shawn and he never hid that. He didn't care if he looked slutty or easy, this was something, someone that he had to have at any cost whenever that mood struck.

Sliding his hand back up Hunter deftly untucked the towel and lashed it well into the bathroom where it skidded across the floor until it made contact with the tub. He reached for the hard shaft that bobbed and brushed against his own and stroked upwards with his just his fingertips in contact with the skin, feeling the hips it was attached to start to roll and rock. He heard the familiar gasps as his hand teased and tormented, keeping the contact light until he was sure Shawn was as hard as he could get. Neither men had the stamina of their youth and when they had the time, energy and inclination to go all out with each other it was all the more special. Hunter was aware of that and, just like all the times before, was determined that Shawn would be putty in his hands through the sheer sensations of pleasure.

Shawn felt Hunter's lips slide down to the curve of his neck, teeth barely scraping the skin as a silvery trail appeared where the skilled tongue had traced the vein that had been brought to the surface by the temperature of the bathwater. He was aware of his heart beating hard in his chest and that every beat drove more and more blood to a part of his flesh that ache more every time the gentle fingers that touched it made contact. Tilting his head further to one side he allowed a groan to escape; a groan interrupted by his breaths as they hitched at the back of his throat several times before he could wind it up. He started to murmur in an attempt to distract himself from the tingling in the pit of his stomach.

"Mmmm Hunter your hands...they're real good, making me want more...want you...."

Kissing his way back up to the point of Shawn's chin Hunter watched as Shawn's crystalline blue eyes rolled back and then went from half lidded to fully closed. Try as he might the lust etched on his lover's face affected Hunter in a world of ways. Here he was trying to make something so special last when all he really wanted to do was work his hand until he had to sink to his knees so as not to waste a drop of the release that he loved to cause. For a moment he gripped Shawn's throbbing member tightly before deciding better of it. He reached to the side with his free hand and fished the tube of lubricant out of the top drawer of the unit, careful not to confuse it with all manner of heat, muscle and bruise reducing rubs that littered it. They had tons of the stuff knocking around, most people not realising that the waistband of Shawn's chaps was often coated in it to stop them chafing. Not that the slicking of his body always stopped there before or after a show.

"What are y-you rattling around at Hunt? Don't even think about getting the heat lotion out right now. There's only one muscle...."


Hunter watched the more than slightly suggestive smirk curl the corners of Shawn's lips up and couldn't help but smile back, taking a long moment to look over the expression that could light up even the darkest room.

"Whaaaat? I was just sayin'. So what's a guy got to do to get laid around here?"

Shawn held his arms out in an exaggerated gesture that was a well practised part of his non-verbal repertoire. He joked but the anticipation was killing him. He longed for the feeling of Hunter pressed up against him, grinding into and grabbing at every inch of his sensitive flesh as he allowed himself to be taken and run headlong into the passionate ether that started to cloud his mind.

So lost in the deep thoughts was Shawn that he didn't notice the warm hand disconnecting itself from his flesh. He was only shaken from them by two hands appearing on his shoulders and turning him around before guiding him with a gentle pressure towards the wall on the opposite side of the hall. The hands then ran down over his shoulders until they rested on his forearms, rubbing the skin in elongated strokes as the first of many kisses landed on his shoulderblade.

"You wanna get laid Shawnie? You want me to make you feel real nice? Make you squirm like a slut? Oh I can do that. Hell, can I do that."

Hunter spoke in nothing more than a low purr, the need he had to be inside his lover overwhelming him. Tracing his fingertips back up the toned arms and onto the shoulders he pushed forward until he felt the resistance of the wall now pressed against the weight of Shawn's body. A gasp came from between the parted lips he had a clear view of now, Shawn having turned his head to rest his cheek against the cool surface to try and calm the flush that burned at his face.

Twisting the top off the tube with his teeth Hunter deftly dispensed a healthy amount of the slick fluid onto his fingers then threw the tube on the floor behind him. He coated his straining erection with one hand, making sure not to touch himself too carefully lest he should lose control well before he wanted to. Satisfied with that part of his task he parted the firm fleshy orbs before him and slid his fingers inbetween to distribute the remainder. An obscene moan filled the still air of the hallway as he pressed forward with one finger, breaching and tormenting the ring of muscle that involuntarily resisted his advances. Gradually he worked more and more of his finger inside, then another finger entirely as he felt Shawn start to accept the intrusion more easily.

"So fucking sexy, Shawn. You, pressed up against the wall, ready for me and I'm pretty sure begging for me inside that pretty little head, huh? You want me to make you lose control Shawn, feel real good? I want to fuck you sexy boy, want to hear you calling my name...."

Hunter peppered his words with nips and kisses at the nape of Shawn's neck, nudging the tangled and damp hair aside as best he could without using his hands. The words poured from his mouth barely masking the pants and mewls his actions were causing; every word the truth with no structure or agenda, just the only words he had to describe his love and desire. Unable to wait any longer he withdrew his fingers and disposed of the excess lubricant, rubbing it on the back of his darkly tanned thigh. He lined himself up and all but felt Shawn's audible intake of breath as he carefully lifted his hips and inched inside.

The obscene throaty groans the intrusion drew from his mouth would have been enough to make most porn stars blush and Shawn could do nothing to stop them. The feeling of the skilled fingers inside him was almost enough but then to feel himself being slowly filled by the hard and thick length was almost too much. Raising his hands from where they rested at his sides he braced himself against the wall, palms flat and fingers spread for extra purchase. Shawn pushed his hips back, eagerly trying to take it all inside him at once, craving the feeling that being violated so deeply gave him. He met the end of the Hunter's first movement and felt the heat of skin pressed against the fleshy curve of his ass.

As the deliberate thrusts began to pick up pace Shawn felt the strong hands wrap themselves around either side of his body and start to pull him backwards. His body curved outwards from the wall where his forehead bobbed dangerously close to colliding into it, not that he had noticed as Hunter drove into him harder and harder. Shuffling his feet slightly further apart the angle he'd shifted into meant that the cock that pounded into him started to make contact with the knot of nerve endings. The constant bumping and brushing just made him crave the sensation all the more; a feeling which was creeping up his body from the very soles of his feet.

"Jesus, ughhhhh...Hunt...just, please...don't stop...please...."

"I don't want to stop S-Shawn, so deep inside you, gonna come for... me Shawnie, want to feel you, h-hear you...."

There was no disguising the desire in Hunter's words or voice as he snapped his hips as fast as he could without risking hurting Shawn. He'd learned over the years that Shawn could take a lot, in fact liked to take a lot and watching him grind back and show his wanton side made Hunter ache and tingle at the same time. It was a Shawn that the outside world never saw and only emerged in the heat of the moment when the lust consumed him and he handed himself over to Hunter, body and soul.

Knowing he wasn't going to be able to hold on much longer Hunter reached one of his hands down and grasped Shawn's member. It was already slick to the touch with the pearly tinted pre-cum that had run down the shaft as it had undulated with the force with which he was being taken from behind. In the way he knew Shawn liked it best he formed a loose fist and twisted his hand as he worked it up and down, making sure to catch the swollen head as gently as possible. For all his normally forthright nature it drove Shawn crazy to be teased in bed and the hitching of his breath as Hunter tormented him, barely on the right side of frustrating, proved that absolutely.

The echoes of their near synchronised groans, the calling of each others names, the blaspheming of the Almighty and heavy panting spurred them on, both spiralling towards orgasms they so desperately wanted. Hunter continued to thrust as hard as he could but it was the clenching and spasming of the already-tight muscles around him that tipped him over the edge. He felt Shawn's hand clamp down on his own as he started to convulse, hot jets coating both their hands, Shawn's chest and the wall he was using to support his buckling legs.

Hunter pressed himself against Shawn's back as he lost control himself, planting wet bites and kisses on the soft skin which muffled some of the curses that barely started to describe how the release made him feel. A shudder racked his body as the aftershocks swept over him and he too reached out for the support the wall had to offer. He slipped his hand over the smaller one already there and they intertwined their fingers together, a moment of tenderness after so much animal passion and intimate pleasure.

Kissing the sweet spot just behind Shawn's right ear he felt the shiver and watched the tiny hairs rising on Shawn's neck.

"So, shall we go get a shower?"

His words were no more than a whisper and he hardly expected a reply.

"Don't think so Hunt, be a waste of time getting cleaned up so soon. Go grab that towel and I'll see you in the bedroom."

Shawn freed himself and swayed his hips suggestively as he padded down the corridor towards their large suite-style bedroom. As he got to the door he turned to look at Hunter who was just coming back through the bathroom door, used towel and capless lube tube in his hand. Despite the dishevelled dash Hunter cut he was still all Shawn had ever wanted and needed. Nothing and no-one had ever managed to come close to challenging what they had.

Their eyes connected for a brief moment after Hunter felt the stare boring into him. Taking the initiative Hunter mouthed the words "I love you." and received the same in return without even a seconds hesitation. Both knew they would go on to share more mini-sessions of love and laughter; sessions that continually strengthened the ties that bound. As the clean up and warm down started in the dim light of their room, the truth was that for them, the night was only just beginning.

A/N: So, you may think this is indulgent but I don't care cos I love them and wanted to do an intense semi-PWP featuring my boys :) Shawter is my OTP and always will be. There's something about their connection that I really get and really gets to me.

Dedicated to Seraphalexiel, the loved up SM to my love-drunk H. This I name my #ShawterInTheWater tape ;)