Genre: Kind-of-maybe-not softcore kind of PWP
Pairing: Prince Hal/Ned Poins (The Hollow Crown [Henry IV])
Synopsis: How it came to pass that Ned Poins became the Prince of Wales’ shadow.
Huntsman/Hal is nice… but Hal/Poins is better.]
The first time it happens they’re drunk off what easily could have been a barrel’s worth of sack between them. They make their way up the stairs, giggling under their breath. There’s no thought in it. Just an impulse that promised something new. Two steps forward and one step back, they eventually make it into one of the few rooms off the landing. The door shuts and the feeble latch falls into place. Fingers slide over alcohol-soaked leather; lips drink with new fervour.
They’ve both had women before and this is nothing like them. Those previous experiences may had been with eager whores, but the way neither of them willingly subjects is as enticing as it is arousing. Amusing, too. They keep on snickering in snorts and the kiss becomes messy, though they’re too competitive to back out of the fight.
Inevitably, Hal asserts himself the instant Ned pushes him towards the lumpy mattress. “I am the Prince of Wales!” he shouts as if the whole of London had forgotten it.
Ned just laughs in his face, bowing lowly as Hal seats himself upon the bed. Despite conceited proclamation, he’s still all giggles and flighty kisses as Ned undresses him like some chamber attendant.
For all the playfulness, when naked, they meet like starved beasts. Ned isn’t quite sure why. He had never harboured desires towards the Prince before, not so much that it had ever bothered him anyway. Nothing more than admiration man-to-man. But the moment Hal is above him in the weak candlelight, all he can see is the beauty of his eyes and face; a jawline perfectly shaped for his fingers, shoulders broad and lean. He focuses on those eyes and gets wrapped up in the moment.
It’s painful and Ned swears he can smell blood, but he’s able to lose himself to the sensation of Hal inside him in a way he had never experienced with a woman before. It’s a powerful feeling; strangely gratifying to serve the heir. And he throws his head back laughing at himself, and also knowing he’d give almost anything for another swig of sack to chase away the burn of their joining.
With a moan bitten into the back of his wrist, Ned climaxes. He lies back, breathless and Hal’s almost gentle as he leans down to kiss Ned again, searching deep as he thrusts with more vigour. A few more moments and he comes deep, collapsing moments afterwards. Hal pulls up, panting and although he’s about to say something, there’s a knock on the door. It’s too muffled to work out through the ringing in Ned’s ears, but Hal pulls away and redresses.
And frightened into a measure of sobriety, Ned wonders if this is the end of their friendship.
The second time is not so much as the first. They’re playing a game to humiliate Falstaff, as is their favourite pastime, but the fat fool is late and the winter air is cold. Hal complains of it first – as is his princely right – and rubs his hands furiously over his crimson-bound arms. Ned laughs and joins in, and whilst he’s busy looking out for the aged jester, he only catches a glimpse of Hal’s bright blue eyes coming closer before he feels cool lips against his jaw. He turns his head and Hal moves back a breath.
Words seem such petty things, Ned decides whilst Hal’s fingers under his chin spoke volumes. Leaning in, they meet with anything but the languid ardour of mid-summer lovers. Hands roam, stroking soft leather and Ned groans as Hal effortlessly slides a leg between his thighs. A slow but firm rocking of hips ignited a fire so warm that even the hushed cry of “Hal! Poins!” did not kill it.
They pull away from each other, fearful of discovery, and yet it’s not a sudden parting like repulsion. It’s at their own pace, hands dropping slowly, and the internal-warmth lingers until long into the plot.
The third time, it’s Ned on top. Hal made the kind suggestion, curious of what drove his previous whores to wailing, and what had driven Ned to twisting and arching in a way that the Prince apparently found enchanting. It’s an interesting venture, more so than the first time. They’re both sober, for one, and therefore able to appreciate each sensation in their raw glory. They feel it from both sides; understand what each action could achieve. And through knowing what he had enjoyed, Ned is able to make Hal moan his name, baring his neck for all the hungry kisses Ned can give.
After he collapses, spent, onto the soiled bedclothes, Ned rolls onto his back, still panting. He feels the bed move with Hal, and cracks his eyes open. The Prince is there, face solemn. One of his beautifully long fingers draws idle patterns on Ned’s damp chest, and the man thinks maybe Hal is practising his signature for the duties that will surely come in a few years.
When Hal finally speaks, his voice is soft. “I believe my preference lies within your body, sweet Ned.”
Ned hums and closes his eyes again. That’s when the fourth time occurs, or would it be third and a half? Ned cares not as Hal starts to kiss him all over, but gasps the moment their too-tender-flesh makes contact. But the stubborn Prince is not defeated. He presses his fingers to Ned’s lips, and assuming an insinuation, Ned takes them in. He treats those digits how whores had treated him: with bobs of his head and long swathes of his tongue, and too-late notices how the glimmer in Hal’s eyes is as full of purpose as with pleasure.
Ned hisses in a breath as one finger breaches him. Although, it hurts less than Hal’s manhood, and after a few, tentative in-outs, the slick motion bleeds enjoyment and Ned presses back onto the intrusion. Hal notices the change – the lack of pain – and sucks a red mark into Ned’s shoulder where he knows it is less likely to be seen.
When Hal is finally ready to be pleased again, Ned is loose enough from the Prince’s fingers that he can take Hal’s length smoothly. He moans louder this time, needing to be silenced with deep, wet kisses. He writhes under the Prince’s taut body; his skin rubbing raw on the straw-stuffed mattress.
It becomes a regular thing after that. Each time, Hal opens Ned up with his fingers before pushing inside deep. Each time, they bite tongues and flesh to keep quiet under the noise of the pub below.
Sometimes it’s not enough and Ned suspects that Falstaff knows something’s awry. There’s something in the old man’s eye that simmers and his treatment towards Ned is noticeably less fond. But Ned does not give the fool the pleasure of upsetting or vexing him, and turns equally as sour. If Hal notices, he doesn’t speak of it.
The whole affair something that neither of them speak of. They make jokes of vocatives, and can’t stop their bodies conversing informally and eyes so very intimately, but there’s no evidence. And everyone loves the Prince too much to surrender to rumours. It’s comfortable and enjoyable and Ned relishes in being as important in Hal’s life as Falstaff. But he wonders in the quiet moment between the climax and slumber, when we he, like Falstaff and the rest of Hal’s sordid life, be cast off in favour of the hollow crown?