Actions

Work Header

Of Foxes And Magic

Chapter Text

We fight every night for something

When the sun sets we're both the same

Half in the shadows

Half burned in flames"

Tamer, Beautiful Crime


 "Hey did you get your roommates' names?" Blue asked.

They have just arrived. Blue looked at the building again. It didn't look like much.

"Yeah" Henry said "I'm with three guys. Matthew Boyd, Nicholas Hemmick and Aaron Minyard. You?"

"Three girls. Allison Reynolds, Renee Walker and Danielle Wilds." Blue said.

"Where's Matthew?"

"I think he went to the court again."

"You know our dorms are in the same floor. Gansey and Adam are in the floor below us."

"Cool! What about Matthew?"

"Same floor with us. He shares a room with some of his teammates. Andrew, Neil and... Kevin? Not sure."

They now reached their floor. They bumped fists and got into their dorms. That's when it all started.


*Two weeks later*

Matthew woke up in a room he didn't recognise. The previous night was a blur. The last thing he remembered was taking a sip from his drink and feeling a strange rush of energy.


He had been drugged before, but this time something was different. It wasn't only his head that hurt, but half of his face too


The room was dark, but he could make the shape of his phone in the nightstand. He grabbed it and freaked out when he opened it because he had two unanswered phone calls from Ronan and twenty from Gansey. Fuck they're going to kill me, he thought.


He called Gansey first. It seemed more urgent. He picked it up after the second beeep.


"Where the hell are you?" an irritated Adam said.


"Hello to you too Adam." Matthew said.


"Cut the crap. Where are you? You were supposed to be here hours ago! Gansey has been freaking out for hours."


That was when the bedroom's door opened. Andrew stood there, leaning on the door frame and looking at Matthew. It started making sense now.


"Ermm I went out with some teammates. Don't worry I'm fine. I'll be back soon. And tell Gansey I don't need any more big brothers."


"You should have said something!"


"I know- I'm sorry Adam. But really I'm okay."


"Okay. Oh and Ronan called. He was looking for you. I told him you were practising at the court again and that's why you couldn't pick up your phone."


"What why?"


"Because it sounds better than we lost your little brother. And I'm too young to die."


"Okay Adam. Thank you. Bye" Matthew said laughing.


"Don't laugh! You are too young to die too by the way so maybe you should avoid Blue for a while."


Matthew was still smiling when he put his phone down. He looked at Andrew.


"Do you remember what happened last night?" Andrew spoke first.


"Nah, not really" Matthew said hesitantly. He wasn't used to Andrew talking to him. Andrew only talked to Neil most of the times.


"You smell. Go shower and come out to eat. We need to talk."


Matthew was still surprised when he finished his shower. He looked at the bathroom mirror once more. There was an ugly bruise right under his left eye. His eye was just barely swelled. How the fuck did this happened and how am I going to explain it , he thought.


He got out of the bathroom and heard some noise. He followed that noise and found the kitchen. Neil, Andrew and Kevin  were eating there. Neil handed Matthew a plate with two sandwiches in it. Matthew thanked him and starred awkwardly at his food because he didn't know what else to do. The other three boys exchanged some glances.
Matthew found the courage to speak first.


"Did you guys drugged me last night?"


"Yes." Andrew said.


Neil shrugged like he wanted to apologise.


"Why?"


"Because that's what we do with new Foxes. We drug them so we can know their past and decide whether they are dangerous or worth protecting." Kevin said this time.


"Their past?" Matthew started getting nervous. What if he told them about Ronan being the Greywaren and Adam being a magician and did they even believe him?


"Yeah, their past. We got you to the back room. You freaked out as soon as Andrew started asking questions and tried to punch Kevin, who was holding you but you failed. Andrew punched you. When he started asking about your past again you started crying and told us all about your parents' murders." Neil explained.


Matthew didn't know what to say. He couldn't exactly ask them if he said anything about magic. He just sat down and started eating his sandwiches like nothing had happened.


 

The first person Matthew saw when they got back was Noah. He was sitting cross-legged in the entrance, headphones on, probably listening to the emo music he loves. Of course, he thought. Noah was always there when you don't want to see him and he will say something smart, because he is a smart-ass (and he will probably be right). Noah cracked a huge smile like he knew what Matthew was thinking. He indeed knows what you're thinking, dumbass. Matthew shot him a mean look. 

"Oh man, what happened to your eye? Wait until Gansey sees it. You are so fucked" Noah said laughing.

"Fuck off man". Matthew started laughing too because maybe Noah was right but his laugh was truly contagious.

When they got back to their dorms, Matthew thought it would be a good idea to go to Gansey's and just let them know that he's back. Neil offered to come with with. So there he was, by his side, when Henry opened the door.

It was the first time Matthew saw Henry so surprised and shock. Eyes widened, lips parted and eyebrows raised. He quickly stepped out of the dorm and closed the door behind him.

"Matthew what on earth- fuck. What happened?! Fuck fuck fuck." Henry said.

"Hey I'm okay. That's nothing." Matthew said.

"Noth- nothing?!" Henry practically choked. "No you don't understand. The moment Gansey or Blue or Adam see this- they're going to kill you- no even worse, they're going to call Ronan. Dude your brother freaks me out!"

Neil looked genuinely confused. He couldn't understand how Matthew, a boy with golden curls that looked like an angel and had the brightest smile, could have a brother that freaked someone out.

The first time Neil saw Matthew he knew he wasn't all innocent, but still he didn't seem like a bad person. He could tell he was made of light, the way he could tell Andrew had too many shadows to count and that guy, Henry, had seen some ugly stuff.

Matthew looked alarmed now. He opened his mouth the same time the door opened again and a girl appeared.

"Henry who knocked at the-" she started, but then she stopped when she saw Matthew's face.

"Oohh, I've patched up your brother way too many times. I'm not-"

"Blue, who are you talking to?"

So, this girl must be Blue, Neil thought, and this guy is definitely Gansey. Although Blue lived with his teammates, she wasn't there most of the time. He suddenly felt sad that he hadn't met her earlier. She wasn't tall but he saw  a strange kind of power inside of her. She was a storm trapped inside a mundane body.

The boy that now stood next to her was a completely different story. He was holding a book Neil was sure he had seen in Kevin's room.

Now everyone had wide eyes (almost everyone, not Neil). Henry and Blue were looking at Gansey, while Gansey was staring at Matthew (Matthew's nasty bruise actually) and Matthew was staring right back.

Matthew quietly started saying " Don't. Tell. Ad-", but he was interrupted by Gansey who shouted "Adam!"

Neil had heard a lot about this one. He was the one closest to Matthew. He acted like his brother. For some reason Neil thought that maybe he looked like Matthew a little too. But the boy that now come to the door was nothing like him. He had dark skin and freckles. His hair had the colour of dust. The same colour Neil had dyed his own hair when he first became Neil Josten.

To everyone else Adam Parrish may seem like an ordinary guy, but not to Neil. Neil could always see deep inside people's hearts and minds. What he saw in Adam Parrish that day was something huge, mysterious, terrifying and special. He was special.

Adam didn't flinch when he saw Matthew's eye. He stepped closer.

"Tell me who did this to you." he said.

Matthew wasn't dumb. He knew who Andrew was way before he made the cut and became a fox. He looked at Neil, who subtly shook his head. No, don't tell them.

So he didn't.

"Matthew tell me. If you don't I'll call Ronan, you know I'm not lying."

Matthew remained silent. Neil could sense the conflict inside of him. He is a good kid, goddammit but if we got what we deserved we couldn't be Foxes, right?

"I promised your brother. I'm sorry, Matthew." Adam whispered and if Neil wasn't so close, he wouldn't have heard it.


 

Adam: ronan said he is coming tomorrow

Adam: what happened to you matthew

Matthew: you don't have to do this

Adam: you know I have

Adam: i promised

Adam: and i want to help you man

Matthew: he's going to kill us all you know

Adam: only us

Adam: he loves you too much

Matthew: same applies to you dumbass

Adam: go to sleep kid


Adam woke up early the next day. It was Sunday and he had to do this assignment that was due tomorrow. Gansey and Blue had gone out to grab some breakfast. Henry was hanging out with his new roommate Matt in the living room, because apparently they didn't have a dorm of their own.

The door knocked around 10am. Adam heard Henry answering it and then there was a knock at his own bedroom door.

"Come in." he said.

Henry's head appeared through a crack at the door.

"Hey man. Matt and I are gonna grab something to eat. You want anything?" he said.

"Nah, I'm fine."

"Cool." He hesitated a bit and then he said. "You have a visitor."

Adam was confused. A visitor? What? Before you could think more about it, Henry opened the door fully and a boy stepped in.

"Okay, we're leaving. See you later, Parrish."

Adam was surprised to see that boy. He was with Matthew last night. He didn't even know his name.

"Hey- uhm- I'm Neil." he said.

"Adam?" He still couldn't understand what was happening.

"I guess you're wondering what I'm doing here. The thing is- I just wanted to- okay look, I heard what you said last night about a promise you've made. I guess it has something to do with Matthew's protection? I just want you to know you don't have to worry about it. We've got him. He is one of us now."

Adam didn't know what to say. This all was unexpected.

"Firstly, why do you speak like he entered a cult? And secondly we left him with you one night and he returned with a massive bruise on his face."

"It was just a bar fight! I mean it. We got this."

Adam stared at Neil not knowing what to say. Sizing him up. He was caught off guard. But before making his mind and answering, he heard a loud bang. Someone stormed into the dorm, left something heavy and stormed out again. At first, he thought that it was Henry but then he heard another sound he recognized immediately.

Kerah!

"Was that a raven?!" Neil stay. He looked stunned.

Adam didn't have time to answer. This was definitely Chainsaw. His heart started racing. Ronan is here. He pushed Neil aside and got out of the bedroom. In the living room there was three suitcases, an empty bird cage and Chainsaw was flying around. He couldn't see Ronan, which meant he went to find Matthew first. Shit, he thought.

Neil was shocked.

"Matthew's brother came. Come on!" Adam said. He didn't have time to explain. 

Adam started running and Neil followed him. They climbed the stair and found Neil's dorm door wide open. They could see Ronan, Matthew and Andrew between them.

And was that a knife?


When Ronan banged at Matthew's door, a blond guy opened it. Ronan's first thought was wow this guy seems even sorter than Blue. I didn't know that was possible. But then he remembered why he was really there.

"Is Matthew here?" he asked.

"Who are you?" was the answer.

"Is. Matthew. Here?" he asked again.

Matthew, then, stepped in the living room and froze.

"Ronan?!"

The moment Ronan's eyes caught sight of Matthew's face all he could see was red. It was worst than he thought.

He pushed the other guy aside and got into the room. He only then noticed that there were more people inside it. Two guys sitting on the couch and one on the floor next to them. The one sitting on the floor was identical to the one that opened the door moments ago.

But he didn't really care about anyone else. He had eyed only for Matthew and that bruise. He hugged him tightly and that was what brought Matthew back to reality. He hugged his brother back.

When he saw Matthew's face again, he started trembling. He wanted to punch something.

"What happened?" he asked.

Matthew looked Ronan in the eyes. "Just a bar fight. No big deal." he said.

Ronan knew him very well. Matthew never looked into someone's eyes unless he was going to lie. He thought that that way the other person would believe him. Matthew was lying.

"You are a terrible liar, kid" Ronan said. "I'll help if you tell me."

"Ronan really I'm not lying."

Ronan's blood was boiling. He grabbed Matthew's hand and before he realised what was happening, a guy was between them and he snatched Ronan's hand away from Matthew's.

It was that short, blond guy who opened the door. No, wait. It was the other one, the twin. His arms were covered with black arm bands.

Who was this guy?

Ronan looked him straight in the eyes. Normally that made people uncomfortable, but this one stared right back. Ronan was surprised, but he didn't have time for this. He was there to find out what happened and help his brother. No shorty will get between them.

He tried to shove the guy away. He raised his left hand to push him out of the way. Again, in a matter of seconds, the blond grabbed his left hand and moved closer to Ronan. He pressed something sharp in his belly.

They looked at each other eyes. Everyone held their breaths. This felt like a contest and they both wanted to win.

They heard people running up the stairs and then two voice saying "Fuck.".


"Don't. Move." Neil whispered to Adam.

He moved slowly. Carefully. He got as close to Andrew as he could and then he switched to Russian.

"Put that knife away, Andrew."

No response.

"Andrew, I'm talking to you. This is his brother, you can't do this."

Still no response.

"We both know how it feels like to not have a family. This kid lost his parents, do you really wanna take his brother too?"

Andrew relaxed a little after that but he still didn't lower the knife. This wasn't working. Fuck.

"Ronan back off." Matthew said.

"I'm not gonna-" Ronan started.

"Ronan I said back. Off." No one knew Matthew had such a powerful voice. "Andrew stop."

They both took a step back at the same time.

"Oh great! Now Andrew listens to Matthew too but he won't hear a word I'm saying." Nicky snapped. He received a couple death glares for that.

Adam thought that was the right time to move. He stepped close to Ronan.

"Hey" he said.

Ronan turned and faced him fully.

"Adam?" he said, like he just then realised that he was there too. "What are you doing here?"

"I was in my room when you stormed into the dorm. I heard Chainsaw. I knew it was you."

Adam's words were ringing inside Ronan's skull. I was in my room. Two people running up the stairs. Two people saying fuck. This guy who spoke Russian wasn't here before.

He turned and looked at Neil.

"You were in your room doing what?" he said not taking his eyes off Neil.

Neil and Adam kind of blushed and everyone held their breaths again. Except Matthew. Matthew burst out laughing.

"No Ronan. Calm down. Neil already has a boyfriend. Andrew." he said pointing at the blond guy.

Nicky practically jumped.

"Wait, since when do you know that?" he said.

"Know what?" Matthew frowned.

"That they're a couple."

"I figured it out a month ago? Does it matter?"

"Yes! We had a bet. I think Allison won again. Shit."

"Guys!" Neil said. "I just wanted to ask Adam's help. We take a maths class together and he is way better than me."

"I think we should go now." Adam said and took Ronan's hand.

They started leaving and Ronan said "Matthew come on. Let's go."

"I thin- I think I'll stay here for now. We can talk tomorrow." Matthew said.

Ronan wanted to say something but Adam stopped him. They left together and when they got to their dorm everyone was waiting for them.


Adam: where are you

Ronan: in a parking lot

Adam: what are you doing in a parking lot

Ronan: drinking

Ronan: abd smashing things

Adam: what parking lot

Adam: ronan

Adam: answer me

Adam: don't worry about matthew we'll figure it out

Adam: RONAN


 His phone kept buzzing in his pocket, but he didn't really care to answer. Ronan was indeed in a parking lot. He bought about a dozen of beers and started smashing the empty bottles like a real striker.

Exy was a violent sport. That's why Ronan liked it. When he was angry he either played exy or started drinking. Now he found a way to combine both. He lined up the beer bottles and started hitting them one after the other. He never missed.

His head was spinning. And his phone was buzzing. Or was his head buzzing and his phone spinning?

He saw a man. He was coming closer. Ronan stopped throwing balls and looked at him. He had flame tattoos in his arms. Ronan liked people with tattoos.

"Hello." the man said.

"Hello to you too." Ronan said.

"I'm David Wymack. I coach the palmetto state exy team."

"Good for you."

"Do you study there? At the Palmetto State University."

"Yeep. I do now." A couple of papers saying he was a student there weren't hard to be dreamt of. He'd do anything to be there if Matthew needed him.

"I saw you smashing these bottles. Your aim is almost perfect. What's your name?"

"Ronan. Ronan Lynch."

"Lynch? Do you know Matthew?"

"He's my brother."

"That's great! He is a really good kid. Anyway. Would you like to become a Fox too?"

"A Fox?" He suddenly realized that if he was a Fox he would spend way more time with Matthew and besides, he loved exy. "Yes, I'd like that. But I have a rule not to make deals when I'm drunk."

"Drunk? What? Have you been drinking?"

"Yeah. Isn't it obvious? Who do you think drank all the beer?"

Wymack's eyes widened.

"If your aim is so good when you're drunk, hi I can't wait to see what you can do when you're sober. But let's get you home now."

Ronan smiled. He felt like this was the beginning of something good.

Chapter Text

Fox on the court

Aaron: Guys why do you keep changing the group chat's name stop it

Neil: blame Nicky. he changed it into fox on the run to piss me off and Renee changed it again because she is an angel

Renee: Aw❤

Nicky: Fuck you it was funny

Kevin: And the song is good soo

Matt: What song

Kevin: "Fox on the run" you uncultured twat

Dan: Call my bf uncultured twat one more time I dare you

Renee: Uh oh

Allison: I'd shut it up if I were you Kevin

Allison: hey Neil season two of stranger things airs next week we'll see it together im not even asking

Matthew: can I join?

Allison: Sure kid

Matthew: why do you guys keep calling me kid

Matthew: not cool

Allison: Whatever kid

Matthew: -.-

Nicky: MATTHEW MATTHEW MATTHEW

Matthew: WHAT WHAT WHAT

Nicky: Is it true that cute-Adam is Ronan's bf???

Matthew: yeah

Matthew: And don't call him that

Nicky: Why

Nicky: Are you jealous? :)

Neil: Oh here we go again

Matthew: I'm not

Nicky: You know you'll always be the cutest cinnamon roll in my heart babe

Matthew: *eye roll*

Allison: Cuter than Erik???

Nicky: Did you just literally typed eye roll??

Nicky: And Allison no thAT'S BLASPHEMY

Dan: hey Matthew do you know that girl Blue?

Matthew: ye she is Ronan's best friend and Gansey's girl

Neil: waIT WHAT blue and Gansey? im shook

Dan: Wait who's Ronan? And who's Gansey?

Matthew: Ronan is my brother and Gansey is his best friend

Matt: I think Kevin will like Gansey

Allison: Guys why don't we know any of these people???

Matthew: Henry the guy that lives with matt Nicky and Aaron is gansey's best friend

Kevin: why would i like him?

Matt: The second thing he asked me is whether I knew anything about welsh history

Matthew: HAHAHAH typical Gansey

Kevin: I WANNA MEET HIM MATTHEW PLEASE finally someone I can talk to

Kevin: You all are uncultured twats

Dan: Anyway is it true that Blue's mother is a psychic?

Matthew: ask her im not the one to deny or confirm rumors

Nicky: dude 10 minutes ago I asked you about Adam and Ronan and you said yes

Matthew: because I didn't want you to hit on Adam in front of Ronan

Nicky: protective boyfriends huh? Reminds me of someone else I know *coughs* Andrew *coughs*

Nicky: What if I hit on you in front of Ronan

Matthew: he will probably burst out laughing

Nicky: let's try it then ;)

Matthew: jeez

Matthew: ugh

Matthew: never use that smiley again

Nicky: ;)

Dan: wymack just called me

Dan: he found a new striker

Kevin: What?! Is he fucking kidding us? What's his name?

Dan: He didn't tell me

Dan: He said he'll be at today's practice so we can see him and decide

Dan: He also said he has perfect aim "even better than Kevin and he was drunk when I saw him"

Neil: ouch

Kevin: not possible

Dan: I guess we'll find out today

Aaron: Maybe we should let him try against Andrew

Andrew: I'm in

Allison: did... did Andrew just... replied? Is this even real?

Andrew: Fuck you

Neil: This is going to be fun

 

Chapter Text

"We're so happy, even when we're smilin' out of fear

Let's go down to the tennis exy court, and talk it up like yeah"


Lorde, Tennis Court


 

Ronan rarely answered to messages, but he almost always answered to Adam's messages. Almost. He didn't that night. Noah tried to help Adam forget about Ronan by rambling about bands he liked. He didn't really help, but it was funny seeing him getting so angry and frustrated when Adam said he didn't know who the Ramones or My Chemical Romance or the Clash were.

Everyone else had lessons early in the morning (and Noah was still mad at him) so that left Adam alone in the dorm. He took a quick shower and when he got out he found Ronan sleeping in his bed. He looked okay, no visible injuries.

"Ronan!?" Adam said.

The other boy slowly opened his eyes. He saw Adam and smirked. Adam only then remembered that he only had a towel wrapped around his waist.

Ronan was on him, pinning him on the wall and kissing him before he could say anything more. Questions can wait, Adam thought. Besides they haven't seen each other for two weeks. Ronan reached for Adam's hair and Adam ran his fingers on Ronan's jawline. Ronan broke the kiss and started trailing Adam's neck with gentle kisses. When he got to his collarbone he bit and sucked at the skin there. Adam moaned. Ronan let go of Adam's hair and grabbed his ass, literally lifting him. The other boy wrapped his legs around Ronan's waist.

That's when they heard someone knocking at their door.

"Ugh. It's probably for me." Ronan said.

Adam put some clothes on and followed Ronan to the door. A man was standing on the other side. Flames covered his arms. He looked at Adam for the briefest of moment and spoke to Ronan.

"You don't have any lessons today, do you?"

"No." Ronan said.

"Good. Be in the court in thirty."

"I will." Ronan said again and slammed the door shut.

Adam was looking at him, eyebrows raised, asking a million questions all at once.

"Yes, Parrish, the court. I'm now an official exy player."

"When did this happen?"

"Last night."

"Are you sure about it?"

"Yes."

"Okay."

"Okay."

Then they started kissing again.


Allison couldn't believe Ronan was Matthew's brother. Matthew was soft, he always smiled and he could make your day just by looking at you. Ronan was full of sharp edges. There was something dark inside of him. Ronan looked like a Fox.

Everyone was shocked when Wymack announced that he was their new striker. Out of the corner of her eye, Allison saw Neil's jaw dropping and Kevin's clenching. Ronan was already dressed in orange and white. He would wait for them outside. Matthew was the first  to speak after the big reveal.

"You can't let him try against Andrew."

"Afraid for your brother, kid?" Dan said sarcastically.

"Afraid for Andrew." Matthew said.

"Ha ha ha" Allison said. "Wanna bet?"

"Guys. You haven't seen him playing. I tell you-"

"Ten dollars on Andrew!" Nicky shouted.

"Thirty dollars on Andrew." Allison said.

"Oh what the hell. Fifteen dollars on Andrew." Dan said.

"Fifty dollars on Ronan." Matthew said.

"You're gonna lose." Andrew said.

Matthew just grinned. 


Ronan prefered using his own stick. It was a dream object of course. Perfect weigh, perfect balance. It was a stick made by him for him. Now he was standing in front of the goal and starring into the goalkeeper's, Andrew's, eyes. There was something off with that guy but he couldn't place it. Matthew always said that Minyard is the best goalkeeper in the world. But Ronan was one of the best strikers in the world.

Ronan lost the first shot. But he still had the advantage. The thing with him was that he could read a player. He could understand the way he played just by seeing him move in the court once.

He just saw Andrew deflect his shot and suddenly Ronan could see all of his blind spots.

Ronan looked at the goal's corner. He swang his stick and aimed a few inches below from where he was looking. Andrew's stick almost touched the ball. Almost. But that wasn't enough to stop it.

Ronan had scored.

He looked at Matthew. He was smiling. Ronan smiled back. You could tell he was proud.

No one moved for a long time. The rest of his teammates looked shocked. They looked at Andrew and then back at Ronan, then back at Andrew and then at the goal.

Ronan started walking towards them. That brought Dan back to reality. She started moving towards Ronan. When she reached him they both stopped.

It was strange. They both looked powerful. Two gods, staring at each others eyes, not caring the world around them was burning.

Dan placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Welcome to the Foxes" she said.

When they went to the others together, Renee hugged him. She caught him off guard, but he awkwardly hugged her back.

"Welcome home." she whispered.


"I don't trust him."

"Both Matt and Dan texted me. You know the regular tell-Andrew-to-not-fuck-this-up text."

"I don't trust him."

"Because he is the first person ever that actually outsmarted you?"

"Do you still think I care about exy?"

Fair enough, Neil thought. And seriously who the fuck has a raven as a pet and calls it Chainsaw.

"Yeah, I don't trust him either. Just don't tell Kevin. He's going to kill us. He thinks Ronan is some kind of god."

"Let him try."


 Fox on the court

Nicky: i just realized that we're now officially the gayest exy team in the history of exy

Nicky: guys

Nicky: or should i say gays

Chapter Text

"Realize, real eyes, real lies, and I caught you cheating on truth

Mr. Pretender come and see what you've done

Your foolish tricks ain't fooling anyone."

Run River North, Pretender


Ronan woke up in the middle of the night. He looked down at his hands. In his sleep, he dreamt of a new stick, painted orange and white. It was perfect. Careful not to move a lot and wake up Adam, he placed it under their bed and went back to sleep with a smile on his face.

After ten minutes or thirty or an hour, he heard a loud noise. Someone was knocking at the door, not gently at all.

The thing with Ronan was that he never got confused or surprised, except in some rare cases. When he didn't understand something he got angry. He quickly got up, ready to punch whoever was that knocked the door, but stopped dead in his tracks when he opened it and saw Matthew.

"What's wrong?" he asked, looking past Matthew, at Andrew, Neil and Kevin.

"Grab your things we're going for practice." Kevin said.

Ronan let out a laugh that echoed in the quiet of the night.

"I don't need practise." he said.

"You are part of a team now. You have to learn how to work with us." Neil said.

"I'm coming too" Adam said.

Ronan was used to Adam quietly appearing from nowhere. The others flinched. Even Andrew, who was now looking at Adam like he was a mystery to solve. His mask of indifference was replaced by a frown. Adam stared right back with a similar expression. 

"Whatever. I'll be in the car." Kevin said and left.


Adam had a feeling, that's why he followed the others to the court. Not necessarily a bad one. Just a feeling. Besides he liked watching exy. He particularly liked watching Ronan play exy.

"The Lynch brothers kicking ass together. What a spectacle."

You would think that by now Adam would be used to Noah appearing out of nowhere. But he wasn't. And having a deaf ear only made things worse.

"Warn me next time, will you? Man, I almost had a heart attack." Adam said.

"Okay okay sorry."

Adam really liked being around Noah. They could just sit in silence for hours and that's all Adam wanted. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence. It was the silence that came with complete understanding.

"Oh looks like someone is looking for you." Noah said again, before fading into the darkness of the night.

Adam felt someone sitting next to him. He turned and saw Andrew looking at him, with his usual blank stare, like he was waiting for an answer.

"Sorry, did you say something? Deaf ear." Adam said, pointing at this ear.

"How can you walk so quietly?" Andrew said.

The question caught Adam off guard. It was a strange question indeed.

"I- I don't know. I just- do it."

"I don't like liars. You can either tell me the truth or not answer my question at all."

Adam starred at Andrew's face. There was something weird about him. Something odd. His words should be filled with anger, but he said it like he was talking about the weather. His expression never changed. Adam wondered if he too was a magical thing. Adam wondered if he should tell him the truth or not. He decided he could tell him part of it.

"Because of my father" he whispered.

After that no one spoke. They sat there in silence until the others finished practising. When Andrew got up to leave he whispered a truth back to Adam.

Only three words.

I trust you.


Matthew: youve been acting all weird today

Adam: no I haven't

Matthew: nO i HavEnT

Adam: that guy andrew said something to me last night

Adam: I trust you

Adam: And for some reason I feel kinda weird

Adam: Matthew

Adam: Maaaaathew

Adam: MATTHEW

Matthew: sorry i was too busy chOKING WHAT THE FUCK REALLY

Matthew: look if you're lying just say it

Adam: I'm not lying

Matthew: I choked again



Neil: how much does your brother know about the Exy World

Matthew: not much he wasn't really interested in it before

Neil: with his skills? sounds fake but okay

Matthew: HE JUST WANTED TO BE A FARMER GODDAMNIT let him be

Neil: what

Neil: actually I don't wanna know

Neil: tell him to come here before practise tomorrow

Neil: it's time for some Education™

 


 "Do I really have to do this?" Ronan said.

"Yes, you have! You should at least know our rivals." Matthew said.

"Just let me tell you about Exy." Neil said.

"Or what?" Ronan said with his usual smirk.

"Or-"

"Or I'm gonna call Gansey and tell him Kevin here is reading a book about Welsh history and you have some questions." Matthew said.

"Okay Matthew please don't do that."

Kevin who was sitting next to them reading a book, let out a laugh.

"I guess now we can begin. So our biggest enemies are the Ravens-"

"Oh Ronan, you know them. They are that guys that kept calling you all the time last year. Remember?"

Neil froze. "Wait, what?" he said.

"They wanted Ronan on their line-up and they kept calling him all the time." Matthew explained.

"Yes but how did they find you? I mean you are talented but you weren't exactly famous." Kevin said carefully. He had put the book aside and was now looking intensely at Ronan.

"Oh well our brother, Declan, knows the Moriyamas." Matthew said again.

Neil jumped to his feet. Kevin looked at him wide eyed and switched to French.

"Where is he?" he said.

"With Renee."

"I'll text him."

"What's wrong?" Ronan asked.

His eyes narrowed and his hands two fists.

"Nothing- Just- You know- I- I panicked a little because they're our biggest enemies- that's all" Neil mumbled.

Neil and Kevin looked at each other's eyes and they both saw only one thing.

Terror.

Chapter Text

"Haven't you taken enough from me?
 Won't you torture someone else's sleep?
 Won't you go to someone else's dreams?"

Anathema, Twenty One Pilots


 

This wasn't the first time the seven of them went out together. But it was the first time Matt was so quiet. Normally he talked all the time. It was even annoying sometimes. But not today. Today he was just quietly looking out of the window.

"What's wrong?" Dan asked him.

"Yeah man. You've been acting weird all week." Henry said.

Matt shrugged. "I'm fine."

"Oh god, now you sound like Neil." Allison said.

Matt shrugged again. "It's just that- Neil, Andrew and Kevin- I feel like something happened and they're not telling us."

"Well, you're not exactly wrong. Actually every time they are around Ronan they get all fidgety." Dan said hesitantly.

Matt, Dan, Allison and Renee now turned and looked at Gansey, Blue and Henry.

"Oi don't look at us like that." Henry said.

"We know nothing about it. Right?" Blue said, looking at Gansey.

"Yes, no idea. Besides if Ronan did something Adam would have told us!" Gansey said.

"Or Matthew." Henry pointed out.

"Okay but we need a plan" Dan said. "Our strikers have to learn to work together."

"When we have new recruits we usually watch movies." Allison said. "It's our bonding time."

"Or we go out together. In a club or something." Matt said.

"Okay we'll do both." Blue said.

At that moment everyone was so happy. Things were finally be okay. Or that's what they thought.

 


 

Fox on the court

Dan: movie night in ours Sunday night I'll kill you if you don't show up


raven assholes

Blue: movie time Sunday night in my dorm

Blue: dare to not show up and I'll fucking kill you

Blue: im looking at you lynch boy


 

Sitting cross-legged at the parking lot and listening to really loud music was their thing. Their inside joke. Their definition of cool.

Matthew was eating chips with ice cream and Noah was talking about how much he loved going to the beach when he was little. Songs ended and songs started.

"...They said all teenagers scare the living shit out of me
 They could care less as long as someone 'll bleed..."

They talked about all sorts of things. The ice cream melted. Songs ended and songs started.

"I've heard that you've been self medicating in the quiet of your room..."

They sang along and Noah explained why he missed skating so much. At some point Matthew's phone rang and Noah turned off the music. It was Ronan. When Matthew hang up no one moved.

There is no point hiding from Noah, Matthew thought, he knows everything anyway.

Then Noah spoke. Calmly, gently, lovingly.

"Your brother loves you Matthew. Life was never easy for him. And besides it's not his fault this time which is an one time thing."

"I know! I know it's not his fault. I should have kept my stupid mouth shut."

"No. Matthew it's not your fault either. You couldn't possibly know-"

"The thing is I still don't know! I know it had something to do with the Moriyamas and now Kevin and Neil and Andrew are avoiding me and Ronan and- and-"

Noah took Matthew's hand on his own.

Matthew looked straight into Noah's eyes.

"The Foxes are the closest thing to a family I ever had. I don't want to lose them. I'm afraid Noah."

Tears watered his cheeks as Noah hugged him tightly. The stayed like this for a long time until Noah suddenly vanished and Matthew heard footsteps.

He saw Nicky coming towards him. Matthew got up and started heading to the parking's exit.

"Was that your boyfriend? Where did he go?" Nicky shouted from afar.

"Fuck off I don't have time for this!" he shouted back, his voice shakier than he intended it to be.

Matthew only realized that Nicky had actually seen Noah a long time after.


On Sunday night Neil and Andrew were standing outside the girl's dorm room.

"Are you sure about this?" Neil whispered.

Andrew nodded. Neil took another step. They were close now but still not touching.

"Yes or no?"

"Yes." Andrew said and Neil crashed their mouths.

When their lips parted, Neil turned and knocked at the door while Andrew started climbing down the stairs.


On Sunday night by the time Neil entered the girl's dorm room, everyone was already there. People were sitting on the couches or on the floor or on some armchairs. Katelyn was there too.

Dan shoot him a questioning look. He ignored it and went to sit next to Kevin. Everyone was used to Andrew not showing up anyway.

They were going to see a movie called Inception. It had something to do with dreams and planting an idea in someone's head.

He couldn't help but notice how Ronan's jaw clenched or how he started playing with his leather bracelets or how Adam moved a little closer to him, when Allison explained the plot to all of them.

Neil thought that Ronan was probably seeing a lot of nightmares. He used to have nightmares too once. When they ran away with his mother or after that night in Baltimore.

The truth is that if you looked closely into Ronan's eyes you could see the pain. The darkness. Ronan was sharp around the edges, like a knife not even Andrew or Renee could handle.

He was a mystery. They all were. Ronan, Adam, Blue, Gansey, even Henry.

But he wasn't afraid of this mystery. He was determined to solve it.


On Sunday night Andrew had different plans. He quietly stepped in Gansey, Adam and Ronan's dorm for the first time. Their door wasn't even locked. He quickly made his way to the bedroom.

Last time he did something like that was about a year ago when Neil first joined their team. Neil had kept his bag in the safe inside the wardrobe. When he opened Ronan’s wardrobe though there was no safe. He looked under the clothes and inside their pockets, but he found nothing. He looked under the mattress and finally he looked under the bed.

There was a big square suitcase and a sac-voyage under it. He opened the sac-voyage first. Inside there was seven or eight lacrosse sticks painted orange and white. But they weren’t quite right . Some were too small and others too long. There was one with no net and one that seemed perfect but Andrew couldn’t look at it for long. It was like it was radiating warmth and light. It was like you were looking straight at the sun.

He opened the suitcase next. It was full of bizarre objects. Some were small, smaller than a nail, and some were big, bigger than a man’s fist. And the suitcase itself- it looked bigger on the inside- if that was possible.

Andrew picked up a wooden box. It looked like an ordinary box but he couldn't open it. There were letters carved on its sides. He pressed some of them, not knowing why, he just did it. A word appeared in English, the word he typed; dream. Then three other words appeared like they were always there, carved on the wood. Somnium, όνειρο and another word he didn't recognize. An ancient word. He thought he heard leaves whistle and he dropped the box. The whistling was gone.

Carefully he picked up another strange object. It was a black, perfect sphere. Andrew looked right into the blackness and for the briefest of moments he thought he saw Neil, he was sitting cross-legged next to Kevin. He blinked and he blinked and when he looked into the sphere again he saw nothing. It must have been a trick of the light, he thought.

Then he picked up a small plastic box. This one was green. The color of the forest after rain. There was a sticker in it that read; manus vestrae. Again he didn't know how but he knew what it meant. For your hands. He opened it and inside he saw a slightly brown crème. It smelled like leaves and dust and - coca cola? He took off one of his armbands and put some of it in his scars. Sure as hell he wasn't expecting what happened next. His skin absorbed the crème and the scars vanished. His skin was as good as new again. He was standing there, staring wide eyed at his hand when the scars started appearing again. Red and ugly.

That was what did it. With trembling hands he closed the suitcase and picked it up. He was taking it with him. He had to show it to the others. Then he run, run, run.

Chapter Text

"The pretty lies, the ugly truth

The day has come where I have died

Only to find I've come alive"

Marina and the Diamonds, Teen Idle

 


So I guess that means we'll take him to Columbia?"

"Yes."

"Shouldn't we ask Matthew though?"

"Of course not, Nicky! Come on."

"Do we all agree?"

"Yes."

 


 

 raven assholes

Ronan: GUYS

Ronan: emergency

Ronan: meet me at the library in 10'

Gansey: I'm in the middle of a class

Blue: Same

Henry: I'm out with Matt on a cafe about 20' away

Adam: and im tutoring Neil

Ronan: youre doing wat

Blue: what happened

Ronan: ANYGAY

Ronan: i went home and i couldn't find my suitcase

Gansey: come on Ronan that's not an emergency

Adam: you have plenty of money you can buy a new one

Ronan: NOT THAT SUITCASE

Ronan: i hate u all

Ronan: THE suitcase

Ronan: you kno the one with all the dream things in it

Henry: wait the bottomless one ??

Ronan: YES

Blue: oh fuck

Gansey: see you in 5'


 Adam had never seen Ronan like that before. At that moment he was made of pure rage and fear. His eyes were wild, looking at every and each one of them, searching for an explanation, an answer. Adam took the boy's hand on his one and Ronan held it like his life depended on it. And maybe it did.

This suitcase were everything to him. All the dreams that went wrong and all the dreams that were too strange and perfect for anyone to see. This suitcase was at least dangerous. It held a world inside of it; Ronan's world. No one had the right to take it without his permission. He felt like crying. But he couldn't do it in front of everyone. He had a reputation to maintain goddammit.

He was going to find the thief. Besides, a long time ago, he was one himself. If you can trick a dream forest of your own creation then sure as hell you can find a common thief. Hell was waiting whoever did it.

"Are you sure you didn't put it somewhere else?" Blue asked for the 7th time.

"Yes, maggot! How many times do I have to tell you? Someone stole it."

"Yes, but who? Who could possibly know you are the Greywaren?" Gansey said.

"I hope it's not Greenmantle again. That guy freaked me out." Henry said.

"I don't think it's someone we know. Maybe just a common thief that took it because he thought the things in there were expensive or something?" Adam said.

"I don't know and actually I don't care! I don't care why they did it. But when I find them they'll regret it." Ronan said.

At that moment, Adam knew that he meant every word. He also realized he'd do anything to help Ronan. That bastard was going to pay. Ronan had spent his whole life thinking he was a freak and fighting to keep his secret -well- a secret. He thought that if people found out they'd hate him. What Ronan Lynch always wanted was to be loved. He didn't deserve any of this. Ronan Lynch deserved to be happy and be around people that love him. Ronan Lynch deserved the sun. Instead here he was once again, covering his face with his hands as he started sobbing uncontrollably.


 Fox on the court

Matt: Wednesday night we are going out

Aaron: you mean like all of us ?

Allison: yes and I don't accept no as an answer

Aaron: no

Allison: AARON GODDAMMIT IM GONNA KILL YOU

Allison: youll come

Nicky: yay party

Neil: idk guys

Kevin: if you guys pay I'm in

Renee: the drinks are on me gansey and henry

Kevin: what

Nicky: are they gonna be with us too ?? :)

Matthew: nicky my brother has a boyfriend back off

Aaron: ew

Aaron: I don't wanna come

Kevin: I'm coming I wanna officially meet that gansey guy

Renee: great !!

Aaron: I'm coming only if katelyn comes

Dan: I just texted her

Neil: idkkk guuuysss

Nicky: maybe we should just go out without neil and Andrew you know empry dorm ;) ;) ;)

Matthew: what did I tell you about the wink emoji

Matthew: but also maybe we should ;) ;)

Neil: fuck off guys

Dan: no you gonna show up and you can leave early if you want

Dan: but I wanna see your ugly faces in the club


 

Most of them went to dance. The only people left on the table were Adam, Ronan, Gansey and Kevin. Gansey was trying to convince Kevin Glendower's story was partially real without mentioning anything magical, which was hilarious.

Kevin and Gansey were practically soulmates. Gansey's face when Kevin said that yes he knew about welsh history was priceless.

Adam snapped his fingers in front of Ronan to get his attention.

"Do you think it's time to go home?" he said, smirking.

"Great idea" Ronan said.

Gansey didn't even look at them when they said they were leaving and Ronan made a sad face. Why is he so damn adorable, Adam thought. Of course he'd never say that aloud.

When they got to the dorm they started kissing. But Ronan felt distant. Adam broke the kiss.

"What is it?" he said.

"You know" Ronan said.

Of course. The suitcase. Maybe he should have dreamt a lock too.

Adam placed his hands on Ronan's cheeks.

"We'll figure this out" he said, softly. "Together."

Adam started kissing Ronan's eyelids and then his cheeks and his nose and his mouth. Ronan deepened the kiss and a thought occurred to him; that Adam tasted like chocolate.

Adam broke the kiss for the second time and kissed Ronan's jaw and neck, leaving a trail of red marks. Ronan took Adam's fingers in his mouth and sucked.

That night they became undone and for the first time after three days Ronan didn't think about the suitcase.


Nicky: guys where r u

Neil: going home

Nicky: when did you leave

Neil: whn you weren't looking


Adam woke up falling. Ronan must have pushed him off the bed. He opened his eyes and his hand instinctively went to his head. He thought he touched something like -blood?

Then he heard it.

Tck-tck-tck-tck.