Tim Lincecum is 34 years old when he pitches a perfect game. For a second it doesn't register. He sees the ball land square in the center of Hector's glove and the world stands still. There's no one, no sound, just that ball and that glove and he has a perfect game.
The sound comes roaring back when the team surrounds him, the guys jump and screaming and so many hugs that he can't tell who is who and wait, someone just grabbed his ass. He laughs hysterically, finally is centered when Hector grips each side of his face and they just scream at eachother because they did this. Something so amazing that everyone said would never ever happen, not to Lincecum.
He stumbles, staggers, the team migrating en masse to the dugout and he finally steps back and gets a chance to breathe, surveying the fans and taking it all in. He wonders if he looks as awestruck as he feels and he clings to Cain when an arm is wrapped around his shoulders.
It takes a while before he's centered himself enough to see who he's looking for, which is odd since they're right down at the bottom. Neal, Peter and El, clapping and cheering. They'd had some off time and Neal had finally talked them into watching a game on Tim's turf. If Tim isn't mistaken, Neal and El both have tears in their eyes.
They've kept it quiet all these years, hidden and for themselves, for their friends and family only. But Tim looks up at Cain and remembers how Chelsea had came down to the field after his game and Tim decides fuck it. He's not depriving Neal of this moment, won't deprive himself. He fishes the chain he wears his wedding ring on during games out from under his jersey, taking it off with shaking hands and slipping it on his finger. Matt gives him an approving smile and one more thump on the back before branching off with the others.
Stepping closer to the wall, Tim reaches up and helps El over first, easing her down with his arms around her waist and people scream even louder which makes Tim smile wider. They have no idea what's coming. Peter and Neal jump down on their own. El gets the first hug, so tight it winds Tim. She's crying, she's so happy for him and he remembers why he loves this woman. Not just for accepting him as part of Neal so easily, but for loving him just as much. Peter's hug is a dude hug, one arm and a thump on the back.
He turns to Neal and there's that smile that Tim loves so much. The bright blue eyes that are shining. A silver band that exactly matches Tim's own gleaming on his finger. For a moment they just stare at eachother, breathing before Tim steps forward and wraps his arms as tightly as he can around his husband, burying his face in Neal's neck.
“I'm so proud of you. That was just...” Neal has a wonder in his voice usually reserved for fine art and the Raphael he gave up.
“Perfect?” Tim asks, laughing into Neal's skin before tipping his head back. They stare in each other's eyes for a moment and Tim does what he's wanted so badly to do for the past six years.
He kisses his husband smack on the lips in front of God and everyone in AT&T Park.
It's insane. The crowd erupts and it's mostly in cheers. He ignores the boos that he knew were going to be part of the territory and he laughs against Neal's lips when he hears Weezy scream, “WELL IT'S ABOUT GODDAMNED TIME!”
The rest of the night passes in a blur. He remembers pulling back and looking into those laughing blue eyes before being whisked away for a press conference. They give him time to shower and clean up and his hair is sticking to his head. (Mozzie says this makes him look like a drowned rat. Tim thinks that's rich coming from a guy with no hair to speak of.) He think he answers questions and he knows a lot of them are about his big gay kiss.
“Well, I kissed my husband, that makes it better right? If I'd kissed his partner or his partner's wife, I think I'd have kind of gotten in a lot of trouble.”
That triggers a whole new avalanche of questions but since the questions have stopped being about the game and started being about Tim, he's allowed to leave.
Peter, El and Neal are waiting for him outside and the first thing Tim does is kiss Neal. He can do this in public now and it's never felt so good. Before the fans can mob, they're scrambling into his car, Peter and El in the front, him and Neal in the back.
He's curled up to Neal, just holding his husband close and occasionally falling into giggles because he just can't help himself. Peter glances back and smiles at them.
“This might cause some trouble for you Timmy. I heard someone say already you'd lose sponsors.”
“Don't care. Doesn't matter. My give a damn is busted.”
It's the right thing to say, not just because it's what expected but because it's true. This is all he's ever wanted and he finally has it. Peter and El are smiling again, reaching out to each other and squeezing each other's hands as Neal leans in for a kiss, hand sifting into Tim's hair.
“Perfect. Christ, you're perfect.”
“I've told you that for years. Now I've got irrefutable proof and you have to live with it.”