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man, fuck you.

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It starts out as one of Douglas’ endless jokes.

He gets the idea while watching Antti scowl as Thomas ruffles his hair-it seems like the perfect plan.

He will make Antti scowl at least once a day.

No fucking problem.

So yeah. It starts out as a joke.

But nobody is laughing now.

 

“Anyone ever tell you that your lips are gorgeous?”

Douglas can hear Antti’s eye roll.

“Yes, you. Almost every day now,” he replies, sarcasm so heavy it practically oozes from his throat. “If I didn’t know any better, I would think you were hitting on me.”

“Good thing you know better,” Douglas says in a sing-song voice and Antti sends him a dirty look.

Close, but not a scowl.

“No, besides me,” he presses once it becomes clear Antti is attempting to ignore him.

“Um, still just you. Because you are flat-out creepy sometimes,” the Finn is getting frustrated now. Douglas smirks.

“Surely someone else has told you that you look sinful,” Doug is pretty sure every word is a nail in his coffin once Jumbo gets wind of the way he’s talking to Nemo. Jumbo has a bit of a protective streak.

And by ‘a bit’ Douglas of course means ‘speak that way to a goalie again and you will lose your head.’

“You sound like a tool,” Nemo sighs and Douglas grins.

“Your opinion,” he replies, and Antti narrows his eyes.

“Can I help you with something, or are you just here to act like an asshole?” Antti demands, elbowing Douglas out of the way to throw his sweatshirt into his duffle bag.

“I’m just here to act like an asshole,” Douglas says cheekily, reaching out to pinch Antti’s ass as he walks past. Nemo jumps and whirls around, eyebrows beginning their slow knit together, but stopping halfway between furious and confused.

“Did you just-”

“I did whatever you want me to, babe,” Douglas smoothly interrupts, and Nemo smirks.

“But you haven’t disappeared,” Antti mock protests and Douglas frowns.

“How rude,” he says, and Antti laughs.

“Stop being an asshole, then,” he suggests, and Douglas sighs.

Next time.

 

“You look like you have strong wrists.”

That definitely sounded better in his head, but Douglas mentally shrugs and plows ahead.
Antti stares at him blankly.

Douglas wiggles his eyebrows.

“I-what?” Antti asks faintly. “My wrists?”

Douglas grins.

“Oh yeah,” he purrs in a passable imitation of husky. “Your wrists, baby doll.”

Antti looks vaguely nauseated.

“Please don’t ever speak like that again,” he begs, voice faint. Douglas winks.

Vomiting seems imminent now.

“I think I’m going to vomit,” Antti echoes. “Can you not for the hour it takes to eat dinner?”

“I don’t think that’s possible, he was born like this,” Thomas chimes in from where he is apparently glued to Nemo’s side.

“That’s what I was afraid of,” Antti sighs, shaking his head sadly. Douglas feels rather offended.

“Excuse you, there is nothing wrong with the way I was born,” he argues, leveling a glare at the German. Yeah, he knows that Douglas wants a piece of the Finn, but does that stop him from inserting himself into Doug’s plans?

No. Because Thomas is a shitty person and a shittier friend, that’s why.

“That’s what they all say,” Antti whispers conspiratorially to Thomas and Douglas heroically refrains from a groan.

“Back to your wrists,” Douglas says loudly and Antti turns a delicate shade of green.

“You’re doing it wrong,” hisses Thomas in no way close to subtle. Antti shoots a confused glance over at the German.

Oh wow. Are you for real? He can’t even catch on at this point?

Douglas sighs and puts his head down on the table.

“Murray! Act like an adult!”

Doug blearily glares at Jumbo as he lifts his head off the table.

He’s a thousand percent done with this team.

 

Goalies have always impressed Douglas.

He’s a defenseman, it’s true. He uses his legs daily for more of a workout than any average person could ever dream of.

But he’s no goalie, and he’ll never be one, ever.

If he wanted to slam himself to the ground in the full splits and pop right the fuck back up again like it was nothing, he would just do it. He wouldn’t do it while on display for millions of people every game.

But Antti did.

“I wonder how far you can bend,” Douglas muses and immediately almost slaps himself in the face trying to cover his mouth.

Antti whirls around, eyes absolutely huge.

“Shit,” Doug hisses, and Antti’s cheeks tinge pink immediately.

“No, no, wait,” Antti calls, grabbing Douglas’ arm as he turns to leave. “Calm down, it’s fine.”

A small, embarrassed laugh leaves Doug, but he lets Nemo tug him back down to the chair.

“So,” Douglas says to the ceiling. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s fine,” Antti still sounds so amused that Doug flushes a bit. “I know about your brain-to-mouth filter. Or, lack of one.”

“I deserved that,” Doug sighs. Antti grins and holds out a styrofoam cup just out of reach.
“I don’t deserve that.”

Antti relents and sets the cup in front of him, though the shit-eating grin does not dissipate. Doug is a little mystified to find himself wanting it to stay.

“Good morning,” Antti greets finally.

“Hi,” Doug manages. Just like a normal person. Antti laughs at him again and Douglas scowls.

“Are you always this sarcastic in the morning?” Doug demands, reaching forward and nabbing part of the goalie’s croissant.

The Finn glares.

“Are you always this bitchy in the morning?” he retorts, grabbing Doug’s coffee. Douglas
seizes his wrist and Antti looks up sharply.

Douglas pastes on the most seductive smirk he can manage.

“Only for you, babe,” he replies lowly, punctuating it with a wink. Antti blinks.

“Douglas,” he says, far more calm than the situation warranted. “We are in a hotel lobby.”

Douglas smiles cheekily.

“What’s wrong?” he asks, running a thumb along the inside of Antti’s wrist. Antti gapes, but says nothing, eyes running over Douglas’ face frantically. “No sense of adventure?”

“I-” Antti begins, then he tugs his hand back from Douglas’ grip. “I have to get something from my room.”

Antti stands and rushes off, towards the elevators, without so much as a glance back.

Douglas watches him go and sighs, running a hand through his hair.

It’s so close, now.

 

Douglas has been staring at Antti for the better part of an hour, chin cupped in his palm and elbow propped on the table. He bats his eyes as obnoxiously as possible without bursting into hysterical laughter but his lips quirk all the same.

Antti, for his part, has been steadfastly ignoring the whole ordeal directly to his left, instead concentrating on re-lacing his skates for what appeared to be the three thousandth time
today.

Douglas clears his throat and bats his eyelashes harder.

Antti looks up finally, annoyance written all over his face.

“Yes, Douglas?” he says, voice just civil. Just.

 

“I just wanted to tell you,” Douglas begins, reaching out to grab Antti’s wrist. Antti jerks away, a horrified look crossing his features. “That your eyes make me want to drown.”

Antti stares at Douglas.

“I’m sorry?” he squeaks when he finally finds his voice.

“Your eyes-”

“I heard what you said,” Antti interrupts in exasperation. “I meant ‘I’m sorry’ as in ‘I’m sorry you haven’t done it yet’.”

“Ouch,” Douglas frowns. “That wasn’t very nice, Mr. Niemi.”

“Mr. Niemi is my father,” Antti sighs. “And no, I’m not a very nice person.”

“Oh, I don’t believe that,” Douglas breathes, shifting closer and draping an arm over Nemo’s shoulders. The Finn suddenly looks highly uncomfortable.

“You should,” to his credit, Antti sounds very composed. Sounds. “I don’t care for being nice when I don’t need to.”

“Well, why would you need to be nice unnecessarily?” Douglas asks, hip pressing lightly into Nemo’s. Antti’s hands have frozen on the laces, fingers trembling minutely.

“Most people don’t roll their eyes when other people are talking,” Antti’s voice is a whisper. Douglas tells himself that he’s really only leaning forward to hear the Finn better.

“Maybe people should,” Douglas suggests. He’s matched volume with Nemo’s almost unconsciously and he leans even closer. “It’d make the world more...interesting.”

“That’s an unconventional opinion,” Antti’s voice was almost lost in his exhale. “You should really reflect on that more.”

“Nah,” Douglas dismisses, lips brushing Antti’s ear. He feels more than sees Antti’s full body shudder and his mouth suddenly goes dry. “My opinions are perfect, just like me.”

Antti huffs with laughter, turning his head minutely toward’s Doug’s face.

“Always so modest,” he grins. Douglas holds his breath, counting backwards in his head frantically.

Breathe, breathe, just breathe!

Antti’s breath hitches and he swallows and he’s leaning towards Doug-

The locker room door bangs and loud voices echo down the hall.

Antti flushes bright red and jumps up, dropping his skates and leaving them there as he runs from the room.

 

Antti’s hair looks adorable wet. A small smile twitches Doug’s lips as he looks at Antti, even in all his (justifiable) fury.

He’d let Nemo stand and scream at him for a solid twenty five minutes. He deserves it, after all. It was his fuck up that cost them the game, it was his fuck up that ruined all of Antti’s hard work that kept them alive all game. The least he could do was let the goalie take out his frustration so he didn’t go home to his own head.

The problem is that Nemo hasn’t spoken to him or anyone else since.

Douglas is itching, dying, to know if Antti is alright, but mostly- what did his voice sound like?

He is hooked on the possibility of a hoarse Nemo.

But Nemo hasn’t spoken. He took his shower, got dressed in his suit, nodded to Coach when he’d been dismissed- but said nothing.

So now, Doug is dying.

Antti looks up and his gaze hardens when he sees Doug in front of him.

“What.”

Doug jolts.

Holy shit.

Antti’s voice is hoarse. It’s raw and dry and unbelievably sexy.

“I was just,” Douglas begins faintly. “Wondering how your voice sounds hoarse.”

“For fuck’s sake, I am done,” Antti hisses violently and grabs Douglas’ face hard and before Doug knows it, their lips are pressed together.

He can’t help it, he moans, and Antti pulls away roughly to glare back up at Douglas.

“Don’t ever use another line on me,” he hisses warningly, eyes bright, and kisses Doug again.

Douglas is flying.