Gerard’s hand hovers above the door. It seemed like a good idea earlier, coming to see him right after they got back from the airport. But now that his eyes are darting nervously up and down the corridor, hoping none of their teammates will see him linger in front of Sergio’s room in the middle of the night, he’s not so sure anymore.
He knocks anyway.
For the longest time nothing happens and he’s about to turn away and leave again, but then suddenly the door opens and Sergio blinks up at him with bleary eyes.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he hisses and drags him into the room by the collar of his shirt. “Are you insane?”
Gerard shrugs.”I wanted to see you.”
Sergio sighs tiredly. “I thought we decided we weren’t gonna do this during the World Cup?”
Gerard’s face falls. “i know, but i miss you.”
“Did anyone see you come in?” Sergio asks nervously.
“Relax, i was careful. We’ve managed for years. One night isn’t gonna ruin things.”
“Let’s hope you’re right,” Sergio concedes and Gerard knows without asking that Sergio needs this as much as he does. He takes a step forward and pulls Sergio against him, wraps his arms around his body as tightly as he can. They both sigh happily at the contact.
When they finally pull apart, Gerard’s eyes drift to Sergio’s beard, a slight frown creasing his brows at the new look.
“What’s this?” he rubs his fingers over Sergio’s naked cheeks. “A cry for attention?”
“What’s that supposed to mean,” Sergio grumbles and Gerard knows he’s hit a nerve.
“Nothing…, just,” he smiles apologetically and presses an appeasing kiss to Sergio’s lips. “I liked the old beard better.”
“Too bad for you then,” Sergio snaps and pulls away.
Gerard sighs. “Don’t be like this,” he scratches his beard wearily. “I’m sorry. I didn’t come here to fight.”
“What did you come here for then?” Sergio asks, still not fully appeased, his eyes still filled with hurt.
“Because i wanted to talk to someone who understood,” Gerard shrugs. “I wanted to spend some time with you. The match was exhausting and i hate being apart from you.”
Sergio’s face softens instantly. “I’m sorry too,” he takes Gerard’s hand and leads him towards the bed in the corner, crawls into the sheets, pressing his back against the wall, so there’s enough space for Gerard. “Lie down with me for a while?”
Gerard nods and climbs in next to Sergio. It takes a lot of shuffling around in the small space but eventually they manage to find a comfortable position, Sergio halfway draped across Gerard’s side, arms slung across his stomach.
“We really need to do better next match,” Sergio mumbles against Gerard’s chest, face buried in the soft fabric of his shirt. “We were too nervous, too shaky.”
“Can you fault them though?” Gerard runs his fingers through Sergio’s short hair, a faint smile pulling at the corners of his mouth when he sees Sergio’s eyelids flutter, when he feels him finally relax in his arms. “After what happened in Brazil?”
“Guess not,” Sergio yawns. “But we’re better this time. We just need to believe in ourselves more.”
“We will. Just give them some time. A lot has happened the last few days.”
“Don’t i know it,” Sergio says tiredly and Gerard knows exactly how much the last few days and all the drama have taken out of Sergio, how hard he’s been working to keep the team together while everything around them was falling apart.
“How are you holding up?” Gerard asks, unable to keep the concern out of his voice.
“Fine,” Sergio says curtly, but Gerard knows he’s lying.
“You know you’re allowed to complain,” Gerard says, fingers playing with the hem of Sergio’s shirt. “Doesn’t make you any less of a good captain.”
“It just feel ungrateful,” Sergio sighs. “It’s a privilege, i should be proud to be captain and not whine about the responsibility. But sometimes it’s just too much. I don’t wanna let anyone down, but i’m so damn tired.”
Gerard grasps at Sergio’s waist and pulls him on top of him, hands coming up to frame his face. “Listen to me,” he says insistently. “You’re not disappointing anyone. Just look at what you’ve accomplished already. You’re a good captain, no matter what some people might say. And you don’t have to shoulder everything alone. We’re all here to help you. Andrés, Jordi, me, all of us. We’re a team and we’re all in this together.”
“You really think i’m a good captain? You wouldn’t rather have Andrés wear the armband?”
“Of course, i’d love someone from Barca to be captain,” Gerard grins. “But you’ll do for now.”
“You’re an ass,” Sergio laughs quietly, the sound warming Gerard’s heart as his arms drift lower to wrap around Sergio’s waist, hoisting him up a little so that their lips are almost touching.
“Anything to make you smile again,” he says and brushes their mouths together.
“Thank you,” Sergio whispers after the kiss ends. “I needed this.”
“Any time,” Gerard says. “But seriously, you need to give yourself a break and take it easy. This isn’t healthy and we’re gonna need you at full strength.”
“I will,” Sergio burrows against him and for a while they just lie like that, bodies pressed together from head to toe, breathing each other in and Gerard can’t get enough of Sergio’s smell, of the way his skin feels underneath his fingertips, how his beard prickles against his neck and he realizes it’s been entirely too long since they’ve spend some time alone together.
“Are we gonna go back to not seeing each other after tonight?” Gerard asks, the thought alone making his stomach churn.
“Do you want to?”
“We have to be careful though.”
“I know,” Sergio says sadly and Gerard hates how much all the secrecy keeps putting a strain on their relationship. He rubs his hands soothingly across Sergio’s back and they don’t talk for a long time, just enjoying the other’s closeness after being apart for so long and Gerard wishes they could spend the whole night like this, curled up in each other’s arms, but eventually his conscience wins out and he moves to untangle their legs, his heart heavy as he tries to push Sergio off of him. But Sergio digs his knees into the mattress, hands curling in his shirt as he pins him down with the full weight of his body.
“Stay,” he whispers softly. “I don’t wanna sleep alone tonight.”
“Are you sure it’s worth it?” Gerard asks, mostly because someone has to be the responsible one.
“I’m so damn tired of having to sneak around all the time,” Sergio sighs and buries his face in the crook of Gerard’s neck.
Gerard tightens his arms around him, pulls him even tighter against his chest. “You wanna tell everyone?”
“Yes, … no, … i don’t know,” Sergio draws back to look down at him and Gerard can see all the exhaustion and stress of the last few weeks edged into the lines around his eyes. “Not now. There was already too much drama. I don’t wanna shake up the team even more. Maybe after the world cup.”
Sergio kisses up Gerard’s neck until his lips find Gerard’s and their mouths meet in a feathery soft kiss.
“Sleep?” Gerard mumbles when they pull apart, his lips tingling faintly. He had almost forgotten how much he loves kissing Sergio.
“Set your alarm for 6, so I can get back to my room before anyone notices.”
Sergio gives a displeased grunt but reaches for his phone anyway. When he lies back down, he settles against the wall again and Gerard is about to protest, but then Sergio pushes his hand beneath his shirt, his palm pressing warmly against his stomach as his thumb dips underneath his waistband. He gently strokes along the soft skin and Gerard’s breath rushes out of him all at once.
“What are you doing?” he gasps when Sergio’s hand slides down the front of his pants, wrapping around his length and slowly stroking him to hardness.
“Helping you sleep,” Sergio shuffles around until he finds a more comfortable position, one that doesn’t put too much strain on his wrist. “and you deserve a reward for your hundredth match.”
Gerard’s head sags into the pillows as he feels himself swell against Sergio’s palm and Sergio knows exactly what to do, twisting his wrist and flicking his thumb just the way Gerard likes.
He strokes him lightly, steadily and soon Gerard has to bite back the shaky moans trying to break out of him. He’s already leaking precum and Sergio eases up for only a moment, gathering the thick liquid and using it to ease the slide, to tug on him more forcefully.
Gerard moans when Sergio moves to straddle his thigh and he can feel him press against him, his erection throbbing against his leg even through the thick layers of their pants.
“God, I’ve missed this,” Sergio whispers roughly, tightening his fist and finally giving Gerard the long, hard strokes he so desperately craves.
Gerard’s hips buck upwards into Sergio’s palm, hungrily seeking more friction as Sergio rubs against him. His eyes drift closed and then suddenly he feels Sergio’s lips on his neck, sucking on the tender skin just hard enough that it won’t leave a mark and his orgasm rushes through him without warning, his hands clawing at the sheets as he comes into Sergio’s hand with a quiet grunt.
Sergio keeps stroking him for a while longer, wrenching the last aftershocks of his orgasm out of him, before he pulls his hand away and wipes it on Gerard’s stomach.
“Feel better now,” he asks with a grin.
“Very,” Gerard smirks and shoves his thigh up between Sergio’s legs, revels in the broken noise that tears from Sergio’s throat.
“You want some help?”
“No,” Sergio shakes his head against Gerard’s neck, a shaky moan spilling from his lips at the salty taste of his skin. “Like this is fine,” he whispers and keeps rutting against Gerard’s thigh.
There’s not much he can do with one of his arms trapped underneath Sergio, so he contents himself with letting his fingers play teasingly along the waistband of Sergio’s sweats, watches as Sergio brings himself off against his leg.
When he feels Sergio’s breathing become labored, his movements become more frantic, he pushes his hand down into his pants and slides a finger into him, curls it until Sergio goes still above him, arching into his touch as his orgams shudders through him.
“Fuck,” he groans and slumps against him, the exhaustion of the match and everything else suddenly making him incredibly tired. “Good night,” he yawns, eyes already falling shut.
Gerard shoves at him playfully. “Go change, you’re gonna be all sticky in the morning.”
“Don’t care,” Sergio mumbles sleepily and snuggles against Gerard. “Too tired.”
Gerard laughs and reaches over to turn off the light before he pulls the blanket over both of them.