Honestly Auston should be used to it now. Mitch acts like this with everybody. He’s a cuddly guy, and platonically flirts with all his friends. It kills Auston inside when Mitch does it, but he has to live with it. Because Auston loves Mitch, but Mitch doesn’t love Auston.
Mitch can’t believe Auston hasn’t taken a hint by now. Yes, he’s cuddly with everybody on the team. But he constantly flirts with Aus and has honestly been pining since the day they both stepped on the ice together. Because Mitch loves Auston, but Auston doesn’t love Mitch.
Auston should be ready to brush the comment off his shoulders. But they’re playing hockey, for fucks sake. It never happens during a game. They’re playing the Penguins, and Auston just scored on a PP. He and Mitch were on the same line, and during Matts’ celly Mitch held him for just a second longer than necessary. But he’s used to the way his heart crumbles. Or he should be. It’s platonic, he knows that. But he really, really isn’t prepared for Mitch whispering in his ear and bumping their hips together when they get back to the bench. “That was fucking hot, Matts,” Mitch whispers, just loud enough for Auston to hear. His heart leaps into his throat and he forgets how to breath. He feels his face burn, reddening the hue darker than what the exertion on the ice had done to his face. He silently prayed the change in colour would not be picked up by the cameras, nor noticed by his friends on the bench with him. Auston shrugs Mitch off his hip and throws himself down on the bench next to Kap, sighing loudly.
Mitch’s heart bleeds with jealousy as he watches Kap put an arm around Auston and talk to him about the game. He notices he’s starting to stare, but doesn’t make any effort to tear his gaze away. Auston feels eyes on him - how wouldn’t he in an arena full of Leafs fans - but looks up and catches Mitch staring at him. He furrows his eyebrows and shakes his head a little, silently asking Mitch what his problem his. Mitch’s expression doesn’t change, but he shakes his head back and watches the guys get set up for the face off. When the ref waves Naz off, Mitch throws his head back and pushes air out of his lungs. Will looks at Mitch, eyes full of concern.
“What’s up, man?” Mitch starts to shake his head, but Will stares at him. “Don’t give me that shit. I know you. What’s up?”
Mitch hesitates, but gives in.
“So you know how I’m in love with Auston,” He starts, because everybody knows it. “He just doesn’t take a hint! I’ve been pining for two years-“ he cuts himself off when John takes a shot at net that narrowly misses. “I’ve been pining for two years, and he hasn’t fucking noticed. I’m sooooo in love with him but he sees right through me!” Mitch is working himself up on the bench and Will gets concerned that he’ll either start yelling or crying.
“Okay, bud, calm down, it’s alright,” he says, patting him on the back. “Auston’s blind as a fucking bat, I agree-“ he stops talking and raises his hands to his head as Crosby takes a shot that Freddie blocks it with the tip of his pad. The bench erupts, then the two go back to their conversation. “Anyways, Auston’s blind, yea-yea. How long have you had this thing for him? Two, three years?”
Mitch nods, not willing to make eye contact. He watches the puck zoom back and forth on the ice. “So talk to him, Mitch!”
Mitch shakes his head as the whistle blows, and Babs yells to get the Mitch-Auston-Willy line back out on the ice. As they skate to the face-off, Will smiles empathetically. “All I did with Kap was talk to him. It was scary as fuck, but look what happened.” Mitch has to nod. Will had had eyes for Kasperi since before the two even started playing together on the Marlies, and finally got his shit together and confessed some time last season. The two of them had been best friends for years, so they were right already really close, but they somehow grew even closer. They’re really fucking cute, Mitch has to admit. He wants what they have with Auston. “Just talk to him,” Willy says, hitting their sticks together as they skate to opposite sides of the circle and Auston takes the face-off.
After the win, the boys all file into the locker room, everybody in a pretty good mood. Once Babs leaves the room, the guys go back to the easy chatter and laughter. Mitch decides he’ll take Willy’s advice, but it’ll take a few days to work up the courage. He settles for more flirting for now. “Hey Aus!” Mitch unnecessarily yells. Auston meets his eyes, and something in Mitch’s chest bursts. “You wanna score on me later like you did in the first?” The room bursts into laughter, but Auston isn’t amused. His face turns bright red and he looks at Mitch with an expression that’s anything but friendly. Mitch feels his stomach flip and thinks he might be sick. Auston never, ever reacts like this. He usually laughs along with the rest of the team. Then Auston speaks, and Mitch feels like he might faint.
“Yeah, maybe later, Mitchy,” and he just walks into the showers, leaving Mitch in a state of utter shock.
What the fuck was he thinking?! “Yeah, maybe later, Mitch”?! Auston shakes his head at himself in the showers. Everybody’s still getting undressed or doing interviews, so he figures he has some time alone to silently yell at himself. Maybe now Mitch will get off my back, he thinks. After embarrassing both of them, he doubts Mitch will continue teasing him. He’s wrong, he realizes, as he hears someone walk into the shower room and shuts his thoughts off along with the water.
“Auston,” Mitch calls. Auston doesn’t respond, but sees his head poke out from around the corner anyways. Auston rolls his eyes and watches Mitch as he ties his towel low around his hips, and shoulders past him back into the locker room. When he gets back, all the guys are gone. “Shit,” he mutters when he looks at the time and realizes he was in the showers for an entire hour.
“Auston!” Mitch calls from the doorway of the locker room. He’s out of breath and his cheeks are a rosy shade of pink.
“Leave me alone, Mitch.” Auston says, pulling his dress pants on over his boxers. He notices Mitch staring at his bare chest, and snaps his fingers. “Bro, what the fuck is up with you today?”
“Kiss me, Aus,” Mitch says quietly. Auston’s temples throb and he forgets how to breath.
Mitch doesn’t say anything, but rushes to close the space between them. Without really thinking, Mitch kisses Auston. He knows Auston doesn’t love him, but he needs to feel his lips against his. And holy fuck, it’s the best feeling in the world. Auston’s arms are warm as they wrap around Mitch’s waist, and Mitch jumps at the realization that Auston Matthews is kissing him. Mitch has wanted this for too long and it feels so right. He pushes Auston to sit on the seat of his stall and straddles him, legs on either side of his waist. Auston pulls away gently, his eyes hazy and unable to come into focus. “What are you doing, Mitch?” He asks softly, not wanting to ruin the moment, but needing to know what’s happening.
“Kissing you?” Mitch slurs, then leans back in.
“Aus, I know, okay?” Mitch sobers a little, the loss of Auston’s lips putting his thoughts straight. “I know you don’t love me, but I love you, and I need to kiss you right now. Please.”
Auston’s in shock and just stares at Mitch. The love of his life looks like me might cry because he seriously thinks that Auston doesn’t love him. “Mitchy,” He starts, but then he realizes that he has too much to say, so he just kisses him and puts all his thoughts and emotions into it. Mitch pulls away, tears streaming down his face. He rests his head on Auston’s bare shoulder and lets his tears fall. Because Auston love Mitch, and Mitch loves Auston.