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be still my foolish heart

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Lando isn’t sure how exactly it becomes a thing, but it all starts with a simple, innocent text.

come play fifa?

The message from Carlos comes as Lando is sat reflecting (not moping as George had accused him of) after the race. He had thought Canada might be lucky; he had had a good qualifying, and then bam, 8 laps in and his race was over.

Stupid suspension issues.

right now?

Lando sort of wants to be alone, but he also sort of wants to lose badly at FIFA to Carlos and just forget this whole day even happened in the first place.

no, next year. yes cabrón, now.

There’s a little eyeroll emoji that follows, and Lando can’t help but to smile at it.

When he gets to Carlos’ motorhome, he lets himself in and finds the Spaniard already slouched out on the sofa, Playstation controller in hand and furiously moving his thumbs. Call of Duty is up on the screen and Lando watches as Carlos shoots a couple people before speaking.

“Hey,” He offers, sitting down next to Carlos and bringing his legs up so that he can cross them.

“Hola, cabrón.” Carlos says, not looking away from the screen. “How are you feeling?”

Lando shrugs. “Shitty.”

Carlos tears his eyes away from the TV, giving Lando a once over. Lando wishes he wouldn’t do that, because he can feel himself blush and hopes beyond hope that Carlos will never ask why he turns pink every time he looks at him like that. Lando has the feeling that the words “You’re really hot and I would quite like to snog your face off” won’t go down too well.

“It will be okay.” He says, sounding sure. “We have bad days and good days. Today is bad day, tomorrow will be okay. We play FIFA, I win, and then we sleep and will be alright.”

“You sound very sure of yourself there, Chili” Lando grins, poking Carlos in the side. “How do you know I won’t win this time?”

“Because you are shit and I am the master.”

They bicker back and forth for a while, eventually playing a few games of FIFA, all of which Lando does indeed lose, before it starts to get late and Lando begins to dwell on the race again. He just wishes that he could have gone the full race, his second DNF in three races and he’s really starting to feel like his luck isn’t in. Carlos might have just missed out on the points, but he at least he’s been more consistent in the past few races.

“You think too much.”

Carlos’ voice snaps him out of his stupor, Lando turning to look at him through tired eyes.

“Come here.” Carlos pats the space in between them.

Lando shuffles up so that he’s right next to his teammate, at which point Carlos slides an arm around him and pulls him into his chest, the other arm coming up to smooth his back. They don’t cuddle a lot normally, mostly preferring to just horse around and ruffle one another’s hair, but Lando does like a good cuddle when things aren’t going well and Carlos is warm, soft and smells nice.

“Stop thinking.” Carlos tells him gently. “Is not good for you.”

Lando hums against Carlos’ chest. He’s very comfortable and Lando could easily find himself falling asleep right here. Maybe Carlos would let him if he asked nicely, offered him an easy safety car or something.

“Carlos cuddles are the best.” Lando mumbles into Carlos’ shirt. “You’re the right amount of squishy.”

Lando feels Carlos snort out a breath.

“You are very strange sometimes.” Carlos says, leaning back a bit so Lando is now half laying on top of him. “Is a good thing you have me around to guide you.”

“You’re weirder than me.” Lando protests half-heartedly. “You have weird hair.”

Carlos pouts, looking very offended. “If my hair is too weird, no more cuddles for you.”

Carlos pushes him off onto the floor, where Lando lands with a thump, groaning as he does. Carlos laughs loudly, Lando cradling his own throbbing elbow. He suddenly realises that he really needs to go to sleep, his whole body is exhausted and he can barely lift himself off the floor as Carlos watches with a smirk.

“I think is bedtime for you, cabrón.” Carlos holds a hand out and pulls him up, Lando stumbling a little as he does. “You stay here, I have a shirt you can sleep in.”

He crashes out on the other side of Carlos’ bed, and while they don’t cuddle together the way Lando would internally rather like them to do (probably for the best given what will inevitably come in the morning and make things very uncomfortable for both of them), his foot presses up against Carlos’ calf and the connection is enough to make him feel grounded, like maybe the day hadn’t been such a bad one after all.

+

Of course, because his friends are nosy fuckers, he’s only been in France for half an hour when George and Alex begin their interrogation of the cuddle session.

“You totally fancy him.” George says, Alex nodding along next to him. They’re slouched around in George’s motorhome, the hustle and bustle of the teams moving around outside just distinguishable. “Seriously, I’m surprised he hasn’t noticed the heart eyes you give him.”

“I don’t fancy Carlos.” Lando says indignantly, aware that what he’s just said is definitely not true. “I’m allowed to find him attractive, he’s an attractive guy. Doesn’t mean I like him like that.”

Alex snorts. “So, if he gave you a snog, what would you do?”

Unfortunately, the answer there is undoubtedly snog Carlos back and try and get in his pants, which doesn’t bode well for the whole “I don’t have a crush on my teammate” thing that Lando is trying to get across.

“Don’t be daft, he wouldn’t snog me.” Lando tries to deflect. “He’s like five years older than me and he’s got all these models following him on Instagram, he’s not going to be interested in me, is he?”

“You cuddled.” George says. “He would definitely snog you. I wouldn’t cuddle anyone I didn’t want to snog.”

“You wouldn’t even cuddle me or Lando?” Alex asks, mock pouting. “Georgey, after everything we’ve done for you, how cruel.”

And with a look at Lando, both of them pounce on poor, unsuspecting George and cuddle him like a pair of irritating crows pecking at a scarecrow, George flailing his arms uselessly for a moment before giving up and letting them suffocate him.

“Alright, alright.” George concedes. “I would let you two have a cuddle without any snogging.”

“Thank god for that,” Lando says, winking. “Wouldn’t want to go near your ugly mug.”

George raises an eyebrow. “I suppose it’s hard when I’m competing with such a handsome Spaniard. Those eyes, that hair, how would I ever be able to contend with that beauty?”

“Fuck off.”

George and Alex dissolve into laughter as Lando tries not to blush too much.

God, he’s a disaster.

+

Lando thinks that that’s the end of it, a one off thing where Carlos was nice to him because he had a shitty race and they’re cool like that, but it’s not.

After France, Lando goes to find Carlos to congratulate him after the race, but he finds the Spaniard looking happier for him than anything. He gives Lando a tight hug, which Lando is only too happy to return, and beams at him.

“See, what do I say, cabrón?” Carlos slaps him on the shoulder. “I tell you, everything is about to get better. You raced very well, I know was not maybe what you wanted after qualifying, but you are in the points again now.”

Lando feels himself blush and shrugs, trying not to show how happy he feels at the compliment. “It’s only P9, you got almost gained 10 places, you were much better than I was. I went down from quail.”

“Yes, but is a start, you will be back up next to me in no time.” Carlos wraps and arm around his shoulder. “Maybe now I let you beat me at FIFA for doing so well.”

“Maybe you will, given that I’m your idol and everything.” Lando grins, unable to hold back his laughter as Carlos jabs a finger into the side of his ribs. “And you think I’m such a boss at FIFA.”

“You wrote that, hacker.” Carlos says. “I would never say such things, or that I love Barcelona.”

His disgusted expression has Lando in fits of giggles.

They play FIFA for hours, Lando managing to win a few games (although he’s convinced that Carlos may have let him with them), before he feels his eyes start to become heavy, thumbs moving more slowly over the controller and limbs losing their tension.

“Am I keeping you up?”

Lando jerks at the sound of Carlos’ voice, turning to find his team mate looking at him with a wry grin. He’d apparently started to doze off mid game, because Carlos is winning 8-2 and they’re only at 58 minutes in.

“I, what, no, sorry.” Lando stutters out, yawning. “I think I should go to bed, I’m really tired.”

Carlos surveys him for a moment through dark eyes. He’s got nice eyes, Lando thinks, like black coffee or dark chocolate or something else dark and nice looking. He’s generally got a very nice face, all good angles, smooth skin and soft lips and wow does Lando really need to go to bed before he starts going down that rabbit hole.

“You can stay here, you know.” Carlos says softly, gesturing to his own motor home. “I have stuff you can wear, means you do not have to wander around in the dark outside.”

Lando swallows. “Okay, sounds good.”

When he wakes up in the morning, they’re still both on their separate sides of the bed, but their feet are tangled together under the covers and Lando can’t help but to feel all warm inside.

+

Austria, Lando is certain, exists in the calendar to test his willpower.

When Carlos suggests a game of football, Lando is all for it just for something to do. Max is off undoubtedly with Daniel doing something menacing (Lando suspects pranking Nico), while George and Alex both decline the invitation, even after Lando calls them losers. It’s when Carlos takes his shirt off that most of Lando’s problems start.

There’s sweat that runs down the planes of Carlos’ chest, into the indents of his abs and lower still until it reaches where his hip bones jut out slightly and Lando really has to stop staring before he gets hit in the head with a ball because he’s not paying attention.

The worst moment comes when he too has stripped himself of his shirt and Carlos tackles him, the pair of them colliding hard and heavy and Carlos’ body is almost on top of him, slick skin sliding up against one another and the only thing Lando can do is hope beyond hope that he does not get hard, because there would be no way Carlos won’t notice.

“Come on, cabrón.” Carlos mutters to him and wow, that is not helping mission ‘do not get a boner over your team mate, especially not in public’ at all. “You cannot let me kick your ass this easily in real life too.”

After over an hour of what feels like absolute torture, everyone, thankfully, agrees that it’s getting too hot and decides to take a break. Carlos and the others wander off somewhere, while Lando desperately texts all of his friends to save him, Max being the first to reply and so unknowingly agreeing to be Lando’s distraction for the rest of the afternoon.

They end up playing an old F1 game, 2001 Lando thinks, not that he or Max are even old enough to remember any of it.

“Do you even know who this is?” Lando asks, pointing to the car Max is driving on screen.

Max shrugs. “My dad would.”

He watches Max race around the track for a while before he finally finds his voice.

“I have a problem.” An understatement really.

Max turns to him with a raised eyebrow. “Yeah?”

“Say, theoretically, I were to like someone.” Lando says, trying to sound casual but instead sounding more like he’s about to be sick or something. “And they don’t like me back.”

Max overtakes a few cars on screen, wrinkling his nose up slightly. “Why wouldn’t they like you back?”

“It’s Carlos.” Lando blurts out before he can stop himself and watches as Max’s on screen car crashes into a wall. Max turns to look at him with wide eyes and it would be oh so easy to laugh if Lando wasn’t about to have a heart attack or something. Maybe that would be easier, die here and now before he does anything else stupid.

“It- what?” Max splutters. “You like Carlos, as in your teammate Carlos? Spanish, Chili, Sainz Jr Carlos?”

Lando pouts. “You like Daniel.”

Max waves a hand. “He’s not my teammate anymore and that’s beside the point. You like Carlos.”

Lando doesn’t try and push the whole Daniel thing; Max has his serious face on.

“I, well, yeah.” Lando admits. “I don’t know what to do about it, but it’s driving me nuts.”

There’s a full ten seconds of painful, empty silence in which Max watches him with a completely blank expression, before the Dutchman bursts out laughing, full on, tears streaming down his face, hunched over clutching his stomach laughter.

“My personal problems are not to be laughed at, Verstappen.” Lando can’t help but to giggle as Max tries to control himself. “Stop laughing, douchebag.”

Max chokes on a laugh. “I can’t.”

It takes a full five minutes for Max’s breathing to reach a normal level again and his eyes are still red from where he’d been crying. He leans back against the bed, Lando doing the same. He’s sort of relieved that he told Max first, mostly because Lando knows if he had told George or Alex, the pair of them would be having some weird mothers meeting with him.

“Have you told him?” Max asks and Lando has to hold back a snort.

“Obviously not.” Lando says, rolling his eyes. “Can’t imagine that would go down too well, think how weird it would be for him.”

Max shrugs. “You’re not ugly, he could do worse.”

“Wow, I mean, with a friend like you to make me feel confident, no wonder the offers are rolling in.” Lando laughs, faking offence. “I’m sure Carlos would be delighted to hear that his not ugly teammate has a thing for him.”

“What I’m saying is,” Max carries on like Lando hasn’t spoken. “You don’t know unless you give it a go. Speak to him, see what he says. If he says no, at least you tried.”

Lando has no polite way to tell Max that he would rather DNF every single Grand Prix for the rest of the season than try and explain to Carlos that he has a crush on him, so he just stays silent.

“You two are pretty close now.” Max adds. “Me and him were not like that.”

Lando doesn’t ask if Max and Carlos used to cuddle after races; he’s not sure he would like the answer if it was yes or the smug look on Max’s face if it was no.

“It doesn’t matter,” Lando lies, trying to convince himself more than anything. “I’ll get over it in no time.”

“Hmm.”

Max’s expression tells him that he’s fooling no one.

+

The race is euphoric; coming home in P6 makes the disappointment of the last four races disappear almost instantly and to have Carlos up there in the points with him makes Lando even happier. The team are delighted, and Zak brings out bottles of champagne for everyone, and Lando drinks until he feels a bit sick.

“P6, cabrón! You will be up on the podium soon.” Carlos slurs as they attempt to make their way back to their motorhomes, Lando cackling as he clutches onto Carlos’ elbow. “You were fantástico out there. We will have to have milk to celebrate.”

They finally manage to get to Lando’s motorhome, Lando nearly falling over the threshold as he goes in. He looks back at Carlos, who is biting his lip as he tries not to laugh.

“Do you want to stay?”

“Por favor.”

They manage to haphazardly get themselves into bed, Lando still has one sock on that he can’t be bothered to take off and Carlos is in his jeans, but then Carlos reaches out and pats him gently on the head. Or at least, as gently as one can while incredibly drunk, which means he’s somewhat slapping Lando on the side of the head.

“Buenas noches, Lando.” Carlos mumbles, leaving his hand resting in Lando’s hair.

Lando nuzzles into the hand. “Night night, Carlos.”

Lando really loves Austria, he decides.

+

Goodwood Festival has some fancy dinner that, given that Lando is driving there, he has no choice but to attend. He hates wearing suits, fiddling around for several minutes with his shitty bowtie until Charlotte comes over and fixes him up with a sigh.

“You know, Carlos and you are perfect for one another.” She says, straightening up the bow. “He kept moaning about this as well, the pair of you, honestly.”

When Lando sees Carlos, however, all thoughts of how bad suits are go completely out of the window because Carlos looks good with a capital G. Lando could really do with a glass of milk or something colder right now, because he’s starting to feel a little hot under the collar.

“Pictures!” Charlotte exclaims before Lando can open his mouth, which is probably a good thing. He doesn’t like to think what would have ended up coming out of it.

They’re forced to stand by the cars, both he and Carlos muttering under their breaths the whole time, and looking like some weird prom date picture being taken by their mum. Charlotte takes what feels like a thousand pictures before she’s satisfied and then drags them both back over to look at them.

“I like this one.” She says, showing them her phone. “You look very dapper.”

The picture is nice, and they do look smart, Lando has to admit. The only thing is he’s giving Carlos the stupid heart eyes and Lando can’t help but to agree with George and wonder how Carlos hasn’t noticed his very obvious crush yet.

“Aw, cabrón, look at you.” Carlos gives him a little shove on the shoulder. “I wish everyone looked at me like that.”

Charlotte smirks and Lando wants nothing more than to crawl up into a ball and die.

The night goes well, the drinks start flowing, and before Lando knows it, he’s a little tipsy. Everyone is in a good mood and he finds himself feeling more relaxed than usual. Maybe it’s the lack of pressure, the easy going nature of most of the people, but he just feels comfortable. It’s only later on when finds himself in the bathroom that he meets Carlos again, who’s fixing his hair in the mirror. It’s not like it needs it, he looks like he’s stepped straight out of a magazine, the lucky bastard.

“Hola, you.” Carlos says. “You have been enjoying yourself.”

Lando looks at himself in the mirror; his bowtie is a little skewed and his hair is a bit flat. He looks pretty hideous in comparison the Spaniard next to him and tries not to show how self conscious he feels, crossing his arms over his chest.

“A bit.” Lando shrugs. “I look a mess now, though. Charlotte’s going to kill me.”

“Here, let me fix it.” Carlos says, and before Lando can even move, Carlos leans over and straightens up his bowtie, smoothes down the lapels of his suit jacket and pats him gently on the cheek. “All better. Eres guapo.”

And with that, he winks at Lando and then walks out of the bathroom.

Yep, Lando is never going to be able to hear Carlos speak Spanish again without being turned on.

I have problems :(

George and Alex text back almost straight away, just like they were waiting for this, the nosy fuckers.

We know :( It will be okay. If u need us, we are here for u x

George, of course, is less sympathetic.

Just suck his dick already xoxo

Lando turns off his phone.

+

It’s just before Silverstone that they announce that Lando has been signed for another year.

“This looks like a engagement announcement video.” Charlotte comments. Internally, Lando wishes her a painful injury. Perhaps a stubbed toe or a hit to the funny bone, not super painful, but enough that she’ll feel the pain Lando is currently experiencing. “Who wants to wear the ring?”

“Til death do us part, eh cabrón?” Carlos winks. “You will make a beautiful bride.”

Why? Why does he have to keep saying things like that?

“I guess so.” Lando sighs, playing along in a long suffering kind of way. It’s his only chance of survival here with Charlotte in charge. “It could be worse, could be stuck with someone better looking than me.”

Charlotte snorts. “Oh, I do love you two. I’m glad I get to keep you both.”

Silverstone itself is hectic and wonderful all in one. Lando’s family come out to watch the race, and  it’s a bit embarrassing to have them loitering in the garage, mostly because they do their best to try and embarrass him as much as possible, but it makes him feel so at home.

His mum and siblings wander off, but his dad remains by his side in the garage, talking him through his plans for quali and asking him how everything is going.

“And Carlos, you two are getting on okay?” His dad asks, looking at him searchingly. His dad has always been very good at reading him and the thought unsettles Lando a little. “He’s being nice to you?”

Lando rolls his eyes. “Yes, dad, he’s being nice to me. He’s great actually, best teammate I could ask for.”

Carlos ends up finding them just before they set off for Q1, his mum having returned now, beaming at him proudly. Lando really does love her.

“Señor, Señora,” Carlos greets, shaking his dad’s hand and bestowing a kiss upon each of his mum’s cheeks. His mum looks very flattered and his dad gives Carlos an appraising look. Lando sort of wishes Carlos was a bit more of an asshole so it wouldn’t be so easy to like him. “Is very nice to see you again. How has the day been?”

“Very good, thanks, Carlos.” Adam grins. “Lando was just telling me how good a teammate you’ve been to him. He hasn’t been a complete pain in the ass, has he?”

Carlos giggles. “He has been very good. He’s a legend, even if he is a bit stupid sometimes.”

His dad and Carlos delight in taking the piss out of him until they’re ushered away towards the cars, Lando hitting him in the side as they walk along.

“Dickhead.”

Carlos hits him back. “You love me really.”

Oh how Lando wishes that wasn’t true.

He qualifies well, Carlos not so much, but the team reassure both of them that it’s looking good for tomorrow and they think that they can secure a double points finish with the cars current specs.  

“You’ve got this, cabrón.” Lando says, trying to sound reassuring.

Carlos smiles at him. “Thanks, Lando. Your Spanish is getting better, will have to teach you some more soon.”

Lando can hardly sleep that night, the thought of getting in the points at Silverstone makes him feel almost giddy and he has to do some deep breathing exercise that Alex taught him once to calm himself to sleep so that he doesn’t fall asleep in the car.

They’re doing an interview before race when Daniel, of course, decides to whack Carlos straight in the balls. Carlos manages to keep it together until they get into one of the many hospitality areas, Daniel waiting there for them, a huge grin on his face.

“Alright there, Carlitos?” He asks. “Bit uncomfortable?”

Carlos hits him hard on the shoulder. “Hijo de puta, my right ball is sore as hell.”

“I’m sure Lando can kiss it better for you.” Daniel cackles, and Lando decides then and there is he is going to murder Max when he next sees him. “Can’t you, milkman?”

Lando flips him the bird.

+

The race itself is a complete disaster and Lando almost wants to cry when it’s over.

The team, of course, are just delighted for Carlos and his incredible comeback, but as much as Lando tries to, he can’t share the joy. The 11th place finish feels almost worse than a DNF, knowing he was so close to the points in his home race, just to miss out is absolutely gut wrenching.

“It’ll be okay, my angel.” His mum says as she hugs him tightly. He feels hollow, just wants to tuck himself into her and not feel anything for a while. “You did so well out there. I’m so very proud of you.”

His dad has booked him a hotel room for the night given that he’s going away with George and Alex tomorrow, so Lando says goodbye to his parents and siblings and goes to mope away from the rest of the team in the rather cold feeling hotel room.

He’s in bed watching reruns of Homes Under the Hammer when the text comes.

where are you??

For a second, Lando is tempted to ignore it the same way he has done with all of the other texts that evening, but then he sighs and texts back.

Dad got me a hotel room. Well done on today, u were great :)

He puts his phone back down on the side and thinks that’s the end of it until it buzzes again.

what hotel? I can bring FIFA, you can win this time :D

Lando groans, resisting the urge to throw his phone across the room. He wants to say yes, wants to play FIFA with Carlos until he can’t feel the crushing disappointment of the day anymore, but he’s so tired and probably terrible company right now.

I think Im just gonna go to bed. I have to be up early.

Lando watches the little dots appear on screen as Carlos types, stops typing and then carries on several times.

I just want to know you are okay.

Lando closes his eyes, debating internally what to do.

Okay.

He caves, texts Carlos his address and room number, and within fifteen minutes, there’s a quiet knock on his door. Lando opens it, forgetting for a moment that he’s only wearing sweatpants, and blushing when Carlos raises an eyebrow as he stands in the doorway. He looks slightly mussed up, as though he had come straight from the celebrating to see Lando, and the thought makes Lando want to smile in spite of everything.

“Sorry, I didn’t think anyone would be coming, so I just got ready for bed.” Lando stammers, shuffling back to let Carlos in.

“Is alright,” Carlos shrugs. “Do you want to talk or do you want to sleep?”

In all honesty, Lando is exhausted and he sneaks a look at his bed, which Carlos doesn’t miss. He reaches out and gently guides Lando towards the bed, where Lando ungracefully slumps down and lays his head against the pillows.

“Are you going to stay?” Lando asks sleepily, patting the bed next to him.

Carlos seems to deliberate with himself for a moment, before pulling off his own shirt and shimmying out of his jeans and climbing into bed next to Lando. Under any other circumstances, Lando would probably be having a meltdown; as it is, he just likes having the warmth of someone next to him, the company in his misery.

They lay there in silence for a long moment, Lando thinking back on the day and where everything went wrong, where the strategy fucked him over, even if the team didn’t mean it.

“Hey,” Carlos says suddenly, and before Lando knows it, he’s wrapped up securely in Carlos’ arms, face tucked into the Spaniard’s neck. “No pulling that face.”

“Today was so shit, though.” Lando says miserably, nuzzling into Carlos’ collarbone. “Stupid safety car.”

Carlos hums. “I know, stupid safety car.”

There’s a couple more seconds of silence before Lando speaks again.

“Teach me Spanish.” He demands, voice muffled as he speaks into Carlos' skin. “You said you would.”

“What do you want to know?” Carlos laughs softly. “How about ‘eres muy talentoso, y no hay duda que tienes un futuro increíble delante de ti.’?”

“Es muy, what?” Lando slurs, unsure if it’s complicated on purpose or just because he’s tired. “What does that even mean?”

“Ah, ah, you didn’t ask that.” Carlos taps him gently on one of the ridges of his spine. “You just ask me to teach you how to say it. It is true though, what I say.”

Lando tries again, but his eyes are starting to feel heavy and he can barely remember what Carlos just said. “Es, es, mon. What’s the next bit?”

“I think the next bit for you is sleep, tío.” He feels Carlos pull the cover up over both of them and moves himself even further into Carlos’s space. His skin is soft and warm and Lando feels comfortable for the first time since the race. “Buenas noche, nene.”

“Night.”

The last thing he feels before he falls asleep is Carlos press a kiss into the hair on the side of his head.

+

Lando wakes to the sound of his phone buzzing loudly and flaps an arm around aimlessly trying to find it. He gently pries himself from Carlos, who is still asleep somehow, and manages to locate the cause of the irritating noise.

 “What is it?” He whispers indignantly, not bothering to check who it is that’s ringing.

“What do you mean what is it?” George hisses. “Where the fuck are you? We’re leaving in ten minutes.”

The charity race, shit.

“I’m coming okay?” Lando tries to keep quiet as he climbs out of bed, desperately searching for last night’s clothes to shove on. He doesn’t have time to check in his suitcase to see if he’s got anything else. “I’ll be as quick as I can.”

“Why are you whispering?” George asks, sounding confused.

Lando hesitates. “Um.”

“Oh my god.” George gasps and he sounds delighted. “Carlos is there, isn’t he?”

“Nothing happened.” Lando says immediately, before George gets too excited and starts tweeting or something. “You know it’s not like that. He just stayed over.”

George laughs. “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Lando. Alex! Carlos and Lando slept in the same bed again last night!”

Lando hears someone drop something in the background of the phone call.

“They did what?”

God, Lando needs new friends.

“I’m hanging up on you.” He tells George. “I’ll see you in ten.”

He leaves Carlos a post it note apologising for leaving so early and that he’ll see him soon and his room key so that Carlos can check out for him, before running down the hotel stairs and hastily getting into the taxi, where George and Alex are waiting expectantly for him.

“So?”

Lando looks at both of them; they look far too excited.

“So what?” Lando shrugs. “I told you, he just stayed over. We watched TV and went to sleep, that’s all.”

“Of course you did.” George says, smiling sardonically at him.

Unfortunately for Lando, his friends are assholes, and the entire taxi journey, plane ride and the majority of charity racing day is spent with the two of them mercilessly taking the piss out of him. Worse still, Daniel and Max have apparently decided to team up again and keep sending him various memes about him being forever alone, although never in the group chat a few of them are in, just separately, but at different times so Lando is certain they’re laughing at him behind his back.

“I hate all of you.” Lando tells George and Alex firmly as they sit on the plane back. “Seriously, all of you.”

Alex pouts. “I haven’t even done anything, I only laughed at what George said.”

George just grins.

+

Germany comes around quickly, and Lando can feel the change in the atmosphere before he even arrives.

He texts Carlos a few times between the Silverstone and Hockenheim, but the Spaniard is fairly short with his responses and Lando doesn’t know what he’s done to warrant this, but he feels uneasy. There’s a change between them when he arrives at the track; Carlos treats him no differently than usual, but there’s an air of forced friendliness about their interactions.

“What did you do?” Charlotte hisses when they’re alone.

Lando feels incredibly offended. “Why do you automatically assume I did something?”

“Lando, please.” Charlotte says, eyebrow raised. “I’m not an idiot.”

Unfortunately, Lando has no idea what he’s done and doesn’t have the courage to ask, so he spends as much time out of the way of Carlos as possible. On Friday, he has dinner with a rather buoyant Daniel, who picks up on Lando’s mood almost immediately.

“What’s wrong my little milk child?” Daniel asks, offering him some of his fries. “Talk to uncle Daniel.”

Lando snorts, taking a fry. “You’d be a terrible agony uncle.”

“How dare you.” Daniel places a hand on his chest, feigning outrage. “I am the best person around here to give advice, I’m basically a genius, you know.”

It gets a laugh out of Lando, which seems to make Daniel happier.

“Come on though,” Daniel says, more seriously now. “What’s up?”

“I’m sure your boytoy has already told you.” Lando scowls. “Given all the texts the pair of you sent me after Silverstone.”

“Ahh,” Daniel nods. “Well, firstly, my boytoy didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, and secondly, the texts were his idea, not mine. Honest.”

Lando blinks, ignoring the last part of the sentence; he has no doubt the texts were Daniel’s idea. “Wait, Max didn’t tell you anything?”

Daniel shakes his head. “Nope.”

“How the hell did you know then?” Lando asks, frowning.

“A magician never reveals his secrets.” Daniel intones and Lando has to resist the urge to roll his eyes. “I promise you though, I haven’t said anything to anyone or to Carlos. And I think that Max is right, you should just go for it. If it all goes to shit, you can just say I dared you to do it.”

“I’ll think about it, okay?” Lando says, knowing full well he won’t be “going for it” any time this century. “Can we just eat dinner and talk about stupid shit?”

Daniel nods.

“So, grown any pubes yet?”

Lando spits out his drink in laughter.

+

The race is, as Lando thought it might be, a complete mess, but unlike Silverstone, he doesn’t feel that crushing sense of dissatisfaction. Watching Carlos nearly get onto the podium fills Lando with a sense of pride that he hasn’t felt in a long time, and watching Max win is pretty good too.

He decides to go and see Carlos after the celebrations are over, knocking as quietly as he can on the motorhome door as to not wake anyone else. Carlos answers in nothing but his sweats, looking a bit confused.

“Lando, is quite late.” Carlos says, rubbing his eyes. “What is it?”

Lando swallows. “I just wanted to congratulate you.”

“Oh, okay.” Carlos nods. “Do you want to come in?”

They slump down on sofa, slightly further apart than normal, but Lando is determined here.

“You raced really well, almost a podium out there, Chili.” Lando pokes him in the thigh with his toe. “I thought I was going to have to go and celebrate in the rain with everyone.”

Carlos grins, and Lando can see the faint blush that caresses the apples of his cheeks.

“It was okay.” Carlos says modestly. “I am sorry you did no finish.”

“It’s alright, it’s been a bit of shit weekend.” Lando shrugs. “Can only go up from here.”

They sit in silence for a couple more moments before the words burst from Lando before he can stop himself.

“Did I do something wrong?”

Carlos blinks. “I- what?”

“You’ve been really weird all weekend.” Lando says, trying not to sound too accusing, but not quite managing it. “Did I do something?”

“No, no.” Carlos shakes his head, but won’t meet his eyes. “Is me, cabrón, I have just been feeling a bit off. Is no need to worry about it, will all be okay.”

“Right.” Lando bites out, feeling frustrated. Why the hell won’t Carlos just say whatever the hell is wrong? “I guess I’ll just leave you to it then.”

“Lando.”

“Tell me.” Lando snaps, reaching the end of his tether. The weekend has been crap enough without Carlos lying to him for whatever reason. “Tell me what the fuck I’ve done, because I don’t know, Carlos, I really don’t and you-”

Carlos kisses him mid sentence and it’s a little bit awkward of an angle, but Lando can hardly breathe because what the actual fuck. He doesn’t respond for a second in utter shock, and feels Carlos stiffen, before going to pull away, and then Lando’s body wakes up and screams “do not let go!”, so he kisses back, hard.

“Lando.” Carlos says between kisses. “Do you not think we should speak about this?”

Lando groans. “Later. We can talk later.”

“Dios, me estás volviendo loco.” Carlos bites at his lip. Lando can’t help the moan that escapes him at Carlos speaking Spanish; who knew he had some sort of language kink? Does that make him weird? Probably. “You like?”

“Yes, god, fuck.” Lando moves to straddle Carlos, grinding his hips down into the bulge in Carlos’ sweatpants. Carlos swears into his mouth, sucking idly at his tongue and moving to bite at his collarbone. He nips at the skin there, before running his tongue over the mark he’s made and Lando is so hard that it’s almost painful now. “Please.”

Carlos has him stand up slightly so that he can pull Lando’s jeans halfway down his hips, along with his boxers, and then does the same with his own sweatpants. He spits into his palm and then wraps both of their cocks in one hand, jerking them slowly, tortuously, until Lando feels like he’s about to lose his mind.

“God, you asshole.” Lando whines and Carlos grins. “Stop teasing me.”

“Dame un besito.” Carlos's voice is like liquid sin as he leans in to reclaim Lando's lips, exploring every inch of his mouth and only making Lando feel more spaced out than ever. Carlos is a good kisser, that’s for sure, but the friction of Carlos’ hand and cock on his own is so distracting that he can barely acknowledge it. He feels his hips rut upwards, desperately attempting to get more friction so that he can come.

“I want,” Lando pants, digging his fingers into Carlos’ shoulders. “I can’t hold on. Please, Carlos.”

He’s waited far too for this, months of sexual frustration and becoming far too friendly with his right hand leading up into this one moment. He knows that he’s not going to last nearly as long as he would like to, but he doesn’t care anymore, he just wants to come.

“Córrete, nene.” Carlos says softly into the shell of his ear and Lando comes with a groan, hips jerking uncontrollably as he does, riding out the waves of his orgasm as Carlos strokes him through it. “Eres hermoso.”

Lando feels shaky and spaced out, but he leans back a little to watch as Carlos jerks himself off, Lando’s come covering his hand and lower abdomen, and with a wild rush of pure want, ignoring the fact that he doesn't really have a clue what he's doing, Lando slides off his lap and onto his knees.

“Lando,” Carlos says breathlessly, but Lando bats his hand away from his cock and takes it in his own before leaning over to take Carlos in his mouth. “Joder.”

Carlos’s hand finds its way into his hair and tugs gently, the grip tightening as Lando swirls his tongue experimentally around the head of his cock and draws him ever closer to the edge. It doesn’t take long for him to come, his head falling back on the sofa as he lets out a moan and his hand is so tightly wound in Lando’s hair, it almost hurts. He swallows, only pulling off when Carlos pushes at his shoulder, before pulling his sweats up and bringing Lando back upwards onto his lap.

“I was not expecting that.” Carlos says breathing heavily. His hair is all mussed up and Lando likes it a lot. “At all.”

Lando grins. “I’m full of surprises.”

They move to Carlos’ bed, Lando positioning himself so that Carlos is spooning him, the Spaniard’s chest pressed all the way up against his spine. He feels sated, the race forgotten along with all of his worries of the past weekend, the past few months, actually. 

“I hope you know,” Lando tells Carlos sleepily, playing with their entwined hands. “That all our friends are going to be super smug about this.”

Carlos sighs, breath tickling the back of his neck. “Nico will be pleased I will no longer have to text him about you so much.”

“Wait, you told Nico?” Lando asks, suddenly realising something. “So that’s how Daniel knew.”

“Who did you think told him?” Carlos asks, sounding confused. “I thought was obvious.”

“I thought Max told him because I told Max.” Lando says. “All this proves is our friends are gossiping assholes.”

“We can get new friends.”

Lando turns to face Carlos, his face barely visible in the darkness.

“Why were you so funny with me this week?” Lando asks again, wanting an answer this time. “Is it because you wanted to seduce me?”

He goes for funny to try and ease the mood, but Carlos doesn’t laugh.

“I was afraid.” Carlos admits. “You are younger and I did not know if you were really into me like that, even if everyone kept joking about it, so I try and keep it to myself. And also, I hear you speaking to George in Silverstone, saying we were not like that and I worry maybe I had gotten the wrong idea.”

Lando sighs; they’re both idiots.

“You know, I’ve been telling all my friends for months how you would never like me and that you were driving me nuts.” Lando tells him, brushing their noses together. Carlos has such a nice nose and Lando gets to kiss it, touch it, do whatever he wants to it now. The same goes for the rest of him and Lando almost wants to pinch himself, because his boyfriend is super hot and he's all Lando's. “Max kept telling me that I’m not too ugly and you might like me, but I didn’t believe him.”

Carlos bites his lip at that. “Max is right, you are not too ugly at all. I could have a worse boyfriend.”

Lando goes all fuzzy inside at the word boyfriend, but pokes at Carlos’ ribs in revenge anyway and feels Carlos jerk underneath him.

“Anyway,” Lando continues, settling back into Carlos’ hold. “I told you before, Carlos cuddles are the best.”

Carlos kisses his forehead. “You can have them whenever you wish now.”

 “I hope you know we’re never going to get anything done now you’ve said that.” Lando warns him.

“Eh, I can live with that.” Carlos shrugs.

Lando grins.

+

When he wakes up, Carlos is pressed right up against him, leg slid between his and skin warm against Lando’s own. He reaches out for his phone, careful not to jostle Carlos, and checks the time. It’s late, and his alarm will be going off in an hour to warn them to get ready to leave, but the bed is so warm and comfy that Lando doesn’t really want to at all. It doesn’t matter, he supposes, they can cuddle whenever now.

He’s got 15 text messages, half of which are from George, and the other from a group chat he doesn’t recognise.

WHERE ARE U????

Lando brings a hand up to tangle with Carlos’ and takes a picture before sending it.

I have a boyfriend now :D

All George sends back is 23 (Lando counts) exclamation marks.  The other group chat, it turns out, is comprised of Max, Daniel, Nico, Alex and George and is titled “Mission Lando + Carlos 2k19”. Lando almost groans aloud at the name. He knows which Australian member of the group picked that one out.

“Oi,” He says to Carlos, who stirs, making a noise of discontent. “Look at this.”

Carlos peers sleepily at the screen. “Our amigos are idiots. Send them a picture.”

Carlos puts up his middle finger and Lando dutifully takes the picture before sending it off to the chat.

omg u fucked

how sweet!

!!!!!!!

Lando + Carlos otp5ever

Daniel is apparently very pleased. Max, however;

wtf is an otp??

Carlos takes the phone off him and throws in down on the floor, ignoring the pout that Lando gives him as he does. “How long until we have to get ready to go?”

“About an hour.” Lando pauses before continuing. “My brother, he wants to show you the new Sim he’s been working on, maybe you could come back and stay with me and the fam for a bit? We can kick his ass at FIFA too, or you can, anyway.”

Carlos blinks up at him through long eyelashes, smiling softly. “I would like that.”

“It’s a deal then.” Lando kisses him slowly. “My mum will love this, you know. She’ll be feeding you up, just you wait.”

“If there is you and good food, is a deal indeed.” Carlos says firmly, pulling Lando back into him and nuzzling into his neck. “Now, sleep?”

“Sleep.”

 

end