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A Boy like Me

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If you’d have asked Valtteri, he’d have said the chances of someone like Lewis Hamilton wanting to be with someone like Valtteri were next to none.

And Valtteri thought that he’d never want to be with someone like Lewis either. It wasn’t anything against Lewis, it was more that Lewis reminded him way too much of his little brother and the idea of dealing with another Charles wasn’t exactly how Valtteri pictured his life.

But Lewis was... he was different.

He was cocky, sure, and he was a bit self-righteous in a kind of annoying way sometimes, but he didn’t intend it. And, frankly, Valtteri knew that his little brother had been the mastermind behind making Lewis into a meme when he kept thanking people, and he couldn’t even be angry at his brother because it was actually pretty funny.

But that’s what made Lewis Lewis.

He had a heart of gold and he wanted to fight the injustice in the world in a way that no one else would. He wanted to save the planet and save the people and teach them how to be more sustainable in a way that didn’t sound preachy but rather informative.

And he wanted to make people happy.

And, fuck, Valtteri really fucking wanted to see Lewis smile again because he honestly didn’t know if there was a more beautiful sight.

“How have things been?” Lewis asked as Valtteri welcomed him into the house.

“Well, Dan is crying in the kitchen and Charles is confused and Max is running around like a headless chicken, Dad is at work and Isä keeps staring at Max because he doesn’t know what else to do, so all in all, pretty well,” Valtteri nodded.

Lewis laughed as they walked up to Valtteri’s room.

“Why is Dan crying?”

“I have no idea, I think he’s just stressed.”

“Mood,” Lewis muttered.

“You didn’t need to come over if you’re stressed, honestly we-”

“If I have to revise at home one more time I’ll scream,” Lewis told him, cutting Valtteri off, “I want to hang out with you and I want to revise with you, honestly, I feel blessed that you let me into your house to do this.”

“Dan is here basically all the time, you being here doesn’t make a difference. If anything, Dad’s going to appreciate it. He wants to ask you something anyway.”

“What does your Dad want from me?”

Valtteri shrugged and pushed his door open.

“No idea, desk or floor, choice is yours.”

“I’ll take the floor. I need to spread out these papers anyway,” Lewis smiled.

And Valtteri’s heart skipped a beat.

“Okay, if you’re sure.”

Lewis smiled again.

Valtteri’s heart skipped another beat.

Wow, he really was going to die at the hands of Lewis Hamilton and his smile.

“What do you have to work on?”

“Comparing political idolisation: US vs UK,” Lewis grimaced, “Which is about as fun as it sounds.”

“So basically it’s not fun at all?”

“Yep, pretty much.” Lewis laughed.

Valtteri felt himself blush at knowing he’d been the one to pull that sound out of Lewis and he couldn’t take his eyes off him as Lewis dropped to the floor. He’d never seen someone as graceful as Lewis.

But to be fair, that might be because Valtteri spends 90% of his time with two individuals who continuously chase each other around the house and routinely try and knock each other over.

“How’s hockey practice been?” Lewis asked, pulling Valtteri’s attention back to him.

“Okay,” Valtteri shrugged.

He saw the way Lewis instantly looked up at his short answer, concern flooding his features and Valtteri had to look away.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Lewis questioned, standing up and coming to sit beside Valtteri on the edge of the bed.

“Nothing.”

“Don’t lie to me, talk to me, get it off your chest.”

Valtteri looked down as Lewis’ hand came to rest on his knee and he desperately tried to avoid Lewis’ eyes when he ducked to try and catch his eyes.

“Val, just let me listen to you.”

“It’s just, with all the revising, and dealing with them two, and dealing with hockey, and trying to figure out whether I want to go to Bristol or Bournemouth, everything is about decisions lately and choosing what to do and I don’t know anymore,” Valtteri told him staring into the distance, “And my Dad is on about getting a new job and won’t tell us where, Charles is in therapy or he might try to kill himself, Max keeps having panic attacks because he’s terrified of everything changing, and I don’t fucking know what to do anymore. It’s too much Lewis.”

“Val...”

“And I’m fucking terrified that I’m going to wake up or someone’s going to ring me and they’re going to tell me Charles has done something. I can’t have him do that, Lewis, and I don’t fucking know how to stop it.”

Valtteri’s voice was a mixture between emotionless and close to breaking down. He hadn’t told anyone about this. Hadn’t told them that he spent half of his nights awake sitting with his door open so that he could hear if Charles did anything or if Max started crying. Hadn’t told anyone that he was terrified of starting university because he didn’t want those two to lose their routine.

And then, in the quiet of the moment as Lewis processed what Valtteri had said, they heard Charles laugh.

And Valtteri fucking lost it.

Tears raced down his cheeks as all the stress and fear unloaded at sound of his baby brother's happy laughter. The laughter that said he was okay and his head wasn't scaring him today.

“Can I hug you?” Lewis asked.

Valtteri nodded and buried his face in Lewis’ shirt, his arms snaking around Lewis’ waist and hugging him tight as he sobbed.

“It’s alright, just cry, Val, let it out,” Lewis murmured, rubbing Valtteri’s back and over his hair, “I’ve got you, you cry it out, it’ll help a bit.”

“I’m scared, Lew.”

“It’s going to be alright. Charles is doing so good, Max is managing things, your Dad will tell you when the time is right. And you’ll make the decision that’s right for you when you need to.”

“The applications-"

“Our choices have to be made by mid-May. It’s the middle of April, Val. Plenty of time,” Lewis comforted.

“But what if we make the wrong decision? Or if something happens to the twins?”

“You won't do, because you're smart, you know what you're doing. If you do end up making the wrong decision, you transfer course or you drop out for the year and start again somewhere else. And the twins have your dads, and Dan wants to go to London so he’ll be there for them. They have friends at school, they’ll be okay, Valtteri, it’s not your job to keep them safe all the time. They’re doing okay.”

“They’re my brothers,” Valtteri said through his tears.

“And they’re your Dads kids too. They’re going to keep the twins safe, Val, they’re not going to be left to fend for themselves. And just because you’re going to uni, and you could be going to places that might be three hours from home, it doesn’t mean you can’t come back. It doesn’t mean you can’t facetime them. Max and Charles don’t know how to live without you, and your brothers aren’t going to let you go without a fight, are they? They’ll still be ringing you and texting you. And when you have games, they’ll be on the front row screaming and trying to fight the opposing team on your behalf. They’re chaos in human form, Valtteri. They're going nowhere.”

Valtteri laughed and wiped away the tears with the back of his hand. He could just imagine the twins bringing their skates with them and finding a way to scale the barrier to get onto the ice in order for them to start fights with people.

“There you go,” Lewis mumbled, smiling at the way Valtteri smiled shakily.

“Your smile could stop wars,” Lewis whispered, his eyes flicking between Valtteri’s lips and his eyes.

“Don’t think you can write about me for your exams,” Valtteri awkwardly mumbled, “I’m not interesting enough for that.”

“You’re one of the most interesting people I know, and one day you’re going to be who the kids write about when they get quizzed on the mechanics of engineering.” Lewis grinned.

“You’ve got no idea what that degree will give me, do you?”

“Absolutely none,” Lewis told him, laughing lightly and the blush decorating his cheekbones.

There was a beat of silence as they stared into the others eyes. Nothing interrupted them more than the sound of their own breathing and the clock ticking dangerously in the background.

“Lew,” Valtteri murmured, his voice barely audible.

Lewis shakily lifted his hand and pressed it to Valtteri’s cheek, holding his jaw in place as he leaned in. Valtteri held his breath and followed Lewis’ lead, their lips less than a centimetre apart when Lewis whispered,

“Trust me.”

And Valtteri did.

He closed his eyes and let his world plunge into darkness. All he was aware of was Lewis’ breath hitting his lips and the feeling of Lewis’ fingers warming his jaw.

“Dad wants you!” Charles’ voice came through the door and Valtteri flew back, his eyes wide as he stared nervously at Lewis.

“Erm, we should, we should go. I think Dad wants you,” Valtteri stumbled, pushing himself up and walking with as much confidence as he could considering it was as though he was walking on jelly and his heart was beating as fast as a hummingbird. Waves crashed in his ears and a red blush rivalling Charles’ Ferrari shirt he’d adored as a little boy adorning his cheeks.

What the fuck had he done? He couldn’t fucking believe he’d been stupid enough to nearly kiss Lewis.

Lewis Hamilton

The boy who Cambridge were chasing after.

The boy who was going to change the world.

The boy who wouldn’t go after a boring person like Valtteri.

The boy who wouldn’t want to kiss a boy like Valtteri.

How could he be that stupid?

Chapter Text

“Did you want me, Dad?” Valtteri said, shuffling in to the front room, careful to keep his eyes off his parents. Everyone always said about how Max’s face was an open book, but the second that Isä looked at his eyes, he would know something was wrong, and Valtteri knew he wouldn’t be able to deny telling his Dad everything.

“Actually I wanted Lewis, Charles just refuses to listen when you ask him to- MAX GET YOUR HANDS OFF HIS THROAT!” Seb shouted, catching sight of Max trying to strangle Charles in the front yard.

Max rolled his eyes and dropped Charles, who instantly swiped his leg out from underneath him and tried to push his twin to the block paving below.

“You wanted to talk to me, Seb?” Lewis asked, smiling nervously.

“I’m going to talk to the twins,” Valtteri mumbled. He couldn’t be in the same room as Lewis, not right now. Not after he’d been an idiot. Not after he’d nearly kissed the one boy that someone like Valtteri would never have a chance with.

Valtteri walked outside and sat down on the doorstep, watching the twins kicking a ball around between them and talking quietly. He pulled his knees up to his chest and folded his arms across them, balancing his chin on his forearms as he watched the brothers he’d spent so long waiting for and had had the joy of loving for so long.

Valtteri had been three the day his Daddy and Papa told him that they were going to give him a brother or sister like he kept begging.

He’d been four when his Daddy went away for a little bit and then he and Papa had gone to find him.

He’d been five when they brought the twins back home with them.

Valtteri had few memories of life without the duo, and yet in just a few months he’d be adjusting to a life without them again. He’d be eighteen and his brothers would still be here whilst he’d be hours away in another part of the country and he’d have no friends because he’d fucked things up with the one boy that he thought he could have.

“What’s wrong with you?” Charles asked, nudging Valtteri to try and dismiss his sour mood.

Valtteri shook his head and looked into the distance. He saw Charles turn to Max and exchange a look of worry but Valtteri didn’t care.

“Oi, what’s wrong?” Max said, sitting down next to him and dropping his head onto Valtteri’s shoulder.

Charles followed suit on the other side, and Valtteri sighed as his brothers boxed him in.

“I nearly kissed Lewis,” Valtteri murmured, “And then you interrupted and I freaked out and now I can’t look at him ever again.”

“I’m happy for you,” Max told him, smiling gently, “You deserve to be happy with Lewis.”

“Even if he is a knob 90% of the time,” Charles grinned.

“It’s your fault he doesn’t like you!” Max argued.

Charles scoffed and said,

“Not my fault he doesn’t like who I sleep with.”

“You slept with the boy he wanted to date.”

“Well at least we all know that’s not gonna happen again. There’s no way I’m going to do that with his newest crush,” Charles said, rolling his eyes.

“Lewis likes someone?” Valtteri quietly interrupted. His heart shattered and fell to pieces at his feet. He should’ve known. This was why he didn’t get attached to people. Max had made it look so fucking easy.

But Max wasn’t normal.

He was the anomaly. He was a genius. And he had the boyfriend to match it. Dan looked at Max like he was an angel, as though Max was the most perfect and most beautiful person on the planet.

Valtteri wanted that.

He wanted what his brother had because his brother made it look easy.

“You’re fucking stupid,” Charles sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “He likes you, you idiot.”

“No he doesn’t,” Valtteri shook his head, refusing to even entertain the thought.

“He wouldn’t have come over to hang out with someone who is doing completely different A-Levels to him if he didn’t have a thing for you.”

“And he looks at you the same way Dan looks at Max, he fancies you, Val.”

“He can do better than me...”

Joint smacks hit the back of Valtteri’s head and he flinched as he rubbed the spot the twins had hit.

“Ouch!”

“Stop being a dick. Only we can bully you, you can’t bully yourself. Lewis has a thing for you, everyone knows it.”

“Just because he’s got a thing for me it doesn’t mean he wants to date me.”

“Oh yeah because Lewis Hamilton has a fuck and duck reputation,” Charles said sarcastically, rolling his eyes, “He has a thing for you. Everyone knows it. And after we talked about it at LCF, you know you want to be with him as much as he wants to be with you.”

Valtteri leaned back onto his hands, disposing the twins from his shoulders and stretching his legs out in front of him.

“I don’t know, guys, what if-”

“How long did I wait to get a date with Daniel?” Max said, cutting Valtteri off.

“What?”

“How long did I wait to get a date with Daniel?”

“I dunno, you’ve had a thing for him since the second you started at Forests that first day of year 7,” Valtteri shrugged.

“Exactly. And I have been crushing hardcore on him since I was fourteen, Valtteri. Fourteen years old. I was 3 days shy of turning 17 when we went on our first date. Three fucking years of pining and six years of looking at him in the distance and wishing he would just turn around and smile at me,” Max said, “And I thought I would never get that. Lewis smiles at you all the time. He asks about you all the time. Lewis wants to date you. He wouldn’t be coming over here and talking with us and helping Charles and looking after us if he didn’t care about you. He wants to fall for you, it’s about time you caught him.”

“Daniel’s has had a thing for you for years-”

“Same with Lewis for you.”

“He’s been hung up on that Nico kid.”

“Nico got taken back to Monaco and the last I heard he’s got himself a new guy. Lewis moved on, Valtteri. Stop deciding for yourself that he hasn’t,” Charles nudged him. “You told me to take fate into my hands. To own the world if the world was trying to kick me out. You told me that no one but you can write your future. And I thought it was bullshit at the time, but you deserve to do this, Val, you deserve to be able to take the world and just fucking try for once. You have to believe us, we wouldn’t be telling you this if we didn’t know that you and Lewis are meant to try this.”

“But what if it doesn’t work out?” Valtteri asked, his voice going quiet with nerves.

“Everyone thought me and Dan wouldn’t last a week. It’s been six months since we got together and I still think every single day that it’s going to end because someone like Dan can do so much better than someone like me. But I know him, and I trust him. If shit doesn’t work out, fuck, your heart gets broken, but so what? You tried. And it hurts for a bit. And you cry and you distract yourself and you play a bit more FIFA with us two. But you’ll know one thing,” Max told him, forcing Valtteri to look at him, “You tried. And you got to experience it. And, sometimes, that’s worth a hell of a lot more than anything else.”

“Let yourself try, Val, we’ll be there to bury his body if he fucks you over,” Charles nudged.

“I dunno…”

“What was it you told me when I had to start taking medication?” Max said, and Valtteri shrugged. Max had been on and off his meds since he was twelve, he had no idea what he’d told him.

“You said that life isn’t about being easy. Sometimes things go wrong but no matter what it’ll make a difference and shape you to be who you’re meant to be,” Max told him, “And that’s what this is going to be with Lewis. This could be the best worst decision of your life. You might date Lewis for a few months, a few years or for the rest of your life. But you won’t know if you don’t just try, Valtteri.”

“Hey, Val?” Lewis’ voice cut through and the trio of siblings turned abruptly, “I’m done with your Dad, do you want to go back to revising?”

The twins nudged him and smiled at him encouragingly.

“It’s still creepy when you two do things at the exact same time.”

The twins grinned evilly and Valtteri shook his head, escaping before the chaos demons could cause any more problems.

“What did my dad want?” Valtteri asked as they walked back to his room.

“He offered to take me to the office with him. He says there’s a lawyer coming in over the next few days who specialises in sustainable business law. And he wanted to know if I wanted to come and shadow it all for a bit.”

“Oh.. cool,” Valtteri mumbled, settling back at his desk and burying his head back in his work. He couldn’t be thinking about Lewis right now. Couldn’t be thinking about the way Lewis was looking at him as though he wanted to say something more.

The two of them worked in silence, the only sound the scratching of Valtteri’s pencil against the papers and Lewis’ occasional tapping against a keyboard as he searched for information.

“I fucking hate physics,” Valtteri muttered eventually, running his hands over his face and sighing deeply.

Valtteri jumped when he felt Lewis’ hands over his shoulders and..

Was that a fucking kiss to his temple?!

Did Lewis…

Did Lewis Hamilton just kiss his temple?

“You’re smart, you can do this. Just stop, take a moment to breathe, and then carry on. You are smart, special, and so good, Val. You can do this, I believe in you,” Lewis mumbled and Valtteri took a deep breath.

He turned his head slightly and looked at Lewis, their faces centimetres apart and if Vatlteri just tilted his chin up, he’d be able to catch Lewis’ lips in his own.

He’d be able to feel how soft they were.

He’d be able to tell the twins they were right.

“Thank you, Lew,” Valtteri murmured, smiling softly.

“You are brilliant, believe in yourself because I do.”

Valtteri’s eyes flicked down to Lewis’ lips again, and Valtteri really wanted to scream when the noise of his brothers sprinting past his room startled Lewis away.

He really was going to strangle the little bastards one day.

——

“Thank you for bringing me along, Seb, I really appreciate it.”

“No worries, Lewis. Valtteri said you were worried about getting enough experience and he told me that you wanted to study environmental studies for Law, how’s that going?” Seb asked as they walked into the firm.

“Okay, Cambridge offered me a scholarship and I was emailing with one of the lecturers and it sounds like I’d be happy there.”

“What was it again? Valtteri said something about Land Law?”

“Land Economy, so it’d be law, economics and business, so kinda pulls everything I do now together into a degree.”

“That sounds, honestly, kind of painful. Corporate Law will forever be the absolute bane of my existence.”

“I don’t mind it,” Lewis shrugged, following after Seb and standing at his side as he spoke to someone.

“You’re a better lawyer than half of us in this building then,” Seb laughed, “You’ll be good if you don’t mind corporate law. But it’s sustainable business practices you want to sort of go into, am I right?”

“Yeah, so I’d just be fighting all the big boy capitalist idiots,” Lewis told him which had Seb laugh.

“You’re going to like Toto then. I’ve never met someone who is as committed to annoying the men at the top of the foodchain as him.”

They walked up to Seb’s office, occasionally stopping so that Seb could discuss contracts and upcoming cases with the other lawyers, and introducing Lewis to them.

“This is Lewis, he’s my son’s friend,” Seb told them, “And Lewis this is Catherine.”

“You worked on Charles’ case? I followed what you did with that. It was very impressive to see what you did.”

“I did,” Catherine told him, before pursing her lips and tilting her head slightly as she seemed to almost analyse Lewis, “What’s your goal? Let me guess, corporate?”

Lewis laughed and looked up at Seb.

“I didn’t tell her anything,” Seb held his hands up, “There’s a reason why I put her on Charles’ case. She knows things.”

“Yeah, I know things such as the fact that Britta is hunting your ass down and if you don’t get up there ASAP she will punch you in the throat.”

“She’s always going to punch me in the throat, that’s Britta’s job.”

Lewis followed after Seb, looking around with wide eyes as they reached Seb’s office. It was large, larger than Lewis’ bedroom with floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the realms of London. There was covered storage stretching around the room, and a large glass desk in front of the the windows.

“You alright?”

“This is intense,” Lewis told him.

“First time you’ve ever been in a law firm like this?”

Lewis nodded slowly, looking out at the world.

“Do you ever just stand in front of these windows and look down at the world beneath your feet and think about the fact that there’s people out there that you’ve helped? That you’ve saved and you have no idea what they’re doing now?”

“All the time,” Seb told him, coming up to stand beside him, “When we adopted the twins, for so long afterwards all I thought about was the kids I didn’t save and wondering what happened to them. And you spend days and days thinking about what you’ve done wrong, what you did do and what you didn’t do. And when you lose your first trial, because it will happen regardless of how good you are, it haunts you. You think you’ve cost someone everything because they put their trust in you to save their world and you ruined it. But that’s law, Lewis. It’s scary and it’s intense and it’s hours of work for sometimes a very little payoff. But every single time I walk out of that courtroom and I see a parent hug their child or a family member of someone that was hurt shakes my hand because I got the bad guys to pay for it, it makes all the sleepless nights worth it.”

“Do you ever worry you’re taking on the wrong client?”

“Sometimes. Sometimes you have to take on a client who is an absolute shit and you want nothing more than to turn them down. But you have to put these things aside. One day, you’ll get a client and they’ll be a bit of a prick, but you know that actually they’re right. And it’s your job to make them see that you can be right and not a prick. I’m not saying that if you’ve got a client who is racist, or homophobic or discriminates against LGBTQIAP+ people, or is sexist or whatever is someone you should represent just to be the bigger person. But there’s a difference between getting a client who makes you want to pull your hair out and a client who makes you want to punch them in the face.”

“And yet you do both of them things to me every single day, Sebastian,” a lady’s voice cut through and Lewis turned to see a blonde lady in a beautifully fitting red dress and black heels dropping papers onto Seb’s desk.

“Yeah, but I’m your absolute favourite lawyer in the whole wide world,” Seb grinned at her, and the lady smacked him with a folder.

“Well this one isn’t Dan, so which one is this one with?”

“This is Lewis, the eldest future son in law,” Seb grinned and the lady sighed and hit him with the folder again.

Lewis felt a blush dance across his cheeks.

Had Sebastian picked up on the fact that he had a thing for Valtteri?

Oh wow Lewis really wanted to combust right now.

Had he really been that obvious?

“Don’t call him that you idiot, can’t you see the poor boy is embarrassed?”

Lewis dropped his head and bit his lip under the two adults gaze.

“I’m Britta, Lewis, it’s lovely to meet you, seeing as some idiot lawyer doesn’t have the good sense to introduce me,” Britta said, shaking Lewis’ hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Britta.”

“Such a polite boy. Your lads do know how to pick them, don’t they, Seb?”

“I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing him and Valtteri doing anything but talking, and therefore this one is my favourite out of him and Dan.”

Lewis laughed. He’d heard horror stories from Valtteri about Max and Dan not always being quiet or Max spending way too much sitting on Daniel’s lap and making out with him for hours it seemed, but hearing it come from Valtteri’s Dad was definitely entertaining. Max was always the quiet one and it still made Lewis laugh how different he was with Daniel.

“Toto will be here in about half an hour, he said in his email that he looks forward to meeting the future of Law you told him about.”

Lewis looked up sharply at Seb, and saw the fond grin Seb gave him back.

“You will be. One day, I’ll be fighting in court and all I’ll hear is the words ‘Lewis Hamilton has won another case’, and I’ll be proud of you. You’re the future of this world, Lewis, make sure you embrace it, and fight the causes every single day. I believe you can.”

“Thank you, Seb,” Lewis said quietly.

He’d grown up hearing stories of how quickly Seb won cases. He’d grown up hearing from the twins about how their Daddy used to fight the bad guys and make them go away. He’d grown up hearing about how Sebastian Räikkönen-Vettel was The Lawyer that you wanted fighting your corner because he was the guy who always came out on top.

For him to have that kind of faith in Lewis really cut down any worries and defences Lewis had.

He’d always do this job to make himself and his family proud. And now he’d do it to prove to Sebastian that he hadn’t done the wrong thing in believing in him.

“About Valtteri though…” Lewis mumbled.

Seb grinned and fell into his chair behind the desk. He motioned for Lewis to sit down and Lewis sat down, unbuttoning his blazer as he sank into the plush chair.

“Talk to me about how in love with my son you are,” Sebastian told him, handing across a file after checking something. “Impress me with picking up on something in there and I’ll let you marry him by the end of the week.”

Lewis blushed again and took the folder into his hands.

“SEBASTIAN STOP TORTURING HIM!” Britta shouted through, making Lewis jump.

“STOP LISTENING TO MY CONVERSATIONS!” Sebastian shouted back and Lewis laughed.

Now he saw where Charles got his personality from.

He may not think it, but he was a literal carbon copy of Seb, and Lewis couldn’t stop laughing.

———

“You told Lewis I have a thing for him?!” Valtteri screamed, causing Sebastian to jump in much the same way he’d seen Lewis jump when Britta had shouted through at the office.

He’d been home for a few hours, Lewis dropped off at his home, exhausted and happy after getting to shadow Toto Wolff for the day, and Seb hadn’t turned him off Law completely so he’d class that as a win. And now he was home, Kimi’s arm around his waist and his head resting on Kimi’s shoulder, close to falling asleep on the sofa.

“What?”

“You told him I have a crush on him! I never even said anything to you about him!”

“I didn’t tell him anything about you. Val, I’m a lawyer, I notice things. And I noticed that every single time I mentioned your name, his face got a little bit brighter. I never said that you have a thing for him, only ever that he’d got a thing for you.”

“And now he’s never going to talk to me again!”

“Or he’s going to actually ask you on a date because he was the one who asked me about you?” Seb said, running his hand through his hair, “Trust me, kid, I haven’t done anything. Just talk to him.”

“I don’t want him to reject me dad…”

“Kid, I have not seen that look he gives you on anyone’s face aside from Dan and your Dad. Lewis has a crush on you, just accept it and ask the poor lad on a date. You’re both insufferable with your young teenage love.”

“If he says no, you’re paying for my every food shop my first semester of uni.”

“Deal. And if he says yes, you have to tell your brothers that you was the one who broke the red playstation controller when they were fourteen.”

“I ain’t admitting that!” Valtteri said, but he knew he wasn’t going to win this negotiation.

“Ask Lewis out, Val. Let yourself be happy.”

“I hate you.”

“Love you too, kid,” Seb said.

He and Kimi watched Valtteri walk off again, grumbling under his breath before he went quiet.

“Did you seriously talk to Lewis about Val?”

“I told Lewis he can marry Val if he wants,” Seb told him, grinning at Kimi.

“There’s a reason our kids are going to murder you one day,” Kimi laughed, kissing Seb’s forehead.

“Hey, Clara told me I’d marry you one day on the first day we ever met. Maybe there’s some magic in speaking it into the world, Kimi.”

Kimi rolled his eyes but squeezed Seb into his side a little tighter and kissed his head again.

“You’re still that same law loving nerd of a brat I fell in love with all those years ago.”

“And you wouldn’t swap me for the world.”

"I'm not being here the day the twins find out that Valtteri was the one to break that controller though," Kimi told him.

"God no," Seb agreed, "I'll make sure we're far gone when they find that out. I'm not listening to that argument again."

——

Lewis

Let me take you out on a date

I’d love that x

Chapter Text

“OI, DICKHEADS!” Valtteri shouted, summoning the chaos twins into his room.

He heard a huff and a shout before the sound of feet banging up the wooden stairs echoed through the house, the twins ever present bickering and what sounded to be one of them being slammed into a wall causing Valtteri to shake his head in exasperation.

“What’s up?” Charles said as he almost threw himself into Valtteri’s bedroom, Max centimetres behind and trying to push Charles out the doorway.

“How may we be of service?”

The twins looked up and instantly their faces softened as they took in the chaos of Valtteri’s room and the way he was stood with an anxious expression in just his shorts.

“It’s our first date,” he quietly told them, “And I don’t know what to wear.”

Charles sighed and pushed Valtteri onto the bed.

“Are you still doing what you planned?”

Valtteri nodded.

“Fine, it’s kinda warm but not hot? So you’re still going to want a jumper,” Charles started, taking control as he rifled through Valtteri’s wardrobe. He looked over his shoulder at Valtteri, trailing his eyes over his, pursed his lips and furrowed his eyebrows, and then carried on looking through the wardrobe.

“You’re really asking him for fashion advice?” Max joked, sitting down beside Valtteri and nudging his shoulder.

“You’re wearing a bright yellow hoodie that doesn’t fit you because you stole it from your boyfriend, you don’t get an opinion,” Valtteri quipped back.

“Yeah but I also know that wearing Dan’s clothes is the best way to get him to f-“

“ALRIGHTY THEN,” Charles announced, cutting off Max and turning abruptly, “Here’s what I have planned.”

Charles threw some dark wash jeans at Valtteri.

“Wear these and roll the cuffs up slightly,” Charles ordered and Valtteri quickly pulled his shorts off and the jeans on.

Valtteri pulled his knee to his chest and folded the cuffs up as Charles instructed.

A pair of socks hit him in the face next and Valtteri barely avoided throwing an ice skate back at his brother.

His dad wouldn’t appreciate blood on the carpet.

“So you don’t want to overdress, it’s a lunch date, that would be weird. So instead, we’re going to do simple,” Charles said, his hands moving dramatically as he explained his vision, “You’ve got blue eyes, right, so we need to bring them out. Powder blue, always a good choice, but also, and bear with me on this, orange, but a specific shade of orange. We don’t want a bright one, we want a more matted orange, a pumpkin shade, if you will.”

“What the fuck is he going on about?” Max whispered as Charles turned back to the wardrobe again.

“I’m kinda scared,” Valtteri agreed, the two of them laughing softly at the way Charles worked.

“I’d have just put you in t-shirt and sent you on your way,” Max told him.

“And that’s why I’m going to the London College of Fashion and you’re not,” Charles interrupted without ever turning back to them, “But I think for a first date, we go subtle. I’m thinking a blue or a green.”

“Can’t I just wear the white one?” Valtteri asked.

Immediately his eyes widened when Charles slowly turned his head to glare at him.

“Do you want to look like you’ve put absolutely no effort in?”

“But Max-”

“Max doesn’t count. He has anxiety. We dress him in safe clothes. You don’t. Be a bit bold. You asked him out by saying ‘let me take you on a date’, you can wear something that makes you stand out a bit.”

Max scoffed and rolled his eyes, before falling back to lay on his back.

“So, you know when it’s all happening, yeah?”

“Yep,” Valtteri nodded, “Got to get him to Trafalgar Square for 2pm. I’m meeting him at the train station for 12, and then we’ll go for lunch first and then head down to Trafalgar. It’s only a ten minute walk.”

Max smiled softly at Valtteri as he regaled the plan off, and Valtteri rolled his eyes.

“What?”

“Nothing, it’s just nice to see you excited about this,” Max shrugged, “Lewis is a good guy anyway.”

“If he stops with his fuckin’ God complex,” Charles muttered, “Anyway, here.”

Charles chucked a light grey shirt at Valtteri's head.

“Are you colour blind? I thought you wanted me to wear a blue or green shirt?”

“I changed my mind, I’m going for a new aesthetic,” Charles impatiently told him, rolling his eyes like it should’ve been obvious.

Valtteri didn’t question him, instead pulled the soft grey shirt on and stared at his brother.

“Okay so here’s what I’m thinking: if you going to be walking a lot, we need comfort, right? But, also, multi-purpose. So, by wearing the grey shirt, we can use your grey puma’s because they’re fresh, they’re new, they look clean, to compliment the top, and then put this dark green jacket over it. It’s got the pockets that you’ll need for your phone and cards and wallet, and still looks fashion ready.”

Valtteri stared at his brother for a moment, not having any idea what Charles was truly banging on about, but ultimately followed Charles’ instructions and quickly laced the trainers up and pulled the jacket on.

“What do you think?”

Charles and Max looked at each other, the twins having a silent conversation before they looked back at Valtteri.

“Good,” Max nodded.

“You don’t look shit,” Charles agreed.

“You two really know how to dish out compliments,” Valtteri rolled his eyes, but smiled at the terrible two.

“Have fun.” Max quietly told him as he got up.

“And if he upsets you, I’ll kick his ass,” Charles continued.

“We both will,” Max promised.

“You won’t need to do that,” Valtteri shrugged. “I’m a big boy.”

“And yet you threaten Dan every single time he comes over.”

“You’re my baby brothers, I’ll always threaten whoever you fall for,” he shrugged, “Anyway, I’m going to go grab a coffee and then head out, you two want anything?”

The twins nodded and the trio headed downstairs into the kitchen.

“Looking smart, Val,” Sebastian nodded, smiling proudly.

“Thanks,” he flushed, turning his back and pressing some buttons on the coffee machine.

“You’re not having any coffee, Charles,” Sebastian warned when Charles jumped up to sit on the counter beside him, “I’m serious. You’ve been bouncing off the walls all morning, if you have caffeine you will be insufferable. Go and do your art if you want to get some energy out, your dad is in the garage with the spray paint.”

“But daaaaaad-”

“No, Charles, no coffee.”

Charles pouted and flung himself back off the counter, stalking off and muttering under his breath about the injustice of being nearly an adult and his Dad not allowing him to have coffee.

“You alright then, Val?”

Valtteri nodded slowly.

“You’ll be fine, kiddo, you and Lewis have known each other long enough, you’ll be fine. If Max can survive going on a date to literally his worst nightmare and he’s kept Dan, you’ll do fine with Lewis,” Sebastian told him.

Valtteri handed a drink across to Max, kissed his brother’s forehead which had Max punch him lazily, and then made his own.

“Any idea when you’ll be home?”

“Probably not till dinner, but I don’t know,” Valtteri shrugged, “I’m going now anyway, I’ll see you later, yeah?”

“Just send me a message if you’re not coming home for dinner,” Sebastian asked and when Valtteri nodded, he brushed his hand over Valtteri’s hair and kissed his forehead, “Enjoy yourself, kleiner.”

“Thanks Dad,” he said awkwardly, pushing himself away and grabbing his espresso. He necked it quickly, waved goodbye to his brother and Dad, and headed out. He could hear Kimi’s music playing in the garage and the sound of Charles laughing, and Valtteri smiled at it.

Charles had started laughing more lately, and yet Valtteri still worried for him every day. He just had to keep reminding himself that Charles was slowly doing better and even on the days that he couldn’t get out of bed and he spent hours laying in the darkness in silence, Valtteri was still so fucking proud of him for fighting. Having been accepted into his Fashion College for when he started at university next September a couple of weeks prior, Charles was finding more reasons to smile these days. Valtteri hoped it continued like that. Charles deserved to smile. And, fuck, did he deserve someone to help make him smile.

Walking to the train station didn’t take long, and Valtteri sat on a bench outside whilst he waited for Lewis. He nervously flicked his phone between his fingers and bounced his leg as he stared into the distance. He wished he could say his mind was lost in thought, but it wasn’t. Emptiness filled his mind, pictures flashing through his head of Lewis’ smile. Lewis in a suit. Lewis looking at his dogs. Lewis holding Charles in his arms when he broke down at school a few weeks ago and was trying to tear the skin from his body. That had been particularly scary to witness. But Lewis had been there. He’d always be there.

“Hey,” Lewis’ voice cut through and Valtteri sharply looked up.

“Hi.”

Fuck Lewis looked amazing.

No one should look that good in pure monochrome and yet Lewis did.

He had skinny black jeans on, accentuating his long legs that caused him to tower over Valtteri, a white t-shirt tucked into his jeans and the belt tight around his waist. A gold chain rested against his sternum and a black denim jacket over the top. The sleeves of the jacket were folded up, showing the start of Lewis’ tattoo on his forearm.

“You look good in your glasses,” Valtteri mumbled, his eyes tracing over the round silver frames, following it up to look at the hat covering his hair.

“Thanks,” Lewis blushed, and the two boys looked at their trainers, both of them embarrassed and nervous. “I’ve never seen you in that jacket, you should wear it more.”

“Charles told me to wear it,” Valtteri quietly said, making Lewis laugh softly.

“Should’ve known he got involved.”

“I asked him to, I was so nervous I didn’t know what to wear.”

Lewis looked up sharply and ran his fingers down Valtteri’s arm to catch his hand,

“You don’t have to be nervous, it’s only me.”

“And that’s why I am, you’re amazing.”

“As are you,” Lewis promised, gently pulling on his hand and nodding in the direction of the train station, “C’mon, we’ve got a train to catch.”

Lewis dropped Valtteri’s hand and Valtteri quickly wiped his hands across the tops of his thighs, wiping away the sweaty palms and following Lewis into the station. They scanned their Oyster cards and wandered through.

“We want platform 1,” Valtteri nodded, “Kings Cross.”

“You taking me to Hogwarts, Val?” Lewis grinned, following Valtteri down the stairs onto the platform.

“Maybe I should, can finally prove to you you’re an absolute Gryffindor.”

“I swear I’m not! I’m a Hufflepuff!” Lewis argued, pushing Valtteri’s shoulder playfully.

“Nah, you’d 100% be a Gryffindor. The hat wouldn’t even touch your head and it’d be screaming you’re a Gryffindor.”

“Lies, absolute lies. I’m all about the animals, man.”

“Charles would definitely say you’re a Slytherin,” Valtteri pointed out, “So I’d say stick with believing you’re a Gryffindor, it’s the safest bet.”

“How am I a Slytherin?!” Lewis admonished, laughing as he followed Valtteri onto the train.

They sat down opposite each other, Lewis’ long legs stretching between Valtteri’s.

“You know my brother,” Valtteri shrugged, smiling at him, “He thinks you want to win everything, he doesn’t get why you’re as confident as you are, and he’s still really hung up on you beating that one time and still thinks you purposefully sabotaged him.”

“Can I tell you a secret?” Lewis grinned, and Valtteri instantly knew where this was going.

“Sure…”

“I didn’t sabotage him. I just didn’t stop Nico from sabotaging him,” Lewis laughed, his eyes shining with mirth and Valtteri’s heart stopped.

Lewis’ smile was beautiful. He never wanted to see anything but that.

“I’m going to tell him that,” Valtteri smiled and Lewis quickly tried to stop him.

“No,” He laughed, “Don’t tell him, I can’t fight with him again.”

Valtteri smiled and the two playfully argued for a little while longer. The train ride was only thirty minutes and they conversed quietly for a while before falling silent. The silence was welcomed as they smiled softly at each other.

They’d known each other since Valtteri and his family had moved to the UK when he was seven years old, and at first, Valtteri had been scared. They’d lived in numerous countries by this point and as a result Valtteri’s accent was a bit all over the place. And in the way that seven and eight year olds do, they’d treated him like a new toy, trying to get him to say 'funny' words and he’d been terrified. All Valtteri wanted to do was ice skate and play with his little brothers, but his brothers were in the lower school and Valtteri was in the upper school. He couldn’t stick by their sides anymore.

He’d been scared and ran away at some point, hiding in the cloakroom under his coat and cuddling his stuffed reindeer to his chest as he quietly cried.

He should’ve been used to moving between schools, he was only seven years old and this was already his fourth school, but this one was different. This was the first time he’d been in a school where almost everyone was one nationality (in this case English) and he wasn’t. They’d only ever been to international schools before, where you got people from all over the world in one school. He hadn’t stood out then. Now he did. His brothers at least had each other to blend against, Valtteri was alone in the big school with no one but his reindeer and he’d been scared.

That was until another little boy had peaked his head around the corner, his dark eyes wide with concern. He’d come and sat beside Valtteri and gently patted his head, stroked the reindeer clutched between Valtteri’s fingers and prised his fingers away from the toy to hold his hand.

“Do you ever think about the fact that you were my first friend?” Valtteri asked, cocking his head and smiling at him.

“I remember seeing you, sat on the floor and holding your toy, and making you holding my hand because I didn’t know how else to look after you. I just didn’t want you to cry anymore.”

“I can’t thank you enough for how much you showed me those first few weeks,” Valtteri flushed, and when Lewis leaned across and pulled Valtteri’s hand into his own, he blushed even harder.

“It’s just what you do when you’re a nice person,” Lewis told him, stroking his fingers over Valtteri’s.

‘The next stop is Kings Cross Station’

“This is us,” Valtteri reminded him, pulling his hand away from Lewis’ and following the stream of people getting ready to climb off the train.

The two of them headed out of the station and Valtteri quickly checked the directions on his phone.

“We’re going for lunch first, and then I’m taking you somewhere else, okay?” Valtteri checked and Lewis nodded.

“I trust you,” he promised, following after Valtteri as they set off through London.

They stayed fairly close to each other as they walked, their hands brushing as they walked, and occasionally catching the other’s eye as they weaved their way through.

London was warm in late April, the sun blazing down on them and the clouds hiding for a change. It was almost as though the universe was giving Valtteri a shining light to tell him there was faith in him for this to go well. If it had been dark and dreary, he’d have assumed things would go wrong. But here? In the warmth of the light? The universe was telling him to be positive, to be optimistic, to trust that things would go right.

And, please, Valtteri just hoped it was going to.

“This is where I wanted to bring you,” Valtteri murmured quietly as they stopped in front of the place.

He pressed his hand to the base of Lewis’ back and urged him forward, opening the door and letting him in.

Lewis was looking around with bright eyes and an excited smile on his lips as they were shown to a seat.

“This is a Vegan café,” Lewis said as he took the menu into his hands, never once looking away from Valtteri.

Valtteri pulled his bottom lip between his teeth, ran his hand nervously over his hair and nodded.

“Yep.”

“But you’re not Vegan. You’re not even Vegetarian.”

“But you are,” Valtteri mumbled, “And I knew this was the place you’d be happiest.”

“Valtteri Räikkönen-Vettel, I adore you so much,” Lewis murmured, his eyes shining happily and Valtteri flushed under his gaze.

“I like vegetables anyway,” he shrugged, trying to drag the attention away from himself.

Charles wasn’t good with sympathy and praise, he got nervous. Max just never knew what was happening anyway.

But Valtteri just didn’t know what to do when people were happy with him for being a good human.

He wasn’t doing anything special. He was just trying to make Lewis smile. Why did that qualify him to be a better person than anyone else?

It didn’t, at least not in his mind? He wasn’t going to take Lewis to a steak restaurant where he could only eat a salad or anything similar. Coming to a place like this, it was somewhere in which Lewis would be happy and that’s what Valtteri wanted.

He wanted Lewis to be happy.

“I’ve always wanted to come here,” Lewis told him.

“I know,” Valtteri quietly admitted, “You mentioned it last year, I was just hoping I could be the person to bring you here.”

Lewis looked up sharply.

“You remembered?”

“I remember everything involving you,” Valtteri shrugged, playing with the corner of the menu before smiling at him. “You’re pretty hard to not remember things for.”

“Underneath that badass hockey player vibe, you’re an absolute softy, do you know that?”

“Just don’t tell my brothers, yeah?” Valtteri smiled, which made Lewis laugh.

“Don’t worry, if I can avoid Charles and an argument, I will,” he agreed, and Valtteri had to laugh.

The arguments between Lewis and Charles truly could go on for hours, days. To be honest, Charles was the kind of person that was still holding a grudge on this kid from when they lived in France.

They’d lived in France when Charles was six.

He was very stubborn.

“Can I take an order, lads?” A waitress asked, popping up beside the table and smiling happily at them.

“Can I have the Guac Burger, and the DJ Kale-id smoothie, please?” Lewis ordered, grinning at the pun.

“Of course, and for you sweetie?” She asked, making a note before turning to Valtteri.

“Er, just the classic burger and water please,” he asked.

Everything was plant-based at the small joint and Valtteri wasn’t that well-versed in Vegan cuisine to know what was good, but he’d had some of Lewis’ food before that had nuts and beans in it, and that had been good. He trusted that Lewis would’ve stopped him had he ordered something he wasn’t going to like.

“Thank you for bringing me here,” Lewis told him, loosely tying their fingers together on the table top.

Lewis ran his thumb over Valtteri’s knuckles, smiling softly.

“How’s revision going?” Valtteri quietly asked, wanting to change the subject onto something they were both better at.

They quietly spoke for a while about school, Lewis making him laugh with another tale of his research into ‘why America really does seem made up’ and Lewis listening and watching when Valtteri started to explain some weirdly complicated theorem on nuclear energy and how to make it more renewable and sustainable. They passed the napkin and pen back and forth as they came up with a system that would allow for bigger business to create a more sustainable energy source.

“Well taxing them is just useless, maybe removing resources is the better option,” Lewis ended up agreeing, “It’s definitely something to look into.”

“I can’t wait for the day you’ll be arguing this with people smart enough to understand all of your law stuff, you’re so amazing,” Valtteri told him, “The way your mind works, it’s amazing.”

The food interrupted them before Lewis could respond, and Lewis honestly looked like he was going to fall in love on the spot.

“That is the most beautiful vegan burger I’ve ever seen,” Lewis murmured, holding it up and looking at it closely.

“The green sauce looks like it belongs to a monster from Scooby-Doo,” Valtteri pointed out.

“And now you’ve ruined my burger,” Lewis laughed.

Valtteri’s ‘burger’ looked more standard, and when he bit into it for the first time, the beetroot ketchup and ‘special sauce’ running down his chin, he knew this was the place he’d come back to in a heartbeat.

“This is fucking beautiful,” Valtteri told Lewis after he swallowed his mouthful.

Lewis raised his eyebrows and smiled excitedly.

“Yeah? Good! We’ll have to come back then.”

“Are you inviting on a second date, Hamilton?”

“I think I might be, Räikkönen-Vettel,” Lewis replied.

“I think I might have to take you up on that.”

“I think you might.”

The two of them grinned at each other before pulling back to their burgers.

“Here, you gotta try this,” Valtteri told him, holding the burger across the table for Lewis to take a bite of.

Lewis’ fingers rested against Valtteri’s as he held the burger still, and when Lewis kept staring at him as he took the bite, Valtteri really wanted nothing more than to lean across the table and wipe the sauce off Lewis’ lips with his own.

But he was getting ahead of himself. He hadn’t even held Lewis’ hand properly.

“That is a really good burger,” Lewis agreed, wiping his mouth with the napkin.

Lewis passed across his burger and Valtteri took a bite, the taste exploding like a firework on his taste buds as the spice of the salsa fought against the softness of the sweet potato.

“Definitely coming back here,” Valtteri agreed, “I want to eat these burgers for the rest of my life.”

“I’ll do you deliveries down to uni,” Lewis promised.

And Valtteri’s heart dropped.

Uni.

Fuck.

He’d forgotten about that…

They were due to be moving to separate parts of the country in five months, and they’d be hours from each other. And if they both got into their unis, they’d be at least three hours from each other by train.

Suddenly, Valtteri was really fucking jealous of his brother.

Max got Dan, half an hour away, regardless of if he was at school or when he started uni.

And Valtteri couldn’t just pop and see Lewis when they started at uni.

That wasn’t an option.

“Hey, don’t think about that,” Lewis murmured, “Let’s just enjoy ourselves, yeah? We’ll make it work.”

“What if something goes wrong?”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Lewis promised, “Right now, we’re eating burgers and going to explore London because you promised you was taking me somewhere cool.”

Valtteri nodded and quickly finished his burger off. He checked the time and they still had ten minutes before they needed to be leaving, and Lewis was nearly done anyway. There was a thread of notifications on his phone screen, mostly the whatsapp chat he shared with the twins and Dan, and when he saw the words ’97 more notifications’ underneath the top text, he knew the twins were probably arguing and Dan was goading them on.

“Everything okay?”

“Twins are arguing,” Valtteri shrugged, pushing his phone back into his pocket.

“Anything interesting?”

“Didn’t look, I’m only bothered about you right now,” Valtteri told him just to see the blush on Lewis’ cheeks.

“Do they ever stop arguing?” Lewis asked.

“Sometimes. Mostly when Dad kicks them out of wherever they are or sends Max out with Dan. And even then they just carry on arguing on our group chat. Dad confiscated their playstations, laptops, phones and their Nintendo Switches the other day because they got into a massive fight, and it was getting violent, like they get a violent a lot but this was a whole new level of arguing and to be honest no one knows what they were actually arguing about regardless. And so anyway these little shits, because they’ve had everything taken off them and Dad had banished them to separate corners of the house, found their Nintendo DS’s and carried on arguing on the chat function on the Nintendo DS.”

Lewis looked at Valtteri incredulously, shaking his head slowly.

“Surely you’re lying to me...”

“No seriously look!” Valtteri pulled his phone out of his pocket and flicked through his photo album to find pictures of the screens to show him.

Lewis read through them, laughing hard at the twins constantly finding new ways to argue.

“Those two are wild, man.”

“Little demons is what you mean,” Valtteri corrected, but even he was smiling and laughing.

Those two really do embody pure chaos all the time and Valtteri couldn’t imagine have a better set of siblings.

Valtteri paid the bill quickly and the two of them set back off through London.

“It’s nice how close you three are,” Lewis said suddenly, “My brother is 7 years younger than me, and I love him, but the bond you three have is so different.”

“There’s 5 and a half weeks between us in age, we didn’t ever really have time to not like each other, I guess? We came into each other’s lives when we was nearly 5, and when you’re that age, you don’t see the differences. I’ve never thought about them any differently, to me they’re just my little brothers. I’ve never thought about the fact that they’re adopted.”

“Do you remember bringing them home?”

“Yeah, yeah I do. Me and Isä were at home, and Dad went away for a little bit. We were living in Holland at the time, and I remember going to the toy store one day, and Isä saying to me that I needed to pick out a toy, but it wasn’t for me. It was for someone who was going to be very scared. And I didn’t really get it, but I picked out this stuffed dog because I liked dogs, and we went to find my Dad. And the first time I got to play with them, Max cried and Charles kicked me. It was crazy at first but I always knew they were going to be my brothers. And when they came home, Charles was awful. He had really bad separation anxiety with Max and trying to do anything to those two was shit. But after a while, once they realised they were safe and they could stay with us forever, they settled down and became the chaotic duo that everyone knows them to be. I wouldn’t swap my brothers for the world even though I spend half my time arguing with them.”

“That’s brotherhood,” Lewis nudged, smiling softly at him.

It was rare to hear Valtteri speak so unfiltered, without guards up or preamble, but when you got him alone, talking about his brothers, he was a different person. He relaxed and all you could see was genuine adoration for his brothers flowing through.

“I’ll never forget that time that you punched Daniel, does Max even know about it?” Lewis asked.

Valtteri blushed and ducked his head.

“Nope,” he told him, “At least I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. And I doubt Daniel would ever tell him. Not over that.”

“Do you remember it?”

Valtteri nodded slowly. His hand was brushing Lewis’ with every step and he wanted nothing more than to grab hold of it and hold his hand properly, to feel Lewis’ fingers slot into place alongside his and make him feel at home.

“If he had done it, I don’t know what Max would’ve done. I don’t know if he’d have stopped at trying to move schools, or whether he would’ve just lost it and done something more extreme. He wasn’t in a good place when he was fourteen, and he had the biggest crush on Dan. It would’ve destroyed him.”

“But he didn’t,” Lewis reminded him, “You saved your brother, and I think Max doesn’t need to know, not now. Dan’s different and he cares a hell of a lot about Max, remember that. Your brother is safe with him now.”

“Still want to punch Ricciardo’s lights out sometimes.”

“There’s a reason he’s terrified of you, Val. But you just have to think, he’s changed. He’s grown up. He knows what he was going to do was wrong and he’s apologised. He’s different now, and he adores Max more than anything and anyone. It’s okay to not be so hypercritical of him all the time.”

“It’s just hard when you know what he’s capable of. It would absolutely destroy Max if this ever came out.”

“And it won’t,” Lewis told him, “And if it does, you’ll be there to explain to him that people change. It’s going to be okay, Valtteri.”

Valtteri nodded and shrugged.

“Anyway, come on, we’re on a date, we don’t need to be talking about my brothers.”

“Hey, you three are a package deal, I know that. Your brothers will always come first and I don’t mind talking about them.”

“Yeah well I kinda do. Talk to me about something you care about.”

“So you want me to talk about how lovely I think your eyes are? Sure, I can do that,” Lewis grinned and Valtteri rolled his eyes and scoffed.

“Fine seeing as you’re so against that topic, you get to hear more on ‘America is definitely made up’.” Lewis laughed, “So, the metric system.”

Lewis had this uncanny ability to constantly make Valtteri laugh, to pull him away from the parts of his mind that weren’t always fun to be in. The parts that worried about his brothers constantly, the parts of his mind that worried about his Dad when he had to meet with a client that could be dangerous. And Lewis always stopped those worries.

His voice was calming, like tranquility was rolling through his auditory system and warming his core.

“But also we cannot trust Trump or Amazon anyway, so who knows whether there is actually any proof or not.”

“Wait wait wait wait wait, you think Amazon are involved with the cover up of aliens in Area 51?”

“Who knows, man, I bet Jeff Bezos is a flat earther we can’t trust anything he says.”

“Charles wanted to be part of the storming Area 51 thing last year, if you tell him you think Bezos is involved in a cover up he will try and convince you to go to Nevada with him,” Valtteri warned. “The only way we were able to stop him was because Dad stole his passport and never told Charles where it was.”

“Where did he hide it?”

“In Charles’ backpack,” Valtteri grinned, “He will check everywhere but his backpack. He’s not cleaned his bag out in like a year and a half? I live with a gremlin.”

Lewis laughed and shook his head.

“Where are we even going anyway?” Lewis asked as they started to make their way towards where there were hordes of people starting to congregate.

“Just here,” Valtteri told him, taking his elbow and pulling him through the crowds.

“What is this?” Lewis followed after Valtteri, looking around with wide eyes at how busy Trafalgar Square was.

Valtteri never explained, and instead kept pushing his way through the crowds to the front.

“Val…” Lewis murmured when he looked up, “Valtteri, where are we?”

Valtteri flushed under his gaze and looked to the side for a moment.

“You always said you wished you could hear Greta Thunberg talk, and Dad’s PA told me this was happening. And so, here we are.”

“Valtteri Räikkönen-Vettel has anyone ever told you that you are the most amazing person on the planet?”

“’m not,” Valtteri shrugged, slightly embarrassed.

Lewis moved into Valtteri’s space, quickly taking his cap off and stuffing it into his pocket, before wrapping his hands around his jaw and Valtteri held his breath in anticipation.

Was this going to be the moment?

He swore to whatever deity existed that if one of his idiot brothers turned up now to ruin the moment he was going to throw them under the next red bus he sees.

“You are amazing,” Lewis whispered, pulling Valtteri in.

Valtteri’s hands dipped under Lewis’ jacket and he rested his hands against his sides. He could feel the heat of Lewis’ skin escaping under his shirt. Lewis’ hands were warm against the curve of Valtteri’s jaw, his fingers tickling the short hairs at the nape of his neck and his thumb brushing across his cheekbone.

“Can I kiss you?” Lewis whispered.

“Please,” Valtteri replied, and when Lewis brushed their lips together, he let his eyes fall shut and his hands tighten on Lewis’ hips.

Nobody took notice of the two teenagers lost in each other, and Valtteri was thankful. He let Lewis lead the kiss, let Lewis guide him, and as their lips moved slowly against each other, the noise of London died around them and all Valtteri could hear was the sound of his heartbeat battering his ears.

Kissing Lewis was everything he ever wanted. It was slow but strong, their lips moving slowly against each other. Lewis pushed slightly back against his mouth, and when Valtteri pulled back to catch his breath, Lewis dropped his forehead to rest against Valtteri’s.

“Kiss me again,” Valtteri murmured, and Lewis grinned, cradling Valtteri close and pressing their lips together once again.

Valtteri had never felt safer in someone’s arms, and he finally understood what Max meant when he said that all it took was Daniel’s hand in his for him to feel safe. Lewis made him feel grounded and it stopped his mind from whirring so fast. The kiss never escalated beyond their lips against the others, neither of them wanting their first ‘intense’ kiss to be in public when they were still having to be somewhat careful. But the way Lewis tilted Valtteri’s jaw to be able to catch his lips properly and held him like he was precious, it was perfect.

Valtteri should’ve guessed that their first kiss would be perfect. Of course it was, it was Lewis that he was kissing after all.

Everything involving Lewis was perfect.

When Lewis pulled away, Valtteri slowly opened his eyes, reluctant to pull away from the moment.

“Can we do this again?” Lewis whispered, his eyes anxious and his breaths catching as he tried to catch up.

“Yeah,” Valtteri murmured back, “I want to do this so bad all the time.”

Lewis’ face broke out into a true grin and Valtteri didn’t think he’d ever seen a more perfect smile.

“Good,” Lewis whispered, “Good, I hope we can.”

Valtteri nodded and they pulled back from each other fully. Lewis’ hands traced down his arms and caught at his hand.

Valtteri would like to reiterate his previous statement: everything involving Lewis was perfect. And Lewis holding his hand? Yeah that was pure perfection.

Lewis caught his eye, almost as though to say ‘is this okay?’ and when Valtteri squeezed his hand lightly, he ducked his head bashfully and toyed his lip between his teeth.

Lewis never let go of his hand the entire time, listening to Greta Thunberg talk and then following the crowds as they walked through London on the climate change protest. Lewis looked lost in the moment and Valtteri couldn’t stop smiling at the excited grin on Lewis’ face.

This was why he had done this. He cared about the environment and he tried to be as careful as he could with what he ate, but seeing the look on Lewis’ face of being lost in the excitement in the shared group mentality of this situation made it all better. He’d care about everything so much more if people like Lewis made it more exciting to do that.

The two of them wandered through London for a while, even after the protest had finished, neither of them wanting to go home and go back to reality. The longer they stayed lost in London, the longer they could pretend the world wasn’t existing, that they didn’t have exams coming up in a couple of weeks and that they would be bogged down in revision and stress-crying for the next two months. They both had 12 exams and a lot of them were 3 hours long, and they knew that over the coming months things wouldn’t be as bubblegum sweet as it was now. The longer they stayed wrapped up in their bubble of happiness, the longer they could pretend all they had to do was annoy their idiot little brothers.

Valtteri’s phone started vibrating in his pocket and he knew instantly it would be the twins blowing up his phone asking when he was going to be coming home without even having to look.

“Maybe we should go back,” Valtteri murmured, “But you can come round if you want, the twins are trying to convince Dad to order food rather than cook, and Dan’s over so it’d be cool if you want to come.”

“I’d like that,” Lewis agreed but neither of them made a move to stand up. They were sat on a bench overlooking the Thames and Lewis had his head dropped onto Valtteri’s shoulder. Their tied hands were dropped between them and their knees brushing.

“I’ve had a thing for you since I was 13 years old,” Valtteri quietly admitted, breaking the moment of silence.

Lewis wasn’t the first person he’d ever dated, but he was the first person that Valtteri ever truly felt something for. It was almost like it took him getting to know Lewis and understanding him as a person before his emotions properly made sense and he could feel himself falling for the older boy. He didn't really get it but he knew that it made sense somehow.

“You should’ve said something before.”

“You can do better than someone like me, I’m amazed I even got this far.”

Lewis looked up sharply, spinning on the bench and pulling his leg underneath him so that he could properly look at Valtteri and force him to look at him.

“You are the best to me. You see things that other people don’t. You chose a place that means something to me. You remember the silly things I’ve mentioned on a whim. You care about your brothers and you’re selfless in a way that no one else I’ve ever met is. You’re perfect, Valtteri. Let me share that with you. Let me share how happy you make me, and please, just believe in yourself,” Lewis told him, taking both of Valtteri’s hands now and holding him tight.

Valtteri didn’t know what to say and he awkwardly looked down, toying with Lewis’ fingers nervously.

“Seriously Val, you make me happy, believe that a boy like me could love a boy like you.”

And Valtteri thought that maybe, just maybe, a boy like him could get a boy like Lewis.

 

---- THE HOLIDAY TEXTS ----

Valtteri’s heart stopped under the warmth of the Spanish sun laying down upon him. His brothers were busy trying to murder each other in the water and his dads were wrapped up in a conversation. And Valtteri didn’t entirely know what to do.

It was his birthday, late August, and he and Lewis had been a thing for a few months already. But it didn’t mean that he’d ever expected a text message like that. He waited until they were at dinner and his dads were distracted with the chaos of Charles trying to justify being sold alcohol (Valtteri could see the lawyer in his dads quaking at his underage child being sold alcohol), to tell them.

“Lewis text me earlier,” Valtteri mumbled, which had everyone’s attention switch to him.

“What did he say?” Charles asked.

Valtteri opened his phone and showed them the text.

“Oh my god..” Max sighed.

Lewis

Happy Birthday Valtteri. I wish I could be there with you and see how the stars reflect off your eyes, I’m sure it’s not as beautiful as you though x

“I dunno what to do.” He admitted.

“Has he said anything else?” Charles asked.

Valtteri shook his head.

His Dad tried to get him to ring Lewis, to talk to him and hear those words fall from his lips. But Valtteri wouldn’t do that. He was absolutely terrible at being ‘cute’ with Lewis and he didn’t know how to be as adorable as Lewis was. He could do texts, but even this was outside of his usual realm of manageable.

The twins pulled Valtteri’s phone into their hands and Max instantly started tapping his fingers against the screen. As much as he tried to protest and worry, he knew the twins, when they put their minds together, could create something perfect.

Lewis

Happy Birthday Valtteri. I wish I could be there with you and see how the stars reflect off your eyes, I’m sure it’s not as beautiful as you though x

Thank you, Lewis. The world is infinitely brighter with your smile by my side x

Valtteri smiled at the softness of the message and pressed send, joking with the twins about this being the only reason he keeps them around. Max and Charles were joking around about having skills required to text boys, their Dads were smiling and rolling their eyes at Charles talking about his old sex life.

All Valtteri could feel was the weight of his phone on his leg as he watched the chaos of his family unfold around him. His Dads were quietly talking between themselves and he heard them talk about Max and Dan whilst the twins were busy trying to convince each other to neck their drinks in one.

The twins instantly dropped their drinks back onto the table and scooted their chairs closer to Valtteri’s when his phone pinged with a message.

“IT’S LEWIS!” Charles announced to the entire fucking world it seemed in his excitement.

The three boys huddled around the phone and the twins both awww’d whilst Valtteri flushed red.

Lewis

Happy Birthday Valtteri. I wish I could be there with you and see how the stars reflect off your eyes, I’m sure it’s not as beautiful as you though x

Thank you, Lewis. The world is infinitely brighter with your smile by my side x

The world is a better place with you in it. You make me smile more every single day and I love knowing that you exist. Continue being you, you amazing, wonderful, talented, beautiful man❤️ I love you x

“I love boys…” Max sighed, and whilst Charles and he made jokes about just how gay Max was, Valtteri flushed red and looked at his phone.

Lewis loved him.

Holy shit

Lewis fucking Hamilton loved him.

Maybe it was true that a boy like him got a boy like Lewis.

And honestly? Valtteri was pretty fucking in love with him too.