Andrew had known very little French before he met Neil. He knew the words you’d be familiar with merely by existing on planet Earth, like merci and petit and merde . When Kevin showed up, he looked up some very colorful curse words, because he wasn’t a fan of not understanding, even when that was Kevin’s precise objective. In the beginning, the striker whipped out his French in order to curse them out during practice because if they couldn’t understand him they wouldn’t care to pick a fight over it. It was a fairly clever way to vent his frustration without causing violence, but then Andrew had taken to translating whatever words he could identify for everyone to hear. After several minor (sometimes major) brawls, Kevin had picked up the habit of seething in silence.
So, all in all, Andrew had known a few ‘appropriate’ words and about twice as many less-appropriate ones by the time their newest recruit arrived in Palmetto.
Their newest recruit, who was a stereotypically fiery, incredibly mouthy, and wonderfully uninhibited redhead who spoke French like he’d been plucked straight out of Aix-en-Provence and ran laps around Kevin’s suddenly unimpressive grasp on the language.
Andrew had built quite the vocabulary since then. It would be enough to make any French Karen ( Karine ?) clutch her pearls and faint. And it was enough for Andrew to vaguely follow along with Kevin and Neil’s morning disputes, mostly because they weren’t exactly civilised:
“You don’t have time for this”, Kevin scolded, standing over Neil’s bed with his arms crossed in front of him like a petulant child on stilts. Neil, almost entirely buried under the comforter, just a peek of auburn curls sticking out, freed his right hand from the sheets just enough to give Kevin the middle finger. Andrew had a perfect view of Kevin’s pinched expression, and he pushed down the amusement that wanted to turn his lips as he looked at Neil. “I didn’t take you for the type to choose relationships over Exy.” Whatever followed was way too French for Andrew to follow.
Andrew pushed himself into a sitting position, staring blankly at Kevin over Neil’s unmoving body. “I’m choosing sleep over you , Kevin. It’s Saturday.” He switched languages to address whatever else Kevin had said, and Andrew thought he could pick out a pretty distinct blaireau from the rest of the incoherent mumbling.
The raspy, sleep-hoarse French mumbling. Andrew really hoped Kevin would give up and leave soon, because he didn’t want anyone to witness what he was currently imagining doing but he sure as hell was going to do it.
Kevin spat out a reply which contained at least two - perhaps even four - instances of the word merde , and Andrew wondered if he’d had to butcher the language in order to fit that many in there.
“ Va te faire foutre ”, Neil muttered. Scoffing indignantly the whole way, Kevin stormed out of the room, door slamming shut behind him. Finally .
“Neil”, Andrew called, and tried to ignore whatever stupid, warm feeling flooded his chest and stomach when the younger man unearthed from the white sheets, hair and eyes contrasting brightly against them. Bedhead and half-shut eyes .
“Mm?” he mumbled. There was still that strain to his voice, that sandpaper-like quality which rubbed pleasantly against Andrew’s skin. Andrew fucking hated him. Every morning, same damn voice. And he never grew immune to it, either.
“Say it again.” Andrew hated asking for things, hated the vulnerability and potential for mockery or rejection, so he rarely phrased his questions as such. More often, he’d make demands, but Neil knew very well he didn’t have to oblige them. (He saved his questions for very specific contexts, actually, where it was absolutely necessary to make it clear that yes and no were equal options.) And Neil understood that discomfort himself, often refused to ask anyone for anything that would take even an ounce of effort. (One time, Neil sprained his ankle while he and the upperclassmen were walking somewhere but kept walking on it because he didn’t want to derail their plans or slow them down - Andrew often thought about how he’d like to murder one Mary Hatford but unfortunately she was already dead.)
“Say what? ‘ Va te faire foutre ’?” Neil looked at him, considering. “Do you know what it means?”
Andrew ignored the heat of his skin, but it seemed like Neil wouldn’t. “I know.”
The smile (more of a smirk, really, the bastard) that split Neil’s face when he realized was annoying. Just annoying. Nothing even close to tempting. “ Tu aimes quand je parle français? ”
“Yes or no, Neil?” he gritted out.
“ Oui .”
Andrew reached out a hand, pressing his palm to Neil’s cheek. The lines of scar tissue were easily felt, and he got distracted tracing them with a light fingertip until he again got distracted, this time by Neil closing his eyes, mouth slightly parted. Shifting closer, Andrew stopped just short of pressing his lips against Neil’s, leaving it to Neil to close the distance.
His lips were soft, but the kiss wasn’t. Andrew would never get enough of that stupid mouth, because even when silent it was a force to be reckoned with; Neil always gave as much as he took, teeth scratching against lips, panting breaths and barely-suppressed moans.
Andrew ended up on top of him, forearms bracketing Neil’s face as he leaned down to mark the smooth column of his throat. Neil was left gasping for breath, which was very satisfying, as was the sight of the blooming bruises staining his neck and collarbones. “If I knew you liked my French this much, I would’ve given up English by now”, Neil joked. His fingers spasmed in Andrew’s hair when he pressed his lips to a particularly sensitive spot behind Neil’s ear. “ Andrew, merde .”
“Talk to me”, Andrew mumbled, moving lower, kissing Neil’s chest through his sleep shirt.
Neil started babbling, every word nonsensical to Andrew but for a few pleasing curses, Neil’s sleep-rough voice straining on high-pitched keens as Andrew disappeared inside the sheets.