Jamie doesn’t fucking know why he did that. The funeral had been a lot for him, especially after everything with his dad, and he’s still not coping well with the whole team seeing him stripped open and breaking down like that, even if fucking Roy had been there to catch him as he fell.
He hasn’t even spoken to Roy since that night. It’s not that he hasn’t wanted to. It’s just - well, what do you say to someone who picks you up and holds you and lets you cry on him, someone who up until that moment you truly thought hated you.
When he goes up to her, he just isn’t sure where to begin. He wants to ask about Roy or say something about his dad, but he’s not sure what she’s already been told - if Roy had mentioned it at all. He just starts thinking about how far he’s come and how she’s the first person who believed in him and knew he could be better.
He doesn’t mean to tell her he loves her, even though he does. He doesn’t mean to do that, but it’s what comes out and it’s what he feels, and everything feels too big and open in his chest to bring up any of the other stuff. He knows Roy will be back at her side soon, so he’s quick to make his leave.
They seem to be avoiding each other and he’s not sure why. He gets it now though. He definitely gets it now. He won’t be talking to Roy or Keeley for a long time.
Monday at training, Jamie keeps his head down and just takes whatever direction he’s given. He doesn’t spend time hanging around after or go talk to anyone. He just wants to go home. He still isn’t sure why he made that confession to Keeley, but it’s out there now, and he doesn’t know what happens next. She’s obviously not leaving Roy for him.
Roy is fucking brilliant. Jamie hasn’t always thought so, or at least, he hasn’t always admitted it. It’s just, ever since Wembley and everything with his dad - Roy had really shown up for in a way that no one has in a long time, if ever. And he hadn’t expected Jamie to talk about it afterward.
Roy also hasn’t spoken to him since, except for in training.
The point is, he’s probably avoiding Keeley a bit, but it’s easy enough because it seems like she’s avoiding him too. He doesn’t really blame her.
“You’re avoiding me.” It’s the following Monday, and Jamie is just leaving the club after a long day of training and working out and avoiding people. He stops walking to his car when he hears Keeley’s voice. “I’m not stupid Jamie.”
He spins around. “I sort of thought you were avoiding me too.”
“Well, I wasn’t.” She pauses. “I mean I was, at first, that was fucking shit, Jamie. We were at at funeral, and I - “
“I know, you love Roy. I said that then, didn’t I?”
“Look, Jamie. You’re right. I’m with Roy, and I love Roy. But - “
“You don’t have to let me down, gently, Keeley. I understand.”
“You’re still important, Jamie. You know that, right? Like even though Roy and me - I still care about you too. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing.”
Keeley is so beautiful. She’s beautiful and kind, and Jamie never really deserved her to begin with. “Don’t worry, Keeley. I’m not going to go back to being a shithead to everyone just because you wouldn’t dump your boyfriend for me.”
She smiles sadly and nods. “You should talk to Roy, too. You don’t have to avoid us.”
“How did you - “
“He told me, you know. What happened at Wembley. I don’t think he wants you to know he told me, but he did. You should have told me about your dad.”
“Why would I?” Jamie feels suddenly cold. He’s working hard to never think about James Tartt again. That’s another reason to avoid Roy. “It didn’t matter then, and it doesn’t matter now.”
“I think we both know that’s not true.” She goes over and she hugs him tight, and he’s not going to break completely in her arms the way he did in Roy’s but it’s a little touch and go for a moment.
“Hey.” Jamie hears another voice, and he knows it’s Roy, so he’s preparing for a fight. They’ve always fought when it comes to Keeley. “Are you ready to go?”
Keeley pulls back from Jamie and gives a nod. “We’re going to go pick up take away and watch bad tv. Do you want to come?”
Jamie blinks owlishly at Keeley and then looks over at Roy, who just rolls his eyes and shrugs. “Yes, Jamie, you can come with us if you’d like.”
“Oh, okay, yeah. Okay.” Jamie doesn’t know why they’ve invited him, and he’s sure that being third wheel on a date with the girl he’s kind of in love with and the bloke she’s living with who, up until recently hated Jamie with a passion, is going to be awkward as fuck.
It beats going home alone to an empty house and watching bad tv on his own.
They sit at the table and eat their Chinese, and it’s fucking quiet and odd and Jamie thinks he should run while he still can. No one is really saying anything. He’s really starting to think Roy knows about his confession. This is all so fucking awkward.
Jamie can remember the last time the three of them sat at this table. It was almost a year ago to the day when he realized Keeley had moved on, rightfully so. Back then Roy was still a player, not yet retired after an injury that Jamie had caused. Roy still has so many reasons to hate him.
“This is fucking awkward,” Roy says. Jamie’s glad someone says it.
“Maybe, yeah.” Keeley laughs. “Look, Jamie. You know we - you have friends. Sometimes I don’t think you think you have friends.” Jamie knows he has friends, and he wants to remind her that ‘friends’ isn’t what he wants from her. It’s definitely not what he’s ever going to get from Roy.
“You’ve been a prick ever since Wembley,” Roy says. “You’re fucking lucky I don’t call you out at training.”
“What do you want me to say?” Jamie can’t find his voice, doesn’t know what to say or how to say it. He doesn’t want to think about it. “Thanks for fucking letting me sob on you in front of every single person in my life who cares about me because they all saw my dad fucking - “ Jamie can feel his eyes starting to sting. He’s not going to do this. His dad isn’t here, and James Tartt can’t hurt him anymore. Not anymore. Not with the power of Roy Kent and AFC Richmond behind him.
“I don’t want you to thank me.” Roy sighs. “Fuck, Jamie. I just want you to talk about it.”
“How do you know I haven’t?”
“Have you?” Keeley gives him a look that tells him she already knows the answer. “Listen, Jamie. I know you meant what you said at the funeral. I know it. I just don’t really think it’s what you wanted to say.”
“I don’t know what I wanted to say.” It dawns on him that Roy must know what he said, but he hasn’t killed him yet. Fucking weird. “I guess just, I miss you. I miss talking to you.”
“Okay,” Keeley says. “I’m right here.” She glances at Roy and clears her throat. “We’re right here.”
Roy rolls his eyes. “Yes, Jamie. We’re right here.”
“Why aren’t you murdering me with your bare hands?”
“Because, Jamie, for some reason I have this fucking need to not murder you. I know it’s fucking shocking, but I’ve gotten used to your twatty little face and your stupid fucking hair.” Roy crosses his arms at his chest. “And Keeley fucking loves you, so.”
Keeley smiles. “Jamie, I think you meant what you said. Thank you for saying it. I’m glad that you can talk about your feelings now. It was fucking awful timing, and I wish you hadn’t avoided me for a week afterwards.”
“I can’t believe you told fucking Roy.”
“Oi, I’m right fucking here, you dick.”
Jamie just shrugs.
“Anyway, Jamie. Yes, I told Roy because I wanted him to know, especially because I want you in my life. Roy does too, by the way.”
“Roy wants me in your life.”
Roy rolls his eyes. “Keeley, can we find another lost puppy to fucking adopt? I think this one is broken.”
“Wha - “
“Jamie. What Roy is trying to say is, you’re welcome to say and watch bad tv and drink wine with us, but if you think that’s a bit weird you don’t have to. We’d really like it if you did though.”
“Oh.” Jamie pauses. “Like. Okay, yeah.” He thinks, again, whatever is happening right now is better than doing the same thing alone in his big, empty house.”
“Good.” Keeley stands. “I’ll get the wine.”
Roy stands too and nods for Jamie to follow him. Jamie hasn’t been in this part of the house since he was dating Keeley, and it’s strange to be here now, with Roy at that. Roy sits down on the sofa and catches Jamie’s wrist to make sure he sits there too, even though there are chairs.
“You’re a fucking idiot, Jamie.”
Jamie thinks, oh, this is where he tells me he’s going to kill me if I try anything with Keeley. He’s just been biding his time..
“You should have talked to me after Wembley.”
“You didn’t talk to me either,” Jamie says. He’s looking down at his hands in his lap. “And what the fuck was I supposed to say? I wasn’t just saying that. I don’t know what to say about that fucking man. Do you want me to say he’s done that since I was a fucking kid? That I’m fucking embarassed? That I wish you would have just left me there and not even bothered because in my mind I deserve every fucking thing he’s ever done.”
“Jamie, fuck.” Roy rests his hand on top of Jamie’s because they’re shaking and he hadn’t even noticed. Jamie can feel Roy’s other hand on his back. “Hey, I’ve got you.”
“Fuck.” Jamie closes his eyes. “I don’t want to fucking talk about it.”
“Hey, okay. You don’t have to talk about it. You don’t have to fucking talk about it right now.” Jamie ignores the ‘right now.’ He’s definitely closer to Roy than he was a moment ago.
“Hey.” Keeley comes to sit next to him. “Is everything okay?” Keeley is beautiful and bright, and Jamie has no fucking idea why he’s here.
“He’s okay.” Roy answers for him, and Jamie wants to fight him on it, but he’s fucking overwhelmed and he doesn’t know what to say. “We’re not talking about his dad, though.”
“Thanks.” He breathes just in and out, the way Sharon had taught him to do when he thinks about things that upset him. He’s fully leaned into Roy now, and he doesn’t even know when that happened. “Thank you.”
He hadn’t thanked Roy the first time.
Keeley rests her hand on his arm. “You know we’re here for you, Jamie. We’re both here for you. I know you love me. I love you, too.” Jamie can’t see her but she sounds like she’s smiling. He doesn’t know how you can hear a smile, but he can definitely hear hers.
Jamie doesn’t know how long they sit there but he’s still leaning into Roy when Keeley turns the tv on. She sits close to his other side, and it feels a bit strange, being sat between these two people who live together, who are his ex and his coach - his friends and two of the people that have made him what he is.
“The fuck, Keeley?” He hears Roy say. He’s laughing now though. “What are we watching?”
“I told you we were going to watch bad tv.”
“Jamie does not want to watch the finale of Lust Conquers All, All Stars.” Roy runs his hand over Jamie’s back. “What the fuck kind of name is Danthony anyway.”
“That’s not a fucking name,” Jamie says, eyes closed, voice low. “He fucking beat me. Little twat.”
Keeley snorts. “I can’t believe you went on this fucking show.”
“Yeah well. Pissed my dad off, didn’t it? Brought me back to Richmond.”
“Yeah,” Keeley says, smiling. “Yeah, it did.”
They sit there watching the show, Roy’s arms still wrapped around him, Keeley leaned against his side.
Fucking Danthony wins the whole god damn thing, and Jamie tries to wonder where he would be if he hadn’t been kicked of when he had.
He doesn’t really think it would be quite as good.