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(with your boots beneath my bed) forever is the sweetest con

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Roy has no fucking idea what makes him offer to give a ride home to fucking Jamie. He’s a dickhead and deserves everything that happened tonight. Roy tells himself he’s trying to be a good captain; that’s what he’s supposed to be learning, right?

Fucking Ted Lasso.

Jamie had apparently gone back to the bar and had a few more drinks after Keeley had dumped him, because he won’t fucking shut up. Roy is honestly regretting every life choice that has led him to this point.

“I’ve never been the one getting dumped, you know. I mean, obviously. Look at my face. Great body. Fucking phenomenal in bed.”

“You’re also an enormous prick who thought making your girlfriend jealous for fun in front of everyone she knows was a good idea for branding purposes.”

“Thought she’d be impressed with my innovation.”

Roy gives Jamie a look because honestly, what the fuck is wrong with him. Roy’s sure that’s not even the word Jamie means, but fuck if he can figure out what he does mean.

“I was trying to be smart.”

“You really fucking mean that, don’t you?” Roy can’t even make fun of him because he seems genuine. It’s really fucking with Roy’s sense of reality.

“Obviously.” Jamie snorts. “Keep up, grandad. I’m being fucking honest and shit.”

“Well, stop. It’s fucking confusing. I prefer you when you’re just a massive dickhead.”

“I hate going home alone.” Jamie sighs. “Just drop me off at a club or something. I don’t want to go home alone.” He sounds like a whiny little prick, but there’s something underneath it that Roy would rather he hadn’t picked up on.

“Jamie, you’re going home, and you’re going to bed. Yes, alone.”

“I mean - “ Jamie pauses and bites his lip. He looks over at Roy, ducks his head, and oh fuck. Roy did not even remotely see this coming. “You could come with me. If you wanted.” He sounds almost shy, and Roy’s not a fucking idiot. He knows that Jamie Tartt fucking knows how to get what he wants, knows he just doesn’t want to go to bed alone.

Roy Kent is not an idiot, and he cannot be manipulated.

Except, well, Jamie Tartt actually knows exactly how attractive he is, and he knows exactly how to use it. Roy is absolutely fucked and he knows it.

“Thought you said I was old. Grandad was it?”

“So? You’re pretty fit for a grandad.” Jamie shrugs.

“Yeah, ringing fucking endorsement there.” Roy snorts. “You seem really into it.”

“If you don’t want to, you can just say.” Jamie shrugs.

“I didn’t say I didn't want to.” Roy honestly has no fucking idea what’s happening, but now he’s thinking about Jamie being fucking naked, and like. Fuck. Jamie’s fit. It’s completely undeniable.

“Good then.”

“Right.” Roy pulls into Jamie’s driveway. “Okay.”

Jamie hops out of the car. “Come on, Grandad. I really want you to fuck me.” He’s halfway to the door before Roy can even get the car turned off.

“Fuck.”

++++

It turns out Jamie was not exaggerating when he said he was fucking phenomenal in bed.

++++

Roy is in the shower when he hears voices downstairs. He steps out and turns off the spray and realizes it’s Keeley. He hopes to fuck she didn’t realize it was his car in Jamie’s driveway. A lot of people drive Range Rovers, so it’s probably fine.

He can’t hear what they’re talking about but he knows they’ve broken up, so it can’t be good. He definitely isn’t going downstairs to find out.

He finally hears Keeley go and that's when he throws his clothes back on and goes downstairs. There’s a cup of coffee sitting on the table, but Jamie is nowhere to be seen.

Roy takes that as his cue to get the fuck out of there, so he has time to go home and change on the way to the club. There’s no way he’s going to do the walk of shame into the locker room, in his fucking clothes from last night.

Nothing changes in training. Jamie is still the same dick he’s always been, and honestly Roy isn’t sure what he actually expected. It’s not like they fucking like each other now. It was just a bit of fun.

+

He sees Keeley and Jamie walking together after training, and Roy is not fucking jealous. They had a shag, it was a good time, and that was all. If Keeley wants to take the little prick back she can have him. Jamie and Keeley separate, and Roy ducks off before either of them can realize he’s been watching.

+

Most of the team has gone, and Roy is just packing up his shit for the day to go home. He hasn’t talked to Jamie since they woke up this morning, and he assumed the dickhead had left with everyone else.

“Hey,” Jamie says, stepping into the locker room. “I didn’t think anyone was still here.”

“Guess you thought wrong,” Roy says. “I thought you’d be long gone.”

“Guess you thought wrong,” Jamie says. “What are you doing?”

“What the fuck does it look like I’m doing? I’m going home.” Roy shoulders his bag. “Alone.” He isn’t going to make fucking Jamie Tartt a thing. Especially not since he’d seen him with Keeley earlier. He’s not interested in getting in the middle of whatever is going on there.

“Did I ask?” There’s something in Jamie’s expression that Roy can’t quite read, and he ignores the tug of curiosity in the back of his mind. Roy is just fine with the little bit of insight to Jamie that he has. He has no desire to learn any more about him. “You can go on now, grandad.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Roy doesnt know how to be anything other than aggressive with Jamie. It seems to work most of the time in any case.

“You’re the one who’s being a prick. I just said hi.”

Roy wants to argue, but it thinks back over the conversation and realizes the little twat is right.

“Anyway, I’m letting you go home. Alone.” Jamie says. He grabs his bag where it’s sitting in front of his locker. “Not that I was going to offer or anything anyway,” he says. Roy tries to ignore the undertone that says maybe I would have offered.

“Shouldn’t you be not offering to go home with Keeley?” Roy tries his hardest to sound neutral because he is neutral. He doesn’t give a fuck whose bed Jamie Tartt ends up in tonight.

“Did you forget that Keeley dumped me? Jesus, I know you’re old, but I didn’t think you were losing your memory old.” Jamie rolls eyes. “I can’t believe I let a literal grandad fuck me.”

“I didn’t forget you absolute dickhead. I just assumed when you were with her today --”

“Is that why you’re acting like a twat? Because I was talking to Keeley.” Jamie looks absolutely fucking gleeful, and Roy hates everything about his life, every-fucking-thing that’s led him here. “She got me some endorsement bullshit. That’s all. It was literally work, you dickhead.” Jamie just laughs. Loudly.

“Are you done?”

Jamie clears his throat and smooths out his features and holds up his hands in defense. “Sorry, grandad. Yes, I’m done.” He tries to keep a straight face, but he just starts laughing again.

“Fuck off.” Roy throws his bag over his shoulder. “I’m going home.”

“So, is the offer still open?”

“What offer?”

“To go home with you.” Jamie bites his lip, and Roy wants to punch him. He knows exactly what he’s doing, the twat.

“I didn’t offer any such thing. Fuck off.”

“Yeah, you did. You only didn’t offer because you thought I was getting back with Keeley. Now you know that’s not true, so obviously you want to fuck me again.” The bastard has no right be this arrogant, and Roy really wants to just leave him standing in the locker room to prove a fucking point.

But god damn it - he’s not wrong. Roy just grunts and steps past him, leaving him a few steps behind. He doesn’t turn to look at Jamie’s face when he speaks.

“You’d better hurry up if you’re coming. I don’t want anyone to see us leaving together.”

++++

It feels a bit awkward when Jamie doesn’t immediately leave as soon as they’re done and instead insists on ordering food on Just Eat and making Roy answer the door when it comes just in case someone recognizes me, you know. Which is fucking stupid, since they won’t actually know this is Roy’s house but Jamie looks at Roy like he’s stupid when he tries to argue that point so he just answers the door.

“I’ve left my car at the ground,” Jamie says when they’re done eating. “I guess I have to spend the night.”

“You have a phone. Order an Uber.” Roy might be old but at least he knows that Jamie has a way to leave if he wants. “You’re not driving in with me tomorrow.”

“You’re such a dick,” Jamie says, rolling his eyes. “You could fuck me again.”

“Eventually that’s not going to work anymore.” Roy tries to look as neutral as possible. He doesn’t even like Jamie. Jamie is a fucking dickhead who thinks he’s God’s gift to football, and the biggest problem is that he’s not fucking wrong and Jamie knows it. He doesn’t need Roy stroking his ego, or anything else, any more than he already has.

The shithead pouts. Roy wants to scream.

“Finish your food and go home, Jamie.”

“Fine.” Jamie stabs his fork at his food and plays a bit on his phone, presumably ordering his car. “You’re a prick.” He pushes himself up and tosses his food container in the bin before grabbing his coat.

Roy honestly has no fucking clue what he’s done, but he doesn’t have the energy to try to work out the nuances of Jamie Tartt in the middle of the night when he has a match tomorrow. He listens for the door to open and then close again before cleaning up the rest of their dinner rubbish.

++++

The match goes great except for Jamie being a fucking prick. Every time Roy starts to think maybe there’s more to him he just takes three steps back. He refuses to join the team huddle before the match and then he pushes Sam around on the pitch. He takes a yellow for trying to fight Roy on the pitch when not even 24 hours ago they were fucking and having a meal together.

Roy does not fucking understand Jamie Tartt, and he’s sick of trying to. He ignores the voice in the back of his mind telling him that he should probably make sure Jamie’s okay after Ted pulls him from the match.

He is the captain, but Jamie doesn’t really seem to want to be captained.

Besides, Jamie’s shirt’s on the floor and he’s long gone by the time the team gets back to the locker room for half time. Roy knows they don’t have time to even think about it, and he fucking hates Jamie anyway.

He does.

He’s not trying to convince himself that he doesn’t hate Jamie because the only thing that’s happened in the last few days is a couple of good shags. That doesn’t change the fact that Jamie is an absolute bellend.

After the match (which they win, without fucking Tartt, thank you very much) Roy is just ready to get home. The lads all want to go out and celebrate, but Roy is absolutely too old to go party all night with them. He’s tired just thinking about it, and that’s nothing of the aches and pains he feels deep in his bones.

No, he’s honestly ready to just go home, crawl into bed, and hope he doesn’t wake up feeling like he’s been hit by a fucking bus.

Except when he gets home Jamie is sitting on his front steps, jacket wrapped tight around his body, leaning against the railing like he’s asleep.

“What the fuck is happening?”

Jamie jumps up and, fuck, the twat was actually asleep.

“What are you doing here?”

“Sorry,” Jamie mumbles. “I know you don’t fucking want me here. I just didn’t want to go home, but I didn’t want to sit on the fucking bench like a fucking child who got put in time out.”

“Right.” Roy wants to say that’s exactly what you were because you were acting like a twat. You were fighting your own teammates. You deserved to be in time out. He keeps it to himself though.

“Can I come in?” Jamie sounds small and it fucks with Roy’s head a bit.

“Sure.”

“You don’t have to have sex with me if you don’t want to.” Jamie mumbles. “I’m not here to like, whatever.”

“Okay.” Roy is so fucking confused. If Jamie isn’t here for sex, what is he here for? He goes into the flat, leaving the door open for Jamie to follow. “Do you want tea or something? I was honestly going to fuck off right to bed, but we can have tea.” Tea is easy. Tea makes sense, unlike Jamie Fucking Tartt being here right now.

“Fine,” Jamie says, leaning on the counter, palms flat against it.

“Did you come right here when you left the club?”

“I went home, and then walked around a bit and ended up here.” He looks down at the counter. It feels like he’s leaving something out, but Roy doesn’t push. He’s honestly too confused about what’s happening to think to ask Jamie any prying questions.

“Right.” Roy puts a cup of tea in front of him. “So you came here? To hang out at the home of the teammate you got booked for fighting?”

“I guess so.” Jamie shrugs. “I can go.”

“Jamie - “ Roy sighs. “No, no, don’t go. You don’t have to go.” Roy sits at the table, kicking the chair opposite him out so Jamie can sit if he wants to.

Jamie does.

“You could have gone to a million places. Why did you come here?”

“I dont fucking know. I just ended up here, okay? Does it matter why?”

“No, I guess not.” Roy thinks it probably does matter, but that seems like a problem that can wait for another time. Jamie looks different than Roy’s ever seen him, and Roy doesn’t know what to think about it. “You got pulled from a match, Jamie. You were acting like a fucking dickhead. It happens. You’re good, so you’ll snap back.”

“Fuck off, Roy. I don’t need a pep talk.” There’s not a lot of fire behind it, almost like Jamie is performing. Roy doesn’t know what to say. Jamie’s apparently more complicated than Roy could have imagined. “Can I just spend the night here? We don’t have to, like - I just don’t want to be alone.”

There’s something in his voice that Roy can’t make himself say no to, even though he knows - he fucking knows whatever is happening here is absolutely a terrible fucking idea. It’s the worst idea that he’s ever had. This is definitely going to end up worse than the time the girl he was seeing stole his Rolex and sold stories about his dick to the fucking tabloids.

But Jamie looks like he needs someone, and Roy can’t bring himself to turn him away. “Come on, Jamie. Let’s go to bed.” Roy sighs.

Jamie pushes up from the table and follows Roy up the stairs. Roy sets about changing clothes and getting ready for bed, while Jamie just sits on the edge of it and watches.

“Are you planning to sleep in your fucking clothes?” He tosses a pair of trackies to Jamie. “I know you probably usually sleep in your ridiculously small pants but just in case.”

“Thanks.” Jamie pauses. “I usually sleep naked, actually.”

“Of course.” Roy rolls his eyes.

When they’re both changed and settled under the blankets, Roy rolls on his side. He has a million questions and he wants to ask them, but he just watches Jamie roll onto his other side. He can see Jamie’s back muscles tense and release now and again, and he knows there’s more, but.

But.

 

“Jamie - “ Roy sighs a little and shifts closer, wrapping an arm around him. He doesn’t want to ask what’s wrong and he doesn’t want to tell him whatever it is will be okay. He just settles, pressed along his back. “Goodnight.”

“Yeah, goodnight, Roy.”

++++

When Roy wakes up, Jamie is gone and his trackies are folded on the other end of the bed. There’s a note taped to the pillow written on an old receipt Jamie must have found somewhere.

thanks, grandad. is all it says.

Roy sighs.

He is so so fucked.

++++

Jamie is truly a fucking enigma. Last night he’d shown up to Roy’s looking like he just needed anyone to be there for him, with no explanation. Today he’s just acting like a fucking twat again, and he’s honestly confusing and messy and Roy doesn’t need it.

Jamie is a 23 year old twat, and Roy is way too fucking old for this.

It’s just Ted insists that the entire team has to be a part of this fucking curse breaking ritual, and Jamie doesn’t show up to the team meeting. Ted says it’s part of Roy’s job as captain to get Jamie there.

Roy thinks it’s actually Ted’s fucking job to deal with Jamie but secretly maybe he wants an excuse to find out what the fuck is going on with the little prick.

Jamie never responds to his text though, and Roy figures that’s that, at least for now. He's got too much to think about right now than whether or not Jamie is going to decide to keep being a stubborn little prick.

And then something really fucking shocking happens.

Jamie shows up, and the way he talks about his parents makes Roy think; it gives him more questions than answers, but somehow explains so much at the same time. It almost makes Roy angry to have this little insight into Jamie Tartt, because it’s easier to just be angry about everything that makes Jamie, well, Jamie. Every detail, every fucking detail that makes him such a prick, all the things that make him confusing and frustrating.

To make it worse, they go outside and Jamie starts singing, sings loud and proud and like he’s finally decided to make Richmond his team rather than a group of lads he’s ended up with. Roy fucking hates how he can’t stop watching Jamie the whole time.

They finish off Dani’s tequila and then somehow there are beers and Ted is calling for someone to order cars to take everyone home. Roy has lost sight of Jamie, and he’s annoyed about that fact suddenly.

Two hours ago he would have been thrilled to not know where he is. He thinks he would have been.

“Hey.” Jamie is beside him all of the sudden, and the sound of his voice makes Roy jump. “I’m sorry for like - whatever. I figured you wouldn’t want me there when you woke up.”

Roy blinks because he has no idea where Jamie would have gotten that idea except maybe he does. Maybe Roy’s been a little bit of a prick.

“Can I come back to yours?” Jamie bites his lip. “Like - “

“Yeah, yes, please.” Roy nods. “Yeah.” Roy knows other fucking words and it’s making him angry that he doesn’t know where they are. He’s choosing to blame the alcohol and not Jamie Tartt and his fucking eyes and his lips and his stupid fucking face or the way he sounds unsure of himself and that confuses and intrigues Roy.

How they’ve done this a few times and there’s this feeling deep in Roys chest that he absolutely does not want to think about.

Fuck he’s really fucking drunk. He thinks he’s drunk.

He’s not as drunk as he thinks he should be to be thinking like this about Jamie Tartt.

By the time they get into a car (last, after everyone else, so that no one sees them get into a car together, except fucking Ted because he insists on making sure everyone gets off safe - Roy is sure he knows it’s weird they’re leaving together, but he doesn’t say anything).

The ride is quiet but not as uncomfortable as Roy thinks it probably should be. When they get to Roy’s place and go inside, Jamie presses him up against the door and kisses him before Roy even gets the chance to lock the door behind him.

“Sorry, I’ve been wanting to do that for fucking ages.”

“You left without saying anything,” is really all Roy can think to say because it’s true and he still doesn’t really understand why.

“I thought you probably wanted me to.”

“I didn’t.” Roy pulls him close again and kisses him with force because kissing Jamie is giving him this feeling he’s not sure he’s ever felt and he’s too tired and confused to sort it all out. Because this is fucking Jamie Tartt. He’s 23 and he’s a prick and Roy hates him, except for how he actually fucking doesn’t.

“Roy - “ Jamie starts to say something and closes his mouth and his eyes and shakes his head. “Take me to bed.”

Roy has so many fucking questions and he wants to ask them. He wants to know why Jamie turned up on his doorstep last night and why Jamie is so fucking confusing. He wants to know what this feeling deep in his chest is. But also just wants to get Jamie out of his fucking clothes.

“Bed, now.” Roy kisses him again, walking him back towards the bed, both of them shedding clothes along the way. He has so many questions, but he’ll ask them in the morning. All of that can wait.

++++

Except Roy wakes up to his alarm blaring at 6AM, and he’s alone.

Fuck Jamie Tartt. Roy is fed up with this fucker, and he just needs to get it out of his system.

Fuck!” He’s so angry at himself.

Except Jamie comes out of the bathroom and he looks like he’s ill. He’s clutching his phone in his hand like it’s a fucking lifeline.

“I have to go.” His voice is rough and raw, and Roy is so fucking confused.

“I thought you had.” Roy sits up. “We still have ages before we have to go to the club. Come on. You don’t have to go. Stop fucking confusing me, Jamie.”

“I’m not trying to confuse you.” He closes his eyes. “But I have to go. I’m not going to the club, Roy.”

“What are you talking ab--”

“I’m going back to Manchester.”

“What?” Roy has never felt his heart sink to the pit of his stomach before now. That can’t be right. He thinks they’re figuring this out. The team needs Jamie. They wouldn’t send him back. Not now.

“They’ve recalled me to City.” Jamie swallows back and tugs a shirt on. Roy thinks it might be his shirt, but he doesn’t say anything. “I have to go. I have to - “

Roy pushes off the bed. “Hey, Jamie.” Roy wraps his arms around Jamie. “Jamie, it’s okay.”

“I don’t want to go back there.” He sounds so fucking small. “My dad - “

Roy pulls back a little. “If they’re recalling you it must mean they need you, right?” Roy tries to put his captain's armband on mentally. They’re professional athletes, and it’s not like they’re fucking boyfriends or anything. This is the nature of their jobs, and sometimes you have to go when you don’t want to. He keeps telling himself that.

“I think Richmond initiated it.” He’s so quiet. “I really fucked it, didn’t I?” He smiles in a way that doesn’t feel like a smile at all. “I have to go, Roy.”

“Jamie, wait.” Roy doesn’t know what he wants to say. Don’t leave like this. What does this mean for us? Can we find a way to keep doing this because I think I’m starting to like you despite myself?

“I’m sorry I was such a twat, Roy. I - fuck.” He sighs. “I like - “ He shakes his head. “It doesn’t matter now, does it? I have to fucking go.”

“Wait - “ Roy feels like he’s losing control of the situation and he doesn’t want Jamie to go. He can’t believe he doesn’t want Jamie to go. What the fuck is wrong with him. He pulls Jamie in and hugs him tight, pushing a hand up into the hair on the back of his neck and then he kisses him, with force and with need. He feels Jamie relax under him and hears the soft sound deep in the back of his throat. “Call me when you get to Manchester. Please?”

“You don’t want me to do that. Come on, Roy? It’s not like we’re - “

“Call me when you get to Manchester,” he repeats. Please, you little twat. Just let me know you made it okay, he thinks. Please just don’t fucking disappear on me. He knows he can’t say that and it frustrates him.

A week ago he would have told anyone that asked that Jamie Tartt was his worst fucking enemy. Roy has no fucking clue whats happening to him, but he doesn’t want the little shit to go.

Maybe Jamie’s dick has magical powers. Roy almost wants to let himself believe it’s that, rather than he just has actual fucking feelings for the little twat.

“I have to go. I have to go home and pack my shit and then get a train up to Manchester this afternoon.”

“Don’t you wanna just fool around in bed with me for half an hour?”

“Yeah,” Jamie says. “But I shouldn’t. This is hard enough. I know you don’t want anyone to know we spent time together, but can you just tell them all I - fuck, tell them all I’m sorry I was such a shit to everyone? I had this whole like speech in my fucking head. Last night was so - just tell everyone I’m sorry.”

“I will.”

Jamie nods. “Bye, Roy.”

“You’re just going to Manchester.” Please dont say goodbye. Please stay ten more minutes. Please let’s figure out what this thing between us is.. “Not the fucking moon. I’ll see you again.”

“Yeah.” Jamie nods. He presses a kiss to Roy’s lips. “Bye, Roy.”

“Bye, Jamie.”

Jamie’s gone before Roy has a chance to even move, and he’s standing in the middle of his bedroom alone, wondering what the fuck happened to make him fall for Jamie fucking Tartt.

++++

It’s somber in the club once they find out Jamie is gone, and after everything settles a bit Roy does what he promised. He doesn’t tell them he saw Jamie this morning, but he does tell them that Jamie called him when he found out. He tells them what Jamie said, and it’s probably not enough for some of them because Jamie was a real dickhead, but they’d all seen him last night. For the most part, if Roy is okay with it, everyone else is too.

Jamie hadn’t wanted to leave.

Ted doesn’t seem happy about it either, and Roy can’t understand why a decision like this was made without the knowledge of the fucking manager. He doesn’t have much time to worry about it though because they have a match on Saturday and now they’re going to have to play without their best player. It’s just lucky Dani’s healed now because they’re going to need everyone at their best to work their way up the table.

Training is okay but something is off, and nothing really clicks. Maybe it just feels that way to Roy. Dani is really fucking good.

Roy feels off. He’s itching to get back to his phone to make sure Jamie made it back to Manchester alright, and he wants to ask fucking Ted a million questions, like why didn’t you fight to keep him here when you know we need him?

Less than a week ago Roy hated Jamie, and it’s frustrating him that he even cares about this. In his mind he knows he should be glad to get rid of the prick. They’d fucked a couple of times and there was that thing a few nights ago where they’d just slept, but they’re not fucking boyfriends. They’re not anything.

Roy does not even like Jamie.

Not even a little bit.

He grunts to himself as he heads back to the locker room. He grunts again when he has no missed calls or messages from when he was in training. It’s possible that Jamie hasn’t even made it back up to Manchester and settled in yet.

It’s more likely Jamie just never intended to contact Roy in the first place. Roy pushes his phone into his bag and grabs his towel to go shower in lieu of actually making a step to text Jamie even though he’d like to send him along the lines of thanks for letting me know you made it home in one piece, dickhead

By the time he gets home and makes himself something to eat and spends half an hour reading his book he just gives up and goes to bed. It’s not like he was waiting around for Jamie to call, but somewhere in the back of his mind he was definitely doing exactly that.

By the time he gets into bed, he’s working himself back into feeling the way he’s meant to feel about Jamie Tartt: blind hatred at worst, mild distaste at best.

Of course that’s exactly when his phone rings and Tartt lights up bright across the screen. It’s almost embarrassing how quickly Roy answers the phone, despite wondering if he should just send the twat to voicemail for making him wait all fucking day.

“Dickhead,” Roy says, instead of any proper sort of greeting.

“Hi.” Jamie sounds so unlike Jamie it completely throws Roy off. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to call so late.”

“Don’t apologize; it’s fucking weird to hear you apologize. How was your trip?”

“Alright.” It sounds like Jamie’s trying to keep his voice down. “I got in and then I had to - you know, I just had things to do. I wanted to call.”

Roy had wanted Jamie to call, but now he has no fucking idea what he should be saying. It’s suddenly hitting Roy that they’ve barely talked about anything. They’re worlds apart in almost every single way, except for the fact that sexually they’re incredibly fucking compatible. Roy has no clue what he’s doing.

“Roy? Are you there?

“Yeah, I’m here. Training was fucking weird today.”

“Must have been weird not having to stop yourself from hitting anyone,” Jamie says. “I’m sure a lot of the team is glad I’m gone.”

“No one is glad you’re gone, Jamie. At the very least they know we need your goals.”

“Yeah, that's pretty much what I’m good for.” Jamie clears his throat. “Well, you know I made it alive. I’m going to let you get some sleep.”

Roy has no fucking clue what’s happening. This doesn’t sound like any version of Jamie he has in his head. Jamie’s a fucking twat. He’s arrogant and rude and has no fucking tact. He’s not whatever this is.

“Jamie, wait - “ Roy sighs. “No one is happy that you’re gone.” He wants to say I’m not happy you’re gone. I’ve gotten used to you turning up and taking up space in my bed.. He absolutely doesn’t say that.

“City is where I belong.” He sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. “I was only ever going to be there temporarily. I have to go, Roy.”

“Don’t - Look, Jamie, I’m shit at this.” Roy breathes out heavily. “I’m so fucking shit at this, but don’t stop calling me, okay? You can text me any time. Don’t just fucking disappear on me.”

There’s a long pause on the other end of the line, and for a split second Roy actually thinks Jamie has hung up on the phone.

“Okay, alright, yeah,” Jamie says. “Goodnight, Roy.” He hangs up before Roy gets a chance to respond.

++++

They lose the next match, draw the one after that, and don’t manage to score a single fucking goal without Jamie. Roy doesn’t want to look as hopeless as he feels, but he knows the next match is against Everton away, and there’s no fucking way they’re going to win that match.

When Roy is ranting about Everton he struggles not to scream that they need Jamie fucking Tartt to come back and score them some goals because morale is low enough, and despite not being able to rally the troops or what the fuck ever he’s trying to be a decent captain.

It doesn’t help he hasn’t actually heard from Jamie since that night he went back to Manchester. They’ve texted a couple of times, and Roy tries to chalk it up to them both being busy, but.

He’s really trying not to think about Jamie Tartt as much as possible. It’s just very fucking difficult.

The thing is, though, Nate gets them fired up and then Roy - Roy plays like a fucking beast. He takes what Nate says and lets it remind him why he does this job. It’s not because of little fucking twats who sleep with him and then run off to fucking Manchester and don’t keep in touch. It’s not his fucking knee that he knows is going to give out on him any day now. It’s this fucking game that actually might be the love of his life - it’s fighting this fight with his teammates and winning.

Roy scores a fucking goal and he wins, and he’s storms into the locker room after and demands they all go out for fucking karaoke.

Keeley had come with Rebecca, and he can tell she’s trying to figure out what’s up with him, but he’s not about to tell her that he’s been fucking her ex boyfriend and has possibly caught feelings for the little shit, even though she might have some insight into why Jamie’s so fucking elusive.

The truth is that Sam is on stage singing Wonderwall, and Dani and Zoreaux have stripped their shirts off and are just screaming along to everyone’s songs. Everyone’s having fun, but Roy just keeps looking at his fucking phone. He keeps wanting to text Jamie and tell him about the match and about how much fucking fun it was to play like he used to for might be one of the last times of his entire fucking career. He had a good fucking day and the only person he wants to tell is fucking Jamie.

It's just that he really doesn’t know if that’s allowed. Jamie had said he wasn’t going to disappear but he practically has, and maybe that’s the point. Usually Roy is really good at taking a hint.

It’s just.

He glances at his phone again. Jamie had texted him last weekend but not since. His thumb hovers over their conversation and he glances around to make sure everyone is busy watching Coach Beard make a fucking fool of himself with Lady Gaga on stage.

Finally won a match today. Looks like we can do it without you after all. Roy sends the text quickly, before he changes his mind. Before he can lock his phone he already sees the three dots indicating that Jamie is typing.

I heard you even scored a goal, grandad. Looks like you’re not practically dead after all.

Roy rolls his eyes but its so fucking normal. It's the first time Jamie has sounded like Jamie in a while, and there’s something oddly comforting in the back and forth banter they have.

He isn’t sure how to respond and it’s easy to get distracted anyway because suddenly Rebecca is on stage and holy fuck can she sing. Roy’s seen Frozen with Phoebe about half a million times and he’s pretty sure the actual Elsa has nothing on Rebecca Welton.

“She’s fucking amazing,” Keeley says, looking over at him. She’s practically got stars in her fucking eyes. She doesn’t wait for him to respond, just turns all of her focus back on Rebecca, totally fixated on her.

But everything gets a bit strange after that. Ted is stumbling out, and then Rebecca is going after him, and no one really knows what to do or say. Once Rebecca comes back in and finds Keeley and her other friend, everyone is pretty much ready to go, and Roy remembers that he never replied to Jamie.

The ladies go out with the rest of the team and Roy follows behind them, but far enough away that if they’re planning to go anywhere else they’ll already know he’s not even remotely interested. He can vaguely hear Rebecca’s friend asking if they’re going to go to the pub while Rebecca and Keeley make excuses to go back to the hotel, but he’s not really listening. He pulls out his phone and sees that Jamie has texted him again.

Sorry I’ve been a bit shit. Are you that busy? Can we talk?

It hasn’t been that long since he texted, only about 15 minutes, so Roy hopes Jamie hasn’t given up because his chest does this weird fucking flutter that he would never admit to out loud.

Been out with the team. I’m just walking back to the hotel.

Jamie must have it open because he texts back immediately.

Call me?

Roy doesn’t walk faster or anything like because why the fuck would he do that, but he does get back up to the room and tosses his jacket, flopping onto the bed and immediately presses the call button beside Jamie’s name.

For a second he thinks Jamie might not answer and this is all a big fucking prank.

“Hey,” Jamie says when he answers. He sounds exhausted.

“Hey.” Roy tries to hide the fact that he’s actually smiling at the sound the twat’s stupid sleepy voice.

“I can’t really talk long, but I just wanted to like - “ Jamie lets out a sigh. “This is fucking stupid.”

“Talking to me is stupid? Thanks,” Roy says. He doesn’t understand Jamie.

“No, that’s not what I mean. I just don’t really know what to say.”

“You always know what to say. You always say too fucking much. Generally it’s very stupid and we all make fun of you, or it’s really fucking rude and we all want to punch you. That doesn’t mean you don’t know what to say.”

“Cheers.”

“You know what I mean,” Roy says. “I - you asked me to call you.” Roy can think of a million things he wants to say and none of them feel right. None of them feel like anything he can say to Jamie at all, let alone over the phone.

“I wanted to hear your voice, okay. Don’t make a big fucking deal about it.” Jamie sounds so angry. Roy knows the feeling. Whatever this is between him and Jamie is frustrating and confusing, and it would be really fucking nice if it would go away. “Sometimes I just wish I could pop to yours in the middle of the fucking night again.”

“Yeah,” Roy says. “I - if you’re ever in London - “

“I will be. We play West Ham tomorrow?” Roy can imagine Jamie biting his lip. It’s hot, honestly. “Can I - “

“Yeah, yes. Come over after.” It’s the first time they’ve planned to see each other like this. Roy wonders if that makes it a date, but he’s not about to fucking ask.

“Thanks.” Jamie goes quiet. “Don’t fucking make fun of me, okay?” He sounds defensive.

“Why would I - “

“I’m not fucking finished, Grandad.” There’s Jamie. “I miss you.”

Oh.

Roy’s chest doest that fucking flutter thing again. He hates it.

“Yeah, I’m - I. Me too.” Roy sucks in a breath. “Me too.”

“Yeah.” Jamie goes quiet again. “I’m going to let you go. I’ll see you tomorrow, Roy.”

“Yeah, tomorrow. Tomorrow.”

The line goes dead on the other end, and now Roy’s too fucking wired to sleep.

“Fuck.” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “Fuck. Fucking Fuck. Fuck.”

It’s not the first time since this thing with Jamie started that he knows he’s totally and completely fucked.

++++

Roy gets home and puts on the City and West Ham match just in the background. It’s honestly not like he’s fucking interested or anything. It’s just background noise while he makes something to eat. He’s only cooking for himself, so if there’s extra just in case Jamie is hungry after the match that’s total coincidence.

He settles on the sofa just as Jamie gets to take a free kick. He looks good on the pitch, but Roy thinks he’d look better if he were still in a Richmond kit. There’s not a fucking thing they can do about that now, though, so there’s not really a point in thinking about it.

Roy doesn’t realize he’s dozed off for the end of the match until his door is buzzing and his phone is going off at the same time. He wakes up a bit bleary and confused. He fucking hates naps. TARTT lights up on the screen and he answers but he doesn’t get a chance to say anything before Jamie is speaking.

“Are you going to let me in or what?”

“Oh. Aren’t you in the middle of a match?” Roy knows he was just watching the match.

“Are you drunk?” Jamie pauses. “Can you just open the fucking door please?”

Roy pushes himself to his feet and opens the door. Jamie is standing there bouncing a bit on his feet and then pushes past Roy. “It’s fucking freezing.”

“Hello, Roy. Nice to see you again. Yes, Jamie. It is. Glad you could make it.” He rolls his eyes and closes the door.

It’s not two seconds after the door closes that Jamie is pressing Roy against it with amazing fucking force and kissing him like they haven’t just spent weeks barely speaking to each other and Roy hasn’t been slowly losing his fucking mind.

Roy has so much he wants to say but it’s hard to think when he’s pressed between Jamie and his front door and he’s missed this. Maybe it’s just because he hasn’t really had anyone that he’s fucked more than once or twice in a long time. Maybe it’s Jamie.

Roy doesn’t want to pay too much mind to the second option.

“As fun as this is, maybe we should actually - “ Roy gestures past Jamie into the other room.

“Right, yeah. Sorry. I just - “ Jamie shrugs.

“Do you want tea? Or, like, are you hungry? I made food earlier and I have some left.” Suddenly the fact that he has food that Jamie can eat feels fucking stupid. Jamie has clearly not come here for food.

“Yeah, that sounds alright.”

Roy doesn’t know why he’s surprised by Jamie’s answer. He leads him into the kitchen and puts a plate in front of him and then sets about making tea for them both. It feels so fucking weird to be making tea for Jamie Tartt in his kitchen at 10 o’clock at night when they don’t even play for the same team anymore.

“I didn’t even know you could cook.” Jamie pokes at his plate with his fork like he’s worried it might be poisoned.

“Most people don’t.” Roy says. “I don’t know how you take your tea.” He sits the cup down in front of Jamie and then sits down at the other side of the table.

“This is fine.” Jamie shovels food into his mouth like a teenager who hasn’t in a week. It’s quite honestly disgusting. Roy is disgusted. Jamie swallows heavily. “So you finally won a match without me.”

“So you finally got off the bench.” Roy raises an eyebrow silently saying is this the game we’re going to play. It shuts Jamie up immediately.

“Fair enough, I guess.” Jamie looks down, fully away from Roy. Roy doesn’t like it. “Is this weird?”

“What? You eating in my kitchen?”

“Or, like, me being here at all? I should go back to the hotel. This is fucking weird. I shouldn’t have - “

“Don’t you dare fucking leave, Jamie. Don’t go.” Roy stands, and honestly he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. Before he can stop himself he’s kneeling in front of Jamie’s chair, and pulling him into a kiss. He tastes like leftover pasta and tea and Roy fucking hates what kissing Jamie does to his insides. Roy has been kissing people for fucking years, but there’s something different about Jamie Tartt.

When he pulls back, Jamie’s eyes are closed and he just looks.

He looks fucking breathtaking, and Roy immediately wants to go back to a time where he doesn’t have any thought even resembling that about Jamie, but Jesus Christ. Roy is so filled with need and other feelings he doesn’t want to think about. This is easy. Gripping Jamie’s wrist and dragging him upstairs is so fucking easy.

Pressing him into the mattress and undressing him is easy. Kissing him is easy. Touching and moving together and teasing Jamie is easy.

Thinking about what it means is fucking - Roy can’t deal with it. He just wants this part. The easy part. The kissing and the touching and the fucking. Jamie seems completely fine with that.

After they’re done, satisfied and relaxed next to each other, Roy pulls the covers over both of them and tries his best not to think about the way his insides keep flipping over themselves all the fucking time. Jamie is an annoying twat, and Roy isn't thinking about how terrible it is that he’s going back to Manchester in the morning.

“I maybe should go back to the hotel,” Jamie says, breaking the silence that’s been sitting comfortably between them.

Roy doesn’t know why it hits him like a ton of bricks.

“Tonight?” Roy absolutely does not sound any sort of emotional, and he will deny it until the day he fucking dies. “You’re not going to sleep here?”

“Do you want me to?” Jamie bites his lip. “I - if you want me to.”

“I fucking asked, didn’t I?” Roy sounds way more gentle than he means. It doesn’t help that he wraps his fingers around Jamie’s wrist at the same time. “Stay here, please.”

“Okay, yeah.” Jamie nods, swallowing back something. “Yeah.” He looks like he wants to say something else but decides to leave it.

Roy feels a bit emotionally wrecked. Sex doesn’t usually feel like this, and he wants to hate it but he doesn’t and that fucks him up a bit. He’s too old for one night stands and casual bullshit, but at least he knows what those things mean. He’s not used to anything like this.

He doesn’t even fucking know what this is for Jamie or if he’s having the same sorts of feelings, and he doesn’t want to ask. He likes Jamie coming around, and there’s a part of him that worries any kind of discussion about it is going to make that stop.

Instead of saying anything else he opts to move closer and kiss Jamie. Kissing Jamie is good in a way Roy honestly didn’t know kissing could be, and he’s done a lot of kissing. A lot of sex. A lot of all the physical stuff. What he’s never been great at is doing all of those things with one person a lot for long periods of time. But he’s old and one night stands fucking suck, and it never feels like that’s what he’s doing with Jamie.

“You’re pretty fucking hot for an old man.” Jamie grins against Roy’s mouth, and Roy feels an arm and a leg both wrap around him and pull him closer.

“Shut the fuck up.” Roy rolls his eyes. “Go to sleep.”

Jamie laughs and settles but he’s still wrapped around Roy, and Roy should hate it. He should fucking hate it.

“Goodnight, grandad.”

“Could you not call me grandad after I just fucked you?” Roy sighs to himself, squeezing Jamie’s wrist where his fingers are still wrapped around it under the covers. “Don’t be a fucking child.”

“You’re a grandad. I’m a child. Somehow it fucking works.”

“Disgusting. You’re fucking disgusting. I don’t know why I put up with you.”

“Really fucking mindblowing sex.” Jamie smiles. “Beautiful face. Hot body. Face it, I’m a fucking catch.”

Roy just hums to himself softly. They’re entering dangerous territory and Roy doesn’t want to say too much. Jamie seems to go quiet after that too, so that’s good enough for Roy.

++++

Roy is really fucking tired of falling asleep with Jamie next to him and then waking up to an empty fucking bed.

++++

I tried to wake you up when I left but you were dead out. I had to get back so I didn’t miss the bus.

Roy gets the text around 1pm when he’s on the treadmill, reading his book. He pointedly does not respond because he’s really fucking tired of Jamie Tartt fucking him up, and he doesn’t want to deal with it.

Are you mad?

Roy looks at the text and then grunts at his phone and slides it back into his pocket. He is not fucking dealing with this. Jamie Tartt can just go back to Manchester and stay out of his life for all he cares.

His phone starts ringing. He rolls his eyes and turns off the treadmill, ducking out of the room and into the boot room where no one can hear him.

“What, Jamie?”

“Oh, sorry.” Jamie doesn’t sound like Jamie, and Roy always fucking hates that. It makes this thing tug in his chest and it’s a feeling he doesn’t care for. He doesn’t generally care for most feelings, and Jamie is making him feel a lot of them. It’s fucking bullshit. “I just wanted to - “

“I’m mad at you.” Roy says. “You keep fucking leaving.”

“I told you I tried to - “

“Yeah, I saw.” Roy grunts. “I have to go, Jamie.”

It’s that moment that Keeley walks right past the boot room, and of fucking course she hears him say Jamie’s name and stops dead in her tracks, raising an eyebrow at him. Roy rolls his eyes, mostly at himself for getting wrapped up in this drama that apparently comes with fucking Jamie Tartt.

“Right, well.” Jamie pauses on the other end of the line. “You’re fucking me up and I hate it.” Roy doesn’t know what to say to that. But also Keeley is still fucking standing there, and he doesn’t want her to see how fucking soft he goes when Jamie says it.

He tries to sound rough enough that she doesn’t pick up on anything, but soft enough that Jamie knows he doesn’t want him to disappear, not really. “I’m at the club, Jamie. I have to go. I’ll call you later, yeah?”

“Yeah. Okay.” Jamie sounds like he isn’t convinced, but the line goes dead. Roy pockets his phone.

“No, we’re not talking about this,” he says, before Keeley can even get a word out.

“So there’s a this to talk about.” Keeley steps into the room. “Roy Kent are you fucking Jamie!?”

“Could you keep your fucking voice down, Keeley?”

“Sorry.” She gives him a look that he knows means he’s caught. “You didn’t say no.”

“Jamie Tartt is a fucking child. How did you date him for so long?”

“Oh my God. What the fuck, Roy!?”

“I don’t want to talk about it. I honestly don’t even want to fucking think about the little twat. If you’ll excuse me.” Roy heads for the door of the boot room. He needs to ice his knee and then be literally anywhere else.

“I knew you were acting fucking weird. Never would have guessed this, though.” She laughs a little to herself. “Oh my God this is amazing! Roy!”

“No, this isn’t amazing. It’s fucking terrible, and it needs to stop happening because he’s just fucking with my fucking head. Did he fuck with your head?”

Keeley frowns. “That doesn’t really sound like Jamie. He was a bit thoughtless and the only thing we were really good at was sex, but he didn’t play mind games.”

“He keeps just fucking turning up, and he looks like that and he has that stupid fucking face, and then I wake up in the morning and he’s gone. Every fucking time. What a fucking twat.”

“Roy,” Keeley says very very carefully. “You’re not just fucking him, are you?”

Roy squares his jaw and very very slowly blinks. He’s not doing this. He’s not doing this with Keeley, and he’s not doing this in his own mind. He’s not fucking entertaining the idea that he has feelings for fucking Jamie.

“Fuck.” Roy turns around. He just walks off. He’s not doing this. He’s not doing this. He has yoga tonight, anyway. He didn’t specify how much later he was going to call Jamie, and it’s not like Jamie is going to sit around waiting for his fucking call.

++++

It turns out Janice is having a rough time, so they end up going out after class anyway. That’s perfect because it means he doesn’t have to awkwardly call Jamie in the middle of the night. They end up at G-A-Y having a lot of drinks, and if Roy casually mentions the man who’s been fucking him up, well, it’s fine because none of them know he’s Roy Kent. It’s not like he has to worry that they’re going to run to the fucking Sun tomorrow and out him.

When he gets home he has a couple of missed calls, one from Keeley and one from fucking Ted, and he can’t imagine what that’s about.

He only has texts from Jamie.

I thought you were going to call.

I guess not then.

What the fuck, Roy.

Fine, whatever. Fuck you too, I guess.

He tries to push down the feeling bubbling up of guilt and hurt because fuck why is Jamie Tartt making him feel like this. He fucking hates it. He wants to just close out the conversation and say fuck Jamie Tartt, how dare he fucking play with Roy’s feelings. How dare he give Roy feelings at all. It was one fucking hook up, one ill advised time, how the fuck did it turn into this.

Got busy.

It’s as good as Jamie is getting tonight. Roy puts his phone on the bedside table and doesn’t wait for a response. He doesn’t think he’s going to get one anyway.

++++

“What the fuck, Roy?”

When he opens the door to incessant buzzing at 7am he absolutely doesn’t expect to see Keeley standing there, hands on her hips, glaring at him.

“Jamie called me and said you were a prick to him last night.”

“I didn’t say anything to Jamie last night. I got busy and forgot to call him. It’s not like he’s my fucking boyfriend Keeley. We’ve fucked a few times, and he keeps leaving me alone in bed anyway.”

“Do not be a dickhead, Roy Kent. You can’t just not call people who really like you when you say you will.”

“Maybe if Jamie really likes me he can say it to my fucking face instead of showing up to my house, fucking with my head, and then leaving me before I wake up.”

“He said he tried to wake you up.”

“Of course you’re on his side.”

“I’m on the side of not being a fucking arsehole, yes.” She crosses her arms at her chest. “What were you doing at 4 in the morning anyway. Jamie reckons you’re seeing other people, but I told him not to be fucking stupid. But it sounds like you’re fucking stupid, so maybe he’s not wrong.”

“I’m not even seeing Jamie.”

“He said you cooked for him the other day.”

“I cooked for me and happened to have enough left over for him.”

“Right.” Keeley rolls her eyes. “You’re both fucking twats. You’re perfect for each other.”

“Keeley…”

“Call your boyfriend, Roy. Don’t be a shithead.” She turns off and then calls over her shoulder. “See you at work.”

Roy slams the door behind her.

“Jamie Tartt is not my fucking boyfriend.”

++++

Roy doesn’t call Jamie, but he does shower and get ready to go to training. He’s got more to worry about than Jamie Tartt fucking with his head. His knee is getting worse, and he knows it. He’s putting as much work as he can into making sure he’s match ready. Roy Kent refuses to admit defeat because his body decides he’s old.

He’s also avoiding Keeley because he knows she’s just going to ask him if he’s called Jamie.

Training is shit, and he’s even so desperate he thinks about asking Ted for fucking advice, but he decides that explaining to Ted that he doesn’t know why his chest feels tight when he thinks about Jamie would be even more painful than talking to Keeley about it.

By the time he gets home that evening he just feels awful. It’s probably partly not getting any sleep and partly everything from the last few days weighing on him. He keeps thinking about Keeley calling Jamie his boyfriend.

Had Jamie said that to her?

“Fuck.” Roy pinches the bridge of his nose. “Fuck.”

He goes into his contacts and finds Jamie’s name and hovers over it for way too long before calling.

It rings for so long he thinks Jamie probably isn’t going to answer.

“What do you want, Roy?”

“I was at yoga.” That’s not what Roy planned on saying, but it’s as good as anything else he can think of. “Last night, when I didn’t call you. I was at yoga.”

“You were at yoga until almost 4 in the morning?” Jamie snorts. “It’s okay if you’re fucking other people, Roy. We didn’t talk about - “ Something in Jamie’s voice tells Roy he doesn’t actually think it’s okay, but Roy just jumps in.

“I’m not fucking other people, Jamie. I’m not lying to you. Fuck.” He sighs. “I do yoga with a group of women in their 60s. It’s really fucking nice to go somewhere they don’t know who I am and I don’t have to be Roy fucking Kent, okay?”

“Okay.”

“I wasn’t at yoga until 4 in the morning. One of the ladies is going through a rough divorce, so we took her to G-A-Y. I was fucking drinking and hanging out with drag queens and talking about boy problems with 60 year old women.”

“Oh,” Jamie says. And then after a beat he just starts laughing.

“Fuck off, Jamie.”

“Sorry.” He doesn’t sound sorry at all. “Just picturing you hanging out with drag queens with your face all. You know that face you make where you just look fucking angry at the world.” Jamie pauses. “I’m glad you weren’t fucking someone else, but you said you’d call.”

“Why are you being such a clingy twat? We’re just - “

“Oh. Okay.” Jamie goes really quiet. “Okay, well, I’m going to let you go then. If we’re just - “

“Wait, fuck. Sorry. I didn’t mean that, Jamie. You do my fucking head in. Why do you keep leaving me?”

“I wasn’t - “

“You keep leaving me. We keep - and every time I wake up you’re not in bed next to me. Every fucking time, Jamie.”

“Not the first time.”

“No, not the first time.” Roy sighs a little. “Not the first time.” He pinches the bridge of his nose again. “Maybe we shouldn’t be talking about this over the phone.”

“Well, I’m in fucking Manchester now, so this is what we have.” Jamie sounds angry. “Maybe we should just stop.”

Roy feels panic bubbling up in his chest.

“No, no, we should not do that.”

“No?”

“No, I keep telling you I don’t want you to disappear on me, and I fucking mean it. Don’t disappear on me, Jamie.” He closes his eyes and tries not to sound as pathetic as he feels. “Please don’t disappear on me.”

“Okay,” He hears Jamie breathe heavily on the other end of the line. “I won’t disappear. I just don’t know what you want from me.”

“I don’t know what I want from you either. You fuck me up. Every time we’re together it’s like I don’t fucking know what to say or do and then we’re just - “

“You fuck me up too, you know.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

“Neither am I.”

Roy hadn’t really thought that Jamie might be going through shit of his own with this whole thing. He just assumed Jamie was this 23 year old twatty dickhead who was having a bit of fun. That’s all Jamie’s has ever seemed to do.

“Fuck.” Roy laughs. “Fuck, you’re my fucking boyfriend, aren’t you?”

“I thought so.” Jamie is quiet. “That’s what I thought was happening.”

“Oh. I didn’t - wow, I’m a fucking dickhead, aren’t I?”

“Yeah, a bit.”

“We shouldn’t be having this conversation over the phone.”

“No, but we need to - I’m sorry I left without - I really did try to wake you up. Every time we’re together I forget everything I want to fucking say, Roy. You fuck me up.”

“We play United in a few weeks. Can we - “

“If you were in Manchester and we didn’t see each other I would fucking murder you.”

“Okay.”

“Okay.” Jamie pauses. “Roy? I’m sorry I’m fucking with you. That’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m not - everyone thinks all of these things about me and I try to be this like - but I’m not - I’m just not as - “ He stops short of whatever he’s going to say. “I have to go.”

Roy hadn’t realized there was so much about Jamie he didn’t know, and he’s suddenly aware that he wants to know every-fucking-thing about him. It’s a terrifying thought, and Roy doesn’t know how to feel about it.

“You don’t have to.”

“No,” Jamie laughs. “I really do. You keep telling me not to disappear on you but you’re always the one who sends me to voicemail or doesn’t respond to my texts for hours. Can you, like, not do that?”

“Okay, I won’t do that.”

“Okay good. Good. Bye, Roy.” The line goes dead before Roy can say goodbye and he’s just left sitting on his sofa with some sitcom he doesn’t understand playing quietly in the background.

Jamie Tartt is apparently his fucking boyfriend and he’s not even angry about it. What the fuck is happening to him.

++++

Jamie starts sending Roy selfies constantly. The fucker is really fucking fit, and he knows it, and he wants everyone to know. It’s like a game to him, Roy figures. Like he’s trying to get Roy to send them back, but Roy is not a fucking child.

Have you had sex with any other players? Like, did you ever get off with fucking, like, Jordan Henderson or something?

Roy is just coming out of training, his bag thrown over his shoulder, when the text comes through, and he just rolls his eyes and grunts. This is honestly what his entire fucking life has been for the last week.

Jamie texts him bullshit questions all day sprinkled in with selfies (that Roy does absolutely not save) and then when he gets home they chat on the phone for a bit until they both have to actually get ready for bed.

It’s not so bad, really, but then he gets a text like this and Roy honestly just - his boyfriend is a child.

What the fuck Jamie?

It’s a fair question!!!! I need to know if I have any competition. Plus, I play Liverpool on Friday. I need to know if I can use my stunning looks to distract him.

I never fucked around with Jordan Henderson or any other Liverpool player.

Jamie has perfect fucking timing because as soon as his phone connects to his car’s bluetooth, the phone rings. Roy wonders briefly if Jamie is somehow spying on him.

“So you’ve never fucked any Liverpool players or you’ve never fucked any Premier League Players?” Jamie says.

“Hello, Roy. Hi, Jamie, it’s really nice to talk to you. How was your day? Great, thanks, cheers, how was yours?”

“Fuck off and answer my question.” Roy can just see the smirk on Jamie’s face and it makes him fucking angry that it doesn’t make him angry. The urge to punch Jamie has faded into the urge to kiss his fucking stupid looking attractive face.

“I’ve never fucked around with another footballer, Jamie.” Roy rolls his eyes. This is what he gets. It’s what he fucking gets. Jamie Tartt is absolutely insufferable.

It’s just, well, Roy really fucking likes him.

“Bullshit.” Jamie laughs. “I fucked around with Colin.”

“COLIN HUGHES!?” Roy almost crashes his car into a tree. “What the fuck Jamie. I’m driving.”

Jamie is cracking up. Roy grunts.

“I’m fucking with you, but I really wish I could see your face right now.”

“I’m breaking up with you.”

“You’re not.” Jamie goes a bit quieter. “You still want to see me this weekend, right?”

Roy goes soft, because he’s starting to figure Jamie out, and he knows what Jamie is doing. He knows he just needs to be assured, and being in tune with Jamie’s emotions is fucking strange, but also Roy kind of likes it.

“Well, I don’t want you murdering me, so I guess I have to, right?”

“You don’t really. Like, if you’ve changed your mind or whatev-”

“Shut the fuck up, Jamie. I’m going to see you on Saturday. We’ll have bullshit movie night on Friday, and there’s no way Ted will let me out of it, but I want to see you, okay?”

“Okay, good. That’s good. Could, um.” Jamie pauses. “Could I come to you instead of - “

“You don’t want me to come to your house?”

“Not really, no.” Jamie pauses, and everything feels strange and heavy. Sometimes Roy fucking hates this whole relationship thing. It’s confusing. “Not this time, can you just trust me?”

“Okay, yeah. You can come to me. I’ll send you the hotel details as soon as I know.” Roy pulls into his driveway. “Hey Jamie, I just got home. I’m gonna disconnect. I’ll call you back.”

“No need. I got what I needed. I’m gonna have a wank tonight thinking about you fucking Jordan Henderson.”

“I never fucked Jordan Henderson!!!!” Roy really fucking hates Jamie, except he doesn’t and he hates that more than anything.

Jamie laughs loud and full and any awkwardness that was there for a moment is gone. “Maybe not, but it lives in my mind. Bye, Roy!” Jamie hangs up before Roy can even respond.

Roy really really hates him.

++++

Ted has a strict no phones policy during movie night, and usually it’s fine. The thing is, City is really fucking close to winning the league, and Jamie is starting tonight, and Roy just wants to check the fucking score. He doesn’t care about Ariel getting kissed by a boy or what the fuck ever.

He’d much rather be upstairs getting ready to kiss a boy himself.

Roy can’t fucking believe this is his life.

The movie ends and he tries to dodge everyone. If he gets upstairs quickly enough he can at least check the score and maybe call Jamie before he falls asleep. He pushes his way into the room and drops the key by the door. He’s just getting ready to pull his phone out when he looks over and -

“Jamie?!”

Jamie’s sitting on the edge of the bed and stands when Roy notices him.

“What the fuck.” Roy would never admit it because it’s fucking embarassing, but he can’t get over to Jamie fast enough. He pulls him close. “What the - how did you even get in my room?”

“My fucking charm.” He wraps his arms around Roy and presses his face into Roy’s shoulder in a way that Roy doesn’t expect. “I can’t reveal all of my secrets.”

“Fuck.” Roy pulls back.

Jamie is obviously freshly showered. Roy hasn’t even had a chance to see the score, so he doesn’t know if they won or not.

“I know,” Jamie says. “I’m such a fucking prize.”

Roy has a million fucking thoughts going through his head, but they all seem really fucking stupid, so he just moves in to kiss Jamie instead. And they’ve kissed before. They’ve done a lot of things, but this is the first time he’s seen Jamie’s face in person since they really figured out what the fuck this is.

It’s a really fucking good kiss.

“I can’t believe you’re here.”

“You knew you were going to see me this weekend.” Jamie laughs and flops back onto the bed. “Just a night early.”

“Still.” Roy lies down next to him. “It’s been fucking weird.”

“Yeah.” Jamie is quiet. “We lost, by the way. I played like shit.”

“I’m sure you were fine.”

“No, I was really shit. I missed an easy free kick, and I took a yellow for a really fucking stupid challenge. I got pulled in the 51st minute and.” Jamie closes his eyes. “I came here because I just couldn’t - I couldn’t go home. I hope that’s okay.”

Roy doesn’t understand why a shit game means Jamie can’t go home but he’s not going to complain about getting to sleep next to him.

“Of fucking course that’s okay, Jamie. You’re my boyfriend, yeah? That’s the fucking deal.”

“Yeah.” Jamie’s voice is barely a whisper. “Yeah, that’s the deal.” He rolls into Roy. “I’m exhausted.”

“Jamie, what’s going on? Sometimes I just don’t understand what’s going on with you. You have these like - like sometimes you just look like - like not like yourself. You sound like someone who actually doesn’t think he’s the shit.” Roy’s voice is more shaky than he’d like. “I know I’m fucking shit at this. I know it took me too long to figure out what was happening, but you can talk to me. Whatever it is, I want to know.”

“I am the shit,” Jamie says. There’s not a lot of feeling behind it, though. Roy knows there’s so much he doesn’t know about Jamie, but he wants to know. He wants to know fucking everything, and that’s the scary part. It’s fucking terrifying.

“I know you’re the shit.” Roy rolls his eyes. He wraps his arm around Jamie and drums his fingers on Jamie’s back. “Talk to me.”

Jamie’s quiet for so long, Roy thinks he’s just not going to say anything. For a moment he’s worried Jamie’s going to tell him he’s got a secret fucking wife or something and that’s why Roy can’t go to his tomorrow. Jamie rolls back onto his back and blinks up at the ceiling.

“It’s my fucking dad.” Jamie’s voice shakes, and Roy sits up to get a better look at him. Roy vaguely remembers Jamie mentioning his dad the night of the curse fire. Roy remembers thinking he sounded like a dick at the time. “He stays with me sometimes when whatever woman he’s currently living with kicks him out because he’s a fucking dickhead.” Jamie pointedly looks away from Roy, and Roy fucking hates it. He doesn’t like seeing Jamie like this.

“Jamie?”

“He just - fuck, Roy. He’s so fucking - he’ll be so fucking angry that I played like shit. He’ll go over everything I did wrong over and over and tell me how shit I am, and I can’t - I can’t hear it. I can’t do it.”

“He’s not your fucking mananger.”

“No, I know.” Jamie bites his lip. “Sometimes he just - “ He closes his eyes like he’s trying to brace himself, and Roy just wants to wipe every shit memory from his head because whatever it is he knows it’s fucked Jamie up. “He’s my dad, and I know I’m supposed to love him, but I just don’t. I don’t.”

“You don’t have to love him, Jamie.” Roy slips his fingers around Jamie’s wrist. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.”

“The night I came to your place, my last game at Richmond, he called. I went home and he called me and he fucking - God, he called me so many fucking names and told me how I was fucking everything up for him, how embarassing I was getting benched by fucking Lasso.” He’s so quiet Roy isn’t sure he’s actually speaking. “That’s why I showed up on your doorstep. I just needed to feel like someone thought I was fucking worth something.”

“Jamie.” Roy doesn’t know what to say because he knows it’s fucking important. Whatever he says here matters. “You’re worth so fucking much.”

“He loves me so much when I’m good, when he can brag to his friends about his kid, the striker for City. He loves me when he can stay in my fancy fucking house and when I give him money. He loves me so much when I’m good, but the second I’m shit one time I’m worthless. I’d be better if I weren’t so soft - I’m - I become this fucking punching bag for him. Ever since I was a fucking kid, it’s like I’m just - “

“Jamie.” Roy feels white hot anger shoot through his entire body. His head might fucking explode. “Does he hit you?”

Jamie doesn’t say anything, but he turns his head so that he’s not looking at Roy. Roy could fucking kill someone.

 

“I’m going to fucking kill him.”

“Roy.” Jamie sighs. “Don’t, okay? He’s my dad. He’s my problem, and I’ll deal with it. For tonight, can we just - “ Jamie lets out a shaky breath. “Can you just be here with me? Can we just sleep together and like - just fucking don’t be a protective dickhead right now. I love it a little bit, that you’d go murder my dickhead father, but I just need - “ Jamie rolls to press his face into Roy’s chest and wraps his full body around him. His voice is quiet and shaky. It throws Roy for a loop. This version of Jamie Tartt is so different from the version anyone else gets to see. “Please just hold me.”

“Oh.” Roy steadies his breathing and forces himself to calm down. It feels big and important that Jamie trusts him with this. “Yeah, Jamie. Of course, yeah.”

“Thank you.”

Roy rolls over enough to flip the bedside lamp off and work him and Jamie both under the blankets. He’s still fully clothed and it’s going to be hot and uncomfortable in a while, but he doesn’t fucking care right now. Jamie needs him and he wants nothing more than to do this for him.

++++

“Ugh, it’s too fucking early.” Jamie bats at Roy’s phone in his hand where he’s trying to turn off the alarm. “Turn that fucking thing off.”

At some point in their night they’d both stripped down to their shorts, but they’d still only slept. It’s fucking weird but also kind of alright that just being in each other’s space after weeks away from each other is enough.

“I’m turning it off. Christ. You’re fucking annoying.” Roy turns the lamp beside his bed on and rolls out of bed.

“Fucking hell, Roy!” Jamie throws a pillow over his face.

“Sorry, I know you need your beauty sleep, but some of us have to be down at team breakfast and then go to the stadium to play a fucking match. Feel free to order a million pounds worth of room service.”

“Might do.” Jamie rolls onto his back and grins over at Roy. “Fancy a quick one before I see you off.”

“Afraid you’re on your own with that. I’m already running late.”

Jamie huffs quietly.

“You’re really fucking fit when you pout, and you know it.”

“I’m always really fucking fit.” Jamie grins. He’s already sliding his hand under the covers. Roy fucking hates him. “Enjoy your Frosties or what the fuck ever you’re going to be eating instead of fucking me.”

“You know,” Roy gets back onto the bed, hovering over Jamie on his knees. “I guess I can be a little bit late.”

Jamie Tartt is going to be the death of him and he thinks that’s probably okay.

++++

Roy shows up about 20 minutes late to breakfast, and everyone else is already finishing up. Lasso is staring at him with raised eyebrows but doesn’t ask any questions. No one else does either. Roy is never fucking late because he takes his job really fucking seriously.

But Jamie is, well, really fucking hard to resist.

He manages to eat something quickly before they all pile onto the bus to head to the stadium. He can tell people have questions but he’s spent enough time cultivating a personality that means no one ever asks him anything about his personal life that everyone stays away from him.

The match is okay. They only lose 1-0, and they’re definitely in the relegation zone, but there’s still a little hope (what a fucking stupid concept, hope, Roy thinks) that they can barely snake through and avoid getting sent down, if they play really well for the last couple of matches.

Some of the lads are going out after, but Roy is just ready to get back to the hotel and order room service and spend time with Jamie.

When he gets in, Jamie is lying on the bed, fully clothed, playing on his phone.

“Fucking finally,” Jamie says, pushing up onto his elbows. “I’m really fucking bored.”

“Have you just been sitting here all day?”

“No.” Jamie snorts. “I’m not that pathetic, dickhead.” He clears his throat. “I had breakfast, and then I went home for a bit. My dad tore into me.” He squares his jaw like there’s more to it that he isn’t offering up. Roy doesn’t ask either because he’s pretty sure the answer would send him into a rage. “I started to tell you I couldn’t come back because he was just - but I just stormed out.”

Roy sits on the bed, back against the headboard and tugs Jamie over.

“Good. I would have been fucking hurt if you’d canceled on me.”

“You’re so fucking into me.” Jamie grins. “So fucking into me.”

“Yeah, I guess I am.” Roy smiles. “Hey, so I was thinking - “

“Scary.”

“Fuck off.” Roy flicks him in the temple.

“Hey!”

“Nevermind. I’m not going to tell you what I was thinking.” Roy leans in and kisses him. “Let’s do this again.”

The thing is, Roy’s kind of been thinking all day about how nice it is to actually fucking wake up with Jamie. He wants to ask Jamie to stay with him in the off season, but before he says it he realizes it seems fucking stupid. For one, how the fuck would he expain to literally anyone that Jamie Tartt is suddenly living in his house.

“Roy, don’t be a twat.”

“Are you calling me a twat for kissing you?”

“Well. No.” Jamie frowns. “Or, well, maybe, when it’s because you’re trying to fucking distract me. What were you thinking?”

“Just how much fun fucking you is.”

“Well, that’s true.” Jamie grins.

It’s easy to get distracted at that point. Kissing turns into taking each other’s clothes off turns into getting each other off, and it’s fucking brilliant how good it is with Jamie every fucking time. It’s always the same but better every time - every time it’s fucking better, and Roy’s not sure he’s ever really had that before.

Jamie rolls onto his back after he comes, and Roy settles next to him.

“You should,” Roy says. He stops short because he looks over and Jamie’s eyes are closed but he’s smiling and Roy thinks he’s awake. “You should come stay with me when the season’s over.”

Jamie’s eyes snap open and he looks over at Roy. Roy can’t fucking read his expression and it worries him a bit. Maybe this is like the one thing that goes a step too far. Maybe it’s too much like living together.

“Roy - “ Jamie swallows around his words. “Okay, yeah. That’s - let's do that.” He closes his eyes. “I’d like that.”

Roy wants to know what he started to say first, but he’s not going to push it. He’s too happy that Jamie said yes to dwell on it.

++++

Roy hasn’t seen Jamie since Manchester a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re meant to be playing City for the last match of the season. Jamie and Roy talk constantly, but they haven’t talked about the match. It feels weird to be preparing to play a match against Jamie now that they’re seeing each other.

Then he’s not thinking about Jamie much anymore because fucking Ted, who claims to care and have his back and want him to be his best self or what the fucking fuck ever, is going to bench him for the last match of the season. Fuck.

He’s got yoga that evening and spends most of it ranting about his fucking boss who doesn’t trust him but tries really hard to not make it obvious it’s a sports thing. Janice just coos and asks if he’s talked to his boyfriend about it.

He regrets telling them about Jamie.

He isn’t even sure if he can tell Jamie about this. They have this silent agreement not to talk about the match, so as not to give too much away. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion anyway. Roy isn’t sure why it matters.

City is going to win and Richmond is going to get relegated.

Fuck.

And Roy probably isn’t even going to play.

He’s supposed to call Jamie after yoga anyway, and he’s so far gone. He’s barely paying attention and Jamie knows it.

“Sorry,” Roy says with a sigh. “Fuck, okay, I need to talk to you about something.”

“Did you change your mind about me moving in? Because I already hired a fucking mover, Roy.” Roy wants to argue its not really moving in because it’s just the off season but stops himself because they both know Jamie is fucking moving in.

“No, fuck. No, I didn’t. Sorry, Jamie.” He pinches the bridge of his nose. “I don’t think I’m going to play on Saturday.”

“What!?”

“Lasso’s going to bench me.”

“Fucking Lasso.” Jamie grumbles a little. “Fucking pretends to care but he never really does, does he? Fuck him.”

“Yeah,” Roy says. “The thing is, I think he’s right. My knee is fucking fucked. I’ve been fucking shit for almost the entire season, but I’m not - fuck. I’m not good at this. I’ve always been the fucking best player on every team I’ve been on. I’m Roy fucking Kent. I’m not just some bloke called Roy, and I don’t know how to be. I don’t want the end of my career to just be a fizzled out fucking whimper of a season. We’re going to get fucking relegated, Jamie.”

“You might not,” Jamie says, but they both know he doesn’t believe that. City is a better team.

“You better not fucking help us win.”

“You fucking wish. Do you think I’d ever let anyone win? Even you.”

“No, I suppose you’re right.” Roy sighs. “Jamie? I don’t want my fucking career to be over. Football is all I’ve ever known. I don’t even know what I’d do.”

“It’s one match, Roy. That doesn’t mean it’s over.”

“Yeah.” Roy nods to no one but himself. “Yeah, maybe.” They both know he doesn’t really believe it.

++++

“Fuck.”

The thing is when Roy had gone in for the tackle on Jamie, he’d just been thinking this is his chance to help the team but also to show everyone he’s not fucking done yet. He can still be Roy fucking Kent. He can still help his team win.

He didn’t think it was going to end up with him flat on his back, knee throbbing, pain shot through his entire fucking body. He spots Jamie, struggling to get up himself. Jamie looks fucking pained when he sees Roy, but the game is still going and he’s a professional. Roy knows Jamie can’t run to his boyfriend, but God he wishes he would.

Sam comes over though and helps him up, and everyone is fucking singing him off, and Roy’s been learning to show his emotions more little by little with Jamie but he doesn’t show them now. He isn’t going to let everyone see how hard this is hitting him.

He doesn’t want his fucking career to be over.

Roy sits in the locker room on his own until the team comes in, totally fucking defeated and he knows. He knows. So he’d fucked his knee, fucked his career, and it hadn’t even mattered.

They’d still lost.

Ted’s talking and Roy is listening, but he’s also half hoping Jamie is going to come in. He wants to see Jamie. He fucking hates it. He knows his career is over and the only person he wants to see is Jamie Fucking Tartt, the one he knew was coming to take his place, the one he fucking hated because of it.

Fuck.

Everyone starts filtering out, and Roy thinks maybe Jamie’s left to go back to Manchester, when he pokes his head into the locker room. Everyone’s mostly gone by now, left to go drown their sorrows or get some much needed sleep.

Jamie sits down next to Roy, resting a hand on his back.

“I’m not going back tonight,” he says. “They’re not going to miss me.”

“You won the fucking match, Jamie.” Roy laughs quietly. It doesn’t stop him from pressing into Jamie’s touch. “Thats your fucking team, and you won the fucking league. You should go celebrate with them.”

“I don’t wanna.” Jamie pouts, just slightly. “I just want to go home, okay? Can we just go home.”

“It’s home now, is it?”

“Yeah, it’s home.” Jamie bites his lip. “I’m so fucking sorry about your knee.” The physio had come in to look at it and ice it. It’s wrapped now, but Roy needs to go to a proper doctor at some point.

“Don’t, Jamie. Just don’t. It’s not your fault.”

“It’s - okay.” He’s quiet. “My dad is here. I was supposed to find him after the match, but I didn’t. I don’t want to fucking see him. I just want to go home.”

“Hey.” Roy glances around just to make sure there’s no one around and then he leans in to kiss Jamie. “We’ll go home.”

Jamie stands up, and he has to help Roy a bit but he’s good about doing it in a way that doesn’t make Roy feel like a pathetic shithead. They don’t hold hands or anything, but they’re close, and Jamie has a steady hand on Roy’s back. It’s not really necessary but Jamie must think it’s helping and it’s nice, so Roy doesn’t ask him to stop.

“What the fuck?”

Jamie freezes as soon as the voice comes from behind them.

“I’ve been looking fucking everywhere for you, Jamie.” The man steps in front of them. “What the fuck is going on here?”

“Dad, can we not tonight?”

“Don’t you dare talk to me like that, Jamie.” He makes a face. “What the fuck was that on the pitch tonight? Passing the ball? You’re better than that, you little shit. And where have you been? Not with this old geezer. I knew you were a fucking --”

Roy can feel Jamie tense beside him the longer his dad talks and he just. Fuck, this is what Jamie has to deal with all the time. He’s practically stiff and shaking at this point. He’s frozen.

“Fuck off,” Roy says.

“Roy, stop.” Jamie whispers. “Don’t, please.”

“Yeah, stop Roy. The great Roy Kent, eh? Not so great now are you?”

Jamie is so still that Roy is afraid he’s going to crumble. Roy doesn’t want to make things worse though, so he does what Jamie asks.

“Dad, stop.” He practically whispers it, but it’s firm.

“What was that again?” Jamie’s dad steps right into Jamie’s face.

“I said stop.”

“Decided to grow some balls, did you?” The man laughs and Roy really wants to fucking punch it off his face. “You little fucking shit.” He presses a palm to Jamie’s hair and ruffles it a little. “That’s my son.” He’s voice sounds rough and angry. “Fucking pretty boy aren’t you?”

“Leave me alone.”

“Mind your fucking manners.” He pulls back like he’s going to hit Jamie, and Roy thinks he’s going to snap except Jamie does first. Jamie punches his dad to the ground and looks like he’s fucking stunned. His hands are still balled up in fists while his dad pushes himself up.

“Jamie.” Roy rests his hand on Jamie’s arm.

“Fuck.” Jamie flinches at Roy’s touch.

“Hey, hey. It’s me. It’s just.” Roy is quiet, gentle.

“You little fucking - “

“Stay the fuck away from him or you won’t get up next time.” Roy turns to Jamie. “Let’s go home.”

Jamie nods. “Home, yeah. Home.”

They go home.

++++

It’s about two weeks into the off season, and the movers have brought all of Jamie’s shit down from Manchester. Roy’s house is exploding with hideous fucking clothes and ridiculously expensive nonsense bullshit that no on could ever possibly need.

He loves it.

Jamie’s on the phone making plans with Keeley, and Roy feels like he should be jealous that Jamie has been hanging out so much with his fucking ex girlfriend. It’s Keeley though, and Roy loves her too. Besides, he’s pretty sure she’s secretly fucking Rebecca anyway.

“I gotta go, Keeley. Yeah, Roy’s making that face.” He laughs. “Yep, that’s the one. Bye.” He hangs up the phone and turns to Roy, smirking. “I told you, Roy. Keeley is not your competition.”

“Yes, Jamie. I know.”

“Do you, really?”

“Mostly.”

Jamie laughs and pulls Roy against him. Roy fucking hates how much he needs to be physically in Jamie’s space all the time. This whole living together thing feels like it should be a lot harder than it is. Jamie is an annoying twat, but it turns out Roy is really fucking into that.

“Hey, can I talk to you about something?”

“Is this going to be like the time you asked me if I ever fucked - “

“No,” Jamie says. “Shut up. So, I talked to my agent, and like. I think I might leave City.”

“Oh. Is that an option?” Roy secretly hopes Jamie does leave City. Fuck Manchester City.

“Yeah, there’s a team that’s interested, and I’ll have to take a pay cut but it’s closer to home, and honestly it’s where I want to be.”

“Oh yeah? What’s the team?”

“You might have heard of them. This shit team called Richmond. They went and got themselves relegated, and it turns out they could use a talent like me to get them back to the Premier League.”

“Jamie Tartt? Playing in the fucking Championship? What will the public think?”

“Well you know what they say. Home is where the really fucking fit boyfriend is.”

“Jamie,” Roy says. “This is your career. You can’t transfer to Richmond because of me.”

“I’m not.” Jamie pokes him in the cheek. “I’m transferring for me. Like, City is my fucking dad’s team and I don’t want to be there. I don’t - I just don’t want to be in Manchester anymore. And Richmond felt like it could be home once. This is home. I think Richmond is really where I want to be. Would it be weird for you if I came home?”

“Fuck no, Jamie.”

“I’d be here permanently.”

“Yes, you would.” Roy should be scared by that but he’s not. “Please be here permanently, Jamie. Like, I’ve said it a million times but I don’t want you to disappear on me.”

“No, you can't get rid of me now. I’m here to stay.” Jamie grins.

“Why would I want to do a thing like that?” Roy wraps his fingers around Jamie’s wrist. “Come on, let's celebrate in bed.”

“You’re so fucking into me.” Jamie grins. He kisses Roy, twisting his fingers in the hem of Roy’s t-shirt. “You’re so fucking into me.”

“I really fucking am.” Roy squeezes his wrist. “Despite my better judgement I think I’ve gone and fallen in love with you. It’s fucking tragic. I think when I busted my knee I also busted my fucking head.” Roy’s never really told anyone he loved them, and it makes him feel better to make a joke of it. It makes it feel less heavy and honestly fucking terrifying.

Jamie rolls eyes at Roy.

“You can just say you love me, you know. You don’t have to insult me at the same time.” Jamie presses another kiss to his lips. “It’s easy, like this. I love you, too, Roy.” Jamie grins. “See how easy that was.”

Roy rolls his eyes. “Less fun your way, though.”

“Fuck off.” Jame grins. “Are you going to fuck me now?”

“That was the plan.”

“Come on then!” Jamie takes off up the stairs.

“Oh fuck you. You know my knee is fucked and I can’t run!” Roy sighs and goes after him but slowly.

Roy has no fucking clue how all of this happened, but he’s never been happier. He’s still avoiding a lot of bullshit with his knee and his career, but Jamie makes everything a little bit better and bright.

He thinks it’s probably going to be okay.