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Claude never had a problem going out with the guys after a hard fought game. In fact, it was usually him, Max and Scottie rounding up the troops and forcing them to go to one of their Old City haunts. But ever since she came into the picture, going out after games lost its appeal. In fact, going out with the guys in Philadelphia, period, lost its appeal, even after wins.

Claude never really took much notice of it until they all went out after a loss. They didn’t make a habit of it, especially knowing that Lavi would run them ragged at the practice the next afternoon. But that just didn’t stop them this early in the season, especially losing yet again to the goddamn Rangers.

“At least it wasn’t a blow out,” Claude could hear Sean Couturier saying somewhere to his left. Claude just grunted, taking another shot of the tequila that was so readily flowing at the particular club they picked tonight. Directly across from him, perfectly blonde and not ginger, was Danny’s newest flame. She was everything any hockey player would ever want in a wife. She was sweet and humble, but sharp as a whip. She had put Scottie in his place too often to not be revered among the Flyers.

Except for Claude. Claude hated her with every fiber of his being, hoped that she would do something so far off the handle that Danny could do nothing but break up with her.  And then Claude would be there to hold together his Danny. Again. He would do if forever if it meant that he would get Danny in the end, if it would be worth it in the end.

“If you continue to glare at them like that, Danny might get the wrong idea,” Claude heard a warm, familiar voice say in his ear. He growled, low and deep in his throat. “I’m just saying,” Max stated, his hands held up in the recognized sign of “backing off.” He plopped his ass down next to Claude at the bar, ordering another round of shots for him and Claude from the pretty bartender. Claude tried, and failed, not to see the ‘subtle’ wink Max sent the girl. He rolled his eyes.

“So, what brings you to the young side of the bar?” Claude asked, glancing around at the half of the bar where the younger Flyer stars sat talking and drinking. In his quick glance around he could see that Brayden Schenn was trying to ply Sean with as much alcohol as possible, and Jake Voracek was playing some kind of drinking game with Wayne Simmonds, Eric Wellwood and Matt Read. All the older and married guys were clear across the other side of the bar, the side farther away from the dance floor. Even Scottie was sitting on the other side of the room, clearly content tonight to simply drink and not worry about picking up.

“But where is the fun in that, eh?” Max asked in his accented English, and it reminded Claude of Danny in a way that it wasn’t Danny. Max was more like Claude then like Danny; he couldn’t be more opposite from Danny even if he tried. Claude made the mistake of looking over at Maxime, and his gaze was caught in the intense stare of the French Canadian. He looked away and flushed, thinking about how Max looked absolutely mischievous in the dully pulsing lights of the club. Instead, he raised the shot of straight vodka that almost seemed to have magically appeared, to Max, downing it with just enough time to see the bartender walk away with an exaggerated swing to her hips.

Max did the same to Claude, and Claude could tell that it was sarcastic more than anything. Max smacked his lips loudly after finishing the shot, staring at the spot where the bartender disappeared. “You should fuck her,” Max started rather abruptly, turning to look at Claude. Claude just stared at Max, too far gone to even wonder about what he meant. “The bartender. She’s a smokehouse.”

“You’re more than welcome to her,” Claude grumbled, and the only reason Max heard him was because of how close they were sitting. Claude shook his head, running a hand through his hair.

“Don’t want her. Come on, G, don’t you think this thing is getting out of hand?”

“What thing?” Claude asked sharply, leaning closer to Max so their conversation had no possible way to be overheard. Claude glanced around the club again, eyes settling on how Danny was laughing on the other side of the room. He could feel the glare settling onto his face once more.

“That, that right there. You have to get over it.” Claude growled again, his free hand coming to grip Max’s knee tightly. A little pained gasp escaped Max’s lips; Claude knew it was an asshole thing to do, especially knowing that Max had gone awkwardly into the boards on the very knee he was gripping. But Max just didn’t know when to quit it.

“There is nothing to get over. You wouldn’t understand.”

Max scoffed. “I wouldn’t understand?” he asked quietly, and Claude can feel his eyes on him. “Why do you think I left Pittsburgh?”

“Because you were being offered a contract for short term and were being underpaid to boot.” Claude recited it without emotion; they all knew why he didn’t return to Pittsburgh. Not that anyone blamed him because no one would willingly say in Pittsburgh, honestly. But Claude didn’t care; this wasn’t about Max not staying in Pittsburgh.

“No,” Max said, just as quietly as before, “I left because my best friend didn’t love me enough to ask me to stay.”

Claude was so shocked he turned to look at Max. He had the quiet, sad look of a kicked puppy on his face; it was the same one Claude saw on his face after beating Pittsburgh in the first round in the playoffs. He remembered vague rumors about the French Connection of the Pittsburgh team, about how they were often “together.” He never put much stock into the rumors, especially considering how full of gossip and shenanigans the NHL was.

It was hard to think with Maxime looking at him that way, but Claude desperately tried to wrack his alcohol filled brain to see who put that look on his face. “Fleury?” Claude guessed, and Max didn’t say or do anything except turn away. His whole body screamed defeat, something that Claude had never seen before, not even after New Jersey had defeated them in four straight games in the playoffs.

“So don’t say I wouldn’t understand. I understand perfectly.” He paused, taking a breath. “It’s how I know you have to get over it.”

Claude finished up the drink that was in front of him before standing up. “I’m going to dance,” he announced, though only Max was paying him any attention. He sauntered into the dance floor unsteadily, even though he hadn’t had nearly enough to drink. Max had him off balance, something that Claude didn’t appreciate. He didn’t even wait until he was near anyone to begin dancing, he just danced. He had just enough alcohol in his system to not care about how he looked.

He didn’t know how long her danced for until he felt someone slide behind him, gripping his hip tightly. He was close to turning around and swinging until he heard Maxime’s voice right in his ear.

“I have a taxi waiting outside. You have two minutes to get to it if you want to come home with me.” The accented voice was husky and caused an unmistakable tightness to begin in Claude’s pants. The hand on his hip tightened before being let go, and Claude took a deep breath, before turning around and making his way back to the bar. He saw that Danny and the bitch left while he was dancing, and couldn’t quell the disappointment that settled into his gut. He settled his tab, and wished the other kids goodnight before making his way out into the cool Old City air. Idling at the curb was a taxi. Claude calmly strolled over to the door, looking in to see Max looking out.

It was quiet in the cab, just two seemingly drunk hockey players making their way home, even though Claude’s home was across the bridge and Max lived in Rittenhouse Square. Claude forced himself to stop thinking and instead looked out the window, watching the Philadelphian buildings pass by in a blur of color.

Before he knew it they were rolling to a stop in front of Max’s building and Max was prodding him to get out of the taxi. Claude mindlessly followed him onto the third floor of the building, not even really paying attention until he was pressed against the closed door of the penthouse.

“Tell me you don’t want this,” Max said, pressing his body into Claude’s. Even though they were the same height, Max had more body mass and was able to pin Claude effectively to the door.

“If I didn’t,” Claude stated, “do you think I would be here right now?”

Max doesn’t answer verbally, but instead crushed his lips to Claude’s, his hands making quick work of the buttons on Claude’s coat. There was nothing tender or calm about the way they were kissing. Both Max and Claude were trying to dominate each other, but neither seemed to get much purchase. It was a blistering battle and Claude found brief success by getting underneath Max’s coat and into his shirt. But then Max rolled his hips hard into Claude’s and this spell was broke with a low moan.

“Bedroom, now,” Max stated, stepping back from Claude’s disheveled form. Claude groaned and followed Max, stripping off his coat, tie and shirt as he went. He followed Max’s clothing into the bedroom, but found the room empty. His eyebrows furrowed together and he stepped closer to the bed, wondering where Max could be hiding. Then before he knew it he felt arms around him, walking him quickly to the bed and pushing him down.

“Max, seriously, c’mon,” Claude whined, trying to buck up and roll on top of Max. It was uncomfortable to have his erection pressed against the bed and unable to move. Max pressed his hips into Claude’s, and it wasn’t hard for Claude to feel Max’s excitement. Claude bucked back into him, trying to get more pressure.

“Claude, stop,” Max ground out, pressing him even farther into the mattress. Claude whined high in his throat, letting Max press him into the bed. It wasn’t long before Max was nudging his knees apart, adjusting him so his ass was high in the air. He could feel Max’s hands reaching around his waist, finally, finally, working his pants and boxers down his legs. He groaned when he felt the air on the newly exposed skin, and then jumped when he felt Max’s hands on him, running over his thighs.

“Claude,” Max said, and Claude could hear the hesitation in his voice. Instead of verbally answering, Claude shifted so his ass was arched in a seemingly impractical way, before looking over his shoulder.

“Well?” he asked cockily, arching his eyebrow. While he was turned around, he let himself admire how Max looked in the soft light of the room, how it casted delicious shadows across his body. He watched as Max raised his hand and let it come down against Claude’s ass. He closed his eyes, biting his lip to keep from gasping as his cock got even harder.

But when he felt Max’s finger just petting at his hole, his pushed his head into the pillow and moaned like a whore. It had been so long since anyone had touched him that even the slightest touch was too much and not enough. The cold dribble of lube made him tense up, but then Max was once again just rubbing at his pucker until Claude felt a finger slowly enter him and he breathed out a sigh of relief, before pushing back against the hand behind him. “Maxime, come on,” Claude said, drawing out the syllables in the forward’s name.

He squirmed uncomfortably when a second finger entered him, but he got used to it quickly. Just as he was able to tell Max to hurry the fuck up, he could feel the fingers withdraw from his hole and he could hear the soft crinkle of the condom wrapper. He readjusted himself on his knees, pushing his ass up so it would be impossible to resist. He knew how beautiful he ass was and he knew how to use it. And it was worth it when he could feel Max’s cock pressing into him, just teasing him.

“Max, god damn it, I’m not a girl. Just fuck me already!” Before the words left his mouth, Max slammed into him, causing them both to moan. Max didn’t start off slow, and instead set an almost brutal pace. It wasn’t about lasting long, but getting off fast and being satisfied. The air was filled with the sounds of their breathy moans and the slap of skin on sweat slick skin.

It didn’t take long for Max to find Claude’s prostate, which almost sent Claude straight off the bed. Max fisted Claude’s cock and began to jack him off quickly, pushing them closer and closer to the finish. Max’s hips began to stutter and Claude, having been on a hair trigger for what seemed like ever, fucked up into his hand quickly.

It wasn’t long until Claude came all over Max’s hand and the sheets underneath of him. Max thrust into him a few more times before finally stilling, his groan pressed into Claude’s back. Claude groaned was Max pulled out, finally lying flat on his stomach, not caring about the wet spot underneath him. He knew he would be sore in the morning, but he just couldn’t care.

Claude felt Max climb back into bed some time later, and he turned to look at his teammate. “Just sex?” Claude asked, already feeling the effects of the alcohol and his orgasm hitting him.

“Just sex,” Max stated, lying flat on his back. “It was just physical satisfaction.” The both remained quiet and drifted off into their own worlds. Claude couldn’t help but wonder if Max truly meant what he said, or if it had changed anything between them. Claude sure as hell hoped not. After all, it was just sex. He didn’t need any more complicated teammate relationships.

But the sex sure as hell was satisfying.