Tangible Schizophrenia


Disenchanted Lullaby

Author: Guede Mazaka
Rating: NC-17. D/s, bondage.
Pairing: Robbie Savage/Rio Ferdinand
Feedback: Good lines, bad ones, etc.
Disclaimer: This is absolutely fiction and not real and I don’t know these people at all. Any resemblance to any real-life record company is completely accidental.
Notes: A bit of this happens concurrently with Going Down in Flames. Title references the Foo Fighters song. Thanks to saltlemonnlime and xosagexo for the info.
Summary: Lehmann’s not the only one with unconventional communication methods.


Five minutes after he’d gotten fired, Robbie had a voicemail from Alex bloody Ferguson on his mobile. He tried to exit from the voice mailbox the moment he recognized the voice, but the damn menu wouldn’t let him, kept chirping something about not a command it understood, and finally he just tossed the stupid thing into the backseat of his car. He’d seen it all coming—hell, the only way he’d hung on for the last few weeks was by thinking about how hacked off Lehmann would be about all the little presents he’d have to deal with once Robbie was gone—but that didn’t mean—that wasn’t—

He just hated the fact that everyone else had seen it coming, too. It was almost like the whole mess had been planned from the moment he’d been hired, and he hadn’t spent years mucking about in entry-level programming to end up some executive’s collateral damage. Honestly, he didn’t give a shit one way or the other about which label sold the most records, since neither of them put out anything better than what he could download from the Internet. He’d just wanted a high-paying job, and maybe some VIP entries into the hot spots around town, and…well, now he wanted to get drunk. Meetings with Lehmann tended to do that to him, and now he didn’t have to worry about getting penalized for staggering in hung-over the next day because he didn’t have a bloody job.

Fuck. Robbie stepped on the accelerator. The faster he could get to a bar, the better.

* * *

The back booths in wherever the hell he was were very nicely padded. And the lager was good. If he was still on the lager. He might’ve switched to stout. The girl had said that the stout was better, and so far he’d been keeping himself together enough to make her think he was cute and just keep bringing him pints, and…actually, she hadn’t been around in a while. Did he have beer left?

He took a moment to orient himself: lights came from up, so if he could see the lights, then he was…also facing up. Then he reached one arm up over the table edge and tried to find a drink. His fingers ran into glass every few centimeters, but when he picked up the mugs, they were all too light. “Fuck, I’m still good for it,” Robbie muttered, sitting up.

“The street’s divided on that, lad.”

The cornrows came into focus first. It was hard to miss those, or to remember to whose head they were attached, though the lager-stout swilling around in Robbie’s blood did its level best.

He jerked back. He wasn’t going to deny that when his elbows were aching from the hard bangs they’d taken, and he’d even admit that it was because his first reaction was fear. Rio Ferdinand hadn’t done anything more than jeer and take a slap at Robbie’s arse that one time, but that hadn’t been for lack of trying. A minute later, Ferdinand had done his damnedest to plow through the brawl Robbie had ended up starting in retaliation to get to Robbie, and his work had kept the FC house doctors busy for a few days.

“You know, my left hand still aches from that bar fight,” Rio calmly said. He was in a casual navy blue suit, no tie. It looked loose on him—not ill-fitting, just loose. Like if he needed to move quick, he could.

“Good.” After another moment, Robbie decided he didn’t much care. He wasn’t getting paid to now, and Rio hadn’t reached over to break his neck so he didn’t really have a personal reason to make him.

He laid back down just in time to see a nice pair of legs walk towards the booth. Shame the girl was wearing dark pantyhose, though; she took some order from Rio and then went off right away, one hand down to keep her skirt against her thighs. She didn’t have to, since it wasn’t like Robbie liked staring at hose enough to go through the bother of twisting his head around.

Rio sighed and tapped the table. “You Welsh bastard, you’re completely soused, aren’t you?”

“Wouldn’t complain if I were you. ‘s keeping me from making fun of your terrible Fergie impression, lad,” Robbie said. He was what, four years older than Ferdinand? Something like that.

The table and the other seat creaked, making Robbie tense up. But then Rio just laughed under his breath, soft and sure, and tried to stretch his legs out beneath the table. His knees were crowded up against the underside, Robbie could see, and probably he was going to end up with bits of old gum on his trousers.

The waitress came back and set down a couple mugs. They thunked on the wood. And then they made scraping sounds in Robbie’s direction.

Rio’s knees didn’t move after ten seconds of watching them, so Robbie warily sat up again. The other man waved his hand towards the cluster of mugs on Robbie’s side of the table. “Well, drink up. If you’ve got to be like this, I’d rather you got over it faster so we can talk.”

“Talk? This really talks. Really,” Robbie snorted, grabbing the nearest mug. Frankly, he shouldn’t—not if he wanted to stay away from the burning sour taste of being an object of pity—but fucking Lehmann. Accusing him of deliberately fucking up the system just to earn overtime.

Well, to be dead honest, he had been inserting bugs and viruses. But only after Lehmann’s nuttiness had gotten to be too much, and he sure as hell hadn’t charged for fixing them since he hadn’t made any attempt at that. He’d spent too much time and effort getting them into the systems in the first place.

Rio sighed and knitted his fingers together. They’d better be interesting, because he was going to be watching them for a long time. A long, long ti—

--Robbie paused to look down into the mug, then shrugged and finished draining it. There was something in it besides beer, but it was just more alcohol. Vodka? “Are you buying me a drink?”

“Looks like several,” Rio dryly replied. “Though don’t let it go to your head.”

“And which of those were you hopin’ for?” Robbie moved onto the next mug. And the next, and the next.

* * *

Moving world. Not sure which way, except that Robbie’s stomach didn’t agree with it and it was squeezing the hell out of his guts and Jesus. He dug his fingers hard into something mildly yielding and threw up.

Whatever he was clinging to tried to jerk away, then swore. “Christ, Savage, can’t you give any warning?”

“Well—” Robbie said, and puked again. His stomach was having a spasm down there, forcing up chunks of shit that scratched his throat and got caught in awkward places. Some of them wedged into his nose so suddenly he couldn’t breathe and he panicked a bit, wheezing and choking, and ended up with more clogging his throat. And the bloody stuff ate like acid, too.

“Goddamn—damn it, Savage, turn the other way for once. Jesus.” Whoever was talking gave Robbie a few hard thumps on the back that traveled down to his knees and knocked them loose, making them buckle so he almost fell on his head. Hands hauled him back by the waist; they left thick, sticky trails wherever they touched. “Oh, stop moaning. You sprayed it all over both of us, and it’s not like I have time to wipe off my hands. Unless you want a broken skull.”

Robbie gargled out a ‘fuck off,’ still trying to regain his balance. His feet were hitting the ground all right, but they didn’t seem to want to support his weight. The hands holding him up were digging painfully into his sides every time gravity dragged his body down, so he did his best to at least—never mind, he needed to cough again. “The hell are we—”

“It’s just a couple more blocks. Jesus, you’ve already thrown up enough for a Yorkshireman’s breakfast—you can’t have that much left in you, can you?”

“Where—” His foot tripped over something and Robbie pitched forward, hard enough so that he didn’t feel anything holding him up.

It was really sickening, the feeling of weightlessness—sickening and frightening and he threw out his arms, a cry getting crammed up in his throat with all that vomit, and…and suddenly he was jerked back on his feet. Blunt, broad fingers did their level best to stab between his ribs. They shook him a bit and dislodged all the crap in his throat and yes, he did puke again. In between gasping in relief.

“Jesus Christ,” somebody muttered in a disgusted but resigned tone. They started to move their hands under Robbie’s belly; Robbie shoved them off and then grabbed for what felt like a shoulder as the world suddenly took a nasty spin. He got grabbed under the arms. “Walk. You remember how to do that? One foot in front of the other.”

“Fuck off.”

The hands left again. Robbie banged his knee on something on the way down, realized it was a fence and made a desperate grab for it. He hung on till he was pried off, and then he grudgingly took the extra support. He still had no idea where to, but he had enough trouble just trying to remember which way his ankles turned to worry about that.

* * *

“Fucking Welsh.”

“It’s fucking cold!” More water flooded into Robbie’s mouth, drowning out all the choice swear-words he’d been about to tack on. Given the effort it’d taken for him to make his sluggish, wet-clay brain string ‘em all together, he wasn’t really happy at having it wasted. “I’ve still got my fucking clothes on!”

“Well, not like dry-cleaning’s going to salvage them now, after all that spew.” A huge hand knotted in Robbie’s hair and forced his head back under the water.

The water was coming from a showerhead. It wasn’t hitting more than about a hand-size circle of Robbie at a time, but within that circle, the spray was hard and icy, feeling like dozens of nails being driven into him. He spat furiously and lashed out, trying to get at the other man, but the sides of the bathtub were too narrow and slippery so he kept falling back into the bottom. He wasn’t too sure since it so damn cold he couldn’t really feel much, but he thought his knees and elbows were really hurting. Robbie dropped down onto them and rested his head against the porcelain, trying to figure out what to do now.

He was breathing pretty heavily by this point, and also gagging every so often because of the water getting in his mouth. His shirt was soaked to him, drawing all the heat out of his body; the fabric of his trousers was too heavy to cling, but it could drape and every time he moved, it’d slap annoyingly against his skin. Bit painfully, too. He was starting to shiver.

“That’s better. If you’d just held still in the first place…fucking pain in the arse, you’ve gotten shit all over my bathroom,” Rio grumbled. His hand raked roughly from Robbie’s head down to Robbie’s neck, then twisted so the spray was hitting Robbie’s face. “Hell if you’re getting it on my bed, too.”

“What—fuck—get off!” Robbie finally managed to jerk himself free, only to have the back of his skull collide so hard with the far wall of the tub that stars spangled his vision. He blindly threw up his arms and one of them hit Rio’s hand; he smacked it away and tried to scramble further back, only to have a sudden surge of nausea make him go limp.

His vision finally cleared up a little. Water from his hair kept running into his eyes so it was like looking through a fishbowl at the world, but he could make out Rio, sleeves rolled up and showerhead in hand as he reached for Robbie. A flash of anger went over Rio’s face when Robbie slapped him away again.

“Don’t fucking touch me,” Robbie gasped. He reached out again and a dizzy spell hit him from out of nowhere so he ended up making a frantic grasp behind him. His hand hit some kind of bar set into the wall and he hung on to it for dear life.

Rio was just staring at him. After a moment, the other man shook his head and turned away to get something on the floor. “I do not get paid for this,” he sighed.

“Where the hell am I?” God, Robbie sounded like a girl. Like a hysterical, soprano choir-girl. His head was starting to hurt.

In reply, Rio just lifted the showerhead and blasted Robbie in the face. Then he threw something over Robbie’s head while Robbie was still sputtering and jerking back. Part of it got accidentally sucked into his mouth when Robbie tried to speak: it was a towel, its cotton soaking up the moisture and drying out his lips, and then he started choking when a hard pressure forced the wad further into his mouth. He couldn’t quite breathe either, and his lungs were starting to burn.

He reached up and grabbed Rio’s wrist, but the other man’s hold was solid rock and un-shiftable. Water splashed up against Robbie’s chest, so cold that the shock of it was like a punch and knocked out the remaining air from his lungs in a hoarse scream. He yanked harder at Rio’s wrist, or at least tried to yank harder, but he could feel the energy draining from his arms and—and Rio wasn’t actually going to--Christ--

Just when Robbie thought he was sure to pass out, the pressure on his face suddenly disappeared. He wasted no time clawing off the towel, but used up what energy he had left doing that and just collapsed afterward, his hands dragging the towel down into his lap. “You mad fucking bastard.”

Rio rolled his eyes and reached forward, and this time he didn’t stop when Robbie flinched. He hooked his fingers into the top of Robbie’s shirt, then yanked hard to send buttons flying everywhere. Then he grabbed a wad of it and started pulling, jerking so the shirt was coming off one way or another, in one piece or in strips. “Didn’t realize you liked working for FC so much. You’re really cracking up over this.”

“Go to hell,” Robbie muttered. He didn’t bother catching his shirt after the last of it was tugged off, so Rio just dropped it in a sodden, yellow-stained pile next to him. He waited till Ferdinand reached for his knee, then pushed the towel off his lap and let his legs fall apart. “I fucking hate all of you. None of you know anything worth a dog’s shit about music, and all you do is cater to a pack of spoiled, talentless cocksuckers.”

Unimpressed, Rio looked between Robbie’s legs as if he were checking the front page of the paper, then back at Robbie’s face with one eyebrow arched. “Well, doesn’t this say a lot about FC’s work-space.”

“Oh, my God, fuck off. I don’t work for them anymore. I don’t have to fucking represent them,” Robbie snarled. He flopped again and this time, didn’t particularly care where any of his body limbs or parts or whatever went.

Rio sprayed him again. And again, occasionally sticking a hand through the wash to stuff Robbie back down till finally Robbie curled up on the bottom, one arm over his face to keep some room for breathing-air, and just ignored the fucking cunt. Ferdinand wanted some reaction—everyone always wanted a reaction from Robbie, because that was what he did, and normally he’d be happy to oblige but right now? Right now, fuck them.

* * *

He actually must’ve fallen asleep in the tub, because the next thing Robbie knew, he was rolling over on a big, soft bed with damp hair spider-webbing over his face. After one panicked moment, he realized the hair belonged to him and took in a great deep breath of relief. Then he got up. Slowly, clutching his head.

His clothes were gone and in their place were a buttondown shirt and a pair of sweat-pants that were ridiculously large on him. His arse didn’t hurt—Robbie had to laugh at that being his first thought, since as far as he knew, Rio was straight up, both about who got in his bed and about how he went about doing MU’s dirty work. He was a bit of a throwback that way, and Robbie really had stayed too long at FC to be thinking like that first thing in the morning.

Though right now he did miss Raúl’s day-after concoctions that completely wiped out hang-overs. But thinking about that reminded Robbie of other reasons he’d had or hadn’t had to see Raúl, and goddamn it, he didn’t work for FC anymore. Done. Gone. Separated. Where the hell was Rio’s kitchen? This place was huge.

“Morning, princess,” Rio said. He was sitting at the table with a bowl of cereal and the day’s paper spread out in front of him. A small TV tucked into one corner was tuned on to some shrill-voiced woman’s morning show.

Rio looked up when Robbie turned that off, but didn’t stop spooning cereal into his mouth. His eyes tracked Robbie around the kitchen like lasers, leaving prickly warm trails over Robbie’s back whenever he turned around. Orange juice. Paracetomol…no paraceto…wait, there it was. Two caplets quickly made their way down Robbie’s throat. A vaguely irritated grunt came from the table when Robbie chased those down by drinking straight from the orange juice carton, but when he twisted around, Rio was still just sitting there.

Stomach still felt a bit chancy, but it was clenching painfully so something needed to go in there. After some more poking about the counter, Robbie settled on making toast. “Ferguson’s got to at least match the kind of benefits I was getting at FC. And there’d better be a salary hike in there—you’re getting a highly experienced technician you don’t even need to train about the industry.”

“Hmmmm.” A little bit of milk dropped from Rio’s spoon to the paper. He blotted it out with his finger, then continued reading.

“And if you’re interested because you think I can help out on the corporate espionage end, then you’d better improve on the legal protection I get, too. I’m not putting myself out for a stupid reason again,” Robbie added. He popped two slices into Rio’s toaster, spent a couple seconds fiddling with the settings, then moved on to looking for jam and honey.

The paper-rustling briefly stopped. “Again?”

“I’m not under contract yet. Hell, you don’t have Fergie waiting in the vestibule or anything, do you?” Just out of curiosity, Robbie wandered out to check. Nobody was there, but he wouldn’t have been surprised if Alex Ferguson had been there in one of his dark overcoats. Seemed like the man was always around, coming up where he shouldn’t and giving Lehmann apoplectic fits.

What the hell had Lehmann done to cool off before he’d found out Van Nistelrooy was a twisted fuck who liked getting cocks slammed into his mouth? Or maybe it was who? Ljungberg? Thierry was, sadly, dead straight—those psychotically energetic producers Schweini and Poldi? ‘course, Robbie would have to borrow the gossip pages from Rio to find out, since nobody had ever bothered to let him in on the office-place t—“Jesus! What was that for?”

“It’s my apartment and I can walk through a doorway if I want to?” Rio snidely suggested. The toaster dinged behind him and he briefly turned his head.

Robbie attempted to push past him, only to nearly get clothelined by Ferdinand’s arm. He grabbed it to regain his balance and Rio smoothly, quickly turned to trap Robbie against the wall. His hands slid up beneath the folds of Robbie’s—well, actually his own—shirt, then dipped down to cup Robbie’s hips, the roughness of his callused palms a bit of a shock compared to the sweat-pants’ soft cotton. But he stopped there, even after Robbie had willed himself into relaxing again.

“My toast is burning,” Robbie finally said. He got his hands up and put them on Rio’s shoulders, fingers outward so he could shove if he had to. Though he didn’t quite yet, and that was partly because this was a hell of a surprise to have on top of everything else. “If you wanted my arse, you should’ve made a move while you had a chance. I’m bloody sober now.”

“You’re bloody revolting when you’re drunk—why would I want anything with that?” Rio curled his fingers around, slow and teasing. He had a lot more calculation in his hands than in his eyes, which were watching Robbie with open, honest curiosity. “Just to clear things up, I’m not actually authorized to negotiate hiring anybody. You’d better return Ferguson’s call about that. Or Neville’s.”

Robbie frowned. He shifted on his feet as Rio’s fingers stroked further down, following the line of the muscle. “Then why’d they send you?”

“Because they didn’t actually send me, and I’m just here because I’ve wanted to fuck you raw, you fucking Welsh shit, since the first time you used your pretty mouth to embarrass me in public,” Rio said, matter-of-fact like he was reading from a prompter. His eyes went dark though, and his splayed fingers were suddenly pressing hard enough into Robbie’s thighs to make him twist, trying to relieve the pressure. Rio dug his left hand in harder, gouging at the softer flesh of the inside thigh with his nails. “Ferguson doesn’t actually like us brawling in public, you know. I wanted to track you down right away, but he said no follow-up that’d make the papers, so I had to wait till you quit.”

He glanced down. So did Robbie, now somewhat aware that he was holding onto Rio’s shoulders and not just trying to keep the other man off. Rio’s hands were semi-outlined against the dark gray fabric of the sweatpants, so Robbie could see and feel the fingers shifting around to point down, forefinger and thumb splaying wider as if to take his half-risen cock in a pincer-grip. “Not bad,” Robbie managed to say, only a little breathless. “Almost had me there. Except you know fuck all about tracking people down, and somebody sent you to that pub.”

Hot breath ghosted over Robbie’s cheekbone, broken up into waves because Rio was laughing as he moved his head up and down, talking a hairsbreadth from temple to jawline and back up. He edged his hands up and bent them up to catch the waistband on their backs, then started to work that down. “You’re paranoid, Savage.”

“For good fucking reason. You know how many times I caught somebody from MU trying to intercept cell calls? Emails?” Robbie backed up against the wall, reaching down to grab a handful of the sweatpants to yank them up again. He started to raise his head as he slid sideways. “Look, I quit FC. That should tell you how willing I am to take getting bent over as a fringe benefit worth a fucking—”

Rio raked his left hand back around Robbie’s hip and yanked him back into place, rattling Robbie’s right shoulder against the wall. His right went down to smash Robbie’s hand against the wall, then twist it up so Robbie finished looking up with a hard jerk of the head. It didn’t look like Rio was all that amused now, though he still looked as if he meant exactly what he was doing. No second agendas running through his assessing gaze, and for the first time, Robbie started to really worry about this.

He flexed the arm Rio had dragged behind him, just testing, and Rio forced it up another few centimeters so the shoulder-joint started to throb. Robbie bit down on his lip to keep from gasping.

“I’m not offering as a fringe benefit. If anything, this is compensation for me for putting up with your drunken rants last night—Jesus Christ, is there ever a time you stop talking?” Rio said. He cocked his head and waited a moment, then smiled. Most people called Rio dog-faced, but right now Robbie would have to go with wolf. “Well, right now, I guess. Wow. I need to remember this.”

“Remember what? Remember how you fucked up your best chance to get inside Lehmann’s--fuck.” Robbie jerked up on his toes, grinding his teeth till the spike of pain from Rio twisting his arm again faded to tolerable. That put him nearly level with Rio’s mouth of big, white teeth. “That hurts, damn it.”

Rio shrugged and hummed, casually glancing at the hand Robbie still had clamped to his shoulder. He moved his left hand across the front of Robbie’s thigh and slid it along the loose-hanging sweat-pants so his knuckles grazed against Robbie’s balls, which reflexively tightened. His fingers strayed into the other pant-leg to run lightly along Robbie’s prick. “Okay. So?”

“So let me go,” Robbie said, faux-patient. Small, easily-understandable words. Maybe Fergie had screamed out Rio’s eardrums too much for longer words to make it through.

“Robbie,” Rio calmly said, and that got Robbie’s attention since it was the first time Ferdinand had ever addressed him by his first name. “I really don’t care about all the politicking. That’s not my bag—I don’t have to worry about getting into Lehmann’s operations; I just try to take care of my work as well as I can. And I just really would like to fuck you right now. And I don’t think you’re disagreeing with me, really.”

“Aside from flat-out asking you to let go?”

Now Rio was lightly scratching at the underside of Robbie’s cock, kind of like he’d caress a dog, and the damn thing was rising up like it needed his approval. “Take your hand off my shoulder.”

About a minute passed. Robbie swore and ducked his head, feeling the blood flame up in his cheeks.

“Not that I’m much of a head-shrink, or even all that good at figuring out what people are thinking, but I gotta take a guess at why you’d get drunk over getting fired.” Rio shifted a little closer, using his knees to pin back Robbie’s thighs. It took some of the strain off Robbie’s twisted arm. “When was the last time you got fucked good and proper? Somebody taking you up against the wall and just reaming out your arse, or breaking in that damn mouth of yours for something besides making fun of people?”

“Are you nominating yourself for the position? No wonder people call you Fergie’s prick,” Robbie muttered, still looking down. It was a little dim, but he thought he could see the beginnings of Rio’s erection pushing out the front of his slacks. It looked to be more than a handful.


Robbie looked up and Rio caught his mouth with sharp teeth, biting his lower lip to ribbons in the first few seconds. He hissed and Rio stuck his tongue right in the middle of that, then wrapped his hand painfully tight around Robbie’s cock when Robbie bit down. The other man pressed forward, banging Robbie’s skull back against the wall and then grinding it there while his tongue whipped around the inside of Robbie’s mouth, flaying it raw. When he withdrew, he took a whimper with him.

Rio looked at Robbie again, then snorted. “Take your hand off and put it behind your back,” he said, tone utterly different from before.

After Robbie had done that, Rio temporarily held onto both wrists while he took his other hand out of Robbie’s pants and meticulously picked the buttons of Robbie’s shirt out of their holes. He tugged till the shirt was down and around Robbie’s elbows, then twisted the fabric around till that would hold back Robbie’s arms.

“I have to ask: why not? Way I hear it, FC’s the first place you go for an easy lay,” Rio conversationally asked. He ran his hands over Robbie’s chest and down, teasing the stomach muscles before tickling his fingers along the faint trail of hair that led to the waistband. His right drifted back to flick at Robbie’s nipples, while his left continued on to palm Robbie’s prick again. He leaned forward just as Robbie was about to answer and swiped his tongue across Robbie’s tender lower lip, laughing at the groan he got. “You do want to get fucked.”

He dropped both hands to push down the sweat-pants, then rubbed them up and down the outside of Robbie’s thighs, circling up over the hipbones. He wasn’t particularly careful with his nails and they nicked and caught on Robbie’s skin, leaving stinging trails behind. Robbie twisted his wrists around and yanked at the shirt holding them together, but that just tightened the knot. He bit his lip again and got his teeth in one of the gashes Rio had left, and the blood that welled up burned his tongue with its heat.

Rio noticed and leaned forward, running his tongue around Robbie’s teeth to suck off the blood. His hands combed through the hair around Robbie’s cock, pushing in so Robbie’s legs were forced apart; two of his fingers brushed far enough back so their tips scraped almost inside and Robbie ground his teeth into his lip harder. He could feel Rio’s tongue probing away, trying to pry his mouth open, but he resisted.

“The hell…” After a few more fruitless moments, Rio backed off to stare questioningly at Robbie. He pulled his hands forward again to just hold onto the front of Robbie’s thighs. “What?”

“I do—” Robbie swallowed to wet his throat, then laughed under his breath “—I do want to get fucked, thanks. But I’ve had enough of getting fucked over, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just tune out for that part.”

Rio pressed his lips together, obviously thinking it over. Then he nodded, looking away, and reached behind Robbie; the shirt loosened, then would’ve fallen to the floor if Robbie hadn’t been sagging against the wall so much. “Fair enough,” Rio said, turning back to the kitchen. He sniffed once. “I think your toast is burning.”

It did smell like that, Robbie absently thought. He slowly pulled his arms around and looked at his wrists: faint line of bruising, but nothing all that serious. Gone in a day. Then he pulled up the sweat-pants, threw the shirt on…when he went back in the kitchen, Rio was reading the paper again.

“If you don’t mind, I just called Ferguson.” The expression on Rio’s face was perfectly serene. “He’ll be over in ten minutes and you can talk about whatever you need to talk about, because I need to head off to work at about the same time.”

He looked up after about a minute, noted Robbie’s puzzled look, and then closed up the section of the paper he’d been reading and moved onto another one. Utterly confused, Robbie settled for putting a new slice of bread in the toaster.

* * *

Ferguson wasn’t any more the kind of person that Robbie would like to unwind with after-hours than Lehmann had been, but his idea of what Robbie’s services was worth fit fairly well with Robbie’s idea, and so that was that. Well, so Robbie had one moment of wondering whether he should really sell out his last employer like that before he signed. He chalked it up to lingering confusion over Rio’s aborted come-on.

It should’ve been relatively easy to get over that, since in the next few weeks all he saw of the other man was glimpses in the hallway, but honestly, that just made it more puzzling. Work had him dealing with practically everyone but Rio, and that didn’t seem right. Ferdinand was a huge part of Ferguson’s organization; Robbie should be meeting with him, or else maybe it was just like FC all over again and he was getting cut out of the loop.

And to be honest, Rio really was the most interesting of the bunch. He’d had the best reactions back when Robbie had been provoking him on FC’s behalf, and now that Robbie actually knew the MU people on a personal basis, he had to admit that nearly all of them were way more boring than Lehmann’s team had been. He was getting paid well and he had exceptional benefits for his position, and he was already getting restless. If he didn’t fix that, he was going to end up doing something stupid and he didn’t feel like moving on so soon.

So Phil invited Robbie along to party with one of the newest signings, and Robbie ended up saying yes solely because Neville mentioned Rio was coming along. Good thing they were going somewhere with a liquor license, because that was definitely a drinking realization.

* * *

It took a while to ease up to Ferdinand. Somehow the other lads had got it into their heads that either Robbie or Rio were still holding grudges over that bar brawl, and they did their damnedest to keep the two of them apart. It had been one spectacular throw-down between the FC and MU agents, but if anything, Robbie was rather grateful to Rio for giving him the opportunity to make that happen. He was proud of that, damn it; it’d been front-page stuff for three days running.

“You’re sloshed,” Rio said. He’d been the only one refraining from drinks, so his suit was still intact.

Robbie finished getting into the booth before he nodded towards Phil, who was trying to get a lap-dance from the waitress. “That’s sloshed, thanks. I’m just at the curious stage.”

“Curious about what?” Rio kept glancing over at the others. He had his arms thrown over the back of the seat and his fingers were tapping against the top. He obviously just wanted everyone to pass out so he could drag them out and get back to whatever he regularly did.

Right. That was what Robbie wanted to ask. “What the hell do you do? I’ve ended up doing something for everyone but you.”

“I don’t really need computers or that sort of thing,” Rio shrugged. “Besides, shouldn’t you know from all that prying you did for FC?”

“All that told me was that you’ve bashed in a lot of heads in a lot of places, and that’s not official employment.” Robbie drummed his fingers on the table, checking to see where everyone else was: on the other side of the room, and too drunk to listen in. Good. He could’ve used another shot himself, but never mind. “I’m already on payroll here, so if you fucked me now—”

The other man grimaced, then glanced over his shoulder at some noise near the door. “Savage, I don’t want to fuck a drunk or a spaced-out asshole.”

“Look, you said you wanted to talk, and then you hauled me off to your flat and you were suddenly all about screwing, and excuse me if that seemed a little suspicious. Really, thanks for reminding me why I’m paranoid,” Robbie snapped. “Should’ve stuck with it, but you backed off and wasn’t that telling about your real motives.”

Rio frowned, then turned around again as the noises by the door got louder: somebody was arguing with the bouncer, trying to get in. “What? You’re not making sense, you dumb Welsh wank—shit, is that Cristiano Ronaldo?”

“That spoiled wop shite. The last time I saw him, he fucking told me to get him a fucking cup of coffee—”

* * *

The clock on the nightstand said it was still the same day, but Robbie’s head was pounding. He hadn’t thought he’d drank that much. “Goddamn hang-over…”

“It’s not a hang-over—Fàbregas swung a barstool at your head.” Fingers slid through Robbie’s hair and gingerly felt up a spot at the base of his neck that, despite all the care Rio took, exploded with pain when the other man touched it. Rio jerked his hand away when Robbie flinched, then replaced it with an icepack. “Luckily you’ve got a rock for a skull and you’re not concussed, otherwise you’d be in the ward with Neville.”

“Fàbregas? Who?” Robbie took inventory: bruised knuckles, slight pain in his side, and the aching head, but otherwise he seemed fine. “Did you kill him?”

Rio laughed. “That’s definitely not what I do. Francesc Fàbregas—new assistant to Van Nistelrooy. He only got hired a week or so ago. Actually, he beat the crap out of half the lads and hauled Cristiano out of there before I could get through to him. Good skills.”

“Bastard.” Both this Fàbregas, who now was on Robbie’s to-do list, and Rio. The throbbing was starting to go down, so Robbie took off the icepack and rolled over. He backed himself up a little against the headboard and looked around. “Why am I in your flat again?”

“Hopefully not because you’re going to ruin another suit of mine by tossing up all over it,” Rio dryly said. He reached down and pulled off his shoes and socks, then scooted himself further onto the bed. “You’re sober now, aren’t you?”

Robbie narrowed his eyes and pulled at the collar of the shirt he was wearing, undoing the top two buttons. It wasn’t his, and neither were the trousers he was wearing. “Where are my clothes?”

“In the trash.” Rio pulled off his suit-jacket and tossed it onto a nearby chair, then undid his shirt-cuffs. He tugged his tie loose and wrapped it around one hand, watching Robbie with a steady gaze.

“You have something against my fashion sense?” Robbie snorted. He ran his fingers through his hair, and wasn’t surprised to find that it was damp. When he put his hand to his nose, it didn’t smell like his shampoo. “You’re a bit creepy, you know. You’re like those psychos they profile every so often on the news, the ones that—”

Rolling his eyes, Rio twisted around to lie across Robbie’s legs. He grabbed Robbie’s arms and used them to pull Robbie off the headboard, then pulled them back behind Robbie. His mouth grazed the side of Robbie’s neck just as the silk of his tie whispered around Robbie’s wrists; Robbie’s breath hitched, then ran out so he couldn’t finish whatever he’d been saying. The whisper abruptly tightened into a scratchy hiss as Rio knotted off the tie.

“Typical. Can’t come up with any smart retort, so you take the easy route,” Robbie finally said. He pressed his cheek against Rio’s as the other man drew back, then turned his head just in time to catch the corner of Rio’s mouth with his lips.

Instead of taking the invitation, Rio put his hands on Robbie’s hips and yanked them down so Robbie lost his balance and fell backward. Then Rio was down on him, mouth raggedly biting and sucking his neck from jaw to collarbone while Rio’s hands tore open the trousers and were pulling his cock to full erection in no time. The speed of it made Robbie’s vision swirl; he arched up and gasped and then got stuck that way.

“Like you did when I said you were just dogging for Lehmann’s dick and then you sucker-punched me and Neville?” Rio murmured. His fingers pressed down brutally on Robbie’s thighs when Robbie flinched, then shoved up to squeeze his balls back against his body. He worked his mouth across the underside of Robbie’s jaw, then slid up to force a kiss.

When Rio got off, Robbie twisted his head around to spit over the edge of the bed. He jerked and yanked at his arms till he’d gotten up onto his elbows, digging them deep into the mattress in an attempt to have the leverage to flip Rio off his legs. “You arse, is that your idea of foreplay? Reminding me why I hated you for so long?”

Rio looked at Robbie, then smiled and hunched down. The flat of his tongue suddenly wriggled up the side of Robbie’s cock and Robbie gasped, momentarily stilled. “Just keep on reminding me why I want so badly to stick my cock in your mouth,” Rio said, rubbing his nose around the base of Robbie’s prick. His cornrows scratched unevenly at the underside of Robbie’s cock, the maddening friction jerking Robbie’s hips in a few involuntary thrusts. “Besides, that was the truth, wasn’t it? Honestly, I don’t get it. Lehmann’s not bad-looking, but…”

“You’re no billboard yourself,” Robbie snapped. He tried to push himself up farther, but his elbows slipped and instead he flopped on his back again. So he twisted sideways and then God, Rio’s tongue slipped up between his buttocks and stabbed in and Robbie went watery from his waist up.

He was still tilted more towards the bed and fell down again, gasping hard enough for it to hurt his throat. Rio flicked out his tongue, making Robbie whine, and then circled it around twice around the hole before delicately licking his way back to Robbie’s balls. He idly mouthed them for an age and a day, his hands forcing Robbie’s thighs flat against the mattress, while they tensed up so much that it was a wonder they didn’t completely impact themselves inside Robbie’s pelvis. Then Rio took his mouth away altogether.

“You stopped talking,” he said when Robbie managed to pull himself together enough to look down.

“Lehmann at least has the cock—never heard about anyone raving about yours. And you’re taking so long to get it out that I’m wondering,” Robbie hissed out through gritted teeth.

Rio’s eyebrow went up. He started to smile, but then shook his head and just pulled himself up, sliding his hands from Robbie’s thighs up to Robbie’s chest before taking them off and reaching for his belt-buckle. “That’s mature of you.”

“Well, you’ve had your fun dressing me up while I was out. You’ve got some fucking weird habits, by the way. Did you get off on that?” Robbie started to sit up again, only to be forced down when Rio shifted to straddle his chest. His arms were crushed and he swore, trying to push them into a slightly better position, but the sound of a zipper made him glance back at Rio.

“Honestly? A little.” Rio shifted up on his knees long enough to push down his trousers and boxers, then twisted to get one leg out of them. He didn’t bother taking them completely off before he sat back down, the weight startling Robbie into looking Rio in the face. The other man grinned and reached behind to run a fingertip over the flushed head of Robbie’s prick so Robbie dropped his head back. “You have a pretty cock. You’re pretty all over,” Rio said, voice roughening. The fingertip traced circles over Robbie’s shivering thigh. “No wonder you get on people’s nerves.”

Robbie tried to reply, found his throat was too dry, and swallowed, which was painful because he couldn’t work up enough spit. He pushed at his elbows, but that made it too hard to breathe so he laid back, his arms screaming with pain. Rio flipped his cock between two fingers and Robbie choked out a moan, his vision momentarily going blurry. “Jesus. Jesus, don’t whine about me not talking, how am I supposed to talk when you’re crushing the hell out of my lungs—”

Rio sat up, then dropped and by all that was holy, he nearly killed Robbie. His arse wrapped around Robbie’s cock like heated silk and then he was already moving, grunting as he shifted around, his hands resting their heels on Robbie’s chest and his fingers idly plucking at Robbie’s nipples.

“You—you lying bastard,” Robbie finally hissed. “You said—you said you were going to--fuck me.”

The other man had paused, looking a bit puzzled when Robbie had first started talking, but by the end he was grinning like a well-fed shark. He ran one hand down Robbie’s chest, then drew it back up the center and affectionately chucked Robbie under the chin. “I’m getting to that.”

He yanked his hand away so Robbie’s teeth closed on thin air, damn him. Then he pinched Robbie’s right nipple hard, digging in with the nail so Robbie flexed up and God, hot. And Rio seemed to agree, lifting up his chin a bit and letting out a long, satisfied sigh. He started to hum as he rolled his hips, each time changing the angle slightly until suddenly he stiffened and his arse clamped down and Robbie just came, not expecting it at all so it ripped right through him. He screamed his throat out, every nerve in his body snapping and whiplashing all over the place so it actually hurt and he felt tears springing up in his eyes, and when it was finally over he just couldn’t even…he just laid there and let the mattress hold him up.

He vaguely registered Rio getting up off of him as a sudden ease in breathing, which he badly needed to do. He took in great gulps of air—something pushed him over onto his side and all the blood rushed back into one arm, making it burn and he whined through his nose, still wheezing. His hair flopped in his face and stuck there till Rio stroked it back, and then Rio kept petting him, running fingers through his hair and down his back and between his buttocks till Robbie was somewhat able to twitch again. He groaned and buried his face in the mattress, sometimes pulling his hips away from Rio and sometimes pushing them back.

Rio suddenly plunged two fingers down to the knuckles into Robbie’s arse, and it was like the man had shocked him. “You cunt,” Robbie rasped, brain dangerously near overloaded. “I can’t—not yet—”

In reply, Rio clamped down on Robbie’s hip and dragged him back while corkscrewing those fingers so Robbie whimpered, his prick painfully going hard again. “Thought you wanted a good fuck.”


“Can’t have you calling me a cunt besides, so you’d better get my cock in you,” Rio casually added. “Just so you’re beyond a doubt it’s there.”

He slipped in a third finger, and even though he’d gotten something to ease the way on his fingers, it still was crammed up and tight and Robbie couldn’t even spread his legs lying on his side like this; his body was too wrung out to do fucking aerobics like that.

Not that Rio cared much, the way his other hand was roaming Robbie’s body, stroking there and scratching here. His mouth touched the back of Robbie’s neck and Robbie flinched at the heat, so Rio pressed his lips so hard against Robbie’s nape that the shape of them burned there, even after the other man had moved on to biting at Robbie’s ear. “You dirty little shit, Fàbregas had you in a headlock and you tried to chew off his thumb. Who the hell fights like that?”

Robbie arched, clutching at Rio’s stomach with his half-numbed hands. The tie was a sodden mess around his wrists now, but it still held and he fruitlessly struggled with it as Rio withdrew his fingers, leaving Robbie hollow and aching and the other man was moving into place, his cock sliding up the back of Robbie’s thigh, but not nearly fast enough. And then it was finally pushing inside, its blunt head widening Robbie even more than the fingers had, and if Rio wanted him to talk, then the other man would just have to suck it up because Robbie could barely breathe, he could barely keep up with the whimpers that kept clawing out of his throat and—“God, fuck. Now.”

“Would’ve fucked you weeks ago, ‘cept you had to read Ferguson into it. Jesus Christ, the man’s not everywhere.” Rio pumped his cock in deep, then slowly slid out as a harsh groan rattled Robbie’s throat. “Neville told me where you were, I figured I’d try and get in a fuck before all the business started, but no—and you were gagging for it, weren’t you? I could see that—you wanted me to screw you raw, till you couldn’t fucking stand, till you’d have to talk contracts over the phone because you wouldn’t be able to crawl out of my bed.”

“Yes, fuck, yes, fucking God, fuck.”

“Maybe I should’ve just screwed you in that club instead of trying to knock your head off.” Snorting, Rio shook his head and nuzzled the side of Robbie’s neck, an oddly gentle counterpoint to the way he was now slamming into Robbie’s arse. “Saved my hand, saved myself a hell of a lot of trouble…and Jesus, you’re so tight. You’re like a fucking glove…and you feel that? That is my cock. That is my cock in your smart-mouth Welsh arse, and that’s where it’s going from now on. Ferguson’s got you under contract, your soul or whatever the hell you gave him, but you’re in my bed. Mine. Mine.”

Yes,” Robbie hissed, and then he came again with a wild keening yowl that seemed to rip through the world into a flood of whiteness beyond.

* * *

The second time around, Rio’s shower seemed a good bit bigger and friendlier. Not that that made Robbie any more inclined to stay in there, and thank fucking God for the bed and clean sheets and all that. He was so glad his job could be done lying flat on the floor if he wanted to, because tomorrow was a workday, but he wasn’t getting vertical any time soon.

The mattress dipped as Rio settled in beside him. The other man poked at Robbie a couple times, got smacked for it and then started running his fingers up Robbie’s inner thighs. Robbie groaned and twisted, but in the wrong direction so he ended up in Rio’s chest. “Goddamn it, I’m fucked out right now.”

“You’re still pretty.” Rio ran his fingers through Robbie’s hair, then knotted them in the strands and pulled Robbie up to kiss him.

“You sound like a girl cooing over her kitten,” Robbie told him, making a disgusted face.

The other man gave him a look, then jerked at his hair when he tried to ram their foreheads together. Once Robbie stopped flinching, Rio loosened up his grip and started massaging Robbie’s head. “So…why couldn’t you get a fuck at FC?”

“I didn’t leave there because I couldn’t get laid. Jesus—I could’ve, but I can in a club too.” Robbie started to roll over onto his back, winced as his weight shifted onto his arse and rolled back. He threw his arm over Rio’s side to get it out of the way. “’s only a couple there that are really worth the trouble, and they weren’t taking. Henry’s straight, Van Nistelrooy is stuck on fucking Cristiano, Ljungberg’s got a hopeless crush on Lehmann, and Lehmann doesn’t like blonds or something.”

“Has a thing for Dutchmen, or so I hear,” Rio commented. He ran his hand down Robbie’s back again and cupped one buttock, casually possessive. His lips grazed Robbie’s forehead as he talked. “Just so we’re clear, Ferguson definitely didn’t tell me to fuck you.”

This time, Robbie didn’t make any objection to fingers teasing further between his buttocks, though he hadn’t become any less sore. “Maybe he should’ve. Bet you would’ve gotten to it a lot sooner that way.”

After a moment, Rio snorted and pinched Robbie hard on the arse. “Mouthy bastard.”

“Stick something in it,” Robbie retorted.

“Well, there are so many choices…”