|Bumps in the Night
Author: Guede Mazaka
It’s another late night and they’re curled up on the floor, Bastian’s knee whacking itself rhythmically into Lukas’ shin and sometimes his belly as he twists and rolls and jerks off the floor to nail the zombies. He was doing all right for the first hour…hours? Lukas hasn’t looked at the bedside clock in ages, and he doesn’t have his watch on, and he only looks at Bastian’s watch when the other man hoots in victory and pumps the plastic pistol in the air, just about taking off Lukas’ head. But now they’re both tired, only Bastian’s doggedly chasing some kind of all-time record Lukas wasn’t around to see accomplished in the first place, and Bastian’s been shooting at the TV stand for at least twenty minutes now and Lukas doesn’t have the heart to tell him.
Bastian’s still grinning, his teeth all fey fluorescent shades of blue and green. They’ve got the lights off so it’s only the glow from the TV that lets Lukas see all those freckles, dark spots eerily floating over the pale skin. He’s down to his elbows and knees, still cackling, with cold bare feet occasionally shocking the hell out of Lukas and his shirt rucked up centimeters above his waist to show stomach, which is normally so flat but now is stretched into the gentlest curve. “One more level—Poldi? Lukas, man, are you up for it? You’re not dying on me, are you?”
“Nah. ‘course not. ‘m just resting my head so you don’t knock me out.” Lukas laughs more easily than he reaches out past that stretch of bare skin, on ahead of both of them to knock his pistol and Bastian’s together. Then he shoots and someone must be looking out for him, because it actually hits a zombie on the screen.
In all truthfulness, Lukas can barely string his words together. He’s tired from practice; his muscles are strung out and achy and his head feels stuffed with cotton. It’s a little helpful, since he can completely relax this way, jab back at Bastian with his own cold feet, laugh at the curses the other man throws at the screen, and not really feel the slow stirring of hot prickles when they graze against each other.
“Ooo, sorry, did I hit you?” For a moment Bastian’s a photo out of one of those magazines, profile traced in the kaleidoscope glow from the TV. Then he’s laughing, down in Lukas’ face and scrubbing at Lukas’ hair while Lukas irritably pushes him off. “Dunno, maybe you could use a couple knocks on the head. Learn how to behave yourself in a locker-room. You know, don’t stare at asses so hard?”
Lukas flushes down to the bone: he can feel the embarrassment getting there, making himself fall apart just like he’s been swearing and swearing he wouldn’t—
“Schweinsteiger?” someone calls.
“Speak of the devil! Want me to get him—” Bastian starts to say, and then a great big wave of relief goes through Lukas, because that’s Micha knocking.
So Lukas just shoves Bastian till the teasing bastard rolls over, then flops onto his own back. “No, you jerk. I stared once and got my fill. Your turn to get scolded.”
Bastian ruffles Lukas’ hair again as he gets up, snickering. Lukas lies where he is and listens to Bastian pad to the door, listens to him get a talking-to from Michael about banging and shouting and three fucking A. M. and humbly apologize. Of course Micha takes it, because contrite Bastian could charm ice cream from a little girl, but Micha’s the captain so he tries to pretend he doesn’t for at least another minute. It’s not a battle he’s going to win.
Ballack does have a nice ass. So does Lehmann, actually, but he’s always turning around too fast and he’s so glowery that Lukas has decided not to find out whether that’s because he’s touchy about that sort of thing or because he just never has a good mood. But eh, they’re just asses. They don’t keep Lukas up way past when he should’ve been in bed.
“What are you doing at this hour, anyway?” Michael finishes, exasperated but already resigned. It’s just the one last thing he has to say; his voice is already fading away as he walks off.
“Playstation!” Bastian chirps.
Lukas squeezes his eyes shut for a moment. Of course. That’s what he’s doing.
* * *
It hasn’t been that long since Lukas joined. Jürgen’s been with the team less time than him, but already he and Lukas have a late-night routine.
“Sorry, coach, didn’t realize we were being so loud. We’ll turn it down.”
“Everyone’s sleeping, Lukas. You could hear a mouse right now.”
Uncomfortable laugh, maybe a scratch at his head. “Eh, really? The walls are that thin? I’m really sorry.”
“What do you need to do that requires staying up so late? You know this will make the morning session painful.” Somehow Jürgen’s got this way of looking at a guy, like he understands exactly why someone did what they did but he’s still disappointed because he thinks they could do better. It’s nicer than Völler. It’s also better at making Lukas feel really guilty.
“Well, we were replaying the last game on the Playstation. Trying to figure out what we could’ve done more.” And a lot of the time, this is true. Sometimes not, but more and more often lately because everyone’s been getting this kind of feeling, like they not just should but need and must to step it up some. Though Bastian still manages to make it fun.
“Ah…that’s fine, but you know, it takes being in good form on the pitch, too.” Friendly hand on Lukas’ shoulder. Usually Jürgen glances farther back to Bastian as well. “Go to sleep, boys.”
And then they usually do, because neither of them are really rebels at heart. They just want to laugh and play football and then go home to kick back on the couch. Really. At least, that’s what Lukas always wanted to do. He almost kind of wishes this new thing hadn’t crept up on him and added ‘stay up way too late staring at Bastian and snuggling his legs’ to the list, because it isn’t healthy, really. And he hates to say that about anything to do with Bastian.
Bastian usually falls asleep right away. Sometimes Lukas does too, and sometimes he curls up on his side and looks at Bastian’s face or his back and he wishes that there weren’t two beds. He wishes there was an ocean between their beds. It’s all too complicated for him and he doesn’t like it. But damned if he knows, really, what to do about it.
It’s just that, when he thinks about how he wants to keep laughing through life, he’s always laughing at Bastian’s piss-poor jokes in his head. And if they hadn’t gotten into different clubs, he probably wouldn’t have been able to imagine playing football without him, because on the field something just flows between him and Bastian and it’s the most amazing thing.
And yeah, usually it’s Bastian’s couch, too. It used to be Lukas thought that was because his was too small and cramped. That should’ve been a clue right there, but it’s not as if Lukas ever claimed to be a genius.
Routines. They’re safe. They’re what Lukas knows. But he gets this itch and he wants to—and he can only roll over onto his own hands for so long. One of these days, Bastian’s gonna knock into him at the wrong time, and Lukas won’t be able to help himself, and then no more Playstation, or couch, or jokes. He wonders what he’ll be saying to Jürgen then, and then he turns away from Bastian and just stares at the ceiling.
* * *
“Need to sleep, Schweini,” Lukas moans, stuffing his head beneath his pillow. He can already hear the poppy load-up music and the slick thwacks of the cables tangling in Bastian’s hands; Bastian never can figure out the cables himself. That’s why he needs Lukas to get up, but Lukas is tired and for once being young and resilient isn’t working.
He doesn’t have a cushion of rest to fall back on here. He’s been working hard on the field every day when he wasn’t shuttling back and forth between towns, and when he’s in one place and not playing football, he’s been hanging out with Bastian late into the night. He can’t do it today.
Bastian gives up on the cables with a last half-hearted curse. The room’s quiet.
The carpet makes a shush-shuffling noise as Bastian crawls across to grab onto Lukas’ foot. He gives it a shake. “Poldi…”
“No. Tired.” Lukas sounds like a whiny little boy. He doesn’t care all that much. His back was on fire earlier, but now it’s settled down into a twinging ache that’s actually worse. He thinks he must’ve jammed his toenail really hard into his trainers during practice because now it feels like somebody’s ripped off the damn thing. “T’morrow.”
“Lukaaaaas,” Bastian croons, twisting his hand around Lukas’ foot. He scratches at Lukas’ ankle, like he would with a dog or something, if he had the dog by the other end. It’s ridiculous and endearing and kind of disturbing at the same time, since now his hand is warming up Lukas’ foot and his grip is making things twist in Lukas’ stomach. “C’mon. Please. Just for a little while. You aren’t that tired. I saw you steal those buns off of Philipp’s plate at dinner.”
Big deal, Lukas would like to think. He finally makes an effort to pull his foot away, but Bastian just tugs it back. He accidentally knocks into the banged-up toenail and Lukas hisses, really jerking his knee up towards his chest.
“Oof!” Bastian, being Bastian, didn’t let go and now is lumped over the corner of Lukas’ bed. He lets out a few outraged mumbles and gives Lukas’ ankle a reprimanding shake. Then he stops. “Ooooo.” Some of his breath coasts over the top of Lukas’ foot, making the skin tingle. Lukas is holding onto his pillow for dear life now. “What’d you do here? This looks bad.”
Then he pokes it, and God, maybe Lukas wants to grab Bastian up the rest of the way and kiss him so badly it makes it hard to breathe sometimes and then go to sleep on Bastian’s shoulder for the rest of his life, but that hurts. Jackass. “Ow!”
“Nah, it’s just a chipped nail. C’mon, baby,” Bastian says, only there’s this wishing echo in Lukas’ head that makes it sound like baby, like Bastian’s talking to a sweet little blonde in a bar. Before Lukas can kick him off, he’s pulled himself around and is lying over Lukas’ shins and fiddling with Lukas’ toes. “Hey, hold still! I’m trying to examine you here!”
Lukas was ticklish even before the other thing. He curses and bites at his pillow, but doesn’t look because he’s doing badly enough now just with feeling Bastian stick his fingers between Lukas’ toes and touch the nail ever-so-gently and God, no, Lukas isn’t ready for it to all come down now. “It’s nothing, Bastian. Let go already. I’ll put a bandage on it tomorrow.”
“I know it’s nothing, but it’s still pretty ugly.” Bastian grunts and tightens his hold on Lukas’ foot. “Man, what did you do?”
“Bastian, let go. I’m trying to sleep, damn it, so stop poking at my foot--”
Lukas’ knee hits his chest at about the same time the pressure around his ankle disappears. And it seems also like it’s the same time as a loud thump on the floor, but that can’t be true.
The bed’s shaking, but it eventually stops. The hotel is quiet—so very, very quiet that Lukas can hear the dust settling in the ceiling above him, he thinks. He digs his fingers into his shin and his head moves and the pillow he’s no longer grabbing onto very slowly tips off of his face, leaving it exposed to the chilly draft of the air-conditioning.
“Sorry,” Bastian finally mutters. He sounds confused and concerned and maybe it’s Lukas’ imagination, but just a little contemptuous, too. Like Lukas has disappointed him. “You could’ve just said—”
Somebody knocks on the door. Lukas jerks, then raises his head, but all he sees is Bastian’s back moving towards it, the other man lifting his hand in a dismissive gesture. He’ll get it. He gets it and Olli’s there trying not to sound really pissed off, but it’s coming through in his voice anyway and back on the bed, Lukas just really wants to laugh. Hard. Till it hurts, and the some.
* * *
“Sorry,” Lukas mumbles around his mouthful of cereal.
Bastian starts to say something, but before the trainers can see, Lukas quickly tips a sticky, still-hot pastry bun loaded with sugar and butter and jelly into Bastian’s lap and Bastian curses instead. There’s a bit of a fumble as Bastian gets it hidden—something to do with a fork and his napkin and his pocket—and then Bastian is calmly reaching for his drink just as Jens and Robert stroll by talking about something.
“Hey, it was late. I was bothering you. Why are you apologizing?” Bastian says once they’re once. He stuffs his mouth one-handed because…because…what is he doing down in his lap? He’s not—no, it’s just a…some kind of toy gun? “You told me to piss off and I didn’t, so it’s my fault. What, are you getting all broody on me? What’s wrong?”
Lukas ducks a little lower than necessary to get to his spoon so he can see what Bastian’s doing. The other man is talking and poking little white things…mini-marshmallows!...into one end of the gun. “Nothing. I was just—”
“Oh, come on. How long have I known you? How am I supposed to take care of your dumb butt if you don’t tell me?” Above the table, Bastian puts away his cup. Below it, he manipulates a little baggie of the marshmallows back in his pocket, which has to be oozing sugar by now, and braces the gun on his knee. It looks like it’s made out of very skinny white plastic pipe with a rubber bulb snugged onto one end. “Pooooooldi…”
“What?” Lukas snaps.
In the same moment, there’s a little whoosh of air as Bastian squeezes the bulb. Across the way, Philipp suddenly yelps and jumps and practically throws himself into Timo’s lap, slapping at the side of his neck. Dishes rattle and drinks get spilled and Timo looks strangely less annoyed than he should be about needing a good five minutes to get Philipp pried off of him. And then Philipp’s all red-faced and very confused—“Isn’t it too early in the year for mosquitoes?” “But you don’t even have a bite that I can see”—and when he’s not on the pitch, Philipp’s like this little nervous puppy needing a pat and a bone, so naturally everyone’s looking at him for this whole time.
Except for Lukas, who’s watching Bastian lean back in his seat with a self-satisfied grin. “I’m getting really tired of being the only people on the team who get yelled at for making noise at night,” he mutters to Lukas.
Lukas is kind of openmouthed, yes, because he hadn’t even thought—and that’s so cool—and Schweini so should’ve let him in on this earlier ‘cause he knows a couple tricks—and hey, maybe--
--ah, now he’s being a dumb butt. One thing for a friend doesn’t always mean the same thing for oneself.
“So what’s wrong?” Bastian asks.
And Lukas smiles to his cereal and maybe shakes his head at himself a little. “Nothing. I was just sleepy. We do make too much noise at night.”
“What? You don’t like the Playstation anymore?” Bastian is pouting, and he’s so totally faking it but he’s also not. He’s got this serious look beneath the twinkling eyes, which worries Lukas because he’d really rather keep the complications to himself, since Bastian’s also his friend.
“No…it’s just, y’know, sometimes maybe we could…um…”
“You want to do something else?” Bastian says, offhanded because for some reason, Timo is staring at them like ‘wait…did you just…’ and Bastian’s busy making an innocent face back. He sprawls out in his chair with his arm and marshmallow gun casually slung behind his back and ‘yes’ would be the right answer to his question.
Lukas shovels cereal into his mouth. “No, not really. Just can we not get yelled at so often? I feel kind of silly, being here and always getting scolded for videogames.
“You wanna get yelled at for something else?” Bastian laughs, twisting around. He slings himself forward, arm still over the back of his chair, and at the same time Lukas happens to be lifting his head and then they’re staring at each other. Bastian’s grinning, but his head is cocking and something flicks across his eyes as he looks at Lukas, not even ten centimeters away. “Lukas?”
Something cold drips onto Lukas’ leg and through his trousers. He flinches, then puts a hand up to his mouth and wipes off the rest of the milk. “Only if you’re there.”
He’s kidding around like usual, kind of, only he probably fucks it up just a little and he’s really, really grateful when Torsten asks them to please share the sugar bowl with the rest of the table, yeah?
“I’m always there,” Bastian says. He shoots Lukas a look that feels weird but is too fast to read, and then he’s ruffling Lukas’ hair and kidding Torsten about needing a little more to get going in the morning with the years. The next second, he’s mumbling to Lukas about hey, he hasn’t really seen how far the marshmallow gun can shoot and what about in the showers, what did he think?
Well, the steam would make the marshmallows mushy, and Lukas gratefully slips back from the edge.
* * *
Practice today left Lukas a little worked-up still and he’s lying on the floor, picking through their games for something that’ll burn off some energy when somebody thumps down beside him. Then Bastian pushes up alongside so his forearm and his hip drag against Lukas, trapping him between the wall and the warm body. “Meh, you know something? I was just walking back and Torsten, Michael and Jogi all told me to lay off the Playstation. I wasn’t even thinking about it yet!”
“But we were going to—that’s what we always do.” Lukas is having a hard time staying relaxed, even if his hands are thankfully in a cardboard box and full of games. He wriggles to see how much room he’s got to work with and it’s not much. But Bastian’s not actually lying on top of any part of him, so okay, he digs his elbow into the floor and pushes up and over.
He accidentally lifts Bastian’s arm as he does, having somehow gotten beneath it, so Lukas twists onto his side so it’ll slip off. But instead it slides up and puts its fingers in his hair, and then Bastian twists too and suddenly Lukas has a tongue pushing at his mouth. He just—he just—
Bastian backs off after a moment. He’s hunched down to look Lukas in the eye and he’s worried…maybe a little frightened as he says “Lukas?” and oh, my God. Lukas is…Lukas just pushes at Bastian’s arms, and then when Bastian gives way, he shoves the other man all the way over and he’s down kissing Bastian and yelling at him at the same time. “You just—do you know how long I’ve been—why didn’t you tell me—say something—you—”
Well, no, it isn’t really kissing. It’s more like grabbing at Bastian’s hot mouth every so often with his own while flailing, with lots of thumping arms and knees till suddenly Lukas finds himself locked down to Bastian’s chest and Bastian is just looking at him. “You were a kid.”
“I’m not now. God.” Lukas squirms, gets free enough to punch Bastian in the arm. He doesn’t really mean it.
Bastian knows that, of course, and is rolling his eyes even as he shoves Lukas over and then crawls on top of him, hands grabbing and letting go and then grabbing higher up, walking along Lukas’ thighs and hips and sides till they are kissing, and properly, and Lukas just gets the back of Bastian’s head in his hand and doesn’t let go. Lukas’ foot goes out and he hits something that falls with a kind of crash; he winces and Bastian jerks up his shirt and he gasps. Then Bastian’s down and sucking at his neck, tongue laving down so Lukas tips back his head, his free hand running all over Bastian’s back.
Lukas arches just as Bastian lowers himself and that has to be Bastian’s prick pressing at Lukas’ thigh, shoved up against the side of Lukas’ own cock so the room fills with little black dancing holes. They both groan and for once, they aren’t quite with each other because Bastian goes one way and Lukas goes another so they rock…and roll over completely. Bastian kicks something, Lukas thinks, because there’s a thump but Lukas doesn’t turn to see for sure. He digs his toes into the ground and pushes up with his hips, feeling his whole body go loose and liquid. It gets worse, or actually better, when Bastian’s hand suddenly is between them and tugging at their waistbands.
More thumps and crashes and rattling sounds as Lukas desperately tries to help out the other man without having to stop kissing Bastian, or let go of Bastian’s ass or hair, as Bastian swears and jerks so the elastic gives Lukas a stinging burn as it slides over his prick. But then Bastian has them both in hand, and something’s just attacked Lukas’ shin again when he’s trying to thrust into Bastian’s tight hold so he kicks it good.
That’s a really loud crash, but Bastian’s distracting Lukas, his hand pumping faster and faster, his prick rubbing up against Lukas so Lukas can feel the heat. He’s got his tongue spiking into the wet hollows at the base of Lukas’ tongue so Lukas can’t really moan, he’s got his other hand bending Lukas at the waist, fingers tucked into the small of Lukas’ back, and who cares if that was the chair? The world’s exploding.
Lukas subsides against Bastian, thoroughly wrung-out and so happy, but Bastian’s still grunting and jerking up against him. Which after a moment gets through to Lukas, and he feels guilty and oh, there’s Bastian’s prick and it feels comfortable and hot and perfect in Lukas’ hand, his fingers tangling up with Bastian’s so it’s not really neat, but Bastian seems to like it well enough. Especially when he grabs the back of Lukas’ neck just at the end and drags him forward so Lukas tastes the high sweet finish in Bastian’s mouth.
“Mmm.” Bastian sloppily pets Lukas’ softening cock, flipping it up against somebody’s thigh. “Dork. You could’ve said something.”
“Shurrup,” Lukas mumbles, pushing his head at Bastian’s chest.
“Bastian! Lukas! Do you know what time it is?” somebody yells through the door.
For a moment they just look at each other. Then Bastian glances down and Lukas does too and there are their bodies all squished and locked around each other, clothes wet with sweat and stuck up where they’ve bunched with semen and God, who’s supposed to answer the door?
“What are you—never mind, I know, it’s the Playstation.” It’s Lehmann. He’s the only one who can make sarcasm sound like purring. Purring of a big blond tiger that’s about to beat your head in against the goal-post. “Turn it off and go to sleep!”
Bastian blinks at Lukas. After a moment, he half-turns to yell back. “Okay! We’re sorry!”
Lukas starts snickering. He mashes his face into Bastian because he can’t stop and he doesn’t want Lehmann to come storming back; Bastian hisses at him and pulls at his hair and finally ducks down to snicker along, his beak of a nose pressed against Lukas’ ear.
“Playstation,” Lukas finally whispers.
“It’s perfect, and I wasn’t even trying to set up an excuse,” Bastian whispers back, and then he nudges Lukas’ head back and cranes his head to press their mouths together. Well, the Playstation is off, and they’ll go to sleep in a minute. Really.