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This daydream is dangerous

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The decision to keep Tobin in Denver was easy, as easy as her decision to fall in love and choose love with Tobin.

Everything after the decision was not. 

She had to fight off subsequent offers from Portland, turning each one down, citing team chemistry and player wishes. She had to have Phoebe draft press releases to get ahead of the media shit storm that would descend if these negotiations went public. She had to get all her ducks in a row. 

And then Brent called. 

“Our answer is still no,” Christen said into her phone, holding her heels in her left hand as she walked the perimeter of the empty training field. 

“I understand that you’re a bit new to this position,” Brent sighed. “So, I’ll offer some advice from experience. You don’t turn down the kind of money we’ve offered. We’re doing you a favor by taking her. You’re getting the good end of the deal.”

“You’re doing me a favor? Why so generous, Brent?” Christen asked, unable to keep the bite out of her words. 

“Consider it a warm welcome to the league. I’ll be frank with you, Heath is washed up. She’s got a weak back and a weaker ankle. She’s already almost thirty. One more bad tackle, and she’ll be using a walker and-”  

“Washed up equals eighty thousand in allocation money, two rookies, and a first-round draft pick?” Christen shot back, interrupting what she was sure would be a well-rehearsed plea, one that was supposed to make her feel like she was winning with this deal. But Brent sorely underestimated her, and her love for the woman in question. 

“Press, you’re gonna be the most criticized owner in the league. Don’t make a stupid mistake because Heath sometimes gets lucky and can score a flashy goal or two,” Brent nearly growled. 

“There were only two mistakes made in this entire arrangement. You made the first one by letting Tobin go, and you just made the second one assuming that all Tobin brings to a team is a goal or two. Don’t bullshit me, Brent. You’re not getting her back. You don’t deserve to,” Christen replied, her voice calm and cool, yet with an air of strength that dared Brent to continue to fight her on this. 

“I’ll give you forty-eight hours to change your mind,” Brent countered, the wind out of his sails. 

Christen let out a humorless laugh as she started another lap around the field, her bare feet padding across the grass. 

“I don’t need forty-eight hours. The answer is no and it always will be no. Don’t call me, don’t reach out to me, don’t pretend like you have any power or control here. This is my team and you don’t get a say in who goes and who stays. Tobin stays, Brent. Good luck in the playoffs,” Christen said, hanging up the phone before Brent could reply. 

A pair of strong, solid arms slowly slid around Christen’s waist, taking advantage of the empty training field and the rest day for the entire team. 

“That was very sexy,” Tobin hummed, squeezing Christen once before letting her arms fall away. 

“I’m so annoyed,” Christen replied, sighing at the situation and at the lack of Tobin’s arms around her. 

“Why be annoyed with someone else’s desperation?” 

“Because he acted entitled, and you’re your own person. You choose what you want your career to look like, nobody else. He might be desperate but he got under my skin,” Christen grumbled, sliding her phone into her back pocket as she continued her laps around the field. 

“I can tell. You’re walking very quickly,” Tobin grinned, keeping pace with Christen’s steps. 

“Sorry,” Christen sighed, slowing her pace. “We’ve got playoffs. Can’t let you overdo it walking laps with me.”

“I love walking laps with you,” Tobin replied, knocking the back of her hand against Christen’s. “And I’m sorry Brent pissed you off.” 

“It’s okay. He took enough of my day already, and I don’t want him to take away any of this time I get with you. Speaking of, what are you doing here?” Christen asked, shooting Tobin an enamored smile. “Rest days are meant to be restful.”

“I’m resting. I’m in my lounge sweats,” Tobin scoffed, tugging at the pocket of her sweatpants. “It was too quiet at home.” 

“Home?” Christen clarified softly with a racing heart, knowing full well she’d left Tobin in her bed at her house this morning and not across town at Tobin’s apartment. 

“I mean…the house. The house that you live in was quiet, and I…You know, sometimes it can be too quiet to rest. Sounds totally weird, I know. It’s a fact though. Basically science. Do you have lunch plans?” Tobin rambled, well aware of the dark blush that was heating her cheeks and her neck. 

Christen reached out to grab onto Tobin’s hand, pulling them to a stop. She laced their fingers together and drifted closer, close enough to lose herself in the sparkle of hope nestled in Tobin’s brown eyes. 

“I know you said I’m your home, but…that can be too. If you want it to be,” Christen said quietly, too afraid to speak any louder and shatter the serenity of the moment. “I don’t mind if you call it that, because I’ve been thinking of it like that.”

“I’m there more than the apartment, no offense to the beautiful interior design,” Tobin murmured as she brushed her thumb along Christen’s hand. 

“None taken. All I wanted, even then, was to give you a home since once had been taken from you. I just…never expected this,” Christen replied with a gentle squeeze of Tobin’s hand. “I never expected to be a home.”

“No pressure,” Tobin chuckled. “You can always tell me to spend some quality time at the apartment when you need.” 

“Baby, I’m not asking you to live with me yet. I’m just saying you’ve got a home with me, more so than just right here,” Christen said, quickly bringing their clasped hands up to her lips and brushing a kiss across the back of Tobin’s hand. 

“I love you,” Tobin breathed out, her stomach flipping like it was the first time saying those words, not the thousandth.

“I love you too,” Christen whispered in reply. 

“Are you free for lunch?” Tobin asked, refraining from kissing Christen right there on the field. “It’ll help you forget Brent calling me…old? Washed up? Injury-prone?” 

“The self-restraint it took not to correct him and call you sex-in-cleats…” Christen trailed off with a chuckle. “Want to go get tacos?”

“Can we makeout in the car?” Tobin asked with a giddy smile on her face. 

“Did you hear the sex-in-cleats, part?” Christen hummed, a matching smile on her face. 

“How long do you have to work today?” Tobin asked, letting her eyes track down Christen’s body. 

“I think…” Christen trailed off, feeling heat prickle beneath her skin at the unabashed way Tobin was eyeing her. “I’ll work from home the rest of the day.”

“It’s a rest day, so I guess I can work on my back,” Tobin sighed, her smile morphing into a smirk. 

“On your knees too. Gotta make sure you stay limber,” Christen teased. 

“You’re the boss,” Tobin teased back, stepping back toward the admin building. 

“That’s what they tell me,” Christen chuckled, following Tobin toward the building with a smile on her face. 

“How many goals do I need to score to convince you to go on a vacation with me post playoffs? No work included,” Tobin asked, as she inched her lips closer to where Christen wanted her. 

“Umm…what?” Christen managed, unable to form a coherent thought since the moment they'd gotten home, Tobin had stripped her bare and was now taking her sweet time bringing her to release. It would be infuriating if it wasn’t so goddamn sexy. 

“Vacation post-playoffs. You. Me. A sandy beach. The sun,” Tobin murmured, punctuating her words with light kisses at the apex of Christen’s legs. 

“I could be into that,” Christen replied, squirming under Tobin’s teasing ministrations. 

“Could be?” Tobin asked, stilling her lips and using her hands to push Christen’s legs further apart. 

“Potentially,” Christen breathed out, clinging to the last vestiges of control she had in her current position. 

“What could convince you?” Tobin asked softly, just barely dipping her tongue into the molten heat between Christen’s legs. 

“You could- umm, think of some- some things,” Christen gasped as she writhed and her hips bucked, her grip on the sheets and Tobin’s shoulder tightening. 

“What kind of things?” Tobin wondered, her voice husky, as she dragged her tongue through Christen’s folds.

“You’ve got a- a wonderful mind. I’m sure you can- oh fuck- you can think for yoursel- Jesus, Tobin,” Christen panted, pleasure building up her spine with every exploratory swipe of Tobin’s tongue. 

“All I could think about after you left for work this morning was this,” Tobin hummed, brushing her tongue over a sensitive spot. “Tasting you.” 

Fuck,” Christen all but whined, lost to the sensation of Tobin’s tongue between her legs and the euphoria coursing through her.

“Do you ever have a fantasy where I take you on your desk?” Tobin asked with a tiny smirk before burying her mouth between Christen’s legs. 

Christen couldn’t have held off her orgasm even if she’d wanted to. The images that swam through her mind at Tobin’s words, images she’d definitely thought about once or twice or dozens of times, carried her swiftly over the edge Tobin had been keeping her on. She came loud and hard and gave the answer Tobin had wanted, all without uttering a single word.

She panted and tried to catch her breath, one arm flung above her head as her chest rose and fell. She traced her fingertips along Tobin’s shoulder and up her neck, gently carding her fingers through Tobin’s hair as she came down from her high.

“That’s a yes?” Tobin whispered as she licked Christen’s inner thighs clean. 

“Yes,” Christen finally said once she’d properly caught her breath. “Yes, I do.”

“I think about it nearly every time I enter your office,” Tobin hummed, peppering soft kisses over Christen’s legs. “Both offices. More realistic at the Reimagined Spaces office, though.”

“You should come and visit me tomorrow at the office. We can work more on this convincing me to vacation with you thing,” Christen hummed happily, gently scratching at the back of Tobin’s head to get her to move up.

“Oh, really?” Tobin groaned, slowly moving up Christen’s body. “You’ll send the nice employees with the fancy water on a lunch break?” 

“I might just give them the whole day off,” Christen grinned.

“That’s what a vacation would be like,” Tobin murmured, hovering over Christen and looking at the smile on Christen’s face. 

“You’re doing a very good job of convincing me,” Christen hummed, reaching up to cradle Tobin’s jaw. 

“You can pick the place, and I’ll get plane tickets and a hotel settled,” Tobin continued, really hoping Christen would say yes to a trip just the two of them. 

“You know you can ask me anything and I would say yes,” Christen said softly. “I do want to go, I just need to make sure things are taken care of here.”

“Well, if you’re needed here, I guess I’ll have to fill your living room with sand and spend the week in a bikini anyway,” Tobin teased, lowering herself just enough to kiss Christen. 

“Now that’s tempting,” Christen chuckled, moving her free hand between their bodies and teasing her fingertips across Tobin’s hips. “But it sounds messy. A vacation sounds better for my living room rug.”

“I’m great with a vacuum. It’s one of my many talents. It’s why you keep me around,” Tobin smirked, lowering herself again to drop a few kisses on Christen’s neck. 

“Hmm…” Christen trailed off, sinking two fingers into the wet heat at the apex of Tobin’s thighs. “I think I keep you around for more than that.”

“I score goals sometimes too,” Tobin mumbled against Christen’s neck, her hips already rolling into Christen’s hand. 

“You do more than that, baby,” Christen promised, teasing around Tobin wanted her most. 

“I fold your laundry because it’s your least favorite chore,” Tobin husked, tightening her hands in the pillow beneath Christen’s head. 

“You do more than that,” Christen whispered, nuzzling her nose along Tobin’s before sinking into a quick kiss. 

“Sometimes I take out the trash when you’re comfy on the couch,” Tobin added. 

“You love me,” Christen chuckled against Tobin’s lips. “You love me and you make it real.”

“What you’re saying is I’m basically your home,” Tobin grinned. 

“Now you’re getting it,” Christen said with a small smile as she sank two fingers inside of Tobin, curling them expertly and making Tobin gasp against her lips. 

“So much for a rest day,” Tobin groaned as her hips jerked forward into Christen’s hand, pushing Christen’s fingers deeper with each thrust. 

All Christen could do was smile as she chased another kiss and slid another finger in, swallowing Tobin’s subsequent moan. 

Thanks to their high seed, the Avalanche hosted the first round of the playoffs in the first week of November. It was bitingly cold, snow flurries falling from the sky. 

And they were losing 2-0 to the Reign by halftime. 

It was no one’s fault really. It was just one of those games. An own goal off a corner kick, a great shot by Megan Rapinoe in the 43rd minute. The Avalanche had no answers for the questions the Reign kept asking, and halftime couldn’t have come at a better time. 

“We can’t buy a break tonight,” Andi grumbled, holding back from chucking her water bottle against her locker in frustration. “They’re killing us out there.”

“It wouldn’t be a fun game to watch if it were easy,” Tobin replied before downing a mouthful of water. 

“It’s not a fun game to play right now either,” Cat sighed, her head hanging as she dropped into her chair. 

“This is why we play. We all want hard games and impressive football. They’re knocking on our door with quality football, and we need to answer the door this next half,” Tobin responded, patting Cat on the shoulder. 

“Heath’s right. It’s a new half and we’re going out in a 3-4-3. Press everything. Make them make mistakes. Dictate the play and for God’s sakes, shoot the ball, yeah?” Laura announced, earning a few chuckles from around the room. “Especially you, Heath. Get your head in this game and out of the stands,” she added with a pointed look before departing the locker room with her assistant coaches. 

“You have seemed a little distracted, bud,” Sonnett hummed under her breath, straightening her socks next to Tobin. 

“I’m- Me? I’m…I’m super focused. You’re the one making faces at fans,” Tobin sputtered. 

“She’ll be more impressed if you score, so stop checking the box every two minutes,” Sonnett whispered. 

“You’re a dick,” Tobin grumbled, spraying her water bottle at Sonnett. 

“You’re infatuated, and you need to be in-this-game-uated,” Sonnett replied with a wink, dodging the water easily. 

“Fine. She needs to stop looking nice when she comes to games,” Tobin muttered to herself more than to Sonnett.  

The Avalanche took the field after halftime, the subs and Laura and the staff all bundled up to combat the cold. The half started slow thanks to the snow falling from the sky, but it quickly picked up in intensity. 

From her box, Christen watched on with a churning stomach, bundled up in a parka, Tobin’s Avalanche scarf, and two heated water bottles under her jacket. She was freezing but she couldn’t focus on the cold. Her team had her attention, especially number seven. 

Tobin had seemed a little off tonight, a little distracted. On more than one occasion, Christen had caught Tobin staring up at her box. While adorable, it was costing them. Tobin’s lack of focus led to a lack of focus for the group. 

So when Tobin looked up at the box after five minutes had passed, Christen quickly waved and then pointed at the field as if to say, Hey, remember there’s a game going on!  

And then Tobin had beamed, a goofy, big grin and Christen’s churning stomach settled. In that moment, Christen knew they were going to win. 

Forty minutes later, the Avalanche had come back to beat the Reign 4-2 off two goals and two assists from Tobin. 

Seventy minutes later, the locker room was empty and the team had all left to celebrate, minus one who was still in the showers, so Christen sat at Tobin’s locker and waited. 

Tobin slowly walked out of the shower, her towel wrapped around her and secured under her right arm. She was whistling softly and her goofy smile was still in place. 

“Why aren’t you out buying everyone a steak dinner?” she asked as soon as she saw Christen. 

“Oh, I am. They have my credit card,” Christen said with a laugh, her eyes dutifully staying locked with Tobin’s and not falling to track the droplets of water across tanned, shower-flushed skin. 

“That’s very dangerous. I hope Laura’s the keeper of the card,” Tobin chuckled. 

“She is,” Christen nodded. “I wanted to wait for you. Congratulate you on a great game.”

“A great half,” Tobin shrugged, continuing her walk across the locker room to her locker. 

“A great game ,” Christen corrected with a smile. 

“You were distracting. Shoulda had sex this morning. I’ve learned my lesson about playing while horny,” Tobin sighed dramatically. 

Christen’s cheeks flushed as she stood up, her arms easily winding around Tobin’s shoulders and pulling her in for a hug. 

“I’m like the Michelin man with all these layers. I don’t know how I distracted you,” Christen murmured, holding Tobin close despite the wet hair and the damp skin. 

“You’re sexy in everything,” Tobin mumbled against the hood of Christen’s jacket. “Plus, I know what’s under it all.” 

Christen let out a soft snort and tightened her arms around Tobin. 

“You did play great, and those hearts were a nice touch after the goals. You know how to make a girl feel special,” Christen hummed, dropping a kiss to the side of Tobin’s head. 

“I know by contract I play for you, but I play for you too,” Tobin whispered, closing her eyes and breathing Christen in. 

“That’s really sweet,” Christen whispered back with a fluttering heart and a smile on her face that was so big, it hurt a little. 

“You make me mushy,” Tobin breathed out against Christen’s neck. 

“I don’t know about that…” Christen trailed off, moving her hands up and down Tobin’s back. “You feel pretty rock solid to me,” she teased softly. 

“I’m a puddle of mush,” Tobin hummed. 

“I know I should let go and let you get dressed so we can go home, but I don’t want to just yet,” Christen admitted quietly, the words whispered into the wet hair at the back of Tobin’s head. 

“So don’t,” Tobin replied, tightening her arms around Christen. “Who’s gonna kick us out? You’re the boss.” 

They ended up staying in the locker room until well after Tobin’s hair had dried, their arms around one another the entire time.  

The good mood didn’t last. It was shattered three days later on a brisk evening in Harrison, New Jersey. 

After the game, Tobin stood under the spray of the shower head replaying every single time she’d lost the ball. It was a habit. It was something she’d developed early on in her career. And it did help. It helped to go over things during practices after heartbreaking losses. 

It didn’t help to go over them in the shower of a guest locker room. 

But there wasn’t much logic guiding her, so she replayed the moments where she should have done better. 

And of course, with the water now cold and her thoughts spiraling out of control, she started to wonder if she was just a little too slow, a little too rusty, maybe a little too…mature to be keeping up with some of the younger players. 

Logically, she knew it wasn’t all on her. It fell on all of them. It was on their center back for fouling Allie Long and giving Gotham a penalty. It was on some of their younger players for misreading passes. It was on the ref for not calling some obvious fouls. 

Logically, she knew that. 

But if Tobin ever played the blame game, which she rarely did, it always fell on her own self. 

She didn’t want to have to see her teammates on the flight home the next day. She didn’t want to hear Laura try to bolster them with a pep talk. And she certainly didn’t want to see any kind of disappointment on Christen’s face. 

She’d been brought to Denver to get them to playoffs, and while they’d made it to playoffs, she didn’t feel like she’d done enough. They were out before the finals. They were done. The season was over, and Tobin didn’t feel like she’d done enough. 

She’d begun her time in Denver hating the Avalanche, and now she felt like she’d done a disservice to the team. Her team. A team she wanted more than anything to take to the very highest level. 

“Baby?” came a quiet, tentative voice from outside the shower curtain. 

“Almost done,” Tobin mumbled before tipping her head back and letting the cold water wash over her face. 

Christen let out an audible sigh, easily heard over the sound of the shower. And then came other sounds, less easy to identify. Some zips, a few thuds, a handful of huffs of frustration. 

And then, in just her thermal leggings and a long-sleeve, Christen slipped behind the shower curtain, pulling it closed behind her. 

“You can head to the hotel,” Tobin insisted, pushing strands of wet hair off of her forehead and trying to block Christen from the cold water.  

Christen just shook her head, her soft green eyes holding Tobin’s gaze. 

“I just lost track of time,” Tobin added quietly. 

“I know, my love,” Christen whispered, stepping closer to Tobin and framing her face with her hands. “I know.”

“You’re gonna get your clothes wet,” Tobin argued weakly, stepping back slightly. 

“I left the majority of them outside the shower,” Christen replied, her hands on Tobin’s face gentle but firm, moving with Tobin as she stepped back. “I’m here, and I’m sorry it hurts. I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry? I’m the one who should be sorry,” Tobin said, shaking her head. 

“I’m sorry because it hurts,” Christen repeated softly. “And you have nothing to apologize for. You gave me more than I could have ever hoped for.”

“But I wanted to win it all. That was my job,” Tobin whispered with a wobbly voice. 

“We’ll win it all next season,” Christen promised, ignoring the chilly water and the way it was getting her clothes wet. “But I think we won something else pretty spectacular along the way, don’t you think?”

“I’m still sorry,” Tobin murmured. 

“I’ll never regret you or anything else that happened this season,” Christen said, stroking her thumbs along Tobin’s cheekbones. “I don’t want you to either.”

“I brought an extra change of clothes,” Tobin offered, squeezing her eyes shut and leaning forward to press her lips to Christen’s forehead. 

“I wore so many layers, I have three outfits out there,” Christen admitted with a breathy chuckle. 

“You can change and get warm, and I’ll finish moping,” Tobin said softly. 

“I’m not going anywhere,” Christen whispered, ghosting her lips across the tear tracks under Tobin’s eyes. “I’m here. I’m right here.”

“I really wanted you to get that trophy,” Tobin whispered back. 

“I haven’t had time to build a trophy case yet, so it’s a good thing we didn’t,” Christen teased gently, bumping the tip of her nose against Tobin’s. “It’s okay, baby. I promise.”

“I’m ready to go home,” Tobin said, moving her face into the crook of Christen’s neck. 

Christen held Tobin as tightly as she could, as if by sheer will she could heal the hurt she could hear in the voice of the woman she loved. 

“Want me to try to get us on a flight tonight?” Christen asked softly, starting to run her fingers through Tobin’s wet hair and gently detangle it. 

“I’m disappointed in myself, but I think it’d be worse if I didn’t fly home with my team,” Tobin sighed. 

Christen smiled just a bit, having hoped Tobin would say that. 

“I agree…and you shouldn’t be disappointed. I’m proud of you,” Christen murmured. 

“Hey, Chris,” Tobin murmured, twisting her fingers in Christen’s shirt. 


“I’m cold.” 

Christen barked out a quick laugh and walked them backward out of the stream of cold water. She pivoted so that the shower was spraying her back with water now, not Tobin. 

“Let me get out and get you a towel, okay?” Christen asked, dropping a kiss to the side of Tobin’s head. 

“Do you want my extra pair of joggers?” Tobin asked as Christen turned the water off. 

“I was wearing these under my jeans, so I’ll be okay,” Christen chuckled with a slight flush in her cheeks. 

“You’re adorable,” Tobin grinned. “How many hot water bottles did you have this time?” 

Christen’s blush deepened as she leaned out of the shower and returned with a towel. 

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Christen teased as she held open the towel for Tobin to step into. 

“Two?” Tobin guessed playfully, finally looking at Christen with her typical warmth. 

“Four,” Christen admitted with a smile. 

“Where’d you manage to even put them all?” Tobin wondered with a laugh. 

“I’m a woman of many talents,” Christen winked, wrapping the towel around Tobin and drying her off quickly but tenderly. “Want me to grab your clothes, baby?”

“Will you get my black joggers and the sweatshirt I might have…borrowed from your closet?” Tobin asked, a sheepish smile on her lips. 

With a short huff of laughter, Christen nodded and then playfully ran the towel over Tobin’s head, fluffing and drying her hair. 

“I’ll be right back,” Christen promised, leaning forward to drop a kiss on Tobin’s cheek before slipping out of the shower. She grabbed a towel for herself and dried her wet shirt and leggings as she walked over to the empty away lockers. She snagged the clothes Tobin specified from the bag in Tobin’s locker and then walked back to the showers. “I wondered where this sweatshirt went!” she called out playfully, standing outside the closed shower curtain as she waited for Tobin to step out. 

“I wanted…It’s hard when we travel for games and stay in hotels and I have to sleep alone,” Tobin admitted shyly, taking the offered clothes once she’d dried off and squeezed the excess water from her hair. 

“Why do you think you’re missing your U.S. Soccer hoodie?” Christen countered, equally as shy. 

“Our flight’s early tomorrow. Once we’re back in Denver, do you want to spend the whole day at home in bed?” Tobin asked as she tugged Christen’s sweatshirt over her head. 

“Nowhere else I’d rather be,” Christen murmured, changing back into her dry clothes quickly.