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Friday in Austria is one of their shit days. Lewis is so disappointed and morose during the debrief that Bono wants to take him by the shoulders and give him a little shake. But of course he can’t, because he’s in Brackley, and when the team finishes the debrief and hangs up their headsets Bono is left frustratingly adrift. He’ll be online all night, consulting the data, hopping in and out of calls with the race team — but he’s not there, not stewing in the buzz of the crowd, the quick footsteps of the mechanics at his back, the whine of the engines.


He switches his phone off silent and stares at it. The other engineers are filtering out of the room, chatting in subdued tones. Leo pats him on the shoulder as he passes and nods toward the door. "I'll catch up," Bono tells him, and waits. 


The phone rings.


“Fuck,” Lewis says in his ear.


“I know.” 


“Did you hear Marcus on the radio today? I didn’t have a clue what he was trying to tell me —“


“Where are you?” 


“In my motorhome. What, did you think I was just standing in the middle of the garage, slagging him off? Where are you?” And now there’s a little accusatory tone in Lewis’ voice, as if he doesn't know.


“I heard the radio calls, Lewis. I’ve been on all day. The important thing is, you’re okay.”


Yesterday the important thing was building on our momentum from Silverstone. Not throwing it into the wall. Keeping the guys up all night with a smashed car.” Two smashed cars, Bono thinks, but then, Lewis wouldn’t dream of being as hard on George as he is on himself. “Ferrari and Red Bull are so fast, and I’m driving like — like I still don’t know what I’m doing with this car.”


Lewis is still so keyed up, the anxiety palpable in his voice. But it's understandable, too. All of Lewis' energy, his desire to win, collided into the wall today. He’s frustrated and disappointed and needs somewhere to vent it. That's what Bono is there for. Once Lewis' grievances are out they can sort through them together, like they always do. 


The rational: The car still isn’t good enough. Ferrari and Red Bull are faster by every measure. 


The irrational: Their chances in Austria are ruined (as if there isn’t a sprint race tomorrow, as if Lewis hasn’t won from the back of the grid before. It could be Brazil all over again).


Bono doesn’t need to pump him up. He plucks out the truths that Lewis forgets when he’s in his head, and offers them up.


“We’ve done this before. They’ll get the car turned around, and now you know what went wrong. Or was there something you forgot to say in that —” Bono checks the clock — “two hour debrief?”


Lewis gives him a reluctant huff of laughter. “Oh, are you tired, old man?”


“Eh, it’s not my bedtime yet.” He listens, trying to suss meaning out of Lewis’ sigh through the crackle of distance. “It’s one bad day.”


“Yeah, well, you should be here.” 


“You’ve done just fine without me before.”


“Different year, different car. Damn.”


“I know.” Bono pointedly does not say I’m sorry. Lewis would poke at that like a bruise and Bono can’t let him fixate on his absence, or the qualifying that might’ve been. The garbled radio message from Marcus doesn’t matter in the long run, anyway. It’s a blip in the madness of a race weekend, not nearly as bad as some of the mistakes Bono has made before. By tomorrow, maybe, Lewis will forget. Bono feels a stab of longing, because it would be so much easier to help if he were by Lewis’ side.


He flexes his hand, shunts the feeling away. He’s not there. Full stop. Lewis needs to accept it and move on.


“What else is on your mind?”


“Let me check. Ah yeah, you’re not here.”


“Lewis. Come on.”


“Could you,” Lewis snaps, “Stop being an engineer and be my boyfriend for about five minutes?”


Ah. The angst in Lewis' voice gains a little more context, and if this is how he can channel that frustration — well. "Just five?"

He receives an earful of annoyed noises.


“Great,” Bono says, maintaining a perfectly even tone because he is a consummate professional, even if he’s being petitioned for phone sex. “I’m actually still at my desk.”


“Could you go somewhere else then? You can’t see this, because you’re not here, but I’m actually rock fucking hard right now, man.”


“Yep. Hang on a minute.” Staying cool in the face of Lewis’ fire, this is his superpower. Still, he has to will himself to leave the debrief room with measured strides. He even exchanges a few friendly nods with his coworkers as he walks through the office. Lewis can, of course, smell blood in the water, and his voice has gone low and husky.


“I want you so badly. It’s good to hear your voice, but I want you here.”


“I hear you, mate,” Bono deadpans. Lewis has his whole, majestic trailer. Bono is going to have to make do with one of Brackley’s gender neutral, single occupancy restrooms, clad in sterile white, with eco-efficient LEDs casting a cold glow. It is not a sensual room. Bono locks the door and steadies himself against the counter.


“Okay. I’m all yours.”


“Yeah?” Lewis is a little breathless. 


“Get your prick out, your horny bastard. If you haven’t already.”


“You think I’d do that without telling you?” A rustling of fabric. “Like I’d miss a chance to make you wish you had your hands on this —” Lewis groans, and it’s filthy, and Bono has to bite his lower lip hard. Lewis can be such an asshole. “Man, I’m actually dripping for you, too bad you’re not here to see it.”


Bono makes his voice cool and detached. “Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”


“No, you don't get that today."


"Taking it out on me? When I'm going to let you come so nicely?"


"Not as nice as it could be."


"You're so desperate, though, you'd settle for anything, wouldn't you? You don't even need me to touch you. How long have you been waiting to get off?"


Lewis’ breath is coming faster. “Been thinking about this since I heard your voice.”


“All through the debrief? Wow.”


A startled laugh cuts through the line. Bono loves making him do that. “That’s not what I meant.”


“Get on with it, then. Let me hear you touch yourself.”


“I am, I —” Lewis’ voice fades suddenly and Bono hears a faint “fuck” and “ fucking AirPod.” Then Lewis is back in his ear. “Okay. Did I lose you?”


“Still here,” Bono murmurs. “Slow down, talk me through it.”


“Okay, yeah — um…”


“Since you’ve got both hands free… tug your balls a bit.”


“Oh God. Yeah. I wish — what would you do if you were here?”


“Put you on your knees, I think.” Bono flushes at the sound Lewis makes, and he pointedly avoids the mirror after catching a glimpse. He’d much rather see Lewis. His strong fingers will be working his cock now, his neat brows knit in concentration on Bono’s voice — a focus that’s so pure and all-consuming that it still floors Bono every time he’s confronted with it.


Bono presses his own hips against the counter and lets out a measured breath. He’s incredibly fucking hard. “Yeah,” he continues, collecting himself. “I’d put you on your knees, and make you wait. Really take my time getting my prick out for you. I'd like to make you watch while I get off, until you’re hungry for it.”


“I want to suck you so bad.”


“You’d be so eager for it. Once I let you have a taste you’d come in your suit. Again,” Bono adds, over Lewis’ groan.


“Man, don’t joke about that.”


“You are losing your mind over the sound of my voice on a shit connection. You want to suck me off so badly it’s making you shake. I can hear that. I know you.” Bono lets his tone drop, almost murmuring again. “So, what makes you think I’m joking?” 


“Man, I hate you.” But there’s a hitch in the words, another moan.


“You’re about to make a mess of yourself, aren’t you? Go on and get yourself off. Bring it home, Lewis.”


“Fine, ok, yeah. But what about you?”


“I want to hear you finish.”


“Are you even touching yourself? Come on, Bono!”


“No. Lewis, I want —”


“Please, Bono, please, God, you would never get away with this if I could get my hands on you.” Lewis is babbling with righteous, horny annoyance. “Get your cock out now and come with me. And be quick about it, please ,” Lewis begs again, and his voice is rising, and Bono moves before the note fades. He pins the phone between his cheek and his shoulder while he unzips himself, then takes it up again when his left hand is fisted around his cock, finally, fucking finally.


“Okay, are you happy now?” 


“No,” Lewis whines. “I want you.”


The words shudder through him and Bono makes a sound that’s half choked-off and frankly embarrassing because — “I’m at work, you prick. You can’t do this to me.”


“I can do whatever I want with you. Can’t I?”


“Shut up. Why haven’t you come yet?” Next week Bono is probably going to fall to his knees and beg Lewis to come on his face but for now, this is enough. The skate of his hand over hot skin and Lewis on the end of the line, laughing about how much they turn each other on.


“Tell me how you’d shut me up.” Before he finishes the sentence, Bono is talking over him. 


“I would shove my cock in that beautiful mouth of yours and make you choke on it, and when I come down your throat you’re going to thank me for it, if you can even speak —”


Lewis cries out something that starts like please and turns into nothing because he’s breaking. An honest-to-God moan bursts out of Bono as he follows, embarrassed and utterly helpless against the lure of Lewis’ voice. He sags into the counter, bracing himself there until the shuddering subsides and it’s just the two of them breathing, in sync. 


“I want to lick you clean,” Lewis mumbles, his voice throaty and dazed now he’s come. He’s so strung out, he always is after.


I wish you could. Bono shakes the thought away. “Yes. Well. Next week, then.” Bono pauses, and grins. “If you do well.”


“God, Bono!” He's annoyed, but all the tension is leached out of it now. There's an easy equilibrium between them.


“I’m joking,” Bono says uselessly, because they both know. “I love you.”


“Yeah. Softie.”


“Guilty.” Bono pictures Lewis crumpled on the bed or the couch or whatever in his motorhome, still teasing his softening cock. Bono would take his hand away and suck the come off his fingers, the little ink heart on Lewis’ pinky disappearing between his lips. Because there’s little else he can do, he tucks himself away and waves his hand under the sink’s motion sensor. 


“Think I’m gonna take a nap,” Lewis mumbles. “I’m useless.”


“You are never useless. You can always derail my day.”


“True.” Lewis laughs. “You are sooooooo hot for me.”


“Can I go back to being an engineer, now?” They’re both grinning like fools. Just another little thing that Bono doesn’t need to see to know. “Get some sleep, okay?” He sounds so absurdly tender, now, can’t keep it out of his voice.


“Yeah. And when you’ve got through the data, you’ll call James, right? Because —”


“I’ve got you. We’ll talk later.”


“Okay.” There’s a long pause. “I don’t wanna hang up.” 


“Dream about me, then.” Bono ends the call. He can’t hear Lewis’s answering  groan, but he can imagine it, can imagine Lewis’s smile as he rolls over, ready for sleep.