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Johnathan is laughing when he sits down next to Cooper, wrapping an easy arm around his shoulders. The bar is buzzing tonight. All the boys high on the win. Greg is playing some sort of a drinking game with Shillo and half of the boys are gathered around them to cheer them on. Johnathan wonders how Greg got dragged into this, given that he's been very careful with his image in the past few years. But he forgets about it all when Cooper tenses under his hand and leans away. Johnathan frowns at him.

 

"What?" he asks, confused, and looks around at the other boys sitting at the bar. Billy is frowning at Cooper and Cam shrugs at him.

 

"Coops?" he tries again. Cooper stands up abruptly.

 

"Nothing. It's nothing," he says, tries to smile but fails. Johnathan stares after him as he walks out.

 

"What did I do?" he asks, turning back to Cam. Cam shrugs at him again and Billy makes to stand up.

 

"I'll go check on him."

 

Cam whips out a hand and grips Billy's wrist.

 

"I think you should go, JT," he says with a pointed look in his direction.

 

Johnathan frowns at him. "I think Billy should-"

 

"Figure it out, JT!" Cam says rather forcefully. Johnathan blinks.

 

"Right," he says uncertainly, standing up and doesn't see Cam's fingers tighten on Billy's wrist as he leaves.

 

---

 

"Your left hand has to be higher than the right," Johnathan says, taking Cooper's hands and placing them properly. He is teaching Cooper his special, secret handshake.

 

"So now I do this," he brings up his hands to rest on Cooper's, "and you can- hey, Cooper!" he exclaims. "Earth to Cooper!"

 

Cooper shakes his head and smiles apologetically. "Sorry."

 

Johnathan throws up his hands in frustration.

 

"If you don't want to do it-"

 

Cooper reaches for him and catches his hands.

 

"I do! I do. I'm sorry," Cooper pleads.

 

Johnathan tries to maintain his faux anger but fails.

 

"You better pay attention this time," he admonishes with a grin.

 

Cooper smiles. "I will."

 

Johnathan starts again and doesn't think about the way his breath caught when Cooper smiled.

 

---

 

"Not going up there with your boys?" Johnathan asks, surprised that Cooper had stayed at the end of the line up instead of the start with Cam and Billy.

 

Cooper pulls him closer with an arm around his shoulders.

 

"You want me to go?" Cooper asks playfully. Johnathan shakes his head and wraps an arm around Cooper's waist. He holds his breath through the national anthem as Cooper's fingers graze fleetingly over his skin.

 

 

---

 

He pulls the cap over his head and tightens the straps. Green and gold. There has never been a time when he hadn't gotten goose bumps every time he put on the colours. He has to pinch himself every time to make sure he's not dreaming. That he really is living his dream. His eyes move over his team mates until they catch on Cooper's dark ones. The referee blows his whistle and the game starts. Johnathan grins and runs to meet the ball. He doesn't notice Cooper miss a step and almost miss the catch.

 

---

 

He finds Cooper on the balcony. He is looking out at the ocean. The moon is half cast and the sky is cloudless and filled with stars. Johnathan stops for a moment to take in the view. It is beautiful. He puts his hands in his pockets and walks over to Cooper.

 

"Are you leaving tomorrow?" he asks, coming to a stop beside Cooper.

 

Cooper glances in his direction and away.

 

"Why would I stay?" Cooper asks softly. Johnathan looks at him, leaning on the railing, waiting for him.

 

He moves closer so that they are flush against each other. Cooper stays still and doesn't move away this time.

 

"Stay."

 

Cooper looks at him, face unreadable. "Why?"

 

Johnathan holds his eyes. "Because I'd be miserable without you."

 

Cooper's eyes widen. Johnathan touches Cooper's wrist, running his fingers along the pale skin.

 

"Stay."

 

Cooper smiles.

 

Johnathan feels his breath catch and this time, he knows why.

 

**