“We should fuck in your fancy new car,” Marco says, experimentally fiddling with the row of buttons in the center console of said new car. The radio starts blasting and Auba winces.
Marco scrambles for the dial and smiles, sheepish, over the tinny sound of someone screaming in only a vaguely musical way.
“No,” Auba says after a pause, and Marco stares.
“Really?” he asks, settling down on the passenger seat. He rolls down the window as Auba backs out of the parking lot. “We could lay down some plastic on top of your leather seats.”
Auba turns his head over. Marco can see the tiredness lingering in the hollows of his eyes. His fingers itch to do something about it, like touching Auba could take away his exhaustion.
Auba smiles at him, small but there. Marco smiles back. They've just lost the Pokal final.
They drive back to Auba's by unspoken agreement because neither of them want to be alone, not on a night like this. Marco wonders why it's so comforting to be in close proximity with someone sharing his misery, then realizes it wasn't just someone. It's Auba, who's heating up leftovers by the microwave, standing there frowning as the red numbers counted down like a bomb defuser in a movie.
Marco flicks a cashew at him. He's sitting on Auba's kitchen counter, absently banging his heel against the cupboard. Auba looks over just to raise his eyebrows at him. They smile at each other again, even though the persistent wrongness in the atmosphere still remained. Marco's used to this feeling, though it sucked every time. He's used to losing matches, after all, losing important matches. Losing.
He smiles and throws a cashew up in the air, crunches it theatrically when it falls back down. Auba starts laughing and comes over, close enough so Marco can finally put his arms around him.
Marco puts his arms around him. Auba breathes, evenly, into his neck. The microwave beeps. They'd lost the Pokal final.
“What does that do?” Marco asks, gesturing at the blue orb on Auba's screen with a marshmallow. Auba's frowning as his thumb moved quickly over his phone. Something sparkled and produced tinkly music.
“I have to collect all the orbs,” Auba explains, still frowning in concentration. Marco kisses his forehead where it wrinkled, unable to help himself. Auba spares him a glance and smirks.
“Mm,” Marco says, losing interest when Auba keeps frowning at his phone. They're lying in an awkward sprawl of limbs on the same sofa, even though Auba had an impressive set of six sofas and armchairs arranged around the giant television in his living room. The tv's on, the sound turned down to a low comforting hum. It feels dangerous, even though the channel's some innocuous reality show. Marco keeps expecting it to change, for some reason, a Breaking News style cut in the middle of Katy whoever getting her wedding dress tailored- Breaking News: Borussia Dortmund loses the Pokal again.
-Breaking News: Borussia Dortmund player Mats Hummels Joins Rivals Bayern Munich-
Marco gets a headache then and curses internally, at the world, at Bayern, at Pep Guardiola and his bald head, at their luck, at penalty shoot outs. At Mats, whose number he'd deleted in a fit of childish pique after the announcement and then saved again when Mats texted him.
Auba shifts against him, as though feeling Marco's sudden burst of rage.
“Hi,” he says, putting down his phone on the floor beside them.
“Hi,” Marco says back, seriously. And then, because he's sick hearted with it, with all the variable definitions of losing, he says, “Do you think it'd be better if we won?”
He regrets asking. It didn't make sense, just the question. Auba had no context, didn't know what Marco was referring to. Marco didn't know what Marco was referring to. It takes a loss like this, a miserable penalty shoot out after tenaciously hanging on for all of a hundred and twenty minutes, to make him ask that question. It takes the past two years, really. Three friends, three losses.
“Yes,” Auba says simply. Marco gets the feeling that he wasn't just answering the obvious, that ending the season with one trophy and no captain was better than ending the season with no trophy and no captain.
“Okay,” Marco says, and feeds him a marshmallow. His fingers catch on Auba's lips when he pulls his hand away, and Auba smirks.
Marco smirks back, shifts so it's a better angle, and says, “Can we fuck now that we're not in your fancy new car?”
Auba kisses him in reply.
Marco knows he's been pretty lucky. He's been injured a lot, but he's come back, every time. There's this line that you hold on to, in the midst of despair, when the recurring injury in your leg threatens the one thing that you would sacrifice anything else in your life to have. It's not even hope, really. It's just a line, but Marco's used to following it through.
He knows he's been pretty lucky, even though he still comes too fast when Auba gets a hand down his pants and around his dick. Even though he still makes embarrassing noises when Auba's fucking him slow, says Auba's name too often when he's coming. He knows he's been pretty lucky, just from the way Auba kisses his shoulder when he's moving in Marco, the way he tangles their fingers loosely, after.
He's lost too much for the past two years. It's hard to see what he's gained.
“Auba,” he says, poking Auba on the shoulder. Auba stirs, making a drowsy noise.
Marco says, “Je t'aime.”
“We still can't fuck in the new car,” Auba says, and throws an arm around Marco, pulls him closer.