andrew key

It’s a hand, Andrew says, not a question, but not quite mockery, when Neil’s gaze lingers a little too long.
It’s your hand, Neil says, and doesn’t bother to explain. Instead he slips his fingers through Andrew’s and digs in like he can leave his fingerprints on Andrew’s pale skin.
Andrew doesn’t pull away, and they don’t go in until the storm breaks.

I guess you can also call this thing: Andreil, a summary.

SEVEN STEPS TO FALLING IN LOVE // l.s.

step 1. you don’t quite remember how it feels to feel but theres an echo in your chest that you think might be curiosity. or maybe its just heartburn.

step 2. theres something different about the way that he moves, like the earth is a chessboard and every step is a potential loss, another way to be taken from the game.

step 3. you promise protection because it is all you can offer. what else could he want? your fingers were only made to hurt and tear and bruise. you hold violence the same way others hold hands.

step 4. the first time you see him without medication twisting your brain you think ‘this could be a problem.’ you try to ignore that it already is, that is has been for a while now.

step 5. he vanishes into the night and with him he takes your ability to breathe, leaving a gap in the universe, a vacuum sucking the air from your lungs and for the first time in forever you feel fear.

step 6. every bruise on his body is another reason to walk away but you passed the point where you could leave long ago. now your hands try to learn how to hold and to stroke, how to soothe burns and bruises. They re-learn how to be hands instead of just another weapon to wield against life.

step 7. you told yourself that love was a lie because there was no other way to survive your demons. you put everything you had left behind a door made of sulphur and steel, but this boy, who saw more than the monster they created, who would fight the sun if you’d let him, opened your heart by knocking instead of forcing the lock.

(and so you gave him a key)

When Andrew got the Maserati to replace the car that the Ravens fans trashed, he didn’t put Nicky on the insurance policy or give him a key. Neil paid for part of the car. Andrew and Neil bought a car together. They weren’t even hooking up yet.

5

You were supposed to be a side effect of the drugs.
(The Kings Men, Chapter I.)

             Happy Belated Birthday Viktoria @imnotapipedream (3.8)

*nicky choking sounds in the background*

3

Neil stopped when Andrew told him to. It wasn’t much, but it was more than enough.

anonymous asked:

Hello hi! I have a prompt if you're feeling up to it? There is so much of Andrew looking after sick!Neil but can we have it reversed? I think Andrew would low-key (highkey) love the focused attention from Neil (also,,, Neil not being sure how to look after sick people and turning to advice from the other foxes as discreetly as possible bc there's no way Andrew wants them knowing he's anything less than impenetrable)

(I did my best w this prompt from one POV, sorry it took so very absurdly long! lots of Andrew thoughts with a side of useless boy dialogue)

He wakes up bleary and dry-mouthed, his tongue catching on his hard palate like papers rustling together. Andrew squints into his pillow, pressing two fingers into the eyelid of one streaming eye. The sun is too dilute to touch him, and the breeze from the cracked window chills him so much that it hurts, muscles locked and shivering.

He knew he was getting sick when the hurt that lives inside him flared real, visible and disgusting. All this hacking, running, sweating makes him vulnerable, loud when he wants to be quiet. Neil had called him overdramatic. He’d dragged the covers to his side of the bed in reply, battered sleep’s door until it splintered.

Now he feels like he always felt in the heart-racing countdown to withdrawal, fighting through sweat and aches and cracking lips, cracking skin, cracking strength. Whiskey won’t help him here though. Nothing will help him here, after rowing through the confused, freezing night and only now washing up in foggy morning, fever lapping at him.

Something drips onto his hot forehead and his chest pumps hard, startled. His eyes flash open.

Neil is frowning, looming over him and holding a cold rag that’s a bit too wet. It’s clumsy, but it feels better when Neil arranges it on his sweaty brow. His hand stays on the compress, a sustaining pressure, like he’s healing with just his hands and his willpower. Water runs into his hair like tears.

“How are you?” Neil asks. His other hand walks from the bedspread to Andrew’s side, he can feel the fingertips becoming a full-palmed press. It’s the comfort of a person who always feels better when he’s touched hard and deliberately, alive in a way he can feel.

Andrew doesn’t reply, but he knows that his closed eyes and relaxed body mean something to Neil. He trusts him with his hot forehead and his bedside.

“You look bad,” Neil continues.

“I am not playing,” Andrew says hoarsely. “If that’s what you’re angling for so tactfully.”

Neil’s hands retreat, Andrew’s forehead folds under the rag where no one will see. “I’m here because you’re my— I’m not worried about our goalie, I’m worried about you.”

“You’re here because this is your room,” Andrew corrects.

“Fine,” Neil says, voice full of the opposite. “I’m going to practice, anyway, since that’s all I care about.”

Andrew feels him leave their bed, and he finds that the wet smell of his hair was keeping his headache at bay. Another drop of water rolls down his temple, and he scrubs the compress from his face so he can watch Neil leave, but he’s already gone.

It haunts his heart, for a while, the snapped olive branch, the hurt that put its fist in its mouth and left the room so Andrew wouldn’t see it properly.

He knows, deep in him, that he’s not being any different than usual, but he also knows what Neil might have expected, seeing him spread out in their bed with his eyes wet. He’s trying to fix Andrew’s surface like he never tries to fix what’s underneath.

Neil doesn’t have the vocabulary for sickness that isn’t terminal, though. He can’t fathom something between a bandaid and a prosthetic.

He drifts, for hours, so thirsty that he can feel it in his skin, so stuffed from throat to nose that he can only breathe dry and heavy through his mouth. He can hear the wheeze inside of him.

In foster care, they would make him sleep in the garage when he got sick. They didn’t want him to infect a house full of already difficult children. He remembers watching the shadows of feet moving in the light under the door, the way the cold only made him sicker and angrier, a yoga mat between his body and the concrete.

He blinks and his eyes are crusted together. He can taste salt. He thinks of Neil and the pain in his chest changes. He latches onto the feeling, like the garage door opening in the morning, letting him back into the warmth.

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the best part about andrew and neil’s first kiss isn’t even the kiss itself but what happens before. like neil having that scary conversation w/ wymack about becoming vice captain and he feels so scared and lost because he Wasn’t Supposed To Be This and the first thing he does is call andrew. he seeks comfort and assurance in andrew without even realizing it. then afterwards them buying the new car and andrew giving neil the key and just those moments where neil is starting to clue in that andrew means more to him than just an anchor keep him grounded. he realizes andrew means something very real to him which is a big reason why when the kiss happens, neil isn’t that shocked by it. even if he didnt realize it, thats what he felt was Really Right. im a mess.

All the foxes lived on campus, right? So like. Who was their resident assistant?? What poor motherfucker got placed as the RA on their floor?? What sad, tired kid had to answer the on-call phone at 4 AM bc the legendary Kevin Day was too drunk to find his keys and Andrew thought it would be funnier to make the RA let him back in that to help him find them??? If the RA saw any of the foxes pulling some shit while they were on rounds, would they even have the guts to say anything??? Did the RA even bother handing out roommate contracts to the foxes or did they take one look at them and contemplate quitting their job??? @korakos I need answers

Andrew thinks he doesn't like kids. Andrew's wrong.

Andrew doesn’t like children on principle. They’re noisy, excitable, annoying, and regularly deplete the chocolate ice cream supply in his local shop before he can get to it.

So why he is now driving hundreds of miles solely to visit a pair of four-year-olds is anyone’s guess. Although, he has to admit, the blue-eyed man to his right might have something to do with it.

For some reason, Neil adores Dan and Matt’s kids. He met them as babies - crying, sniveling, wrinkly things - and yet was not put off. Andrew can’t understand it. They’re twins, for God’s sake. Double the attention-seeking nuisance. He gets enough of that from the cats. He ended up having pictures of them shoved in his face for the next four years as Neil excitably told him about Willow’s first steps, Clara’s first word, their first baby teeth …

Then Dan and Matt had moved to just a state over, and Matt had started urging Neil to visit.

“No,” Andrew had said firmly, when Neil mentioned it. He should have known something was up when Neil let him put extra syrup on his pancakes that morning. Their coach had been trying to put Andrew on a reduced-sugar diet and, annoyingly, Neil was on the balding man’s side. “We are not driving five hundred miles to visit a couple of kids. If Matt wants you to see them so badly, he can bring them to one of Allison’s stupid Fox reunions.”

Neil had just looked at him for a minute, expression open and eyes so, so blue. “Clara gets nervous around new people. Matt doesn’t think she could handle meeting everyone at once.”

Andrew felt his resolve cracking, but kept his expression stony. Not that it did much good; Neil seems to be able to read him no matter what walls he puts up.

“He also tells me there’s an ice cream parlour near their house which gives you unlimited toppings for two dollars.”

Andrew frowned, and Neil knew he’d won. It was written all over his smug face.

“Is that a yes?” he asked with a cheeky smile.

“I hate you. Yes.”

“I’ll tell Matt we’ll see them next month.”

And so, on the first weekend of the off-season, they stock up the cats’ food and water dispensers that Neil had bought for when they were at away-games, pile into the car, and set off on their trip to visit the Boyd-Wilds household.

“No cigarettes near the kids,” says Neil sternly, tucking the carton away securely in the glove compartment. Andrew scowls but doesn’t protest, and when they next pull up at a gas station he buys four packets of boiled sweets in defiance and sucks on them obnoxiously for the remainder of the journey. Neil glares at him every time the packet rustles, and eventually snags Andrew’s free hand in his own to keep it occupied. Andrew links their fingers together and says nothing, opting to grab a new sweet with his other hand whenever they stop at a red light.

They arrive in the early afternoon, pulling up outside a uniform-looking white house in a row of many others. It’s a quiet neighbourhood, and their car had drawn attention from more than one passer-by on their way here. Andrew swipes the keys from Neil, who had been driving the last leg, and makes sure the car is locked before turning to walk through the gate Neil holds open.

The door is open before they can even think about ringing the bell and a tall figure emerges, carrying a much smaller one in his arms.

“Neil!” exclaims Matt. “And my favourite Minyard. Come on in.”

Andrew narrows his eyes but follows Neil and Matt inside without complaint. Matt sets twin number one down and immediately clasps Neil in a fierce hug, releasing him a second later with a wary glance at Andrew.

Neil rolls his eyes. “Good to see you too, Matt.”

“Looking good, Neil,” calls Dan, emerging slowly with twin number two clutching onto her leg - Clara, Andrew presumes. “What’s all this I hear about you two being signed to the US Court?”

“Nothing, yet,” replies Neil slyly, hopping out of the way as Willow barrels past him. “You shouldn’t put so much stock in what the media says.”

“Right,” says Matt, grabbing his unruly daughter and hoisting her into his arms again. “Like your supposed rivalry for the first few years of your career. Or how you supposedly got married in the Bahamas last year - wait, you didn’t, did you?”

Neil shakes his head with a grin. “Hello,” he says to Willow, who is now taller than him from where she sits in Matt’s arms.

“Hi!” she shouts, wriggling in Matt’s grip until he puts her down. She then proceeds to skip in circles around Neil, who stares at her in bewilderment. Andrew feels a strange sense of smugness.

They haven’t eaten since breakfast, not counting the sweets on Andrew’s part, so Dan makes them each a sandwich as the kids retreat to the garden to play with Matt. From what Andrew can see through the large French windows, they appear to be playing catch with a tennis ball. He shakes his head. There is no escaping the sports junkies. As if to prove this point, Neil goes out to join them at the first opportunity.

Andrew retreats to the living room, taking a seat on one of the large leather couches as he receives a text from Nicky, who has apparently been kept well-informed about their trip by Neil and is now eager to find out if Andrew’s opinion of children has been miraculously changed by what he calls ‘Dan and Matt’s angels’. Andrew is just about to type out a resounding ‘no’ when Clara appears at the door to the room, staring silently at Andrew for a minute before crossing to sit on the sofa with him.

He tilts his head to look at her for a minute, but when she doesn’t make any attempt at conversation he turns back to his phone.

‘Don’t know’, he sends back, just before everyone else piles into the room, loud and excitable. Neil glances at Andrew and Clara on the sofa, curiosity clear on his face, but when they make no move to interact with each other he turns his attention back to Matt and Willow, who appear to be reenacting one of Neil’s impossible goals from the previous season. Andrew hates that Neil doesn’t seem concerned that Andrew is in such close proximity to a small, defenceless, unpredictable child, hates that Neil has so much faith in him when he’s sure Dan and Matt still see him as a monster, and h a t e s the gentle smile that spreads across Neil’s face as he watches Matt and Willow play.

Clara lets out a small laugh when her sister mimes being checked rather dramatically into the wall of the court, but when Andrew turns his gaze to her she looks down again, hugging her knees to her chest in an obvious attempt to make herself smaller. Andrew knows the move well. His hands shake slightly as he’s tugged back into his past as a foster child, and he pulls out a sweet to unwrap to keep himself distracted. He wonders absently if there’s a child out there who’s like him - who’s crying out for help from people who will never understand them. He shakes the thought from his head. He may understand, but he’s in no position to help.

Then he looks at Neil, who rescued two stray cats and coaxed them back to health, who’s now managed to calm Willow down enough to crouch down and talk to her animatedly about something, grins covering both their faces, and he can’t stop the shiver that runs through him. He thinks, what if -

He’s jolted out of his thoughts by the realisation that Clara is looking at him - or, more accurately, she’s looking at the sweet wrapper he’s worrying between his fingers. He blinks, watching her for a moment before pulling out another sweet. He glances across the room, but no one’s looking at them, so he surreptitiously slides the sweet across the surface of the sofa and pulls his hand back, staring forwards the entire time. Clara snatches the sweet up and unwraps it, popping it in her mouth. The next time their eyes meet, she smiles.

By the time Neil’s ready to leave, Clara has visibly relaxed, a smile stuck on her face as her sister teases her and she responds by sticking out a tongue stained yellow from the lemon sherbets. When they’ve all said goodbye, she steps towards Andrew with her arms held out questioningly. He stiffens for a second, then crouches down, allowing her to wrap her arms around him briefly. He almost - almost - mirrors her smile when he sees the shocked looks on Dan and Matt’s faces, but it’s their very presence that prevents it. He instead turns his attention to squashing the warmth blossoming in his chest, but fails miserably when he sees the grin that lights up Neil’s face.

“Don’t even think about it,” he says once they’re back in the car, but his words hold no heat.

Neil just smiles wider. “So, ice cream?”

“Ice cream,” Andrew agrees, reaching for his cigarettes where they lie in the glove compartment. At the last second though, his hand stills, and he reaches for another sweet instead.

After all, there will be no smoking around the kids.

READ PART TWO HERE.

charlie-burton  asked:

Okay but the twin telepathy thing, Aaron suddenly thinking back to all the times he shot up awake in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason

That’s some painful shit right there. 👌👌👌 

This isn’t totally related, but I ended up writing some more about the twin connection thing that they both refuse to admit is a thing but wonder about. So here’s something about Aaron talking in his sleep and Andrew waking up in the middle of the night because of Aaron’s nightmares, even when Aaron isn’t in the same dorm anymore.

  • Aaron telling Katelyn about his Drake nightmares because he can’t hide that he’s having them when he keeps freaking out and talking in his sleep and a lot of the time the main thing he keeps saying is Andrew’s name
  • Aaron sleep talking like this in the monster dorm before he moves out and/or at the Columbia house and Andrew waking up to the sound of Aaron calling his name and jumping out of bed with his heart pounding to check on Aaron
  • Aaron doesn’t know Andrew does it because Andrew checks to make sure Aaron is okay and stays awake in his own bed keeping an eye on him, but knows better than to startle Aaron awake in the middle of a nightmare
  • Plus, he doesn’t want Aaron knowing he’s checking on him
  • But Andrew loses more sleep over Aaron’s nightmares than Aaron does because he can’t sleep with Aaron sounding so terrified and saying his name like that
  • But then one night when they’re in separate dorms, Andrew wakes up in the middle of the night anyways expecting to hear Aaron sleep talking
  • But he doesn’t because Aaron doesn’t live in that dorm
  • But Andrew was so sure he was going to hear it and something feels off and so he manages to ignore it for about three minutes and then gets up with a murmured “fuck” and leaves the dorm, all the while mentally scolding himself because this is fucking stupid
  • Andrew picks the lock on Matt and Aaron’s dorm because he doesn’t need to cause a ‘why the fuck are you banging on our door at 3 am’ thing, but he needs to check on Aaron

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Andrew shuts the door behind him and tells himself that he isn’t going out of his way to be quiet so he won’t wake up Neil. He’s starting to believe Neil’s onto something when he calls Andrew a terrible liar, but he’d never admit that to his face.

Out of spite and anger at that realization, Andrew lets his keys clatter on the table as he sets them down, along with his bags from where he was travelling with his team. He only succeeds in rousing the cats; Neil sleeps like the fucking dead.

King meows noisily at Andrew’s feet while Sir makes himself at home on the kitchen table. Andrew says “no” a few times, but the dumb things keep looking at him, so he scratches behind their ears until they sniff and go away. They got the cats because Neil didn’t like being alone when Andrew was at games and cats could more or less take care of themselves if they were gone for a day. If their schedules both meant they were gone for a few days, one of the Foxes would catsit, usually Matt or Renee. They joked that they were the godparents, much to Andrew’s chagrin.

He wondered at how domestic he’d become and the clench in his gut at the thought is still there, though it lessened a bit every day. He still woke up most days waiting for the other shoe to drop and the cats moving in the middle of the night still startled him, but he feels…settled. And that scares him more than anything else.

He walks into the bedroom and it isn’t until he’s down to his tank top and boxers and is crawling into bed that Neil finally stirs with a groan. When he sees Andrew, his face breaks into a sleepy smile and he says, groggily, “You’re home.”

His Neil isn’t usually like this. Neil’s not soft, or nice, even after all these years. His Neil screams at matches on TV and tells off reporters who dare to bring up his past in interviews. His Neil pisses Andrew off to no end by stealing the covers and letting the cats on the bed and asking Andrew to go to Aaron’s wedding when Andrew wants to throw the invitation away.

They’re not soft people; they love with all they have and fight with it too. But there are moments like this, when Andrew’s tired and something in him slips and cracks, where he lays down next to Neil and brushes his fingers over the scars on Neil’s face, the most beautiful part of him, and whispers, “Yeah. I’m home.”