Part two of my trc/tfc crossover extravaganza as requested by about 16 humans, this is going to be a trio, so wait for chapter 3 buddds
There’s a knock on the door two seconds before Ronan slits through the doorway shoulder first. Adam feels like the contents of a cardboard box, sliced and opened.
“I fucking hate this,” Ronan says, his whole presence bunched at the entrance, coiled. “Why do I feel like they have more secrets than we do?”
Adam shuffles his feet so he’s contained to one cushion, and Ronan sits down instantly, close enough that his waves eat Adam’s ripples.
“You wanted this.”
“I wanted to play exy.”
“You wanted all of us with you,” Adam adds. “You wanted to not be the most difficult person on a team. You wanted college to be easy and the games to be hard.”
Ronan looks at him closely, then kicks backward onto the couch, head on the far armrest, legs pushing at Adam’s so that they have to occupy some of the same space.
“I don’t need another gang of thugs to tell me what I have to be.”
“Kavinsky’s crew was—“
“I’m not talking about him,” Ronan says viciously. Adam eyes him, then looks at their legs, at Ronan’s hand, lax near his thigh.
“I think,” Adam says slowly, “that it’s too soon to tell.”
Ronan’s eyes are slitted blue when Adam looks down, peering past his own knees to meet his gaze.
“Yeah okay, diplomat. Tell me what you really think.”
Adam rolls his head back, flexing his hands to hear them crack, thinking of the way Neil and Andrew paired off and put their heads together, dark and light, speaking with gestures first, silences second, words last.
“I think that we’re trying to put two plugs together, and we don’t have any sockets.”
“Pretty,” Ronan snarks. Adam ignores him.
“They don’t trust us.”
“I don’t trust them,” Ronan replies easily, and takes Adam’s hand so he’ll stop cracking and wringing.
“I don’t think any of us would qualify for the foxes if we were—“
“Easy to understand,” Adam continues. “I’ve watched the tapes, Ronan. They’re still fractured at the best of times.”
“We’re stronger,” Ronan says quietly, playing with Adam’s fingers.
“We’re good together,” Adam agrees, and Ronan pulls him down on top of him. Adam falls, and enjoys the falling quite a lot, the way Ronan’s mouth changes when he’s close. “We haven’t always been.”
“That’s Gansey’s fault. He doesn’t know how to introduce people.”
“Meanwhile you made a great case for yourself,” Adam says sarcastically, grinning when Ronan does. “So personable.”
“Hey,” Ronan says, cupping Adam’s face with both hands and squeezing. “You wanna go see what we can do on this shit campus?”
“I want to get ahead on my readings, actually. My grades have to be better than my status, because PSU has zero prestige.”
Ronan rolls him into the back of the couch and kisses him fast, rubs a thumb over the sting on Adam’s lips. “No, you want to break into the court.”
“We have the keys.”
“You want to legally enter the court,” Ronan amends, pinching Adam’s side so that his ribcage cants up.
“Yeah,” Adam says after a moment. He thinks about the burnished wood of the court and the killing heft of a racquet. He pictures Ronan and Gansey next to him, crowing victory, the sweat and rush and pitch of the finite game, the deadline he can see and count on. Exy decks him and he hits back.
“Good,” Ronan says. “I want to put a dent in their fucking foxhole.”
The lights are on when they get to the court at midnight, and Ronan lets the door fall closed hard behind them. There’s no movement, just miles of clean hallway and the hollow, lived-in feeling of a place that should be full.
They exchange looks, and walk steadily towards the heart of the building. They gear up quickly in the chill of the changing rooms, laughing at each other in their fiery oranges. Ronan musses the bandana from Adam’s hair.
They poke their way towards the court, and when they’re close enough, the screech and hammer of activity haunts the hallway.
“My bet’s on Day. He looks like he doesn’t sleep,” Ronan says, kicking the door open and catching it before it can swing back.
“That’s a pretty ironic insult, coming from you,” Adam says pointedly, and Ronan grumbles something about involuntary insomnia, but they’re already spilling out into the central court.
He regrets making it this far. He feels so blatantly redundant, a meal that’s mistakenly been delivered to a table of people who’ve already eaten.