65 for andreil plsss
65: “Do you ever think that, maybe, we should stop doing this?”
It happens so quickly that Neil doesn’t have the chance to get his anger back in its usual chokehold. One of the opposing team’s strikers clearly has too much momentum going into his goal, he’s gone over his step limit and he’s careening towards Andrew in goal.
Neil drops his racquet and slips his mark, watching impotently as striker, goalkeeper, and net all go tumbling into the far wall of the court, Andrew pinned under the mess and visibly struggling.
“Andrew,” Neil yells, skidding over to them and wrenching bulky arms and heavy netting out of the way. Andrew’s face is cool and closed off as ever, but sweat is plastering his hair and his breaths are shallow. “Andrew, are you okay?”
He rolls out from the weight and gets up angrily, Neil can see it lancing down his legs and shaking his balance just a little. Afraid and furious for being so. Neil wheels around on the striker who’s sitting up dumbly with the goal half pinning him.
“Glad to see you have as little control over your legs as your team does over their offence,” Neil snarls, and he hoists the guy up by his jersey so hard that it rips. He’s twice his size but Neil’s pure adrenaline, he’s a sharp cleaver on a helpless neck. “At least you’re consistent.” He shoves him back hard, and he gets a glimpse of the striker’s fearful pinched face before he gets knocked out on the corner of the goal.
Andrew has him by the neck of his jersey in the next minute, yanking him back too late.
“I hope it was worth it,” he hisses in his ear, and then Neil notices the red card being thrown up, the coach screaming at him from the sidelines. He can’t feel anything but numb relief.
It’s like the twin of Neil’s showdown with the ravens in his first year as a fox, the brutal body slam, the panic from across the court. Years later and he’d still rip his racquet or his contract with Ichirou in half if it meant keeping Andrew safe.
“It was,” he says confidently. He watches Andrew carefully for pain he would never communicate, tracking his easy stance, his controlled breathing.
“Your energy is misguided, as usual,” Andrew says. “You’ve killed the game.”
“I know,” Neil says fiercely. “But I couldn’t just let him—“
“Don’t confuse your problems with mine.”
“My problems are your problems, Andrew, we’re a team.” In every way.