fox towers

I was thinking about the video where Smells Like Teen Spirit is playing and someone asks this girl who sings the song and she looks increasingly confused as the camera slowly zooms in on her Nirvana shirt and it gave me an Andreil snapchat idea since Neil clearly didn’t pay much attention to movies and celebrities (and probably most music) while he was on the run.

At some point Andrew catches on that Neil understands next to none of the movie and music references people make. So when they’re hanging out on the roof of Fox Tower and Neil’s wearing a Nirvana shirt he borrowed from Andrew, Andrew puts on Smells Like Teen Spirit and opens snapchat and (even though he almost never has a snap story) ends up with this on his story:

*Smell Like Teen Spirit playing in background*

Andrew (behind the camera): Who sings this song?

Neil (looking at Andrew instead of the phone): I don’t know. You put it on.

Andrew: Neil, what does your shirt say?

*Neil looks down at shirt confused, struggling to read it upside down*

Andrew (after a heavy sigh): It says Nirvana. The song is by Nirvana.

6

make me choose: the monsters or the upperclassmen

where are the monsters?

probably razing fox tower to the ground as we speak.

↳ asked by anon

tttickingcrocodile  asked:

The foxes find out that Neil actually killed people while on the run.

Looks like tonight is jut a writing night for me lmao I’m not complaining. 


Even in hindsight Neil could never have seen this coming. He’ll look back on it later and still have trouble untangling the series of events that, over the last few weeks, had led him here. 

First, Riko’s “suicide.” When the news struck Neil was prepared, and he’d only been able to tell Andrew on the roof, torn between relief at Riko being gone and unease at the cold, cruel nature of the execution. 

Which is exactly what it was. An execution. 

He should have expected how fast news spread but it still knocked the wind out of him when Nicky came through the main hallway screeching like a bat out of hell to get all the Foxes to come out. He read the news article with a frantic speed, but his precise enunciation leaving no doubt about his words. Riko, the King, the Number One, had killed himself. 

Kevin’s knees go out from under him and the Foxes seem to collapse in on themselves, folding like wet paper dolls. It seems wrong to celebrate, especially with Kevin making pathetic gasping noises on the floor. But what else are they supposed to do when confronted with the death of the man who, for a year, had made their lives a living hell? Who’d made other Raven’s lives a living hell for longer? For, collectively, more years than he’d been alive?

Next had been Kevin’s consequent breakdown. They joked about Kevin getting alcohol poisoning constantly but it had actually happened and of course Andrew had been the one to find him. He’d been the one to take Kevin to the hospital, tell Neil who on command told everyone else, and the one to drag Kevin back to Fox Tower by the hair to let Wymack verbally flay him alive. And when Andrew had found Coach to be too sympathetic he’d interrupted and delivered his own stripping words that could be summarized as “Get your head out of your ass,” “you will be taking drinking lessons from Renee,” and the ever pleasant, “you have appointments with Betsy booked until you graduate.” By the end of it Kevin looked even worse, but some small spark of life in his eye said some part of him recognized this as Andrew caring. 

Thing began to get messy from there, moving over Kevin’s slippery slope to sobriety, the consequential decrease of over all alcohol consumed, and the subsequent replacement of drinking with other activities. Many things were suggested, most of them shot down by Andrew or Aaron, but the surviving options were (somehow) movie night, non-alcoholic game night, and bowling. Andrew had tried to shoot those down too but Neil had simply said in ever-improving Russian, “We need to do something, we can’t tell him not to drink to save his life and then bore him to death anyway.” Amazingly that had made Andrew let those options stand. 

Watching the Foxes go from throwing a small ball with a raquet to rolling a large ball with their hands is, needless to say, entertaining. He observes them now, of blacklight night, Matt’s teeth glowing faintly in a grin as he pulls ahead on points. Kevin hasn’t gotten over sulking and rolling the ball between his ankles yet, but with Renee cheerful by his side he can’t sneak anywhere to get alcohol. It just makes him sulkier. 

“Damn Neil, all that time on the road and you’re telling me you never once stopped at a bowling alley?” Nicky says, shaking his head and walking up to the front of their lane in his rented shoes. Neil rolls his eyes and shakes his head, leaning farther into Andrew. Andrew’s arm stays loose and heavy over his shoulders. 

“I don’t know why any of you are surprised by anything I say anymore,” he grumbles loudly enough for Nicky and the Foxes to hear him. 

“You know how it was,” he says to them with a shrug. Nicky hoots as he almost gets a strike and comes over to sit as Dan stands to take her turn. 

“I mean I guess,” Nicky pries, “but even though I know it wasn’t all action movie-esque I still picture it that way.” He snorts. 

“Of course the heroes always kill villains along the way in action movies so I guess that isn’t a very good way to think of it either.”

Andrew goes even stiller than normal when he feels Neil tense, and looks at him when he feels Neil purposefully roll his shoulders to calm himself. Kevin, on Andrew’s other side, feels he cushion shift with Andrew and looks at him, then Neil. Kevin doesn’t say anything but Allison’s attention is caught. 

“Don’t tell me you actually ki-” She starts in a harsh whisper and Dan, walking back over, swats her. 

“Allison,” she hisses and Matt gets up to take his turn but is obviously still listening. Neil shifts uncomfortably.

“We are not talking about this here,” Aaron suddenly snaps with a pointed look around, to the family on their right and the birthday party full of young children on their left. Everyone’s mouths snap shut but their eyes blaze with curiosity for the rest of the night. 

They don’t register who won and Neil hasn’t felt this cornered in a long time as they filter into Fox Tower. He’s stopped by a hand on his arm and jumps away from Allison and right into Andrew’s chest. 

“Back off,” he snarls over Neil’s shoulder and Allison scowls. 

“Fuck off monster,” she snaps at him and Neil glares at her, stepping away from Andrew and scowling. 

“Don’t call him that,” he snaps and hands come between them, Dan pushing him and Allison apart. 

“This is not the way to talk to each other,” she says with authority and both Neil and Allison pull farther from each other. 

“Good,” Dan says and turns her head to address Allison, but Neil beats her to it. 

“What do you want?” He says snappishly, tiredly, and Allison grinds her teeth.

 “You said you killed someone-” she starts but Nicky steps in, “he never said anything-”

“It was insinuated through body language,” Allison snaps and looks at Neil. Neil stares her down. 

“So what?” Neil asks, “is that what it’s going to take for you to take back what you all said after Baltimore? For me to not be a Fox anymore? Because it’s true,” he says icily and the word ‘true’ falls to the floor with a crash like a lead weight. 

“We were on the road for years. More than once we were cornered, or came back to hotel rooms or wherever we were sleeping to find my father’s men, and I didn’t have a choice dammit,” he snarls, reaching up to tug at his hair. 

“She made sure I could protect myself, and sometimes I had to, and sometimes people died but-” he says and he doesn’t realize he’s breathing too fast until there’s a hand on the back of his neck bending him over and squeezing. 

“Breathe,” Andrew snap at him and he gulps in air as Andrew pulls him standing straight again. 

“Neil we’re not going to abandon you for doing what you had to do,” Matt says firmly. Renee and Dan nod. 

“We didn’t mean to push,” Nicky says, even though it was Allison who did the pushing. Because of this Neil looks at her and her eyes are unreadable. 

“I’m not going to apologize,” she says, and of course she isn’t, “but I will say this doesn’t change anything. You are a Fox.” Neil nods slowly and the hand on his neck tugs him back to follow Andrew as he leaves and they retreat to the roof. 

“You’re going to tell me what went on those years,” Andrew comments. He’s not saying now, he’s not demanding, it’s a statement it’s a certainty. Neil knows he’ll tell him- 

“Eventually,” Neil admits and almost as a reward Andrew hands him a lit cigarette. 

Hi my name is Andrew Joseph Minyard and I have short golden blonde hair (that’s how I got my name) with brown streaks and hazel eyes like sunshine and a lot of people tell me I look like Dane DeHaan (AN: if u don’t know who he is get da hell out of here!). I’m related to Aaron Minyard but I wish I wasn’t because he’s a major fucking asshole. I’m 5 feet tall but my muscles are big and bulky. I have pale white skin. I’m also a goalie, and I go to a college called Palmetto State University where I’m in the second year (I’m twenty). I’m a goth (in case you couldn’t tell) and I wear mostly black. I love Hot Topic and I buy all my clothes from there. For example today I was wearing a black turtleneck and black skinny jeans, black armbands and black combat boots. I was wearing no makeup but I had black bags around my eyes to match. I was walking outside Fox Tower. It was raining so there was no sun, which I was very happy about. A lot of Foxes stared at me. I put up my middle finger at them. 

Sleepless

Anonymous request for Andreil hurt/comfort: “How long has it been since you slept?” (I’m really sorry I answered the original ask with a “hey I’ll write this” instead of saving it to answer directly… hope you see this, anon!)

Neil stumbled out of the lecture hall, blinking his tired eyes at the afternoon sun slanting across the campus. His hands and feet felt numb and there was a cottony feeling muffling everything. He could barely tie his shoes that morning or write notes during class. Mostly he had spent the day staring, eyes blank, white noise drowning out his teachers and classmates. It was a dangerous state to be in. He knew how his mother would punish him for getting this far-gone. But if he was with his mother she would have made sure he slept every night, the two of them sleeping in shifts and watching out for each other.

Practice was a waking nightmare. Some of the haze burned off, allowing Neil to focus on drills but it still took all of his concentration. And the delay wasn’t helping, that nearly imperceptible gap between when something happened and when his exhausted brain finished processing it. Neil sprinted down the field, ready to make a play and score. But his eyes misjudged the speed and the trajectory of the ball and WHAM! The ball slammed into his helmet, sending him crashing to the floor. He dimly heard Kevin yelling at him as he crawled to his feet. The ringing in his ears was worse and spots flashed across his eyes. Neil took a step forward and tripped, going back down.

“Stay down.”

Neil obeyed. It was a relief to be told to stop, to rely on the hands gripping the back of his neck and his shoulder as he crouched on the court.

Without warning Neil felt his stomach rebel against him—

“Andrew—” he could barely speak. “Gonna be sick.” Neil tried to tug off his glove, wanted to cover his mouth, but he didn’t make it. Andrew barely had time to pull off his helmet before Neil threw up. He had skipped lunch and barely had any breakfast so it wasn’t totally awful but still…

“Oh Christ, Josten!” Kevin’s voice pierced through the haze, angry and loud. “You have to be shitting me.”

“Fuck off,” Andrew growled. He helped Neil up, guiding him off the court. “We’re done for today,” he told Kevin and Wymack. Wymack sent them to Abby while Kevin complained loudly and told everyone else to get back to work.

Neil leaned heavily on Andrew, feeling more rattled by the impact than he should have. He hadn’t been sick like that since… well, since he had been tortured. It made him feel incredibly weak and dangerously vulnerable.

After an examination Abby announced that Neil mostly likely had a minor concussion due to his symptoms of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in his ears, sensitivity to light, and delayed reactions. Neil didn’t tell her that almost all of those symptoms had been present before he took a ball to the helmet. Because telling Abby would be admitting to her, and Andrew, the true cause of his sickness. Abby prescribed bed rest and banned him from practice for the next few days. Kevin would be livid.

Andrew didn’t speak the entire ride back to Fox Tower. He helped Neil get to their dorm suite, helped him to the shower, and left. Neil slowly peeled off his clothes and got in the shower. He had turned off the overhead light but left the sink light on. With the curtain pulled the shower was dim enough that he didn’t have to squint. The warm water felt amazing. Neil sat down in the tub and leaned back against the wall, letting the water drum steadily against his aching skin. He was so tired.

Neil didn’t know how long he had sat in the shower staring dazedly at the water spiraling down the drain. By the time Andrew finally decided to retrieve him the water had gone cold and Neil’s skin was pruny. Andrew huffed in exasperation but got Neil on his feet and dried off, hauling him back to their room and putting him to bed.

The room was dim and quiet and Andrew was close, sitting on the edge of the bed, his hands bunched in the cover while he watched Neil with empty, emotionless eyes.

“How long has it been since you slept?”

There was no hiding from the question or from Andrew’s intent gaze. Neil squirmed.

“I don’t know.”

“Bullshit.”

Neil shut his eyes for a moment, the grittiness so irritating that he felt tears prick at the corners.

“Neil. How long.”

“Days,” Neil mumbled. “I think I slept on Sunday.”

The mattress creaked as Andrew leaned forward, getting in Neil’s face.

“It’s Thursday, you idiot. What have you been doing at night when you’re not sleeping? Because I know you didn’t get out of bed.”

Neil tried to shrug but he couldn’t, the sheets tucked in too firmly, Andrew’s weight pinning him.

“I just can’t sleep.”

“Can’t or won’t?” Andrew gently pulled Neil’s lower eyelid down and frowned. “You look like you’re turning into one of those red eyed zombies. Is that what’s happening? You got bit? You’re just waiting until we’re all passed out to eat our brains.”

Neil snorted and leaned into Andrew’s palm. “Yeah,” he murmured. “Biding my time.”

“Sneaky.”

They stayed like that for several minutes, Andrew’s thumb brushing back and forth across Neil’s scars. It was so soothing that for a second Neil almost dropped off but the moment he started sliding into unconsciousness his eyes snapped open.

“What?” Andrew asked, moving his hand to cup Neil’s chin.

“I don’t know,” Neil admitted. “I feel anxious, like I did before Baltimore. I can’t shake it, even though I know he’s dead and Riko’s dead and we’re as safe as we’ll ever be.”

Andrew moved his hand down, trailing fingers along Neil’s throat, listening, considering.

“Yes or no?” Andrew’s gaze was careful, assessing. If he thought Neil wasn’t in a good place…

“Yes.” Neil tried to bite back on his eagerness. Yes, always yes.

Andrew started with a kiss, slow and calculated, his lips teasing Neil’s, pulling back and making him rise up, making him follow after Andrew. Neil kicked the covers off and moved over, making room for Andrew in his bed. His heavy exhaustion burned away with Andrew’s touch and a sigh escaped Neil’s lips as his back arched off the bed.

Afterwards Andrew came back to bed and let Neil press against him. Neil breathed in Andrew’s scent, listened to the rhythmic beat of his heart.

“How did you know?” Neil whispered.

“I can do math,” Andrew muttered. “You haven’t slept since Sunday. What happened on Sunday?”

Neil thought about it, remembered waking up sleepy and warm in Columbia. Remembered how Andrew had taken him apart, a hand over his mouth so he wouldn’t wake the others. Despite everything Neil blushed.

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Oh. Junkie.”

“I also got that e-mail from Stuart.”

Andrew didn’t say anything. Neil had already told him what Stuart had relayed. It was nothing new but it was still an unwelcome reminder of how, even with Andrew and exy and the Foxes, Neil was still owned by so many people.

“I should have paid better attention,” Andrew said.

“No, I should have just… told you. Not made it a big secret. It just hit me at a bad time.”

The anniversary of his mother’s death. The words went unsaid but Andrew understood. He stroked the side of Neil’s face, pushed his fingers into the auburn curls, tugging a little. Neil relaxed, let himself be comforted.

“Get some sleep, Neil. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

Neil closed his eyes and surrendered himself into Andrew’s keeping. Lost himself in the thrum of Andrew’s heart, the dragging weight of his fingers, the scent of his skin. He slept.

Feel free to send me prompts!

I know this is technically a day late, but let’s pretend I totally posted this yesterday… 

Neil starts outlining a plan in his head as he ducks between students and buildings. Group projects are the bane of his existence, but he has to do them if he wants to pass, and he has to pass if he wants to be eligible to keep playing Exy. At least this time Joseph Peters isn’t in his group, but he still prefers individual assignments. The faster he gets his five slides done, the less he has to interact with the group.

Neil cuts across the Green because it’s faster, but he has to weave through a sea of bodies. The warmer weather of spring has drawn out many students from their hoards in the library. From sunbathers to studiers, the grass is now marred by waves and waves of bright colors and tanned skin. The combination of laughter and the singing of nearby birds tangle together in the air like a tangible cacophony, and the rays of the sun lick down along the ground, creating a blissful atmosphere.

Neil sidesteps around a group of sorority girls and ducks to avoid getting in the middle of an ultimate frisbee game. By the time he makes it Perimeter Road, the crowds have thinned out, and it’s easy to cross the road and head up towards Fox Tower.

His dorm is dark when Neil unlocks the door. For some reason all of the lights have been turned off, and it instantly strikes Neil as odd. He knows he can double check the schedule taped to the fridge, but he distinctly remembers Nicky’s class getting out earlier than his. Even stranger still is the fact that someone has blocked out the windows, so only a few straggling bands of light seep in. The stark darkness puts Neil on edge, settling deep in his chest and making waves of anxiety begin to churn. He knows it’s been three years, that there’s no need to run anymore, but that doesn’t stop the disquiet in his bones or ease the itch now sparking in his muscles. He’s considering heading up to the roof and texting Andrew when the lights flick on.

“Surprise!”

Keep reading

“Am I at ninety-four yet?”

Neil asked.

He was not at ninety-four. Ninety-four was the whispered words, “Thank you. You were amazing.” They echoed inside Andrew’s head over and over, like they were an offering, a prayer, a goodbye, like they were pushed out of his body with his dying breath. It was irritating and he was going to bring it up on the bus. He was going to spell it out nice and slow how Neil needed to stop living like he was dying and start living like the exy junkie he was.

Ninety-five was turning around and seeing nothing. Not nothing in the sense that Neil was nothing, but nothing in the sense of panic, of worry, of standing on the edge of the rooftop looking down thinking “Would it hurt if I fell?” The space where Neil should have been filled with emotions that Andrew swore he would never feel again.

Ninety-six was finding his bag. It wasn’t the bag that held his entire life, that was locked away in the Fox Tower, safe. It was the bag that held his future. A future he knew Neil wanted in the way he clutched the key he gave him back in August. A key that was left in the God forsaken bag with Neil nowhere in sight.

For ninety-seven, Kevin was there. The other foxes were there too but the words Kevin formed with his breath passing over his voice box and the movements of his tongue and jaw, were the only things that mattered. Kevin’s mouth moved, sound traveled in vibrations through the air, hit Andrew’s eardrums, and then his hands were around Kevin’s neck. There were lies and half-truths and Andrew hated those. Again not in the sense he hated Neil but in the sense that he hated the word ‘please’ and ‘misunderstanding’. He hated how he didn’t hate Neil because of all the lies. And for that, ninety-seven.

Ninety-eight was the phone call that Neil had been found.

Ninety-nine was walking through the hotel door and seeing him crumple in agony. It was the hissed “Don’t” as he did his best sooth away the pain. It was the eyes that were Nathaniel’s with hints of Neil peeking out behind his irises. It was the look of a man staring helplessly as the executioner readied the guillotine. It was the words “I’m sorry” like he had something to be sorry for. It was his attitude that no matter how beat up he got, remained impeccably intact. And it was the question he still had the gall to ask: “Am I at ninety-four yet?”

“You are at one hundred.”

anonymous asked:

Please can u do an andreil where like Andrew compliments Neil like calls him beautiful or something like that????

Okedoke, so I hate to be that person, but I don’t think he would out loud, so this is probably way afield from what you asked for, but I hope you enjoy it regardless!

Andrew and Neil wore their scars very differently. To Andrew, his scars were a sign of control. He didn’t regret what he’d done to survive and he knew Neil wouldn’t look down on him for it. He only hid them because they were no one’s business but his own.

Neil’s scars, however, were a different story. He hadn’t chosen them, but everyone could see them clearly. There were no armbands for your face, which he supposed was why Lola had chosen the spots she did. Andrew understood, therefore, why Neil was as self-conscious about them as he was.

What made things a little more difficult, however was how they way Neil talked about his scars made Andrew think about his own. Neil talked about his scars like they were shameful, like they were inherently ugly instead of just a piece of Neil.

He brought up his puzzling thoughts to Bee in one of his sessions. After listening to him parse through his thoughts, she asked, “What do you think is bothering you the most? That it makes you feel badly about your own scars?”

Andrew thought that over, but decided it didn’t quite fit. He knew his and Neil’s situations were different. When he shook his head, she went on, “Then is it that he cannot make peace with his own?”

Andrew paused. “I gave him armbands.”

She nodded in understanding. “Why did you do that?”

“So he wouldn’t have to show anyone something he didn’t want to.”

“But there’s nothing you can do about the ones on his face.”

Andrew swallowed. “I told him not to come crying to me when something broke his face.”

Bee smiled. “You can’t control what happens to other people. But you can control how you react to them. Maybe talking to Neil about what bothers him most about his scars will help alleviate your guilt.”

The problem was, Andrew hadn’t considered himself capable of guilt in a long time. He did what was promised, no more, no less. He hadn’t owed Neil anything. The fear that had taken him over that day still bothered him and he was self-aware enough to know why, but he couldn’t let himself put a name to it yet. He couldn’t give up that piece of himself until he knew Neil wouldn’t disappear.

When he got back to Fox Tower, Neil was on the roof, dangling an unlit cigarette he must have pilfered from Andrew’s hoodie between his fingers. Andrew joined him wordlessly, simply lighting the cigarette and putting it to his lips.

Neil smiled and leaned in for a kiss, but Andrew turned his head so his lips hovered by the scarring under Neil’s eye. “Yes or no?”

Neil fidgeted. “Andrew, I-”

“Yes or no?”

“Yes,” Neil answered, confused but accepting.

Andrew traced his lips over the mark gently. When he pulled away, Neil was staring at him with that face that made Andrew want to tear apart every person that had hurt Neil, that had made him think Andrew was the answer to his problems, that face that made him want to etch every inch of Neil’s face into his brain, as though his eidetic memory wasn’t enough and he needed Neil embedded in his skin, closer.

When it became too much to bear, he said, “Don’t look at me like that,” but he didn’t turn Neil’s face away.

Instead of saying, “Like what?” as he usually did, Neil asked, “Why?”

Andrew thought, ‘Because you’re beautiful and dangerous and I don’t want to trust you, but I do, and I don’t want to lose you, but I did.’

But Andrew doesn’t respond and Neil doesn’t push and Andrew’s answering kiss tells Neil all he needed to know.

anonymous asked:

Hey! After reading your Andriel amusement park prompt, I was wondering if you could do some Neil whump? Where Neil gets sick, or injured, and andrew takes care of him? Cheesy, but soothing for my soul \(^_^~ thanks!!

Listen, Anon. Soft fluffy Andreil is what I live for! So please enjoy this sick Neil drabble featuring mother-hen-Nicky and the very real flu death experiences of @irishrainbownjh

It starts with a tickle. Right at the back of the throat. It grates with every swallow, and despite how many times he clears his throat, Neil can’t seem to shake the scratch. He pulls himself out of bed, has a long hot shower, and downs two glasses of water, but it’s still persistently there.

By the time Neil is halfway through his morning lecture, his head has started pounding as well. It’s a constant pressure behind his eyes that throbs in time to his heartbeat and cries out at the flash of each new slide. The scratch of a pen on paper to his right and the smack of gum to his left only make it worse.

When the class finally ends, Neil drags himself back to Fox Tower. His body feels both sluggish and sore, like he’s just run five miles then slept ten hours cramped up. Even the smallest movement sets his muscles aching and his joints creaking.

It takes considerable effort to make it up the hill to Fox Tower, so Neil opts for the elevator over the stairs. The doors open on the third floor to reveal the hallway bustling with a group from the soccer team. One of the players has an arm full of pizza boxes, and the greasy scent wafts down to Neil. It makes his stomach bubble and churn, and the striker braces himself against the wall and breathes through gritted teeth to get it to settle.

“Neil?”

Neil whips around at the sound of his name, but the fast movement causes lights to pop behind his eyes. It’s like a bad case of vertigo, his whole world tilting, and Neil stumbles back against the wall again. He blinks a few times, and when his eyes come back into focus, he finds Nicky’s concerned expression. It takes another moment to register that Nicky’s hands are gripping his elbows and holding him steady.

“Jesus, are you alright? You look awful.” Nicky raises his hand and presses it against Neil’s forehead. “And you’re burning up. Let’s get you inside.”

Keep reading

tttickingcrocodile  asked:

What if the foxes found out Neil was Nathaniel wesninski a different way? What if the FBI was the first to catch up with him and came to arrest him for multiple counts of identity fraud, obstruction of justice, murder etc...

Oh-ho my god…
This could have been better. I’m satisfied because I’m very very tired rn. Also I’m sure you were hoping for something less like canon but I can’t see them giving Neil up for anything sorry.

-.-

Neil knows he’s being followed. He’s spotted the same three people, two men and a woman, circling him at a thirty foot radius all day like vultures. The second he left each of his classes he’d spot them all in quickly succession and they’d follow him to his next class. The back of his neck is damp with nervous sweat and he can’t hold still. His heart pounds each time he sees an exit and he actively /wants/.

He makes it back to Fox Tower still without meeting one of them face to face and he sees Dan entering, he alls put to her and she turns and smiles-

A hand lands on his shoulder.

His muscles tense and he wants to throw up as he turns and gives the female FBI agent his best smile. It feels weak like wet paper.

He hears Dan call out to him and he just wants her to stay /away/, he doesn’t want her to hear this.

“Nathaniel Wesninski,” the woman says crisply, “put your hands behind your back.”

He hears Dan cry out in confusion as one of the male agents comes up behind him and cuffs him. Memories from Castle Evermore roll through him and his stomach curdles.

“You are under arrest for multiple counts of identity fraud, assault, attempted murder…” she goes on and on as his hearing fades out. It comes back in sharp relief a moment later.

“Neil!” Dan calls in alarm and jogs to a stop as the third agent holds out an arm and they all begin walking.

“Where are you taking him-” Dan says and she sounds pissed. Neil doesn’t want her to be pissed. He’s choking on his own anger and fear and some kind of twisted relief, and he just wants her to leave before she hears any of this.

The woman stops staring his charges and inclines her head towards Dan as they all walk.

“We’re taking him with us to be used as a witness against his father,” the woman says. Her voice isn’t particularly unkind but it definitely isn’t friendly.

“Who’s his father? What are you talking about- Neil what are they talking about?” Dan asks as they move toward a nice too-discreet-to-actually-be-discreet black car.

“His name isn’t Neil,” says the man who’d cuffed him with obvious irritation.

“He’s been lying to you. This name is Nathaniel Wesninski and we’ll waive his charges in return for evidence against his father Nathan,” the man says as they reach the car. They open the door and prompt Neil in.

“Neil-” Dan begs and he meets her eyes before the door closes. He doesn’t know what to say, all the facts feel too heavy on his tongue.

“Wait,” he says and the woman holds the door open.

“Call Andrew,” he begs Dan, “let me talk to him.” Dan looks wary, and still confused and angry, but she takes out her phone slowly.

“I got his number from Nicky for emergencies,” she explains with no prompting, probably out of nerves. When it starts to ring she steps forward and holds the phone to his ear.

It’s rings seven times and Neil almost gives up hope but then it isn’t ringing anymore and he can’t hear Andrew’s faint breathing.

“Andrew,” Neil says and his throats feels swollen. Andrew waits.

“I’m sorry,” he says and there’s a sharp intake of breath over the line, “you were amazing.” He pulls his head away because if Andrew speaks Neil knows he’ll fight. He’ll fight and get in more trouble than before, just to give Andrew an explanation, to feel Andrew’s hands on his ribs, to get more /time/.

When he sits back and stares vacantly forward the woman encourages Dan out of the way and shuts the door despite Dan’s protests.

~

The drive isn’t long and Neil doesn’t pay attention during the drive and as he’s walked into a building. He retreats into his head and is only vaguely aware of his surroundings.

I’m dissociating, he thinks vaguely. It doesn’t seem pertinent and the thought slips away like a leaf in a stream. His thoughts are too fluid and he’s too tired to try and coherently hold on to them.

He’s put in a room, an agent comes in, he ignores them. The agent leaves and he’s alone. An agent comes in, he ignores them and they leave. He’s left alone. It cycles through like that, them failing to pull him out of the fog in his head that prevents him from telling them he wants to cooperate.

Another agent comes in and slaps a heavy file down on the table, jolting Neil enough that his eyes focus on the man and he blinks for what feels like the first time in hours.

“Good you’re alive,” says the man, “and I’m Agent Browning.” Neil blinks at him and then nods slowly.

“Alright,” Neil says, “what do you want from me?”

If the man is startled at the fact that he suddenly seems to be cooperating he doesn’t show it and just flips open the file. Neil sees a picture of his father. This is going to be a long day. Or night. He doesn’t know what time it is anymore.

“Your father has escaped.”

~

He answers questions, carefully avoiding the Moriyamas and doing his best not to incriminate himself.

Browning leaves him alone again around the time Neil’s throat hurts and his mouth feels dry. He hasn’t touched the offered water.

When Browning comes back he’s frowning, which isn’t unusual but in the past hour(s?) his face has been without expression up to the point Neil opened his mouth.

“Your… team is here,” he says in an almost disappointed voice, “and you’ve done a good job lying-”

There’s a crash and a yell outside the door, followed by gratuitous staring as the door opens and a small angry blond enters the interrogation room. Wymack is the one swearing, standing in the hallway and hissing for Andrew to come back.

Andrew darts around the table to stand behind Neil, a hand on his shoulder and scowl on his face.

“Minyard you need to leave-” starts Browning but Neil snaps, “No.”

Andrew looks at him with nothing akin to surprise. Only his apathy shows but Neil assumes there’s surprise in there somewhere from the speed at which Andrew’s head moves.

“I’ve answered your questions,” Neil says heatedly, “and I have nothing else to say. I want to go- I want to go.” He’d almost said home.

“You have nowhere to go,” Browning says rudely and there’s a cry of protest. Everyone’s head jerks to find the door still open and the Foxes crowded behind Wymack.

“Neil will go home!” Matt cries indignantly.

“With us,” Nicky adds, looking at Neil as if he knew what Neil was thinking only seconds before.

“This is not Neil,” growls Browning, “he is Nathaniel Wesninski and he is wanted for /murder/-”


“Wanted for murder which you can’t prove because I have made no inclination to having done it and you have no proof,” Neil point out, “and you already said you’d waive the identity fraud among other things for the information I’ve already given you.”

“Does ‘can’t prove it’ still mean he did it?” Aaron’s voice says in german from somewhere behind Allison and Nicky flaps an arm back to smack him.

“It will be better for Nathaniel to go into witness protection-”

Andrew’s hand clamps on Neil’s shoulder so fast he jumps and so hard it hurts.

“His name is Neil,” Andrew says with finality. His fingers tighten like they’re pressing the name, his name, into his skin. Like the press of a key into his palm.

“And you cannot have him,” says Allison snidely.

“He’s a pain in the ass but he’s ours,” Wymack says with surprisingly little gruffness.

Browning looks at the ceiling and appears to be counting backwards. Neil glances over as he spots movement and watches Aaron come out from behind the taller people and lock eyes on everywhere they’re touching. His eyes narrow.

Neil looks forward again as Browning sighs.

He’ll deal with Ichirou. He’ll deal with Riko. He’ll let these agents deal with his father, at least until they prove themselves inept.

He brings a hand up to cover Andrew’s on his shoulder cautiously. Andrew doesn’t move or twitch so Neil squeezes.

99: “Calm down. I look a lot worse than I am.” (second prompt from the anon who asked for andreil! This is going to be exactly what you think it is :)))))

When Aaron’s ringtone bleats at Andrew from his jeans, he feels hyper-focus snap through him like the crack of latex gloves going on: skin-tight, hands about to get dirty.

He holds a finger up to Bee where she’s thumbing through her appointment notes, and flips his phone open, pressing it in snug to his ear.

“Andrew?” He hears, Aaron’s voice sounding stretched thin, his usual annoyance worn away in the middle.

“Aaron,” he replies, and Bee smiles in absent understanding, turning back to her work.

“Listen to everything I’m going to say before you hang up, okay?”

Andrew goes still. “Talk fast.”

“It’s Neil,” Aaron says, like his mouth is full of stinging bees. Andrew’s skull trades places with his ankles, or, something too small to be real has his head in a vice, and his legs are sloshy useless.  

“Where?”

“I told you to listen,” Aaron hisses.

“Where?” Andrew repeats evenly. He’s already calculating the time, the steps to the court, fox tower, Abby’s place, Wymack’s apartment. Aaron shares Andrew’s resentment, though, and the other end of the line goes glacial.

“Aaron. Tell me where he is.”

Bee looks up, all her features tipping down like a kaleidoscope shifting — smile inverting, mouth shifting sideways.

“He’s not dead. And you can’t tell me you didn’t expect him to get beat up at some point, Andrew, he’s a hazard.”

He knows. He knows, Neil is the only caution sign that Andrew regrets ignoring, he’s a bad fall waiting to happen.

“I don’t care what you think he is or is not,” Andrew says, and Bee makes the mistake of looking sympathetic in his direction. Andrew slams one hand down on the desk, enjoying the controlled jump of the objects on it.

“Right. You just care about you,” Aaron says. Andrew gets up from his chair and leaves the room, ignoring Bee’s resigned sigh behind him. “And him, I guess. Josten,” he clarifies, like Andrew doesn’t know, like he could stop knowing.

Aaron pauses, then exhales. “Nicky should’ve been the one to call you, but he’s. He’s staunching the blood flow. I told him what to do.” It sounds important to him that Andrew knows this. Andrew barely registers it, he’s busy throwing every door open between him and his car with his phone still pressed to his ear.

“It’s… your boyfriend got hit by a car,” Aaron gets out, finally. Andrew takes a knife out, just for the feel of it in his palm. “It was a dark—I dunno. SUV? Tinted glass. We think it was a— no Kevin, I know— we think it was a Wesninski, not a Moriyama.”

“Don’t say that name.” He says it on a dry throat, and the words catch. There’s a sticky silence.

“Fox Tower parking lot. Should we call the cops?”

“No,” Andrew says, and he climbs into his car, turning the engine over, wanting it as angry as he is. “Don’t call anyone, don’t talk to anyone, not until I get there.”

“He’ll bleed out.”

The fact that Aaron called Andrew before 911 at all is a miracle.

“Keep him awake.” He hangs up, and the parking lot he’s in might as well be a peak on a mountain for how remote it feels. He speeds. A lot. He crumples the space between him and Neil into a ball and throws it in the fucking garbage.

When he rounds the familiar turn into the parking lot, a small crowd has amassed near where Matt’s car is parked diagonally and a dozen athletes are wringing their hands.

Andrew swerves close enough to them that they have to physically leap out of the way, and he’s out of the car without turning the engine off or closing the door behind him.

He shoves some kid to the ground, and then it’s Allison and Dan linked at the arms, and they move out of the way without being told.

Andrew’s eyes find Neil’s and he wants to go back to last year and physically cut him out of his life, he wants to raise a fist or a knife at Neil and have him take it seriously, he never wants Neil hurt again.

He’s propped up on the curb with his left arm in pieces and blood bubbling at the corner of his mouth. He smiles when he sees Andrew and his teeth are red.

Andrew drops to his knees and fists one hand in Neil’s sweaty bangs.

“What the fuck did you do?” He shakes him. “What did you do?”

Neil jostles hard, and the pain of it shows on his face. His mouth is a slash of white paint. “Calm down. I look a lot worse than I am.”  

Andrew takes his broken arm by the wrist and lifts it. Neil cries out, and his good hand twitches towards Andrew’s shirt but stops. Still not taking without permission, even in the throes of mindless agony.

Andrew can see that there’s something seriously wrong, Neil’s shirt is ripped and his side is already mottled with bruising. Neil’s breaths take two tries before they go anywhere. Internal bleeding, probably. Any number of trashed organs. A shitty brave face and a future narrowing to a crack in a closing window.

“Look,“ Neil says, and he raises his broken arm until it’s at Andrew’s face level. “I’ve got some grip.” He makes a loose fist and a tear rolls down his cheek.

“Your bone is outside your arm,” Andrew says. He puts both hands on Neil’s neck, and notices for the first time Nicky kneeling a metre away, a jacket on over his naked torso. The missing shirt is wadded on Neil’s side soaked in blood. Matt’s hovering at Neil’s head, watching them both. Beyond him, Renee’s standing guard, her expression carefully controlled and her eyes trained on Andrew.

“Who was it?”

“I don’t know,” Neil slurs. His right hand is back at Andrew’s shirt, hovering, blind. “One of Lola’s maybe. One of dad’s. Loose ends, victimless crime. I don’t exist, anyway.”

It’s barely coherent. Andrew’s grip tightens and tightens. “You’re Neil Josten.”

“Number ten, stick size three, starting striker,” he recites. “Andrew—“ his eyes are open but they’re looking too far to the right.

He takes Neil’s hand and pulls it up so it meets Andrew’s chest. It instantly twines in the dark fabric and Neil’s mouth twitches then slackens. His grip on consciousness is starting to look like that sad fist he’d tried for: more painful when it’s there than when it’s not.

“Thank you,” Neil whispers.

“Stop it.”

“I mean it.” In an act of supreme defiance, Neil stays awake, and focuses more, blue eyes clear and forward-facing. “Last time I wanted to say more.” His hand splays across Andrew’s heart. “I wanted to kiss you again before I died.”

“You’re not dying.”

“I’m not doing such a great job of surviving.”

“When have you ever,” Andrew says, and then he hooks his fingers in the long ends of Neil’s hair. “Try harder.”

Sirens kick in somewhere nearby, and Andrew’s eyes instinctively find Aaron.

“Don’t look at me,” he says, and points at Matt.

“We got home and he was bleeding on the ground, what was I supposed to do,” Matt says, and he reaches to stabilize Neil’s neck when it cranes towards him.

Andrew bats his hand away easily. “Don’t touch him.”

Matt’s expression sours. “He’s not just yours, you know. We’re a team.

Andrew doesn’t respond. He feels like he’s the one with a punctured lung.

Neil tugs his attention back where it should be with a gentle pull on his collar. The ambulance pulls up a minute later, but he’s only peripherally aware of it. “You don’t need to come. I know you don’t like hospitals.”

“I have to,” Andrew says.

He’s jostled sideways by a paramedic, and it wrenches him out of his head.

Don’t—“

“Andrew,” Kevin warns, and if it were anyone else he would’ve ignored them.

He stands and watches Neil’s uncharacteristically weak-looking body fold onto a stretcher. It’s sickening, the juxtaposition of blood and woozy smiles. The chaos of Neil’s broken body is starting to look familiar, something violent and troubling like the foxes are violent and troubling.

“He’s coming with me,” Neil orders, his grip bruising Andrew’s wrist.

Other people are speaking but Neil’s water and Andrew’s face down in it. He leaves his car; he leaves the foxes and the bloody t-shirt and his panic. When he’s forced into the waiting room not by doctors or security but by Neil’s quiet voice, he thinks he might be learning to breathe underwater.

Happy early Valentine’s Day! This is for @whimsyalice as part of @aftgexchange!!! Yay!!! I wanted to include all your fave ships/characters, so this is more Foxes nonsense than ships! Hope you enjoy! :) 

Use this post for reference

It starts on a Monday. The locker room is a cacophony of chattering voices as the Foxes all arrive for afternoon practice, everyone still thrumming with excitement from Friday night’s win. Neil follows the group in and past the lounge. Allison and Renee have their arms linked and heads bowed together as they make their way into the girls’ changing room. Dan and one of the freshman girls are close behind them, not even pausing their lively conversation as they disappear behind the door. Andrew pushes past the door for the men’s changing room, Neil behind him. Matt and Nicky are hot on their heels and arguing about some television show as Neil makes his way to his locker.

“I’m telling you,” Nicky says. “He’s dead.”

“No way!” Matt argues. “He’s gonna pop up next season. You’ll see.”

“Are you sure we watched the same episode?”

“They can’t just kill off a fan favorite like that!”  

Neil tunes them both out and spins the combination into his locker lock. When he pulls the door open, something falls out and clatters to the floor. There’s a moment where Neil’s heart stutters to a painful halt in his chest, his breath clogging up his throat. Somewhere in the back of his mind, memories he’s long buried try to sink their claws back in. He has to close his eyes for a moment before he can focus again. Neil slowly looks down only to find a plastic knife at his feet. He blinks a few times in confusion before reaching down and picking it up. He turns it over in his hand and sees Justin Mattews scrawled in sharpie across the handle. As far as threats go, this one definitely makes the least amount of sense. Neil gives his brain another minute to come up with a possible explanation, but when it comes up blank, he holds the plastic knife out towards Andrew in a silent question.

“Neil! What’re you doing? You’re not supposed to tell anyone who you have!” Nicky exclaims from across the row of lockers.

“Murder season is finally upon us,” Matt says. “Let the chaos begin and may the best person win.”

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