his teammates have his back

Hockey!Ashton as a goalie though. Tough-as-nails, but not a hair on his head ever falls out of place, even after sitting under a helmet for 60+ minutes. You’re pretty sure he’s not even human, the way he’s so concentrated and stoic in goal, and the picture of handsome and suave off the ice. After a tough loss, one which has interviewers hounding him about the goal he allowed in overtime, he’s seething. He’s disappointed in his teammates for not having his back and disappointed in himself for not blocking the damn shot. His face is hard and he’s scolding himself over and over in his head, even when you’re sitting at home on the couch. So you turn off the sports channel he’s torturing himself with which only makes him more angry. He turns to you to say “I was watching that,” but he doesn’t protest when you silently take his hands and lead him into your bedroom so that he can take out his frustration in a more… productive way.


Teddy has a crush on a cheerleader.

Which according to the rest of his football team is kind of the status quo considering how many of them are dating cheerleaders. The only issue is the cheerleader Teddy has a crush on is a boy.

Billy Kaplan, to be specific.

Billy Kaplan, king of the nerds and also the triple somersault and the number one starring actor in all of Teddy’s daydreams. To be exact. 

It’s not really an issue, if he’s being honest. His teammates know he’s gay. The school is still in the dark but only because Teddy chooses not to broadcast it. His teammates have his back on and off the field and that’s enough for Teddy, really. He’s not sure if he wants to come out to the entire school by asking out his number one crush.

So, for now, he just catches glimpses in the halls and during classes and pays a lot of attention during half time performances. 

It’s enough.



Billy has a crush on a football player.

Considering how attractive their team is, it’s not surprising. But Billy’s crush is on the hottest, most Adonis like who also happens to be a nerd player in the entire school. 

Teddy Altman, to be specific.

Teddy Altman, the boy who stopped to help Billy pick up his books freshmen year after John Kessler knocked them to the ground and who Billy has been lowkey in love with ever since. To be exact. 

Billy’s sexuality isn’t exactly a secret around the school. It’s the reason John Kessler turned him into a human punching back for two years, after all. It’s also the thing that drove him to try out for cheerleading in the first place and find a nice little hole he could dig himself into where he had actual friends and people who cared.

The girls on the team are all, despite what all popular teen movies try to make you think, very wonderfully nice. Once he joined the squad, he was under one hundred percent protection not only from the girls but also from any of their respective boyfriends. If John Kessler touched one hair on his head, he would be forced to face down twelve girls with kick ass back flips and their muscled football player boyfriends. 

It was pretty awesome.

So he’s out to the school and he’s already done the boyfriend thing (it did not work out) so really the only issue with Teddy is actually Teddy since Billy isn’t entirely sure which way he swings.

So for now, he can let himself glance in class or in the halls or pay very close attention when he’s on the sidelines at football games. 

It’s enough.



Everything changes at Homecoming.

It’s arguably the most important game of the year since it’s the one most of the school comes out for. The squad has a pretty kick ass routine ready for half time and Billy is nervously excited. Their captain, Amber, schedules one last practice after school coincidentally at the same time the football team is having a last pre-game planning session before the game.

Billy is so horribly distracted by sweaty Teddy Altman in his practice jersey that when he gets to the top of the pyramid, he forgets to lock his knees. The girls, bless them, try to keep a hold of him but Billy knows it’s inevitable and as he falls backwards, he closes his eyes and braces for impact.

It comes but it’s not the ground. It’s a set of warm arms that catch him and a breath hot against his ear as whoever it is exhales harshly. Billy lets himself open his eyes and stares into the bright blue fathomless depths he calls Teddy Altman’s eyes.

Oh, fuck.

“Nice catch,” Billy says because he can’t stop himself, “No wonder you’re on the football team.”

Teddy’s lips quirk into a grin as he helps Billy get to his feet. “And nice fall. Is that a cheer leading thing I’ve never noticed or?”

“Sun was in my eyes,” Billy says, wrapping his arms around himself and glancing away. “Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. I can’t wait to see it at the game. The part where you don’t fall, I mean.”

Billy laughs and looks up and Teddy’s smile seems to widen. “I can’t wait to see you. Win the game, I mean. Since it’s Homecoming and all.”

“Right,” Teddy says, rubbing the back of his neck. “Speaking of Homecoming-”

“Billy!” Amber calls. “I’m glad you’re not dead but we really need to work on this!”

“Right,” Billy says and he can feel himself flush. “I need to, um…”

“Right,” Teddy says. “Me too.”

He jogs back to his team and Billy sighs longingly. Nyssa comes up beside him and nudges him.

“Lucky duck,” she says, grinning.

“If I was lucky,” Billy mutters, “He would have asked me out.”


The routine goes off without a hitch that night. Billy does not fall into the waiting arms of Teddy Altman but he does rack up some celebratory cheers from the crowd and it’s almost a fair trade. He also gets to see Teddy make the winning touchdown for the game and joins his squad in cheering their assess off.

Teddy looks almost bashful among the praise from his team and it makes Billy’s stomach swoop. When he catches Teddy’s eye, he gives him a thumbs up and he watches as Teddy pulls out of the fray and jogs over to him.

“Nice game,” Billy says, trying not to focus on delicious sweaty Teddy Altman. “Good tackling…thing.”

Teddy laughs. “And good not falling routine thing.”

Billy grins. “Thanks.”

Teddy glances back at the crowd and Billy says, “Go on and celebrate. You earned it.”

Instead, Teddy turns back to Billy and asks, “Are you going to the dance tomorrow?”

“Against my will. My squad thinks it’s important I have school spirit. I just like doing back flips.”

Teddy grins. “Backflips are pretty cool.”

“Sometimes I pretend I’m Spiderman,” Billy says and then instantly regrets any and all life decisions that brought him to this point. Possibly including his parents meeting and conceiving him. Possibly. 

Teddy doesn’t make fun, however. His grin gets a little wider and he says, “Well, duh. Who doesn’t?”

Before Billy can say Marry me? Teddy follows it up with, “Since you’re going to the dance against your will, maybe you’ll save me a dance?”

Billy blinks. Hard. Then he does it again to make sure Teddy is still standing there. When he is, Billy says “I could save you all the dances.”

“I’ll take them all,” Teddy promises and then he leans in.

Billy’s seen enough cheesy teen movies to know that the football star sweeping a cheerleader into a kiss after winning the big game is one of those right before the credits roll and the music swells moments. 

He just never thought in a million years it would happen to him.