a non-exhaustive list of photos that go up on the wall in the foxhole court lounge before neil josten graduates:
nicky and aaron and kevin jammed into one side of a fast food restaurant booth at 3am on new years day, eating burgers while looking varying stages of wasted (taken by an amused dan from the next booth over, from between neil and andrew’s heads)
renee alone, an artistic shot that captures the light in her hair, turning it into a proper rainbow, and the gilded line of her jaw and cheek (everyone thinks it was taken by dan. it was allison)
aaron and katelyn together, aaron’s expression so quiet and so, so light as he looks up at her where she’s perched on a table looking back (taken by allison, who knows what it means to be a pretty girl who loves someone all broken inside. she’s not jealous that katelyn has better luck than her - she’s, in a strange way, proud)
kevin and wymack talking on the sidelines, serious as always, taken to catch wymack’s attentively bowed head and the considering light in kevin’s eyes (you better believe dan took that one)
neil lying back against andrew’s side, andrew’s arm hooked over his shoulder and his hand splayed loose and easy over neil’s chest while he stares out the window, neil’s chin on his chest as he sleeps, taken on a long bus ride home (taken by renee. andrew knows it was her - she took him turning his face away as the tacit permission it was)
dan and matt kissing and grinning and kissing, helmets under arms, at the end of dan’s last practice before the penultimate game of her final season as fox captain (taken by renee from the bench, with a smile on her own face)
the entire team with the trophy, the one that proves them better than a one-shot wonder after all (taken by katelyn, heart so swollen with pride she can barely swallow)
the girls arm in arm, dressed in fox orange, all grinning after their graduation ceremony in abby’s backyard
the aftermath of that, where matt bounds in behind them and hugs the three of them at once so they’re all in various stages of open-mouthed yelling and laughing (both taken by a gruff but impossibly proud wymack)
matt bent over to talk to neil on the court, their height difference comical (a sports photographer took that one, but nicky’s the one to put it on the wall. neil is bemused)
nicky and erik, from his surprise visit during the last games of the fall season, where nicky has obviously been smiling (taken by neil, at nicky’s request but without complaint)
andrew’s profile and neil’s face in focus, capturing the intensity with which he looks at andrew - more open than he would have known how to be a few years back, and just a little soft (taken by nicky. fair’s fair)
neil alone by the whiteboard in the lounge, arms crossed and mouth open as he lectures the freshman (read; tears them to pieces) as their captain (taken by matt, who admires neil’s ability to verbally destroy people)
kevin and neil talking to the press, in gear but with their helmets off. kevin smiling (they won), neil’s eyes cool and serious (a press shot that nicky cut out and put up. kevin likes that they look like professionals in it, and likes having neil josten beside him)
kevin and wymack at his graduation, heads together. kevin’s smiling (taken by neil because kevin as a human belongs to the foxes, and belongs on the wall)
matt in the jersey of his new pro team under his graduation gown, posing like a superhero with an arm thrown over his head (taken by neil, laughing)
matt and nicky grinning with the ocean in the background, arms over shoulders (taken by dan on their group trip to california - there’s blurs in the background that would, with a sharper focus, resolve into a sunburn-victim neil, a black-clad arm belonging to andrew, the back of kevin’s head, and the irrepressible and smiling jeremy knox, their guide for the day)
andrew leaning against the driver side door of the maserati in an undisclosed location, staring into the camera like he’s challenging the man behind it (neil. it’s neil)
❝ Yes. They’re monsters. Is just me or the sun had a devilish smile?❞ 𝓛 𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒕 said between the laugh, he was totally wasted, he bowed his head to the side and looked at her, both sitting on the couch, flat screen Tv in front, the images with high definition, and the amplified sound. He was exploding in laughter. The long fangs bared, his smile widened. His hair more messy. How fun to have her company and cause this mess, small party.
The vampire leader took the remote and switched the Tv channel, the remote slipped from his hand and fell to the ground on the rug, he didn’t believe what he was seeing. It was hell but the rockstar
was there, the former vocalist of Black Sabbath. The classic comedy Little Nicky.
❝ Ozzy! Oh Holy God! Hell is filled with cursed souls but Ozzy? He is dressed in white…What’s going on?❞ He tried to contain his laughter, he just smiled, curving the tips of his sculpid lips. He felt a wave of dizziness and he held stronger in the upholstered couch on the top that his arm was extended around her shoulders.