“His biggest achievement is not the trophies he won, or the championship, it was the respect he got from his peers. The way everybody talks about Nicky Hayden speaks volumes for the type of person he was” - James Toseland
“i feel like he could hold me up forever” erik isn’t just emotional support he’s a soccer player and he is s t r o n g
he got them Midfielder Thighs™
he fuckin loves soccer movies ok
nicky, already grinning, in response to erik’s parents asking how his day was: alles ist gut
erik, sliding into the room in his socks and running into a wall: soLANGE DU WILD BIST!!!!!
used Bend It Like Beckham and She’s The Man to practice his english
he definitely has a poster of jess bhamra in his room, she’s his hero
he is SUPER tall
(he’s actually taller than matt when his hair isn’t spiked)
him and nicky are low key competitive as fuck and they run together when nicky starts training for exy
nicky quickly learns that trying to outlast a midfielder on a run just. doesn’t work. they do the most running on the team and typically go whole games without getting subbed out.
3 miles in nicky is wheezing and dying and erik is laughing like the absolute traitor he is
but!! it wasn’t all sunshine at first i mean come on,, this is the foxes
when nicky first got to the Klose’s he was reserved, quiet.
erik was taking a year off to travel with friends during the first 6 months nicky was there
when both parents agreed nicky could stay for the summer for some extra classes so he could graduate on time (by american standards), he finally met erik
tall, athletic, kind erik, erik who came home with all kinds of candy from all kinds of countries to give to a boy he never met all to make a pun about what a “sweet deal” it was to have someone new in the house, he felt his heart race when nicky smiled at him for his ridiculous efforts
that’s the first time the klose’s saw a real smile come from nicky
erik convinced nicky to go to church after a while
it was hard at first, especially when nicky noticed erik was getting some weird looks from some of the older people in the congregation
when nicky asked why, erik told him about how when he came out his grandmother stopped speaking to him, and how some parents didn’t want to let erik come over to see his friends
but then erik told him how his parents told anyone who wasn’t okay with their son that they weren’t worth having around, that they loved erik and they wouldn’t allow anyone to try and make him feel bad for being himself
and how his cousins snuck out and took him to his first pride parade in hamburg
surrounded by people who actually care, nicky started to hope again
nicky starts to smile more and erik…he’s so smitten. his new mission in life is to make nicky smile
erik’s humor is usually really awful puns and dad jokes, but he also is really good at keeping a straight face while saying absolutely ridiculous things, leading people to question whether he’s really serious or not and nicky fighting super hard not to bust out laughing (because he’s the only one who can tell he’s joking)
nicky prides himself on being pretty fashionable so he’s not entirely sure how the hell he lets erik get away with wearing those awful toe shoes. the. the individual toe ones.
you know the ones
the first time they kiss, erik was climbing a tree and fell out, because all his grace stops the minute he steps off the field
it was a forehead kiss because, well, erik’s face was bleeding, but yea
they’re a bit of a mess, but they’re cute, ya know?
nicky and erik are the type of couple to go to the grocery store at 2am because they really want to make mac n cheese and accidentally end up buying 4 pounds of candy instead while serenading each other to the weird 90s music the store is playing
erik loves aldi’s and wants to live there. everything is so cheap, nicky. they have my favorite cheese, nicky. nicky. where are you going. nicky i live here don’t leave we haven’t bought any bread yet-
he owns crocs. he just. he does. he bought orange ones when nicky joined the foxes and fuckin little white fox paw insert thingies because he’s a supportive boyfriend, dammit
he draws smiley faces on everything. notes to nicky, his notes at school, on his meeting notes at work, and his favorite place: on nicky.
he’s one of those people who can’t tan for shit, he just burns then freckles. nicky is constantly nagging him to wear sunscreen. he always forgets and sends nicky pictures of his bright red shoulders only to get pages of texts ranting about sunscreen and melanoma
he’s got scars everywhere but theyre all from like. the dumbest stuff. there’s a big one on his knee from sneezing while on a run and subsequently tripping on the sidewalk and wiping out. several are from falling out of trees. he broke his nose falling out of the shower because he freaked out when he saw a spider. again, all his grace is on the soccer field. everywhere else he’s a hazard.
he’s really, really clumsy. he loves fiercely because that’s how his parents taught him. he knows he’s lucky to have a family that stuck by him, he knows it’s the least they can do, but so many gay kids have shitty parents. kids like nicky. and erik may be gangly and clumsy. he may be competitive and he may not always understand how nicky feels because he hasn’t experienced what nicky has. but he has fallen out of more trees than anybody he knows, and falling in love with nicky is an ache he’s never been able to ice away, and would never want to anyway.
Nicky was exasperated. It was obvious by the way he looked out of breath even though he was just standing there being rather noisey.
Neil scrunched up his nose. As much as he loved Nicky, he wouldn’t mind hearing him less right now.
“What’s your point, Nicky?”
The thing with Nicky, however, was that when you requested a straight answer, you instead got a show.
Act one of this show was apparently looking around at the rest of the foxes and proclaiming, “Can you believe this kid?!”
Andrew was coming from his appointment with Bee so wasn’t at the locker rooms yet for practice. Neil found himself silently hoping he would get there faster to shut Nicky up.
Usually everybody would just let Nicky go on his rant, half ignoring him and half egging him on. But when Neil looked past him, he realized that all the Foxes were actually paying attention. Their eyes were focused on Neil with a combination of pity, confusion, and general annoyance.
Nicky was making a huge fuss now, not actually getting to the point but rather going around it. “Of all the days to not know-”
But Matt cut him off. Which was odd, because Matt usually didn’t cut Nicky off.
but I don't ever think I can ever learn how to love just right
requested by anonymous
andreil au in which neil gets tired of the ‘we’re nothing’ game and decides to stop playing
It isn’t much of a surprise when one of the foxes gets hurt on the court. While running drills, they’re often teamed up against each other, working of defensive and offensive maneuvers. And while they don’t mean to hurt each other, Exy is a violent sport, and accidents happen. Most of the time they’re accidents, at least.
Today’s incident is a legitimate accident; in a scuffle for the ball, the handle of Dan’s racket catches Neil’s helmet, tugging it off and sending him crashing to the floor. She fawns over him with apologies, helping him back to his feet, ignoring his attempts to wave her off.
He’s only been on his feet for two seconds when Andrew pushes through, tipping his chin up with a finger, likely to get the bleeding to stop.
“I’m sorry, Neil, I swear-“ Dan exclaims, peering around Andrew, who, though tiny, still manages to take up a huge amount of space in front of Neil.
“It’s okay. Really,” He says.
“Your nose is broken,” Andrew says.
“Hell, Dan. Remind me not to piss you off,” Nicky says, a teasing smile on his lips. Matt shoots him a look, to which Dan crinkles her nose, grip tightening on her racket.
nicky hemmick masterlist (fave moments/most heart wrenching for me bolded)
Nicholas Hemmick was the only one who looked genuinely happy to see Neil, and he stepped up to the curb at Neil’s approach.
“If you take German as your elective here, just let me know and I’ll tutor you. I’m good with my tongue.”
“That’s not okay.” Neil said, pointing at the door. “That’s nothing.” Nicky said. Neil caught his arm as Nicky passed and hauled him to a stop. “Don’t let him get away with things like that.” Nicky considered him for a moment, his smile fading into something small and tired.
He smiled when he saw Neil. “Hey stranger,” Nicky said. “What did you think of Matt?” “He seems fine,” Neil said, not slowing on his way by. “He is fine,” Nicky called after him with a laugh.
“I’m not willing to give up on them yet. I want to fix this.”
Surprisingly, it was Nicky who found the strength to cross the room toward her. He crouched in front of her, moving slow like he thought she’d run off if he startled her, and gazed up into her face. “Hey,” Nicky said, soft and nice like the two of them hadn’t spent all summer cutting each other down on the court. “Is there anything we can do?”
Neil expected him to fall, but Nicky slung an arm around Andrew’s shoulders and yanked Andrew close to him. It let him take some of Andrew’s weight without it being too obvious what he was doing. Andrew looked ready to say something about the unasked-for help, but Nicky didn’t give him a chance to argue. He pumped his fist and whooped. “That was awesome! We are going to own this season!”
“Kid, you’re killing me,” Nicky said. “Why do you always get that deer-in-headlights look when someone does something nice for you?”
“I can’t.” It was too ragged and too honest, but Neil couldn’t help it. If he didn’t get rid of that phone he was going to be sick. “Nicky, I-” “Okay, okay,” Nicky said, taking Neil’s hand in both of his. “We’ll figure it out.”
“You’re family, so i can tell you”
“I thought I could show Aaron and Andrew how to be brothers again. And I’m not giving up.”
“I thought God abandoned me; sometimes I thought I failed Him. Halfway through my junior year I started thinking about suicide.”
“Erik Klose,” Nicky said, sounding it out like he was saying it for the first time. “He taught me to believe in myself. He showed me how to balance my faith and my sexuality, and he made me okay again. I know it sounds dramatic, but he saved my life.”
It could have been the most awkward dinner in the world if not for Nicky. Nicky hated how isolated the twins were and was desperate to make friends with the rest of the team. It was as if he’d developed a sudden allergy to silence. Any time the conversation started to slow he threw out another topic to salvage it.
Nicky cradled Andrew’s face in his hands.
Nicky trudged across the room and sank into one of the empty chairs. He dropped his phone on the table and buried his face in his hands. Abby slid into the seat beside him and wound an arm around his shoulders. Nicky leaned against her but said nothing else.
Nicky caught hold of Matt’s wrist instead. “Thank you,” Nicky said, quiet but fervent. “I don’t know why you did it, but–thanks.”
Nicky reached out and scrubbed a gloved hand through Neil’s hair. “You are going to be the absolute death of me,” Nicky said. “Yeah, kid. We’re friends. You’re stuck with us, like it or not.”
“It’s not really about the food. It’s about family. Not necessarily the one we were born with, but the one we chose. This one,” Nicky emphasized, gesturing between them. “The people we trust to be part of our lives. The people we care about.”
Nicky, on the other hand, looked absolutely crushed as he took in Neil’s wrecked appearance. He reached out as soon as Neil was close enough and wrapped his hand around the back of Neil’s head. Nicky was tense as stone but the long breath he let out was shaky. “Oh, Neil,” he said in a choked voice.
He could hear pain in his voice, thick enough to slur his words. Nicky looked stricken with guilt. “I can’t yet.” “I’m sorry,” Nicky said. “I didn’t–I wasn’t thinking. Here, here. Let me. I’ve got it.”
Nicky was too afraid to go after Andrew, so he slowly dropped to his knees and slid a hand across the asphalt. He curled his fingers around Allison’s and gave her hand a tight squeeze.
Nicky blew them a kiss when he was handed his red card.
“We’re such hot shit sometimes!”
Nicky was a disconsolate mess near the window
“A dashboard lighter.” He winced at the awful sound Nicky made.
“You can’t have him,” Nicky said. “He belongs with us.”
“Neil or Nathaniel or whoever,” Nicky said. “He’s ours, and we’re not letting him go. You want us to vote on it or something? Be you it’ll be unanimous.”
“As a family.” Nicky attempted a smile. It was weak but it was encouraging.
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)