“In which Hector Bellerin chases after the girl of his dreams instead of a football.”
He’s staring again. He’s always staring.
Could you blame him? She was by far the most beautiful person he’d ever laid eyes on.
They called her ‘Kit-Girl’ and sometimes–Camille.
She cleans the dirt off the boots and folds the jerseys. Does the laundry and double-checks every size and spelling error if there were any. She can lift a multitude of carry sacks and not break a sweat either.
He remembers the day she walked through the doors of the training ground, her eyes bright with ambition, just like every other intern he’s seen before. Like a gust of wind, he brushed her aside with a slight glance before running off to do laps, much to his regrets. Only noticing the bounce of her voluminous hair in that high ponytail as she gave everyone else a smile and a bow of her head.
(“She’s really nice, Hec.” He heard Kieran say over the tick-tack of controller buttons and the blasting sound of gunshots from his living room speakers.)
(“Who’s ‘she’?” He asked quickly without any interest, only focusing on his 'killing-Gibbo’ spree.)
(“You know, the new girl-” Kieran replied, “She’s really cute too.”)
(Hector could hear the smirk in his voice, he got ready to retort, before his side of the screen turning a dark red from getting shot made him forget about the conversation they just had.)
The jolting pressure of a hard smack to the back of his head startled him. Making him let out a groan so loud it earned the attention of everyone around, including Camille herself. Hector caught a glimpse of her confused expression before locking eyes with hers, her head whipping around quickly. His hopes better not be betraying him, he could have sworn he saw a light dust of pink on her cheeks.
“Staring at Kit-Girl again?” Alex said in his very English accent (which Hector noticed was starting to rub off on him) with a hint of tease. Alex Iwobi was only a year younger and yet Hector felt like he was a child on the field again, not being allowed to play because the older boys got there first. Insignificant. Embarrassed. Wanting to kick the life out of everything and anything. As much as he loved his friend, the only thing he felt at that moment was an urge to tackle him to the ground and do just that.
Getting up and dusting off a few blades of grass, he sent the younger man a death glare. Alex let out a chuckle in reply, lifting his hands in surrender after noticing his friend’s resentment, “I was just asking.” Hector gave him a huff, “I wasn’t staring.” He said defensively, trying to hide the blush growing on his cheeks.
Alex took noticed of this, knowing that it wasn’t coming from the chilling cold London air. Narrowing his eyes while pointing a finger, “Wait a second, does Hector Bellerin have a crush?” It only took him three seconds before he broke out his best shit-eating grin. Red is a good colour on Hector because for the rest of the day, it was the only colour his entire face (besides his jersey) seemed to be sporting.
It wasn’t the first time he felt like this, sure it’s been a long time, but he knows this feeling. This 'crush’ feeling. This stomach-churning, heart-stopping, sweaty palms and choked up words, feeling. He doesn’t try and change it or try to make sense of it knowing full well that it would be impossible to understand something like infatuation.
He doesn’t know how he survived all those other moments where it was barely enough for his poor heart to handle. It wasn’t really a big deal was it?
(Hector Bellerin rarely got rejected anyways.)
“Please don’t mention it around anyone.” Hector tells him before he leaves, he finds it funny that he has to have this conversation in the first place, it’s not like he told the guy willingly. His blood just decided to rush to his face at the wrong possible time. Alex quirks the corner of his lips up, nodding away, and Hector feels relieved that he could trust someone for once.
(That night he opens his messages to find the 'Arsene’s Boys 2K16’ group chat flooding with message after message.)
(Every chat bubble relating to one thing and one thing only–Hector’s crush.)
(He is definitely, without a doubt, going to kick the absolute shit out of Iwobi tomorrow.)
Camille likes flowers, a lot. Hector knows this because when there’s no training or interviews to be done, he goes out and about, trying his best to avoid paparazzi and overexcited fans. His favourite places were mostly known to be over-the-top and expensive. Filled with people in limited edition Adidas sneakers and sweatshirts. But today was different, his gut rumbling for a dose of caffeine, making him turn at a corner to a local cafe.
That is when he sees her. The 'New Girl’, The 'Intern’, Kit-Girl, Camille. Clad head to toe in floral, her ankles tucked behind one another with her head buried deep in a book that had a black and white cover ('Must be some sort of sad poetry thing.’ Hector thinks.) The headband she wore intertwined with white flowers he doesn’t know the name of but it did wonders for her dark, wild, curls that were no longer confined in that high ponytail it always was.
The same flowers adorned the collar of her dress, rising slowly to the timing of her breaths, down to the trimmings at the bottom that graced softly against her legs. Hector watched her read from his place in queue, trying not to get too distracted and hold up the line any longer.
With every scrunch of her eyebrows and every curve of her lips, he fell into a deeper abyss of intrigue. He blames the sun for shining so warmly on her tan skin and the flowers that had no name. For she was one to spark his interest and light a fire under him, causing him to be entrapped in her delicate, refined, beauty.
Hector saw her in a new light for the first time, a different person outside of training grounds and stadiums and dressing rooms. In this moment, she was–in his eyes–nothing but ethereal.
Hector is sick to the bone with it. It makes him feel feverish with how much it has taken over his entire life, the constant (not) staring, the numerous 'when’s the wedding?’ messages from his beloved 'friends’, the school boy fantasising of his future with this girl he has yet to have a full conversation with.
'At least she knows you exist. And that you have a name.’ He thinks when he suddenly feels his bed was a bit too large for one person. It was true, he does have a name. Not just any name, but he was Hector Bellerin. Not trying to brag or anything, but he was a pretty good-looking, financially stable, footballing pro, of a guy and he didn’t expect himself to lay awake at night–for many nights–thinking of an intern.
But she wasn’t just any intern. She was helpful and hardworking and there was always something new and different about her like when he found out she doesn’t listen to Drake.
He feels like he should be offended but then again everyone listens to Drake. (Everyone.) It’s nice to meet someone who was into soft acoustics for a change.
(Plus, she might not like the same music for now, but Hector bets he’ll change her mind.)
It’s no secret that he could get any girl he wanted, even if he didn’t try. And he should be called an asshole for thinking that way, the number of relationships that lasted less than a month can be of prove to that. He tries not to take advantage of that, he’s just not the 'crushing on girls’ type. But there’s something about Camille that draws him in, something that causes him to genuinely care about her and to make her happy.
(Hector continues to think of this for the rest of the night and wakes up another morning to an empty bed.)
Today seemed particularly hotter than usual. The usual cooling winds whisked away and replaced with clear skies and a sun beating down on them in it’s full glory. Sweat rolled off their bodies in heaps as they ran and tackled and trained, some lacking, almost lazing from the pure heat radiating around, making them react slower to the regime.
When the four hours ticked by slowly and officially passed, critiques were given followed by the last blow of a whistle, everyone had one thing in mind–shower. Most times, Hector preferred to shower at home if there wasn’t a game, sure he could be surrounded by the company of teammates, even sweeter when there’s a victory, but there was never much privacy or time, and he needed both if he wanted to look or smell good enough.
Like a habit, he stripped himself of the sweat-pooled kit, feeling it cling to his back. Pulling it over his head he threw it aside and into a hamper to dispose of it before looking up and coming face-to-face with someone he hasn’t seen all day.
He feels his heartbeat pound against his chest, the rhythm speeding up and becoming erratic. Camille stares at him wide-eyed, using the basket she’s holding as a mask to cover her face, not succeeding very well when she feels how heavy it is. For a second, hector wonders why she’s so flustered before–’Oh.’ Realising his state of undress.
They both stood not knowing what to say, any normal person would have apologised and left and forgotten about the whole entire thing like it was just one of those things. They wouldn’t even have to talk about it during conversations because it was only just one of those things.
The tension in the air was thick and awkward and neither of them knew why it was there in the first place, why were they still standing there? Camille with her already too pink cheeks, noticed this and cleared her throat.
He jumped a little at the noise, right before he noticed her eyes trailing from his pecs to his abdomen and back up to his face. It was quick and he was lucky he caught it just in time.
She dropped her head instantly when their eyes met, it was the first time he ever saw them (really saw them) up close. Camille moved to his side, wanting to leave and maybe go hide forever. Only to have her actions stopped with a grip on her wrist.
Sucking in a breath, Hector moved forward, almost too forward. A sudden rush of confidence filling him. He remembered the night before, he was Hector Bellerin, he was a good-looking, financially stable, footballing pro, and he didn’t even need to try.
('You got this Bellerin.’)
(Girls like confidence.)
(Plus, he rarely got rejected anyways.)
Giving her his most charming smile, the one he saved for the cameras, “Like what you see?” He asked in a smooth voice, rhetorically, adding a wink at the end for effect. Hector saw her eyes widen, filled with surprise, he doesn’t think her blush could get any more pink.
Camille could only let out a squeak at the phrase, he was standing too close and she felt every breath of air leave her lungs together with the creeping heat on her skin. No, she couldn’t do this, (does this guy even know her?) she needed something more than just a fling, more than just physical attraction, more than just one of those things.
She grabs–no, mauls–at every sweaty piece of clothing in the hamper before going to who knows where, leaving Mr. Confidence alone to feel the chill on his damp, naked, skin. He has never been more puzzled.
If you were a member of 'Arsene’s Boys 2K16’, truth be told you probably loved to joke. There was never a dull moment among them, sometimes they would think the only time the really got serious was at a funeral or on the pitch. Even though there were pauses and miscommunication, it was a wonder how humour was a language they all spoke and understood. It all started with a pun, Hector’s pun.
The next thing he knew, the entire squad was bursting with laughter, most of them shaking their head at how it was too cheesy and lame and awkward, some even had tears in their eyes. Some clutching at their stomachs and trying their best to calm down before failing and wheezing out another strained chuckle.
Dressed in her usual tracksuit, Camille walks in on the commotion with a confused look. As the laughter died down she brought a finger to her lips in curiosity. “What’s so funny?” she asked smoothly, not wanting to come off as a nosy meddler who had nothing better to do. Hector turns to her, his eyes slightly crinkled from how wide his smile is, heat rising to her cheeks at the sight.
Camille laughs at most of the bad jokes that flock around, soft and modest giggles, they were like a disease in her opinion (a good disease though, if diseases could be good). But this time, she really laughs. It’s not airy and light like the ones in commercials and it’s wasn’t one of those laughs that aren’t really laughs because they were more like sharp exhales through the nose. But it’s honest, and he even hears her snort at the beginning before letting out a set of perfectly strung sounds, loud and clear as day. Somehow it tugs at his heartstrings and all he wants to do is listen to it everyday, and tell her more bad puns just so he would be the reason behind them.
(His hopes didn’t betray him the first time, and neither did they the second time.)
(Judging by how much more closer they both were.)
(He knows there really was a light dust of pink on her cheeks.)
(There wasn’t a big contrast between her pink blush and his red flush at the realisation.)
He tries not to think about it. At least he could count the number of times he’s been rejected on one hand (with only one finger.) Which seems pretty nice when you think about it, rejected–once. But it led to more than a million thoughts and questions that went unanswered. The blow to his ego bigger than anything he could imagine.
Although he doesn’t feel regretful of what happened, (he’s not even sure what happened, one moment he was doing his thing, and the next moment, she left.) it never put a halt on his late-night ponder sessions. The night after the incident, he reflects on her reactions. Blushing meant something good, it was an attraction thing wasn’t it? And she was blushing the entire time. And girls liked confidence didn’t they? All the other girls he pursued had no problem with it.
Grabbing his phone from annoyance at the lighting up and dings he hears, he unlocked it to find multiple chats moving on top of each other as more and more messages kept coming through. Most of them along the lines of 'How did it go?’ and 'Why are you such an ass?'
(He doesn’t know how they found out.)
(Heck, he wouldn’t surprised if BBC announced it on the news tomorrow.)
('Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is a lifelong asshole who got rejected for the first time!’)
Hector stops the traffic of chat bubbles by finally replying with an 'I screwed up. I don’t remember what happened.’ Watching the names at the top calm down for a moment before the typing started again. He let out a soft smile at the number of 'Awww’s that came after, his teammates knowing how hard he’s falling for this intern, how confused he feels, how strangely guilty he feels about something he doesn’t even know but he wants to make it right because he really, really, really, likes Camille.
'You could always try again.’ Laurent types out. Even when it’s through text, Hector feels a vibe of support and comfort coming from his words. Like a true leader. (And people wonder why his contact name is Bosscielny.) Hector doesn’t even bother to doubt his feelings, he’s too tired from trying to make sense of everything to the point where a silver lining looks like a silver gap instead. He feels something building up in his chest, and his previous miserable feelings dissipate. He wants to jump up and down from the sudden rush of adrenaline, like he’s being rewarded this second chance.
Closing his eyes
dreaming of his next day, thinking of words to say differently and reminding himself to put on a shirt and look decent. He falls to the continuous vibrations of 'Good Luck’s he’s sure he’ll keep with him because it’s something he desperately needs.
Including the last notification from Laurent he almost misses as he fades into a deep slumber.
'Just be yourself.’
It isn’t that hot today, the cold weather deciding to come back from vacation busted through the door and hit every single one of them in the face. Their very pale and red-nosed faces. Hector could barely sit still let alone train. He’s fidgety and sloppy and despite being the fastest player on the team, he found himself lagging behind a bunch of them.
(Gossip travels fast around the club, so he wouldn’t be surprised if they started putting two and two together.)
(His rejection, plus his broken heart, equals a shit performance.)
Hector knows it’s going to take more than just a bad form to ruin his second chance, not wanting to let it go to waste, he paces back and forth on his feet, swishing his head around to look for a familiar girl with a high ponytail. His teammates who noticed his short attention span only shook their heads fondly while others clicked their teeth but Hector is just grateful no one tries to call him out for it or makes him do an extra fifteen minutes.
(He’s a lovesick boy after all.)
(Everything else other than the girl of his dreams can wait.)
There’s an aura to her, what she looks like was one thing, how she acts and speaks and does things was another. If you were a living, breathing, person, you would understand this because Hector feels the exact moment she appears, with a sack hanging behind her, and it’s not just because he’s head over heels for her. Definitely not.
In his mind, it clicks instantly, like the last piece to a puzzle. Camille stays extra hours when it’s a Friday, even longer when it’s an away game. Something about preparing kits and polishing boots and checking itinerary in the stockroom.
She takes her time with collecting every ball they used, some gathered in groups by the goal, some were kicked too faraway to retrieve themselves (but she’ll keep the complaints to herself.) Hector’s eyes follow her, she pulls the drawstrings to a tight close at the top of the sack and slings it over her shoulder.
This was Hector’s cue.
With an extra bounce in his step, he walks over to her, burying his hands into the jacket he wore, one way to keep from the cold and another to hide his sweaty palms. His mind almost shuts down when he stops in front of her and she hasn’t noticed yet, swallowing a tight lump in his throat, he tries to speak. Hector runs through his thoughts from the night before, 'Don’t be an ass, Hector.’ and 'Don’t do whatever the hell you did yesterday.’ and 'You’re not shirtless this time, that’s a good thing.' Maybe speaking to himself in third person wasn’t the best thing to do, but it sure did help the fact that his heart was beating so fast he thinks he might need to go to the hospital.
“Camille.” He said softly, not liking how his voice went up just a pitch higher.
Camille looks up, almost wanting to reply in her usual 'job voice’, only to have her words cut short and breath hitch at the person standing before her. First thing she noticed was that he was nervous, completely doused, head-to-toe with anxiety, the complete opposite of their little episode yesterday. She wants to break out a smile just to get him to stop shaking all over.
She knew how he felt, anyone who had sight would know, (the rest of the boy’s teasing didn’t help keep that secret on a low either.) Waiting was something she was good at doing, she never complains when another year goes by and she’s left still hoping for someone to sweep her off her feet, and it doesn’t even have to be that, they could just dust her toes a little and she would be happy anyways.
(And she knew very well, she would wait for the moment when Hector does either.)
“Hector.” She said through gritted teeth, like the tension wasn’t awkward enough. He bites his lips and looks down at his shoes as if suddenly they were the most interesting things on the planet. “I’m…” Hector starts off, pausing to take a few breaths and Camille does so too. “I’m really…” The suspense is biting at both their skins.
'I’m really into you! I like you! For fucks sake Hector what are you doing?’ He internally scolds himself at this, failing every single idea he thought of.
“I’m really sorry about what happened, it was inappropriate.” He blurts out, his eyes widen at the very sound of when he hears it in his own voice.
It was like one of those scenes in movies where a big secret gets revealed and then the whole universe goes silent from the shock. Hector leaves it at that, he never prepared himself to trip over his words, all he wanted was to just let it out and scream it from the top of his lungs if he could. He looks up to see her with a look of disbelief, as if somehow, even she was expecting something else.
Hector might have just fucked himself over.
Camille hears her heart shatter into pieces. It stings and it makes her throat dry.
She would say she was in denial and she just didn’t believe it, she knew how celebrities could be when it came to love, but nothing wrong with hoping, the only downside being the pain that comes when hope doesn’t pay off.
“It’s fine, I forgive you.” Is the only thing she can come up with.
Hector places one foot forward, he still has that uneasy look on his face but Camille doesn’t want to think about him, not right now. “I’m sorry too, Hec.” She breaks the silent pause that hung over them for seconds but felt like hours.
“I love this club, and I love my job-” Fat tears pricked behind her eyes, rolling down her cheeks as she spoke in a croaked voice, “I love being around the team and I love it when we win.” She continued, “I won’t throw that all away for someone who won’t call me back or won’t stay for breakfast the next morning.“
He feels like he just got shot. By a bullet. No, scratch that, a hundred bullets. Straight to the heart.
She genuinely means it, she does forgive him for wearing nothing and saying things to her he should never say to a co-worker, let alone an intern. She forgives him for making her blush and lose her breath. She forgives him for making her laugh like she never laughed before.
She forgives him for leading her on and giving her false expectations.
So she waits.
He wants to know her body. Like really know her body. Not in that creepy-stalker way but he sees her in tracksuits all week, sometimes its hard to just leave it to the imagination.
He urges to feel her breath on his lips, hot and rapid and have his fingers linger on the very edge of her skin. Feeling how soft it is, tracing it like a map, getting to know every curve and texture, knowing what gets it to tense up, line with goosebumps and how far he could go before she jumps at the sensitive ticklish feeling.
He wants to count the freckles that line her chest like constellations, they paint across her skin in patterns and he needs to memorise every single one of them. He wants to kiss her lips and bite them when he felt like it as he buries his fingers into her never-ending spiral of hair. He wants to hear her voice, in every octave, talking, moaning, laughing. Hear her say his name over and over like a mantra and he just drowns in it. He wants to get drunk on her and never stay sober again.
He wants to take her raw and filthy but shower her with the utmost care and patience a minute later. Show her everything he knows and let her show him everything she knows, everything she feels, and whatever more.
He wants, he wants, he wants.
That look in her eyes he knows too well, it’s lust at the very top but he wishes deep below the sea of brown, he finds layers and layers of affection and if he looks hard enough–love.
It’s unusual but his phone is quiet that night, he should just text her honestly. He flips his phone around with his fingers and wonders if he should even try, doing just about everything he thought he could do. What would he say? Should he apologise again? Matter of fact, it was the very thing that got him here.
He did confidence and got rejected. Not directly or anything, it wasn’t a 'No.’ but a 'I have to go now.’ instead. Or at least, it felt that way.
He did coward and got rejected as well. It was fully direct this time. No beating around the bush. And it definitely felt that way.
They tell him not to beat himself up over it, they meaning literally anyone who was part of this entire ordeal. And he tries not to, he really does, but it all feels so shitty. It hurts and it makes him replay every scenario, even when he doesn’t want to.
He scrolls through his contacts, reaching the letter C but then he remembers he doesn’t have her number. He doesn’t ask any of his teammates because the playful and painful jabs will be too much for him to deal with.
Still no Camille.
Hector really doesn’t want to play today. Don’t get him wrong, he loves football more than anything else, but not when he’s sulking. His slumped shoulders and lack of banter a sign to everyone around him that, just for today, he feels the most insignificant and embarrassed and if he had the energy, he would surely kick the life out of everything his eyes lay on.
Staring at the line-up, the poorly drawn X’s and O’s in black ink were hard to decipher but it wasn’t hard enough to see the 'Bellerin 24’ jumping out at him, another reminder of 'Hey, you ignored the girl on her first day, you tried asking her out–got rejected, asked her out again–got rejected. Now it’s time to hide it so go play football in front of thousands and don’t fuck it up!'
Drowning out the pre-game pep-talk, he turned it into white noise. His eyes moving in and out of focus when suddenly, just for a second, he sees the door opening and in walks Camille. Hector swears his heartbeat is the only thing he hears for that short moment, his eyes completely focused on her as she walks closer, just before she passes him by, hands over a newer and shinier pair of boots to Mesut, together with that slight bow and kind smile, then leaves without another word.
He receives looks of sympathy all around even a few pats on the back but the pang of hurt in his chest shouldn’t feel this strong, not when she doesn’t even look his way, and especially not when he already feels like he just lost his entire world.
The game ends surprisingly well. Fans are still chanting and screaming even after the final whistle was blown. Arsene doesn’t seem too critical. Alexis hugs and gives everyone his encouraging smile. Plus, they take loads of selfies in the hot tub right after (just for the fans, they always say.), but Hector doesn’t join them, not when he’s still stuck in medical with a broken nose.
He remembers it in flashes. One moment he was running down the span of the field, the feeling of fresh grass under his boots was all-too familiar, the slide of the ball under his feet lifting his spirits bit by bit as he moved close to the goal in front. For once, he felt better, and then he felt worse. The solid knock of an elbow or a hand, heck, he doesn’t even know, slipping pass his jaw and colliding with his face, the motion sending something down his spine. He felt the ball pass between his feet mid-dribble, the pressure too unbearable for him to even keep his eyes open, falling to the ground face-first and shouting out for someone, anyone, maybe a certain girl, to get him out of this rut.
Hector reads the eye test in front, he’s no where near blind but the fact that he can’t read the last four lines while he wasn’t even that far away is unsettling. He thinks maybe it’s the pain that causes him to have a hard time focusing, whatever it is, it was the final blow to his entire week.
That aura is back again, but Hector brushes it off as just another sulking memory. But before he knew it his hair was being yanked and head behind pushed back until he stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. "What the-” The rest of his words cut short by a pinch to the bridge of his nose, the subtle pressure making the pain a bit more bearable.
“You need to tilt you head so the blood stops flowing.” He knows that voice, he knows it too well.
“Camille.” It’s breathy and short, in a state of shock.
“Be quiet, Hec.” There it is, that nickname was doing things to him. “Don’t want you choking on blood now would we?” She said warmly, picking at a strand of hair that drooped over her fingers, using her free hand to put it back in place, a giggle falling off her lips in fondness. Hector thinks this might be a dream, this couldn’t be real, it didn’t feel real. He should thank the guy who gave him a bloody nose if it meant having this.
A rush of calm fell over him, might be the painkillers. Fuck staying quiet, he’s done enough of that already. He places his arm over her waist and ignores her sharp intake of breath. “I know this is a dream but…” His hopes never betray him, her eyes widen and grow with suspense at his pause.
“I love this club too and I love my job as well.”
'Don’t be an ass.’
“I love being around my teammates, they are like my brothers. And I especially love it when we win.”
'I really like you. Maybe even more than that.’
“I’ll stay for breakfast, and another one after that, and many more on wards.”
'Just be yourself.’
Hector looks her in the eye, he watches them grow with confusion to surprise to, he found it–love.
It was safe to say his phone was keeping him up all night. The constant dings from you know who filled with 'Congrats!’ in every language, emojis from heart eyes to juicy peach, and of course playful jabs that were definitely too overwhelming.
But that was at the very least of it, for he couldn’t stop scrolling down his contact list, reaching the letter C, and feel his heart skip a beat at the very sight of it.
Author’s Note: I got carried away.This is my favourite one. Hands down. I just love the AO3 style of writing where there are segments and I don’t even know if it’s considered a oneshot anymore but oh what the hell.
I gave birth to this because I love Arsenal so much? and also because I miss Hector and it’s also super long and a lot of my love for Arsenal is just plastered all over this and I couldn’t be prouder. Do let me know your thoughts and leave a big red note on it if you liked it, send and ask yada yada…
I love every single one of you especially writers who support and appreciate the effort and work that is being placed into my writing and I’m just so thankful!
This man. Everyone knows him as Markiplier the gamer. Some goof on the internet who plays games and yells at a camera. But he is much more. Not only is he a wonderful gamer, he is a friend. He loves every single fan and supports everyone even though his own hard times. He never stopped loving and believing and never let the idea of fame get to his head. And though you may not see this, we love you. All of us. Your fans. Remember that. We love you. markiplier