You Make My Heart Beat like the RainAuthor: firetruckyouxxRating:
Marc-André ter Stegen/Rafael “Rafinha” Alcántara, Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Marc Bartra, Neymar, Dani Alves, Daniela Jehle, Marco ReusGenre/Warnings:
Alternate Universe - College/University, Pining, FluffSummary:
“You're staring,” she informs him, amused.
The trip from Möchengladbach to Barcelona could only really be characterized as awful. Marc’s done the trip so many times with no problems that having problems on the trip comes as a bit of a shock. Leaving home is never fun to begin with, but having an awful trip just makes it so much worse.
One delayed flight, an hour of ungodly traffic, and a shady cabbie who overcharged him by close to ten euros later, Marc, with all his belongings in tow, walks into his new apartment building to find that the elevator is broken, which is great since Marc’s new apartment is on the sixth floor. Marc sighs and pulls out his phone from his pocket and scrolls through his contact list to find a very familiar name.
The phone rings and rings until just before Marc is about to hang up, the line connects and a low voice comes through, “’lo?”
“Hey, I’m here but I need some help getting my stuff upstairs,” Marc says, hoping that for once, Gerard Piqué isn’t an ass about doing something. Geri lets out a huge yawn and Marc hears sheet rustling in the background. “Wait, aren’t you supposed to be at work? You told me you couldn’t pick me up from the airport because you had a shift.”
“Yeah, about that, I really hate the airport, especially going to pick people up, it’s so annoying, so…yeah,” Gerard says, clearly distracted. “Hold on, I’m going to get your other half and his other half, he’s helping too, no way am I doing this shit alone.”
Marc pinches the bridge of his nose and breathes in deeply. He reminds himself that he missed his good friend dearly and that Gerard was nice enough to let him live with him because otherwise he would be homeless for the next four months. “Okay, thank you,” he manages to get out as politely as possible.
“Marc and Sergi, get your asses down to the lobby, German boy needs your assistance! Guess he’s not a soulless robot after all, who would’ve guessed,” Marc can hear Gerard yelling at their other roommates and forced himself to take another deep breath. Oh, how he’s missed Geri.
A few minutes later, the stairwell door opens and Bartra and Sergi slide through and double team him into a hug. Marc hugs back because at least these friends are not assholes like some people
“It’s good to see you man,” Sergi says, a huge smile on his face. “How was Germany?”
“Same old, same old,” Marc says, his Spanish still a little rusty after months of speaking in German. “It’s good to be back, though.”
“It’s good to have you back,” Sergi replies back earnestly because he is one of the best people Marc knows.
“Yeah, especially since there’s no one here to balance out Geri’s…Geri-ness,” Bartra says with a chuckle.
“Speaking of the giant, where is he?” Bartra and Sergi rolled their eyes and gave Marc twin knowing looks in response. “So he went back to sleep then.”
“‘Siesta is the most important part of the day,’” Bartra recites, mimicking Gerard’s voice while Sergi and Marc both roll their eyes. “‘Nothing and especially nobody is more important than siesta.’”
“Silly me, how could I forget,” Marc says, rolling his eyes while bending down to pick up the two heaviest suitcases. “Well, we should start bringing this stuff up…it might take a while.”
Bartra picks up another suitcase while Sergi holds the door open and suggests, “I’ll stay here so no one steals your stuff. We can switch off—I’ll do the next trip.”
Marc-squared carry the bags up with relative ease, barring the small hiccup they run into when they realize someone would have to open the stairwell door when they got up to the sixth floor. They deposit the bags in the apartment and then begin their trek back down the stairs. Marc feels accomplished when he is huffing only a little bit when he gets back down to the lobby. His training over the summer is finally paying off.
When they get back down there, they find Sergi talking a good-looking guy in a backwards snapback and multiple earrings in each ear. He looks vaguely familiar but Marc can’t really place him. University of Barcelona is enormous, so it’s possible he’s a student there.
The good-looking guy smiles when he sees Bartra, greeting him with an accented “Marc, bro, what’s up, I haven’t seen you in a while,” and a bro-hug. After he releases Bartra, his eyes fall on Marc. “Oh, is this your new roommate? What’s up man, I’m Neymar. I live a couple doors down from you guys.”
Marc holds out his hand, unfailingly polite, and smiles. “I’m Marc,” he introduces himself. Neymar takes his hand and shakes it briefly. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Neymar smiles and squints at him a little bit, as trying to figure him out. The expression fades quickly though, back into just a bright smile. “You, too. I have to get going though, got to start getting ready for tonight.” Neymar pauses. “You guys are still coming right?”
Bartra and Sergi both nod eagerly. “Wouldn’t miss it, Ney,” Bartra assures him.
“Cool, I’ll see you guys later, then,” Neymar replies with a smile and a wave and disappears up the stairwell.
Marc turns to his friends. “What’s tonight?”
“Neymar and his roommates are throwing a back to school party tonight,” Sergi explained. “Their parties are always fun.”
Marc makes a face involuntarily, not really one for parties, especially parties that are composed of mostly strangers. Before he could say anything, Bartra rolls his eyes. “You’re coming, Marc.”
“I really should unpack, though,” Marc protests feebly.
“You can do that tomorrow. C’mon, it will be fun,” Bartra says and Marc knows he’s going to the party whether he likes it or not. Complaining is not going to do him much good so he just sighs and agrees.
They finish bringing up Marc’s things within the next twenty minutes, which he feels really accomplished about, since he admittedly brought a lot of stuff with him. His family likes to tease him about his tendency to overpack for everything but Marc rather be prepared in case something ever came up where he needed, say, an extra stapler or a few hundred colored pencils.
Marc begins to start the process of cleaning his room and unpacking. His new bedroom is incredibly dusty, considering nobody lived there for about a year and mostly has just been a room where Gerard keeps his extra stuff and Sergi hid his dog for a couple of weeks last spring when his parents visited New York. He’s two hours in and finally is beginning to put sheets on his bed when there’s a knock on his door.
“Come in,” Marc shouts over the music he’s playing, taking a second to realize he’s said it in German. “Come in,” he says again, this time in Spanish.
His door opens and Sergi peaks his head into the room. “We’re going to head over to the party in around fifteen minutes, just a heads up,” he informs him, surveying the room. “Damn, you’ve made a lot of progress. Are you sure you don’t need any help?”
“Alright, no problem. And yeah, thanks. I’m just happy I’m getting to make my bed before we go.”
“Yeah. I’ll tell you when we’re leaving, okay?”
“Alright, thanks,” Marc smiles at Sergi, which he returns before he closes the door behind him.
Marc finishes making his bed and begins to sift through his suitcases full of his clothing. He has no idea what he should wear. He feels like a fifteen-year-old getting ready for their first date.
Feeling a little ridiculous, he texts Marco. Help, my new neighbor invited me to his party.Congrats, you actually do know how to socialize, I was concerned
, Marco, the asshole, texts back. Marc has no idea why he chooses to be friends with these people. So what’s the problem?
Feeling more than a little ridiculous and a touch desperate, Marc sighs and concedes, I have no idea what to wear.
There’s a pause in Marco’s response before Marc’s phone explodes with identical messages of HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
because Marco is an asshole. Marc really needs to consider getting all new friends, seriously.I hate you,
Marc sends as his cheeks burn in embarrassment. He doesn’t even know why he’s worrying so much. It’s just a dumb party that he’ll probably stay at for as long as he is obligated to and then quietly sneak back to his apartment to continue unpacking.I’m just kidding, bro. Just wear something simple. You make anything look good, you freakishly good-looking person,
Marco sends back because although he is an asshole, he is also a gift.Thanks. I don’t even know why I’m freaking out like this. First night back in months, I think I’m just tired,
Marc replies and then sets out to find an outfit.
Five minutes later, just as Marc is finishing buckling his belt, there’s another knock at the door. Marc finishes looping his belt and opens the door to find Bartra smiling at him while Gerard’s in the background yelling, “Hurry your ass up, man, I’m trying to get my drink on!”
Marc rolls his eyes and exits the apartment with the rest of them. They walk down the hallway together, listening to the obnoxious pop music that blasting a few doors down. Marc already can’t wait until he can make his quiet exit.
The door is slightly open when they get there and Gerard pushes it fully open with no hesitation, making a beeline for the kitchen. Marc steps into the apartment, which looks a lot of theirs but bigger and much more packed in. That might have something to do with the obscene amount of people packed into it. Marc’s a little concerned over the fact that this is the definition of a firetrap but let’s it go.
Bartra and Sergi stay with him for the first couple minutes but drifted off as they see people who they recognize, promising that they would be back in no more than five minutes. Five minutes pass of Marc awkwardly standing in the corner of the room so he decides his best bet is the kitchen, where people are congregated around the two kegs. He grabs a can of what seems like some type of Brazilian brand beer and takes the open spot in the corner of the kitchen.
Soon, a girl he recognizes from last year’s Intro to Stats class comes into the kitchen and spots him. She’s beautiful, Marc thinks, as she smiles when she sees him and comes over. “Marc-Andre, right? We had class together last year,” she says in accented English.
Marc tries to recall her name, and finally remembers. “You can call me Marc. And you’re Daniela, correct? It’s nice to see you again,” he says, smiling. They’ve talked before when in class, and every time she’s been very pleasant.
“You can call me Dani,” she says, smiling wider. “How was your summer?”
They talk for a while, Marc finishing three and a half beers while they chat, Dani telling him about her summer in Holland and her architecture studies. Marc is listening intently, interested in her dissection of Dutch architecture versus Catalonian when he looks up for a second and feels as if the wind was knocked out of him.
“Marc, Marc, are you okay?” Dani snaps her fingers in front of Marc’s face and he focuses back on her for a second, blinking in confusion, before looking back up. Before him just walked the most beautiful person Marc has possibly ever seen. Marc doesn’t remember feeling so enamored by anyone in his entire life. It’s a strange feeling. Marc sees Dani turn around in the corner of his eye and see what he’s looking at. She turns back to him and smirks. “You’re staring,” she informs him, amused.
Marc finally regains the ability to talk. “I’m sorry, what were you saying?” Marc asks, feeling incredibly rude and guilty, especially as his eyes keep flickering back to the beautiful stranger, with his dark skin and his bright smile.
Dani just stares up at him, wholly amused by the situation that’s unfolding in front of her. “You should go talk to him. He’s really nice and as far as I know, single.”
Marc nearly chokes on his own spit. “I’m not—” staring
, he wants to finish but he totally, one hundred percent, is in fact staring. “I’m sorry, Dani.”
She just laughs and waves it off. “It’s fine. He’s so beautiful, trust me, I get it. You should really go talk to him,” she urges. “Look, he staring back at you.”
Marc looks up briefly and checks his eye, which pop brightly against his dark skin. The breath in Marc’s throat catches once more and he can’t help but feel like a ridiculous teenager once again. Marc rolls his eyes at himself.
“Go on, Marc, he’s definitely staring at you now,” Dani says, giving him a small shove forward for good measure. Marc finally gives in, practically gravitating towards the beautiful stranger.
The stranger seems to be waiting for him. He smiles brightly at him, and Marc needs to remind himself how to breathe once again. It feels like it takes forever to reach the stranger, but once he gets there, Marc is completely entranced.
“Hi, I’m Marc,” he says, his mouth moving on his own. He feels like he’s floating on a cloud. It’s terrifying.
“Rafa,” the stranger says, holding out his hand for Marc to shake. Just like any cliché, Marc’s whole body feels like it is on fire when they touch. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Marc opens his mouth to say something else when Neymar comes stumbling out of nowhere, sloppily slinging his arm around Rafa’s neck. “Hey Marc! Hope you’re enjoying the party. Kind of like a housewarming, or building-warming I guess, party for you, right?”
Marc would like to get back to his conversation with Rafa but manners come first. “Yeah, thanks,” he says with a tight smile.
“Housewarming?” Rafa echoes, confused. He studies Marc for a brief moment, looking him up and down, licking his lips. Marc can feel the heat rising in his cheeks.
“He just moved in with Gerard, Sergi and Marc down the hall,” Neymar informs him, looking in between Marc and Rafa and seems to begin to realize what’s going on. “Oh look, I see Leo over there. I have to go. Okay, bye!”
Marc almost laughs at how not subtle Neymar is but he doesn’t because Rafa is looking at him with this sort of half-smile that makes Marc a little weak to his knees. They stand there staring at each other for a little while, taking each other in.
“So, did you just move to Barcelona?” Rafa finally asks, taking a sip from his cup.
“Uh, no, I’ve been here for two years now. My old roommate went back to Croatia, and I didn’t want to live with strangers my third year, so Gerard asked if I wanted to live with them,” Marc replied. He hoped his Spanish didn’t sound that
bad that it sounds like he just got here.
“Oh, nice. This is my third year in Barcelona, too.” Rafa shrugged a little bit.
“Really? Where are you from?” Marc could hear Rafa’s accent but couldn’t place it. It sounds similar to Neymar’s, too, but Marc was never good with accents.
“I’m for São Paulo originally and came with my brother for university,” Rafa says with a fond smile.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Brazil,” Marc says, a little bit dreamily, aware of how he sounds. He’s pathetic, but at least he’s self-aware. “I love watching Brazilian football so it would be nice to be able to see a game live.”
Marc sees how much Rafa perks up at that and decides that he is going to marry this man. He might be a few drinks deep and on the drunk side of tipsy, but he knows it’s the truth. And that’s how they spend the whole night, talking about football and dancing around each other, exchanging glance after glance. It is the sweetest torture Marc could have imagined.
By the time that most of the party is gone, Marc’s roommates checking out around two in the morning when Geri falls off of the couch trying to dance and Bartra and Sergi dragging him back to their apartment, Marc and Rafa have drifted from the kitchen to Rafa’s bedroom, not doing much but talking and drinking in each other’s presence.
“I used to share this room with Thiago before he left for Germany to do his Masters,” Rafa says, looking at the picture of him and another man, presumably his brother, with their arms around each other, standing a beautiful beach together.
“He went to Germany? What part?” Marc perks up at the mentioning of his homeland.
“Münich, I’m pretty sure. He loves it there, never wants to come home,” Rafa says, his smile turning somewhat sad.
“It’s a great place,” Marc says, smiling.
Rafa looks up at him, smiling back. “I’m sure it is,” he agrees. “I would love to see it one day.”
Marc’s about to open his mouth to say something else, but is interrupted when the door is forced open by a shirtless man covered in tattoos and what smells like cheap beer. He’s yelled in Portuguese, gesturing to the rest of the apartment while Neymar yells back at him. Marc sees Rafa frown and roll his eyes and respond back to the angry shirtless guy.
“I have to help clean up the apartment. Dani’s parents are coming tomorrow and they’ll flip out if they see it like this,” Rafa explains, an apologetic expression written on his face. He moves closer to Marc, his ever-present smile on his face. “I’m glad I got to meet you tonight.”
“Me too,” Marc says a bit breathlessly, moving closer to Rafa so that there were inches between them. Marc watches as Rafa’s eyes move from his to his lips and then back up again. Marc licks his lips and plans his next move, but once again, Dani interrupts with another round of screaming.
Rafa sighs and regretfully pulls away from Marc, Marc mournfully watching the space between them grow. “I’m really sorry,” Rafa says earnestly. “Can we hang out some other time? You’re really cool, so.” He shrugs, rubbing the back of his neck.
Marc’s cheeks flush a pretty pink at the compliment. “Yeah, of course,” he mumbles, embarrassed.
“I’ll see you later, then?” Rafa sounds hopeful.
“Yeah, of course,” Marc assures. As if he would say no to someone as amazing as Rafa. Nobody could be that stupid. “Good luck with your cleaning.”
Rafa smiles slyly at him and walks him out. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Have a good night, Marc.”
“You, too, Rafa.”
And just like that, Rafa seems to become a permanent fixture in Marc’s life. It seems like he sees him almost every day, getting breakfast together before Marc has Macro and Rafa has one of his weird PR classes, hanging out in each other’s apartments when they are procrastinating, or meeting for late night dinner in the dining hall after spending all day working on a paper due at midnight. It’s so natural that Marc doesn’t even blink an eye.
The only strange thing about it is how not strange it is. His friends all give him knowing looks when he mentions Rafa and his cheeks flush with color but nothing’s happening between them. They dance around each other, on the line between friendship and something Marc doesn’t have the name for, but neither of them bring it up. Sometimes Rafa will just look at him a certain way, and Marc will almost crack and say something but the moment always passes.
“Chinese or Italian?” Marc asks Rafa one night, who’s lounging on Marc’s couch in the living room, scrolling through Marc’s Netflix queue.
“Chinese, please. I need some good Lo Mein after writing three papers this week,” Rafa says, stretching as he gets up from the couch, his shirt riding up enough so that Marc can see his treasure trail disappear down his shorts. Marc swallows and looks away. They’re not like that despite the start of their friendship.
“Alright. Anything else? Egg Roll or dumplings?” Marc was really in the mood for some good potstickers but Rafa’s had a tough week so he gets to decide.
“Whatever you want, I’m just in desperate need of greasy takeout,” Rafa says dramatically, flinging himself back on the couch. “What do you want to watch?”
“Surprise me,” Marc tells him. “I’m gonna go order the food.”
When Marc comes back five minutes later, Rafa is still in the same position, still scrolling through Netflix, but appears to have found another friend as Gerard is stretched out of the airchair, looking half-dead. Last time Marc saw him, Gerard was making himself a Red Bull and vodka cocktail and was mumbling about cruel professors and about the state of the Amazon’s toucan population. To be fair, Marc told Geri not to take that exotic bird class but he didn’t listen.
“How’s it going?” Marc asks, taking pity on the defeated and sullen man.
“I want to shoot every bird in the entire world, so I would say it’s going well,” Gerard informs him, his eyes screaming “dead inside.” Ah, college, what a wonderful place.
“That’s good,” Marc agrees and take his place next to Rafa, who cuddles closer to him, claiming to be cold. It’s the end of September and the temperature is beginning to dip a little bit but not enough to really justify the amount of cuddling Rafa’s doing, not that Marc’s complaining. Marc can see Gerard openly staring at them from the corner of his eye.
Marc knows how they look to outsiders. He sees the knowing looks all their friends give them. It doesn’t matter. Rafa and him, they’re not like that. They’re just close friends, that’s all. That first night was a fluke, a freak, drunk accident.
Rafa finally picks a show, some sitcom that Marc doesn’t entirely understand but laughs regardless. When the doorbell rings, both Marc and Rafa stand up at the same time and giggle at each other.
“I’m paying,” Marc insists while Rafa argues, “But you paid last time!” They stand there staring at each other for a long time as if daring each other to make the first move until the doorbell rings a second time and Marc, his longer legs an advantage, moves faster and opens the door first. He greets the delivery man and pays for the food. When he shuts the door, Rafa is pouting at him.
“I don’t mind paying, Rafa, we’ve already talked about this,” Marc says as he puts the food down on the coffee table, slightly slanted as one of the legs was broken during the Epic FIFA Tournament of Fall 2016, where Dani and Gerard got so heated during their Brazil versus Spain match that Gerard accidentally kicked the table so hard the leg nearly collapsed. FIFA tournaments are no longer allowed to be played in their apartment. The table wobbles a little bit under the weight of the food, but Marc isn’t all that concerned.
“Yeah, we did talk, and we agreed on switching off,” Rafa argues, staring at the food forlornly, looking like he is on the brink of starvation but like he would be violating his moral code by eating.
“It’s fine, Rafa,” Marc says and when Rafa looks like he’s about to keep arguing, hurriedly adds, “But if it bothers you that much, I’ll let you pay the next two times.”
Rafa rolls his eyes but agrees and starts ripping through the bag like fiend. It occurs to Marc that Gerard is now there and probably hungry, so he turns to ask if he wants anything and is met with an expectant and sort of pitying look. It is a little unsettling seeing an expression like that on Gerard’s face but Marc knows why it’s there. He knows how pathetic he looks pining for Rafa, but he really can’t help himself. He’s sort of really in love with him but Rafa is too good of a friend now to lose over something stupid like that.
They eat quietly, watching the confusing sitcom, Marc aware of Geri’s eyes on them the entire time. Rafa cuddles close to him after he’s done with his food, stretching out on the entire length of the couch like a content car, head planted on Marc’s stomach. He is painfully aware of how it looks, and meets Gerard’s pitying gaze once again and shakes his head.
Gerard retreats back into his room after two episodes, grumbling about the destruction of the world’s bird population by his hands. Marc and Rafa continue to watch the show until Marc looks down at Rafa to find him on the brink of sleep, eyes fluttering every so often and breathing deeply. Marc doesn’t really want to wake him up but he rather not have Rafa’s back and neck bothering him in the morning so he shakes him awake.
“Ugh,” Rafa mumbles, his eyes blinking open slowly. He stares up at Marc and smiles softly, holding his gaze for a moment and then slowly sitting up. “What time is it? I have class at like nine so I have to get up early.”
“It’s a little after one,” Marc says, standing up to move the empty food container to the garbage.
“I should probably go home and go to bed then,” Rafa says mournfully. “We’ll still on for lunch tomorrow right?”
“Yeah, definitely. Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Marc says earnestly.
Rafa smiles softly at him and replies, “Cool. See you then.” He lets himself out, comfortable with coming and going from the apartment after two months of the same routine.
Marc’s finishing cleaning up when a door opens. He doesn’t turn around to see who it is, but he hears the sound of bare feet padding across the wooden floor of their apartment, coming into the kitchen.
“Marc,” he hears Gerard say, and refuses to turn around, knowing what Gerard’s face looks like, the same pitying look from before.
“I know what it looks like,” Marc mumbles. He’s not an idiot for God’s sake. “But it’s not.”
“Why don’t you just talk to him?” Gerard suggests.
Marc shrugs. He’s thought about it but he always decides it’s not worth it. Marc is a lot of things, but brave isn’t one of them. What he did at the party was completely out of character for him, a drunken decision. Admittedly, it was one of his best drunken decisions, but it was still just that. He doesn’t really have a reason to give Gerard other than cowardice.
Gerard lets out a sigh and the footstep begin and but in the opposite direction. He hears Gerard open the door to his bedroom again. “For the record, he looks at the same way you look at him,” Gerard says and then shuts the door behind him.
Marc lets out a sigh, shakes his head and goes back to cleaning. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day. They’re just not like that.
A month later, Marc is in Rafa’s apartment, finishing up his problem set while Rafa’s sitting opposite of him, chugging an espresso with a shot of Red Bull in it, trying to finish his paper before midnight. They’ve barely said a word to each other in four hours, too focused and stressed out to waste energy talking. Marc feels like he’s about to crash when the apartment door flings open and Neymar waltzes in, shirtless with his sunglasses still on.
“Have you guys really been in the same spot since I left?” Neymar asks, throwing himself onto the couch. Neither of them answer him or even really spare him anything more than a glance before continuing to furiously work. “Wow, really feeling the love, guys, thanks.”
Rafa waves his hand a little bit in the air, mumbling something to him in Portuguese, not even looking up from his computer. Neymar replies back in a teasing tone before moving into the kitchen, no doubt about to eat everything that’s in the fridge. The only things Marc has ever seen Neymar actually do is party, workout and eat. He’s never actually seen Neymar doing schoolwork.
“Does Neymar even go to class?” Marc wonders aloud, and Rafa snorts in response, letting out a full-out laugh when Neymar lets out an offended squawk.
“I do!” Neymar protests. “I went to Econ today!”
“Yeah, for like the first time in like two weeks,” Rafa snorts.
“How are you not failing out?” Marc asks, staring at him in wonder.
“His charming smile and boisterous personality,” Rafa replies deadpan before cracking a big smile. Neymar pelts him with a chocolate pastry Marc brought for Rafa and him to share during their homework session.
“You’re the worst,” Neymar informs Rafa around a mouth full of food.
“You love me, though,” Rafa responds, flashing Neymar a huge smile.
Neymar snorts in response. “Not nearly as Marc, although no one really can, eh Marc?” Marc flushes a bright red and barely stops himself from choking in response. He wants to throw something at Neymar but refrains from doing so because his parents raised him right.
On the other hand, Rafa is laughing, saying, “I don’t know, I think Rafaella would beg to differ,” and Neymar responds by basically tackling Rafa off his seat, roughing him up gently while Rafa shrieks with laughter.
“Don’t you talk about my sister like that, you perv,” Neymar says, landing his final blow as his knee falls into Rafa’s stomach gently.
They continue to play-fight like a couple of children while Marc tries to catch his breath. This needs to stop happening. It’s getting a little ridiculous.
A little later, after Neymar goes into Dani’s room to go bother him, Marc looks up to find Rafa staring at him with this look
. It’s a mixture of fondness and perplexity. Marc gives him a tight smile back.
“Is there something wrong?” he asks, fear bubbling up in his chest.
Rafa looks like he’s going to answer but pauses first, looking for words. When he looks like he can’t come up with any, he just says, “Nah, nothing important,” and goes back to his paper. Marc stares at him for a little longer before going back to his homework, glancing up once more for good measure. Huh.
And just as the first two months had been, the rest of the semester continued with the same type of dance, Marc and Rafa sharing meaningful smiles and touches but no solution. It gets to the point where Marc stays silent when any of his friends make comments because it’s not worth the effort. After four and a half months of the same thing, Marc has given up on convincing people. As long as he knows what is actually going on, he’ll be okay.
On another note, finals week is actual hell. By the time Friday rolls around, Marc is somewhat concerned that he’s going to have a heart attack based on the amount of caffeine and sugar he’s consumed through the week in order to stay awake and function. He finishes his last final Friday morning and once he gets out of the testing room, he lets out an uncharacteristic hoot of triumph.
To his left, he hears a familiar chuckle. He turns around to see Rafa sitting on a bench, laptop on his lap, waiting for him.
“I’m free,” Marc informs him happily, throwing himself down on the bench next to him.
Rafa laughs once again. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you show this much emotion before,” he teases. He takes his laptop off his lap and places it on the free part of the bench and slings his arm around Marc, pulling him into a sideways hug. “Proud of you,” he mumbles into Marc’s shoulder, brushing his lips against the fabric of his shirt before picking his head up to look up at the sky.
Marc stares at this beautiful man in front of him and smiles briefly before gulping. He’s so far gone and so appallingly desperate with no hope of result.
“You’re coming the party tonight, right?” Rafa asks after a moment of silence.
“Um,” Marc pauses, embarrassed, knowing what Rafa’s response will be.
“You’re coming,” Rafa tells him, all matter-of-fact.
“My flight leaves early tomorrow,” Marc says as an excuse. Although he now knows most of the people that attend Neymar’s parties, which are admittedly fun now that he’s comfortable, he’s not really in the partying mood. He still needs to finish packing up the things he’s taking home with him for winter break and help clean up the apartment before he leaves tomorrow.
“At least come for a little bit,” Rafa pleads. “It’s going to be the last time that I see you in over a month. C’mon.”
Marc lets out a sigh, feeling his resolve, which was weak to begin with, completely crumble with Rafa’s sincere words. “Fine. I’ll stay for an hour.”
Rafa’s smile brightens by a few watts and Marc feels his heart melt and then clench. Maybe some time away from Rafa would be good for him. It could help him get over himself and his ridiculousness.
“C’mon, I’ll buy you Starbucks to celebrate your freedom from hell,” Rafa says, nudging him with his shoulder. Marc smiles and stands, offering his hand to help Rafa stand up. Rafa smiles back at him and takes it, giggling as Marc pulls so hard that he almost falls down when Rafa stands up. “You’re such an idiot,” Rafa says but his tone is fond and Marc’s stomach flutters once again. Some time off definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing after all.
Later in the day, right before the party is supposed to start, Marc gets déjà vu of his first night back in Barcelona, freaking out to the point where he texts Marco again for outfit advice.Does this have something to do with a certain Brazilian beauty? ;)
is the response Marco sends and Marc immediately is reminded of just how much he hates his friend.I don’t know why we’re even friends,
Marc sends in response and sifts through the clothes he hasn’t gotten to pack up yet, dissatisfied with all of them.My advice? Wear the tightest shirt and pants you own. Flaunt dat body boo boo make those boys go wild ;)
is Marco’s reply and Marc shuts off his phone after that. He really needs to get new friends.
He finally sets on the same outfit he wore to the first party. It seems to work for him that time, so why not this one too?
He’s just finished putting on his shirt when there’s a knock at his door. Before he could respond, the door is pushed open and Bartra’s head pops in. “We’re able to head over right now. You ready?”
“Yeah, I’m good,” Marc replies and then they, along with Sergi and Gerard, embark on their journey down the hall, armed with a boatload of alcohol and too much cologne.
They knock on the door this time and the door flings open, Neymar welcoming them with open arms, especially when he spies the copious amounts of alcohol in their hands. They enter the party and all immediately head to the kitchen, all desperately needing a drink after what everyone agreed as the worst finals week ever.
Marc spots Rafa in the kitchen, talking to Daniela and he has another strange sense of déjà vu. It reminds him exactly of the first night they met, Marc drunk off of Brazilian beer and beginning of the year giddiness, spotting Rafa from across the room, breathtakingly beautiful and heartachingly sincere. Once again, Marc finds himself breathless by Rafa.
Rafa stops him after a few moments and grin hugely, excusing himself from Dani before making his way over to Marc. Dani’s eyes follow Rafa to Marc, waving and winking knowingly before turning away with a smile and a shake of the head.
“You came,” Rafa observes, smile taking up his face.
“You knew I would. You know I can’t say no to you,” Marc admits, fingers flexing nervously around the red solo cup Gerard handed him when they first got into the kitchen.
“I know,” Rafa says softly, eyes sparkling in the light. If Marc didn’t know better he would say that Rafa was flirting with him, but Marc knows better. He knows painfully well.
They talk for a while, just like they did the first night, before moving into Rafa’s room just as the crowd begins to get rowdy with the clearing of the living room to make a makeshift dance floor. Samba music begins to blast from the speakers and just as Marc is going into Rafa’s room, he can see a shirtless and pantless Neymar shaking his ass next to a bright-red Leo, who’s standing in the middle of the dance, walking Neymar dance in awe. In Leo’s defense, Neymar’s dance is sexy in a sort of appalling way.
Marc spreads out on Rafa’s bed, listening to him mindlessly chatter about his plans with Thiago over the break as he moves around his room, picking up dirty clothes off of the floor and putting empty Red Bull cans and coffee cups in the waste basket. He closes his eyes briefly, and then opens them to find Rafa shaking his hips to the music playing in the living room. His hips move in such a natural way that Marc can’t help the, “I can’t believe how sexy you are,” that tumbles out of his mouth.
He covers his mouth the minute he says it, cheeks burning with embarrassment. Rafa turns around, his expression one of surprise and embarrassment. Marc immediately feels guilty.
“I’m so sorry, that was inappropriate, oh my god,” Marc apologizes, getting up from the bed and begins to back out the room.
He opens his mouth to apologize some more but is interrupted when Rafa, moving at incredibly speed, catches him by the arm and reels him in. “I think you’re really sexy, too,” Rafa whispers, just loud enough that Marc can hear him over the music, and goes on his tippy toes to catch Marc’s mouth with his own.
For a moment, it’s just the two of them, connected at the lips, tongues dancing sweetly with lips move over each other gracefully, completely in sync. Marc goes weak to his knees as Rafa brushes a careful hand over the waistband of his jeans, resting it on the small of his back.
Rafa pulls back slightly for air eventually, moving his hands so they’re resting on Marc’s pecs, face still centimeters from Marc’s. “I’ve been waiting for that for four months,” he admits, staring at Marc’s lips before meeting his eye. Marc can’t help but kiss him again briefly before resting his head on Rafa’s shoulder.
“I’m such an idiot,” he mumbles into the fabric, nestling his face slightly into the soft fabric of Rafa’s sweater.
Rafa laughs, his shoulders shaking, and with them, Marc’s head. “We got there eventually, at least,” he comforts him, dropping a kiss on Marc’s neck.
“I can’t believe I was so stupid and blind,” Marc says once more, picking his head up and stare down at Rafa. “We could have been doing this for months.”
“It’s okay. We’re here now, and we’ve got forever to make up the time we lost,” Rafa says earnestly.
“You’re such a sap,” Marc laughs and leans down once again to kiss him.
Early the next day, just before Marc boards the plane back to Germany, his phone dings. He opens his iMessages to find a text from Rafa and smiles down at it.Change of plans, just bought a ticket to stay with Thiago in Germany for winter break. Any recommendations with what to do? :)
reads the text.
Marc sends his address and adds, This is a pretty great tourist attraction, I think. You might want to stay for at least a couple of days.
Rafa texts him back just as the stewardess is making the announcement to turn off all cellphones. Might have to consider doing a week. It seems like there’s a lot to see and do there!
Marc can’t help himself but giggle at the message and sends back, I think that can be arranged,
before powering off his phone. He knows how dumb he must look, but he smiles the entire two and a half hours of flight and probably after that too. It doesn’t matter though, because that’s exactly what it’s like now.