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Title: Marshmallow (2/9)
Pairings: This part - Roddick/Federer, implied Roddick/Fish, implied Haas/Safin, hinted Fish/Safin/Haas, variations of all kinds later.
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to change everything else. Andy, Mardy and Roger might finally get what they think they want, even if it's not really what they want at all.
Notes: Set in an undefined timespace, though generally around the 2006 summer hardcourt season in America. In case you hadn't guessed already, this is mostly a thinly veiled excuse for lots of smut.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Totally made up, as you may be able to tell from the lack of, well, trying to make it seem realistic at *all*. They all own themselves and don’t, to the best of my knowledge, get up to naughty things in the locker room or indeed up mountains in tents.
Dedications: For [ profile] kindoftrouble and [ profile] lossi who wanted snuggling by the campfire with marshmallows. I blame this completely, utterly and entirely on them. ;)

Day One

Friday - Morning
Friday - Evening

As much as he’s been walking in a straight line, as much as he’s confident that a 180 degree turn would bring him facing the right direction for their camp again – it’s possible, just a tiny bit possible Andy admits to himself, that he’s lost. Not beyond all hope but he’s been walking a while now and either he’s going crazy or he’s passing that crooked pine tree for the fourth time.

“Where are you Roger?” He makes a sound of frustration, growling through his teeth as he shines the flashlight in a circle. Even though he knows Mardy and the others are bare minutes behind him – probably making out by now and that image is enough to sidetrack him temporarily, a deep breath not enough to lessen the ache from his neglected cock – he wouldn’t believe it from the silence. There’s no one but them for probably miles in every direction, maybe a couple of forest wardens but nothing more. No cars, no lights, nothing but trees and rock. Nothing but the sound of his breathing and okay, now he’s getting a little freaked. The flashlight wobbles briefly, hand trembling and he pauses with his back pressed to a tree to catch his breath. Maybe Roger hadn’t come this way at all, maybe he’d split off in a different direction after Mardy looked away; Andy imagines himself for a second, walking until he falls off the edge of the mountain or in the lake or right into the mouth of some wild animal and oh god, Mardy really better had been being sincere when he promised that there were no bears.

If he gets eaten by bears, Mardy is definitely not getting sex for all of a month. No matter how much he begs, no way.

Though, perhaps a bear would be an almost welcome appearance right now, given that the running for his life would probably take up the larger part of his mind for a while and – since no matter what his brothers insist, even his ability to mentally babble has limits – that would keep him from wondering why he’s really out here, wandering through a dark forest with flashlight that barely casts narrow circle of yellow beyond his own feet. He likes Roger just fine, more than fine sometimes when the Swiss is laughing at a joke Andy’s made, eyes crinkling at the corners and bright with amusement, suddenly ten times more beautiful when he smiles and—

-- and Andy cracks his head back on the tree as he flinches, dropping the flashlight with a stifled yelp of pain. It goes out when it hits the floor, plunging him into darkness but he barely notices through the anger at himself, at this whole dumb lusting for Roger that seems to have come out of nowhere. He has to stop thinking about the Swiss like this he reflects bitterly, rubbing the lump forming on the back of his head. Mardy doesn’t mind him sleeping around, not if they’re honest and they share occasionally, but sex with Roger would be, well, weird. They’re friends, barely, happy enough to chat in the locker room and play cards in the hotel bar but nothing meaningful or personal, nothing at all really. Roger hadn’t told him about Yves though Andy can remember the Swiss being unusually quiet a few months back, sitting in the hotel bar with red eyes and a strong drink. Andy had assumed some loss or another, some trivial fight maybe as the cause when Roger brushed his query off with a polite “I’m fine” that clearly meant “Get lost”.

Mardy wouldn’t have got away with that; Andy would’ve pestered him, got him drunk, done everything sort of sexual favours to get the truth out of him and probably even those once they passed the point of drunkenness when being arrested for indecent exposure looked more like a good time than a bad idea.

With Roger he’d just nodded, flashed a sympathetic smile and backed off. Left the Swiss to sulk alone in the corner and the abrupt wrench of guilt in the pit of his stomach is a few months too late. If he’d pushed the issue, taken the time to say “No you’re not”, been anything other than anxious to get away from an upset Roger which was something he had absolutely no idea how to handle, then he probably wouldn’t be out here right now, in the dark, on his own.

Not to mention he’s suddenly he’s wondering whose fault it is that he and the Swiss aren’t anything like friends, not the true definition of the word anyway. Sure Roger hadn’t volunteered anything personal but then…

… But then, Andy hadn’t asked.

“Great,” he mutters as he crouches to feel for the dropped flashlight. “Just fantastic, it takes you getting lost in some forest to realise that you’ve been avoiding getting close to your main rival for the last few years? Inspired reasoning there Roddick, what’s your next trick? Deciding it’s all an act, hiding from him because you subconsciously want to fuck his brains out—“


Well. Andy blinks, staring into the darkness with the flashlight hanging forgotten in his hand. That would explain more than it didn’t. At least, it would explain why he hasn’t been able to get the Swiss out his head since they got here, why he’d shown off so much with Mardy, why he was out looking for the guy and now he remembers that, worry kicks back in. He hasn’t heard a sound in the minute he’s been crouching in stunned silence, not so much as a twig breaking and Roger can’t have gone far if he had gone in this direction. Andy should’ve heard him by now.

Standing up too quickly, almost cracking his head on the tree again, he turns the flashlight in his hands to look for the switch with new urgency. If he does want the Swiss – and he’s not sure he does, not quite yet – then he’ll have to find the dumb bastard to do anything about it -- where’s the damn switch? He opens his mouth instead, taking a breath to yell Roger’s name and the first syllable is on the tip of his tongue when there’s a loud groan nearby.

Split second paralysis, freezing him to the spot as he processes the sound, labels it as non-threatening and the second groan comes before he has a chance to think Roger might’ve hurt himself, kills that notion dead because there was nothing pained about the second noise. Breathy desperation yes, pleasure and lust but nothing pained at all. Andy feels a flush rising, burning its way up his face and he’s suddenly really, really glad it’s so dark.

Wanting the Swiss or not, the last thing he needs right now is to interrupt him jerking off. If they didn’t both die of humiliation on the spot, they’d at least never be able to look at each other again and that might interfere with any possible relationships or sex that might be in their combined future, at least a little. Best thing Andy can do now is leave as quietly as possible and pretend to the others he didn’t find anything on his search.

Really. The best thing. Leaving right now, cheeks flaming brighter as a sound that’s definitely a moan echoes through the trees. He’s practically back at the camp already, in his mind.

Only his feet aren’t moving, no matter how hard he tries. Fuck. He can’t stay here in the dark and listen to Roger Federer jerk off, he absolutely has to—

Another moan decides it for him and he’s lowering the flashlight to the ground silently, without even thinking it through. Another second and his jeans are undone, hand slipping inside. He’s going to regret this, he knows it for a fact but as his hand closes around his cock to the sound of Roger’s moans, he knows too that he really doesn’t care.

From the sound of Roger’s moans, louder now between tiny, gasped breaths, the Swiss must be close. Very close; bare inches away and Andy has to bite his lip to keep quiet; bites too hard, metallic taste of bruising forgotten in the slide of calluses on skin. Nowhere near as good as someone else’s hand, not even close to someone’s mouth but picturing Roger doing the same makes up for a lot.

He’ll be leant back against a tree, head tipped back and lips parted to let out the moans, because he won’t be thinking about control or calm, about putting on a nice smile for anyone watching; he’ll be totally focused on himself, cock heavy in his hand and Andy can picture that part just right, has caught glimpses in the locker room out the corner of his eye because everyone looks even when they pretend not to. Besides Roger’s hard to miss even when he hides in the corner, somehow looking as composed when stark naked as when fully clothed and it was something else Andy had chalked up as an annoyance of the perfect Swiss until he’d surprised him one day. Walking in from his match with a greeting dying on his tongue as Roger dived for a towel, Andy getting an eyeful that he’d certainly appreciated though he hadn’t been attracted to the Swiss then, or hadn’t realised, all the same. Roger naked was all long limbs and dark hair, shower water trickling over tawny skin and the thought has Andy rocking into his hand on a fresh surge of arousal, pre-come dripping through his fingers. Brief worry flares over how deeply he’s already into this and then it’s gone, only Roger’s gasps and the speed of his hand mattering.

Consequences are for later. And if he avoids them long enough, there might never be any.

Orgasm close now, too close with Roger sounding like taking time to enjoy it is the favoured approach and Andy makes himself slow, hips jerking up with a rub of his thumb across the head, that extra frisson of pleasure to make taking his time worth it. Slower pace gives him more time to think though, not quite so good and he thinks about how this wasn’t what he had in mind when he suggested this trip, nothing like it at all. Not that it’s a bad thing; it’s a little weird, wondering what Roger’s reaction would be if he knew but it adds a thrill to know he could be caught at any second. His hand moves faster on his dick again at the thought, squeezing and he barely hears his own, breathless moan. He wants to come listening to Roger whimpering his own release, listening for the change in the Swiss’s moans which—

Which have gone silent. Andy has all of a panicked second to realise he’s been making too much noise before a hand gropes across his hip.

A hand that isn’t his, a hand with tennis calluses and slender fingers and oh God, this is not something that can end well. He’d be running if terror wasn’t locking him immobile; his feet feel like blocks of lead and he can do nothing but press himself harder against the tree as Roger feels uncertainly through the darkness, lightly ticklish as he explores the curve of Andy’s hip. The whimper as fingertips brush his cock is out before the American can stifle it.

Oh this is bad. Worst case scenario in action and Roger’s hand pauses, fingers curled loosely against the crease of hip meeting thigh and any moment now he’ll say something accusing or worse, run, leaving Andy behind hard and humiliated.

Again. For the third time today. That has to be another new record for the Swiss, another notch on his list of things accomplished and Andy bites down hard on his resentment. No way he can see this turning out well, no way at all unless—

-- unless Roger’s hand starts to move again, not snatched away but brushing skin, sliding round and over the hand Andy still has numbly gripping his cock, forgotten in the panic. Still moving, warm, slightly damp fingers close over Andy’s and then, oh god, then starting to slide both their hands back and forth.

Tiny voice in his head screaming that this can’t be happening, he can’t be getting a hand job from Roger of all people in a dark forest but the Swiss’s breath is hot against his hip and sensation of hands on his cock feels anything but imaginary. It seems this whole bizarre scenario is actually happening and Andy leans his head back against the tree and tries to focus on keeping his knees from giving way. He never screams during sex, yells or cries out sometimes but not screams, only he knows the sound pushing at gritted teeth would only come out as a scream, if he let it.

He doesn’t, swallowing it back as a crackle of twigs and dead leaves let him know Roger’s shifting to the front of him, kneeling if the hot breath on his stomach where his shirt’s been pushed up is any indication. Can’t mean what he thinks it does, he’s not that lucky unless he’s dreaming surely but the shock of warm lips on his dick is more real than the hand even, wetter heat of a tongue behind them and he chokes out Roger’s name on reflex, unthinking.

“R…Roger, I…”

Distinct grate of teeth on sensitive skin, Andy jerking at the sudden flare of pain and he gets the message, shut up. Talking is out then, no sense in arguing with a guy who has your dick in his mouth near worryingly-sharp teeth so the American braces himself back against the tree and lets Roger do whatever the hell he wants. Not that Andy’s complaining, far from it as a harder suck has him, if not screaming then as near as can be without crossing the line, bitten fingernails digging into rough bark as he hangs onto the tree for support because Roger’s better at this than Andy would’ve given him credit for. Not as good as Mardy maybe, Andy’s mind hazy with pleasure so comparisons are hard but the fact that it’s Roger, world number one, the guy who’s beaten Andy into pieces on court countless times – that Roger’s on his knees in front of him is more than enough to compensate.

He can’t believe Roger’s giving him a blowjob. That he’s doing it without even being asked. Something about this whole trip just got weirder but he’s too close to coming to think now so he pushes it out his mind until later. He might never have this again and he tells himself to make it count, detailing the wet slide of Roger’s tongue and the white-hot pain of nails dragged across his balls as he clings to the tree for balance. Nothing should feel this good, not for his own sanity and he feels more than he hears himself moan deep in his throat.

Walking the fine line between coming and not under Roger’s wet mouth, he’s balanced on the very edge and one more thing will tip him over. It’s the hand that does it more than the mouth, the one not still gripping his at the base of his cock, exploring up one thigh and round to rake nails sharply over Andy’s ass. With a shout that isn’t anything like a name at all he comes so hard the world blanks out, senses gone in the rushing heat and flashing lights behind his screwed-shut eyelids, dimly aware he’s slammed back against the tree for support because muscle control’s a thing of the past.

He loves this, enough to forget for a second that this time the consequences may outweigh the pleasure with orgasm the best thing he thinks he’s ever felt – although he knows, distantly, that he thinks that every time. Roger swallows steadily around him, throat working to make it that much better and then holds him up through the aftershocks when he’s finished, night air cool on flushed skin as he becomes aware of external things again, entire body lost in the numb, bone-deep tiredness of post-orgasm.

If he could freeze this moment, keep this from the awkwardness he can see looming up huge and threatening any second now, that’d be great. Just stay here, lethargic and content. If he could do it, he would, in a heartbeat.

Only he can’t and Roger’s gasp has him flinching, a scramble of movement as the warm hands on his thighs vanish. Twigs crack and Roger’s running and Andy’s never going to catch him unless he moves fast.

“Roger!” he yells into the darkness, snatching the flashlight – thankfully, right where he’d left it – and fumbling his jeans up to his hips, forgoing buttons in his haste to catch the Swiss. Flashlight coming on at the first attempt and he catches the red of Roger’s t-shirt through the trees in the sudden light, a brief flash before it’s gone and he sprints after it, panic a heavy lump in his chest because running through a forest in the dark is stupid, even without bears. Roots to catch your feet on, low branches to crack your skull, unexpected ravines and slopes and holes and it’s only a matter of time before—

Roger’s cry of pain comes from ahead of him, slightly to the left. Andy moves faster than he’d ever thought he could to get there in seconds that fear stretches into infinity; if Roger’s been seriously hurt then he’ll never forgive himself. Catching his foot on a rock, he arrives at the Swiss’s side in a half-fall, skidding to an untidy crouch that grinds dirt into his jeans. He couldn’t care less right now, Roger sitting with his legs drawn up and gripping one foot with his face screwed up in pain. One bare foot, no shoes in sight and Andy’s anger spikes until Roger’s whimper kills it dead.

Feet are everything to a tennis player, Roger’s beauty in the way he moves. That thought has Andy’s hand trembling as he reaches out to touch the Swiss’s shoulder because this could be bad.

“Rog,” he says, quiver of panic in his tone and the blowjob of a minute ago is all but forgotten in light of the more serious issue at hand. “Roger let me see.”

“Why do you care?” Roger snaps, uncharacteristically rude and Andy would take offence if he hadn’t heard the pain underneath the words. Ignores it instead, prising Roger’s hands from his foot finger by finger and carefully shuffling around with the flashlight for a better look.

Ouch is his first reaction, splinter that looks like it could be over an inch long sunk in the arch of the Swiss’s foot but after the initial reaction is over he goes weak with relief because it’s fixable, nothing even like career ending if it’s looked after properly. Roger’s startled whimper as he touches it gently is enough to have him grimacing in apology for what he’s about to do, gripping the end and firmly pulling until he’s left with an inch of blood-stained twig and a tense, silent Swiss with eyes screwed shut and teeth gritted against making a sound. The twig he tosses to one side; for Roger, he strokes a soothing hand down the Swiss’s shin and over the foot still in his hand.

“It’s nothing, just a splinter. I’ve got a first aid box in the tent, so we can soak it in antiseptic when we get back.”

No reply for a moment and he thinks he’s not going to get one, Roger’s head bowed so his face is hidden by shadows and shoulders hunched in, making him seem small. Worried briefly, wondering if there’s a more serious injury he’s missed, Andy’s starting to shift closer to check when he gets a muffled, “Thank you,” that is, at least, a sign the Swiss is still talking to him.

Though, only grudgingly judging from the tone but Andy’s willing to take whatever he can get.

“You’re welcome.”

Silence that drags out. Andy’s hand still rests on Roger’s foot, neither of them making an attempt to move because the moment is awkward enough already and the first move might be the wrong one, tip the fragile tension one way or another.

There’s one way that Andy definitely doesn’t want it to go, widening the uncomfortable distance between them to the point where it can’t be filled, Roger never wanting to speak to him again and it would be so very easy right now. Even with limited experience – because it’s not as if Roger-poker-face- Federer loses his cool very often or at all, really, not to the level he has now – he knows Roger tends to lash out most when he’s upset. Now would be the worst time to indulge his talent for saying the wrong thing in tense situations. At the back of his mind are all the members of the press he’s shown his temper to without thinking, hundreds of remembered-accusing eyes that remind him he absolutely cannot screw this up. Not this time.

Only he’s Andy Roddick and even Mardy’s told him, on occasion, that he should be offered as an example for what happens when “look before you leap” is ignored. Jokes are good in the right situations, for the right things but not this.

Unless-- unless they are and all he needs to do is make a crack about the jerking off thing and Roger will laugh, everything forgiven. Probably not but then, he couldn’t say for sure. He’s in the dark here, in all senses of the saying because he’s no expert on dealing with Roger in a less-than-good mood, given that it’s usually the other way round after their matches. The bowed head, hunched shoulders, hands twisting together in his lap until Andy’s sure it has to hurt; it could be waiting for an apology, it could be desperate longing for Andy to leave, it could be neither of those things and mean something Andy’s not fluent enough in Federer-body-language to interpret. He’s lost when it comes to understanding Roger, totally different ways of thinking coming between them even when he wants them not to. He wants to say the right thing now; he wants the sex, the smiles, the knowing looks that would come from being more than ‘just friends’.

He wants this newly-realised fascination with the Swiss not to end before it’s barely started and to do that, he has to open his mouth and say something before the damned silence drags on too long.

“Rog, I—“ A flicker of dark eyes towards him then down again, fixed on the slender fingers being slowly tied into knots in the Swiss’s lap, the only outward sign of nerves or anger, Andy can’t tell. This would be easier with something more than yellow flashlight-glow, frustration flaring at the shadows hiding Roger’s face because he isn’t openly expressive at the best of times. Seeing something, even a curl of a lip or the narrowing of dark eyes, anything, would be better than the complete uncertainty.

At least on court he can see the intent need to win in Roger’s eyes across the net. In comparison to this, this desperate half-guessing through the dark, Roger on court is an open book.

“Roger, I wanted—“ Nothing for it, go for all or nothing because they can’t sit here all night. Definitely can’t, because Mardy would come looking and… Andy cuts that thought off right there, focus on dealing with one upset tennis player at a time. “Roger I want to say sorry. For— for just now.”

Not a flash of eyes this time, instead definite, unbroken eye contact, and if Andy could swear it wasn’t wishful thinking, he’d say Roger looked surprised. Eyebrows up, eyes wide though still with the look of the deadly Federer stare that Andy privately thinks wins as many matches as the racquet in the Swiss’s hand. He doesn’t need to understand the Swiss to read that look at all.

Because Roger wasn’t expecting an apology; he was expecting accusations or a fight or Andy to tell him just how in the wrong he was, blowjob not asked for or wanted and it’s such a surprise that all Andy can do is blankly stare back. They’ve been sitting here, each thinking they’ve offended the other and Andy’ll kick himself for it later, as soon as they’ve fixed this whole, uncomfortable misunderstanding.

“Roger, I thought—“

“Andy, I didn’t mean—“

Starting together, words jumbled up and they both pause. Roger’s pale in the dim light, lips parted with the half-formed words hanging unspoken, uncertain and cautious. Still nervous but there’s a trace of something in his eyes, just a hint of hope maybe and Andy’s sure he’s read it right this time, positive, and he has to press down hard on the wave of relief before it shows.

“You aren’t mad?” Roger asks. Slowly, so very hesitant that it hurts Andy to hear and he cuts the Swiss’s next words off.

“No. Definitely not, no way. I thought you’d be mad at me.” A pause, sudden sick feeling in his stomach like going over a road bump too fast in his car. “You—you aren’t mad right?”


“Oh. Good. I guess that is, I mean—“ Breaking off before he starts to babble, biting his lip as he thinks his next words through, still desperate to not stick his foot in his mouth even if they are more comfortable with each other now. “As long as you’re okay with it. That it happened. That we—you know, us. And that.” Any ability with words apparently gone, the one thing he was still good at in the face of Roger’s brilliance ruined but he doesn’t care because the Swiss nods, once but it’s enough. “That’s good. As long as you’re okay.”

Heartbeat, Roger looking down again and then the quiet “Yeah,” that lets Andy finally relax. Rift closed, maybe some awkwardness tomorrow but they’re past the real danger and he can deal with a few blushing, avoided glances after the threat of losing all chance with Roger forever. Probably best not to push his luck any more tonight though.

“Okay then. We should be getting back to camp, Mardy’s probably worrying himself into insanity by now—“


And just like that, his name said in a rush, voice cracking on the ‘y’, he knows Roger’s not going to leave it. That they’re not anywhere near safe territory, not yet, and he closes his eyes as the Swiss keeps talking, fast as if he has to get it out before Andy leaves or, maybe, before he loses the nerve to say it.

“I know you and Mardy are together and that’s not changing soon or ever, I really do know but—but you don’t seem to mind sharing. I mean—“ Risking a glance towards him, Andy sees Roger’s cheeks flush red in embarrassment and almost interrupts, just barely holding the words back because he doesn’t want to stop Roger now, better let the Swiss get it out before he loses his nerve and if it goes wrong they’ll never get this moment back, not ever. “I didn’t mean that as bad, I meant I don’t mind. Or that if you wouldn’t mind, I’d be willing—I’d quite like—“

Offered to him, like winning a Slam and freshly baked cookies rolled into one, tied up neatly with a bow and dangled temptingly, his for the taking. Roger and sex and more blowjobs, all his depending on what he says next. Which means he’s likely to screw it up, being him, so he doesn’t say anything at all. Instead he shuffles the extra inch needed, jeans a write-off by now anyway, and slides a hand over tangled dark curls until he finds skin damp with sweat in the warm night, curling the hand behind Roger’s neck to guide the startled Swiss forward.

Glimpse of wide-eyed surprise, lashes fluttering before he’s too close to focus but it doesn’t matter, mouth under his without effort, trembling lips that part to let him in. Roger kisses like he’s innocent, submissive under Andy’s hands that tangle in the soft hair curling down the Swiss’s neck and cup against one cheek, thumb tracing circles over skin rough with the faintest friction of stubble. Slow, licking his way through the taste of Roger’s mouth that’s the same wet heat as anyone but uniquely Roger in the sweetness, laced with lingering saltiness from Andy’s own come and so very good, better than he could’ve imagined or hoped and pressing harder is involuntary, instinctive to cling to it in case it’s gone before he’s finished. Deeper in when Roger moans, mouth wide open in utter abandonment to this.

Wanting it, only Andy’s not beyond wondering just how much, if the Swiss really understands that it’s meaningless sex with anyone but Mardy. Nothing permanent, the blond always there to go home to and he usually makes that clear before diving headfirst in, though most people on tour know already. Most people, but maybe not Roger.

Maybe not him either, easy to forget it’s meaningless when Roger’s leaning into him, boneless and pliable and all hot skin under Andy’s hands. This has to stop, before it crosses more lines Andy usually steers well clear of, stop now, an order to himself but he can’t pull away. Both of them breathing fast, hot and gasped when wet lips part for air, Roger’s heartbeat skipping beneath the hand he runs over the Swiss’s chest ready to push them apart. More turned on from this than from direct groping, more than Marat and Tommy double-teaming him and it’s a physical effort to make himself lean back, hand on Roger’s chest keeping him from following.

Blank shock in the dark eyes, mouth red, hanging open still but confusion fades quickly into hurt, Roger starting to withdraw into himself like he’s so good at and Andy tightens his grip on the other man before he can pull away.

“Roger,” he says, quiet with breathlessness. “I—“ Long past sorry at this point and no point in lying either, because they both know neither of them regret the kiss at all. “We’ll talk about this. But we have to get back to camp before they come looking for us.”

Not what Roger expected, judging from the flash of surprise before it’s contained, hidden behind the unreadable expression. Good enough for Andy though because this is still a possibility, them and everything that goes with it, only by tomorrow he’ll have had time to think of the right things to say.

“Okay,” Roger says softly, lips puffy from kissing and still tempting so Andy has to blink, force himself not to lean back in as if dragged by invisible hands. He’ll have to be careful with Roger if this is going to work, reminding himself every second that it’s not Mardy, not official. Somehow, he’ll have to build a resistance, work out the distance he usually keeps with his meaningless-sex partners. Somehow. “We can talk tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” Andy promises as he starts to stand, holding out a hand to help Roger up because the Swiss is balanced awkwardly on his non-injured foot. “Can you walk?”

“Yes. Maybe.” Taking the offered hand, Roger lets himself be dragged upright, hand going to Andy’s shoulder for balance and gripping tight. Too tight; Andy feels the sting of bruising skin, nails biting through the thin cotton of his t-shirt but says nothing, watching the Swiss’s face in the glow of the flashlight. He can carry him back to camp if he has to and he might, Roger’s teeth sunk into his lip until a bead of darker red forms. It smears under Andy’s thumb as he wipes it away, studying Roger’s pale face with a flicker of concern.

“Hey,” he murmurs. Roger glances at him and there’s something in his face that has Andy leaning in to press a light kiss to his mouth, catching the tang of blood with a grimace. The something in the Swiss’s expression is enough to worry him, something more than pain from his foot but not quite definable, not without knowing Roger better. Sadness maybe, or doubt. Something he’s never seen in Roger’s eyes before at least, all new and that doesn’t make it any more reassuring. “If it hurts too much to walk, I can always carry you.”

Abrupt outrage replacing the weird look and it’s better, Andy fighting back a smile at the growled reply. “I don’t need anyone to carry me anywhere Roddick.”

“Yeah well you can start by proving it.” Shifting his arm around Roger’s waist, turning them back towards where he thinks the camp is, Andy takes a small step. “The sooner you move Rog, the sooner we can clean your foot. Last thing you want is it getting infected.”

Last thing any of them want, that nagging worry about the tour’s reaction to them managing to seriously damage the world number one still lingering but Roger might take it the wrong way phrased like that. Though god, for a millionaire who may be the best tennis player to ever live he’s seriously lacking in common sense, running into the woods in bare feet not exactly something to win him any prizes. Not a very Roger thing to do now Andy thinks about it actually, no matter how much the Swiss might’ve needed the privacy to jerk off and he wonders if he should ask about it as Roger tries a hobbling step.

It’s only remembering the part he and Mardy might’ve played that keeps him quiet. Indirectly, Roger’s muffled hisses of pain as they walk are his fault, him and his stupid inability to keep his hands off his boyfriend for any length of time. He doesn’t want Roger to make the connection.

Roger glances at him, breathing hard still with the exertion of running and, now, with trying to walk on one foot. There’s a hint of the expressionless mask back in the dark eyes, impossible to see past. “Are you sure we’re going the right way?”

Nothing accusing in it, probably more small talk to fill the silence than anything but the question has Andy worried for a second. Was it this way or back to the right, panic at the thought of them being properly lost lasting too long for comfort but the flashlight illuminates the twisted tree he remembers passing and a minute of awkward, hobbling steps later there’s the glow of the fire as they top a small bank, his relief tangible enough to taste sharp and metallic at the back of his mouth. Not so very far from camp after all and oh god he’s glad he didn’t let himself scream. Mardy would have come running and, open relationship or not, Andy might’ve had to talk very fast to get himself out of trouble.

“So,” Roger says as they reach the edge of the trees. There’s no sign of Mardy, Marat or Tommy, blankets folded neatly to one side and fire down to glowing embers. Andy hopes they aren’t out looking, wondering how to let them know him and Roger are fine until he sees the three pairs of sneakers by the open tent flap and realises – somewhat indignantly, Mardy could’ve at least pretended to care that he might have been eaten by bears – that they’ve just gone to bed. So caught up in musing on how to work the guilt trip to his advantage, he misses Roger’s question.


“What?!” Andy jumps at his name, guilt and surprise as he looks around for Mardy only to realise it’s just Roger, staring at him curiously. “Oh. Sorry, I had a—I was just thinking. What’d you say?”

Disbelief in the look held a fraction over-long, tilt of Roger’s eyebrow that says he knows Andy’ll let go of him in an instant if Mardy crawls out the tent, dropped like a just-toasted marshmallow too hot to touch and Andy can’t protest, can’t even begin to find the words, because he knows it’s true. Doesn’t want it to be, Roger all warm skin and hard muscle against his side, slenderness hiding the strength underneath and he thinks as he’s thought before – though never from a potential-sex perspective – how perfect the Swiss is. He wants this to work, regardless of how casual the sex will be. It’ll be enough to have Roger at all.

If Roger lets him that is, the Swiss smarter than his usual conquests or maybe just more cautious. The question Andy missed looks to be repeated only grudgingly, as if Roger knows he’d drifted off to thinking about Mardy and doesn’t like it though he’ll let it slide, this once. Incredibly annoying, now he’s faced with it, but no way to argue because it’s all in the tone, inflections that imply everything unsaid, Roger so good at the subtle dig you can’t take at offence at because it’s not like he said anything insulting. Not really, not like Lleyton or Marat would, in your face and outright.

But the real puzzle is, Roger’s only subtly rude when you’ve pissed him off. Andy can’t think what he’s done to annoy the Swiss so much between now and the kiss of ten minutes ago.

“I said, where’s the antiseptic?” Nothing in Roger’s half attempt at a smile to suggest he’s annoyed now and Andy wonders if he’d imagined it. “And you’d better go tell Mardy we’re back.”

“Right.” Already a subtle sense of distance between them, Roger leaning away slightly and he’s not imagining it. Definitely not. It hurts in a way something so new and untried shouldn’t; he shouldn’t be afraid of losing something that hasn’t started yet, not for real. Maybe after he’s fucked Roger for the first time… Cuts that thought off, no time to be considering it now when Roger’s looking at him with a trace of impatience and Mardy’s behind a thin barrier of tent wall, barely metres away. “It’s in my backpack, over—“

“I can see it.” Arm dropping from his waist, Roger moving a few stilted, painful inches away and fine, if the stubborn idiot wants to limp his way round the remains of the fire to where the backpack was discarded earlier then Andy isn’t going to interfere. The message is clear, the Swiss wants to be left alone which at least Andy can give him, even if he doesn’t understand. Not that he’s completely heartless, offering the flashlight with a muttered, “The first aid box is in the front pocket, under the socks,” and waiting for Roger to nod before he turns toward the tent.

“Oh,” he adds over his shoulder, half-turning to see Roger’s disinterested glance his way. “Don’t wash your foot in the lake water. There’s an unopened water bottle in my bag, use that. It’ll be cleaner.”

Pause then the slight nod that’s all the thanks he gets before Roger’s turning away again. Well—fine. More confused than anything, though there’s a lacing of hurt in there too, no idea what he’s done but writing it off as a weird quirk of Roger’s he doesn’t understand yet. He’ll sleep on it, maybe apologise in the morning if he works out what the problem is.

If there’s a problem that is. If he’s not imagining Roger’s sudden coldness and he may have overestimated himself with this one. Way, way overestimated and calling it off right now would be the smart thing, one blowjob in the dark nothing like a promise of commitment. Especially when he hadn’t initiated it, Roger taking advantage of him even and he can feel himself building up the indignation, annoying himself to a point where he’ll actually turn round and say the words. Call this off before it gets complicated and more work than he likes, no complications practically the whole point of casual sex. Roger’s too difficult, too much of a pain in the ass and that’s it, Andy turning so fast that the heel of his sneaker grinds a hole in the ground, mouth open with the words ready—

-- only Roger’s already looking at him. Same look in his eyes as back in the woods with extra hints of anxiety and the words to end this whole thing catch, unsaid, in Andy’s throat. All of a sudden the Swiss looks completely open and vulnerable and to go through with it would take someone harder than Andy, anger already melting away under the dark eyes.

Not to mention how beautiful Roger looks in the red glow of the fire is a reminder of how much he wants this. It’s worth a few complications.

“Andy.” His name whispered with more worry than he thinks he’s ever heard it, definitely more worried than he’s ever heard Roger sound and the words Roger look, this isn’t going to work are gone instantly, as if he’d never thought them. He forgets sometimes, how good the Swiss is at hiding and whatever he did to deserve the coldness, it doesn’t seem to have been enough to offend Roger more than briefly.

He doesn’t know if that’s a good thing. If Roger’s going to be going hot and cold on him every five minutes, he doesn’t know how long he’ll keep his temper, fantastic blowjobs or not.


“We- Do you still want to talk about this? Tomorrow?” Roger’s biting his lip again, standing with shoulders hunched and injured foot off the floor, balanced on tip-toe. Looking about as pathetic as Andy’s ever seen him look, including the time he’d cried too hard to speak at that Australian Open presentation, clinging to his trophy and sobbing on live TV. Andy’d had to flip channels when Mardy walked in, so he could pretend his sniffling was due to some old movie.

Oh… hell because that was months ago, almost forgotten and has he secretly liked the Swiss for that long? He’s going to be having some serious words with his subconscious next time they get a minute alone.

Realises Roger’s still waiting, he flushes with a rush of shame for being enough of an ass to drag the answer out and he crosses the space between them in two steps. Kiss that’s as much for himself as it is to reassure Roger, holding back from doing it all the time they were walking hard enough and the Swiss opens his mouth to it as readily as last time. Blood still a sharp tang from the bitten lip, Andy running his tongue across it gently and in, brushing wetly over Roger’s before drawing back an inch.

“We’ll talk tomorrow,” he whispers and it sounds like a promise, though part of him can’t work out why he’s so willing to tell Roger what he wants to hear. “Sure you’re okay to do your foot yourself?”

“Yes.” Hesitation then Roger kisses him again, simple press of warm lips together this time. “Go see Mardy.”

Definitely a good idea, given that the blond may have heard them by now and be wondering what the hell is going on so Andy steps back, letting his hands fall by his sides with reluctance, already missing the feel of Roger against him. Smile from the Swiss, still a hint of doubt but warmer than before as he turns away and Andy takes a deep breath. Time to face Mardy, who he hasn’t been able to lie reliably to since high school, not to mention that he doesn’t want to. If the blond asks outright what happened, Andy knows he’ll tell the truth.

Not that it’ll be a problem because Mardy will understand, the whole agreement about casual sex in place to keep them from having to turn down each tempting opportunity that comes along. Mardy sleeps around too, maybe not as often as Andy but enough and what happened with Roger was totally permissible under their rules, totally okay. Nothing to be ashamed of as he hesitates by the tent, taking a quick inventory of himself mostly by feel in the dark.

Jeans still undone, no problem he’ll take them off to sleep anyway. Sweat having glued his t-shirt to his back with the night air warm and close, leaving a film of stickiness across the back of his neck. He thinks longingly of the lake and washing – only he knows going in damp and freshly washed will say more than the clinging scent of sweat so he dismisses it. Sneakers toed off and left beside Mardy’s, nothing else he can find that may give him away apart from the body-memory of wet, hot mouth on his cock which he doubts even Mardy will be able to feel, not even the blond able to read his mind, so he drops to his knees and pulls back the tent flap.


“Hey,” he whispers, recognising Mardy’s voice even though it’s pitch dark inside. Wriggling out his jeans as he crawls inside, leaving them in a muddy, torn heap by his shoes, he stretches out a hand to make sure he doesn’t kneel on anyone. A soft groan to his left is all he needs to locate Tommy and Marat, the empty sleeping bag on his right must belong to Roger so—

Fingertips brush his outstretched ones, Mardy’s hand gripping his wrist and yanking him forward so he overbalances, lands on his stomach with a muffled grunt. Mardy’s chuckle soothes the rush of panic though, just another teasing boyfriend thing rather than the beginning of retaliation for illicit sexual favours from beautiful Swiss tennis players in the woods. Nothing to worry about at all.

Repeating that to himself doesn’t stop him worrying… but it helps.

Warm skin is welcome on his as Mardy lies down beside him, dragging him up another few inches until Andy’s head touches their pillow and the blond’s breath is warm against his mouth. Hands stroke up over his t-shirt with a growl; it’s pulled off a second later, Andy obediently raising his arms to make it easier and hearing the soft sound of cotton hitting tent fabric as Mardy tosses it away. His underwear is next, kicked and pushed and wriggled off until the two of them are breathless and giggling, hopelessly tangled together with Mardy already naked under Andy’s hands. Probably not for sex though he realises as the sleeping bag is pulled over them both, zip harsh in the silence as Mardy closes them into a cocoon of warmth in the darkness, only for sleep. Body heat is almost too much, sticky and oppressive despite the slightly cooler air drifting in through the open tent flap but Andy wouldn’t move even if he could.

He loves sleeping with Mardy like this. Pressed close together in the limited space, he loves that they fit with the ease of long practise, each knowing the angles and curves of the other until curling up to sleep together takes no thought at all. Loves knowing that he’ll open his eyes to Mardy in the morning, usually being watched by him because no matter how hard he tries to be awake first he never can quite manage it.

“You found Roger right?” Murmured seemingly as an afterthought against his mouth, one of Mardy’s hands exploring down to his hip with a lazy, teasing touch. “’Cause if you left him out there to get eaten by bears, the ATP might kick our asses when we get back.”

“There are no bears,” Andy insists, ignoring Mardy’s chuckle at the edge to his voice. “And yeah, I found him. Idiot went out in bare feet and got a splinter. He’s washing it outside.”

“Weird of him to run off like that.” Shifting to get comfortable, it could be an accident that Mardy rubs their hips together except that Andy knows his boyfriend’s ways for initiating sex; pretending not to notice their cocks touching as he rolls over into Andy’s arms in bed, his hand sliding sleepily down to rest between Andy’s legs as they watch a movie together on the couch, they’re all just tactics. Mardy’s shy, Andy’s known it since the first day of school together, finding the blond hiding in a closet after missing a class because he hadn’t wanted to ask a stranger for directions. He’s more confident when it’s just the two of them, side by side in bed but he still prefers Andy to be the one to take the lead when it comes to sex. A hand sliding down to brush lightly over Andy’s dick says it all; Mardy’s offering and waiting for the acceptance, no matter how much he’s acting casual. “Was it anything to do with us?”

“He didn’t say.” Hand curling further around his dick, still slow, hesitant and Andy groans with a tiny buck of his hips into it. “Mar, we shouldn’t.”

“But you didn’t get off. Thought you’d be desperate—“ Sudden pause, words cut short and Andy blanks out everything but the panic in a second that lasts forever, because Mardy’s thumb is rubbing over the wetness left over the head of his cock and he knows, about Roger and everything and breathing is an impossibility under the guilt and shock weighing on his chest. He has to explain, find a way to make it nothing more than any of the countless blowjobs he’s received from people-not-Mardy this year, because surely it’s not, he shouldn’t be this worried, he—

“You jerked off out there.” Amusement in Mardy’s voice the best thing ever, better than winning the US Open again because the relief then didn’t feel half this good. “You couldn’t wait twenty minutes to get back here. God, Andy, did you ever stop being sixteen?”

Not even the energy to be indignant now, not when every part of him is sunk deep in relief. He can sidestep this, not even lying and everything will be fine. “I—“

The groan of ecstasy from the other side of the tent interrupts, obviously the sound of Marat coming from the half-stifled gasps that follow and Andy realises he’s been tuning out their soft whimpers without so much as thinking about it. Clearly Mardy’s more bothered because the hand leaves Andy’s cock abruptly. The blond shifts and stretches over until there’s a jerk of his body against Andy’s, almost simultaneous with the muffled thud of a fist hitting someone through a sleeping bag.

“Guys! For fuckssake, you must’ve come six times each today already. Quit it!”

Mumbled stream of Russian in their direction, obviously rude though Marat’s voice is too thick with post-orgasm bliss to come even close to his usual snarl. Mardy’s laughing softly as he settles back against Andy, face tucked against the younger American’s chest.

“I hope we’re not that bad. Night And.”

“Night,” Andy murmurs back, but distracted, attention focused on the tent ‘door’ where there’s a shuffle of sound. For a second there’s a darker silhouette against the lighter patch of sky he can see, then Roger ducks inside and zips the flap up, enclosing them all in black, stuffy darkness. Straining to hear every tiny sound, knowing Roger’s taken off his jeans by the thud of heavy denim to the floor, catching the slight hiss of pain – probably his foot -- as he moves. There’s the shuffle of nylon and the Swiss settles into the sleeping bag at Andy’s back with a sigh, warm breath ghosting over his neck.

For a moment, just a tiny moment gone so quick he might’ve imagined it, Andy thinks he feels fingertips brush lightly over the back of his neck, prickling shivers down his spine at the sense of Roger being so close and then the tent is still.

It’s official he thinks, pressing his face to Mardy’s soft hair as if he can hide from Roger, bare inches away. This weekend was the worst idea ever.

* * *

Date: 2006-07-15 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love this, I love how you write Andy's way of thinking and his way of seeing Roger, I love how all of this is starting and I can't wait to read more!

Date: 2006-07-16 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're so good at this. So friggin good at writing, no matter what it is, it's unfuckingbelievable.

Do I need to say I love this and want the next chapter or it's already obvious? (:

Date: 2006-07-16 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just Mmmmmm.......

But Andy, damn you know how to get yourself into complicated situations. Roger's sweet all vulnerable though.

Date: 2006-07-16 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*Sighs* More! I want more now! *Stomps foot*

Date: 2006-07-16 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the way Andy reacts to Roger's expressions, and how vulnerable and open Roger is...and the tension and thrill and utter bewilderment of questioning one's own self, of the beginning of a new love and the need to stay secure in the old love. Beautiful, and I'll be waiting for more.

Date: 2006-07-16 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm proud if you! You still write good stuff ^^

Date: 2006-07-16 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
of* sry typo XD

Date: 2006-07-19 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sooo much love, for all of your writing. Can't wait for an update!

(and love for your APC icon!)

Date: 2006-07-20 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Um yeah...this was just...WOW!!!!

(Sorry for the crappy comment, but if I were thinking more coherently, *am rendered speechless by your brilliant fic* I could write something more original). : ))

Date: 2006-11-01 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've just re read all the chapters...I love this so much

Date: 2007-03-11 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really like this *longs for more*

Date: 2007-08-23 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*bounces* This is SO great! I lvoe it. What an amazing plot bunny this one must have been, a bunch of tennis players alone in the woods together. GREAT! I love it. And I love your Roger characterisation but then you already know that. =P

Date: 2010-03-07 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
great slash!!
It is really wonderful...I want to read continuation :))


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