Fandom/Pairing: Real Madrid - Cristiano Ronaldo/Mesut Özil
Author:onyxexistance / openmoments
Word Count: 2, 704
Summary: Özil's hair attracts the attention of his teammates. Especially one in particular.
Disclaimers: If I owned this team, do you think I would be writing fic?
Prompt: Hair. Specifically Özil's and how it needs to be cut. Via cagedlight 's hair rants.
Author's Notes: Written for the aforementioned cagedlight who needs to be thanked with introducing me to this WHOLE NEW WORLD of Real Madrid and Crözil and you're amazing chica. ♥ ♥
It’s been months since he last got a proper haircut. One that got all the hair in the back and the stuff in the front, hanging in his eyes like some sort of ridiculous fringe. Of course Sergio loves it, playing with it whenever he can, his hands caught up in all the long strands and proud of himself because it’s hard to deny that it looks like his own shaggy cut.
Everyone jokes about it, how he’s coming out of his shell and with it he’s following Sergio into the blinged out world. (He laughs of course, but it makes him a bit uncomfortable. It wasn’t on purpose. It really wasn’t.)
He looks at himself in the mirror after showering post practice, stopping in the middle of toweling off his hair, at how long it is, how his mother would cluck at him, his sister beg him to let her cut it. It makes him miss home, more than anything so he’s glad when Cristiano steps up behind him, threading his fingers into the still damp, uncombed mess he has.
“Admiring your pretty self?” his friend asks, resting his chin on the top of his head, their eyes locking in the mirror.
This cracks a smile from him, “Of course. Wouldn’t you?” he asks, a little more quippy, a little more pithy than he usually is and Cristiano’s smile widens and he bends to whisper, “You have no idea,” before winking and dragging his fingers off his head, and that’s when Mesut notices that he’s just wearing a towel and has to swallow, bringing the towel back up to finish with his hair, hiding his face.
In his head he knows he shouldn’t make a big deal of it. It’s a joke, nothing to get bent out of shape about, really. So he ignores it, at least tries to. But then things happen. He loses the hair band that he normally wears, the black piece of elastic that keeps all the sweaty hair out of his eyes. The next day he opens his locker and as they tumble out, he knows without counting that there’s a band from every player on the team now sitting on his feet.
He rolls his eyes and lets a smirk slip through (he has to admit it’s funny. He’d have done the same.), picks up a handful and one, two, three fires them off in quick succession at his laughing teammates. He hits two and Iker just pulls the one aimed his way out of the air. It’s why he’s the best.
Shaking his head as everyone files out, he bends down to pick them up, his mother’s voice chiding him in his head not to leave a mess and one catches his eye. Picking it up from the rest, he sees something’s been pinned to it: “For my pretty Mesut,” in a loopy, almost illegible scrawl.
Something heats up low in his stomach and his vision goes fuzzy while his head spins a little before he shakes himself out of it, shoves it back into his locker, grabs one that’s quite obviously from Sergio (the bright purple with white polka dots couldn’t be from anyone else) and runs to join his team on the pitch. He could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. (He knows he’s not though, not about this. The heart at the end was hard to ignore.)
He doesn’t have to, but he stays out after practice, something about the rhythm of his legs moving and the ball at his feet, the sound of the grass beneath his feet and the air whistling by. The act of completely being lost to a moment something he just needs for a little while longer.
Nothing special, drills every player grew up learning, back and forth, up and down the pitch. It was where he went when he was little, drowning his anger in the sound of his feet hitting the ball, in the sound of it swishing against the empty net.
He knows it’s a feeling every footballer has, and the first time the pitch was their sanctuary, they realized how much they wanted this, how much they needed it. So he continues, up and down the field, sweat dripping down the back of his neck, his calves screaming at him to stop, his heart pounding a steady rhythm he can feel in his ears. His hair, his hair stuck to his eyelashes, plastered to his forehead with sweat, the loud headband Sergio roared upon seeing sliding up, he knows it’s going to pop off his head at some point, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is the field and the football and his feet and the net and the sound it all makes when everything rolls together into one kick, one moment, one success. And then he’s flat on his back, sprawled out like a star on the field, his breathe bursting out of him and everything feels right. Almost, it almost all feels right.
By the time he gets back into the locker room, almost everyone’s gone, saying their last good byes as he heads to the showers. His stomach’s grumbling and all he can think of is that, maybe by the time he gets home, Sami will have made something for supper. That thought keeps his shower short, his toweling off to a minimum, which he regrets as he struggles to get his shirt sorted out, wet patches showing up all over the front.
As he grabs the damp towel from next to him, it’s snatched out from under his palm and his confused gaze finds Cristiano, all low slung pants and unbuttoned polo shirt standing there, soggy towel in his hand, this look on his face Mesut wants to decipher but won’t allow himself to.
(He misunderstood that look once before. He’s blocked most of the memory out, but the look of disgust on the boy’s face as he pulled away is something that’s stayed.)
“Hungry?” is all Cristiano says and his heart stops its racing as he snatches the towel from his friends hand, buries his head in it and focuses just on drying his still soaked hair, replying, “Sami’s making supper,” as he does so.
“I talked to him before he left,” he dimly hears his friend tell him through the sound of his towel against his head, “he said he’s going out and that there’s left overs in the fridge,” and Mesut knows this is on purpose. He can imagine the look on Sami’s face as he told Cristiano that. Sami’s been teasing him for months about Cristiano and Mesut blames him for all the awkward moments he’s had to encounter with Cristiano during that time. (Cristiano, Cristiano, Cristiano. He loves the way it sounds and refuses to call him Cris, relishing the way his mouth forms around the name. Cristiano.)
Buying time he pushes the towel against his hair longer than he normally does, knowing that the question about hunger can only logically lead to, “Want to get a bite together?”, something his nerves don’t feel like they can handle right now. Of course, who says no to Cristiano Ronaldo?
Realizing he got lost in his thoughts, he pulls his head out of the now soaked towel, hair standing at every angle, poking him in the eye as he peers up at Cristiano, who’s looking at him with this wolf like grin on his face, all teeth, lips pulled back, eyes sparkling and before he can ask, his friend has his hands in the crazy mass on top of his head.
“Are you really allowing Sergio to dictate your styling sense?” Cristiano asks, tipping his head back and all of a sudden their eyes are locking and Mesut resists the urge to swallow because there’s the stupid butterflies again.
Instead he manages to find his tongue and push out, “Who else should I follow?” and he knows he has to have imagined the bobbing of Cristiano’s Adam’s apple, but there’s a silence that falls and he’s acutely aware of how wet his shirt really is and that there’s fingers all tangled up in his hair and in his experience that only ever leads down one road but this is Cristiano Ronaldo, and he always has his hands in his hair. Sergio might love playing with it, running his fingers through, feather light and barely there. With Cristiano it’s different. It’s heavy and solid (possessive) and constant.
Right now he can only think of making an excuse, pushing past and heading to the door, feigning tiredness (he was, he’s not anymore. His nerves are sky high.), but Cristiano’s hands are holding him down, in place, and suddenly he’s alright with that.
Something must say so in his eyes and the man above him bites his lips, uncertain (Mesut’s never seen that. Uncertain Cristiano, never.) and he can’t anymore so he grabs the hands threaded through his hair, winces as they pull, tug, rip and catapults out of the room. An excuse doesn’t even enter his mind until he’s safely in his vehicle, heart pounding in his ears and he realizes he’s really not hungry anymore.
Practices for the next week are the most painful thing he’s endured. Physically he’s fine, he’s better than fine. These are some of the best practices he’s ever had and people notice. Kaka grins at him after a particularly nice assist. Iker mocks shock as he scores, as he assists, as he burns past the net at every turn. Sergio jumps all over him, yelling in his ear, hands in his hair (always with the hair), and he laughs as he pushes his friend away, calling him an out of control monkey and rolls his eyes as he gets a kiss blown his way in return.
But then he turns around and there’s Cristiano and his heart stops and his mouth goes dry and the fact that he hasn’t passed the ball to him is killing him inside, but he can’t. They always crawl all over each other, congratulating, touching, feeling, solidifying the moment to make sure it actually happened. But, it’s practice, he rationalizes to himself, a game will be different. (He hopes.)
He throws himself at the couch and knows he wouldn’t care if he missed, but luckily he makes it, arm over his eyes, groaning as he can feel the deep ache settling into his bones, his muscles protesting at every movement he makes and he knows it’s payback for how hard he’s pushed himself this past week.
Sami ignores his groan, balances on his legs, doesn’t say anything and Mesut knows something’s going to come up. He can feel it in how the air’s shifted.
“You hurt him, you know,” is all Sami says, and Mesut can feel him staring at him, and ignores it and instead stares at the hairs on his arm.
There’s a pause and then Sami gets up, knowing that there’s nothing more he can say, pokes him in the stomach and departs to the kitchen with a parting, “You’re going to have to talk to him at some point you know.”
He knows. The thought makes his stomach churn and he forgoes dinner for bed.
It can’t be morning, the sun’s not even streaming into his room yet. He’s cold and reaches for the blanket that was just covering him and then regretfully opens his eyes when he can’t find it. At first he doesn’t notice the figure standing next to his bed, intent on his search, but follows the blanket trail to a hand, the hand up the well muscled arm, and prays that this is all just a dream when he realizes who’s standing there.
“Get dressed,” is the only thing said and he can feel the command in the tone, knows there’s no room for disagreement, and does as he’s instructed. He grabs the pair of sweats he tossed onto his chair a few days before, a plain white t-shirt that didn’t make it from the laundry back into his closet, and a sweater he’s had for years, the cuffs unravelling at the edges.
Cristiano already has his runners and he laces them up, wondering how he got in and grimacing at the groaning protest his muscles are making. They’re finally outside and Cristiano still says nothing, so he doesn’t ask, and they’re off, running in the pre-dawn chill, Cristiano just ahead of him as he builds up, sets his pace, staves off the urge to throw up.
The sun starts to rise and he marvels at the way the light hits everything, turning everything golden, shimmering on the edge of the buildings, and he can’t help thinking of the way it hits Cristiano, all golden and long and lean and perfect.
He stops that thought before it can go farther and just focuses on his feet. One, two. One, two. One, two. Left, right. Left, right. Left, right. In, out. In, out. In, out.
The sun has fully risen before Cristiano starts slowing down before finally stopping, gesturing to a little restaurant tucked on a street corner.
Still nothing is said and he’s getting worried, wonders what this is, what Cristiano’s thinking. He can’t read the expression on his face as he looks intently at his menu before smiling oh so charmingly at the pretty waitress that comes to take their order and Mesut can feel himself dying on the inside and what was hunger as they stepped in disappears. But he orders anyway and as the menus are taken away, hunts for something to say, comes up dry, and lets out a breathe while running through the hair plastered to his forehead, dragging it away from his eyes, and catches Cristiano’s smile.
“You really need to get that cut.”
And that, that sets his world back in motion, straightens his thoughts out, and he smiles for the first time in two weeks, smiles at Cristiano, all with teeth and actual glee and he feels like such an idiot, but he’s alright with that. Everything’s fine now. Everything’s fine.
“C’mon, Mesut, what did you do?” Cristiano asks over the phone as he shoulders his way into his house and he grins even though he knows it can’t be seen through the phone.
“You’ll have to wait until practice,” he says, dropping the bag of groceries he went to pick up on the counter before covering the mouth piece on his phone and yelling, “Sami!” and shrugs when he doesn’t hear a response.
“He’s not here,” he hears from behind him and he almost jumps out of his skin before being folded in on from behind.
“We really need to change that lock,” he says as Cristiano presses kisses into the side of his neck, nips at his ear before turning him around.
His grin is all mischievous and unapologetic and Mesut’s alright with that because it makes him smile in return and then Cristiano’s hands are in his hair. What’s left of it. It swoops just a bit over his forehead instead of into his eyes, cut to the top of his neck, everything cut all the way down.
“I can see your eyes again,” Cristiano says and runs his hands through it, in and out, over and over and he loves the feel of it, grins up stupidly.
He knows the answer, can see it on his face, but asks anyways, “You like it?”
Cristiano rolls his eyes, bends down, forehead to forehead, whispers, “You’re always pretty to me, Mesut,” and kisses him soundly before he can protest at the word choice.
“I think you’re pretty pretty yourself,” he says when they break away and laughs at the look that spreads across the face in front of his.
He leans in and kisses Cristiano’s hurt feelings away before pulling back and grabbing his gear from his room. The thought that, maybe the pitch isn’t the only place he’s allowed to feel at home stops him as he spots Crsitiano putting groceries away. Maybe, just maybe, home can be a person. And his person just scooped peanut butter out of the new jar with two fingers.