Fandom: Generation Kill RPS
Word Count: 2,029
Summary: Stark tries to research up on soccer when Alex takes him home to Stockholm.
Notes: I wrote this for one of amberlynne's prompts a few weeks ago. I figured I would clean it up a little bit and make it into a real fic. Apparently ASkars can transcend his OTPness with Batman.
Stark doesn’t know a lot about soccer. In fact, he knows next to nothing about the league standings other than that Manchester United is like soccer’s version of the Lakers and David Beckham does really hot underwear ads when he’s not kicking the ball around.
Whenever Alex is with another soccer fan, the talk quickly devolves into hopeless jargon and frustrating metaphor. If Stark merely suggests he doesn’t understand what’s going on, Alex gets that flat-eyed look of his that frankly Stark finds more frightening than his great aunt who smelled of mothballs and used to pinch his bottom. After all, Alex acquired a better than working knowledge of baseball, which, he does live here, and the longest Stark's spent in Europe are little vacation stints. Listening to Alex talk about Barry Zito is frustrating when Stark knows nothing at all about Alex's favorite sport.
Two weeks ago, after a great blowjob, unbelievable sex, and a particularly vicious bite that Stark left on Alex’s shoulder, Alex stroked down his side and said, “Come home with me.”
Stark stared at him in the dark, taking in Alex’s unreadable stone-faced expression that meant he really cared how Stark was going to answer. He’d breathed for a few seconds and then tightened his fingers around Alex’s wrist.
But what that really means is Alex’s crazy friends. And football games. He knows that Alex is planning to drag him to at least one Hammarby game and possibly to Djurgården, in Ostermalm, to see Elfsborg kick the shit out of them. Or so Alex has promised.
And as for the friends, it's important to make a good first impression. Stark is really good at getting people to like him, but part of the secret to that is being incredibly prepared. He will not be like the girlfriend introduced into the Men's Monday night football games only to require them to explain everything. That girlfriend sucks.
He needs help. The next time he meets up with Hugh for coffee in the village he asks for a crash course. Hugh thinks for a minute, coughs, and says, “Well, the Swedish league’s admirable in that they can hang on to their players, but their players are all for shit so it hardly matters. The five players they do have that know which direction to run down the pitch all play for other leagues.”
“I can’t say that to him,” Stark says, taking a bracing swallow of his black coffee.
Hugh ordered a cappuccino and he swirls his spoon around in the foam before saying, “American’s don’t understand coffee. Always running around with their to-go cups. I would die for some biscuits.” Stark raises his hands and looks at him with a mournful expression. Hugh rolls his eyes. “Right, so, Hammarby, that’s his team.” Stark nods and Hugh continues, “They’re a working class team, not bad, no PSV—” he stops at Stark’s blank look, “Dutch team, used to be a factory squad. You know what? Never mind. Hammarby is ranked in the middle somewhere, but their rival, Djurgården, is even more shit than they are, so they’re at the bottom.”
Stark wonders if he should be taking notes.
“The only Swedish team worth paying attention to is Kalmar. They’ve got a couple of Brazilians playing for them, so they’re not actually embarrassing.”
Stark glares at him.
Hugh takes another sip of his coffee and rolls his eyes. “I’m sorry, think of it this way, the way you feel about Mexicans playing basketball, that’s how I feel about Swedes playing football.”
“You’re terrible. Really terrible,” Stark replies. “I was going to pay for your coffee when the bill came, but now you’re on your own.”
Hugh laughs. “You asked, grasshopper. Now, the thing you need to understand about football rivalries is that they make your silly Eagles/Cowboys and Lakers/Celtics throwdowns look like pillow fights at a little girl’s slumber party.”
“Right, rioting and that stuff,” Stark says and pushes his cup forward to be refilled when the waitress comes by.
“No, no, my naïve friend, that’s sheer bonhomie right there,” Hugh says and waves his hand, “Let me tell you a story. Have you heard of Fiorentina?”
Hugh sighs. “They’re an Italian team. Their rival is Juventus, and they say ‘better that Juventus loses than that we win!’ That’s how mad about it they are. Anyway, some famous Fiorentina player, not Giancarlo Antognoni, because I think that bastard’s still alive, but anyway, some famous Fiorentina player was at his death bed, surrounded by his whole family and he said to them, just as he was about to go, ‘Now, I become a Juventus fan!’” Stark laughed at his phony Italian accent and Hugh grinned before continuing, “And his family said to him, ‘why would you do such a thing?’ and he replied, ‘now a Juventus fan is going to die!’”
Stark raised his eyebrows and Hugh shook his finger at him. “It’s quite serious. I hear in Holland when Ajax and Feyenoord play each other they have to stick them on separate trains where they’ve removed everything breakable so that they don’t do each other damage.”
“Well, thanks?” Stark winds up paying for his coffee anyway.
It’s not much, but armed with a few Wikipedia searches and a yahoo!sports statistical rundown, Stark feels slightly better about it. He still has to ask Alex how exactly to pack for the weather.
They fly out of JFK on a Tuesday and arrive very early Wednesday morning. That first day all they do is sleep, adjusting to the time lag. It's pleasant, just lazing in bed together. Alex is performatively affectionate, especially when he's had a few beers, but it doesn't always extend to their private lives. Stark doesn't mind, but he enjoys the arm Alex unknowingly throws over his waist in his sleep.He runs his hand along Alex's forearm, watching the muscles tense and shift under the skin in response. He's really done in, he realizes. Absolutely crazy about Alex.
They finally emerge the next day for breakfast.
Alex is very open about his family and they’re very close. Nevertheless they seem mostly indifferent to Stark. Don’t take it personally, Alex tells him while they brush their teeth over the tiny porcelain sink. Stark doesn’t care. It’s not like he’s marrying into the family, but he knows this must matter a lot to Alex. Stark thinks it may be the first time he's asked somebody home to meet his family in a long time.
He rubs two gentle fingers down the delicate slope of Alex’s neck when he bends over to spit out his toothpaste. Alex shivers under the touch and shoots him a soft look when he straightens up again.
Stockholm’s beautiful and Stark adores how obvious it is that Alex loves it. They spend the day in Kungsträdgården, lounging in the sun and people-watching. Alex says they'll have to come back for ice skating in the winter. Stark feels a little silly for how giddy that simple statement makes him. He tries to hide it.
At the end of the day, his nose and cheekbones are slightly red while the skin under his eyes is still pale from the line of his sunglasses. He tells Alex he’ll have to buy sunscreen tomorrow, and Alex kisses across the itchy sunburned skin and says, “Anything higher than SPF 10 is going to be expensive.”
They're staying in Alex's mom's home, and Stark sort of assumed that meant no sex. Alex proves him wrong when they return to an empty house and he pushes him up against the wall just next to Alex's room and pins his wrists. He holds Stark there, grip just this side of too tight, and assaults his mouth with vicious kisses.
He tugs Stark inside his bedroom, tearing off their clothes and shoving Stark around just where he wants him. When Alex gets Stark naked it's like something in him shifts. He gazes down at him like he's seeing him for the first time and Stark has to swallow and look away. Alex fucks him so slow he thinks it'll never end. Their mouths slide together lazily until they're just breathing each other's air. Coming almost seems like unnecessary accessory at the end of it.
“Would you stay here if you could?” he says after, boneless and comfortable.
Alex rolls over to face him. He bites at his lip and then says, “No.” And there is so much in his face, Stark’s heart tightens painfully.
The next day is spent museum hopping: first the Nationalmuseum and then the Moderna Museet. Alex doesn’t have much patience for staring at paintings, but Stark appreciates the effort. He buys postcards in the little giftshop to send home while Alex sifts through Swedish art history books looking bored out of his head. It’s readily obvious how much more excited Alex is when they get to Skansen. He says he doesn’t care about a lot of old houses, but Stark knows it’s a lie. Alex looks positively gleeful when he points out the world’s largest cigar.
“Seriously?” Stark says.
Alex is recognized by some tourists and he waves at them before turning back to Stark. “That’s a work of genius right there.”
Stark shakes his head. “I don’t think any of us ever quite realized how strange you are.”
Alex cooks him a modest dinner early that evening. It’s just the two of them in the house and he clearly enjoys setting the pork chops and noodles before Stark. Afterwards, Stark slides between his thighs, unzipping his jeans slowly and holding Alex’s gaze the entire way until he has to duck down to take Alex into his mouth. Alex usually lasts forever, sometimes well into Stark's jaw feeling tight and sore. Tonight he shoots relatively quickly, his hands tightening on the table.
When Stark looks up at him, eyebrows raised, he shakes his head and says, “I don’t know.”
He showers quickly while Stark does the dishes. As the water runs over the mismatched plates, Stark wonders if he can ask Alex to move in with him. He’s startled out of his thoughts by Alex padding back into the kitchen, swabbing at his hair cursorily with a ratty towel. “You ready?” Alex asks.
They're meeting up with the friends at a pub before going to the Hammarby match. Stark's nervous like he is before the curtain goes up on a play he's in. He supposes he is about to perform. He grabs his jacket and says he's ready to go.
When they walk to the pub it's still bright outside. They don't talk but the silence is companionable. Alex still looks like he's had a good orgasm, cheeks flushed and pupils blown like he's thinking about it. Stark's quietly amused that they're going to meet Alex's friends with that expression plastered all over his face.
One of them, Alex introduces him as Erland, says, “So this is your sexy American girlfriend.”
Stark laughs and knocks Alex upside the head. Alex says something to Erland in Swedish but he smiles and looks at Stark the whole time. There are five of them altogether, three of them wear Hammarby jerseys, the other two are in plain green shirts, and Alex is wearing his Hammarby scarf. The pub is filled with others like them. Stark is perfectly happy to sit there and listen to them catch up. They speak in English for his benefit, but the conversation is all theirs. Stark drinks his beer and keeps his eyes on Alex the whole time.
Later as they head to the stadium Stark says casually, “I hear Hammarby won Allsvenskan in 2002.”
Alex looks down at him, face caught by surprise. “You’ve been studying!” And then he drags Stark in, kisses him right there on the street, in front of God and country. Alex cups his cheek with one long-fingered hand and tongues inside his mouth. It’s breathless and perfect and over too fast. Alex’s friends are whooping at them from up ahead. Alex’s eyelids are lowered and he says, in a soft voice that contradicts the tight grip he still has on Stark’s left hip, “Amazing.”
“I guess TMZ can’t get you here,” Stark replies, laughter suddenly welling up through his throat.
Alex grins like he’s planning to push that to the limit, but Erland calls back to them, “Hey fjolla, if we miss the kickoff because of you, I will shit in your bed.”
Alex snorts and shouts back, “Dra åt helvete!” He knocks Stark with his shoulder. “Shall we?”
Even if there is no forum for this fic, I kind of liked it, so I figured I had to repost it.