the reluctant lobotomist (fourfreedoms) wrote,
the reluctant lobotomist

Fic: Ear to the ground

Title: Ear to the Ground
Author: fourfreedoms
Fandom: Generation Kill
Pairing: Brad/Nate
Word Count: 1258
Rating: R
Summary: Brad plans for a life post-Cornell. Fratboy!AU future fic. Fratboy!AU can be read here
Notes: A Christmas present for amberlynne. She had to give me all kinds of insider hockey info...because I know nothing.

Brad’s always had one ear to the ground, just in case things don’t work out. He might suffer a career ending injury, something might happen to his family, he might just not be good enough. It’s careful. Maybe overly so. When he was sixteen, his coach told him he had a serious shot of playing in the NHL at twenty if he went the junior league route. His parents were scandalized. They couldn’t simply pick up and move to Canada, and Brad couldn’t do it alone. But he could do it alone and anything they said to the contrary was just what parents were supposed to say when confronted with such circumstances. Brad had thought about it really hard, because playing in the NHL had been his dream and he didn’t want to jeopardize that, and the way coach made it sound, like it was his one shot, had weighed on him.

But then he’d thought about how everything could go wrong, and how disappointed his parents, adoptive though they were, would be if he didn’t go to college. And it had turned out all right, because a bunch of good schools had tried their hardest to recruit him. His parents had sighed when he’d chosen to play for Big Red, because of course Cornell didn’t offer athletic scholarships.

“But that’s the trade off,” he told his mother. “Ivy League education to a school I wouldn’t have gotten into otherwise.”

And it was true. Brad’s poor grades in English, History, and 12th grade psychology were only paralleled by how good the ones in physics and calculus were. He was pretty sure anybody looking at his SAT score would think he’s a functionally illiterate math genius. So Brad is careful. Cornell is the best choice, especially for their CS and Applied Mathematics programs. He doesn’t...he doesn’t want to end up like his birth parents, whoever and wherever they are.

And then this whole thing with Nate happens. And they’re graduating in three months, and even though they’ve got this huge month long trip to Europe planned in the summer, after that it could just be...over. And Brad doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s wanted Hockey his entire life and he can’t believe he’s completely willing to rewrite that and give it up for Nate. He reminds himself this is what coming to college was for, contingencies. But he’s not sure that this counts as a contingency, he knows he never would’ve thought it was one lying in his little twin bed worrying about the future. He doesn’t even know how Nate will feel about the whole thing.

He tries to broach the subject just before exams start, because it’s as good a time as any, and Nate will be too stressed out about finals to have it later and he has to make this decision fast.

“So I got a job offer from Adaptive Path,” Brad says to the wall of their bedroom. Nate is lying on his bed reading, and Brad isn’t sure he can look at his reaction just yet.

“Hmm?” Nate says, letting the book collapse open over his chest. Brad turns around to look at him and can’t help a rush of amusement that Nate’s got it carefully placed so the pages don’t wrinkle.

“It’s a interaction design firm in San Francisco,” he explains. He filled out the applications to nearly 30 different tech companies in the bay area only a week after that night Nate had come home drenched from his harebrained run in the rain.

Nate sits up and the book falls off his chest. “Brad, what about the draft?”

Brad shrugs a shoulder. “It’s not--”

“Don’t say it’s not important, you’d be lying through your teeth,” Nate replies. “And you are the most uncompromising bastard I have ever met. So I don’t know what this is!”

“You don’t know what this is?” Brad replies, suddenly getting angry.

Nate throws the book aside. It hits their bedroom door with a bang. “You will regret it for the rest of your life if you don’t go out for the draft.”

“So that’s just it then?”

Nate gets up off the bed and hooks him in for a kiss that Brad resists, turning his face away. “Stop that,” Nate replies in a dark whisper, reaching up and twisting Brad’s nipple. “I love you, stupid.”

And it’s the first time he’s ever said it. He’s always worried he felt more for Nate than Nate felt for him. Nate is so open, but that very openness is also his best defense, because who can tell what is meant for him and what is meant for everybody else. But Brad has never said it. He has never wanted to.

Nate shoves him back on the bed and gets his pants open. Brad is only half hard, but with the sight of Nate bending over him, mouth coming down over the head of his dick he gets all the way there.

“Shit, shit, shit, don’t do this to me,” he says, throwing a hand over his eyes, because he can’t look.

“Promise me you will at least try,” Nate says and takes an unsatisfying kittenish lick down Brad’s shaft.

“No,” he says, but from the chuckle that escapes Nate’s chest, they both know he’s being defiant for the sake of being defiant. “You may love me, but I hate you.”

Nate hums around his dick in a way that manages to sound sarcastic and then he’s spitting on his fingers and working them back behind Brad’s balls at the same time that his mouth goes up and down, dick disappearing down Nate’s throat.

“I hate you so much,” he reiterates.

He enters the draft, because it’s what he wants, and Nate won’t let him give it up. He says to Brad a week before graduation, “I know you hate long distance, but you can suck it, bitch.” And they’ll make it work or they won’t. But it’s good to know that Brad’s career isn’t going to ruin the best sex of his life. And, they might not have to polish off their phone sex skills just yet, because Brad’s from California and he knows how much the Ducks and the Sharks both like local talent. That at least, has got to count for something.

“I’m praying for the Sharks,” he tells Ray when Ray asks him about it.

“They suck! They’ve never won anything!” Ray replies. “You’re a crazy mofo. Is this some egoistic, ‘I can save the team from wrack and ruin?’ It is, isn’t it? I know you.”

Ray doesn’t know about Nate, or he pretends not to. “Yeah, Ray, that’s exactly it.” He doesn’t bother to explain that if that were the case then he’d be going out for the Islanders. Ray doesn’t know shit about hockey.

He ends up getting signed by the Kings. His parents are happy he’ll be closer to them again. And, he made it. Jesus, he made it. Nearly fourteen years of dreams suddenly made into reality. There are drawbacks, obviously. It’s part of what he worried about. It’s an eight hour drive to Palo Alto. But Nate points out that there’s a Jetblue flight every hour out of SFO. And, he adds, he won’t be in law school forever.

“You are the most optimistic son of a bitch in history,” Brad says.

Nate laughs at him. “Can we talk about the fact that you made the NHL?”

“Eh,” Brad replies with a smile, “wasn’t all that.”
Tags: brad/nate, fic, fratboy!au
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