Day 5

Title: Day 5
Author: tarotgal
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG
Pairing: Oliver/Marcus
Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my 'verse. I don't get paid a cent to play. Please don't sue and make things worse.
Summary: Oliver finally gets a chance…
Note: Part of the 12 Ficlets in 12 Days project 2009-2010. Requested by x_posed_again


Oliver emerged from the showers, breathing deeply and feeling energized. It was his best practice with Puddlemere United by far. He didn't want to push his luck, but after a few more practices like that, he was sure the coach would take notice and even start him in a game.

“You were amazing out there today!” Anderson said, walking by and slapping Oliver on the back. “I bet you get to start next game.”

Oliver grinned broadly. Though it was ultimately up to the coach, the team captain always got a say in these things. He was flattered that Anderson had even noticed his work today, because Anderson was usually on the other side of the pitch. But, really, it was a well-deserved compliment and Oliver knew it. “Thanks, man. Hope so!”

He was so nervous that he could hardly eat during the team lunch, but he forced some of it down. When he got up to return his tray, the coach called him over. “Wood, a word?” Butterflies threatened to flutter right out Oliver's stomach. He could barely swallow, let alone breathe.

The coach leaned casually against one of the lockers. “Do you think you're ready to start next game?”

Oliver shrugged. “I sure would like to find out.”

The coach cracked a smile. “Me too. Don't blow your shot.”

“No Sir!”

Oliver rushed home, practically bursting into a million pieces with happiness. He found Marcus sleeping on the couch and kissed the man full-on without a moment of hesitation, waking him up. Marcus struggled for a second, not sure what was going on, so Oliver held Marcus' head in his hands. He kissed hard and strong until Marcus pulled back, coughing and sniffling. “What the fuck, Wood? You dow I'b ill.”

“Don't care,” Oliver said, giddy as he hadn't been since Gryffindor had won the house cup years ago. “Really don't care.”

“You will care odce you start feeling this cold cobig od,” Marcus said, coughing again.

“I can take Pepper-up,” Oliver said dismissively, desperate to share his good news. “Now let—”

“Lucky you,” Marcus muttered. He pulled his hanky out from beneath the blankets and held it ready as a sneeze struck. “HARSHOOO! HUHK'TCHOO!” Marcus honked his nose then quickly glanced at the result. “Fuck, it's bleedig a little agaid.”

Oliver gave a start, not really wanting to look but unable to miss glimpsing bright red blood in the handkerchief. “Damn… Babe…”

“B'fide,” Marcus said, clearing his throat. “I would have liked a few bore hours of sleeb, actually, but short of that, I'll be fide. So… what'd you go wakig be ub about adyway? It'd better be good.”

Oliver hesitated, staring at the now folded handkerchief. Conflicting emotions pulled at him. He didn't really even feel excited any more, all of a sudden. “How long have—”

”it's just a cold. By dose is dry add raw after so buch sdeezig. Let it alode, Oliver!”

The use of Oliver's first name helped Marcus make his point. Oliver dropped the subject—for now. He sat down on the couch, shuffling around the blankets and the tough, handsome man wrapped in them. “I just got back from practice and…” Oliver started meekly. Then, remembering that Marcus hated that, Oliver took a deep breath and tried again. “I kicked arse today on the pitch and Coach is finally putting me in to start next game.”

Marcus' eyes widened. “Really?” Oliver nodded and Marcus grabbed him, pulling him into a hug. “That's fadtastic!” He clapped Oliver on the back hard and nearly squeezed the shit out of him. Then he sprung back, looking shocked. “Wait… you're blayig the Bats dext.”

Oliver's face fell.


When they had started seriously going out, they had discussed the sort of conflict of interest in it. But their shared passions for Quidditch had been what brought them together; they vowed to not let it be the thing that tore them apart.

That was easy enough to do when it came to going to each other's games and rooting each other on. When sitting in the stands, Oliver wanted to see his chaser do well, and Marcus was surprisingly supportive of his keeper at all times. Even when Puddlemere played Ballycastle, it wasn't hard to put their feelings aside and respect the way the other played while still trying hard to win. But, due in part to luck and schedules and timing, they had never had to face off on the pitch while they were squarely in a relationship with each other.

So as Oliver hung there on his broom in front of the rings, watching his lover speed up the pitch with the quaffle under his arm, Oliver wasn't sure for a second what he should feel. There was really no question about what he should do; he would defend these hoops to the death. Stopping the ball was an innate, instinctual part of him now. But the normal thrill and self-assurance that he would perform well seemed to have been eclipsed by sympathy.

Marcus was still ill. Admittedly, he was better. He was good enough for his coach to put him in. But Oliver had lain in bed all last night, his arm around Marcus, as the man coughed and sneezed incessantly. As soon as the sun was up, Oliver had marched Marcus into the shower and held the man there under the hot water until the steam calmed him. He had even made breakfast that morning and reassured Marcus that he would play that day.

And here Marcus was, playing. Playing well, actually. Playing so well that he faked Oliver out at first. It would be so easy to make Marcus feel better, to show him that he wasn't as sick as he seemed, to prove how much he cared about the man. It would be so easy to let Flint score. But, at the last moment, Oliver read the tricky play for what it was. he swerved and flipped on his broom, smacking the quaffle away from the far left ring and sending it off towards… oh Merlin no.

The red ball hit Marcus right in the face. Marcus slipped off his brook and dropped like a heavy boulder in a lake. It was a mistake, not a penalty, so no whistle was blown. Play continued as Marcus plummeted to the ground. He didn't hit at full speeds, thanks to the Medi-Wizards on hand, but Oliver wasn't free to even look at him. Oliver fielded two, three, four more shots before he even risked looking over at the Bat's bench. He didn't see Marcus anywhere, and his heart sunk.

Oliver fought to keep his mind on the game, but his worry for Marcus crept in every time a new offensive line from the Bats took the field and Marcus wasn't among them.

Never before had Oliver been so glad to lose a game. He had only let in a few goals, and the score was close, only twenty points difference. But the Puddlemere seeker just hadn't managed to keep the Bat's seeker from getting his hands on the snitch. Oliver touched down on the soft grass and ran at full speed towards the Bat's locker room. Most of the team was on the pitch, celebrating with hugs and jumps. But Marcus stood there, in the doorway, as though he knew Oliver would come for him.

There was dried blood down Marcus' face and down the front of his uniform. He had a handkerchief in his hand but also a smile on his face. “It had to be the dose, huh Wood?”

Oliver dropped his broom and held Marcus' head in his hands again, warming those cool cheeks with his hot, sweaty touch. “Are you hurt?”

“Uh-uh,” Marcus replied. “They fixed by broked dose id a secod. That whack id the face had be sdeezig for fifteed bidutes straight, though, so I got bedched. Otherwise, I'b fide. But thadks so buch for—”

Oliver knew better than to kiss Marcus there where everyone could see. And he wanted to embrace the man and hold him close with relief. But he did neither of these things. He just stood there, relief flooding through him, tears filling his eyes. It was that sight that stopped Marcus in mid-sarcastic sentence.

“It was a great save, wood,” Marcus whispered. “You should be broud. If your coach doesd't start you agaid sood, he'll have to adswer to be.”

Laughing, Oliver released Marcus.

“Dow go get chadged add I'll see you back at hobe for a little…”

“Celebration?” Oliver suggested, bursting with excitement.

Marcus grinned as he finished, “revenge.”