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Title: Out of Hand
Rating: PG-13, for language
Word Count: 810
Pairing: Team gen, with a little Xavi/Messi hurt/comfort.
Summary: Xavi loses control in the locker room after Barcelona draws Espanyol in the derby.
Disclaimer: While inspired by real persons and events, this story is completely fictional.
Author’s Note: Written out of the need for catharsis after the debacle that was tonight’s game, sorry.

Xavi Hernandez didn’t lose his shit that often, but on the rare occasions that he did, most members of the squad knew to duck and cover. After their humiliating draw in the derby, he was the last player on the field, caught up in a heated discussion with Pep, and as he approached the dressing room, he was all too aware of the tightness around his eyes, the rage compressing his chest. The first man he laid eyes on would be a target.

Geri didn’t stand a chance.

“Gerard Puto Piqué!” Xavi barked, striding into the center of the room. “How hard is it for you to remember that we don’t have a single giraffe in the midfield?”

“Xavi, calm down,” Dani said, ambling over and slinging an arm around his shoulders.

The shorter man shrugged him off. “And what the fuck were you doing, competing for El Guaje’s offside record? Our defense was shit, and half the time I looked for you, you were up by their fucking penalty box!”

Dani’s perpetual smile faded and was replaced by hurt and something harder. “Hey man, at least I assisted our only goal.”

Xavi jerked his chin in curt acknowledgment; he was a fair man, no matter how angry he got. “Yes, you did. But that should never have been our only goal. Not by a long shot.”

He directed a glare at Alexis, who flushed, looking young and defenseless where he sat shirtless on the bench in front of his locker, one foot bare and the other sock halfway off.

“Anything to say to me, Vice-Captain?” Puyol rumbled, deliberately drawing himself up to his full height and looming over Xavi in an obvious attempt to distract him from the hapless forward and defuse the tension with humor.

“No,” Xavi said, and shoved irritably at his chest. “Because you at least were out there acting like you gave a fuck. Someone should have put Leo down for a nap, he was-”

“What about those crap calls?” Pedro interrupted. “Leo wasn’t offside either time, and carding him but not giving a penalty kick after that handball-“

“And what, now we need a penalty kick to score against fucking Espanyol?” Xavi spat. “What a bunch of whiny children.” A sudden thought struck him, and he spun around, searching his teammates’ faces. “Where is Leo, anyway?”

“He went to the bathroom,” Andrés mumbled. Xavi could feel all of their eyes boring into his back as he stomped out of the dressing room, but at least no one was snickering at him. Not yet.

There was no sign of Leo in the bathroom, but since a single stall door was shut, Xavi raised his fist to bang on it, shouting, “Leo, what the hell were you-“

The door was unlatched, swinging open at his touch, then stopping abruptly as it made contact with the figure crouching inside. “Leo?”

His teammate, hunched over the toilet bowl, heaved and spat. His back was shaking.

“Leo…” Xavi said helplessly, compassion warring with his annoyance. “Why didn’t you say that you were still sick?”

Leo tore off a piece of toilet paper to wipe his mouth. “I wasn’t, before.” He flushed the toilet, braced himself against the sides of the stall to stand, and faced Xavi, brown eyes big in his white, set face. “Are you mad?”

Xavi stared back at him, feeling his anger drain away. Scolding Leo after a bad game was far too much like kicking a puppy dog for his taste. He reached out and drew the younger man to him, pressing their foreheads together. “You shouldn’t have started today.”

“I’m sorry,” Leo mumbled in a voice so low that Xavi could barely understand him, even this close together.

“Eh, it’s the Mister’s fault,” Xavi said, conciliatory. “It was his decision to play you, after all.”

“Decido yo,” a voice sang out behind him in a perfect imitation of Pep. It was Piqué, of course, back to his usual irrepressible self.

Leo looked up at that, caught Xavi’s eye. He felt his mouth twitching in the beginnings of a smile. “Véte, gilipollas,” he called over his shoulder. “We’ll be out in a minute.” And then, to Leo, “You okay?”

A weak nod. “Don’t think I should drive, though.”

Xavi put an arm around Leo’s shoulders and ruffled the back of his hair. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”

As he was waiting for Leo to rinse his mouth out at the sink, something occurred to him. “Oh god, I’m going to have to sit next to you on the plane tomorrow, aren’t I?”

“If you want,” Leo said solemnly, “I can ask Rosell to sit next to me.”

Xavi laughed out loud, his disappointment all but forgotten. “That’s what I love about you, Leo,” he said. “You’re always willing to take one for the team.”


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2012 02:31 am (UTC)
Ugh, thank you for writing this bc I kinda felt like this after the game (not exactly blaming the guys, but hating that nothing seemed to work out right). I love that you wrote Xavi being the one to lose control bc that doesn't really happen much and I love each of the other guys' reactions. Ad poor Leo :(

Also, I don't know why, but I absolutely loved this line: He directed a glare at Alexis, who flushed, looking young and defenseless where he sat shirtless on the bench in front of his locker, one foot bare and the other sock halfway off.
Jan. 9th, 2012 04:04 am (UTC)
I'm known for writing post-episode fix-it fics for other fandoms, and I guess this was the RPF equivalent - I was so mad about how poorly Barcelona played tonight!

And thanks so much for pointing out that line you liked. Alexis had such a terrible night, I'm sure Xavi would have said something he would have regretted if Puyi hadn't gotten in his face ;).
Jan. 9th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, nothing seemed to work :(

But your Puyi was epic and exactly how I'd imagine he'd react. I totally think he and Xavi help keep each other in place. And yeah, I think if someone hadn't stepped in, he would have hated how he acted the next morning, so yay puyi!
Jan. 9th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Hehehehehe Puyi here! I loled at him trying to tower over Xavi:)
Great stuff! Thanks girl! I really needed that!
Jan. 9th, 2012 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hee, Puyi insisted on stepping in!

Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for reading and commenting!
Jan. 9th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
Is there anything you can't write? I found myself reading this over and over, and could really feel that dressing room camaraderie, your wit cutting through the tension. I especially loved Leo/Xavi dynamic - and even though Xavi is pissed, there is something very touching about Someone should have put Leo down for a nap, he was-”. Kinda hints at the protectiveness we then see in the bathroom.

Really love reading this stuff from you :)
Jan. 9th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Hey, thank you, hon :). I really enjoy writing these guys!

Leo really seemed out of it on the pitch last night - like half the time he couldn't be arsed to run two yards to receive a pass. I mean, he doesn't usually move up and down the field a ton, but he really did look like he'd missed his nap or something. But I did like the connection between the nap, the whiny children, and Leo needing someone more responsible to look after him, though, that was deliberate :).

Also, in case you didn't know, Leo and Xavi were both up for the Ballon d'Or again this year. Leo won for the third time but dedicated the award to Xavi, who in turn had very sweet things to say about their friendship after the ceremony. I heart them both so much!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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