Fandom: Formula One
Disclaimer: Not true. Never happened. Story is mine. Not selling this crap. Don't sue. Please?
Summary: Ralf gives Juan a despedida. Oneshot.
A/N: Story is set in 2006, some time after Juan announces his retirement from Formula One.
“Fuck,” he cursed as he pulled awkwardly into the driveway, barely avoiding the strange car - was it a BMW? He couldn't tell - curiously parked along the path.
“Fucking car getting in my fucking way,” he muttered under his breath.
He turned off the engine and was surprised at the silence that instantly surrounded him. Odd. The heavy bass from the radio was already gone but his head was still pounding. Giving his head a shake, he stumbled out of the driver’s seat, slammed the door, and made his way haltingly to the front door. Christ, he was drunk. What he would give for a nice bath and a good night’s sleep.
On second thought, fuck the bath. He had just had one fucked up day, after all. Fuck the bath, sleep on the couch and welcome the hangover in the morning. Yes, that was a good plan.
It took him a little over ten seconds to finally get the locks to the front door open after fumbling terribly with his keys. Opening the door, he stepped into the spacious flat — his own little private place — and carelessly shut the door behind him. He took two steps in and then swayed as his surroundings seemed to move about him. Thank God the wall was there for support. He pressed his forehead against the cool surface and shut his eyes tightly, willing the dizziness caused by a long night of boozing to go away. It wasn't the good kind of alcohol either. It was the kind that smelled like shit and tasted like crap but people still drank anyway, because it was just the fix they needed to just. Stop. Thinking.
Fuck, his head hadn't hurt this bad when he left the bar. It must have been the music (he made a mental note not to max the volume ever again) and the locks (he made another mental note to reduce them from five to two). Bloody locks. Why did he have so many fucking locks anyway?
“Ah. Behold Juan Pablo Montoya at his best.”
Startled by the amused drawl, Juan jerked out of his daze and groped clumsily for the light switch. Flicking it on, he sharply turned around — an action he soon regretted as it only added to his growing headache — and saw a familiar figure in the sitting room, lounging on one of the more comfortable chairs.
Oh. That’s why.
“Let me guess,” the figure said, ticking off his fingers as he listed, rather accurately, the reasons for the other man's sorry state. “Long day having 'talks' with the team, getting harassed by the press, add to that a lovers’ spat with Connie — and in front of the kid, no less — ends up with you thrown out of the bedroom. You then down more than just a few spirits from your collection, after which, seeing yourself surrounded by empty bottles, you get up and out of the house. You go to that same old bar with the crap-shit beers and waste away the hours until the management is forced to evict you because it’s way past closing time and they just can't put up with your brooding anymore.”
Juan stared at his direction, his face showing no indication whether he had heard, much less understood, what the other man just said. Was that his car in the driveway? He groaned, inwardly. He should have known!
The visitor tilted his head. “Am I right? You know you really should smile more-”
“How the fuck did you get in here?” he demanded, almost instantly sobered by the presence of his bastard teammate. Ex-teammate. He silently scoffed. Ralf: the cure for hangover. Or drunkenness in general. Who would’ve thought that the man actually had a purpose?
From a distance, Juan saw Ralf hold up a small ring from which several metallic objects were suspended.
“Keys,” was the only thing he said as a manner of explanation.
Oh. Right. Keys.
“What?!” Juan exclaimed. “I returned yours and you gave me back fake ones?!” he asked in disbelief.
“No, I gave you back your keys. These,” Ralf jiggled the set, “are mine. They’re duplicates. You, of all people, should know that I like to keep two of everything.”
“Oh, you know, tyres, engines, racing cars…”
“…Lovers?” Juan spat. He watched the obnoxious smile on Ralf’s lips waver.
“Touché,” he said, inclining his head in acknowledgement.
“Get out,” Juan sneered.
“Dammit, Ralf why did you come here?” Juan growled, his fist connecting hard with the wall to express his frustration. Pain radiated through his knuckles. He made yet another mental note to punch the cheeky German next time.
“Because I knew you’d be here. You’re awfully predictable.”
He gritted his teeth as he watched the irritating smirk return to that deceptively angelic face.
“Bad answer,” he said, dismissively. “Again, why did you come here?”
“Very well,” Ralf said with a slight nod, “to ask you why the hell you are running away.”
Juan blinked and paused for a moment. “Like you give a shit,” he muttered. Deciding that he couldn't very well argue with Ralf Schumacher standing up, he grudgingly moved to sit opposite him.
“Of course I do. Why shouldn’t it concern me that my ex-lover—,” Juan hissed at the word. “Ex-teammate, rather, is acting uncharacteristically and running away from challenges?”
“I do not have to race for a team or a sport that clearly doesn’t want me.”
“Bullshit. I hated you and you hated me, but that didn’t stop you before.”
“That’s because you are not a pretty little fucking Finn called Kimi; infallible and favoured above all.”
“Ah. I take it Kimi can’t or won’t sleep with you?”
“God, Ralf, you’re such an annoying prick! Get your ass out of my house or—”
“Okay! Okay! I was just joking.”
“Yeah. You just don’t take anything seriously. Years later and your fucking mouth is still the most annoying thing about you!”
“Do you really want to go there?”
“No, I don’t want to go there,” Juan said derisively, “but you brought us there, so we might as well get it out. Is that why you came here? To talk and then fuck? To do it one last time before I fly my ass to the United States?”
“No. Is that what you want?”
“Jesus, Ralf! Connie and I had to go through months of couples therapy because of your big, fucking mouth!”
Ralf sneered. “And I suppose you fed her all that crap about only doing it out of curiosity? That it only happened once and will never happen again?”
“It will never happen again. I’m lucky that I have Connie, which is more than I can say for you and your abysmal marriage,” Juan said, his voice dripping with disgust.
“On the contrary, I’m lucky for my wife. She’s completely fine with whatever I do as long as I don’t neglect her… needs.”
“You’re sick. I can’t believe I let you fuck me.”
Ralf snorted. “Stop being a drama queen. Don’t try to act like a damsel in distress who had no choice in the matter, because we both know that you’re not. Besides, you were on top most of the time.”
“You know what? Fuck you. I’m going to ask you one last time. Why the hell did you come here? I swear to God you better give me a straight answer or else I'll-”
“Okay. Fine. You can stop making threats,” Ralf held his hands up in mock surrender. “I came to bring you this.”
He reached behind the chair and presented to Juan what looked like a bottle of champagne.
“What the fuck?” Juan exclaimed in disbelief.
Ralf winked. “Thinking that McLaren would probably be only too eager to get rid of you and, as a result, neglect to give you a going-away party, I took it upon myself to give you one.”
“I don’t need a going-away party,” Juan grumbled. “Besides, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m already drunk.”
“Nonsense. I’ve seen you more smashed than you are now. Moreover, based on the foul smell of your breath, I would guess that you drank more of those awful beers and none of the best spirits from your collection.”
Juan sighed and massaged his right temple. “Connie wasn't too pleased with my decision. She locked me out of the house before I could even grab a single bottle.”
He waited for a reaction from Ralf, like laughter or even a jibe, but none came. Instead, the German reached behind his chair once more, pulled out two champagne glasses and set them on the low coffee table between them. He then proceeded to pop the champagne and fill both glasses.
Juan accepted the offered glass, sulkily. “So do we make a toast?” he asked in a dry voice.
Ralf paused for a while then said, “To you then.”
“Fine. Whatever,” Juan shrugged as he took a mouthful of champagne…
"For having the most adorable piece of ass I’ve ever had the pleasure to fuck.”
…and choked as he swallowed.
“That’s disgusting.” Juan grimaced as he wiped the spilled champagne from his chin.
“But it’s true,” Ralf said wiggling his eyebrows and then downing his glass.
“We had some good times you know,” he said conversationally as he refilled both glasses.
Juan grunted, obviously still not in the mood to talk.
“I’m telling you, the best days for me would be all those times I dissed you in the press,” Ralf said with a laugh. “What was my default statement again? Something like we have different personalities, but I don’t have any intention of improving my relationship with you?”
Juan gave a frustrated sigh. Wasn’t it obvious that the last thing he wanted to do was to look back? Fuck Ralf Schumacher to hell.
He finished his second glass and set it down to be refilled once more. Shaking his head, he started talking, albeit reluctantly, “No. That was my line. Yours was ‘we have a good professional relationship, but we have different lives off-track.’”
“Hmm. Of course. You were always playing hard-to-get.”
“Whatever.” Juan shrugged. He knocked back another glass.
“You did surprise me once by saying that I’m actually a good guy. Imagine that!” Ralf said with a feigned expression of shock.
“To which you said ‘we push each other quite a lot to do well on track,’” he said with a snort before adding, sarcastically, “How very gracious of you. I wouldn't have managed to phrase our... er... off-track challenges quite so nicely.”
“I felt I owed it to the public to tell the truth. We were… getting along well at that time and it certainly helped bring more focus to the, shall we say, jobs at hand.”
Ralf stared at him from across the table.
“Wouldn’t you agree?” he challenged.
Juan stared back, his blasted mouth going dry and his other body parts acting traitorously as well. The sight of Ralf planting his mouth to the edge of the glass, tipping the liquid just enough to wet his lips, and licking them slowly and deliberately were more than enough to make him hard. His face turned into a scowl at this realization, and the playful smile tugging at Ralf’s lips told him that Ralf knew as much. Fuck. They knew each other much too well.
Breaking eye contact, Juan reached over for the bottle and poured himself another glass. He’d lost count of how many he’d had already.
“So you’re really leaving,” Ralf said, breaking the silence, his tone now serious.
Juan hesitated. “Don't you ever think of quitting?” Juan asked, his face a mixture of confusion and resignation.
Ralf considered his question carefully. “Where would you suggest I go? Certainly not NASCAR,” he joked lightly.
“God, don't even fucking think about it! No, not NASCAR,” Juan said, shaking his head, “but anywhere has got to be better than one of the backmarker teams.”
“Formula 1 is Formula 1. I can't see myself anywhere else, just as you can't see yourself putting up with, as you said, a team and a sport that hates you.” Ralf looked him in the eye. “I've made up my mind. Is there no changing yours?”
“…No. Not at the moment.”
“And you’re not coming back?”
“No. Not to you.”
Ralf stared back, his expression blank. He sighed as he poured the last of the champagne for himself.
“Here’s to your future then,” Ralf said, raising his glass.
“And yours,” said Juan, doing the same.
They downed their glasses together, and after a moment’s silence, finally stood up.
Juan watched as Ralf cautiously approached him from his side of the room. It reminded him of someone testing the waters. Ralf needn’t have worried anyway. As much as Juan loathed the German, he let him come close. Close enough for a handshake at least. About two feet away, Juan immediately extended his hand, both as a reminder that the proverbial line was still drawn and as an unspoken offer of a truce.
He saw Ralf stop, taken aback by the sudden movement. After a moment, he awkwardly accepted his hand, gave it a familiar grip — the sort teammates give each other to congratulate each other on a job well done — and headed towards the front door. Juan mentally told himself that he was not at all disappointed that Ralf didn’t even attempt to cross the line. That he didn’t care that the bastard didn’t even try for more despite having the most twisted set of principles. That it was really only his ego that was suffering and his cock that was complaining that Ralf didn’t, in fact, come to him for one last fuck. And that he definitely was not going to miss him. With a shake of his head, Juan turned to follow Ralf down the hall.
Ralf opened the door and stood for a while, looking outside. He made a move as if to step forward, hesitated, and then turned to look at his former teammate.
“Well, good-bye then.”
Juan nodded. “Good-bye.”
He watched Ralf stepped outside and into the night, his footsteps echoing hollowly on the pavement.
“Ralf,” he called as Ralf was just nearing his car.
Ralf turned around immediately, as if half-expecting it. His face, however, belied any expression.
“Keys,” Juan said.
Ralf stared. “Oh.”
He reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out the set. He looked at them for a second, lying on the palm of his hand. Closing his fingers over them, he finally looked up at Juan and tossed him the set.
Juan caught it surprisingly easily, despite still being drunk. Like Ralf, he found himself staring at the keys, as if this handover was significant. Like it was the end of something.
And, in a way, it was.
Ralf pulled out of the driveway and drove down the empty road, and Juan watched, unaware that he was gripping the edge of the door tightly. Stepping back into the flat, he slammed the door with all his might and punched it for good measure.