Much Ado About Nothing
Pairing: Charles Leclerc x Reader
Synopsis: When rumors about Charles cheating on you spread across the world and he can't find you anywhere, Charles thinks he has lost you. But has he?
Warnings: A little smut. Rumors of cheating. Fluff. Angst. English isn't my first language, it probably contains some mistakes. I tried my best but if you want to correct or help me, you are welcome.
Author's note: Thank you so much to everyone who likes and reblogs, your feedback is always appreciated and is important for me. If you have any ideas or concepts you want to share, feel free to write them and I will take into consideration.
It was 10am and after returning from his morning run and his usual work out with Andrea, Charles was on his way to breakfast.
While waiting for the elevator, he checked his phone and ignoring the numerous notifications coming from his social medias, he directly opened the chat with you.
He hadn't had much time to check his phone that morning but as soon as he had woken up and like so many times when you were away from each other, he had texted you wishing you a good day. By that time and given the time zone, he knew you must have been awake already but to his surprise, Charles found out that you hadn’t answered him yet. You hadn't even visualized his texts, Charles noticed. It was weird, sure, but you must have been working, he thought.
As he was entering the dining room of the hotel, he put his phone away. The room was crowded with people eating their breakfast. He crossed the room and took a seat at one of the vacant tables, while people around him had recognized him and followed his every single move. Since it was nothing new to him, he didn’t pay attention to them. He was a F1 driver, so he was used to people looking at him and talking about him pretty much all the time. In the end, it was part of the job.
Even though he was eating his breakfast, he could still feel their eyes on him while they whispered. They were more insistent than usual, he had to admit. Even though it could be frustrating sometimes, it was something he could handle and in the end, it was worth it. He ignored everyone and focused on his food; he was starving after all the physical activity he had done before.
He kept eating until hearing someone say your name caught his attention. He immediately stopped eating. Why someone was talking about you, his girlfriend? Although the voices weren't very close, Charles tried to focus on them and hear what they were saying.
“How can he act as if nothing had happened, as if he had done nothing?”
“Y/n deserves better! Poor girl, she must be heartbroken”
“Such a disappointment!”
“What did you expect? Men are all the same!”
“Do you really think he did such a thing? Especially under the eyes of all?”
The more Charles listened, the more confused he was, so he stopped listening. He couldn't understand anyway. What were they talking about? Did what? He didn't understand any of this.
He was picking his phone hoping to get some answers when a voice behind him called him.
“Charles! Here you are!” Charles turned around and saw Carlos. Charles noticed he looked pretty nervous and that made Charles agitated. What the hell was happening? At the same time, he was relieved to see his teammate who seemed to have more answers than Charles did, so maybe Carlos could explain to him what was going on.
He went to Carlos and without giving him time to speak, he asked the Spanish driver for an explanation. Carlos knew instantly that his friend had no idea what was happening.
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here. The others and I have been trying to contact you for hours. Haven’t you checked your phone today yet?”, the driver asked. Charles noticed he was whispering as if he didn't want to be heard, so he did the same even though he had no reason to do it and surely, nothing to hide. Or did he?
“I was about to when you walked in. Why?”, he asked, curious to have some answers.
Noticing that everyone was staring at them, Carlos took Charles by the arm and dragged him away from the room to go to a more private place.
“Come with me.”
Charles followed his friend, even though the whole situation was getting on Charles's nerves. Why all this mystery? What did Carlos have to tell him that couldn't be said in front of everyone? But above all, what did the others think they knew that he didn’t know yet? Charles was looking forward to some answers.
When they were away from indiscreet eyes and ears, Charles hoped Carlos was ready to speak but he just pulled out his phone and showed his screen to Charles.
“Do you recognize it?”
Charles looked at the picture Carlos was showing him. There was a table apparently set for two in a restaurant at night overlooking the sea. Of course Charles recognized the place, it was the same restaurant where he had dined the night before. He himself had posted a story by tagging the place. But still he didn't understand what it had to do with whatever was going on. Why was Carlos showing him that picture? Charles was starting to lose his patience.
“Yeah, I went for dinner there last night. Why?”
“Ok, I'll make it short. Apparently, a girl, who was at the same restaurant while you were there too, must have seen you and tagged you in her Instagram stories…”
Charles looked at his friend thinking he was crazy and didn't let him finish. “Carlos, we are Formula 1 drivers. People recognize us and ask us to take pictures with them or tag us all the time. A girl had seen me and tagged me in a story? So what? I don’t think it’s a problem”, Charles sighed.
“It isn’t a problem, of course it isn’t. You didn’t let me finish talking. The problem is what she wrote on the story.”
He picked up the phone from Charles's hands, quickly searched for something and as soon as he found it, he returned it to his teammate. “Here, look”, he said pointing to something on his screen. It was another photograph taken inside the restaurant, this time from another perspective. Charles looked better at the picture. He noticed it was a screenshot of an Instagram story probably posted by the girl Carlos mentioned before. He took a quick look at the name and had absolutely no idea who she was. There was also the location tag and then someone had written “date” followed by a white heart and his tag.
Charles was more confused than ever. Date? Why had the girl written something like that? Not only he didn't know her, but he hadn't even seen her the night before, much less gone out with her. Yes, he had gone to that restaurant and dined there but with his friends. But whoever had seen those stories didn’t know that and they could think that... It was all true. Oh no, Charles thought terrified. It couldn’t be.
Carlos' next words confirmed his fears. “As you can imagine, the story has gone viral. Now many people think that you had a date night with her and that you have…”
“Cheated on Y/n”, Charles ended the sentence.
Carlos just nodded. Saying those words was enough to make him feel sick and suddenly he felt the need to throw up. Charles loved you too much to do such a thing to you. But now the entire world thought he had betrayed you, putting you in a difficult position and maybe…
“Oh my God. Y/n!”
In that instant, Charles realized that if the pictures had gone viral and the rumors had spread, it meant that they had probably reached you too. And maybe they made you doubt him. Was that the reason why you hadn’t answered him yet?
He needed to explain to you that everything was just a big misunderstanding, that he loved you and you only. He immediately took his phone from his pocket, hoping to find a message from you but nothing had changed since he last checked. There were no missed messages or calls.
Given the six-hour difference, you must have been awake a long time ago. Even though you were very busy with work those days, you always found a moment for him, even just when it came to say good morning to him. Even if that silence from you wasn’t at all like you, Charles tried to stay calm and think straight. Without thinking further, he dialed your number and called you. Again and again. Hearing your voice would have calmed him down and if you had answered him, it must have been a good sign, it meant you still wanted to talk to him. But unfortunately, you were unreachable at that moment. He tried again and again but nothing. You didn’t answer him.
“Fuck!”, he screamed as he tried to contact you again. Apparently, your phone was off. But why? During the day, even when you were working, you always kept it on. Unless the whole situation had led you to switch it off, Charles thought. It was understandable given you must have gotten thousands of messages and calls in the last few hours asking you about the rumors. Minus the fact that you didn't want to talk to him, Charles thought. Was that? Were you actually ignoring him? Were you furious with him and didn’t want to talk to him? If that was true, it meant that you had believed the rumors. No, it couldn’t be. There had to be another reason.
Hours before, Charles de Gaulle Airport
With your face resting on the window and looking outside, you were waiting for the jet to take off. Seeing the cloudy sky, you were looking forward to enjoying the warm Mexican sun while drinking margaritas at the beach. Most of all, you couldn’t wait to hug your boyfriend. Fortunately, you still had a few days to spend together before Charles’ duties and the Mexican Grand Prix absorbed him.
You hadn’t seen him since he had left for Austin after his birthday, a week ago and as originally it wasn’t scheduled you went to Mexico, another week would have had to pass before you saw him. The more the races moved away from Europe, the harder it became for you to accompany Charles and support him. As much as you really wanted to, you had a job, deadlines to respect and other responsibilities to face. Recently the work had increased, and several paperwork had been waiting for you in the office. Therefore, you stayed home. However, motivated by the fact you terribly missed Charles and you wanted to see him, you had worked hard for the last weeks and carried out much of the work. So, without saying anything to your boyfriend, you had decided to join him in Mexico and work from… well, from the beach.
As you imagined the face your boyfriend would have made when he would have seen you, the jet was finally ready to take off. You checked the time and doing a quick calculation, you realized you would have arrived for lunch, and it wouldn't have been long from the moment Charles woke up to your arrival, so you had plenty of time to arrive without him suspecting anything. You checked your phone one last time before turning it off.
When the jet was several meters above the ground and after admiring the view for a few moments, you got ready to rest. A long flight waited for you but it was worth it, and you wanted to arrive already fresh and rested so that you could enjoy the time you had with Charles.
With the lights all out and the window down, it took you a few seconds to fall asleep, unaware of what was about to happen on the other side of the world.
The whole situation was driving Charles insane. He had tried to call you repeatedly but you still didn't answer him. He had also asked the other drivers and their girlfriends to call you because maybe you would have answered them, at least. But it hadn't worked and that freaked out Charles even more.
Your parents, friends and co-workers didn’t know where you were or didn’t want to tell Charles the truth. He didn't know what or who to believe. Apparently, you weren't in the office and had taken a few days off. You weren’t even in your shared apartment. He had sent Lorenzo – because even Arthur wasn’t answering him – to check. That wasn’t a good sign, Charles thought.
Under the gaze of the other drivers, he paced up and down the room while he thought about what to do. The more he thought about it, the more he came to the same conclusion every time: there was only one thing he could do.
He went to the closet; took the few clothes he had placed inside and threw them inside the suitcase without bothering to put them in order. He had no time to waste.
“What are you doing now?”, a confused Pierre asked.
“Can't you see? Packing. I'm going home”, Charles just said.
“You… what?”, the drivers exclaimed in unison. They were visibly panicked.
“Are you out of your mind? And the race?”, Carlos asked.
“Y/n is more important than racing, than anything.” Charles didn’t hesitate to answer, and everyone fell silent at those words. Charles had never believed so much in those words as in that moment. From an early age, racing had been everything to him, his dream. He lived to race and win. But then, one day you came into his world, and everything changed. You had given a new meaning to his life. You stole his heart and he won yours. Now he couldn't accept the idea of losing you. He had to see you and talk to you.
He looked at Max and had an idea. “Max, can I take your jet, please?”, he questioned his friend.
Charles still had a few days left before the Grand Prix and he could also skip his media duties and if Max lent him his jet, he had plenty of time to get home and back in time. It was crazy, Charles knew it, but he didn't care, for you it was worth it. For you he would also have missed the race if it were necessary.
“I’d like to, but…” Max seemed visibly in trouble like he didn't know quite what to say. “It won’t be possible, Charles. I lent it to a friend, sorry. And sincerely I don't think it's a good idea", he continued.
“Thanks for the help, mate”, Charles replied more sarcastically than he had intended. He knew it wasn’t Max’ fault and that he was saying it for Charles’ own good.
Without Max’ help, he could still do it. He would have rented another jet or taken a regular plane.
“Charles, Max is right. Try to be reasonable or at least wait a little longer before doing anything”, Pierre said.
“If I wait, I’ll lose her.” Charles took the last things and closed his suitcase. He was ready to go but Max’ words stopped him from leaving the room. “It won’t happen. Think about it. What if she tries to contact you and you don't answer her because you are flying? That could even make things worse. You need to be patient and wait for her to contact you. In the meantime, you could send your brothers to find her.”
Charles sighed. Max was right too, he had to stay lucid. Maybe you just needed some time to think. Even if he didn’t want to, he could wait a few more hours.
“Okay, but if I don't hear from her soon, I'm leaving tomorrow anyway and you couldn't stop me”, Charles said after an eternity, and he really meant those words.
He put the bag on the ground and went to sit on the bed with the other drivers. He picked up the phone and as he contacted Lorenzo to ask him to look for you, he didn’t see the complicit glance his friends exchanged.
A few hours later, Cancun International Airport
After a long journey, you had finally landed in Mexico and now you were in the car with Arthur on your way to the hotel, the same one where Charles and most of the drivers were staying.
Just before landing, you had freshened up a bit and changed. Instead of the comfy and warm outfit you had worn throughout the trip, you had opted for a top, a pair of white linen trousers and gold sandals. An outfit that was more suited to Mexican temperatures. In fact, it was a beautiful day; the sun was shining high in the sky and it was definitely hot, more than you had thought. You had already put on your swimsuit underneath and you couldn't wait to enjoy the day with Charles.
“We should warn the others that we have arrived”, you said as you saw Arthur turning on his phone. You did the same. As you waited for your phone to finally turn on, your attention was drawn to the incessant sound of notifications arriving on Arthur's phone. It seemed to go crazy. Intrigued by it, you looked at Arthur and saw his eyebrows furrowed. Suddenly he seemed worried.
“What’s up?”, you immediately asked.
He tried to assume a calmer expression. “Don’t panic but apparently Charles called me several times in the last hours. And Lorenzo too”, he said showing to you his phone.
“Oh no! Do you think he found out about the surprise?” Maybe one of the drivers had said a word too many, you thought. But if he knew, then why call Arthur so many times? It doesn’t make sense, you were thinking when your phone turned on and you noticed a series of missed calls and meaningless messages from your boyfriend. You quickly scrolled and read his texts. He was telling you not to believe anything, meanwhile another one was saying that he did nothing. You were confused. Don’t believe what? What didn’t he do? You showed them to Arthur. Something definitely must have happened. But what? You were starting to panic and Arthur could see that. You hated not knowing.
“Okay, let me call Lorenzo to see what’s happening. Surely, he knows something”, he said. You nodded trying to stay calm and understand what was going on.
Charles was in his room lying on the bed while he was impatiently waiting for your message or your call, anything that could tell him you were fine. Every minute that passed without hearing from you was a torture. Where were you?
He checked his phone for the hundredth time in the last hour but still nothing. He put it on the cabinet and sighed.
His gaze fell on the suitcase. It was tempting to stay in that room. The more Charles looked at the suitcase, the more he wanted to take it and get into the first taxi to the airport.
He could have gone out for a walk, got some fresh air but he had no desire to face people's scolding looks and hear the nonsense they had to say about you. The last thing he needed was to get any angrier, so it was best for him to stay in his room.
He was about to fall asleep when his phone rang bringing him back to reality. He jumped out of bed and immediately checked to see who was calling him hoping it was you. His face darkened when he saw the name on the screen. Arthur. Not the name he had hoped for but he still accepted the call, at least his brother was finally calling him and maybe he could have helped him.
“Arthur! Finally! I've tried to talk to you several times. Where have you been?” Before Arthur could answer, Charles kept talking. “Nevermind! I can't explain to you now but something happened. I just need to know if you have seen or talked to Y/n recently.”
Inside him, Charles prayed that the answer was yes.
After what seemed like an eternity to Charles, Arthur finally spoke.“Yeah, I know everything. She’s fine, Charles.”
Those words were a sigh of relief for him.
“Oh, thank God. Where is she? I need to talk to her as soon as possible.”
“Don’t worry, big bro. She’s closer than you think. And open the door. See you later.”
“What the hell?”, Charles exclaimed. Incredulous, he looked at his cell phone. He couldn't believe, his brother had hung up on his face and that only made his mood worse. Arthur must have gone crazy, his words didn't make any sense. Charles thought about what he had said. She’s closer than you think. And open the door. See you later. What did he mean?
He was about to call Arthur again to ask for an explanation when someone knocked on the door. Who the hell was that now?, Charles thought.
He put the phone back in his pocket and went to open the door.
As he went from confusion to surprise, Arthur’s words played on repeat on his mind. Even if he couldn't believe his eyes, now their talk made sense because you were there in front of him. Beautiful as always. And smiling at him as if you wanted to reassure him. At that momen, Charles knew that everything was ok between you.
Your heart filled with love and happiness at the sight of him. He was visibly surprised but you could see how exhausted he was too, even though it was still relatively early and he must have only been awake for a few hours.
Wordlessly, your bodies met in a tight hug, your arms always feeling like a safe place to him. Charles could feel that weight hanging over him in the last hours became lighter with every second that passed.
As much as Charles wanted to stay in your arms, he knew he had to face the subject with you sooner or later. What if you didn't know anything yet? After all, if you had just arrived, it meant that you had been on a plane until recently without any internet connection.
Reluctantly, he broke away from your arms and invited you to enter the room.
“Mon ange! You can't imagine how happy I am to see you. But how? Why didn't you tell me anything? And I thought you couldn’t because of work”, Charles said all in one breath sitting on the bed and pulling you along with you to make you sit on his lap.
“Thanks to Max.” You saw him frown. “I missed you and wanted to be here with you... You know, to support you, so I moved forward with my work and decided to surprise you. Max was kind enough to lend me the jet and I can work remotely”, you continued never stop looking at him.
Suddenly everything was clearer in Charles's eyes. Many of his questions were answered, like why you hadn't returned his calls. “You are therefore the friend to whom Max would have lent the jet”, he said.
You nodded and smiled. “Guilty, your honor.”
At that moment Charles loved you even more. He sighed. There were so many things he wanted to do with you but he had to talk to you first and warn you about what had happened. The more time passed, the more Charles thought you knew nothing. As much as he didn't want to broach the subject, the sooner he did, the better it was.
“C’est magnifique, mon ange, and I can’t wait to spend some time with you. But I need to tell you something before”, he started to say without ever taking his eyes off you. The last thing he wanted was to hurt you. “I swear there is nothing real but a girl…”
“Charles, I know everything, about the girl and the stories she posted, just as I already know that none of it is true”, you said taking his hands into yours.
At those words he breathed a sigh of relief. “So, you're not angry?”, he asked almost in a whisper as he feared your answer.
You couldn't help but laugh. “Of course not. Why should I be? If anything, I’m angry with that girl, even if I imagine, indeed I hope, that she didn't do it on purpose. And sure I got scared seeing all those missed calls and texts from you and I don't like people talking about us without knowing, but I never thought for one second that you did what they said. For me, in fact, it wasn't even worth talking about. I know who you are and I love you, Charles Leclerc.”
He could really breathe a sigh of relief. You could only imagine how worried he must have been for the past few hours. He had feared losing you but you were stronger than anything and it took more than that to make you question him and his love and loyalty for you. Despite this and the fact you loved him, however, you wanted to tease him a little.
“Thinking about it, though, I'm actually a little angry with you”, you teased him, letting go of his hands and trying to hold a straight face so that he knew you were serious.
Already missing your touch, Charles immediately stiffened and panicked at your words. He could swear his heart had stopped beating for a moment.
“Why? What have I done?”, he said wondering what could have been.
As much you were enjoying making him grovel a bit too much, you were dying to turn around and kiss him and tell him you weren't mad at all. “I've been here for... how long? 10 minutes? And you still haven't kissed me”, you told him without looking at him.
You were about to burst out laughing, unable to resist when Charles took your face in his hands and pulled you towards him. His lips pressed against yours, it felt like the whole world stopped. Nothing mattered anymore. It was just you and him. Against everyone and everything.
"Let me fix it then", he whispered between kisses, your forehead leaned onto his.
After that, things escalated pretty quickly and instead of spending all day at the beach, you ended up spending all day together in bed away from everything and everyone. You had to make up for lost time and the rumors had already stolen too much time.
A few hours later, you and Charles finally left your room to go to dinner and it was your turn to post an Instagram story to silence all the rumors. It seemed right to you. That story had to end the same way it began.
You were at the restaurant waiting for your food and while Charles was distracted on his phone, you took a picture of him. The sky behind him seemed to be on fire while the blue of his linen shirt matched his tan perfectly. He looked too good for you not to photograph him.
You looked at the picture you had taken and happy with the result, you started to think what you could possibly write on it. Only one thing best expressed the message you wanted to give at that moment to the entire world.
Even though, you were hesitant that it might have been a bit too much and that others might have thought you were possessive, you ended up posting the story anyway. Fuck them and what they think, you thought as the story was loading. They had talked way too much already. Now it was your turn to speak.
You glanced at Charles waiting for his reaction. As you saw him raising his eyebrows and then smirking, you knew he was looking at the picture.
You weren’t the possessive type but Charles liked when you acted like that and the same was for you.
When he glanced at you, you blushed a little and looked away. He approached you and showed his phone to you. You didn’t need to look at the screen to know what it was. You already knew.
“What would I be, chérie?”, he whispered into your ear. You closed your legs as just the sound of his voice was making you wet already. Each time you were surprised to discover the effect this man had on you. But there were two of you playing that game.
You turned to look at him, your face a few feet from his and your lips almost touching. You got close to his ear and put an hand on his thigh, gently stroking it. “Mine. And if I wasn't clear enough, I can show you later if you want”, you whispered and then kissed him.
Your hand began to move upwards slowly, you could feel his hardened bulge. Your mouth watered at the mere contact.
“Y/n...”, he moaned as you lightly stroke your fingers over his bulge a few times.
A wicked smile appeared on your face. “Uhm? Something is wrong?”, you teased him.
“Yeah, actually, I'm not that hungry”, Charles whispered as he tried to contain himself from moaning.
“Too bad because I'm starving instead”, you joked and stopped rubbing him. You were hungry but not for food.
But Charles wasn't ready to give up. “How about we ask for room service and while we wait for the food to arrive, you show me what you were talking about earlier?”
Ten minutes later you were back in your room, kneeling on the floor while sucking him off, showing him he was yours.
Viper // Part 6 // MAX VERSTAPPEN – N.01 (N.033)
Author’s Note: Here’s the sixth part for Viper! Picking up where we left off in the last part in Abu Dhabi, for the final race of the season. I think you guys are going to like this one. Let me know what you think about it in the replies and likes, it makes me smile and even more motivated to get the next parts written and out for you guys ☺️
Also, I got an ask about the length of this story. When I started writing Viper, I fully thought it was going to be like, 3 parts maximum. The first part is a lot faster pace than the recent ones, because I was basically only writing highlights of the first half of the season to establish my reader and their tense relationship with Max. I didn’t think I’d get this sucked into it and want to explore the smaller details. And now here I am, dedicating an entire 13k+ word part just to Abu Dhabi. In my opinion, this is better than rushing through everything. More emotional attachment lol
Anywho, enough rambling from me. Enjoy!
Find the previous 5 parts on my masterlist, here.
Summary: Y/N fills the vacant Red Bull seat at the beginning of the 2019 season, craziness ensues.
Characters: Max Verstappen / Driver Reader, Daniel Ricciardo x Driver Reader (besties).
Word Count: 13.7k
Warnings: Fluff, Comfort, Drama, Angst. All the good stuff. Mentions of sex, Mature content, language, etc. Google Translate for Dutch words.
“We’d like to start the last FIA Driver’s Press conference ahead of the final race of the 2019 season, here in Abu Dhabi by welcoming our drivers. From left to right, we have Max Verstappen and Y/N Y/L/N for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, alongside Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes AMG Patronas Motorsport.” The camera panned over each of the drivers as they were introduced, representing the two teams fighting for first in the constructor’s championship.
Though it may not be replayed through the screen, the journalists in the conference room all noted the tension between the two teams, both equally focused on the job that was ahead of them. The Constructors Championship would be decided on Sunday, and it was clear they both wanted the top spot.
“We’re going to start with you, Max.” The moderator spoke up off screen. “Congratulations again on your win in Brazil two weeks ago. Do you think your team is capable of a repeat performance this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit?”
“Yeah, well that 1-2 in Brazil for the team was definitely a lot of fun.” Max had a small smile on his face, as he quickly glanced towards his teammate that was sat to his left.
“So much fun that a few of you missed your flights the next morning.” A journalist off camera cut in, earning a few chuckled off camera. If the Dutchman was annoyed by the interruption, he didn’t show it. In fact, he and Y/N found themselves laughing along.
“It had been the first 1-2 in a couple years. Worth celebrating if you ask me.” Y/N cheekily cut in, the charming smile ever so present on her face.
“Exactly.” Max agreed with a nod of his head. “Going back to the question, I think it’s very possible. All the upgrades the team have brought to the car throughout the year have helped up to close the gap with the dominant Mercedes and allowed us to be competitive and win more races. We’ve been making the most of the opportunities available and doing more than was ever expected from us in Winter Testing. Not only that, but the team is all on the same page about what we’d like to accomplish this weekend. If there’s a chance, we’re going for it.”
“Y/N, anything to add to that?”
“Nope.” She was smirking. “Max stole some of my lines and said it all for the team.” Her additional comment earned a round of chuckles again from around the room.
“Max,” the moderator spoke up again pausing as he read the question he was meant to ask next and letting out the smallest, near imperceptible sigh. “As the season comes to a close, do you have any thoughts you’d like to share on your rookie teammate’s performance this year, seeing as she’s consistently outperformed you and brought in the most points for the team.”
Y/N’s face dropped before she could stop it, anger flaring behind her gaze. It wasn’t the first time that they dared to ask a question like this during the broadcast, but she was usually better at maintaining her composure and appearing unaffected. The camera was completely focused in on her reaction instead of the person to who the question had been asked.
She looked like she was about to speak up and call out the moderator for that clearly argumentative question, but Max spoke up before she could. “Y/N’s fought for and earned every single point she’s gotten this season. Believe me, I tried to fight her off but she’s good. And though she may be a ‘rookie’, it doesn’t change the fact that she is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid. She’s been racing longer than any of the other rookies, held back not because of a lack of skill but because she continuously had to prove that woman can have a place in this sport. It’s just a shame that she didn’t have the opportunity to race in Formula 1 at 17 or 18 like the rest of us, cause she surely would’ve earned a handful of titles by now if she’d been allowed to race for the past 8 or 9 years.”
And to everyone’s surprise, Max wasn’t the only one to speak up about this. “Y/N had me worried at more than one point this season in the fight for the Championship.” Lewis added, having always been vocal in his support of having more women in the sport. “Even watching her win the F2 Championship last year, I knew she was going to be trouble. I’m not surprised to see all the wins and accomplishments in her first year. And that’s not to discredit Max’s performance as well. Both drivers have made the most of their seasons and fought hard.”
Y/N seemed to have calmed down, that small smile back on her face as she made a comment to get the press conference back in line. “Careful now, you boys are going to make me blush with all these compliments. I’m just glad I didn’t just magically forget how to drive when I first got into our RB15. It’s sure been a season I’ll never forget.”
The attention was now focused on the second Red Bull driver. “On that note, Y/N, would you mind walking us through some of your highlights from your rookie season?”
“Of course.” She said, a bright smile on her face. “I mean, as fun as the 1-2 in Brazil was, I’ve got to admit that Monaco is at the top of my list. It was the best I’d felt in the car up to that point in the season, and everything clicked into place. Once the team let me through, I had no doubts that I would be able to see that one home. I just… I don’t think anything’s going to top that first win, you know? And Canada was also pretty special, even though it wasn’t the best result of the season. It was the first time by family got to see me race in Formula 1, and there were so many amazing moments off the track at that Grand Prix so it’s easily up there for me too.”
Y/N paused, so though she was debating whether or not she should share a little bit more. “Um, and then I’d guess another highlight I’d say is the… unexpected friendships I formed with the other drivers on the grid. No matter what people were saying about me, the drivers have had my back through it all. They never doubted whether or not I deserved to be on the grid and treated me fairly. It’s nice to have that support, from the only other people in the world who really understand what you’re going through. I know that some of them will be there for me no matter what happens on track, and vice versa.” It was impossible to miss the way her head had turned towards Max for a moment, catching his eye as she spoke. “So yeah, those have been my highlights.”
“And is there any comment you’d like to make in regard to a rumoured potential move to Mercedes in 2021?”
There were sounds of cameras clicking and reporters jostling behind the camera, all waiting for this particular snippet. But Y/N didn’t react in the way they thought she would at the question, keeping her expression neutral and not giving anything away. “The rumours are just that, rumours. I’m happy at Red Bull and have no intention of moving. This is my team.” She smiled sweetly at the end of her answer, pushing her microphone away once the FIA moderator moved on to the next driver for questioning.
Max however, didn’t appear nearly as composed. The boy had gone pale, and barely spoken another word throughout the rest of the conference. The questions that followed from journalists were answered with simple responses, barely paying them any mind.
Viewers could only wonder what had gotten into the younger Red Bull driver, as the conference was wrapped up and the broadcast ended.
You’d tried to get away from that conference as quickly as your feet would carry you, but even that hadn’t been enough to avoid Max once they’d cut the conference broadcast. He’d followed you out of the room, the pair of you walking too fast for your press officers to keep up and drag you towards your next media commitment.
When it became clear that Max wasn’t going to let you get on your day, you walked right through Red Bull hospitality and straight up to your driver’s room where you could have this conversation without anyone else overhearing. You made a mental note to get your performance coach to dig and find out who had leaked that stupid rumour, because this had the fucking power to ruin everything. Toto wasn’t stupid enough to broadcast your conversation from the gala to everyone, knowing that it would piss off a lot of people, his drivers included. You were sure that it had come from somewhere else.
“Mercedes? Are you fucking serious?” Max barely waited for the door to shut behind you before he was spitting the question at you. He was visibly upset, having been caught completely unware when the question had come up towards the end of the conference. “Was all that talk yesterday about being in it together just to get a better result and make yourself look better to them? Toto wasn’t just asking you to race fairly on Sunday, was he?”
“I’m not fucking going anywhere, Max.” You snapped back at him, not appreciating the way he’d automatically assumed the worst. “Did you not hear my answer? It’s just a fucking rumour. There’s nothing to it.”
“Nothing?” Max repeated, arms crossed over his chest. “What did Toto talk to you about yesterday? You lied to me yesterday, but I didn’t push because I didn’t think it mattered.”
You narrowed your gaze, still not a fan of his tone. “It’s none of your fucking business.”
He took your response as confirmation, gaze hardening further. “So, you are going to Mercedes.”
“No! I’m not!” You didn’t care that you were yelling, or that anyone stood outside your door could hear you. This stupid boy was going to be the death of you, if you couldn’t get this point through his stupid, stubborn skull. “Even though it would very likely be better for my career in the long run, I told him to fuck off.”
That seemed to get him to calm down slightly, realizing that you genuinely weren’t interested in leaving the team. Part of you wanted to ask why he cared so much, but you never got the chance because he came at you with another question. “How would it be better for your career? We have a car that’s only getting better. We’re going to be able to win.”
“We can’t both win the driver’s championship next year Max.” You stated bluntly, because it was so obvious in your eyes. “Red Bull has made it very clear that you are their future. They let us race this year because it was clear very early on that neither of us were going to win it. Even the team never thought I was going to do this well. It’s going to be different next year, if we have another good car. They’re going to choose between us. I… I’m going to resent having to compromise my race to help my teammate… which I’m sure you would hate it just as much if the team chose to back me.”
He didn’t deny it, because you were both far to competitive and ambitious to ever be content playing the second driver role. As much as you loved working with Max as a team when you had a common goal, you were so acutely aware of how easily it could fall apart. All the more reason you should never have let yourself get this emotionally attached to your teammate. You should’ve been able to genuinely consider the seat at Mercedes, because it probably was your best shot at the championship.
“If you’re so sure about that, then why are you staying?” He asked, his voice far quieter now as he finally met your gaze.
Fuck. You really had messed up, letting the younger driver in. You’d never gotten this close to any of your other teammates in the past. Hell, you’d never opened up this much to anyone else… ever. You’d never had someone walk into your life and make you want to risk it all. You’d never trusted anyone like this and given them this much consideration in your life decisions. It terrified you, how much what this one person thought about you had the power to make or break you.
“I don’t know.” You mumbled, knowing full well it was another lie. It had more to do with Max than you were willing to admit out loud.
You should’ve known Max wouldn’t just leave it. “No lying, heerlijk.”
“I know, but I can’t tell you the real reason.” You whispered to him. “Because, the second I say it out loud, it makes it real and that’s… way too complicated to handle before this fucking race. There’s too many people counting on us for us to be distracted… Too many reasons why it would be a bad idea. So, I’m not really lying when I say that I don’t know what to tell you, Max.”
Before Max could continue to push for more information, you were saved by a sharp knock at the door. You took a big step back from Max, forcing your media smile onto your face and pretending that you hadn’t just had a massive yelling match with your teammate as your PO officer stepped into the room.
“Sorry to… interrupt, but I need Y/N. We need to get a handle on this Mercedes rumour, so there’s an impromptu PR strategy meeting starting in a few minutes.”
“I’ll be right there.” You said, forcing another smile.
You turned back towards Max after the door had closed and saw that he’d built his walls back up and had that unreadable expression on his face. He refused to meet your gaze, so you couldn’t even look into his eyes to try and figure him out.
“Look, I swear to you right now, I’m not going to Mercedes. It’s not even on my radar. I want to stay with Red Bull for as long as they will have me. We’re a team, remember?”
The last four words seemed to be the ones to break through, Max’s shoulders relaxing slightly as he nodded. “I believe you.”
You were slightly caught off guard by the wave of relief that washed over you, but had to bury it because you had a job to do and couldn’t afford to do it while distracted. “Are we good?”
“We’re good.” Max didn’t hesitate, tension completely leaving his shoulders after he let out one more long breath. “Sorry for… losing it on you. It caught me off guard.”
“You and me both.” You sighed, shooting him a forced smile. “It’ll be fine, the team will sort everything out.” At least, you hoped they could make it all go away quickly enough to focus on the weekend ahead. This was one more thing that you didn’t want on your plate right now…
Damn Toto Wolff and his crazy ideas.
Friday flew by, practices over in the blink of an eye.
Unsurprisingly, the Red Bulls and Mercedes cars topped the charts in terms of lap times, passing the lead back and forth throughout the sessions. You knew that it was going to be like this for the rest of the weekend, and that track position would be incredibly important come the start of the race.
People had all but forgotten about that rumour from the day before now that everyone involved had denied it, the media refocussing on the battle between the two teams instead. You’d spent a lot of time in a conference room with the strategy teams, making sure you and Max would be able to get the most out of your cars for the rest of the weekend. Then you’d made yet another appearance at a Red Bull sponsorship dinner, before heading off to bed early.
Saturday had been interesting, going through the motions leading up to qualifying. Everyone had been so dialed in through the final practice session, feeling confident about the team’s potential for the later qualifying sessions. You and Max had helped one another through qualifying, providing a tow through one of your runs for the other to try and get an even better time.
Though Hamilton had snagged pole by a few thousandths of a second, you and Max were still starting P2 and P3, still giving you a pretty decent shot at the points you needed. It helped that Bottas was starting from the back of the grid due to an engine penalty. You weren’t worried, knowing that you’d put everything you had into winning the race tomorrow and whatever would happen, would happen.
Through Sunday morning, it seemed like you were the only one on the team who wasn’t feeling the pressure.
You weren’t greeted by the standard jovial atmosphere as you’d walked through the garage to check in with the mechanics. There wasn’t even the usual booming music playing through the garage and annoying every other team in the paddock… Everyone was hard at work, going over every bit of data they had at their disposal and working hard to make sure the car would be perfect. In fact, most of them looked like they’d already been working at this for hours.
“When’s the last time you guys took a break?” You asked the lead mechanic.
He startled slightly, snapped out of focus by your question. “What’s a break?” He tried to make it sound like a joke, but you could hear how exhausted the team was. They really were putting their blood, sweat and tears into making sure everything would run smoothly during the race later this evening.
You decided that your crew deserved a couple minutes to think about something other than your car, so you spent the next few minutes going back and forth between the garage and hospitality and grabbing coffees, Red Bulls and snacks for everyone. You bumped into your brother and Max somewhere along your third or fourth coffee run, encouraging Max to do the same thing with his crew. Then, once everyone had some sort of drink or snack in hand, you joined them with your own cup of tea.
But it only took a few seconds to realize that even though you’d semi forced them all to take a break, they were still talking about the things they wanted to check with your car.
That wouldn’t do.
“Hey, Calum, would you mind giving me a hand with something?” You asked your power unit technician, knowing he had enough pull within the crew to get everyone to go along with your spur of the moment idea.
“Yeah, what do you need?” Calum didn’t even hesitate.
“Where’s the AUX cable for the sound system?”
Calum’s brow furrowed slightly, but he stood from his folding chair and led you to the back of the garage, to a wall of tech between the two sides. He pulled out a cable, plugging it directly into the system and offering you the other end. You took your phone out of your jean’s back pocket, unlocking the device and pulling up Spotify. You pulled up your favourite playlist, scrolling through a few viable options before glancing back at Calum for his input. “Drake, Frank Ocean, or Taylor Swift?” You provided three choices.
“I am allowed to ask what for?” He asked cautiously.
“Of course.” You nodded, a smirk slowly growing on your face. “We’re going to have a mental health dance break.” The mechanic reacted exactly how you thought he would, eyes going slightly wide, so you carried on with your explanation. “The vibes in the garage are far too heavy for my liking. We can’t go into the last race of the season like this. It’s not us.”
Though it was slightly unusual, and something that would definitely raise a few eyebrows from those outside of the garage, Calum’s own smile grew as he got onboard with your plan. Red Bull was known for being the laid back, fun group. It was important not to forget that just because this race was a little more important. “Start with Frank Ocean, then Drake and save Taylor Swift for the finale.”
“I like the way you think, Nicholas.” You said, cueing up the songs in the order Calum had suggested. You pressed play, the opening beat of ‘Lost’ filling the garage. You cranked it up, putting your phone down on the counter. “Now, I’m gonna need your help to get everyone else onboard with my crazy plan.”
“Say no more.” Calum understood the assignment, already nodding his head along to the beat.
He led you back to the front of the garage, between the two sides where most of the two crews were still gathered, chatting as they finished up their drinks. You zeroed in on your brother and Max, talking with Max’s race engineer who was looking at you as you shimmied your way over, trying not to smile. “Sorry to break up this very important meeting, but in case you haven’t heard we’re having an impromptu dance break. Participation is not optional.”
With that being said, you linked your arm through your brother’s and dragged him to the middle of the garage, ignoring his protests. You pulled out your cheesiest dance moves, wiping that unimpressed look right off his face. When he realized that most of the crew was in fact dancing along and following your lead, a genuine smile cracked his face and he started copying your moves. You couldn’t help but laugh, because dancing wasn’t yours or your brother’s strong suit but you still managed to let loose and have fun, singing along to your favourite Frank Ocean song.
It wasn’t until the song changed to Drake’s ‘Too Good’ that you glanced over to Max and saw that the little shit hadn’t joined in on the dance party, watching from the sidelines with an amused smile at your antics. Like hell you were going to let him get away with that when literally everyone else had embraced your silly idea to brighten the mood in the garage.
You skipped over to your teammate, singing along to the first part of Rihanna’s verse. I don’t know how to talk to you. I just know I found myself getting lost in you. Max’s smile grew slightly as you stood in front of him, still moving along with the song. “You scared of a little dancing, Verstappen?”
“I’m not nearly drunk enough for this.” He laughed, shaking his head at you. “And I just so happen to be enjoying the show.”
“Well, that’s too bad.” You responded to the first part of his statement, ignoring the way that the second far more flirty part made your cheeks flush. “Dance with me.”
He shook his head. “We should be getting ready for the race.”
“That’s what we’re doing! Moving, loosening up the muscles, team building so everyone can calm down a bit.” You said, providing a few justifiable examples before deciding that you weren’t going to take no for an answer. “Besides, I’m not giving you a choice.”
With that being said, you grabbed him by the arm and dragged him right into the middle of your dancing crew, smile growing wide as they cheered for your reappearance. You threw your arms up in the air, dancing and jumping along to the rhythm. And even though his movements where highly reluctant and slightly awkward, Max started jumping around with everyone else, a genuine smile soon cracking his face as the song and dance went on. You’d almost think he was enjoying himself too, having this silly little moment with your team.
Max’s face was priceless when Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off’ started playing through the speakers next. He tried to make a run for it, but you reached out and grabbed his wrist before he could, giving him a look to make sure he knew he didn’t have a choice but to stick this one out too. You didn’t care that the garage was open for everyone to see this little dance party happening inside, singing and dancing along to some very different music than what usually played in your team’s garage. You spun around with everyone, laughing without a care in the world, knowing that when you’d look back at it this would probably be one of your favourite paddock memories of the year.
That is, until the music cut out as you were clapping along to the bridge.
“What one earth is going on here?!” Christian asked, looking at his two star drivers like they’d lost their minds. He handed you back your phone, which you assumed he’d been the one to unplug and cut the music. “You do realize that just about every media outlet has a camera trained on our garage right now?”
You let out a breath, eyeing the rest of the crew who all seemed in better spirits than before, laughing amongst themselves as they got back to work. In your mind, you’d done what you’d set out to do. “They’ve been watching us since we stepped into the paddock on Thursday, it’s nothing new.” You argued with your boss, refusing to let him kill the good vibe. “Besides, you have to admit that this is better content from our garage than what they filmed after Germany.”
Christian didn’t look impressed, but also seemed to notice the lighter atmosphere in his team garage. So instead of chastising you further, he let out an unimpressed huff. “No more dancing around like monkeys.” His tone was stern. “You both have a race to prepare for, for Christ’s sake.”
“Party pooper.” The frown on your face was more mocking than anything else, but it still got a chuckle out of your brother and Max when Christian rolled his eyes at you and mumbled under his breath that it was like Daniel had never left. “I was just trying to give everyone a small break from stressing out over this race. You’ve got to admit, they don’t look nearly as glum and pessimistic anymore. This team works better when we’re all in sync and enjoying ourselves. We were just…shaking off the pressure.” The groan both Christian and Max let out at your pun didn’t take away from the fact that you felt really good about yourself for coming up with it.
You caught sight of your press officer coming to wrangle you for your first of many commitments of the day behind Christian. “On that note, I’m about to get whisked away for all the press our lovely communications department lined up for me today. I promise not to cause much more havoc… for now.”
You barely caught Max’s gaze looking at you in wonder with that small smile before it was hidden behind his usual professional demeanor.
Instead of worrying about that more than you already had in the past 24 hours, you followed your press officer out of the garage back into the paddock, getting on with your commitments. The sooner you could get through everything, the sooner you’d be sitting in your race car for the last time this season.
As much fun as you’d had throughout the day, there was no changing how dialed in you were when you drove around the track for the recon lap in order to get your car into your starting grid position. The moment you’d parked it on you P2 grid box, the crew converged on your car to do their thing. You jumped out of the car, handing you helmet, gloves and balaclava to your performance coach, lingering around the car as they did their final checks and ran through all your plans one final time.
That final hour before the race flew by in a flurry of grid interviews, the anthem procession, chats with your team and over drivers on the grid, and well wishes from your crew ahead of the last race. It had been nice to hug your brother before getting in the car, something you could get used too if he wound up taking Max’s offer to be his permanent coach going into the next season. Max had wandered over to your grid slot to give you a fist bump before everything started as well, making sure that you were both still on the same page.
Before you knew it you were getting back I your car to get ready for the final formation lap of the season. You still weren’t stressed, while checking to see if your radio system was working properly. In fact, you were looking forward to the lights going out in order to do what needed to be done.
You followed behind Hamilton through the slow formation lap, leaving enough space between the two of you to run through your own starting procedures and give yourself the best chance for a good start. Most of your plans were centered around being able to pass the Mercedes in the first few laps, so you needed to make sure to do everything you could for the best possible start. You stopped right on your line, letting out a calming breath as you waited for the rest of the grid to line you behind you.
“No matter what happens over the next 55 laps, there’s no changing the fact that this has been a hell of a season, Y/N.” Your engineer spoke up. “Let’s wrap it up with a fucking bang.”
You didn’t answer, slipping into your racing mindset as the red lights in front of you started to light up.
The lights went out and you slammed your foot down on the throttle, the race officially underway.
You gaze narrowed slightly as the Mercedes slipped into the space in front of you, blocking off any attempt from you to try to pass him going into turn 1. You heard about a yellow flag from contact behind you as you continued to chase the Mercedes, not willing to give up just yet. You stayed as close as you could using the slipstream from the car you were chasing to your advantage, watching his moves, and planning out the best place to attack for the next lap.
You got your first chance during lap three, with the assistance of your DRS and a wide line from Hamilton. You caught him toward the end of the straight leading into turn 1, holding off on the brakes just long enough to lunge by him on the inside and take the lead. “Well fucking done!” Your engineer applauded the move, and you could faintly hear the rest of your pit wall celebrating the move as well.
A smirk rose on your lips as you saw Hamilton’s car in your mirrors, trying and failing to get his place back. “Thanks, mate. Critical comms only for a while, I want to focus on keeping the Merc behind.”
“Understood.” Your engineer responded, letting you do what you needed to do in order to sustain your lead.
And you did everything you could for the next couple of laps to build up a gap. Perfect corners, optimal lines, no unnecessary risks. You were completely focused on the track in front of you, allowing your instincts to take over, and managing to get yourself out of DRS threat in the detection zones. Your tires continued to feel good, even as you continued to wear them down, lap after lap. You watched the gap between you and Hamilton grow by a few tenths every lap, your pit board keeping you up to date without having to rely too much on your engineer.
They waited until you’d rounded the final corner and started going down the main straight before coming to you for your opinion on the race strategy. “We’re thinking of moving Max to plan B, to cover Mercedes if they try doing the same thing. Can you sustain Plan A?”
“Yes.” You didn’t even hesitate to answer. It was the thing that made the most sense now that your team had the lead. It ensured that if Mercedes tried to undercut you, Max would be there to stop them from taking P1 and you’d be able to hold them off. Given how the race was unfolding, it was the plan that gave you the most likely opportunity to win the race.
“Understood. Keep us posted on your tires. It looks to us like you’re managing them brilliantly.”
“Will do.” And with that, you were left alone to carry on with your race. You were only about 15 laps in, but you were in control. You pushed that little bit harder to keep building a bigger gap, doing everything you could to keep Hamilton behind you.
On lap 18, you were informed that Max went for his first pit stop, before Lewis to head off the undercut. He went onto another set of softs, confirming that your teammate would have no choice but to commit to a two stop race, but the extra grip he would gain from this second set of softs should be enough for him to charge through the field and render an undercut attempt from Mercedes completely useless. You just needed to make your tires last long enough to make the one stop strategy work for yourself.
Hamilton went into the pits on lap 20 for a set of hard tires, showing that he was also on a one stop strategy. You continued to push, getting every inch of performance you could out of your car and tires. There wasn’t anyone in your mirrors, and none of the back markers in front of you yet. You had the track to yourself to carry on and try to stretch out you first stint as long as possible.
By lap 27, your original softs were barely hanging on. No matter how careful you were, there was no way to stop the natural degradation.
“Tires are shot. Is Max close enough?”
“11.7 seconds behind in P3. You will come out behind him.”
“What about Hamilton?”
“13.5 behind in P4. It’ll be close.”
“Call it. The gaps just going to keep shrinking, the tires are barely hanging on.” As though to help prove your point, your rears slid out from under you going through turn 9. Thankfully, you managed to regain control before things went too badly.
You dove into the pitlane, shoulders tensing slightly as you pitlane limiter clicked in and you had no choice but to go the speed limit. You slid into your pit box cleanly, hitting your marks. Breathe in, tires off, breathe out, tires on. You got the green light, wheels squeaking as you took off again. Though the stop had felt like it had lasted an eternity, your engineer told you otherwise. “Stop was 2 tenths faster than Hamilton.”
“What’s the damage?” You asked,
“You’re now P5, behind Leclerc who is 1.98 ahead.” Your engineer paused as you took the first couple of corners, using your newfound grip to already start closing the gap with Charles. Once you were on the back straight, he carried on through the running order to give you an idea of what you needed to do. “Max P1, 16.2 seconds ahead. Hamilton P2, 14.9 ahead. Ricciardo, yet to pit in P3, 6.8 seconds ahead.”
“It’s important we clear Leclerc as soon as possible. He hasn’t got the pace.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem.” You smirked, zeroed in on the bright red target ahead of you. The plan was going perfectly up to this point, so overtaking Leclerc shouldn’t be an issue.
Except, the Monegasque proved to be more of a thorn in your side than you’d anticipated. The little bugger was defending against you like he was racing for his life, pulling out every trick in the book to keep you behind him. He was wasting your time, and you didn’t appreciate it at all. Your engineer’s voice in your ears keeping you updated on the growing gap between yourself and the front runners wasn’t helping, as the laps started winding down past the halfway point of the race.
And then things got worse.
“Double yellow flags being waved going out of turn 8. One of the Williams is in the wall. Russell” There was a pause, as you released the throttle slightly and gave up your latest overtaking attempt. “VSC.”
You let out a string of curses, not caring that your radio was probably going to be picked up and aired on the race broadcast. “Are you fucking serious?! Are Mercedes pitting Hamilton? He’ll be on fresher tires in front of me with the free fucking pit stop! How the fuck am I supposed to get past him now?!” You cursed some more, huffing out a breath as you weaved to keep as much temperature in your tires as possible as you followed behind Charles.
“Full safety car.” Your engineer said, sounding just as irritated as you felt. “We’re pitting Verstappen as well. He should maintain track position ahead of Hamilton.”
You were seething through the following lap, glaring at the Ferrari in front of you. You could see the leaders cars coming out of the pitlane ahead of you, the safety car picking them up and starting up the cue. Except the order wasn’t what it should be. “Did we lose track position?!”
“There was a problem with the left rear on Max’s car… just long enough for Hamilton to come out in front.” Your engineer confirmed what you could already see.
You sure hoped the broadcast wasn’t picking up your response to that, or it would be a lengthy bleep sound… The plan had gone to shit, the safety car coming out at the worst possible time for you. You’d been the one who’d lost out the most… and Mercedes had taken advantage of the situation. It almost seemed impossible now. “We’re fucked.” You summarized your loss of temper.
“Don’t get all pessimistic on us now, Y/N.” Your engineer sassed, earning an eye roll from you even though no one would see it. “Mercedes chose hard tires. You and Max are both on Mediums and Leclerc is on even older hard tires. You can take Leclerc at the restart now that his tires will be cooler, and you’ll be caught up to the pack without having to make up the gap anymore.”
Well, that was one way to look at it.
You let out a long breath, forcing all your annoyance out of your system so that you wouldn’t be able to linger on it any longer. If you were going to do this, you needed to be focused. Your engineer was right. Though it wasn’t ideal, you were still within striking distance of the Mercedes one the race got back underway. You and Max were still in some high scoring point positions, and had 20 laps to try and improve them. You weren’t done yet. “Understood. Let’s catch em’.”
Now that you’d refocused, the laps behind the safety car seemed to drag on as they cleared the track of debris from Russell’s crash. You weaved, doing everything you could to keep the temperature in the tires. Your grip tightened on the wheel slightly when the green light lit on the safety car, allowing lapped cars to unlap themselves. Your engineer kindly reminded you that this would help you once you got past Leclerc, because there were no longer any back markers between you and Max in P2.
The safety car went in, and you were right on Leclerc’s ass.
You stayed right on him through the restart, pushing your car to the absolute limit and putting all your faith in the brakes, as you lunged past him in the first corner. You heard yelling in your ears as you made the move, and made it stick. Just like that, you were back in it, following Hamilton behind your teammate.
The three of you pulled away from the rest of the field again within a few laps, pushing your cars and skills to the extreme. You heart leapt into your throat every time Max got close to passing Hamilton, and would sink when Hamilton kept pushing back. Max tried along the straight once DRS was enabled, and even attempted a few questionable passes in the corners that nearly sent him off track a couple of times. The lap count continued to rise, the three of you remaining in the same places. You wanted your teammate to pull this off so you could have your own chance to beat Hamilton too.
“We’re switching you and Max. He’ll tow you through the straight and let you through at the corner before turn 11. Get you as close to Hamilton as possible.”
“What?” You hadn’t been expecting that.
“You had better pace during the first stint. Max think’s it’s the best way to get the win for the team.”
The fact that it was Max’s idea blew you away even more. Sure, you’d both promised to do whatever you could to win the team the Constructor’s championship, but this was… you didn’t even know. “Are you sure? He’s close.”
“If it doesn’t work, we can switch back before the end of the race.”
That was… fair. “Okay, let’s do it.”
You got even closer to Max’s car, putting yourself in the perfect slot behind him to make the most out of the slipstream he was providing. And like it was a move you’d rehearsed a thousand times before, he moved over to let you through and you flew past, the momentum and extra push putting you right on Hamilton’s tail going into turn 11.
You braked later than you had been all weekend, somehow managing to keep the car on track as you rounded the corner taking the outside line around Hamilton. Your front left wheel was equal to his rear right wheel as you went into turn 12, the opposite direction of the corner giving you the inside line to get past Hamilton. You were just inches ahead of him heading into turn 14, but because you were on the racing line Hamilton had no choice but to yield the corner to you or you would’ve both ended up in the wall.
You yelled as you rounded the corner, feeling absolutely fucking elated that you’d managed to reclaim P1, all thanks to your teammate. Your engineer sounded just as pumped, especially when you managed to hold off Hamilton in the next DRS zone. “Bring it home, Viper. 4 laps to go!”
“How far back is Max?”
“0.9. He’s within DRS and looking better than before now that Hamilton is running in your dirty air.”
“Do you want me to defend or push?” You asked, wanting to know if they thought it was better for you to try and hold back Hamilton even more to help Max or to pull away from the duo fighting behind you over P2 and P3.
“Run with it, we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks.”
And with that being said, you took off, showing what you and the RB15 could do. You flew, setting fastest lap times and leaving the other two behind. Your smile grew wider and wider with every lap, jitters growing in your stomach as your engineer told you that you were starting your final lap, now a few seconds clear of Hamilton.
Just 21 more corners.
You could do this. You were made for this. All the practicing and strategy meetings and debriefs. All the highs and lows of the season. All the challenges you’d faced, and the memories you’d made. It was all coming down to this moment right here, and you couldn’t help but feel like you were fucking invisible. No drug in the world could ever match the high you were feeling as you executed your final perfect lap, knowing that you’d done the impossible.
You could swear the volume of the yelling in your ears only got louder as you rounded the last few corners, not even really able to make out what they were saying anymore. You could see your team hanging over the pit wall fence, arms in the air as they cheered for you. The pit board with your name on it said P1, as you crossed the finish line, chequered flag waving high above you. You joined in on the yelling, positive that you were about to lose your voice as fireworks started lighting up the night sky around the track.
“DID WE JUST DO WHAT I THINK WE DID?!” You yelled in disbelief.
“YES, WE FUCKING DID, VIPER! YOU AND MAX WON US THE CONSTRUCTORS. OH MY GOD, THIS IS UNREAL. WE’RE CHAMPIONS OF THE FUCKING WORLD!” Your engineer’s voice sounded just as ragged as your own. “This is incredible. We’re in awe of the two of you, playing the ultimate team game. Congratulations, Viper. This win is as much yours as it is for the team. 5 wins in your rookie season. I for one, can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next year.”
It hit you all at once, how incredible this really was. Even when you’d signed your contract at the start of the year, you’d never expected any of this. You never would have expected to win so early on, let alone get 5 out of 21 races. You never expected to beat fucking Mercedes of all teams in the Constructors championship, the goal being a very clear P2 at the beginning of the season because of Mercedes dominance over the last few years. You’d never expected to be thankful towards your teammate, knowing that this wouldn’t have been possible had he not made the call towards the end of the team to switch places.
The emotions hit you all at once, tears streaming down your face as you did your cool down lap. You only managed a wobbly “thanks, Christian” when your team boss had come onto the radio to share his own congratulations for the incredible thing you’d managed today, and let out a watery laugh when he told you that you could have all the dance parties you wanted in the garage next year.
About halfway through the cool down lap, you saw Max’s Red Bull next to yours. You could see his fist in the air, clearly not bothered that he’d had to give up his chance at the win for the benefit of the team. In fact, he shot you a thumbs up to make sure you knew there was no hard feelings. You threw your fist up towards him too, making sure that he knew this wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for his call.
You pulled up in parc fermé side by side, and to your surprise Max slipped into the P2 slot on your right. “He got past Hamilton?!” You asked your engineer, waiting for the confirmation before disconnecting your comms and getting out of the car.
“Yes he did, at the final corner! Wait until you see the highlight, it might have been a better lunge than yours before.”
That got you even more excited to celebrate, shutting off your car and disconnecting all the systems. You pulled off the steering wheel, setting it on the chassis and pulling yourself up using the halo. You stood on your seat, throwing your arms in the air in celebration. You looked beside you and saw Max doing the same thing, his visor raised enough so that you could see his giant smile through that small crack in his mask. He jumped out of his car first, before coming to stand next to you and offering you a hand to help you out of the car.
You grabbed it, letting him basically yank you out of the car and into a massive hug. It wasn’t as charged as any of your previous encounters over the past few days, both too distracted by the sweet taste of victory to even think about that. No, right now was all about celebrating and remembering how incredible this moment was for the rest of your lives. Now was the time to celebrate accomplishing the impossible with your team.
Because you were Constructors Champions.
Your Christmas bonus was going to be fantastic.
Max was well aware that he shouldn’t feel this happy about another person’s success. He’d made the call that was best for the team, instead of the one that would have given him a better result. His father had always taught him to look out for himself and to put himself first. Racing was not a team sport; it was about being the best and trying to beat your teammate. Helping others made you look weak. But right now, he didn’t care about any of that.
Right now, he was happy for this team and what they’d managed to pull off. And even though he shouldn’t be, he was happy for you and your win today. You were probably the only person who could beat him where he wouldn’t feel disappointed about it afterwards. Because where he’d usually feel a little pinch of resentment towards those who bested him, he’d never once felt that way towards you when you’d stood above him on the podium. He’d only ever felt happy and proud, knowing that you’d beat him fair and square. (Well, maybe not that time you beat him after Germany just to prove a point but that was different…) Had it not been for the ill-timed safety car today, Max had zero doubt that you would’ve won the race without the team orders.
Besides, having you in his arms right now as you celebrated your 1-2 victory that clinched the Constructor’s Championship for your team made it all feel worth it, because he knew you’d be just as happy for him if the roles had been reversed today. How could he feel anything bad when you were smiling as brightly as the sun itself?
“We actually pulled it off!”
Your voice snapped him out of his thoughts, and seeing your excitement brought another wide smile onto his own face. Thank god he still had his helmet on, or the rest of the world would probably be able to see the effect you had on him too. “We did.” He finally answered.
“Why’d you let me through? You clearly would’ve gotten past him sooner or later, seeing as you came in at P2.” You asked him with those eyes that made him want to tell you his deepest, darkest secrets.
“I barely made it through at the end. We got maximum points this way. It was the best for the team.” He gave the diplomatic answer, the one that they would be sharing with the media after the podium. He knew that you could see right through his answer, but actively chose not to call him out on it right now.
In fact, you never got the chance to say anything more because Lewis made his way over to the two of you for handshake. Max watched as you pulled off your helmet and balaclava, greeting the Mercedes driver with that same wide smile you’d had after winning your first race.
“I tried so hard to keep you both behind me…” Lewis mumbled lowly enough so that it wouldn’t be overheard by anyone other than the two of you. “Congrats on the constructors, you guys had the better car today.” He paused, a smirk slowly lining his face. “Next year’s going to be a good fight, I can already tell.”
Your smile widened further than Max thought was possible. He could see how much the praise from your recent on track rival and long-time idol meant to you. Even though you’d been his biggest competitor this season, Lewis had always been vocal in his support for you and your place within Formula 1.
“I can’t wait to watch you from my mirrors.” You quipped lightheartedly, letting the now 6 time World Champion driver know that you were coming for his title.
Lewis laughed, shaking his head at you before moving on to shake Max’s hand and congratulate him for that last second overtake. You ran off to go celebrate with the team, jumping right you’re your brother’s arms.
Max watched the moment unfolding with a small smile, unaware that Lewis had been watching him with a knowing smile on his fact until he spoke up again. “Something tells me the team dynamic might be a little bit different with the two of you at the top of your game. Just… try to make sure the rivalry remains on track only. This sport is not worth losing special people because we can’t get over our own egos.”
“What?” Max tried to appear completely unaffected by Hamilton’s advice, because he had no idea what he was talking about.
“Things change when you actually have a shot at winning.” Lewis summarized, clapping a hand on Max’s shoulder before heading off for a far more muted celebration with his team.
Knowing that now was not the time to be overthinking his brief conversation with Lewis, Max pushed that to the back of his mind and also ran over to his team to celebrate their massive win today. It was all rushed hugs and exclamations, the team on top of the moon that they’d been able to pull one over on Mercedes at the very last moment. You both shook Toto Wolff’s hand, who’s come to congratulate you because it was the politically correct thing to do.
Max breezed through his post-race interview with sky sports, not having a single clue what he said throughout it. He assumed his answers were ok, given the fact that the crowds in the grandstand cheered when he spoke. Then he stood off to the side while you gave your own interview, capturing everyone in the vicinity with that smile and the genuine happiness and relief with which you spoke. You had everyone hanging onto your every single word. Really, he had no choice but to stand there and watch along with everyone else.
Once the parc-fermé interviews wrapped up, the three podium finishers were sent off to the cool down room while they got everything ready for the final podium celebration of the season. Christian was coming along as well to accept the constructor’s trophy on behalf of the team. The second you all stepped into the cool down room, you reached for a water bottle and plopped yourself down on one of the chairs to watch the race highlights and finally take a breath.
Max followed your lead, watching with interest as they showed the move that the two of you had pulled off to get you back into P1.
“I had no chance there.” Hamilton commented, impressed by the move as well. Max didn’t doubt that this move would be on highlight reels for years to come.
He also saw the light rosy tint that rose on your cheeks at the compliment. “I’m just glad the brakes held up. I pushed them rather hard going into that corner to stay ahead.”
“Ever so humble, still can’t take a compliment.” Christian joked, over the moon with his drivers and their accomplishments tonight. Your blush deepened, especially when Max shrugged his shoulders in agreement.
“They’re ready for you!” One of the FIA representatives announced as they burst into the cool down room, ready to get the show on the road. Christian and Lewis were the first out of the room, because they would be the first to be introduced in the ceremony.
Max waited for you, watching as you jumped out of your chair. You rezipped up your suit that you’d undone slightly to cool down in the few minutes you had access to air conditioning. He continued to watch as you pulled your hair out of its braid and ran your fingers through your long locks of hair to tame any odd strands, before plopping that P1 Pirelli hat back onto your head.
There was no denying how good you looked like that, face flushed with your hair flowing over your shoulders, Red Bull race suit mostly done up. From the way your eyes shone and your smile made the corners of his own mouth rise slight in response, it became crystal clear that everything Daniel had been telling him about those feelings was true. Things started to make more sense, looking back on it now that he'd figured it out. In fact, it was almost painfully obvious. He liked you, as more than just a teammate.
“Ready?” You asked him softly, completely unaware of the way you’d fully just knocked the breath out of his chest.
Max nodded, knowing that words wouldn’t work. Not when he was in the middle of this big life changing revelation.
So he put on his best media trained smile and followed you up onto the podium. Trophies were awarded and the Canadian national anthem rang loudly through the grandstands, Y/N singing along even though no one but maybe Max and Lewis could hear her. It was a podium celebration that no one would soon forget, because of the uttermost glee on the winner’s face as she was completed dowsed by champagne from those up on the podium with her, her laugher and joy contagious to everyone else who was involved.
As they posed for the group photo on the top step of the podium, the only thing he could think about was their conversation on the roof of the hotel on Thursday. The promise to wait until the race was over…
Who the fuck cared if it was right or wrong anymore?
Who cares if it would only make things complicated?
He wanted to talk to you, let you in.
Max wanted you.
“I’ll be back down in like 15 minutes. I just want to rinse the champagne and Red Bull out of my hair and change out of this suit before doing media.” You told your performance coach as you walked through hospitality towards the stairs that led to your drivers room.
You’d quickly snapped a team photo with the whole team after getting off the podium, which had of course resulted in one of the infamous Red Bull sprays. You’d gotten even more soaked, and now reeked of both champagne and sugary energy drinks. It wasn’t a good combo, and you’d be damned if you subjected the media to it as well.
“Take all the time you need, champ.” You coach didn’t seem to mind, everyone on top of the world after what you had Max had pulled off today. It might not be the driver’s championship, but taking the constructors still felt damn good for everyone involved. “I’ll be in the garage with everyone else, celebrating.”
You nodded with a cheeky smile, already looking forward to the Heineken with your crew that would be waiting for you after media. You took the stairs two at a time, practically skipping through the hall towards your private room. The top floor of the motorhome was deserted, everyone celebrating down on the grid or in the garage. You didn’t mind the quiet, because it was the first moment of genuine peace you’d gotten in weeks. No more stress or unrealistic expectations, the season was finished.
You stepped into your room, brow furrowing when you found the light from the bathroom on, spilling into your space. You scanned the still dark space, nearly jumping out of your skin when you found Max sitting on your massage table on the right side of the room, race suit half undone to show off the form fitting white fireproof undershirt, his legs dangling off the edge of the table.
“Max? What are you doing in my ro-”
You never got to finish your question, because the second you’d started speaking Max had snapped out of whatever daze he’d been in prior to your arrival, pushed himself off the massage table and stalked over to you. He cut you off by grabbing your face between both of his hands and angling your head upwards slightly before crashing his lips against yours. Caught off guard by the suddenness of the action, it took a moment for your brain to realize that Max was kissing you.
Holy fucking shit, this was happening.
Your body reciprocated on autopilot at first, blindly grabbing at the chest of his race suit to pull him flush against you as you kissed him back. Those stupid flutters that you’d been ignoring for months came back in full force, as Max set your whole world on fire. He tasted of sweat, Red Bull and the champagne you’d just sprayed each other with on the podium minutes ago and something else you couldn’t quite pinpoint, a combination you could see yourself easily getting hooked on. His lips were soft but in no way gentle against your own, Max in control the entire time.
You didn’t feel the need to fight him for control, just enjoying it before it would inevitably come to an end. If something as simple as a kiss felt this good, you couldn’t help but wonder how everything else would feel with him. Why had you waited so long to do this again?
You let out a muffled gasp when your back hit the closed door behind you, Max taking advantage of it and deepening the kiss. His right hand buried itself into your wet, tangled hair; the other finding a place along your waist and sliding around your lower back to wrap around you, pulling you even closer. The intensity with which Max continued to kiss you left you absolutely breathless, as though the Dutchman was convinced that this was the one and only time something like this would happen, so he was making the most out of it.
And then like he couldn’t get enough of you, his lips traveled along your jaw and down the column of your neck, skin burning everywhere he touched. He quickly figured out when he found that particular spot on your neck that cleared your mind of anything other than the feel of his lips, your whole body shuddering in his arm as he continued to nip and suck at the spot. You knew in the back of your mind that he was leaving a mark, but you couldn’t bring yourself to care when it felt this fucking good. You then pulled him back up to meet your lips again, getting lost in him.
Just like he’d been the one to start it, Max had also been the one to break the kiss, his forehead falling to rest against yours as you both struggled to catch your breath. He lifted his head but stayed close, looking directly into your eyes and showing you up close that he was just as mind blown and affected by that kiss as you had been.
“Gorgeous.” He said quietly, not breaking eye contact.
What? “Huh?” You voiced your confusion, wondering what he was going on about.
“Heerlijk is a sort of what do you call it… a term of endearment, that loosely translates to gorgeous depending on the context.”
The revelation seemed to blow your mind even more than that kiss just had. “Wait… Let me get this straight.” You mumbled, now that you’d found your voice again. “You’ve been calling me ‘gorgeous’, for months? Even when I kind of hated you and you kind of hated me?!”
The corners of his lips lifted in a sheepish smile, and you couldn’t tell if Max was flushed because he was a little embarrassed or because of that kiss. “It was the only thing I could think about when you got out of the car after you won in Monaco. You were so happy and your smile was… breathtaking. Quite literally, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.”
You remembered it vividly, getting out of your car for the first time behind the P1 banner, feeling on top of the world and Max being the first to pull you in for a hug. You remembered his bright smile, and thinking that you’d never seen that kind of smile on his face before when looking at you but it suited him. You had chalked it up to Max being happy for his fellow teammate at the time, because the first win was a big deal no matter who you were.
Part of you couldn’t believe this, because of how convinced you’d been that Max disliked you at the time.
“Now you understand my reluctance to translate it for you.” Max let out a soft chuckle as he watched you processing this before his very eyes. “I never hated you, heerlijk,” The way he drawled it out had you feeling some kind of way inside, now that you knew what it meant. “I may had been irritated, and a little defensive after Germany… But I could never bring myself to dislike you.”
“You sure about that? It seemed like there was some pretty strong mutual hate after Germany… I mean look at that time in Monaco when you came over to hang out with Daniel. There’s no way you didn’t hate me at least a little then, especially when I was provoking you. I said some pretty bad things… we both did.”
Max pulled a face. “That wasn’t hate, in Monaco.” He let out a long breath, as though contemplating if he should tell you whatever it was that was running through his mind. “That was me being a jealous fool, as Daniel so eloquently put it after you’d left to go on your date with that loser.”
“Jealous?” Now you really didn’t believe him. Because why on earth would he be jealous? It just didn’t make sense. But then again, maybe it did, as you suddenly recalled that conversation sitting on a bench in Brazil outside of a McDonalds, when Max had sort of fessed up to having a crush on you in the past. Maybe it hadn’t just been in the past. Maybe, if you took more time to think about it, you’d be able to see all the little things that Daniel had alluded to. Maybe it wasn’t so crazy after all.
“Yes, jealous.” He confirmed with a nod of his head. His hand tightened around your waist, reminding you that it was there. “You know, I’ve grown up in a privileged position where I could always go after the things I wanted. I wanted to compete in karting, so I did and won. I wanted to be the youngest to ever compete in Formula 1, and made it happen. I wanted to win races and show everyone that I wasn’t just another one of those kids trying to live up to their father’s legacy… and I did. I took the record for youngest driver to ever win a Grand Prix, and I don’t think it will ever be beaten. From the moment I set my sights on something I want; I won’t stop until it is mine.”
You wanted to tell him that you understood because you’d grown up with the same drive and determination, but something about the way he was looking at you right now made you keep your mouth firmly shut. You thought he was going to kiss you again as he lowered his head towards yours, closing your eyes and giving in to him again. However, you never felt those glorious lips. Instead, buried his head into the crook of your neck, lips grazing at that small sliver of skin exposed above the neckline of your racing suit. It almost felt more intimate that the kiss.
“No matter how much time spent trying to convince myself otherwise… Somehow you became one of those things.” He murmured against your skin, triggering yet another explosion of butterflies in your stomach. “But you were different because I knew I could never have you. Knowing that didn’t make the want go away. I got jealous as acted like an ass in Monaco because the thought of you getting all dressed up like that for someone else, someone who didn’t deserve it… it was enough to make me want to throttle them.”
Again, you didn’t know what the fuck you should respond to that. So instead of speaking, you did the only thing you could think of. You weaved your fingers through his hair and pulled his head back slightly, just enough to grant you access to his lips again. You didn’t hesitate to press yours against his, being the one to instigate the kiss this time around. You could feel Max’s smirk against your lips as you kissed him, that is, until you tugged on his hair again and wiped that smirk right off his lips. The groan that rumbled through his throat was enough to make your knees go weak, mind racing as you wondered what other sinful sounds you’d be able to pull from him.
His hands wandered a bit more this time around, over your champagne-soaked race suit. They trailed along your waist, gripped at your hips to pull you closer, and grabbed at your ass to keep you firmly against him. You tugged at Max’s fireproof undershirt, pulling the damp fabric upwards and hoping he’d get the hint. Though he made an unhappy sound when he’d pulled away from your lips, he barely wasted any time to peel the offending layer from his body and blindly toss it onto the floor behind him before his mouth was back on yours.
You trailed your fingers along his newly exposed skin, raising trails of goosebumps in your wake. Like this, you could feel the muscles rippling beneath your hands as you let them wander around his shoulders, back and chest. You wanted to memorize it all, the way he flexed and relaxed under your touch, the way his breath hitched when you ran your fingers along his sides, all the ridges, curves and lines that made up Max Verstappen.
Max seemed to think that it was only fair that he get to do the same thing with you, slowly pulling at the zip of you race suit and pulling it all the way down. He broke the kiss, in order to look directly into your eyes and search for any kind of protest. You held his gaze, shrugging out of your suit’s shoulders and pushing the soggy material down your arms. You then pulled your own fireproof shirt off, having half the state of mind to wish that you had something a little more attractive than the high coverage and constricting sports bra you always wore under your suit, but there was nothing you could do about it now. It wasn’t as good of a show, tugging, stretching and fighting with the thick damp fabric so you could get out of it. Not the sexiest move you’d ever pulled…
Max didn’t seem to mind, eyes taking in every inch of newly exposed skin and looking like he wanted to taste all of it. “Gorgeous.” Max rasped out, meeting your gaze once again.
You felt the blush blossoming on your cheeks and across your chest. You’d never been good with compliments. Especially not when you knew that the person giving them meant it. God, it was only two weeks ago that you were mortified that Max had seen you in a towel, and now your entire upper half was bare.
As though he couldn’t stand the distance any longer, Max pulled you back into his arms and picked up the kiss right where you’d left off. Except, this time his hands were far more selective of where they were touching, slowly driving you crazy. A teasing graze along the side of your breast, a rough grab at your waist, hands moving everywhere along your back… it was almost too much and not enough all at once.
You gasped when his hands dropped to the back of your thighs, hoisting you up effortlessly so you’d wrapped your legs around his hips. He didn’t break the kiss, carrying you away from the door and placing you on the edge of the massage table before his hands carried on with their exploration. You kept your legs locked firmly around his hips, rolling your own hips against his and creating the most delicious friction against your core, spending all kinds of sparks tingling through your body.
The whine that left your lips when Max grabbed your hips to still your movement would have been embarrassing, had you not seen the way his eyes darkened further as he took in the sound. “Patience, heerlijk.” You couldn’t believe the way your whole body burned when you heard that word again, knowing what it meant.
“No time for patience.” You whispered shakily, knowing that you were already pushing your luck. You attempted to roll your hips again, but Max’s grip remained firm.
He really didn’t seem bothered by the prospect of people outside of this room waiting on the two of you. Instead, he took his sweet time fumbling around with the hidden button that kept your race suit intact at the hips so it wouldn’t fall if you walked around with it half on. “They’ll make time for us when we’re ready. We fucking won today. You won today. That calls for celebration, don’t you think?”
Your eyes went round as Max sank down onto his knees in front of you. He carefully unlaced your race boots, getting them out of the way. Then he pulled at your race suit, urging you to lift your hips so that he could pull them down. You helped him, pushing the fireproof under layer and underwear along with it, leaving you completely bare when he pulled everything down and off of your legs.
He met your gaze, silent question in his eyes making sure that this was still okay with you. You nodded, sucking in a breath not even a second later when he grabbed you by the hips and pulled you right to the edge of the table and put his mouth on you. If you’d thought Max was a good kisser, it was nothing compared to what those lips and tongue could do when eating you out.
You had to place a hand on the massage table behind you in order to keep yourself upright as Max worked you over with his mouth. Your other hand wound itself into his hair, fingers locking around it to keep him in place because quite frankly, you never wanted him to stop. He was doing everything just right without any additional prompting from you, teasing and satisfying at the same time. He didn’t focus too much on one thing, spending just the right amount of time lapping at your cunt, teasing and rolling his tongue around that little bundle of nerves, tasting you… it was only a matter of time before you’d snap.
Max had caught on to the fact that you were trying so fucking hard to keep quiet, and was doing everything that he could to break you. The whimper you couldn’t contain when his fingers started to toy with your soaked core only seemed to spur him on further. You didn’t stand a chance when he worked two fingers into you, almost immediately finding and stroking at the spot that had you seeing stars. You had no choice but to let go of his hair and bring your hand up to muffle your mouth, moans involuntarily breaking free as he pushed you closer and closer and finally over the edge.
You came hard, thighs shaking on either side of Max’s head. Your vision went out of focus, nerve endings on fire as your high burned through your body. You forgot about everything else in the world, only able to think about this feeling and wishing that it could last forever. Max slowed his movements enough to prolong your high, working you through it. When you finally came back down to earth, Max was looking up at you with the biggest shit-eating grin on his face as his thumbs gently stroked at the top of your thighs. The contrast was almost dizzying.
Cocky little shit was probably keenly aware that he’d just ruined that for you when it came to any other men. You couldn’t even imagine anyone else making you feel like that. You weren’t even mad about it because it had been that good.
Max slowly rose to his feet, wiping the evidence of your orgasm away with the back of his hand. You reached for him, letting him pull you back flush against him so you could kiss him again. However, to your complete surprise this kiss was so different to the ones that had proceeded it. This one was gentle and sweet, slow and a whole different kind of intimate. There was no rush, no do-or-die urgency.
Max must have sensed your confusion, because he pulled away with an almost shy grin. “As much as I’d love to keep going down this road, it’s only a matter of time before the team sends out a search party for us and we get caught. I couldn’t care less if they caught us, but I know that it would be a bigger deal for you, and I don’t want to put you in that situation.”
You couldn’t help the way your jaw dropped, not having expected this. Not after the most mind-blowing release you’d ever experienced. The surprise gave way to disappointment when you realized that Max was right. You’d already been in your driver’s room for too long. People were going to start asking questions. “I guess…”
Max cursed in Dutch when he saw the disappointment flashing across your face. “Don’t look at my like that, or I will change my mind.”
“Logically, I know that it would be a bad idea if you changed your mind… but that doesn’t make me want it any less.” You told him exactly where your head was at. Your confused, lust filled head.
Max looked like he was fighting some sort of internal battle as he took in your words, letting out a shaky breath before gently reaching out to cup your cheek. “I’m going to fuck you, just not right now.” God, you almost burst again just with those words and the intensity with which he spoke them. “You deserve more than just a quick, careless fuck against the clock. I want to take my time with you, learn what makes you tick. Make you cum more times than you can count on my fingers, tongue and cock. We don’t have the time for that right now.”
“Jesus Christ, Max.” You groaned, that mental image and promise not helping you right now.
“After the party tonight… come to my room.” Max said, sounding nervous despite the fact that he had you hooked. “If you still want this, I’ll be waiting for you. If you change your mind after you’ve had time to think about it… no hard feelings.”
You frowned the second option, knowing that it was a lie. His tone of voice gave away how much he didn’t want that to happen. You’d crossed a line tonight that you wouldn’t be able to uncross. Things could never go back to the way they were. You didn’t want them to.
You found yourself wanting to reassure him, so you did the only thing you could think of and placed the gentlest of kisses against his lips and whispered a promise of your own. “I’ll be there.”
“Good.” The smile on his face completely gave away how much he wanted this to happen between the two of you. It made you feel all warm and fluttery inside again. “Now, get in the shower before your PO gets back. You smell like sex and champagne.”
“… is that a bad thing?” You smirked at the Dutchman.
His smile twitched as you purposefully tested his patience. “Shower.” He repeated, stepping out of your reach. His eyes scanned your very naked body one more time, that cocky smile making its way back onto his face as he shamelessly checked you out.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m going.” You muttered, pushing yourself off the bed and scurrying over to the other side of the room. You grabbed your change of clothes from the shelf on the way to the ensuite, turning to glance at Max as you stood in the bathroom doorway. “Go start your press rounds. Sooner we wrap media, the sooner we can go to the party. And the sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave. Get on with it, Verstappen.”
He seemed amused that you were now the one trying to kick him out, given that moments ago you were the one who wanted to continue. Regardless, he pulled his damp undershirt back on and shot you a wink. “See you later, heerlijk.”
“See you later, gorgeous!” You called back, stepping into the bathroom and locking the door shut behind you.
Catching sight of your reflection in the small mirror, the first thing you noticed was how completely fucked you looked. Now that you were alone, you started to think a little bit more deeply about what had just happened. You’d just done the thing you’d sworn you’d never do in Formula 1, and with a teammate nonetheless. And, you didn’t even care about the possible consequences. You could no longer pretend that there was nothing going on between you and Max. Everything was different now.
You were in too deep.
There was no going back.
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