shake downs like these get old (shadow_shimmer) wrote,
shake downs like these get old

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FIC: (NBA SLASH) Almost Broken - Nash/Ginobili

Title: Almost Broken
Author: shadow_shimmer
Fandom: NBA Slash
Pairing: Steve Nash/Manu Ginobili
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: The people may be real but THIS is fiction. No profit is made.
Notes/Warning: This is utter and complete crackfic. Also, watch out for the minor kink, breathplay, etc. Thanks to horizon_greene for the beta (without her this would never, EVER have happened.)
Summary: Takes place directly after game two of the Western Conference Finals.

But he isn’t a monk (the twins are proof enough of that), and it isn’t like Manu is unattractive. And Steve’s walls aren’t just down, they’re splintered because of the game and he feels a little bit broken and Manu is strong enough to piece him back together or tear him all the way apart, if he lets him.

Almost Broken

Life shouldn’t be full of could haves and should haves, and when you have a 65 million dollar salary, regrets should be a moot point. But Steve has always cared just a little too much about the little things. For instance, he knows - as he makes his way very slowly out of America West Arena - that he could have walked off the court by himself . He didn’t need Voskuhl holding him up like he was a child, and it would have provided better morale for everyone if he’d managed to just get to the locker room by himself.

But fuck, he thinks, sipping at a Gatorade and feeling the tremors come and go from his legs. I can’t carry the team by myself. He scuffs at the ground and readjusts the strap of his warm-up bag. Sometimes, I need someone to carry me.

Running a hand hard through wet hair, and focusing on the pain in his joints and behind his eyes, helps shut down that line of thought before it gets dangerous. After all it’s not just him, Amare plays sometimes. And he lets himself smile a little at that. What the hell? Q even looked like he knew what to with a ball a couple of times tonight. But it wasn’t enough. Not against Duncan and Barry and that fucker Ginobili.

Steve spits and tosses his empty Gatorade into a trash can. The Argentine treats the court like a stage, and there’s nothing Steve hates more than a superstar. Speaking of should haves and could haves, Steve shouldn’t have let that deep, deep disgust get the better of him early in the game when he knocked Ginobili on his ass. He should have known that Ginobili would flail around in spectacular fashion and then lay there like he’d been checked by fucking Joe Sakic instead of little Steve Nash. And it’s always scenes like that that truly get under Nash’s skin.

Fucking diva, he thinks, heading into the lot, looking for his truck.

The urge to dig his cell phone out of his bag is overwhelming. But he slipped up once already tonight and he’s sure that wherever Nowitzki is, he saw it and - seeing the thing with Voskuhl - cringed.

The Suns might understand how tactile Steve is, how quiet and how different, and because they’re a young team and he’s their best hope for a ring right now, they don’t say anything. The rumors haven’t followed him from the Mavs and, yeah, no matter the ridiculous salary, it was really a chance to get a new start away from old . . . entanglements, that brought him to Phoenix. He knew that he could play better if he weren’t so damn scared of being outed all the time.

Because, Jesus, this is basketball, this is Jordan’s sport, Magic’s sport, fucking Kobe’s sport. It isn’t a place that a little Canadian who had started off life as a goddamned soccer player just fit right into. He’d had to fight, like the little puppy at the bottom of the litter, to prove that he was worthy to play. He can’t afford – no one in American sports can - to be different in that one way.

When he finds his truck, he just leans on it for a minute. Forty eight minutes, he thinks. They’re trying to kill me.

“They must think that you are immortal. The great, unstoppable Nash. The tireless, the faultless . . .”

Steve doesn’t even bother to turn around; he just hits the hood of his truck softly in frustration. “Miss your bus, Ginobili?” he asks, letting his warm up bag slip off his arm while he fumbles for his keys.

“No, I thought maybe I wanted to celebrate a little - see the sights.” His tone is quiet, conversational. “But then I realized it would be better if I had a guide, and who better than my old friend Nash, yes?”

Laughing, unable to help himself ‘cause it’s one of those laugh or cry moments, Steve looks over at Manu, “Friend? I hardly fuckin’ know you. Find a girl, Manu. Go back to your hotel.” He finds his keys and the truck beeps helpfully at him. “I’ll see you in San Antonio.”

Now, on the court Nash is fast and Ginobili is just strong, but here in the lot after it’s all done, Ginobili is faster than Steve, and Ginobili just plucks Steve’s keys out of his hand - one of his rings scraping against Steve’s wrist - and pushes Steve away from the car.

“You shouldn’t be driving,” he says, by way of explanation, and his teeth gleam unnaturally white in the halogen glow from the parking lights.

Not a risk taker off the court, Steve has to agree, but he’s not thrilled about letting Manu know where he lives. It feels like an invasion. But Manu’s already in the driver’s seat, adjusting the seat and the mirrors to account for his greater height and then waiting patiently for Steve to get in.

The ride is long and tense, with Steve keeping the radio low because of his headache and Manu keeping up a light chatter because of nerves? Because he’s naturally annoying?

Steve feels obligated to invite Manu in when they get to where they’re going and Manu, of course, accepts. Almost immediately Steve feels crowded. It happens when he’s around the big guys. Not Nowitzki, but the others. When they’re in his personal space he gets defensive. And although Manu isn’t the biggest, he’s got three inches on Steve plus ten to fifteen pounds and it’s enough. It’s enough for Steve to feel claustrophobic and intimidated and angry.

“Can I call you a cab?” he asks as he moves out of Manu’s shadow and into the kitchen intent on another Gatorade.

Manu follows him, though, and Steve can feel him at his back while he stands in front of the fridge, enjoying the cool air.

“Nah,” Manu mutters, shifting a little to look at the wall, “I’m good.”

Shit, Steve thinks as he grabs his Gatorade and slams the door to the fridge. He knows what Manu sees. It’s a picture of the 2000 Canadian Men’s Basketball Team.

Steve braces himself. He isn’t disappointed.

“Nice try there,” Manu says, running a hand cold with various metals down Steve’s arm, watchband slipping and clinking against a bracelet. “Didn’t get to Athens, though, did you?”

Bastard. “No,” Steve bites out. Unable to move away from the Manu’s grasp.

“I can show you my medal sometime, if you want,” Manu offers and there’s a smile in his voice.

Spilling Gatorade as he turns to look up at Manu, Steve sees red. “Can you even find it among all the other gold and platinum you own? Does it even really matter to you?”

Manu backs him against the wall, next to the picture, seemingly unaffected by Steve’s anger. “Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t.” He shrugs. “I can show you something else . . .”

And his tone there is undeniably suggestive. Steve is frozen by it. Trapped by it. He’s so bone-deep, soul-weary tired and it’s been so, so long. Because even though he loves Dirk and he can admit that now that they live so far apart, he never risked it. His career meant too much to him to take Dirk up on his hugs and touches and little kisses in the dark. Just once - just one time - did he let Dirk bring him off and then he left. He left Dirk, Dallas and the Mavs because he wasn’t queer and he wasn’t going to let shit like that get in the way of being the next best thing in basketball - the thing that changed basketball. He was going to take it out of the ghetto and out of the media and make it good again. That’s why he doesn’t take endorsements. He isn’t going to become a commodity like Jordan, or let his name be forever be linked with a lemon-lime soda like LeBron. He wants more for himself and for the sport.

But he isn’t a monk (the twins are proof enough of that), and it isn’t like Manu is unattractive. And Steve’s walls aren’t just down, they’re splintered because of the game and he feels a little bit broken and Manu is strong enough to piece him back together or tear him all the way apart, if he lets him.

So, when Manu takes the Gatorade out of his hand, he doesn’t fight. And when Manu presses his body against his, he doesn’t fight. He lets it happen, lets Manu cover him - and then consume him.

Because that’s what it feels like when Manu kisses him. Manu is all over the place, on Steve’s lips, on his jaw, on his neck, biting and licking and pushing on Steve hard. And that is fine, no, it’s fucking unbelievable, because Steve wants this to happen, wants Manu to make him want it, make it hurt.

Dirk could never do that - he could never be aggressive enough to just take, and Steve has always wondered if things might have just a little bit differed if Dirk could have just thrown Steve down, like Manu’s doing now, and fucked him.

But that’s in the past and Steve’s all for living in the present if it means letting Manu drag him into the living room and push him to the floor. Because here, now, he’s starting to give up and be someone not Nash. He’s not captain anymore, he’s not MVP anymore, he doesn’t have any responsibilities to anyone but himself and to the man that’s shoving a cock in his mouth.

“Take it,” Manu says, a little roughly above him, and Steve does.

They’re both still clothed; Manu’s just shoved his shorts down to his hips so Steve can get to him, and while Steve is the kind of guys that just doesn’t get on his knees, he’s there now and he likes it and Manu can tell.

“How long has it been, Nash?” he whispers, “How long since you sucked dick?”

Too long, Steve thinks, bracing himself on Manu’s thighs.

Manu’s fingers tangle in his hair, which catches on rings, while he pulls at him, choking him, and it makes him hard. And when Manu’s other hand closes over his jaw, prying it open even farther, he thinks he might come in his pants - something he hasn’t done in fifteen years.

Then, “Enough,” from Manu, and he’s pulling away, leaving Nash on his knees.

Steve wipes his mouth with the back of his arm and waits. If he’s gonna play this game, he’s gonna play it right.

“Bed?” Manu asks, and it’s a question of where not if, and Steve gets up, unsteady on tortured legs, and leads Manu to the bedroom.

When Manu begins to undress, a little sliver of holy shit don’t do this, sneaks into Nash’s consciousness, but he squashes it by pulling his t-shirt over his head and then toeing his shoes off.

He doesn’t look at Manu - not even when he’s naked. He just crawls onto the bed and lays on his stomach. Fuck me, he thinks, fuck me until I can’t see can’t stand can’t speak can’t shoot can’t run can’t dribble can’t pass can’t guard . . .can’t think.

It takes a minute for Manu to come to him, and Steve figures he’s finding condoms and lube, but when he’s there - it’s almost like he never wasn’t there. Like Steve’s body hasn’t ever been without Manu’s weight on it, teeth tearing into it and hands bruising it.

The marks will be hard to explain at practice since he’s never shown up with them before, but he’ll deal with that later. Now, he just wants to fall into it, fall into the pain and fall into the white, white light behind his eyelids.

Manu has long fingers and it turns out that he knows how to use them. “Tight,” he murmurs, more to himself than to Steve, as he works two fingers inside Steve. “It has been a while.”

That, absurdly, reminds Steve of that one song, And it’s been a while since I could say I loved myself as well and. . . it’s been a while since I’ve gone and fucked things up. It gets stuck in his head, distracting him, until Manu hits the sweet spot and Steve can’t keep quiet anymore. He knows that the low, pained groan that he muffles with a pillow is a victory for Manu, but what’s one more? What’s one more win for a man that’s prettier, younger, taller and more likely to get the ring anyway? Why not give him this?

And Manu apparently thinks the same, because he’s talking to Nash now, a long continuous monologue of non-sequiturs. “Let go. It’s over. Give . . .”

Steve doesn’t need to ask, Give what? Manu’s asking him to give in to him, and Steve - against all his better judgement and every ounce of his competitive spirit - wants to. Wants to open to Manu and give in to him.

No matter that it’s wrong, that if anyone ever found out his career would be over and no matter that it’s gonna hurt like a bitch. He wants it.

Reaching behind him, Steve takes a handful of Manu’s curls and pulls his head down, “Now,” he says.

There’s no argument as Nash struggles to elbows and knees, just the sound of a condom being unwrapped and then the almost-forgotten pressure. And it does hurt. It hurts because it’s been a while and because he’s tired and because he’s got a tricky back and because his legs are fucking screaming from holding up Manu’s weight, but none of that matters. A long time ago, Steve learned to play through the pain, and now, he knows, he can fuck through it too.

“Christ,” he says, covering his face with his hands, but Manu doesn’t stop and doesn’t give him time to adjust. He starts to move and Steve lets himself be smothered, pushed face first into the bed. He doesn’t mind not being able to breathe, because if he can’t breathe he can’t scream.

Manu’s hands are like vices on his hips, directing his movements - back and forth and a little side to side. Steve can hear Manu breathing and can imagine that he looks as theatrical - head thrown back and hair wild - when he fucks as when he plays. And Steve has to admit, the man fucks like someone with a multi-million dollar paycheck should: hard and confident and skillful.

Steve is content to let this go one way, to let Manu get off and leave; he’s alright with being used like that. But it seems that Manu isn’t. That’s not how he plays, because suddenly he’s rolling Steve’s balls through his fingers and tugging Steve’s face out of the mattress.

“I wanna hear you,” he says, squeezing in time with his thrusts. But it’s not until he starts to stroke Steve’s cock, that Steve’s will is finally broken and he begins to pant and then to growl.

“Does it hurt?” Manus asks, his voice hard, uncaring.

“Jesus . . .” Steve tries and fails the first time to answer. “Yeah it hurts . . . sonofabitch.”

“Good,” Manu says, slowing down and taking his hands away so he can grip Steve’s shoulders hard enough to pull him backwards.

When Steve is in Manu’s lap, the pain changes. There are new places to hurt now, new muscles to exhaust. Especially because now, sitting like this, he’s expected to do the work.

“Move, Steve,” Manu says, into Steve’s neck where he’s mouthing the skin.

It takes a minute to will his legs to work, but he does and then he’s riding Manu, supporting himself on any part on Manu that he can reach while the other man goes back to stroking him. Only now, now, Steve can see Manu’s hand on his cock - he can see the platinum and the diamonds glittering against the flushed, wet skin and he makes a noise halfway between a sigh and a sob.

He turns his head. Manu is there, waiting. They kiss and it’s not gentle - there are teeth involved and it’s hard to keep up a rhythm when Manu’s tongue is fucking Steve’s mouth like that, but if he doesn’t, Manu puts a hand on his hip and corrects him. Fucking corrects his movements and that makes him ache and moan into Manu’s mouth.

There’s no way that Manu can’t feel him shaking. His body’s going to give soon and he’s going to collapse. Manu’s taking him to the edge and over it. He’s hanging on by sheer will.

“Still hurt?” Manu asks, his voice more gentle this time, his hand still working Steve’s cock.

“Yeah, it does,” Steve admits, blinking sweat out of his eyes.

“Too much?”

Maybe . . .Steve thinks, but says, “Almost.”

Manu nods and wraps on arm around Steve’s waist, moving him now without Steve having to help. Steve lets his head fall back onto Manu’s shoulder and arches - without caring how it looks - into Manu’s hand. Finally, giving up.

What Manu sees must be enough for him because Steve feels him still and then thrust sharply inside of him. When he’s done, his heart pounding against Steve’s back, Manu moves one hand up Steve’s chest to his neck and closes it over Steve’s throat before going back to working his cock.

It’s permission to - for a brief moment - give up all control. He thought he had, he thought he’d gone there in letting Manu in at all, in letting Manu fuck him, in letting Manu push his body past all of its limits. But he’d forgotten, because it’s been awhile, that there are layers and layers to control. And Manu is offering to take one of the final steps with him - to let him have the ultimate release, to free him from everything - from fathering the team, from being in the public eye, from planning and organizing and micro-managing every little detail of his life and the lives of his teammates.

He leans he head back further and Manu tightens his grip with both hands.

Steve doesn’t fight. He lets the air go; he trusts Manu as another athlete and as a professional not to take it as far as he could, to instead bring him just to the edge where breath becomes a commodity and sensation becomes overwhelming. Just to the point where he loses control.

When he begins to lose connection - to feel like he’s floating and the only thing that’s anchoring him is Manu’s hands on his neck and his dick - he comes. He comes hard enough to bring him back and hard enough that Manu has to lay him down.

He doesn’t cry. He refuses. He’s been pushed like this before - by older men when he was younger - by men that understood the intricacies of this kind of game, and he’s never fully broken. He isn’t there now, but the potential is. And that’s more than a little scary.

Being held is so new and so foreign that it makes Steve more nervous than the sex did. But he literally can’t move more than his hand, which is covering Manu’s where it lays on his belly, so he doesn’t pull away. He just plays with the rings on Manu’s fingers, letting the diamonds prick at his skin, and focuses on getting air to his lungs.

It isn’t hard. Manu is good.

“I wouldn’t have . . . “ Manu seems to lose the words. “Done that if I thought it would hurt you.”

“The game hurt me more than that,” Steve answers, just as quietly. And it’s true. He imagines that his throat won’t even be bruised, and he has four days to rest before he meets Manu and the Spurs again. “I can take it,” he assures Manu, falling automatically into the role he plays for the public. He can take anything. Forty-eight minutes on the court - he glances at the bed-side clock - almost an hour in bed with Ginobili. Not a problem.

“I’m glad you did it,” he admits, surprising himself.

Manu laughs and Steve likes the feel of that big body moving so gently behind him. “You needed it.”

They lapse into quiet and Steve gives a silent prayer of thanks that Manu understands that leaving him right now - after he’s been almost broken like that - isn’t a very good idea. He is, although he’ll never say it, vulnerable. And that goddamned song is still stuck in his head, playing a weird counterpoint to the sound of the air conditioning and the traffic.

Why must I feel this way? . . . Just make this go away . . . Just one more peaceful day . . .

Sleep is teasing at the edges of Steve’s consciousness when Manu finally gets out of bed. “I should go,” he says, and for the first time that night, he sounds tired.

There isn’t anything to say. Steve’s never been the kind to grab at his lovers and beg them to stay, even when they aren’t one of his main opponents. So, he just shrugs and accepts Manu’s caress on the side of his face.

“I’ll see you in San Antonio, Nash,” Manu says, slipping his shoes on. “We’re gonna kick your ass. You know that, right?”

Steve shivers and smiles, “There’s still a chance. Marion played well tonight, and Amare did too. And we’ll get Johnson back.” He pushes his hair off of his forehead. “We don’t give up easy.”

Manu stands in the door and laughs, “No, you, don’t give up easy,” and as he heads down the stairs, Nash catches, “but you can learn.”

Before Nash falls asleep, something on the bed-side table catches his eye. Something glittery.

Shit, he thinks. Manu left one of his rings. Nash blushes a little in the dark, considering why Manu would have taken it off - remembering those long fingers inside him - and then puts in on his own hand.

Just so I don’t lose it, he thinks, figuratively and literally.


*The song stuck in Steve's head is, of course, Staind's "It's Been Awhile."

Go to the next part Victory in Defeat
Tags: fic, nba slash
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