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For a moment, Jackie genuinely thinks it's François standing there; a few feet away and completely engrossed in conversation with a mechanic, loose limbed and happy.

It's like a punch to the gut. Suddenly, it's 1970 again. He's thirty, and François is alive and vibrant and just so utterly gorgeous, that Jackie can't help the small sob that escapes from between his lips.

It's the eyes. Piercing blue, yet somehow impossibly dark at the same time. They're François' eyes. Jackie watches as the driver laughs and they crinkle at the sides, just like how he remembers. Oh god, his smile. Jackie's knees go weak, he hadn't anticipated what seeing that smile again could do to him.

He can feel his body start to shake as he begins to walk closer. He aches with longing, the likeness both breathtaking and heartbreaking at the same time. He thinks about François almost every day, always mulling over the what ifs and the could have beens. To be confronted with something so tangible isn't something he'd ever prepared himself for. After all, who would?

But, as he finally comes to a stop in front of the young driver after what feels like having run a marathon, the haze breaks - this man is shorter, and his hair is just all wrong. François always towered over Jackie, a constant comfort at the Scot's side, and had curls that brushed his cheekbones and tumbled down the back of his neck. Jackie loved his hair. It was just like he was; soft, glamorous and a little bit wild.

This man, or Jerome as he introduces himself in an accent that just isn't toe curlingly warm enough, isn't François. And he, nor anyone else, will ever come close.





Rob watches Felipe over the top of his race notes. He's swinging his legs; all suited up, sans helmet of course, and ready to hop into his car. To the untrained eye, he's seemingly poised to attack the race with determination and a clear mind. Yet, his hands are clenched tight on the edge of the table he'd pulled himself up onto only a few moments ago. He's tense, frustrated, and lost in worry rather than thought.

"Oi, come 'ere," Rob says with a jerk of his head, immediately drawing Felipe's attention towards him. The Brazilian wrinkles his nose and obediently hops down from his perch. He stops in front of Rob and looks up expectantly, his head cocked slightly to the side, ready to absorb any and all information his race engineer is about to give him.

Rob briefly glances around the garage, quickly noting where each mechanic and engineer is. Satisfied, he lifts up his clipboard to shield them from the rest of the wandering Ferrari team members, just in case, and places a soft dry kiss to Felipe's cloth covered lips.

It's brief, merely a peck. "What was that for?" Felipe blinks widely when Rob straightens back up.

"I need a reason?" Rob counters, his eyebrows raised, daring Felipe to tell him otherwise.

"Could have done it before I put my balaclava on..." Felipe grumbles, his eyes clearly betraying a smile.

Rob feels the painful pull in his heart ease. That's what he wanted to see. "I was being cute and spontaneous," he grins and crosses his arms, leaning a hip against his work station.

Felipe snorts and squeezes Rob's arm in thanks, his palm warm and comforting against the exposed skin.

Regardless of how complicated, how hard, how completely soul destroying being part of Formula 1 can get; at least things never need be anything but simple between the two them.

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July 2014

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