Disclaimer: Blasphemy. And baseball. Both of which do not belong to me. Michael, Maria and Chris do, however.
Summary: Chris closes his eyes and wishes himself anywhere else but here. It doesn't work.
Notes: This one's kind of unfinished 'cause I don't like it as much as the others. I'll probably fix it up tomorrow or whatnot.
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Michael brings Maria to the clubhouse before the game against the Royals and he swears he can feel Chris boring holes in the back of his neck with his eyes.
But Michael resists looking at Chris, at anyone but Maria.
"So, you got a new rosary?" Chris thumps Michael on the back heartily, pretending to be cool toward the other man when really, everything in Chris runs hot toward Michael.
"Maria gave it to me," Michael announces, reaching up to stroke the wooden beads, lovingly. His and Chris's fingers meet, and Michael jerks his hand away, awkwardly, as if coming in contact with Chris has burned him.
It probably has.
A flame of hurt flickers across Chris's face, but he hides it well. He sighs, "Oh. . . I liked the Glo-in-the-Dark one. . . Tacky but so you." He tries to make a joke out of it, and for the most part, fails.
"Thanks." Michael slips his hand -- the one Chris touched -- into Maria's, and squeezes.
Something inside of Chris wants to lash out at Michael and this plain, simple girl. Lash out at her because she doesn't belong. Doesn't belong with Michael, doesn't belong on the arm of a millionaire ballplayer. Something buried deep wants to break something inside of this girl, wants her to just go away, to just leave Michael alone.
Spitefully, Chris snaps, "Well, you're plainer than I thought you'd be, Marla," even though he knows the girl's name is Maria. "The way Michael described you, I was expecting more like Pamela Anderson perfection or something."
Maria smiles, and Chris wonders what the hell he's just done wrong. "I've been blessed in other areas," she replies in that dreamy tone all Bible Belters' affect when talking about their Lord. "I don't worry about material things like looks or wealth because God has been very kind to me."
Chris feels sick to his stomach. "I. . .I have to go." He turns on his heel and heads for the urinals.
Chris splashes some water on his face, and gazes into the mirror, and can't even recognize the man he sees staring back at him.
Chris doesn't know who he is anymore, and that scares him. More than anything, more than losing the game, more than losing Michael to this pious little homebody.
Chris closes his eyes and wishes himself anywhere else but here.
It doesn't work.