𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧 — 𝘮. 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯
pairing: max verstappen x reader
word count: 1815
summary: Max's first Saudi GP doesn't go very well - luckily for him, y/n is there with him as his safe haven.
notes: so first of all, a small psa - i've seen a couple of other writers got sent the same request as me and while i will still write the requests i got, i would like to remind everyone of my rule regarding this: no duplicate requests - if you have already sent your request to another blog, please do not send it again to me. also, please do not send in the same request twice. i understand that you can get a bit impatient waiting for a new fic, but please respect this rule! now going back to the fic itself, i got a couple of requests a few months back and i finally got around to writing this. it was initially supposed to be angstier than it is, but i really like how it turned out :)
In the final moments of the 2021 Saudi Arabian qualifying session, all eyes were glued to the TVs broadcasting Max's final flying lap.
-0.107 in S1
-0.244 in S2
Everyone was watching the Dutchman in awe, save for the rival German team who looked extremely worried - Max was truly pushing the limits and the lap was looking phenomenal. And then it all went wrong.
“But Verstappen can spoil the Mercedes party and ruin their 1-2–”
“–As he hits the wall, right at the final corner! Max Verstappen hits the wall and pole position slides out of his grasp right at the end. The track with the most corners on the Formula 1 calendar this season has proved to be one with one too many corners for Max Verstappen.”
Groans of frustration and heavy sighs of disappointment filled the Red Bull garage, multiple team members sitting back down in the chairs with their heads in their hands as the Dutchman's father slammed the table in front of him. Y/n averted her eyes from the TV to glare at the older Verstappen. Deep down in her gut, she felt a fight coming on. Y/n knew she would have to have a word with Jos before Max gets back because there was no way she was letting anyone make him feel worse than he was probably already feeling.
Y/n glanced back at the TV and she could see Max was already on his way back to the paddock, looking absolutely dejected. She sighed, the scene tugging at her heartstrings; the girl knew her boyfriend well enough to know that he was going to blame himself heavily for the mistake. She felt a tap on her shoulder and it was someone from the team letting her know Max was back at the Red Bull motorhome.
At the entrance of the motorhome, y/n was stopped by the Red Bull team principal for a quick chat when they noticed Jos storming towards them. The Brit cast a glance towards the girl next to him and sighed. Y/n and Max have been dating for a while now and her unrelenting support has helped the young driver on so many occasions; she was seemingly the only person who could always pick Max right up no matter how bad of a day he had. This also proved to be a bit of a clashing point between the driver's father who never minced his words and the driver's partner who always stood up for him. She was a lioness to his lion.
“Move,” the older Verstappen grumbled at one of the Red Bull employees who was unintentionally standing in his way.
“Oh, no you don't”, y/n snapped as she stood in front of Jos, having none of his antics.
Jos spared a quick glance at Christian as if to look for support only to be met with the team principal's unimpressed expression. His eyes then moved on y/n, lack of amusement evident in his features. “Get out of my way, y/n.”
The girl crossed her arms as she shifted her weight from one leg to another. “You are not getting in there, especially with that attitude,” she said, her voice stern. Challenging almost.
Y/n could tell the man was becoming more livid by the second, but she simply didn't care. After the shitty evening he just had (on top of feeling sick), the last thing Max needed was to deal with his father as well.
Jos sighed, weary and annoyed. He looked at something in the distance, arms on his hips. When he finally returned his attention to the girl before him, Jos took a step forward. “I like you, y/n. But if you don't move out of the way-” the grey-haired man started, his arm moving to rest on y/n's shoulder.
She swatted away his hand so fast it almost sounded like she slapped him and stepped away from him. “You have some nerve thinking you can threaten me,” y/n scoffed, an incredulous look on her face.
The Dutchman's father went to say something but was quickly cut off by the determined girl.
“I'll keep this short and simple. If you think you're going to go in there and give Max shit for trying his best, you've got another thing coming,” y/n stated, her voice clear and unwavering. “Also, if I see or hear you berating him in any way, Max qualifying third will be the least of your problems”. With that, she walked away, leaving the stunned man in silence.
There was a small group of Red Bull's engineers standing a short distance from the door and having heard the argument, they only pointed to the direction in which Max went. She smiled at them in gratitude as she passed by them. Once she was outside Max's room, y/n softly knocked on the door a couple of times. When she wasn't met with an answer, the girl popped her head into the room.
Seeing Max sitting hunched forward on the sofa, a white towel hanging from his neck, she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. Despite hearing someone come in, Max didn't move - his gaze remained on the floor below him, his hands gripping the water bottle, taking small sips from the straw.
Y/n let out a small sigh as she sat down beside him and planted a kiss on his cheek. Max managed to tear his eyes from the floor to look at her, the girl's eyes full of sympathy. She put a hand on his back and started rubbing it soothingly. “Are you okay?”
Max closed his eyes briefly, taking a second before answering. “I've been better.”
Her eyes quickly scanned his face, lingering on his eyes which currently held a cooler shade of blue instead of their usual warm one. “Are you still feeling sick?” y/n asked, her hand that was previously on his back now gently caressing his cheek.
“A little? I don't really know to be honest,” he mumbled, leaning into her touch before letting out a heavy sigh. Max leaned backwards, staring at something in front of him. Y/n put her head on his shoulder and Max took her hands into his, thumbs tenderly brushing over the back of them.
Finally deciding to break the silence, y/n spoke up. “Look, the most important thing is your wellbeing. I'm sure your team will do their best to help you feel better as soon as possible.”
Max turned his head to plant a kiss on top of her head. “I know,” he replied, his voice muffled by her hair.
“And there is always tomorrow. Starting third is not the worst thing.”
“Besides, that lap was still incredibly sexy despite what happened at the end.”
Max turned his head towards his girlfriend, a small smirk appearing on his lips. “I know.”
The race had been an unbridled mess: crashes left and right, race restarts every five minutes (or at least that's what it felt like), and weird behaviour from pretty much all participants. The race left a bitter taste for a lot of teams, just for different reasons.
One of the reasons for the Red Bull team was Checo's early retirement. However, their frustrations didn't end there. Instead, the team saw a lot of late drama for Max as well, which landed the Dutchman in some pretty hot water with the stewards.
Y/n could feel Max wanted nothing more than to forget this weekend and she was proven right as he hurried off of the podium. The Red Bull driver knew he was in for a long night - a debrief with his team, a meeting with the stewards… Max was exhausted, still feeling somewhat sick, and he just wanted to leave.
As Max was dragged from one meeting to another, y/n waited for her boyfriend in his room. She bounced her leg angrily, scrolling through the social media - a decision she greatly regretted as she read some seriously vile comments. Just as she locked her phone and tossed it aside, Max pushed through the door. Taking a quick look at her, he could tell y/n was pissed and from lack of context, his tired brain concluded that it was him she was angry at.
Max dropped his stuff on the table beside him, sighing as he did so. “Please, I just had the shittiest day I have had in a while and I do not have the energy to fight with you too.”
Y/n recoiled slightly in shock at his words, her brows furrowing. It took her a moment to realize what was happening, but as soon as she did, her features softened.
“No, wait, baby. I'm not mad at you.”
Max paused to look at her, clearly sceptical. “You're not?”
The girl shook her head as she made her way over to him. As soon as she was within the holding distance, Max wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in her neck. She wrapped an arm around his waist, her other hand running softly through his hair, the blond driver relaxing into her embrace.
“Wait,” y/n said as she pulled away from Max, earning a dissatisfied groan from him. “What did you mean by 'you too'? Did Christian say something to you?”
Max didn't say anything, but it was from the lack of response that y/n knew exactly who it was that did say something.
“He did not…”
“Look, you're pretty cute when you're mad-”
“Then I'm about to get real fucking adorable.”
“Y/n, please, just let it go. You already gave him a piece of your mind yesterday.”
“You heard about that?”
Max chuckled, eyes crinkling slightly at the edges. “Schat, half of the world heard that.”
The girl winced a little from guilt. Not because she put Jos in his place but because she did it in front of the cameras which y/n knew Max wasn't a fan of. The optics of his girlfriend and his father fighting weren't great. “Sorry, I didn't really care for the cameras at the moment.”
Max gave her a small smile and planted a kiss on her temple, his arms resting on her waist. Y/n wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling Max in for a kiss which he gladly returned. When they pulled away, her kind eyes were on his. “Are you sure there isn’t anything else I can do?”
Max shook his head, his eyes full of adoration. “I don’t think you understand just how much you’ve already done for me throughout this weekend. Now if you don't mind, I'd very much like to go back to the hotel room and then cuddle the shit out of you for the rest of the night.”
Y/n let out a short laugh before she stole a quick kiss from her boyfriend. “Sounds fine by me.”