THE TRAIL WE BLAZE
Fandom: German National team
Disclaimer: I still don't know people mentioned in this story and I still hope it isn't true. The plot is still only my fantasy
Summary: London, Joachim's POV.
Author's notes, previous chapters and music here
Timeline for the series is here
The Trail We Blaze
“They didn’t expect to see me”.
He’s leaning on the rails right in front of me. Beautiful. Golden.
He has his coat on. The weather here should seem cold to him after the sunlight of
“They didn’t know that you’re coming. Expect – that I bet they did. At least some of them”.
He laughs shortly, looking at the players.
“And they’re glad to see you”, I add as an afterthought.
He smiles at me, smile so open and so happy. He’s blinding when he smiles, or does it make such an effect only on me?
I would hope it was so. But…
They didn’t know… *I* didn’t know! For God’s sake. Olli will pay me for this surprise, oh damn him… I was shocked, so much that I can only hope that Jürgen didn’t imagine that I’m not happy to see him.
I’m not happy, by the way.
Not here, not in England, in London, London! There couldn’t be a sillier coincidence – Olli getting him to come right here where he’ll have every opportunity to meet that man whoever he is, and I’m learning about it when I can’t do anything anymore.
I love looking at him when he’s smiling like that. My beautiful Jürgen.
It may be that I’m panicking too soon.
Everything may still be alright.
I’ll find a reason to kill Bierhoff, I swear.
“Your thoughts about tomorrow’s match?” He asks it without looking at me, his gaze is locked at the groups of players making their warm-up exercises. Hansi’s voice is reaching here, he’s directing that part of training with the precision that still surprises me.
“We’ll play, and one of two teams will win”.
“And if there’s a draw?”
“Then the fans will have less reason to fight”.
We’re speaking softly, not looking at each other, and if some stranger happens too see us, he’ll be surprised at two men standing close to each other, looking in different directions and sharing short phrases from time to time. Conversation between friends sure looks different.
It’s our usual way of speaking since the time we were working together. I don’t need to look at him to know if he’s joking or deadly serious.
“Rumors about you and ‘Tottenham’ – truth or?”
“I’ll tell you when there’s something to tell”, as if it’ll kill him to give a direct answer. Though it’s none of my business… I will pray to every god I know that he won’t sign the contract.
If only I knew that this other man is in England and not… Oh, no need to complicate things more than they already are.
“You two, where are you hiding?” Olli grabs Jürgen’s shoulders from behind, surprising him for a moment. If Bierhoff knew what I’m thinking about him right now he wouldn’t be so cheerful. “Jogi, are you a coach or who is a coach here?”
“I’m coming”, I sigh. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Jürgen reminded me to clearly of the times when we were standing like that, directing the training or the game together… I don’t want to lose this feeling. But this time he’ll have to stay at the tribunes, and I leave him talking animatedly with Olli and return to my duties.
I have to stop myself from looking at him every minute, but my eyes nevertheless return time after time to the man sitting alone on the bench. My golden Jürgen, my treasure. No, it's good that we're not working together anymore though I miss his presence... I would never be able to pay all my attention to what I am doing if he were always before my eyes - now that we're not only friends, but much, much more.
And if someone thinks that I’ll let him wander through the streets of London alone or with…
“Olli”, I stop Bierhoff and grab his sleve to get his attention for sure. He smiles.
“What is it now?’
“You’ve got Jürgen to come here, now go and entertain him. If he’s feeling lonely it’ll be your fault”.
Olli looks at me as if I’m speaking complete nonsense.
“Why me?” He always makes a funny face when he doesn’t know how to get out of some task. “There’s you and Andy and Hansi and his friends…”
“Right”, I hope that my voice sounds normal, but I’m not sure – I’m close to being angry. “His friends. And if they get hold on him, we won’t see him till the moment he leaves. Is this what you want?’
Olli takes his time to think about the answer, and I swear, I’ll kill him if something…
“Ok Jogi, let our manager be”, laughs Hansi. “I’ve got it, our task is not to let Jürgen out of our sight. Fine, no problem, will be done”.
“Ok”, sighs Olli, looking at us.
I make a serious face and nod at them solemnly so they’ll get all the seriousness of the situation right. Good that Hansi got what I want right away.
I’ll be sure to look after him, my treasure, my Jürgen. He’s already coming to the hotel with us, and then there’s dinner, and then I’ll drag him for a walk, and then I’ll try to lure him into my bedroom – and to my bed, for sure. And tomorrow… Tomorrow we’ll see.