BEND AND BREAK
Fandom: German National team
Pairing: Klinsmann/Loew, various
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
Author's notes, previous chapters and music here
Timeline for the series is here
Bend and Break
Joachim is sleeping already. Quiet is the night, and no lights are disturbing the darkness. He’s sleeping. Peacefully, without dreams.
Daniela is reaching for the cups. She has to stand on her toes to reach the shelf, and for a moment the plate that is standing so precariously close to the edge looks like it’s ready to drop.
“I miss Stuttgart”, she says in almost whisper.
And Markus looks at her questioningly, saying nothing. It is she who needs to talk.
“I really do”, she says in the same quiet tone. “And even Istanbul, you know. I miss these days. It wasn’t so complicated back then. And Jogi wasn’t so…”
She snaps her fingers, as if trying to catch the thought and turn it into words – and falls silent with a helpless look on her face. Confused a bit because she’s sorry for complaining. Just a little bit hopeful – because she’s always trusted him to understand her.
Jogi wasn’t… Wasn’t so distant? So busy, maybe? So wound up, like these days?
Maybe she means something else entirely.
It’s none of Markus’s business, so he stays silent.
When Jürgen enters the small apartment, Joachim smiles. It’s a smile of a lover – and the one who loves. And Jürgen always smiles back.
And they fall asleep together. And Joachim is happy.
And every time he wakes up in the same bed with his golden lover, his first thought is just the same.
And Jürgen indeed is his – as much as married man can belong to his lover. Maybe even more, because there are so many things they share that make them into a part of each other’s life. They both are made for each other, it seems.
Happiness. So much happiness in being together. Every complication, every bad thing seems like a shadow, a thing of the past that doesn’t matter anymore.
Only he matters. Jürgen. His happiness and his love.
And the tenderness overwhelms him sometimes, this feeling that Jürgen brings up in him. So much love and so much happiness.
And Joachim doesn’t have much time for those who are second-guessing him. He’s never had.
“You never told how Wormuth ended up working under your command. Haven’t you had some sort of falling out – or maybe I am wrong?” Asks Andy with indifferent expression.
“He’s had no other choice but coming here. He’ll never agree to be second best”.
And nobody will ever know about the meeting in the airport, and words that were said, and cigarette broken in two halves. And the look that Frank gives him every time they meet – nobody will notice and nobody will care.
And Olli shrugs and asks: “Who is the replacement then. Someone from ‘Stuttgart’?”
No hidden meanings in these words. Olli never questions him, in fact, he never even argues anymore. He has more important things to care about – and good for him.
And only Hansi never asks unnecessary questions. Hansi understands him better than most.
Joachim sleeps. In his sleep he never flails around or makes any noises. Quiet and peaceful. Resting after another hard day.
Daniela is careful not to disturb him. He needs his rest, with all the work that drains him and makes him look older than he really is. She looks at him sometimes and sees Klinsmann from three years ago. Sometimes he turns – and she notices lines on his face, and how dark his eyes appear to be. And no fashion clothes hide the fact that he is not thirty anymore, and that his job sometimes gets too much for him.
And she is scared sometimes – because even despite it he won’t stop, and she has no chance of talking him out of it, no means to convince him to leave the team, go to some high-profile club and get at least some pressure off his shoulders. Joachim will not agree, will never agree to it… And the only thing she can do is try and not wake him up when she moves quietly around the room in the deep of the night, because she can’t sleep. And sleeping pills don’t help. They never do.
And Markus drinks coffee despite the late hour. Coffee makes him feel sleepy, he claims.
“So why did Matthäus decide not to go to Hungary after all?”
“Give you three guesses”, smiles Hansi in his face.
“Yes, yes, yes, no other reasons for him and I’ve forgotten when he’s had any other reason for doing something significant”.
Markus puts his cup aside and looks at the window. And keeps looking for quite some time, watching the tree branches bend softly under the wind.
“Does Klinsmann really matter that much to him?” Says he finally, thinking aloud rather than answering.
“Isn’t your interest in Matthäus a bit too deep?”
And when Flick speaks in this tone – it is dangerous. But as always he doesn’t care, and he laughs.
And with a disarming smile Hansi shrugs and says: “Yes, for sure I am”.
And no matter how Markus hates it, he can’t help but feel something for this man at such moments. Something… He isn’t exactly sure what it is. Nor that he wants to find out.
And Joachim is happy. Even though he hasn’t had enough rest, and the papers that Flick brings look scary.
There are things that don’t matter for him.
And then there are things that matter. A lot.