NOTHING SACRED - Joachim
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
Nothing Sacred – Joachim
Sunlight is streaming through the windows. They kiss. Then they kiss some more.
It's a dragged-out affair, long-distance relationship that are made work. Barely, as it stands. But still - they do work.
"I love you", says Joachim and what he really means is 'you're still mine'.
And, hand to God, it is the only thing that matters for him.
"I love you", says Jürgen and means it. But in his own way, which is probably - strike it, decidedly - is not what Joachim wants it to mean.
But it is the case where words count and pretences must be kept... They both are grown man after all, clever enough to understand what words truly say.
Jürgen loves the sunlight. Jürgen loves the rain, but it's a different matter, and for a different person to know. For Joachim it is only the shining san - in LA, in Freiburg, in London, doesn't matter.
"I'll see you tomorrow", says Joachim and knows that this 'tomorrow' may very well be month away from this 'today'. That's just how long-distance works and how each of two lovers being married works - they see each other when they can afford it. That's how the time is marked for real - here are their evenings, their days and their nights, and then there are in-betweens, where other rules apply, other feelings are required and other people are around. They treats his work as seriously as they treat their love life. Maybe work means more.
But still, 'tomorrow' is the day when Jürgen chances to be around again, which is not what calendars say.
It seems that Jürgen doesn't mind - and some will even suspect he doesn't care.
Which is not like this at all, he cares. but in his own way, which may seem a bit off to strangers. But as Joachim is no stranger at all, he understands everything the way he's supposed to.
Then the kiss stretches, an lingers on, as goodbye kisses usually do. Then the flight is announced.
"Take care", says Jürgen in his quietly cheerful manner.
"You too", says Joachim.
They should be kissing again, probably, but Joachim once missed his flight this way. They're careful not to repeat it any more.
Cold plastic seats of another airport, synthetic smell of the cleaning reagents and ever-present coffee in plastic cups.
"What is love, Jürgen?"
They fly away - and then come back, to the rented apartment, flowers in ugly pots and takeout Chinese for dinner when they are too busy to get out of bed. Maybe this is what Joachim will call 'love'. Maybe Jürgen would do the same - except Jürgen never answers the question directly.
There is a set of rules. Don't tell anyone - main point in keeping such relationship alive. Let them guess, let them come to the right conclusion even - but don't say it out loud.
Don't lie to your family. They both are married, they both need discretion, but lying is never an option when you want to keep a secret.
Don't ask for confessions of love. Well, Jürgen never asks, anyway. And never answers when asked, so that's a rule, too, and they both abide by it.
It's their life, built around each other.
There are more rules of course. Don't smoke in the kitchen. Don't ever question other's working methods. Don't throw the keys around. These things that are never spoken of, but understood by both. Life is easy, really, living - even if it's only part-time - with someone you love.
"And what is love, Joachim?"
Smile as bright as sunshine. Sky-blue eyes and weird accent somewhere between Stuttgart and Los-Angeles.
Jürgen smiles - the way he always does, and says 'I love you'. In the way he means it, he's saying the truth.
It's always the words Joachim wants to hear.
It is happiness - they're not the first ones to get it this way.
It is autumn - sun an rain over the golden leaves.
It is a merry-go-round, flood of work and constant motion - and then everything stops. For some minutes everything stops and the world itself seems to be slowing down, to the rhythm of quiet conversation over the noise that always goes with long-distance call. So much to feel, so much to hear in mundane words. Maybe the smile is attracting attention. Maybe it's careless - being this way around someone who knows him that well. It's inviting questions - but the best way to avoid answering is asking back.
“Aren’t you looking too happy for this time of year, Jogi?”
"What is love, Markus?"
He suspects the joke in reply – he gets it.
"Love is war".
Markus always jests about serious things, and it's annoying - but maybe it's better this way. This heady feeling he calls love – this is his, only his own. It's about him and Jürgen, and only about them.
The mornings are grey and the days are bright. That's autumn in Germany.
It is a roar of the stadium and the yelling on the training field. It is politics – over and over again and then some more. And the phone calls that make it all meaningless for a moment – and give everything the special meaning at the same time.
"What is love, Hansi?"
"You're waxing philosophical, Jogi".
"That I do, but still - what is love?"
There's a pause, Hansi thinks for some moment.
"Love is having something that is only yours. Isn't it?"
"Oh yes, isn't it always".
It is. It most certainly is.