TIME FOR PEACE
Pairing: Matthaeus/Klinsmann, Klinsmann/Voeller
Time: 1990/1991 season
Disclaimer: Not true
Summary: new season, same problems
Time For Peace
…A time to tear, a time to sew,
A time for silence, a time for speech,
A time for love, a time for hate,
A time for war, a time for peace…
He props himself up on his elbow, looking at Jürgen who is standing in front of the mirror brushing his hair.
- You could stay.
- It’s too risky, - shrugs Jürgen, smiling at his reflection.
- What are we risking?
Jürgen starts laughing.
He is disgusted with himself in such moments.
He is disgusted with himself since that evening in
And he was unable to say no. Forgetting about his pride, he allowed Jürgen to enter and didn’t say a word of reproach. They’ve had sex as if nothing has changed and it was as great as always.
And then Jürgen as always stood up and started dressing.
And he as always offered him to stay.
And Jürgen as always laughed in reply.
Bright sunny day in Milan, and they are leaving the training field together – three Germans who are still hanging mostly together, though Jürgen spends more and more of his free time with his Italian teammates.
- Jürgen, we’re going to that café, are you with us?
- I can’t, - Jürgen’s smile is almost apologetic.
In these three weeks Jürgen almost never went out with them. It seems that he and Andy are as in their first year in
- What is it this time? – He is smiling, but his tone is harsh. Jürgen doesn’t seem to notice.
- I promised Rudi to go with him to the lake.
Rudi, Rudi, Rudi, always Rudi damned Völler. He hates this name. Hates the man this name belongs to. Memories about World Cup, about triumph, game, victories disappear somewhere in the background and again and again he remembers only one scene – Jürgen and Rudi at the window, passionate kiss, and again he is overcome by the helpless anger. How many times did Jürgen leave his bed to go to Rudi? Jealousy is a foolish and humiliating feeling, but he is jealous and he despises himself even more because of it.
He shakes Rudi’s hand before the game.
- Good luck, but you won’t get any points here.
- We’ll see, we’ll see, - laughs Rudi.
“Roma” loses the match. Jürgen and Rudi leave the field together.
He is going mad probably. Maybe he’s already gone mad, just nobody noticed. Nobody but two of them sees what is going on in the half-lit hotel room, nobody hears these pitiful, ridiculous words.
- Don’t you want to stay?
Jürgen lifts his t-shirt from the floor.
- What for?
Yes, he’s gone mad probably. Only to think that he allowed Jürgen to come back after what happened in summer… He is mad about this man, about this beauty, this strong slender body, his voice, his smile. Madness.
Jürgen is like sand – warm golden sand that is impossible to hold in your hands, it is slipping through the fingers no matter how tightly you squeeze them. He doesn’t know how to hold Jürgen. He is ready to do everything to hold him.
Their relationship with Berti Vogts are bordering on hostility and the feeling is mutual. The coach and the captain of National Team are taking great care to pretend that everything is fine between them and he could have laughed at the situation if it wasn’t related to him so closely.
Doesn’t matter. Vogts won’t leave him off the squad, he is too important for the team. Rudi and Jürgen – that’s what concerns him the most. These two spend more time together than apart. Real friendship – that’s what everyone is saying. He always laughs when he hears it.
In the evening he sees Rudi leaving Jürgen’s room. There is a content smile on Völler’s face.
He knows his own worth. He knows what he can do in bed, and he knows that it’ll be hard for Jürgen to find a better lover. He uses all his abilities to make Jürgen forget about Völler, and when his lover calls out his name in orgasm he knows that in these moments Jürgen belongs only to him.
And then the same scene repeats.
Ten minutes, twenty, and Jürgen stands up and disappears in the shower, and he is lying here on top of crumpled sheets and his heart is freezing with pain the reason for which he doesn’t even want to comprehend. And again he says these words even though he knows what the answer will be.
- You don’t have to go.
Jürgen turns to him, his hand on the doorknob.
- Don’t speak nonsense, Lothar.
Giuseppe Bergomi. Italian. Pleasant face. Jürgen’s friend – and this attracts him more than anything else.
To find another lover, someone who will help him forget, bring peace to his mind – that’s all he wants. And it looks like Giuseppe has nothing against the brief affair, and he really is good looking and judging by the rumors he is good in bed. They are sitting in the Italian’s room, drinking wine and talking about some nonsense and he has no doubts about the way this evening will end.
But he understands why he is sitting now with Bergomi of all people. Somewhere deep inside he just wants to see Jürgen’s reaction when he learns that his lover is sleeping with his friend.
Giuseppe puts a hand on his hip.
- Are you making advances?
- And what do you think? – Smiles Bergomi, leaning closer to him.
Brief knocking, and the door enters. Giuseppe smiles at the newcomer without changing his position.
- Hi Lothar, - laughter is dancing in Jürgen’s eyes. – Beppe, did you…
- At the table.
Jürgen peaks into the red paper bag with interest.
- Thank you.
- Not at all. I promised, I brought. – And Giuseppe’s hand is still lying on his hip. – Join us? We are sitting here, drinking…
- Thank you for the offer. But I think I’d prefer to leave you two, - it seems that Jürgen is barely holding back the laughter, – alone.
Giuseppe winks at Jürgen and Jürgen winks back.
He watches the door close after Jürgen. The other’s touch seems disgusting suddenly, he has to make an effort not to show it, but Bergomi seems not to notice anything. But he doesn’t want to continue this game anymore and leaves at the first possibility.
- Lothar, - exhales Jürgen, throwing his head back in ecstasy.
He loves watching Jürgen in such moments. He looks open, almost defenseless, different than always. As beautiful as ever, yes – but different.
He puts his head on Jürgen’s chest. Such things are allowed right after sex, but in ten minutes Jürgen will just stand up and leave, waving aside another attempt to make him stay…
He closes his eyes trying to breathe slower, pretending that he is asleep. Wild hope – that Jürgen won’t risk waking him and will stay here. He hears Jürgen’s heart beating, listens to him breathe, melts in the warms of his lover’s body and counts seconds. One minute, two, three…
Jürgen frees himself carefully, trying not to disturb him, covers him with a blanket. He hears soft rustling of cloth – Jürgen is dressing. Tears are burning the eyes, he squeezes the eyelids tighter. Barely audible click of the switch, soft sound of the door closing, and he is alone.
- Who cares about the Dutches?
He speaks almost angrily. Three years, and it still surprises him – every match against “
- Where were these Dutches this summer when we, - nod in the direction of Andy and Jürgen, - were sweeping them off the field? If we want to win something we have to beat “Juventus”, we have to beat “Roma” and yes, we have to beat “
He is not a captain, but he is not going to keep silent. He’s not used to go to the field thinking about losing and he’s not going to even try get used to it.
- Right, my friend, - sighs Aldo Serena. – Our Germans are no worse than their Dutches.
Someone laughs. Jürgen pats his shoulder lightly walking past him.
He shuts the door quietly. The girls are asleep already and he himself wants to sleep, just to sleep and not think about anything at all.
Sylwia’s voice is quiet.
- What’s going on with you, Lothar?
She is toying with the napkin – smoothing the cloth out and then crumpling it and smoothing it out again.
- What do you mean?
He can’t take his eyes off her fingers.
- You’re not the man I married anymore.
- For God, Sylwia, what happened?
- Do you have a lover?
A lover, and another one too, and she notices it only now. Everything about her annoys him – her intonations, her white hair, the red cloth under her fingers.
- Don’t speak nonsense, - answers he harshly.
And only after saying it he understands who’s phrase it was and who’s tone.
He is showered with every title imaginable. Player of the year in
- So, let’s celebrate this, - Andy points at the pile of magazines and newspapers, - in our tight German circle?
- I’m afraid Jürgen has no time for us as always, - his voice is dripping with sarcasm. – He will find himself much more interesting company, I’m sure.
Jürgen is still smiling, but he thinks that for a second he’s seen hurt in the blue eyes.
- As you say, Lothar.
And again he caresses his lover to the point of frenzy, making Jürgen forget everything that is going on outside the walls of the room, and again Jürgen opens before him, allows him everything and gives pleasure in return. And again sits up on bed just some minutes after they’ve had sex, as if there was no tenderness, no passion, as if there wasn’t anything between them…
The room is dark.
He doesn’t recognize his own voice – harsh, almost desperate.
Jürgen turns to him.
- What for?
Again this question that cannot be answered. He wants Jürgen to be with him, simply to be with him, not in bed, not during sex, just here, close… But it’s impossible to say, it’s impossible to say to Jürgen, so he doesn’t answer again, just closes his eyes, but a whisper still falls from his lips.
And Jürgen lies down again.
He can’t believe, he’s afraid to believe that it is happening. He is afraid even to move, just lies there with his eyes closed and all the strength he has is barely enough to breathe normally.
Jürgen’s hand caresses his arm gently.
- What, Lothar?
The soft touch is burning like fire.
- Something happened?
He shakes his head silently. He knows which words he will say if he only allows himself to speak, and he knows that he won’t be able to live through this humiliation. Jürgen will laugh at him even without it – he doesn’t even want to imagine how ridiculous does he look right now.
Jürgen embraces him – a little awkwardly, carefully, and he presses himself to his lover and freezes like that, taking in every second. This is what he dreamed about – to spend a night like this, to lie together, embracing each other, but now he feels only pain. Maybe it’s because of these words he doesn’t want to say.
Jürgen falls asleep almost instantly. There are no thoughts, just sounds and sensations, and he lies awake with his eyes open and dozes off only before dawn.
He wakes alone.
Another tactical lesson and it’s all he can do not to fall asleep. Trapattoni’s voice sounds as from afar, and the language the coach is speaking could have as well been Chinese instead of Italian – the words don’t register with him, the mind is empty like the night before.
Jürgen bends down to him.
- Are you well?
The voice makes him start. Jürgen is looking at him, and he remembers how tonight Jürgen asked if he is fine in the same concerned tone. Does he look as ridiculous as then?
- Better listen to what coach is saying or else you’ll be useless on the pitch again.
Jürgen moves away.
The rain is drumming outside.
- Is this bed worse than yours?
Jürgen shakes his head.
- Aldo said coaches are going to check if everyone is in their rooms before lights-out.
There is nothing to answer. He nods.
Berthold buttons his jacket.
- So, who goes where?
- I’m going back to hotel, - Andy manages to stifle the yawn. – Want to sleep since yesterday. And you?
- Me too. Rudi?
- We’re going to zoo with Jürgen.
- Haven’t seen camels for a long time? – Asks Thomas in serious voice.
Jürgen smiles at him.
- Lothar, come with us?
He doesn’t understand why Jürgen is inviting him, these two always felt themselves fine without any companies before. And he wants to agree, but the mere thought about watching these two together and being the third makes him fume.
- I see no use in childish entertainments.
Jürgen’s facial expression becomes harsher. Rudi looks at him with surprise but doesn’t say anything.
The light of setting sun makes all outlines more clear.
- Why are you in such hurry?
Jürgen turns on his way to the door.
- I’m expecting a phone call.
- From Völler? – The question falls before he has time to think about it, jealousy again is stronger than pride. Yes, he despises himself – for this weakness, for his inability to end this affair or at least show Jürgen his place, for his own helplessness. Oh, how pitiful he probably looks…
Jürgen smiles defiantly.
- Why do you care, Lothar?
They are standing face to face with Rudi, there is no more than half a meter between them. Others have left already, and the locker room is empty save for the two of them.
- Stop it, Lothar.
He hates Völler.
- It’s none of your business.
- You think so? – Rudi balls his fists.
He would like to know – how much does Rudi know about him and Jürgen? His imagination creates a picture – Jürgen and Rudi lying in bed together, laughing at his foolish infatuation…
- Remember this, Lothar. If I ever hear again about you trying to raise players against the coach…
He is shaking with rage.
- Are you threatening?
- Won’t even try. I’ll just beat you as good as you deserve and others will add. Want to test if I’m telling the truth or not?
They look at each other with the same anger.
- Haven’t found yourself a better company?
Jürgen sits down.
- You seem to be in a bad mood today, Lothar.
- Go if you don’t like it.
- You want me to leave?
- I don’t care. Undress and lie down if you want, if not – I’m not holding you.
Jürgen stands up and leaves, shutting the door with a loud bang.
- Don’t fight with Jürgen, Lothar, please, - it’s impossible to take offence in anything Andy says, he even lectures in such tone of voice that everyone understands – he just wants everything to be well.
- We don’t have fights.
They are sitting alone again, because Jürgen once more preferred to take the invitation of his Italian friends.
- He thinks too highly of himself.
- Jürgen? – Andy sounds astonished.
He turns his head away hoping that Andy will change the topic.
He wants just to embrace Jürgen and hold him. Wants to make some silly gesture – to smooth his hair, or to caress his cheek, something like that. Wants to lie close to Jürgen and caress his body – gently, slowly, carefully, and receive the same tender touches in return…
These are the things they don’t have. Jürgen doesn’t tolerate “sentimental nonsense”, as he puts it.
Or maybe Jürgen just doesn’t tolerate it from him.
They all feel the tension before the final.
- And now “Roma”, - moans Bergomi. – Is it UEFA Cup or the Cup of Italy after all?
- This should please you, - answers Aldo. – It means that Italian football is the best in
- But it clearly doesn’t please our Jürgen, - says he conversationally. – I’d like to know whom he will support in this match – us or romans?
Jürgen looks at him as if seeing him for the first time.
Shrill of sirens from outside gets on the nerves.
- Why don’t you stay?
- Don’t speak nonsense, - retorts Jürgen without even turning his head.
Another cup, another victory. He even finds it in himself to come up to Rudi and Thomas and say some comforting words. Celebration lasts all night long, it seems that everyone has forgotten about regime and the match that should be in three days, there is champagne and singing and dancing…
During this night he and Jürgen haven’t shared a word.
He sits on the bed, knees to his chest.
The door closes.
He is alone again.