READY FOR THE VICTORY
Fandom: German National team
Pairing: the pairing for the series is Klinsmann/Loew, but this chapter is actually Klinsmann/Matthaeus
Notes: Before the match with "Austria" "Salzburg" needed only one point to win the title. The game ended with a draw, so they are the champions now with 5 matches still to go.
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: The game and all that surrounds it
Author's notes, previous chapters and music here
Timeline for the series is here
Ready For the Victory
The tension is rising, there is this usual hustle and loud conversations around and inside the locker rooms like it always is before important matches. Players and officials and securities and journalists are hurrying back and forth, and roaring of the already-filled tribunes is muted by the walls but still clearly audible here, in the catacombs of the stadium.
He’s standing right outside the door of their locker room, ready to walk out with the other coaching stuff, counting minutes till the start of the match. People are moving around, someone pats him on the shoulder with a “Good luck, Lothar”, and he nods to the man, whom he recognizes as one of the journalists from… whatever newspaper, he’s not exactly sure. Nearby two operators are setting up the camera, swearing from time to time when some thing doesn’t want to connect properly.
The signal of incoming SMS is almost lost in all the noise. He opens the phone, not expecting to see something worth answering, almost ready to delete the message without reading, but there is a name on the header that makes him shake and feel warm at the same time. It’s this strange sensation, pleasure and pain and joy that washes over him every time he sees Jürgen, or hears him, or even hears about him, and now this message from him that hurts and brings happiness at once.
‘Get this one point and be done with it’.
Typing seems an impossible task, his fingers are shaking slightly and he makes a mistake and has to correct it before sending back a reply.
‘Is it a dare?’
The blink of indicator, the message has arrived, and almost instantly here is the answer.
‘It is. Good luck’.
He nods, like he would have nodded if Jürgen was standing in front of him. Someone touches his arm, and he turns to see Giovanni who is looking at him with a smirk.
“So who there, the wife of yours worrying that you remember your coat not?”
He’s long ago used to Giovanni’s broken German, he understands everything the older man means even if the phrases sometimes sound like a mess of words piled together. They are walking towards the entrance to the field already, players are there too, some of them are talking loudly.
Giovanni looks at him, as if trying to understand who could he be talking about, and then laughs.
“You talking with Jürgen?” By the look on Giovanni’s face one would think that it is a very pleasant news.
“Why shouldn’t I?” He shrugs.
The singing of people on the tribunes rolls over them like a wave, and from this second on there is nothing in his world but the match, the field and players and the ball. This feeling is so familiar – it was like that when he was a player, and nothing has changed since he became a coach. For the next forty-five minutes nothing exists for him, only the game his team is playing matters.
End of the first time is almost like coming out of the trance. The catacombs seem to be dark after the blinding sunlight outside, and the phone in his palm is warm when he is searching for the only message he was waiting for and the only one he’s going to read.
‘You’re losing the dare’.
Just seconds to type the answer.
And waiting for the reply that seems to be so slow to come.
‘Live scoreboard. I wish I could hear Giovanni now’.
He smiles mischievously.
‘You asked for it’.
And he dials the number – he knows it by heart, though he will never tell it to anyone, and who cares anyway, and the moment Jürgen answers he walks into the locker room, right in the middle of Giovanni’s passionate tirade that consists of a fine mix of German and Italian words, and holds the phone opened so Jürgen will be able to hear this speech. And he very well can imagine that the man on the other side of the phone is smiling remembering
And back to the pitch, with only seconds to glance on the screen to see another message.
‘Thank you. You’ll get it now’.
And they do get it, this deciding point that secures them a title and Champions League and whatnot, and he suddenly understands that he would have preferred to lose the game instead because it maybe would have meant another short message before the next match…
But they’ve won the championship already, and as a prize there is a signal of incoming message and one word on the screen.
And that is all. And during the quick celebration right in the locker room, and later on their trip back, and even later when the whole team is having fun in the restaurant he is still hoping for a call, for any words of congratulation, hoping to hear the voice…
And the call doesn’t come.