A PURO DOLOR*
Fandom: German National team
Pairing: Klinsmann/Gary Mabbutt, Klinsmann/Loew and hints of Klinsmann/Matthaeus
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, the next day.
A/N: part 3 is Rudi Voeller's POV
Author's notes, previous chapters and music here
Timeline for the series is here
*of a pure pain
A Puro Dolor
The weather is fitting somehow, this light drizzle and wind, heavy grey clouds are covering the sky and it’s even strange that sunlight is still able sometimes to crawl through this blanket of grey wool that is hanging over the town. Such an English weather,
It seems that
“If you smile at this cloud it will smile at you”, says Gary evenly. He’s not joking, his every word is filled with authority and sureness, and he never ever thought about not believing in what Gary says.
Lifting his head, he smiles at the cloud that is floating right above his head. Seconds pass, he’s counting them by his own heartbeat, and then a golden ray of sunlight suddenly warms his face, bathing everything around in its glow.
“I’ve told you so”, and when he looks at Gary’s face he sees a content smile. If he didn’t know better he’d think that the man in front of him is able to command the clouds.
It’s not hard to believe that Gary can command anything he wants. It is Gary.
“You and ‘Tottenham’?”
He closes his eyes, enjoying the taste of coffee. Jetlag is starting to get to him, he’s tired and in this dreamy state everything seems a bit unreal, a bit of a fantasy, like this ray of light caressing his face by Gary’s orders.
“Rumors so far”, he answers the truth, he’s never told Gary anything but the truth and never heard lies from the man. Gary is always like that.
“Would be a good job for you”.
He nods, taking another sip from his cup. It would be a good job for him.
“I still wish that you someday show me Bristol and the changes in…” He's talking slowly, there's no need to hurry.
“I will. And don’t change the theme”.
“I’m not”, he smiles at Gary’s brisk manner. He likes it.
“And you’ll have to sing English football songs…”
“And this is what I’m never going to do…”
“Three lions on a shield…”, whistles Gary not paying attention to his last words.
“Der König Fußball regiert die Welt...“, conters he. Out of tune again, he’ll never learn to sing it correctly and it doesn’t even matter.
Gary closes his ears with his palms, and they laugh, loud and unable to stop, even though there wasn’t any real joke – they just laugh together like two boys and not the grown men they are.
“It’s good that you’ve found time to come here”, and Gary covers his hand with his palm, another usual gesture that becomes so special only when they are together.
“I love you”, in the state he is in, in this half-reality he is in he is able to say these words once again despite all of their agreements and decisions and it doesn’t even hurt like it should.
“Same”, Gary’s answer is curt and sure like his every word, and it sounds almost like a reply in Preference, an it makes everything around bright and the weather is suddenly good, and there’s enough light to see Gary’s eyes – just because of this short word in return for these three words he’s said. But Gary corrects himself, after a pause, as if he’s measured the words, weighed them and found them acceptable.
“I love you”.
Their hands are touching, fingers entwined, a point of warmth between them. Their gazes are locked. They are one again, they have returned to that place, that time when life was simple and it was enough to say ‘I love you’ to be happy for the rest of their lives, and there were many ways before them, and…
“Don’t”, they say it in unison, still looking at each other, still feeling the words – most important words between them, and it’s bitter, so bitter and so sweet, happiness filled with sadness, a mourning that makes them smile.
“If you try this cherry pie you’ll be pleasantly surprised”.
He obediently takes the plate from Gary’s hands, sticks the fork into the tasty-looking pie.
“Jonathan wants to see London”.
“I haven’t seen him for half a year at least, will be good to meet again”, nods Gary. Gary likes his son, and Jonathan has this instinctive liking toward Gary, if a child and a grown man can be friends, these two are.
“When the weather here will be better”.
“If you want to show him London, our clouds is the first thing to show”.
Their hands are still touching. And they didn’t even need this ‘I love you’, because long time ago it was already said and there’s no need to repeat as long as they still see it in each other’s eyes, but now that the words were said the warmth doesn’t leave them, the warmth and the pain that doesn’t even hurt…
And then walking, walking down the streets of London, his London, their London, the town that only they both will ever know. Their own London, colored in grey and beige, where the trees are green and silver rain is falling from the sky. Down the streets, watching the pavements unroll before him like a carpet, inviting and welcoming him to the trip to somewhere…
There are times in everyone’s life when a man is allowed to dream, to live in his own World and where everyday life can’t touch him. He’s walking the streets he has walked how many years ago? Twelve, thirteen, so many, many years has gone by. He’s once again a young man with German pass in the back pocket of his jeans and a mane of golden hair, with love filling him, love that makes everything around turn into nothing. He’s a forty-three years old man in a sand-colored trench-coat, his stride quick and sure, walking down the streets of London where love still lives, his love, their love. He’s dreaming – only today, only this one time, he’s dreaming about his – their - London.
Down the streets, closer to ‘Wembley’, where the team bus is waiting for him already, they all are expecting him to smile so he smiles. He laughs and he talks with everyone who wants to talk. He greets journalists and answers their questions. He stands on the grass, impossibly green English grass and he dreams – just this one time, he dreams.
“I’m glad you are here”, says Joachim. Joachim is glad, and Jürgen should be glad too, and Jürgen nods and answers… Whatever he answers doesn’t matter. He’s somewhere else now, in his dreams, in his World where there is only him and Gary and London.
He shines as is usual for him.
He leaves the stadium without a glance, not telling Jogi where he goes, not saying goodbyes to important people he’s seen, he leaves the roar of the stadium and constant voices, leaves everything behind for now. Not pausing his steps, he takes the card out of his phone and throws both things into his pocket, it doesn’t matter if someone will be searching for him – they’ll wait, all of them can wait.
Taxi stops at his gesture, and he just says ‘Landmark Hotel’ and sinks into the backseat. The lights of London float around him, the radio plays jazz and still he dreams, still feels the ‘I love you’ – his or Gary’s, he can’t say – somewhere inside, maybe at the place where the heart is…
“Stop” orders he unexpectedly, and the driver looks surprised but pulls to the side and stops the car near the big island of green grass – perfect like all the grass in England.
He pays, more then he should but it doesn’t matter, and the driver sends him another long contemplative look and then just turns the engine on and red lights disappear in the darkness. He’s alone, with his thoughts, with Gary and with London.
The grass is wet under his bare feet, he may catch the cold but it’s so unimportant, he just needs to feel something, something that will pass to his mood right now. White plate hangs near, ‘Keep off the grass’ it says and he doesn’t head it, he sits down, not paying attention to light rain falling on his head and shoulders. His thoughts are far, so far away, his love that still hasn’t gone away, his love that he’s left, betrayed in favor of living a normal, happy life, his decisions, their decisions that were made and can’t be made again, it all is rolling around in his head. Just this one time he will wish that he was able to return back and choose once more – but his mind already tells him that even if he was given a thousand chances his decision will still stand. Gary, love, London – it all was. It’s in the past. He is a happy man.
Now great, at least they’ve won. But this English squad… This goalkeeper… Oh yes, their goalkeepers is a fairy-tale in the making. ‘Sleeping beauty’ if not worse.
And I am soo happy that we’ve won, sooo happy… But if I start dancing here right now someone is surely going to understand me wrong. A man my age dancing from joy… So what? A man my age. May be allowed to be dancing from joy, right?
And speaking of joy – strange that I don’t see our Jürgen here. If he’s chatting with Löw again it’ll be no surprise. One would think these two are still working together - if you look at how they are glued to each other for the second day in a row…
And Jürgen still owes me a complete report about his trip to France by the way, so if he’s simply trying to hide from me behind Löw’s back it won’t help him…
If I’m not completely mistaken, these voices belong to Löw and Bierhoff, and they are moving in my direction, and guess who are they speaking about? Right on the money. About Jürgen.
‘… and I’ve told you that we won’t see him again if he gets away, now you’ve promised me to look after Jürgen or what? I’m not a cockroach, I have only two legs, I can be only in one place at a time, and how you’ve managed to let him leave without even asking where he’s going – now that’s beyond me!’
Löw sounds – and looks, for that matter – as if he’s very, very, very angry. And what Jürgen has to do with it? Interesting things happen here, I’d say.
Joachim notices me and walks up to me, still fuming but making a polite face. And Olli has just made such a grimace – good for him that Löw didn’t see it.
“Rudi”, he’s obviously making an effort to temper his anger. “Do you know where Jürgen is? I’m worried about his absence, I’m afraid if there’s something wrong, he’s complained about health yesterday”.
And if any word of this is true, I’ll eat… A very, very big cake with lots of cream and let Sabrina kill me for this crime against my diet.
“Don’t worry. We’ve agreed to meet in the restaurant just here after the match”, and hit me someone if I know why I’m saying this, but if Jürgen disappeared from him it means that he’s wanted to do so and as long as I am here he’ll be well-defended. “He’s probably waiting for me already”.
And if I’m not totally blind Löw is not happy about it. Now if Jürgen turns up and proves me a liar – now that’ll be a show better than the match we’ve just watched.
Löw excuses himself and walks away, brushing past Olli without looking at him. Bierhoff follows him after sending a helpless glance in my direction.
Now I wonder – do I have to ask Jürgen about this or not?
It’s late. Too late probably. Not that it matters…
The World doesn’t stop no matter how much he would wish otherwise. He turns the phone on – small device greets him with music and the array of colored lights, such little thing that guarantees that the man won’t be able to get lost even by his own will. One message – Rudi, dear Rudi who deserves so much more attention that he’s given him today.
‘i’ve told löw you’re with me in restaurant – if it’s needed’
He smiles, dear Rudi, he’ll pay a visit to Leverkusen next time he’s in Germany, he’ll spend with his friend as many time as Rudi wants – as an apologize for today, when they were sitting next to each other and barely shared some meaningless phrases.
He’s scrolling through the list of missed calls, and sure here they are – Jogi, Jogi, Rudi, Jogi, Olli, Jogi, Jogi, Jogi, Jogi, Lothar, Jogi, Jogi… Unexpected name catches his attention, the number that shouldn’t be there, how did a phone number of Lothar Matthäus find its way into his phone book? He presses Options – Delete with a smile, with some strange pleasure, such pleasure like when you are breaking something to went your bad mood, and he really feels himself a little better, at least there is a sense of satisfaction now – and even if it comes from just getting rid of the harmless phone number, it’s satisfaction nonetheless.
He makes his way to the hotel, unnoticed in the crowd, and there’ll be almost no time to sleep. He takes his clothes off and lays down to get a bit of rest.
And in the morning the plane carries him away, back to his life and as far as possible from this half-dream, half-reality. And though this one time he allowed himself to dream, to let his guards down, to think about ‘what ifs’, it doesn’t change anything. It never will.
He’s a happy man.