Here is the song
Here are the lyrics
AND THE SUN WILL SHINE (1)
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
And the Sun Will Shine (1)
From the billboards all over the streets the man is looking down at him. In his mid-forties, small wrinkles gathering around the blue eyes because of the blinding, assured smile that will make a
This man is smiling at him from the posters on the corridor walls. Red t-shirt and jeans, ball in hand, impossible green grass creating a fitting background. And this smile – absolutely stunning, happy, brighter than the sun.
Autograph-cards, and the man is still smiling. In this white t-shirt and dark-blue training pants he looks like one of the players, much younger than he should look. Or maybe it’s just the smile that has this effect. This devil-may-care, beautiful and mischievous smile.
And in the mirror on the bathroom wall the same man is smiling at him again. Naked lean body, wet hair, now looking dark-gold, plastered to his scull. Drops of water are falling to the floor, glistening on his skin, and he is smiling – as always.
It’s his face in the mirror though he barely recognizes himself lately. Not much reasons to be constantly smiling except for his children – ‘Bayern’ is turning out to be even more of an adventure than he’s originally imagined, but even it is not the problem, he’s always loved challenges after all…
His problem is much more complicated and strictly speaking it’s not a problem at all, just some wild game his nerves are playing at him it seems. And if he’d ever try to explain why his own smile looks fake to him, he’d be hard pressed to find the adequate words.
He remembers all too well the first time he really was scared – this mind-numbing terror that cures all the nightmares at once and makes horror movies boring.
It was autumn – if the calendar was to be believed, but everything around was still living in summer, enjoying the last really warm days before the rains start. In
His memories are full of little details. Driving up the streets, he noticed the first leaves that fell on the pavement – still green, with dry edges. The doves were cooing peacefully, the music from top-ten charts played at the background. He was in love and it seemed like it was for the first time in his life, because the feeling was so unlike everything he’s experienced before. He was still feeling himself a bit of a traitor because it seemed unfair to Debbie, but then again it felt right – like he doesn’t take anything from her (and only later did he realize that it is indeed so), and he was a little confused – but in love and happy for it.
The morning was sunny. He was driving and singing along – to carry on the coach’s order which was like ‘to wake up this damned Mabbutt and drag him to the training field even by force’, and he was intending to do just that.
He remembers the weight of the keys in his pocket –
It came to him later that it was pure luck that Gary left the key in the keyhole before going to bed, otherwise he could have left right there – but the keys told him that the man is home. And he was home, sleeping… And not answering when he called him by the name.
He wasn’t scared then and he wasn’t panicking when he was calling the medics and waiting for them to arrive, he was absolutely calm and collected riding to the hospital with them, he’s even remembered to lock the door before leaving the house and turning the light off. The word ‘coma’ failed to impress him – he knew about this part of this illness from Gary himself. One of the doctors praised his composure and he smiled back. He’s bantered with coaches during training – he came late, of course, but the excuse was more than valid. They even tried to bang into the hospital in the evening and surely were not admitted and went to the pub.
It got to him only in the morning (finally – noticed the rational part of his mind). His luck held – he was home alone, so he could break the cup, spill the milk, cut himself while shaving and sit on the floor clutching the towel for almost two hours without worrying anyone.
Next time he felt the real fear was when his father’s doctor first said the word ‘cancer’.
The evenings are cold and it doesn’t leave any doubts that summer has ended. Jonathan is sitting at his desk, puzzling over the homework or making it look like he does. He won’t be too surprised if he finds the new edition of ‘Bravo’ under the notebooks. No, they don’t forbid their son to read it, but he’s supposed to be working, and it’s more fun reading when parents don’t know about it – that he remembers from his own childhood.
And Debbie is sitting with Laila – the girl is ill. Again. Another reason to notice that it is already autumn.
The girl is catching cold every week, she’s used to Californian weather, his beloved tropical flower trying to adjust to the new soil. Little endearing child that already has lots of friends and her only complaint is that it’s always cold. And that her brother doesn’t let her play football with him…
His mother-in-law always tells him that he allows his children too much. His own mother has the same opinion. Debbie always laughs at that and tells him that it’s alright because she is forbidding everything anyway, therefore they have the perfect balance.
It’s Debbie’s words that comfort him when he’s worried or scared. She is the gift, the most precious treasure in his life – and she understands him. Maybe the only person who understands him completely.
Oh, how he loves her. From the day they’ve met and still he loves her so much that sometimes it’s hard to breathe. Her word of praise and her smile means to him so much that he sometimes feels himself like a schoolboy doing silly things to earn the attention of a girl from parallel class. Her love is a gift, she herself is the single most important person in his life, and if he ever regrets something – it is that they haven’t met earlier, that they’ve lost so many years without each other.
He still doesn’t know how he fell in love with Gary while loving her and how it came that the feeling hasn’t subsided even though the feelings he has for Gary are just as strong… He doesn’t understand what happened with him and how he can love two people at the same time.
He is pathetic, he knows. And maybe he doesn’t deserve them both and their love, but they should know better.
He loves them both. It’s different, but it’s the same after all.
He’s proposed to Debbie in May of 1995. They were walking hand in hand over the Thames – he was almost dragging her and she was laughing and complaining about walking on high heals, and his sweater was wrapped around her shoulders. She’s jumped over the puddle of mood on the pavement while holding tightly to his hand, he’s turned to her and smiled and said ‘Marry me’, and her fingers were warm in his hand. She’s smiled back and said ‘yes’.
He’s never touched Gary after that because betraying her was something impossible to imagine. She was his wife, and Gary…
Gary understood even without explanation. Everything has ended. Everything but a feeling.
And he still doesn’t know how it can be possible that he loves them both and still his marriage is the happiest ever imaginable.
Maybe – he’s reasoned with himself after all – it goes with the sexuality.
He’s bi, and it never bothered him that he is – just more options and this is it. He’s had enough male and female partners to understand that gender is not important. He has a male lover now actually, and he has a suspicion that Debbie knows about it.
He’s never had another woman since the day he’s met her. Just like that. She was the perfect woman, the lady of his dreams and even then he’s thought of her as a future wife and had eyes for noone but her.
Still his body wanted more and that’s how his ill-advised affair with Lothar got a second breath – oh, where were his brains? Since it ended he’s promised to himself that if he ever finds another man for a lover, it’ll be someone he knows and trusts. Then Joachim came…
Debbie knows, though she’s never asked and he’s never said a word.
Debbie knows and doesn’t care, it’s so far from her, so unimportant to their life – like it’s not happening at all.
He knows that if he ever feels for someone like he feels for her it will be the end of the marriage – she will throw him out in a second. But he also knows that it’s impossible. Even his love for Gary, this sadness he sometimes feels for losing him, losing forever – it’s nothing. It doesn’t matter.
But still sometimes it comes over him – eternal ‘what if’. What if he’s never met one of them, how could it be, how could he… Stopping himself just in time, he’s feeling lost. He is a happy man, but sometimes… sometimes…
What he hates most is feeling out of control of his own feelings. That’s why his own smile seems foreign to him when he’s looking in the mirror in his own bathroom.
Not so long ago he’s had a dream.
Subconscious impulses sometimes create such strange patterns that the meaning is lost. Maybe it was the case here, or maybe his mind just tried to tell him that he’s messed up his life a big time – though if it’s the latter it’s nothing he doesn’t know already.
Now being out of control is the hardest part. It’s easy when it’s about managing the football club – tell the players off, make some rotations, argue with Uli and smile at the cameras, and the rest is up to circumstances. That’s how he always operates – do all you can do and be happy with it.
He’s started to deal with his relationship, trying to do it the same way. Oh, how magnificently did he fail.
When they were standing in front of each other, he’s for the first time thought that Lothar may actually care about something that is happening to him. It was a strange indeed concept, but what was he supposed to think when it was Matthäus who was looking at him and asking if something was wrong…
Or maybe he’s imagined it out of self-pity, and though it was understandable he’s laughed at himself and told himself to get a grip – and followed the advice later, but only after dealing with Joachim.
Joachim always was handsome, and the anger that made his eyes sparkle was adding something that was needed to make him beautiful. They were sitting in a hotel room – after this kiss in the plain sight and somewhat strained ride to this place, and they were speaking. About things, about players, about news, and laughing at the anecdotes they were sharing.
Jogi told him about Olli’s new whim – he knew about it but still laughed. Jogi spoke at length about Flick and the friendship they share. He was smiling throughout the tale.
Whatever possessed him, but he’s asked suddenly:
“Do you know that Flick knows about us?”
“Yes. He’s told me. Don’t worry, with him we are safe”.
He smiled, relieved, and watched Joachim sip his coffee from red porcelain cup. And then the dark eyes narrowed suddenly, and there was a hint of menace in the next question Jogi asked him:
“How do *you* know?”
He’s never lied to his friends, and he’s seen no need to do so now so his answer, “Lothar’s told me”, fell easily from his lips.
And then Joachim put a cup on the plate with the loud bang and stood up, towering over him.
It takes some using to living in Germany again. There are things, annoying little things that are different and little nuances he’s forgotten about being at the other side of the ocean…
In America he’s felt himself a foreigner, but didn’t mind it – he was a foreigner. Even his name was so strange for people he’s sometimes had to transcribe it, and if he was doing something that wasn’t common – be it the way he drunk coffee or the turn of the phrase he’s used, everything was written off on him being ‘this strange German’ and taken as such.
In Germany, after four months of living here constantly, he feels himself helplessly American and yes, foreign. Even looking at his watch he’s carefully counting what time it is ‘at home’ – meaning his Californian house on a beach as such. And he’s speaking English at home, though with children they now talk only in German.
He’s still, after so many years in America, speaks with UK accent.
Coming back to Germany, he was happy. He’s always loved it here, and nevermind that pasta and red wine is more to his taste than beer and sausage, he’s always felt himself German. But he’s forgotten about the people here – he’s forgotten about the main reason he’s left.
He’s always hated when someone is prying on him and always shielded his personal life from everyone – and after so many years it’s still as hard to do in Germany as it was then. The neighbors consider it their duty to find out everything about anyone, be it constant questioning or outright spying, he has two of this sort here and keeping peaceful relationship with them is a strain in itself. And being related to ‘Bayern’ means that everyone claims to have a right on learning all the latest news about your personal life.
He hates it.
He hates it so much that once he’s really regretted coming back.
But it's not to the point and it surely doesn’t excuse his naiveté in dealing with Joachim.
He should have started thinking earlier, but his mind was elsewhere. Really not on Joachim’s question – ah yes, he was contemplating possible squad for the next match, so the answer was given without second thought – and it means he’s got what he deserved.
Joachim was yelling at him.
It looked comical more than anything else, he’s thought and scared himself with this line of thinking. And lowered his head because he was afraid that he’ll laugh out loud.
It was surreal. They were in a room in the motel, he was sitting on a plush chair and Joachim was standing over him and demanding, demanding – mostly about Lothar. ‘Why are you speaking with Matthäus?’ (‘Lothar’, corrected he to himself), ‘Why are you meeting with Matthäus?’ (I’m not, I can’t forbid him to come here if he wants), ‘Why are you such big friends with Matthäus?’ (‘Lothar, his name is Lothar’ – to himself again), ‘Are you sleeping with Matthäus?’, and on and on and on… He was counting the flowers on a tablecloth – little pink and red flowers with five petals each, fifty in each square, eighty on the border of each square. Probably – he’s later thought – he was hoping that Joachim will get his jealousy and anger out of his chest and then they’ll be able to talk. He was feeling nothing. Some amusement maybe – at the reason for this scene mostly. And he was tired.
He’s remembered the night they’ve spent before the friendly matches of their teams and how beautiful it was to be so close together. He’s fixed his gaze on the little spot on Joachim’s black turtleneck shirt because the bright flowers were tiresome.
He’s tried to speak once, but Joachim’s angry ‘now you be silent!’ stopped him. Joachim was trying to insult him obviously, he’s shrugged trying to keep his calm – it seemed to anger the man even more. It seemed that Joachim was going for a confrontation. All good and well, but he wasn’t going to play it.
‘I’m sorry, Joachim’, that was what he said finally.
And that was it.
This night he’s dreamed about London.
Not the place itself actually – there was Marienplatz in this dream in front of Tower, but in dreams stranger things happen. And he doesn’t remember more of the dream than that. Just that everything was fine in it.
In the morning he’s drank his espresso while Debbie was busy with children. She came to the kitchen when he was putting the cup in the sink. Not saying anything, she’s smiled and put a plate with toasts in front of him. He’s shaken his head no, she’s smiled even wider, took the jam from the fridge and asked him if he wants something more to eat.
She was wearing jeans and light-blue sweater, pinned her hair high with the large clip. Laughing, she’s asked about his phone constantly ringing – is there a stalker or he’s got himself a side-job as a secretary? He’s drank another cup of coffee and told her about Martin’s early call. She’s never was an expert in football-team-management, but as a rule he’s told her everything that was going on because she always liked to know first. ‘The night has a thousand eyes’ – that’s the melody she starts whistling every time he tries to tell her that it’s ‘too boring’ or ‘maybe not the most interesting subject’.
The stalker’s name is still Lothar – two calls in the morning, one during the day and one more late in the evening, as if saying ‘goodnight’, and next morning it begins anew. He still doesn’t answer but for some reason doesn’t change the number. It’s almost like a game.
Later that day he’s circling around the mall, busy with getting her the perfume, which is always a complicated task for him, and almost doesn’t notice the woman who is looking at him with a surprise – he reacts to her half-hushed ‘oh’ and lifts his head, and she clasps her hand to the mouth. Did he mishear or did she really say the name – ‘Bernd’? She smiles at him apologetically and leaves, clearly having taken him for someone else and visibly shocked by it – disappointed or scared, wonders he idly while the saleswoman is wrapping the package expertly.
The funniest thing is that she reminds him of someone – he knows her. Obviously a passing acquaintance and probably a long time ago, but where… when… what is her name...
A moment’s thought, and then it’s work, work, work all over again.
Miro and Tim are holding hands. He sees it clearly from his place in the bus. Miro is looking in the window. Boro has his eyes closed, maybe sleeping or maybe listening to the music in his iPod. Two grown men, holding hands in the half-full bus. How the times are changing…
He almost always was sitting with Teddy in the front row, and Gary usually in the back – ‘captain’s privilege’, went the joke. They never held hands – both new well that reaction to it won’t be pleasant and the jokes will never stop. These two are lucky now, nobody pays attention anymore to such little things and even if there is… something… between them, nobody will care as long as they don’t kiss in front of everyone.
‘You should be’, hissed Joachim before finally falling silent – catching his breath or maybe just because he’s run out of words.
He was sorry. He didn’t want to upset Joachim and even less he wanted an argument. Joachim wasn’t asking his opinion though. No more than a minute of blessed silence, and then another question in sarcastic tone:
‘Are you sleeping with Matthäus or is it love already?’
For him it was enough – long past enough actually, the absurdity of all this scene beating even the ugliness of it. And it was Joachim, the man he always considered the most reasonable and consistent person in his life. Absurdity.
‘If I speak with someone it doesn’t mean this someone is my lover, Joachim’, he said in his most reasonable tone, suspecting that it won’t work.
In the next minute of silence the memory came to him – what he felt when Lothar squeezed his hand briefly, as if encouraging. As if Lothar knew what is waiting for him when they’ll stay alone with Joachim.
‘What is it between you and Lineker?’
The question was unexpected and it’s taken him two or three seconds to process the abrupt change of subject – or object? – before he smiled and replied, again naively said the truth simply: ‘Nothing’.
And then it was calm, frosty Joachim’s voice telling him to get out of his life, it was his own surprise at feeling relieved while replying ‘As you will’. Joachim closed the door with a bang on his way out. He’s taken his jacket from the rack, paid for the room and drove home. The music in the car was soft, he was thinking about the schemes they were discussing with Martin, the trees becoming gold was a wonderful sight…
And he was feeling disturbed by not feeling disturbed about their fallout and wondered at some point if something is wrong with him.
Next morning he’s sitting on the plane that is flying to London, watching the movie because the sleep doesn’t come.
It always becomes easier when he is here. Just seeing this streets, posters on the walls, cars moving in ‘wrong’ direction, busy crowds in Heathrow, even being stuck in a traffic while sitting in a cab is already comforting.
Gary doesn’t change. Never does. He becomes older, sure, years don’t pass without a trace – but he doesn’t change. Gary is forever, he always was here and always will be.
They drink juice and eat croissants, even though it’s so un-English, and they talk.
There is a fresh number of ‘Guardian’ on the table in front of Gary.
“I’m tired”, he says suddenly.
Gary looks at him, as if measuring him with his eyes. Gary knows that he’s not talking about the flight and the stress of work, but about the apathy that is settled somewhere deep inside him.
Slight nod, gesture of the hand.
“It will be alright”.
Gary looks straight at him.
He’s walking because he’s overcome with the desire to move. Wandering aimlessly around the center of the town trying to kill time before it’s time to leave for Germany again.
He’s still uneasy, unsettled, and it hurts. He was expecting it to be like always – just one look of Gary’s eyes, shared laughter, some words, and everything will fall back to place.
It did – when they were sitting in front of each other. But now Gary’s left, went to run some errands, and he’s due to leave soon himself – and he’s alone in London now.
He loves London. It plays to something inside him, and here he feels himself at home, at peace.
He still does, but for the first time the inner turmoil he’s brought with him is too strong, and even London can’t shield him from it.