bluetears07: (Miro/Lulu)
[personal profile] bluetears07
Title: Life After (S)Pain
Paring: Miroslav Klose/Lukas Podolski
Summary: After WC 2010 semi-final against Spain the boys feel a bit run down.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Fiction.
AN: This is actually the first thing I wrote for the boys last summer but never got around to finishing it until now. I'm sorry that I couldn't think of a better title...Also, jealous!Lukas.

Life After (S)Pain

Miroslav could not sleep.

The twinge in his back was preventing him from finding any comfortable position in which to properly fall asleep. Last time he checked his watch it was somewhere around three in the morning. In a fit of insomnia, he abandoned both his phone and watch on the bedside table of his hotel room. He wanted to completely detach himself from everyone and everything—just find some place to quietly reflect.

With so much adrenaline pumping in his veins, it had been easy to ignore the dull pain running along the length of his spine until the end of the match. He had even been too stunned the moment the whistles blew and everything came crashing down around him to feel the strain after the match. But during the long, silent bus ride back to the hotel, staring pointedly out the window, ignoring the dry, red rimmed gaze of Lukas and flushed cheeks of Mesut, it was all Miroslav could do to focus on the physical pain.

It feels like 2006 but this time he’s 32.

Miroslav crunches a cube of ice between his teeth, enjoying the satisfying sensation of it fracturing into tiny shards and beginning to melt in his mouth. Plunging his hand into the small bucket of ice between his legs, he searches for another cube and draws one out. The tips of his fingers are practically white, fading into warm red. Droplets of water drip down his knuckles, trailing down to circle his wrist and fall to the soft fabric of his sweatpants. The cold biting into his callused skin is wonderfully distracting, as is the plastic bag of ice sandwiched between his middle back and the machine. He stares at the cube, watching it slowly melt in his palm.

The jingle of loose change and the soft sounds of bare feet padding along the carpeted hallway fill Miroslav’s ears. Quietly, he pops the half melted ice into his mouth and waits to see which of his teammates is still awake and roaming around the empty halls of their hotel. There are only a handful of people he would be happy to see at the moment. A faint, familiar humming accompanies the footsteps and he begins to imagine whom the sounds belong to. Miroslav smiles with relief when Lukas’ lopsided grin rounds the corner, confirming his suspicions. The younger man spots Miroslav slumped against the ice dispenser and the smile widens.

They do not say anything as Lukas walks up to the vending machine.

Stepping forward, Lukas reaches out to card his fingers through the soft strands of Miroslav’s hair, gently applying pressure as he rubs the man’s scalp. Miroslav’s eyes droop as he leans into the familiar touch, swallowing the remaining chips of ice. He responds with a low hum of approval. Lukas sifts through his handful of change, rooting around for the smallest coins the machine will accept. The pad of his thumb grazes along the tip of Miroslav’s ear as he shifts his weight, hand moving lower to massage the base of Miroslav’s skull. The older man tentatively tips his head forward, allowing Lukas more access to the tense muscles coiled along the back of his neck.

“How’s the back?” Lukas asks, sliding the money into the machine. He stops massaging the man’s neck to cheekily tweak the end of Miroslav’s nose with his thumb and forefinger.

Miroslav manages to give him a mildly withering look before attempting a vague shrug but ends up wincing as a twinge shoots up his spine. The ice clatters together in the plastic bag, shifting lower down his back. Lukas glances over to see the deep crease between the older man’s brows. Miroslav carefully readjusts the bag, staring into the slowly melting bucket of ice resting between his thighs.

“That bad, hmm?” Lukas holds his empty hand out, palm up expectantly. Miroslav digs around in the bucket and pulls out a large cube. He gives it to Lukas. The younger man slowly runs the ice cube over the back of his neck and forehead, blinking away the drops of water as they trickle into his eyes. “I thought this machine had orange juice?” Lukas mutters, finally popping the ice into his mouth and biting down until it crunches loudly between his teeth.

“Last one,” Miroslav instructs quietly, pointing to the very last, dimly lit button labeled with a smiling orange holding a straw.

Lukas slowly traces the lines of Miroslav’s icy wet hand with the tip of his forefinger. Running along the peaks and valleys of his lifeline, down each long finger as it turns a warm red with returning blood. It tickles slightly when Lukas skidders over the delicate ridges of old, faded calluses. But the ice has numbed his sensitive nerve endings, making everything feel removed and strange. He slowly flexes his fingers and watches as Lukas responds to the new sensation of bone shifting beneath his cold skin.

They sit in silence, backs pressed against the cool ice machine and legs sprawled out before them.

At first, Lukas’ calm demeanor unnerves Miroslav. He finds it strange that the young man is so willing to settle down beside him and respect the need for stillness—two things Lukas has never been very good at, no matter how often Miroslav asks. But then his mind wanders back; Lukas only gets this way when they come up short. Each time the young man suddenly becomes as quiet and pensive as his strike partner. The loss seems to sober his overwhelming kinetic energy, momentarily tamping it down.

Every time it ages him a little bit more.

“I thought this would be it.” Miroslav’s voice comes out flat and quiet, barley registering above the dull hum of the ice dispenser kicking on behind them.

Miśku,” Lukas whispers, gently tugging the man’s hand into his lap. He rarely uses the nickname but it somehow it feels appropriate. It reminds Miroslav of his childhood and Lukas knows it.

“After everything,” Miroslav continues, absentmindedly pushing a few melting ice cubes around in the bucket. They clatter together, sloshing around in the plastic liner. Lukas turns Miroslav’s hand over, brushing his fingertips along the ridge of his flushed knuckles. The younger man’s fingers are hot and solid against his flesh, leaving a trail of pinpricks along their path. “I was at ease.” A small smile plays about his lips as he speaks. “It felt right. Back on the pitch with everyone. Playing for Jogi, playing for the world,” he pauses, glancing sidelong at Lukas. The younger man is absorbed in the web of blue, pulsing veins running down the back of his partner’s hand. “Playing with you.” His fingers twitch to hold Lukas’ hand.

The younger man touches the bones of Miroslav’s wrist, the pad of his thumb soothing over the flesh. He remains quiet for a few moments, reaching down with his free hand to take a large gulp of orange juice.

“You’ll just have to try again,” he responds and his voice is quiet but bright and Miroslav can see a flicker of the man’s usual liveliness returning. Lukas tilts his head up to look at his partner. Miroslav huffs a laugh, but still manages a smile as he leans over to rests his forehead against Lukas’, looking into the bright blue eyes. The other man feels impossibly warm. Miroslav pulls away immediately, frantically untangling his hand from Lukas’ grip to press the back of it against the man’s forehead.

Łukasz, you have a fever.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Lukas says slowly, guilt scrawled all over his face as he attempts a casual smile. He leans back, attempting to scoot away from the overwhelming paternal instinct of his partner.

“Oh. Yeah?” Miroslav parrots back, cocking a skeptical eyebrow. “You should be resting.”

“Can’t sleep.”

“Have you tried?” Lukas does not answer. “Łukasz.” Miroslav grabs his chin, turning Lukas’ face to look him in the eye. The younger man squirms, resolutely staring down at the half empty bottle of orange juice between his thighs. He sighs, twisting the cap back onto the bottle.

“Alright.” Lukas draws his knees to his chest before standing. “Come on, old man.” Lukas teases, extending a hand to help Miroslav up.

Within seconds of entering his hotel room, Lukas has Miroslav shirtless and sprawled face down on his bed. The younger man straddles the small of Miroslav’s back, knees knocking against hard hipbones as he rests on his thighs despite the tightness. His fingers dig into the tense muscles pulled taught over shoulder blades and spine. Miroslav folds his arms beneath his head; a deep moan vibrates through his chest, muffled by the fluffy hotel comforter. Lukas leans down to drop a brief kiss to the juncture of neck and shoulder.

“Where does it hurt?” Lukas asks as he explores the expanse of warm skin stretched out before him. Experimentally, he presses his thumb near the center of Miroslav’s back, just to the right of his spine. The man winces. Every muscle in Miroslav’s body tenses upon the slightest application of pressure to the location. Lukas starts working at the bundle of nerves all knotted up, warming the up before smoothing the out with careful sweeps of his hands. It takes a few minutes until he feels Miroslav actually beginning to relax beneath his hands. In the silence, Lukas' mind begins to wander, replaying all the events of the tournament. “Özil seems to like you,” Lukas says casually, his strong hands wandering down Miroslav’s torso, further away from the injury. Sliding lower, he settles on to the backs of Miroslav’s thighs.

“I thought you two were pretty close,” Miroslav responds with a yawn, idly picking at the clean white fabric spread over the mattress beneath him. Lukas makes a noncommittal noise, brushing off the comment. “You are always giggling or snoring in the back of the bus together.”

“That’s you snoring.” Lukas reaches up to flick Miroslav in the ear with a laugh. His hands glide back down, dragging over the contours of Miroslav’s ribs before massaging the coil of muscles at the small of his back. Miroslav shifts his hips slightly when Lukas pressed hard into his flesh, attempting to get comfortable with the new sensation. The other man eases up, instead gently stroking the skin and folding down the elastic waistband of Miroslav’s sweatpants. “Thomas, too. He’s pretty fond of you,” he adds, rubbing at the curve of Miroslav’s spine with the heels of both palms, spreading outwards until his fingertips brush the man’s sides. It earns another deep moan from the other man, this time wriggling his hips to increase the contact between them.

Lukas can feel himself getting hard.

“Reminds me of someone.” Miroslav turns his head to rest on his folded arms, cracking one eye to glance over his shoulder at Lukas. A playful grin twists up the visible corner of his thin lips as he catches the other man rolling his eyes. It quickly disappears the second Lukas’ hands return to massage the site of his initial injury.

“So are Toni and Marko.”

Miroslav realizes something is wrong.

Łukasz?” He twists around beneath the other man.

“Careful, Miro,” Lukas cautions, hands sliding around to grip the sides of Miroslav’s chest, guiding him. Blatantly ignoring the advice, he pushes through the initial pain that shoots through his back as he moves to face Lukas.

“They’re just kids looking for a role model.” His hands settle on Lukas’ hips, thumbs running along the sharp crease of bone and muscle, dipping beneath the man’s low slung, slick track pants. Lukas takes advantage of his new position to run his fingers over his partner’s collarbones and nipples, skidding over the familiar contours of his body. “Plus, you know Sylvia.” Miroslav’s grip tightens and Lukas stills. Holding Lukas’ gaze, he speaks slowly, choosing his words carefully. “She’s grown to like you and Monika quite a bit. Even more now that you’ve moved back to Cologne.” There’s a bite to the last sentence that Lukas wishes he could ignore. So far their arrangement has satisfied all adults involved, but it’s hard to imagine going back to the infrequent visits and torturous phone calls after spending almost a full month with Miroslav only a few doors away—though he usually found himself in the man’s bed at the end of the night. He thinks Miroslav feels the same, hopes he does, but then he thinks about Toni and Thomas and what it was like when he was still playing for Bayern. “And.” Lukas only has a moment to notice the way Miroslav’s eyes light up with a rare spark of mischief right before he is suddenly rolled beneath the other man. “She knows how much I care about you,” he murmurs with a grin, muffled against Lukas’ neck.

You’re a sap, Klose,” Lukas complains, playfully shoving at the older man. Miroslav relents, staring at Lukas with wide, sad eyes and he knows Miroslav means everything he says. He ducks back down, gently pressing his lips to Lukas’, the tip of his tongue flicking out to explore the warmth of the other man’s mouth. “Ahh, Miro,” the younger man groans in annoyance, pushing Miroslav’s face away again. “I’m sick remember,” he scolds, leaning back to settle against the hotel pillows.

And my back is shot.” Miroslav cards his hands through the short bristly hair at the crown of Lukas’ head, eyes flicking over the younger man’s face. “And we just lost to Spain. Again. It doesn’t matter, Łukasz.

Miśku,” he wraps his arms around Miroslav’s neck, dragging him under for a deep, lazy kiss.

They sit at opposite ends of the bench during the downpour in Port Elizabeth. Lukas is officially warming the bench for the match while Miroslav waits—though the man himself said he thinks it unlikely that he will play. With a quick glance, Lukas spots Miroslav’s leg bouncing anxiously as he leans forward. He can tell the other man is in a world of his own, wholly absorbed in game and he wishes he were there with Miroslav, one last time on the world stage.

A lopsided grin spreads across his face when Miroslav glances down the bench, briefly catching his eye.

Lukas finds it easy to imagine doing it all over again in Brazil, with Miroslav running down the pitch by his side.

Date: 2011-09-27 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that was really beautiful, especially the last bit.

Date: 2011-10-03 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm really glad that you liked it.

Date: 2011-09-28 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gorgeous piece of art hun!

Simply breath taking!

Date: 2011-10-03 07:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm very flattered that you'd call it a piece of art (and a gorgeous one!). Thank you very much!

Date: 2011-10-03 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

i found people stop writing them. sigh. maybe it's because world cup fever is over. :(

Date: 2011-10-08 07:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it.

Yes, that is very true. But Euro Cup is less than a year away, so I shall keep hope alive until then. :D


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