bluetears07: (Miro/Lulu Moving)
[personal profile] bluetears07
Title: Heartbreak in Warsaw
Paring: Miroslav Klose/Lukas Podolski
Summary: Euro 2012: After the match against Italy, Lukas and Miroslav need a little comfort and try to figure out what went so terribly wrong. They end up at the mermaid fountain in Warsaw's Old Town.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Fiction. Hurt/Comfort.
AN: For [ profile] footballkink2.

Heartbreak in Warsaw

His hand trails up the length of Miroslav’s forearm, just barely touching the pale skin. Familiar fingers press against wrist and palm, fanning out swiftly before tangling together with a white-knuckled grip. Tendons and veins strain with the force of Lukas’ hold on Miroslav.

Lukas hopes it will ground him. Somehow. Maybe.

He’s wrong. So embarrassingly, incredibly, painfully wrong.

The regret and frustration is still right there, white-hot and boiling over—a million maybes and alternate scenarios and various starting line-ups run through his head. But the anger seems to shift the moment his palm settles against the older man’s. It does not stop but instead devolves into a deep and bitter sadness. All Lukas can think about is Miroslav and Poland and how it was all too perfect. Too fucking perfect. How hard they had worked, together, to be here in Warsaw—to win this title, in the country of their birth, for the man whose time is running out.

When he glances over, Miroslav’s wide eyes are dry and unfocused as he stares down at the shin guards clutched in his other hand, emblazed with a photograph of his smiling twins. His cheeks are a bit flushed, a pink tint rims his eyes and Lukas is not surprised when he sees no trace of tears clouding the man’s vacant gaze. It’s a look Lukas has seen only a handful of times before, but each one is seared into his memory. Seeing it once more, it becomes impossible to stop his mind from shuffling through each moment, lingering on all the ways Miroslav’s face has matured over the years. And yet, those eyes have remained the same. Always so calm and sad.

Lukas presses closer, from shoulder to hip to knee, with no light separating them.

It’s so quiet in the dressing room, so painfully quiet.

Consumed with the foreign feeling of helplessness, Lukas continues watching Miroslav, even as his vision starts to blur around the edges. Fuck. He forces himself to look away. Bowing his head, Lukas turns all of his attention to the intimacy of their interwoven fingers.

Suddenly, Miroslav squeezes his hand, as if he only just registered the physical connection between them. He rubs his thumb back and forth over the knuckle of Lukas’ forefinger, a wonderfully soothing gesture that raises the hairs on the back of Lukas’ neck. A whimper almost escapes his lips the instant Miroslav stops. Twisting their hands over, Miroslav places them in Lukas’ lap in hopes of getting the younger man’s attention. But Lukas cannot look at him, not with fucking tears in his eyes. That might be enough to break both men.

A wet splotch slides down the back of Miroslav’s hand. One, at first, and then another.

They stay like that for a long time, even after most of their teammates have returned from the showers. No more tears left, just a shuttering sigh from Lukas and the solid warmth of Miroslav’s body. The older man slowly shifts his weight, moving to stand. He drags Lukas up along with him into a tight hug.

This is not the end,” Miroslav promises him quietly in Polish. He presses a kiss to Lukas’s cheek, dragging his lips dangerously close to the corner of his mouth, before finally pulling away.

Lukas’ hands hang uselessly at his sides, suddenly cold and empty.

Unsurprisingly, Miroslav finds the Rynek Starego Miasta completely empty at two o’clock in the morning, save for one young man.

Somehow, he knew Lukas would be here. After all, it’s the only place Miroslav wants to be.

Lukas stands on the outer rim of Warsaw’s iconic fountain. Staring up at the bronze mermaid, he stuffs his hands into his pockets, back turned to Miroslav as the older man quietly crosses the square. He seems so small, dwarfed by the magnificently reconstructed buildings of the old market square. The history, the heavy significance of the renewed city is like an unending pressure constantly humming in his ears. It almost hurts to breath sometimes, lungs filling with plumes of imaginary ash. And now they have yet another minor footnote to add to the long list of memories the capital bears.

Knew I’d find you here,” Miroslav says quietly in Polish, startling the younger man as he moves to stand next to Lukas. He receives a mild glare and a half-hearted punch to the upper arm. For a moment, they both stare up at the mermaid. Miroslav tries to remember the ancient story behind her patronage of Poland’s capital—something about a kind and handsome young Polish man. They were always handsome. “I’d never been to Warszawa before.” He glances sidelong at Lukas’ profile.

How are you so calm?” Lukas asks suddenly, voice veering close to the edge of bewilderment.

Yes, he’s witnessed Miroslav like this before, in nearly identical positions, seen him handle devastating disappointments in stride, with incredible dignity and strength he so admires and loves. But, that was years ago, when he knew for a fact that the older man still had many more tournaments ahead of him. Now, only a few weeks after his thirty-fourth birthday, everything is compounded.

It is far worse than South Africa.

Practice.” Miroslav blinks, resolute. He continues examining the statue, eyes skimming over the intricate details obscured in the dim lamplight. It had been a striking Polish man who thought the wild mermaid deserved freedom and respect, or something like that. All that comes to mind are bits and pieces of the legend. “Experience,” he adds, sparing a short glance in Lukas’ direction, troubled when he finds the younger man staring at him intently. The backs of Miroslav’s eyes burn. He had done so well in the stadium, even when his sons pressed their tiny hands to his chest and told him how well he played, how proud they were, he’d been able to hold onto the bitterness rather than the overwhelming sadness. Dry eyes on the pitch. “All those other nice synonyms for old,” he murmurs, folding his arms tightly across his chest.

On top of everything else racing through his mind, there is something about Lukas, standing alone, looking completely lost in the capital of their home country, which finally breaks him.

Miśku…” Lukas watches Miroslav silently crumple, tilting his head down as a few tears spill over. Without hesitation, he envelops Miroslav in his arms, wrapping them tight around his shoulders and holding him close. A hand cradles the back of Miroslav’s head. “Oh, Miśku,” he whispers sadly, turning his face and tasting the salt on his lips as they brush against Miroslav’ cheek, the tip of his nose, his thin lips. Slowly, Miroslav unfolds his arms, sliding his hands over ribs and shoulder blades before digging his fingers into the slick material of Lukas’ green zip up. He buries his face into Lukas’ collar as the younger man continues pressing short, soothing kisses to his temple. He cards a hand through the dark strands at the crown of Miroslav’s head, gentle and comforting.

I just—” Miroslav’s voice cracks, muffled and sounding so unlike himself. His body heaves, just once, with a shuttering sigh. “I don’t know what happened.” Lukas feels him deflate and sag against his chest.

Not enough time,” he answers plainly.

Not enough trust,” Miroslav corrects him, just the slightest suggestion of resentment creeping into his tone.

You deserve so much better than this,” Lukas whispers fiercely into Miroslav’s ear, white knuckles gripping his hair.

Łukasz—” Miroslav pulls away, folding in on himself as he refuses to meet Lukas’ eyes—that familiar modesty gnawing away at him. There is no such thing as ‘deserve’ or ‘entitlement’ in Miroslav’s vocabulary.

No,” Lukas snaps, misdirected frustration bubbling over as he takes Miroslav by the shoulders. “You are the most incredible person I know,” he confesses, grabbing the man’s chin, not allowing him the opportunity to duck his gaze any longer. “A world class athlete. Every trophy should have your name on it.” His voice is full of such conviction that Miroslav abandons all thought of breaking free from his grasp, completely transfixed.

And Lukas knows just how much Miroslav hates to be reminded of that place, the one deep down inside, that yearns for titles and recognition, a part of his psyche that he tries to deny but indulges every time he scores a goal. But they both know it is there and they both recognize just how much it spurs Miroslav on, everyday hoping to improve, to be stronger, faster, better. It has become a fundamental element of his existence. A place that will cringe every time Miroslav thinks back on this mangled campaign and all the unexpected doubt along the way.

And that ending, that display, was ridiculous. He should—he should—” Lukas cuts himself off, choked with overwhelming disgust. He sucks in a long breath through his nose. Taking a step away from his partner, he begins to pace back and forth, halfway around the circular fountain, jittery with frustrated energy.

The young man protected the mermaid, Miroslav remembers, yes, that was the main crux of the tale.

Łukasz,” Miroslav calls after him, following. He reaches out to touch the crook of Lukas’ elbow. The younger man stills upon contact, his breath coming in shallow, staccato puffs.

He shouldn’t have treated us like this,” Lukas whispers, staring at the pale stones beneath his feet. The hand on his arm drops away. “Just because he found o—” He stops abruptly, swallowing back the words.

At the time of the first training camp in Italy that summer, it had been nearly five long months since Lukas had last seen Miroslav. The time apart was difficult for both men, though each tried to play if off casually. They had been careless and indiscreet. Once Löw noticed, he made it no secret that he thought they were each other’s worst distraction, both on and off the pitch. Compounded with Miroslav’s recent injury, and slow recovery, there was little to no faith in the duo that had worked so well together in qualifying for the tournament. And Löw would not hesitate to remind them just how deep their talented bench ran.

He thought he was doing what was best for the team.” He expects nothing less from Miroslav, with his unlimited capacity for understanding and endless patience. Clearly he has given their situation a great deal of thought over the past few weeks. Though, the words sound utterly defeated.

He was wrong,” Lukas lashes out reflexively, the short Polish syllables hissing through his teeth.

Yes,” the man agrees immediately. Lukas’ head whips around, surprised by how easily Miroslav concurs with him. It’s a very rare occasion when the older player disagrees with their manager, let alone gives voice to his dissent.

And we paid the price.” His mind is still spinning with scenes of familiar teamwork that end with that wonderfully illusive glory—each one completely fruitless and maddening in their frequency and desperation. Eyes flicking over Miroslav’s impassive features, Lukas continues, “in everyway.”


No trust,” Lukas repeats Miroslav’s words, heavy and raw on his tongue.

Miroslav nods, twisting his arms behind his back, one hand gripping the opposite wrist.

A sloshing wave of recycled water whooshes from the base of the column beneath the mermaid statue, rippling out over the smoothly carved stones. The sound is oddly comforting, continuous, and it helps to momentarily drown out the deafening silence. After a moment that seems to linger on for hours, Miroslav shifts his weight from one foot to the other, inching closer to Lukas.

I still wish you were coming to Rome,” he admits quietly, watching the water flow over the uneven basin. It washes over the edge, into the narrow gap separating the cobblestone square and the fountain.

There is no change in his expression.


Arsenal is a good fit, I think, but…” He refuses to finish the thought, simply allowing the sentence to fill the space between them, ever expanding and pushing them further and further apart. They’ve talked about the transfer on dozens of occasions but now their time together is up and the new season is a rapidly approaching reality. Lukas watches the sharp angle of Miroslav’s larynx bob in his throat, the telling flutter of his eyelids. The grip he has on his own wrist looks painful.

I know.”

If it had been up to Lukas, he would be donning pale blue come August, but he has a family, a wife, who wanted to go to London.

And fuck, his vision is swimming once more. He bites the inside of his cheek.

This isn’t it.” It sounds stupid and trite but it is the only thing he can possibly think to say. The only thing that, ironically, feels genuine. Closing the distance, he moves to stand directly in front of Miroslav. “No for you.” He presses his hand into the center of the other man’s chest, his fingertips digging in hard enough to leave bruises. Miroslav meets his gaze, a flicker of Lukas’ own foolish optimism sparking to life in his eyes. Some of the tension drains from taut shoulders and suddenly all that matters is making him smile again. “I guess you’re just going to have to stay in top form if you want to be on the same pitch again.” He manages a weak, playful laugh as he draws back to nudge Miroslav in the shoulder. The older man gives him a small smile, easily capturing Lukas’ hand in his own. “Promise.” It’s a soft-spoken command.

I—” Miroslav starts to protest, knowing it is an impossible pledge to keep—too many unknowable variables to account for. But he wants to, badly. Irrationally. Desperately. For Lukas.

It was the mermaid, so impressed by the beautiful, brave, young Pole, who vowed to protect the city from all who threatened it. To keep her savior safe.

To play alongside you?”

Even if it’s just for ten minutes.” Lukas responds, and there is a hint of a challenging tease in his voice. With a grin, he takes a step onto the slick stone of the shallow fountain, tugging Miroslav’s hand.

I’ll do everything I can,” Miroslav assures Lukas, allowing himself to be pulled into the water. “Even for only ten minutes.” A ghost of a wry smirk twists his lips. “In a final,” he qualifies, his expression growing more sincere. Leaning in, he presses a brief kiss to the right corner of Lukas’ mouth. He winds his arms around Miroslav’s neck. “In Brazil.” Lukas’ own megawatt smile emerges, hearing exactly what he wants to from his evergreen partner. Another kiss lands on the left corner of the man’s lips. “But…” Miroslav grabs Lukas’ hips as he turns around to blindly lead them further into the fountain. “You’re the one who will be coming off the bench this time.” The water rolls out from the base again, the soles of their shoes soaked through to their socks

Not going to happen, Klose,” Lukas growls as Miroslav’s back collides with the stone column of the mermaid statue. He kicks up a splash of water; splattering damp stains up the length of Miroslav’s track bottoms.

No, it won’t.” And Lukas cannot ignore the sorrow creasing the tanned skin at the corner of Miroslav’s eyes. “We’ll both be there,” he murmurs against Lukas lips before pausing to kiss them, slow and searching. His hands slip from hips, dipping under layers of fabric to skittering over hot flesh. “On the pitch together…” Lukas smiles, licking his lips, eyes falling shut as Miroslav’s voice fills him with indescribable warmth.

Until the end.”
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


bluetears07: (Default)

September 2013

891011 121314

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:25 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios