Title: Even if we don't understand, it's all understood (part2)
Pairing: John Terry/Frank Lampard
Rating: PG-13, very much pre-slash, couple of swear words here and there
Summary: Moments, simply because their relationship is about so much more than the what’s on the surface
disclaimer: All made up :)
You storm down the tunnel pure venomous anger coursing through your veins, the slimy toad, he’d been the fucking one to foul you, yet the smug git’s still out there, prancing about as if he owns the place. The door slams behind you, making the poor kit man jump, but one look at you, he knows he’s no longer in safe territory and he makes his quick exit. The TV is blaring out the commentary,
“Stupid move by Frank Lampard, just what exactly was he thinking? Wearing the armband, he should really know better than that. Chelsea are really going to have to work hard to pull themselves out of the hole he’s just created.”
‘Tell me something I don’t fucking know!” you snarl as you turn off the TV, it’s really not what you want to be hearing right now.
You try to pull of your boots, the stubborn laces frustrating you even more. You give up and settle for ripping off your shirt and grabbing a drink. You take a bottle from the neat lines laid out for the arrival of the rest of the team. In your haphazard grabbing, you knock over a few more, the lids falling off, water seeping out, creating a puddle at your feet.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck-ity, fuck!” You can’t help the expletives as all the tension in your body reaches it’s boiling point, and you search for release by giving the nearest locker a good kick, the bang echoing through the empty room.
“That’s not going to achieve anything”
The voice takes you by surprise, in all your rage you hadn’t heard him come in, you pause, almost out of shock, before recovering. You spin around and glare at him.
“Just fuck off already” You spit out, with all the venom you can muster.
Yet somehow, John is completely unfazed as he calmly makes his way into the room, hands in his trackie trousers and sits down on the bench, making a space somewhere between Drogba’s ridiculously oversized headphones and Malouda’s various hair products.
“So what the hell happened out there?”
You ignore him as you return to fighting with your shoelaces, you’re not in the mood for a grilling by your captain, it doesn’t even cross your mind that that might not be the reason he’s here at all. You’re so quick to shut the world out, a defensive mechanism to protect yourself from being hurt that you don’t stop to consider you’re shutting yourself off from the one person there to support you, the one person who’ll take your word over anyone else’s and fight for you right to the very end.
“Look JT, I’m not in the fucking mood to listen to you preaching to me, alright, I get the point, I’m a liability, I’m reckless, I let the team down yadda yadda, you’ve made you point, now fuck off and leave me alone.”
You grab the nearest thing, the water bottle, and hurl it at him, hitting him just above the eye. He doesn’t even flinch. Instead, his face twists up in anger and he gets up, grabbing your shoulders and pushing you up against the wall. Your back smacks against its cool surface, he shoved you harder than either of you expected, and it hurts, not that you’re going to let on.
“That’s not why I came here Lampsy, and you know it, but you know what if that’s what you want, I’ll sure as fuck tell you what I’m thinking, what everyone else out there on the pitch and watching are thinking. You are a fucking liability, a fucking disappointment, you let everyone down. At the time when we need a strong leader someone to lead the fight back, you in your self-obsessed little bubble go charging about as if you own the fucking place, crazy tackles left right and centre. Asking to be sent off. Just when the team, needs someone with a cool head to organise and lead by example, you fucking lose it, can’t keep control of yourself. So yeah you have let everyone down. And you know what? I always look to you Lamps to lead my team out in my absence, always thought you were the best guy to be my right hand man, but you know what, I don’t know anymore, I don’t if I can fucking trust you out there.”
He stops, panting, the outburst had taken even himself by surprise and you go from furious wanting to kick the shit out of everything to sulky, rebellious teenager.
“There you go, is that what you wanted to hear?” He asks, as he lets go of his grip on you and turns away resignedly, going to tidy the water bottles you knocked over earlier, setting them all the right way up, trying to restore some order in the dressing room, before everyone else returned. He’s desperately trying to hide the hurt strewn across his face, the tears in his eyes, but he needn’t have bothered, you’re perfectly oblivious to anything but yourself.
“And one more thing Lamps, stop being a bloody martyr, the world isn’t against you, there are always people on your side”
“Yeah and clearly you’re not one of them! Look John, I don’t need you condescension, I don’t need your help and I sure as fuck don’t need you pity”
The hurt in his eyes are as clear as day, you really have gone too far this time. He is the picture of defeat and dejection and instantly the guilt twists into your stomach. Once again you’d been so self-involved you pushed away the one life line, the one person who wanted nothing more than to help you.
“How you gonna explain this one to your kids ey?” And there it was; the sucker punch that sends you reeling, bends you double. It was ugly, it was crude, but knowing each other so well had a bitter truth, you know where it hurts the most; you know how to make the other one instantly crumble.
He doesn’t look away, focusing on you, your reaction. You expect him to apologise, but he stares you down, and it makes you think. He might have over stepped the line in your books, but you pushed him. You were egging him on, sending him to the edge, the whole bloody mess is your fault. You can no longer bear to look at him as the shame creeps up, you look away embarrassed.
That’s when he silently gets up and leaves you alone, alone with your thoughts, alone with your regrets.
There’s an awkward silence on the coach home, and not just between the two of you. The whole team sensed something had happened, and it created an uneasy atmosphere, everyone unsure if something was going to blow. You sit next to John as usual, you hesitate for a moment, given what had just happened between you, was it really the best idea? But the two of you are far too suspicious to have it any other way, besides the team would definitely panicking about what had happened if the two of you didn’t sit next to each other.
As you get off the coach, someone grabs your arm. You spin around quickly, thinking, no, praying, that it’s John. Instead it’s Drogba, a serious look on his face, as he studies you carefully. You look at him defiantly, whatever he’s going to say, you’re not interested.
“Look Frank, I don’t know what happened with you two, but remember, he was only trying to help, he went in there to make you feel better and you made him feel like shit”
And you look away, unable to look him in the eye, as the spear of guilt embeds itself further into your gut.
The rain continues to hammer down against your windscreen, but it takes a while for you to realise that it’s not that that’s making it impossible for you to see. You impatiently swipe at your eyes, hoping for some respite, but it only makes it worse. Tears are now streaming down at a constant rate and you’re powerless to stop them. You pull over and stop, as you silently surrender to the sobs. As faceless cars swish past you, you wrap your arms tightly around yourself shielding you from the outside world, trying to get a grip.
It isn’t until darkness has fallen that you wipe your face with your jumper and pull yourself together. You look around you the rain has stopped, and you squint to work out where you are in the dim light. You hadn’t been concentrating, letting your arms drive while your brain switched off, from everything.
You pull out and continue down the now deserted road, peering around you to work out where you are. It doesn’t take long to recognise the neatly trimmed hedges and large impressive houses, you’re only a couple of streets away from John’s. Your brain had clearly defaulted to auto-pilot, taking you automatically to where you know you will be safe and at home.
You indicate, then hesitate, you haven’t spoken to him since the other night, since that argument when you both said things that you now regret. Would he be over it already? Or would he send you away, unable to bear facing you after what had passed between the two of you? Your heart really couldn’t take rejection right now, but there again, it can’t accept loneliness and solitude now either.
Toni answers the door and from her look of shock and sympathy, you know you must look a state right now. She welcomes you in straight away and wraps her small arms around you, you hug her back gently, grateful for the human contact more than anything else.
John comes down the stairs and the instant he sees you, his expression changes, you knew all along it was silly to be worried about John’s reaction to you turning up, you’d known each other far too long, and far too well, to let something petty like that come between you at an important time like this.
He comes to stand behind Toni, resting his hands on her shoulders, causing her to pull away, taking hold of your hands and squeezing, before turning her head to look at John, who murmurs something in her ear. As she turns and head towards the kitchen, John eyes study you carefully, concerned,
“You alright mate?”
And it takes all of your strength not to collapse physically and mentally and as John wraps his arms around you, you cling to him, he is your pillar of strength, keeping you together, you never want to let go.
“C’mon mate” He says softly, and he leads you through to the front room, letting you sit down on the sofa, before sitting beside you, your bodies angled towards each other, facing one another. His hand is on your back rubbing soothingly up and down and once again your eyes are clouded up with tears.
You hear the patter of small feet entering the room, and John’s hand leaves your back. You don’t want to look up. You hear quiet voices conversing,
“Not now sweetheart”
“But daddy pleaseee, just quickly”
You hear John sigh resignedly, then you feel a small body clamber into your lap. Tiny hands wrap around your neck, and saliva mixes with tears on your cheeks, as a huge, sloppy kiss is planted on your cheek. You wrap your arms tightly around the small body, amazed at the affection children never fail to show.
Toni comes in and places a tray of tea and biscuits on the coffee table in front of you before taking the child from your arms. The absence of the warm body chills you at first, but you soon adjust trying to pull yourself together, wiping away your tears frantically.
John hands you a large steaming cup and a bourbon biscuit, your favourite.
“I’m...sorry about this... about just turning up...I just didn’t know what to do, where to go”
John’s stays where he is, “Mate, you know that’s not a problem, you’re always welcome!”
“I know, I just” you look shyly down into your cup of tea, “I thought after last week and everything...”
John puts his hand on your knee, and waits until you bring your eyes up to meet his.
“Frank, listen, last week, was nothing, you’re worth so much more to me than a petty squabble over nothing. We both said things we regret, things we didn’t mean, but that’s all in the past, it doesn’t matter anymore” And once again you see that glint in John’s eyes, feel that something pass from your captain through his words and actions, yet still you can’t quite figure out what it is, why it makes your hair stand on end and your stomach twist in a strange way.
You stay the night, too drained physically and mentally to go back home. But at least you’re calm now. Once again John knew exactly what to do, exactly what to say. As you lie in the familiar spare room (which is so full of your stuff that has collected over the years, you might as well claim it for your own) you once again consider how lucky you are to have someone like John, how lost you would be without him. You make a promise to yourself to be more aware, less self centred, never to let something like what happened last week, ever happen again. You resolve to thank him in the morning.
However, when he comes in in his boxer at half eight in the morning, tickling you into a state of startled awake, to the sound of his guffaws, all thoughts of thanks go out of the window as you plot your revenge.
John turns over once again, kicking at the duvet until his feet are uncovered. Under the duvet is too warm, yet the night air is uncomfortably cold. He glances wearily over at the clock on the bedside table, 3:15, 5 hours until he’ll be woken, 4 hours he’s been lying there, tormented by his brain in hyper-drive. He turns again, away from the clock, away from the window, as if trying to turn away from his thoughts. No such luck, they cling to him, suffocating his mind. He reaches over to get his phone of the bedside table, and sits up slightly, resting his head against the headboard. He scrolls through it, no messages. Of course there isn’t, why would anyone in their right mind be trying to contact him at this time the night before his big match. He types in Frank’s number. His thumb hovers over the call button, he feels a slight pang of guilt he thinks of Fran before his own wife, but it’s Frank understands, Frank always understands. He looks over at the clock again before deleting the digits on the screen, there’s no way it’s fair on Frank to drag him into all this at this time of night. He looks over to his iPad in the corner, maybe he should watch a film or play a game or...
There’s a knock at the door, or so he thinks. It might just have been someone walking past, or the pipes or something falling over or.... there it is again, this time slightly louder, clearer. John hesitates before practically leaping out of his bed and tiptoeing over to the door, who would be calling on him at this hour? He looks through the peep hole but there’s no one there. He must have imagined it, but he decides to open the door and check, just in case.
It was lucky he did too, for as he poked his head out, he spotted Frank quietly padding back to his own room. His heart started beating faster.
“Frank?” He whispered not wanting to wake anyone else. Frank spun around and relief washed over his face, and he smiled back.
“were you asleep?” He asked , mistaking the rasp in John’s voice for sleep as opposed to lack thereof.
“No”, John shook his head, “you?” Frank shrugged,
“dunno, don’t think so, you know the feeling”
John nodded curiously, before remembering the time and the place, “Look mate come in, we can ‘not sleep’ together” John offered.
Frank smirked as he entered John’s room, “We can’t sleep together, oh you’ve broken my heart love!” He joked, earning himself a cuff on the head.
John settled himself back into bed, settling the duvet under his armpits, while Frank helped himself to one of John’s jumpers laying around the place (John really needs to learn what a wardrobe is for) and drags the comfy chair to the side of the bed.
“So what’s up?” John asked, studying Frank carefully, it was not like him to have trouble sleeping.
“Dunno, worried I guess” Frank said, picking at fluff distractedly, avoiding John’s gaze.
“’Bout what?” John asked, brow furrowed in confusion and concern.
Frank stills, and hesitates, “ you” he says, before glancing up at John, before looking back down, suddenly embarrassed, though he’s not sure why. “I knew you’d be nervous and you can never sleep when you’re nervous and then you get stressed and don’t play and...”
John nudges his legs, resting on his bed, “Don’t worry mate,” he smiles, “Thanks though”
Frank shrugs “S’alright, anyway, you know what you were saying about that bird from east enders the other day,” Frank tried to change the subject quickly, not wanting to delve any further “you’ll never guess what I heard earlier...”
They fall asleep like this Frank sitting in the chair, his legs resting on John’s bed as the younger man is laid out slender limbs seemingly endless, occupying the entire bed. But Frank wakes in the middle of the night shivering with cold. He momentarily considers returning to his own room next door, but the thought is quickly banished as he gently lifts John’s supple limbs, creating space for him to crawl under the duvet, to share the warmth of his best friend.
Frank woke first, momentarily disorientated by the strange bedroom and the presence of another in the bed, in his embrace. When he finds that it’s John, he feels his reaction should be shock and he should let go of him, yet something inside him wants to cherish this moment a little longer. Why? He doesn’t quite know, just that the strong arms around his waist offer stable support, the warm body entangled with his offers calming reassurance.
John stirs, causing Frank’s heart to stop, what would John do if he woke to find them like this? Sure he’s his best mate, but they’re not that sort of mates are they? Yet the younger man does not wake, only snuggles closer in his sleep. Once again Frank’s guts are twisting in a way they haven’t since he was a teenager, since a young lad discovering a new plethora of emotions that can only be described and love and need.
Seeing John here, asleep, at his most vulnerable, he feels a deep instinct to protect him, shield him from the rest of the world, matched with a desire to keep him for himself, hold him close, whisper to his ear, lay kisses on his soft skin. His emotions catch him off guard he had never expected to feel like this, yet the signs had been there for so long. Their closeness, their acute awareness of each other, of each others’ needs and feelings, the strange twists in Frank’s gut as he thinks about John, the feelings and thoughts that he couldn’t quite put his finger on as he wears his jumper, as they pull another silly prank, once again returning to the mental age of 5 that they shared when he joined the club.
He doesn’t notice John’s awake until he feels a hand on his cheek, grazing his morning stubble.
“Morning Lampsy” his voice is rough with sleep, but to you no sweeter words have ever been spoken and suddenly right here in this hotel room in Manchester, everything fits into place. There’s a spark passing through the room, igniting inside the two of you and you can see it in his eyes as they mirror yours. Yes. This is what you’ve been waiting for, without ever realising it.
You return to your room, after breakfast, still elated as if your feet aren’t really touching the ground, even as you head onto the field for the match, taking your place once again behind your captain, you still feel like you’re walking on air, nervously waiting for the moment when you come crashing ungracefully back down to earth, but that moment never comes. You’re on top form, your game better than it has been for months. Whether it’s because you’ve got your leader back once again, his commanding presence a reassurance on the pitch or whether its due to entirely different circumstances you don’t know, but as you watch John throw himself full-bodied into another tackle before nimble-footedly dancing away from Rooney’s lunge at the ball, you can tell there’s something special in John’s game too.
The proverbial cherry that every cake needs came in the form of his goal. You floated in a perfect corner, aimed straight at his un-marked head. The ball goes down and in, flying past Van der Saar and beautifully into the net. You run towards each other, and in the melee of teammates, he wraps his arms tightly around your neck, as he has done a thousand times, and will do a thousand times more. But this time it’s different. This time, in amongst the shouts and cheers of celebration, he places warm kisses on your neck and a smile forces its way out of you. As you feel your friendship enter a new level, things couldn’t possibly be any better.
- Current Music:Boxes - charlie Winston