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Oh Wonderful Place, Our Hearts Combined.

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When the time eventually comes he won't make you stay.


Isn't that the most cliché turn of events ever.


There's been a painful heartbeat drumming for a while now. You are not exactly worried, but you wouldn't say you don't feel scared. There's been a painful and constant ache in your chest now, and it matches the steel-like shade of Thomas' eyes. He won't beg, he won't plead, he won't talk your ears out. There are no threats, no hostility, no warnings. He won't take anything from you, that you weren't willing to give freely, he has never been like that. 


So time keeps its course, hours come and go, days are born only for them to cease their existence quietly through a veil of darkness. Days pass through your eyes and you don't hear him say: "If you leave, this too will be over." 


He won't even joke about it, in the hopes that carefree words might sway your heart, let you breathe again, put dimples in your cheeks and laugh lines on the corner of your eyes. He was the first person to make you truly smile, when you first came here full of hopes and dreams, tunnel line vision, the right mentality to win it all, and a luggage packed with things to achieve, to fight for.

It never crossed your mind that once you had achieved almost everything, Thomas will be filling the newly emptied space with new dreams to fight for, things that would make you tremble in excitement and adrenaline and love. Laughter bubbling on your throat, warmth filling your chest, lines of cherished moments making their way on your face, to stay and be regarded through time; eight years is a long time, although it never felt like that, not with him. 


Now he might be the last one for whom you truly smile. 


("That's bullshit Lewa!" says León, exasperated. Joshua simply raises an eyebrow, daring you to deny it.)


Thomas hasn't got a funny commentary about it and when asked about you leaving, he’s tentatively serious in that hopeful way of his. Because he loves you too much, for his own good. For your own good. With every passing day you begin to notice the uncertainty behind each uneasy gesture, forcing himself to smile when some journalist keeps on asking, keeps on prodding.


He told you once, not so long ago, he thought he loved this club so much it couldn't be healthy, that often it made him too focused to the point of being partially blind to anything but the glory it deserved. That he would put its happiness and greediness before his own. That if someone had to leave so it could thrive and just be better, then so be it. 


"Robert, it's okay. You don't need me around anymore."


"Shut up Müller, and get ready. It's my turn to assist."


Now you would both laugh at what he said, at what you thought. Because time has a way to prove you wrong, wicked thing that it is, to make you change; foolish child.


You know he had been ready to leave, back then. (He didn't want to.)


As you are now. (Do you want to?)


When you lie awake at night, an indulgence you’ve been giving yourself lately, you like to think he had stayed for you, even back then, when there had been nothing for him but past memories, the love of the people, and heat in your shared touch (present, almost tangible, but not there yet) with the intensity of what you discovered in each other, never before, thrilling and so damned terrifying. When there had been nothing but the possibility of everything, he had stayed.


Would it have been less painful missing the chance of falling in love?


He fell for you and you willingly went with him; fucking love being the sadist mastermind behind it all, you two didn't escape that. Never even thought of running away from that.

You would think in the quiet moments between the both of you, when he is next to you on the field, when he not only looks but sees you as you truly are, proud and headstrong but also caring and warm, you would be so sure you've been in love far longer than he had.


Proudly, you had asked and it hurts so good to know that there’s no mistake in what he feels for you, because you love him as fiercely as the resolve that runs through your veins, as hungry as your taste for glory and you've known glory, it just tastes different on Thomas' skin.


"Lewy, haven't you had enough?" he'd panted. Exhaustion never diminishing that sweet smile of his.


"Have you?"


Thomas had surged and had his fill from Robert's lips. "What do you think?" He'd asked after a moment, head tilted in paused motion with his fingers ghosting over wet skin. Robert had given and taken from him in turn, and it had always tasted different, new and raw. But to both of them always meant home home home.


You can taste him every time, sweet and satisfying against your tongue, it doesn't matter where the two of you happen to exist. He holds you with a selflessness no other ever had before. His taste lingers all around you when he takes his chances and makes them yours, when he sees you soar and is with you all along. 


But this time? This time is different, and all together the same. Thomas won't make you stay, even if he desperately wants you to; because he had seen something slightly begin to fade away in your eyes, instead something else and unforgiving crept up in place. And when all you can see is uncertainty around you, people being afraid of change, afraid of a challenge, you also see his eyes are nothing like that, they are silver and liquid steel, he knows you and he has his trust in you.


Thomas will find a way. You know he will.


Time and time again others have said you and him don't need words to communicate, to take and to give what the other wants. By looking you know everything: he understands everything.


So he'd rather see you run with a lightness in your step, breathe the air of someplace new, than trap you here and see resentment grow in your eyes. 


“I could never.” you tell him. “Not to you.”


“I won't risk it,” he says. “Not with you.”


You breathe him in, because through those eight years he has become half of you, he is half of you and independently complete even without you. That's why it's perfect. This love you both cultivated with care and tended with patience, became perfect.


"Lewy" Thomas takes your face in his hands, bringing your foreheads together in a gentle touch, he waits a second and then takes the breath away from your open and willing mouth.


Halfway thought frantic kisses and soothing nips on his lips you love him even more and you tell him you love him because he can be selfish too. Maybe a part of you wants him to want something for himself, to be greedier and more self indulgent than ever before. But you understand he'd rather have what you feel for him from afar as it is, than for that something to turn it bitter by having you so close to his heart. 


One may look selfless, giving everything away, keeping almost nothing but the air in your lungs to just just keep you going.

And yet you secure and hoard the most precious thing. Something that does not need to be regarded by strangers for fear of being exploited and tainted, that even falling in the well-meaning hands of others could end up twisted or destroyed by expectations.

Because this? it’s yours and his, only to be regarded after you come apart and find completion from searching each other's eyes and touch. 


Thomas told you once, not so long ago, when the weight of disappointment was heavy on your shoulders and something foul and dark was lurking around, that he knew he loved you so much. He had come to care for you above anything and everything this damned place could offer you both. That unless it showed the same love you had held in your heart, since you were a child. "...they don't deserve you, Robert." Maybe they once had, but not now. 


Not now.


Now is time for things far far more important. "You" had thought two men, seeing the other. Unafraid. A single unspoken word etched on their minds, repeating itself at the same time. You.


He had held you and kissed you and you had let him have you, and then you'd had him in return. You had cried open mouthed against his neck and in the middle lost your voice, maybe half your breath, all your soul; you had scratched his back and then soothed what you had done with your lips. Your grip had been painfully hard on his hair and he had snarled at you, playful and hurt, you remember doing it too.

He has a way of holding you in which you've never felt trapped. 


With your fingers threading through Thomas' curls and his arms circling your back, bringing you impossibly closer to him, you'd pressed your lips to his pulse point and whispered "I adore you" against it. So his heart will always know the pattern of that sound. A line connected directly to his gentle heart. 

"I love you." A soothing sound reaches you back. "No matter what or where we are, I love you and that won't change".

You will always recall drifting to a dreamless sleep while looking into his eyes, for once the same shade as yours when nothing but night sky illuminated them. His hand in yours, his forehead and curls anchors to your heart, the one he had willingly given half his soul to.


Then comes after.


After, with not yet the first colours dragging its way on the horizon, making you see the bruises you’ve given each other all over shared skin, you had hurt each other for the last time.


"Make me stay, Thomas." 


As if he could change your heart. 


"That's not who we are." 


He could.


He has.


(There's been a painful heartbeat drumming for a while now. And now you know why.)