Characters: Sergio Ramos, Steve Finnan, Daniel Agger, Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane, Fernando Torres
Pairings: Sergio Ramos / Fernando Torres, Daniel Agger / Steve Finnan, Steven Gerrard / Xabi Alonso, Robbie Keane / Fernando Torres
Summary: It's the first Sunday in Advent. Everyone's lighting his candle.
Disclaimer: If they belonged to me, I wouldn't write about them. I would simply do a live video stream.
A/N: Christmas-induced attempt at fluff. For everyone who's missing someone right now. Comments would be love.
Sergio is the last person in
Peace, for one moment in time.
It’s not like him to be late. When he still lived at home, his mother used to complain about his impatience, about him already making everyone sit down and wait, about him counting down the minutes, the seconds even.
But Sergio has a reason, a good reason to be late, to light his candle when many have already blown theirs out again, have returned to their noisy, stressful lives, to lively dinners or tasteless TV shows or expensive nights out.
It’s exactly one hour he has been sitting here, waiting for the right time. Waiting for a very far away friend to light his candle at the moment he lights his, to think about him the moment Sergio himself does.
The room is a near perfect dark, only illuminated by the burning match Sergio holds to the wick. At first, it doesn’t seem to want to catch fire – and Sergio crosses himself with his free hand, for this is supposed to bring bad luck – but then, at the very last moment, the flame spreads, the small light becoming larger.
His eyes on the candle, the young man leans back in his chair, his lips muttering a silent prayer, forming the ancient words his grandmother taught him. His thoughts are with his family, at the comfortable home in Sevilla, lovingly decorated by his mother – she sent him stuff but it feels weird putting it up at this place -, with all his loved ones who are assembled around the large table for dinner.
But then is mind wanders somewhere else, to a different Spanish home, to a different person lighting his candle right now. He wonders how he looks like in that kind of half-light, if his freckles are still visible, if the flame reflects in his dark eyes. If he’s thinking of Sergio as well.
If he can maybe see the small light Sergio is sending into his direction.
Even after months in
He arranges the wreath on the table of his living room carefully, hands pulling at the branches until they form a perfect circle, strong fingers checking the candles for their stability. After all, the flat isn’t that bad he wants it to burn out.
The candle is burning brightly, warmly. It’s Dan’s favourite scent, Finns recognizes suddenly, apple and cinnamon, and last year they had a huge fight about them: Steve, being old-fashioned, was opposed to anything but the standard red candles he’d had for years, but Dan had, of course, eventually got his way. Like he always did.
He grins to himself, thinking back to the Dane’s method of conviction fondly.
His hands find his phone, dial a number, almost automatically.
Dan never realized how annoying his neighbours actually were until today. He knows that they’re a pretty strange couple who like putting up weird things in their minuscule garden – like, for example, a life-size scarecrow – and who always need to have their TV on full volume, but this, this just shouts loony bin.
He has been looking forward to a quiet evening, all by himself in his dark living room, lighting a candle while thinking of Finns and how they used to do this together, but he can barely see the small flame with all the blinkage from next door.
A giant reindeer is standing just at the fence, blinking like it’s his neighbours aim to give him some kind of eye illness. Well, he has seen their boy in an Everton shirt…
Before Dan can get up to close his curtains, his phone rings.
“I’m sitting here with the wreath you sent me,” Finns’ warm voice says, no hello, no introduction needed. “It’s beautiful.”
“I did the same for me,” Dan answers, his throat suddenly tightening a bit, his candle suddenly seeming a bit brighter, like it’s supported by Finns’, so far away.
Too far away.
It’s dark inside Stevie’s living room, dark and silent, which is unusual for a house usually filled with light and laughter and chattering females. It feels strange and good at the same time, good to relax his face for once, not to put on a mask but still not showing anyone how tired he is. How confused.
When he lights the candle, they just sit for a moment, the whole family, simply watching the small light, everyone’s mind at ease for the moment, everyone’s thoughts travelling freely, unperturbed by worldly things.
It’s been one year, Stevie remembers suddenly. One awkward year, filled with not meeting eyes, not touching, just exchanging passing handshakes. One year since that conversation. One year since Xabi told him that he couldn’t continue like this, that he was doubting him. That he didn’t feel fucking loved anymore. As if Stevie’s love could be measured by how long he hugged Fernando on the pitch. As if the pitch played any part at all.
They haven’t talked properly since. And, when Stevie heard about the transfer rumours, heard the others speculating about a move to Juventus or to Arsenal, he was secretly happy, not for the team but for himself, but Xabi stayed and the awkwardness continued.
Maybe they should talk, he ponders, forehead in deep wrinkles. Just maybe try to stay friends. To become friends again. For, no matter how much time he passes with Jamie and Sami and Pepe, he misses Xabi, misses his cool intellect and weird music and complicated films and the books he tries to make Stevie read. He misses the touches, the kisses, misses Xabi pretending to only help him stretch his muscles properly while doing something far more agreeable with them.
The girls are starting a Christmas song, their voices sounding like angels’ in Stevie’s ears, hopeful, kind and so innocent. They have deserved a better father, he decides, one who thinks about what to get them for Christmas and how to put up all the Christmas lights outside instead of one who considers asking his team-mate out during a family get together.
And, more loud than beautiful, he joins in the song.
Xabi’s fingers holding the match shiver slightly. Not because he’s nervous or afraid of the fire – he isn’t afraid of anything, he likes to think – but because this is special. This is baby Jon’s first Advent, the lead-up to his first Christmas, and he wants it to be fascinating and memorable and just perfect.
Nagore is cradling him on the couch, whispering to him in low Spanish, her words sounding soothing and just right for tonight. Usually, they try to talk some English as well, wanting the baby to get accustomed to the
Carefully, he lights the candle, simply standing in front of it for a moment. It makes him feel warm, warmer than he felt all year, including Jon’s birth and all the joy holding his son for the first time brought.
Get a grip, he reprimands himself. After all, he was the one who finished it, because of a silly bout of unfounded jealousy, he was the one who was too proud to admit his error, because he wanted to be the morally superior. But he also is the one who’s still hoping for a sign of Stevie, just one tiny sign, like smiling at him when saying “Good morning” or inviting him for a game of pool after training. Who still fears and hopes and feels, feels everything he used to before.
Stevie, however, doesn’t, and why should he? It was Xabi who accused him of cheating, him, Stevie, one of the most loyal souls in the world. Xabi who destroyed everything they used to have. Xabi who, doing that, destroyed part of himself.
Oblivious to Jon’s happy baby sounds, he looks out over the dark river
“Are you fucking stupid?” Claudine barks at Robbie, no sign of Christmas spirit in her voice. “What’s this mess?”
“Just trying to make them fit.” Robbie’s small body shrinks even more under her critical gaze while he’s chopping away at a red candle with their kitchen knife. It’s not like it’s one of the items she uses often, she’s far too concerned about her nails to actually cut vegetables.
“How will that look like?” Claudine frowns at him, shaking her head in disbelief. “I still don’t understand why you got these huge candles, we’ve had our small iron wreath for years!”
“I’m sorry,” Robbie says, for the umpteenth time since he got home with the shopping, since Claudine unpacked the candles and saw that they weren’t the right size. “I told you that I wasn’t paying attention and just grabbed the first set I saw.”
He was just elsewhere with his thoughts, he tries to tell himself. At training or at the tactics lecture Rafa gave him or at the Christmas party and his fancy dress costume. He doesn’t remember.
In fact, he remembers, and that’s why he’s chopping that furiously that there’s wax all over the kitchen floor. There was a huge advertisement for some
Fernando curses silently and very un-christmaslike. Olalla told him that this was a stupid idea, even though he only unveiled half of his plans to her, and, usually, she is right. The broken matches around him testify that he should really take his gloves off, even though the idea itself makes him shiver even more. He has always been thinking that there was no colder place than Melwood during morning training. Obviously, he was wrong.
At least the coldness seems to keep the paparazzi at home, he considers while taking his gloves off, rubbing his hands vigorously to warm them up.
Luckily the match catches fire at the next try, and soon the small candle warms Fernando, who closes his hands around it and picks it up, making his way along the fence, eyes fixated on the dark house in front of him, on the single window illuminated by a candle.
He leans against the bell, doesn’t answer when he hears the voice in the interphone, just lets it ring and waits, candle held tightly, blonde hair tousled, dark eyes reflecting the light a thousand times. Like an angel.
Like an angel, Sergio thinks as he opens the door, tired of the incessant ringing of the bell. Like an angel who has descended straight from heaven, so beautiful and unreal that he doesn’t dare to speak at first.
“I’ve got a light for you,” Fernando finally says, stepping closer, offering his gift to his friend.
“Thank you.” Sergio closes the space between them, lays his hands on Fernando’s, his grip on them tight and strong, the small light glinting between them, and he can make out Fernando’s freckles, can see his gleaming eyes, his full lips. Carefully, he bends forward, ignoring Fernando’s frightened squeak because of the fire, closing his eyes and drawing in this scent of cinnamon and burning candles and Christmas and Fernando. Their lips meet, softly, slowly, gently, Sergio’s warm ones on Fernando’s cold ones, Sergio’s pressing ones on Fernando’s compliant ones, Sergio’s on Fernando’s.
Teasingly, Fernando opens his mouth a small bit, invites Sergio’s curious tongue in, a tiny moan escaping his throat, his raw lips hyper-sensitive to each movement of Sergio’s. His own tongue springs into life, engaging into play with Sergio’s, his hands trying to resist the urge to let the candle drop and touch Sergio’s face, his hair, his body, all that is so dear to him.
Breathlessness makes them break apart, makes them stop and open their eyes for a second, makes Fernando shiver for the sudden loss of warmth, for the sudden loss of Sergio.
When Sergio looks into Fernando’s eyes, he isn’t astonished at all to see the flame’s reflection inside them, the flame’s and his own, both just as entwined as their fingers around the candle. Using his chin, he motions at the window above them, at his own, single candle. “I’ve got a light for you as well.”
- Current Mood: calm
- Current Music:White Christmas