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Fic: A Light For You

Title: A Light For You
Rating: PG-13
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 Madrid to light his candle. It’s weird, he thinks while fighting with the matches, how the busy city still drops into the same rhythm on the first Sunday in Advent. Like it’s built into their minds to stop their parties, stop everything they’re doing at this exact hour, to switch off all the lights except their single candles, families huddled together, thoughts travelling to far away friends.

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 Spain, Steve doesn’t feel quite at home in his new apartment yet. Sure, it’s nice, it’s stylish, clean and luxurious, but there’s something missing. He doesn’t know what it is, maybe some kind of smell, maybe just the difference between the light here and in Liverpool.

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 Liverpool environment, but tonight is no time for English. Tonight’s all Spanish, from the figurines on the dresser to the wreath and candles Xabi’s mum sent them.

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 Mersey, every sound, every ray of light consumed by the dense fog outside. He will need to talk to Stevie. Maybe Christmas really makes people as forgiving as everyone always says.

***

“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 Liverpool merchandise right opposite the candles. Liverpool merchandise sporting Fernando Torres’ face

***

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.”


 


Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
bluethursdays
Nov. 30th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
!!!

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.

I teared up right there, and throughout the rest of the story. It's really lovely, and I'm even more homesick now than I was! I'm memming this.

(also I think you pasted the story twice?)
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:45 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you. But don't get too homesick! You'll see your family again so soon, it's only a little more than three weeks until Christmas.

(aargh, and I was wondering how the entry suddenly got so long *headdeask*. amended.)
sleepy_orange
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
That was beautiful. And the pacing was great as well, I could feel everyone being silent and contemplative.

BTW, what's Advent?
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:49 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, hun! It was just a sudden idea I had while putting up all my Christmas stuff.

The Sundays of Advent are the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Each Sunday, you light one candle more on your Advent wreath than on the last one, so the light is increasing, until you finally have the bright Christmas tree. Literally translated, it means "coming", it's the time we spend waiting for the approaching Christmas time. Hope that this explains it a bit :)
sleepy_orange
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for explaining, it makes a lot more sense now. :) It sounds like a great time for people to just contemplate.
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
It is. It's nice to have some downtime sometime, though it's hard to really calm down at the end of the day, what with Liverpool and uni collaborating to wreck my nerves :P
(Deleted comment)
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
Sorry, I had to choose one pairing to make suffer :P But Xabi'll talk to Stevie, so all might end well!
oh_so_blase
Nov. 30th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
this is so lovely and sad but i'm really glad you started and ended it with Sernando because it seems like youve gotten used to writing them and you write them really great. (that was a really long run-on sentence >_<)

i love it.
and it made me miss Finns alot.
im memming this.
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:52 am (UTC)
Sernando simply had to be in the start and the beginning because of their different storyline. The others just keep thinking about each other but Fernando's the only one to actually do something about it.

I miss Finns, too. Sometimes I wonder if Rafa regrets forcing him out to make way for the constantly injured Degen.
ombu_tree
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Oh, this was breath-takingly emotionally sad.
but so apt too, I especially miss Dan/Finns *sniffle*

Thank you for writing them!

I don't know if it's just me, I've never really had a feel for the christmassy thing, maybe because we don't celebrate it much in our country, but I could really feel a special sense of I-don't-know-how-to-describe-it in your fic. (makes me think perhaps I've been missing out on something all these years.)

I liked that each person had their point of view and it was a nice venture into their thoughts. =)

Poor Robbie, I feel sorry for him a bit. But I'm glad at least one couple got together =).
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! Danny/Finns was cruelly ripped apart by the transfer market. *hands a hanky*

I don't know if it's down to my family celebrating a very traditional Christmas or to the Germans generally rocking at christmassy stuff, but for me it's always been a special time. Everyone seems to slow down a bit, seems to take some time to consider, to think, to spend with his family. It makes you feel a bit detached from the hustle of the modern world.

Yes, poor Robbie. He's so much in love with Fernando, I'm actually feeling sorry for him. The way he tried to flirt with him during the Fulham game was way embarrassing :)
ombu_tree
Nov. 30th, 2008 10:21 am (UTC)
I know, it's so sad about Finns leaving (I literally could not believe it happened when I heard about it)

Wow, it sounds like it would be awesome to be in Germany for Christmas! I guess being summer over here doesn't help either, I mean we all grew up on stories about snowy wintery Christmases but it always so hot here at Christmas time it just doesn't set the scene.

(Sorry, was reading your other comments about Advent Candles, but wow, I didn't know they existed! So does the first candle burn for the whole month? Or is it just lighted then blown out after a while?)

Robbie flirted with Nando in the Fulham match (I must have missed that due to banging my head against the nearest hard object at the way we were playing). Embarrassing you say... LOL.
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC)
I was hoping until the last moment that he'd stay, and I still wonder how willingly he actually left. Seeing him with that Espanyol jersey is so weird!

It is, actually. A white Christmas is so, so beautiful, it's like the snow still increases the general Christmas feeling. Also, we have these wonderful Christmas markets, ours is directly under the illuminated castle; it's like the most amazing place on Earth.

(No, the first candle doesn't burn for the whole month, you blow it out but my family relights it every evening. It'd be too dangerous to let it burn all the time, what with fire and everything.)

Oh, he did! We have video evidence :) And I think that I even have a pic of him holding Nando's hand right before the second half kicks off (yes, they provided a welcome distraction of the style of play... not that I really needed one...). He's so cute! XD
acrayonsmile
Nov. 30th, 2008 09:48 am (UTC)
That was beautiful. I love advent candles. I don't know why, I've just always liked them. Anyway, the Sernando story was beautiful. Sergio wondering about Fernando's freckles in the candle light was my favorite part. The Stevie/Xabi one was sad, but hopeful at the same time. Robbie broke my heart though. Great work :)

P.S. Your Sernando icon makes me smile.
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 10:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I actually have my own Advent candles here and can't wait for tonight to light the first one.
Poor Robbie is so much in love with Fernando; even my friend, who really is not into any LFC pairings at all noticed it during the Fulham game.

PS: Me too. So much love in a tiny icon :)
acrayonsmile
Nov. 30th, 2008 10:54 am (UTC)
Robbie can't compete with that kind of love :p
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
No, but try telling him that! He's lost :P
robbie96
Nov. 30th, 2008 10:04 am (UTC)
Ah, that was so beautiful, so emotional , so sad..perfect for this time of year,absolutely perfect...;D
mira_miracle
Nov. 30th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! It's like Christmas makes everyone miss the other even more...
kat_lys
Nov. 30th, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
This is one of the most beautiful and touching fic I've ever read into the footie fandom ♥

Every story is amazing, but the Dan/Finns was my favorite. I miss them.
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

There's not enough Danny/Finns around anymore. One of my favourite pairings ever, ripped apart by the cruelty of the transfer market.
(Deleted comment)
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
*offers hugs* Aww, Christmas away from home is awful! And having to work during the holidays simply is not fair, you have deserved way better than that.
Thanks for your lovely comment!
sophiamoon
Nov. 30th, 2008 01:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful.
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
Thank you.
adorerdollylux
Nov. 30th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
this was so sweet and beautiful and poignant. and tender in the best ways. thank you so much for writing it, i have been craving some christmas sweetness. and i lovelovelove when either sergio or nando can get to see the other when we really want them to, i love it so much. <3
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I was trying to make it tender and christmassy, so I'm glad that it worked. And Nando's injury does have some good, at least, since it allows him to travel to Spain as long as he doesn't exercise too much :)
hushbye
Nov. 30th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
This was lovely, one of the most beautiful fics I've read for a long time!Fernando coming to meet Sergio was the best part,loved it.The sadness was almost too much but thankfully there was a happy ending! I've never cared much about Advents but this actually made me want to light a candle.

(Btw, yours is the first fic i'm commenting in Livejournal...This is a bit weird:P)
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your comment! (Actually, this being your first makes me feel honoured in a weird way...) I wanted Fernando to do something different than just sitting at home and staring at his candle, so I just put him on a plane and made him fly to Madrid, in order to get some third party opinion on his hamstring :P
I'm really not religious or anything, but I adore Advent and Advent calendars and lighting a candle for a couple of minutes every night, especially when I'm away from home.
jumping_down
Nov. 30th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
So pretty. I even found the Robbie/Fernando utterly fascinating. I love the vignette-style where it's almost like mini-stories patched together coming from different perspectives and in the end you feel all warm and Christmassy. ♥
mira_miracle
Dec. 1st, 2008 08:32 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I adore writing Robbie/Nando, Robbie is so much in love with Fernando, it's hilarious to watch. The poor boy doesn't realize that Fernando is already all Sergio's...
kristannuccia
Dec. 2nd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
WOWOWOW!!!!!
Your attempts at fluff are every time better!! :D ♥
This was amazing, I do love the way you wrote it.
So melancholic, sad, pensive, warming somehow, just like only a candle light could be described. Very, very neat. Perfect, mate! xD ♥
I swear that I loved also the other pairings, not only Sernando! *nods* I don't know much about Dani/Steve, but I loved it anyways. Poor guys, I feel sorry for them!

Awww the sweet, sweet Sernando happy ending! ♥ ♥ ♥
I adore my boys, especially when they meet each other in the most unexpected ways! *cuddles them*
You do most of the job though writing them in the very best way possible. ♥

Poor Robbie, he's just SO obviously in love with mi Niño.. sigh, one-sided love is always the most suffered one! *hands robbie a lollipop*

And Stevie/Xabi.. so heartbreaking.. their pride manages to keep them apart, but they still deeply love SO much each other.. and that's what matters in the end. They'll be back together someday. *nods*

I usually don't even realize when it's Advent period, plus here we don't have the tradition to light candles during the four sundays (they're usually lit in church during the mass though), but this made me want to light a candle and think about all distant people as well including serg and nando to be honest haha!..
As I already told you, you should write more fluff my dear!
This was a fantastic pre-Christmas present.. I hope you'll be generous and dispatch some more later on haha! ;D

*hugs*
mira_miracle
Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much, hun! You're making me blush with all your praise...

just like only a candle light could be described
That, my dear, is the best compliment you could've possibly paid me. It's the way I wanted it to come across and I seem to have succeeded :)

I don't know much about Dani/Steve, but I loved it anyways.
Search for them on footballslash, the tag "Steve Finnan" might be the best way to find fic fast. sophiamoon is currently writing a brilliant fic about them.

Poor Robbie, he's just SO obviously in love with mi Niño
Well, maybe he should just try to impress him by actually playing well? It might be worth a try :P
No, poor Robbie certainly can't stop thinking about Nando, especially not when they're sharing a football pitch, and when his feet are touching the same ball as Nando's, so his bad form can be excused :)

their pride manages to keep them apart, but they still deeply love SO much each other
I think that pride is defining for them both and, consequently, for their relationship. They have a lot of it and it always makes admitting to an error more difficult, especially when the error's of dimensions as huge as this...

plus here we don't have the tradition to light candles during the four sundays
Shame on you XD To be honest, I don't know if it's practiced elsewhere than in Germany but I just made them adopt this tradition for the sake of the story. Creative freedom, if you like :P

*hugs*
kristannuccia
Dec. 10th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
I'm just saying the truth! ;D ♥

That, my dear, is the best compliment you could've possibly paid me. It's the way I wanted it to come across and I seem to have succeeded :)
Ooooh I'm really happy about it! *hugs*
It definitely worked and you've been really good at doing it! :D

Well, maybe he should just try to impress him by actually playing well? It might be worth a try :P
Haha, you're right, that would definitely be a good solution! LOL! xD
Well, poor thing, he has always to fight with this impulse to jump on Nando and doing bad things to him during the shower every day after training.. he's a very stressed guy, our Rob, be comprehensive towards him haha :P

I think that pride is defining for them both and, consequently, for their relationship.
I like to see them from this point of view instead that from the utterly and tbh quite boring romantic one... They both seem to be very strong and quite "rough" men, so I don't see all that fluff and romance between them. Their love is wild and passionate (in my vision of it of course) and that's why I loved this, because pride is a strong and masculine feeling that perfectly suits them!

Shame on you XD To be honest, I don't know if it's practiced elsewhere than in Germany
Haha, I don't know either, but it's a nice and beautiful tradition and since I adore candles, I think I'll adopt it as well from now on! :D And also, I think that for the sake of the story you could possibly adopt almost anything and you won't ever be blamed by anyone for doing that haha! ;D ♥

*huggles*
mana_yu_ta
Dec. 2nd, 2008 11:02 am (UTC)
After a long time I visited football slash com, and I found out this beautiful fic. I was very impressed with the stillness, sadness and slight hope. This fic lit a little light for me too. Thank you for writing it!
mira_miracle
Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much for your lovely comment! I'm glad that you enjoyed this.
aglaiya
Dec. 16th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't know why I was waiting so long to read your story. Maybe I was waiting for a special moment. That moment!
Beautiful story! I love it mucho!
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )