He wasn’t one to celebrate, Thomas noticed as Miro kept a hand around the beer he’d ordered nearing an hour ago. Miro appeared to be lost in thought while Thomas was excited their first case had resulted in an arrest. He was positively giddy about that, but Miroslav didn’t seem to be.
“What’s bothering you?” Thomas asked after having enough of listening to himself talk and Miro not really listening to him.
“Hmm?” Miro asked, stirring from his thoughts and he looked at Thomas. “I’m sorry. I’m just thinking about the case.” He summoned a smile and Thomas noted the apology in it.
“We made an arrest. Doesn’t that mean we’ve solved it?” Thomas asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I suppose it would, apart from the trial and the paperwork.” Miro nodded slowly.
“But something is still bothering you, right?”
Miro watched him and a smile stayed on his expression. Thomas licked his lips slowly, the slight stickiness of the beer he’d finished cleared away by his saliva. When did Miro have such clear eyes? Were they always that pretty? How drunk was he right now on a scale of one to fucked up? Thomas was a little bit sloshed but not much, just enough to give those thoughts a go. It’s not like it was the first time he’d thought about his boss like that anyway.
Miro nodded and leaned back in the booth, stretching. Thomas took a good long view of the muscles underneath his shirt that he could only imagine what they looked like if on display. He really wanted to see and to touch.
“I just don’t think he would’ve killed his girlfriend.” Miro said.
“But an argument over a pair of shoes?” Thomas asked with a raised eyebrow.
Miro smiled a little, but it wasn’t one of good humor. “I didn’t say I thought he was honest. I just don’t believe he actually murdered his girlfriend. Besides, why would he have killed Kevin?”
Thomas sighed as he felt his good cheer leaving his body. Miroslav had a point. Why would Schweinsteiger have killed a banker’s son from Dortmund? Damnit. Thomas shifted in his seat and looked at Miroslav.
“So who do you think did it?” Thomas didn’t feel the need to say that his boss had started the arrest procedure and caused the paperwork for charges to be drafted up in the first place. It didn’t seem like a good idea or a way to put the trust in him by questioning his superior’s decisions.
Miro shook his head. “I’m not sure; that’s the fundamental problem. I think Bastian’s hiding something, but I don’t know what. Since he’s lawyered up, we may never know until we get to court. Did you ever get anything back about that handkerchief?”
Thomas had almost forgotten about that in all the excitement. If the truth be told, he had forgotten about it. He shook his head. “Not yet. I’ll ask Torsten in the morning when we return to the office.”
Miroslav nodded and took a sip of his beer. Thomas watched his throat bob a little as he swallowed and he had to force himself to look away. Now wouldn’t be the time or the place to get an erection, no matter how hot Miroslav looks right now. Thomas waited until the glass was settled on the table once again before he dared look back over to his boss.
“So what’s the story with Pia Großkreutz? You mentioned some scandal before…” Thomas asked, hoping to change the subject and refocus his attention on literally anything other than his attractive partner.
Miro smiled a little as he leaned back in the booth again. “She married Martin Großkreutz after she was supposed to marry someone else. It was a big deal years ago because she was coming from a family with lots of money and was supposed to be marrying into another family with even more money when she chose Martin, who didn’t have as much.”
“So a bunch of rich people broke tradition and she married the lesser man?” Thomas asked with a raised eyebrow. At Miro’s nod, he shook his head. “That’s incredibly cliché and stupid. Aren’t we supposed to be past that stuff by now?”
Miro shrugged. “She was supposed to marry Jens Lehmann and picked someone else instead.”
Miro actually grinned as Thomas dropped his beer, spilling a little on himself. Grabbing for napkins, Thomas spluttered.
“Jens Lehmann? The chancellor of Germany?!”
“The one and the same.” Miro nodded and helped by handing Thomas more napkins to dab at where he’d spilled his drink on himself.
“I see why there was a scandal now.” Thomas muttered and resigned himself to having a stained shirt for the rest of the night. He shook his head and saw the happiness on Miroslav’s face and it made him smile. So the boss does have a sense of humor after all.
As much as he hated to ruin the moment, now that he finally saw that Miroslav did have a sense of humor and could lighten up, something that Ballack said was bothering him. He couldn’t let it go, despite him wanting to.
Only, he wasn’t sure how to broach the subject with Miro at all. It wasn’t his place. It was absolutely none of his business. And most likely, it was going to be a conversation that Miroslav didn’t want to talk about, if the subject material was anything to go by. How could you just drop that into conversation casually? You couldn’t.
Thomas decided to wait and shuffle the conversation elsewhere before he would ask about it.
“So what are you going to do when you get home?” Thomas asked as casually as possible. Miro shrugged.
“Go to sleep. Wake up, shower, have breakfast with my boys if they come over, and then come to get you before we go back to work. It’s what I do almost every night.”
Thomas looked surprised. “You have kids?”
Oh shit. You’ve been having a crush on a straight man. Aw hell, fucking fuck, scheiße. That’s funny he had gay vibes all over him…
Miroslav nodded. “Two boys, twins.”
“That’s cool.” Thomas replied just for something to say. What were you supposed to do in this situation? Awkwardness was undoubtedly seeping from his pores. He felt his palms grow sweaty. Damn. He really had hoped for a shot with the boss one day as well. Get a grip, Müller.
“You seem disappointed?” Miroslav asked, expression cleared of all emotion again. Suddenly Thomas felt like he was the suspect up for questioning. Fuck how he could do that, he thought as he shifted uncomfortably in his booth.
“I just didn’t realize you had a family. You seemed like a workaholic to me.” Thomas shrugged. That was true, at least. Miro logged more hours than anyone he had ever heard of before. He was aware that sometimes at least Miro slept in the office. He guessed there were other things he didn’t know about that would probably remain secret about his habits.
“I suppose I am.” Miro smiled a little and it looked almost sad. Thomas felt a pang for the other man. He then smiled, this time it was much happier. “But I do have a family. My two boys, their mother and I suppose I can count Monika as family as well. Not to mention my other relatives.”
“Monika?” Thomas asked. There was a curious inflection on his tone as he said the woman’s name that stirred his curiosity. Miro smiled again, this time it was more guarded.
“Our children have two mothers and one father.” He was patient and let that sink in to Thomas’ mind, a fact which Thomas was most grateful for.
“Oh.” Thomas replied stupidly. So there’s still a chance for you to fuck me? He didn’t ask, but he had to catch himself so that he wouldn’t. That’d be a stupid move. The alcohol was wearing off, he wasn’t going to be that brave because he wouldn’t have anything to blame it on.
Miroslav nodded and finished the rest of his beer. “Care for another?”
Thomas nodded. Well, if Miro didn’t want to go home after that landmine of awkward, he wasn’t going to complain.
Miro stood up and Thomas enjoyed the view he had of the man’s backside as he went over to the bar to get another round. Thomas wasn’t going to complain either that Miro bought this one, just as he’d bought the others. Who knew the boss was so generous? Thomas rested his elbows on the top of the booth as he leaned back.
Fuck. Miro had kids. He was hot, but kids were a lot of responsibility. No wonder he knew how to calm him down with that paternal ‘I can fuck you up’ look that Thomas hadn’t ever felt like crossing before.
His boss returned with two lagers and set them on the table. He then leaned back in the booth and watched Thomas again.
“So, your turn. Tell me about the incorrigible Thomas Müller, tell me things that aren’t in your dossier.” Miro said and sipped at the foam-topped beer.
Thomas shrugged. So much for trying to avoid the spotlight of the conversation. “I talk too much. I watch too much football and I sleep probably more than you do.” Great topics of conversation, Müller.
“I see.” Miro smiled a little. Thomas wondered what he was thinking. Probably how to get rid of you as his partner without shooting you. Thomas wanted to wince at that thought. Speaking of which…
“So Ballack told me something interesting before I…before you know what happened.” Thomas shifted a little and gulped a large part of his drink.
“I’m surprised. Michael has little to say that anyone finds interesting, but go on…” Miroslav said and Thomas was a little shocked. That was probably the meanest thing he’d ever heard Miro say. His honesty and candor was refreshing.
“He said that…” Thomas hesitated and tried to find a nice way to ask it. Realizing there wasn’t one, he apologized in advance. “I’m sorry, this is going to come out wrong. He said you had shot and killed your last partner?”
Thomas had never seen a living statue before, but when Miro froze after he spoke, he guessed that’s what one would look like. Slowly, he watched Miro’s eyes darken. With remorse? With anger? With guilt? Thomas wasn’t sure. As the silence stretched between them, Thomas shifted uncomfortably, but still Miro didn’t move.
“I’m…I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.” Thomas mumbled an apology and wished he hadn’t spoken. He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment. “Forget it.”
“No, you have a right to know, I suppose. You are my partner after all.” Miro replied, though any trace of kindness or gentleness was gone from his tone, completely and utterly gone.
“Lothar and I were going to speak to a suspect who had murdered his wife and children. We had him cornered. Since I was the junior officer on the case, Lothar suggested I go to cut off the suspect after he ran. I did as he asked, unquestioningly and faithfully.” Miro paused a moment and looked as if he was lost in thought. Thomas waited patiently until he spoke again.
“By the time I had reached the other end of the alley, the only place to cut him off, Lothar and the suspect had gotten into a fight. I ran to catch up with them, but Lothar had made a mistake, and our suspect had him hostage. We both tried to talk the man out of it, but he wasn’t going to budge. He had had a psychotic break and there was no reasoning with him. I didn’t have a choice.”
Miro looked at Thomas at that part, as if he was begging Thomas to believe him. Instantly, Thomas nodded, but still had the good sense not to speak.
“I didn’t have a choice. I tried to only wound Lothar, but they scuffled. The shot was miscalculated because I wasn’t anticipating them to move. It went through Lothar and into our suspect, unfortunately both were killed.”
Miro drifted off after the last word and Thomas wanted to reach over and hug him, touch him, do something that would bring him comfort, but he couldn’t. He just watched his boss for a moment before he looked down into the foam of his beer. He couldn’t imagine what that must be like.
“I’m sorry, Miroslav.” Thomas said and looked up, apologies on his face.
“Yeah. Me too. Lothar was an excellent detective, the best.” Miro said a little coldly and he finished his beer in one long swallow. Impressive, considering most of it had still been in the glass. “I should get going.”
Thomas nodded numbly. He felt bad. He ruined a good evening that they had bonded on, at least they had been until he’d asked a stupid question.
“Come on, I’ll drop you off.” Miro replied. “Then we can see what we can do about seeing who our real killer is.” Thomas nodded and finished as much of his beer as he wanted. He wasn’t really thirsty anymore.
“I’m sorry, Miroslav. I didn’t mean to ask.” Thomas said as they walked out to the car, the cold evening air was like a slap in the face to him. He felt a little tipsy again.
“Yes you did, Müller.” Miroslav corrected, a little less than kindly. “You meant to ask. You didn’t mean for the truth to be what it is.”
“I’m still sorry.” Thomas mumbled as he slipped into the 5-series.
“Well don’t be. It wasn’t your fault.”
“Wasn’t yours either, Sir.” Thomas was having problems getting his seatbelt on. It seemed like it was caught on the door or something.
“Stop calling me that. Sir. Stop it. It makes me want to…” Miro paused and shook his head as he watched Thomas try to get the seatbelt undone.
“Makes you want to what?” Thomas asked, finally prying the seatbelt into a normal position. However, he still couldn’t make it click into place.
“It makes me want to do things that no one should discuss with a fellow employee.” Miro replied and went to reach to turn the car on.
“We’re off the clock. Spill it, Sir.” Thomas replied, grinning. The alcohol really was making him more brazen. Besides, he wanted to make Miro forget the painful conversation they’d had. If it meant acting like a stupid silly little boy, then by God he’d do it. It appeared to be working, since Miro no longer looked sad but rather amused and a bit put-off by his antics.
Miro shook his head and looked over at Thomas. They were close together now and Thomas wanted to lean closer still and kiss him. He wanted to, but he didn’t. Miroslav sighed heavily.
“It makes me want to do things to you. Things that I haven’t done in…” He shook his head and was trying to think of a number. Thomas grinned.
“Go ahead and do them, Sir. I wouldn’t complain in the slightest.”
Thomas did lean forward then and he did something he’d wanted to do since he’d first seen Miroslav in the office.
He kissed him.