It isn’t just the frustration of not winning a good match that has him slightly irritated, Philipp decides as he waits for Manuel to come to his hotel room. He keeps thinking about them both before the match in the tunnel, waiting to go out and he can’t take it much longer. He’s not an impatient nor envious man; this is all very out of character for him and he isn’t quite sure what’s happening to him. But as the minutes go by where Manuel isn’t in his room, isn’t with him, are eating at the fabric of sanity that is keeping Philipp in check.
Is Manu with Kramer now? Is the giant of a goalkeeper holding the taller defender in his arms? Are those wonderful lips tangled together around the midfielder’s? Is Fips going crazy with waiting? Yes. At least he had an answer for that question.
When the door finally opens—Philipp isn’t one to point out that Manuel is exactly two hours and twenty-three minutes and forty-nine—fifty seconds late, but he notices and he knows exactly how long its been—and Manuel comes walking in, Philipp doesn’t react. He’s had a lot of time, two hours and twenty four minutes exactly, to think over how he’d react when the goalkeeper walked in. He doesn’t get mad, doesn’t get accusatory. He doesn’t jump in his arms and attack him with his lips, his hands, his legs wrapped around Manu’s waist. He doesn’t do anything at all.
Except for look at Manuel with a raised eyebrow.
And he waits.
And he waits.
And then Manuel blushes slightly in his cheeks and lifts a hand to rub his neck.
Philipp mentally swears that if the first word out of his mouth is ‘Christoph’, he’s going to kill him, he’s got to… For his honor’s sake.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so late.”
Fips doesn’t say anything, still waiting for an explanation. An excuse. The truth. Because, at the heart of it, Manuel wouldn’t give him anything less. Manuel is honorable in this way.
“I was just talking to Christoph and—”
Philipp isn’t even aware he did anything, doesn’t recognize the sting on the skin of his hand from where it’s smacked the table, hard apparently, but when Manuel trails off with wide-eyes, Philipp realizes he must have moved at last.
“—we were just talking about things and time got away from us…”
Manuel stops there, as if that’s the perfect excuse that will get him Philipp’s forgiveness without any of his aggravation. But he’s wrong, he’s so wrong, and Philipp’s eyes blaze with fire of possession. Manuel finds it attractive and endearing, but he has enough piece of mind and good common sense to not say anything about it right now. He doesn’t want Fips mad at him over nothing, after all.
“Funny how that happens isn’t it?” Philipp asks but doesn’t want an answer. It’s evident in his look, his tone. He turns away and Manuel frowns. That hurts.
“Philipp?” Manuel asks and Fips is busy rummaging around with something in his suitcase.
“Yes?” Philipp asks and he has a new tone, a false one of cheeriness. Manuel recognizes the tension in his lover’s shoulders.
“Don’t you trust me?” Manuel asks and he knows the answer. Of course I do. He just wants Philipp to say it, say it so that they can talk about this logically and not from a place of jealousy.
“Why would you ask that of me?” Fips asks, turning around with an incredulous stare.
“Because if you think,” Manuel starts, slowly moving closer to Philipp, “that I would ever let anyone or anything come between us,” he stops there and looks down into the other man’s eyes with a kindness in his own, “then you’re not doing well and something is very wrong.”
Manu wants to lean down and kiss him then, but he doesn’t. He holds back and waits for Philipp to react now. Whether it be with word or action, he waits patiently. And finally, Philipp releases a sigh and the tension begins to ease from his shoulders.
“It’s just…the way he looks at you…” Philipp supplies and there’s the tension in his jaw now, the fire in his eyes.
“Is the same way Franck looks at you.” Manuel finishes and puts his hands on Fips’ shoulders and squeezes lightly. “I’m not going anywhere. I only spoke to Christoph to see how he was doing, that’s all. I came back to you as soon as I could without appearing rude.”
Philipp nods slowly and lets himself fall into Manuel’s embrace and he holds onto him tightly, refusing to let go so easily. Manuel is his, all his, and he wasn’t going to share with anyone. Niceness could hang, for all he cared when it came to the keeper; no one else was going to have him, only Philipp.
“Sorry.” The captain apologizes and Manuel gives him a squeeze.
“It’s all right. Now what do you say we go to bed and forget about this entire day? I’ll give you a massage…” Manuel suggests in a flirtatious tone and Philipp can’t help but laugh. He’s heard many a man flirt with him, none do so as poorly as Manuel does. It’s not his forte. He’s not the smooth-worded Bastian, nor the charmingly devilish Mario Gomez. He’s the shy, sweet-hearted Manuel who is all his.
And the lure of his sweetheart’s giant hands on his body is too much for him to resist. He nods and pulls Manuel down on the bed with him, loving him for all that he is and he isn’t, but most of all for the fact that Manuel was only his.