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08 December 2008 @ 09:34 am
deliverance  
I'm back. With fic.

Title: Deliverance
Characters: Steve Finnan / Daniel Agger
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Imagination - it's a beautiful thing, no?
Feedback > life. If you feel the need to give constructive criticism, please do.


It was all very casual. Daniel didn't even bother to call before turning up at Steve's front door, such was his casualness. After all, he'd turned up so many times before, out of the blue, leaning against the doorframe with that smirk in his eyes - not waiting for kisses and handjobs and blowjobs and sex, but waiting to provide them.

But since kisses and handjobs and blowjobs and sex had flown rather fervently out of Steve's heavily curtained window, he couldn't help wondering what on earth Daniel had come for. Did he make a habit of turning up at his exes' houses, uninvited, without warning?

"Hi."

This too was very casual. As Steve rocked on his heels in his corridor, Daniel confidently stepping into his apartment, he searched desperately for some hint of longing, or awkwardness - hell, he would even have settled for plain dislike - but there was nothing more than the faintest touch of recognition, and perhaps disappointment in Daniel's face.

Disappointment was so much worse than hatred and anger and all those other negative emotions - because it meant that Steve had let him down. Let him down with his drab apartment, the décor of which he hadn't bothered to change since Daniel had walked out in a huff for the last time. Let him down with sheer neediness that he must have been reeking of as soon as he met Daniel's eyes. Let him down with the fact that he was still the same pathetic Steve Finnan who had been dumped by Daniel Agger, and that he hadn't done anything to try and win him back. No, he too had remained very casual.

Daniel looked him up and down, not judgementally, but Steve felt exposed all the same. Yes, he felt like saying defiantly, I still wear my flannel pyjamas, whether you liked them or not. Yes, I still smell like eucalyptus - I care about my sinuses, even if you don't. But Steve said nothing. Now was not the time for dramatics. Now, he had to figure out what Daniel was doing in his apartment, most hypocritically going back on his promise to "never step foot inside this fucking boring man's fucking boring house ever again".

It was strange that Steve could so easily remember the words which had cut through him like a knife - the bad parts stood out so prominently in the mess of memories that were all he had left of their relationship. Yes, his reminiscences were occasionally punctuated by a burst of laughter, an "I need you", a smile across a crowded room. But, for his part, the postcard of 'Steve And Daniel', which he would look back on once more time had passed, was tainted by the inevitably stronger stench of all those little moments when things had gone wrong.

Daniel shuffled his feet - not awkwardly, because he wasn't an awkward sort of person, but rather to point out to the nostalgic Steve that he was still in the room. His attention refocused, Steve noticed with a sinking heart that Daniel held in his hands the boots which Steve had lent him several months before.

So that was why he'd turned up. Not simply to exhibit just how unaffected by the break-up he was, not to extend a hand of friendship which suggested life after love, and certainly not (Steve almost kicked himself for hoping) to try and win him back with kisses and handjobs and blowjobs and sex.

"I brought these back."

So goddamn casual. Daniel's eyes quickly flicked around the room, his disinterest and his sense of obligation becoming increasingly apparent. Steve was nonetheless glad for the aversion of Daniel's gaze, his fingers trembling stubbornly as he hurriedly reached out for his boots. He couldn't shake a feeling of heaviness as he watched Daniel standing there, arm outstretched - taking the boots back meant that there was now no reason for Daniel to ever return. It signalled the true end of their dependence on one another, the absence of any more links that could possibly force them together.

As Steve's hand briefly touched Daniel's, images and words and sounds came flooding into his mind. One of their first kisses, when Daniel's fingers had laced in between Steve's, cold and unsure. The tentative comfort of Steve's hands around Daniel's while the young defender had frantically spat out his frustration, stamping his plaster-covered foot. Their mingling sweat as they had desperately grabbed each other, their heads filling with light as they thrust harder and harder in the darkness of an anonymous hotel room. Daniel impatiently offering Steve a hand up after the Irishman had missed a tackle. Daniel's hands curling into fists. Daniel pushing Steve roughly against the wall in anger. Daniel's fingers wrapped around the doorknob, seconds before the door had closed between the two of them.

Steve clenched his jaw as he snatched the boots back, Daniel's eyebrows raising slightly in mild surprise, but his face quickly falling back into its stone cold mask of indifference. Steve, certain that Daniel could hear his breathlessness, fought everything he felt as he pointedly nodded towards the door. Their gazes met, for no longer than a second, before Daniel turned on his heel and quietly left the apartment, Steve searching but finding nothing escaping from beneath that icily calm exterior.


* * * * *


Daniel's heart was thumping. He was growing increasingly aware of it, even wondering for a moment whether or not Steve could hear it beating through the silence of the room. As he gazed at his former lover, he wondered if he could see the mirror of his nerves in Steve's rigid face - whether Steve had the same tenseness in his jaw, lump in his throat, and sweat on his neck. But Steve was resolute, and clearly wanted Daniel to leave. And Daniel, never one to push his luck when he wasn't wanted, begged for a smile which didn't turn up, before leaving, feeling considerably like the idiot he'd tried so hard to hide.

He didn't quite know what he'd expected, his mind having been irritatingly numb on the drive to Steve's place, refusing to cooperate when he tried to plan the conversation he wanted to have. But now, as his fingers began to regain feeling, he sank beneath the overwhelming rush of 'what if's which had, inevitably, arisen once he'd closed the door behind him. He desperately tried to recall the image of Steve's face as he'd left it, but it was now contorted into a million variations of disgust, disinterest and disbelief, none of which Daniel could fathom, all of which made him even more confused - if that was possible.

He had wanted to say more, that was for sure, but obviously he hadn't counted on turning into a mute at the last second. He sighed - stupidness always attacked him at the most inconvenient moments.

He realised that he was still standing outside the door to Steve's apartment. Yet more idiocy. Fighting the urge to knock again, to beg pathetically and childishly to hear the voice which had refused to speak, he slowly turned around, trying to lock into his brain everything that he'd just seen again for the first time in too long.

Steve's horrendous wallpaper was just as he'd left it. Yes, it was dark green, flowery wallpaper. But it was Steve, and was therefore homely, inviting, painfully familiar dark green, flowery wallpaper.
Steve still smelt the same, Daniel's senses having been almost shocked into recognition as soon as the door had opened, that strange eucalyptus scent reminding him of cold nights made somehow warmer by Steve's arms around him.
The dim lighting had struck Steve's cheekbones just so, reminding Daniel of how they felt against his fingers, his skin, his lips. And Daniel remembered, with a rush of longing, the softness of Steve's untarnished flesh, the love that he wrapped around each word he spoke, the tenderness nestled in his gaze.

Daniel sighed. He had given all of that up. How - well, he couldn't fathom that either. But, somehow, it was now all behind a closed door through which he would never again venture, the path back to Steve having been brashly cut off by Daniel's own stupidly abrasive words and aggressive actions. Indeed, he had been an idiot.

"You forgot the shoelaces."

Behind him, the door had opened, and there stood Steve, the lightness of his voice hurtling through Daniel's mind and lifting him a little as he turned back around. He desperately hoped that his face didn't look as ridiculously excited as he felt. Although Steve's raised eyebrows suggested it did.

"Oh. Uh, really?"

Steve nodded, not taking his eyes off Daniel. The Dane saw in Steve everything that he wanted, everything that he'd let go, everything that he'd never find in anyone else. After all - who else doused themselves with eucalyptus oil every night?

Swallowing, Daniel tried to calm his racing pulse as the teasing hope of possibility danced in his thoughts in time to Steve's words.

"Do you think you could come back tomorrow with them?"

Daniel let a smile escape from his lips as relief enveloped him. Steve's mouth twitching slightly, he smiled softly back at Daniel, staring imploringly as the defender hurriedly tried not to predict all the looks and touches and conversation which would now keep him up at night until he returned the next day.

"Yeah," Daniel breathed, as Steve's questioning look quickly melted into one of understanding - that tacit mutual comprehension which Daniel thought he'd never again have the right to share. "Yeah, I'll drop by tomorrow."

They both nodded, still smiling slightly, before Steve closed the door as silently as he'd opened it.

Daniel's thundering heart was now marching to the beat of an optimistic determination, his clammy hands sweating with the childish agitation of excited anticipation rather than regret. And, his steps a little lighter as he walked briskly down the staircase, Daniel smiled as the right images replaced the wrong ones in his head, and his memory moved a little further forward into the present.

He knew he'd taken those shoelaces off for a reason.

 
 
mood: rejuvenated
music: mgmt - kids
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this. :)
cactupuss on December 8th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
That's it. I'm officially in love with your writing. You have a way with words I have never seen before. And your attention to detail blows me away.

I loved the display of emotion throughout the story, how they were both nervous, but couldn't see it in the other.

So that was why he'd turned up. Not simply to exhibit just how unaffected by the break-up he was, not to extend a hand of friendship which suggested life after love, and certainly not (Steve almost kicked himself for hoping) to try and win him back with kisses and handjobs and blowjobs and sex. Absolutely adore this sentence. Steve's selfdoubt is so sweet. Poor guy doesn't see how much Dan wants him.

Steve's horrendous wallpaper was just as he'd left it. Yes, it was dark green, flowery wallpaper. But it was Steve, and was therefore homely, inviting, painfully familiar dark green, flowery wallpaper.
Steve still smelt the same, Daniel's senses having been almost shocked into recognition as soon as the door had opened, that strange eucalyptus scent reminding him of cold nights made somehow warmer by Steve's arms around him.
The dim lighting had struck Steve's cheekbones just so, reminding Daniel of how they felt against his fingers, his skin, his lips. And Daniel remembered, with a rush of longing, the softness of Steve's untarnished flesh, the love that he wrapped around each word he spoke, the tenderness nestled in his gaze.
Apologies for the rediculously long quote, but I couldn't decide which part of that I loved more. I have no words for what this does to me. I can sort of feel Dan's longing through this and just how much he has missed Steve.

He knew he'd taken those shoelaces off for a reason. Dan, oh, precious Dan. I sort of felt all giddy and excited with him. Perfect how you ended this. :)

Your Fagger is nothing short of amazing. I've read a few fics with this pairing, but this is just sort of speaks to me, you know? It's so familiar between them, yet they can't seem to figure the other out until maybe a hint of it at the end. It's perfect.

Anyway, welcome back and thanks for a wonderful fic. :)


presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC)
Askjsdhsjshs I don't think any amount of thanks can possibly express my gratitude for having received such a beautiful comment. Thank you so very much, everything you've said there means a lot. ♥

I'm just really glad you felt so much with this fic, and that you enjoyed it as much as you did. I haven't written much Fagger, so your comment is really very flattering. :) Thanks again, I really appreciate the generous feedback!
deathinacavedeathinacave on December 8th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
You're back! <3
Hope your trips were suitably relaxing and fun?
This is so beautifully observed, and so painfully involving, that Im thanking you for a happy ending, when ordinarily, I am not a happy-ending fan!
But phew!
Bless 'em! x
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
Yep, I had a great time! I'm still happily floating from BBQ to movie night to little party and so on, so the relaxing and fun is most definitely continuing! :)

Thanks for that lovely comment! I'm glad you liked the happy ending - it was originally going to end rather depressingly, but I suppose I couldn't bear to do that to myself.
(Deleted comment)
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I'm so glad you liked this. :)

the sadness is so heavy, it obviously hides how both really felt
Mmm, yes.
D: Fagger OTPoh_so_blase on December 8th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
I truly don't know what to say but I was in a mood to read them and then you post this and now i have a really stupid smile on my face even though this was sad because the end really made up for it and I love it.

that is really a run-on sentence but i cant think correctly because my mind is fbgsdfbgjs from this fic.
i love it.
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, well I'm just delighted that I managed to provide you with some Fagger, then! :)

Thank you so much for that comment - a run-on sentence is very flattering, trust me.
I'm really glad you liked the fic - and the ending. :)
sophiamoonsophiamoon on December 8th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
Simply so lovely and a bit sad and how people always manage to make their lives complicated for no reason.

Great writing job.
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Indeed, it's fascinating how people manage to over-complicate things.
liversanliversan on December 8th, 2008 06:29 am (UTC)
Hurrah, new Steve/Dan fic. and such a lovely one is a bonus treat. You really got this so perfect. Portraying both their insecurities, and I thought Daniel was spot on, even getting some of the aggression he puts on in his interview. He was surprising, especially the bit about him turning mute. I actually thought he was quite arrogant when he turned up, perhaps even taunting and humiliating steve. The bit about how them losing dependence on each other and the memories of the hands were lovely. Such different hands. The shoelaces, I can't even begin to describe that except to say how clever!

I hope desperately that you continue to write these two. You really have the knack for them.
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thanks a lot for that comment! Such generous and thorough feedback, ah, it really means a lot! I'm glad you liked this, that you found the characters interesting, and that you approved of the hands and the shoelaces. :)

I'd love to continue writing them - of course, it'd be easier if the world hadn't turned against us and Steve was still at Liverpool! But alas, I'll try. :)

Thanks again for the very kind comment, I really appreciate it.
(Deleted comment)
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:23 pm (UTC)
LOL!
Uhm, well, I don't have plans for a sequel, if that's what you mean... I suppose they'll just reunite the following day, realise how stupid they've been and how much they really want each other, and have hot sex?

But I'll hopefully continue to write Fagger. :)
(Deleted comment)
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
XD Glad to hear it!
The Bavarian Skipper: steve finnantxorakeriak on December 8th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
OH YOU! This was really rather evil of you. *pouts*

When I was halfway through the fic and Dan left Steve's house, I was quite certain that they wouldn't get back together, and it nearly broke my heart. It's so human, isn't it, to put up a facade of indifference in a situation like that, to pretend you're over your ex because there's no going back anyway, and even more so when the same facade of indifference is looking back at you. *sigh* People usually don't manage to set things right in situations like these, so I decided not to get my hopes up and brace myself for a tragic ending instead. I mean, it's not as if tragic!Fagger isn't justified - now that Steve's in Spain, fics about them are bound to be tragic and sad, after all. But I've always had a soft spot for them, and I can't help the rather idealistic wish of happiness for them, especially when in the fic, Steve's not in Spain yet. And then, I read about the shoelaces and nearly gasped, because Dan had to come back at least once now, and maybe they'll both try to read each other better then. The ending tells me I'm not wrong to hope. :)

You know how much I love the way you write, your choice of words, your dialogues, your characterizations and your awesome images. You do both angst and crack with such ease that I can't help being a little envious of your talent. And all your fics are different - not just different from each other but also very different from the other fics on LJ. So instead of telling you something you already know, let me thank you for writing this pairing and giving it an optimistic ending, because I so needed that. :)

*adds to memories*
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, I didn't mean to be evil! Honest! *blinks innocently*

It's so human, isn't it, to put up a facade of indifference in a situation like that, to pretend you're over your ex because there's no going back anyway, and even more so when the same facade of indifference is looking back at you.
I think I should pay you to come up with summaries for my fics, because damn it, you do sum them up so perfectly every single time!

I'm glad you liked the ending! D'you know, I'd actually planned to end it after the first half, without including any of the stuff from Dan's POV. But then I suppose I was hit by immense guilt at leaving them so desperate and alone, I couldn't help but throw in some happiness! And I'd like to think that the readers are grateful for it. :)

Aaskshsgfhsdhshs Bill, how am I to constantly find new ways to thank you? You really must stop, I don't quite know how to take it. Ahhh, just - just - thank you so much for saying that. I can't believe that it's true, because such flattery is most unwarranted, but I really do appreciate it so, so much. I'll try to keep writing "different" fics and hopefully I won't let you down. :)
nadzsleepy_orange on December 9th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC)
Oh! Love, love, love.

Them both being so unsure of themselves, of each other. Seeing only what they want to see in the other.

I really enjoyed this. Thank you. :)
presquecasi_casi on December 9th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Such a lovely comment, I really appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the fic! :)
ombu_tree: Dreaming Danombu_tree on December 12th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
Yay~!
Fagger!

Again, your writing is amazing (are you sick of hearing this from me yet?)

I really liked the emotions that bounced between them two, and how Finns saw the situation. Being disappointed that Danny was only back to return boots! *there there*

I love the ending! Danny is so sneaky. hehehe.

I would give you a bigger comment, but my brain is half fried at the moment... but even when half fried, it still recognised a great story!

Thanks esp for Fagger! (I had missed Fagger a lot and suddenly up pops a few! hehehe)
presquecasi_casi on December 13th, 2008 06:39 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much for reading and leaving such a lovely comment! I'm glad you liked it - and that I could provide you with some Fagger. It's funny, it seems like quite a few people have been getting Fagger cravings. :)

I hope your brain de-fries itself soon!