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Love me like you used to

Chapter 5: It's not because of him


I'm terribly sorry for the delay on this. I had to factory reset my phone and lost my WIP. Anyways, I'm getting myself back on track with this fic again. I hope my next update won't be another month away 🫡 not too much happens in this chapter but we're getting to the good stuff soon.

NOTE: I know zero things about soccer or sports in general so I'm sorry if there are innacuracies

Chapter Text 正文

After they left room 207 behind them, Isagi followed Rabia's lead around to a few different places of note in the stadium. There was a food court, various other sport practice locations such as basketball courts, tennis courts, and cricket pitches, numerous board and meeting rooms, a medic station, and a gift shop. At the last location, Isagi stopped and stared inside.
在他们离开 207 房间后,Isagi跟随拉比亚的引导,参观了体育场内几个值得注意的地方。这里有美食广场、各种运动练习场地如篮球场、网球场和板球场、众多会议室和办公室、一个医疗站以及一家礼品店。在最后一个地点,Isagi停下脚步,凝视着店内。

"If you'd like to check it out in there, I'll come along with you," Rabia offered, noting Isagi's curious gaze pointed at the gift shop.

"Yeah... Sure." “嗯...当然可以。”

After they were done in the gift shop, Rabia lead Isagi over to the men's change rooms.
在礼品店逛完后,Rabia 领着Isagi前往男更衣室。

"The team comes here three times a week," she said to him, "On days when you guys aren't scheduled for on-field practice, you'll meet at the team's head office. That location is quiet and more private. I'll show you around there tomorrow, be sure to check the schedule weekly for where you're meeting since Luka likes to switch things up a lot."
“球队每周来这里三次,”她对他说,“在没有安排场地训练的日子,你们会在球队总部集合。那里安静且更为私密。我明天带你去熟悉一下,记得每周查看会议地点,因为 Luka 喜欢频繁更换安排。”

"Ahh, okay." Isagi smiled at her warmly. "Thanks for this. I really appreciate all your help."

"Like I said. Big bucks." Rabia smirked back at him.

Finally, they arrived at the change rooms. He made his way inside and changed, locked his stuff up in a locker, and readied himself for the mini-match event. He was still really early, nearly fifteen minutes early, so when Rabia lead him out to the practice pitches they were still mostly empty.

"Here's your turf," Rabia motioned around them, "During the warmer months, you guys mostly practice outside. For now, since it's winter, this will be your home."

Isagi and Rabia stood beside the doorway staring out at the soccer pitches. There was three of them separated by nets, two of which would be of their use. Isagi couldn't help but grin as he stood there under those fluorescent lights, finally readying himself to play a game with his first team outside of Blue Lock. Off to the side, Luka and Sully were setting up a table with some water bottles.
Isagi 和拉比亚站在门口,凝视着外面的足球场。那里有三块场地,由网隔开,其中两块将供他们使用。Isagi 站在那片荧光灯下,不禁露出了笑容,他终于准备好与他的第一支队伍在蓝锁之外进行比赛了。一旁,卢卡和萨利正在摆放一张桌子,上面放着一些水瓶。

The skin on Isagi's neck started to prickle. He knew it was coming again... That chill. He reached a hand up to brush the back of his neck in hopes of staving it off but it didn't help at all. Waves of goosebumps traveled up his neck and cold clawed at the base of his skull. Why did that keep happening? He was beginning to wonder if he'd caught some weird German virus or something.
Isagi 的脖子开始感到刺痛。他知道这感觉又要来了...那种寒意。他伸手去抚摸后颈,希望能缓解一下,但毫无效果。一阵阵鸡皮疙瘩沿着他的脖子蔓延,寒意如爪子般抓挠着他的后脑勺。为什么这情况不断发生?他开始怀疑自己是不是感染了某种奇怪的德国病毒。

"Is the air conditioning on?" Isagi asked Rabia. He was panning around for any signs of a fan or something else that may have been creating a breeze in the room, but nothing was standing out to him.
“空调开了吗?”Isagi 问拉比亚。他四处寻找风扇或其他可能制造风的东西,但什么也没发现。

"Air conditioning?" Rabia raised an eyebrow at this. "I'm pretty sure it's completely shut off this time of year."
"空调?" 拉比亚对此挑了挑眉。"我很确定这个季节它是完全关闭的。"

"Ah... Right." "啊... 对。"

"Are you cold? Maybe you should start warming up early."

"Yeah... Maybe I should..."

Isagi's sweeping stare stopped in the far corner of the pitch, fixating on the guy who was already warming up by himself... Rin. His gaze lingered and he couldn't help but smile. That chill that had slapped him so hard only moments earlier was subsiding the longer he looked upon Rin, as if Rin's presence was somehow soothing some desperate, deep-nested part of him that was calling out. He found an eerie warmth was filling him, one that was somehow simultaneously creepy and comforting all at once.

He must've been getting sick, there was no other humanly explanation for such a thing to be happening to him. Random chills, goosebumps, and flashes of hot and cold made him think he probably had a low-level fever of some sort.

Then again, a fever couldn't exactly explain what happened next.

Rin looked over, eyes snapping right to the perfect place to meet with Isagi's gaze, as of he somehow knew Isagi was standing right there watching him.
Rin 转过头来,目光准确无误地与 Isagi 的视线交汇,仿佛他知道 Isagi 正站在那里注视着他。

It was as if the ghostly presence of the chill on his neck was guiding their eyes to meet, each goosebump on his skin forming a compass. For every moment the eye-contact with Rin lingered, there was growing warmth. More warmth, spreading across his entire body, filling him with an unusual sense of peace. The longer their gazes held, the longer Isagi's ocean blue collided with Rin's seafoam green, the more whole he felt. It was bizarre, but unmistakable, only confirmed that something beyond his explanation or understanding was happening when simply eye-contact could bring about such an other-worldly sense of serenity.
仿佛他颈间那股寒意的幽灵般存在引导着他们的目光相遇,他皮肤上的每一个鸡皮疙瘩都像是指南针。随着与 Rin 眼神交流的每一刻延长,他感到越来越温暖。更多的温暖,蔓延至全身,让他充满了一种不寻常的平静感。他们的目光越持久,Isagi 的湛蓝与 Rin 的海绿碰撞得越久,他就越感到完整。这很奇怪,但毫无疑问,仅仅通过眼神交流就能带来如此超凡脱俗的宁静感,这证实了某种超越他理解和解释的事情正在发生。

They'd made eye-contact as such plenty of times in the past, in Blue Lock. Rin was his rival, and someone Isagi always had his eyes on. Rin's presence on the field was always so powerful, demanding every ounce of his undivided attention every time they stood on the pitch together, whether it was on the same team or a different team. He was sure their eye-contact had never done something like this to him before... Had it?

Rin's attention was brought away from Isagi when his black-jerseyed teammates started to pour onto his side of the pitch. Isagi's heart sunk immediately. Did this mean that freaky chill was going to attack him again?

After whatever the hell that was, Isagi was dazed. It was as if a pair of hands had physically closed around the back of his head and were holding him there in that exact position, waiting for their eyes to meet again.

Let me go, damnit.

Isagi had to physically exert himself and wrench his eyes off the now empty space where Rin had been standing. He took a deep breath in and out to ground himself, attempting to banish whatever that unsettling feeling was that was grabbing hold of him. Was he losing his mind?

"Looks like we're on the same team, Yoichi."

The sound of the voice acted like a slap, jerking him out of whatever strange mental hold Rin had had on him moments before. When Isagi looked over to find the source of the voice, he saw the team's captain, Karl Novák. The guy was wearing the same blue practice jersey he was.

Isagi had already put in his Mikage Corp. earpieces in the changeroom so he knew what Karl was saying to him. He nodded and smiled in response.
Isagi 已经在更衣室里戴上了三木公司的耳机,因此他知道卡尔对他说了什么。他点头微笑以示回应。

"How about we use hand signals and gestures to communicate out there?" Karl offered. "You familiar with those?"
"我们出去后用肢体语言和手势交流怎么样?" 卡尔提议道,"你熟悉这些吗?"

"Um... Yes, okay." Isagi nodded his agreement. It'd been a while since he'd had to use them but he was sure he'd manage it just fine. This would be what was most ideal for him until he improved his English skills.
"嗯... 是的,可以。" Isagi 点头表示同意。虽然他已经有一段时间没用过这些了,但他确信自己能应付得来。在他提高英语水平之前,这将是他最理想的选择。

Finally, when everyone was present, Sully began to lead them through some guided warm-up exercises.
最终,当所有人都到齐后,Sully 开始带领他们进行一系列有指导的热身运动。

There were currently 22 players on the team's roster, meaning two players were the odd ones out. The extra two were tacked onto team blue and black for their match only, since the practice matches were mostly for Isagi and Rin's benefits, being that they were the newest additions to the team. So the first two matches were a 6 on 6 between team blue and black and a 5 on 5 between team red and white.
目前球队名单上有 22 名球员,这意味着有两名球员是多余的。这两名额外球员被临时加入蓝黑队,仅限于他们的比赛,因为训练赛主要是为了Isagi和Rin的利益,他们作为新加入的队员。因此,前两场比赛分别是蓝黑队之间的 6 对 6 和红白队之间的 5 对 5。

Now was the time for Isagi to pay attention. As a player who relied heavily on his spatial awareness, knowledge, and understanding of other players on the field, his brain needed to be undistracted and unclouded. As the team blue 6 assembled in a little huddle, they got to work on discussing their plan of action.
现在是Isagi集中注意力的时候了。作为一名严重依赖场上空间感知、知识和理解其他球员的球员,他的大脑需要保持不受干扰和清晰。当蓝队 6 人聚集在小圈子里时,他们开始讨论行动计划。

As Isagi expected, everyone on his team was highly conscious of Rin's presence on the opposing team. He always did tend to act as a lighting rod on the field, with his extreme technical prowess, excellent vision, and overall highly well-rounded stats, even at this high level of play. In addition to these things, Isagi was beginning to realize that people saw the Blue Lock players as wildcards; generally difficult to read and highly unpredictable, given how they always moved by the wills of their own egos.

The way people saw Isagi was almost the polar opposite to how they saw Rin. Despite the fact that he was sure everyone would've either seen the two of them playing on television at some point or would've played against them at the world cup finals, Isagi was almost certain that their opponents would underestimate him, and that was a fact he always knew he could count on and take advantage of.

When they kicked their match off, team blue started with possession of the ball. A 6 on 6 match of first to 5 would definitely be faster than your standard game, Isagi thought. It would be a lot easier to slip into peoples' blindspots and find openings that wouldn't be present during a full-sized match. In Blue Lock when they'd had their smaller matches like these in second selection, the pitch sizes were scaled down to account for the team sizes to match. This wasn't Blue Lock, though.
当比赛开始,蓝队率先控球。一场 6 对 6、先得 5 分的比赛无疑会比标准赛更快,Isagi心想。在这种比赛中,更容易潜入对手的盲区并找到全场比赛中不会出现的空当。在蓝色监狱的第二轮选拔中,他们进行过类似的小规模比赛,场地大小会根据队伍人数进行调整。但这里不是蓝色监狱。

A few minutes into their match, Isagi recieved a highly precise pass from Nokák and his direct shot volleyed it right into the net, scoring team blue their first goal.
比赛开始几分钟后,Isagi接到 Nokák 精准的传球,直接凌空抽射破门,为蓝队攻入首球。

Adrenaline surging, Isagi pumped his fist. It was only one goal, but it felt great. It always felt great when he scored, even if it was just a stupid practice match. After this, he was definitely starting to get fired up. He was well aware, though, that after that goal team black probably wouldn't let him skate around outside of their line of vision so easily.

A mysterious chill shot up the centre of his spine again but he ignored it. If he let this bizarre thing distract him, even just a little bit, he might slip up. So, despite the overwhelming urge to follow what the chills wanted him to do, he pushed on, letting that cold feeling creep around the back of his neck despite the heat that was filling his body from the match.

Not long after Isagi's goal, Rin scored team black's first goal for himself. With that, the Blue Lock striker duo's egos were kicked into full throttle. Murmurs from both team blue and black were starting to spread across the field about the unconventional movements of the pair of strikers.

By the time their match was tied 4-4, there was a fire burning out on the field between the two teams. Specifically, the pair monsters from Blue Lock brought a different kind of energy to the field—one that got everyone around them fired up far beyond the level of a small and simple practice match.
不久后,@1001#的进球刚过,@1002#便为黑队攻入了首个进球。至此,蓝锁前锋双雄的傲气被彻底激发。蓝队和黑队的球员们开始在场地上窃窃私语,议论着这对前锋不同寻常的举动。 当比赛战成 4-4 平局时,两队之间燃起了一股激烈的火焰。特别是蓝锁的那对怪物前锋,为球场带来了一种不同的能量——一种让周围所有人都热血沸腾的能量,远超一场小型练习赛的程度。

With his hand brushing across his brow, wiping sweat, Isagi stood, waiting for the next kickoff. His adrenaline-shot mind was surging, now filled to the brim with his will to win.

That sharp edge of determination he always possessed was now peaking, honing itself into the deadly point of a blade aimed directly at the necks of team black.

He would be the one to score that last goal, he'd make sure of it. As such, he motioned a few quick hand gestures over to a couple of his teammates, who stared back at him, surprised.

It did seem like the rest of the players were taking it a bit easy and letting Isagi run loose as he wished, probably because they wanted to see his playstyle in action and get to know it better first-hand. And so when they kicked off, he was immediately given possession of the ball, backed by a triangular formation with Novák and another member of his team, Choi.

When it came down to it, their formation broke through the enemy lines quite effectively... However, just as Isagi thought, he was headed off by just the person he'd expected to meet.

"Knew I'd see you here," Isagi smirked and said to Rin, who stood between him and the net. There was another black jersey not far behind him as well. "We always did see the same view of the field."

"Your movements are still too lukewarm, Isagi."

"Of course you'd say that."

Rather than take the shot, Isagi passed the ball off to Choi, who was skirting in behind Rin, before he pushed himself past the taller boy. Rin was still a stronger and faster player than he was, though, and it didn't take him very long to end up back in front of Isagi to block his way to his goal once again.

Choi, a midfielder with exceptional passing skills, threaded the ball tight between Rin and another black jersey, delivering it directly to Isagi.

Rin's leg immediately shot out to stop the path to the goal in front of Isagi. It was no mystery that Isagi's strongest weapon, his direct shot, could be easily blocked as such, given that it traveled in a mostly straight line to the net.

"Lukewarm, Rin." "不够果断,Rin。"

Rin's eyes narrowed into a glare as Isagi's leg raised. Rather than take the shot, he faked the shot and instead trapped the ball, giving him time to reposition his body.

The change in tempo was enough to throw Rin's block off. Rin slid forward and out of the way, opening the path before Isagi back up.

Another team black jersey's arm was moving in from behind, positioning by his waist to check him, but his aim remained true. Using his left leg, the force of his kick and aim sent the ball spinning past two players and directly into the net.

Then, the whistle blew, and the match was over.

Team blue's victory. 蓝队获胜。

After the practice matches all wrapped up, the players trickled into the locker rooms. Isagi was lagging behind a bit, shaking hands with various teammates and introducing himself polietly.

When he arrived in the locker room, Isagi pulled his locker door open. He noticed Rin off in the corner doing the same thing, so he grabbed something out of his own locker and plodded across the room, where he took his place behind Rin.
当他走进更衣室,Isagi 拉开自己的储物柜门。他注意到 Rin 在角落里做着同样的事情,于是他从自己的柜子里抓了样东西,拖着步子穿过房间,站在了 Rin 身后。

"Hey." "嘿。"

"The hell do you want?" Once again, Rin seemed to be intentionally avoiding looking at Isagi and didn't turn back at all.
"你到底想要什么?" 又一次,Rin 似乎有意避开看向 Isagi,完全没有回头。

"Good game out there," Isagi said, nudging at Rin's back gently, "Just wanted to give you something."
"刚才比赛打得不错," Isagi 说着,轻轻地用肘碰了碰 Rin 的后背,"只是想给你点东西。"

Rin then jerked his head over, wandering his gaze downward, to the thing Isagi was holding out to him.
Rin 猛地转过头,目光游移向下,落在Isagi递给他的东西上。

"Eh?" "嗯?"

"Well... I don't know when your birthday is, exactly, but I noticed on the information sheet I was given that you turned 17 at some point since you left Blue Lock, so... Here." Isagi pushed his little gift forward, into the space between him and Rin. The gift was nestled in a little white paper bag.
"呃... 我不太清楚你的确切生日,但我注意到给我的资料表上写着,你离开蓝色监狱后满 17 岁了,所以... 给。" Isagi 将他的小礼物向前一推,放在两人之间的空隙中。礼物装在一个小小的白色纸袋里。

"Gift? What the hell? Who cares about that shit."

"Oh, just shut up and take it already, you edgelord."

Rin sneered at this, his nose wrinkling distastefully at Isagi's retort. He didn't argue any further though and snatched the gift bag from Isagi's grasp. Holding it between his pointer finger and thumb as if it was some disgusting used rag, he simply stood and stared at it with silent contempt in his eyes.
Rin 对此嗤之以鼻,对 Isagi 的反驳厌恶地皱起了鼻子。但他没有再争论下去,而是从 Isagi 手中夺过礼物袋。他用食指和拇指捏着,仿佛那是一件令人作呕的脏抹布,只是站在那里,用充满鄙夷的眼神默默地盯着它。

A gift. 一份礼物。

Such a thing was basically foreign to him. Sure, his parents had given him gifts, but they were his parents. That was what society expected of parents to do for their children. Truthfully, other than his parents' gifts and Valentine's chocolates, he hadn't actually received a gift from another person in... Well, probably since he was a child, and Sae had given him gifts.

With his other hand, Rin parted the lips of the plain paper bag and peered down into it. Then, he pulled the object concealed within out to examine it.

It appeared to be some kind of keychain. With the keyloop part pinched between his fingers, he turned the actual keychain with his other hand over to see exactly what it was.

It was some... Soccer ball. With a pair of beady eyes and an extremely wide and, frankly, disturbing, smile.

What the hell? 搞什么鬼?

Rin looked real hard at the creepy soccer ball. The urge to slap its stupid smile off its ridiculous face grew stronger the longer he stared at it.
Rin 死死盯着那个诡异的足球。越看越想一巴掌扇掉它那愚蠢的笑容。

"I just went and grabbed something from the gift store. Hope it's not too cringe."

Rin's unblinking gaze lingered on the lacquer keychain as it swung gently side-to-side in his fingertips, like a micropendulim. It was then he realized that the rapid swinging tempo of that stupid keychain mirrored the pulse of his own racing heart.
Rin 的目光紧锁在那枚漆器钥匙扣上,它在他指尖轻轻摇摆,宛如微型钟摆。这时他才意识到,那钥匙扣急促的摆动节奏竟与自己狂跳的心率如出一辙。

No. His heart wasn't racing because of this foolish drabble. He was still cooling down from the game... That had to be it.

"I don't have any keys, you moron. Where would I even put this?"

"Well... I have an idea."

At this, Isagi carefully reached out to take the keychain from Rin, as if he was making an approach on a feral animal with its teeth bared at him.

Isagi carefully retrieved the keychain and held it in the palm of his hand for a moment, smiling down at it as if it was something fond to him. Then, he moved over to Rin's dufflebag that was on the bench behind him and grabbed at one of the shoulder straps.

Rin didn't move and simply watched on quietly as Isagi fastened the keychain to the strap of his dufflebag. When the idiot was finished, he stepped back and smiled down dumbly at his work.

"Hope that's okay." "希望这没问题。"

Rin, who'd turned away, slammed his locker door shut. He made a clear internal point of ignoring the increasing rate of his pulse, and all the other abnormal things he was now feeling again that Isagi somehow always made him feel.
Rin 转身离开,砰地一声关上了储物柜门。他刻意忽视内心愈发明显的心跳加速,以及那些因Isagi 而再次涌现的种种异常感受。

"Whatever, Isagi." "随你便,Isagi。"

Though Rin was facing away from Isagi again, he was all too aware of his lingering presence. The older boy stood in place for a few moments longer before he seemed to turn away and retreat back to his own locker.

Then, Rin's torso turned slowly, impulsively, around and he gazed at the back of the midnight head that was now positioned back at its own locker. He didn't exactly know why, but he couldn't help but stare at it.

Why the fuck was Isagi still being so friendly with him? Rin had always made every effort to keep a comfortable distance between himself and others. He had no use for pointless garbage like friendship or camaraderie, and definitely no use for anything else further than all of that bullshit.

He watched carefully as Isagi's hand fisted around the back of the collar of his jersey. In one swift motion, he yanked the shirt off his torso and tossed it on the bench behind him.

Rin's eyes traveled from the slender curvature of Isagi's neck, to the gentle ripple of his shoulder muscles that twitched as his arms moved. He watched on carefully as Isagi kneaded the back of his own neck with his fingers, probably working out a muscular kink or something. His gaze fixated on the line Isagi's shoulders drew downward into the narrow expanse of his waist... He stared on as Isagi's hands moved downward, where his fingers pinched at the waistband on his shorts and he pulled—

Suddenly, Rin whipped his head back around, to face his own locker, as fast as humanly possible.

What the hell? 搞什么鬼?

He wasn't sure what was possessing him to do what he'd just done. It was a locker room, after all. Guys changed around eachother all the time.

He shook it off and quickly came to the conclusion that he was spacing out or something, probably due to hunger. With that, he tore his own jersey off briskly, readying himself to rinse off in the shower.

Yet, he found he was standing at his locker completely paralyzed, unable to fully undress himself as he normally would. He looked back at Isagi again. There was a towel wrapped about his waist and he was now making his way into the showers.

Rin felt his pulse hiking again and he suddenly felt very uncomfortable in his own skin, for some reason beyond his comprehension. This was really starting to piss him off.

Rather than shower, Rin quickly pulled his shorts off and redressed himself in his street clothes. It was home time for the day, so he decided he'd just leave instead of shower. He could do that back in his hotel room and not face whatever weirdness was grabbing hold of him and permeating under his skin.

So he hiked his dufflebag up onto his shoulder and made to leave as fast as he humanly could.

And none of this had absolutely anything to do with Isagi, that's for damn sure.