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Love me like you used to

Chapter 6: Riptide


Happy pride month!!! 🫶 withholding this chapter any longer would be homophobic so here you go, here's some gay teenage angst!
骄傲月快乐!!!🫶 再拖延这一章就太不尊重 LGBTQ+群体了,所以来吧,这里有关于青春期同性恋的焦虑!

Chapter Text 正文


Isagi clicked his phone screen on while the driver brought him out to his team's home office. Today, the team was scheduled for off-field practice.
Isagi 在司机载他前往团队总部办公室的途中,点亮了手机屏幕。今天,团队安排了场外训练。

When he checked his notifications, he noticed his four-person Blue Lock group chat was going crazy for some reason.

Reo: decided I'm going to the European league as well. maybe I'll see u around, isagi

Bachira: i still have no idea where I'm going, sigh~

Bachira: maybe i should go to a nice tropical country!

Chigiri: come here. food is good lol

Isagi read the messages that were blipping up on the screen with a smirk, watching on as his group chat's conversation continued. When they arrived at their destination, he clicked the phone screen off and stepped out of the car.
Isagi 带着一丝戏谑阅读着屏幕上不断弹出的消息,看着群聊中的对话继续进行。到达目的地后,他关闭手机屏幕,走出了汽车。

"Thank you," he nodded and smiled to Anya before she pulled off.

Three weeks since he'd moved out to Germany and things were going well so far. Isagi felt that he fit in with the team quite well and was excited to find out to what new heights this club could take him to.

He proceeded toward the door inside. Snow was beginning to fall from the sky above, glittering delicately in the glowing sunlight of the morning sun.

As he proceeded inside, Isagi couldn't shake the feeling grabbing hold of him that was telling him something was... Off. Why exactly that was, though, he couldn't figure out.

However, as the board room reached its capacity and the door was closed, Isagi knew exactly what was wrong.

He scanned the room three times to confirm his fears were correct.

Rin was nowhere to be seen.
Rin 踪影全无。


Rin bit his lip, the unbridled heat of frustration welling up inside his chest, burning white-hot behind his ribs.
Rin 咬紧了嘴唇,胸中涌动着难以抑制的挫败感,灼热的怒火在肋骨后燃烧得白热化。

It wasn't fair. None of this was fair.

Six days prior, he'd had yet another visit to the medic's office. They'd made a point of monitoring his blood pressure more closely after they'd taken note of it being high the one time. And this time, it was even worse news for him.

Both Rin and the medic were shocked to find his blood pressure was even higher than it had been before. He'd asked them to check it again, which they did, and he was disappointed to find it only yielded the same results. Because of this, to his great dismay and not without argument on his part, he'd been ordered to take one month's stress leave, a period of time in which he was forced to rest... And, well, this meant he basically had to do nothing.

Rin loathed every moment he was idle like this. It was only five days into his 4-6 week ordered stress leave from practice and he was already bored out of his mind and frustrated beyond belief.

He'd moved out to this stupid country alone, for the sole purpose of furthering himself toward his goals. To crush Sae and Isagi. Yet he couldn't work towards these goals while he was being forced to sit around on his ass, as he was now.
他独自搬到这个荒凉的乡下,唯一的目的就是为了向着自己的目标迈进。要击败 Sae 和Isagi。然而,现在被迫无所事事地坐着,他根本无法朝着这些目标努力。

Having spent basically the entirety of his fifth day in forced relaxation, or whatever the hell it was supposed to be, attempting to distract himself with horror movies or games on his phone, he was growing tired.

When Rin was left alone with his own thoughts like this, without something to keep him busy—without something to, in essence, obsess over—it was easy for him to find himself falling into the darkness of his own mind. Soccer encompassed every aspect of his life, after all, and to such a staggering extent, that he found when he couldn't practice or train his body in some way, he didn't know what else to do with himself.

His hotel room felt hot and suffocating the longer he lay there on his back, his chest was growing tighter, and he was starting to feel quite dizzy. Was this a product of that stupid blood pressure issue? The more he thought about it, the more he realized it was actually... A little bit scary for him.

He shot daggers with his glare at the slip of paper he'd grabbed off his night stand, a pamphlet the medic had given him again about Stress Management.

Despite his unwillingness to read those ridiculous pamphlets the last time they'd given them to him, he had to be honest with himself... There was something he was probably doing wrong here.

Clearly, yoga and meditation by themselves were not helping him enough with his day-to-day stress management. Yet, when he thought about this a little harder, he realized... He was always still so angry. So very very angry. And despite how deeply he hated to admit it to himself, this was his only explanation as to why his blood pressure would be high. After all, every time he'd felt those dizzy spells in the past it was usually due to his own spiraling thoughts and emotions.

Rin cracked the pamphlet open to examine a few lines in the English section.
Rin 翻开小册子,查看英文部分的几行内容。

Deep Breathing 深呼吸

When your stress levels become unmanageable, even something simple like a deep breathing exercise can help ground you.

Breathe in deep for three seconds, hold it in for three seconds, then release the breath for three seconds. Repeat deep breathing like this for 1 to 5 minutes until you feel physically more calm. Results will vary depending on the severity of your stress.

His hands clenched against the paper in his fingers and he closed the pamphlet. Rolling onto his side, he dropped the pamphlet beside him on his bed and stared angrily at the hideous striped wallpaper plastered on the far side of the room.

All of this was so infuriating for him. After all, Isagi, his rival, had arrived here, in the same place he was, only right now he was probably practicing, training his body, or going over plays; the more Rin thought about it, the more breathless he felt.

Was Isagi pulling away from him now?

Agonizing seconds ticked by, the analog clock on the wall in his room ticking down those seconds as if to mock his state of mind. The sound of each tick was akin to nails dragging on a chalkboard, grating relentlessly in Rin's eardrums, setting him more and more on edge with each one.


The other boy's face flashed into his memory, watching him with that same neutral, calculating look he always seemed to wear. It felt as though those calm, unwavering deep-blues were always watching him—and the more he thought about it, the more he began to realize this shade of blue, the color of Isagi's eyes, wasn't a new one for him at all.

It was the same color as the ocean waves that always swept him up when he struggled with his own emotions. Those powerful, overwhelming, frigid salt waves that threatened to pull him away in the blink of an eye with a riptide—the ocean hue that was harnessed within those sapphire orbs of Isagi's; the ones that never failed to erode him, to break past the brittle walls of his fragile, carefully built, yet deeply flawed enclosure... Simply by looking at him.

Those ominous azure waves, contained within Isagi's eyes, utilized an unwavering gaze that spoke the same thing to him that Isagi's gentle voice had whispered into his ear:

As long as I'm around, you'll never be alone again.

Those words and that gaze thrashed hard against the breaks that already existed inside of him, assaulting him relentlessly with a powerful yet gentle and always unwavering touch. Isagi, the ocean, the riptide, had peeled away those blackened, broken shards that Rin was still grasping at with his own hands, stripping back everything around him until he was left naked, skin bare and trembling against the wind.

Isagi's persistent efforts and carefully practiced insight had left him feeling wide open and vulnerable... For such a terribly long time.


Isagi, who'd followed him around like a lost puppy and watched him with that innocent, starry-eyed look of admiration and adoration. Who'd copied his every action and decision because the idiot thought this would somehow elevate him. Isagi, who'd always ignored his snippy remarks and sometimes bit back with his own.

Isagi, who'd relentlessly picked him apart, watched him carefully, and saw him for who he really was despite Rin's every effort at pushing him away.

Isagi—who'd gazed fearlessly into the darkness, who'd seen and felt the sharpness of the broken fragments that were all that remained of Rin's heart—and still chose to love him anyway.

Isagi. Isagi Yoichi. Jersey number 11 of the Blue Lock eleven team, the idiot who wouldn't let him be alone.
Isagi。Isagi Yoichi。蓝色监狱十一队的 11 号球衣,那个不让他独自一人的傻瓜。

He wasn't alone anymore.

When his eyes fixated on his dufflebag sitting by the door, he noticed the keychain hanging off his shoulder strap, staring at him from across the room with those creepily wide, unsettling beady eyes. Isagi's birthday gift to him.

Where was that anger now? Where was that crimson red that had broken him down into a million pieces, over and over again until there wasn't anything left of him? He could hardly even recognize how he felt now.

If anything, all he felt now was just... Blue. The color blue. Sad, cold, and so terribly, horribly, deeply, alone.

Rin pushed himself off the mattress, at his wit's end with this state of mental turmoil he'd been thrown into. He'd had enough of this.
Rin 从床垫上起身,对于这种精神上的混乱状态,他已经到了忍无可忍的地步。他受够了这一切。

When he reached the window beside the door, he cracked the blinds to peer outside. There was a blizzard raging on beyond the glass. He'd have to brave it.

After bundling himself up and wrapping a scarf about his neck, he swung the hotel door open, mingling cold air from outside with the warm air inside. The frozen winter wind slapped hard against the bare skin on his face, shocking him momentarily. Snowflakes blew past and onto the carpet behind him.

Ever since that winter night when Sae had returned from Spain and confronted him, Rin despised the snow. It may have been something of a beautiful melancholy to him before that, but after it, the snow only reminded him of shattered dreams and Sae's words to him that fateful night.
自从那个冬夜,Sae 从西班牙归来与他当面对峙后,Rin便对雪产生了厌恶。在那之前,雪或许还带有些许美丽的忧郁,但自那以后,雪只让他想起破碎的梦想和 Sae 在那决定性夜晚对他说的话。

You're just an eyesore of a little brother to me.

Never use me as a reason to play football again.

Rin sneered against the frosty air that was thrashing him.
Rin 在刺骨寒风中冷笑。

Screw you, shit-vomit piece of trash brother.

He'd had enough of Sae dictating his every thought and action. Now was Rin's time to take his life into his own hands... No matter how terrified he was to do it.
他已经受够了 Sae 对他的每一个想法和行动的操控。现在是Rin掌控自己生活的时刻……无论他对此有多么恐惧。

He didn't want to think for another moment about what he was about to do.

Rin stepped outside into the swirling blizzard to brave that bitter cold winter storm—and to confront the beautiful, devastating, ice-cold waves of the ocean that were beaconing him.


Isagi stood outside the team manager's office. He was about to knock, but he stopped himself, hand hovering inches from the door.
Isagi 站在团队经理办公室外。他正要敲门,手却悬在离门几英寸的地方停住了。

No... Damnit, I'm being an idiot.

Five days earlier, Luka and Sully had informed the team that Rin was being placed on a 4-6 week forced stress leave. And every day since they'd delivered that news, Isagi found he couldn't stop thinking about it.
五天前,Luka 和 Sully 向团队宣布,Rin 将被强制休假 4 至 6 周以缓解压力。自那消息公布以来,Isagi 发现自己无法停止思考这件事。

He wanted so badly to check up on Rin but didn't have the other guy's phone number, and Rin was always unresponsive on social media. So, he thought maybe the next best bet was to ask about where Rin was staying so he could check up on him in person.

Isagi bit his lip and shook his head. Feeling utterly defeated, he walked away from the team manager's office door and made to leave. When he peered outside, he saw there was an intense blizzard raging on out there and his ride hadn't shown up yet.

He had to be real with himself here. As much as he was worried about Rin, the other guy had made himself perfectly clear about how he felt about Isagi—there didn't seem to be any mutual feelings of friendship between them at all.

Rin saw Isagi as a rival... That and that alone.
Rin 将 Isagi 视为对手...仅此而已。

I can't even really say we're something like friends... Can I?

Did Rin even... See Isagi as a proper rival? Did Rin see him as anything?
Rin 真的...将 Isagi 视为真正的对手吗?Rin 又是否将他放在眼里?

There was an ache of longing swelling, filling Isagi's heart. He pushed the exit door open, squinting as the cold wind assaulted his face.

When he stepped outside, Isagi turned his gaze forward, then panned around for any signs of Anya's car. He felt a chill on his neck and pulled his scarf tighter across the skin there, though it didn't seem to help.
踏出室外,Isagi先是直视前方,随后环顾四周寻找 Anya 的车影。颈间传来一阵寒意,他拉紧了围巾,却似乎无济于事。

Was it that same weird chill? The one he'd forgotten about, because it'd been days since he felt it?

Isagi's sharp eyes fixed on the figure of a person, standing against the wall not far off to the side. His heart immediately sunk.

Somehow, he recognized the silhouette right away. Isagi knew exactly who it was before he even got close to them.


Rin also took note of Isagi, too, through the thick veil of snow swirling between them. When Rin began to make his approach, Isagi's heart began to thump quicker and harder in his chest.
Rin 也注意到了 Isagi,透过两人之间纷飞的厚厚雪幕。当 Rin 开始向他靠近时,Isagi 的心跳在胸腔中加速,愈发强烈。

Isagi froze in place. Those deep blues shone with relief, widening the closer Rin got to him, glittering with the silver luminescence of the moon above him. With the light of his shining eyes and delicate wisps of his hair being tugged in each and every direction the wind wanted to take it, Isagi looked both whimsical and ethereal to Rin.
Isagi 僵立在原地。那深邃的蓝眸闪烁着释然的光芒,随着 Rin 的接近而愈发宽广,在头顶月光的银辉下熠熠生辉。他的眼中闪烁着光芒,发丝随风轻舞,飘向四面八方,Isagi 在 Rin 眼中显得既梦幻又超凡脱俗。

"Isagi." "Isagi。"

"Rin... What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be on stress leave?"
Rin... 你在这里做什么?不是应该在休压力假吗?

Rin outright ignored the question and proceeded to pace forward, his fingers, toes, and legs all cold as they could possibly be. He didn't care.
Rin 完全无视了这个问题,继续向前踱步,他的手指、脚趾和双腿都冷得不能再冷了。他不在乎。

"I have no idea what I'm doing," Rin blurted out, shocking himself with his own candidacy.
“我完全不知道自己在做什么,”Rin 脱口而出,连自己都被这份坦率惊到了。

"Wha... What do you mean?"

"I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing. I never have. It feels like I'm running around in circles, like a chicken with its head cut off. I can't see what's ahead of me or behind me and everything's always so fucking confusing."

Isagi's nose and cheeks were turning pink from the touch of the cold. His lips pressed together, downturning slightly into a small frown.

"I... Don't understand..."

"I don't either. What am I even saying? What am I even doing? I don't even like football, I have no idea why the hell I play it. I don't know what the hell happiness is and I don't enjoy anything I do. Does any of that sound normal to you?"

Rin's voice suddenly cracked, straining against the heavy weight of his own words. His heart flipped in his chest, choking the words from his throat. Isagi's expression spelled utter shock.


They were standing side-by-side now, gazing across their shoulders at eachother through the haze of the blizzard. The eye-contact forced a shudder through both of them at the same time, that familiar chill attacking their spines.

Rin's chest was tightening, strangling the words from his lungs with his peaking anxiety. He found himself asking something that immediately confused both of them.

"When you said you loved me, Isagi... What is it about me you loved?"
"当你说你爱我,Isagi... 你爱我什么呢?"

The question was spoken so softly, the words falling so delicately from Rin's lips, Isagi was immediately taken aback.

"W... What?" "什...什么?"

"You couldn't even answer that properly, could you? I bet you don't even fucking know," Rin hissed, his voice still low but seething now, "Because why the hell would you love me? What's to love about me? There's nothing. Nothing."

"Rin, I—" "Rin,我——"

"You don't have to say anything, Isagi, because I know. You never loved me at all. You're just some freak who's obsessed with football and rivals, and I'm just another obstacle for you to overcome on your journey."

Rin could hardly believe what he'd just said, but now, these words were spilling forth without restraint from a place he'd kept them hidden under lock and key.
Rin 几乎不敢相信自己刚刚说出口的话,但此刻,这些话语却毫无保留地从他严密守护的内心深处倾泻而出。

He was starting to fully realize how he felt. How he feels.

Waves of Rin's repressed emotions were strangling him now, tossing him hard against the relentless thrall of the ocean waves that were his feelings for Isagi... The ones he'd denied for so long.
Rin 压抑已久的情感此刻如潮水般汹涌,将他猛烈地推向那无情的海洋浪潮,那是他对 Isagi 的感情...那些他长久以来一直否认的情感。

Without another word, Rin twisted around on the heels of his boots, wind hammering against his shoulders from the side. He was facing away from Isagi now.
没有再多说一个字,Rin 猛地转身,靴跟在雪地上划出一道痕迹,侧风如锤般击打在他的肩上。此刻,他背对着 Isagi。

"Rin, wait. What are—"

Then suddenly, he was off. Gone. Running into the blizzard. Away from the power of the ocean.

Away from Isagi.

Not even ten seconds later, he was completely out of Isagi's sight. The blue eyed boy stared off into the storm, shock and disbelief rushing over him. He had absolutely no idea what the hell had just happened, but now that he was thinking about it...

Why did he just ask me all that? Was he... Thinking about me?

"Yoichi!" he heard from aside, and turned himself around to see Anya, the driver, waving him over to her car. He ran to her.
"Yoichi!" 他听到旁边有人喊,转身一看,是司机安雅,正朝他挥手示意过去。他跑向她。

"Anya... Do you know where Rin's hotel is?" Isagi managed to piece the question together with his broken English.
"安雅... 你知道Rin住的酒店在哪儿吗?" Isagi用他蹩脚的英语勉强拼凑出这个问题。

"Ah... No, I don't..." she replied, startled.
"啊... 不,我不知道..." 她有些惊讶地回答。

"It's okay, I... I'm going to walk. Sorry, Anya. Thank you for coming."
"没事,我... 我打算走回去。抱歉,Anya。谢谢你来接我。"

"Walk? In this weather...?"

Isagi was no longer paying attention to her. He moved away, waving back at her with a smile as he ran over to his previous position. When he reached it, Isagi looked down at the sparkling white piles of snow on the ground, and at the outline of Rin's footprints that were left in it.
Isagi 已经不再注意她了。他转身离开,一边挥手微笑着向她告别,一边跑回原来的位置。当他到达那里时,Isagi 低头看着地上闪闪发光的雪堆,以及留在雪地中 Rin 的脚印轮廓。


Collapsed on the ground in the entryway into his room, Rin was panting, lungs burning with hot agony from the cold that had ravaged them. Despite being in pro athlete shape, he was completely out of breath.

He'd sprinted all the way back to his hotel room, through the blizzard, snow kicking up from his boots. His legs were trembling, not just from the cold, but also from his nerves. He coughed as he breathed, a grimace stamped on his face. He was completely distraught.

After a few minutes, the cold burn in his lungs was finally subsiding. The snow he'd tracked inside was also melting, wetting his clothes, and he was starting to shiver with a chill.

What the hell did I just do?

He tried to move but his body felt like dead weight, limp, as if there was a sack of potatoes stuffed under each one of his limbs. He'd completely exerted himself emotionally then physically, and now he was wondering if he'd made a horrible mistake.

Right as he was about to overthink himself into a downward spiral, there was a knock at the door that snapped him out of it.

He cautiously got his feet and cracked the door. When he saw who was on the other side, his eyes grew wider and his breath hitched.

"... Isagi?"

"Why the hell... Did you... Run away from me... Like that...You jerk..." Isagi panted out between heavy breaths, chest heaving with each word.
"你到底...为什么...要那样...从我身边逃开...你这个混蛋..." Isagi 喘着粗气,每说一个字,胸膛都随之起伏。

"And screw you for doing that. I had to follow your footprints in the snow," Isagi snapped through the doorway after he'd fully caught his breath.
"还有,你真行,非得那样做。我不得不跟着你在雪地里的脚印走," Isagi 在门口喘过气来后厉声说道。

Rin barely realized what he was doing but he pulled the door open wider, completely distracted by Isagi's sudden presence.
Rin 几乎没意识到自己在做什么,但他还是把门拉得更开,完全被 Isagi 的突然出现分了心。

"What I love about you," Isagi said plainly, face tilting to meet with Rin's gaze, "I'm gonna tell you right now and you'll shut the hell up and let me speak, no interruptions."
"我喜欢你的地方," Isagi 直截了当地说,脸转向 Rin 的目光,"我现在就要告诉你,你给我闭嘴好好听着,不许打断。"

Rin was simply staring, quietly and slack-jawed. He found no words forming at all in his mind.

"First of all, you were halfway correct about the obsessed with my rivals thing and you were one hundred percent correct about my obsession with football. But saying I'd confuse how I feel about football with how I feel about you? Honestly, I don't know how you could ever possibly think that. Never think that way again."

Isagi leaned his body forward, claiming what little warmth he could that was emanating from Rin's room before steamrolling onward.

"I love everything about how you play football, and that's just that. I also love how dedicated you are, like, I wish I could work myself the way you do every single day. I love the way you look when you're concentrating on something, how you get that little wrinkle in your nose when you're thinking. I love your attitude because it always keeps me on my toes. I love your terrible, deadpan humor... Like, it's really bad, but I still love it anyways. And your relentless sass. I love that look you get in your eyes when you eat something tasty. And the way you sometimes relax when we're alone together, I especially love that. Also, you're like... Really good-looking."

Isagi's blush from the cold was now deepening with embarassment, spreading red across his cheeks and the skin on his neck that was peeking out from his scarf.

"I love all of that and more. So let me just say, I don't care what you're going through, I never. Never. Want to hear you accuse me of not understanding how I feel about you. I know exactly how I feel about you."

Rin, standing in complete and utter shock, had his emotions written all over his face:

He wasn't only shocked. He was also embarassed.

"Also, hearing you say you don't like football makes me really sad," Isagi added, the previous edge to his voice dissolving. "Would you... Let me come inside? Maybe we could talk about that... Also, I'm really cold..." Isagi added. Rin took note of his trembling hands at his side.

Letting Isagi inside, after hearing all that... The idea petrified Rin.

Yet, he still stepped aside anyway, and when Isagi entered, the door clicked shut behind him, sealing them inside Rin's hotel room together.