Pairings and characters: Fernando Torres/Sergio Ramos, Javi Martínez/Fernando Llorente, Javi Martínez/Raúl González, Raúl González/Fernando Torres (past), Esteban Granero, Pedro Rodríguez, Álvaro Morata, Santi Cazorla, Pep Guardiola, Asier Illarramendi, Diego Costa, Vicente Del Bosque, Diego Simeone, Nacho Fernández
Summary: Sequel to Safe and mine. While Fernando and Sergio are trying to forget about Raúl, Raúl has all but forgotten about them.
Warnings: non-con, dub-con, violence, mentions of character death
Fernando takes Sergio’s hand while the guards lead Raúl out of the room. Raúl looks at them and smiles derisively, and Fernando feels Sergio’s hand tremble in his.
“It’s fine, he can’t hurt you anymore,” Fernando whispers, trying to return Raúl’s glare without blinking.
“I think now the court will grant you the divorce even without Raúl’s agreement now,” Simeone says. “I’ll see to that.”
“Thank you,” Fernando says. “The sooner we can forget about him, the better.”
Álvaro passes them by, his eyes still borderline scared and shocked. He looks at them like he wants to say something, but then just lowers his head and walks out of the room.
“I expected a lot of things when you asked me to do this,” Flori says. “But what I saw in that house exceeded my expectations.”
“I had hard time believing Mr. Torres and Mr. Ramos as well,” Simeone sighs. “But one encounter with that monster was enough. You look in his eyes and know it’s all true, I don’t get how the others never saw it.”
“Maybe they didn’t want to see it,” Fernando says quietly. “I didn’t, back then. I even tried to make up reasons for it not to be true. I loved him, for Christ’s sake!”
“I have to say that it was the hardest case I’ve ever had,” Flori says. “I was terribly conflicted all the time. I wanted to take the boy out of there the first day. And maybe I should have.”
“You wouldn’t really help him like that,” Sergio whispers. “I got out, but with Raúl still somewhere out there, I was nothing more than a prisoner of my own fear.”
“Yes, maybe,” Flori nods. “I was afraid he wouldn’t make it, but he’s stronger than he looks, and maybe than he himself thinks he is.”
“What will happen to him now?” Fernando asks. “Does he have anywhere to go?”
“I have a house in the mountains, we’ve spent the last few weeks there and I think a couple more will do him good,” Flori smiles. “Then we’ll see.”
“Thank you once again,” Fernando says. “To both of you. For everything.”
“Oh well, the majority was your work,” Simeone smiles. “I wouldn’t be able to do anything without your help.”
“Let’s just hope that this time he gets what he deserves,” Fernando sighs.
“Most certainly he will. This time he can’t blame it on the servants,” Flori frowns. “Although there’s a lot to blame on them. Raúl must have a special talent on sniffing the most abominable people ever born. Actually, that he wanted me to work for him really worries me, even if it was for the good.”
“It only proves that you have an amazing acting talent,” Simeone clips him on the shoulder and looks back to the door. “Well, I should go and see the judge. They also need to issue a warrant on that Pedro and Esteban, possibly also that cook if it proves that he knew about it,” he says and turns back to Fernando. “I’ll see you soon.”
The garden around Flori’s house is a true miracle. It blooms in all colors, the trees offer a pleasant shade and there are plant-beds with all kinds of vegetables behind the house. Flori spends his free time tending to the flowers, and Javi often comes out to watch him. Actually, he spends as much time outside as possible. If he could, he would even sleep under the starry sky.
“Are you sure that you’re a detective and not an actual gardener?” he asks when Flori lovingly covers another young pansy plant with dirt.
“Even detectives can have hobbies, can’t they?” Flori smiles. “You know, I meet so many bad people that flowers give me hope. They are pure, they won’t hurt you.”
“Your flower gave me hope as well,” Javi whispers. “I was ready to give up. But the peony gave me hope, and I knew that I wanted to smell it once more, that I wanted to feel the sun on my skin and breathe fresh air.”
Flori wipes the dirt off his hands and looks at him. “I’m sorry,” he says. “For the way I acted around you. I had to.”
“I know,” Javi smiles. “And don’t be sorry. I think I never really believed you anyway.”
“You didn’t believe me?”
“I didn’t believe you meant it. That you were bad, you know. There was a difference between them and you. They obviously enjoyed it. You didn’t. And I kept believing that maybe... you’d be the one that would save me.”
Flori leans against the trunk of an apple tree. “But did I save you?” he asks quietly.
“I’m like these flowers,” Javi says, reaching out to touch Flori's hand. “They’ll wither in the shadows, but if you give them enough sun, they'll heal. And I’m healing.”
When the carriage Simeone hired to go to Fuenlabrada stops in front of Fernando's house, the sight that greets him is somewhat more cheerful than the one he remembers from the last time. At least the gate is not locked and the house doesn’t look like an impregnable fort. When he rings the bell, Fernando comes to open almost immediately, without checking who it is through the peephole.
“I see the level of security in this house is considerably lower,” Simeone grins.
Fernando smiles. As does Sergio, who is standing in the kitchen door.
Simeone walks in and hands Fernando a file. “You are free at last,” he smiles.
Fernando looks at the papers and sighs with relief. Nothing attaches him to Raúl anymore. He can forget him now. Or at least try to forget.
“What about Raúl?” Sergio asks.
“He’s trying to play it on mental illness, I think,” Simeone says. “But that’s all the same, the only difference might be between where he actually ends up. A prison or a sanatorium. He’d probably have more comfort in the latter, if he can afford it. Which, with his bank losing clients, may not be the case.”
“Is he losing clients?” Fernando raises his brows.
“Why, of course!” Simeone chuckles. “Nobody would want their name associated with him now. He’s also losing employees. A rival bank managed to headhunt that boy, Raúl’s accountant. He’s apparently a mastermind, since he managed to cover Raúl’s dirty deals, which we both know were there. I’d want him to work for me as well, if I had things to hide.”
“I need one more thing from you,” Fernando says and looks at him.
“Find Jesús and Silva, and let them know. I think they deserve to finally sleep soundly as well.”
“I’ll try,” Simeone says. “Everyone of you deserves it.”
“And that other boy?” Sergio asks.
“I think he is well. I’m a little bit worried that Mr. Llorente will leave his detective career to become a florist or something, because they both spend the days with their hands in the dirt, but otherwise, they are fine.”
“Same as Fernando,” Sergio grins. “He bought hens. He says that it’s to keep me company, but I know that he secretly wants to start selling eggs.”
Simeone laughs and turns to leave. “Shall I inform you on the outcome of Raúl’s case?” he asks.
“Only if they decide to let him out again. Then warn us,” Fernando says. “Otherwise, I don’t care what happens to him.”
“Then I shall hope we will not meet for some time,” Simeone smiles. “At least not because of business.”
“It’s my mother’s birthday next week,” Fernando says when they are going to bed. “She’s invited us to Madrid.”
Sergio lifts his head. “When are we leaving?” he asks.
Fernando laughs in surprise. “So you’re not afraid of leaving this house anymore?”
“I’m afraid to leave the hens here,” Sergio smiles. “Otherwise, I have nothing to fear, have I?”
The carriage rides through the woods and then takes the up the hills. They both know this land, these hills, this road.
The village appears on the horizon, and then the land offers them the familiar sight of Raúl’s mansion.
This time, the windows are dark and lifeless.