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Fic - Smile, Though Your Heart is Breaking - dorsetgirl
August 9th, 2016
01:49 pm
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Fic - Smile, Though Your Heart is Breaking
Tennis, Olympics, Rio2016.
Based on this video

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Delpo winces as the ball trips over the net and Novak clearly isn't going to reach it in time. It's done.

This isn't how he would have chosen to finish this match. Little chance of ending on an ace, obviously, against Novak, but still, a roaring forehand-on-the-run, right down the line, would have been nice.

He starts the long walk to the net, pulling off his headband as he goes. It's difficult to celebrate when you've just dealt a mortal blow to one of your closest friends. He swallows, adjusts his face almost manually to something appropriate for this moment, and slows even further as he sees Novak doing the same thing.

~ ~ ~

Across the net Novak can see that Delpo feels awkward in this moment. Pushing aside his own feelings - please, just sink through the floor and leave this time behind - Novak drags a smile onto his face and keeps walking. This is his good friend Del Potro, back yet again from months of waiting, and he can only be pleased for his friend. He *is* pleased for his friend, he truly is, he deserves this win, just...

He's beaten Delpo before, many times, and Delpo has beaten him too some times, but this? This is - so hard. Novak reaches out for comfort at the net and Delpo does the same.

~ ~ ~

They embrace across the net, as these two always do, but this time it's so painful to see. Even Delpo's fans are crying for Novak - he's taken a major defeat right to the heart and still he's smiling at Delpo, whispering encouraging words just as he always does. And as he turns to leave the court his face crumples and he can't pretend any more, and the watcher cries as if it's her own heart breaking.

~ ~ ~

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