08 November 2008 @ 02:26 am
Wahr  
Title: Wahr
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom: Alles Was Zählt
Characters: Deniz/Roman
Summary: Roman wants to face the truth, but Deniz makes it easy to lie.
Rated: Gen
Word Count: 1000 words
Disclaimer: Sadly not mine, a fact that I deeply regret.
Note: This is the companion piece to Schön, set at the same moment but from Roman's POV. It takes place sometime after ep462 (when Roman tells Vanessa about Deniz and the models. Huge thanks to my incredible betas, [info]omarandjohnny and [info]sarcastic_jo, and to the ever fabulous [info]aldiara for her infinite patience in answering my endless requests for translations.



The rink was empty this late at night. Darkened, the arena felt like a cavern, cold and hollow, but a touch of a switch banished the gloom with buzzing fluorescent brightness. The ice below shone in ragged relief. After a day of abuse it looked like a battlefield, chipped as old men's teeth, sure to shred his newly sharpened blades.

Roman had avoided the Centre all day, although of course he would never admit that. He really did have matters to tend to elsewhere. That he couldn't bear to be around Deniz right now had absolutely nothing to do with it. Besides, the Centre was large enough—and their egos manageable enough—that he and Deniz could both be here at the same time, each carrying out their own very separate lives, unbeknownst to the other.

Liar.

Roman had developed a kind of sixth sense where his ex was involved. It was an odd hyperawareness, the tiniest tickle on the edge of his subconscious, and the next thing he knew the man would appear. It had been convenient enough when he had wanted to see Deniz, giving him time to hop into a lively conversation or maybe out of a boring one. Now it was just an irritant, just like these feelings that stubbornly hung on. The ones he knew he had to exorcise. Time, that and distance, Annette kept insisting these were the only remedy, but how was that possible with Deniz parading through the Centre like he owned it, reminding Roman of how he'd been used?

And that was another lie, wasn't it? He had let himself be used, willingly. He was in love, not delusional. But somewhere along the line he feared they had become the same thing, overlaid like the roots of two trees grown so knotted that they were all but indistinguishable, and impossible to separate without destroying them both.

Roman pushed the question from his head as he pushed off from the boards, letting himself slide across the uneven surface and hoping the rise and fall would soothe his spirit. His toe pick snagged on a chunk of ice, but he welcomed the roughness; Roman was in no mood for unspoiled purity tonight. Raw power was what he craved, cracks to stumble on, an obstacle to rage against, a wall to pound against until his knuckles came up bruised and bloodied. But no, as much as he might want that, it wasn't who he was. His release came in the thrill of rising into the air, in the delight of flying on a thin sliver of steel. Power and precision and discipline, all these he'd nurtured his whole life, and now they sliced the glossy surface like a scissor through raw silk.

Closing his eyes, he heard the frost scrape his blades, the quiet crunch and subtle resistance transporting him to another place. He was at his grandparents' home, and it was Weihnachten, with all the aunts and uncles and countless older cousins gathered around. With long-handled brooms the cousins would brush aside the snow on the Spitzingsee, leaving a pale oval that was clear only for a few moments, only until new falling flakes and blowing winds blanketed it again. For those impromptu hockey games it didn't matter; the boys became mindless beasts on the ice, as intent on working off teenaged hormones and too many second helpings of ham and potatoes as landing the puck in the makeshift goals. Mother would always fuss that Roman was too small to play with them, and he would pretend to pout while being secretly relieved. He knew that at dusk, when the older boys finished, she would bring out his tiny skates, the ones that she'd packed thinking he didn't know. Together they would venture out on the ice together, her big, warm mitten wrapped around his small one as they wove figure eights in the frost. "The ice is true," she'd once said when he feared the thick floating sheet might crack. He'd always remembered that, through all those times when he hadn't been sure who he really was, when his parents hadn't wanted to know who he was, he had always turned back to skating. The ice was always true.

Wahr. It was something he had to hold onto now, no matter how much the world shifted around him. He had lied when he'd told Deniz it was over between them, that his feelings had changed. Even standing there, telling him that he deserved better, his bones had screamed out in protest. He should have been inured to this pain—it wasn't the first time he'd been in love; if anyone had ever cared to ask, he would have said he knew exactly what it felt like to lose your heart to another. But then Deniz appeared as if he'd stepped out of Roman's dreams, his skin baked brown and his lips plump as Turkish delights, and everything Roman thought he knew flew out the window. What they had together—what they'd had together—it was powerful and terrifying. He didn't know if that would ever change; his connection to Deniz felt like it was etched into his bones, gnawing with its tiny teeth the marks that would stay with him forever. But then there was the truth: that Deniz was like the spring ice, its brilliant sparkle enticing and deadly. It was tempting but it was not true.

Roman sped across the ice, feeling his power gathering, reminding him to hold on to what was truly his. At last it released him from the earth, allowing him to escape gravity for just long enough to spin in a perfect double Axel. This had been his long before Deniz arrived, and it would last long after he had faded to a chronic ache. As he landed smoothly on his cushion of steel, Roman felt his sixth sense alert him that someone was watching. He turned his back and let himself spin.


**** The End ****
 
 
( Post a new comment )
Aldi[info]aldiara on November 8th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
*is speechless*

*goes about finding herself some gorram speech*

OMG, Lil... this is stunning. Completely, heartbreakingly, so painfully gorgeous. I've read it three times now and I'm honestly floored. There is so much perfect imagery and precise, merciless insight into Roman's character here that it totally CUTS ME. And makes me love it.

The way you use the ice is incredible! Every image, every line is just perfect. I adore the initial description of how ragged and abused it looks, and then the paragraph about how Roman craves the imperfection and something to rage against even while recognising that's not who he is... that's so RIGHT that I can't even express it. Argh.

I love love love how Roman sees himself here. I love that he's aware that he's not just a poor little used victim; that he was complicit in what happened, and that he knows how bad Deniz is for him. Because to me, that is so much of why the later story of this pairing is still so very compelling - that there's this incredibly strong, passionate thing between them and neither can really deny it but neither of them knows how to handle it, and it's not by any means good for them. And you've nailed that so well here.

This passage just kills me:

What they had together—what they'd had together—it was powerful and terrifying. He didn't know if that would ever change; his connection to Deniz felt like it was etched into his bones, gnawing with its tiny teeth the marks that would stay with him forever. But then there was the truth: that Deniz was like the spring ice, its brilliant sparkle enticing and deadly. It was tempting but it was not true.

OMG yes. The way you set up the ice as the one thing that's Roman's alone earlier in that childhood glimpse (which was also so, so lovely), the one thing that's his and reliable and true, and now along comes Deniz and inserts himself even into that and makes it something that's anything but true... that, right there, is such a crystal-clear and apt metaphor for their entire relationship that it made my jaw drop.

I think I find this even more powerful just having rewatched the episode in question last night. It's actually one of my favourites (because I love a good painful, angst mess!), and both Schön and this are such beautiful companion pieces to it. Gods, I am so in awe of your writing right now. Your imagery is so hauntingly lovely and your words chosen with such meticulous care that I can't even pick things out of the whole to quote because I, just, the whole thing is my favourite, you know? And did I mention OW???

*stares, mesmerised*

(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: awz-that forehead thing they do[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 10:50 am (UTC)
*melts totally at the Best Comment In The World*

You just have no idea how much this means to me. I have been fighting with this story so long and was so afraid it was just a messy ball of unreadable angst. I'm absolutely thrilled that you saw something more in it! ...Or maybe, like me, you're just a little too fond of the 'ouch' these boys give us. ;)

Roman craves the imperfection and something to rage against even while recognising that's not who he is... that's so RIGHT that I can't even express it.

Thank you! That, to me, is Roman. There's a discipline there -- there has to be, no matter what the writers do to him, he's a world-figure skating champion -- and I think he's got a very firm grip on who he is. Deniz comes close to destroying that, dangerously close at times, but he never really can.

It's like what you said about him not being just a poor little used victim. Roman is no fool, no matter how foolish he might act sometimes. That's why we love him so!

I can't tell you how special this comment is to me. *cuddles it tight* I'm thrilled that this bundle of words resonates with you.

Now I'm off to write some happy DeRo. Well, as happy as they ever get...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Aldi[info]aldiara on November 8th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
Well let me assure you that all the trouble you had with it are not in the least apparent in the final product. It reads effortlessly flawless.

And yes!! I crave teh happy! If this were H/P, I'd probably have gone and found myself some fluff to soothe my aching heart after wallowing in the gorgeous pain of this for a while, but it being AWZ, there is no readily available fluff because apparently currently the English AWZ fanfic writing contingent consist of you and me, lol! (although [info]gigitrek's snowbound wintery cuddlefest is nice)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: boykiss-les chansons d'amour[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 12:59 pm (UTC)
I love the wintery cuddlefest!! I emailed her as soon as I read that, but alas she's not writing more. :(

I'm working on the happy right now--Deniz is cracking me up at the moment--but it might be a little bit before it's done. There might actually be smut ... I can promise at least allusions to smut!

In the meantime, this might satisfy your need for happy. Happy with a healthy dose of angst, which is so perfect. And don't forget, we'll be OD'ing on VL fluff soon!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Aldi[info]aldiara on November 8th, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
If there's happy and allusions to smut, I can wait forever! ...well, not forever, but a while ;)

I am so looking forward to the VL fluff fest, although there's plenty of angst in the early parts. Wheeee!

And awww, that was adorable. I already liked these a lot in your earlier collection of pretties post this week. No one angsts better than the French, lol.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: awz-miami vice?[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I have a quickie canon question -- how long it'd been since Deniz lived with Marian before he arrived in Essen? I've rewatched Deniz's arrival and the scenes with Veronika, but I didn't find any mention of it. What I'm really trying to figure out is how old Deniz would have been when Marian split. (I'm really hoping it was early teens at least.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Aldi[info]aldiara on November 8th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
Your guess is as good as mine here, because as far as I know, what the early Deniz clips give us is all the background story there is. If there is more in earlier storylines with Marian, I haven't seen any of it :\ I did get the impression that it's been quite a while since the split, though, maybe six, seven years? Because Marian doesn't seem to have much of a clue about how to handle a teenage kid (granted, his is more to handle than most), which makes me think he wasn't there for most of Deniz's early puberty. Just guesswork on my part, though.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
*nods* Makes sense. I have no trouble making something up, I just don't want to contradict something that's set in canon. Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you have this ass-deep grasp of their story. ;)
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
Aldi[info]aldiara on November 8th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC)
And, wait, nope, I'm not done, I totally need to quote this paragraph back at you, because I adore it so much:

He was in love, not delusional. But somewhere along the line he feared they had become the same thing, overlaid like the roots of two trees grown so knotted that they were all but indistinguishable, and impossible to separate without destroying them both.

Argh, yes. The tree image is another one that's mercilessly spot-on. How do you do that!

Ahem. Thank you so much for posting this. I am now going to go back and reread it a dozen times because that is seriously one of the best pieces of fic I have ever read, and I've read a lot. And I'm not even saying this because I'm unhealthily obsessed with this character. I'm saying it because you have evil, magic writing skills that I covet like whoa right now.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: actor-dennis grabosch[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! That was one of my favourite parts too. I don't think it's at all contradictory to delude yourself and recognise that you're delusional at the same time. ;)
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
{Johnny Angel}: dero- bunny played guitar[info]omarandjohnny on November 8th, 2008 02:18 am (UTC)
[info]aldiara summed it up better than I could, but yeah, it's sooooo beautiful.

What makes it even more perfect (for me, anyhow) is that I had JUST opened the window before I read your story. The temp here tonight is 36F, and the wind is blowing frosty air all over me ♥
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: awz-ice[info]lilithilien on November 8th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
What a nice way to set your mood! I love that frosty feel at night -- don't so much love getting out in it, but at night when you can curl up with blankies, it's heavenly.

Thank you so much for keeping this story going. It came so close to being turfed out the window you wouldn't believe. You kept it going! *hugs*
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
쉘리 I whip my hair like Bang Bang: awz - dennis bites lip[info]sdk on November 8th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
Oh my this is gorgeous, too. But what I really love about this is how you've nailed Roman (at least my idea of Roman *g*). He can't lie to himself--he tries so hard, but he can't.

This might be my favorite passage: He was in love, not delusional. But somewhere along the line he feared they had become the same thing, overlaid like the roots of two trees grown so knotted that they were all but indistinguishable, and impossible to separate without destroying them both.

But then again, I love how you describe Roman losing himself in the ice--and again comparing Deniz to ice in the spring--how it looks all sparkly and temping but will only let you fall in the end. *sobs*

Okay, I'm totally depressed now--but it's gorgeous!
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
Lilith: awz-bffs[info]lilithilien on November 9th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
See, I think he can lie to himself -- I think he does lie to himself a lot -- but I think he knows he's lying. So ... is that really a lie? But yeah, I think we're saying basically the same thing -- that Roman really knows who he is (even if the writers don't!).

Thank you so much, I'm so glad that you liked it ... although I'm sorry that I depressed you. You know me and my neverending craving for angst!
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)