15 November 2008 @ 03:23 am
Something Borrowed, Something Blue  
Title: Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom & Characters: Alles Was Zählt, Deniz and Marian Öztürk
Word Count: 1000 words
Rating: Gen
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
A/N: So I wrote a little drabble called Left Behind. And then [info]aldiara surprised the heck out of me by writing a beautiful prequel to it, Laid Bare, which amazingly takes place right after this little ficlet that I've been working on for a few days now. Proof that we indeed share the same brain! There's a short Roman piece that follows this, but after pushing and pulling it for awhile I think this one works better as a stand-alone.


For just an instant the smooth silk catches. For an instant he thinks the knot he's fashioned around his neck--not as crisp as he'd like it to be, but passable--will at last lock into place. Then, slippery as an eel, it wriggles out again. Deniz glares at the tie's reflection in the mirror. He knows insolence when he sees it, he's perfected it after all, and he recognises it now as the ends hung down his chest, stubbornly straight.

The front door slams and his father roars into the house; even from the back bathroom, Deniz can feel the barometer falling as Tropical Storm Marian blows through. "Deniz?" he bellows.

"In here," Deniz shouts back.

Marian cracks the door open, hardly wide enough to shove his head through. "I need your help unloading the car. Nadja went crazy at the party store -- we're set for Valentine's Day through the next decade. Got time to run up to No. 7?"

Deniz shrugs. "Sure. Roman's meeting me there anyway."

It's only then that Dad seems to really see him. He crosses his arms, his shoulders nudging the door wider, and Deniz braces for the explosion that's become inevitable whenever Roman's name comes up these days. "So did you have fun raiding my closet?"

Deniz glares again at the mirror, Marian's reflection joining the hateful tie as the target of his ire. This is so typical of him, ignoring something for ages and then suddenly pretending to be interested in it. Pretending to care. "It's not like you ever wear them."

Over his shoulder Marian's face darkens. Deniz ignores it; he knows well enough what he'd say. It'd just be more of that broken record on Öztürk honour and family and duty, like honour and family and duty means anything to someone whose greatest lesson passed down to his son is how to walk out the door. Deniz's feet itch to walk now, before his father can remind him of the last time he'd worn a tie. He already knows that it was for that stupid meeting with his principal. At least Dad doesn't demand honesty anymore, Deniz thinks with grim amusement; it seems they've both had their fill of that.

Sighing, Deniz tugs again at the loose ends of cloth, tempted to strip the whole thing from his neck. It's no use; his fingers fumble, feeling thick as sausages. "Scheiße!"

There's a quiet chuckle behind him and Deniz whirls around, ready to let loose his rage at this stupid tie, at this stupid wedding, at his stupid father who's just standing there, mocking him. Who'd surely do anything he could to sabotage this day. But his angry words choke in his throat when he sees Marian's expression. It's softer than he expected, blurry, like he gets when he's drunk too much rakı with his brothers at New Year's.

"Here, let me…"

Deniz opens his mouth to protest that he can handle it himself, but Marian doesn't give him the chance. "Anything to get this over with," he consoles himself silently. Still, he doesn't actually agree to the help, even if his up-tilted chin might give that impression.

"Watch now, it's just under and over and through…"

Marian's instructions float past his ears, the words clouded but his tone as calm and clear as those endless sunny days of his childhood. Deniz hasn't heard it for years but it all comes back to him now, Dad's all-knowing voice coaching him through his first slap shot, making it sound so easy to bend the stick, to skate and shoot…

"Then cross over and loop back…"

…that voice, so certain, making him believe there was nothing his dad couldn't do, nothing that he couldn't face. But that was before. Then the yelling started and the doors slammed and the nights drug on when either his mom or dad (or sometimes both) didn't come home. Then Deniz had heard something harder take its place, something that, at first, he thought he'd put there.

"I never thought I'd be helping you get ready for…"

His voice trails off, like he's run out of steam. Or like his words are trapped in a fog too thick to make it through the square set of his jaw.

"For a date?" Deniz leans into the word, making it a threat bold enough to withstand the outburst he knows is coming. Or maybe it's only a bluff, because he's still not sure what he's doing here, going out with Roman as a couple for the first time. The feeling is still fragile and no one knows better than his dad how to make it crumble.

But Marian says nothing. He scrunches up his face like he's concentrating on the tie, even though he must surely be done by now. At last he puts his hands on Deniz's shoulders and looks up at him.

"There. Perfect."

Dad's hand pats the knot once more and steps away so Deniz can admire himself in the mirror. And he does. The knot at his neck is precise, sharp-edged, nothing like the bedraggled ends that he fought with so long. It's been turned into something else, something fine.

His eyes dart down, then back up at his father. "Thanks.

"Want to try it yourself?" Marian asks, but Deniz shakes his head.

"No, we need to unload the car, and I don't want to keep Roman waiting. Besides, I bet I can do it in a pinch."

Marian smiles at that, and it's the same smile that Deniz remembers from those days long ago. For some reason it makes him feel like a little boy again, even if he is all dressed up in a suit. He's not sure what's just happened here, and he's not sure he ever will, but somehow it's like his Dad is really smiling at him for the first time in years.

**** The End ****