26 November 2008 @ 02:01 am
Something Old, Something New  
Title: Something Old, Something New
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom & Characters: Alles Was Zählt, Roman/Deniz
Word Count: 1000 words
Rating: Gen
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
A/N: This is a sequel to Something Borrowed, just another glimpse of Diana's wedding day, through Roman's eyes this time, when things were still hopeful. I'm not particularly happy with this piece, but it feels like I've pushed and pulled it enough, and now it's time to set it free and move on to something else!



"You keep looking at me."

Although it was true, Roman was pretty sure that Deniz didn't mind. Against the cold elegance of the wedding hall, Deniz burned with the radiance of a million suns. Not that Roman would ever let him know that.

"I'm just surprised to see that you own a tie, Herr Öztürk."

Deniz chuckled at that. "Hardly. I found it buried in Dad's closet."

His brow arching up, Roman asked, "Essen's Man in Black has hidden taste?"

"He wasn't always like this," Deniz replied, shaking his head. "He used to get dressed up whenever he and Mom went out..."

Deniz's voice trailed off while Roman's begged to fly with a barrage of questions. Did Marian have a special suit for going out on the town? Had his frown softened when he saw his wife? Had she been beautiful, dressed to the nines, her flowery fragrance lingering long after they'd gone? It was strange, Roman realised, that he knew almost nothing about Deniz's life before Essen. How could you feel so close to someone and not even know the basic facts of their existence?

The urge to interrogate was almost overwhelming, to let loose his tongue and draw out every minute detail of Deniz's life, but Roman held back. At times like this, with his lips pulled tight and his eyes guarded, Deniz reminded him of nothing more than one of the feral cats from his neighbourhood when he was young. At first they'd scampered away from the boy tumbling wildly toward her. It was only after Roman's mother flaked herring into a dish and told him to sit quietly some distance away that one had ventured out, with each cautious step teaching Roman the grace of stillness.

The scruffy tabby missing the tip of her ear might look nothing like Deniz, but something in how she had advanced and retreated felt very similar. It had taken several nights, but finally she dared come close enough that Roman could rub her scarred chin. She'd promptly marked him as hers, her fur sliding sleek against his shins like a promise of love, and Roman was already imagining her curled up asleep on his pillow. He'd been devastated the next evening when he'd raced outside, his natural enthusiasm bubbling back, only to send her darting away in terror.

"Just like now," he thought, when it seemed that any sudden move might send Deniz scurrying. He was trying to hold back, just like he'd tried to restrain that hyperactive little boy, but it wasn't easy. Something about Deniz made him ravenous; sometimes he thought he'd like nothing more than to devour his secrets, feast on his smiles. "Don't be a sap, Hase," Ingo scowled in his head, and another voice that sounded like his mother's chimed in with "Romännchen, be still."

Deniz broke through the voices, tugging Roman's attention like he always did. "Does it bother you?"

"What's that?"

Roman looked up to find Deniz's brow furrowed, deep in thought. Unlike his father, who so often resembled looming storm clouds, this look on Deniz made him look even younger than his seventeen years. Roman's voice softened as he repeated, "Does what bother me, Deniz?"

"That ... that you'll never have any of this." He waved vaguely toward the wedding finery, but Roman knew what the gesture encompassed: Wedding. Love. Family. Home.

For the first time, Roman questioned whether coming to the wedding together had really been a good idea. If this thing with Deniz felt surprising and fast to him, he could only imagine how untethered the other man must feel. It'd been foolish, letting his relief that Deniz agreed to attend eclipse any thought of how it might affect him -- might affect anyone who was just coming to grips with who he was, but Deniz even more so. With the weight of tradition still weighing so heavily on Deniz's shoulders, with protests that Turkish men weren't gay still echoing in his ears, he probably wanted to run fast and far.

But Deniz hadn't run, not yet. As bold as that old stray, his dark eyes searched Roman's, staring with that same curiosity they'd had that day they'd first talked, really talked, about what it meant to be with another man.

His voice steadily neutral, Roman asked, "Do you mean because I'm gay?"

Deniz's nod was curt, almost too quick to see,

"Of course it does," Roman confessed, weighing his words carefully. "Getting married isn't something I necessarily want, but it's something I can't have, so yeah, it bothers me. But things are changing, Deniz. The laws could be different someday."

Roman forced himself to stop at that, not worsen the situation with words that could never say all he wanted them to. But Deniz was staring again, waiting, obviously unsatisfied with this answer.


"That's it?" Deniz leaned over to whisper in his ear, "I know you've got more to say about it than that." When he looked back at Roman, amusement curled the corners of his lips. "You always do."

Roman wanted to dart his tongue out and taste them, those curling lips, sweet and decadent as chocolate. Dangerous they were too, but irresistible, and Roman had no choice but to speak the truth. "Well, if you're asking whether I'll have someone that I love like Diana loves Julian, and want to spend my life with him, then yes, that's something I do want, very much, whether or not I ever get married."

"And I believe I have it now." Roman added silently. Roman reached almost hesitantly for Deniz' hand, careful not to startle the wild creature, anxious to keep him from bolting. Instead fingers tightened around his, cool and firm, and lips pressed against his, steadying his heart.

"It's not a promise," he reminded himself, thinking of a wary cat from long ago, "but it's a start."

*** The End ***