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The 100 Things That Rammstein Left Behind - A Rammstein Fanfiction

Let's face it, you learn a lot through life. Mistakes are lessons too, of course, you learn the best from mistakes.
But really. You'd rather learn without the pain, wouldn't you?

One hundred vignettes of six lives woven into a single story. Till POV throughout - mostly. This is as of June 2012 the darkest thing I've written and is honestly not for the faint of heart; I won't pretend that this isn't offensive. If you don't like death, for one (out of everything else discussed), this fic is not for you. Contains a lot of concepts and incidents that will make you feel uncomfortable. Proceed with caution and read all warnings.

Warnings: Till/Richard, meta concepts, slash, depressing content, political overtones in some, possibly unsavory depictions of real-life people within the families of the band (although not to children), severe angst, screwy formatting, heavy German usage at parts, possibly confusing narrative (constant POV switches), tastelessness, blasphemy. Some sexual content but not strong enough to warrant warning. AU-ish for a reason. Trigger warnings for abuse of humans and animals, discussions of death, and abusive relationships. I wouldn't categorize this as funny, and it doesn't try to be.

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1. The Time When Your Mother Burnt Breakfast

When you wake up, you grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Sliding the covers off your body, you awkwardly comb your hair and slip on a too-long pajama top before you silently pad downstairs to look into the kitchen.

Yout tiny feet go pitter-patter on the wooden steps as you stop halfway down and fit your six-year old self against the railings, peering down. You smell a very unpleasant burning smell, and see your mother coughing, waving away thick smoke desperately, almost weeping into her apron.

You run back up the stairs.

2. Blue Blanket

The man has been pacing the corridor just outside the maternity ward anxiously for the past two hours. He reaches for the pipe in his pocket but makes no effort to take it out or smoke it, the smooth coolness of ivory against his palm soothing his racing mind. When the nurse finally pokes her head out of the door and calls his name, he looks around in a startled manner before following her inside.

"It's a boy," she tells him as he stands by the bed; his exhausted wife is lying on the bed, but she looks quite happy to see him there. The man and woman share a little smile together. "did you decide on a name for him, Herr Lindemann?"

"Let me hold him," he asks instead, and is handed over the newborn baby to cradle in his arms for the first time. My boy, he thinks to himself as he sees the little child wrapped up in blue. The baby nestles softly to his chest, one starfish hand closing gently around the man's thumb, and he smiles wide. My son. My Dietrich.

3. Welcome To The New World

Your name is Dietrich Lindemann, although you will later prefer being called 'Till' following the diminutive form. You were born into this world in 1963, in Leipzig, far away from the coldness of the then three-years old Berlin Wall. Your parents are named Gitta and Werner Lindemann and at this moment in time, they love you very much. This is a difficult world that you were born into, and you will go through many happy times and many sorrowful times, but I can guarantee you, it's going to be an interesting ride. When happiness comes to you (and one day it will), you'll embrace it with a smile. When tragedy comes to you (and one day it will), you will stick your chin out and endure, rebuild and rebuild until it's all okay again.

But for now you are only very little. Sleep, sweetheart; there will be more to do for you in life later.
Welcome to this new world. It's nice to meet you.

4. Four Terrifying Words

Once upon a time-

Oh my God. This is going to end really badly, isn't it?

5. Bottom of the Well

That's a misleading title, because you never see the bottom of any well as long as you live. When you're four years old you're taken to learn swimming; it's a bit later than most children, but it's better than never learning at all. You get to it straight away, paddling and wandering all about the swimming pool with armbands on, feeling childishly happy as you should be feeling at this age.

You do have a moment, though, that'd have reduced any parent to a nail-biting panic. It's just something as simple as venturing a little too far towards the deep end of the pool, one that's corded off in case the children get in - but you manage to slip beneath the barrier and are submerged in the water completely, unable to find footing, drifting and slowly sinking. But you don't panic at all - just stare at the blurry lights above you, how everything sounds muffled and silent and ever-so-tranquil beneath the surface - and think that this is a nice place to be. Never mind that you're technically drowning. Luckily you're fished out and scolded by your mother, and have to leave soon afterwards; but your element has been awakened, you are a child of the water, the first gospel truth that you will live by.

6. It Runs In The Veins

Your son is a very strange boy, you decide when he's about five years old. "Till, come back inside," you call to him; he looks back at you from his seat in the garden, nods and picks up his notebook, obeying silently. He's not like most boys his age, never really wanting to socialize with a lot of people - but place him in the middle of a team sport and he'll perform admirably even at such a young age.

"What's for dinner, Mutti?"

He's also hyperfocused on a lot of things. Toss him into a lake and he'll tread water for hours, never faltering, always gazing straight ahead. Bestow responsibilities on him and he'll get them done in double time. But ask him about how his day went, or what he wants to do during the weekend, and he'll just look at you blankly and refuse to answer. A very strange child. He's living in his own world half the time.

"Eisbein. Wash your hands and help set out the table, darling."

Though, unlike his father - you don't think that's a bad thing. Children ought to indulge in their fantasies when they can. Besides, isn't your husband himself a little strange too sometimes? Isn't everyone strange to a degree? There's nothing to worry about, after all. It is this attitude that you take to your son that makes him much more appreciative of you.

Later on - much, much later on, over two and a half decades later, you'll visit your son and his young daughter at his place. You'll end up finding that he's sprawled out on the floor, exhausted from basket-weaving, while she's made a circle around his sleeping body and has written out 'This is my Vatti and you can't have him' with bits of willow and straw by his side - and then realize that your grandchild, too, is also profoundly strange. And you'll laugh as you pick her up and hear her complain about how her Vatti just fell asleep in the middle of talking, and remember fond times with your son when he was little.

7. Gummibärchen

One of your favourite sweets, simple and yet so filled with nostalgia. You never bother hiding you love for those things, well into your thirties and forties. It's also one of the first sweets you ever taste; you find it a bit tough at first, but soon the texture of gummy bears become curiously very pleasant to you. They're not like hard candy or chocolate (though you will also develop an appetite for them later), neither soft nor hard - they're filled with just the right amount of chewiness and tangy flavor.

This isn't too important, but it's a pleasant childhood memory. Better hold onto this one, because you won't get a lot of those during your childhood.

8. Tidal Wave

This is around the time that we have to establish that you are loved by both your parents.

Your father, however, ruins a lot of your childhood for you by benefit of being drunk half the time. You enter sports school at his coercion and for most part you think you're a good boy, but he evidently doesn't share this view. Truthfully, you're a boy very far from his expectations - he expected you to be stoic and well-behaved and either becoming an athlete or entering some kind of academia. You're instead growing up to be this half-sullen, half-dreamy boy who barely talks to people and just stays indoors most of the time when you're not practicing swimming. You study just enough, but without much passion. You're a disappointment to him, quite frankly.

Swimming is your release. And you don't mean that in the context of the sports school. You mean swimming an lake or ocean, indulging in the wide expanse around you. You feel free only during these times.

Your parents both love you very much, but you only half believe that. A pity, really.

9. He Doesn't Like What You Do (Or You For That Matter)

You like writing. It's an escapist fantasy for you, a world of different possibilities. Of course you're only about eight years old when you start - they start out as diaries, little statements about your life, that soon become expanded into fantasy, into stories and poems. It calms you. Make you smile. Allows you to think properly.

Your father doesn't like them, for whatever reason. It's even less comprehensible in hindsight when you consider that he, too, is (was) a writer. One for children at that. But either way your father doesn't like them so he tosses them in the fireplace and lights the fire and walks away while you sit there and watch them burn, your words becoming charred, crinkling up as if to escape its fate before burning up for good.

But even early on in life, you don't protest nor think that this is in any way anything to get upset about, seeing your works amounting to ash. Hey. That's all anyone ever amounts to in the end.

10. The Time When Your Father Burnt Breakfast

When you wake up, you grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Sliding the covers off your body, you struggle with your still-oversized pajama top before you silently pad downstairs to look into the kitchen.

Your father is standing there, glasses steamed up and a vaguely disgruntled look on his face. He sighs and then dumps the smoking pot into the sink (filled with water). You'd stay to watch more, but you know he'd be on your tail if you got caught. So you run back up the stairs.

11. Freud Was Wrong

Not all boys resent their fathers because they have a Oedipus complex.
Sometimes papa is a bastard who beats you every night and that's why you resent them.

12. Approximately Three Nights Every Week

"I'm going to beat you. I'm going to beat you, boy. Daddy's going to beat you."

Work makes him drink. Drink makes him do that. Then he works again the morning after.
You usually just endure the beatings silently; you could cry, you suppose, but then he probably won't even hear you.

13. Nietzsche Was Right

You fight back, only once. And even then it's not even really a fight per se because you just want to go to bed and your father's drunk and letting you have it with the buckle end of the belt; at one point you just decide that you've had enough, you really have had enough, and when the belt comes down you dodge out of the way before grabbing it, tearing it out of your father's hand and hurling it right into the fireplace with a scream. You father stares at you like you've gone mad and you stare back at him with a feral snarl until he turns around and leaves the room. slamming the door shut.

You later retrieve the buckle afterwards to throw it away. He never beats you with a belt again; it doesn't mean that he stops beating you, but he's less frequent about it and he doesn't hit as hard as before. You don't fight him back either, you made the message clear enough that one time. Besides, you're too sensible to let yourself go.

Do not fight with monsters, lest you become one.

14. Gott Ist Tot

When your parents divorce, you are twelve years old and a very thoughtful (if somewhat gloomy) boy. You also decide right there and then that God doesn't exist. After all, if he existed, why does he make alcoholics abuse their family? Why would he let the Stasi sneak around, making East Germany a prison without bars (but with a wall instead)? Why in the world would the Holy Father, all-loving and eternal, inflict so much pain on his children?

People who love God are delusional too, you decide. You can't stand it.
God is the worst lover. Not only does he think he's perfect, he apparently actually is. If that's perfection, well, you're satisfied to be alone.

15. Selbstbefriedigung

Self-satisfaction is but a contradiction, though.

16. Those Damn Teenage Hormones

You don't much like sports school. You love swimming, but being groomed as a potential Olympics athlete is not what you want. Your parents would be proud though - even your father would be - so you don't object much. As you grow older, though, and become more jaded and distant from people, you become fond of self-deprecation and deliberately doing things that your team coach disapproves of.

"That's it, Lindemann," the man shouts at you one day after you're caught hoarding porn magazines in your locker. "I've had enough of you and your bloody cheek. One more offense like this and I'm personally going to make sure that you will never get another position in a national team."

Your reaction to this is a shrug and a blank look, which riles him up so much that he ends up writing a letter to your parents, going into truly uncomfortable detail about how much of a miserable youth you are. The letter is forwarded to your father; when you visit him next, he's reading it, and even though you keep your face completely blank you aren't sure what's going to happen. He's still a dominating presence in your life, despite the fact that you are physically stronger than him now and can fight back much more effectively than you could back when you were younger.

But life isn't that predictable, and with a derisive snort your father simply crumples up the letter and tosses it in the fireplace. "You appear to have an idiot of a swimming coach, Dietrich," he says as he leans back on his armchair, staring at you. "teenage hormones. Nothing to be ashamed of. You can tell him exactly what I think of him, boy. Would you like some schnapps?"

17. Scar Tissue

Your professional swimming career ends before it ever really started. And it actually ends because of a genuine accident, not long after the porn incident. A badly executed dive from an ill-maintained diving board leaves you stunned and slowly sinking into the water, watching your own blood spilling out into the water from the gash on your stomach as your horrified teammates seek to pull you out. You can almost swear that you've been through something like this before, helpless under the pull of the water; but that was so long ago, and then the water was clear and warm and soothing. Now all you feel is the pain, the water slowly clouding into red, obscuring everything for the short amount of time that you are underwater.

Eventually fished out by your teammates, you are diagnosed with a torn abdominal muscle and are told that the scar will be permanent. That's your career over just like that. Your mother is distressed (predictably) and your father is livid (predictably), while your pain fades into apathy. And despite all this, you keep the peace, only saying that it was an unfortunate accident and then refusing to comment on it any further. No arguments this time.

There is still a lot you resent your father for, that much is true. You blame him for a lot of things, and vice versa. With the porn magazine incident, your father never said that he'd take responsibility for the consequences of you actually telling your coach what your father thought of him. And he is noticeably disappointed and angered when you have to leave sports school. But this time, you simply close your eyes and stay silent instead of lashing back at him; you don't blame him for getting angry because he never blamed you for that one time. Fair is fair.

18. The Triumph of 1776, Two Hundred Years On

You decide to move out and work as an apprenticeship eventually. After kissing your anxious mother goodbye and moving your things to the little apartment that you've rented out, you go and visit your father. It's probably going to be the last time you visit him as an obligation as his son; having declared your independence, you've freed yourself of that responsibility. By this time your parents have been divorced for nearly ten years, what's the point in hanging on when you just don't seem to be getting anywhere with your father?

He doesn't take the news well. "Living by yourself!" he hollers. "what's going to become of you, Dietrich? All this without doing any military service or trying out for university?"

"It's my life, father," you say coldly, before you turn your back on him with a shrug. You've had enough of arguing with him, so you don't, which only angers your father even more - this admittedly isn't the best way you could have informed him of the fact that you were no longer a child and thus no longer under his control, but it's certainly the fastest way. "and I fully intend to live it the way I want to. If that disappoints you - well, I can't say that I honestly care much about what you think of me."

"You-"

"And really, father," you shoot back. "I think that I am much better off for that."

"Dietrich!" your father shouts; he sounds surprisingly sober and almost-desperate, but you let the door swing shut and don't look back.
You needed this freedom, and the brutality you possess from being so young helps, too.

19. Ecosystem

You celebrate your independence by getting yourself a fish tank and two fantail goldfish. They aren't high-maintenance and are very quiet and elegant - but it's watching them bustle about, eagerly getting along with their lives and even looking somewhat content despite the limited space, that is comforting to you. It reminds you that one can find joy in everything if you have the right kind of mental state.

Never mind that your carpenting apprenticeship regularly leaves you with cuts and splinters everywhere, and that it's not quite a steady job at this present moment. You can come home, light a candle, and then just quietly watch the goldfish swimming in their tank. They ask for so little, get by well with so little - sometimes you do have to wonder, do the goldfish notice you watching them through the glass and think that you are the imprisoned one?

20. The Time When You Burnt Breakfast

"Damn."

You grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Waving away the smoke, you cough out loud as you hesitate by the window - do you open it and let the smoke out and draw the attention of neighbors, or let it stay in and risk triggering the fire alarm? Then you wonder why the hell you even made that a choice, and open the window, breathing in deep lungfuls of air.

When the smell of charred breakfast is diminished somewhat you look back at the frying pan in the water-filled sink; charred black and the water clouded with burnt fragments of food and ash and God knows what else. You pick it up and frown, reaching for the scourer - but before you can reach it, you are suddenly overwhelmed with the strongest bout of melancholy and your hands drop back down, splashing the kitchen counter with dirty water as the frying pan sinks back beneath the surface.

Two weeks alone and you're not sure if you can really manage by yourself. You're so young after all, only just twenty, and even though you've been brought up in a single-parent household for most of the time that it mattered, you aren't actually used to being independent. Even the most minor stop of the gears makes you feel useless, make you want to run away, something as simple as finishing only five drawers instead of six at your job or burning the damn breakfast.

You can almost swear that your father's laughing at you in the background. Shaking your head frantically to rid yourself of the image, you run back up the stairs.

21. Seven Years' Bad Luck

Your father was really drunk one day and told you that you were hideous and if you ever found yourself a nice Fraulein to live with, he wasn't going to hold his breath and trust that she was going to be nice to look at. You just sneered at him and thought he was rambling meaninglessly then; besides, in the height of teenage rebellion, he wasn't exactly the first figure that you trusted for anything. But now that you're alone and at a stage where you're kind of meant to maybe look around for someone, his words come back to haunt you. You aren't exactly vain so your encounters with mirrors consist mostly of just watching the stubble on your chin as you shave; but today you're going to put this matter at rest. Good lighting, a large full-length mirror - you take a deep breath and look into yourself.

You aren't the most handsome man out there, that's for certain. But you aren't fishing for compliments, you just want to see that you're at least average. Your lips are set in a firm line; they're pink and delicate, somehow very unfitting to your otherwise-heavy and muscled figure. You have the faintest of acne scars on both cheeks and you think that your jawline is perhaps a little too prominent and your facial expression is entirely too blank and devoid of any emotion. You feel like you're awkwardly proportioned; your chest and arms are very large compared to your legs, although you do possess a swimmer's body to die for. The only thing alive about you are your eyes, but then - eyes don't speak for everything. You turn your head to the side to see if you can find anything of much note, but you can't. Just more vaguely-pockmarked scars. Raising your hands up to touch your cheek, you remember that your fingers are bandaged from splinters gained from carpentry work - and then you start frowning.

Maybe your father was right. Because...

... quite frankly.
You find your body hideous, too.






[you don't want to feel this way]

[so clearly it's all his fault]




Shut up! You scream. Out! Aus! Out, out, out get out you filth get out of my sight GET OUT RIGHT NOW YOU



[filth]

You don't know who you're referring to anymore but then within seconds you realize and then you shudder and run out of the room

(because you told yourself to.)

...





why is your hand bleeding?

22. The First Butterfly

From that day onwards, you decide that you are ugly.
From that day onwards, you decide that no one could or ought to love you because of how ugly you are, and that you won't be loving a person back anytime soon. You sabotage your own self-worth, deeper - far, far deeper than you could ever imagine - and you're never really the same, ever again.

You still feel lust and pleasure and you can still write about those things, but you don't identify with it yourself. You sleep with a woman once and then think that the whole thing's not worth all the fuss, so you decide that you aren't interested in sex, either. Pretty jarring, especially considering the kind of career you're going to be in later.

23. Responsibility Is More Than Just A Word

You do end up being very glad for having slept with that woman, though, because you experience fatherhood because of it. You might be a misanthrope but you are by no means immoral or cruel, and when the news reaches you, you immediately say that you will care for the child. Joy or sorrow is not a part of it - the baby's your responsibility, and you're going to respect that. The thought of marrying and being a family doesn't occur to you, and she doesn't look like she wants to be tied down with a husband either (not at your age, you two are still so young).

But God forbid you inflict the pain your father inflicted on your childhood self on your child. You aren't going to be like that, no, not at all.

24. Thaw

Your daughter is born on a rainy day. The exhausted and vanquished mother nevertheless falls to a satisfied slumber soon after the birth, without complications, and that's where you come in. The baby's wrapped in a blanket - not pink, not blue, but white. A girl, they tell you, and ask you if you want to hold her.

She is surprisingly heavy in your arms, heavy with life and a fully-functional body in miniature. You stare down at this being who you've had a part in creating - so little, and yet so full of potential. She's all soft and powdered too - and in your arms she stirs and clings to you sleepily, possessing absolutely no doubt that you are her father. She knows you from just your warmth and scent alone; from now on she'll follow you anywhere you go, and she will trust you and love you unconditionally as long as you care for her in return. Then you are suddenly overwhelmed with what feels like a mix of utter joy and an urge to burst into tears; you kiss and kiss her on both cheeks until they're both pink, eager to convey - oh, sweetheart, my darling child, I'm your father, it's wonderful to hold you at last, you're going to be the best daughter in the world. Holding your daughter, so helpless and quiet and sweet in your arms, you mentally revise your prior decision a little. You aren't interested in relationships nor do you love anyone romantically, but you do love your girl. That is a gospel truth.

She does look a little bewildered at being showered with kisses, though, so you stop and let her drift off. She shifts against your chest - gives you her first smile - and then nuzzles into you, relaxing as she falls asleep. Not even a day old and she's already given you her first gift.

Something thaws, and through the song of the rain, the beginnings of spring dawn within your heart.

25. Caramel

You name your daughter Nele, short for 'Cornelia'. It might be too archaic of a name in its full form, but then it's the same with you, isn't it? Dietrich to Till. Cornelia to Nele. She seems to like it, either way. And maybe it's just you, but your daughter has the loveliest scent about her; especially around the top of the head. It's a difficult smell to describe, but you suppose that 'sweet' is the most laconic description you can give for it. It doesn't quite do it justice, but that's what it is. Sweet, with a mixture of baby powder and milk.

You always keep her cleaned, dry and well-powdered and every time you look at her you really do have to marvel at the spell she's put you under. She's just lying in your arms half the time, quiet and staring at you in the most curious manner (her eyes baby-blue, but you know that it will change and somehow it makes you feel a bit selfish when you want them to turn out green like yours), her soft caramel scent awakening more affection within you, day by day. When Nele grows up a little more, she'll love sweets; she'll pretend to be uninterested in them from about age ten onwards, not wanting to appear childish, but you know that her sweet tooth will always stay with her as long as she lives. And that's fine, because you have a notorious sweet tooth as well. Like father, like daughter.

26. Berliner Mauer

You and Nele are two halves, you decide. The fact that you have no brother or friend to become the other half of you speaks volumes about how lonely you actually are, but that's a digression. She is a happy, innocent and ever-so-beautiful little girl while you are a somewhat grim, less than innocent (and hideous, you always tell yourself) man. But while she is helpless and so reliant on the kindness of others to survive, you have scratched out a living of your own and you have become reasonably content in it. Both of you have so much sorrow to go through in life, but you have been through more than she has - and you'll do anything to help Nele.

But at the same time you are wary to bring her up in the way that you think is right, or in ways more familiar to you. One of the worst things that parents can do to their child is attempting to live through them, see themselves in their shoes instead of their own place, and you know this. Though you are infinitely more sensible than many parents would be when you figure out that this dilemma is something that you cannot decide a solution on immediately - it's something that you genuinely have to adapt to as things go along. There will one day come a time when your help alone cannot teach Nele how to live and function in the world; when that time comes, you'll let go of the controls and delegate yourself to keeping a watchful eye on her. It is a very sensible solution, that principle of adaptation, if you think about it - you might not end up with a 'stance' per se, but it makes you learn, it gives you the best chance of survival. That's how humans all evolved in the first place. I mean, look at where rash decisions got the West and East, slicing the two halves of Berlin apart, leaving two brothers helplessly lost and staring at each other through a mere physical barrier. That's no way to treat such a fundamental pair, especially if it didn't need to be a pair in the first place.

27. The Checkout Line

Life isn't all sunshine and roses though, when you consider that babies are very helpless creatures by default. Nele has been nothing but healthy and spirited but one night she starts coughing and sniffling - something that all babies go through eventually, the first visit by the common cold. You stay logical and give her the medicine needed for it, cool her forehead, and keep her hydrated. However now you're faced with a little bit of a dilemma - her mother isn't available at the moment, it's the middle of the night, and you're running short on supplies.

You ought not to leave your child alone. Especially when she's only about a year old. But right now you can think of nothing else to do - making sure that she most definitely is sleeping, you put on your jacket and run downstairs, hurriedly going into the first all-night shop that you can see. It's quite far down the road and it's not a place you've ever been in before; you nigh tear through the doors and hurtle down the aisles, quickly picking out everything that you need - diapers, baby formula, things that you feel like you're lacking at this present moment. The only person in the shop at the moment is a young blond cashier, who you're aware is staring at you most oddly as you make your rounds. Let him stare. It doesn't matter. You need to get back to Nele.

"Do you have any cigarettes?" you ask him; he tells you that they only have Marlboro. You don't smoke Marlboro but hey, why not. Money gets exchanged, he gives you the change, and feeling a tad apologetic for your brusqueness, you smile at him as you pick up your bags. "have a good night."

The cashier shifts a little behind the counter, clearly a little taken aback by your friendliness, but he seems pleased enough as he says "Thank you". When you get back, Nele turns out to be awake - but only a little grumpy that you left her alone. No accidents, no trouble. You kiss her forehead and murmur that you won't do it again, and by the time dawn falls, she's reasonably satisfied and asleep in your arms.

... That boy looked a little younger than you, too. Nice to see that young people are working harder nowadays. That thought makes you feel kind of old.

28. Good/Bad Riddance?

Thinking of your father depresses you to hell and back so here's a brief leap to some years later and the termination of that particular branch in this tale; one day you receive a letter in the mail and think about what it might be as you set it down on the table. Nele's out shopping with her mother so you're alone as you read the handwritten address; it's not a handwriting you recognize but it must be one of your relatives, at least you're thinking that as you reach for the letter-opener and slice the beige envelope open, two sheets of paper tumbling out, and suddenly you have to take a deep breath and pour yourself some red wine from a nearby bottle because whatever this might be, you really don't have a good feeling about this, and you are proven right ten minutes later when the wine bottle is smashed against the table and you slam the kitchen door behind you in anguish as the red wine - red as blood - soaks through the pages of the letter, smudging erasing deleting those four words that will haunt you for life: [Your father is dead.]

29. This is The Man That You Will Love Later (But Don't Tell Anyone I Said That, Shh)

But that's a story for another time, so we move back towards the present. Two weeks on and Nele's shed the cough completely, healthy and sweet and rosy-cheeked as babies ought to be. A relief. Her mother's come around to take care of her for a few hours, so you can afford to go on a walk until three o'clock that afternoon; you make your way to a nearby park, sit down on a deserted bench and finally get to smoking some of those cigarettes. That pack of Marlboro you bought two weeks ago still isn't finished - you pick out the penultimate one and light it, exhaling pearly smoke into the cold autumn air and letting out a long sigh.

"Do you have a light?" a voice asks, and a stranger stops beside you. You fish around in your pockets and pick out your lighter, flicking it on. Only then do you look towards the one who's spoken; he's shorter than you by a few inches, wearing a beanie hat, but you can swear that those blue eyes and blond hair are familiar. He gasps a little, apparently going through the same mental process as he stares at you.

"Oh," your eyes widen in recognition. "you're the..."

30. The Time When Richard Burnt Breakfast

When you wake up, you grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Sliding the covers off your body, you put on a dressing gown - check on Nele, who thankfully doesn't look as if she's inhaled any smoke - before you silently pad downstairs to look into the kitchen. A young man with blond hair is standing there, throwing open all the windows and frantically scrubbing the kitchen clean; you don't know what he burnt, but have no time to contemplate on that further when he turns to you, cheeks flushed with embarrassment.

"You seemed so tired," the young man mumbles, uncharacteristically shy as he twists the washcloth in his hands. "I... uh... I just wanted to save you some trouble this morning, that was all. Go back to bed, Till, I've got this under control."

You could go back to bed but you don't. You stay and clean up with him instead, reassuring him that it's okay. By the time it's all over and Nele has been fed, it's near lunchtime and no food has been prepared, so you both just put on your jackets and head down to the streets - there's a convenient doner kebab stall about three minutes away, and that makes a excellent meal in itself.

31. Refer Back To The Checkout Line (This Is The Part Where You Laugh At Me)

Dein Name ist Richard Kruspe und du bist neunzehn Jahre alt. Du bist ein Kassierer; aber dein Beruf macht keinen Spaß, deprimiert dich und du kannst dich nicht entfalten denn du bist so jung und hilflos. „Gott, hilfe," du seufzt. So einsam doch nicht allein.

Ein Kunde betritt den Laden und lauft so schnell er kann. Du siehst was er kauft: die Windeln, Milchpulver, zehn Apfeln, zwei Dosen Mais und - eine Packung Gummibarchen. Du findest das ganz lustig, er ist so groß un muskulös. „Haben Sie Zigaretten?" er fragt. Seinen Augen sind meergrün, du hast noch nie so schöne Augen gesehen.

„Nur Marlboro, wie viele wollen Sie kaufen?"

„Zehn. Was kostet das?" er ist in Eile.

„Drei Mark."

„Ich nehme es."

Du nickst nervös. Er ist sehr schön, du denkst und du errötest. »Richard, denk doch nicht so viel,« du sagst selbst und du räusperst dich. „Gern, ist das alles?"

„Ja, das ist alles."

„So das macht - zusammen - 28.70 Mark," er gibt dreißig. „...1.30 Mark zurück."

„Vielen Dank," er sagt mit einem Lächeln. „schönen Feierabend!"

„... Danke."

Vielleicht wirst du ihn wieder sehen.


32. Crash For The Night

After that little awkward moment, you introduce yourself to the man. His name's Till, Till Lindemann, he's four years older than you. He's a rather quiet soul, but his way of smiling and talking is fascinating to you, and besides it's been so long since you had a talk like this with anyone. "Come to dinner with me," he says just before three o'clock; seeing as you have nothing better to do, you accept.

His home is clean and well-organized. You thought from what he bought the other day that he was probably married and with child, but it turns out that only the last part is true. He cooks you both a delicious dinner and then you talk for hours about the most minor things - you tell him that you're a young amateur guitarist living alone in Berlin, that you don't have many friends here and you're just scraping a living as a cashier at the moment, and he nods sympathetically. He too looks like a man who's been through many hardships.

Clock strikes nine and you ought to be going back home, but Till has a protective instinct installed firmly within him as a result of having a baby daughter. He asks if you want to stay the night, that you can have his bed - it's not as if he's going to be using it, when he's so busy with Nele - and again, you don't find much incentive to refuse. Nothing awaits you back at your own place anyway, except for your guitar which until today has been your only friend in this city.

His bed is a double, clean, warm and very soft. Much better than your own. His bed smells nice. He does too, come to think of it. You smile at the thought.

33. First Arsch

Till turns out to be a batteur and bassist, running his own little band in his spare time. You find this quite charming - you have that reaction any time you hear about underground bands that practice loud music. When he tells you this, you're excited at the very thought of it, and flash back to your own guitar. You bought that when you were sixteen in Czechoslovakia, not with the intent to play but to sell it back in East Berlin where you could make a tidy profit from it. Needless to say, that didn't work out the way you intended. Maybe it's just a fantasy, a mad idea, but you almost want to show Till your skills, perhaps he might-

"You said that you played guitar, Richard?" you nod. "excellent. We were just thinking about adding another guitar to the mix, too. I'm aware that you live fairly far away, though, so it's just a thought, if you want to-"

For a day or two you think he just offered out of courtesy, not with seriousness, but you say yes with an eager heart anyway. And true to his word, when you next visit Till, there's a man there with blond hair and two silver earrings who gives you the sunniest of smiles as you enter. "So you're Richard? Till's been telling me all about you! I'm Paul, I've got my own band in addition to this one - it's always nice to see fresh talent-"

Just a couple of weeks ago you were the loneliest person in existence, but things are kind of looking up now.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

This is one of the longest oneshots I have ever written. Yes I'm aware it's like 20000 words and yes I'm claiming it as a oneshot. It is so long that I have split it into three pieces instead of two, and then there are the notes which are a work on its own.

Comments disabled here, please direct critique and comments on the third piece. The second one is here. Gogogogogogogo

If you wish, you can read the notes for the entire work here: [link]
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(Contains: violence/gore and strong language)
The Eternal Phoenix - A Rammstein Fanfiction

Death is like sex. It's often cheap and messy and inevitable. Some despise it, some await it eagerly, and some go back for second helpings.
Till's had over fifty times his share. About time he stopped.

In-universe Haifisch. Du Hast/Haifisch!Doom's POV, completely non-realistic. Read all the warnings.

Warnings: Very disturbing content. Spoilers for Haifisch and Du Hast, Dark!Schneider, Till/Schneider (onesided), graphic violence, multiple instances of character death, sexual themes (but no sex), tastelessness, black humour, metafiction, emotional instability, obnoxious literary references, casual indifference to horror, possible abusive relationship triggers, and emoticons.

--------------

L'enfer, c'est les autres - No Exit, Jean-Paul Sartre

-----

How long have we been playing this game, now?

Long enough, that's for sure. But I'll attempt to organize things a little. It's the very least I can do.

I think it was around 2005 when we figured out that there was something different about Till. Was climbing some mountains up in the Alps, just for a relaxing weekend with friends, you know? Six of us packed some camping gear and went up. It wasn't as if we've never been up in the mountains either, so it shouldn't have been an entirely difficult event. We certainly got more than we'd ever bargained for, though, when the bastard lost his footing and went over the edge.

I still blame myself for that. I wish I'd held on tighter to him, I actually had his hand in my grasp. But it was too much to ask of my vastly inferior muscles and I let him fall. He was dead upon impact.

It was dark when we'd recovered his body. Far too dark to request rescue or try going down by ourselves. So we stayed there in our camp, cradling him, grieving over the utterly pointless and unexpected death of a dear friend. I remember weeping over him, begging forgiveness, telling his cold dead body how sorry I was for not being able to hold on. The others were trying to console me and falling helplessly into sobs themselves; Richard in particular was incoherent with grief. Didn't even acknowledge me and my failure. He didn't even sob, just lay there curled up with Till, clutching at his hand and he just wouldn't let go. Eventually exhaustion took us and we fell asleep.

When we awoke in the morning with bleary eyes, searching for our whistles to try to get a rescue signal going, Till was gone.

Very bizarre for sure. Our tent had not been broken into, but his body had simply disappeared. All his stuff was left behind too. Why would anybody steal a dead body from us in the middle of a mountain? We couldn't figure it out at all, and had successfully performed the Alpine rescue signal and were watching the helicopters circle when the fucker showed up beaming from ear to ear and asking whether we wanted to come back the week after. Of course we couldn't say that Till was dead when he was so obviously in front of us and alive; when the rescue came, they were just under the impression that we'd freaked out due to lack of supplies and simply got us down without much comment. Till simply asked us all to pack well the next time around, smiling, and I think we just spent the whole time staring at him incredulously.

That was the first time that he died. We were just beginning to think that we'd had a collective hallucination, caused by height and temperature, when it happened again. This time he was swimming around in Paul's outside pool when he struck his head on the steps during a badly executed dive. Blood looks absolutely disgusting in water, I tell you. Or I'd tell you that if I knew for sure. The only witness to this was Paul and Richard, who were in the pool at the time, and had dragged him out before calling emergency services. When they arrived, Till was gone yet again, the water only the faintest shade of pink from his blood; he came sauntering by hours later and didn't answer any questions that Paul and Richard asked (or demanded) of him. That's when we knew for sure that we had a very unusual man in our hands.

Since then he's been living it up, being a real risk-taker, and doing anything dangerous that he can think of. Wanting to do all the stunts himself, no matter how dangerous, and delving ever deeper into the most dangerous kinds of pyrotechnics. It's been years now and he must have died over two hundred times, always recovering within hours or a day or so. I'd be a liar if I said that we didn't sometimes push him off a building now and then just to see if he'd hold up - come on, don't look at me like that, all of us have done it and regretted it even when Till came back. It's routine to us now, him dying. We don't even keep count anymore.

But he comes back. Always comes back. I don't know how he does it, but he always comes back as good as new. And he has the guts to smile and act like nothing's happened whenever he comes back. Pretends that we're the crazy ones. All this time and he's never - I repeat, never - once acknowledged that he ever died. Well, think about it - five against one, the majority watches a man plummet over a cliff. Man comes back and pretends nothing ever happened. Even if the man's alive and breathing, would you rather believe the testimonies of five witnesses or that one man?

Actually, it could all be a conspiracy. After all, if five people claim that a man is dead without concrete proof, then the man is simply missing in action until he turns up, dead or alive. And so far Till's done nothing but turn up alive, often so quickly afterwards that there isn't even enough time to gather other witnesses. I'm confusing myself. Let's move on.

So where do I come into all of this? Well, I must admit, we'd have never found him out if I had managed to hold on, that time in the mountains. It is I who let him fall, and because of me he discovered his capacity for death - or if he knew it before, he showed it to us for the first time then - marking a point of no return and setting off his continuous deaths. You have no idea how guilty I feel about this. I care for him. He's a close friend of mine. Let's face it, dying gets old quite quickly. And so does just randomly dunking him into a pool until bubbles stop escaping his mouth. It's not a fun thing by any means, and as far as I can see, nobody except me wants to help Till. They just want to stand by and count how long it is before he dies the next time. Bullshit, I say. I can see it in Till's eyes, the way they get more and more blank and tired with every death, that he's just tired of having to go on even though he keeps smiling. Could you blame him? I'd be tired too. I'd pay to have someone kill me and dispose of me properly if I had what Till had. And he's a good man, a handsome and charming man, the one person in my life who I don't want to see suffering such a horrible fate. I like him way, way too much for that. I want - just once - to sit him down, tell him that I'm so very sorry still for letting him fall, and that I'd do anything to help him out. Of course he'd then laugh and tell me that he has no idea what I'm on about, which would then go to piss me off.

He doesn't see me. That makes me sad sometimes but it just makes me angry most of the time.

Till and I aren't on the same level when it comes to words. I'm fairly no-nonsense and direct. So one day I invited him to my house and hit him over the head with a hammer until he wasn't breathing anymore and left him be, just to see how long he'd take to come back. Used a stopwatch and everything. Six hours, it took, before he emerged from the room I'd left him in, complaining of hunger and didn't I have any fucking food lying around? That's how the 'game' I was talking about started. I want to help him break the cycle and finally rest in peace because that's clearly what he wants - so every time the opportunity is ripe, I take him where no one can find us and kill him in various different ways in the hopes that one day I'll find the magical formula that will let him stay dead. I've been able to steadily increase dates between each death and his resurrection - two, three days - but that's about it. I keep notes and photos of every death in a purple folder. It'd do you good to hold that thought, that I document all of this. You got that? Okay. Let's move on.

At first he didn't even seem to care. Then he got confused. And then sometimes violent. But mostly trying to stay away from me. I don't understand why this is. Talk about an ungrateful bastard or what? I only doubled my efforts in response. A man's got to do what he's got to do. I promised myself. I'll atone for what I did and help him escape.

His many deaths have linked us together. I like to think that I'm very close to him now, now that I've sent him to hell and back so many times. Better than sex, I say. You don't get more intimate than showing off what's inside you to someone else. Literally. Guts and all.

I do feel a little bad sometimes when I think of the others, though. We've been together for so long and without Till I know we can't keep going as Rammstein, bless them. But then again, that's what friends are for. We've seen Till die so many times and all we've done is to just greet him and go along with him pretending nothing special happened - I know that we do this so that we can keep the peace, and that really just says something about the strength of our friendship. We'll be okay. We always have been. Our six hearts burning as one. Soon it will be five, but I'm trying to help Till here, so it should be fine. We're all friends who don't keep secrets from each other - but I can make a teeny exception for this one, probably. Even if I kill him, they just pass it off as a simple mistake that Till's made on his own. And considering I'm not exactly being hiding from Till whenever I kill him, he knows my secret, so it's not even really a secret. I consider myself perfectly justified.

His legacy will live on beyond death. If only he could make the second part stick.

-----

"This would be a lot easier on you if you just maintained what you're doing right now," I tell Till as he hangs by his neck from a rafter in this abandoned little farmhouse. A chair lies collapsed sideways beneath him; kicking that out of the way was a bitch, I tell you. He's heavy. "it'd solve so many things."

"..." he replies. Because he's dead. For now. I turn my back on him and close up all the windows before I leave, also shutting the door behind me. The lock's broken so shutting it is all I can do, which is a bit of a shame, but whatever goes. I head upstairs to the kitchen, with my little portable gas stove, and heat up some soup for myself, along with slicing up hunks of bread to go with it. Tomorrow I'll leave this place, but I have to stay overnight to make sure the job's been done correctly. It's not much of a meal, but I've had worse. No big deal.

After I'm done with the soup and bread, I clean up and visit the room that Till's dead body is hanging from again. I don't know why I keep going back and doing this shit to myself, but oh well. Much to my pleasure, he's still there, eyelids pale blue and slightly swaying in mid-air from the draft in the room. It's kind of charming, my own handiwork, at the risk of sounding hubristic. He's just kind of hanging there. Very calm as he should be, very still as he should be, and very dead as he should well be.

"I hope you stay like that this time, Till," I tell him. "you must be bored shitless of dying by now. I'm doing you a favor," pause. "you know, I quite like it when you're just quiet and dead and not being an enigma that nobody can understand. I do like you a lot, you know. That's why I have to do this. Because I like you very much, because you're a close friend of mine. Because..."

Dare I say it?

Oh what the hell. We're alone.

"Because I love you, Till. As a good friend, as a charming singer, and as someone I want to help and cure."

I'm smiling now. Feeling quite good about myself and him. Perhaps this has atoned me a little? Either way, I feel so good about this that I give his body an impromptu hug and a little kiss on the cheek, standing up on tiptoes. Then I head back upstairs and kip in my little sleeping bag for a few hours, dreaming about Till and I in happier times, imagining that he's a normal human being like I and much preferring it that way. It won't quite work out like that in real life, but at least I can dream.

I wake a few hours later, the late morning sun shining in my eyes and the bluebirds chirping outside. It's a lovely day for sure and as I get up and stretch, I think I'll quite enjoy it.

That is, until I hear somebody in the kitchen. My breath catches in my throat.

No. It can't be. But it is.

"Guten Tag," he greets me cheerfully as I rush inside, looking up from the gas stove. My gas stove. "I made some soup. Figured you were going to be hungry when you woke up," he says as he holds his wooden spoon up.

Yeah that's right. His wooden spoon. His implement. His utensil. His guaranteer of a good time. His dildo. His member. His fucking cock that he fucks with. I don't know, how much more blatant do you want me to be? I'm not even right anyway because his cock isn't even a cock, it's a wooden spoon. You know what bothers me about wooden spoons? The fact that some people don't use them to cook. They use them for spanking children or significant others. Not only is this abusive (unless the significant other likes it or whatever, though it should never be acceptable with children), that's just not what a wooden spoon is for. If you wanted to get off on spanking what's wrong with your hand or a paddle. I mean, ew, that's just unhygienic as hell. These things are lethal. Fuck wooden spoons. But that's not what's important. What the hell are you doing derailing me into talking about wooden spoons when I've got a man with a recovery stone for a kidney in front of me? I mean, holy shit.

"What are you doing in this kitchen?" I manage to ask when I'm less slack-jawed. "I killed you. I know I did."

"Oh, Schneider," he smiles. "I don't know what you're talking about."

Fuck this. Fuck this right in the face.

Till takes a bowl and pours the soup into it, putting it on the table and gesturing for me to sit down, and I do as asked. Might as well play along. He places down the bowl in front of me along with a spoon and a large piece of bread that isn't sliced. "There you go," he smiles. "I'd like to talk about the hug now."

The world freezes around me for a second or two, and then starts ticking in time again.

"I don't know what you're talking about," I say as I start eating the soup. Tastes exactly like the one I ate yesterday. "and I think you should just be quiet."

"Back then," Till insists, washing the wooden spoon in preparation for heating up another can of soup. He turns and looks at me, his expression serious and inquisitive. "as I was dying. Schneider. You held me. You told me that you liked me a lot and then you held me and kissed my cheek. Then you left..."

Pause. He meets my eyes, and even though there's no hate in his eyes, there's a lot of innocent confusion that doesn't at all fit his usual demeanor. I don't know what to say.

"... I'm not sure what I should feel about it, Schneider. How did you feel?"

How did I feel?

Uh, pretty good, I guess? Until you came sauntering into this kitchen and cooked me soup, for sure. Not that this isn't a nice soup, but I don't even know how you managed to come back. I don't know how you come back every single time. So I guess... I was feeling good about all this before, but I'm feeling confused as shit now?

Hang on. Backtrack a little. My fists clench on the tabletop as I remember, and the realization hits me like a ton of bricks.

He definitely said 'as I was dying'.

"Till."

"Ja?"

"You admitted that you died," I say, rising from the chair. He looks at me curiously. "you've... never done that before."

He doesn't say a damn thing. Just smiles.

"You know more than you're letting on. Much, much more. What's going on?"

Till shakes his head a little and turns back to his soup, stirring at it a few times and sprinkling some pepper on it. "It's not as if I minded your affection, Schneider. I was quite flattered actually. I'm just not sure what to feel, is all."

Well, that was helpful. Not. I stare at him, loathing his completely unconcerned face, wishing I could stick the wooden spoon into his beautiful, beautiful eyes.

How did I feel, again?

-----

I'm pushing Till against the wall, holding him helpless and submissive in my arms. He's surprisingly not struggling very much, which I'm grateful for.

He looks at me. "This is a dream, isn't it?"

"Life is but a dream," I tell him; I'm shaking but I don't know why. "not always a pleasant one, either."

"But it's not my dream. It's yours."

"So it is. But one's mind makes it real."

"Spoken like a poet. Only you aren't one and you borrowed that from someone."

"I never said I claimed it."

"Heh," Till smiles and leans into my shoulder, closing his eyes contentedly for a while. I tighten my grip around his body. "... will I wake up?" he asks softly, plaintively, so quietly that it physically hurts to listen. Caress his face. Draw him into a deep passionate kiss. By passionate, I mean that I'm violating his mouth with my tongue. Hey, this is just imagination. I can do what I want.

"Of course you will," I tell him after the kiss is over. Then I beat the shit out of him and tug the noose over his head as his body sags into mine-

-----

"Schneider?"

I'm not listening. I have an idea.

His body.

A body.

He has a body. He's always left behind a body whenever he died. That's the key. Destroy the body completely afterwards and he won't come back, because there is no vessel left for him. That's the answer I was seeking all along. I look up and gaze wildly ahead, seeing Till's concerned eyes and him mouthing my name, and this is what kickstarts my body into reacting. Pick up the soup bowl, hurl it at his head. Till flinches and ducks, and the bowl misses him and instead breaks against the wall. But then I don't fancy Till facing his last death with remains of soup all over him, anyway. The man needs more dignity than that. Seizing my chance, I rush forwards and push him on the chest, making him gasp and stumble back. This isn't quite enough to push him over but I've got that sorted. I at least have the courtesy to take off the hot and now slightly charred pan off the stove and turn the fucker off before I swing the gas cartridge in Till's direction; it hits him on the head and only then does he go down, clutching at his bleeding head and crying out in pain.

This is release.

The gas cartridge is reassuringly heavy in my hands. Heavy enough for me to kneel down and keep pounding on him, until the side of his head is entirely covered in blood and he needs to blink it out of his eyes. His leg swings up, catching me on the stomach, digging into the skin - but I inhale sharply and endure. Throw away the cartridge. Grab at the chair, stand up, pick up the whole thing and smash it against the wall. With the chair leg in hand I drive the broken, splintered end into Till's thigh and he screams out loud. Even his screams are orgasmic.

He tries to speak but I slap him around the face before he even gets a word out. Till's head snaps back onto the floor and he lies there, holding the side of his face, whimpering helplessly and staring up at me as if to ask why. I stand over him, sobbing from the adrenaline, trembling heavily yet not about to stop because I just need to get this done. "What the hell are you," I cry out, stomping on his side with one foot, hyperventilating all the way. "why won't you just die. Oh God, oh my God, fucking hell. Oh. Ohh. Oh my fucking God."

I must look like a really dumb fuck, standing over Till with this chair leg in my hand, my shoulders heaving with sobs, gasping for breath and tears running down my face. Let him think that I'm a dumb fuck, if that's the case.

Poor Till.
Poor, tormented Till.
Poor, tormented and beautiful Till.
Unable to die. Unable to rest. I'll help you.

You won't let me help, though, so I hate you for it too. Quite a lot. I love to hate you.
But that's okay.

What's the best way to dispose of a body quickly? Not dismemberment that's for sure. I'm a man of taste and woefully little time. I'm not about to drive him out and drown him in the sea or anything like that either. There's just no guarantee at all. And then I have the second brainwave.

Fire. Burn him. Kill him with fire. It'll destroy his body quicker. How come I've never thought of this, what with having some pyrotechnician training myself to deal with fire onstage? No matter. I have a lighter, a box of matches lying around, some gas cans for the stove - and a spare tank of gasoline for the car.

I know what to do now.

I'm quite in love with you, Till. I don't particularly like myself for it. I hate to love you. So I have to kill you over and over and over again. So that you feel just how much I adore you through the release you get from death. And so that one day I know you'll expire for real and I won't need to struggle with feelings towards you anymore.

I said it to you only once but you still picked up on it. But as Milan Kundera once said, einmal ist keinmal.

What happened once might as well never have happened. Let's make that a zweimal so that it most definitely did happen.

"I love you," I'm dragging Till now. Dragging by his shirt collar, right across the room, right out of the door, spreading his blood everywhere and giving the floor a severely needed paint job. Down the stairs. Hearing him splutter incoherently as his feet tumble and crash helplessly downwards. His bulk is so heavy that I nearly fall over while doing this, but it has to be done, and besides - hey look, banisters to hold onto. "I love you. I love you, you son of a bitch. You fucker. I love you."

He only mumbles a bit more before holding helplessly onto one of the railings for support. I tug him free without much effort and head back into the room where I hung him before; picking up the chair and setting it upright, Pushing him down it, I tug the empty noose hanging from the ceiling down to bind him on the chair. "What the fuck are you doing," he cries as I tie him up, shoving his wrists forcefully backwards. No reply needed to that one. I figure he wants some company so I gently take hold of his wooden spoon and stick it beneath his belt. Interpret that sentence however you want, given all the metaphors I rambled on about ages ago. The knots are tight and he's not escaping any time soon. I back away from the room, listening to him panting, stuttering out my name mixed with curses. The tank of gasoline. Outside. I fetch it - my car can manage until I get back home, hopefully - and drag it back inside.

He screams when the gasoline drenches him. It must sting in his wounds; he's gagging at the stench of it, spitting out what little that's gone into his mouth, looking as if he's about to throw up. There's nothing to come up because he didn't get to eat a damn thing, of course. Yeah. Uh. Sorry about that, Till? Go feast in hell?

"Sorry about that, Till. Go feast in hell. They have good eats. Very good eats."

I wouldn't know, though. I've never been to hell before. He looks at me like I'm an idiot, but at least he's not screaming or almost puking anymore. That's good. Throw away the tank in the corner - and then I just stand there for a while, not sure how to proceed next. I've got the matches and a full lighter if none of the matches work, which shouldn't be the case. He's covered in gasoline and ready to be set alight. So what am I hesitating for?

I shouldn't be. I close my eyes tightly, and fumble for the matches in my pocket.

This will all be over soon, Till.

"Doom?" he whispers, his eyes swollen shut and face streaked with blood but nevertheless still beautiful. I pause, the box of matches in my hand; I'm secretly quite ecstatic, he never calls me that, ever. Perhaps - just perhaps - he feels the same about me?

"Yes?" I keep my voice low and soothing. Bend down close, stroke his hair. "Yes, Till? What is it?"

His eyes flicker open, his dazed green eyes meeting mine. It's surprising how intense his stare is despite his condition.

"I hate you."

I sigh. Oh well. It was nice when it lasted. I carefully raise his head between my hands and kiss his forehead gently, feeling rather remorseful about what I'm about to do. But hey. A man's got to do what he's got to do. "Shame," I tell him, licking the blood off his face. Want to give him one final intimate touch to remember me by. "the feeling isn't mutual."

Then I pull away. Put the head of the match against the strip, tug it roughly downwards, and I throw the flaming object behind my back as I leave along with my lit lighter. A souvenir for him to keep. The sudden burst of heat and his agonized scream alerts me to a job well done and I grin. Let's go all the way with the love thing, why not? As I leave the building and look back, watching it burn and crash, I don't think he hears me shouting:

Will you marry me?

-----

There wasn't anything left of Till's body for sure.

I watched. Went through God knows how many cigarettes, and I wasn't chain-smoking them either.
Wood must have been very dry, it burnt quickly. Then the rain came and extinguished the fire; the farmhouse was left charred.
In the wreckage I found Till's watch, frozen to the time that it was set alight; that was all that remained. I also lost the gas stove.
Ah well. Maybe I also shed a tear or two, but maybe that's also just a lie.
I don't know. I'm an unreliable narrator. What the hell are you even doing trusting me?

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Rest in peace, Till.

-----

For three days afterwards I checked to see if anyone had heard from Till; that's the longest he's ever went before coming back to life. Nothing. They were getting worried about him. Fine with me. After a week, assured that Till was finally gone for good, I retreated to my flat and that's where I've been for the past two weeks. Hiding from life. Doing mundane things. Trying to forget him and failing.

I keep up with my drumming but I keep on envisioning Till's strong back in front of me, him singing, performing his heart out to an audience. I've gotten used to drumming with my eyes closed because of that. Although I haven't actually practiced in the past two days because during the past fortnight I've ended up breaking more drumsticks than I ever have in a lifetime. Reading. Writing. Constance showed me how costume design works, so I've been thinking about that and have started sewing a few things too. I'm actually fairly good at it, given the circumstances. I'll never wear them, but just thinking about being onstage with these garments on helps me heal as long as I don't then start thinking about Till stalking about in front of me again.

I don't know why I feel so empty. I should be feeling accomplished. Till's soul has flown off to the great unknown and I've achieved my goal, killing him. So why do I feel so hollow? He didn't want to share his life with me so I took it from him. He didn't want to share his body with me so I took that from him too. I've taken all I could and repaid him with release. A perfectly fair deal. Shouldn't that be enough?

I sigh. The phone buzzes behind me but I ignore it. I haven't answered any messages in a fortnight. Disappeared off the radar altogether along with Till. Much as I hate to admit it, I miss him and I sorely wish that he was beside me. But I shouldn't feel that way. He's at peace where he is and one day I'll no longer remember the look in his eyes, the way his lips quirked in that rare but charming smile I loved so much, and the taste of his blood, hot and salty and rushing with iron and life. Humans are forgetful by nature and someday my sorrow will be history.

Everyone suffers. First stage of suffering is withdrawal. But it's okay. I tell myself that I'm fine.

It'll all be over soon.

I wanted to smash his watch into pieces but I didn't in the end. I still want to smash it though. It's doing nothing but sitting around only being accurate twice a day, forever stuck on the time when I burnt him to death. There are limits as to which things in life should be memorials and which things shouldn't be, and this watch doesn't stay within those limits at all. And yet I keep on looking at it sitting uselessly on my shelf anyway, thinking about the way he always had it on, how the straps hugged his wrist ever so tightly and perfectly. I envy it. Its leather straps (now charred but nevertheless holding together) once clasped his wrist, pressed against his bare skin, soaking in his scent. It smells of burnt leather now, obviously, but I envy it anyway. It kept to his purpose. It told him the time, seconds and minutes and hours counting down to his next death, and in return it always got to hold him as he faced whatever end was waiting for him.

Now it has no master and no purpose. Just like how I have no purpose and no Till. I hope he's forgiven me.

It's a lazy afternoon, perhaps about four in the afternoon with the sunlight drifting into the flat. I'm sewing an appliqué patch onto a shirt when there is a knock on my door. Immediately I drop the needle and stare in the direction of the door - I haven't had any visitors for weeks, what's going on? Perhaps only an advertisement thing? The knock doesn't come again for a long time so I exhale in relief, only to end up gasping as it starts again. And this time it's not stopping.

Stand up. Oh my God. The space beneath the door is shadowed. Two legs standing behind it. Only a piece of wood keeping me from this stranger and myself.

There is someone outside my door.
And they're looking for me.

It can't be ignored. I slowly back away out of the living room, keeping as quiet as possible so that my footsteps won't be heard, and into my bedroom where I crouch down on the floor with my pillow. I start off merely sitting, but as the knocking grows louder I end up collapsed forwards, lying on my stomach and my face buried in the pillow and desperately fisting it in an attempt to muffle the sounds.

"Go away," I whisper into the fabric, tasting the hot cotton of the pillow, but the knocking won't stop. It's not even that it's growing louder, it's just that it keeps on going in the same monotonous rhythm. I pretend they're drumbeats to try to take my mind off it. 6/8 beat, tempo 140. "verzieh dich. Verzieh dich!" 6/8 beat, tempo 160. "oh God oh my God please just go away..."

Tempo 180.

-----

6/8 is the darnedest beat of all. 6/8 is the most terrifying beat because that's the time signature of your heart.
Why couldn't it have been 4/4?

-----

Thump. Thump.
Silence.

Thump. Thump.
Silence.

-----

The knocking reaches a tempo of 200 soon. Not even I can keep up a 200 for this long.
They're knocking in rhythm with my heartbeat.

-----

"No, no, no," I groan into the pillow, trembling, terrified out of my wits for the first time in years. "I'm going crazy, I'm going fucking crazy, please just... please just stop..."

Then I realize that whoever's outside must know this and my head becomes clearer. They know my weaknesses. This means I'm likely to know about them just as much as they know me. I stand up, my limbs still shaking but somewhat revitalized with this new bit of knowledge just as the knocking stops outside.

Patience, Christoph. Patience. Eventually they'll leave. Wait two minutes more and I'll go have a look.

Turns out I don't need to move in the end. There comes a little rustling sound outside, then the letter slot lifts up - depositing two pieces of paper onto the floor. Only then does the person on the outside move, footsteps shuffling away into the distance, and I stand completely still until everything has faded away into silence before I even dare to move towards the door.

The items are fairly small. A note and a photograph, lying facedown. I pick both up with my hands - calm down, Christoph, you're trembling, what are you so afraid of? - and then turn them over. A photograph of Till's broken body, lying in what seems like a ravine or beneath a cliff. In fact, this is the very same cliff where we discovered the truth about Till back in 2005. But he's definitely wearing a sweater that he bought only two months ago in this picture. His green eyes staring blankly, plaintively up at me, the side of his head caved in and covered with blood. Besides him there is a male figure whose face is obscured because of the birds-eye view, but his left hand is clasping Till's and he has a tell-tale cancer stick in the other. The print at the bottom is dated to yesterday. And the note, written in red ink and in a handwriting that I recognize instantly:

Guten Tag :3 I have something of yours, Doomie. Mwah <3
Lieber, Risch


Something twists inside my heart. I crumple up both in my hand and slam my fist against the wall. Nobody beats and kills Till except for me.

Motherfucker.

-----

I'm found out. So this is how it goes.

A showdown between me and Richard at Till's funeral.

After that postcard, I reacted to the bait and called him up, screaming to know the meaning of all of this. Bastard just laughed in my face and told me to wait until the funeral in a week before hanging up. A funeral. So Till's going to be kept in a coffin this time. Embalmers are going to be present, dissecting and preserving - fine by me, I guess. At least it'll help to see if Till can escape their watch this time and resurrect as he's always done. Hey, he rose again from the ashes and went wandering off with Richard. Why not? Clearly Richard's implying that he's the one who managed to kill of Till for real and that's what's pissing me off. Not that he's finally dead and resting in peace, the fact that Richard did it the first time he tried killing him.

I'm dressed in my sharpest suit. Let's do this. Christoph. The skies are dark and it's possibly going to rain so I take my tall black umbrella - and on a whim, I also snatch Till's watch from off the shelf and shove it into my pocket.

As i drive I think about Till and how many times I've killed him. I've brought my folder with me just so I can wave it at Richard's face if it turns out the funeral's off because, well, Till's gone walking the earth again. Counted the deaths once more - I've killed him thirty-nine times, not counting the time I burnt him to death because there was nothing left to really commemorate or show. Otherwise they all show his expired body in various different situations and positions with their respective dates inscribed on it. So that's that. I'm going to go over to the funeral, and if Till's dead, we bury him and wish him a good feast in hell before I punch Richard in the face. If he's not dead, the funeral's off, so we'll make guesses as to where he's going to turn up next before I punch Richard in the face. I'm not sure which option I prefer, seeing as they'll have the same overall result.

Fucking Richard. Till was mine.

I'm addicted to killing you. Even now I fantasize about it. Because if you died you'd be happy, you'd be free. I'm addicted to making you happy. But I also need you to come back because I love killing you. I hate you. I love you. I want you to suffer. I want you to be happy. I want you gone. I want you with me. I want you.

And I can never have you, no matter how many times I crush you beneath me or caress you and hold your body close.

-----

The funeral's on. Guess he's stayed dead. I'm going to kill Richard after this, I swear to God. See how he likes it. I've had more practice.

Only there's something not quite right about him, either. Oh, sure, Richard strutted into the funeral home, throwing me a smug little smile before faking an expression of grief and going over to the priest to talk to him - how sorry he was to hear the news, much condolences and all that bullshit. But it was when he asked the cause of death, keeping his voice calm and nonchalant and making sure that I was in hearing distance, where things apparently started to not go that well for him.

"Is this not an open-casket funeral? I wanted to pay my last respects to him."

"You may do that on the coffin itself. Cause of death unknown," the coroner tells him. Richard's eyes flicker in my direction and suddenly he looks puzzled.

"No cause known at all?" he presses ahead. "no news as to whether it was - I don't know, maybe a fall or anything?"

"No falls, no accidents, no homicide. No cause known whatsoever and I cannot discuss autopsy results with you," the coroner snaps and walks away. Hang on. Till didn't die of a fall? I thought Richard organized at least a few aspects of this thing? He looks utterly confused and bewildered.

When I glance around, I see that Flake has also heard. He has just as a disturbed look in his eyes, even though it doesn't show much beneath his glasses.

I am opposite Richard when we carry out the coffin amidst pouring rain and lower it down onto the ground. It's very heavy. The two women that claim to have slept with Till and 'are having his babies' are sobbing incoherently by the side. Geez, he sure did get busy, didn't he? But never mind that. I stare into Richard's eyes as we lower the coffin and let it settle into the earth; he looks up, flinches a little at my stare, and quickly lowers his gaze back down as he tosses the ropes into the ground. Whatever's going on, it's certainly not going the way he expected. Just to rub salt into the wounds, I keep my eyes fixed on his face as I take out Till's charred watch during the priest's sermon and toss it onto the coffin.

It works as expected. Richard's eyes widen and he starts biting his lip nervously as he stares down at the object. I feel accomplished for precisely two minutes before I realize that Olli, Paul and Flake are also staring at me with horror and fascination.

What's going on?

Evidently everyone is also dying to know, too. During the funeral dinner I keep looking at him, but I notice that something's off about the others too. Flake doesn't touch his spaghetti and Paul and Olli stare at each other and then at Richard. Halfway during dinner Richard finally gets up for a smoke break outside - and almost as if he was waiting for it all along, Paul gets up and follows too. This will be interesting. I follow suit to the curious gazes of the funeral party. I catch up to them, taking Flake and Olli in tow, just in time to hear Paul saying: "Risch. I demand to know what is happening. Right now. What's this about people not telling us Till's cause of death?"

"Do I look like I know what's going on?" Richard hisses at him through the cigarette. "his body was found in the Alps, a call came through to me saying that they'd identified Till - and that the funeral would be a week or so later - that's all I know. Why would I have involved myself any further than that?"

"Bullshit," Olli out of everybody else snarls, and Paul nods, staying close to him. "he didn't die in the Alps, he died via asphyxiation! What the hell are you even talking about? All you said on the phone was 'they found Till's body, the funeral's in about a week' - and now you're telling me that I was wrong about all of this?"

A sudden, horrified silence falls over all of us.

"... Asphyxiation?" Flake says slowly, taking off his glasses, showing us his utterly terrified and confused expression. "but I thought... I... I was there when he..."

-----

Oh my God.
We've been striving for the same goal all along.

-----

I don't know what's real anymore.
I don't even know if this is real.

It's Richard who moves first, and it's not Flake he strikes. No, he catches Paul right in the nose with a right hook. "What have you done to Till, you son of a bitch?" he shouts as Paul goes down with a cry of pain; his nose is bleeding profusely. Richard used to wrestle and get in quite a fair number of fights when he was younger, and he's still got it in him.

"I could say the same for you," I tell him, quietly and dangerously, before Paul can get a word in. He glares at me for interfering, but it's nothing compared to the look Richard is giving me; terrified, furious, utterly insane. I don't get any hits in though, because before either of us can fully comprehend it, the little guy's gotten up and given Richard a proper uppercut on the chin, making his cigarette sail through the air and him to splutter in rage. He then runs forward and actually tackles the bastard to the ground, really letting him have at it with his fists. Wow. Didn't think Paul had it in him, I honestly didn't. Richard is so taken aback that he's just kind of rolling on the dirt, shouting and trying to get up and failing. I'd applaud Paul if I didn't want to kill him too for what he did - Olli steps forward to hold him back and I push in front of him, not wanting him to interfere. There's an awesome catfight going on here.

Whatever I expected from that, it was not Olli suddenly freaking out and punching me.

"Olli, what the fuck?" I shout as I try to shield myself from the blows. I'm stronger than him, but he's got the advantage of height and speed over everyone. "what the hell are you doing?"

"Oh, you know what I'm doing all right," he shouts back, grabbing me by the collar, his long thin fingers grasping me around my neck. "and you know what you did. Seeing as Paul's taking care of Richard - well, come on then! So what did you do? Drown him?"

I shake myself free of his grasp. "You," I whisper. "you. Paul. Both in it together. Choked him to death."

"Yes, genius," he snarls back, spitting out the words with venom. "we'd totally take the credit for it too if not for the fact that none of us know what's happened from then onwards!"

I don't know why I start laughing at this, but I do. Flake - who's hovering nervously around the sidelines - catches my eye. "I noticed you not eating at the table, Lorenz," I giggle even as Olli marches forwards menacingly. Oh look, Richard's managed to reverse positions with Paul and is now kicking the shit out of him. "is that something to do with Till too? Watched as you fed him a year's worth of food supply?"

"However did you guess?" he mumbles. Gag. Heads down, losing it. A well-aimed kick in my direction sends me stumbling, but I manage to twist my way around him using Flake as a human shield. Sorry about that, Flake. You fucking gimp. Flake is almost as fast as Olli and almost as tall, though, so he manages a little better than I do. Can't focus on them at the moment. Richard. I've gotten my confessions from them. I need to go murder Richard. Right fucking now. As if on cue, Paul goes flying backwards, crashing into Flake and his face now covered completely with blood. Richard turns to me and pulls a face like D:<. That's exactly what it looks like. D colon inequality bracket.

"Fuck you, Risch. I'm not taking it anymore," I shout as I punch the expression off his face. I think I hear something breaking. "not your bullshit. Not your fucking emoticons. Not you."

"Ahh, you fuck!" he screams as he jumps forward, clawing at my face; Jesus Christ, why are his nails always so long? I'm bleeding from those cuts on my face but I don't care anymore, all I want to do is to beat him within an inch of his life and maybe beyond that; already bloodied from his fight with Paul, he winces as I twist his wrists painfully and tries to headbutt me. Hah. No fucking chance. I'm the one with the most killing experience. Shove my knee into his stomach, watch him collapse onto the ground and retch as he writhes in agony. Kick him where it hurts most. I know that's playing dirty but I really can't care less at the moment. Blood sprays onto my face as I kneel down beside him and acquaint his face with my knuckles; his blood, Paul's blood, mingling into a thick salty taste in my mouth. Nothing like Till's blood, but nevertheless satisfying.

Flake is rushing around behind us, trying to break the fight up. "Stop it, stop it already!" he cries, even though I can see the bastard's eager to get his own hit in. Maybe I should let him unload on Richard? But then he says the one thing we all knew and didn't dare say until now and my heart stops.

"Don't you see that we've achieved the exact same thing we all wanted?"

Richard's arm, raised to try to shove me off his body, trembles and falls back down onto the ground. Paul (who's been wiping off the blood with his handkerchief) also stops and stares ahead in a thousand-yard stare, while Olli and I look at each other blankly.

What have we become?

Five friends, wanting to save our one mutual friend.

Five friends murdering that friend over and over to set him free.

Six hearts, burning as one.

We're friends who don't keep secrets from each other.
Except we have been. All of us.

"You motherfuckers," I shout, lashing out one final time. I end up pushing Flake in the chest, he cries out and falls backwards - oh shit, he's going to fall on top of Till, maybe I shouldn't have done that - and collapses right into the coffin, his slim weight being nevertheless too much for the wood to take, breaking the lid open and giving us a good view of absolutely fucking nothing.

I do a double take. The coffin's empty. There's nobody in it. Only a silken white lining.

Apparently this is just as much a surprise to everyone else as it is to me. Flake gapes at the sight, frantically brushing away bits of wood and checking that there is nothing else to see. Richard, Paul and Olli look just as shocked.

"He's gone," Olli gasps. "mein Gott, he's gone!"

"But..." Richard stammers, staring into the hole. "but... then why did they hold this funeral if there was no body?"

I don't answer, but I look ahead. Most of the funeral party has left during our fight without us noticing; I even see the priest getting into a truck with one of the knocked up blonde girls in tow.

They were all on it.
All of them.

I've had enough. I turn my back on the others and walk to my car to receive the final blow: my car door is unlocked and the folder has been stolen from the front seat. If I want to keep on living like this, I better move flats and think about what to do next. I should be pissed off but I don't even know what to feel anymore. I've had enough of this shit.

I drive off.

-----

The stinger to this story doesn't arrive until after I've found a new flat elsewhere and have moved most of my stuff out, actually. It's been only five days, but when you're wealthy you can do anything. No problem at all. I've just packed up the last of my belongings, cancelled the milk and newspaper and have taken care of a few little things when the letter slot lifts up. For a moment I tense, remembering Richard, but there's none of that pretentious psychological warfare this time. Just a little postcard. I frown at it, wondering if I should ignore it or pick it up - there is too much of my old life here that I want to leave behind and this postcard is just another uncomfortable reminder of it.

But curiosity gets the better of me and I pick it up. The first thing I notice is the bright blue sky and parasol. A man with an upper lip mustache stands there with a fishing rod and a huge goddamn tiger shark. This would be just simple, typical fishing-tourist fare if this man wasn't Herr Dietrich Fucking Lindemann himself. Living it up wherever he is.

I'm surprisingly quiet as I observe the postcard. I don't even have the energy to scream or exclaim a heartfelt 'what the fuck' anymore. I knew he was alive and walking the earth somewhere. Just didn't expect here. And so blatantly. There's something purple behind him and when I realize what it is, I bite my lip so hard that I start bleeding.

That's my folder.
That's my fucking folder. With all the thirty-nine deaths of Till documented in them.
And he's got it with him.

I turn the postcard over. A Hawaiian postmark with the final stinger of a message, in Till's elegant handwriting: Viele Grüße vom Arsch der Welt!

At this I just crumple up the postcard into a ball, stuff it into my pocket, throw what's left of my stuff together in a box and toss them into my car. I don't think I even lock my door. Then I'm driving, driving far out in the rough direction of my new flat but then taking a different turn towards the Autobahn, screaming my head off with laughter.

I get it now. His genius plan. He wanted this all along.

He wanted to escape. But he didn't want to escape his cycle of life and death. He wanted to escape us.

I had to go first. I killed him the most and I knew too much. I had to go first because I knew how to make him stay dead the longest. He let me think that I'd killed him for good, let me withdraw unto myself, and carried out the next steps of his plan.

Somewhere along the line, he went through three different deaths in succession after I'd withdrawn into seclusion. He let Flake kill him and abandon him in a warehouse by force-feeding; at least he wouldn't have been hungry afterwards, he always used to complain about a caving hunger after he came back from the dead. When he'd recovered from that, he let Paul and Olli asphyxiate him to death and again, abandon him. It doesn't necessarily have to be that order he went through his second and third deaths. All it matters is that I was first and Richard was last.

Richard was last because he was Till's best friend, closer to him than I ever would have been. He was also the first to catch on to what I was doing; can't say I was too careful, though, so I'm not surprised. Of course the diva bastard couldn't have that, could he? Just a mere drummer on the side doing the honors and helping Till Lindemann to freedom. No, Richard had to be the one. That's why Till chose him last, to give him the impression that Richard had killed him for real, so that he'd be left content and would suspect nothing. All those three deaths would have taken place within a matter of two days, maybe three, so that the funeral would conveniently take place 'in a week' and leave everybody completely oblivious as to what happened. I've got to hand it to Till, really. Dying might get boring but I imagine it must have been agonizing going through three within hours of each other, perhaps starving and sick with anticipation.

So what gave the game away? Richard did, of course, the fucker. Couldn't keep something like that to himself. He had to gloat about it to me, had to mention the lack of an open-casket funeral and ask the cause of death within earshot of everybody. And Till being Till he must have known something would go wrong and the ruse would be up with Richard in the equation; he knew and trusted Richard enough to know not to trust him. So he went and staged his own funeral instead, mostly to reassure Richard, before he made off to Hawaii for good. The coroner, the priest... everybody was on it. Perhaps even the two chicks with big breasts were in on it too. That's why they just told us to carry an empty coffin. He had enough money for this for sure. Richard, Paul, Flake and Olli can't ever say anything now to give away the game because they know how each of them killed Till. A mutual suicide bomb. They have no conclusive proof for me - not even Richard can provide one because nearly a month passed since my last murder and we were definitely alone then. I can't say anything now either because Till must have hired someone to steal my folder. He might have been there himself, and none of us would have ever noticed. It is now blackmail material - it will keep me at bay, far away from him, and ensure that I don't blab anything to the police or anything like that.

Nobody will believe me, I no longer have any proof. The others will also defend me against their will because if I come out, they all do. Till has brought us ever closer together and yet ever so far apart in one single stroke.

So why did he tell me? Why did he only send me this postcard? The answer comes almost immediately. He was giving me a taste of what I'd missed out on. That's why he admitted that he had died, for the first and only time, to me. That's why he cooked me soup and told me that he hadn't minded my affections. He was impressed with what I knew and he wanted to offer me the chance to join him. A chance that I foolishly threw away by setting him on fire. He was trying to get me to come with him and I blew it completely and utterly, and have been pining for it all this time.

Well, fuck.

Even as I drive away into the night I can't stop laughing. Then I pull over by the road and cry myself to sleep, sitting in the driver's seat, bested and alone.

I never sent Till to hell in the first place. I couldn't because we were already there, but in different ways.

Sartre was wrong.
Hell isn't quite 'other people'.
Hell is everyone you've ever fucked over.
Hell is what Till is.

I should have known.

-----

I almost feel like going over to Hawaii. Sun myself. Wear a loose Hawaiian shirt with sunglasses and a hat. Join Till in his blissful reverie and go fishing with him. Tell him how much I adore him and then jump us off a cliff together so that we both die this time. I almost feel like that's the answer, that the cycle will be resolved now that he's happy and in peace - that Till will be saved from his immortality and appreciate me for what I did. That whatever death he dies next time will doubtless be his final one. That he'd look me in the eyes and call me 'Doom' again, this time with a smile.

But somehow, I don't think that he would.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

You guys wanted either a Rosenrot Girl or Snow White-starring story for my next R+ fic, or another Till/Richard. They were the two most prominent couples! Interesting. So in appreciation of all that here is a Till/Schneider story. :meow: I wrote it in three days.

I swear writing the warnings are more entertaining than the stories themselves sometimes. Especially seeing as we all know that I actually have a fairly dark sense of humor. I admit to laughing my ass off while writing this one. I'm actually kind of a sick fuck when it comes down to it. Haters gonna hate. If you hated it, as per usual, tear me a new asshole. With every new darkfic I write I deserve it more and more. :3 This has developed Schneider quite significantly in my book, although his real life personality will need more work. If I told you that Richard was my fifth favourite Rammstein member and Schneider was my sixth, I don't think you'd believe me considering I wrote an entire novel length fic about the former. But that's the way it is. Olli is actually my second favourite after Till and then it's Flake. Paul is fourth. But you wouldn't believe me if I said that. What I write often has no correlations with favorites.

None of this is realistic at all as you will doubtless have understood by the end of the first couple of paragraphs. Whenever I write anything about the videos, I can at least go overboard because the videos themselves are fictional stories that the band made. I'm basically writing for fiction when that's the case. I don't usually do deathfics anyway, and I dislike real-life deathfics myself. No Richard suddenly going mad during the MiG tour and beating someone to death, here. Ew. If you want realistic Rammstein stories then look for ones that are not based off the music videos! : D

EDIT: This fic has a spiritual sequel! Mr. Coffee and the Gun in Limbo by ~tschusscake. It's more insane than this one. :love:
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Vision im Spiegel (Part 1) - A 'Silence' Sequel

Pairing: Till/Richard

Reading 'Silence' would be a good idea before this one; but even if you don't, it's specifically written so that it can be enjoyed as a simple Till/Richard romance. But I would recommend it so the full impact gets through.

----------------------------

The department store is busy as always, even in the height of a Berlin midsummer; young girls in skirts and tight tops and men wearing shorts are everywhere to be found amidst the bustling crowd. And yet it is not a disruptive kind of liveliness; no one is fighting over goods or talking in an overtly loud voice, and the food courts are only half-full, people going about their business in a brisk and efficient manner.

It is this kind of crowded atmosphere that Richard Kruspe has sorely missed during his time in New York. "Danke," he says to a vendor who's just sold him a plain, but particularly nice Café frappé; he sips at the coffee as he walks around, browsing, and nods approvingly at the sweet taste. There are times when the simple things in life are most appreciated, and this is one of them. He's wearing a buttoned-down black dress shirt and trousers, and for once he doesn't have any product in his hair - he's been walking around for about an hour now, lazily admiring the items on display.

He's managed to find some time off to do some shopping; a few plain shirts and a visit to the music shop, picking up a tin of cream guitar polish and some more chamois cloths. Nothing very elaborate. But really, right now he's more focused on something special - he's looking for a present, and finding just the right item is proving to be rather troublesome.

But he won't give up. He's generally good with finding the right gift for anyone, and he's fairly confident that his skill will measure up this time around as well.

He enters a shop selling formal wear for men. It is not a large one, but beautifully cleaned and the lighting and decor are good; he's the only customer in there at the moment. Suits and jackets aren't exactly items that sell well during summer - the only assistant working right now looks almost bored and dazed, mindlessly thumbing through a mail-order catalogue. Richard can't honestly blame him. He walks around casually, glancing at the racks of clothes, before he pauses in front of a collection of belt buckles.

"Too small," he mumbles to himself, and then turns to see three tall, circular racks stacked with boxed neckties. This gets his attention; ties tend to be things that can be bought and appreciated regardless of season, if one makes a sensible choice. He reaches up to one of the racks and picks up a box after first carefully placing the shopping bag down at his feet; the shop assistant, seeing that he is intent on doing more than just browsing, perks up considerably and starts paying proper attention to him. Richard isn't thinking about that right now, however - he's examining the tie very closely, completely serious and observant in the way that he always is when buying items of clothing. The guitarist isn't one to prioritize a factor over another when it comes to clothing; it has to have it all, fit, colour, comfort, the right material, everything. It's an intricate pearl-grey number that he's picked up now, with thin, diagonal silver pinstripes running throughout.

"Too light," he murmurs to himself as he replaces the box in its place. It'd be good for his own figure, but right now that's not the issue. He picks up another necktie, this time a plain black one, but puts that one back just as quickly.

Almost all of the ties he has are black or too-dark, anyway. I want the one I give him to be special.

And then he sees it. Higher up, he spots a flash of green and pulls the box down; it's a soft pastel-green number, patternless and very subdued in tone with the faintest hint of teal. Not a colour that anybody can pull off with ease, and perhaps a few years ago Richard wouldn't even have noticed it. But this is now, and he does have to admit - the more he's staring at the tie, the more he's finding himself drawn to it, and he's not the only person that has noticed this.

"Guten Tag, kann ich Ihnen helfen?"

The young, sweet-faced assistant has come to stand beside him. Richard briefly considers dismissing him with a polite 'nein, danke' but decides that it'd be rather unproductive to do so; anyway, what'd be the sense in that, when there is something the man can help him with? "Ja. What can you tell me about this one? The material, price...?"

The assistant takes the box in his hands and peers into it. "Ah, this one. This is one of our finer ties - woven silk, 145 centimeters in length. You have fine taste."

"Do you have one of those on display that I could try out?"

"Of course. Just open the box, Herr," the assistant says brightly; when Richard gives him a look, however, he blushes and hastily explains himself. "... I don't mean that we sell items that have been repeatedly opened and tried on! I do apologize for the confusion. All the boxed ties up there-" he gestured at the rack. "-are specially available just so customers can try them on, right on the spot. The actual unopened boxes are behind the counter and these are the ones that are sold."

This makes sense. Richard nods and opens up the box, admiring the length and feel of the necktie between his fingers; it is very soft, but the weave is tight and the stitching at the back is flawless. If this is what a tie that's been tried on and put back into the box many times looks like, Richard imagines that the new deal would be even more impressive. The assistant guides him towards a half-length mirror; he adjusts his shirt and places the tie around his neck; his black neck collar is showing, but if the assistant's noticed, he's done a good job of not commenting on it. With a simple four-by-hand he ties the silk garment deftly around his neck and adjusts the length - and then looks, silently.

It looks all right on him, but it's not the colour that he'd have chosen for himself. Indeed, he's probably a little too sharp-looking for the tie to suit him. But he doesn't have himself in mind. Staring into the reflection, he envisions Till in his place - with his larger form, soft lips and those melancholy glass-green eyes - and nods in approval. He's fairly confident that this will be appreciated.

"I'll take this one. I like it."

"Ah, of course!" the assistant looks a little surprised - he probably shared Richard's initial notion about it not being quite the necktie for him - but he nevertheless takes the tie and rolls it up neatly before placing it in the box. "let me just check the number there... neunundsechszig, ja..." he then walks behind the counter and deftly pulls out a blue box, with the new green tie nestled within it. "... and that'd be 41 Euros, bitte."

"Here's my card."

"Vielen Dank. Are you buying it for yourself to wear?"

"No," Richard says, and before he can control himself his face lights up in a smile. "it's for a very, very good friend of mine. If I could have that boxed and gift-wrapped as well, bitte."

-----

When his 'Ich bin daheim!' goes unanswered, Richard figures that Till's gone out as well. Kicking off his shoes, he arranges them neatly by the door and locks it, entering the apartment and breathing in the scent of apple-and-cinnamon air freshener that he has come to regard as homely in the past few weeks. Whistling quietly to himself, he goes to fish out the tin of guitar polish and the pieces of chamois cloth, pushing open the door to the practice room and placing them beside his guitars, setting himself a reminder that he ought to get to work on polishing them sometime later on in the day.

Till's room is next. He smiles as he enters the room; the bed is tidied and empty, but somehow he can't help but feel that he might have found the singer curled up underneath the covers. Till's room tends to be split into two halves when it comes to tidiness; the side with the bed, dresser and window is always clean, while the desk and wastebasket tends to be strewn messily with books and crumpled up pieces of paper that haven't managed to become anything of literary value. Today is no exception. Sometimes he has a look at some of the pieces that Till considers a failure, and sometimes he is inclined to disagree; but if the man feels that way, there isn't much that Richard can do about it. It's at least good that the death-of-the-author theory is fully in place between them and the singer feels comfortable with Richard reading them at all.

Brushing the pieces of paper aside, the guitarist feels obliged to at least tidy the pile of books on the desk, and while he's doing that a framed photo on the shelf above catches his eye. It's a simple one, a little photo of he and the older man sitting together in a bar and glancing roughly in the same direction with the same look of general apathy on their faces. Definitely one of them together, and filled with a tension that the two of them would instantly recognize - but completely nondescript and not a photo that anyone else would be able to appreciate fully. It makes him laugh and he thinks fondly as to how very much like Till that is, and how the older man's still so full of surprises like those even though they've been living as flatmates for the past month.

A full month. A month since they confessed their feelings for one another after over seventeen years of waiting. A month since they've adjusted to living together, a month away from prying eyes, a month spent in secretive bliss. It is this that Richard has bought the necktie to commemorate, and to express how grateful he is that Till has allowed him to stay with him; he takes out the boxed and gift-wrapped tie and sets it upon the middle of the desk, smoothing down the elegant gold-and-black wrapping paper. A part of his mind still thinks that he ought to find another place to live as not to inconvenience the man, but - why hurry, when he and the singer are so content living like this together?

If anything, he probably ought to buy someplace nice and quiet where they can reside together without worrying about rent or anything like that. But he likes to think that that's something for when Rammstein is no more, and they've still got a little while left before that can feasibly happen. As long as Till doesn't mind his presence, he's happy to stay with him and contribute to his share of rent and work around the apartment.

He should go now. With one last look at Till's gift, the guitarist nods and closes the door behind him as he leaves. His room's only a few steps away from Till's; he goes inside and tosses the shopping bag (now considerably lighter) on the bed and makes as if to change out of his clothes when something on his desk catches his eye.

"Hmm?"

When he recognizes it, though, he grins happily and rushes over. It's a beige envelope with his name and the date written on it in familiar handwriting; considering the date, it was about time, too. He sits down on his desk with a smile as he opens up the letter, putting the envelope aside. As he expected, four handwritten pages are inside, all dated and numbered meticulously. "Oh, Till."

Till still writes him letters, once a week now, despite the fact that they're living together and there is no actual need to. They're never redundant, though. While the two men never run out of things to discuss, and while they certainly don't find it awkward to talk to each other, Till's letters discuss things that cannot be expressed accurately just by sitting and talking to each other for a few minutes. They convey an extra layer of romance also, quite often. So Richard is simply expecting the singer's own reflection on what their shared week has been like, just like the contents of the other letters, when he starts reading.

He doesn't know that this one is different to the others that came before.

-----

Lieber Richard,

Guten Tag, meine Schatz. I'm writing this letter at two in the morning; when you go out to shop, I will leave this on your desk and go to visit my family and then take care of some things in town before I return. So if you're reading this now, I imagine that you're back from shopping. How was it? Was the place busy? I hope that you found everything that you needed. I look forward to coming back and talking about it with you already, and you haven't even gone yet. Anticipation sets in at the oddest times, don't you think?

This is my fourth letter to you since we began living together. I believe today marks the first full month, in fact. It has been one of the happiest months of my life, finally being able to live with you like this - it almost seems blasphemous that we ought to tell the others soon about our relationship and break the peace, or it would be so if they didn't suspect it already. I think they all have a gist of what's going on - and I don't exactly know your opinion on this matter, but I admit to being quite the mischievous child when it comes to this and I will say that I'd like to keep them guessing just a little longer!

And regarding that, I do implore you, for you've seemed concerned for the past few days - please don't feel as if that you are imposing on me. Having you staying with me was not a problem in the days before Rammstein, and it is not a problem now. This isn't the pleading of a lonely old man, either. You are special to me, my Richard, and you have been away in another country for a long time. Being able to look at you every day just by stepping out of my room, being able to make you a breakfast or hearing you practicing your guitar, and waking up to you murmuring in my ear - 'Guten Morgen' - ah, nothing can be more of a blessing. I only hope that my presence is also good for you, and that you are comfortable enough in this apartment. If there's anything lacking, then do - as I've said before - tell me what it is, bitte.

I always seem to end up writing letters to you when it's late at night. I write at all hours, but you know that my muse comes to me most often during sleepless nights - and I think this is also the case with you. Night unveils all pretensions. I want to offer nothing but the utmost honesty in those letters to you. I feel glad that these letters reach you faster, at the very least; when you were in the US I would write a letter, send it off first thing in the morning, and every day I spent wondering when your reply would come was beautiful agony.

You inquired to me about poems last week. I've been thinking about it and as I sit here and write this I can confirm that I have a good idea in mind for a single. I will likely begin work on it during the next couple of days - when it's done, what do you feel about having Olli over for a bassline session within the next couple of weeks? Do you think it'd be better that we go over to his place, or that he comes over to here? Please think on it and let me know.


This might just seem like a straightforward question from Till's part, but Richard has read between the lines. This makes him pause a little, the pages held in his hand, as he ponders on the idea - the tone of this letter is different to the previous ones. Till has never mentioned making their relationship known until this point; he's clearly wanting to know if Richard wants to advance the status of their relationship to a sligtly-less-private one, and he suddenly feels rather unsure about what else his lover might have written about.

A photoshoot-and-interview session tomorrow. I hope you are adequately prepared; but there is no sense in me worrying about you in that regard. You are always well-prepared for times like those, Richard. I do have to admit that I find them rather exhausting and unnecessary nowadays, but what can we do? I'd gladly endure it, as long as you were by my side. So by all means, viel Glück for all of us.

It will be wonderful to see you in your stage get-up again, if nothing else. Which brings me to the issue that I have spent the past couple of pages shying away from.


"... Till...?"

I'd like to start out by apologizing for what happened two nights ago - I know that you weren't offended, but nevertheless, it wasn't exactly polite of me. It's simply hard to bear, sometimes.

Since becoming your 'Freund' - in the decidedly more-than-civil sense - I have been dreaming of you often. I don't just mean at night. It is as if you have pushed out the minor, inconsequential thoughts that would occupy my mind when I wasn't writing or going on with daily life and have settled down in the remaining space. I think of you lying next to me. I think of you smiling at me, your smile honest and true as always, and I think of your hands upon my body or mine upon yours. For the touch of your hands are immensely distinctive; you could blindfold me, seal off every sense save for touch, and I would know you from the second your fingers pressed upon my skin. I dream of your kiss, your lips satin-soft upon my scarred body, calming and arousing at the same time.

You are a man full of contradictions, of binary opposites, and I would like nothing more than to love and possess it all.

I now have the privilege of being able to watch you sleep next to me. Whenever I do, I kiss your forehead, hold your hand, and wonder if I am selfish (and please tell me if I am) for wanting more, wanting to please you, wanting to taste more than just your kiss upon my tongue. 'Mehr', that simple word, 'mehr' - press the lips lightly together, hum through the vocal cords lightly, then pry them apart with a soft exhaled sigh. Strange how such an effortless word can carry so much sensuality.

I would like to be able to coax that word from your lips. I would like to be able to watch you, enjoy you, as you actively desire more from me. And I know that you are open to the idea at the very least, from what you showed me the first night we spent together in this place.

During all those nights spent awake, these words emerged like bubbles, and tonight I have finally mustered up the courage to write them down for you to read. So... by all means-


Richard pauses there and sets down the letter. He's still got about a page to go, but his head's gone completely blank.

Of course he knew this was coming. He's known it for a while, ever since that day when he and Till became a couple. And it would be a lie to say that Richard is at all surprised that the topic's come up now; but it's not just as simple as agreeing to have sex and then getting on with it, not at their age and not when they still have band responsibilities. He imagines that it's taken the older man quite a fair amount of courage to come out and write it in a letter, and he really ought not to undermine it. And that means that he should keep on reading. Thought can wait until then.

-So... by all means, would you like to consider consummating our relationship at some point in the near future?

Please don't keep it in mind if it bothers you. Your comfort is what I care about the most. Just the sensation of your body next to mine, your head resting on my chest when we're lying in bed together is enough for me. For you see, my Richard, my love for you makes itself known not in the desire to make love to you - that's a desire that one feels for an infinite number of others in their life - but the desire to share sleep. You close your eyes and your breathing slows on the pillow next to mine and I feel almost eternally peaceful.

Believe me. I wouldn't give that up for anything.

This letter is getting long now. I hope this week was also enjoyable for you. I believe I'll be baking a Kirschtorte sometime soon; until later then, meine Liebe.

Dein Till Lindemann.

-----

Your Till Lindemann.
Simple yet intensely romantic. Whenever he reads those words of closure that always end Till's letters, he feels something warm in his heart and the utter conviction that Till is finally all his to love and cherish, after all those years of heartache. Names are very important things, the condensation of identity, and just being able to have that reassurance is enough. Richard did spend a little while after they'd entered their relationship wondering whether he could make use of nicknames or affectionate terms towards Till, and he does remember it being a rather interesting experience.

... So... what do I call you now? 'Tillchen'...?

He did call Till that, just once, about a week after he moved in. He tried it out as a spur-of-the-moment thing; Till gave him such an adorably confused look at that that Richard had just burst into laughter, and then after a little hug and explanation they'd basically just agreed to stick to their already-established names. (The guitarist does prefer his full name being used, now that they've entered this kind of intimacy, though.) The memory makes him grin - but it fades to a more serious look as he reads the last couple of pages again.

I've got to hand it to Till, though. This is probably the most polite way that I've ever been asked as to whether I want to have sex.

He folds up the pages and slides them back into the envelope. On one of the shelves above the desk is the seventeen-year old basket that Till made just for him, the very last one he would ever weave; he's carried on his tradition of keeping the older man's letters in there, and after gently placing the envelope into the basket he picks it up and sits back down, placing it on his lap. Large and tarnished, but still sturdy. Nothing less could be expected of anything that Till makes. Richard gently runs his hand over the handle of the basket and over the reed-woven sides, letting out a small 'hmm' as he loses himself in contemplation.

"What should I do...?" he asks softly, closing his arms around the basket and feeling its reassuringly smooth texture; because it's been with him for so long and the presence of those letters, when Till's away this basket is the closest embodiment of him that Richard can really get. It offers no answers, as expected, but it's nevertheless comforting to hold onto. Strange to think that the first time he saw the basket being made, he'd been somewhat jealous of the attention that Till had been lavishing on it - when it'd been intended for Richard all along. He smiles quietly at the memory, closing his eyes.

He revises the past month in his head. They show their affection for each other in various ways, but aren't yet blatant about it. Till and Richard being in love with one another is completely known and silently acknowledged amongst the band, but they aren't yet aware of the fact that they've actually entered a relationship; being middle-aged, the two genuinely do appreciate the moments of youthful secrecy that they can still engage in. Sooner or later it'll have to be told, but they're only a month in, they can keep their fledgling love to themselves for now. During band meetings they are reserved and act perfectly innocent with each other - but still allow the others the rare pleasure of seeing them sharing little looks and smiles, and occasionally when no one else is looking they briefly squeeze each other's hands. They're like that in public most of the time. It's only within the confinement of their shared flat that they can let themselves be openly affectionate.

Till's done his best to be a good host to Richard, a responsibility that he's taken beyond being the younger man's friend and lover. He constantly asks if Richard needs anything and gives him the occasional little treats; never in the form of cliched flower-and-chocolates, but in ways that make the guitarist smile in surprised delight. Waking him up with a hot cup of morning coffee, bringing him scrambled eggs for breakfast that have tiny slivers of smoked salmon and sprinkles of pepper added to them, letting Richard hear him singing softly around the house. In return Richard shows his appreciation by cleaning up frequently, leaving small notes with suggestions for lyrics and melodies on Till's desk, treating Till with the occasional massages on the back and knees, and also making the meals every now and then. They're both good cooks from having lived by themselves and having been single fathers as well, and it shows. They curl up together on the sofa often, watching a movie, snacking, trying out new songs or even managing to just talk themselves to slumber throughout the night. For the past month, it's worked out perfectly and Richard honestly couldn't be happier.

And then there's the issue of sleeping.

They do have separate rooms and sleep in individual beds half the time, although both of them infinitely prefer sleeping together. It doesn't generally matter which bed; one of them usually will go to bed first, and if the other hasn't crept under the covers with them by midnight, that's the cue that they are to sleep independently for whatever reason - perhaps Richard is working on a piece of music and maintaining his guitars in the soundproofed room, or perhaps Till's had a burst of creativity that's making him scribble throughout the night. Or perhaps they just want some space. That's perfectly fine. It just makes the times when Richard finds himself cuddled up against the older man's back or feels the other's head resting next to his even more precious.

They haven't made love yet; after that first night, they've taken it very slowly for sure. Richard likes it that way. They usually sleep together in light pajamas but occasionally strip down to just boxers, getting more and more comfortable seeing each other in various states of undress. Kissing and playful fondling is the norm, with them occasionally - shyly - delving into more intimate things. Richard looks down at the envelope and thinks back to the event that Till mentioned, what happened just two nights ago - they had been lying in bed together, Richard drifting off with his back to Till, when he'd felt the other shift towards him slightly and spoon him from behind.

"Richard," Till had murmured in his ear, voice low with sleep and barely concealed longing. The guitarist closes his eyes and recalls the other's warm body against his back - along with the sensation of Till pressing an erection into his thigh, and blushes heavily at the memory.

"Yes, Till."

Till hadn't answered. He'd just nuzzled Richard on the back of his neck for some minutes, silent, only his slightly quicker-than-normal breathing and his arousal betraying his longing. "Do you want me?" Richard remembers asking ever so quietly, even though the question was moot, feeling his own member stir and body beginning to flush at the touch before he turned around to face Till.

The singer's eyes had been smoldering with love and lust, their colour vibrant even by the dimness of the moonlight. "I want you very, very much."

Richard hadn't said anything for a while. Then he'd shifted up on the bed to kiss Till, their almost-nude bodies pressed tight, eager and full of desire. He thinks of it now and he's still blushing at how into it they both had been - they didn't progress a huge amount because Richard pulled away first with a little 'tut mir leid' and simply contented himself with holding the singer in his sleep, but since their first night spent together in the apartment that's the furthest they've gone. He supposes that the older man's feeling guilty about that, about the possibility that he might have made him terribly uncomfortable.

He didn't pull away back then because of that, though. He pulled away because he was just happy enough with being able to love and feel Till in that way -  there really is no sense in hurrying. Though... if he's eager to take it further, then... well, I certainly wouldn't mind...

But that's not to say that he only feels lust when Till's initiating it. Often brief images dance behind his eyes, images of what he would do to Till; it's inevitable. Richard is a man, and one who needs his desires fulfilled at some point. Maybe ten years ago he might have given into temptation and coaxed Till into it, or perhaps sought physical solace elsewhere with other company - but now he's nearly forty-five, too mature and devoted to the man that he's loved and wanted for so long to even consider such alternatives. Now that they've waited so long - well, what's the sense in rushing into it, when they've been patient for years already? He does allow himself one thing, however - and that is the act of pleasuring himself. Sometimes, during the nights when he's sleeping by himself, he closes his eyes and lets himself fantasize - his hands exploring his own body, soft groans and sighs escaping his lips (ever so quietly, as to not wake Till - he might be impatient, but Richard is a man of impeccable manners), feeling both satisfaction and emptiness whenever he reaches climax and it fades away.

He does wonder if Till does the same, too. It wouldn't surprise him all that much - he would be quite flattered, actually. But pleasuring oneself is exactly that, only limited to a single self, wholly unrepresentative of what it might be like with an actual partner. And so far, he hasn't spoken up out of respect for their friendship and Till wanting to bide his time.

Well, Till has expressed it now. Twice in less than a week, nonetheless. That's a fairly clear sign that he's ready, and that Richard ought to prepare himself, too.

He stands up again and replaces the basket by its place on the shelf, pondering as to what to do next. Does Till mean for him to come clean and tell him upfront what he thinks of the idea? The singer's known for his spectacular bluntness when need be, after all. But then Richard thinks over it again and decides that this isn't the right way to approach the situation - Till doesn't tend to discuss his letters verbally. What he says in speech and what he says in writing are rather different things, and Richard certainly understands that - this also means that his letters are best answered with another letter. Once a week the older man gives him a letter, and after two days or so the guitarist hands him a reply; he might be able to pour out his feelings within one day this time, hopefully. Sitting down on his desk, he plucks out a fountain pen from a drawer and smiles as he begins to write: Lieber Till...

-----

The singer isn't due back for a while. Richard finishes a third of his letter and takes a brief smoke break; but instead of leaning over the balcony, he leaves the flat and walks to the shop down the road as soon as he figures out that he's only got one cigarette to last him through the rest of the day. He smokes that one on his way to the shop, sitting down on a bench to savor it properly; the midsummer sun shines down into his eyes and he squints a little, pulling his sunglasses out from his bag and putting it on before he exhales pearly smoke into the air.

Sometimes he ponders as to whether he ought to quit. It's not very good for him. Till himself has cut down significantly, although they do spend a few minutes every day smoking together out on the balcony - because of this, Richard doubts he'll be able to stop completely, not when it'll result in a loss of one of his and his lover's shared moments. That makes him smile and feel a bit empty at the same time.

Still. If Till implored him to quit, or if they could quit together, he might be able to do it. But for now he enjoys the final taste of the smoke, letting the aroma fade away on the tip of his tongue, before he stubs it out on a nearby ashtray and tosses it in the bin. A large ginger tabby cat is walking past the bench; it has bright green eyes and one corner of its right ear is tattered from (presumably) too many fights. He bends down to stroke its back as it trots in front of him, grasping lightly at its tail, and it turns around to meow haughtily at him before hurrying on its way.

"Tschüss!" he calls back, chuckling to himself. He is very much like a mischievous boy sometimes. He can't really help it.

Probably a tomcat patrolling its territory, he thinks as he leans back on the bench and watches the cat - it's stopped a distance away to stare at some flowers by the road - and thinking of its green eyes and oddly-disdainful demeanor reminds him of Till. But then, he tells himself, doesn't anything remind me of Till nowadays?

Richard misses him. Only a few hours apart and he's longing for the older man already. With that in mind, he gets up and starts walking towards the shop again, thinking about Till and the contents of his letter. Would you like to consider consummating our relationship at some point in the near future, he asked, and to that technically the guitarist doesn't need to write a letter in response.

"Yes," he murmurs under his breath. "I would. As soon as possible."

But at the same time it feels a little anticlimactic to come right out and say it, so he does decide that he's still going to stick with the letter. If he's being realistic, however, he ought to be prepared just in case that Till isn't just yet - so when he walks into the shop, he nervously checks to see if there's anyone else in the place apart from him. Luckily, there's only a young girl who's just getting her purchases rung up now, and the cashier's a man. Good. It's not going to be too awkward, then.

He's wrong, however. Richard waits until the girl pushes the doors open and leaves the shop; then he goes over to the section marked 'Toilettenartikel', picking up a bottle of lubricant and a box of twelve condoms. Six Euros. Condoms are entirely too expensive nowadays. While he's there he also remembers that there's no more plastic wrap left in the flat, so he figures that he'll get himself a box of that as well. It's not until he goes to the counter and the cashier gives him a look like he doesn't know whether to be turned on or terrified that he realizes that his choice in items might have been rather questionable. He guesses that his neck collar isn't helping.

"One packet of HB along with those, bitte," Richard nevertheless says politely, and the items are scanned and bagged without much question. (The young man doesn't meet his eye, however.) He leaves, feeling mildly flustered and yet also amused; but nothing much else.

He puts it down to age. Had he been any younger he might have been rather mortified. But he doesn't feel that at all - he just feels as if he's prepared adequately for Till, and that's all that should matter. He has had to grow older, after all.

When he gets back, Till is still nowhere to be seen and the letter is still lying on his desk, undisturbed. He puts the box of plastic wrap on the kitchen counter and hides the condoms and lube in his bag before he sits down to get back to writing.

He's quite happy that they've carried on writing to each other. Richard is still not quite as versed in the art of letter-writing as the older man might be, but he's improving; he's even started to write more than the other sometimes, having become more accustomed to condensing his feelings down in written form and being eager to convey as much of himself to Till as possible. It's gotten to the extent that he'll sometimes sit there and wonder why they didn't start corresponding via letters much earlier; it might have saved them a lot of trouble and have eliminated many of the misunderstandings that they've suffered throughout the years. He pauses - he finds it difficult to hold a pen for very long, because of how calloused his fingers are - and skims over the first few sentences, checking that it doesn't sound awkward.

Much thanks for the letter. It was a beautiful surprise to have found it on my desk after a few hours' worth of shopping; thanks to its presence, I did not miss you quite as sharply as I am prone to feeling whenever I come back to an empty apartment. That of course doesn't mean that I don't miss you right now, I do, and that's why I'm writing this letter to you now, even when I know that it's not by any means necessary...

But then again, without those moments, their relationship might not have matured to this extent. One can't learn about someone else from smooth-sailing moments alone. Skimming down a few more lines, he gets to the paragraph that he was writing.

... surprised, but by no means was it an unpleasant surprise. And there's no need to apologize to me, Till. I wasn't offended or uncomfortable with you; I wanted you too, very badly. I can confess to that. There isn't much point in me hiding it. He takes it from there, again, and quietly lets his flowing handwriting fill up the lines, the soft rasp of the fountain pen nib against the paper immensely pleasing to his ears. And maybe if I were much younger I wouldn't have passed up the chance, but I am forty-four now and starting to sense the past in the present. I can't bring myself to be overtly crude as I once was, not to you, never to you.

So to answer your question-


The fountain pen runs out of ink at this point. Richard tuts to himself and carefully takes the pen apart after pushing the letter aside, discarding the cartridge and pushing in a new one, but this little interruption has proven to be sufficient in having led the man to lose his chain of thought. While it's not a plight unknown to writers - he's seen Till despair after losing a particularly good sentence or phrase before, and during his life so far he's managed to recover nowhere near all of them - it's nevertheless a bother, to have this happen to him while writing about a very important topic.

He sighs and gently arranges the unfinished letter back on the desk. Rubbing his eyes, he sees that it's slightly over three o'clock in the afternoon; he's quite tired already. It's been an eventful day, for sure. He could do with a lie down. Richard makes his way to the bed and lies down upon it, splayed out on the soft cool mattress, and closes his eyes lazily - the letter and the image of Till floating to the surface of his thoughts - and exhales a sigh.

I'll take a little nap, he thinks to himself as he feels drowsiness overtaking him. And by the time I wake up, he's probably going to be back and it'll be near dinnertime. I'd like to squeeze in some practice time... and then - and then, hopefully I'll have thought of something to write.

It needs to be good. He won't be disappointed.


-----

"Amour, amour..."

Richard awakes to the distant strands of a soft, melancholy song playing in the apartment. It's muffled because he has his door shut, but he recognizes it instantly. Before even opening his eyes he reacts to the song almost as if he has a cue to follow, before he nearly falls off the bed and remembers that he is no longer on tour; it has been years since they even played that one live. Oops. Well, can't blame me for reacting on instinct alone.

"Alle wollen nur dich zähmen..."

He's not sure why this song is playing, but it means Till's back home, seeing as Richard certainly didn't put it on. Richard stretches his body, wincing a little and then sighing in relief as his back creaks, before he gets out of bed and throws the covers back over the mattress. The half-finished letter is at his desk; perhaps he ought to finish it, but he's only just woken up and he can't exactly muster up the words just yet.

"What time is it?" he mumbles to himself, and looks at the clock. Twenty to seven. He's had a nice three-hour nap. Rubbing his eyes, he figures that he ought to go and say hello to Till - he doesn't leave the room until he's checked that he's looking presentable, however. When he opens the door, 'Amour' is fading out with its final strands and solo, and Richard walks around wondering what the next song is going to be.

"Till?"

There is no answer. There is a lovely sweet smell wafting in from the kitchen, though, so Richard turns his footsteps towards there in search of his lover. He does smile when the vaguely-drifting keyboard solo at the start of 'Keine Lust' starts up somewhere in the house, however; Till must be playing their entire songlist and set it to shuffle, as he sometimes does when he's in a particularly good mood. That's a great sign. When he gets there, though, he doesn't find Till - but what he does find makes his eyes light up and leads him to rush over to the counter. The fan oven is turned off but still whirring, clearly having been used not too long ago; there are two mixing bowls in the sink filled with water, and on the counter are two used cake tins and scatters of what he recognizes as cake crumbs. Chocolate cake crumbs.

Mein Gott, that can only mean...

He opens the fridge. What he sees there makes him beam with delight; Till has apparently baked his promised Kirschtorte a lot sooner than was indicated in the letter. It's fully assembled and iced; clearly, it hasn't been in the fridge for long. Richard takes the cake out and lets the fridge door swing shut, placing the dish on the counter with another quick look at the time. He hasn't had dinner yet - but it wouldn't hurt to taste just a little bit, would it now, when this is his favourite cake?

He gazes at it with a critical eye. It's probably about three or four layers high; the sweet buttercream frosting is covering the cake in its entirety, so he can't really tell. The top of it is studded with perfectly-round glace cherries, outlined at the edges with whipped cream. Letting out a 'hmm', Richard nods to himself - then goes to fetch himself a butter knife before cutting a little sliver off the bottom of the cake. The exposed part of the cake he manages to cover by smoothing out the icing around it. "Da," he murmurs to himself - grins, and then picks up the little bit of cake, eagerly popping it in his mouth.

"Ich hab' keine Lust etwas zu kauen - denn ich hab' keine Lust es zu verdauen..."

As he chews, he thinks that 'Keine Lust' really is a good song to eat cake to, and can't help but chuckle at that. And it is luxurious cake, indeed, as Till's cakes tend to be. The icing is cold and sweet but the cake inside is still faintly warm and crumbly. Soon he's finished and staring down at the cake, craving more; he really ought not to, though, he's still got to have dinner and find Till, so he shrugs and goes to put the knife in the sink-

"... What the-"

-his arm is grabbed from behind. Richard spins around to find the older man standing there, giving him and the cake on the counter a much-bemused look. "T-Till!"

Till doesn't say a single thing. But his green eyes are smoldering with desire as he silently raises Richard's hand to his lips, kissing along the back of it before carefully sliding a rough pink tongue against his fingertips. The guitarist can't help but let out a small mewl at the sensation of it, the tip of his lover's tongue licking and savoring the cherry-and-cream filling clinging to his skin; Till looks into his eyes as he delicately takes one of the other's fingers into his mouth, sucking it clean. "Oh... oh, you..."

The singer withdraws, kisses the tips of Richard's fingers gently, then says in a totally deadpan voice - "What did I tell you about sneaking bites out of cakes that haven't even cooled down yet, Richard?"

"W-was? But-"

He's cut off when Till slaps his backside lightly, following his little yelp with a kiss to the forehead. "Not until after dinner," he says, and picks up the cake to put it back in the fridge. "it's meant to be dessert, mein Gott. Can I not bake you a Kirschetorte and be allowed to take my eyes off it whenever you're around?"

"Hey, I only took a little bit," the younger man protests. But just the joy of seeing Till back and in front of him is overwhelming any annoyance rapidly; that, and the fact that the man doesn't sound irritated in the slightest. Till actually gives him a soft smile when he shuts the fridge door, stroking his hair and pressing a kiss to his forehead. "when did you come back, anyway?"

"Half-past three. I checked up on you, but you were asleep. I didn't want to wake you."

Richard returns his smile with the same fondness, and wraps his arms gently around Till's waist. "Glad to hear it. How's Nele, Fritz...?"

"Doing well as always," the singer returns the embrace, and the younger man doesn't miss how his voice has softened at the mention of his family. "Fritz grows more and more every time I see him, I swear... he's far more of a handful than Nele was at his age, though."

"As boys tend to be. He takes after you, Till."

"Perhaps," Till laughs, gives him a pat on the shoulder, and goes over to the sink, rolling up his sleeves. Richard leans over the counter and watches him as he picks up the sponge and washing-up liquid, starting to rinse out the mixing bowls with almost an artistic laziness. "well, now that you're awake... we ought to have dinner, nein?"

"I was planning to practice on my guitar for about an hour or so, actually."

He half expects the older man to tell him off again for not having practiced yet - this is less to do with Till pressing him to work and more to do with him knowing that Richard himself becomes moody and irritable when he feels like he hasn't even gotten in the minimal amount of daily practice. But the older man simply nods and gives him a thumbs-up, not looking up from the sink nor changing the tone of his voice.

"I understand. Something simple then, seeing as it'll be late when you come out. Does pasta sound good?"

Richard grins happily. "Yes. That sounds wonderful."

They're connecting more day by day, and he couldn't be more ecstatic at that realization. And from the way Till's smiling, he's clearly happy with it, too.

-----

It's after Richard's guitar practice and the dinner that Richard brings up the topic of his present. "Till, did you open my present?" he asks over proper slices of the Black Forest Cake (which, having been cooled completely, is even more delicious than before); he spoons cream into his mouth and quirks an eyebrow when the older man shakes his head. "did you see it at all? I left it right on the middle of your desk."

"I did. The one in the box, you mean?"

"Ja."

"That really was mine?" Till asks, looking genuinely bewildered. This isn't what Richard was expecting.

"Yes, of course. Why on earth did you think that it wasn't?"

"I didn't know whether I was meant to open it, the box didn't have a recipient name. Today isn't a date that I'd have expected to get presents and I haven't done anything to deserve one, either - I just thought you'd forgotten it in my room-"

This is a fair point; he probably ought to have written out a card or note clarifying this, and Richard acknowledges that. Just like him, so efficient as always. I wouldn't love him so much otherwise. "It was meant for you, Till. Do open it now, if you'd like."

The older man nods and rises from the table, disappearing briefly into his room before emerging with the small box in his hand. "What did you get me a present for?" he asks as he sits back down and feels for the tape sealing the wrapping paper in place.

"Just open it and I'll tell you."

This earns Richard another brief, quizzical glance from Till, but the singer doesn't ask any more questions as he deftly peels off the wrapping paper - and looks, silently, his green eyes focused on the boxed necktie. The guitarist, too, watches from the side; eventually the older man opens the box and slides the silk garment out, letting it drape around his hands, and only then does he look back at his lover with surprise in his eyes.

"Richard... I..."

"Today marks the first month of us living together," the guitarist explains, keeping his voice calm even though he feels slightly flushed. "as you would know. I wanted to express my thanks to you, for letting me live with you and for being the most welcoming host. Plus, you needed a new tie - all the ones you have right now are dark colors, and they won't do in summer, not at all!"

"You never cease to surprise me. And you being with me here is not something you ought to be thanking me for, it's merely something we have both wanted for a long time," but the look in Till's eyes are of fond delight, and he's clearly admiring the feel of the necktie between his fingers. "... but... it's wonderful. Vielen Dank, meine Liebe. If there's anything you-"

"Oh, Till, it would defy the point of being a present if I expected something back in return!"

"Even so..."

Richard gives him a grin. "Let's settle for a kiss, and you trying it out in front of me, if you really have to give me something. I'd quite like to see if it suits you as well as I thought it would, myself."

This request is granted without a further word of protest. Till leans forward for a short, but nevertheless passionate kiss as soon as the words fall from his lips; as soon as it's over, he drapes the necktie to the desired length around his neck and begins to tie it in a neat Windsor knot, gazing ahead in concentration. The younger man watches, admiring every straightforward, quick movement of the other's hands.

"What do you think?"

The tie is just the right length and shape for Till's figure; it's not too wide, but not so narrow that it's lost amidst the singer's heavily-muscled body. The colour is also exactly right for him, light enough to be pleasant and cool during summer but not in a garish fashion. Right now the singer's not wearing a dress shirt or indeed anything with a collar, so the full effect isn't in place yet. But Richard can just imagine him wearing a suit, his hair combed back neatly and wearing that tie in combination with a white, neatly ironed shirt - and the result is so handsome that he feels lightheaded just imagining it. In short-

"... It's even better than what I thought it was going to be."

Without a word, he then gives into instinct - and tugs gently (but firmly) on the tie, making Till gasp slightly in surprise as he's forced to bend down and level his face with the other's. The shock fades away quickly, however, when he sees how filled with longing Richard's clear blue eyes are; his own gaze softens, and their foreheads touch ever so gently as they move in, breaths suddenly becoming softer and shallower in response to their closeness.

"... Did you..." Till murmurs against Richard's lips, his breath hot and half-labored; the guitarist can't help but shiver. "did you... read my letter?"

"... Huh?"

This is new. Their letters are never discussed in conversation. But Richard isn't about to complain. "I did..."

"Well..." the older man presses his lips lightly to Richard's at that, looking pleased, before he pulls back. The tip of his nose brushes against the other's. "... what did you think?"

"I'm writing you a reply now-"

He's cut off when Till shakes his head gently; this makes Richard frown in confusion before the man starts to explain. "I don't mean just that," he whispers. "not that I don't appreciate your replies whenever you write back to me. I'm just being an impatient old man-"

"-Till, you aren't old-"

"-but I... I honestly do want to know," Till pauses, licking his bottom lip, suddenly looking unsure. "just give me a yes or no answer. Are you all right with the idea of us consummating this relationship soon?"

Oh. So that was what he was worried about.

"Yes."

A brief silence follows. Something about this tells Richard that Till wasn't expecting him to answer quite that soon; but true is true, and he probably ought to add a little more to it. "I went down to the shops after I read your letter, Till."

"... Oh?"

"... And I bought some condoms and lube. For when we get to it. Eventually."

The older man's expression lightens up considerably when he hears this; he laughs and then clutches Richard tightly to his chest, nuzzling the top of his head. "You're way ahead of me," he compliments, and he looks genuinely pleased about it (save for the little blush that's risen to his cheeks). "well, that's certainly a weight off my mind. I worried that I came across as too crude for asking. And now I've deprived you of something to write about, all because of my impatience..."

"Oh, please. The more varied things I can write about, the more interesting my letter will be, wouldn't you agree?"

"Ja-ah," Till murmurs, drawing out the syllable ever so luxuriously in the manner that he only gains when he's feeling very content. "... if that's the case, would it be too forward of me to ask if you had any specific date to consummate our relationship in mind? I'm ready for you any time you want - I have been for the longest time..."

Richard honestly has to think about this one. Admittedly he hasn't thought that far ahead, and if Till wasn't going to discuss it he certainly wasn't going to suggest it straight away. But revising the factors in play that they've discussed right now - both of the men being open to the idea, the essential items being there, and the man being interested as to what date Richard might want - he decides that insisting they wait wouldn't be the right answer to give. If Till's willing, it isn't polite for him to keep him waiting.

"... Tomorrow...? When we get back home?"

"Tomorrow. Are you sure?" the guitarist nods, feeling a curious absence of nervousness. This is what he wants, that's for certain. "then that's when it'll be. I appreciate your preparations more now - Gott sei Dank!"

That's set, then. One day more, Richard, he thinks as he loses himself in their kiss once more. and - ah, Gott, I can hardly wait.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

But you do have to wait, Richard! You have to wait another few days before I can get the next part up! :XD: :XD: :XD:

After being announced via my fanfic widget for God knows how many months, Vision im Spiegel has finally begun proper. I originally planned it out to be a twoshot, but of course me being me that didn't work out as planned. So I have broken it up into three parts for the enjoyment of everyone. :heart: This part serves as an lengthy introduction for what they're about to do in the next two chapters, basically.

Vision im Spiegel is a sexy fic. I didn't incorporate this into the main fic of Silence for that reason; the original nine-part fic has no sex in it, and I'd prefer to think of it that way. The Silenceverse is organized that each individual story can be read on its own, and Vision is no exception to this rule. If you have never read Silence before, you are nevertheless not missing a huge amount by just reading this little fic, and the opposite is just as true. Though if you have read Silence, I have included quite a few concepts and easter eggs from that fic in this one (hello, Mr. Basket! :love:).

This fic, and to an extent the entire Silenceverse, is dedicated to one person - Angelherzeleid on Tumblr, and just Angel to me. She was the first truly in-depth reviewer I had for Silence, in the site Archive of Our Own where I also regularly post my fics. Over time she has also given me long, introspective reviews and she has helped me out during extremely difficult times (especially around May). I wanted to have this done for her birthday, but travelling and unexpected life situations got in the way - nevertheless, I post this now, late but definitely present.

If you're reading this, Angel - thank you for everything you've done so far. I love you to bits. :huggle: :huggle:

Next part's coming soon. Please comment. I would love that very much. :heart: And yes, the code of the boxed necktie in the first section is indeed a very lame pun regarding the content of the overall fic. I’m sorry. I can’t help lame puns. It’s a lifeblood. :XD:



Silence: COMPLETE
[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8] [Epilogue]

Side Stories: COMPLETE
Mostly Snowy With a Little Burst of Sunshine
Moments of Irrationality (Part 1) [Spoilers for Ch. 3 of Silence]
Moments of Irrationality (Part 2) [Spoilers for Ch. 4-6 of Silence]
Liebes Kind, Lieber Vater (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Vision Im Spiegel (Sequel): COMPLETE
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4 + Epilogue]
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: nudity and sexual themes)
Vision im Spiegel (Part 4 + Epilogue) - A 'Silence' Sequel

Pairing: EXPLICIT Till/Richard

Reading 'Silence' would be a good idea before this one; but even if you don't, it's specifically written so that it can be enjoyed as a simple Till/Richard romance. But I would recommend it so the full impact gets through.

This is the final chapter of Vision im Spiegel, and by extension the Silenceverse. I sincerely hope you will enjoy it!

This chapter is rated for being very NSFW, proceed with caution.

----------------------------

He is pounced upon and pinned to the bed with no dignity whatsoever as Till claims his prize for the evening; Richard moans underneath him, leaning back to expose more of his neck, inviting his lover to mark him as much as he can. This invitation is taken up immediately, Till deliberately going for the sensitive bruises from the previous day for a few moments before he moves towards the front. He'll be quite covered by love-bites all over his body by the end, but for now Richard barely cares. No one but Till is going to see for the next couple of days either way.

"Ahh," he whimpers, shivering as Till gently circles his nipple with a broad thumb; the older man smirks and moves further down, letting out a low, lustful growl from deep inside his throat as he licks a trail down the other's stomach to his navel. His eyes are dark and somewhat glazed over, him so intoxicated by the smell of Richard - masculine, husky with a strong aroma of vanilla mingled in it - that he doesn't even care that they're getting the sheets wet with their still-damp bodies as he presses his lover further into the bed. Without quite realizing what he's doing, Richard regains his dominance by tightening his fingers in Till's hair - the singer tenses and whines a little, confused - and shoving him downwards to come face-to-face with his now-leaking erection.

"You know what to do," the guitarist says, not quite believing what he's saying even as the words leave his mouth. Till stares at him silently, and for a moment he thinks that the older man won't consent; so it's still the surprise of his life when he obediently lowers his head and starts to kiss his erection softly. He even manages to look somewhat inquisitive about the whole thing, giving the tip of the length almost a curious lick and letting out a small 'hmm' as he tastes Richard's precum on his tongue. Indeed, the only thing he actually utters is a quiet 'mind my piercings, Richard' as he brushes his fringe back and gets to it properly.

Till remains fairly silent as he slowly moves down and takes the other's member deeper into his mouth. If not for the fact that the singer himself can't seem to progress beyond a certain point, Richard might have felt somewhat inadequate for being less experienced; it still feels amazing, though, and he's most definitely not complaining as he strokes the back of Till's neck and coos encouragement to him. He wonders whether this - or something similar to this - was what Till felt back in the shower, and feels a little surge of mischief arise within him. Without warning - and bracing himself too for any pain or negative reactions - he slides his hand back up, grabs Till's hair, and pushes his head deeper down.

"Mmph!" is Till's startled reaction; Richard lets go just as quickly, afraid that he might have hurt the other. The older man pulls up for breath, having choked slightly on Richard's member; when he opens his eyes the younger man is shocked to see unshed tears clinging to his eyelashes, doubtless from having been surprised.

"Oh - oh no, I'm so sorry, Till-"

The singer shoots him a look as if to convey that he's going to get him back for that, and plunges his mouth down on the other's member with even more vigor than before (if anything). One of his hands skims the inside of Richard's thighs, a finger tracing a line between the younger man's erection and his twitching entrance, and with the sensation of Till's hot, tight mouth around him and the sudden rush it's not long before the guitarist arches his hips and cries out as he comes. Till stays completely still, letting the other's cum spill into his mouth - his expression doesn't change much, either, even when the guitarist has finished and has slumped back down onto the sheets, panting heavily. Then he withdraws and dutifully swallows; there are no comments from him as to what it tastes like, but Richard doesn't have much illusions as to that and his feelings are confirmed from the other's slight frown. "Let me," he manages to whisper, reaching down with one hand and tapping him awkwardly on the shoulder. Till moves up, his still-present erection pressing into the other's thigh, and Richard pulls him close so he can lick off the remainder of cum in the corner of the other's lips.

Till makes a face at the touch. "Mnh. That tickles."

"My pleasure," the guitarist says, and can't hold back his grin. "you were fantastic. But don't you need to come as well?"

The older man's response is to place a hand underneath Richard's back, rolling him over lightly to lie on his stomach. "You can help me take care of that," he smirks, and kisses the nape of his neck, moving over him and rubbing his erection lightly over the other's thigh. Richard lets out a soft, shaky laugh as he feels Till kissing down his back, tracing his spine with his tongue. Just the fact that he's being tasted, savored and enjoyed by Till like this would be enough; knowing that there's more, and that there will always be more, is almost too much for him to handle and he reaches blindly towards the dresser.

"Till... mmm..."

"Anything you want, Risch?" the older man grins, looking up and gently kissing him on the thigh, making Richard squirm.

"... My bag... corner... could you give it to me?"

Till considers for a moment, not wanting to leave Richard; but he does oblige and gets off the bed, albeit reluctantly, to fetch the bag. The younger man takes it with a 'danke' and sits up, peering inside and fishing around in it while Till watches him. "Found what you're looking for?"

"... No... Yes..." Richard mumbles faintly as his hand closes around the bottle of lube; he pulls it out and tosses it lightly onto the bed. "but... where's the..."

"Hmm?" Till has picked up the lubricant; he's already twisted open the top and is about to pour some out when Richard, having come to one terrible conclusion, covers his face with his hands and lets out a groan. "... Risch, what is it?"

"Oh, fuck," Richard moans, and lets the bag drop limply to the floor as he too sinks back down onto the sheets. "I think I left the condoms in the dressing room."

"... Ah."

"Six Euros down the drain. Lieber Gott. They're so expensive."

For a second or two there is an awkward silence, both now rather lost as to what to do. "We could," Till speaks up first, hesitates, then falters. "... hmm. No. The nearest store isn't - what would you call it - near enough, as it were. And I don't think... either of us really want to lose the mood-"

"If we aren't losing it already from this mishap, that is," the guitarist chuckles, attempting to lighten up things. But he has to agree, really, considering he initiated all of this in the shower in the first place. So he simply does what makes the most sense to him right now; he reaches down to lightly grasp the other's member, pushing himself against it and giving the other a half-coy look. "... how about we just - keep on going without it?"

Till's eyes widen for a second at the implications, before a concerned expression replaces his surprise. "Are you..." he murmurs softly, lowering his face to Richard's and brushing the quickest and lightest of kisses against his lips. "... sure?"

"Well, we're both safe, right?"

"I'd have sat you down and told you if I wasn't, but what if you aren't comfortable-"

"Doch! Come on," Richard dismisses, tugging Till down for another kiss, longer and lustier this time. "put it... in me already..."

There's no sense in prolonging the agony any longer. Till skips the foreplay from then on and grasps at the bottle of lube again; Richard manages to lift his upper body with his elbows and look down at his lover, now almost painfully hard and throbbing as he slicks his erection with the liquid. Watching this, Richard obligingly parts his legs as Till moves closer.

"So you'd like to do it this way?"

Richard nods shyly. "I want to see you this time," he answers, his eyes hazy with lust and adoration, letting out an impatient whimper as his gaze fixes on Till's. "I want you on top of me. I want to be able to just touch you without having to reach around. I want to kiss and hold you too."

"You want a great many things, Richard," Till says, tutting at him, and lowers his hand to the circle the rim of the other's entrance with a slick finger. Richard tenses and shivers in response. "you're terribly impatient, you know."

"Could you blame me? Honest - mmmph-"

The older man silences him by slipping two fingers on his other hand between Richard's lips. "You also talk entirely too much, my love," he says, smirking as the younger man blushes and meekly begins to lick and suckle at his fingers; he lets that go on for a minute or so before sliding them back out, Richard licking softly at his fingertips as he does so. "much better," the singer nods in approval, and quickly gets to lubing the other up; it's done in a slightly more rushed manner than the day before but neither of them honestly care, not when they're too eager to just get going. Nevertheless, Till is considerate enough to find the sensitive gland and brush over it a few times, making the younger man squirm in pleasure, before he withdraws. They're going to be in a different position now, and Till finding that sweet spot this time around isn't a guarantee. When that's done, the older man moves into position, lifting Richard's legs up until the head of his member is brushing against his entrance, and guides himself inside without a word.

Richard cries out again as Till enters him; it's not something he'll get used to extremely quickly, and it still hurts the second time. It probably doesn't help that their bodies are at a different angle and that Till is moving a little faster than the day before. Till is no less alarmed with this the second time, either; "Are you all right?" he asks softly, stopping all movement and gazing at Richard with a worried expression on his face.

"Y-yes... give me... time to adjust..."

"Mm," the older man whispers, and bends down to press a reassuring kiss to his mouth. Richard accepts, willing his body to relax faster; but it's not quite as simple as that, and he does end up whimpering and squirming in pain for a minute or so before he calms down enough for Till to continue. I could accept him inside me just yesterday, he thinks to coax himself into relaxing, as he feels the other sliding deeper into him, spreading his legs a little wider. And I'll be damned if I can't do it again...

After several agonizing seconds Till stops, now fully buried inside Richard; he lowers the other's legs and pulls his hips close, getting used to being joined together in this position. Contrary to what the younger man expected, he too has an odd and slightly pained expression on his face, and this realization distracts Richard sufficiently that he forgets about his aching body. "... Till?"

"I'm - no, I'm all right..." the older man murmurs, and somewhat awkwardly adjusts the angle they're in. "there you go... it feels a little strange without a condom, and I... kind of feel like I'm forcing you to contort your back in ways that - ooh - it shouldn't."

"I'll get used to it."

A little pause, and then Till decides that he's ready to move; he tests the waters with a slow, gentle thrust, and when Richard responds with a quiet moan and wraps his legs around his hips, he rapidly quickens his pace. He's not hitting the prostate, but the sensation of him sliding in and out feels almost as good, and the air is so thick with his and Till's scents mingled together that he can barely focus. His hand wanders down to grasp at his member, stiffened again from the pleasure coursing through his body, stroking it to their rhythm.

"Ja," he breathes out, his head sinking further into the pillows as he stares into Till's eyes. "harder... more, more, Till, I want you to fuck me harder, I want you to fill me up..."

Till cuts him off abruptly with an appreciative kiss. "As you wish," he says with some humor, and thrusts particularly hard into the younger man, coaxing out a cry of half pain and half delight. "komm für mich," he growls in the other's ear before nipping hard at the flesh. Richard shivers - he adores it when Till whispers or breathes in his ear - but instead of turning his head away, he decides to take advantage of his newfound freedom for the first time and tugs the older man down with his spare hand, trailing his tongue down to the other's neck and sucking hard enough to bruise. His first proper mark on Till, one of countless ones to come.

The singer gasps as Richard tears his mouth away from the love-bite, the bruised area aching lightly upon contact with air. He manages to get him back with a proper kiss, coaxing the guitarist's lips apart and brushing his tongue against his lower lip ever so lightly. Till isn't usually the one who initiates deep kisses between the two of them, so it's a nice surprise. They lock lips for a little longer, and then Till slips his tongue in the other's mouth to barely touch Richard's own, withdrawing playfully when he tries to get more contact.

"You're awful," the younger man whines. Till pauses for just a second too long to answer, for it is during that very brief moment of silence that the two of them suddenly become aware that Till's laptop (on the desk) is still playing through their songs, and has been doing so for some hours. They've been far too busy either trying to establish a position or trying to get comfortable to notice; later they'll look through and realize that they somehow managed to completely ignore such delights as 'Wollt Ihr Das Bett In Flammen Sehen?', 'Mein Teil' and 'Dalai Lama' and they'll get some good laughs out of it, but right now is a different story.

"Should we... um, turn the music off?"

Till considers for a moment, shakes his head. "Leave it on. I've always wondered what it would feel like to do it with some of our songs playing in the background."

".. Wir teil-en Zimmer - und das Bett..."

"... Till, are we seriously going to do this to a song about sibling incest?"

"Ja," Till grins, diving down to kiss and lick at his clavicle. "after all, it's not just any song - it's our song about sibling incest. Got a problem with that?"

"Hell no," Richard growls, pulling the singer closer for another kiss. And indeed there isn't a problem; they're both being vocal enough to drown out most of it, too lost in each other and their own rhythm to really pay attention to it. That's certainly a perk to consider, being able to stay as loud as they want - something they couldn't do in the dressing room. Till seems surprised at how much louder Richard is than before, but certainly isn't complaining. Now that they've settled and gotten used to this position, Richard finds it far more soothing than doing it from behind; it requires a little more work from his part, but he can now look up at Till, touch him freely, and pull him down for a kiss without a problem. For the younger man - who's sensitive and gives much weight to loving kisses between the two of them - this is a massive advantage. It's probably better for Till's knees as well, being able to rest them on a soft, yielding surface. And more than anything, it's much more playful this time; it's everything sex should be, and without the awkwardness of their first time. Till's so hard and the friction is delightful and it's clear that Richard's cologne is turning him on - his eyes half-slide shut when he runs his tongue over the younger man's collarbone as if he can actually taste the sweetness of vanilla, so utterly delicious and erotic that he can barely hold it-

"Spiel... spiel mit-" Richard mumbles in a kind of soft, hypnotic chant, his eyes glazed over in pleasure. He pulls down the older man's head close to his, kissing him in a lusty manner; it's an almost-mindless meshing of lips and tongue, both of them too lost in desire to even kiss properly. Till speeds up a little, grinding his hips harder against Richard's and provoking a loud, ecstatic cry from him; the guitarist's toes have curled at the sheer intensity of the pleasure, something that he doesn't fail to notice as he tightens his hold on the younger man.

"Risch..." Till whispers, but then falters as he finds that he can say nothing else. Richard looks up at him with kiss-swollen lips as the other pounds into him; Till is strong, pressing ahead with powerful, rolling thrusts, forcing eager cries and screams out of the younger man, bringing them closer to climax. Beckoning the singer to move over him, he arches his back and raises his head, reaching for and teasing a hardened nipple with his lips and tongue; he nips lightly at the pink flesh before sucking on it eagerly, wanting to make his partner moan and cry out as much as possible.

He's successful. Till shudders heavily and actually slumps forwards, having not expected that in the slightest. "L-lieber... Gott!"

"Oh," Richard pants out, and despite his pleasure he finds himself rather worried and stops what he's doing. "I... I didn't... hurt you, right?"

Another pause. Till's voice roars out the final 'Spiel mit mir!' of the song in the background, and both flinch at the sound, staring at the laptop - then back to each other - before realizing just how absurd that whole moment was. "No," Till says slowly. "no, Richard, I'm-" he bites his lip, his shoulders now shaking with mirth. "-fine, so don't - oh, pfft-"

Without warning he collapses into hapless laughter, Richard joining in shortly afterwards. "Oh," Till chuckles, wiping tears out of his eyes. "that was terrible. We probably shouldn't use our music while we're trying to make love."

"It could have been worse. It could have been 'Mann Gegen Mann'."

This sets them both off again. It takes quite a few seconds before Till manages to choke out (through his laughter) a 'come here, you' and they kiss, more fond of each other than ever, before they resume what they were doing.

The playlist's cycle has finished and the room is silent save for the noises they're making; but they've stopped taking that into account a while ago. And to think Richard thought that doing it with his back turned to Till was amazing enough; now that he and the older man are facing each other, able to lick and kiss and feel each other's heat any time they want, he decides that he likes this position much better. There is so much of Till to taste; he frantically kisses the crook of Till's neck, sliding his tongue against the delicate skin, tasting sweat and lust and the vaguest hint of spice and citrus shower gel. He adores the the curve of the other's throat, the fact that it houses his larynx - what brought the entire band together, in that sense - and now he's lying here, panting and being taken by Till, free to mark his possession upon him. He caresses the other's now somewhat-tangled hair, his kiss-bruised lips, the piercing scar on his left cheek, loving every touch.

Richard doesn't know how much of a beautiful image he's presenting to Till in that moment; he's panting softly and bucking against every thrust, every muscle taut and his nipples hard and pink and cheeks flushed a deep red. All he can concentrate on is matching his lover's rhythm and voice. Till's all his now, after all; he should make the most of it. To think that there was a time that Till's voice was completely inaccessible, that time when Till went mute for three and a half months; Richard's eyes fill with tears upon thinking of those hellish weeks, and suddenly he needs to hear his lover, just to reassure himself that he's still there.

"Gott," Till cries out as Richard reaches up and lays bruising kisses upon his neck. This is followed by a soft whimper when the guitarist licks at his adam's apple, such an unexpectedly high-pitched and helpless sound that the younger man can't help but shiver. Such joys of harmony; he can hear the sound of their flesh striking against each other, interweaving with Till's (curiously-melodic) moans and his own heavy breathing to create an intensely erotic medley. He tries to arch his back, eager to receive more of the other's love, but the singer simply presses him down so all he can do is writhe around in ecstatic agony while he slams inside him. He fingers are digging into Till's back, tracing the firm taut skin, finding and lightly stroking the burn scars there; the older man tenses and inhales sharply in a hiss as he feels them being touched, but it's not one of pain. Quite the opposite, in fact. He's still sensitive in those places; Richard is covering Till's scars with his own, his own calloused fingertips pressing against the slightly-rougher remains of burns that have long since faded away, an affirmation of the time they have spent making music together and playing side by side.

"I... love you..." Till breathes, pressing a passionate, heated kiss onto the crook of the other's neck. Richard only moans aloud in response, throwing his head back; he's eager for more and his body's aflame with desire, eyes sliding shut as Till groans in pleasure above him. "oh... I... I love you..."

Richard moans out something in response, but he himself is past listening at that point, too busy being ravished to focus on anything that's not his lover. The guitarist's fingernails dig into Till's back lightly and the older man grunts at the sensation, but leaves it at that with no protests; the sound makes Richard tense, his muscles clenching tightly around the other's member. Unbeknownst to him, Till has been right on the edge for quite some time, and that is the final straw.

"Ri-" Till starts before he throws his head back, crying out as he's given that one final push over the edge. "Rikh... ah - ahh..."

He can't even finish saying the other's name. His whole body becomes taut, tensing and shuddering against Richard with the force of his climax. Fascinated, the guitarist stares intently at Till, taking it all in - his expression contorting into a mask of pleasure, his lips parted in a silent moan, every one of his muscles sharply defined - and this sight alone is enough to make him come for the second time that night, milky fluid coating his palm. It's not anywhere near as much as before, and he certainly isn't vocal with it - just closing his eyes and groaning almost inaudibly - but the sensation of him tightening around Till's length again is clearly too much for the older man, who moans weakly before slumping forwards and burying his face into Richard's neck. The younger man mewls softly at feeling the other's hot breath against his skin, and reaches over to hold him tight (smearing his cum over Till's back rather unwittingly) before opening his eyes again.

His near-bestial lust has dissipated and his carnal desires are satisfied for the night; all he feels now, really, is a simple yearning to wash both him and Till off in the bathroom, come back to bed, snuggle into and kiss him all over, and sleep. But right now neither of them have quite the presence of mind to get up or really do anything at all, and as a result they just lie there on the bed, staring at nothing in particular. Nearly a minute of total silence goes by before either makes a move.

"We're..." Richard is the first to speak, still panting softly as he raises his head and examines the situation. Till's still buried in him and he's still letting out small groans of pleasure as the last of the high fades away. "we're... going to have to... wash again..."

"And whose fault is that?" Till growls, but it's in good spirit; he shifts his weight onto his arms again and tries to pull out, only to be stopped when Richard tightens his legs around his hips. "Richard, if you do that I can't - we could both do with a bath..."

"Mmh, no," the younger man moans, pressing Till down so that he remains deep inside. "no bath. Not just yet. Stay with me."

"Now you're making no sense whatsoever."

Richard doesn't say anything, knowing that Till won't refuse him, and that when he has to leave, he'll do so regardless of the younger man's protests. The other's weight is reassuring on top of him, though it won't be long before he'll start to feel much too heavy for Richard to handle; Till stays with him for about a minute more, nuzzling him wordlessly on the neck, before he lifts up the guitarist's legs and pulls himself out. Not much of a problem, he's softened already - but he nevertheless takes a moment to pause and admire the dazed look on Richard's face, his naked body splayed in front of him, before lying down properly onto the sheets. Immediately he is greeted by the younger man clinging to him, a little grin on his lips as he nuzzles into his chest.

"Warten," Till says gently before stepping off the bed and leaving the room. Richard whimpers, confused and feeling rather abandoned but feeling too weak-kneed to follow; but the older man honestly isn't gone for long, for soon the sound of taps being turned on and water pouring into the bathtub gives away what he's doing. It is barely half a minute before he comes back with the box of Schladerer chocolates in his hands. "I won't miss my chance the second time around! Chocolate, Lieber?"

Oh. That's different.

Richard rolls over onto his side and quite happily opens his mouth, letting Till feed him a cherry chocolate. It's sweet and cold from having come straight from the fridge, and he shivers as he lets it melt slowly in his mouth. "Mmm."

"Another success, then. Perhaps this ought to be routine."

"That'd be wonderful, but it'd spoil me something terrible," Richard says, swallowing the chocolate. He gets only a playful grin from Till in response; so (feeling just as full of mischief) he reaches for a chocolate and sets it down on Till's bare stomach. "what about other things? If this pattern carries on I'm fairly sure that I'm going to want nothing other than to eat, sleep and make love all day long. And not necessarily in that order, either."

Till gives him an incredulous look. "You're seriously complaining about that?"

"We're responsible adults with responsibilities," Richard says; the chocolate on Till's stomach is melting already, and sliding downwards, so he bends down to lick it off. "which admittedly do include eating, sleeping, having sex, cleaning chocolate off you and whatnot - but to say that we can live like that for months and years to come is taking it just a little too far, nein?"

"I don't see why not," Till teases, but he doesn't pursue it further as he half-sighs in residual pleasure, feeling Richard lick him clean and kiss him softly on the thighs. "ahh. Hey. That's enough from you. I think it's time we got in the bath. We'll change the sheets before we go to bed, these are soaking."

Richard concurs. Till gets up and reaches out with a hand, helping him sit up and off the bed. The guitarist gets to his feet, before letting out a little whimper as gravity takes hold and Till's cum trickles down his thighs. "Ohh..."

"Careful, Risch-"

"I'm okay," he smiles, and takes Till's hand. "just... feel a little odd, that's all... help me into the bath, bitte?"

"Of course."

They emerge from the room, and Till opens the bathroom door to put Richard in the bath straight away. The bath is still running but wonderfully warm and refreshing; Richard shivers and relaxes as he steps into the tub and sits within it. A little too hot for his tastes right now, he prefers his bath nicely warm and maybe with some oils or bubbles while Till likes it hot with a cold shower right afterwards to cool him down. But he's sure that soon they'll be sharing more baths and showers together and will grow to learn the temperature that suits both of them equally well. He briefly turns on the cold tap to compromise.

"Don't flood the bath, now. I need to get in."

"Well, hurry up, then," Richard says playfully and shifts over so that Till can enter the tub. His bulk adds a significant amount to the height of the water in the bath, but for now it's not overflowing. The guitarist curls up in Till's arms as he leans against the walls of the bathtub and lets out a content, exhausted sigh. Till hugs him close in response, one hand lazily resting on the back of his neck and tracing the contours of the other's muscles with the other hand. He gets a barely audible 'mmm' in response along with what sounds vaguely like a purr.

"You rather fancy yourself a cat now, do you, Richard?" Till teases fondly; Richard blushes a little, then shudders pleasantly as the singer's hand travels to the small of his back, stroking very lightly before moving downwards and squeezing his backside very gently before it comes to rest. Till allows himself one of his genuine, soft smiles upon seeing this, noting how Richard loves being touched and loving the younger man ever more for it - a feeling only heightened when he snuggles closer and plants little butterfly kisses on his chest and shoulders, licking at the few love-bites that he left.

Richard wonders how he must look like now, entangled with Till in a bathtub; neither of them look their usual stoic selves, that's for sure. Perhaps the whole picture looks totally out of character for them both. Perhaps - their bandmates would think this - it looks just as romantic to an outsider as he and Till perceive the situation to be. But either way, they're allowing themselves to be soft, and that's really just the end of it.

He's broken out of his thoughts when Till lightly kisses the back of his head. "Risch?"

"Hmm?"

"I was just thinking. Do you remember when you kissed me for the first time?"

The question comes so out of the blue that Richard blinks a little, unsure what answer the older man might be looking for. "... A month ago? When we confessed? How can I forget that?"

"That's not quite what I meant," Till laughs softly, and leans forwards to brush his cheek against Richard's. "it was a long time ago and you were rather filled with emotion. I'm not surprised that you might not have fully registered it," the guitarist frowns at that, now actually beginning to worry as to whether he's done something that he really ought to have not done in the past seventeen years. Come to think of it, he and Till have been in the same room whilst inebriated numerous times - what if he did something during one of those times and he can't remember? But luckily, nothing like that has ever happened, as Till reassures him: "I mean when you first asked me to join Rammstein. When you finally convinced me after days of watching me weave baskets. Do you remember? You held me and kissed me here-" he touches his own cheek lightly, smiling. "-and that was really the first time. Just that it took me nearly two decades to get back to you."

Richard blushes. "Oh," he murmurs, a slow smile rising to his lips at the memory, clear as ever and yet so long ago. "that. I was just so happy. Back then I actually thought I might have offended you a little, for a moment or two."

"Believe me. I genuinely wasn't. More complimented, if anything - neither of us were particularly physically affectionate back then," he sighs wistfully, and turns slightly to allow Richard to lean back more comfortably. "... I did think of returning that kiss, you know. Perhaps if I'd done so, this relationship would have started earlier."

"The wait's what made it more than worthwhile," the guitarist says. "like you said. I don't think there's much that can part us, now that we've come this far," the water is hot and pleasant around them, and when Till reaches to turn the tap off, the resulting silence only amplifies the sensation more. "I love you, Till," he breathes quietly as the older man embraces him from behind.

"Ich auch, Richard."

They don't say anything more after that, more willing to just stay in silence and enjoying their dazed post-coital bliss. Richard stretches his body slightly, the ache in his backside somewhat diminished by the warm water, and lays back to rest his head on Till's chest. Till's also resting his arms on the sides of the tub; he looks, considers for a moment, and gently places his left hand in the other's, holding it tight. "You know," he says. "it's been said a few times before - but when I think of it... there were many points in our relationship where we could have taken it a lot further, I think. After I divorced, when you became depressed, when you went mute... you helped me, I helped you. The night when you finally talked to me after months of being silent - I wanted nothing more than to kiss you, or to confess to you. I still can't believe how nice you were to me then, even when I'd been such an asshole," he pauses and smiles a little before resuming. "but if we hadn't waited... you're right, it would have started earlier. But there wouldn't have been any guarantee that it'd have lasted, when we wouldn't have known how turbulent our lives would be. Do you think so too?"

Till doesn't answer. When Richard blinks out the strands of hair from his eyes, he sees through the settling steam that the older man's actually dozed off in the warmth, spent and completely content with how their night's turned out. The guitarist laughs a little upon seeing this; he's more amused by this than he ever thought he would be, but something about the way Till's body has relaxed completely and the way his chest is heaving softly makes him feel protective as well. Reaching for the washcloth, he works up a lather between it and his hands with some soap; careful not to jostle Till around too much, he gently soaps up the other's body, focusing on his large shoulders, back and chest. "Ist gut, ja?" he murmurs amongst the light splashing of the water, knowing that his lover can't respond - but from the little smile that's drifted onto his lips, Richard rather fancies that Till's enjoying the attention even in his sleep.

He washes himself first and then scoops up handfuls of water to gently rinse the singer's body free of lather, blowing off bubbles from the back of his hand (and feeling an almost childlike pleasure from the act) and planting little kisses on Till's skin as he washes each part of his body clean. He brushes over burn marks, healed cuts that he attained from various mishaps onstage, and the long torn scar on his stomach that ended Till's career as a swimmer; when he touches it, the older man lets out a little purring sound as opposed to the frown that Richard was expecting. When that's done, Richard curls up next to him in the tub, nuzzling lightly into his chest and lazily reaching down to caress and massage the other's knees.

Till mumbles slightly as he does so, shifting in the tub and curling an arm around Richard's body. The younger man smiles and buries his face in the other's arms, inhaling lavender soap and Till's sensual musk, letting himself finally relax as the warm water soothes his muscles. He could quite happily stay like this forever. Closing his eyes, he plants the softest, laziest kisses upon the other's chest, feeling himself slip into a lethargic state. They've stopped moving around for the most part, and the tap has long since stopped dripping; there is nothing audible except for the sound of their breathing, synced with each heartbeat. Just like at night when they're sharing a bed.

Richard has fallen into the lightest of catnaps when he is roused again with a soft kiss and a lick on the cheek. He opens his eyes to Till, who's looking down at him with his usual faintly-melancholy expression that he now knows indicates deep thoughtfulness; the singer raises one hand and runs the back of his fingers gently down Richard's cheek before taking a deep breath.

"Richard?"

"Yes, Till?"

The older man hesitates, and for a moment he looks oddly submissive and nervous. "... Heirate mich?"

The tension breaking, Richard laughs and closes his eyes in bliss as Till strokes his face again; those are the two words that he's longed to hear for over ten years now. "I never thought you'd ask," he whispers. "took you long enough."

Then he kisses Till heartily, affirming his answer with his entire body.  

-----

Epilogue

The city at half nine in the morning is freshly-white, nearly a week and half into the new year, and the Berlin winter is still flourishing in the streets. The bustling traffic of the morning has died down for the time being, and for now everything is calm. Till Lindemann walks down the pavement with a paper cup of coffee in his hand; having just bought it from a standing cafe, he's now trying to find a place to sit. He sighs quietly, his exhale fading into mist, and pauses briefly to adjust his briefcase before heading towards a conveniently-deserted bench. It's covered with a thin layer of snow, but it'll have to do. He reaches out with a gloved hand and dusts the surface, clearing a spot, before putting down the briefcase and letting himself sit down and relax.

He's been travelling all morning, and a fair amount of the night as well. He could use this. The coffee is fine, if a little too sweet for even his tastes, but in this cold it's probably advantageous to have it that way. Out of his pocket a folded envelope falls; he quickly picks it up, looking mildly distressed at the possibility that the snow might have soaked it through, but luckily it is still intact. He makes as if to put it back for a moment - stops - then after a moment's worth of hesitation, opens the envelope.

Two small pages of paper fall out. They're dated to only about five days ago, and the letter itself arrived three days back, but both pages are already somewhat well-worn from having been read so many times. Once more can't hurt, Till tells himself, and sips out of his cup again before putting it down (the heat from the cup melting a circle in the snow) and casting his eyes back to the pages; little does he know that last year, when Richard was making his own journey back home, he did something similar with one of the older man's letters. Over the years their paths have crossed multiple times, they have incorporated so much of each other's mannerisms, and they'll never quite get the full scope of it. But Till doesn't mind.

They have years from now on to learn as much as they can, if all goes well, after all.

Mein Till,

I know you haven't been gone for very long at all. As I write this I'm aware that this is only the second day that you've been away from me - and that a letter from me is the last that you'd expect when you're only in Leipzig with your family right now. Trust me, if our schedules didn't conflict, and if your visit there wasn't going to be marked with other scheduled events from both of our parts anyway, I'd have come with you or joined you there. I'm writing this as quickly as possible and sending it by first-class post, and I hope it reaches you there before you have to leave. There is only so much that text messages and calls over the phone can manage to say.

Wish you were here. It is a lovely winter day and I sit here and feel rather empty knowing that we didn't even get to celebrate your birthday before you left. The snow is soft-falling, unusual for this year, and the dulcamara of memory is not quite enough. Without you I know the impoverishment of self and 'Seemann' seems to me only a simple ballad. And we can't have that.

So come home. The bed's too big! Make excuses. Say that there's been an emergency and that you have to return home. That you have other events to attend that you can't exactly miss. That you're in urgent requirement of surgery or some sort of medical procedure. (Like a piercing, though you wouldn't tell them that, shh! Your piercings are immensely attractive. I certainly would remain a very happy man if you had one or two more.) Anything, as long as you are back with me.

Paul sent us both some photos of the first leg of our tour. I think he also added a message about how our antics were rather obvious, even onstage. I can't say I'm yet at the stage where I can look at you without feeling the urge to kiss, hug or pounce you - but I certainly must try. Flake's also coming with some late birthday greetings at some point this week, I think - he should be coming when you're back, of course, and you know how he is. Strangely eager to see us being affectionate, even moreso than the others. Bless Flake, what would we have done without him during all of those years?

And - meanwhile, Till, your lover is so uxorious that absence can't make your dearest Richard's heart grow fonder. I'm keeping the bed warm for you. Please send Gitta, Nele and Fritz my regards and tell him that his great-uncle sends hugs and treats for him. (I checked with Nele before.) I'll put this in the post now.

I eagerly look forward to your return xxx

Dein Richard.


Till smiles and smoothes the letter beneath his hand, soon lifting it up and sensing the faint scent of his lover embedded within the pages. "Uxorious," he repeats to himself, and laughs softly - Richard never fails to amuse or surprise him at the best of times. Carefully, he folds up the letter and places it back in his pocket as gently as possible; a few more sips of coffee, and he'll be off. He has two places in mind to visit before he goes home, and he admittedly doesn't know when either are meant to be opening. Till fishes out his phone from the other pocket and dials a number that he stored in there several days ago, putting it to his ear; the call goes through, but nothing but the signal tone can be heard. No one's at the other end.

"Well," he mumbles to himself as he stands back up, taking one last sip of the coffee before tossing it in the bin. "that's convenient."

But there's nothing to do now but check. His shoes sound on the pavement with muffled clicks from the thin layer of snow on top of it as he crosses the main road - holding his hand up and nodding his thanks to the driver who stops to let him pass - and into a smaller side street where he briefly stops and revises his route. Out of his two destinations, only one is an imperative, but if he went to that one first he would have to double back to visit the other location. He can't really think of why either wouldn't be open at this time of the morning, though, and it's also a weekday so all shops will remain open for hours. Weighing up all these factors, he decides that nothing will really change if he spent some time at the first, closer location; thus he turns around, and makes his way to the body piercing studio famous around the area for polite staff and excellent work ethic.

It takes him five minutes to get there. The large window is cleaned, the view inside perfectly visible, and the door has an 'Open' sign with a list of opening times for each day printed beneath; by all means they should be opening just about now. "Hallo?" he calls out softly, and tries the door. It's locked. He frowns briefly, but before he can try again he sees someone move inside and peers in closer; it's a girl (pale with long hair) wearing the uniform of the studio, sweeping the floors with a broom and making very clean work of it.

"Hallo," he tries again, and knocks on the door. This gets her attention, and she spins around, staring at him. "are you open?"

The girl says something, but it's muffled through the glass door. She realizes this herself within seconds, and hastily pushes open the door. "We are!" she exclaims; her voice is bright as she sweeps away her long dark hair from her eyes. "tut mir leid, customers don't generally come at this hour - but we are open, yes. You're our first for the day. Can I help you, Herr?"

"Yes," he says. "I must apologize, I don't have an appointment-"

"- Oh, that's all right for now, I'm sure we can work with it-"

"But I have been traveling for quite some hours, and I do have something I'd like to ask, bitte," he says, and is led inside. The shop is very clean; she quickly sweeps the area around the door and stacks a few boxes up - 'I'll be with you in just a moment, Herr, just cleaning up the place' - while Till stands and looks around curiously at the decor. The studio itself isn't decorated very elaborately, but he knows that this can only be a good thing; what good is there in a body piercing studio that might not be able to clear up stains or will only end up harboring dust in its nooks and crannies? The reception desk is a classy black colour, smooth and elegant with several framed awards and certificates of hygiene and excellence hanging up on the walls. There is a photo on the desk that's framed in classy black to match the decor. A frosted-glass partition blocks a large amount of the view from the reception and shop window, but Till can still see that that's where the individual piercing/tattoo stations are. The floor is tiled with what appears to be pure white porcelain or granite, and there are a row of glass shelves along the wall that display some simple types of jewelry. Out of interest he goes and glances at a few - rings and barbells are the extent of what is shown, though they are of high quality and polished to the utmost extreme with a few carefully-chosen oils and disinfectants displayed alongside them. Most of the jewelry are a silver colour, although some come in shades of blue, purple, black, and red. "do you have more of those at the back?" he asks.

"We do. The fancier ones we stock in the back room - I see you already have piercings," the girl says, nodding towards him a smile; she puts away the broom in the corner and returns to her position behind the reception desk, straightening her uniform. "we have several different styles of barbells, rings and such, if you would be interested in new jewelry..."

"I'm actually quite interested in a new piercing," Till responds, and she nods thoughtfully. "preferably another one on the eyebrows - I'm thinking of two spots that would be possible, and I'm not sure which ones might look best."

"Would you want that done today? If so, it might be a little hard to accommodate you right now, it's going to be a rather busy day. You might have to come back later on."

Till shakes his head. "I'd like to think about it, mostly. Is it possible to just mark the spots out so that I might see? I promise to not take up too much of your time."

"Oh, that's a little different. That can be done right now, if you wish. I do have to confirm a few things, though: you have no medical conditions, and you're not under the influence of alcohol?" the man responds that he isn't. "I didn't think that you were, especially not at this hour. Policy. Please follow me."

His coat is taken and hung up at the back, and he is led to one of the cubicles; it's small, but nothing is messed up and there is enough room for the artist to move around freely. He's asked to sit on a folding chair, and does so; the girl meanwhile goes to the sink in the corner and washes her hands thoroughly with sanitizer, scrubbing below her nails (painted a glossy, metallic blue at closer glance) and all over the backs and palms of her hands. They are soon dried with disposable paper towels, and then she puts on latex gloves before fetching a bottle of rubbing alcohol. "I'll need to wipe the area around your eyebrows. Could you brush your fringe back?"

"Of course."

Soon he feels something cool rub over his eyebrows, and smiles a little as the alcohol evaporates from his skin, leaving a cool tingling feeling. "Thank you, again," he says as she pulls out a small purple marker; she pauses and glances at him curiously. "I am on somewhat of a schedule as well, it's very kind of you to do this."

"Kein Problem. Everyone's busy. But no one's due in for a few minutes and it won't take very long, just marking it out - actual piercing is something else, but we can discuss that later. Where would you like those piercings?" he points further inwards into his left eyebrow, and she gets to work. "so where else are you headed to today?"

"A jewelry shop. The one down by Mohrenstrasse. I bought something there and asked them to hold it for me. I should pick it up - danke, and I was thinking of either there or a piercing on the opposite eyebrow, a bit further out - there you go - but I called earlier and nobody picked up," he pauses worriedly, frowning unwittingly before hurriedly relaxing his expression again. He can't really make this girl's job harder for her. "would you happen to know it?"

"Of course!" she says cheerfully, and steps back to scrutinize his face shape for a moment. "beautiful selection. Rather expensive for me for most times of the year, but I do like to look at the displays. Nice customer service too," a dot is placed slightly above his eyebrow. "I know they open earlier than we do - at nine. They just might not have picked up the phone that one time, is all. I'm sure they must be open, so you can pick up what you might have bought without any problems at all. A treat for someone?"

"For my lover," Till says, and can't hold back his grin as he says it. "I have been away for a few days."

"Nice," she grins, and shows him his reflection in the mirror. "there you go - the purple dots are where they'll be, if you were getting it done today. I quite like the one on the opposite side myself, though if you wanted one slightly further in from your left eyebrow we could also do that. So she's waiting for you right now, I understand."

"He," Till says gazing at his own reflection and letting out a contemplative 'hmm' in response. "we have been good friends for over twenty years - and we got together last year."

"Ah, excuse me. He must be waiting for you," the woman corrects herself; there's no change in her cheerful tone of voice. That certainly makes Till a lot more happier. "I imagine it must be smooth-sailing, if you have known each other for so long... that'd be absolutely wonderful. What do you think of either piercing, Herr?"

The man smiles. "It is smooth, for most part. He said that he was rather 'uxorious' for me."

"Isn't that a term for men who're longing for their wives?"

"I suppose that I am the wife in this relationship," Till half-jokes, and then he and the girl both laugh. "to answer your question. I'd quite like the one on the inside of the left eyebrow - but I do regret to say that I don't think I'd be able to have it now, I do need some time to visit that shop before I go home, my lover would never let me hear the end of it otherwise. Nor would I think it'd be polite to force my way in, when you doubtless have appointments to get through."

"That's fair enough," she nods, and reaches for the bottle of rubbing alcohol, wetting a cotton ball with it and handing it to him. "to rub off the dots, Herr. They're quite cute, admittedly, but I don't imagine you'd want to have them all day. Would you like to fill out the paperwork in advance, in case you do decide to come back very soon?"

Till dabs at his eyebrows, seeing the purple marker smudge off neatly onto the wad of cotton and nodding at his reflection. "I think I'll go through it when I come back. I'll make sure to call and make an appointment afterwards."

"Of course. Here's my business card. Ask for Rachel. I'll get to you quickly, Herr."

They emerge from the cubicle, and Till adjusts his tie briefly before putting his coat back on. "Vielen Dank," he says, and pauses. "how much would a single eyebrow piercing have cost, here?"

"27 Euros, Herr. About 35 Euros for a double."

He smiles, and takes out a 5-Euro note from his wallet. "That makes things a lot easier. Please accept this. A tip for being so helpful."

Rachel blinks in surprise and glances up at him quickly, suddenly looking conflicted. "But I can't accept this, I didn't... it was just a brief marking, nothing more-"

"I insist, it was no problem at all. You deserved it," he says, and only then does she accept the tip with grace; he watches her put it away, and then his gaze drifts to the framed photo on the counter that he hasn't paid much attention to until now. "... they're nice-looking dogs. Are they yours?"

"Oh, them!" she perks up considerably more at this, adjusting the frame to give Till a better look at the photo. "my two dogs. I've had them for two years. They're both male, they're very close to each other as you can see... the black one's Schatten, 'Shadow', and the white one's Schneeflocke, 'Snowflake' - but he growls whenever I call him that, so I compromise with 'Snow' instead..."

Till peers into the photo - the white dog is contentedly sprawled over the black one, both of them sleeping. "They're quite affectionate, I suppose?"

"They are," she beams. She's clearly very attached to them. "sometimes they're a little impatient when waiting for food. Snow nearly got into a box of chocolates the other day and got ever so scolded for it, the silly thing - but they're wonderful. I wouldn't give them away for the world."

He nods - and then looks briefly at the young woman, feeling an odd sense of deja vu. "... Have we... seen each other before? Outside of this studio?"

"I don't believe that we have?"

"Hmm," he says, not completely convinced - but his business here is done, and he should be moving on. No use holding up a perfectly polite young woman who has work to do. "vielen Dank. A visit to that store - and I believe I'll be heading back. Schönen Tag!"

Rachel smiles brightly, her long black hair glistening in the winter sun. "Of course, Herr," she says, and pulls open the door. "please have a good day, and I wish you luck with your Freund!"

He waves goodbye as he leaves. Maybe he'll come back, very soon, for another piercing or two and to thank the young lady with her two dogs more properly. But for now it'll have to wait. He takes a deep breath and adjusts his coat before turning a corner and towards the jewelry shop, the last stop in his journey before he can head back home.

-----

It is eleven o'clock when he finally comes back; the apartment is still and quiet when he unlocks the door and steps inside. A whole week, away from Richard - the longest they've been apart since they started living together. "Richard?" he calls out softly. No response. He must still be sleeping; not too surprising, because when Till enters the kitchen he can see that two candles have been set up, both burnt down to the halfway point and probably extinguished only hours ago. There's also a boxed-and-yet-unopened cake on the table, tied with an elegant silver bow (and when he glances into the transparent top, he can see that it's probably a layered chocolate cake), with two clean plates and forks stacked near it. Richard must have been waiting for him all night to come home. Feeling a slight pang in his heart, Till shrugs off his coat, places his briefcase on the floor, and glances at Richard's bedroom - only to find, much to surprise, that the door is open and the man isn't there.

"... Hmm?"

Turning away, he walks over to his own bedroom and turns the doorknob, pushing open the door. What he sees there makes him breathe out a sigh of relief, and feel a burst of joy at the same time.

Richard is indeed there, curled up in his sheets, doubtless having wanted to be near Till in the only way he could. He's dead to the world; he doesn't stir or even make a sound even as the older man tiptoes inside. "I'm home," he murmurs - and stands there, transfixed, staring at his lover with the utmost fondness in his eyes.

One of his feet are poking out beneath the sheets; Till smiles and lightly tickles the sole of his foot, making Richard curl his toes, squirm and let out a sleepy 'Mmm' before adjusting the covers again and hiding them once more. This makes Till chuckle; he'd like nothing more than to crawl under the covers with Richard, wake him up, embrace him, and maybe start re-acquainting their bodies to the other's after his long absence. But there are more pressing matters at hand, at least while there is some time remaining before lunch; he settles for stroking lightly over the blanket and feeling the curve of the other's backside beneath his hand before he stands up and quietly leaves the room.

When he walks to the kitchen, seeking to cook Richard a quick breakfast, he finds that a shorthaired tabby with orange stripes is curled up in the sink. "Aus!" he says gently, waking up the cat and shooing it gently to the floor; the tabby stirs and stares at him - green eyes meeting green - before it purrs and hops to the floor, rubbing its sleek body around his legs in a gesture of welcome. Till leans down to pet it gently, its purr already making him feel as if he's been home for a long time; its food bowl is empty, though, so he takes care of that and lets their now two-month adopted cat tuck into its food before resuming Richard's breakfast.

There's an apple that needs eating, and some flour, eggs and butter that also need to be replenished. Apple pancakes it is. Soon the apple is neatly sliced into thin pieces, while Till combines eggs, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and blends in a cup of milk. It should be a simple, but relatively straightforward breakfast; soon the apple slices are sugared, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, and the batter is poured over the slices. The tabby, having finished its breakfast since, wanders over to gaze up at him with much curiosity; it sniffs the air and raises itself on its hind legs, mewling softly and pawing at his leg.

"Go on, then," Till sighs, but smiles fondly nonetheless. The cat is usually somewhat more inclined towards Richard because the guitarist is fond of brushing and cuddling it, and also he tends to give into its playful begging for food more often - but it's nice to see that he has been missed, at least. He dabs off a little bit of the batter from the bowl with a finger and holds it out, and the cat licks it off with a raspy tongue. "I always thought that cats weren't capable of tasting sweetness. You're an odd one."

"Meow!"

"I do hope you've kept Richard company while I was away."

The cat circles him and rubs itself against his legs. Till takes that as a positive answer, and lightly scratches the cat between its ears before he fishes out the first pancake, placing it on a clean white plate. There is silence for a further ten minutes as he finishes up the batter and cleans up as he goes; soon the plate is laden with three pancakes, which he drizzles with sugar and a squeeze of lemon and puts on a tray alongside a glass of orange juice.

Looks good to me, he thinks, and glances at the time. Eleven thirty-five. All good.

With 'breakfast' tray in hand, he re-enters his bedroom, chuckling heartily as he sees that in his absence, the guitarist has almost completely buried himself beneath the covers. Only the top of his head and his sleep-mussed hair are visible on the pillow. Putting the tray down securely on the side table (after neatly pushing away Richard's phone, watch and book and stacking them up), he leans over and gently pulls down the covers to the other's neck, seeing his face softened in sleep. The guitarist's eyelashes, long and dark, flutter softly against the cream-coloured sheets as if to wake; but he doesn't, and carries on sleeping, oblivious to his now-beaming lover standing in front of him.

It's about time that was fixed. Till leans forwards, staying ever so quiet, and presses a slow, soft kiss onto Richard's lips before pulling back just as gently. From his pocket he takes a small satin-lined box, opens it, and lays it alongside the tray - two elegant gold stud earrings lie there, his present and semi-proposal to Richard. Today is the day.

As Till watches, he thinks for a moment that perhaps his lover is in too heavy a sleep and that more effort will be needed to wake him up. However, this remains only a fleeting thought as soon Richard lets out a quiet sigh; slowly, ever so slowly, his eyes begin to open. They're dull and glazed with sleep at first glance, and for a moment the guitarist just stares ahead, not really seeing anything; but then he blinks a couple of times, his world slowly coming into focus. The cat meows by the doorway and trots inside, hopping up to the bed, and the singer lets it do so this one time. Till grins and helps him back to the surface of consciousness, reaching out and gently stroking the top of his head and down to his ear, where he caresses the yet-empty earlobe softly with an index finger as his lover's eyes finally lock with his.

This is where he belongs, next to his lover, and even though their story in words may come to end with the next few - true is true, and as Till stares into the other's beautiful blue eyes he is eternally grateful. Finally - after such a long time - he is happy, and he has had the chance to voice it fully.

It is time to turn the page. He is home.

"Richard," Till whispers - just before the guitarist lets out a cry of utter joy and tugs him down onto the bed, kissing him heartily. "Richard, meine Liebe, it's morning."
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

The cat's name is Mango! :XD:

Four days past Christmas due to the holiday season being wretchedly busy - but what do you know! The final chapter of 'Vision im Spiegel' and its Epilogue is up, completing the story! :heart: :heart: :love: I hope the sex scene was just as beautifully steamy as you all expected after that cliffhanger on the third chapter > w < But more importantly, with the completion of Vision im Spiegel I am proud to announce: the Silenceverse is now over. Yes, this is the end. I imagine I'll write a few drabbles and mention the 'verse elsewhere now and then, but from this point onwards, no more side stories or main fics will be written for it. After a full year of Till and Richard's journeys, it is time to let it go.

If 'Silence' was about years of slow acceptance and establishment of trust, 'Vision im Spiegel' is a look at their fulfilled desires over three very detailed days. The epilogue was meant to take place in January 2012, around the 11th or 12th; Till left for Leipzig on the morning of his birthday, and for a whole week Richard waited, buying a cake and being kept company by their cat. I rather imagine that adopting a cat together as a couple is a fairly-significant sign of stability in a relationship. As for what happens to them afterwards - that is no longer up to me to decide. Whether they marry, how they manage to carry on, whether they move to a different area - it is now all up to you. All stories have an ending, but the good ones have an end that nevertheless leaves a path leading out from it, ready for further exploration if need be. In that sense, all good stories never end.

I like to think that the Silenceverse has been one such journey.

Thank you, ~NightCatty, for being the initial inspiration. I could not have done it without that one picture.
Thank you, *withinmeloveresides1, for being with me since the very first chapter and being my friend and sincere reviewer.
Thank you, Angel, for providing the point where 'Silence' became more than just several thousand words of Richard angsting. Thank you, and I love you dearly, if you are reading this somehow.
Thank you, =Edgirl; you consider 'Silence' precious to you, and just for that I know that I will never regret writing it in any shape or form. I hope you enjoyed your cameo; I have tried to portray you as the girl that you would love to be. (Till's deja vu is justified; she is the girl shown walking the dogs in Ch. 3 in one very short sentence, and the one in the studio!)
And to everyone who has ever reviewed, or read through even a single chapter of the Silenceverse: every single pageview and comment aided in my journey, and looking back at all the stats, I'm rather overwhelmed. Thank you for the love. Thank you for the support. I love all of you dearly.

Until we meet in another ficverse. I'll sign off now.

Silence (21/Nov/2011 ~ 29/Feb/2012)
Final Wordcount:
83,520 words / 173 Pages
Vision im Spiegel (10/Sep/2012 ~ 29/Dec/2012)
Final Wordcount:
40,641 words / 91 Pages
Side Stories (Various)
Final Wordcount:
36,301 words / 99 Pages
-----------------------
Total Wordcount: 160,462 words



Silence: COMPLETE
[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8] [Epilogue]

Side Stories: COMPLETE
Mostly Snowy With a Little Burst of Sunshine
Moments of Irrationality (Part 1) [Spoilers for Ch. 3 of Silence]
Moments of Irrationality (Part 2) [Spoilers for Ch. 4-6 of Silence]
Liebes Kind, Lieber Vater (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Vision Im Spiegel (Sequel): COMPLETE
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4 + Epilogue]
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(Contains: nudity and sexual themes)
Give Me Your Language, Give Me Your Flair (Part 2) - A Rammstein/Oomph! Crossover

Please read the first part before reading this one.

Warnings: Possibly confusing narrative (alternating chronology), vastly Dero POV, slash, bondage/BDSM dynamics, Till/Dero/Richard with large elements of sub!Till/dom!Richard, voyeurism, pseudophilosophy, psychology, lots of strange vocabulary usage, unsavoury cocktails, simulated sodomy charges, apology Kahlua, possible spoilers for cop!Dero in his side group 'What About Bill?'. AU. It's got Dero in it, so of course you can bet that there's a lot of hedonism as is the case with lots of my Dero stories.

Quite explicit. Written for the deviant-previously-known-as-Wald90 for her birthday. :3

---------------

N - Neophyte

It is the summer of 2002. "I never told you how Till and I met, did I?"

"I don't believe that you have."

"Well, see," Richard says, and leans back with his cigarette after tossing the paper to the floor. Dero's currently sitting on Richard's bed, wondering for the umpteenth time whether he ought to tell the guitarist of his trysts with Till. As much as he adores being with Till, and as much as he adores the thoughtlessness of sex, Dero has morals. He'd be a horrible police officer if he didn't have those. "this was several years before the Wall fell and before I lived in West Berlin. Long story short, one night me and a group of friends crashed a house party that an acquaintance of mine said was free for all to attend, in Schwerin."

"You had those in Schwerin?"

"We were behind the times, not an undeveloped hellhole, mein Gott. He was talking bullshit, of course, but the house owner didn't throw us out. That was Till, we grew to know him over the weeks to come. I had the feeling we liked him more than he liked any of us, really. But he was honestly very handsome. Melancholy face, nicely-shaped lips, cheekbones showing back then, and muscled like a pro-wrestler. I remember thinking that his eyes were blue, for some reason. Later on he got into the party spirit too - we danced together for a little bit and then got talking. Nice body. Nice personality. Large cock too, I brushed up against him and felt it against me, it turned me on something awful. Would absolutely not fuck me or let me fuck him. I wasn't one to press, so I just had to lie down on the floor and go to sleep all disappointed."

Richard shifts on the bed and crushes out the cigarette. It keeps smoldering quietly in the ashtray while Dero watches. "But that didn't last long," Richard continues, and casts off his shirt. "ugh, it's hot as hell in here. But anyway, when I woke up in the morning he was there with me, dressed in boxers and a loose shirt like I was. He asked if I wanted anything and I had to say no, I was so hungover. So we were talking and he was sort of tugging himself down there-" and then much to Dero's shock, the guitarist also slides out of his trousers and actually begins to demonstrate what he's saying. "-like that. I wasn't exactly sociable, just watched and nodded, going yes and no now and then."

"Yes."

"Exactly like that, Dero. You're getting it. Then he gave me the surprise of my life - see, it's hard to explain, but he'd been sitting beside me before but he moved forwards, straddling my leg-" the older man follows through, and makes himself comfortable, his thighs gripping Dero's legs tight. "- and then he moved like this, to tug down my boxers-"

"... Richard, I..."

"Let me tell the story, will you. I'm trying to tell you that he didn't do it right away. He stopped, and he had the oddest look on his face, he looked around..." then the older man's expression falters to such an innocently shy one that Dero blinks, his arousal temporarily forgotten. Innocent and Richard do not belong in the same sentence. "don't speak," Richard whispers, a pink blush coloring his cheeks, his voice suddenly as deep and quiet as Till's. "shh. It's embarrassing."

Pause. "That's what he said."

Dero can't think straight any more. He just stares up into Richard's face, which suddenly seems to be channeling Till's expressions: shy, almost-haughty, embarrassed, terribly conflicted. From the way he's acting ("Till then got my cock out and then gave me head," he's saying, with faithful demonstrations) Richard shares none of that confusion, but he's good enough to fool Dero into thinking that somehow their personas have changed. "Things finally came to the point where he was - mmmmh - impaling himself on my cock - ja, ahhhh, just like that-"

It's kind of painful, being inside Richard, is the first thing the younger man thinks. He's so tight and there hasn't been a great deal of lube anywhere, so of course it's painful. But his own discomfort is trumped purely because the guitarist - who is simply recreating what he himself went through, so many years ago - is perfectly relaxed about it. "So," he whispers after he's properly atop Dero. "liked the taste of Till, huh?"

"... How... how long have you known?"

"Oh, he told me. Quite a few months back, actually," the guitarist doesn't look at all offended by any of this, and simply leans down to brush a kiss against his forehead. "I kept watch for the past months because I didn't know what would happen next - but now that we've come this far, it makes the most sense that I join in too, hmm?"

Dero doesn't know what to say. But Richard pushes up slightly and then back down with the softest of sighs, his expression contorting into one of mingled lust and pain, and the younger man automatically finds himself responding by grasping his hips and carrying on with the established rhythm. There is nothing to say - Richard knows about he and Till, soon Till will know about he and Richard, and he's caught in the middle, a newcomer to a game that he didn't know existed between either of them.

"Welcome to our world."

O - Ovation

"So that's the part about Till and Richard, and how they began helping me, complete. I could just say that that was the beginning of this troupe, and that ten years on you're seeing the fruit of that labor, and that would be a very concise summary of everything that came afterwards. Is that good enough?"

"No," the patrons call in unison. "that's not half as much detail as what you've gone through for the past half hour!"

"Mein Gott! You hear that?" one of the female officers finally speak up at least; throwing an affectionate gaze towards the crowd, she grins and blows them a kiss. "we've been doing this for several years and we've never seen a crowd so excited to hear our origin story. That's a first. You really want to hear more?"

"Yes!"

"Well, I figure my fellow officers might be feeling rather left out in the whole thing," Dero speaks up again. "how about another song as an intermission?"

This is agreed upon just as quickly. One of the female officers quickly leaves the stage and comes with a saxophone, starting the song without any further pauses. This is even more of lively tune than the one before, which the troupe (quite correctly) assumes will perk up the mood significantly. They know not to carry on with plain talking for too long. They are, after all, a band.

"It's too late to change events; it's time to face the consequence..."

A glance at Till reveals that his eyes are closed as he lets the music wash over him. Richard is still staring at him intensely; their gazes meet, and the guitarist sends a slow, deliberate wink to him, making clear that he's understood what Dero's getting at with this song in particular. You made me, the officer thinks with a smile. Irrevocably, and wonderfully, and here I am now.

"For delivering the proof - In the policy of truth!"


P - Pride

This isn't really a single event. More like a drifting timeline. We'll just call it 'the time between 'Mutter' and 'Reise, Reise' being produced'. Dero celebrates ten years of being in the police force, sustains a minor injury and a scar while stopping a small-bank robbery, and he carries on seeing Till or Richard together as friends and individually as sexual partners and muses. So far the three of them have not been involved sexually at the same time.

"You need a nickname for me," Richard announces at one point while they're in bed, having just finished a tryst. "Till has never been the one for those himself - but I am, rather so. You probably noticed that he's the only one who calls me 'Richard' in the band. Just like that. 'Rick-hart'," the guitarist demonstrates, sounding the 'ch' as a cross between a growl and a purr and rolling the second 'r' luxuriously at the tip of his tongue. Exactly like how Till does it, right down to the tone and voice. "nowadays his speech pretty much consolidates the East Berlin tang in it, but back then - when he used harder 'ch's and all - we used to tease that he was really a Wessie born in the wrong place. Got him all worked up, that always did. But enough of that. I'd quite like a nickname from you. No using Till's either."

The younger man looks bemused by the whole thing, but plays along, and considers it. "How about 'Rikh'. Sounds sufficiently American for your tastes."

"Simple. Different from the norm. Let's go with that."

He seems very proud of that, somehow. But Richard is a very proud person in general, no doubt. He takes utmost care in choosing his clothes and often lets that tendency spill over to Till's and Dero's clothes as well; he always uses exactly three sprays of his favourite vanilla cologne before venturing outside, whether for a tour performance or to go down to the shops to buy some milk; he washes before and after every sexual encounter, cleaning his body thoroughly, showing himself off whenever Dero decides to join in now and then. (He's reassured that Richard does the same with Till.) He is a man of almost-exaggerated elegance, a true metrosexual, a man who has to feel loved on the outside to love himself within. The cherry on the top of the cake would be if Richard insisted on having sex with Rammstein songs in the background, moving his body to the guitar riffs, making love to his own rhythm. Has he ever done that?

"Of course not, Herr Goi," Richard laughs, using the other's ranked name for the first time in a while, as he buttons up his longcoat. "that'd be hubris."

Q - Qualia

"Everyone has their unique interpretation of what a headache feels like. They all have their unique perceptions of colour, taste wines differently, go about life preferring and opinionating the different things. We can't look into people's minds yet - and hopefully won't do so, ever - but not one person goes about life with the same perspective in life and the exact same preferences for everything as another."

Till nods quietly from the far right corner, and raises his drink to Dero. Richard shoots him an unreadable look. Spurred on by this, the officer continues on with his speech before smiling and segueing back into song as the bridge section ends. "That's what we call a qualia. A measure of realness. Different for everyone."

A few things, though, we arguably perceive in the same way and adore. It is the musician's job to be able to unite those stark differences and tie them together into one sensual experience. That realness, that quality of being alive, is the essence of humanity. Dero was taught this by his two lovers, and that is why he is who he is.

R - Ravenous

It is late 2005. Rammstein is on hiatus for a while. All the better for Dero, he now can see his two lovers whenever he so wishes; he's looking forward to this meeting in particular. Today he will be confronted with both TIll and Richard, and today he's going to give himself up to both of them at the same time. Not something a burly, rugged police officer does every day. He wishes his superiors could see him now, eager and burning for the taste of men, soon being coaxed out of his clothes by two men from a band considered too controversial to exist in Germany. Life doesn't make as much sense as it ought to.

Pleasure is expenditure. The process is a lot easier than what Dero expected; no awkward questions or grins, they just jump right to it. The three of them tussle on the floor, which is covered in soft, thick carpets; the fireplace is lit and crackling. They exchange wordless kisses that chew at the lip and lick at teeth, drawing sighs and groans that draw a sweetness from deep within the soul. An economy of pleasure, a ménage a trois. The combined sensation of Till's fuzzy chest against his cheek and Richard's erection pressing somewhere down his left leg will remain a sensation hovering just beneath Dero's skin for as long as he is on earth, requiring very little thought or gesture to be brought to the surface again. Dero takes out two white pills and offers one to Till and Richard; the former licks it off his palm, while the other insists on being fed it with grace. Then they come together in kisses - and that's all that really needs saying. They don't even question where he got them from, which is fortunate.

Richard tells him that he'd like to lick Till's cock while watching Till fucking him, in so many words. Dero quirks an eyebrow, not sure how the hell they're going to go about this; "We'll grant you whatever you might want," Till says, though, which placates him somewhat. Maybe his morals are way too flexible for that of the police after all, but there you are. Richard is watching him, gleeful as a child on Christmas morning as Dero stays on his hands and knees, impaled so deeply by the singer that it feels as if he's being penetrated through the entire length of his spine. The last of their tension dissolves and Dero loses himself in shameless lust, even moreso when Till briefly pulls out, tears open a curtain and bends him over the windowsill to fuck him as hard as he can; if it weren't night, they'd be completely visible. He can feel Till and Richard breathing in unison behind him, the sensation of the latter's face against his backside as he licks Till, being so completely excited that he comes all over Dero's torso with a unusually-loud cry before either he or the singer has finished. Till looks oddly proud by the whole thing, too. He and Richard have spent so long with each other that they've transferred parts of themselves to the other, being able to switch between them whenever they so desire. And Dero, later soaking in the hot tub with the two men carefully washing him from outside, makes the decision that he wants that too.

"I want to write again," he murmurs, despite misgivings that perhaps this is too difficult of a wish to grant. "I want to sing again. I want to be what you are."

"All right," they whisper back, and seal their promise with a kiss.

S - Sade

"- So yes, one day we all became somewhat inebriated, and they made me a promise. Because that's what you do when you're inebriated, make promises that you may or may not keep and may not even remember when you're better. Except that this time, they honestly kept it. I admitted it to them downright - and for a week or so I'd thought they'd forgotten-" Richard looks vaguely haughty at this point; he's not fond of being told they're capable of forgetting their friends. "- but a week after that night they called me and presented with me a list of things I had to do. I'd gotten the writing part down with Till some time before, but you can't hope to start up a band with just that, das stimmt? You need to be able to sing. You need to be able to perform. You need flair."

Pause. "I'm a vocalist, so Till also helped me out with the singing - but when it comes to actually being on the stage, I'm going to say that Richard was incredibly helpful. Round up all the officers who could play an instrument and would be interested in my vision, he said, and when I did - the officers in question being with me on the stage now, my eternal gratitude to them-" he gestures towards them with a sincere smile, and his bandmates smile back. "- he taught us the basics of performing onstage. How not to be nervous, how to just enjoy the stage."

Till is getting up for a drink; he makes it to the bar mostly unnoticed, and orders what seems to be a pint of normal beer. Richard, having noticed this, has turned around to stare at him; when the singer looks back their gazes meet, and the younger man briefly frowns as if to say - it's my turn to be praised, what are you doing not listening to him?

"Richard's a wonderful man," Dero says, allowing a hint of glee to creep into his voice. "incredible stage presence. If you've ever wondered why so many girls flock to him despite Till being the one who moves around and is the most visible and audible person onstage, well, there's the reason for you. Handsome, charismatic, self-assured. Wonderful guitarist, he taught ours. He's got a true talent for enhancing other people's talents. If I was even half like Richard, I'd be pretty damn pleased with myself."

Damned straight, Richard seems to be saying - almost - and he leans back with the slightest hint of smugness about his features. "Though at the same time," Dero continues, never truly siding with just one of the pair. "I can't help but wonder if he can be somewhat egoistical even now."

Till chuckles slightly from the corner. Richard shoots him a look. Till falls silent and heads back to the bar to buy another shot of Kahlua, which he sets down on the other's table discreetly as a meek apology as he walks by; Richard doesn't look at it, but his hand briefly darts out and gropes the older man's backside firmly. Good thing that they're at the back and they are out of sight. But as for Dero - well, he's merely amused at how Richard and Till share this strange balance of sadomasochism. Satisfying to watch, perhaps even more satisfying to be in.

T - Triumvirate

It is 2007. Or maybe it was before. Give or take a year, almost. The memories, they all blend into one; it makes more sense for Dero to just enjoy the recollections as they come.

They are the three rulers of whatever place they go to - whether it be Till's, Richard's or Dero's - locking up all the doors and windows, doing whatever they please. Occasionally there are attempts to overrule one or the other, an effort easily quashed and playfully punished by the other two. "Now, Dero," one of them occasionally says. "how on earth are we going to help your fellow officers, when you're misbehaving like this?"

"How on earth do you expect me to treat you with what we've got lined up, if you won't?" is the usual reply. It keeps all three of them quiet.

It is raining outside. It has been raining all day. Dero can feel it upon his skin; when he raises his head from where he's at, which is difficult because at present his arms are tied to the bedposts, he can see the shadow of the water-speckled windows streaking across Till and Richard's bodies, and imagines that he too looks vastly the same. "I quite like the people you've chosen," Till speaks up as he reaches over his coffee. He enjoys drinking coffee naked in bed, for some reason. His fingers lazily dance over Dero's thighs. "they all had some degree of musical training. Makes things a lot more easier."

"Your pianist doesn't complain about reunified-German beer or flushing urinals, either," Richard speaks up, and the three all chuckle, thinking fondly of Flake Lorenz. "and what's going to be your chosen genre? Jazz, you mentioned?"

"Jazz. I know you're more inclined towards metal. Hell, when I was younger I was too, and I still appreciate metal to the utmost extreme - but somehow jazz just feels right, you know? We have a double bass, a piano, some drums. No guitars," he says, sneaking a guilty look at Richard. "but we could all do with a little bit of your elegance, Rikh. We are, in the end, part of the police. Not exactly known for being merry."

"We won't let you down. Me and Till - we'd quite like to meet up with them sometime to discuss what you'll be doing," Richard smiles, and reaches for the candle, its edges already deformed from the half-hour they spent dripping wax onto Dero's thighs and chest. "and that's the end of our break. If you'd give me a light, Till, bitte."

U - Ulterior

"So wait. You've spoken so far of all the writing you've done."

"Ja."

"And you sing your own songs, too."

"That's right."

"So why was it that we only heard covers this time around?"

Dero laughs. "Simple. You caught us on a cover night. Every month or so we have a night consisting entirely of covers - why, we were at a bar before this one, just after five, and we did much of the same. Minus the talking. We didn't imagine that people would be so interested in how we all came about, that was all. Most of the time it's original material and most of the time people say it's good - but I'm past forty now, I'm beginning to realize the implications of higher influence in my life and writing. This band wouldn't have happened if Rammstein hadn't helped us, and if we were not clear with a direction to go in the first place. I would never have continued writing without Till's guidance - and even further on, that of all the wonderful authors I've ever read. That's what we're trying to honor, really. Sometimes you can catch us playing a Rammstein song, out of gratitude for what they did for us. Other times, we think of all the wonderful songs from our past and present, and cover them in our own way."

"Honor the masters. That's what we do. That's how we all came to be."

V - Vocalization

It is 2008.

One day before the group is set to debut, and Dero is sitting on a chair by the bed, lazily watching Till and Richard make love. He's finally found his place in this little relationship, a position that is uniquely his own - a voyeur. Till is usually the one on top no matter who he's with, but Richard initiates most often and he takes much pride in being treated well. Dero, meanwhile, prefers to take a step back and simply watch, taking it all in. He suspects that this is a perspective that neither of the other two can get, and feels excited about that.

He's observed some very interesting things about the two of them during these times. For one, they follow a rather strange pattern of vocalizations. When it comes to the foreplay, Till is usually taking lead and the most vocal of the two, letting out pleasing groans into kisses and licks, cooing encouragements into Richard's ear. The guitarist by comparison is quieter, only ever speaking up whenever Till forces him to do so or he's being impatient and begging for more. "But you can't just leave me like that... that's not fair, honest to God, Till..."

"Too bad," the older man would growl, and bring his hand down in a solid slap on his buttocks, making the younger man cry out. "why would I hasten this kind of thing?"

But when it comes to the actual act, Till tends to become silent for the most part while Richard becomes twice as lively. Like he's doing now. "Harder," he pants, his words muffled against Till's neck. A few more unintelligible requests follow, and the older man simply slows down so that he might actually pay attention to what Richard is saying; this is clearly not in the guitarist's interests, however, and he lets out a pitiful whine and thumps him lightly on the back. "no, no, why'd you stop - don't stop, yeah, just like that - you can move now, Till, please."

Dero lazily reaches down (he is, of course, naked as well) and fondles himself, eyes sliding halfway shut as he listens to the guitarist begging. Although he's most definitely understood Richard, Till deliberately keeps his movements slow, attempting to make up for it with a deep, longing kiss. Judging by the other's frustrated almost-sob of 'Till, please, please just move' it probably isn't working. Ah well.

The balance swings right back to Till again at the height of orgasm. Even though he has heard it many times before, Dero is never quite prepared for the moments when Till's entire body tenses, all the muscles in his body standing out as if carved in marble - and when that sound, that loud-and-not-entirely-sensual scream tears from his throat. It makes up for every moment of silence he retained during the lovemaking. Richard on the other hand lapses again; as he comes all over his toned abdomen, his thighs being gripped by Till and bruised by his strong fingers, he is locked in utter speechlessness as he gasps and moans softly, his longest moan almost a death rattle of pleasure.

Dero, too, wants to give up these sounds from a body rendered incapable of language. He wants to tear himself open, deep inside, and release that monstrous something that lies beyond the field of language, where there is no such thing as reason or rules. Sounds, the most primitive form of communication, next to gestures and expressions. As the two men slowly descend from their high and their words degrade into hot, panted syllables and grunts, Dero briefly wonders if music is another byproduct of sound (alongside the more-recognized 'language') that so often goes ignored by people. In the sense, music is a simpler, far more honest form. Universal, too. Not everyone knows how to define a 'weltschmerz' or 'saudade', but everyone instinctively knows how to recognize the seven major notes and how they form themselves into continuous pieces of music. He is so overjoyed with this revelation that he even forgets to finish himself off, and neither does he immediately notice the two are impatiently waiting for him to come and join them in bed.

W - Wanderlust

"Well, that's the end of the story, and that's how we all ended up standing on this stage, singing and telling you this story. It's nine o'clock now, though - so really, we must leave you here. We're supposed to be on active duty throughout the night."

A disappointed 'aww' and a few complaints ripple through the crowd. Dero silences them all by raising his hand. "No worries. We're always going to be around, performing in various places - Berlin's a huge place, and we all have synchronized breaks when we can travel to other places, as well. We'll most definitely be seeing some of you again," Dero nods at them - both an affirmation of what he just said, and a hidden signal that Richard ought to leave the bar. The guitarist silently gathers up his coat and presses his hat down over his forehead before he pushes open the door and leaves, out of sight. Till doesn't give any indication that he saw the other departing. "it's been a real pleasure to be with all of you tonight."

They bow, and the patrons applaud approvingly. As Dero begins to raise his head he nods slightly once more, and Till stands up and heads towards the door, making sure to tip the bartender generously before leaving as well. "And Herr Ehrlichmann," the officer says quietly as he gets down from the stage, which sends the bar into its usual bout of chatter - the performance is over, and the performers are allowed to leave now. "I hope it's been a good evening, and that things will continue to go well for you."

"Absolutely," the man says, and shakes Dero's hand firmly. He's no longer the depressed and downhearted man that he was just two hours ago. "thank you ever so much, Herr. Is there - is there any way I could look you up? Be able to see you again?"

"I don't know whether we will meet again, but I do sincerely hope that we do," Dero says, and neatly plucks out a business card from his breast pocket, handing it to the man with a flourish. "guten Abend."

He raises his cap again, and follows after the five officers who have left the bar. The door jangles behind them and patrons call out their goodbyes; Herr Ehrlichmann, now left alone with the business card, turns it over and looks at it. It's all white, with a website address printed on it, and a logo saying 'What About Bill?'.

"Who on earth is Bill?" He asks to nothing. The question is lost amongst the chatter of the patrons and the late beer flowing. Outside, a barn owl perched atop a roof spreads its wings, and takes off into the air, letting out a mournful call.

X - Xenoglossia

It is 2010. Dero and his bandmates are just getting ready in the back room of a fairly-sizable jazz club, having already gained somewhat of a reputation since their debut, when there comes two knocks on the door. "Come in," he calls without looking back - but when his two lovers enter, Richard beaming and holding a bouquet of roses, he brightens up considerably and rushes forward to greet them. "Rikh? Till? What brings you here?"

"Your largest performance yet tonight, isn't it?" Till laughs and hands him two bottles of champagne, while Richard presents the bouquet to the others. "of course we couldn't miss it. Don't you worry about us getting recognized either, they know we're here."

"Viel Gluck!" Richard also says. They all still have about twenty minutes before they need to go, and they're all pretty much set, so Richard pours the six officers their own glasses of champagne for luck. "remember the first time we met? Back then, it was you asking to see us backstage. And now it's the other way around. How much of a difference can twelve years make!"

He has to concur. Had he never asked to see Rammstein backstage that fateful day, and had he not helped to release Till in time, none of this would have happened. Without that glimpse of Till and Richard's photo, he wouldn't have become involved with the two of them, either. Though he does think that he did rather well, all those factors considered, at being able to immerse himself in the rituals and language shared only by both Till and Richard without actively needing to integrate into it. Almost an impossible feat; one cannot technically gain fluency in a language never learnt or known without help.

But it's clear enough to Dero, without any clues. And when he's out on stage later that night, singing his heart out, he sees the two men sitting at the frontmost table, sipping wine, smiling at him - and occasionally exchanging knowing glances that say: We've done well.

Y - Yearning

When he walks into the hotel lobby, the receptionist immediately stands up with a frozen look of terror in her face. "No worries, meine Fraulein, no worries," Dero says smoothly, showing that he isn't there to cause a scene or drag out anyone from their rooms. "there's a room under my name, I do believe. Could you look me up? Herr Dero Goi."

"Oh, yes," the receptionist says (now considerably relieved), and checks the register with a little contemplative frown on her face. "hmm. Suite, third floor, room number 333. Two others have also checked in - a Herr Lindemann and Herr Kruspe?"

"That'd be my friends. Vielen Dank."

"Would you like a key card? There's one spare."

He considers, and accepts. A policeman can't ever have too many keys or key cards. He declines to take the elevator and walks up the three flights of stairs, casually swiping the key card into the slot and opening the door; he closes it quietly behind him, and looks. It is a clean suite, with a large bed in the middle, another bedroom leading out of it and also equipped with a bathroom and balcony. The suite's really been booked just to take advantage of the extra large bed that comes with it - needless to say, the second won't be slept in, although they'll lightly muss it up in the morning to give the impression that they have. The bathroom door's closed, the sound of water running from it. Dero grins and takes off his police cap and sunglasses, arranging them neatly at the top shelf of the wardrobe (taking into note Till and Richard's clothing within), and takes off his uniform shirt and trousers, stripping down to his underpants before knocking politely on the door.

"Herein," a voice calls. He goes inside. Richard's lying in the jacuzzi tub with Till, his head lazily buried in the other's chest as he fondles the singer down below; his way of acknowledging Dero is a blink and a soft, sleepy grin as opposed to Till's greeting. "wonderful performance tonight, Dero. Fantastic, even the parts when you embarrassed me."

"Not just you. And I know you like it really, you sly dog, you."

"That much is true," Till shifts his leg, and beckons Dero. "come in, then. You're letting all the steam out."

Z - Zusammen

Till lights a cigarette when they're all quite spent and ready to drift off; it is now midnight. He takes the longest inhale, and the moment his lips leave the cigarette he leans over Richard and places his lips on his, blowing the pearly fumes into his mouth. The guitarist moans into the smoky kiss for only a second before he too inhales, throwing back his head, his long dark eyelashes fluttering shut as he parts his lips softly and exhales the diluted smoke. Till repeats the procedure with Dero, who insists on sharing the taste even more with tongue, their mouths engulfed in cigarette smoke as nicotine mingles in their kiss. Lazily, with the tip of his tongue, Richard traces a line from the hollow of Dero's neck to the tip of his chin.

"Second-hand smoke tastes so good," the guitarist says with a bright smile.

"Mmmh," Dero concurs, then opens a single eye to peer up at Till. "it is legal to smoke in this room, ja?"

"I don't know. Will you arrest us if it isn't?"

"I'm fairly sure indoor smoking is prohibited in all public buildings - but even if that is the case now, I don't think we quite need to go that far," he says, and licks at one of Till's nipples. "but you'd certainly need to be punished. Once we're absolutely certain we won't burn down the place."

"And now I half wish it was illegal to smoke in every room of this building," the singer says with a grin, but he nevertheless respects the thought and crushes out the cigarette. The most important part of that ritual has already been done anyway, the same smoke being part of all three of them, and that really is the important thing. Sated, Richard reaches over from his side of the bed to turn the bedside lamp off. Dero has to go out on duty at seven in the morning, and the two men need to go to band practice. But until then, they can rest. It's been an eventful night.

You forgot something, you might point out. What time or time period is this?
It doesn't really matter, either way. This is the past, this is the present, this is the future. This is a floating moment in time that happened, that's the most important thing, and in that moment he, Till and Richard are one.

One wouldn't think that they were one and the same, but - trust me on this - they are, and they're happy with it. That's all that matters.

Omega

Words, words, countless words upon a page. All sensual, all truthful, all woefully inadequate in describing the full truth; they squeeze the intensity from every moment and plaster it up in a dull and solidified form. That is not what we need. For genuine recollection and transfer of sensation we need another language, as universal as music and the lusty panting of a man during sex, its words nothing like our words but one that is a new tongue altogether, licking along the contours of bodies. Only then, perhaps, can we begin to imagine that we have shared qualia, that quality of being alive.

Gift me with this language, if you may.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

Not only is this a birthday fic, it is also sort of a warm-up for what’s about to be the last December update: Vision im Spiegel ch. 4 and epilogue. A great deal of sexy abides.

*VittoriaOttilia wanted a piece with Dero, Till and Richard in it. I wanted to write something about What About Bill?, Dero’s new side project. Thus this little piece was born, and whilst long, I feel like it’s one of the better themed collections I have done. And it’s not even half as absurd as what I might have done in other pieces! I like this a lot.

Some notes.

B – refers to the incident when ‘Buck Dich’ got Till and Flake arrested. In real life this was in Massachusetts.
D - Germans do not have a word to differentiate between ‘girl/boyfriend’ and ‘friend’. Context is very important when talking about either, so that you do not declare yourself to have several partners or say that your partner is not actually a partner.
G – The description of the Gestalt school is fairly brief, but I believe about as accurate as I can get.
J – Goethe did write erotic poems. Venetian Diagrams, Roman Elegies, and The Diary come into mind. Very good ones, too. I have a copy with all of those poems in, and let me tell you, it’s always fun to explain why you are lugging that around. The things I do for literature. :XD: :heart:
O – The song sung in this is ‘Policy of Truth’.
Q – Descriptions of ‘qualia’ differ somewhat radically amongst philosophers – what I’ve used is the general gist of it. ‘Realness’ is the most brief term I can give to it.
X – ‘Xenoglossy/xenoglossia: a term used to describe a paranormal phenomenon when the subject appears to speak fluently in a foreign language never learnt, studied or even encountered at any point in their lives.’
Z – ‘Zusammen’ is German for ‘same’. I know it from stereochemistry, but just ‘zusammen’ works for me. Besides, chemistry is a pain. :doh:
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: nudity and sexual themes)
Give Me Your Language, Give Me Your Flair (Part 1) - A Rammstein/Oomph! Crossover

How Dero Goi the rugged police officer came to sing in jazz bars, looked on by two of his dearest mentors and lovers.
Twenty-six flavors of the alphabet, woven into a story. Till Lindemann/Dero Goi/Richard Kruspe.

Warnings: Possibly confusing narrative (alternating chronology), vastly Dero POV, slash, bondage/BDSM dynamics, Till/Dero/Richard with large elements of sub!Till/dom!Richard, voyeurism, pseudophilosophy, psychology, lots of strange vocabulary usage, unsavoury cocktails, simulated sodomy charges, apology Kahlua, possible spoilers for cop!Dero in his side group 'What About Bill?'. AU. It's got Dero in it, so of course you can bet that there's a lot of hedonism as is the case with lots of my Dero stories.

Quite explicit. Written for the deviant-previously-known-as-Wald90 for her birthday. :3

----------------------

Alpha

Everything and anything has a beginning and an end; this is the beginning. Just like how every human has a birth, how every song has an intro, how every language has its own alphabet as the starting point.
That even applies to the past, where it is a foreign country and where things are different there.

A variable Swiss salad of the past and present, scenes intermingled, spliced together, alternating with style. Gift me with this flair, if you may.


A - Ale

It is 2012, tenth of December, eleven days before the so-called Mayan Doomsday. Only, nobody sensible believes in any doomsday, so there.
This date won't change throughout the story.

Downtrodden, forsaken, a man sits at the far corner of the bar while staring down at his drink. "What on earth is the matter with him?" a woman whispers to the bartender, glancing at him nervously; he doesn't react at all, even though her whisper was by no means slight in volume.

"Broke up, laid off, existential angst," the bartender whispers back at her, barely looking up from the glass that he's polishing. "probably one of those things, lady. It's not wise to pry in other people's affairs."

"I only asked," the woman huffs, but before she can say anything else, the door of the bar swings open. All patrons glance briefly towards the door, as they do with everyone else who comes in - most let themselves freely stare this time, though, because it's not a sight that any of them were exactly expecting. Six police officers enter the bar; three immediately make a beeline towards the empty stage, two are women and on second glance look distinctly non-professional, but nevertheless they exude a sort of no-nonsense air that nobody feels like debating yet. The leader of the group nods at the bartender - he's a tall man, with a short rugged beard and a neatly-ironed uniform, but his eyes are still hidden beneath dark sunglasses and he has several fairly visible piercings. A very strange person, for sure. He looks around the bar, spots the downtrodden drinker by the bar - grins wide - then makes his way over to him.

"Kommen," the police officer gives the bewildered man the brightest smile that his rugged visage can convey, while in the background another officer heaves a double bass onto the stage. "let's top up that ale for you, ja?"

B - Basket Case

It is 1998.

"Till, are you all right in there? Is Flake all right, too?"

The taller man smiles weakly behind the screen. "Not dying just yet, Richard, no need to worry," he says in his deep voice, outwardly soothing but just from the way his eyes are darting around nervously Richard knows that he isn't speaking the truth (nor the whole truth nor nothing but the truth). "we're both okay. I think they'll let us out soon, but - but either of us spending a night in jail isn't that unlikely. It's already lax enough that they let you in to come and see me, I don't think we can expect any more."

Richard looks utterly dismayed; Till and Flake stuck together in jail, even if just for one night, is going to be terribly detrimental to their tour. But even before he can speak up, the guard who has been sitting at his side of the wall stands up and walks over. "Herr," he says quietly. "that will be all for tonight. You may return tomorrow morning."

"I'll be back as soon as the sun rises," he says hurriedly as Till too is stood up, handcuffed by another officer, and turned away. "you're going to be all right, Till."

The police officer stands and silently waits until the door is shut to turn to Richard. "Your friends will be released tomorrow," he says rather tiredly, and takes off his dark glasses to rub at his eyes. (Why on earth he's wearing dark glasses in the middle of the night, under already dim lighting, is something Richard will wonder for days afterwards.) "it was only simulated sodomy. You say you're touring Germany and you've done this multiple times in other cities before. I personally don't see a reason why we should be all het up about it, either, but rules are rules - they're both fined 200 Deutschmarks, and they'll spend tonight in jail. That'll be all, Herr. Good night."

"If - if we pay that up now," Richard speaks up hastily as the police officer begins to leave. "400 Deutschmarks is no problem - if we pay that right now, can they be released immediately?"

The officer frowns. "If you do that, we'll release them as soon as the sun rises, but no earlier. You seem to have forgotten about the part where they will be spending the night in jail, Herr. It needs to be done."

"I'll do it, anyway! What about - what about at midnight? Herr Inspektor, we need your help-"

Admittedly Richard doesn't have much hope at the moment and is basically pleading at air; any other officer would have escorted him out at this point, but this particular one isn't just any other officer. His reaction is to blink, take off his glasses, and rub his eyes once more. "Five years of being an officer and no one I've met outside called me that," he says - then peers at the man. "... you are the guitarist of Rammstein, Herr, I believe?"

"Y - yes..."

The man grins. "I'm a fan of yours. Are the others back at the arena still?" the guitarist nods, still unsure of where he's going with this. "wunderbar. I tell you what, Herr. If you let me see backstage, perhaps I can work extra hard to get your friends released tonight and heading towards where you next need to be. I do understand it's going to be rather difficult for them to be stuck here. I'll be very well-behaved, I give my word."

C - Center Stage

"I really hate to ask you this when you've been so nice and buying me this ale and all - but honestly, who are you?"

"My introduction was late, I see," the officer raises his cap briefly. "rank isn't important right now. My name is Dero Goi. 'Herr Goi' will be fine, nothing more, nothing less."

"Herr Goi," the man (who we can now call Herr Ehrlichmann, in a true reflection of his personality) tries out, puzzled, and sips at his ale again. He now looks considerably less depressed about things and more baffled than anything. Not that he isn't justified for it, because if a mysterious police officer sat next to you and started chatting away you'd be quite perplexed, too. "I understand. But I still don't understand why you sat next to me and started talking to me. We don't know each other."

Herr Goi simply laughs. "Indeed no," he says, and stands from the bar stool. "but that is a focal point of what we do. Every night we go into a bar, find the patron who seems to have the most to say - then we dedicate a little something to them. So tell me, Herr. What is bothering you? No need to go into detail if you don't want to. We'd like to help."

"It's not as interesting as you think. I'm simply an overworked office worker trying to cope with everything. I stay out late all night working and then I get calls from my wife saying that our son's waiting for me to come home, he can't sleep without me. I feel like I'm a terrible father, drinking like this just to get me through the days."

The stage has been set up in the meantime. The rest of the police officers are sitting in position with their respective instruments - or in the case of the female officers, standing and surveying the bar with unreadable expressions on their faces. Herr Goi nods sympathetically to the man's story, and gives him a pat on the shoulder before he turns around and quickly hurtles up to the stage. "You see," he calls into the set-up mic without even testing it first; luckily there is no feedback screech or any other malfunctions. "problems like those are what we're trying to alleviate. Everyone give Herr Ehrlichmann here a hand," he laughs, and is answered with a few confused claps. "this is for you, and your family, Herr. I hope you'll enjoy it. One, two, three - four!"

The jazz begins, and the bar is drawn into their spell.

D - Dressing Room

It is still 1998.

Richard understandably looks nervous still as he leads Herr Goi around; they've just done explaining the situation to Paul, Olli and Schneider, who were also rather freaked out the presence of a police officer on top of fretting about Till and Flake. That's all solved now, and Herr Goi - true to his word - has remained polite and unassuming for the entirety of his visit so far. He's three years younger than the guitarist, apparently, and yet ever so imposing. Richard permits him to come inside the dressing room that he and Till share, and stands a little awkwardly as the man looks around in silence.

"You keep things very neat," the officer finally speaks up. It's true - save for a few clothes and towels strewn over the backs of chairs, the dressing room is neat and devoid of anything suspicious. "some concerts I've been summoned to, you have no idea..." he trails off there, and then peers at the dressing-table. On it is lying Richard's notebook (open, too) that he occasionally writes fragments or lyrics or journal entries in; the guitarist, seeing what he's looking at, makes a startled movement as if to snatch the book off the table before thinking better of it. But Herr Goi isn't interested in the entries themselves, apparently; no, what he's focusing on is the photo stuck on the open page. It is one of Till and him, arms around each other's shoulders and both smiling rather tipsily into the camera.

"... This is Herr Lindemann, I see," Herr Goi comments, then draws back respectfully. "... he is your Freund?"

"Well, of - of course he's my friend-" the officer gives him a beady-eyed look, and then it clicks for the older man what he meant. "... oh... Yes... He is. Since we begun the band."

He turns his face away, at once uncomfortable and feeling a thick surge of worry for Till once more. Little does he know that the younger man is looking at him with more sympathy now, finally understanding why he was so desperate to have his friends released as early as possible, counting the very hours and minutes - it's not just the tour. One of his friends is more than a friend. "I believe I should take my leave now. Is it possible for everyone else in your band to accompany me to the station?"

Richard blinks. "Is there a reason as to why?" he then perks up. "I can arrange that - as long as it helps to get Till and Flake released."

"Yes. Your offense was so minor, and there are currently so few on duty, that I doubt anyone will much care if two musicians were let out tonight. Forget half of the 400 Deutschmarks, too. Your autographs and the promise that you won't perform that act live in this city - until our rules relax a little more - will do fine," the other's face brightens significantly, and Herr Goi is briefly startled at how blue his eyes are - before he regains his composure and smiles back. "let's get your friends out."

E - Enter Sandman

Sleep with one eye open...

Dero's acacia-honey voice rings clearly through the bar; even the patrons who looked utterly baffled just a moment ago have been won over, staring fascinated at the six officers swaying and playing on the stage. Not a sight you see any day.

Gripping your pillow tight...

Herr Ehrlichmann, too, is fascinated. Just by that, their job is technically done, but if they were a group to be satisfied by that alone they likely wouldn't have progressed this far. Dero gazes at the piano player very briefly, and despite the glasses blocking their eyes from meeting, the man understands and slowly begins to build up a crescendo.

Exit light!

This is far from the first performance his group has done in bars of this kind. Being part of the police force has for most part prevented them from any criticism, but this isn't about their authority encompassing their genuine talent. No, not at all. They're not authority figures when they're on stage. They're performers, beneath the lights and presented to the audience to be enjoyed.

Enter night!

The two female officers dance around him, sultry smiles on their lips. But Dero knows that they're both incredibly formidable in their own right - one off-kilter touch, and not even he (a veteran officer of nearly twenty years) would get off unscathed. They know it, too. He understands that being able to perform like this is especially soothing for all of them, who otherwise must keep stoic and prepared for anything - even mortal danger - on the field. Catharsis isn't necessarily destructive, after all.

Take my hand...

He reaches out to the audience - before drawing back playfully and singing the last line.

... We're off to never never-land.

F - Front Row

It is still 1998, though a different day.

Till Lindemann and Flake Lorenz are released that night without further incidents; a few autographs, a little warning, and 200 Deutschmarks later, they are allowed to go free and Herr Goi urges them to depart quickly. They must have places to go to, after all. Everyone in Rammstein are so grateful to him that they promptly write up a little document, giving the officer a copy; it's their signed permission for the man to be guaranteed a front-row place and a pass backstage whenever he might want to come and see their shows. Binding for the next three years. The officer thinks this is a fair deal and waves them off on their bus, and then goes to bed at two o'clock in the morning feeling quite satisfied with himself.

It is less than a month before he makes use of that privilege for the first time. All the crew touring with Rammstein are clearly aware of him by this point, he's permitted to bypass the queue and take his seat or standing area of choice first. (He chooses to stand, of course.) He'll have to be one of the last ones out because of this, but his backstage pass is also guaranteed, so he can take his time to get out of the arena. With that in mind, he relaxes his shoulders, focuses himself on appearing less like someone out to arrest troublemakers and more like the easygoing, casual industrial-metal fan that he really is, and lets himself move with the music.

Voluntarily stripped of his authority, he is a model fan, never jostling anyone away from their place or banging against the barrier, and actually knowing all the lyrics to all of the songs. He is noticed amongst the bandmates within the first two songs. "Say," Till whispers to Richard (off-mic) when the stage lights are darkened briefly in preparation for 'Bestrafe Mich'. "in front of Paul - just a bit off towards the side - is that Herr Goi?"

Richard maintains his stoic, silver-haired facade but lets his eyes flicker in said direction. "Well," he mutters back, looking amused - or he would look amused, if his blue contacts make him look oddly uncanny as it is. "I'll be damned."

Later on, backstage, they will tell him how much they appreciated him coming all this way.
Soon Herr Goi - from then on referred to as 'Dero' by everyone - will be a common sight in numerous concerts of theirs.

G - Gestalt

"That was fantastic," Herr Ehrlichmann calls as the performance finishes, straining to make himself heard over the applause in the bar. His malaise has pretty much disappeared, and Dero smiles back at him. Immediate mission accomplished. "how can you do that? How long have you been doing it, even, Herr? Are you actual police?"

"Yes, we're genuine police officers. I've been on the job for over fifteen years, if that reassures you any. As for how we do this - ah, that's quite a story. Too plain to tell right up on this stage, probably-" he is interrupted at this point as the patrons noisily protest this statement, now completely fixated on wanting to know how this troupe came about. "- all right, all right, quiet down, meine Damen und Herren! You really want to hear that story?"

"Yes!"

"Even though it's nothing special?"

"We've got all night," the woman from earlier, who not half an hour ago has been inching away from Herr Ehrlichmann suspiciously, calls out. "give us the tale."

"Well, I tell you," Dero smirks, and twirls the mic around. "it basically started because I was a young and foolhardy cop who liked to drink unsavory cocktails. And that's important. Anyone ever heard of the Gestalt school of psychology?" two people raise their hands, all from the different side of the bar. "excellent. Did psychology or philosophy at some point in your life, I assume. Basically, the Gestalt school says that your perception of something is influenced by everything that is happening within you, around you, and even what has happened to you a long time ago. All of it affects you, and every trigger given off by your neurons and nerves create what you feel. Or think that you feel. And of course all of this can be changed, too - which is perhaps the bit that's both awesome and terrifying. Eat the wrong kind of mushroom? That's your perceptions screwed right there and nobody can really tell you that you're seeing the wrong things. Because you are seeing them. Just differently to the others."

"What goes in your brain affects what and how you perceive," Dero says. "and the reverse is also true. You remember that, verstehen?"

H - Hangover

It is 2000 and the world didn't end before the millennium. Which is awesome, because that means the past can carry on progressing.

Dero meets up with the members of Rammstein very frequently now; he's an essential component in their lives, completely non-band related but a vital presence in the works, nonetheless. This only heightens more when Dero reveals more about himself during the months; he used to be a drummer and fancied himself as a good singer-songwriter before he had to take up a job in the police force. It does wear on him somewhat, having seen how some concerts can get so utterly ugly and seeing that some of his earlier rockstar heroes weren't so heroic after all. Rammstein are made up of gentlemen for industrial metal standards, and he respects that immensely. He grows closer to Till and Richard especially, having bailed out one and having interacted the most with the other; they have even begun to meet up when tours and band sessions are off, often going drinking together. The two, in turn, come to regard Dero as a confidante, someone to consult and trust in despite his younger age compared to the two of them. He's been taken under their wing, somehow.

You are still remembering, right? Good.

It is a commonly known fact that alcohol impairs judgment. That's what the whole deal with the unsavory cocktails is about, i.e. Jagerbombing. Combine that with the three men's tendency to get drunk often and that Till and Richard are quite unashamedly affectionate around each other, and you've got a very interesting recipe. It follows that Dero one day wakes up after a night's worth of frenzied drinking with the worst hangover of his life; groaning, he reaches out with one hand (the other on his forehead) to try to get a grip on things, and instead ends up falling on top of a very naked Till and Richard on the bed. They don't even react much – of course Till curses briefly and Richard opens his eyes in two slits like a cat, but neither of them comment on the fact that Dero is atop them.

"Enjoying it?" Till says. Dero looks down. In his still-drunken state he notices how toned their bodies are, how every breath against Till's skin in particular makes the hair upon the chest move ever so slightly, and for the first time he finds that sexy – soon he has a rather good-sized problem downstairs. He thinks should provide enough of an answer for the older man, and says nothing.

Neither of the two older man say anything else. But they do tug down the sheets and beckon Dero inside, bidding that he lie between the two of them before mutually curling up with him and going straight back to sleep. Something has been triggered. It is only a matter of time.

I - Inquiry

"I can't believe that," a patron speaks up and interrupts his speech. "Rammstein gave you guaranteed front row and backstage permission - for three whole years? Jesus Christ. I can't believe it. Nowadays you have to join this official community if you want the possibility of seeing them in person once."

"True. A lot changes in ten years. I'm still proud of it, though, no matter how unbelievable - how many people are you ever going to meet who can say, with their head held high, that they released the singer and keyboardist of Rammstein from a sodomy charge and got freebies for years afterwards as their thanks? I doubt you'd have met many. Well, I'm right here."

"Go on, Herr," the woman next to Herr Ehrlichmann urges on. "so how on earth did you start performing?"

"I'm getting to that right now. Till and Richard are both very important in that. Now I want you to listen very closely."

J - Johannn Wolfgang von Goethe

It is the winter of 2001. Till initiates the first move between the three of them. "What are you reading, Dero?"

"Oh, Goethe," Dero says as he turns another page; he's staying at Till's place, curled up on the sofa with a copy of Goethe's Faust in his hands. "the true master of the German language, in my opinion. I can't hope to reach this level at any point in my life, even moreso if I stay as a policeman," he looks up and smiles, looking wistful. "while you're a wonderful poet in your own right. Planning on publishing any of your other works sometime?"

The topic of getting his poems published is something that always vaguely embarrasses Till. "Nein," he mumbles a little, blushing slightly and somehow managing to look almost cute in combination with his tall mohawk. "my editor keeps mentioning it... but I don't think I will. For a little while, at least," he pauses, then changes the subject. "so you enjoy writing poems as well."

"Lyrics, really. Used to write songs I never would get to sing to anyone." Pause. Till looks deep in thought. Dero lounges back on the sofa.

"He wrote erotic poems too, you know, Dero. Goethe. Lots of them."

The younger man sniggers. "Yeah, right. I don't believe it."

"He did," Till's tone is suddenly so serious, while being oddly inviting, and Dero has to look up. "I'd like to recite you some, if you won't believe me otherwise."

And he does. At the start Dero has to wonder whether Till's just making it up to throw him off - he's seen some of the other's poems, rather explicit sexiness wouldn't be out of place amongst them - but the man is so meticulous, quietly quoting the titles and the year said poems were written in before every recital. Dero finally has to concede that yes, Goethe had his naughty moments like any other human being, when Till actually manages to find the collection of the maestro's erotic poetry from a barely-reached shelf - so what better method is there towards appreciating them, but to sit there together and read them out aloud?

Dero's memory is somewhat hazy from this point. So try as he might, he can't really recall at what precise point that the situation changed from them reciting poetry out of the book - to them murmuring the well-loved lines against each other's lips as they tugged off clothes and underwear, feeling Goethe's eroticism working its magic upon their bodies, the book dropping to the floor. It's probably a good thing that he can't remember that bit, considering that eleven years from when it happened, he'll be retelling this story to a crowd that may or may not be particularly accepting of such a tale.

But deep within himself, he supposes that meeting Till's eyes did the charm. Half-lidded, green with a perfect ring of gold-hazel around the pupils. He's always loved Till's eyes, and it is them he looks into even as the older man spreads his legs on the sofa and climbs on top of him, right until the moment when they, sated (Till) and confused (Dero) but very pleased (both), curl up together and sleep.

"Disgraceful, how we've treated that book. That's a first edition."

"Leave it," Dero whispers breathlessly; when Till does leave it, he cries out and arches into the other's body, leaving scratches on his back that will last for days afterwards. "ahhh."

K - Kahlua

The second phase of the night begins just as he finishes telling the story of Till and Richard realizing his poetic talents.
(He's left out all traces of their relationship in the story. Not really safe grounds to comment on.)

"All this talking's made me thirsty. I'd quite like a pint, bartender. Heineken would do."

Just as the bartender slides the pint across the bar, the door opens again. Not many take notice this time around, too busy paying attention to Dero; but the officer notices that two men have entered the bar, and that they - whilst dressed in plain, unrecognizable clothes - are none other than Till Lindemann and Richard Kruspe themselves, disguised behind dark glasses, hats and scarves. Out of reflex he glances down at his watch, his expression perfectly controlled; exactly eight in the evening. They've shown up exactly at the promised time. Wonderful. He takes a long drink out of his pint and places it down on the piano with a content sigh. "That hits the spot," he says into the mic, alerting the two of his presence. The two glance up at him and back down, the quickest signal that they have seen him and that he may proceed.

Till sits on the far right side of the room, and Richard walks past him to go over to the bar. "A shot of Kahlua, if you please, bartender," he murmurs as to not disrupt others. With it in hand, he goes straight to the far left side of the room, making himself comfortable. Dero can't help but grin inwardly, watching this. They've got their own game to play along with Dero's, here.

This is going to be interesting.

L - List

It is the spring of 2002.

Finish notebook of poems for Till by the 1st of May, in progress.
Read up on books regarding poetic meter and rhythm, check.
Resist bribery, check.
Fight against the stereotype of the doughnut loving police, check.
Fill out DUI tickets and finish up 3 months' worth of overdue paperwork, check.
Try not to get killed while making arrests, check.
Support Till in publishing his poems, check.
Drag Till to meetings with Gert Hof so he can publish his poems, check.
Offer honest criticism to Till when he asks for it, check.
Comfort Till when he sulks because of the criticism he's gotten from your part, check.
Help him undress and tuck him into bed, check.
Undress yourself and snuggle next to him, check.
Fetch the handcuffs from the drawer, check.
Confirm that they're not for legal arrests and chain him to the bed before he says anything else, check.
Have fun, check.

Fall asleep listening to his heartbeat and being inspired, check.
Keep this secret from Richard for the time being, in progress.

M - Masoch

Dero finishes off his pint. "We're slightly over halfway now. Any questions?"

No one speaks up, but soon a hand is raised. "I have one," calls out a bass-baritone voice, and several patrons' gazes swivel over to where the speaker is sitting. Dero tenses as the question itself is posed, recognizing the voice as none other than Till's; he'd quite like to throw the other an incredulous look and ask him - what the hell are you doing? - but he can't give the man away now. Till would have been fairly unrecognizable had he not spoken up, and it's up to Dero to cover him back up. A glance at Richard reveals a carefully-calculated, relaxed expression. No help there.

"... What about, mein Herr?"

Till pauses thoughtfully before answering. "What do you feel like Till has taught you the most about," he says, as casual as ever. "and how effective do you think his teaching methods were? Be honest."

Be honest. Both a genuine request for criticism, and a challenge. What if you think I haven't taught you well, Dero can almost imagine Till continuing on. What then, Dero? It's really quite typical of what he always does - Till isn't the most easygoing of all men, and he's capable of being angered or depressed just like everyone else in response to criticism. What sets him apart from others is the fact that he keeps seeking it out anyway. Just like how he pursues mastery of fire even when it burns him, and just like how despite his bulk and strength he has a preference for wanting to be punished and comforted in bed.

"Good question," he starts, gazing out towards his entire audience and seeking to divert unneeded attention from the singer. "and a relatively straightforward one. What did Till teach me? Language, is the simplest answer. I was a somewhat-forgotten writer within myself before he came along - just because you wrote things as a teenager or young man doesn't mean that's a solid foundation for considering yourself a writer. You need to keep going. He helped me start again, improved my skills more than before. And did he do a good job of it?" the singer tilts his head questioningly, waiting for the verdict. "I'd say he did. Wonderful teacher, Till Lindemann. Man's not quiet and thoughtful for no reason."

"A bit lacking in the flair department, though. Outside of the flamethrowers and the setting people on fire thing, give him a few drinks and treat him like a human being and then he's as tame and shy as a housecat," Dero says, and barks out a laugh as he watches the singer's cheeks turn slightly pink out of embarrassment. Richard stifles a chuckle into his shot of Kahlua. Well, you asked. Two can play at what you're doing, Till.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

After over a week the birthday piece for *VittoriaOttilia is done! :meow: Like most of my stuff it has also become a dastardly-long fic. Because this is intended to be a single experience, I have split it into two halves and have disabled comments on the first half - please direct comments and critique to the second.

The second part is here. Enjoy.
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Especially relevant to kamisied, Edgirl, withinmeloveresides1, VittoriaOttilia :la: Happy New Year, everyone! An excellent 2014 to us all, hopefully. I spent most of today packing for some travel and engaging in absurd plotbunnies, which is probably setting the tone for my activities in the future. Anyway, have a few little bits. :meow:

And yes. Yes, these snippets come from the poll.
I can't fit in every single one of those. Perhaps I'll do the rest on a follow-up journal.

-----

(From Kamelie Liebt Mich, a.k.a. 'Early-Rammstein!Flake coveted by Richard, Paul and Till whilst being a cynical bastard working in a flower shop')

Two days later, he visits the florist at his usual time and makes straight for the counter. Flake frowns at him, but before he can actually say anything, Richard cuts him off briskly. "I'd like a rose."

Pause. The keyboardist blinks, then takes off his glasses and begins to polish them mindlessly on his shirt; he does that when something unexpected happens. For someone so outwardly emotionless, Flake is actually fairly easy to read. "A rose?"

"Just the one."

There's another pause. Then the older man tugs on his gloves and lifts up the corner of the counter, beckoning him towards the front of the shop, all professional-like. "What colour? Do you want it wrapped, or with a message, perhaps..."

Colour. If there is one thing that the guitarist has learnt in this shop over the past fortnight or so, it is the importance of colour when it comes to choosing certain flowers. "Oh, not yet," Richard says mysteriously, giving Flake a perfectly polite and nonindicative smile. "that'd be moving a little too fast. Pink to start with. Without the thorns, bitte."

Now he has Flake's full attention. The older man stares at him in utter bewilderment for a second or two; then he shakes his head, reaches forwards, hesitates, and picks out a well-formed pink rose. "Ja?" Richard asks innocently, and gets another confused look in response. For the rest of the transaction, including carrying the rose back to the counter, dabbing away the moisture on its stem, and cutting off the thorns, Flake says nothing - a single Mark and a curt 'Guten Abend' is exhanged between them, and within a minute the younger man is walking along the pavement, flower in hand and an odd jumpy feeling in his stomach.

Pink roses stand for admiration. He has no one to give this rose to, in full honesty, but he has gotten Flake interested in what he's doing. Sure, by the end of the night the keyboardist will have forgotten about this - Richard isn't so self-flattering as to think that he can engage him that quickly - but he'll come back, night after night, so that Flake will have no choice but to think about him and what he might be doing with those flowers. Let him craft whatever story he wants, he thinks to himself as he twirls the rose in his hand, the more elaborate the better. A Mark every night is worth it.

He thinks about the expression Flake had: confused, vaguely troubled, and for once, curious. And then he has to smile.
He doesn't entirely know where this plan is going, but he has a feeling that he'll be rewarded well if he continues with it.

As long as he's always reminded of me at work.

--

It takes him over a week and a half to see further interest in his situation. He says very little about that he's buying the flowers for every time he goes, and Flake doesn't ask. Every now and then he comments briefly on 'feeling happy' and 'wanting to see where this goes'; combined with the pink roses that he buys, it isn't too hard for the keyboardist to put two and two together and assume that Richard is attempting to initiate a relationship with someone.

The human mind is a strange thing, bizarrely indifferent to other minds around them; but once it perceives some kind of story or narrative another mind is going through, it can't help but show interest. That's why postal workers are gentler with parcels in a child's handwriting, why wallets get returned more often if a photo of a baby is inside, why people pick up books at the used-book store that are filled with helpful scribblings in the margins. That is precisely the effect that Richard is hoping to induce in Flake, so that the older man has no choice but to take a personal interest in his business. That enables a true connection between them at last, which will hopefully push the older man to stay in the band.

But it's not a good story if the same thing happens all the time. After ten daily visits to the florist's (all during Flake's shifts), on the eleventh, Richard deliberately comes at an earlier time to collect his rose. Flake's shift is hours away, but he's been doing this long enough that everyone who works in the shop knows about him and his quest - there's no way that the older man won't find out that he's already come and gone.

Whether he'd care is a different gamble altogether. And he's in luck.

The twelfth visit is made the day after the eleventh, at the usual time. He's whistling a tune to himself, coins jangling in his pocket, when he enters the shop and sees that Flake is behind the counter again. A quick look around - the coast is clear, they're alone - and he walks right up to the older man, who's busy giving him the cold shoulder. So he knows, and he's annoyed. Excellent. "Guten Tag," he says cheerfully. Flake starts, and looks up at him with a half-glare; he doesn't return the other's greeting, but stays in place. "the usual, Flake, if you'd please."

"... The usual?" Flake repeats indignantly; the corner of his mouth twitches in annoyance even as he tries to process this statement. "the usual! God damn you, Kruspe! How am I to know what you mean by 'the usual' now, when I wasn't there to look over the last one you bought? Do you mean a pink rose? Or just a rose? Or flowers in general? What on earth do you want?"

Richard stifles a grin. This is precisely what he predicted. He had the audacity to integrate himself into Flake's routine; now that he's gone and done so, the least he can do is to keep it up for a while. "Komm, don't be like that," he coaxes, giving the other a gentle smile. "I see they've told you. I'd have sought you out if I could have, but I needed to be somewhere during your shift - and I still needed a rose, what was I to do? I didn't even know everyone would be so interested in what I was doing."

The older man rolls his eyes. "And you think it's easy for us to ignore it when a man comes in and buys roses for over ten days in a row?" he mumbles. Much of the irritation has left him, however; Richard gave him a logical answer, he has no personal interest in prying any further, it works out. "... everyone likes to see how a love story pans out. Das ist alles."

"Lieber Gott, this is a new one! Flake, you're interested too?"

Flake's response to this is to give him a wide-eyed and incredulous stare for what seems like over a minute. It's slightly unnerving, but Richard is nothing if he can't play at the same game; he just carries on looking back at the older man expectantly, keeping his expression open and as innocent as he can make it. Eventually the keyboardist looks away and takes off his glasses, furiously polishing them on his shirt before letting out a small sigh. "Neither of us need any more of this inane bantering. What can I do for you today?"

"I asked for a pink rose yesterday, too, that's what I meant by 'the usual'," is Richard's gentle answer. Flake raises his eyebrows, but nods, glad that he's filled in that piece of the puzzle at least. "today... well, hmm... you know, it's already the twelfth rose I'm giving to them, I want there to be some progress. Can I get a colour other than pink this time?"

Another twitch. This is yet another uncontrolled change to the routine. But because the guitarist is a customer, Flake can't really do anything about this one. He puts his gloves on, lifts up the corner of the counter, and beckons Richard over to the roses. It's still a little too cold for there to be much variety, but all the large vases are nevertheless filled with an impressive selection of colours. "... Ja. Which one would you like?"

-----

(From Lilium Agonistes, a.k.a. 'Young girl falls under the enchanting spell of a man running an orphanage, horrified by child abuse, grabs a gun')

Sing a song of six-pence, a pocket full of rye.

You sit on the lawn, very still as you observe the children playing with their skipping ropes. They really are very orderly children, never making much of a mess or fighting amongst themselves; in fact, they don't really act like anything resembling your definition of 'children', at all. You're not sure whether to be grateful for that or not. It makes your job much easier, but you never really know how to react or what to expect. But all in good time; you'll get used to it soon enough.

Two of the children have taken control of the rope now. Each one holds one end and stands far apart, laughing and chanting. Other children weave in and out, daintily jumping with the rhythm.

Four and twenty black-birds, baked in a pie.


But otherwise, weeks have passed, and you're happy. You don't know why, but you are. Life is being good to you. You have found your life force in the children who you first thought to be quite uncanny and oh-so-dreadful and you've found rescue in wandering the empty halls and trying to remember what life used to be like. The teachers make for intelligent, if somewhat subdued company during daytime hours, and during night when you put the children to bed, your lamp provides you with safety and warmth.

(Not that you need it, you correct yourself, you're unquestionably safe here.)

(But still.)

(Just in case.)

When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing.

The skipping-rope cracks repeatedly over the ground. You stare at it, mindlessly counting the sounds, deeply lost in thought. Over the past weeks you've seen Herr Lindemann so many times now that it's too hard to even keep count of those incidents. More often than not they consisted of you just passing him by in the corridors, but you have once talked to him in a manner that wasn't so polite and once in a way that made you blush for hours afterwards when you realized that you had been flirting. That's not what good girls do in this era and time. You don't know why but you're so very attracted to him and damn it all, you find heat and electricity mixed together to be too tantalizing to resist.

You have never kissed, hugged, nor slept with anyone before - and Gott, you're so nervous and you can barely breathe and-

- you cut your Gordian-knot of thoughts right there, and force yourself to inhale. One of the children finally trip up, and the others shriek with laughter, dragging you back to the surface and to reality.

Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?

Nightmares.

"That's quite enough for today, my dears!" you stand up and call; they immediately cease their mirth and run to you. One boy lags behind, tying the skipping-rope in a neat bundle, before offering it to you with a sunny grin that shows all of his white teeth. "it's almost your dinnertime, let us head back inside."

-----

(From If Thou Must Love Me, a.k.a. 'Werewolves exist amongst the population in the fashion of DRSG'98, Till is one, things go to hell because humans are bastards')

At that he finally lost it altogether. "No, Jesus Christ," Till shouted, and thumped the table with his fist. Luckily his cup had been emptied beforehand, otherwise they'd have had to deal with a huge coffee stain on their new wooden table; but nevertheless, Paul and Olli still winced. "what do you mean, 'but you were fine three days ago and all of a sudden you're a werewolf'? Seriously? What the fuck more do you want from me? Even if I honestly wasn't a werewolf until three days ago, that's just the nature of shit. That's how things go wrong, Richard. It works and then it doesn't. One day you're a human being and one day you shift and turn into a wolf, whether it was because of a bite or the lottery of birth. There's nothing in between where you're one hundred percent right and where you aren't. You don't get an intact finger one week, then the next week you have a finger that's ninety-nine percent intact, and then ninety-nine weeks later your finger finally fucking breaks."

He paused there for breath, glaring at the whole room, making sure that his words had sunk in. (Flake in particular looked rather sickened at the metaphor.) "It just does. All it takes is half a second, and then you suddenly have a finger bent sideways, and with luck the doctor can patch you up. With me, I've had this from birth and had to keep it hidden precisely because I knew this was going to happen," Till huffed and sank back in his seat again, now looking almost as if he were about to cry out of pure frustration. "so it's not like any doctor in the world can fix me, either. Why am I a werewolf? Why ask me? You might as well be asking that aforementioned, figurative doctor how your figurative finger broke. He'd probably just look at you sideways and ask you how it broke, and if you don't know, well, he doesn't have a fucking clue either."

Silence.

"I'm like that doctor," the singer whispered. "except that there's nothing I'm qualified to do for myself or anyone else, and I hate my life."

-----

(From Das Winterlied, previously Warmes Winter, a.k.a 'Paul gives up music to keep him and Olli going during the economic crisis post-reunification, rediscovers the value of human kindness through a pianist')

And it was in this very awkward position that Paul found the younger man in, just over an hour later. Paul had quietly entered the apartment as per usual with the key, taking his shoes off and calling for Flake; when there was no answer he systematically checked every single room until he found him in the bathroom, still leaning over the sink, his entire arm now submerged in lukewarm water and murmuring in French what seemed like an eloquent, profound exclamation of existential despair. That was, until he actually acknowledged the other man.

"It's nothing. Sometimes I practice too much in a day and my hands seize up - the cramping goes away if I soak them in warm water and rest them for a night or so. Nothing serious at all," Flake assured him, upon hearing the other's worried inquiries as to whether he was really sure that he didn't need medical attention. "I'm fine. Everyone gets hand cramps now and then. Gott. You were a guitarist. Didn't you ever get hand cramps?"

"I have reason to be worried because I've never seen you like this before, Flake. You're also slouched over the sink and haven't looked at me once since we began this conversation. How long have you been staying like this?"

A weak shrug. "This water was fairly hot when I first started. However long it took for it to all cool down, I suppose - I started practice at half three and had to get back up not ten minutes later. What time is it now?"

Paul glanced at the wall clock. "... Four twenty-three."

This sent the taller man spiraling back into despair. "Je suis foutu," he moaned weakly as he pulled the plug and let the water drain out of the sink, his head still kept down so that Paul couldn't see his face; he then replaced the plug and turned the hot tap on again, filling the small bathroom with steam. "je suis foutu."

"You can't really mean that, Flake. It's not the end of the world."

"I know what I meant, Landers. I know it full well. I'm reliant on those hands of mine to make a living some day, surely you understand that - and every time things go wrong and all I can do is to soak my hands in water, I know exactly what that means, and it means that I am foutu. We all are eventually. Forever a step closer to being useless, being old, and dying."

-----

PS: THE ACTUAL MAIN PROJECT I WAS PLANNING TO MOVE ONTO POST-LWFR IS THE ONLY ONE NO ONE VOTED FOR IN THE POLL GOD WHAT IT'S ALMOST LIKE YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE YOUR COLD HEARTS WARMED BY HUMANISTIC PAUL/FLAKE
YOU CYNICAL BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. I LOVE YOU ALL TO BITS
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:iconkimbk:
I took this a few weeks ago. This was in a library whilst tired out of my goddamn mind because Eng Lit essay marathon :saddrunk:
The author looks like this at the moment. How far we've come since the long-haired days of 2011-2012.
Show
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Been getting a teeny bit dusty around here, but I am alive and happily at university! :woot::dummy::la::la: Those of you who were around two years ago during my slow mental breakdown are familiar with the place I'm talking about. Durham is so much nicer, I feel more alive and safe, since I changed courses and began doing things I really love. And all this, while actually getting writing done! LWFR epilogue is quite evenly underway, so are other projects. I haven't felt so relaxed in a long time.

I am now an English Literature and Philosophy student. Both areas I have interest and some experience in, so I'm feeling very much in my element here. The uni I go to is also top in the country re: English, so I don't have any complaints at all.
Anyhoo I'm looking for a part-time job/volunteering work to do, seeing as I'm now twenty years old and it's about time I broke out of the 'students should only study' mindset instilled in me at an early age. I have plenty of time, why shouldn't I work? And I found a volunteering spot as a GCSE English one-to-one tutor, I've been assigned a tutee and everything. I begin a week or two weeks from now. :love::love::love:

Kimby begins her stint as a teacher/tutor! I am proud of this development.
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My flight is in a few hours now and I can't sleep. I'll get in a nap on the way to the airport. Hopefully forcing myself to be tired will help me get some sleep on the damned thing, I really hate it that I can't sleep in planes because this is going to be a hella long ride. I won't be seeing a bed for nearly a full day after, that's for damn sure.

But yes. I'm in the clear and visa is better than the one before - the original three-year visa I had required a police registration to be put on me and 10hrs per week working. I believe I'm permitted 20hrs now and no registeration at all, nor do I need a tuberculosis check and all of that. :la::la::la::dummy:

Full time in England averages around 37.5~40hrs per week. 20hrs for a full time international student is not at all awful. I want to get a job - money matters not so much, but the experience does. Time I began filling out a CV and began acting more like an adult.

Anyway, enough of that for now! Let's hope I don't die, and with that, onto some snippets. I've been working on a few longterm things and that's why examples and actual postings have been scarce.

-----

Warmes Winter (Fragment) - Slow paced, pre-Rammstein, probably 10+ chapters, gradual Paul/Flake

"... He's an irritating type, Landers."

Richard looked away from his cigarette at the comment. "Was?"

Flake, who had been staring at the door of the restroom, turned back to him; he looked completely impassive and shrugged as he took a sip of his beer. "Not in an awful way," he clarified, setting his stein down with a little clink. A ring of condensation had formed on the table, which he wiped away deftly with a piece of tissue. "it's... more that... he doesn't open up. Never once have I heard him telling us much about his life since he began working here - he's got something in his mind, something he might need help for," he huffed slightly and swirled the remainder of his beer around. "but he's holding back. Unpleasantly so. I don't like it."

"He's not obliged to tell us every detail of his life. It's none of our business to pry in the first place."

"Ash your goddamn cigarette," was the reply. Richard looked, grimaced at the crumbling end of the cigarette, and did so. "I don't mean that he's obliged. You're right in that we shouldn't be prying, and I don't intend to. Just that," pause. "he's going to worry himself sick if he won't ask for help at all."

"You worry far too much, this is Paul after all. Never seen someone remain so positive about humankind after a month in food service," Richard said, and laughed.

-----

Eisernkreuz (fragment) - Till/Richard, explicit, early 2000s

His moment of triumph does not last. Richard glances to the side, then - doubtless employing one of the wrestling moves from his younger years - locks one leg around both of Till's and flips them over, deliberately aiming to drop to the floor. This happens so quickly and suddenly that Till doesn't even manage a cry as they tumble off the bed and onto the carpet; no, he doesn't even register the situation until the next few seconds when he feels a sharp stab to his hand. He cries out and shoves Richard away, eyes wide from pain and shock. His right palm is bleeding, a small cut gouged out of the skin, and he doesn't know why until he looks back at the younger man. Clutched in the guitarist's left hand is an acrylic guitar pick, its tip faintly reddened; as the singer stares, Richard throws the pick away into a corner and quickly straddles him, resting on his thighs.

"My passion and yours," he says, and a faintly deranged smile rises to his lips, countered only by the utter adoration in his eyes. "it'd be unethical and dangerous if we did that with an actual nail, you'd agree. Every poem you write, until the day that fades, I want it to be dedicated to me alone. Every meal you cook with this hand, I want to sample."

He lies on top of Till, seductively rubbing his catlike body against his.

"Every time you pleasure yourself with this hand-"

Richard smirks and drags his tongue against the other's palm, kissing the makeshift stigma, lapping up the blood. The stinging sensation makes Till gasp.

"-let me join in, too."

-----

Lillium Agonistes (fragment) - MHB adaptation, experimental.

The new year arrives with the whispering of snow against the pavement. The street-lamp splutters.
Happy birthday to you, my girl.

You sigh. You long to be out in the world where knights whisk away princesses, where light never sleeps and darkness is not a word. Eleven isn't too old for fairy tales; you'd argue that they're surprisingly mature, and so far in your life, acting according to what they taught you has never resulted in trouble. A book lies open next to you, a story about the Sandman who lives under your pillow; if you're bad, he throws sand in your eyes that will give you nightmares or make you cry, and of course if you cry too much then your eyes will fall out and he will collect them before flying off into the night. But he also comes to good children and sprinkles sand in their eyes, sand that translates into the sweetest dreams, and as long as you stay good he will be nothing but gentle to you.

Of course, when you're an adult, he'll stop his visits. The thought makes you mildly sad.

In the morning comes your first step towards adulthood. In the morning you will be expected to come downstairs in your first proper set of ladies' garments, petticoats and whalebone corsets and all, all cast in minature and yet just as richly embroidered; you were fortunate enough to be born in a well-off family, and it shows. Just as well, you hate this nightdress; it is too small and tight for you now, and much too thin. Nice to know that you're moving past it.

However, that's the morning; a whole seven hours away, and right now everything is full of darkness and snow is falling and you're right by the open windowsill, ripping petals off lilies and staying awake in your warm bed. It's five past midnight and the world is sleeping outside - save for the muted cheers and clinking of glasses downstairs, from the adults celebrating New Year - but you're dreamy-eyed and innocent still, hoping for a he loves me as she tears open the bud of a yet-unopened lily.

(you like to think that it represents your virginal ways in romance, a princess waiting)

But there is no he, not yet. You like the idea of wishing on flowers and a love becoming requited, but so far, that's all it is.

You continue to destroy your lily - part of your name, your innocence - and watch the snow washing away the light. You hope for a shooting-star to mingle amongst them. A promise made on a fallen star, bringing with it fortune, love, hope and all things nice (sugar and spice) into your life. Holding on tightly to the last petal - which offers you a he loves me not - you close your eyes and hope for dreamless, fitful sleep.

-----

I remain a bit unsure about Lillium Agonistes and whether it'll be published. But rest assured the above two are coming. Warmes Winter is looking like a longer piece than Silence also, so there's that. This year I should have plenty of time to write.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: PONPONPON - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
  • Drinking: Coffee
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Yeppers, Kimby has her visa. Apart from a few nervous and mopey posts I've avoided a breakdown this year!

:iconohjoyplz:

I'm a lot more content now and genuinely relaxed about life. I've got all of eight days or so to manage in Korea and am definitely heading home to good old, cool old UK with a new passport and visa. I'm so goddamn happy. Took me two years to turn my life around.

Fics are going well. LWFR remains extremely spoileriffic and Warmes Winter is shaping up to a half feel-good, slice of life number. It should be more comforting to read than Richard navelgazing for 80,000 words. :XD: :XD: :XD:

I miss being back home. I'm 6-22hrs ahead of everyone I know right now and it makes coordinating times a nightmare. Ah well, not long left!
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(Contains: nudity, sexual themes and strong language)

Metempsychosis In 9000 Words (Part 01) - A Rammstein Fanfiction

If you've ever paired up members of Rammstein with each other, you will hate this.

Warning: Till/Everyone, Paul/Richard, Richard/Schneider, major OOC-ness and distasteful portrayal. Tastelessness, metafiction (badly written), purposefully deconstructive and guaranteed to offend. If by any chance you weren't offended, please leave a detailed review pointing this out with further details as to how I may offend you better. Otherwise, the back button is still an option. Or close the tab.

Please. It's still not too late.

--------------------------

Knock. Knock.

"Who is it?"

"Guten Abend, Risch! It's me."

"Oh, hello... Till? What brings you here at... half nine in the evening? Wait, what's that? What are you doing?"

"No time for explanations now. Explanations are for sissies. Just get on with it, will you?"

"But I - mmm - mmmph!"

-----

Lend your ears to a legend, that's what they all say. Rammstein is a legend in the hearts of many. That much is undeniable.

But even when I look back on it, there was always one person who stood out for me amongst the other five, and that was Richard. He was the one who recognized my voice, the first one to hear me singing while I was working on a basket at my meagre paying job. He wanted a new band, he wanted to play lead guitar, but he wasn't about to take on the lead vocals too - too much effort and too much imbalance in the band dynamics. Can't have a band where one person's doing most of the work. He recognized that, persuaded me after quite some days' worth of discussion - and look how incredible it's turned out.

He helped me get through rough patches. I helped him get through rough patches. We raised our daughters together as sisters. Our friendship goes back to over two decades ago, over half our lives have depended on it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Richard has severe issues with self-worth too, despite being able to see so much talent in others. I talk with him and help him through those bouts - what he doesn't always see is that he has the talent and charisma of a world-class guitarist, but that he's also unfortunately talented in sabotaging himself and letting his lack of confidence get in the way. Hell, I understood. I still understand. I'm the exact same, see. Without each other, we would have never made it this far.

So our friendship is stronger than what we usually let onto others. He's the best damn guitarist and co-vocalist I can ask for. I am the best singer and frontman he can ask for. It's all good. It's been tested many times though - Emigrate, my bouts of severe depression and relationship problems, him being irritable, or even for things completely separate from our relationship like Schneider throwing a fit or something like that. We always pulled through. That's how amazing it is.

So why don't I test out the strength of this legendary friendship with my cock stuffed down his throat.

He's frantically trying to struggle away from me, shaking his head as much as he can, trying to break free of me. My response is to grab him by the hair and force myself deeper inside his mouth. "Mmmph," he cries out, before he lets out retching sounds. I can't apologize for my size though, Richard. That's God's gift to me and the fangirls and eventually you. See, our God's actually a porno director. You'll see things my way eventually.

I can't stand to see him suffer. Ought to give him a tip or two to make it easier.

"No teeth. And breathe through your nose, you fag."

Pfft. It's like he's never sucked a cock before.

Well. Let's be fair here. He probably hasn't. But every universe we go to, we can immediately get to it with the finesse of a porn star. Why not here, I say.

I know what the fangirls want. My big fat cock, ideally stuffed into another bandmate's (insert orifice here). I didn't actually have a cock like that before people started writing about it and suddenly made me incredibly well-endowed and constantly erect. All the better to fuck you with, my dear.

You're watching me as I do this. I want to make it good for you. I want it to be hot and erotic and emotive. You know, watching me rape my best friend's mouth.

It's raining outside. A thunderstorm is on, lightening crashing in the distance in time with my thrusts because in this universe, the environment is synced to my every movement. Empathic environment. Everything is perfectly timed. What people never seem to realize is that if everything keeps working out, just so, it's not memorable anymore. This orgasm right now isn't memorable either. It's not that different to the last hundred I've had.

Richard lets out a muffled cry as he feels my load slipping down his throat. I pull away and he keels over right there, vomiting up everything in his stomach. It's not very pleasant to see.

But then, I didn't want to do this in the first place. I only did it for your enjoyment. Because I know what you like and you like to see me fucking my best friend.

Thing is.
Sex doesn't always feel good. In fact often it's kind of disappointing. The fantasies about sessions that last for hours, the one on top pounding into you, perfectly climaxing together - there's a reason why that's a fantasy, it's because that's not the normal thing. Often it hurts, sometimes it's over within five minutes, and both partners are left unsatisfied and apologetic and clinging only onto the hope that maybe - maybe - the next time will be better.

Well. Good luck either way on that front. Quite often, it isn't.

This won't damage Richard much. Sure he's vomiting up everything in front of me right now and gagging as he tries desperately to claw the taste of me out of his throat, but it won't last very long. It's not as if rape means much in this world I'm in. Rape in fanfiction is like saying hello. I pull my trousers and boxers up; cum and saliva I can wear proudly, but vomit isn't quite in that category just yet.

Just yet, being the key phrase there. No one's written me with a vomit fetish before. Let's hope nobody does.

"I hope it was a valuable learning experience. Don't worry, Reeshybuns. I'll be back for your hot sweet mouth in a few."

Real emotion. Real dialogue. Cute nickname too.
And I just threw up in my mouth a little typing that.

He's still gagging, but manages to look up at me with hatred. "F-fuck you, fuck you, Till," he gasps hoarsely. His voice is raspy, which isn't surprising because I just fucked his throat raw. I figure I should say something witty, about who's fucking who.

"Now, now," I tell him flatly. "that's still a bit too ahead of schedule, isn't it? Sure, you're more than welcome to fuck me. Just not right at the moment. Think of all this as extended foreplay. We'll work on fingering the next time."

"You - you fucking bastard I'm going to kill you I swear to God-"

"Danke for the blowjob," blow him a kiss. "gute Nacht."

Walk out and kick the door behind me, silencing his frantic shouts. Right now he'll feel that way, sure, but when I get back to my own apartment there will be multiple missed calls and voicemails from him, crying and telling me that he's sorry and that he misses me and don't I want him to come around? I won't need to answer them, because from then onwards, what happens to our relationship is out of our control. He'll call up more than once, telling me how he wants to see me, spend time with me, how glad he is that I face-fucked him into submission. Yeah. That's right. That's exactly what this was.

It's not my fault. It's not his fault either. It was all up to you.

Me and Richard had a strong friendship going. Something so strong that it seemed nothing could ever come between us until for whatever reason I decided to fuck him and pushed him into the path of becoming a weepy, dramatic, bondage-gear-wearing queer. That's about light years away from what he really is like - you know it, I know it, we all do. He was never like that and chances are that's why you loved him from the beginning, that he was not some mincing, lisping little popstar. But it's too late now.

And then we'll fuck. After that all we do will be to fuck. We'll fuck all day and night because that will be all that's left of my good friend Richard and I.

So. In conclusion, I just raped my only true friendship to death. I hope you're all happy.

-----

The bar is clean and quiet, no patron except for me in place. The chairs are made of chrome and black leather, the tables are polished sturdy glass and metal, and the menu along with a little porcelain bowl of stale, crumbling sugar cubes sits on every surface. The chair legs must be roughly 27 inches high while the tables are about 30 inches high, diameter of each round table maybe reaching up to 50 inches at the very maximum. But the tables and chairs aren't important; look 34 degrees to the east. I'm sitting by the bar itself on a stool that's about 32 inches high and I'm clutching an old-fashioned clear glass filled with a White Russian, made with exactly 50ml vodka, 20ml Kahlúa and 30ml fresh cream. I once had a White Russian made with a Tia Maria and the thing seeped right through the cream. Fun times. I tilt my head 10 degrees downwards and see that my knuckles are whiter than the Russian. How cool is that? I'm wearing a navy turtleneck sweater (100% wool) along with black trousers fitting snugly around my legs and a slim black coat made of 100% polyester but could pass as suede, and I'm also wearing my signature spiked boots with red laces because fuck following fashion styles. I'm not sure why I'm suddenly in this bar nor why I'm suddenly dressed like some degenerate, but I'm fairly sure the alcohol is a big part of it. I mean, Germany and all. And there's no such thing as being able to pull off a scenic leading-up-to-sex-scene without alcohol to turn the gears.

Am I hard? What are you even talking about. Of course I'm hard. I'm as hard as a rock. I have been since I can't even remember. Might as well be a cum faucet for all I know, Turn the knob, baby, and it comes gushing right out.

Haha. I said knob. See what I did there?

And what do you mean, needless description? That's what you all want. Description. Elaborate descriptions of everything around me at one particular moment, real feeling, real emotions. But you say that doesn't advance the plot at all? Fine. I'll just gloss over the rest so we can move ahead a little. As a result of that, the scene behind the bar itself could use a bit of improvement. Everything is all fuzzy and I don't think this bartender even has a human face. Just two hands endlessly manipulating bottles that I can't read the labels of, a suit-wearing body that doesn't move otherwise, and a mouth that opens and shuts as if he's trying to talk, but no sound comes out. But that doesn't matter. He's not important. What's important is that now the music's changed from a slightly thumping number to something soothing, along with the lights having become softer and paler, which signals that soon Flake must be wanting to come in for a talk.

By 'a talk', I'm sure you know what I mean.

He does within about a minute or so. Neatly brushed back hair, slightly slick. Luscious honey-brown colour, not exactly my type but what does the phrase 'my type' mean anymore. Flake's dressed impeccably as always, slim body encased in form-fitting trousers and a dress shirt with tie. He's wearing gloves and a long coat that he pulls off and tucks under his arm as he walks into the light - his glasses flash a little in my direction before he turns his head and walks towards the piano that's suddenly materialized out of nowhere and sits down with his hands on the keys. Well, he's a pianist. He's got to have a playing field too somewhere.

Swirl around the White Russian. I don't want to drink it, but I ought to. It'd be an opportunity for him to treat me to a glass later.

He takes over the music with ease, long, skillful fingers stroking the keys as he launches into a soulful rendition of 'Fantasie-Impromptu' by Chopin, his eyes closed in apt concentration. I keep drinking. A little too classy for my taste at the moment, but it won't be long before he gets degraded just enough, too. Sure enough, he's suddenly switched to a thankfully non-sung version of Mozart's 'Leck mich im Arsch', perfectly summing up what we're going to be doing within the next few pages.

Should I add in the vocals? I am the singer after all. Let's go for it.

"Leck mich im Arsch! Goethe, Goethe! - Götz von Berlichingen! Zweiter Akt - die Szene kennt ihr ja!"

He glances at me, smiles oddly and finishes his playing before he gets up and walks towards me. The spotlight follows him. "Hallo," he says, his voice soft and low and sultry as he leans down and runs an index finger down my chest. "is that a phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

I get the feeling that I'm supposed to act cool. Woo Flake with my talent for poetry and words, really get him going, coo sweet nothings into his ear and maybe save his skinny ass from a bar fight that will conveniently take place if I want it to. But sorry, ladies, unfortunately I'm a bit too hard tonight to bother with all that.

"Hey, Flake baby," I tell him upfront. "you're looking sexy tonight. Very sexy in fact. With the way you're looking right now, if I had the power to rearrange the alphabet I'd totally put 'U' between 'F' and 'CK'."

This is a really horrible pick up line. But oh well. I said it. It'll work. It's impossible for me to not get laid. It's impossible to fuck this thing up.

"Fresh," he says like he doesn't really care. But let's be fair here; there's no reason for him to. He takes the bar stool next to mine and snaps his finger. "bartender, I'll have a Ménage à Trois, and the cocktail too."

Cue the laugh track. That was unoriginal as all hell. It doesn't seem to faze the bartender at the slightest, who immediately brings Flake his cocktail; pinkish-brown with rum, Cointreau and cream with a strawberry stuck on the rim. "Ababab blurlgepfsff," he says, opening and shutting his trap.

Sorry for not defining him clearly enough earlier. I guess he was actually sort of important. But Flake simply smiles and takes the drink.

"I've got this," he says with a nod, making the satisfied bartender turn away. Not sure what he heard in that mess of syllables. "so," he says as he sips delicately at the drink. "Till, what brings you to this bar at this hour of the evening?"

"Drinking. Smoking. What else is new."

"Actually, it is new," Flake plucks off the strawberry and nibbles at the tip of it, running his tongue around the flesh of the fruit seductively despite the general tone of our conversation. "I thought you quit drinking. Because the thousands of liters you were being forced to drink really messed with your physique."

"True. And there was Nele to think of too, couldn't go back to her drunk all the time, could I? All that was when I had a personality and morals, though. Now's different."

"Well, in that case - bartender, I'd like - what's your poison tonight, Till?"

I shrug. Ideally nothing, but I'm not about to turn a free drink down, seeing as there is no such thing as a polite refusal or inhibition in this universe. "Doppelbock would be nice."

"-Bottle of Doppelbock for this gentleman here. It's on me."

Bottle's set in front of me. Ice cold. Turn it heavenward, let the liquid flow. "It all came down to me deciding not to care," I continue on after I've downed that first gulp. "I know it's canon for us to drink and smoke all the time. I used to like those two until they became the only attribute most commonly thrust upon us. Risch gets it especially bad, getting at least five packs stuffed in his mouth now and then. Along with other things. After a while I just figured - you know what, let's live it up, family, liver damage or voice be damned."

"I sympathize. All the drunk sex we have. And the drunk fights too, alcohol's done nothing but put me in awkward situations. Can't say I'm proud of all I've done under the influence. That's why I drink now, to forget that I'm ashamed of drinking."

I figure I'm meant to be impressed with the 'Le Petit Prince' reference, so I raise my eyebrow in appreciation. "Amen to that," I say, and then we are both silent for a while; he sips from his, I sip from mine, before I break the silence. "so... is that the only reason you came to this bar tonight?"

"Oh no, you know better than that," he flicks back his hair, expressionless. "I'm here to pick up a gifted stud with a dick that has the following dimensions: nine inches long and an inch and half thick at the diameter. I'll drink, he'll drink, we'll go to my place and he'll do me in every orifice I have at least once. We might even bring in Greek love and try once between the thighs or just mutual masturbation too. Then I'll let the stud come all over me and he'll watch me lick it off and then if I'm lucky I'll get to repeat the process against him as well, providing he has the stamina. Which he probably will. It'll take the entire night and we'll both scream the house down without worrying about the neighbors, and after that we'll bask in the afterlove as we watch the stars fade into the dawn and link fingers and tell each other how much we love each other and then we'll French kiss much to the delight of all the fangirls sitting in front of their laptops with their noses pressed close to the screen. You know. The usual drill."

"Oh, yes. I do know. Sounds very normal to me."

He looks down and gestures to my hard-on. "And you happen to have a nine-inch dick. How's it been lately?"

"Fine, fine. I'm always hard and horny now. I just fucked Richard in the mouth."

"I see. So how's Richard been lately. I don't think me and Richard are a popular pairing. We might as well not exist to each other."

"Well," I finish off my beer and shrug. "I just fucked him in the mouth."

"I see."

"Be grateful they haven't paired you up. It was under very popular opinion that we had to fuck. Neither of us are fags, sure, but what does that matter? It's not up to us to decide. You know that. He knows that. So I went over to his and before I knew it I was spraying a load of Lindemann Juniors down his throat."

"Fascinating. Sure he liked that very much. You heard from anybody else lately?" the lights change from pale white to red. Just thought you wanted to know that. "Olli... Paul... all the others? I haven't for quite a long time. How're they doing?"

"Paul's being his usual self and I don't know about Olli. I think he stopped existing in the universe or something because he's so quiet and boring. Lucky bastard. But shouldn't you know that? I mean, that's why we're all wandering about life pointlessly, since Rammstein couldn't go on when he disappeared. That's friendship for you. You were there, Flake."

He doesn't seem sure, and sips at his drink again, now looking a little perturbed. My maybe former fuckbuddy maybe former boyfriend maybe current boyfriend maybe current gimp shakes his head and adjusts his glasses over the bridge of his nose. "I do get confused as to which time period we're all in sometimes. I have long brown hair but you're wearing the spiked boots and laces from 2009, and I certainly didn't have long brown hair then. Which is it?"

"I don't know. Anachronisms forever, baby. Everyone has a defined picture of us in their minds that they write, time period be damned, Quick. What's the most trendy pairing in the fandom right now? Me and Richard? You and Olli? Schneider and Paul?"

Flake looks at me. Looks at the glass. Looks at me. Then he hurls the glass right in front of me, the object shattering into a thousand pieces on the countertop. The bartender doesn't blink an eye, and neither do I. No one is hurt. No one pays for damaged property. Living in a perfect world is cool sometimes.

"You've really got to cool it on the metafiction, Lindemann," Flake snarls. "it's not very attractive. It's a tired gimmick."

I want to tell him to be quiet, but really, I can't deny it. I'm not that heartless - it is a tired gimmick, tired as hell. "Sure, baby. I know. We all know. So's drinking, swearing and fucking. But we all do that, right?"

He stares at me with some expression that I can't be fucked to describe for a length of time that I can't be fucked to specify before he throws up his hands. "Well," he shouts. "well. I'm all out of lines. I'm fed up with this. Are we going to slip in the bathroom and fuck or what?"

"Nein. Have you never heard of the phrase, don't shit where you eat? That makes me nervous. Let's get out of here. Your place."

That's what we do. Flake and I slip right out of the front door, forgetting to apologize for the broken cocktail glass or even pay the bartender. But he doesn't care and quite frankly we don't, either, because that's not detail that advances any bit of this plot in the slightest. We walk the streets of Berlin for about half an hour before Flake suddenly stops and unashamedly reveals to me that he doesn't actually know where he lives, that he must have forgotten. Perfectly understandable, and I'm kind of grateful for it really. I know you all wanted a description of his home, the pets he might keep around and how classy the interior is and everything, but really, it doesn't exist. All right, well, it does - but not in the way I can describe. Why in the world would I know where he actually lives and what his house is actually like? I'm not a fucking stalker. Are you a stalker? I seriously hope not.

So I tell him not to worry about it and ask him if he knows anywhere else; Flake grabs my hand with his gloved one and pulls me to a nearby alleyway. Dumpsters are nearby, but we don't care about that very much. Push him up against the red brick wall, engage in a long open-mouth kiss, tasting rum and sex. He moans out loud, fingers entwining around my hair, but I barely hear it amongst the sound of the traffic and the pedestrians passing by; we might get caught, but that's the fun of it. Public sex is exciting, taboo, dangerous. Public sex is what most people only have wet dreams of. A part of most people's fantasies.

See. Perfectly normal.

"Unf," I growl as he gets to his knees down in the alleyway, pulling off his clothes, tugging down his trousers as he prepares to suck me off. "Flake, you really want to do this here out of all places?"

"Ja. Ja, I do."

"Crazy bastard."

"Crazy for cock," he moans. Take note. That's how you write dialogue. I bend down and hold his nude form - Jesus, that was quick of him, I must say - as he reaches down beneath my sweater to feel me up. Erections colliding and sharing long, hot moans, a trail of saliva joining our lips. I bend down for another kiss after only a second's worth of pause.

Then I unhinge my jaw and funnel his entire body down my throat, glasses and all. Swallow. Gulp. Just like that, he's gone.

Fuck.

I shouldn't have done that. That was just uncalled for. Why did I do that?

Rack my brains, but I honestly can't understand it. I thought I was doing everything right. I guess I've been pillaging and taking people by force for so long that I've forgotten how to have romantic sex. Come to think of it, I can't even remember how to have gay sex apart from fucking or being fucked in the mouth anymore. Sure, I know the terms, but they mean nothing to me.

But more importantly. Priorities, Till. Priorities.

More importantly, though.
What I just ate is going to be hell coming out of the other end.

 

Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story. This was not written with the intention for personal attack.

So yeah I'm going through an angst period with my life sort of maybe going to shit and all and I really have to say, I sometimes look on what I write and feel vaguely horrible when I realize what I'm doing to all of those people.

It doesn't stop me writing it though. That's the most disgusting thing.

Worse, this is only part one of two. It's only about 4500 words at the moment. There's still over half of this crap for you to struggle through. Yes, this does intend to deconstruct and destroy the conventions of fanfiction - R+ or in general - that really irritate me. I have fallen into the same pitfalls so many times myself. I still do. Every time I look at those I want to groan and rip my eyes out. I think I'm better now, but I still haven't moved beyond making two men suddenly being in love with each other. At least, quite a bit of my writing feels that way to me, with a few exceptions.

I'm fairly sure I offended everyone. I apologize for offending you. But I did warn y'alls.

The Mozart Canon sung in the text is an actual canon written by the maestro himself and translates to 'Lick me in the arse'. The lyrics I referred to is a semi-bowdlerized version, though, that refer to the famous line in Goethe's drama, 'Goetz von Berlichingen' - 'Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken!' ('But he, tell him that, he can lick me in the arse!')

Who said shitty metafiction couldn't teach you anything. :stare:
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: nudity and sexual themes)

Boxset Catatonia - A Rammstein Fanfiction

Fandom has no excuse for not doing this in 2009.

Pairing: Till/Richard/'Till'

Warnings: Sort of PWP. Till/Richard. In ways you might expect and then some. Knowledge of the Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da boxset necessary. Incredibly silly.

----------------------

Richard Kruspe can think of about a hundred ideal ways of spend a Saturday afternoon.

"I tell you, we've really gone off the edge," Schneider's saying in the background, sounding irritated. "'Pussy' was bad enough. This is silly. It's not even silly the way 'Buck Dich' was."

This way is not one of them.

"Pandering to the lowest common denominator. Don't know what Till was thinking."

He could use a cigarette.

Olli seems to think a little differently, though. It's still fun to listen to a debate. "It's not quite that bad, Doom," he's saying. "either way, what's done is done. You went along with it too anyway. What's the point in trying to take it back at this point, when we're sitting outside waiting for the confirmation that they've been shipped to stores?"

Richard could really use a cigarette but he can't smoke in here.

"Well, the rest of us liked it, at least," Paul says, and turns to Richard (who's a little startled at how sudden this is), at this point involving him in the conversation. "did you find it fun enough, Risch?"

"Huh? Oh. Oh yeah. Getting creative is always fun."

"See? Even our diva approves, Doom."

Richard, glad that the conversation's been diverted from him to the drummer again, glances at the clock and sighs. Three in the afternoon and he hasn't smoked in over two and a half hours - any longer and he might actually start breaking out in cold sweat. To distract himself, he recounts a chord progression in his head - G-A-B-C-D-E-F sharp - and imagines that he's outside enjoying the last of the autumn sun. Soon the days will get darker and colder, and stuck inside a building waiting for Till to return from a meeting is not a way that one ought to be spending a Saturday afternoon.

... Till. That's a distracting thought. A nice thought. Richard focuses on that instead. The singer's really gotten into shape recently, looking slimmer and certainly a lot more alive compared to how he was looking by the end of their 'Reise, Reise' tour; the fact that they've finally gotten this album out must also help. He's been looking a lot more cheerful recently, smiling more often, and that's always nice to see. Just the previous day the two of them had shared a long conversation about what restaurants they might visit for the new tour, and Richard had been thoroughly entertained by just how enthusiastic and happy Till had been during the entire thing.

The singer really ought to be happy more often. His smile takes years off his face. Now forty-six years old, the man is well into middle age but still going strong - Richard taps his fingers on the armrest of the chair and blushes as he thinks about the other's physique, still beautifully toned after all of those years. He's liked the other's body for quite a long time now, amongst other things. Complete with his matured and intensely husky voice, Richard has somebody to think about and keep watching throughout the days that the band spends together. And now that they're going on a tour, they'll be close together again for the first time in years.

"I think I know what you're thinking about, Risch," Paul's mischievous giggle brings him back down to earth. "you're thinking back to all the hilarious shenanigans we've pulled over the years. You were always the one for controversy after all. So what do you think? Does what we've done for the boxset top the Buck Dich stunt? Or the photoshoot where Till gagged and rode you like a pony? I recall you liked that one from the way you blushed..."

"Oh mein Gott, Paul, bring back the past. Things that happened years ago arent even valid. That wasn't the case at all."

"You sure?"

"Yes, of course I'm sure," Richard says, fighting to keep his blush in check. "I wasn't really thinking of anything. I just really liked... the get-up I was put in. Really."

"Pfffffft," Paul starts laughing, slapping his knees. "hahaha. Oh my God, Richard. You kinky bugger. Jesus. Must admit, I didn't expect that one."

Richard's saved from having to provide an answer to this as Till chooses this point in time to come back. "Ach, tut mir leid," he calls from across the room, grinning from ear to ear. "I was held up and there are all those boxes to take care of, I'm sorry that I took so long. Help me out, bitte?"

"Oh, of course!" Paul and Richard are the first two to stand up and aid the singer - he's lugging six aluminum flight cases behind him, all of a fairly hefty weight for their size. The Rammstein logo is printed on top and the moment he sees it, the younger guitarist knows what they are.

"What's all this?"

Till picks one up and hands one over to the drummer. "We all get the deluxe boxset for free. Before they even go on sale! A present for being so co-operative."

"... Are you for real, Lindemann. Seriously."

"As real as the dildos that you're holding in your hands."

Schneider makes a face, setting down the box on a nearby table. "Ugh. And we have to keep this example of pure and utter tastelessness around for the rest of our band lives? Where are we going to put it anyway - in the attic for our children and grandchildren to find? How do we explain that, that their grandfather just got together with five of his friends and collaborated on dildos based off their own cocks?"

"Doom, nobody said you had to keep the damn thing. Sign it and sell it, that'd probably fetch thousands," is Paul's comment; contrary to Schneider he actually looks quite amused, opening up the boxset and letting out a giggle at the items nestled inside. "oh my. They did turn out remarkably well. I'd say that one's particularly true to life."

"How the - which one are you talking about? How would you even know?"

"Olli's, duh," the bassist looks around before quickly looking away again, his face rapidly turning red. "oh, I was joking. I know you aren't the type to just go around flashing people, Olli..." Paul's comment doesn't seem to be doing anything much for the younger man though, who simply carries on looking away resolutely with the boxset clutched in his arms and a persistent blush on his face. "... no, I was talking about mine. A faithful representation, I'd say."

Schneider gives him a vaguely disgusted and bemused look. "You ought to be canonized, Paul. The patron saint of too much information would be a good title for you."

"Eheh. I try."

"What I want to know is," Till cuts in at this point, looking quite pleased with himself. The younger guitarist, who's been observing all of this silently, notices that the older man's already got his own boxset wrapped and tied in ribbon - perhaps he's wanting to gift it to someone, though who it might be is beyond his imagination. Nevertheless, he suddenly feels a little jealous. "what I want to know is what Herr Dokter thinks of the whole business. We already know that Schneider doesn't think much of this ('damn straight', the drummer says flatly) and us four find it hilarious... but you've been quiet about the whole thing from start to finish. So what do you think, Flake?"

"This one's the biggest," Paul's saying, still gazing at the dildos. "I wonder whose this one is?"

"Mine, quite clearly," Flake says in a completely deadpan voice without even looking, and this is the statement that makes everyone break down in laughter and diffuses the tension. Even Schneider has to laugh; with Flake's own special kind of approval, Rammstein has added one more item to their list of 'hilarious shenanigans', and that's good enough for everyone.

At least, Richard wants everyone to think that anyway. During the ride back to the flat he keeps glancing down at the flight case on his lap and the Rammstein logo on it, pondering on an idea that hasn't really taken shape yet, listening to Till and Paul chatting amicably in the background.

-----

"You sure you don't want to go? It's just such a nice day out, it's all."

Richard shakes his head and smiles. "No, Olli, I think I'll stay and watch over the flat. Someone has to, anyway. It's a Sunday and I really just want a long rest."

The bassist nods sympathetically. "Fair enough. Get a lot of rest in, Risch, we'll most definitely need it when we actually start touring."

"I will. You guys have a nice walk, ja?"

"You want us to bring back anything, Risch?" Flake calls from outside; he's bustling around, sounds like he's put his coat on. "cigarettes, drinks...?"

The guitarist contemplates this for a while, although he knows that everyone knows his answer already. It's just nice to keep people guessing sometimes. "Cigarettes, bitte. Preferably one of the larger packs. I'll give you the money afterwards."

"I've got you. Let's go."

The door shuts with a click and Richard is left alone in the collective flat. The place is cleaned up and tidied now - they're not going to be staying here for much longer seeing as the 'Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da' tour begins in less than a week's time. He's very much looking forward to it, his body already riled up with wanderlust - he hasn't felt this way for a long time, performing in front of people, hearing the cheers of the crowd vibrating through his body and feeling that sense of absolute elation. He's always been one to love performing and giving it his all. He walks over to the kitchen and checks the cupboards - there's some Jagermeister left from the previous night, and a bottle of peach schnapps. Pouring a little bit of the latter into a shot glass, Richard holds the glass in true Austrian style - between thumb and little finger - and smiles as he walks over to the window. A nice day indeed and good schnapps. What more can he ask for?

"... Company."

Amen to that. Richard down the schnapps in one gulp and frowns at the outside world. Relaxing in this place is good and he's not so desperate for company that he'd run out after his friends, but he's quite a social person and it'd have been nice to have someone in the flat with him to just talk and maybe strum a few songs with. That's always fun. Putting the glass in the sink, the guitarist ponders on what he should do for the next three or so hours that his friends will be away - guitar practice? No, his amps are packed away and he doesn't have an acoustic near him. He's not up for a film or a book either. There's the top shelf of the fridge to clean out, so he shrugs and gets to that first for the sake of something to do. It takes all of five minutes to toss away lemon and lime rinds, rearrange the containers of leftovers and fill up the ice tray again; and after that Richard finds himself sitting back in his room, not wanting to venture outside but not sure what else to do. Perhaps he just should take a long nap, curled up in blankets warmed by the sun, almost like a cat would during a warm lazy afternoon. That's also an idea.

Just as he's lying down on the bed, the aluminum flight case in the corner of his room catches his eye, and the idea that he's had since the last afternoon pops into his mind again. It strikes him then that while he knows what's inside, he hasn't actually checked it out for himself - well, he's alone, what's so wrong about wanting to find out? It'd be something to do. Richard gets up and pads across the room, kneeling down in front of the flight case, hesitating for only a second before opening it and peering inside.

The contents are just as expected - the album, handcuffs, lubricant, and the six pink dildos. It's not as if they're marked, but they all have the privilege of knowing which ones correspond to which person simply by having discussed it. Richard blinks down at the one on the third right, the one he knows that corresponds to himself, only realizing then just how completely surreal it is to see a representation of his own member being sold as a dildo. And that's just an imaginative form that he approved and got made. What would it have felt like to actually have a proper cast done? (Maybe he should look into that? Wait, what? What's he going to do with it even if he did?)

He's getting distracted. He only has his mind on two things, really. Reaching inside, he pulls out the dildo next to his, frowning a little at the sensation of the silicone - not unpleasant by any means but still a little weird because of its unnatural slickness - and after a pause also pulls out the bottle of lubricant. Not bothering to shut the flight case, he then stands up, staring at the two items in his hands and feeling unsure as to how to proceed; he doesn't even really understand what's possessing him to do this.

Till. This one corresponds to Till. They've got that sorted, at least. Tossing the bottle of lubricant on his bed, he looks at the dildo closely, frowning and observing it in a critical way. The silicone is cool in his hands but soaks in his heat. He takes in the texture of it - it's veined in a fairly realistic way and when he rubs the head of it, it feels fairly firm but not unpleasantly hard. When Richard had to design his own dildo he went with a fairly elaborated version of his own member (and that means ribbed), but Till's one is so realistic that he really has to wonder if the man really does look - really does feel like this down there.

The response to that thought comes to him so naturally that he has to do an inner double take when he realizes it. Well. I can experiment at least.

His room has a small ensuite attached to it. He goes to the sink and rises the dildo off first with warm water and soap, shaking the water drops off, before he closes the door to his room and sits down on his bed with it in his hands. Richard takes a deep breath first, still unsure how to even start - he's certainly not going to just go at it, that would be foolish and incredibly painful to boot.

This is Till, he tells himself. This is Till, I'm touching his cock, and it's hard for me.

Almost immediately he wants to groan and cover his face with his hands at just how much like a terrible romance novel that sounds, but he manages to overcome the urge by thinking of the real Till. That's not a new fantasy, after all. In his mind, the older man reciprocates his lust and longing that he's held in place since - since, wow, over ten years ago when he fondled himself onstage in Berlin - and them sleeping together is a perfectly natural thing. Natural as breathing, even. Richard thinks of being caressed by Till's hands, roughened from years' worth of burn scars, and finds himself being turned on almost instantly.

"Mmm," he murmurs as he touches himself, eyes sliding shut and hips bucking upwards slightly at his touch. He licks his lips for a second before opening his eyes and peeling off his shirt, discarding it beneath the bed. He does the same with his belt and trousers as well, along with his boxers, getting rid of all the garments restraining his arousal. Compare his length to the dildo; the latter is larger. He's not sure how to feel about that. Perhaps he'll do a comparison later with the others, but right now's not the time. Richard sits up, really studying the object in his hands, warming it with his body. The silicone doesn't feel too bad next to other parts of his body, either.

He's suddenly overcome with a strong desire to lick the tip of it so that's what he does. Nothing. Of course it tastes of nothing because it's just silicone. And then he feels like an idiot for having expected something else.

Oh well, at least I'm getting into it, he tells himself, and gently sets the dildo on his stomach. The reassuring weight, along with the pleasant sensation of his own arousal alongside it, helps him think of Till - he imagines the older man lying next to him, his hot, wet tongue running along his length as he bobs his head up and down. A fantasy that he's entertained many times before in hotels, the privacy of his own bed, or even within his bunk in tour buses with the singer sleeping mere inches away from him. Reaching down to stroke himself, Richard wonders what Till would taste like, really - if he's just as big as this dildo suggests, then it might be a bit of a struggle to take him in his mouth. He imagines kneeling down in front of the older man, submissive and obedient, running his tongue along the other's length and lapping up the precum leaking from the tip before swirling his tongue around the head, the singer moaning in his deep melodic voice and cooing sweet nothings above him-

"Till," he gasps as he brushes his thumb against the slick tip of his erection, letting out a quiet groan. "oh... mmm... Till..."

He feels ready. Reaching for the dildo (now very warm to the touch), he gets up to shift positions so that he's kneeling in front of the pillows and searches around for the tube of lubricant. Richard admittedly isn't a stranger to this kind of sex, although this kind of alone time is certainly new to him. At least he knows what to do. The lubricant is cold to the touch but a little rub between his fingers solves that relatively quickly; he grips the headboard with one hand and bends forwards, inserting a finger inside himself. Inhale. Exhale. He probably needs more lube, it's hard to get to a stage where too much lube is considered a bad thing. He manages two fingers afterwards, gently loosening his entrance a little in preparation for the real thing. After he's made sure that he's ready, Richard gets up and quickly nips over to the ensuite to wash his hands - walking with a heavily lubed backside feels very weird indeed - and he makes sure to lather the dildo with the gel as well once he's back on the bed. They really should have provided more lubricant with the boxset, come to think of it, or maybe he's just being extra cautious.

Right. This is it.

Richard is very aroused and leaking heavily by this point. He moans as he reaches behind him with the dildo, the tip of it pressing tight against his entrance; he thinks of Till, the fantasy of the older man making love to him, and that gives him enough motivation to carry on and try making love to 'Till', as crazy as it feels.

Ah... Gott, what am I doing...

But even through his inner protests, he's lusting too much to stop. Richard moans into the pillow softly as he pushes the tip inside of him; it slides in after a bit of pressure and he winces at the brief jolt of pain travelling through his body. It fades away after a few seconds, though, and after taking a deep breath or two, Richard carries on slowly, inserting inch by inch, panting heavily and pausing every few seconds to let himself adjust. It's a good thing that the dildo is hot and slippery inside him, it feels more realistic that way. There's one last inch remaining from the base that he's not sure that he'll be able to manage, but he ought to adjust to what he already has inside him - rolling over gently to lie on his back, Richard closes his eyes and lets his head sink into the pillows, letting out a quiet, trembling breath and forcing himself to relax. He's stretched and tight around the length; it aches a little, having something this big inside him, but he knows that it'll fade away soon. To ease himself, Richard spreads his legs a little wider and caresses himself, licking the tip of his fingers and pinching at a nipple, letting pure pleasure overtake the dull ache.

This is nothing but lewd. Utterly, utterly lewd. A far cry from his usual cool, composed demeanor.

As an experiment, he grasps the base of the dildo and pulls it out a little before pushing it back in. The silicone sliding against his entrance makes him tense up for a second, but he's pleased to see that he's ready to move; the next time around, he pulls it out a little more than before and slowly slides it back inside, building up a steady rhythm.

"Ahh..." he moans. "oh... mmm... fuck me..."

'Till' is large, he's certainly being made to understand that with his entire body - but Richard can only think about the man, the real deal, pounding into him and he can't help but be intensely aroused. Rolling over on his stomach, the guitarist lets out a high-pitched cry as he hits a spot inside him that sends a tingle up his spine; he muffles his cry into the pillow, a little mortified at how unmanly he sounds and yet feeling a guilty satisfaction from the way 'Till' is causing him to break down so completely and shamelessly.

"Oh, Gott," Richard cries, clutching onto the sheets with one hand, holding on for dear life. "oh, Gott, Till. Why are you so big even in replicated silicone form. Ahh. Ahh, fuck."

But it feels incredible. Admittedly, it feels quite different to having a real person making love to him - it takes much less effort to tighten around it and it feels a lot firmer than the real thing. But as far as he knows, this is about as close to Till's actual length as he's going to get. Gripping onto the headboard with one hand, Richard closes his eyes tight as he keeps on manipulating the dildo inside him, bucking and panting hard with each thrust, hitting his prostate every now and then and sending hot jolts of alternating pleasure and pain up his entire body. He's not actually a man who cares much about having that gland stimulated, he was never entirely sure what the big deal was, but when he's in control of where the dildo is going he thinks he understands a little more.

He kind of wishes he had another hand. Keeping the dildo inside him, he lets go and reaches down to manipulate his slick erection, feeling a spectacular orgasm coming on-

Something cold closes around his wrist. Richard's eyes widen at the sensation, and he glances down wildly to see that one of his wrists is now secured to the headboard with handcuffs; the very set of handcuffs from the flight case. The ones that he most definitely left in there - this could only mean -

"T-Till...!"

He has no idea how long the older man's been there, but as Till gives him a bemused look and reaches behind him, Richard can't really do much but squirm and moan as the older man grasps the dildo and starts to thrust it into his body. He starts off slow, obviously keeping the other's safety in mind, but he's soon slamming the object inside the younger man and aiming for the bundle of nerves inside him; Richard is also bucking hard with each thrust, the intense pleasure and the shock of having handed Till control over the situation mingling together into an indescribable sensation like he's never felt before. The older man's much rougher with him; when the guitarist moves his hand to try stroking himself again, Till pushes his hand out of position and gives him a hard slap on the backside, forcing him to cry out and cling onto the headboard with all his might. But even that's nothing compared to what happens next.

Just as he's thinking that he's probably going to climax for the second time, the length of silicone is suddenly pulled out of him completely; Richard whimpers and glances back at Till, confused and feeling somewhat cheated, only to be met with a kiss to the lips. Till's tossed the dildo away onto the sheets and now he's holding tightly onto the younger man, running his tongue over the other's lips and forcing them open, sharing a long, open-mouthed kiss. Very forward for a first kiss, for sure. Till seems intent on staying one step ahead of Richard at all points; he breaks the kiss to shove the younger man down, releasing the handcuff linking his wrist to the posts, and flips him onto his back. "Ow, what the-?"

He's answered when Till takes off his shirt, nearly tearing the fabric in his haste, and unzips his trousers. Richard just gasps, beyond really comprehending what's happening to him, as the older man takes advantage of his already more-than-adequately lubricated state; lifting up the other's legs, Till pulls him close and enters him in one swift thrust. It is at this point that Till says something for the first time since all of this started: "Nngh, Risch, you're so tight!"

Hardly original, but it's not as if Richard is complaining. Till's making love to him - actually making love to him, with his own member and all - and all he can do in response is to throw his head back, feeling the older man's lips polishing the skin of his neck, leaving tiny love-bites and butterfly kisses. The dildo has nothing on the real deal. Till really is just about as thick and large as the dildo was, but the actual friction of skin against skin and the sheer amount of slippery heat, hot and slick and sweet as buttercream, is something else altogether. Till is strong, impaling him with hard, merciless thrusts and at the same time being almost unspeakably tender as he murmurs words of love into his ear. He clings to the singer tightly, nails digging into the other's back (he hisses a little at the sensation but doesn't pull away), crushing their lips together so hard that he's sure that they'll be bruised by the next day. But it doesn't matter, nothing else matters, except that he and Till are joined as one and this time he's not being stopped just before the climax.

"Ri-Richard," Till gasps out, tensing suddenly. "ich komme..."

Richard doesn't hear this because he's there already. It's his full first name being called that does it. He bites down on Till's shoulder as he comes, muffling a loud scream, finally achieving release after all the agonizing wait. His body clenches tightly around the other's shaft, which then goes onto providing the final push off the edge for the singer, and the last thing the guitarist feels before briefly passing out from all the pleasure is the sensation of something hot and thick filling him up along with Till calling out his name again.

-----

He's only out for a few seconds but it feels like a lot longer than that. Either way, when Richard regains consciousness, Till is still inside him and gently licking at his neck, nuzzling the younger man and still rocking his hips slightly as he's letting his orgasm fade away. He meets the guitarist's eyes when he looks up, raising a hand to gently stroke his face in response.

"How're you feeling?" Till asks quietly. Richard is too dazed to answer, but he lets out a soft moan when the older man bends down and runs a warm, rough tongue over a nipple; Till sucks gently on the sensitive nubs, rolling one between a thumb and forefinger, enjoying the way the guitarist is squirming beneath him. "ist gut?"

"Mmnh," is the guitarist's only answer. He can barely move, his backside is aching and he feels like hes on the verge of passing out again. Deciding that perhaps he's getting too heavy for the younger man to handle, Till supports himself with both arms as he tries to move off the other's body only to be pushed back down when Richard tightens his legs around his hips. "... don't pull out yet... five more minutes..."

"I'm not going to stay hard for five minutes," the singer says, but nevertheless complies, sinking down to lie on top of Richard more comfortably. "heh. You hellcat, you. Nearly took the skin off my shoulders."

The guitarist doesn't say anything but closes his eyes, his entire body flushed with embarrassment. Now that his orgasm has faded away, he's aware that he's gotten himself into a problem. Quite a big problem, one that might affect the entire dynamics of the band; just before a tour too. Terrible timing. But Till himself doesn't appear to see it this way, considering the eagerness in which he made love to Richard and how utterly contented he looks now. He's still inside the younger man, although considerably more softened by this point - as if reading his mind, Till shifts above him and gently pulls himself out. Despite it all Richard lets out a soft, disappointed whine as he feels the singer leaving his body, some of his still-hot cum trickling out and staining the sheets beneath him; he's given a reassuring kiss to the forehead in response, and without bothering to clean themselves up, they end up in a somewhat awkward (only in Richard's point of view) cuddle.

"So. Your feelings."

"... Ja?"

Till smiles down at him. "I won't ask about what made you feel this way. Have you felt like this for a long time, though?"

"... Would you like the long version or the short version?"

"Point taken."

Richard shifts against the older man, still feeling rather mortified. "... You aren't angry, though? Considering you walked into me moaning your name like a cat in heat? I'd have been freaked out if it were myself, I mea - mmmph-"

"You talk entirely too much, Risch," Till says dryly, shushing him by pressing a finger to his lips. "and no, you dummkopf, I'm not angry. Would I have fucked you if I was, let alone wanting to keep this up in the future?"

"You mean that?"

"Very much so," the singer tells him, ruffling his hair and sitting up. "I didn't feel comfortable about leaving you alone in the flat, see. Didn't seem fair on you after you worked so hard with us. The others went to watch a movie but I decided to keep you company, that's why I came back early... and I liked what I saw."

An 'ah' is all Richard can say to this little revelation, so that's what he does. There's not much else to say, really - Till came back to keep him company and that's exactly what he's done. "How do you clean this?" he's asking, picking up the long-since forgotten dildo.

"I think you need to boil it. That'll sterilize it properly."

"We'll do that," the singer nods and lies back down on the bed, smiling lazily as Richard cuddles up to his chest and buries his face into his arms. The younger man's still very embarrassed about what's happened, that's for sure, but he feels contented and happy that the older man has reciprocated his feelings. "well, Risch, seeing as you're probably the first person in the world to have actually used one of those, I think we might keep this set to play with. There's a lot of potential for those," the older man gestures in the direction of the flight case. "ever wondered what it'd be like to do Paul, for example? Or even yourself?"

"... Uhh... I can't say that I have?"

"So I'm the only one you fantasized about," a shy nod. "well, I'm flattered, Risch - and believe me," Till kisses him gently on the nose, smiling. "your feelings are mutual. Congratulations are in order, I guess, seeing as we've both landed ourselves the real thing... heh, your hair tickles... shall we have a shower together in a bit? The others won't be back for a while."

Richard growls and impatiently tugs at Till. "Mmm... just put that thing down, stop making clichéd comments and kiss me goddamnit. A lot's happened. Give me time to adjust."

Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

Pffffft hahaha what the fuck have I done

Yeah I write smut too. I don't show it much and it takes ages to write but I do.

And yeah this totally should have been done ages ago. If it has been done and I'm not aware of it because I'm a derp, then I sincerely apologize. Either way I'm going to hell.

The only way this could have been more insane was if they were having sex to the rhythm of their own songs in the background. XDDDDDDD WHOOOSH oh look there goes my reputation for writing gradual, well-developed and realistic R+ fanfics lol :la: :la: :la:

I'm sorry for this one.

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A Guide to (Rammstein) Fanfiction by Kimbk

A guide to avoiding the general traps of fanfiction writing combined with examining some tropes present in the Rammstein fandom, presented by Kimbk, with examples involving lots of slash. Why, it has so much slash, it might as well be a fanfiction itself.

Please read the first part before reading this one.

Warnings: The title is somewhat misleading; while I will be pointing out badly done tropes, only a few are so unforgivable to genuinely incite hatred from me. Still might be offensive in some ways. Not intended to be a personal attack. If you recognize your own fanfic tropes here, rest assured that you are not the only one because I write from experience.

This half of the guide contains less examples and more ambiguous discussions; if the first half was teaching how to write words down and arrange them properly, this half teaches you to flesh out everything and breathe life into it. And by ambiguous discussion, that means opinionated and probably likely to offend several people. It also discusses the emotive side of fanfiction as opposed to technical, so if you're seeking to iron out grammatical errors and such, the first half is what I recommend you read.



Rammstein Character Tropes That Make Me Drink



Before I start this one, I feel obliged to state this. This is the most personally opinionated section in this guide; if you wish, you may skip this part. Character tropes are as specific as you can get in fanfiction as opposed to general or fandom-focused, and that means that everyone has some seriously varying interpretations - and because this is a Rammfic guide (i.e. fiction involving real people), the possibilities are endless and not everyone will agree. The fandom can come to a general consensus about any event, but start asking them to interpret what a bandmate is like, and there will eventually come a point where nobody will agree on anything. My interpretations here are no exception, because I am just one person and even though I really work my ass off to avoid the pitfalls of terrible characterization, there is only so much that words can convey of a image within your mind onscreen. Because character trait is something better established over the course of an entire fanfic as opposed to a few lines, examples will be scarce here.

I might point fingers and say 'Wow, X is really out of character' - but then, what is 'out of character' for a real, complex human being? I won't pretend to know. Someone's interpretation of X can only be out of character against a general idea of X. So basically, to put it harshly, everything and nothing is invalid.

I chose the most general points that I thought people would agree that are/were quite prominent in fanfiction to discuss in this guide. This is after all a fanfiction guide and not a debate about what someone is like in real life. If you recognize your interpretations or take offence, I apologize sincerely in advance, and I accept that people might not agree.

Despite the fact that I did warn you to skip the section if you worried about this exact thing, and wrote this long beginning to tell you exactly why. But hey. I can't pretend to control you, and I won't ever do so. It's only etiquette.


:bulletblack: Richard is Nothing But a Diva :bulletblack:
Example:
'All right, what do I do from here? We're all on hiatus, but I really have to admit that I'm getting rather antsy when I'm not doing anything. Kind of depressed too, in a strange way - I want to create, I want to take responsibility for something, and Rammstein won't let me do that at this present time. I know! I'll start a little side band. Collect some friends, maybe produce some songs - an album would be fantastic. I just hope none of my bandmates mind... well, I'll think on it a little. After all, my allegiance is to Rammstein. Now, where's that recipe for Black Forest Cake?'

Richard.

Example
'Oh mein Gott this is terrible news Paul doesn't want to talk to me anymore and Till's gotten bored of fucking me and all my other bandmates hate me because I'm so fa-bu-lous! Dissing me! Me, the star of the show, the fantastic and amazing Peaches Kruspe (aka. Reesh, Reeshybuns, Fly Boy, Risch and occasionally Richard Kruspe)!! Where did my life go so wrong?!? And I just chipped approximately 0.002 cm off the black nail polish on my right thumbnail while strumming on my guitar oh boo hoo hoo my poor heart is breaking ;_;'

Not Richard.


:bulletblack: Till is Always Hurt or Hurting Others :bulletblack:
This seems especially prevalent with Till or Richard for some reason. Now Till is a very dark and brooding man. I'd be an idiot to claim otherwise. He's a hurt soul, and again, I can't deny that. But isn't everyone to some degree?

Till in fanfiction comes in various flavors, but these two interpretations are prominent and often poorly executed. If Till is hurt, that alone is fine - but if he becomes weepy or overly sensitive to everything, that is not really the way to go about things. Especially when the whole band comes into consideration. Till is the frontman of Rammstein, the oldest member of the band and is the main vocalist/lyricist. You can't say that someone who has those responsibilities - he probably has the most in the band, actually - is well characterized when he shows his hurt entirely too much by being weepy or becoming suicidally depressed at the drop of a hat or hampering the progress of the entire band just because he's upset and spiteful.

Likewise. Till is not characterized well when he's malicious and can't stand to see other people being happy. Rapist!Till appears to be quite common in rapefics and often is pulled off absolutely terribly - though this is hardly new, considering the style a disturbing amount of rapefics are written in anyway in any fandom ever - and this is not a good thing.

Out of everyone in the band, Till is probably the one we know the most about; and also the one who really doesn't want all that to be known about him. He's a very reserved man, a challenge for anyone to write taking into account all that he has published, written and that we know about. A very complicated person. I won't say that he can never feel hurt in fanfiction, or can do no wrong to others, because that would be an incredibly stupid thing for me to say. But when Till's angst becomes single-dimensional, you aren't doing it right.


:bulletblack: Flake is Made of Glass :bulletblack:
I'm surprised at how many fics describe Flake as particularly delicate. Sure, he's really damn skinny - don't think he's ever had anything worth mentioning as 'bulk' in his entire career. I won't deny that. Even now the man's practically skeletal sometimes with very thin limbs and whatnot. And I guess there's the usual 'bitch of the band' perspective as well. But I'd never describe him as weepy or overtly emotional. He's probably more Germanic than some of the other bandmates, and treating him as delicate and easily broken just seems wrong, especially at the hands of Till or anyone like that. Flake is the second tallest in the band, so physically he really doesn't lack anything compared to the others. Emotionally-wise... we're talking about a man who freely admits that he misses the simpler times of oppressive East Berlin, grumbles about making of videos in a making of video, does insanely silly antics onstage with no shame at all, and is the only member of the group who has that constant sense of 'if this band gets boring, I'm going to leave' hanging over everyone's heads.

You might call that stoic, I might call that beautifully absurd, but either way, him sobbing and wanting to die over the slightest thing in fanfiction... just makes me tilt my head and go 'eh?'. He's not like that at all. Of course, Flake is not the opposite-spectrum interpretation of him being an uptight asshole who has no affection for anyone, either.

I find Flake very complex. Funny and shameless and utterly bizarre onstage. Serious as hell with a very pronounced air of disdain offstage, but affectionate in his own right. I really want to know what goes on in his head, and I don't know what, but he's sure as hell not made of glass. If he had to be made of glass it'd be bulletproof glass if anything, one hard layer and one soft layer, resulting not in shattering when impacted but flexing and holding on.

... The fuck am I going on about. Let's move on to Oliver.


:bulletblack: Oliver is Forgotten or Filler Material :bulletblack:
This, again, seems less prevalent than before. He is probably the quietest in the band, but lots of fanfiction involving him have been propping up recently and he generally is well-written. I guess what I'm more going for are the occasional fics where Oliver is suddenly a molester/rapist for the lack of anyone else for the part - the worst kind of filler imaginable. You have everyone but one person down as a character, so you make them the antagonistic figure, because no one is going to empathize and look too much into the antagonist character, right? Perhaps we can pull that off with the more aggressive ones of the band (though maximum caution has to be exercised as I noted in the Insensitivity section), but the shyest, quietest bandmate? >.<

This isn't quite an example, because this is something I would refuse to write an example of, but I once read a fic where Oliver forced Flake to give him a handjob and raped Richard and Flake and Paul somehow hooked up and Schneider and Richard did too and then Till and the bandmates beat the shit out of Oliver and then he apologized and then Till and Oliver hooked up and Paul and Flake had sex. I cite the summary of this precisely because I can't remember the title nor where this fic is (avoiding naming, this is not a witch hunt) and I doubt the author has been active in the fandom for the last few years. No use beating a dead horse, except as a mild footnote in this entry as an example of what not to do with Oliver (plus he was easily forgiven which to me is an absolutely lethal combination with rape asjfgkjsjfhfjfjf ARGH).

When I wrote Oliver, I gave him a mild complex towards everyone for being the youngest in the band, and an air of quiet prominence because of his position as the bass. He might not look it but it really hasn't been long since he was still in his thirties; and the bassline is the most important part of most pieces of music, because while simple and low-key, they have to create a rhythmic pulse (drums, rhythm guitar) and emphasize melody (lead guitar, vocals) at the same time! There's never a point where the bassist can take it easy. Rammstein wouldn't be Rammstein without Oliver's influence, from the very basics. <3


:bulletblack: Paul is Nothing But Bunnies and Sunshine :bulletblack:
"But what are you talking about, Kimbk," some might say. "Paul is bunnies and sunshine at least half the time. His way of singling out particularly energetic and eager fans and smiling to them, dedicating his night's performance to them! His wit and humor and his way of always being quite the informative little chatterbox in interviews, being fun-sized... and the ridiculous hats that he wears... and his doting papa tendencies - and his smile too! How can he not be bunnies and sunshine? <33333"

Of course. All of the above are true. He also was born prematurely, experienced some serious poverty while living with Flake in East Berlin including selling things illegally, left home early, suffers from trust issues even now, and made punk music at a time when too much noise and such audacious displays could easily have ended him up in jail. And he went through all of that and kept on smiling and being the sweet Paul we all know. He's a brave, brave man and God knows he earned the right to take life easier from the point when he joined Rammstein.

So really. Making Paul happy is perfectly in-character. He does feel like the mediator figure half the time, not brooding or taking life to the utmost seriousness. Making him occasionally a bit of an annoyance to his bandmates is also in-character (e.g. Schneider sometimes found him hard to bear in their earlier days). But if his constant joy is all that he has going for, and said joy turns him into a vapid character, you might want to rethink things a little.


:bulletblack: Crossdressing and Being Gay Equals Schneider :bulletblack:
Let me tell you of some other things Schneider has done.
  • He served in the East German Military for eighteen months. He could kick your ass.
  • He drowned a cat once.
  • Out of necrophilia, bestiality, and scat, he would choose the latter.
  • He bought his own drums and had them continuously welded back together like a champ.
  • He wears clothes that his sister Constance designs for him onstage.
  • He thinks the LIFAD boxset and 'Pussy' are stupid.
  • He and Flake once 'talked' with telepathy.
  • He has an adorable little hunch when he sits.
  • He drums, maybe?
I'll stop before this starts turning into some kind of Chuck Norris list or whatnot. TL;DR, a crossdressing fruit Schneider is not. It might be an aspect of him, but it isn't him in itself. He also yells like a goddamn fire alarm when he drums. I love it. <3



Other Tropes Worthy Of Discussion (May or May Not Make Me Drink)



These tropes are neutral by definition and I do not have a strict stance on them. Mind you, this doesn't mean I have not made up my mind about certain things - I do like and dislike certain aspects of those tropes but acknowledge that I might not have experienced many of them or they are not often even played in full, leaving me with very little to judge.

:bulletblack: Rammstein Family Discussion (General) :bulletblack:
With Rammstein spouses/significant others that you approve of, it's easy to pretend that they don't exist (not the best, but it's much better than wanting to hurt them pointlessly). It's easier to write them out. In the end, they haven't mixed any blood with the bandmates. With family, however, this is much harder to pull off. Blood is thicker than water, and how those men have turned out depends significantly on upbringing, so ignoring their existence is not going to work very well. I moved this discussion here instead of the second section precisely because of that - you have to remain neutral regarding family matters.

With children, acknowledging their existence is vital. Whether it goes beyond that is up to you, as long as you show them the utmost respect. This doesn't mean that they can do no wrong; there is a way to humanize people who nevertheless are portrayed in a realistic and positive way. 'Respect' doesn't mean that Nele, Khira Li or Merlin or the other children can never have any character beyond being sweet or any conflict out of fear that you're overstepping boundaries. Pairing them up or having them be hurt is genuinely crossing that line - but realistic interaction with their parents/other bandmates/each other isn't, and is quite nice to see.

Example:
"Guten Abend," Khira Li finally responded, never forgetting her manners. "uncle, it's me, Khira Li."
"Oh, hello!" the man sounded pleasantly surprised at her call, and she could hear something shifting at the other end as he presumably sat down somewhere with the phone in hand. "I haven't heard from you in a while. How are you, sweetheart?"
"I'm... I'm doing okay," a white lie. But there was no sense in worrying Till just yet; Khira Li hastily cleared her throat and returned the question to steer the subject away from her well-being. "and you?"
Till laughed a little; but unbeknownst to her, he had picked up on the oddly downhearted tone in her voice. He was just as sensitive to her moods as he was to Nele's own, after all. "Growing older every day and enjoying every second of it. The usual, nothing interesting in particular. So what led you to call me?"
Khira Li paused, biting her lower lip. "I... um... I..." Till waited patiently, not asking any more questions than that, letting her bid her time. Khira Li was a honest girl and would tell him of her own accord eventually. "... I kind of wanted to talk to Nele."


At least I hope that was nice to see. It would make me vaguely terrified and sad if it wasn't, and I'd fix it posthaste.

As for the issues of parental figures, that's another thing in itself. With some bandmates we barely know anything about their childhood or what their parents were like; in that case, should they be written, artistic license is 100% unavoidable and you just have to try your best. What we do know has to be respected, though. I'll keep to the promise I made in the second section - so let's take the case of Till and Werner Lindemann due to there being more detail. I'm going to say that if you were to write Werner Lindemann, characterizing him as nothing but abusive is wrong and unrecommended - but so would be making him nothing but loving and unconflicted, because that promotes denial of the things that he did do to Till that impacted him negatively.

"But Werner's book says that Till and he loved each other, and Till confirmed it too. Werner's book shows nothing but love for Till," someone might cite. They forget one essential thing.

It is Werner's book. He wrote it. And inevitably, it is biased. Would you paint yourself as an unloving bastard and lovingly describe all the terrible things you did in life in your own autobiography? If it provides no reading value and can do nothing for you, I don't think you would. No one in their right mind would. The truth is only known to Till's family, and whatever relationship it was, I'm betting that it was just an average relationship full of its own conflicts and its own love. They lived life how they wanted it to, and Till carried it on how it wanted to. There is nothing wrong with that. Respect and humanizing does not involve 'idealization'.

So when fans get all het up and start entering the 'they were a 100% loving family and anyone who thinks otherwise is objectively wrong' vs 'Till had a horrible father and anyone who thinks otherwise is objectively wrong' debate, they're wasting their time. Because you can't condense a real life relationship like that, and quite frankly, it's insulting to assume that you know more about their family relations than the people in question themselves. As long as you are a fan, all you can do is speculate. Your opinions are not superior. And of course, people attacking fanworks or simple statements that were influenced from the story of Till and Werner - or any bandmate-bandmate's family relationship - because it doesn't fit in with their view, I find that over the line.

Let's say someone made a little personal work about how alcoholism is bad, and cited Till and Werner's relationship. So what if Till's father wasn't an one-dimensional alcoholic abusive bastard, and so what if he was? Marilyn Monroe being size 14 is totally inaccurate in modern days because her size 14 is not equal to our size 14. It hasn't stopped countless girls from gaining confidence and challenging the overtly-strict standards of beauty in society. And even if it was based off the wrong information, I would never, never call that an invalid lesson to take. It's the same thing. 'Alcoholism is bad' is a perfectly valid lesson, and if you charge in with your militant attitude saying 'OMG TILL AND WERNER WERE NOT LIKE THAT YOU ARE SO WRONG PLEASE CHANGE THIS IT MAKES ME VERY SAD THAT YOU PROMOTE THOSE FALSE RUMOURS' - quite frankly, it makes you a dick.

So by all means, treat everyone with the utmost respect and humility. Remember that humans are not one-dimensional. Till and Werner did love each other, and no one is denying that - no one should deny that; but if you dismiss the art/fiction of someone who was inspired and moved by how either of them dealt with the less-loving parts of their relationship as invalid and wrong just because it doesn't fit in with your perspective, don't expect me to take your militant side.

I have seen this happen. You bet I was pissed off.


:bulletblack: Script Fic :bulletblack:
I admit to having this bias. I can't stand 'script fics', mainly because I started off in Fanfiction.net where script fics were like the cancer that killed off entire fandoms - especially around 2004-2006 where I was really beginning to take in what the world of fanfiction was like - and because even now, people don't know how to write proper scripts when they write something like this. Note however that I put 'script fics' in quote marks; a lot of those aggrieving pieces of 'fiction' aren't actually properly written in the script format. Thus, I don't even consider them script fics. Well-written script fics do exist, and I remain neutral as to their existence as long as they are in the proper format. That is why this trope is here instead of the first section.

This is an example derived from the common format, 'Character 01: (insert dialogue here)' / 'Character 02: (insert dialogue here)':

Example:
Till: Schneider? Is that you?
Schneider: Hello, Till.
Till: Oh thank God, I've finally gotten in touch with someone from the band. Listen, Schneider, please do me a favor and call up Flake and Richard... I think they're not picking up because it's me, just call them up or leave a voicemail in your voice.
Schneider: Is this because of the tour bus? Why do I need to do that?
Till: So I can say there's another person looking for them, I'm just going to leave another voicemail... 'Schneider's called me up and he's waiting to hear from you'-
Schneider: She.
Till: I beg your pardon?
Schneider: I'm a she.


And this is not the right way to write a script fic. A script is indeed all about action and dialogue, but for the love of God, please set a detailed scene and add constant instructions to flesh out what the characters are like. Otherwise what you're doing is just creating yet another featureless plane of disembodied dialogue. A better example would be this.

Example:
[Pause. TILL shifts around uncomfortably, unsure as how to respond to this revelation. He crosses his legs and uncrosses them again, frowning and biting lightly at his lip. SCHNEIDER speaks up again.]

SCHNEIDER
Till? Are you still there?

TILL
... Yes, yes, I suppose so. Fine then. Uh, whatever floats your boat, I guess. [Pause. He shifts on the chair once more.] So could you leave that voicemail for Flake and Richard? Come to think of it - where are you right now?

SCHNEIDER
[Does not answer.]

TILL
For heaven's sake, Schneider, are you going to answer or are you just wasting my time. [Pause. Five seconds. Heavy sigh.] Okay. Never mind. I guess it's impolite to inquire where a - lady - is at any given point in time, she'll be offended-

SCHNEIDER
He.

TILL
[Incredulously] What?

SCHNEIDER
[Calmly] He. I'm a he.


Kind of like that. Learn to write a proper script, and you will be able to write a proper script fic. It's just that, well, not many people bother. I never have written a full length one myself; but a lot of fanfics, especially during the late 1990s and early 2000s, were written in this style and some went on for over a hundred pages in proper detailed script format. These are good. If you must preserve script fics, please preserve them in that way. Though hopefully not with the kind of whimsy presented above.


:bulletblack: Plagiarism vs. Influence :bulletblack:
Everyone agrees that plagiarism is bad, but good luck finding a reference or clear-cut point as to where it stops being plagiarism. The line is just too blurred, so this discussion is here instead of the first section. First we ought to take into note the words of the great Tom Lehrer:

Plagiarize,
Let no one else's work evade your eyes,
Remember why the good Lord made your eyes,
So don't shade your eyes,
But plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize -
Only be sure always to call it, please, 'research'.
- Tom Lehrer, 'Lobachevsky'


When you read and write, you inevitably would have been influenced by certain authors, books and ideas. That is the normal way it should be. Influence is when you read something and it sparks a related idea in your head that you then develop by yourself. Plagiarism is word-for-word copying/a too-direct implementation of an idea that another author has done already; and it shows clearer the more specific the aspects are. If someone writes a fic about X angsting about writing and then being consoled by Y, and three days later another fic emerges from a different author that deals with the same idea and down to the same events - then it's going to raise a few eyebrows.

It's not so easy pointing fingers, however. If someone takes from your work only a single original aspect and utilizes it in their fic, is that plagiarism or would you be flattered that you influenced someone else? Imitation being the best form of flattery is surprisingly more true than you might expect. And if two writers derive from a single event like this without knowledge of what the other's doing...

Example:
Author 1 - Till was so engrossed in singing that he did not notice the danger heading straight for him; it was a staple of their 'Amerika' performance at that point, to be fair, and really he had no reason to notice the Segway until it slammed into his body in the midst of his singing.

In that moment, his head went blank and the final syllable of the line was lost; not even a scream of pain managed to escape as he collapsed, seemingly in slow-motion, onto the right side of the stage.

It was only when he hit the ground that sound and vision came rushing back to him, this time so rapidly that he still could not react. A distant roaring in his ears made him briefly wince, but soon the sound began to sharpen and he realized that the fans were no longer cheering, but rather screaming and trying to climb over the fence. He turned his head ever so slightly to see the look of utter horror on Richard's face, along with the rest of the band - who were all frozen in position, unsure whether to abandon the performance and seek help, or keep character as they had done for the various mishaps they'd had over the years.


Example:
Author 2 - Oh god, oh my God, this hurts so much. Everything's rushing around me - someone's shaking me, I think it might be Richard - and he's shouting something over the screaming of the fans but I honestly can't make out what he's saying.

What... what just happened? I don't... I thought everything was going smoothly...

From my position on the stage floor I suddenly hear a thud of footsteps rushing towards me and stopping just short of my body. I try to support myself up with my arms - slowly does it - but the moment I try heaving myself upwards pain screams in my knees and I fall back down with a cry of agony, followed suit by more screams of terror from the fans. But I've got to finish the performance. How long has it been since I've been lying here? Five seconds? Five minutes? I turn my head - and end up staring directly into Flake's eyes, filled with fear and apology; he too looks shaken and I think he's nursing an arm, but I can't make any more out.

"I misaimed the Segway," he whispers hoarsely, and even through the noise I can hear him crystal clear. "Gott, I... I'm so sorry, Till... Till, are you..."


Would you call that plagiarism? I wouldn't. Neither of them induced the event in question, they've simply followed a single source that was publicized, and that's not a cause for plagiarism. Hell, if author 1 was never aware of author 2's work to begin with, it can't be plagiarism. But good luck proving that it wasn't plagiarism from author 1 in relation to author 2, or vice versa, once people start pointing out similarities. So really. The author has it incredibly hard sometimes.

This debate can go on forever. This is what I would recommend but I unfortunately have to acknowledge that this requires a lot of author-reader faith or even author-author faith, something that isn't always possible.
Authors, if you were influenced by a fic or another author's works, leave a little note at the bottom of the fic citing your influence. In the case of DA or any fanfiction site you might be putting it on, and if the author(s) in question are also there, it is polite to also inform them, though really just the acknowledgement alone is enough in most cases. Likewise, don't point fingers quickly at another fic/author for using the same general idea, unless you've read it all and it really is too similar to another work - ideas are not copyrighted.
Readers, remain diligent on the lookout for copycat stories, but again don't be too eager to point fingers or immediately drop the author you suspect of having been plagiarized a note. Stirring up trouble isn't the best way to go. But should you find something like that, whether you prioritize telling the suspected plagiarist of your suspicions or informing the author who's had their work 'plagiarized' is up to you.

Of course you can write seriously weird shit to counter against plagiarism. Being so utterly bizarre so that your work cannot be identified as anything other than yours - and that rehashes of it will inevitably result in 'hang on, this is like the kind of stuff X does' from readers - is a good way of defending yourself. The only downside is that this is hard to judge, and that even if you are successful, being weird will be your trademark. Like me DX


:bulletblack: M-Preg :bulletblack:
Oh dear. Here it comes. Admittedly I have not yet come across M-preg Rammfics in DeviantArt. I know that there are some floating out there, though I don't feel the urge to go looking for them.

I'm tempted to say that you ought not to write M-preg due to disrespect and the overwhelming trend of bad M-preg fics in the fanfiction world, but there is a reason why this genre was paid attention to in this section. Due to physical impossibilities, to me it honestly doesn't fall under the white-black spectrum of tropes that can and can't be written. It doesn't follow any rule of plausibility; when it comes to hurtfics involving Rammstein spouses/children/family, there is the very shudder-worthy aspect of it being (possibly) realistically portrayed. But male pregnancy just cannot happen unless you're a seahorse.

So. Even though I never expected to say this, ever: my stance on this is neutral, so by all means, write it.

I won't be advising you on how to write M-preg, especially seeing as I have never written one, do not intend to write one, and haven't dared to read that many M-preg fics. I haven't ever read a well-done M-preg in my life, so my advice on this is lacking and my anatomy knowledge does not go that far. So I, uh, if you really must write one... please justify it in context, whether it's an implant or a full anatomical change or they've turned into seahorses or whatever. One of the major failures of this genre and the reason why it's considered the dregs of fanfiction is that so many authors pull this off absolutely horribly (i.e. refusing to explain anything and passing the birth off as 'TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ESSENTIAL ANATOMIC DIFFERENCES').

Of course you can pull it off as satire too. Satire is awesome.


:bulletblack: Genderbending :bulletblack:
By genderbending in this context, I mean a physical change in genders, not crossdressing. Crossdressing is perfectly acceptable and canon as the boys have demonstrated multiple times, and also because of the Frau's existence. Carry on. <3 But as for physical male-female/female-male change... well, it was also in this section because of the same reason as the above point, except 'genderbending' is actually medically explainable in some cases. Sex reassignment operations actually exist. Doing some research and giving an accurate account of physical change... that's perfectly acceptable.

Of course not many genderbending fics go that far. It's a medically/morally tricky business and doing research into this field is a lot more complicated than you'd expect in fanfiction. Nevertheless the problems don't tend to start, even with overnight/inexplicable changes, unless you made a male character female (or vice versa) so that they could engage in sex with someone else who was previously of the changed person's gender. Even that would be fine - but unless you tread carefully, your text might start giving the impression that their love/sex was not possible or undesirable unless one of them changed gender. This is a terrible implication to have in fanfic, and when it starts veering into that direction you get the dreaded This Trope IS Bad warning. Other possible bad implications possible in the world of genderbending is that the 'turned' person may be adopted cliched gender roles (males->females 'have' to adopt dresses, heels, etc, females->males have to adopt a swagger and macho behavior) or the 'other gender' is so comfortable that the 'turned' person refuses to change. Of course, none of this would be a problem if these changes are wanted and the gender change is purposefully done by the character - but clarify it in that case. Really think about what you're doing. Be realistic. Even if you can't give fully medical explanations, the issues that can come with this particular concept are numerous and ripe for writing. Don't waste it.

I must admit. The closest I have gotten to real genderbending is 'Shock Treatment' and even then I'd say it's not a full example. So here I am, writing one. I'm a bit nervous as to how this might work out.

Example:
"I'm so sick of this. All the working out better have paid off."

"You've reached your target weight, though," the younger of the two says with a smile. "and that's the most important thing. I almost thought back there-" an elegant gesture towards the door of the doctor's office. "-that they weren't going to let you through. What'd I tell you about those protein shakes?"

"What could you possibly tell me that would conceal the fact that they're not that interesting to drink."

"And it's not interesting for me to walk around with bandages on my head because I've had my cheeks and jaw reconstructed, either, but you don't see me complaining about it."

The older of the two doesn't respond to this. They sit in silence for a long time; today, if all goes well, is the final time they'll have to spend this long in the hospital. Disinfectant and air freshener, the scent that the two have become accustomed to over all of those months of hard work; it's nostalgic, almost.

"Say, you have a cigarette?"

"Sure. Last one. Take it."

But they hope to never smell it again.

"Till?"

"Yes, Risch?"

"... You don't regret that we went through this?"

"Not at all," Till says, and flicks the end of the newly-lit cigarette cherry, scattering ashes into the porcelain ashtray. "of course it was hard, I'm not denying that, but it's what we wanted, wasn't it? No more hiding or binding ourselves so we fit into the clothes we wanted to fit into - no more hiding our true gender, being forced to live as strangers. I'm not young anymore. It's time I lived my life how it was meant to be lived, and let me tell you, Risch, it wasn't like the way I used to be."

Richard nods, looking considerably more relieved - he stubs out the cigarette and settles back into the chair, exhaling. "I hope everything is okay now. I can do with a good strumming session and some hearty dinner afterwards."

"Aren't you meant to be relaxing? I mean - your hands, they're not quite the same as before-"

"Relax, schmelax. That's precisely why I have to practice. Because they're my hands and I'll be damned if I can't make them feel like my own again."

They look at each other, for the first time taking in - really taking in how they've both changed over all this time. Last year, they sure as hell didn't look like the way they look now, and they're glad for it. It has been such a long period of time, lost in pain and doubt and the priority of learning to adjust to an entirely different world; but they've come so far, to doubt themselves now would be ridiculous. Now if - only if-

The door to the office swings open. Till and Richard hastily stand up and nod their head, gazing anxiously at the doctor (middle-aged, stern looking, pristine labcoat) who's surveying them with a critical eye. "How did it go?" Till asks nervously. His hand is grasping Richard's, but neither of them notice this; but the doctor does, though, and glancing down at his clipboard he clears his throat - and smiles.

"Your operations were a success, the newly-Mr. Lindemann and Mr. Kruspe."


There you go. My own piece of legitimate genderbending, except instead of Rammstein bandmates -> females, it's the other way around. WHAT A TWEEEEEEEEEST


:bulletblack: OCs :bulletblack:
The ever-important issue of OCs and how to avoid writing them as Mary Sues. Ah, yes. This is prominent in every fandom ever, pretty much. If you've ever written for any fandom, or drawn for any fandom, or even been just lurking in a fandom for a while, you've probably come across this issue.

I'm actually of the opinion that the Rammfandom ought to have more developed OCs in it, despite the fact that I myself tend to create OCs only for background reasons or to fill in unimportant space about 90% of the time. The truth is: good OCs are ridiculously hard to write sometimes, especially in fanfiction. When you write fanfic, you are working with characters that you and the audience have an inherent, vague idea of. You see the name 'Paul' in a Rammstein fic, you almost immediately think of the rhythm guitarist who's positioned stage left (from audience perspective), has a questionable hairstyle and is a five-feet-seven-tall package of cute and cheeriness, all from just reading that name. You don't have this with your original characters; it is up to you to present them to the reader with the same amount of detail without breaking pace, and yet make them realistic as well. Inevitably you will spend more time introducing and developing your OC than you will the other established characters.

I'm not the person you ought to ask when it comes to how exactly you go about writing a realistic OC. There is only so much I can do on that department, because with real person fic in particular it's difficult enough keeping to canon as it is - I will heartily recommend the Mary Sue Litmus Test. It is a much more comprehensive test than any guide I could plausibly write on this topic. But a very important thing to remember is that if you write for Rammstein, you might have to try especially harder to match the real-person qualities of the fandom; the same goes for any real-person fandom, actually. Not all OCs that fall in love with bandmates are Mary Sues, and they ought not to be judged as such until further qualities are revealed. And despite the negative connotations of the term, 'self-insert' does not necessarily have to be negative nor is basing an OC off yourself an unforgivable crime, because you are a human being.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


:bulletblack: Betareading/Editing :bulletblack:
I put this in this section because while a very good practice, there is no point in demanding that you need a betareader for everything, because you don't. I am my own betareader; it was one of the services I offered at FF.net, and I read a lot of good fanfics and brainbreakingly horrible fanfics during my time betareading. I still betaread for others as well. If you are confident in your own ability to edit, then you generally won't see the need to ask for a beta.

A good betareader (should they be a different person from the author) should be willing to:
  • Point out grammar/spelling/punctuation errors as soon as they are spotted. Whether they correct it for the author or not depends on the situation.
  • Advise the author on characterization.
  • Check pacing and the overall style of a story.
  • Be critical of the entire piece and offer advice.
  • And yet despite all of this, betareaders can't interfere with the main text itself or rewrite chunks on their own without permission - that's the point where a beta stops being a beta and becomes a co-writer, and their style might be so different from the author's that this is not necessarily a good thing.
And of course, the author needs to actually take into consideration all of the advice that the beta offers. That's how their relationship is maintained. They basically are your editors, proofreaders and your test audience, so if you do have a betareader relationship with someone, it is to be much treasured.

However, because betareaders are often fellow authors and not actually trained editors, any trope that might not pose a problem in their eyes can be overlooked easily. Even if it's featureless planes of dialogue, insensitivity or whatnot. Betas are not perfect by any means; the best you can hope for is someone who has a critical eye to everything and has proven themselves to be critical over a long time. There isn't much of a leeway around it. Typos and little grammatical errors escape me often precisely because I am my own editor and betareader; I usually spend about an hour betareading a 9000-word chapter and editing it to be presentable, and then at least three more hours in the days after it gets posted reading through everything and ironing out little errors. It's a forever job. x_x I am an author before I am an editor, and I know this all too well.

But barring the existence of another person to proofread your work, I feel that it is etiquette to your readers that you edit your work to make sure that it is actually comprehensible and free of errors. There is nothing quite as off-putting as typing 'Dero' as 'Derp' and leaving it that way, or having an unspotted run-on sentence in the middle of a dramatic scene. Even if you think you can't spot any errors - your readers often will, because they haven't been staring at the same blocks of text for hours and days on end like you have. I won't pretend that it's easy, because it isn't. Editing is one of the most boring things you have to do in fiction. But it is also very necessary.

And the final thing. Credit your betareader(s), always. They put in some time to critique your work, and you have utilized their services as test audience, editor and advisor at once. That is the least an author can do for their beta.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this work is to be used as guide purposes only and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this guide.

FAQ Section:



:bulletred: If you have so much of a problem with all of those tropes, then what the hell do you actually read, you elitist fuck?

I read everything. I read bad fics, good fics, fics that make me want to tear out my eyes from its sockets, and fics that make me want to literally bleach my brain free of the memories. If I was selective in the things I chose to read precisely because of my knowledge of how tropes ought to be used, I would be a twit. But I'm not and I like to think that I'm not a twit, because otherwise I would have never learnt to spot how tropes work.

There is no single way of 'gaining' an eye for how to describe wrong usage of tropes and grammar. You just have to keep reading and reading, no matter how brainbreakingly bad it is. Of course if you still think I'm an elitist fuck, there is not a great deal I can do to change your opinion - except to question why you kept on reading my apparently elitist and offensive opinions to the end.

:bulletred: But if an author pours their heart and soul into a fanfic, you can't criticize them just because of a few trope errors!

Yes, you can, and maybe everyone should.

...

I'll just let the boldness of that sentence sink in. Right, carrying on.

People who come up with the argument that technicality ought to be put behind emotional value forget the vital essence of fiction. It's not a single-person party. Just because the author is satisfied enough with their own work and have indeed been honest and emotional doesn't mean it's the end. The reader base has to be accounted for; once you put it up online, you give it an audience, and if you want to earn favorable reviews from the audience, you have to do certain things. I could probably write a wall of text filled with chatspeak right now that tells you of my harrowing experiences with Korean education. The facts would be valid, it'd be cathartic for me, but at the end of the day it'd still be a pile of shit because no one would be able to comprehend the writing.

Bottom line. It doesn't matter how much heart and soul you placed into a fic. If it's not comprehensible or properly formatted, it means absolutely nothing to the reader.

"But writing's about breaking the rules," you might say. "just because it doesn't follow certain laws of prose doesn't mean it's bad." This is true, but again, you need to learn the rules before you know how much you can break them. There is no such thing as someone who doesn't know how to use proper grammar in the first place being able to come up with a beautiful postmodernist fiction piece, even if said postmodernist fiction piece has stream of consciousness and lack of capitalization all over the place. Ideally, with all kinds of writing, breaking free of the mold is encouraged. But you need to have a box before you can think outside of it, climb on top of it, take a fucking sledgehammer to it or whatever.

If you don't want to be critiqued, there is no shame in putting 'critique discouraged' in your A/N or description. If anyone makes you feel inferior for doing so, they're the dick, not you. Sometimes you don't want things to be critiqued, and besides, if it's just fanfiction you don't always want someone like me coming up to you and slapping a guide like this in your face. (Not that many people would want that under any circumstances anyway, but I digress.) And that's perfectly fine. But if you haven't made this clear, you cannot blame the readers for offering criticism, because that is how a fiction community works.

Readers cannot read your mind. If your fic doesn't adequately deliver the emotions you put into it to the reader, that is your failure, not the reader's.

:bulletred: Oh my God you horrible person, I'm boycotting your works from now on >:/

Okay.

:bulletred: How much of this do you write from experience?

A lot. I was once an eleven-year old ESL kid writing fanfiction for the first time, limping in English, thinking fast pacing and capslock were perfectly acceptable in narration, and I didn't even know what semicolons were. I once thought it didn't matter a whit what other people thought because I was doing my best, and I was just going to improve at my own pace. 80% of the tropes you saw in the 'General Fanfiction Tropes That Make Me Drink'? I have actually done them and I am immensely ashamed for having done so in my old works. I was by no means immune.

Then I began to look at longer and longer fiction - began reading truly horrible fanfiction too that scarred me but taught me ever so much on what not to do - and started thinking about reviews and constructive criticism seriously. I received some harsh criticisms for earlier work, too, and then I began striving to be better, taking all the advice I could, and over the years I improved slowly. And here I am now. I haven't changed much in sense of fanfiction enthusiasm since I was eleven; but I'm now nineteen years old and I know better than to just charge ahead.

I learnt not to write just for myself, but for the readers as well. After all, if you're putting it up on the Internet, you are exposing it to an audience - and it is only polite you make it as easy as possible for them to understand you.

:bulletred: Have you ever done a Rammfic that you regret?

I've never regretted whole Rammfics, but there are a few aspects/little bits here and there I wish I'd done differently.
  • I dearly regret the ending of 'Montage'. The day I finished that piece, I was scheduled to go on a seven-hour bus ride across the country back to my own dorm, and I literally finished editing and posting about ten minutes before I was due to head off to the bus station. So yes, I rushed it, and I'm not proud of it. I say it was just an experiment, but still, I'm no longer new to drabbles and if 'Seemann' hadn't been one of the best ones in the collection I probably would have changed the ending.
  • 'The Ballad of Love's Trajectory', a part of the Ich Will inspired series (that one is in Die Kaputte Uhr). I have no complaints about how that one was executed and still feel that I said all I needed to say and conveyed exactly what I needed to convey in that little piece. Then I read it over again some months later and realized that it had child soldier vibes. Not comfortable.
  • I no longer regret this, but the first edit of 'The Name of the Rose' disappointed me at certain parts because it felt too rushed. A month after the initial posting, I edited it to flow better and now it is not an issue.
If you mean fics that are 'regrettable' as in any sane person might feel inclined to be a little guilty/regretful of it, then oh yes I have written plenty. And because it is only regrett'able', I don't actually regret writing them, because I am not sane. :meow:

:bulletred: Will you betaread for me?

Yes. Drop me a note. I read pretty much anything except for fics that involve Rammstein children in sexual situations/relationships, disrespectful treatment of their families and fics that feature Nutella in them. If I see anything that I see worth critiquing, I will critique it very thoroughly, as per job description, and expect that you at least consider my advice. If that's fine with you, then I am more than happy to betaread. I do not require anything in return for doing this; I didn't in FF.net, and I don't now.

and lol jk yes I will indeed read fics with Nutella in it



And that is the end of the guide. I will finish off with the most important statement uttered in this work; if you remember nothing else, remember this.

Misuse of certain tropes does not a bad writer make, and the reverse is just as true; nor are you irredeemable for having misused a trope at some point.

After all. Tropes are rules. Most can be broken. I have demonstrated throughout this guide how you can go about doing this with some. I might use tropes well, but I am still Kimbk - and let's face it, I'm a really fucking weird person no matter how or what I write. But even though I'm ridiculous, I care about what I do, and I would like it if everyone knew that.

Again, both parts of this guide are Critique Requested. I also invite discussions and debates on this half.

Let's make the Rammstein fandom awesome, fanficcers. May the muse always be with you.

-Kimbk signing off on 31st July 2012-
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A Guide to (Rammstein) Fanfiction by Kimbk

A guide to avoiding the general traps of fanfiction writing combined with examining some tropes present in the Rammstein fandom, presented by Kimbk, with examples involving lots of slash. Why, it has so much slash, it might as well be a fanfiction itself.

Warnings: The title is somewhat misleading; while I will be pointing out badly done tropes, only a few are so unforgivable to genuinely incite hatred from me. Still might be offensive in some ways. Contains shoelaces. Not intended to be a personal attack. If you recognize your own fanfic tropes here, rest assured that you are not the only one because I write from experience.



Introduction



I've been writing for eight years as of July 2012. For something I started just to improve my English (it being my second language, and I wasn't the best English speaker back when I was eleven), I ended up going pretty damn overboard. I've switched fandoms a lot of times, got my share of a hundred terrible stories out during that time - because every writer has dozens, hundreds even, of terrible stories in them before they can really be successful - and I've also subjected myself to some serious mental torture by reading horrible fanfics.

No one told me to do that. I just did because I wanted to see the dregs of horrible fanfic in the world and to see how far one is capable of sinking when writing. And let me tell you.

It is far. It is really, really, really far.

Ever since I entered the Rammstein fandom I've become a very experimental writer, producing the most weirdly-formatted works and metafiction that haven't been prominent in the fandom beforehand. A lot of the excellent writers that frequented the fandom around 2005-2007 might have left but there are still plenty of good writers out there - and why not take this opportunity to help people develop further? So I wrote this guide, deriving from my own experiences - reading or writing. Just because fanfic might be the bottom of the literature barrel doesn't mean that it can't be good or it won't matter if it doesn't obey a few conventions.

This is what this guide aims to cover.
  • A section on general fanfiction tropes that ought to be discouraged.
  • A section on Rammstein-specific fanfiction tropes that ought to be discouraged.
  • A third section that involves Rammstein character tropes that annoy me. Can be skipped; it is more opinion based than the other sections, though I think I make good points.
  • A fourth section that involves discussion of the more ambiguous aspects of fandom/fanfiction; by definition neutral.
  • Not only is this a list of things not to do in fanfic, it is also respectful of the fact that tropes are not bad or good. Almost everything (emphasis on almost) that I point out can actually be played for valid reasons and be perfectly justified, and I'm going to also give examples as to at what points those things might be acceptable. This is not a guide condemning those who use those tropes; rather, it is a guide that lets to know how exactly they ought to be used, or whether they are fitting at all.
  • Fanfiction is not just all work in the part of the author; some tropes are dependent on the reader themselves. Everyone has differing opinions on the same tropes, and no matter how hard you try to straighten out a fanfic, it might be that someone is still offended. Fiction etiquette goes both ways; thus some parts will have recommended approaches the readers themselves ought to have.

I hope it will be of help. After all. I went through the exact same things when I first began writing.



General Fanfiction Tropes That Make Me Drink



:bulletblack: Insensitivity (Especially Rape) :bulletblack:
I am forever surprised by how horribly treated sensitive topics like depression, molestation and rape are in fanfiction. I am even more surprised that this is not even considered worrying amongst fanficcers anymore, and this is really not a good thing.

Let's focus on rape fics. Gratituous rape, that is rape for the sake of rape is highly offensive. If you write a rape scene just to insert some thrill while Till sticks his tab A into Flake's slot B and literally no other justification, I hate you. If you write a rape scene as a cheap way of getting someone in a hurt/comfort fic as quickly hurt as possible, I hate you. It's a horribly dehumanizing act and it's not something you 'get over' quickly. Even moreso than rape scenes in fanfiction - the thing that riles me up are scenarios that follow after. Like this.

Example:
"He's gone. He can't hurt you any more now, Risch."
Richard sobs into Schneider's chest as the police cars skid on the road and screech forwards, carrying his rapist far away from him; soon they are out of sight and he and the drummer are left alone. Schneider heaves a sigh and picks Richard up in his arms, laying him down on the bed. "Get some rest," he says. "I'll stay with you."
"I can't believe... he would..."
"Shh. Shh, Risch... don't think about it now," he whispers, and much to Richard's surprise, presses a kiss on the other's lips that the guitarist soon returns with passion. They soon break apart, nervous and shy about sharing their first kiss in a situation such as this; but soon Richard smiles and nuzzles into Schneider's chest, bare body pressing against the other's form.
"Keep me safe, Doom."
"I will. God, you're so beautiful. I love you."


No, this is not heartwarming. This is fucking horrible and I threw up in my mouth a little writing it and it's only the first example in this guide. Not only is Richard horribly out of character, this sends the message that rape can be dealt with the power of true love or a 'better fuck' or something like that, and this is laden with horrible horrible implications. Call it hurt/comfort, but if you can't take into consideration that rape in fanfiction is not, indeed, a catalyst to love or a way of saying hello, it means nothing.

Tropes Are Not Bad - So how do we resolve this? Am I saying that you should never ever ever write rape? No. For one, if you can pull it off well, you can raise light to what is a genuinely serious concern in real life. You can alleviate what is quite a pressing issue. This requires months of therapy and understanding, and even then the repercussions are severe. Focus on those issues. Make it absolutely certain that rape is not good nor gratuitous. And if you feel confident, you can also go meta and use it as a satiric device to focus on how many pointless rapefics are out there, but beware of falling into the same pitfalls.


:bulletblack: Featureless Planes of Disembodied Dialogue :bulletblack:
Example:
"... Ugh..."
"You feeling better?"
"Where am I?"
"A hospital. Hey, don't move around so much, you're pretty broken up. There you go. Just take it easy."
"The doctor told you to rest for a while."
"How long have I been here?"
"Not for a very long time. Seriously, just relax... it's nothing too serious, all we can do is to wait it out. You want a pillow or something?"
"There you go. Give him one."
"He looks really washed out, doesn't he...?"
"Do I? Why am I here anyway?"
"You're ill. Suffering from a chronic case. Doctors haven't seen anything like it, but at least you're going to come out in one piece and relatively unharmed. You just have to be ill for a little longer, is all."
"Oh no. What have I come down with?"
"A chronic case of being used as an example in a Kimbk Fanfiction Guide, that's all. It'll be over in a few lines."
"Shh. Lie down. It's okay."
"Ah. Shit."


The characters in that dialogue above are Olli, Schneider, Till, Richard, Paul and Flake. Good luck figuring out who's talking where. If you can figure which character is talking in which line, you get a million cookies. TL;DR don't do this kind of dialogue.

Tropes Are Not Bad - However, it is possible to have disembodied dialogue as an entire fic, if there is nothing else. I did this with 'Moments of Irrationality 02' as a dialogue between Paul and Flake; here is an excerpt.

Example:
"I assumed. I mean, I've been playing the piano for some years now and I've never heard of this modification before."
"You  can play a duet with me on it one day, Paul. Then you'll be able to see  what I mean. You've probably heard quite a few before, it's just that nobody really identifies them as such."
"You might be right there. But you look kind of tired, Flake. Have you eaten anything today?"
"Didn't feel like it much. I'll have dinner later."
"What have you been doing all day apart from this?"
"Slept. Awoke. Slept. Awoke again. Miserable life."
"Oh, Flake. That's so typical of you to say. Your life is perfectly wonderful, there's no need to try to invoke pathos in it."
"Heh. I try."
"And I fall for it every time."


Mentioning names and narrowing down the range of characters significantly reduces confusion, and writing dialogue that is long and compelling can serve to weave out a story of its own. There is nothing wrong with that. If you play it right, you can end up with a lovely minimalist piece. Hemingway was fond of this kind of style. If you wish to use this well, narrowing it down to a 'conversation' between two or three people and giving all forms of storytelling (exposition, development, etc) within the dialogue will help.


:bulletblack: Sociopathic Dialogue :bulletblack:
Dramatic dialogue is not the same as being almost inhumanely cruel. See this.

Example:
Richard: I love you, Paul.
Paul: I love you too, Richard.
Richard: Hahahaha lol jk I'm actually in love with Schneider and Till at once, you were just a toy lol
Paul: Oh kk totally fine with that :D


This is not romantic. This is not dramatic. This is not good character development. You know what this is? It's FUCKING SADISTIC. Bonus sadistic points if no one in the fanfic acts like this is at all worrying. If you're going for tension and drama, please do not write like this, no matter how quickly you want to resolve the scene.

Tropes Are Not Bad - Of course... if you are actually writing a sociopathic character, this is acceptable. If you have more than one sociopathic characters, a full dialogue in the above style could well be played for drama. So by all means, if that's the case... Carry on.


:bulletblack: Chatspeak/Poorly Toned Narration :bulletblack:
Chatspeak is bad. Luckily there are very few occasions to use it outside of, well, chatrooms or facebook. If you integrate chatspeak into the actual narration or dialogue of the fic like this-

Example:
Till shrugs his shoulders. "Wanted 2 tell u about the new idea," he sez and den laughs. "we're gonna make a boxset filled with dildos modeled by ourselves, kk?"
"OMFG r u giving into the mainstream?!" Flake sez angrily.


-... yes, it's beyond help. Hopefully nobody actually writes like this. Even trolling seems too much of an effort when writing like this is considered. A more serious issue, however, is the nature of narration that has a inconsistent tone. If you started off with a third-person POV, please make it proper formal English and keep it consistent.

Example:
Till walked into the house with a smile on his face and a light spring to his step, because today he was gonna spend time with his kid without anyone to bother him about work. "Nele, sweetheart, I'm home."
"That you, papa? Look, I gotta go out in ten minutes."


This is bad.

Example:
Till walked into the house with a smile on his face and a light spring to his step; today he would be able to spend some time with his daughter without being bothered about his work. "Nele, sweetheart, I'm home."
"Is that you, papa? Look, I've got to go out in ten minutes."


This is better.

Tropes Are Not Bad - however, informal narration is somewhat acceptable if you're talking in first person POV. This is a POV that explores the thoughts of a character in the most intimate perspective possible - right in their heads - thus this is valid. But please keep it consistent; formal and informal speech alternating is just as confusing.

As for chatspeak, it might yet have a place in facebook/chatroom formatted fics or satire. But for the former, it is up to you to decide whether forty-plus-year old men would honestly use chatspeak in any situation.


:bulletblack: Hiding Behind Disclaimers :bulletblack:
Let's get one thing clear. Disclaimers are very very important things. This is the one I use.

Example:
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

Bare-bones but covers everything, roughly. When there are religious discussions, family or other controversial topics discussed I change the disclaimer to reflect this. But the disclaimer is exactly that - no matter how much you pad it out, it doesn't matter. You are writing it to disassociate yourself from the source material. It is not a tool that you use to get away with writing things like rape, lack of research, brutal murder, hurt-only fics or unspeakable acts of Dadaism. Just because you have a disclaimer it doesn't mean you can hide and say 'none of this happened, so I don't have to listen to your criticism, sucks to you'.

The author and reader both have to keep to etiquette on this issue.
The author has to include a disclaimer - especially seeing as real life people are being written about, in the case of band fiction - and identify that: their work is a work of fiction only, that they do not profit from the work, and that they don't intend to pass their work off as the truth. Even if they are writing about events that have happened and have been confirmed by others - because no one person sees real life events the same way. When they are criticized, they are not to claim that they hold no responsibility because they don't own a damn thing.
The reader has to keep the disclaimer in mind when critiquing or commenting. Mild offense is not an excuse to start a witch hunt, especially if the author has made their stance clear. And even if they take the 'j'accuse' approach, they are not to comment on clearly fictional events with '(Insert character here) would never do that in real life ew you sicko' or variants thereof - because the author basically said so on the disclaimer.


:bulletblack: Switching POVs Mid-Narration :bulletblack:
This really puzzles me. I think it puzzles me more than about 80% of everything in this guide. You have to keep to a few things when you decide on a POV: the character who is the focus/narrator of the scene, whether you're writing in past/present/future tense, and what 'person' you're writing in (first, second, third). You also ideally have to keep to this for the entire fic. If you can't manage that much, at least a single chapter or at least a full section (complete with page divider) has to be consistent in a single POV. But sometimes I see examples of POVs being switched in the middle of a full-blown narration, and that confuses me to no end.

Example:
"Absolutely not," I say and turn my back to Paul, focusing on returning where I left off in the piece. "you called me up and made me halt my practice for the day for that? I'm not interested. It sounds boring."

"Please, Flake," he begs with wide eyes, as blue and beautiful and irritatingly pleading as always. I turn away. "at least give the demo tape a chance. They've really got something - just the first track, and I swear, I was blown away. I almost regretted not asking them to let me join in when they went to that competition! They've already accepted me, and if we have a keyboardist we could-"

"Then why don't you go by yourself. I'm a classicist. I might as well stay that way if Feeling B is disbanded now," then he pauses, flips a page and then continues practicing; I sigh and look forlornly ahead as he turns his back on me again. Flake's always been this way, always no-nonsense and so unwilling to try anything that he perceives as uninteresting. But we've been together for so long that I can't imagine being in a band without him, and besides - if he really thinks that Rammstein is going to be boring, why can't he roll up his sleeves and spice it up a little? Keyboardists are rare to see in anything in the metal genre after all.


This was a perfectly good little piece about Flake and Paul bickering about whether to join Rammstein or not until the POV suddenly switched to Paul without warning. And in a first-person narration, nonetheless, where this kind of thing is even less forgivable than with third person! (At least you have the excuse of third-person omniscient perspective, though it still should be used with caution, proving that Tropes Are Not Bad.) Choose a POV. Stick to it. However there is a way to fix the above without changing it all back to all-Paul or all-Flake:

Example:
"Absolutely not," I say and turn my back to Paul, focusing on returning where I left off in the piece. "you called me up and made me halt my practice for the day for that? I'm not interested. It sounds boring."

"Please, Flake," he begs with wide eyes, as blue and beautiful and irritatingly pleading as always. I turn away. "at least give the demo tape a chance. They've really got something - just the first track, and I swear, I was blown away. I almost regretted not asking them to let me join in when they went to that competition! They've already accepted me, and if we have a keyboardist we could-"

"Then why don't you go by yourself. I'm a classicist. I might as well stay that way if Feeling B is disbanded now."

-----

He pauses, flips a page and then continues practicing; I sigh and look forlornly ahead as he turns his back on me again. Flake's always been this way, always no-nonsense and so unwilling to try anything that he perceives as uninteresting. But we've been together for so long that I can't imagine being in a band without him, and besides - if he really thinks that Rammstein is going to be boring, why can't he roll up his sleeves and spice it up a little? Keyboardists are rare to see in anything in the metal genre after all.


The ever-helpful divider. This thing is your friend. Of course if you keep on switching POVs back and forth within a couple of sentences and keep dividing them up you're going to get something pretty ridiculous; it's really the best to stick to a single POV. If you do the dividers, though, formats like '----- (Flake's POV) -----' are not necessary. Your narration ought to speak for itself.


:bulletblack: Badly Written Erotica :bulletblack:
There are countless tropes within this one trope itself and writing examples for all of them would take up a whole different guide on its own. So I'll just bullet-point the most egregious examples.
  • Sex is more difficult than people realize. Account for bandmate height and such when writing sex. Paul and Oliver, for one, would be incredibly awkward if Olli is on top and they're attempting the missionary position.
  • Safe sex is not unfun to write. Condoms and lube can be very sexy - research and use to your advantage.
  • BUT IT BETTER BE THE RIGHT KIND OF LUBE. IF YOU THINK BUTTER OUT OF THE FRIDGE/GLUE/SHAMPOO/PEANUT BUTTER/CAKE/MOLTEN LEAD ETC MAKES GOOD LUBE YOU ARE OBJECTIVELY WRONG
  • No lube is probably worse than stupid lube in most cases. Bleeding out of your backside is not sexy, lubricating or desirable. 'I don't care if I bleed', my ass. (Oh my God that was a horrible pun I apologize) If this happens - and in anal sex, it is entirely too possible - then it needs seeing to by a damn doctor!
  • Hymens in the ass. No. Just no.
  • Fucking like bunnies. Men need a cool-down period and then need to work themselves back up again goddamnit >.<
  • All gay sex does not equal anal sex. No blowjobs, no handjobs, no footjobs or fingering or frottage or toys or whatnot? Pretty damn monotonous if you ask me.
  • Dull descriptions like 'Till thrusted in me and then we rocked together and then we came.' Sex in fiction only can be as boring as it is to the participants. If it isn't boring, make it not boring to read.

:bulletblack: Switching Tenses Mid-Narration :bulletblack:
Example:
Till and Richard lie in bed together (present), watching the sun beginning to rise over the horizon (present). "It's beautiful," Till said (past) as he clings to his lover's body (present); the guitarist smiles (present) and pulls up the covers (present) to rest on them both and it was this way that they stayed until eight o'clock in the morning (past).

What the fuck kind of time period is this?! When did this occur?! Is it happening? Has it already happened? Oh my poor head is hurting ;_;

Unlike POVs, tenses are better chosen and kept to steadily throughout a fic. If you start off in past tense narration, please stick to past tense. Of course Tropes Are Not Bad and you can integrate present-tense thought - they ought to be treated as speech, however, which do not necessarily correspond to narration. See this example.

Example:
I want to keep this cat around (present), Paul smiled (past) as he stroked (past) the longhaired white cat in his arms; it purred (past) at his touch. I think he's perfect for me (present).

In normal text, the underlined part would probably be italicized to prevent confusion with narrative. But either way, thought has its own tense and the narration has its own tense. That's the way it ought to be.


:bulletblack: Breaking the Fourth Wall Via Author's Note Mid-Narration :bulletblack:
I'm all for breaking the fourth wall. If you didn't know before, I consider myself the Rammstein Postmodernist and entirely embrace metafiction. But some people do this:

Example:
Richard rubbed his hands together and smiled happily as he gazed at the magnificent slice of Black Forest Cake (A/N: otherwise called Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, it's a German cake that consists of layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream and cherries) and took up his fork, eager to savour this delicious concoction.

Author's Notes do not belong in-text, full stop. If you're giving translations for German phrases or whatever, again, don't do it with an A/N. This Trope IS Bad; don't do this, as it breaks the pacing.


:bulletblack: Showing Your Work... Poorly :bulletblack:
There are two ways of showing your work poorly. The first is when you mention that you did the research, but don't give enough detail.

Example:
(Context: Ich Will-verse, discussing guns)
"I think you'll find Schneider the person for the storming job. Get him to handle the guns, it's not like he's inexperienced."


If you leave off here, you're leaving off the nuance that Schneider is the only person to have done military service in East Germany; you're aware of it, but you've left the readers to puzzle it out on their own. Badly pulled off in-jokes tend to meet this kind of fate.

On the other hand, you can show off too much of your research and utterly bog down the pacing of the work, which is just as bad to the overall fic.

Example:
Sitting in this cafe, just opposite Till, Olli had to ponder this new situation. "Refer to me informally from now on," the older man had said; having been given this expressive permission, Olli took that as a sign that he was now allowed to use the ever-informal 'du' with Till instead of 'Sie' as he had been using for the past two years. The history of German formality was a complex thing and perhaps the bassist was just being young and naive but he had to wonder who had first come up with all those different rules in the first place. Not only did the grammar change in some significant ways in German depending on who you were talking to, it was also a sensitive business trying to get all the nuances right. How had they managed in the past, when there had been four levels of formality instead of the customary two - two were out of date now, of course. One was 'Ihr', a form directed at people of much higher rank (such as the Kaiser) and now only used in period pieces or historical settings. The other was 'Er/Sie' used when talking to people of much lower rank; it was a third-person singular reference and thus carried the unfortunate connotation that the speaker was not talking to the person being spoken to at all, but rather talking about them within earshot. It was a good thing that these two had been eliminated, that was for sure, as current rules were complex enough as it was. And what was more, the transition from 'Sie' to 'du' was also irreversible. In French, for example, the verb 'to refer to as you (informal)' would be 'tutoyer' and the verb 'to refer to as you (formal)' would be 'vousvoyer' following the respective informal-formal ways of referring to 'you' - 'tu' and 'vous'. There was a verb for the former in German, 'duzen', but none for 'Sie'. Once achieved, 'du' was forever.

The above is accurate and if you're a stickler for formality like me, it might have even been interesting. But as for the story itself? The action has been totally paused to allow for that block of research, crammed into one huge section. This is not good practice.

Show your work to the extent that the readers do not have to painstakingly research as they read, but show just enough that it mingles with the pace. You're not playing a guessing game, and you're not writing a thesis.


:bulletblack: Unrealistic Character Reactions :bulletblack:
This has a huge amount of variations. Getting a character to react realistically is one of the hardest easy things in fiction. But I'll focus on the two ends of the spectrum.

Example:
"Bad news, Olli," Flake said. "I ran over your favourite bass guitar with my Segway and it's broken to pieces."
"That makes me angry," Olli said.


Wow. How emotional. I can just feel the rage radiating off Olli's usually-calm skinny ass. </sarcasm> Saying someone is X or that you are feeling a certain way is not enough. Show how they're reacting to it. If they're angry, chances are they might be raising their voices, frowning, clenching fists, etc. If they're sad, they might be unwilling to talk, crying, sniffling, trying to desperately hide their sadness etc. However...

Example:
"Sorry, Doom. Paul ate the last cupcake."
"You're kidding me!" Schneider screamed, hurling his drumsticks across the room in anguish; he raked his fingers through his hair and let out another scream of pure frustration, tears beginning to run down his face. "The cupcake that I specifically saved for my own consumption? The cupcake that had the most even distribution of surface-chocolate icing ratio? The cupcake of fucking legends galore? When Paul comes back I swear I'm going to tear his balls off and throw his stealing ass out of the goddamn window!"


... don't go overboard.


:bulletblack: Overdescription/Poorly Placed Description :bulletblack:
Don't get me wrong. Description is absolutely necessary in a good fic. I'm, however, talking about when description is either overblown or in a place where it really shouldn't be. Consider the example below.

Example:
It was a dark foreboding day; the sky was clouded over darkly and in the distance they could hear the faint rumble of thunder, and it was only eleven in the morning. One by one, the five men filed into the room, gazing silently at each other for only a second - then towards the large coffin at the centre.

Once they were six. Now they were only five.

"Hello," Schneider was the first to speak up. His voice was subdued and dry. "... are you guys feeling all right?" he was wearing a double-breasted black 100% wool suit from Hugo Boss with a white shirt and striped black 100% wool tie and he also had his coat slung over one arm just in case it began raining, which was seeming increasingly likely. He wore heavily polished black shoes as well. This was mimicked by the rest of the band albeit in subtly different ways, fitting for the occasion. Paul wore all black, shirt and all, with only a white tie contrasting his appearance and his unusually-gloomy demeanor. Flake and Olli were wearing the exact matching suits (save for the fact that the latter also had a red silk pocket handkerchief) as they were the tallest two in the band and had gone to the same shop and tailor to fit their suits before the funeral.

"A horrible day to bury Till, eh?"'

"You bet," Richard answered, shuffling a little on his feet upon which he wore designer dress shoes that had cost him over two hundred Euros for a specific fit. He coughed a little and looked up, the corner of his mouth twitching as if he wanted to smoke - which he couldn't do indoors - waiting for the funeral to begin. He could smoke a cigarette later on, outside, when it was all over. Two hours to go before he could take delight in scattering cigarette ash all over his expensive Armani suit.


Great. We know that this is a funeral, we get some dialogue, and we know in exquisite detail what the men are all wearing.
Now answer me something. Why the fuck should we care about what they're wearing?

That scene was evenly paced until Schneider began talking - weather and the men filing in taking anywhere up to ten minutes or so, an overall grim mood established - and then a five-second conversation afterwards is suddenly expanded into a fashion show. At a funeral. I'll tell you how the horrible Haifisch-inspired scene above might as well end. Events unfold as video, Paul and Richard begin fighting, and it looks like the former is winning but before long Paul trips over a lovingly described shoelace and falls down onto the ground and breaking open his nose. And all because of the narration's sudden and bizzare metrosexual compulsion to keep describing their everyday wear even as one is trying to focus on the damn fighting. All for the want of a shoelace. Fucking shoelaces. It's 2012 and we still need to fiddle around with those things that come undone no matter how many dozens of knots you tie in a desperate bid to keep them up. And when they come undone, they're a major safety hazard. You could die from tripping over those things and I bet many have. Shoelaces can go fuck themselves. I HATE SHOELACES.

... Look, description is a very good thing. Every moment you spend describing is a moment that you don't focus on the action; it's imperative that you balance them out so the story 'flows'. Once you start overdescribing, especially in situations where it honestly would be inappropriate (like in the middle of a fight, action scene, intense dialogue etc), it will grind the entire fic to a halt and make your prose look purple as well. Description ought not to come in intermittent chunks. It has to weave in with the action. Tropes Are Not Bad, however, and if overdescription/overt observance is an actual character trait, it can work. It was used well in books such as American Psycho. However I would say that first-person is the best POV to choose if you really want to describe everything in detail. That way it is a character trait and not the first sign of third-person narration failure.

Or you could just write something like this. The entire story is devoid of description, just action. That's funny too.

Example
Richard and Paul were making out. And then Till came in. So Till and Richard had sex while Paul cried in the corner. Then he and Till had sex. It was pretty sexy. The end.

Surely a masterpiece for the ages.


:bulletblack: Poorly Placed Punctuation :bulletblack:
Example:
Schneider sighed as he watched Paul and Richard talking because he was too shy to join in and he really wished that he wasn't but as he watched the two he thought that it couldn't be helped but oh well.

This is an example of sentences running together due to lack of punctuation. It also loses some serious points for inserting the 'oh well' at the end, which is an unsuited tone to the narration. The most basic correction with commas and full stops/periods would be:

Example:
Schneider sighed as he watched Paul and Richard talking, because he was too shy to join in. He really wished that he wasn't, but he watched the two, he thought that it couldn't be helped.

But commas and full stops aren't always satisfying. A major point of punctuation in literature is that they create a 'pause' - different punctuation connotates different pauses. Depending on how many there are, you might get a slow, easy-going pace or a very rapid one.

Example:
He really wished that he wasn't; but as he watched the two, he thought that it couldn't be helped.

A semicolon denotes a small pause and a mild change in topic.

Example:
Schneider sighed as he watched Paul and Richard talking - he was too shy to join in.

An em-dash denotes a 'lingering' pause, longer than a comma or semicolon, and creates a 'joining' effect. Ellipses (...) create a similar effect, but they are discouraged in narration due to creating an effect of 'drag' and mucking up the pacing. They are still valid in dialogue.

Kimby is a semicolon abuser. They're one of the best pieces of punctuation ever invented, and more people ought to use them. More people should punctuate their sentences properly, really. However, because Tropes Are Not Bad, there are actually formats where a lack of punctuation or overpunctuation or single-punctuation use can work - stream-of-consciousness would be a big one, where the rules of grammar and punctuation are generally accepted to go straight out of the window. One of my fics, Press Enter For Truth, has a 1000-word sentence written in this manner and it's probably the reason why it's one of the most honest pieces I've ever done. But I'll write a much shorter example.

Example:
My shredder is packed up and I can't use it because me and Till are moving apartments and I need to get rid of old bank statements and something needs doing about stopping all the identity theft that's going around like the damn plague, no one needs to have my credit card or Till's, so I found myself a matchbox and this folder where I found an old photo of me (Richard) and Paul and his strong tattooed arms/sexy/hot so I struck a match and now there's just a pile of ashes but only the photo burnt on its own.

This is also my first ever 100-word drabble. The shortest I've managed before this was 200. Wooo!


:bulletblack: Poor Pacing :bulletblack:
Pacing is more to do with personal feel than anything, and it is difficult to describe. But even you, you probably would agree that:

Example:
"Just leave me the hell alone already!" Schneider shouts; turning around swiftly, he storms into the dressing room and locks the door behind him. Once inside he sighs - leans back heavily on the door - and closes his eyes wearily, burying his head in his hands. It's the same every night. It's just an arrangement that he and Till made for performances only - he gets to give the singer some hard times once they're on the bridge, and in return, he gets liquor all over his face later on in 'Buck Dich'. Simple. Not very different to what he and Flake does. But for some reason Richard and Paul keep giving him shit about it, chuckling at him being an apparent 'sissy', and he doesn't really understand it.

"Doom?" Olli's soft voice interrupts his thought, and he looks around but doesn't open the door. "Doom, are you okay in there?"

"Yeah. I'm fine."

Pause. "I just wanted to say sorry for the guys. You know what they're like."

"Yeah, I know what they're like. Thanks anyway, Olli. I'm coming out soon," Schneider says and gets a response in the affirmative; he hops in the shower, wipes off his makeup, dresses in jeans and a T-shirt and leaves to see the bassist outside. By this time he's in much better spirits so he links arms with Olli and makes his way down the corridors and into the tour bus where they leave to their next tour location.


... this is not very well paced. It was reflective at the beginning, with a thought process of maybe a minute or so described. Fairly evenly paced. And then the last two sentences describe events that must have collectively taken at least twenty minutes in one big chunk. Poor pacing is honestly not good to have, no matter how ridiculous your fanfic is, so I would say that This Trope IS Bad.

When you keep pacing in mind, first think of the overall length of the fic you want to write. Is it a oneshot? A long fic? What is the timespan - a single moment, or several years? Keep the fact that timeskips may be used in mind, but once you start a fic/section, measure how long it takes for you to read about a single event. Then replicate that with events of similar lengths, and set your pacing. I'm aware that sometimes you don't want to spend time filling out scenes when you just want things to happen quickly - but your true skill shows in how well you write filler, I reckon.


:bulletblack: Swearing Too Much :bulletblack:
Example:
"Oh fuck, Till," Richard groans into the bed. "fuck! Oh my God! Take me harder already, you fucking stud!"
"You're fucking mine," Till hollers, pounding his lover into the fucking bed as they fuck to the backdrop of the fucking moonlight shining outside. It's an incredibly fucking beautiful night, that's for fucking sure. "that's right, you fucking bitch, scream my fucking name!"
"Oh Till! Oh Till! Oh my God! Harder! Fucking harder! Fuck!"
"There is no God here," the singer shouts back, then with a loud fucking groan comes and finishes fucking.
"That was fucking great," the guitarist mumbles, sweaty face buried into the pillows while Till lights a fucking cigarette for them both. Another great fucking success.


WATCH YOUR FUCKING LANGUAGE


:bulletblack: Poor Summary :bulletblack:
Generally, having a little summary before the fic itself is a good idea. I use that space either to sum up the story itself or throw in a few intriguing sentences that I think that will interest people in reading. The summary is best short and sweet, but since moving to DA I've managed to expand it a little so I also have a warnings section before the fic itself begins.

However, 'summary sucks, fic is better' is not a valid summary. If you request comments/critiques, it ideally shouldn't be in the summary itself otherwise it has a tendency to make you look unsure of your own abilities. In that case it's just a matter of moving that request so that it's after the fic, not before. Sucking at summaries is a stock phrase in fanfiction, and while understandable - the task of condensing a huge fanfic into a couple of sentences is absolutely daunting - there is a real question to be asked there.

If you can't summarize your own fic decently, why would the readers expect that the main text would fare any better?

The summary is not to be used to tell people that your summary sucks. The summary is for summing up your fanfic and drawing in readers.


:bulletblack: Absurdly Fast Development of Romantic Relationships :bulletblack:
Try this exercise.

Example:
"Give me one," Richard says as he gestures to me. I nod and hand him my penultimate cigarette before moving on with the climb. We've got to reach the gorge about 250m up before the sun sets, and we haven't got much time. He lets Till light up the cigarette for him, and then we all move on.

"It's a good day, eh, Paul?" Flake says.

"Sure is," I say and pat his shoulder; I'm in the middle of the group, with Olli leading (his height being an advantage in these conditions) and Till keeping to the back. We all hop over a stream, but Richard slips at the last stepping-stone and swears roughly in response. "Risch, are you all right there?"

"I'm fine. Hey, help me up, will you?" complying, I reach out my hand; he takes it, and I am momentarily surprised at how warm it is, and the sudden intimacy of it makes me blush. Come to think of it, he's actually kind of cute when he's fallen over and helpless. Wait a minute! Am I feeling... attracted to him? Surely not!


Question: Richard and Paul has had a longstanding romantic friendship as mentioned in this story and Paul's attraction is fully justified. True or False?

If you answered 'True', you're wrong. That relationship was, for the lack of a more polite term, pulled out of one's ass. People falling in love without any reason to do so, or without prior history, is not very satisfying or realistic to read. That's just the end of it. Even if Rammsteiners have known each other for a long time, this is not an excuse for them to suddenly fall in love without prior romantic interest or interaction mentioned. This is also an absurdly common trope. And it's not the good kind of absurd either.

The only place where this is acceptable is satire, and even then, it better know what it's doing.



Rammstein Fanfiction Tropes That Make Me Drink



:bulletblack: Rammstein Children Portrayed Sexually/In Relationships With Bandmates :bulletblack:
Don't do this. Just don't do this, played straight, implied or whatever. This trope IS bad. If you do this, you will earn hatred not just from me but from many others. The Rammsteiners may have presented themselves as fanfic bait, as very sexualized men, and Richard might have said that he doesn't mind slashfic or whatnot, but please for the love of God leave the children out of it.

There is no way to do this tastefully. Strictly verboten. And no, I refuse to write examples.


:bulletblack: Rammstein Families/Spouses/Partners Being Pointlessly Bashed/Praised :bulletblack:
Again. This trope IS bad. Don't pointlessly bash Rammstein spouses or partners because they happen to be there and they get in the way of whatever pairing that makes you happy. By doing so you insult the bandmate(s) in question. If you don't like Caron Bernstein, Jenny Rosemayer, Sophia Thomalla or whoever, fine. No one can tell you to like them. But for heaven's sake don't bash them for having been there, write hatefics about them, or portray them as sluts/whores/gold diggers or whatnot. Doing that says more about you as a person than anything else. If you like them, don't pointlessly praise them either, because not only are you are in danger of having worked in a flame bait, you're making them into a Sue. Fanfic is not the place for either of those things. If you don't want to write about them and would rather pretend that they didn't exist, don't write them. Any mentions should portray a human likeness, no matter how brief.

As for family, this warrants further discussion in the fourth section; but so far this is about fanfiction and its portrayal of them. Be humanizing. Those families are a major reason as to why Rammsteiners are the way they are. There is always room for different portrayals if you don't know much about the family information itself; if you do know them (as in the case of Till and his parents, Gitta and Werner Lindemann), again, do not bash or praise them pointlessly. A further discussion on this particular man and his parents are in the fourth section.


:bulletblack: (Insert Bandmate Here) Is a Wuss :bulletblack:
A wuss? A wuss?! Those six strapping German men in their forties who regularly burn front row fans' faces off along with their own bodies, faced countless hardships in East Germany when they were younger and have no allegiance stronger in the world than the one to their families and each other are wusses who break down crying and wanting to kill themselves over (insert bandmate here) breaking up with (insert bandmate here), breaking a nail, burning a pie, or singing a single wrong note?! I know what Rammsteiners are like! They burnt my face off back in February 2012!

Angst is fine. Sorrow is fine. Crying is fine. Even suicidal tendencies are fine. But don't make them the embodiment of helplessness just so you don't have to develop them as people with complex emotions.


:bulletblack: (Insert Bandmate Here) and (Insert Bandmate Here)'s Relationship Is All About Sex :bulletblack:
Sure, we all like to see Bandmate X inserting his tab A into Bandmate Y's slot B or whatnot. But is that all there is? How can you make it so that Bandmate X and Y actually share a relationship and a connection that identifies them as Till/Richard/Paul/Schneider/Flake/Olli, not just any other character from any other fandom or even an original piece?

If you mean to write a loving relationship, readers are not exactly going to be convinced that the relationship is indeed loving if sex is the only interaction between the two. That's not love. That's lust. And not even lust is all that one-dimensional. If every event in the story, every change and every single bit of dialogue all leads back to sex - you're not writing a satisfying love or even an adequate plot, especially if the sex is there for sex purposes and not actually completely relevant to the premise of the story.

Of course, Tropes Are Not Bad. Some relationships in real life are genuinely all about sex. And if you're writing a lust-driven fanfic, the above is perfectly acceptable - but still, add in something that uniquely identifies the characters as Rammstein bandmates.


:bulletblack: Poorly Defined Timeline :bulletblack:
This is a hard one. It's true. Of course you can say 'oh, this takes place during the Mutter era' or 'This is during LIFAD tour, 2009' and it'd normally be acceptable as it is. But the thing with timelines is that you now have to stick to the kind of physical characteristics that defined the bandmates at that particular moment in time if you want good detail. And this can be really hard re: Flake's hair length and colour, Schneider's hair length, etc because they have varied significantly over the years. If you, for example, wrote that Till had a mohawk in 2005 or Richard wore contacts during the LIFAD tour, you'd be inserting anachronisms and thus you'd have royally screwed up the timeline.

Solving this is actually quite simple. If you're writing a oneshot fic where timeline doesn't matter, then don't mention the time period at all - or anything that could allude to time periods in general. If you're writing a longer fic and it has to fit into canon, then you ought to do some research and get details correct - but anything finicky, like Flake's hair, can be left out if you honestly can't manage.

Use conservation of detail to your advantage. If you don't write it, the readers can't look for it.

Of course you might be writing an AU story. Then the canon timeline generally doesn't matter. Feel free to make your own in that case.


:bulletblack: Rammstein Are Nazis :bulletblack:
They aren't.

If you must write an AU of them where they are Nazis, better have a load of disclaimers handy and with the utmost caution towards the events regarding the Third Reich. This is an area where you really have to do your research. And while Rammsteiners might not mind slashfics (given up on them, even), you bet your ass they will mind Nazi!Rammfics. Think about the implications of what you're doing.


:bulletblack: Google Translate :bulletblack:
I'm of the opinion that Google Translate is not useful in translating phrases that you want to use in fanfiction, and that if you have even the slightest background in the language you want to use, you ought to have a go yourself. For one it is too literal, and literal word-for-word translation is often wrong. Let's take a simple phrase, 'I hope I can see you again'. Just to eliminate confusion, the 'can' in that sentence does not intend to mean physical ability. It also does not mean 'may', as in the person being spoken to decides whether you see them or not. It means 'can' as in faith alone, the simple possibility of it.

We haven't even gone into the translation, and already there are three possible nuances to discuss. This is exactly why word-for-word translations fail. Google Translate tells me that 'I hope I can see you again' in English -> German is 'Ich hoffe ich kann wieder sehen'.

This is wrong. Even if you literally translated the English phrase (disregarding all nuances) into German, it ought to be 'Ich hoffe ich kann dich wieder sehen', which is not what is given in Google Translate. Besides, it's not quite right. For our particular sentence which carries the subtext of 'let us both be fortunate enough to meet again', the phrase 'Ich hoffe wir sehen einander wieder' is probably more appropriate. Of course, if you rely on GT alone, you miss all of this.

This is not to say that I don't understand why people would use GT. If you have no background in German, would you study hours' worth of it just to get to the level that you need for that one phrase? That's overkill. But asking native Germans/people who speak German for help is a valid way of getting your German in them fics. Use phrasebooks. Keep phrases simple. Check everything you have. Ask for critique on your language use. Better still, write in English if you can't find a suitable German sentence to stick in. Being a Rammstein fic, it is inherently ingrained in the fandom that these men are speaking German to each other or in Germany unless stated otherwise. This is not a problem.


:bulletblack: Pairing Racism :bulletblack:
This is hardly unique to the Rammstein fandom. I'd say it's better about pairings than some other fandoms out there, and really it's not so much a fanfiction trope as it is individual opinion. Yet I feel like I have to say something about this as almost a customary thing in a fandom-specific guide.

You can believe in whatever bandmate x bandmate pairing that you want. That's the first thing. They're all united by the same factor, as harsh as it seems for me to state it out loud: they're never going to happen. So really, elevating one pairing as more likelier than the other doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Friendships are not the same thing as love. Paul and Flake might have possibly the longest friendship in Rammstein, but that's not a reason for one to them to turn gay for the other in real life. So there you go. Every combination of the six are at a even field there. From there you can add on onstage interaction as well, which are admittedly more prevalent between some pairs than others.

But keep this in mind: onstage interaction is part of a performance, may vary significantly, and if you're looking for bait in outside-performance or promotional photos, the human mind will latch onto anything that pleases them. You're free to like and love whichever pairing you want, make clubs for them, squee over it with other fans. You are free to dislike a pairing. I myself have them all on an even field, though Till/Richard gets the most representation from me so far because that is the pairing I have developed most in those months of writing; it may change. That's fine too.

It's only when you start thinking that one pairing is inferior to the others or superior to the others that the problems start. 'OMG Till/Richard is so stupid, I can't stand it, so clearly it's INFERIOR to every other pairing that in reality is no more likelier than it! So I'm not going to read any T/R fanfics and bash all the fanart and photos of them D:<' is not a valid comment. Neither is 'Paul/Flake is the best pairing in the world and everything else can just go fuck itself'. Bottom line, be respectful of other people's choices.

Authors, don't use your fanfiction to promote pairing hatred. Likewise, don't take 'I don't like this pairing but the fic's okay' comments as an attack. The best compliments regarding your writing tend to come from people who don't normally go for the elements in your writing but gave it a chance anyway.
Readers, don't use your influence to tell the author that their choice in pairings suck. Be very respectful, but at the same time, don't be afraid to be honest. As long as your comments are sensible, the author should respond in kind. This is simply etiquette from both parties.


:bulletblack: Repetitive Formats :bulletblack:
There is nothing truly 100% original in fandom, any fandom. I could cite any one of my fanfics and at the end of the day it still boils down to a pairing, plot (often based off real life or music videos) and maybe-happy maybe-downer ending and maybe some sex. That's all it is, and if I were to pretend I'm 100% original, I'd be a massive liar.

But sometimes, formats are more easily recognizable than most. I'm talking about cookie-cutter fics. Fics that don't have much tie-in to the Rammstein fandom, and are repetitious to boot - maybe Till and Olli spend the entire fic lying on a bed and having sex and nothing more. And afterwards, the author who wrote that comes up with a fic that has Paul and Richard spending the entire fic having sex on a bed, except this time they actually have a little fight beforehand. Countless rehashes of the same idea that becomes blatantly obvious. You can only write so much 'X and Y argue, make up, cry and have sex' or 'X and Y hook up, break up, hook up, X dies' fics before it gets old.

This probably shows more in individual authors, as their works can be collectively seen and judged. But things like this pile up regardless of who's writing it. While I would discourage this, I however can't condemn it very much, because many writers learn to write this way. It's a staple of the hundred-something terrible pieces that you have to get out before you become more accomplished.

If you still write this way after three or more years, however, you are clearly not getting enough feedback or you're receiving feedback that you refuse to learn from. This is where the readers come in. Question the plot. Question cliches. Question everything.
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this work is to be used as guide purposes only and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this guide.

Yeah. I've finally done it. A guide to Rammstein fanfiction and pointing out how exactly I write alongside the common pitfalls of fanfiction. It was inevitable I'd eventually produce something like this. Welp.

This half covers the first two sections: general peeves, and Rammstein fanfic-related peeves. The next half covers character-related peeves along with more ambiguous discussions. But the second half will probably be more opinionated than this one, so this is really the guide that one ought to be looking at if you're directly thinking of writing a fanfic. :heart: :meow:

Not everyone will agree with me on those tropes. I thus invite discussions and request critique on this piece; the other one will also have Critique Requested enabled. I wrote all the examples myself and my God it is just bleh. Do you know how hard it was to write horribly on purpose? :cries:

The second part is linked here: [link]
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Search and Delete (Part 02) - A Rammstein Fanfiction

Please read the first part before reading this one.
A sequel to 'Press Enter For Truth', flipped perspective, Paul character study.

Pairing: Paul/Flake

Warnings: Depressing content, heavy angst, screwy formatting, Paul/Flake, mentions of Paul/OC, deconstruction, spoilers for a music video. Uses same Facebook format seen in that fic, Skype and cellphone text formatting also introduced alongside direct quotes from 'Press Enter for Truth' and other meta concepts. Elements of chatting or social networking may not translate very well. Possibly even more depressing than 'Press Enter for Truth'.

This is for you, DoorsxOfxPerception.

---------------------------------------------

Amanda shared contact details with you.

[2010-11-08 PM 12:03:03] Amanda:
Hello, Herr Landers. I'm the girl who you pulled out of Mohrenstrasse 30 the other day. I wanted to get in contact with you after I left the hospital, but I couldn't reach you at the fire station, so... so here I am.

[2010-11-08 PM 12:05:21] Paul Landers:
Oh... Hello! How did you get hold of me here, Frau...?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:06:02] Amanda:
Please call me Amanda. One of the other men that you were with told me. Black hair, spiked up, narrow face... the one who carried me down. A nice man.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:07:11] Paul Landers:
Richard. Ah. Looks like he wanted to make amends after all.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:07:17] Amanda:
Amends?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:07:58] Paul Landers:
We had a disagreement some months back... I've been hoping that he'd forgiven me, and looks like he has, for the most part. He just never said anything.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:09:45] Amanda:
Ah. Well, I wanted to thank you for saving my life, Herr Landers. When the fire happened, I was stuck upstairs and smoke was steadily beginning to fill my room - and I didn't know how to react, I could barely see an inch in front of me, I could do nothing but huddle in a corner where the window was open. It was so hot too, hotter than anything that I'd ever experienced... and then I thought of my family, my children and friends, all either downstairs and probably in the depths of the fire or all unaware of what was happening...
[2010-11-08 PM 12:11:00] Paul Landers:
Shh, it's okay. I know it must have been very upsetting.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:12:25] Amanda:
I was in there for so long, too.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:12:59] Paul Landers:
You were the last one out.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:13:31] Amanda:
I'd have died, hidden in that corner, if not for you, Herr Landers. Thank you for saving me.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:13:45] Paul Landers:
It's part of my job, Frau Amanda. You're very welcome. I'm only glad that no one in the building was badly hurt during the fire.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:14:12] Amanda:
All thanks to you and your team.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:14:53] Paul Landers:
We're all very new to this job, really. It's been only about two months since we were out in action.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:15:01] Amanda:
Really? I never would have guessed!
[2010-11-08 PM 12:18:15] Paul Landers:
We're all over forty. We had some training in the area before, but we can't say we were actively firefighting before. A re-invention of ourselves, if you may. We used to do very different things, then it transpired that we couldn't go on with it - sure, we had some money and none of us were about to spend a huge amount any time soon, but there's something profound about being out of work in your forties with not much hope as to where you might end up. None of our team attended university, we grew up in the East and times were hard back then...
[2010-11-08 PM 12:19:07] Amanda:
Wow... but, but you still managed it, right? Are you happy in the job?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:19:18] Paul Landers:
We're all content, ja. I am, as well. A good job, and one that's more directly engaged with helping people.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:19:56] Amanda:
Wow. I truly admire you and your team, Herr Landers. Your situation doesn't sound entirely foreign to me, either. I'm re-inventing my life as well, see. I lost a lot of my youth drifting and searching for nothing in particular. Many failed relationships that never really went anywhere, studies that didn't seem to contribute to a large part of my livelihood, and it wasn't until I was nearly out of my twenties that things really settled down and worked out.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:21:00] Amanda
I found a boy, too. A wonderful boy. He kept me happy for years, we lived together, and even though it wasn't much I was so content with it. And that's not too much to ask in life, happiness.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:22:41] Paul Landers:
... And him, now?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:22:52] Amanda
He fell ill two years ago and died. I was with him. We were holding hands until the very end.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:23:09] Paul Landers:
Mein Gott... I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have asked, it's none of my business...
[2010-11-08 PM 12:23:27] Amanda
No, it's all right. I'm over it now. For months I was in shambles, though. Until fairly recently, too. I'm not really young any more. Losses at this age can be devastating, and where would I find anyone else like him, ever again?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:25:16] Amanda
But you can't look back. You have to look forwards. It's easy to forget that one never stops being tested by life, no matter how old they are. That was a hard realization to grasp. After all, when you suffer so in your youth, you start thinking the rest of your life has to be better, that you're just getting a larger percentage of your overall suffering over and done with. But it doesn't work like that. And even when you gain someone, you can always lose them. But you can gain someone again if you try. It's all up to you.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:25:59] Amanda
And now that you've told me about the truth of your job - well, that cements it, really! It's never too late to re-invent yourself. I could have died, but I survived instead. I want to make the most of it, Herr Landers. And for enabling that for me - I owe you ever so much.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:26:23] Paul Landers:
... I think the opposite is just as true, there. You're welcome, Frau Amanda. I would never have expected this, even though my job is to help people.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:26:52] Paul Landers:
I think I see the virtue of it much more clearly now.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:27:18] Paul Landers:
... Will you be online for a while?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:28:04] Amanda:
I have to go now, actually - it's time for me to visit the library and my parents for dinner as well - but if you'll stay online, I'd like to talk to you tomorrow or later this evening. Of course, if I'm not being too forward?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:29:01] Paul Landers:
Not at all!
[2010-11-08 PM 12:30:35] Amanda
Please talk to me any time at all. I'm always here to listen to you. I've done a lot of listening in my life, and if I couldn't do it for the man who saved me then what would that make me?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:30:53] Paul Landers:
I'll make sure to do so. I'm glad that you contacted me. Life is full of surprising delights, after all.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:31:03] Amanda:
Of course. Isn't everything?
[2010-11-08 PM 12:31:14] Amanda:
*smile*
[2010-11-08 PM 12:31:38] Amanda:
Do have a lovely evening, Herr Landers.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:32:11] Paul Landers:
Ah... please call me Paul!
[2010-11-08 PM 12:32:18] Amanda:
Is that all right with you? Well, then please call me Amanda as well.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:32:46] Paul Landers:
I will. Auf Wiedersehen, Amanda.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:33:00] Amanda:
'Wiedersehen, Paul.

Amanda is Offline.

Christian. S is Offline.

[2010-11-08 PM 12:40:05] Paul Landers:
...
[2010-11-08 PM 12:40:54] Paul Landers:
Flake.
[2010-11-08 PM 12:41:21] Paul Landers:
Perhaps I have found someone in real life to confide in.

-----

[2010-18-09 PM 3:40:05] Christoph:
Flake uploaded an image of us back in 2005. Brought back good memories, it did.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:40:32] Paul Landers:
Flake did?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:40:43] Christoph:
Mmhmm.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:40:51] Paul Landers:
Am I tagged?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:41:07] Christoph:
Yes. Why?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:41:24] Paul Landers:
Please tell him to remove it. I want to be untagged.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:41:37] Christoph:
... What? Why? It's not doing anything to you, you haven't even been on your account for ages...
[2010-18-09 PM 3:42:01] Paul Landers:
Doom, I'm being serious. I want to be untagged.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:42:30] Christoph:
Paul. Look. Is your obsession with staying away from Flake worth denying him a perfectly valid action? You were in Rammstein. You can't change that. You were in that photo, and Flake just identified you as you in it, that's all it is. He's not trying to draw you out or something over a single photo.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:43:43] Paul Landers:
It's not so much as I don't want to think about him, as I don't want him to think about me.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:43:50] Paul Landers:
I have a date with Amanda today.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:44:02] Christoph:
... The woman who contacted you a while back?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:44:18] Paul Landers:
Yes. I've grown to confide in her. We rather like each other. We're giving things a try, decided that two weeks ago.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:44:40] Christoph:
This isn't a replacement complex or anything, right?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:45:31] Paul Landers:
Doom! How dare you suggest such a thing?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:45:59] Paul Landers:
It's been over six months. He has to get over me. He has his own life - he's enjoying himself, isn't he? I deserve to be happy too, Doom.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:46:41] Christoph:
Paul, do you seriously believe that he's happy by himself?
[2010-18-09 PM 3:46:46] Paul Landers:
...
[2010-18-09 PM 3:48:13] Christoph:
He's not, Paul.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:48:56] Paul Landers:
He can't be happy with me, either. It's all gone and past.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:49:08] Paul Landers:
I want him happy... but it's not going to happen with two of us. We've taken a separate path, Doom. When I left him and he didn't do much to grasp me back into his arms, and when I didn't reach out to him again, we mutually agreed that this was the case.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:49:11] Paul Landers:
And our paths... our paths can never merge again.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:50:05] Paul Landers:
I'm not denying Rammstein. I'm not denying anything. I just want no more future links. It can do none of us any good.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:50:37] Paul Landers:
He'll survive, Doom.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:50:56] Paul Landers:
He can do it without me. It was always him who knew more and took the lead.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:51:04] Paul Landers:
I know he can.

[2010-18-09 PM 3:55:13] Christoph:
... I'll go tell him.
[2010-18-09 PM 3:56:35] Christoph:
But I tell you. I have a horrible feeling about this.

-----

- T. Lindemann [10:35 PM] to P. Landers:
Flake's set his house on fire! Get dressed right now, Paul! I'll drive ahead!
- T. Lindemann [10:56 PM] to P. Landers, R. Kruspe, O. Riedel, C. Schneider:
I'm here. He's on the roof. Get out the safety net before you get out of the car, I'll go around the back to see if there are any others and coax him down!
- T. Lindemann [10:57 PM] to P. Landers, R. Kruspe, O. Riedel, C. Schneider:
Every other occupant seems to have escaped
- T. Lindemann [10:57 PM] to P. Landers, R. Kruspe, O. Riedel, C. Schneider:
Flake's the only
- T. Lindemann [10:58 PM] to P. Landers, R. Kruspe, O. Riedel, C. Schneider:
no
- T. Lindemann [10:58 PM] to P. Landers, R. Kruspe, O. Riedel, C. Schneider:
oh god no

- P. Landers [11:00 PM] to T. Lindemann (message incomplete):
... hes hit the
- P. Landers [11:00 PM] to T. Lindemann (message incomplete):
AHHHHHHHHHHH krbgrbgkwjgbwkkrw

-----

- Paul Landers on 12:00 PM Oct 10 2010:
I am gone away for a while. I am all right. Don't try to find me.
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:00 PM Oct 10 2010:
Paul? Paul! You were on! Where the hell are you?
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:01 PM Oct 10 2010:
... Don't try to find you? What kind of bullshit is that
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:04 PM Oct 10 2010:
Please come home
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:06 PM Oct 10 2010:
Where on earth have you gone. We've been trying to find you for days, we were on the verge of filing a police report
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:07 PM Oct 10 2010:
Amanda's been calling too
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:07 PM Oct 10 2010:
You're safe, right?
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:07 PM Oct 10 2010:
Please tell me you're safe, please
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:08 PM Oct 10 2010:
You're not gone to join Flake or anything, right?
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:10 PM Oct 10 2010:
Please don't do this, we want you back, we love you, Paul, we FUCKING LOVE YOU
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:11 PM Oct 10 2010:
I don't want to lose anybody else, not again, never again, not so soon

- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:30 PM Oct 10 2010:
...
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:32 PM Oct 10 2010:
Paul...
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 13:33 PM Oct 10 2010:
I'm so, so, sorry, Paul...

-----

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:03 PM Oct 30 2010:
To the one whose kiss will never grace my lips again.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:07 PM Oct 30 2010:
Hallo, Flake. I'm in Prague, in the hotel that you stayed in two months ago. Your manager, Andreas... he told me what kind of arrangements you had made back then, what room you stayed in. After that it was just a matter of getting there. And I'm sitting here, looking out of the window at the panorama of the city. It is indeed very beautiful, Flake. The world is quiet here. In between practice sessions - I imagine you had a lot of time to think and reflect.

You went to Prague often. I thought it only right that I save this place for last.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:13 PM Oct 30 2010:
It has been a full month since you have left this world, Flake. Thirty-three days. Thirty-three, the age Jesus was when he died, the number of miracles he performed, a dual Trinity. I wanted to acquaint myself to places that you visited during your career as a concert pianist; we always said we'd travel together, and... and... well. No one knows where I am. I'm on bereavement leave, the four others know that much, but I packed up my bags and took the bus to Berlin-Tegel the day after I made that announcement, and I haven't contacted anyone since. I wanted to be alone. I went to a lot of places - Moscow, Warsaw, Marseille, Milan, Barcelona, and a few others - and I would go to the venue that you once played in, and stand outside and stare, imagining that you too once occupied the same space as I did and stood where I stood. So here I am now, in Prague, signed into my Facebook account for the last time, finally being able to read and reflect on all the messages that you left me at last.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:20 PM Oct 30 2010:
I suppose you want to know what happened after you fell.
I woke up on my bed, a full two days after the fire. Till and Olli were looking after me - I said I was up and awake and asked for you. I was so sure that we'd saved you. I didn't dare to hope so much that you were completely unscathed - I just wanted you alive and on the road to recovery, and after that I would never, never let go of you again.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:22 PM Oct 30 2010:
Instead of you they handed over my phone, and your glasses - bent and twisted out of shape - and when I was left alone I clutched it to my chest and wept.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:23 PM Oct 30 2010:
I've been drifting ever since. Everyone's been sending me messages, asking where I am. I only posted a message once, while I was in Warsaw, that I'd gone away for a while. Amanda twice. But they wouldn't have found me even if they tracked me to that point, because that was the day I left Warsaw.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:25 PM Oct 30 2010:
During those days of aimlessly wandering I kept on thinking about our relationship. Not about where it all went wrong, because I know the answer more clearly than anyone else. It was my fault. I thought about you, trying to think of what you might have been thinking about during the months we were apart. I thought about the past. Your cooking, your blue eyes, the rare smiles. The way your fingers swiped the piano keys so elegantly, the way your glasses would gleam in sunlight, the way you would always be cleanly-shaved and well-presented as always. The way you stubbornly stuck to the East German way of counting. The way you were stubborn about everything, really. Your rigidity was what our relationship was built upon, after all.

Every day, from the day I left you, I wished for myself to hate those things more than I loved them. Every day I understood more and more clearly that I couldn't.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:30 PM Oct 30 2010:
For the past month I've been wondering if there was anything I could have done to save you. And I came up with a lot of things. I could have responded to you. Even just once. You regretted doing what you did mere seconds before you jumped, Flake - but I knew you, and I... from what you wrote in your account over those months, I can see that you were angry, upset, sad and confused over all of this, more than what you ever let on to the other guys or even yourself. And why wouldn't you have been. I fucked up. So, so horribly from the very beginning and I never even called to acknowledge your existence afterwards.

I can just imagine you during your last days in your flat. Sitting in front of your piano. Keys flat, strings untuned, your fingers blistered and arrhythmic, books of sheet music tossed to the floor and you just sitting there, staring blankly ahead at my letters and the bloodstained sheets - never thought you still had those - and wondering what went wrong, over and over again. Trying to lose yourself in anything you could. You'd probably have been dressed impeccably in a shirt, tie and trousers like you always did. Clean-shaven and hair neatly brushed back too. And thinking of you, trying to keep your identity one of the prim and proper pianist even during your final breakdown - even as you slammed the axe into your piano and reduced it to nothing but dust, scrap wood, ivory and past memories - breaks my heart endlessly. Because it's the very identity I left you over, and it's one that eventually contributed to your end.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:31 PM Oct 30 2010:
Did you think of me and Amanda? Did you think of me, full stop? Our times together? Did you let me consume your thoughts?

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:32 PM Oct 30 2010:
I don't know why I'm asking. It's evident that you did.
I only question it because I feel like I can't handle the guilt otherwise.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:32 PM Oct 30 2010:
Sometimes I feel like you're still lingering, that you're just hiding like the countless silly games of hide-and-seek we'd play during our Feeling B days and that you'll just pop your head around the corner. That you'll gaze at me in that faux-haughty way that you always did and go 'I'm bored, what took you so damn long?' while I'd laugh and run over to you and envelop you in a hug that you'd always frown at.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:34 PM Oct 30 2010:
But you never pulled away. I hadn't realized until now that you never pulled away from me during those times.
The only person who pulled away from anything during our relationship was me.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:41 PM Oct 30 2010:
I'm surprised at how much of you in the past I can remember and how much of you in recent times I can't. I can't remember how slim you were when you died, I can't remember the clothes you wore nor the expression you had, but fragments of you survive all around me. Even the image of your face is blurry, out of focus, but then I close my eyes and I can recall the minute detail of your fingers and skin as they wandered my cheeks and shoulders when we first kissed. When I walk down the street I see you everywhere, in every jaded expression of city dwellers, every brush of sunlight on long brown hair, every high sculpted cheekbone. Every day I look towards a direction randomly and will see the ghost of you, slipping down corners and stairwells, walking away with your back turned, vanishing with a blink of the eye and running from me for the first time. When I come home I imagine you're in the kitchen, cooking up some borscht or maybe a new, always-delicious recipe that you'd always present to me without fanfare - but of course you aren't there. I feel you everywhere in the scent of the furniture and the flutter of clothing and yet your complete picture refuses to come to me. And even when you were alive I didn't dwell on you post-breakup, even though I was there when Olli showed all of us your concert photos that you uploaded. Maybe I can't remember you in recent times because I refused to think of you as any other Flake but the one who I loved and cherished. Because it lessened the fact that I abandoned you.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 4:50 PM Oct 30 2010:
That's why I felt so happy when Amanda contacted me, I think. I felt appreciated. A lovely woman to boot, respectable and beautiful and just as lovingly down-to-earth as you were. A type like yours. And by benefit of me having pulled her out from a burning house and of her being the kind soul who (that I knew for sure) didn't know of nor judged me for my past - she was an angel sent to me. She is an angel sent to me. Not your replacement, not your successor - she performs best and exquisitely well as her own person - but just enough like you in happier times, an embodiment of everything good about you that I remembered and still remember, that I held on and wanted to never let go. Being with her felt like almost a continuation of the beautiful times that you and I shared, not a betrayal. And she's still there, waiting for me, despite me having cut off all contact with her so suddenly. A better person than I deserve. Just like you.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:23 PM Oct 30 2010:
Your funeral was on the 2nd of October. They gave me your urn. I couldn't carry you with me during my journey, but I have your urn by the window. It's not much to look at... but it's my room, the room that could have been ours, and after all your own wandering I wanted you to rest in peace.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:32 PM Oct 30 2010:
You deserve that much, for all I could have given you and never did in the end.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:36 PM Oct 30 2010:
....

We miss you terribly, Flake. All of us are devastated. Till wouldn't eat for days, much like me. When they went up to your apartment - I couldn't face it, Flake - they brought back a few photos that you'd kept around, and your manager was at the funeral as well, you know. Andreas seemed like a good man. He was sobbing throughout the whole thing. Richard was, too.
You liked rain. It rained a lot the day you were cremated. I let the skies cry for me because I couldn't anymore, and even then it was nowhere near enough. So here I am.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:38 PM Oct 30 2010:
They say... they say, when you die, something special happens. That your entire life flashes before your eyes.
Well... I think it might be true, but not true in the way that people state. It might be true, but not in the way you think it might be like.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:40 PM Oct 30 2010:
I think your life flashes before your eyes, but it'd be all in reverse. Backwards.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:41 PM Oct 30 2010:
... So... so at least... you'd have finished with an happy ending, Flake.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:42 PM Oct 30 2010:
Being born.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:43 PM Oct 30 2010:
...

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:55 PM Oct 30 2010:
Thank you for being born, Flake.
Thank you for all you did for me.
Thank you for taking me in while we were young and helpless together in East Berlin. Thank you for letting me return the favor later on. For putting up with me and my overactive joy, for being my friend through and through. For being mine. For loving me.
And I'm sorry. Sorry I couldn't see, sorry that I threw it all away because I couldn't understand that what was essential was next to me all along.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 5:59 PM Oct 30 2010:
Two years my junior, and yet you were always more mature than I was, balancing me out, quietly supporting me through everything. Gave me so much and expected nothing but the very basics of affection. You asked for so little, wanted and needed so little. Without you live may go on - without you flowers will still bloom and spring will still come - but without you I am empty and I don't know how to fill that void. But you would have told me to live to the fullest, as best as I could, while I still had time.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:04 PM Oct 30 2010:
So I'll... I'll keep smiling, right? I'll live on... I'll go back to work with the other guys, let them help... I'll let things develop with Amanda... she can help me bring myself back up, even though I will never be the same. And I would never abandon her, not when the same mistake resulted in your loss. Now that I posted all of those things, they'd know where I am. Time to put this physical wandering at an end, even though I will likely never stop the actual grief.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:09 PM Oct 30 2010:
You wanted to be cremated and your ashes scattered in the ocean. I'll be granting that request when I go back. You were born in Brenzlauer-Berg in the East, a place you remember as beautiful in its suspended, destroyed state - I think the ocean will be an even more beautiful void for you, all-accepting and all-eternal, washing away all the pain and hurt. I don't believe in a heaven, and you didn't believe in one either, but the expanse of the sea will be like one, I think.

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:10 PM Oct 30 2010:
... because... I... I don't ever want you to suffer, ever again, okay?

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:11 PM Oct 30 2010:
...

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:13 PM Oct 30 2010:
Why... why did I never type in your name, just once, in the password prompt to talk to you? Why didn't I do that? Why, when I was going to end up doing it anyway - not to save you or explain things to you, but to seal the gap between your existence and your oblivion?

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:14 PM Oct 30 2010:
With every click of the keyboard and mouse and with every sob choking out of my throat I'm becoming aware of how final this is

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:15 PM Oct 30 2010:
That this is the last time I will ever have the barest resemblance of talking to you, months too late but completing your tale at last

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:15 PM Oct 30 2010:
And that with my heart spilled out, I should deactivate my account and say goodbye permanently to you

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:17 PM Oct 30 2010:
but i don't want to. i can't see the keyboard anymore through my tears
can't hear the chat window beeping in the corner the only sound left is of my sobs and the keys being typed
I can't./., cant hear the sound of my own heart beating through the sound of our separation

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:19 PM Oct 30 2010:
... sorry got to wipe eyes

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:19 PM Oct 30 2010:
... got to finish

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:20 PM Oct 30 2010:
i can't, i can't... emptied out the tissues...

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:21 PM Oct 30 2010:
... I'm so sorry, Flake...

-----

- Paul Landers > Flake Lorenz on 6:30 PM Oct 30 2010:
But it'll be okay, I promise.
Whenever you want to, you can show yourself to me.
And this time, I'll make sure to hold you within my gaze.

...

You can come home...
... any time you want, okay...?
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

Are you sure you want to deactivate your Facebook account?
Till Lindemann / Richard Z. Kruspe / Oliver Riedel / Doom Schneider / Flake Lorenz will miss you. Do you wish to continue?


...

...

[2010-30-10 PM 11:56:02] Paul Landers:
I'll miss you too.

...

[2010-30-10 PM 11:57:22] Paul Landers:
But I'll fall in love with you again in another future.
[2010-30-10 PM 11:57:54] Paul Landers:
A happier one. One where I will not let you go.

...

[2010-30-10 PM 11:58:34] Paul Landers:
Goodbye.

[2010-30-10 PM 11:58:56] Paul Landers:
I'm sorry.

...

[2010-30-10 PM 11:59:32] Paul Landers:
I love you.

...

[2010-30-10 PM 11:59:50] Paul Landers:
I'm sure we'll meet again one day.

*click*

Your account has been deactivated.
Click continue to return to the front page.


-----

Whenever you deactivate Facebook that prompt comes up, telling you of everyone that will supposedly miss you, regardless of what happened between you and them. Fucking emotional blackmailing bastards.

I believe I have said everything that I have wanted to say. Paul's point of view is much more fleshed out and this piece is longer than 'Press Enter for Truth' purely because of the fact that only he knew what was going on during my version of the 'Benzin' universe. 'Press Enter for Truth' gave Flake no answers as to why they broke up, and he had no answers even at the very end, and the struggle depicted was one of trying to figure out what was going on while nevertheless trying (and failing) to pick up the pieces. Despite being one half of his and Paul's relationship, Flake was terribly out of the loop. I wanted to explain what the loop actually was and what it entailed, because Paul knew. And so I did, and 'Search and Delete' was born.

Not much to it in essence, I think, but it doesn't lessen the depressing factor any. Only crippling inconfidence and self-loathing came between them, and it was something that was unnecessary all along. A true shaggy dog story. I only wish I could chuckle at the absurd sorrow of it, but I can't.

I imagine this hits home for quite a few people. Now I'm going to stare out at the rain and reflect on the nature of self-confidence. I request critique on this piece, as I did with Press Enter for Truth. Again, much thanks to ~DoorsxOfxPerception for the OC idea and name, and my eternal internet-wifey love. :heart: I would also like to thank ~IndustrialInjury for being so patient with a busy young girl with a legendary ability to miss deadlines! :doh: :heart:
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Search and Delete (Part 01) - A Rammstein Fanfiction

Sometimes you don't realize how much you love someone until they leap off a building. Love is a bitch.
A sequel to 'Press Enter For Truth', flipped perspective, Paul character study.

Pairing: Paul/Flake

Warnings: Depressing content, heavy angst, screwy formatting, Paul/Flake, mentions of Paul/OC, deconstruction, spoilers for a music video. Uses same Facebook format seen in that fic, Skype and cellphone text formatting also introduced alongside direct quotes from 'Press Enter for Truth' and other meta concepts. Elements of chatting or social networking may not translate very well. Possibly even more depressing than 'Press Enter for Truth'.

This is for you, DoorsxOfxPerception.

---------------------------------------------

- Paul Landers took the 'Which Household Appliance Are You?' quiz and the result is 'Washing Machine'.
- Oliver Riedel likes this.
- Oliver Riedel on 3:47 PM Jun 18 2009:
Oh, Paul, the weird quizzes you do. How'd you even get that result?
- Paul Landers on 3:55 PM Jun 18 2009:
Hey, they're not THAT weird. : P I was honest with this one!
Results page said something about wild, chaotic, energetic personalities. I think it's true!
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 4:27 PM Jun 18 2009:
Wild, chaotic and energetic. Might as well have been a blender instead.
- Till Lindemann on 4:28 PM Jun 18 2009:
Oh, Risch, let it be. Why are we even going into an in-depth discussion about this?
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 4:30 PM Jun 18 2009:
>.> From the moment I realized there was an actual QUIZ about what inanimate household appliance you might feasibly be, notability as a word lost its meaning. What next, quizzes about what Rammstein bandmate you would date?
- Till Lindemann on 4:32 PM Jun 18 2009:
I took that quiz once. Came up with you. Kind of bizarrely meta.
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 4:45 PM Jun 18 2009:
THAT EXISTS?! O_O welp
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, actually.
- Doom Schneider on 4:49 PM Jun 18 2009:
Not surprised that such quizzes exist, or not surprised that Till ended up with you? Because neither of these things surprise me. : D
I tried a 'What Member of Rammstein Are You?' quiz sometime ago and got Till. Kind of jarring to know that I'm apparently not myself online.
- Paul Landers on 5:01 PM Jun 18 2009:
Okay, gentlemen, do keep the flirting off my page! XDDDDD
But back to the point. Washing machines are awesome. You guys should totally take this quiz too.
I WISH ALL OF YOU WERE A WASHING MACHINE : D
- Flake Lorenz on 5:03 PM Jun 18 2009:
Flap flap flap flap swish swish swish
- Till Lindemann, Richard Z. Kruspe and Doom Schneider like this.
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 5:12 PM Jun 18 2009:
Pahahahaha Flake oh my god XDDDD
- Oliver Riedel on 5:15 PM Jun 18 2009:
And I just spat out my drink. XD
- Paul Landers on 5:17 PM Jun 18 2009:
TEN INTERNETS FOR ONE FLAKE LORENZ RIGHT FUCKING NOW : DDDDDDD
- Paul Landers on 5:18 PM Jun 18 2009:
gOD FLAKE I LOVE YOU MORE WHEN YOU DO STUFF LIKE THIS. <3
- Paul Landers on 5:19 PM Jun 18 2009:
Oh shit, accidental capslock DX Ruining my romantic message!
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 5:23 PM Jun 18 2009
>.> I thought you wanted the flirting off your page!
- Paul Landers on 5:29 PM Jun 18 2009:
Flake and myself get a pass because we're in a relationship and this is still my page. >:3
- Doom Schneider on 5:30 PM Jun 18 2009:
Amen, brother! : DDD
- Till Lindemann on 5:31 PM Jun 18 2009:
*smile*

- Flake Lorenz > Paul Landers on 6:00 PM Jun 18 2009:
... Heheh. I try.

-----

- Paul Landers is single.
- Richard Z. Kruspe on 8:01 AM Feb 26 2010:
Holy shit. What? O_O What happened between you and Flake?
- Till Lindemann on 8:20 AM Feb 26 2010:
Is this because we disbanded Rammstein, Paul?
- Doom Schneider on 8:25 AM Feb 26 2010:
Oh my God.
- Oliver Riedel on 9:30 AM Feb 26 2010:
I wake up and what's this? What's going on?
Flake? Paul?

- Paul Landers on 10:01 AM Feb 27 2010:
Won't be on here anymore. See you guys around.

-----

[2010-27-02 PM 2:14:24] Till Lindemann:
Paul.
[2010-27-02 PM 2:20:55] Paul Landers:
Go away fuck off don't talk to me don't touch me stay with me.
[2010-27-02 PM 2:21:21] Till Lindemann:
Okay. Ready to talk when you are.

Till Lindemann invited Richard Kruspe to join the conversation.

[2010-27-02 PM 6:15:12] Paul Landers:
Hallo.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:16:24] Till Lindemann:
Up for talking now?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:17:02] Paul Landers:
Not sure what there is to talk about
[2010-27-02 PM 6:17:30] Paul Landers:
Flake and I aren't together anymore
[2010-27-02 PM 6:17:52] Paul Landers:
That's just the end of it
[2010-27-02 PM 6:19:55] Richard Kruspe:
Why, though
[2010-27-02 PM 6:20:24] Till Lindemann:
Because Rammstein broke up?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:20:53] Paul Landers:
It's... Don't concern yourself, nothing against any of you.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:21:42] Richard Kruspe:
I can't help but be concerned, was Flake ever abusive or something
[2010-27-02 PM 6:23:32] Paul Landers:
Drop it, Risch.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:25:21] Richard Kruspe:
You are my friend. Flake is my friend. You two were best friends for years and years, lovers for a year and half, we were all fine with that - and suddenly within the span of a day you're apparently not lovers anymore and are not talking to each other. I don't get it. That's all it is.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:25:59] Till Lindemann:
That's my concern as well. Paul, we simply want to understand.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:26:09] Paul Landers:
For God's sake
[2010-27-02 PM 6:26:40] Paul Landers:
It's because I couldn't do it anymore, okay
[2010-27-02 PM 6:28:00] Paul Landers:
It's because I was a pansy. It's because he's a classical pianist now and no longer as freely available for me. It's because his chosen career path doesn't coincide with what'll become of the rest of us. It's because I don't want to tie him down. It's because he did things like ironing his underwear and organizing book spines by colour and it drove me up the wall. It's because he always put olive oil in pasta boiling water despite me telling him that doing that doesn't do a thing to not make pasta stick. It's because he read in the bath. It's because he took the last cupcake.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:28:03] Richard Kruspe:
what
[2010-27-02 PM 6:28:45] Paul Landers:
It's because he's turned into an elitist prick and he's not the Flake Lorenz I fell in love with. It's a lot of things. Let it go, all right?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:29:03] Richard Kruspe:
Elitist prick
[2010-27-02 PM 6:29:14] Richard Kruspe:
I'm sorry Herr Landers are we talking about the same Flake Lorenz here
[2010-27-02 PM 6:29:21] Richard Kruspe:
The only one who legitimately misses East Berlin and the Iron Curtain
[2010-27-02 PM 6:29:58] Richard Kruspe:
The only one out of all of us to suffer from Ostalgia
[2010-27-02 PM 6:29:32] Richard Kruspe:
I'm more of an elitist prick than Flake is and you should know this because you suffered through poverty with him before the Wall fell. Why do I need to tell you this?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:31:21] Paul Landers:
I didn't ask for nor need it. You just launched straight into it. My inadequacy is nothing more than a ranting point for you, Risch, I get it, leave me alone.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:31:48] Till Lindemann:
So is that it? Because you feel like you have nothing more to offer?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:32:02] Till Lindemann:
That's ridiculous. Flake is not that shallow, Paul.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:32:04] Richard Kruspe:
Maybe he didn't change careers to spite you. Maybe he wanted to provide for you both while everyone else tried to find some footing. Maybe you shouldn't have overreacted like a fucking girl.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:32:33] Till Lindemann:
Risch. Please.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:32:39] Till Lindemann:
You're not helping.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:33:43] Paul Landers:
What the fuck do you know, Risch?! Since when did you give a shit about other people's feelings, all you did when Rammstein was in place was to whine about how everything wasn't going exactly your way!
[2010-27-02 PM 6:33:49] Richard Kruspe:
Excuse me?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:35:05] Paul Landers:
People break up all the time. And even though I might act happy to an almost childlike extent, everybody always seems to forget that I'm still a good two-three years older than most of you. I'm two years older than Flake and I've been with him long enough to know when to quit and let him go. You think I don't feel like shit for doing this?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:37:27] Richard Kruspe:
Well of course you feel like shit, that's why you shouldn't have done it. Don't give me that, either. You know perfectly well that you broke up with him because you didn't feel like you could measure up to him. I know what it feels like to feel inadequate. I know what it feels like to feel unwanted and unloved and feeling like trash. That you're useless and you'd be better off gone from everyone's lives because all you do is suck up other people's happiness
[2010-27-02 PM 6:37:45] Richard Kruspe:
I suffer from it all the time myself, it's what drives me to keep trying harder and harder towards a goal I might never reach
[2010-27-02 PM 6:38:07] Richard Kruspe:
You actually let the feeling get the better of you despite knowing you are so much more than just that and now you've driven away your dearest friend and companion
[2010-27-02 PM 6:38:23] Richard Kruspe:
Nice fucking job
[2010-27-02 PM 6:38:24] Paul Landers:
I don't need to hear you being mad at me for something I consider justified in the long term.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:39:37] Richard Kruspe:
Oh yes you do and yes you're right I'm really fucking mad right now that I'm forgetting commas and I don't even give a shit
[2010-27-02 PM 6:41:13] Richard Kruspe:
You used your own mid-life insecurity as an excuse to push away someone who never did anything but love you
[2010-27-02 PM 6:41:55] Richard Kruspe:
Flake was your best friend before you two were lovers and then you just threw all those years back in his face and in all our faces too
[2010-27-02 PM 6:42:02] Richard Kruspe:
how fucking dare you Paul
[2010-27-02 PM 6:42:08] Richard Kruspe:
you fucking PISS ME OFF
[2010-27-02 PM 6:43:00] Till Lindemann:
Richard. Enough.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:45:06] Richard Kruspe:
fuck this shit I'm not wasting any more breath here. Till. See you at dinner.

Richard Kruspe has left the conversation.

[2010-27-02 PM 6:45:39] Till Lindemann:
... Tut mir leid.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:45:49] Till Lindemann:
I shouldn't have invited him. He was het up about this all yesterday. My lack of foresight. I'm sorry, Paul.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:46:21] Paul Landers:
Don't be. He makes good points anyway.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:46:50] Paul Landers:
Though it doesn't mean that he had any right to attack me while I was down.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:47:03] Till Lindemann:
I realize that you don't want to talk about this now. That's fine. It's not my business to pry any further.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:47:31] Till Lindemann:
Let's focus on something more important before I go. What will you be doing now? It's only been two weeks since we dissolved the band and neither me nor Richard have found jobs. Schneider and Olli haven't either.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:48:30] Paul Landers:
I don't know. I'm not young, Till. I reckon I'm showing my age more clearly than most of the guys.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:48:34] Till Lindemann:
Most of the guys, except for me.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:48:59] Paul Landers:
Don't say that. You're fairly ageless as far as looks go. I'd say you've had the same mature face for over a decade and that it's barely changed since.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:49:23] Till Lindemann:
So I grew old as much as I could and then suddenly stopped when I was much younger?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:49:53] Paul Landers:
Heheh. I guess. But back to the point. Not sure what I could do with myself at this point. I'll have to keep looking, though.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:50:21] Till Lindemann:
Keep looking. A plan for the ages. Good. Dinner's done... I need to go now, Paul. Please take care of yourself. And again, I'm sorry for earlier.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:50:46] Paul Landers:
No problem...

[2010-27-02 PM 6:50:55] Paul Landers:
... Till.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:51:03] Till Lindemann:
Hm?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:51:25] Paul Landers:
Do you think less of me now that I did this?
[2010-27-02 PM 6:52:34] Till Lindemann:
I would never think less of you, Paul, for being human.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:52:37] Till Lindemann:
However.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:53:43] Till Lindemann:
I do admit that I don't completely see the logic in what you did. I would not be able to justify it had I been in your shoes.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:54:54] Till Lindemann:
... But then... no one knows Flake better than you do. That will never change.
[2010-27-02 PM 6:55:59] Till Lindemann:
... Bis bald, Paul.

-----

[2010-28-03 PM 2:14:55] Christian. S *** ATTENTION REQUIRED! ***
Dear Friend , Hi , i.am.Christian!! Please Add Me to Contacts  !!!!Sorry I've Been so Busy!!!
Keep Up With Me at My Website: bit.ly/Mq9TiL

Christian. S *** ATTENTION REQUIRED! *** is Offline.

[2010-28-03 PM 2:21:55] Paul Landers:
Oh mein Gott, spambot, go away.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:22:32] Paul Landers:
Why do people make spambots on here anyway, it's not as if they answer back or achieve anything.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:23:21] Paul Landers:
Give me false hope that maybe my friends aren't mad at me now. They are, I know. All talking to me, but a month's gone by since the breakup and nothing much of their attitude has changed. I'm getting sick of always having to initiate conversations with them, it's like they don't want to talk to me anymore unless prompted.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:24:41] Paul Landers:
Schneider and Olli are okay but went to comfort Flake first, that much I know. Probably still think that I'm the only one in the wrong, though they didn't say that. Richard's still pissed off at me, Till's still friendly but I can tell he's disappointed in me. Somehow the disappointment hurts worse than if he'd been just pissed. But he's not. He's probably sitting around wondering what he did wrong and how he can solve this, and feeling down because he's no longer our leader and thus none of this is within his power to fix. And how could he fix anything at this point?
[2010-28-03 PM 2:24:59] Paul Landers:
Only person who's wanted to talk to me willingly - heh - has been Flake, sending me a contact request.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:25:14] Paul Landers:
Blocked and rejected. Won't be seeing him around.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:25:21] Paul Landers:
When's he going to understand that I don't want to talk to him anymore... why would he even want to bother anyway, he's got a full career to think about and at his age he really can't afford to...
[2010-28-03 PM 2:25:50] Paul Landers:
Great. Talking to myself. Well, aren't I a freak.

[2010-28-03 PM 2:30:55] Paul Landers:
...

[2010-28-03 PM 2:36:51] Paul Landers:
Christian. S, huh?
[2010-28-03 PM 2:37:04] Paul Landers:
His name was Christian too.

[2010-28-03 PM 2:37:32] Paul Landers:
...

[2010-28-03 PM 2:50:35] Paul Landers:
Tell you what, spambot
[2010-28-03 PM 2:50:47] Paul Landers:
I think I'll keep you around.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:52:12] Paul Landers:
I can pretend you're him whenever I want to say something to him and know that I won't be able to. Because I'm ignoring him. Because if I ignore him and pretend not to care, he'll move on... see things my way eventually... maybe find himself another person, someone more adapted to his new lifestyle... someone who isn't two years older and has no idea where he's going with his life. We'll carry on that way and maybe I'll find some happiness one day as well. But meanwhile I suppose I can keep you around to vent to.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:53:00] Paul Landers:
You can be a close friend of mine, one that I'll never add to contacts but one that I'll just ramble to whenever things are bad. Spambots by definition will only ever be online once to annoy the hell out of you so none of my messages will ever be sent
[2010-28-03 PM 2:53:04] Paul Landers:
And that's fine.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:53:17] Paul Landers:
You're just a bot. You don't feel.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:54:15] Paul Landers:
You don't speak.
[2010-28-03 PM 2:54:19] Paul Landers:
You don't care.

[2010-28-03 PM 2:54:27] Paul Landers:
But...

[2010-28-03 PM 2:55:06] Paul Landers:
...

[2010-28-03 PM 2:56:34] Paul Landers:
There is some serious comfort in the fact
[2010-28-03 PM 2:56:40] Paul Landers:
that you don't pretend to.

-----

Christoph invited Paul Landers to join the conversation.

[2010-28-05 AM 8:14:55] Paul Landers:
Oh hello, Doom. Haven't talked to you in a couple of weeks.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:15:13] Christoph:
Glad to see you're here and ready to talk. We're discussing jobs at the moment.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:16:20] Paul Landers:
Jobs?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:16:56] Oliver Riedel:
Hallo, Paul.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:18:40] Richard Kruspe:
... Hallo.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:18:40] Till Lindemann:
Guten Morgen.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:19:55] Paul Landers:
Same to all of you. What's, um, what's all this about?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:20:23] Christoph:
Jobs. We can't go around not working forever. We've still got some fight left in us. I made the point that while none of us really suit being a Handwerker and never have done - and we're retired from music for the time being - we still have pyrotechnician and first aid training that we obtained over a couple of years. A lot of good records as well under our names. There's no point in letting that go to waste, is there?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:22:02] Paul Landers:
Become full-time pyrotechnicians, you mean?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:23:59] Oliver Riedel:
We were more thinking in terms of firefighting. Of course we can't exactly jump straight into the paid territory, but a voluntary department has agreed to take us. A little more training, some experience, and that promotes us to professionals quite a lot quicker than people going in completely inexperienced would. We all have a fairly well-documented history of working as a team as well, and we're under Till who's earned himself a full license multiple times over. Is that right, Till?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:24:45] Till Lindemann:
Ja. The newest one I applied for was in April. Flake might no longer be with us - but I think it's the truth now that the five of us can't be forced apart, if we have no particular reason for so. So I wanted to ask - would you like to join us, Paul?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:25:13] Christoph:
Give it a few days and think it over, if you want. We do realize this is rather sudden, and we won't force you into anything. This isn't going to be an easy job, it's something we'll eventually get to with our own lives on the line. We can't ask you to make that decision on the spot.

[2010-28-05 AM 8:30:12] Paul Landers:
We'd have to deal with people who could die despite all our efforts, I suppose.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:32:42] Richard Kruspe:
That's right.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:34:13] Paul Landers:
Which was an essential part of training that we already went through when we practiced first aid. Kind of what we had to prepare for in pyrotechnician training too. I'm in.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:35:52] Till Lindemann:
... Are you sure?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:36:06] Richard Kruspe:
... Hm. I don't know if I ought to oppose you or commend you for the quick thinking. But... well. It would be nice to work with you again.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:36:41] Richard Kruspe:
I would like to make amends with you sometime.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:37:55] Oliver Riedel:
Well, this is fantastic! If you're sure, I'll go down to the station with Till tomorrow and confirm things. You will be there, right, Till?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:40:21] Till Lindemann:
Indeed. I'll probably start filling out forms right now, actually. When it gets to your details, I'll call you to check or ask if it's all right for me to come over, Paul. Is that all right?
[2010-28-05 AM 8:43:17] Paul Landers:
Come over any time if you want! I'm free. Even now is fine.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:43:53] Till Lindemann:
Ah, excellent. I'll see you around noon, then. I'll call before I come over, still. Bis dann.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:47:51] Richard Kruspe:
Bis bald, Paul.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:48:22] Oliver Riedel:
Same here.
[2010-28-05 AM 8:50:50] Paul Landers:
Tschuss!

Richard Kruspe has left the conversation.

Till Lindemann has left the conversation.

Oliver Riedel has left the conversation.

[2010-28-05 AM 9:15:13] Christoph:
Well, that went very well, I'd say. I'm glad. Getting to work with friends again as a team, doing helpful work... I couldn't ask for any better. Thank you for considering it seriously, Paul.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:16:50] Paul Landers:
No problem.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:16:55] Paul Landers:
...
[2010-28-05 AM 9:17:01] Paul Landers:
Say, Doom...
[2010-28-05 AM 9:17:13] Christoph:
Hmm?
[2010-28-05 AM 9:17:23] Paul Landers:
Do you... do you still talk to Flake?
[2010-28-05 AM 9:18:02] Christoph:
I do. Quite often in fact, on Facebook.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:18:13] Paul Landers:
He's still updating his statuses regularly?
[2010-28-05 AM 9:19:00] Christoph:
Of course he does. You know what he's like, always keeping things concise and interesting - he talks a lot about the concerts he attends, the places he goes to and things like that.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:19:12] Paul Landers:
Does... does he ever ask about me?
[2010-28-05 AM 9:20:10] Christoph:
...
[2010-28-05 AM 9:20:12] Christoph:
Paul...
[2010-28-05 AM 9:22:45] Christoph:
I admit to never quite understanding why the break-up happened. I wish I could understand but it was never my place to pry into the matter, and God knows I had no intention of looking like I was shoehorning blame to either you or Flake. Not after Richard blowing up on you. What happened, happened, and I've accepted that.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:22:59] Christoph:
But you and he were the closest of friends. I can't tell you how to live your life, Paul, but... someday I really think you really ought to let things heal between you and Flake. To answer your question, he doesn't specifically - but I can just tell that he wants to know, whenever he asks about how things are going at our end. Why not talk to him sometime?
[2010-28-05 AM 9:23:34] Paul Landers:
... I don't think I should. Or can. No use digging up the past when it hurt so much for both of us.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:23:48] Paul Landers:
Is he over me, though? Asking after me and being over me aren't the same thing.

[2010-28-05 AM 9:24:00] Christoph:
...
[2010-28-05 AM 9:24:03] Christoph:
No.
[2010-28-05 AM 9:24:09] Christoph:
And I doubt he'll ever be over you, not without an explanation that clears things up for him.

[2010-28-05 AM 9:26:44] Paul Landers:
I see.

-----

Christian. S is Offline.

[2010-18-06 PM 6:31:42] Paul Landers:
Hey, Flake.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:31:59] Paul Landers:
I just came back from my job training with the others. Firefighting. Much easier considering the pyrotechnician training we have, and Till's license turned out to be pretty useful in the end - we'll start going places and actually jumping into the action at the end of the week, I think. It did make me happy that we're sticking together again, but...
[2010-18-06 PM 6:32:09] Paul Landers:
Well. it won't be the same without you. Though - though, that's not your fault.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:32:13] Paul Landers:
It was mine.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:34:52] Paul Landers:
I went on Facebook today and thought about logging in. It's been over three months. Thought about making amends with you, I really did - explain to you why I did what I did. I still stick to my original thought that my presence will interfere with your career; let's face it. you can't realistically maintain a relationship with someone like me when you will be so far away all the time. Especially seeing as I'm out of work and will be for a while, this job is mostly-voluntary for the time being. True, we might have a lot of money saved from the Rammstein days, but that won't last forever. Unemployed people are surprisingly expensive to maintain, who would have thought?
[2010-18-06 PM 6:36:21] Paul Landers:
And... and I knew how much you cared for me. How much you loved me. I was that one gear in the clockwork that you would never want to replace, even when it became useless. Strange how you were the realist out of all of us and I was the sole thing you refused to be realistic about.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:37:34] Paul Landers:
But that's not the point. I stared at the login page for over an hour before I decided that I couldn't do it. I got as far as typing my email address in, but...
[2010-18-06 PM 6:38:13] Paul Landers:
...
[2010-18-06 PM 6:38:32] Paul Landers:
My password is of your name.

[2010-18-06 PM 6:40:00] Paul Landers:
...

[2010-18-06 PM 6:50:06] Paul Landers:
Truthfully.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:50:18] Paul Landers:
I've been very depressed lately.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:54:12] Paul Landers:
What am I doing to you? What are you doing to me? All this sorrow from both sides of the argument and yet neither of us have even visited the other during all of those months. If you only tried a few times to get through to me and then stopped, doesn't that mean you prioritized your work over me in the end? Does that mean that you couldn't help but focus on work? Or you're respecting distance? But Doom said you don't directly ask for me, either. I don't know what to think anymore.
[2010-18-06 PM 6:54:55] Paul Landers:
But if I re-entered your life, wouldn't I disrupt you again? Is that what you need, when you're past forty and desperately have to make some sort of living? We've somehow entered our two separate ways of life - so doesn't it make the most sense that we should carry it on?
[2010-18-06 PM 6:55:26] Paul Landers:
Thinking about all this makes me terribly ill and depressed. The doctor told me to rest easy. Maybe start an antidepressant cycle. Is that the best for me?

[2010-18-06 PM 7:00:00] Paul Landers:
...

[2010-18-06 PM 7:05:16] Paul Landers:
Okay. Let's do it.
[2010-18-06 PM 7:08:25] Paul Landers:
Let's do the drugs. Let's do the chemical lobotomy.
Let's shut down the higher functions of my brain and perhaps I'll be more fucking capable of living.
[2010-18-06 PM 7:10:54] Paul Landers:
And I see the mess that I have become, more closely and more directly than you ever could. I can't allow myself to be close to you again. No. I simply can't, not when I will be a larger burden to you than before. It'd be best to forget me and forget the times that we spent together.
[2010-18-06 PM 7:14:53] Paul Landers:
You can't erase the past, you told me. I'm not asking you to erase the past. I'm asking you to acknowledge that it happened, forget it all, and move on. But I know that you can't and you won't. I spent over a decade with you. I know you better than no other. I see no other solution than to keep ignoring you, keep hurting you, keep well away from you until you finally get the notion in your head that I'm a bastard not worth being with. Then you'd move on. To someone infinitely better than I am, just like you are.
[2010-18-06 PM 7:15:00] Paul Landers:
And the fact that this is the only solution makes me terribly sad, because it ought not to be that way.

-----

[2010-18-06 PM 11:59:59] Paul Landers:
... Will you love me any less, if I hurt you any more?
Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story.

Part 1 of 2. I wanted this to be a fluid oneshot, but spacing and quite frankly insane formatting would burn your eyes out if I did so, I think. But nevertheless, due to the nature of this piece, comments on the first half are disabled.

Click to go onto the next part - leave critiques and comment there, please!

If you follow the bit.ly link, you'll end up at a very familiar page, too. <3333333
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I didn't want to open my eyes at first, as I sat there in the cold and let the hum of the water penetrate my ears like a million water logged bees. I knew it would sting, would make this whole process go faster, and though I would have loved to have it over with as quickly as possible, my heart was still pounding out of my chest in something you would call fear.

Well, you know what they say. Every person that tried to commit suicide by jumping to their death only to survive, admits regretting their decision. Each person said that the little problem they may have been having wasn't worth killing themselves over, and they realized it when they were about three fourths of the way down. They wish they had never done it. Every. Single. One.

But I was a little different, now wasn't I? My death wouldn't quite be the same. I wasn't falling. I was just sitting here. Innocently. Calmly. Nothing was wrong with me. I was just enjoying a lovely night, really. I was just going for a swim in a hotel pool while the rest of my friends continued on inside, with their shooting, and drinking, and smoking.

And no one would hear my last breath as I took it or my last scream of desperation and misery. I wasn't going out with a bang, just a small, silent choke and then… I would just… fade away.

Those five valiums I popped before I decided this helped with the silence anyway. My body was too relaxed to make a damn sound.

Expecting something different from a person like me? Something a little more… hardcore? No. That wasn't really my style.

I opened my eyes and they fluttered a bit, trying to get the sting to go away, though it didn't, and I knew it wouldn't. It was just my body. No, my mind was stronger, or maybe my legs forgot how to work because of the little exhaustion and small high I was on from the pills. I wasn't going anywhere.

Finally, I had them all the way open, deciding to just embrace it. Wasn't the way I saw real life horribly stinging as well anyway?

My world that night was black, with only the moon casting its rays on the blue walls and sending the reflections around me in ripples of beauty. I allowed a small smile. They almost looked like fairies to me… moving too fast for me to catch their true form, and instead they just flew all around me, enveloping me in iridescence.

I blinked again. I choked. A bubble of air left my mouth and began traveling up to the surface, breaking through back to the real world. Yes. This would surely be a good way to go out.

This was, after all, his element. My love played with fire, but he was only truly happy in the opposite. When we first met, at his old place in the country, we had a huge party and danced, and drank, and snorted, and smoked the night away. And in the morning, after purging everything in my stomach into his bathroom, I walked out of the cabin while the rest of the band was sleeping in the kitchen and Flake stood at the stove, trying to make eggs, only to look down the way a little bit and see what I thought was a torpedo cutting through his little lake. I could hardly take my eyes off of him, or what I thought was him, as I watched this other life form break through invisible barriers like they were nothing. He popped out of the water a moment later, when he was on the other side, and smiled. He smiled. It was this small, prideful grin that I never saw on his lips again. And it was right there, at that very moment, when I knew there was something special about him.

That very day, I convinced everyone who stayed from the party from the three bands that were there to join a band with me. A whole new one. Of course Till was the most reluctant, but I convinced him. How I did it, I don't even remember, but I convinced him. I told him, no, I promised him, we would be huge. We were going to be special.

He was special.

We all had to feed off of that.

And we needed him.

I needed him.

My lungs started to feel like raisins, and everything felt so overly cold. I knew I didn't take a big enough breath before I descended from the hotel, and went into the abyss of this other world, this dangerous, breathless utopia. If I did, I wasn't going to sink. I was going to float. Till taught me that.

He taught me how to swim, actually. Huh. I guess I forgot.

Another bubble. Another choke.

Damn breath control. This was what I got for trying to better myself musically. Till and I used to do long tones together, facing each other, trying to get the undertones between us so intense that we thought we could break glass. Maybe we could have, but we never actually tried that. In fact, I could hold a note longer than he could. He was so angry at me for it when he found that out. After all, I had to not upstage him. Sure, he didn't like people looking at him, but on that same note, he didn't play a guitar and stand in front of me at a show.

We were pretty different, he and I. He would have preferred to be a singer that never had to have an audience. He would be perfectly happy if he could just stand above the crowd, while they faced the other way, and sing to the wall they looked at. Attention made him nervous, he would do better back in the middle of nowhere, with no one around. He was fine with silence. Me, on the other hand, I needed love. I needed attention. It was my own, personal drug. I needed to make a splash that everyone would hear, and I needed the adoration I would get in return if I did a good enough job.

And to tell you the truth, I was pretty damn envious of him. When we were old and gray, he would lay in his lonely bed, the morning doves singing out his window, the only sound he could hear and smile. I would have my eye on a shotgun when the constant scream my life had become came to a silent end.

My fingers were immovable now, and I'm sure my face was a beautiful shade of blue. Well, this was it.

The thought of him finding me popped into my head for a minute. It would be quite ironic, wouldn't it? To find your lover, dead and floating in your element, a man who always wanted to make loud noises to get someone, ANYONE'S attention, lifeless and silent.

I almost hoped he'd find me.

He would be the only one who truly could be inspired by my demise. Yeah… this would make for a great song, now wouldn't it?

The laugh I took made a whole wave of water rush into me. This was the end, and I didn't thrash about, or scream underwater, or try to swim to the surface as my black, breathless utopia, descended even deeper into my own dying mind.

**********

Hey.

Hey!


Till…? Why did he sound so far away? His voice is quite beautifu-,

Did you drink too much last night?

Well, besides that cherry gin and sprite…

Why don't you open your eyes, at least? Come on, Richard, really. It's so late in the day. I thought you wanted to work on that song… lazy…

I wasn't lazy… I was just really… really… wow, how could I be this tired? What did I do?

Slowly, I opened my eyes, and the light was just so incredibly bright that they basically clamped shut immediately.

Well, isn't that funny? What are you? Afraid of the light?

"You're one to talk…" I went to rub my eyes, but it didn't feel like my hands were even touching my face at all. That was peculiar…

Touché. He sighed, and I heard blankets rustle. Maybe he was moving… was I back in our hotel room…? At least I can open my eyes. It doesn't matter how scared I am of this place. At least I still face it.

He was right… I had to open my eyes. No sense laying here, talking to him without looking at him.

Protest escaped my mouth when the light flooded onto my face again, but this time, I opened them wider. And there he was, laying right next to me, on his side, looking right in my eyes with his, all of a sudden this amazing emerald green. We were on this glowing white bed, the sheets completely pristine, and the pillows so fluffy that they bowed up around my head, and he smiled at me.

"Where are we?" That's when I realized we were naked. The covers and sheets came just about up to his bare chest, and my body was much too sensitive to the softness to be clothed. It was quite strange though…

Till was incredibly… attractive to me, hence the fact that we were fucking like rabbits any chance we could get… backstage, in bathrooms at after parties… we even somehow got roomed together while on tour. Usually we couldn't keep our hands to ourselves…

But I didn't feel sexually inclined right now. It was just… him and me.

"The better question is; where are you?" he smirked, never taking his eyes away from mine. In fact, I wasn't sure if he had even blinked.

"Are we in the hotel room?"

"Well… I am."

"Then… where am I?"

"Probably at the bottom of the pool," he said, unemotionally. It's like he didn't even care… then again maybe he didn't.

"Oh… yeah…" Why did I do that again? Oh yeah… because nothing was worth it anymore.

I didn't want to play anymore… all I wanted to do really was drink and get high… and now… Till wanted to leave me. It was like, all the fame and fortune wasn't enough anymore. It just got old. It was almost as if the buzz of the first high finally wore off, and I was left with nothing. I just felt… completely empty and unfulfilled. I couldn't even write anymore, and now… Till was just fed up with it. I could understand though. Who would want to be with a shell of a man?

"So… what are you going to do now?" he asked. I thought about it for a while, before rolling onto my back and sighing up at the glowing white ceiling.

"I guess… I guess I'll just lay here, then." He smirked and chuckled.

"Then I guess I'll keep you company."

Richard! A voice called me. It was so far away again, muffled by the barrier of worlds. Was that… Till…?

"Looks like someone wants you."

"So what…?" I didn't want to go back to that place. That Till wanted nothing to do with me. That Till would throw me away when I needed him most. Why wouldn't I want to stay with a different Till, who just content being next to me, and seemed to love me like the other one used to? Seemed like that world would be better off without me anyway… seemed like that Till would be better off without me…

RICHARD!! It was louder now, the break clear in my ears, though there was still a difference between where he was and where I seemed to be… wherever I was… Don't you dare leave me, damn it!!

Well. Wasn't I just saying that same thing about an hour or two ago?

"So… obviously someone wants you up there, you might as well wait on this if you ask me."

"I'm not asking you…"

Reesh…? It was someone else. Maybe Flake?

Oh my God… is he…? Paul. He sounded so fucking shocked… maybe even crying.

Call a fucking ambulance! What are you doing?! That was definitely Ollie. Of course, Ollie would be the one who did something instead of just gawking and being completely shocked over a situation like this.

Shit… the phones are down. Doom. What do I do? Till! What do I do?!

You shut the FUCK UP! THAT'S WHAT YOU FUCKING DO!

"He's giving you CPR, you know that right?" I was quiet. "So…"

"He's just trying to do the right thing," I didn't even want to look at him. No. I needed to die. I needed this.

"Maybe he needs you," he said, quietly. "Maybe… just maybe, he needs you as much as you need him. And you can't say you've been much of yourself as of late."

Reesh… please… he sounded like he was desperate. Pleading for dear life itself… I had never heard him like that…

"You don't want this," he stated. "You want that."

"But I… I don't want to leave you…" He laughed.

"I'll be right here."

**********

The other Till was gone… and the next thing I knew, I was facing the pavement, puking up something that tasted like chlorine. Something… someone's hand was running through my hair, and holding my face to the side.

"Oh my God… Richard!" Paul's voice, then it got farther away. "Ollie, Chris! Richard's…" Why was he talking about me? What the fuck ha-,

I coughed again, a hard cough that felt like my lungs were turning inside out, and with it, more water. Yes, this was water. Why was there so much water? Something grabbed my face and pointed it upward, so I was looking at the black night sky… and his face, water dripping from a lock of hair that hung down and dripped onto my forehead. He breathed hard onto my face and when I looked into his eyes, I saw that they were caked in worry and desperation. He couldn't have been that worried about me…

"Can you hear me? Richard?" He slapped my face a few times, never leaving my eyes. Another slap, this time harder.

"Uuugggghhhh…" That's all I could croak out before sliding my head to the side and purging more water onto the ground.

"Is he ok?" Flake. I could hardly hear him over my coughing. It seemed like I couldn't stop coughing… and my mouth tasted like a horrible mixture of straight pills, and chlorine.

"I-I don't know," Now it was back to Till. "Richard?"

"Till…?"

"Oh my God…" now it was relief, and as I put my head back up to face the sky his head hit my chest, and I felt his body go limp and his hands shaking trying to find the right place to touch me, to hug me. I put my hand on his back, and focused on my breathing, focused on trying to remember how to breathe…

All of a sudden, he snapped back up and grabbed me by my shoulders, tears of anger in his eyes.

"Don't you EVER do that to me!" he practically screamed, like a mad man. "Don't you EVER… WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?! Why did you-,"

"Leave him alone," it was Flake again. Till reached behind him and swatted at something, and he swatted hard.

"Shut the FUCK up, Flake!"

"He needs to go to the hospital, Till! You're going to kill him!" He looked back down at me.

"Why…?"

"I'm… sorry…" I said in nothing more than a whisper. That was all I could get out. I could feel him shaking, feel his heart beating a mile a minute, feel his fingertips as they dug into me and surely made new bruises on my shoulders.

"What did you take?"

"Wha-?"

"What did you take, Richard?!" I had to think about it for a minute. "I found a pill, what the FUCK did you take?"

"Just…" I had to swallow. "Just valium…"

"How many?"

"F…five…? I think…?"

"Holy shit… Paul! Are the phones back up?!" There was a muffled reply, and I couldn't hear it, but it seemed to make Till even more stressed than before. "Fuck…"

Everything was so blurry… and I was so tired…

"No, NO!" Another small slap to my face that sent my eyelids flying open again. "Stay with me, ok? Please? Richard?"

"Do you love me?" I whispered.

"Is that what this is about? Really?" I was quiet. "Richard…"

"I can't… I can't do it anymore…" Tears started running down my face, and I couldn't control them for some reason. "I can't write anymore, Till… I can't play… I don't want to… do this… and then… and then there was you. And now, you don't even love me… and there's no point to this stupid fucking goddamn-,"

A hand cupped my cheek and stopped me, and his eyes shone down into mine as he shook his head with a little sad smile on his face.

"Just because I don't want to be with you right now doesn't mean I don't love you," he said quietly. "Don't you ever forget that. Never."

And with that, we shared a long silent gaze as I tried to focus on those amazing eyes and the dripping hair, trying to keep my eyes open.

"Till!" It was Ollie's voice again, and he sounded close. "The phones are back up, an ambulance is on the way." And Till looked away from me then, up in front of him and nodded.

My chest started to get very heavy, and keeping my eyes open was completely impossible.

"Richard?" This time, I couldn't reply. I could hardly feel him slapping me and shaking me, though I knew he surely was.

RICHARD! STAY WITH ME! TALK TO ME! PLEASE!

No… I think I would just enjoy the lovely night, and think about all those people who regretted trying to die.

And as my lovely night went black… I found it quite funny that in thinking he had left me, I in turn had left him first.

~FIN~
I've never written a Tillchard... but with the character study :iconkimbk: is doing, I thought I'd try to write one. ^^

So, this is dedicated to :iconkimbk: and :icontschusscake:

Comments, critiques, and faves are appreciated. Thanks for reading. :D
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(Contains: nudity, sexual themes and strong language)

Metempsychosis In 9000 Words (Part 01) - A Rammstein Fanfiction

If you've ever paired up members of Rammstein with each other, you will hate this.

Warning: Till/Everyone, Paul/Richard, Richard/Schneider, major OOC-ness and distasteful portrayal. Tastelessness, metafiction (badly written), purposefully deconstructive and guaranteed to offend. If by any chance you weren't offended, please leave a detailed review pointing this out with further details as to how I may offend you better. Otherwise, the back button is still an option. Or close the tab.

Please. It's still not too late.

--------------------------

Knock. Knock.

"Who is it?"

"Guten Abend, Risch! It's me."

"Oh, hello... Till? What brings you here at... half nine in the evening? Wait, what's that? What are you doing?"

"No time for explanations now. Explanations are for sissies. Just get on with it, will you?"

"But I - mmm - mmmph!"

-----

Lend your ears to a legend, that's what they all say. Rammstein is a legend in the hearts of many. That much is undeniable.

But even when I look back on it, there was always one person who stood out for me amongst the other five, and that was Richard. He was the one who recognized my voice, the first one to hear me singing while I was working on a basket at my meagre paying job. He wanted a new band, he wanted to play lead guitar, but he wasn't about to take on the lead vocals too - too much effort and too much imbalance in the band dynamics. Can't have a band where one person's doing most of the work. He recognized that, persuaded me after quite some days' worth of discussion - and look how incredible it's turned out.

He helped me get through rough patches. I helped him get through rough patches. We raised our daughters together as sisters. Our friendship goes back to over two decades ago, over half our lives have depended on it, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Richard has severe issues with self-worth too, despite being able to see so much talent in others. I talk with him and help him through those bouts - what he doesn't always see is that he has the talent and charisma of a world-class guitarist, but that he's also unfortunately talented in sabotaging himself and letting his lack of confidence get in the way. Hell, I understood. I still understand. I'm the exact same, see. Without each other, we would have never made it this far.

So our friendship is stronger than what we usually let onto others. He's the best damn guitarist and co-vocalist I can ask for. I am the best singer and frontman he can ask for. It's all good. It's been tested many times though - Emigrate, my bouts of severe depression and relationship problems, him being irritable, or even for things completely separate from our relationship like Schneider throwing a fit or something like that. We always pulled through. That's how amazing it is.

So why don't I test out the strength of this legendary friendship with my cock stuffed down his throat.

He's frantically trying to struggle away from me, shaking his head as much as he can, trying to break free of me. My response is to grab him by the hair and force myself deeper inside his mouth. "Mmmph," he cries out, before he lets out retching sounds. I can't apologize for my size though, Richard. That's God's gift to me and the fangirls and eventually you. See, our God's actually a porno director. You'll see things my way eventually.

I can't stand to see him suffer. Ought to give him a tip or two to make it easier.

"No teeth. And breathe through your nose, you fag."

Pfft. It's like he's never sucked a cock before.

Well. Let's be fair here. He probably hasn't. But every universe we go to, we can immediately get to it with the finesse of a porn star. Why not here, I say.

I know what the fangirls want. My big fat cock, ideally stuffed into another bandmate's (insert orifice here). I didn't actually have a cock like that before people started writing about it and suddenly made me incredibly well-endowed and constantly erect. All the better to fuck you with, my dear.

You're watching me as I do this. I want to make it good for you. I want it to be hot and erotic and emotive. You know, watching me rape my best friend's mouth.

It's raining outside. A thunderstorm is on, lightening crashing in the distance in time with my thrusts because in this universe, the environment is synced to my every movement. Empathic environment. Everything is perfectly timed. What people never seem to realize is that if everything keeps working out, just so, it's not memorable anymore. This orgasm right now isn't memorable either. It's not that different to the last hundred I've had.

Richard lets out a muffled cry as he feels my load slipping down his throat. I pull away and he keels over right there, vomiting up everything in his stomach. It's not very pleasant to see.

But then, I didn't want to do this in the first place. I only did it for your enjoyment. Because I know what you like and you like to see me fucking my best friend.

Thing is.
Sex doesn't always feel good. In fact often it's kind of disappointing. The fantasies about sessions that last for hours, the one on top pounding into you, perfectly climaxing together - there's a reason why that's a fantasy, it's because that's not the normal thing. Often it hurts, sometimes it's over within five minutes, and both partners are left unsatisfied and apologetic and clinging only onto the hope that maybe - maybe - the next time will be better.

Well. Good luck either way on that front. Quite often, it isn't.

This won't damage Richard much. Sure he's vomiting up everything in front of me right now and gagging as he tries desperately to claw the taste of me out of his throat, but it won't last very long. It's not as if rape means much in this world I'm in. Rape in fanfiction is like saying hello. I pull my trousers and boxers up; cum and saliva I can wear proudly, but vomit isn't quite in that category just yet.

Just yet, being the key phrase there. No one's written me with a vomit fetish before. Let's hope nobody does.

"I hope it was a valuable learning experience. Don't worry, Reeshybuns. I'll be back for your hot sweet mouth in a few."

Real emotion. Real dialogue. Cute nickname too.
And I just threw up in my mouth a little typing that.

He's still gagging, but manages to look up at me with hatred. "F-fuck you, fuck you, Till," he gasps hoarsely. His voice is raspy, which isn't surprising because I just fucked his throat raw. I figure I should say something witty, about who's fucking who.

"Now, now," I tell him flatly. "that's still a bit too ahead of schedule, isn't it? Sure, you're more than welcome to fuck me. Just not right at the moment. Think of all this as extended foreplay. We'll work on fingering the next time."

"You - you fucking bastard I'm going to kill you I swear to God-"

"Danke for the blowjob," blow him a kiss. "gute Nacht."

Walk out and kick the door behind me, silencing his frantic shouts. Right now he'll feel that way, sure, but when I get back to my own apartment there will be multiple missed calls and voicemails from him, crying and telling me that he's sorry and that he misses me and don't I want him to come around? I won't need to answer them, because from then onwards, what happens to our relationship is out of our control. He'll call up more than once, telling me how he wants to see me, spend time with me, how glad he is that I face-fucked him into submission. Yeah. That's right. That's exactly what this was.

It's not my fault. It's not his fault either. It was all up to you.

Me and Richard had a strong friendship going. Something so strong that it seemed nothing could ever come between us until for whatever reason I decided to fuck him and pushed him into the path of becoming a weepy, dramatic, bondage-gear-wearing queer. That's about light years away from what he really is like - you know it, I know it, we all do. He was never like that and chances are that's why you loved him from the beginning, that he was not some mincing, lisping little popstar. But it's too late now.

And then we'll fuck. After that all we do will be to fuck. We'll fuck all day and night because that will be all that's left of my good friend Richard and I.

So. In conclusion, I just raped my only true friendship to death. I hope you're all happy.

-----

The bar is clean and quiet, no patron except for me in place. The chairs are made of chrome and black leather, the tables are polished sturdy glass and metal, and the menu along with a little porcelain bowl of stale, crumbling sugar cubes sits on every surface. The chair legs must be roughly 27 inches high while the tables are about 30 inches high, diameter of each round table maybe reaching up to 50 inches at the very maximum. But the tables and chairs aren't important; look 34 degrees to the east. I'm sitting by the bar itself on a stool that's about 32 inches high and I'm clutching an old-fashioned clear glass filled with a White Russian, made with exactly 50ml vodka, 20ml Kahlúa and 30ml fresh cream. I once had a White Russian made with a Tia Maria and the thing seeped right through the cream. Fun times. I tilt my head 10 degrees downwards and see that my knuckles are whiter than the Russian. How cool is that? I'm wearing a navy turtleneck sweater (100% wool) along with black trousers fitting snugly around my legs and a slim black coat made of 100% polyester but could pass as suede, and I'm also wearing my signature spiked boots with red laces because fuck following fashion styles. I'm not sure why I'm suddenly in this bar nor why I'm suddenly dressed like some degenerate, but I'm fairly sure the alcohol is a big part of it. I mean, Germany and all. And there's no such thing as being able to pull off a scenic leading-up-to-sex-scene without alcohol to turn the gears.

Am I hard? What are you even talking about. Of course I'm hard. I'm as hard as a rock. I have been since I can't even remember. Might as well be a cum faucet for all I know, Turn the knob, baby, and it comes gushing right out.

Haha. I said knob. See what I did there?

And what do you mean, needless description? That's what you all want. Description. Elaborate descriptions of everything around me at one particular moment, real feeling, real emotions. But you say that doesn't advance the plot at all? Fine. I'll just gloss over the rest so we can move ahead a little. As a result of that, the scene behind the bar itself could use a bit of improvement. Everything is all fuzzy and I don't think this bartender even has a human face. Just two hands endlessly manipulating bottles that I can't read the labels of, a suit-wearing body that doesn't move otherwise, and a mouth that opens and shuts as if he's trying to talk, but no sound comes out. But that doesn't matter. He's not important. What's important is that now the music's changed from a slightly thumping number to something soothing, along with the lights having become softer and paler, which signals that soon Flake must be wanting to come in for a talk.

By 'a talk', I'm sure you know what I mean.

He does within about a minute or so. Neatly brushed back hair, slightly slick. Luscious honey-brown colour, not exactly my type but what does the phrase 'my type' mean anymore. Flake's dressed impeccably as always, slim body encased in form-fitting trousers and a dress shirt with tie. He's wearing gloves and a long coat that he pulls off and tucks under his arm as he walks into the light - his glasses flash a little in my direction before he turns his head and walks towards the piano that's suddenly materialized out of nowhere and sits down with his hands on the keys. Well, he's a pianist. He's got to have a playing field too somewhere.

Swirl around the White Russian. I don't want to drink it, but I ought to. It'd be an opportunity for him to treat me to a glass later.

He takes over the music with ease, long, skillful fingers stroking the keys as he launches into a soulful rendition of 'Fantasie-Impromptu' by Chopin, his eyes closed in apt concentration. I keep drinking. A little too classy for my taste at the moment, but it won't be long before he gets degraded just enough, too. Sure enough, he's suddenly switched to a thankfully non-sung version of Mozart's 'Leck mich im Arsch', perfectly summing up what we're going to be doing within the next few pages.

Should I add in the vocals? I am the singer after all. Let's go for it.

"Leck mich im Arsch! Goethe, Goethe! - Götz von Berlichingen! Zweiter Akt - die Szene kennt ihr ja!"

He glances at me, smiles oddly and finishes his playing before he gets up and walks towards me. The spotlight follows him. "Hallo," he says, his voice soft and low and sultry as he leans down and runs an index finger down my chest. "is that a phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

I get the feeling that I'm supposed to act cool. Woo Flake with my talent for poetry and words, really get him going, coo sweet nothings into his ear and maybe save his skinny ass from a bar fight that will conveniently take place if I want it to. But sorry, ladies, unfortunately I'm a bit too hard tonight to bother with all that.

"Hey, Flake baby," I tell him upfront. "you're looking sexy tonight. Very sexy in fact. With the way you're looking right now, if I had the power to rearrange the alphabet I'd totally put 'U' between 'F' and 'CK'."

This is a really horrible pick up line. But oh well. I said it. It'll work. It's impossible for me to not get laid. It's impossible to fuck this thing up.

"Fresh," he says like he doesn't really care. But let's be fair here; there's no reason for him to. He takes the bar stool next to mine and snaps his finger. "bartender, I'll have a Ménage à Trois, and the cocktail too."

Cue the laugh track. That was unoriginal as all hell. It doesn't seem to faze the bartender at the slightest, who immediately brings Flake his cocktail; pinkish-brown with rum, Cointreau and cream with a strawberry stuck on the rim. "Ababab blurlgepfsff," he says, opening and shutting his trap.

Sorry for not defining him clearly enough earlier. I guess he was actually sort of important. But Flake simply smiles and takes the drink.

"I've got this," he says with a nod, making the satisfied bartender turn away. Not sure what he heard in that mess of syllables. "so," he says as he sips delicately at the drink. "Till, what brings you to this bar at this hour of the evening?"

"Drinking. Smoking. What else is new."

"Actually, it is new," Flake plucks off the strawberry and nibbles at the tip of it, running his tongue around the flesh of the fruit seductively despite the general tone of our conversation. "I thought you quit drinking. Because the thousands of liters you were being forced to drink really messed with your physique."

"True. And there was Nele to think of too, couldn't go back to her drunk all the time, could I? All that was when I had a personality and morals, though. Now's different."

"Well, in that case - bartender, I'd like - what's your poison tonight, Till?"

I shrug. Ideally nothing, but I'm not about to turn a free drink down, seeing as there is no such thing as a polite refusal or inhibition in this universe. "Doppelbock would be nice."

"-Bottle of Doppelbock for this gentleman here. It's on me."

Bottle's set in front of me. Ice cold. Turn it heavenward, let the liquid flow. "It all came down to me deciding not to care," I continue on after I've downed that first gulp. "I know it's canon for us to drink and smoke all the time. I used to like those two until they became the only attribute most commonly thrust upon us. Risch gets it especially bad, getting at least five packs stuffed in his mouth now and then. Along with other things. After a while I just figured - you know what, let's live it up, family, liver damage or voice be damned."

"I sympathize. All the drunk sex we have. And the drunk fights too, alcohol's done nothing but put me in awkward situations. Can't say I'm proud of all I've done under the influence. That's why I drink now, to forget that I'm ashamed of drinking."

I figure I'm meant to be impressed with the 'Le Petit Prince' reference, so I raise my eyebrow in appreciation. "Amen to that," I say, and then we are both silent for a while; he sips from his, I sip from mine, before I break the silence. "so... is that the only reason you came to this bar tonight?"

"Oh no, you know better than that," he flicks back his hair, expressionless. "I'm here to pick up a gifted stud with a dick that has the following dimensions: nine inches long and an inch and half thick at the diameter. I'll drink, he'll drink, we'll go to my place and he'll do me in every orifice I have at least once. We might even bring in Greek love and try once between the thighs or just mutual masturbation too. Then I'll let the stud come all over me and he'll watch me lick it off and then if I'm lucky I'll get to repeat the process against him as well, providing he has the stamina. Which he probably will. It'll take the entire night and we'll both scream the house down without worrying about the neighbors, and after that we'll bask in the afterlove as we watch the stars fade into the dawn and link fingers and tell each other how much we love each other and then we'll French kiss much to the delight of all the fangirls sitting in front of their laptops with their noses pressed close to the screen. You know. The usual drill."

"Oh, yes. I do know. Sounds very normal to me."

He looks down and gestures to my hard-on. "And you happen to have a nine-inch dick. How's it been lately?"

"Fine, fine. I'm always hard and horny now. I just fucked Richard in the mouth."

"I see. So how's Richard been lately. I don't think me and Richard are a popular pairing. We might as well not exist to each other."

"Well," I finish off my beer and shrug. "I just fucked him in the mouth."

"I see."

"Be grateful they haven't paired you up. It was under very popular opinion that we had to fuck. Neither of us are fags, sure, but what does that matter? It's not up to us to decide. You know that. He knows that. So I went over to his and before I knew it I was spraying a load of Lindemann Juniors down his throat."

"Fascinating. Sure he liked that very much. You heard from anybody else lately?" the lights change from pale white to red. Just thought you wanted to know that. "Olli... Paul... all the others? I haven't for quite a long time. How're they doing?"

"Paul's being his usual self and I don't know about Olli. I think he stopped existing in the universe or something because he's so quiet and boring. Lucky bastard. But shouldn't you know that? I mean, that's why we're all wandering about life pointlessly, since Rammstein couldn't go on when he disappeared. That's friendship for you. You were there, Flake."

He doesn't seem sure, and sips at his drink again, now looking a little perturbed. My maybe former fuckbuddy maybe former boyfriend maybe current boyfriend maybe current gimp shakes his head and adjusts his glasses over the bridge of his nose. "I do get confused as to which time period we're all in sometimes. I have long brown hair but you're wearing the spiked boots and laces from 2009, and I certainly didn't have long brown hair then. Which is it?"

"I don't know. Anachronisms forever, baby. Everyone has a defined picture of us in their minds that they write, time period be damned, Quick. What's the most trendy pairing in the fandom right now? Me and Richard? You and Olli? Schneider and Paul?"

Flake looks at me. Looks at the glass. Looks at me. Then he hurls the glass right in front of me, the object shattering into a thousand pieces on the countertop. The bartender doesn't blink an eye, and neither do I. No one is hurt. No one pays for damaged property. Living in a perfect world is cool sometimes.

"You've really got to cool it on the metafiction, Lindemann," Flake snarls. "it's not very attractive. It's a tired gimmick."

I want to tell him to be quiet, but really, I can't deny it. I'm not that heartless - it is a tired gimmick, tired as hell. "Sure, baby. I know. We all know. So's drinking, swearing and fucking. But we all do that, right?"

He stares at me with some expression that I can't be fucked to describe for a length of time that I can't be fucked to specify before he throws up his hands. "Well," he shouts. "well. I'm all out of lines. I'm fed up with this. Are we going to slip in the bathroom and fuck or what?"

"Nein. Have you never heard of the phrase, don't shit where you eat? That makes me nervous. Let's get out of here. Your place."

That's what we do. Flake and I slip right out of the front door, forgetting to apologize for the broken cocktail glass or even pay the bartender. But he doesn't care and quite frankly we don't, either, because that's not detail that advances any bit of this plot in the slightest. We walk the streets of Berlin for about half an hour before Flake suddenly stops and unashamedly reveals to me that he doesn't actually know where he lives, that he must have forgotten. Perfectly understandable, and I'm kind of grateful for it really. I know you all wanted a description of his home, the pets he might keep around and how classy the interior is and everything, but really, it doesn't exist. All right, well, it does - but not in the way I can describe. Why in the world would I know where he actually lives and what his house is actually like? I'm not a fucking stalker. Are you a stalker? I seriously hope not.

So I tell him not to worry about it and ask him if he knows anywhere else; Flake grabs my hand with his gloved one and pulls me to a nearby alleyway. Dumpsters are nearby, but we don't care about that very much. Push him up against the red brick wall, engage in a long open-mouth kiss, tasting rum and sex. He moans out loud, fingers entwining around my hair, but I barely hear it amongst the sound of the traffic and the pedestrians passing by; we might get caught, but that's the fun of it. Public sex is exciting, taboo, dangerous. Public sex is what most people only have wet dreams of. A part of most people's fantasies.

See. Perfectly normal.

"Unf," I growl as he gets to his knees down in the alleyway, pulling off his clothes, tugging down his trousers as he prepares to suck me off. "Flake, you really want to do this here out of all places?"

"Ja. Ja, I do."

"Crazy bastard."

"Crazy for cock," he moans. Take note. That's how you write dialogue. I bend down and hold his nude form - Jesus, that was quick of him, I must say - as he reaches down beneath my sweater to feel me up. Erections colliding and sharing long, hot moans, a trail of saliva joining our lips. I bend down for another kiss after only a second's worth of pause.

Then I unhinge my jaw and funnel his entire body down my throat, glasses and all. Swallow. Gulp. Just like that, he's gone.

Fuck.

I shouldn't have done that. That was just uncalled for. Why did I do that?

Rack my brains, but I honestly can't understand it. I thought I was doing everything right. I guess I've been pillaging and taking people by force for so long that I've forgotten how to have romantic sex. Come to think of it, I can't even remember how to have gay sex apart from fucking or being fucked in the mouth anymore. Sure, I know the terms, but they mean nothing to me.

But more importantly. Priorities, Till. Priorities.

More importantly, though.
What I just ate is going to be hell coming out of the other end.

 

Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story. This was not written with the intention for personal attack.

So yeah I'm going through an angst period with my life sort of maybe going to shit and all and I really have to say, I sometimes look on what I write and feel vaguely horrible when I realize what I'm doing to all of those people.

It doesn't stop me writing it though. That's the most disgusting thing.

Worse, this is only part one of two. It's only about 4500 words at the moment. There's still over half of this crap for you to struggle through. Yes, this does intend to deconstruct and destroy the conventions of fanfiction - R+ or in general - that really irritate me. I have fallen into the same pitfalls so many times myself. I still do. Every time I look at those I want to groan and rip my eyes out. I think I'm better now, but I still haven't moved beyond making two men suddenly being in love with each other. At least, quite a bit of my writing feels that way to me, with a few exceptions.

I'm fairly sure I offended everyone. I apologize for offending you. But I did warn y'alls.

The Mozart Canon sung in the text is an actual canon written by the maestro himself and translates to 'Lick me in the arse'. The lyrics I referred to is a semi-bowdlerized version, though, that refer to the famous line in Goethe's drama, 'Goetz von Berlichingen' - 'Er aber, sag's ihm, er kann mich im Arsche lecken!' ('But he, tell him that, he can lick me in the arse!')

Who said shitty metafiction couldn't teach you anything. :stare:
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(Contains: nudity, sexual themes, violence/gore and strong language)

Metempsychosis In 9000 Words (Part 02) - A Rammstein Fanfiction

If you've ever paired up members of Rammstein with each other, you will hate this.

Warning: Till/Everyone, Paul/Richard, Richard/Schneider, major OOC-ness and distasteful portrayal. Tastelessness, metafiction (badly written), purposefully deconstructive and guaranteed to offend. Emoticons, capslock, script format, horrible characterization, an act of unspeakable Surrealist Horror, character death, and burritos. Reading Part 01 necessary.

This part is even worse than the last. Oh by the way, when you get to the end: Seizure Warning.

-----------------------------------------

I pick up Flake's coat, gloves and other clothes from the floor and stuff them all in the dumpster. Nice clothes and all, but really, I can't allow myself to get caught. How do you even explain that you just swallowed your keyboardist whole in the process of trying to have sex with him to the police or whomever. You can't. Nobody will believe that shit.

Then again, I don't know why I'm so worried. No one is going to come looking for Flake at the moment. He's the love-him-or-hate-him poster boy of the band after all, and considering he's digesting in my stomach at the moment, we can assume that this world hates him along with the rest of the band. We wouldn't be so flat and impersonal and unlikable otherwise. I'm the worst of them all, especially considering that I'm narrating. It's hard to make an effort in a world that hates you and just wants you as porn stars. But yeah, Flake. Didn't mean for this to happen, but it's still out of my control like most things that have happened so far. Sorry I ate him, guys.

Then I leave the alleyway and start walking back to my apartment. Might as well. As I walk I think about everyone else in the band, apart from Flake and Richard. Paul, Schneider and Olli - whatever became of them? Paul, I honestly have no idea. All I know is that he hasn't disappeared off to thin air. Maybe he'll magically appear after a few pages when you've forgotten that I ever brought him up in the first place. Sure haven't seen him around for a long time, though.

Schneider. Ah, Schneider. He's a different story altogether. Very much present in this universe, I can confirm that for one. I used to have sex with him a lot, but much like Richard and Flake, it was because I was being forced. Lots of people kept peering at him after Mein Teil, telling me, holy shit Till, Schneider sure makes a fine woman. Why don't you tap that sweet ass sometime? In fact, have you ever tapped that sweet ass before?

And I had to say no. Nothing ever happened between us before the Mein Teil shoot for sure. I'm not denying that he makes a fine woman, and he performs better at the drums than I ever could have. Brilliant batteur, Schneider, but this is not a reason to turn gay for him.

But he's essentially your replacement, they said. And he does make a damn fine woman, they said. Why don't we go for a rivalry? Mentor-student relationship? Why not make him all gauche and nervous around you and you have to inject some confidence in him?

Sure. And by a confidence injection, they meant me filling him with my cum.

Truth be told.
Schneider creeps me out sometimes. He's way too hyperactive for one, he's always talking in script format and capslock and throwing around emotes and calling me 'Tillchen'. Makes me feel like I'm some kind of housepet instead of a man. He also tried to set me on fire a few times. Setting someone on fire is not something you forget very easily, no matter how many times they try to suck you off to make up for it. And it's more difficult because I know precisely why he makes such a fine woman - this all goes back to the times we had sex. Tried to have sex, even.

He's not that well endowed, see. Sure, he's hung. He didn't get the nickname 'Doomieconda' for no reason. It's just that, well, he's not hung where it counts. He's got a twenty-inch cock, but it's only about a billionth of an inch thick. I don't think I've ever seen his cock properly because it's more like a geometric plane than a penis. Played a large part in his gender identity issues, he used to tell me. I don't even know how he manages to go to the bathroom with it. Never watched, not interested in watching. I'm not into golden showers.

Not yet.

Oh God. I hope me name-dropping him doesn't result in him being dropped into the story. That's too much insanity for me to handle right now. As I turn a corner and see my apartment building in the distance, the mobile rings from my coat pocket. Or cellphone. Or phone. Or whatever the hell you want to call it. Given that this is Germany it really ought to be a 'Handy', but let's just pay respect to the multicultural audience here and settle for 'phone'.

Handy. Haha. I'll never figure out what they were thinking when they decided to call phones 'Handy' in German.
I'm sorry. That was really kind of an insensitive effort to be funny. I'll try again next time.

I stop in my tracks and pull the phone out, peering at the screen. No name, I don't recognize the number either. Might as well take the call anyway, it'll give me something to do.

"Hallo?"

"Hallo, Till! How are you? How's everyone doing?"

Son of a bitch, it's Olli on the phone.
Well, this is strange. I could have sworn he stopped existing. Does that mean all six of us are together in this universe? Sounds quite cheerful, too. Wonder what happened to him during all those months?

"Olli, where the hell were you all this time? The band broke up because you disappeared into thin air! Didn't you hear about it, wherever you were?" I say that, well, yes, but I think he might know already. The entire universe revolves around me and who I fuck, and given all that's happened, I'm a household name. I don't particularly like all the attention, but enough of that. Disillusionment with fame is a theme for a different, infinitely better written story than this filth.

He chuckles softly. "Oh, I knew. I came back due to recent renewed interest. Lately I'm being regarded as a rare and somewhat pleasant alternative to Richard, Flake or the others, see. Speaking of Richard or Flake, though-"

I already don't like where this conversation is going.

"-Till, I do apologize if I'm being too forward. It's not very Germanic of me, I know that. We've always been a nation of formal, etiquette-conscious people, and at our age we ought to be respecting that more than anyone else. But, uh, are you going out with anyone at the moment? It's fine if you are. Just wanted to check."

Olli is clearly meant to be a more rounded, sensible romantic interest for me. Someone significantly younger, one I can take under my wing. Even though he's technically just a disembodied voice on the phone at the moment. But enough of the monologue, his question's reminded me of something. "Oh, not really. My most recent relationship never came to fruit because he's dissolving in my stomach right now. But that's not important, Olli. Now that you're here, I might as well ask you something."

"Oh, of course."

Probably expecting me to ask him out or something. Sorry to dash that hope against the wall, Olli. "How do you have sex?"

"I... I'm sorry?"

"Explain to me how sex works, please, Olli. Think of it as a reverse birds-and-the-bees talk, where the youngest gives sex advice to the oldest. I'm not asking for kicks or anything, I think I just forgot how sex works."

He snorts in amusement. "Man, I've heard of being suave, I've heard of horrible pick up lines, but this is an entirely new level. Of course I'm happy to show you how it-"

"I don't need showing. Just tell me. Go through it with me, step by step," I find a bench and sit down on it, anticipating this new learning experience over the phone. "I really have forgotten. Honest."

Silence.

"You're being serious?"

"Serious as tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is pretty serious."

"You're not getting off to this, right?"

"Oliver."

"Okay, okay," he breaks off a bit there, clearly dumbfounded at my request, but much to my relief he begins talking again. "well... uh... hang on, is this male-on-male or female-on-male sex we're talking about? What are females doing in this universe anyway, if it's the latter?"

"Go over both. I've got enough time."

"All right... I'll start with the female-on-male sex, I guess, that is considered to be the default... uh, well, when a man and a woman love each other very much-"

I wave my hand in impatience even though he can't see me. "Skip that part. I want technical details."

He pauses there again. If you're going to talk about how the tension between us is thick enough to cut, please give me a machete or pickaxe. A knife won't do the trick. Take that to clichéd metaphors.

"If you're talking about female-on-male, the man, uh, inserts his penis into the woman's vagina, like insert tab A into slot B."

Ding-ding! Ding-ding! Bells go off in my head. I knew it had something to with that.

"And if you're talking about male-on-male, it can really go any way, I guess, but just, uh, replace the vagina with the back door, if you know what I mean. And there's a lot about how to stimulate the prostate and all that, even though it's actually a somewhat awkwardly placed gland and if you're deep inside chances are you aren't hitting it."

Ding-ding! And again!

"Thank God," I exclaim before letting out a sigh of utter relief. "there we go. Now it's all come back to me. Thank you so much, Olli."

"... No... problem?"

"And that's how it is, right? There's no unhinging of jaws?"

"Only if you're giving unrealistic head to someone."

"No swallowing people whole?"

"Only if me and everyone on earth has been doing it wrong for the entirety of our existence."

"Good. I'm glad. That's what I wanted to straighten out. Well, I'm off now. Talk to you later, Olli. If you still exist by then," I tell him before hanging up and shoving the phone back in my pocket. That was his entire purpose, to give me The Talk. Now that he's served it, he might as well disappear. Poor guy. I do feel for him. He'll need all the luck he can get. I rise from the bench and start walking back home.

Well, that's made me feel a lot better. And I don't know why I was so worried about Flake.

He'll just come back tomorrow. One piece, intact with all his clothes on, not covered in my stomach acid at all. Either with convenient amnesia, or pretending to have convenient amnesia. That's how things work in this universe. Murder, cannibalism, death, sorrow, accidents - that doesn't mean anything anymore. The only purpose we have is to have sex and emotions and morals were getting in the way; so we replaced every other vice and virtue with meaningless eternal sex and meaningless eternal life.

There's no escape. As I walk the final few hundred meters to my apartment I pass a large road with cars rushing past. I could jump in front of one, but I won't be killed. Or more accurately, I'll die and come back again. The only time I'll get to die if I fuck myself into the grave. I've still got quite a few decades left in me, though, so I won't die until then. And who says that the author can't just resurrect me whenever they feel like it?

This is my life. Forever, and ever, and ever.

I turn the key and walk into my apartment, feeling a little tired and wanting to get to bed, and who else is there but Richard and-

Schneider says: XDDD LINDEMANN'S FINALLY JOINED THE PARTAY

Oh God. He's grinning, sitting there with that dress and wig and a whip in hand, and with no underwear from the look of it. The floor is polished and clean, and it's littered with gay porn. Multiple Liebe Ist Fur Alle Da boxsets adorn the walls, some of them opened and the pink dildos inside strewn on the floor. Somehow in the past hour or something I was out, my entire apartment got remodeled into a sex dungeon. Must be Richard's doing. He never used to be into dildos. But then a crazy bitch wrote about it one day and suddenly it was dildos from then on. Dildos forever. Even now she's infecting Schneider with it.

The hubris involved is truly staggering.

Richard waves from the sofa, naked except for latex boots and a cock ring. "'Ello thar, thailor," he lisps in a completely uncharacteristic tone while Schneider grins at me. "why don' you come o'er here and gimme thome thugar?"

Heh. What did I tell you.

-----

The wineglass sits on the table, filled with undrunk red wine.
The wineglass watches everything.

The walls, neatly decorated with beige-gold wallpaper. The fish tank in the corner. The two men and the maybe-man maybe-woman lying on the floor.

Schneider says: I WANT YOU INSIDE ME TILLCHEN : DDDDDDDD

Richard gives him a death glare from his position on the floor, getting fucked by Till from behind. Till just ignores the maybe-man maybe-woman and keeps fucking because that's all that's left of him. The advice from Olli helps.

"Oh God," he says, completely flatly. "oh God, Risch. You're so tight. How I wish I could have had your sweet ass earlier. Oh God. Oh man. You are the fuck to end all fucks."

The wineglass watches and weeps condensation tears at what the three have become.

-----

We interrupt your daily dose of fanfickshunz to bring on an author tract.

What the fuck is up with the wineglass, you ask? It's to illustrate a point. You know when you're halfway into a scene in a story and the narrator suddenly changes without warning? Like it was Till one moment and Paul the next? That's annoying. Yes, this is how I really fucking talk. I reckon you found it annoying when the story suddenly became third-person limited wineglass POV instead of first person Till POV. Don't change the fucking narrator in the middle of the fucking scene. Especially if it's the fucking scene. Even if it's not the fucking scene, and just a scene, don't do it. It confuses the reader to no end. Yes, this is how I really fucking talk. You might as well say that blood is lube. If you know me you ought to know that blood as lube pisses me off.

But aren't you changing the narrator even now. you ask? Aren't you breaking straight through the fourth wall and replacing Till as narrator to make this point? Yes. Yes, I am. But then this crap never had a fourth wall in the first place. It's what it is.

And yes.
This is how I really fucking talk.

-----

After quite some hours, we're all spent and lying naked and covered with cum and God knows what else on the apartment floor. Was it satisfying for you? I hope it was. It wasn't for me. I feel kind of sick at the moment, in fact.

None of that with Schneider, though. He's just dandy. Richard thinks so too. Sometime during the third hour or so they clicked and let me rest while they made out and had sex and now they're giggling like a bunch of schoolgirls and talking the same way. It makes me want to weep. I think that's why I feel sick, actually. I wasn't built to hold this much glitter.

Schneider says: TILLCHEN I'M HUNGRY DDDD;

"No," I mumble from the floor. "I feel sick. I don't want anything. If you're hungry, go make yourself something. I don't care."

Richard says: DO YOU WANT BURRITOS TILL

"No. I ate Flake a few hours ago and he's taking a while to digest. Leave me alone."

Richard says: DDD: BUT THEY'LL BE DELICIOUS I SWEAR

Schneider says: DELICIOUS MORE LIKE TILLICIOUS AMIRITE BABE :9

Richard says: LOLOLOL OH U!!11one!!eleventyone1!! XDDDD

Please kill me.

I get up and manage to stagger to the door of the bathroom. At least I'll have some peace and quiet in here. As I fumble for the handle Schneider hollers again from behind me.

Schneider says: HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM BURRITOS TILLCHEN

"I don't want any," I shout as I shut the door and sit down on the edge of the bath. I can't handle this anymore. This is torture. This is voyeurism at its most depraved. I have to wash my face, I feel disgusting. Turn the tap on. We're adored, of course. Even though we're nothing but porn stars. Even though we're not a single unit, a band anymore. Even though we're just shells.

Once upon a time we had our individual characters. We had a purpose.
I was the singer, the weather-beaten, hardened man who nevertheless was a loving father to his children.
Richard, the lead guitarist with a fondness for cigarettes, who still had his own vulnerable and deep side.
Flake the talented pianist who let me pretend-screw him onstage and yet could mesmerize with his eloquence.
Schneider the drummer and occasional crossdresser of the band. Schneider the ever-changing personality.
Paul the gourmet and rhythm guitarist who kept us sane and happy with his eternal joy. God, I miss Paul.
Finally, Olli. What would we be without Olli and his basslines keeping our songs together.
Without his quiet acceptance and warmth.

Maybe they're not the most admirable personalities. We had flaws. Hell, everyone has flaws, isn't that right? No one's perfect. It might not be a lot, it might not have been the most respectable personality, but it was who I was meant to be. I liked being me. We all liked being ourselves because it defined who we were. And no one could take that away from us.

I thought that, anyway.

Then someone tore out our characters and gave us all permanent boners instead.

A mockery of Eve. Remember Creation? Take Adam's rib and create a woman.
Create a means for humanity to be creative.
It wasn't like that with us.

We didn't engage in interesting things anymore. We didn't perform, sing or even bicker playfully.

It was just sex. Pointless, endless sex.

And, I swear to God, for the first time in years I'm actually crying. The sink fills up and overflows onto the tiled floor.

-----

Knock knock. Someone's pounding on the bathroom door. "Oh," I moan weakly, looking blearily up from the sink. "oh God. What do you want?"

Schneider says: YOU GOTTA COME OUT NOW TILL THIS IS SERIOUS PAUL'S HERE

"Paul? What the fuck is Paul doing here?"

Schneider says: HE AND RICHARD, TILL. PLEASE. YOU GOTTA SOLVE THIS, THE LIVING ROOM'S FILLED WITH THE STENCH.

"Stench of... what?"

Schneider says: BURRITOS. DDDDD: BURRITOS AND DEATH.

It's true. When I rush out of the bathroom I see that Richard's brandishing a frying pan and weeping with mixed terror and rage. Naked apron too, but for the moment that's not that important. Paul's standing on the floor of the living room, swaying from side to side lightly, seemingly dazed - then he turns to look at me, eyes wild and crazed, and I see that the side of his head is bleeding profusely. The smell of burnt burritos is thick in the air.

"You," he snarls. "you. You fucker. You did this to Richard. He was happier with me."

Sure is confrontational for a deus ex machina.

Richard pulls a T_T face. That's exactly what it looks like. Capital T underscore capital T.

Richard says: WE WERE TOGETHER YEARS AGO. ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED MORE THAN A MONTH AGO DOESN'T MATTER HERE.

"This was meant to be six hearts burning as one," Paul shouts. "not six cocks fucking as one. Jesus. What the hell happened to that idea?"

Richard says: IT WAS WORTH IT. DDD:< THE ORGASMS WE HAD.

Paul groans out loud as Richard spectacularly manages to miss the point, but he's not done yet.

Richard says: SO WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, SAY SORRY OR SOMETHING

"No. No. People say 'Entschuldigung' when they brush past each other on the bus. People say 'Tut mir leid' when they want to express condolences. People say sorry to each other when they sincerely regret something. Right now I don't care for you being sorry. I want you to not be such a whiny whore because the Risch I knew never used to be like that."

Richard slides down to the floor in anguish because he knows that's true. I don't do anything to help because I know that's true. Paul's still standing his guard, even though he's pale as a sheet now - that must have been one hell of a wallop Richard gave him with the frying pan - and with shaking hands he reaches in his pockets and picks out a revolver, pointing it at Richard.

Schneider says: DDDDDD; WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING PAUL STOP IT

"This is the only way. All of you are a lost cause, but Richard wasn't a lost cause until tonight. I can still save him the misery by shooting both him and I in the face."

This makes Schneider let out a girlish scream of horror as he too rushes to the kitchen and runs back out, brandishing a large kitchen knife in front of him. He stands there, trembling but for the first time in this story actually showing a willingness to protect and care, even though he doesn't know not to bring a knife to a gunfight. And I'm just standing here, staring at the scene in front of me.

Paul turns his head.
He looks at me.

"This has gone on for far too many words," he hisses, even though the blood loss is making him slur his words together. "it's time to end this."

He's right.

Yeah, he's right. I see it now.

There are many ways of ending this fic. One, I can flash myself in front of him and let the power of my permanent hard-on compel Paul into becoming my sex slave. The bleeding will be magically forgotten and I'll have a harem of band members in this apartment. No orifice between the four of us left unpenetrated. When Flake comes back, that makes five. If Olli comes back, that's all six of us. Then we tell each other that we love each other, all of us, and spend our lives like that, buried in sodomy. The six-way heterosexual life partnership having blossomed into a six-way orgy filled with romance. Unrealistic as hell.

Two, I can walk out and leave them to die. I can find myself a nice Frau Mary Sue. I'd do Mary Sue any day. She'll save me from the path of Sodom I've been walking for God knows how long and we'll spend our lives screwing each other, again. We might even have kids and name it something ridiculously Teutonic and unfitting. Thatll be our lives, forever and ever and ever.

The third is this way.
I think it's the better way.

A loud shot and a cry shakes me out of my thoughts. Paul's fired the revolver, but he's missed Richard's vital organs, instead hitting him somewhere on the upper arm; not surprising, you know, seeing as he's losing concentration from the wound on the side of his head. Richard's fallen back on the floor, more stunned than anything, gasping and now beginning to bleed from his wound - but unlike what you see in fiction, instant death bullets don't exist. I doubt he even feels the pain for the time being. Not unusual for someone to be shot multiple times without feeling anything if they're pumped up with adrenaline. Schneider jumps forward and knocks Paul to the floor upon seeing this, the revolver falling to the ground - and unlike what you see in fiction, again, it doesn't fire upon impact. Just lies on the ground, useless.

"You bastard!" Schneider screams. "how could you - what in the world has-"

Whoa. Shit. He actually spoke like a normal human being. Being knocked to the ground is a bit too much for Paul to handle, though, and with a groan he goes completely limp on the floor, having either passed out or died from blood loss.

I know what to do now. Seeing that he might as well be beating a dead horse, Schneider flinches and moves back slowly, looking down at himself and his hands.

"Oh no," he whispers, and starts crying. "oh no. Paul. Oh, Paul. What have I done?"

"Schneider," I finally speak up, taking a step forward; he flinches again, looking at me with wild eyes. "don't be-"

He doesn't say a damn thing. Just picks up the revolver, eyes glazing over with his pain, puts it to his head and fires. It's messy. Headshots are usually messy. No clean bullet wound in the centre of the forehead.

But he doesn't have to feel this hell anymore. I pick up the revolver from the ground, lying amidst blood and bone and brain matter, and head over to Richard, who's been watching the whole thing from his position on the floor. He's wincing with pain now, and as I look down at him I too feel my eyes welling up with tears. It didn't have to this way, but it has to be.

Character death is a popular gimmick too, you know. Dark drama inserted as an afterthought. I don't know why it's so liked, but my theory is that it's validation; everyone feels like shit sometimes, and the only way they can project it is through characters in fiction. I've died many times. We all have. Everyone has days when they wish they were dead.

But we are real people too. And I feel like I need death.

"Sorry for doing this," I tell Richard as he lies bleeding on the floor. "and I'm sorry for, uh, fucking you in the mouth earlier."

He smiles, kind of.

"Nah, it's fine," he tells me, and kisses my hand. "I know you didn't mean to. I know you didn't want to."

"It doesn't make it any more acceptable, though."

"I know. That's why you're putting me out of my misery for the time being. All's forgiven, Till. When we come back... sing 'Heirate Mich' with me again sometime, ja?"

"Of course I will," I tell him as I stroke his forehead, then I pull the trigger and his head droops to the side. Dead. Peaceful and quiet and with the final shreds of dignity, the way he would have wanted. Schneider and Paul were brave too. No more capslock. No more sex.

It's my turn now. Of course I'll be back. We all will be. You ever heard of a concept called 'metempsychosis'? Its a Greek philosophy term for transmigration of the soul. Its about the concept of reincarnation. Unto this life we are born, are turned into dust while our immortal soul flies free, then the cycle begins again when our souls are fettered in physical bodies once more. That's what's happening now.

And that's why I'm not going to have last words. No lengthy metaphor about how I'm terribly sorry and how my brains will be against the wall soon. This is only a temporary solution, only one story. But you know something? I chose it. For now, as I stare at the three corpses on the floor, I have to smile. We're finally united, our hearts as one, for the time being.

The way it was meant to be.

A petit-mort, is the French term for an orgasm; a little death. Let us turn it into a grand-mort, the big death, the final death, the final orgasm. The final orgasm is the only one that matters. The only one worth remembering for the short time my consciousness remains awake in the world.

I won't miss.
The safety clicks.

-----

Ahh.
If only there could have been more moments like this.

-----

In short, TL;DR, satire, disgusting blah, OOC, hope y'alls learnt something, yadda, hypocritical, blah, fuck you, Kimbk.

Disclaimer: I do not know any of the members of Rammstein, this is strictly a work of fiction and I do not profit nor claim to represent true aspects of their lives in this story. This was not written with the intention for personal attack.

asjakskjakdhkhd :iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio::iconsubliminalsublimatio:

The ending is perfect. I don't plan to fuck around with it.

Yeah sorry guys I kinda harbled all over my gleeb. I couldn't resist putting the usual Kimbk 'everyone dies trololol' scenario in here either; but remember, this is just as big of a 'take that' towards myself as it is towards fanfic conventions that annoy me in general. I hope this served as a good 'Things Not To Do In Fanfiction Sex' guide and fully enjoyed it even it didn't. Though I doubt it. I don't know if I'll ever be able to write anything more offensive than this. Let's hope I never will. And yes this was indeed 9000 words total.

Self-deprecation is the best form of comedy.
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"Welcome back, Mr. L. Had a nice day, I presume?" Dimentio, the magical jester, bowed half-mockingly as the man entered. Mr. L said nothing but brushed past Dimentio, his cap pulled over his eyes; he seemed to be brooding and depressed about something.

"Touché." Dimentio laughed, his voice almost kind and angelic, but Mr. L took no notice. The jester began to drift along with the man, his mindless smile annoying the other to no end: "What happened? Did they wreck your precious robot again? Nearly ended up in the Underwhere, hmm?"

Mr. L quietly ground his teeth. "No." He managed, his fists clenching slowly. "And I would appreciate it, Dimentio, if you could leave me alone."

Dimentio laughed again. "As you wish, Mr. L... You just keep on saying that..." With that, and a chuckle, he floated away into the corridors of the castle.

------

Mr. L entered his chamber and shut the door behind him, enveloping himself in welcoming darkness. Today had not been the best day ever. He stared blankly into the darkness, sliding down his door, and stayed sitting right where he was - on the floor - and brooding. He'd failed again. He'd failed to capture the 'heroes' and bring them to Count Bleck. It was ironic how he, The Green Thunder, could build and create the most wonderful things yet could not defeat a plumber and a woman. They looked like such pushovers, but he'd never beaten them. He obviously wasn't good enough.

He never seemed to be good enough these days.

He sighed, his eyes closing tiredly. He was in desperate need of rest. Unlike some of the Count's minions, Mr. L did tire and did require rest every now and then. It was a fault, he'd decided, a fault the marred the otherwise-perfection he was, and he despised it. It was also something that Dimentio liked to make fun of, which further frustrated and angered him.

Mr. L shook his head. cringing as his body began to ache. He'd fallen. He'd fallen off from Brobot whilst trying to maul the 'heroes' into submission, only he hadn't noticed it before. His ability to feel pain had dulled, he presumed, during the days and weeks in which he had been in action. But now that he was back in his chamber, his numbed senses regained their old abilities - and pestered him to take a rest. He decided that this was the wisest thing to do - he wasn't going to waste more time brooding when he could be recovering his strength in that time. And he certainly wasn't going to let himself slip any more.

He turned on a lamp and began to untie his green bandanna, when he caught sight of himself on his full-length mirror.

He could not see well at this distance; his chamber was not a large one, but the light was so dim and dull, he could hardly see more than a few feet beyond him. He couldn't see his reflection staring back at him from the other side of his room, and he could have ignored it; but after a few minutes he decided to go and check himself for any injuries - or anything else that made him unpresentable - as it had been a while since he'd looked at himself through a mirror. But his bed seemed to beckon to him, inviting him to fall there and just sleep. Fighting back the urge to drop off, he walked over to the mirror.

"Stupid." He murmured even so, aware of his unorthodox actions. "So, so stupid-"

His own reflection silenced him.

Mr. L found himself looking at a tall, slender figure in the mirror. The figure was dressed mostly in black, with a green cap and bandanna that matched his outfit nicely. His face was half covered with a black eye-mask, with two narrow blue eyes staring back at him; those eyes were cold and emotionless.

The man stepped closer, touching his reflection with one gloved hand. His reflection mimicked his actions, and he stared at himself for a long while, almost forgetting that he was meant to be asleep. As vain as he sounded, the vision looking back at him was one of beauty - beauty and absolute perfection. He pulled off his gloves and pressed his fingers to the cold glass again, looking almost as if he wanted to step right through the glass and admire the vision in front of him. His skin was very pale, his face young and handsome; he was a silent and dangerous figure. Mr. L smiled almost demurely, his fingers caressing his own vision, his lips pressing onto the cold, smooth surface gently. What happened with the heroes did not matter. Count Bleck had made him what he was, and he wouldn't let him down again. He stood there for a long while, admiring his reflection and praising the Count.

He could win this. He could win the Count's trust back again. He would defeat those heroes once and for all, prove himself and be accepted...

Be accepted? Where did that idea come from?

It was strange - how could he, such a cold, masked man, have been created from the most unexpected source? Mr. L knew nothing of his past life; he was just there one day, he'd just sworn to serve Count Bleck and that had been it. He'd once asked Dimentio (when he'd been in one of his rare serious moods) about his origins, as the jester was the only one who knew enough about him. His reply had not been the most welcome thing to hear.

"A pure, kind heart," Dimentio had answered, idly clicking his fingers and making sparks appear. "You weren't always Mr. L. You were someone else, someone who had a kind heart; ah, but most vulnerable and helpless! Count Bleck brought that someone to their senses. From him, you were born. Then you were Mr. L, the perfect henchman with the right state of mind, and here you are now. But initially, you were born from a kind heart. Rather unexpected, even for me."

"Pure heart, eh?" Mr. L muttered to himself, clenching his fists. "Kind heart, beautiful and dear, eh? What rubbish!" He snarled softly, glowering at himself. What use was a pure, kind heart in a world like this? He was perfection itself, yet he had been so flawed. He almost regretted recalling the memory; yet since that time he'd always held a spot of guilt in his mind, a spot of fear that the Count - or anyone, for that matter - would never accept the being he once was. He'd subconsciously decided to prove himself that day, although that memory had faded over time. And he'd worked all this time, for a reason he could not remember nor grasp, only to remember that unpleasant truth now...

He snarled again and glared at himself. His reflection stared back at him, silent mockery in his expression, daring the man to challenge reality.

"Damn it!" Mr. L shouted, and he lashed out at his reflection, fists clenched tightly. Glass shattered; his reflection was destroyed in a flurry of glass fragments, and in an instant it was over. He was now staring into a broken, heavily distorted version of himself in the remaining pieces of glass, each seperate piece showing their version of him, but at least that silent mocking look was no longer in there anymore.

He stood there with his head down, panting heavily, shoulders shaking from the sudden burst of fury. His right hand had been torn open by the sharp fragments, and now it bled dark red drops all over the carpet; yet he couldn't care less. It did not matter to him that his right hand had glass stuck all over it, it did not matter that his mirror was destroyed; all that was left now was a lingering sense of dread and bitterness, along with despair. He would never be perfect enough for anyone. Never.

He held out his right hand and ran it across his own reflected face, smearing the blood all over the glass, trying to erase the distorted reflection. All he could see now was a red haze, his own blood streaking down the mirror shards; he was bleeding, he was injured, and that just made him even less perfect. Frustrated with himself, Mr. L turned away, all thoughts of sleep gone.

"Damn you," He whispered, and he was even more disgusted with himself when he felt his voice quiver, and something wet began to trickle down his cheek. "Damn you all to hell."

-----

"Why out so late, Mr. L?" Dimentio drifted over to the man, grinning. "What're you up to? Do let this Dimentio know your plan; with a mind like yours it's bound to be fun, especially this late at night-"

"I'm going out. And I'm taking Brobot." Mr. L replied harshly, cutting the jester short. The latter stopped, looking unusually bewildered. "I'm going. Don't stop me."

"What? Where are you going?" Dimentio asked. Mr. L ground his teeth again, and turned decisively away from the jester.

"None of your business. I'm going out on Brobot and that's that."

"No you are not." Dimentio countered fiercely, suddenly losing his smile. Mr. L froze, but did not turn around. Dimentio was hardly like that. "It's late night. You could get attacked by anything. I cannot allow you to leave the castle grounds. Go back to your chamber, Mr. L. You cannot leave now."

"Watch me." Mr. L muttered under his breath.

"I will watch you as long as I want," Dimentio shot back, drifting in front of him to look at the man's face. "until I make sure you're safely in your chamber. I'll ask you again. Do go back."

"And I'm telling you that I'm not going to." Mr. L retorted, clenching his fists. He felt very light-headed; he didn't know why, but as soon as he'd clenched his fists he unclenched them again, wincing. Dimentio did not fail to notice this, and glanced down at his hands. His eyes seemed to widen a fraction.

"You're bleeding!" He exclaimed. "What happened to you? What did you do?"

"Glad you even noticed." Mr. L sneered, a bitter smile gracing his face. "It's always my fault, isn't it? And now, if you don't mind, I would like to bid you goodnight. I'm still going and I'll come back whenever I feel like it." He turned away without a word, and began to take a few steps towards Brobot. But he didn't get far, as Dimentio's cold hands tightly grasped his shoulder.

"You're not going to get very far, are you? You're tired, and you're hurt!"

"I don't care!" Mr. L shouted, struggling to free himself from the jester's grasp. "Leave me alone! Just let me go! I-" But then he groaned in pain, eyes sliding shut. His knees buckled and he fell to the ground, shivering; Dimentio took charge immediately, and clicked his fingers, trasporting them back to the young man's chamber. Once they arrived, he set the trembling man down on his bed, gazing at him.

"Now will you tell me what's wrong?"

"Go to hell." Mr. L murmured weakly, leaning back on the pillows. "As you so cleverly observed three minutes ago, I'm injured and bleeding. I'm in no condition to answer your petty questions." He laughed harshly. "Perhaps I shall bleed so much that I die. I'll never have to look at you again, then."

"Listening to your babble is like listening to white noise on the radio with the volume turned up full." Dimentio answered blandly. "Give me your hand." Taking Mr. L's hand in his, he clicked his fingers again, healing the torn flesh and cleaning the blood. "You're just horrible, Mr. L, you are. I can't imagine why I'm putting up with you."

"Don't then."

"Tell me what's wrong. Then I will take my leave."

Mr. L sighed and settled back into the pillows, trying to ignore the jester, but he knew it was hopeless. Dimentio could talk both legs off a Goomba at times, and if he did not answer he would be plagued by irrelevant, annoying chatters. That would be worse than bleeding to death.

"I'm a failure." He finally announced. "Let us leave it at that."

"Why are you a failure?"

"I was meant to be perfect; the Count intended me to a vision of perfection. But I'm not." Mr. L laughed again, bitterly this time. "I'm never going to be, either."

"Why do you want to be perfect?" Dimentio asked him directly, looking into his eyes. The other could not answer that and lowered his gaze. "I can guess, though. That mirror cost a fortune, Mr. L. Seven years' bad luck for you. Starting with paying off the costs. Lovely paint job, by the way."

"Get lost. Just because you're an idiot doesn't mean I have to answer every one of your stupid questions. Have at you."

Dimentio looked away and gazed at the streaks of blood. "I shall have to interrogate you in the morning. You're tired and suffering from blood loss. Rest now." He got up and moved to the door, gliding smoothly across the carpeted floor without any sound. Mr. L said nothing, his back turned to the door, and Dimentio was almost out of the door before he spoke.

"I was ashamed, you know."

The jester paused, glancing at the man. The latter went on, as if Dimentio did not exist. "What I saw in the mirror was myself, made what I am by the Count. But it was an illusion. I was intended to be perfect. I'm not." He sighed and continued. "I don't know if the Count himself wants me to be the perfect henchman, or if it's just me wanting too much of myself. But either way I was so angry. I remembered all my failures, how they wounded my pride-"

Dimentio had slid back into the room, his gaze fixed on Mr. L, but he said nothing. "-and... I just got so angry that I couldn't control myself. I broke that mirror. But my reflection... it still stared back at me. I hated it so much. I've even smeared blood all over it to try to mask it all." Mr. L was trembling now, clutching tight at the covers. "But it's no use. It doesn't make me any more better. It's just made me worse. It's still there, and it'll still stare back at me when I go over to it. Nothing's changed. I'm not the perfection I wanted to be, and I'm not the Green Thunder... I'm just... weak. That's all."

There was heavy silence in the room for a while, punctuated only by the occasional shuffling from Mr. L's part.

"Well done." Dimentio finally said, regaining some of his smile. "You admitted to it. That alone shows you're more brave than you think." He drifted back to the bed, gazing serenely at the figure. "You don't need to be perfect, Mr. L - that's too much to be asking. You have the Count's trust, so do cheer up. I cannot bear to see you wallowing in this helplessness-"

"-like upside-down turtles, yeah." The man replied, sounding bored, but Dimentio did notice a slight smile light up his face. "I get you."

"Sleep now. I shall see you in the morning." The jester bowed, this time without mockery. "Ciao."

There was no reply; Mr. L had fallen asleep at last. Dimentio laughed silently to himself, glancing at the bed before leaving the room.

"Pardon me for being so contradictory, my dear Mr. L, but I do think you're just perfect the way you are..."
Disclaimer: Story mine. Nothing else mine.

Gawd, I'm going through a serious Mario phrase. And I don't think this is temporary at all.

Last sentence sounds so weird. Dimentio is just... not a character you can put into angst fics and pull off perfectly. Dimentio should be sadistic and both unbearably silly and cheerful at the same time. In here he's just a guy who says some things.

Mr. L did strike me as a character who wants to be perfect. As we all know who he really is, maybe that rubbed off on him. Mr. L surely seemed devoted to Count Bleck (and Dimentio) in the game. He struck me as a character with very high standards who throws an emo-fit when that doesn't go right.

Blehhh, I'm so tired...

I love them both though.
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Even in death he smiles, the awesome bastard.

The name comes from his theme song "Dimentio, the charming Magician" [link]

I have WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much time on my hands.

Blood brush from [link]
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Featured
:iconcindy9712:
Collection by
ahh.. tired xP
Today, I'm so boring.. and.. just draw Frerad hihi
It's not Finish!

byebye :)
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My Chemical Romance – Famous Last Words
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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: nudity, sexual themes and ideologically sensitive material)
The 100 Things That Rammstein Left Behind - 03

Please read the first and second part before reading this one.

Contains a lot of concepts and incidents that will make you feel uncomfortable. Proceed with caution and read all warnings.

Warnings: Till/Richard, meta concepts, slash, depressing content, political overtones in some, possibly unsavory depictions of real-life people within the families of the band (although not to children), severe angst, screwy formatting, heavy German usage at parts, possibly confusing narrative (constant POV switches), tastelessness, blasphemy. AU-ish for a reason. Trigger warnings for abuse of humans and animals, discussions of death, and abusive relationships. I wouldn't categorize this as funny, and it doesn't try to be.

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67. Tough Love

Herr Christoph Schneider is a callous man. Herr Christoph Schneider doesn't really know how to deal with emotions, not because he's cruel by nature but because he's afraid to feel. Herr Christoph Schneider is, however, logical enough to know that he isn't the right person when it comes to comforting people. And Richard needs a lot of comfort right now.

You're smart enough and aware enough to know that your presence is not what he needs. It can only distress him even more, and you care about him too much to let yourself hurt him even more. So when he's packed up, you simply take him to where Till's staying, trusting him to take care of him better. Because your judgment of people tends to be correct at least ninety percent of the time, even though Richard at first takes this as a form of abandonment (and chews you out for it), he'll later be grateful to you. You don't know this, of course, you're just operating by what you feel is best.

It does make you feel a bit envious, though, the friendship that Till and Richard share. They trust each other with everything. You can't do that anymore (so you think). When you drive off, you do find yourself smiling a little sadly at the sight of Till gently leading Richard inside, doubtless ready to share a long heart-to-heart with him.

But it was a very sensible thing to do. You don't credit yourself with half the amount of selflessness that you actually have.

68. *Purr*

Paul has a new cat. You don't find this out until you go over to his place one day - first time you set foot in his house for about two months - and a longhaired white cat hops down from the sofa before trotting straight up to you. "I didn't know you'd gotten yourself a cat," you call as the creature winds itself around your legs, feeling rather nervous as you remember what happened with the last cat you touched. Paul doesn't know about that incident and God forbid you're going to bring that up in polite conversation.

"He's cute, isn't he? Adopted him from a shelter two weeks back."

Throughout your visit you try to ignore the cat as much as possible. Cats are fickle creatures though, always becoming interested in the things that refuse to pay attention to them, and this one keeps batting at your leg and trying to snuggle between you and Paul during your conversation, so it's by no means an easy feat. "I think he likes being around you," Paul finally tells you around the two hour mark as he picks up the cat in his arms and sets it (much to your chagrin) right down into your lap. "I don't think he's ever been this eager to be around a new person in the house, he usually just hides in a cupboard or something. Give him a pet, why don't you?"

"I..." the cat has green eyes. Green eyes exactly like the one that you drowned had. "I don't..."

But the cat is warm and soft as it stretches out on your lap. Its white fur clings to your clothes but you don't care at all. Through its bright eyes you see that they're devoid of judgment, simply filled with the unconditional affection that a human-tamed cat possesses. Hesitatingly you lift up a hand and stroke its head; it purrs and licks you in response. Paul smiles next to you - and you're smiling back, you feel a warmth in your heart, you have been forgiven.

69. Art Nouveau

Scene cuts back to you, Richard and Olli, in 2007. All six of you are in New York for a little break and the search for inspiration; with some disguises and a relaxed attitude, you're all left in relative peace. The fact that you six aren't going around together all the time helps; audaciousness is the best way to hide, sometimes. Till's back in the rented condo, Paul's off to a restaurant. and Flake could have come with you but he's decided to sit things out at a blues club instead. As for you three-

"I don't feel good about this," Olli whispers in your ear, nudging you towards the banner of the art exhibit; multiple artists' names are printed on it, and one particular name also makes you frown. "do... do you think he noticed?"

You doubt it, Richard hasn't looked anything other than his usual quiet observant self. This sentiment lasts for exactly three minutes (not enough time for you to think of an excuse to get all of you out of there) before he stops in front of one particular painting, staring - and suddenly gasping out loud as the colour drains from his face.

"Risch," you whisper. "Risch, what is it?"

But you know the answer already. This is a painting of a man. A very familiar man.
A man with dark hair, and with a great many things - smooth, handsome features, nice clothes and a lovely little bullet hole through his head.
And under the painting are three words that you never, ever thought could hurt so much while reading. The final stinger from an ex-wife: - Richard Zven Kruspe -

The world goes dark, and your friend slumps to the floor.

70. The Time When Oliver Burnt Breakfast

When you wake up, you grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Sliding the covers off your body, you put on a dressing gown before you peer around the corner into the little kitchen. Olli's standing there, looking almost comical in a white apron (because of his height, his truly incredible height) and holding a pan just above the stove. He's considerably more agitated than you've ever seen him before; the pan's blackened and it looks like he was making pancakes or something, there's a bowl filled with flour mixture on the counter. You're not actually too surprised because when it comes to making simple foods, Olli's surprisingly talented in screwing it up. Something about concentration.

"I realize that you're probably going to laugh at me later, Till," he says without looking around, making you tense in the doorway. "but Risch is with me, he's on the sofa, and I just wanted to make something for him. He's in pretty damn bad shape. Watch over him, would you?"

You never had any intention of laughing at Olli. You were actually going to ask how the hell he gained access to the condo without you noticing, with another person in tow nonetheless, but what he said concerns you more than that. You turn and run towards the living room.

71. Confrontation

Your name is Oliver Riedel, and you're kind of really pissed off right now. When Till leaves for the living room, you finish washing up and toss the washcloth into the sink with an unusual hostility before walking outside onto the balcony (shutting the doors behind you for privacy). From your pockets you fish out Richard's phone and flick it open, going to contacts and searching for that one name. You have no idea if she's still available on that number, but you have to try. Finding it within a few seconds, you press 'call' without hesitation and hold the phone to your ear.

"Hello."

"Hallo, Frau Bernstein," you speak, hearing her inhale sharply at the other end. "this is Oliver Riedel. I'm aware of the fact that I'm not particularly welcomed around you, and neither would the presence of my bandmates, especially that of your ex-husband. And believe me, I wouldn't have dreamt of calling you under most circumstances, if not for the fact that you appear to be holding unusual grudges against Richard."

She is silent for a long time. "Where are you calling from?" she finally asks.

"New York."

"You went to see the exhibition."

"Yes. Unfortunately. He'd found the painting before we could get him out of there."

"Well, what a pity," she responds, but her voice is blank and devoid of such emotion. "but you do have to understand, my ex-husband was not my target audience. It was simple misfortune. It was also a honest reflection of what I felt for him during our marriage; an artist cannot be blamed for being honest, Mr. Riedel."

"Not if you're conveying pure hatred."

"He was not quite as a good husband as you seem to believe," she tells you quietly. "there is only so much cheating and lack of direction that you can take. Let us practice some freedom of artistic belief; you believe in what you want, Mr. Riedel, and I will trust in my own experience."

There are a million things that you want to say to Caron Bernstein right now and none of those things are positive. But at her words suddenly your conviction in Richard is shaken, and you become aware that she is right; you simply have no right to tell this woman that her suffering didn't matter. That isn't your place, or anyone else's. Even if you could, if you had a shred of basic decency you still wouldn't do it, because she's the ex-wife of one of your best friends. Even if that friend has been subjected to so much shock that he can barely speak or react to people at the moment.

So you simply say a terse goodbye and hang up. Delete her number once and for all from Richard's phone too - when he comes around, he'll be grateful to you for it. Now perhaps both parties can exist in peace.

72. The Sixth Butterfly

You are sixteen years old when you head into the shop to buy your first bass; an electric-blue one catches your eye. However, its price is a little too out of your league; there's a slimmer bass right next to it that you like the look of, black-bodied and just affordable for you. You contemplate buying it; but then walk out of the shop, determined to work another month or two and come back. Being able to connect to your instrument is very important, and you just get good vibes around that one. And sure enough, within two months the blue bass is in your possession.

That's all it is. The sixth. You could have had the blue or the black bass guitar, and you chose blue. What, were you expecting anything particularly earth-shattering?

73. With You/Without You

You are the one of the first ones to pick out the fact that Richard and Till might have something more than friendship between them. Flake is the first to confront Till about this and he knew far earlier than you did; however, Richard's marriage gets in the way of that thought for a few years. When it's over, you are the first to tell Richard that he ought to make a move.

The realization comes during filming 'Ohne Dich', fittingly enough. Richard usually likes having a prominent role in a music video; he was like that with 'Ich Will', 'Sonne', pretty much all of them. Not this one. He deliberately turns away when the scripting for the video is being worked on, saying that he wants to stay in the background. "Are you sure, Risch?" the director asks, who finds this just as odd as you do.

"Yes."

"We're not asking that you drop Till or anything-" he spins around and there's a sudden flash of what looks vaguely like terror and anger in his eyes. "-but this isn't like you."

"Just let it go, all right?"

You can't possibly know that Richard wants to avoid taking a major role in this because the storyline of the music video hits too close to home for him for reasons that he cannot quite comprehend himself; but somewhere, far, far back (maybe beyond the timeline of this earth?), he experienced something like this. You all did. He just remembers it more because it affected him more than anyone else; but either way during filming you see how Richard looks almost shell-shocked as he smokes and stares into the distance during breaks, how he looks really out of it (uncharacteristically so) for most of it, and figure out that he is physically incapable of facing the death of Till, even if it's not real. Richard keeps very close to Till most of the time, supporting him from behind whenever you all have to go higher up, and during the time you're on that mountain he completely loses his capacity to joke about anything.

You notice that, and then you figure out that Richard feels more than friendly affection for him.

"Why don't you just tell him?" you whisper when you're all coming back in the tour bus and everyone else is asleep; he starts and gives you a wild-eyed look. "it was obvious to me. I'm aware that this scenario was different to what we did before, but it wasn't so much that it would have affected you like this - not unless..."

He's silent for a long time. "I can't lose him," he finally whispers back. He means a lot by that.

He doesn't want Till dead or being left alone by him. He doesn't want to alienate Till by confessing. A cruel double bind.

74. Inferiority Complex

As previously mentioned, you're very conscious of the fact that a lot of people that you deal with regularly are older than you. At this point in time you're thirty-six and 'young' isn't exactly the right word to describe you, but you're the youngest in the band and to you that overrides most things. This is a part of a rather distressing inferiority complex that you possess - you're taller than most people, sturdier, and your bass and guitar skills would stand up well against most world-class players. But at the same time you are younger than your friends, you never had much to complain about when you were little - when Till was struggling to survive with his newborn daughter in tow, you were only in school for God's sake - and you quite often feel like you lack the adequate experience that would put you on a truly even field with the rest of your friends. You're also quite a shy man really, which doesn't help all that much.

You probably wouldn't have agreed to join the band so quickly had it not been for Richard. He shares the same complex that you do, except possibly in a more crippling way because he tends to vent his own fear by overworking or becoming overly dependent on something. Bottom line, you're very protective of Richard, and as you start on a new (and more successful batch) of pancakes, you find yourself being still very pissed off at what's happened to him. The man isn't a saint, but surely he could be given a break now and then.

There's Till to help him, though. You can hear them in the living room right now, conversing. "I didn't know that she was exhibiting her art there," Richard's saying hoarsely. "and I... I never thought-"

"That was beyond the line," Till says in response. "but I'm going to ask that you try to forget about this, Richard. It's beyond our control. What's fighting with your ex-wife about that going to solve?"

You're almost tempted to burst in and tell them that what Caron did could qualify as harassment, but then - again - remember that you don't know anything about what their married life was like in the first place. This is not your place to interfere. Till knows it better than you do, Richard does as well. "You're right," Richard murmurs. Silence. "I'm... I'm just... shocked, that's all."

"Perfectly understandable. But none of us think any less of you for this. If you remember nothing else, keep that in mind."

Then nothing more is said from either of them. You imagine that Richard and Till are just sitting together in comfortable, shared silence, just letting the mutual shock wear off. He's in good hands, at least. Till can take care of him better than you could. You might have felt inferior because of this any other day, but considering the circumstances, it's really the best thing.

75. All This Overcapitalization Is Getting To Me

And I don't mean in the financial definition of overcapitalization either. Say, have a little list of people who ought to be beaten.

1. Totalitarian assholes.
2. People who capitalize every word in their sentence with no insanely good reason to do so.
3. People who write lists telling you who ought to be beaten.

Back to the story. Hey, I've been speaking for six people and a little more so far. I deserve to be heard too.

76. No, You're Wrong, Don't Say it-

Back to Till for a brief moment. It's a bit of an uncomfortable time to go back to Till, but over ten years of being Rammstein and you still have to deal with this shit and it's probably important to make it known that you hate it. "Keep going, you awesome motherfuckers! For all I can see you might as well be the new S-"

The moment you hear the full word something in you snaps, and you punch the smirking so-called fan straight in the face. (Olli tells you that you were screaming 'Shut up! Just shut up!' later on, and you don't doubt him for an instant.)

The man is led away and Olli holds you back, along with Paul, telling you to calm down, just let it be - but you honestly can't. That word rings in your ears and you frown for the entire day. All because some bastard decided Germany was Germany.

77. The Third Reich Sings To You

Till.

Oh, Till.

I'm not going away.

78. Definition: History

"Don't feel bad about it," Paul is telling him when you're all back safe and sound in the condo. "Till, just relax. There will always be idiots in the world."

Till doesn't want to listen and just storms to his room, slamming the door shut behind him. "I'll check on him," Richard says, and follows suit before any one of you can stop him; before long you are left alone with Schneider, Paul and Flake. After a moment of silence, you all decide that you're perhaps better off leaving them alone for the time being; putting your jackets and sunglasses on again, you quietly make your way to a downstairs bar, settling yourself heavily onto the bar stools.

"I hate it whenever this happens," Schneider mutters into his Mojito; he plucks out the slice of lime and mangles it into pieces, a clear sign that he's disturbed or upset. "I know what you said about there always being idiots but it's 2007. It's been over sixty years. You'd think after all this time and all the things Germany did to eradicate-"

"There's no point in complaining," you cut him off with uncharacteristic bitterness. "that's just how it is and how it's going to be for a long time. After all, what's history. Just one fucking thing after another."

79. The One Good Thing That Happened As A Result Of All This Fiasco, Which Was Made Known To You When You All Returned From The Bar To Find The Two Of Them Amending Flight Bookings Back To Berlin And Richard Raised His Head And Turned To You And Said (Much To Your Collective Relief): 'I Think That I'm Going To Be Living With ---- From Now On, Guys, So Let's Celebrate My Newfound Sanity And Direction In Life.'

(PS. He meant Till.)

80. The Time When Nele Burnt Breakfast

When you wake up, you grimace in disgust; there's a smell drifting through the air, ashy, thick with smoke and almost tangibly delicious. A disastrous combination. Sliding the covers off your body, you put on a dressing gown before you silently pad downstairs to look into the kitchen. You're terribly shocked to find your young daughter standing in front of the stove, coughing hard into her apron. When she catches your eye, she stares at you in a guilty way for only a few seconds before rushing out of the kitchen, terribly ashamed that her efforts to cook you both something ended in vain.

You turn the stove off and judge the damage. It's not that bad, the charring will scrub off. From the bowl of white batter sitting by the side you assume that she was trying to make pancakes; putting that in the fridge for later, you clean the rest of the kitchen and then go to comfort your daughter. She's in her room, hiding beneath the covers, shyly poking her head out when you knock and open the door.

"Don't be afraid to wake me up next time, darling," you tell her, and she shifts a little, looking guilty.

"You're not angry, Vatti?"

"I'm not the slightest bit angry," Nele smiles in relief, and you find yourself smiling back.

81. At Last

Your name is Nele Lindemann. It's an unusual name, but you love it because your father chose to name you that way, and your father made the perfect judgment. It's a bit of a pity that when you were growing up, people were less interested in your first name and more on the other one; from the age of nine onwards you were never exactly 'Nele' but 'Nele Lindemann', your father's daughter. This was met with a variety of reactions including wonder, envy and vague disgust from people who found your father's lyrics and poetry and questionable stage antics, well, questionable.

But you stuck it out. You've been very lucky that way, that your father was always protective of you. No one could accuse him of neglect. In fact it probably went the other way around, in that sometimes he was too protective of you; even when you were old enough to leave university and live on your own. You've wished for quite some time now that he would take care of himself more than you - you're older now, more responsible, and it's time that he lived for himself. Your father's lack of a love life has become more obvious to you over the years, and while you've never confronted him on it (because that would be weird), you've always felt somewhat guilty for it.

No longer, though. When you drop in to visit him in his apartment one day, you see much to your surprise that your Uncle Richard is there. He and your father are sitting together on the bed. He looks like he's been living there for quite a few weeks, actually. You have to wonder why your father never informed you of this development, but the pieces fal