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The angst and the intricacy

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Title: The angst and the intricacy
Author: Lobelia; lobelia321
Fandom: RPS Verbotene Liebe, German daytime soap
Pairing: Thore Schölermann / Jo Weil (actors of Christian / Oliver)
Rating: PG
Spoiler: 04.04.08.
Length: 2,445 words.
Disclaimer: The events depicted herein never happened. I do not know these people. I am not making any money. This is an amateur piece of fiction.
Inspiration: 04.04.08. The Kiss starts at 3:20.
Summary: Thore and Jo rehearse an on-screen kiss.

The gay sub-plot was the best thing that had ever happened to Thore.


http://pics.livejournal.com/lobelia321/pic/000cec0t

The angst and the intricacy
by Lobelia

The gay sub-plot was the best thing that had ever happened to Thore.

Everybody knew that a controversial romance sub-plot was a fantastic entrance way into the world beyond daytime soaps. And little was more controversial than a gay romance sub-plot.

There would be angst! There would be anger! There would be kissing and dancing and touching and... and kissing! There would be scope, so much scope, for showing off his acting skills! He would be subtle and intricate; he would alternate between moody and sulky, between tender and malevolent, between brooding and merry!

This was it! This was Thore Schölermann's Big Break!

He got home and dug around in the box under his bed where he kept all his old Mallorca Film Academy notes. Scraps of paper, photocopied hand-outs, CD-ROMs, short films burned onto DVDs -- it was all still there.

None of it was much use in helping him to achieve those heights of subtlety that he knew would propel him out of the daytime drama of Verbotene Liebe and into the post-watershed world of actual real Drama. Into something like Tierärztin Dr. Mertens!

He flipped through the script.

He counted them.

One. Two. Three, four, and then the replay of that first one.

Six. Six kisses.

Six kissing scenes in the script up to the seventh of April.

No worries. A snitch! He'd already done on-screen kissing! Soaps were nothing if not training grounds for on-screen kissing! Thore's alter ego Christian had done his share of heterosexual kissing. Kissing and cuddling and canoodling and partial nudity.

Heck. No problem. How different could gay kissing be, after all?

Thore stood in the middle of his bedroom. Well, not exactly in the middle because his bedroom was mostly occupied by his double bed, and that left only a narrow strip of carpet between the Mallorca box and the wall.

So Thore stood on the narrow strip of carpet, clutching the script, and panicked.

**

"Jo? Hello?"

Oh good. It was Jo. He wasn't even sure he'd stored the right number in his mobile.

Thore never rang Jo. His alter ego Christian was in love with Jo's alter ego Olli but Thore was not in love with Jo. Thore wasn't even specially friends with Jo.

In fact, Jo was one big dick of a nuisance who'd only entered Thore's life last autumn in order to annoy and usurp.

"Oooh, Jo," everyone had cried. Or those who'd remembered Jo from five years ago. Which was mainly the camera crew and all the make-up girls. Because Jo had already had his stint as Olli on Verbotene Liebe. And then Jo had gone off to be rugged on Medicopter 117.

It was all totally unfair. Thore was softie Christian on Verbotene Liebe, and Jo got to go off and be manly and wear orange medic suits and abseil down burning buildings and give mouth-to-mouth and have a career.

"Ooh, Jo, Jo, Jo." The crew crooned. The crew remembered. The crew remembered everything and everyone.

"Hello? Who's speaking?"

"Uh. What?" Thore snapped to attention. He cleared his throat. "Me. Thore. Hi, Jo."

"Thore?" Jo's voice sounded tinny and digitalised.

"Yeah. Hi. Uh."

"What's up, buddy?"

Thore hated being called 'buddy'. He coughed pointedly. "Well, Jo. You know this new sub-plot?"

"Yes?"

"Could we get together and, uh, rehearse the... the kisses at some point?"

Silence.

Thore shifted his weight from foot to foot.

"Rehearse it?"

"Yeah, I know it's unusual and we don't usually do rehearsals but you know, haha, actors do, you know. Do rehearsals, I mean. And the... this new sub-plot is kind of new. For me. I know it's not new for you! You've done loads of on-screen kisses!"

"So have you." Jo's voice sounded puzzled and wary.

"Yeah, but I mean... you know."

"You're worried about the man-thing, am I right?"

"No!" Of course, Jo wasn't right. Smug stupid Jo. "No, not at all! Uh. Just a bit." Well, he wasn't going to tell Jo, was he, that this was going to be his Big Career Break? And that he needed to get it Exactly Perfectly Spot-on Right?

"You're not worried about me, are you?"

"Oh heck, no. No. I'm not worried about you at all." Thore gritted his teeth. That was just one more annoying thing about Jo: he'd say 'You're worried' in that tinny voice, he made you gush, he'd done oodles of gay kisses in his past incarnation on Verbotene Liebe.

It was too, too vexing.

"Well, if you're not worried about me, you needn't worry at all. Because it's only me. Right?"

Thore didn't like to say 'right' back. Saying 'right' to Jo seemed to imply some non-existent intimacy.

"But if you like," drawled the tinny voice, " we can rehearse. I'm free for about half an hour tomorrow after the morning's shoot."

"Oh, thanks. I mean, great. I mean... yeah. I'll be there."

**

The studio cafeteria on Butzweiler Straße was not the venue Thore would have chosen voluntarily but there it was, and there he was, and there Jo was, and there was nothing for it.

Jo was chewing on a rye roll with lettuce, cheese and mayonnaise. He had his script in one hand and waved at Thore with the hand holding the roll. Bits of mayo dripped onto the laminated tabletop.

Thore glanced right and left. There were people everywhere.

"Here," said Jo, with his mouth full. "What bit d'you want to do? The first kiss? The bed scene? The love declaration?"

The love declaration! Thore's heart felt faint.

Because controversial gay romance sub-plots were excellent. They were fantastic! They were prime launch pads for stellar futures! But more important than the kissing and the cuddling and the torso baring in the controversial gay romance sub-plots was the love. If he could only pull off the love.

"Okay. The love declaration," said Thore.

"Cool," said Jo and swallowed bread. He put his roll down on the rectangular cardboard plate with the scalloped edges and wiped his lips with the paper napkin, printed with the logo of Das Erste.

"Right," said Thore and put down his own copy of the script.

"Okay, then. Let's do 4.4.08. I'll stand over there and pretend to be behind the..." Jo squinted at the script. "The door. There's a door in this scene. And you stand here."

Jo didn't seem to mind at all that there were about fifty-odd thousand people watching. Milling.

Jo just marched a few paces away, towards the Coca Cola dispensing machine, and struck a pose.

Thore shifted his weight from foot to foot.

"Camera, action. Roll," said Jo.

Thore glanced at the script. He swallowed.

Jo read out, "I've totally fallen in love with you, Christian. Head over heels." He opened his mouth and pulled out a strand of lettuce from between his front teeth.

Thore closed his eyes. Okay, he could do this. He could so do this. Acting opposite a lettuce-chewing arrogant Medicopter veteran in a crowded, neon-lit cafeteria was the perfect testing ground for the subtlety and intricacy of his acting skills.

"Thore?"

That was Jo's voice.

"Thore? Are you okay?"

Thore opened his eyes. "Oh, yes. Sorry. I was just... concentrating. Focusing. On the scene. On my character."

"C'mon, Tho. It's not Faust we're putting on here. We're not using the Stanislavsky method, for goodness' sake."

Thore clenched his molars. He did not like being called Tho. And he had no idea what the bloody Stanis-whatever method was. There had never been any talk of any Stany-whatnot method in Las Palmas.

"Just get on with it, okay?"

Thore said his line. He said them very soulfully, as soulfully as he could muster. He said them in exactly the same soulful way he had said them all last night, practising in front of the bathroom mirror. "I've tried to fight it... but I've fallen in love with you." Those were the lines.

He put all the soul in the world into that one line. The passion, the subtlety, the angst and the intricacy. He put it into the low vibration of his voice. He put it into the lingering gaze of his eyes. He put it into the beating of his heart.

Jo burst out laughing.

Fuck.

"Sorry," Jo said, in between guffaws. "Sorry, buddy. It's just... No, no. Hang on."

Thore was gathering his script. His cheeks flamed. His hands shook. Not good! Not good at all! How could anyone put all the soul of the world into a line when this idiot of a co-actor swanned about and cackled and just plain insulted him, him, Thore!

"What's your problem, Jo?" Thore muttered. "What's your bloody..."

"Hang on, hang on." Jo put his hand on Thore's arm.

Thore flinched.

Jo laughed again. "Well, that's no good. You can't be flinching every time I touch you."

"What...? What are you...?"

"Loosen up, Tho."

"And don't call me that."

"Just chill, okay? It's no big deal. It's just a cuddle scene. I say this, you say that, we touch, we kiss. Done. Wrap. Next. Hell, they'll probably get us to do all the bedroom scenes in a few takes together tomorrow."

"I thought," said Thore and his voice was almost steady, almost cool, "you'd be more professional than this."

"C'mon. You're the one who's..."

"What?" snapped Thore. "I'm the one who's what?"

Jo stepped back. "Uptight. Y'know. Uptight about this."

"Uptight? Uptight?" He'd put his soul into this scene!

"Freaked out. Just a little."

'I'm not freaked out!' Thore wanted to shout. 'It's Christian who's freaked out! Didn't you notice? I was acting, you dipshit! Acting!'

But Thore didn't shout any of those things. Because without warning, Jo had just grabbed him and planted a kiss on his mouth. So Thore couldn't shout because his lips were pressed against Jo's lips, and then, before he knew it, his lips had come apart and his upper teeth hit Jo's lower teeth and his tongue became embroiled in the insides of Jo's mouth.

He reeled back. The neon lights spun around. The floor was a see-saw.

Jo laughed and held his sides. "See what I mean? You gotta get used to it, buddy! You just gotta get with it!"

"Shut up," gasped Thore. "Just shut up."

This was not how this was supposed to go. This wasn't a rehearsal. This was a bloody freak show. And he was being made into the butt of some elaborate joke. Jo's joke. Jo the joker.

Hah bloody hah.

His tongue tasted of mayonnaise.

"Okay," Thore said. He took a deep breath. From the diaphragm upwards. That's one thing he remembered being taught on Mallorca. "Okay. Let's do this one more time."

Jo shrugged and grinned. "Sure, Tho. Whatever you need."

And that need sounded so irritating. So annoying. So patronising!

"Start," Thore said. "Just start."

Jo positioned himself next to the coke machine. "Christian? Open the door. I've fallen in love with you. Head over heels." He reeled off the lines as if he were reciting the back of a cornflakes packet. He wasn't making any effort at all. He was just mocking Thore!

Thore gritted his teeth, then stopped gritting his teeth because Christian wasn't gritting his teeth at this moment. Christian at this moment was full of longing and fear and confusion and lust.

Thore closed his eyes and summoned up the longing and the fear and the confusion and the lust. He summoned it up with all his soul.

"I've tried to fight it..." he said. There was a little catch in his voice; it was quite satisfying; it was the first time he'd put that little catch into the line at this point. "But I've fallen in love with you."

He looked up, towards the food counter where all the actors from Marienhof, on their lunch break, mingled and mixed. He tried not to see them, though. He tried to see only the window frame and the wall decorations of Christian's bedroom set. Then Thore slid his pupils to the side, just the pupils, so that he looked at Jo sideways.

Jo walked towards him and put his hand on Thore's shoulder. Except it wasn't Jo. It was Olli, and Thore was now totally in the moment. Totally in the scene. Thore was Christian.

Thore closed his eyes. He was full of fear. And subtlety. And lust.

And this is when it happened.

"Whoa," Jo said which was not in the script.

'Kiss me,' Thore thought, 'just fucking kiss me.'

Jo kissed him. Thore's erection did not go away.

The kiss just made it worse.

The kiss tasted of lettuce and margarine and some kind of lip balm. Jo didn't even use his tongue this time. Jo was kissing by the script: chaste, tender, a screen kiss.

Jo put one hand on Thore's cheek and the other hand on Thore's crotch.

'I'm Christian,' thought Thore. 'You're Olli. You're in love with me. I'm in love with you. Of course, I'm going to have... Of course, I'd be...'

"Hey," Jo whispered in Thore's ear, "you're really getting into this scene, aren't you?"

Then Jo broke away and after one last squeeze with his fist, burst into a gale of cackles.

Thore hugged his chest. His neck burned.

"That's what I call getting into the role!" screeched Jo. "Good one, Tho."

"Oh, shut up, shut up." Thore snatched up his script. The staples were popping off; sheets slithered onto the floor. How would Jo understand? And why should he care whether Jo understood? And why should the memory of Jo's hand burn so on the fly of Christian's jeans?

This was his soul! And, well, his flesh, too. His soul and his flesh! And both combined would launch him out of here, right out of this shitty canteen and into some other world, into a glitzier and better and less cackling world!

"See you tomorrow," said Jo and made lewd hip motions. "Ready for action!"

Thore stumbled out.

At home, he stood in the bathroom and made soulful eyes at himself in the mirror. It wasn't so bad! He grabbed his crotch and thrust once, twice. "Olli," he murmured. "I'm so in love with you." He closed his eyes and imagined it all.

All of the damn gay romance sub-plot. All of its controversy, its angst, its intricate lust.

All of it.

**

The end.
18 April 2008

First posted to LiveJournal.