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Four Seasons In One Day

Guest emmasi

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Story Title: Four Seasons In One Day

Type of story: Oneshot

Main Characters: Roman, Elliot, Aden

Other Characters: Belle, Martha

BTTB rating: T/A

Genre: Angst!!!!

Does story include spoilers: UK spoilers, some Aus spoilers (loosely based on the promo played after the Olympic Cliffhanger)

Any warnings: V/D, implied sexual references... two swear words :huh:

Summary: Elliot tortures a confession out of Roman. Can Roman live with what he's done? Will he get a chance to...?

Notes: This is sort of a songfic, but it's not really. I wrote it as an ordinary oneshot, and then "Four Seasons In One Day" by Crowded House came on my playlist... and it sounded perfect. I wanted to name the fic that, but if you didn't know the song, it wouldn't make much sense, so I decided to put the lyrics in between the scenes... Hopefully it works (I think it does...).

Regarding the promo, as I said, this is loosely based on that. We have Elliot hunting Roman down with a bow and arrow, and the consequences of Aden dealing with his dad... but this fic goes against a lot of what we might have seen in the promo, or what we may have learned from Summer Bay Online or from spoilers. Sooo... I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is mostly just following on from the cliffhanger itself, with some promo-psycho-Elliot-goodness mixed in. Enjoy! :)

Four Seasons In One Day


Four seasons in one day

Lying in the depths of your imagination

Worlds above and worlds below

Sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain

Even when you’re feeling warm

The temperature could drop away

Like four seasons in one day


Blood pooled on his knees. Gravel clung to the grazes in the heels of his hands. His vision swayed, causing the ground to rise and fall beneath him. He dug his nails into the rock to keep from falling sideways.

A twig snapped behind him. Roman’s neck almost followed suit as he turned to see the weapon poised at Elliot’s side.

“There you are,” Elliot observed, tapping an eager arrow against his bow. “I thought I’d lost you.”

Roman struggled onto his side, too exhausted to crawl. Begging Elliot for mercy was as futile as trying to outrun him. Elliot had obviously studied this terrain, gaining an intimate knowledge of the bush so that no matter how lost Roman got, Elliot would know exactly where to find him.

As the arrow clipped onto the string, Roman rolled onto his back, panting hopelessly and praying that this wouldn’t drag on much longer.

“Given up, have you?” his pursuer taunted. He walked forward and stood over Roman. “Like you gave up on my brother?”

Roman thought of protesting, but knew it wouldn’t do any good. He didn’t have the strength to speak.

“You left him to die.” Elliot circled above him, making Roman dizzy. “It was your job to make sure that no one got left behind, but you were too scared and weak, weren’t you? You ran away and left him there.”

“I did not run,” Roman breathed.

Elliot aimed the arrow at Roman’s heart. “This is a bad time to lie to me, Roman. You’re about to die. You want to die with a lie on your conscience?”

“I… did not… run…”

Elliot drew the string back. “Tell me the truth, or I’ll kill you.”

“You’ll kill me no matter what I tell you.”

“But what about Nicole? Don’t you want to fight to save her?”

“If she was still alive, she’d be here,” Roman told himself out loud. “She’d be right here in front of me… You’d want to see my face when you…” He shook off the thought. “She’s already dead… I won’t let you use her anymore.”

“I guess you’ve made up your mind then,” Elliot sniffed. “You abandoned your best mate, I don’t know why I’m surprised that you’d abandon your own daughter.”

“Just kill me… and hurry up about it.”

Elliot made no further attempt to deny what Roman already knew. That part of the game was over. “You want to join her, Roman? Okay…” In a swift and brutal action, Elliot lowered the bow and released the arrow into Roman’s thigh. “Tell me the truth,” he repeated over his suspect’s screams, “and I’ll send you to meet the little slut.”

Roman gritted his teeth, fighting the urge to pass out, although he didn’t know why. Being unconscious would have made this a lot easier.

“I’ve only got six arrows,” Elliot admitted, “but the thing about arrows is…” He reached down and took hold of the shaft protruding from the spreading blood stain. “You can use them as many times as you like.” He shook it roughly and threatened to pull it out. Roman, in spite of himself, pleaded for Elliot to stop - if the arrow was removed, he could bleed out. And that’s what Elliot wanted to see: Roman begging for his life. He smirked. “Oh, so you’re ready to tell me then?”

“Yes,” Roman panted, squeezing shameful tears from his eyes. “Yes…”

Elliot let go of the arrow, and backed off to give Roman some room. “Go on then.”

“Mark…” Roman began, pausing to let the flash of fire in Elliot’s eyes to die down, “I didn’t leave him… I killed him.”

Elliot considered Roman carefully. This sounded like the truth, at last. He nodded his appreciation for that. “Why?” he asked, wondering if the reason would make any difference.

“He was scared… hysterical… He was going to give us away… He was going to get us all killed.”

“Mark wouldn’t - ”

“Mark did, okay? He did. He freaked out… I tried to calm him down, but he wouldn’t listen to me… He just wanted out. He wanted it to be over.” Roman looked into Elliot’s eyes, mustering sincerity for his daughter’s murderer. “Mark loved you. You were his little brother - you meant everything to him. He wanted you to be proud of him.”

“I was,” Elliot answered coldly. “I am.”

“He knew he could never face you if he walked away from the army, so he decided he’d get himself killed instead… but I couldn’t let him take us down with him. So I… I took out my knife… and I slit his throat… I gave him what he wanted.”

“You’re lying.” Elliot sounded unconvinced of his own words. “You’re still lying…”

“You killed my daughter, you’re going to kill me. What reason would I have to lie to you now?”

“What reason did you have before? If you had to kill my brother for being a selfish coward, why didn’t you tell me from the start?”

“I did tell you - you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Yeah, because I know my brother. He wasn’t like that.”

“No, he wasn’t, but he wasn’t himself - the fear got to him - he lost it. I know how much you meant to him - I couldn’t stand for you to think of him like that. Mark was better than that. He deserved to be remembered the way you remember him, as a hero.”

“You murdered him, and then you lied about it to save your own arse. You really think you’re honoring his memory, for my sake?”

Black eyes burned into Roman, and he would have called them soulless if he couldn’t see Elliot’s pain so clearly. Roman felt the same vengeful heartache for Mark’s fate, and for Nicole’s.

“Mark was a good soldier, and an even better friend. I cared about him a lot, but I did what I had to do. I don’t regret it, but I’m sor-”

Roman felt his skull crack against the rock. Elliot punched him again, and he tasted blood. Elliot, having dropped his bow to carry out a more personal assault, now stood up and took it in his hands again. Roman watched him, waiting for him to load another arrow, but he never did.

Elliot walked out to the edge of the rock, where the valley opened up bellow. He hurled the bow and emptied his quiver into the abyss. Roman wondered if Elliot intended to kill him with his bare hands.

“You killed my brother,” Elliot concluded, “and I killed your daughter. We’re even.” He did not look back as he spoke.

“Where is she?” Roman asked pathetically. “What did you do to her?”

Elliot smirked to himself. “That’s the worst part, isn’t it? You’ll never know.”

Roman didn’t believe that that could be it, but he knew this line of questioning was useless.

“What about me?” he asked, fighting the pain in his thigh. He thought briefly of making a break for it while Elliot’s back was turned, but there was no way. “What are you going to do with me?”

Elliot glanced back and smiled. “Still thinking about saving yourself, Roman?”

Roman waited for an answer.

Elliot stared out over the valley.

“When you took Mark’s life, you took my life. He was everything to me too, and you took him away. I think I’ll let you live long enough to appreciate what that feels like.” He glanced at the remaining arrow, his enemies hand’s clutching at the swelling flesh around it. “Assuming you don’t bleed to death.”

Roman was confused, and the dull ache near his bone wasn’t helping. He couldn’t see how this was going to work.

“What about you? You’ve killed my daughter - you’ve done this to me - what kind of life can you possibly have?”

Elliot turned around to face him, and smiled even broader. “Didn’t you here me?” he asked, backing up to the edge. “I’m already dead.”

Before Roman could think to say anything, Elliot was gone.


Smiling as the sh*t comes down

You can tell a man from what he has to say

Everything gets turned around

And I will risk my neck again… again…


It was like a dream, a waking dream. Roman hadn’t dreamed for years, nothing that he allowed himself to remember anyway. Every time he closed his eyes he’d see Mark’s face, the blood on his knife, black and hot as it ebbed onto his hand, the solemn shock that spread through his men as they watched their leader sacrificing one of their own, the absolute silence that drowned out the gunfire…

That sound was always with him. Any time he found himself alone in the dark, listening to the lull between breaths… He waited for it to stop. He taught himself to forget those dreams and pretend it didn’t happen. He learned to focus on other things: his new job, his new friends, his new family…


In his dreams, he had never felt this broken - there was always the subconscious promise that he’d wake up and be okay again, even if it was only until the next one. No such promise came to him now. She was gone. Elliot was gone. Mark was gone. They were collateral damage in a war that was supposed to be over.

It would never be over, he understood that now. In some way, he even understood Elliot. They were both murderers, too scarred to pass for human.

Roman didn’t know how he got home. There was a vague jumble of images - dressing his leg, climbing down to the beach, ignoring a few strangers who asked if he was alright - nothing that told him how he made it this far, or why he had even bothered. The sodden rag that used to be a singlet clung to his thigh. He barely felt it now - it was just another wound, draining him of everything he had but refusing to let him die.

The memory of the arrow tearing backwards through his flesh stung him as his forearm opened up in a similar way. He didn’t have the keys to his house and he didn’t think to knock - who would answer? Nicole was dead…

His hand reached in through the broken glass, clawing dirty red marks across the inside of the door.

Aden paused on the stairs, paralysed by uncertainty. The crash had drawn him out of his room, but now he didn’t know what to do. He watched, struck by a sudden helplessness, as the hand found the knob.

Roman fell in on his knees, holding himself up by the door handle. Something between a moan and a scream emanated from his throat as the heavy landing racked his body.

Aden didn’t move. He wanted to - he could see that Roman needed his help - but he couldn’t. The man was half-naked, sweaty and dirty. He was panting, labouring, struggling to keep himself from falling face down on the floor… yet he was strong enough to break in. Roman had obviously dragged himself out of Hell, and was determined to keep pushing through to do what needed to be done. This was him in army mode.

Aden wasn’t aware that he had backed up until he felt himself rise higher on the staircase. His nails dug nervously into the railing to keep from doing it again.

“Roman?” he asked, needing to confirm that this was his friend and not some demon forcing its way into his home under false pretenses.

Roman looked up at the apprehensive teenager. “Aden…”

He remembered: this was the reason he had to come home.

Aden stood frozen as the deranged commando advanced on him. His knuckles were white on the railing.

Roman kneeled on the step below Aden’s feet, lacking the strength to stand, and embraced the boy’s legs. Aden lost his balance and leaned back submissively into the staircase. His heartbeat was painfully fast as Roman crawled up over his rigid body. He felt Roman’s cheek against his - the unmistakable roughness of an older man.

Roman smelled of blood and earth and trees; Aden smelled of Roman’s own cologne, perhaps borrowed for an adolescent date. Roman breathed it in, breathed him in, as passionately as he could. All of his senses insisted that this was real, that this was good, and somehow things would be okay, as long as he didn’t let go.

The strength of Roman’s tortured limbs faltered and he let himself collapse into the comfort of his last reason to live. Aden closed his eyes and shuddered under the oppressive weight of the fallen soldier… It would be over soon.


You can take me where you will

Up the creek and through the mill

Like all the things you can’t explain

Four seasons in one day


The window was broken. The front door was ajar. There were spatters of blood on the ground. Belle held her breath and placed a cautious hand on the door. It creaked open to reveal a confusing scene: Roman curled up on the floor, dirty scratches all over his bare back, trembling with his head in Aden’s lap. Aden was leaning against the front of the lounge. His hand rested on Roman’s neck, his fingers raked absently through the damp tips of the man’s hair. He didn’t look at Belle as she entered, nor were his eyes on Roman.

Belle could hear Roman sobbing as she crept closer. She didn’t need to ask what he was crying about - Aden must have told him about Nicole - but that didn’t explain his physical condition or that of the house, or where he’d been for the past three days.

Belle walked around them slowly, right through Aden’s line of sight, but he didn’t so much as blink to acknowledge her.

“Aden…?” She knelt down beside him to get a better look at the situation. She saw the thick pool of blood enveloping Roman’s left thigh. “What happened?”

Aden kept on gazing at the dormant TV. He saw Belle and himself reflected as black ghosts on the screen.

“Roman came home.” His voice was a cracked whisper, as if he’d forgotten how to use it. Belle waited for more, but apparently this was all Aden had to tell her.

Belle touched his arm, and realized that he was grasping the house phone. She wrapped her fingers around it, prepared to take it from him. “Have you called an ambulance?” she asked. Aden nodded vacantly. Belle let him keep the phone - it seemed to be acting as some sort of security blanket. “Are you okay?” she asked. Aden thought about it, but couldn’t decide on an answer. Belle thought she saw a tiny shake of his head.

Sirens wailed through the street, flashing lights pierced the front of the house. Belle squinted as it dazzled her, bouncing off the carpet of shards beneath the window. Roman sobbed harder, clawing at Aden as if he knew that the sound meant that they were about to be torn apart. Aden just kept stroking the side of Roman’s neck at the same steady pace.

Two ambulance officers barged onto the scene, trumpeting their arrival with forgettable names and jarring questions, waving their medical bags around to prove their authority. Aden’s recognition stopped at seeing the first man’s uniform.

“I don’t know,” Aden heard Belle say. “I don’t know what happened. Aden?”

It took him a moment to remember that this was his name, or that he was even really there. He blinked and looked at her. “What…?”

“Tell us what happened to your mate,” one of the officers said.

“Is he your mate?” asked the other, aiming to get Aden talking. “Is he your dad?” Roman, in his current state, now appeared old enough to easily have a child of Aden’s (or Nicole’s) age, and they had the same blond hair. It was a fair assumption.

Belle didn’t know if she should step in and answer. She decided to wait for Aden, to see if he could respond.

Aden blinked at the question. The light from the ambulance outside was too bright. He couldn’t see the officer’s face, or make out the black shadow looming behind him. The shadow hissed something about “shock,” and then the ambulance officer told Aden to move away. With Roman’s cracked fingernails dug deep into his skin, Aden didn’t know if that was a good idea.

A pair of strong hands grabbed him by the shoulders and guided him out from under Roman. The shadow - Aden could see now that it was the second officer - rolled Roman over onto his back to inspect the damage to his leg.

“This is a mess…” He plucked at the black-red bandage - it wouldn’t come off easily. “Did you do this?”

Aden shook his head. Whether the man meant the injury or the dressing, he didn’t know, but Aden hadn’t done anything.

Roman panted like a mad-man as pain and desperation took over. He scratched Aden’s shin and drew blood, prompting Aden to take Roman’s hand. Roman squeezed it hard, threatening to crush the bones. The first officer kept hold of Aden to make sure that he stayed back and didn’t get in his partner’s way.

“I think he’s been shot,” Aden offered meekly, his voice cracking again. “He was in the army.”

The second officer looked at him. “What? You think he’s been war-wounded… in Summer Bay?”

Aden almost didn’t understand why that was crazy - he often felt like he was living in a war zone. But it occurred to him very slowly that maybe Roman’s military history had nothing to do with this, maybe he’d just gone bushwalking and fallen on a sharp stick or something. Aden kept quiet after that.

The ambulance officers had to sedate Roman to make him let go, and to stop him from screaming Aden’s name. Aden felt like he should make some equally dramatic gesture, but all he could do was stay seated against the couch and watch them take Roman away. Belle asked him if he wanted her to drive him to the hospital. Again, he thought that he should, but he couldn’t bring himself to stand up.


Blood dries up

Like rain, like rain

Fills my cup

Like four seasons in one day


Someone was moving near his feet. Roman opened his eyes, startling Martha who was standing at the end of his bed. She held her hand to her diminished chest to catch her breath. Roman noticed that she was wearing a hospital gown.

“Martha,” he mumbled groggily.

“Sorry,” she sighed, “I didn’t mean to disturb you. Rachel said you were here.”

Roman took a quick look around to see where ‘here’ was, but he supposed that the gown should have been a dead give away. “What happened?” he asked her.

“You don’t remember?”

Roman suspected he might if he thought about it, but something was keeping him from doing that.

“Do you remember about Nicole?” Martha asked carefully.

Roman thought, and his stomach lurched an instant later. He nodded.

“I’m so sorry…” she told him, but he wasn’t listening; the rest of it was flooding back to him.

“Oh god,” he regretted, “Aden…”

“He told you about his dad?” Martha guessed, wondering how much more her ex-boyfriend could take.

“His dad…?” He didn’t know.

Martha reconsidered her visit. “Look, you need to rest, I’ll come back later.”

“No, Martha, what about Aden’s dad? Has he come back?”

Martha hesitated. “Well, I don’t know the whole story, but… Larry died. Jack says that Aden found him at their house. Apparently he drank himself to death.”

Roman remembered clinging to Aden, demanding comfort from him. Scaring it out of him. He bowed his head to know what the kid was already going through. “Jesus…” It was almost a legitimate prayer for mercy.

“Roman…” Martha began, “There’s something else. I know this isn’t the best time to tell you after everything else that’s happened, but… you need to know…”

Roman’s paternal despair was working overtime; he didn’t need Martha to spell it out to him: “Something’s happened to the baby?”

Her lips quivered and her eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry,” she sobbed. “I… I lost it… There was nothing they could do… I’m so sorry, Roman.”

He had been expecting it, but he still didn’t know how to react. After losing Nicole, and realizing what he’d done to Aden, he didn’t have any grief left. “It’s okay,” he told Martha, somewhat stupidly. “It’s not your fault. These things happen.” He was aware of how indifferent his words were. It would hurt too much to think of anything more sincere. “Are you okay?”

Martha nodded, staring at her feet and wrapping her arms around herself. Did that mean she wanted him to hold her? Roman didn’t have that left in him either.

“Martha,” he lied, “I think I need some time to process this. Do you mind…?” Really he just didn’t want to deal with her emotions when he couldn’t find his own.

“No, of course,” she obliged. “I’ll leave you to it. I’ll see you later.” She turned to the door.

“Martha,” he called her back, “This means you can get the cancer treatment, doesn’t it?”

She smiled selflessly. “Yeah, it does.”

“Good.” He was grateful to find some hope at last.


Doesn’t pay to make predictions

Sleeping on an unmade bed

Finding out wherever there is comfort there is pain

Only one step away

Like four seasons in one day


Aden laid awake in the dark, listening to the stillness of the house. It used to be louder. Nicole used to play music too loud for him to sleep. He’d have to bang on her door and tell her to shut up, or wait for Roman to come upstairs and do it for him.

The irregular thumping of Roman trying to get up the stairs on crutches almost made him get out of bed and help, but he knew that Roman wouldn’t want that. Aden should only get up if he heard Roman fall. Not that that was likely. It had been almost a week since Roman was injured, and the hospital only let him out once he proved he was capable of getting around.

The crutches rattled to a stop at the top of the stairs. Aden hoped that Roman was only catching his breath, but then he heard the knock at his door.

“Aden? Are you awake?”

Aden thought about keeping quiet, but he didn’t need the guilt. “Yep,” he answered.

“Can I come in?”


Roman didn’t turn on the light, he let the light from the hallway fall into the bedroom instead. The intrusion seemed more polite that way. He hobbled over and took a seat on the bed behind Aden’s feet. Aden swallowed to keep his throat from closing.

“Aden…” He touched the boy’s shoulder to get him to turn over and face him. Aden did so, obediently. “You know I’d never hurt you, don’t you?”

Aden swallowed again, hoping that Roman didn’t see his nervousness in the dark. “Yeah, of course I do.”

“Good.” Roman hung his head. “I’m sorry…”

“What for?” Aden heard his own voice shaking - Roman had to hear it too.

“For scaring you. I know I did. I shouldn’t have done that to you. I shouldn’t have forced you to deal with it - to deal with me - all on your own.”

“It’s okay.”

“No, it isn’t. You’ve been doing that with your dad all your life. All his life… I don’t want it to be the same with us. I want to look after you, Aden. I want to keep you safe.”

“I am safe,” Aden said, surprised to think he might mean it.

“You are,” Roman assured him, “and I want you to stay that way. What happened to Nicole… it was my fault. Elliot was my problem, and I didn’t deal with him… I let Nicole…”

“You couldn’t help what Elliot did. He was a psycho.”

“I made him that way… I killed his brother…”

“You didn’t have a choice. Elliot did.”

“I had a choice. I could have told the truth. I could have avoided all of this, but I was too scared… just like Elliot said…” Roman shuddered, and Aden suspected that he was trying to keep from crying. “I wish he’d taken it out on me. I wish he’d left her alone and just…” Roman pulled himself up - he hadn’t come in here to lay his problems on Aden again.

“If he’d killed you instead of her,” Aden guessed the rest of Roman’s wish, “Nicole would have been devastated. She would have blamed herself for not listening to you when you told her to stay away from him. Maybe it’s better that you’re going through this instead of her.”

Roman let out of a syllable of laughter - was it really that easy to absolve himself? No, it could never be easy without Nicole here, but Aden was sweet to try.

“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” he said, and patted Aden’s arm. “Thanks.”

The conversation seemed to be over. Roman made a move to get off the bed, but it was clearly a struggle for him.

“Do you need help?” Aden asked, sitting up.

“No, I’ll get it.” Roman balanced the crutches awkwardly in front of him, trying to distribute his weight evenly between them and his good leg. The low sinking mattress made this difficult.

“Look,” Aden suggested, “Why don’t you just sleep here? I’ll move.”

“No, I couldn’t kick you out of your bed.”

Aden thought about it. “Then don’t.”

“Yeah, just give me a minute…”

“No, I mean, don’t kick me out. Stay with me.”


“Not in a weird way,” Aden assured him. “Just… like family. Like a safe family, who looks out for each other.”

Roman could sense that this was about more than convenience. Aden needed this, and maybe he did too.

“Are you sure?”

Aden nodded.

Roman smiled at him. “Okay. Thanks.” He lifted his injured leg onto the bed and laid down beside Aden.

Aden shuffled over to give him more room. “Is that enough?”

“More than enough.”

Aden wasn’t quite as confident as he wanted to be. He did trust Roman, as much as he trusted anyone, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to turn his back on the man. This led to him laying on his side, watching Roman rather awkwardly.

“Are you sure this is what you want?” Roman checked again. “I can get out. Well, I can try,” he joked.

Aden grinned. “No, it’s okay.” He reconsidered. “It will be okay.”

“It will,” Roman agreed.

Aden hesitated, and Roman could see that he was thinking something over. Roman waited patiently to see what, if anything, would come of the pause.

“Well…” Aden began, “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Aden.”

Roman turned his head to make it less awkward, and closed his eyes. Next thing he felt the mattress dip and Aden’s arm fall across his stomach.

“I’m glad you’re not dead,” Aden told him, eyes closed against Roman’s shoulder.

Roman smiled and rested his arm over Aden’s. “Me too.”


Blood dries up

Like rain, like rain

Fills my cup

Like four seasons in one day





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