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tower of light

April 2017

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senna, amor de deus, f1, asms

The Most Loneliest Day (F1, ASMS + BS)

あなたと出会って、もう12年目。
随分変わったあなたと、随分変わった私。
でも、帰る場所がある限り、人は孤独なんかじゃないよね、我が姫君。

Disclaimer: Fiction.
Pairing: Ayrton/Michael + Bruno
Beta: Much thanks go to evanmanic for the formal beta, and also to aitakute for spending a long time discussing this with me. Mistakes and such remain my own.
Note: A belated birthday present for lakehikaruAmor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur.

The Most Loneliest Day
by Renata Lord (snowlight)


sic transit gloria mundi
thus passes away the glory of the world


*

October 17, 2018
Suzuka Circuit
Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan


The crowd’s cheer was deafening.

As soon as he took off his helmet, the wall of that rapturous sound crashed down and slammed into him. It was a familiar yet somehow always nostalgic symphony, flooding the entire racetrack; and it seemed to vibrate into heavens most high. When language failed, the mode of expression was reduced to frantic shrieking and plaintive cries, a wailing which can only be produced by the most jubilant.

He blinked his eyes. Before him, a sea of flags waved and roared. Suddenly the world seemed to only have two colors, green and yellow: the colors of Brazil, the colors of the helmet in his hand, the colors of his name.

And they were indeed screaming his name now: Senna. Senna. Senna.

Bruno Senna.

He thought his heart was going to burst, so fiercely did pain tear its way out from it. It was not because of the last lap, although he did feel the blazing scent of blood crawling up his throat.

It was never like this. He had been in this position many, many times, and it was never like this.

*

October 2, 2018
Vufflens-le-Château
Kanton Waadt, Switzerland


Michael Schumacher was rather shocked to have received that call.

In these years of retirement, all cold contacts from the F1 world had been handled by his personal assistant Peter, who was known for being fiercely committed to protecting his privacy. But this time, even the normally immovable Peter had seemingly capitulated to the demand of the intruding party.

“Just take the call, Michael. It sounded important, and he insisted it’s a personal matter.”

“Well, who is it?” he demanded irritably. He did not like this introduction. It was too early in the morning for something like this. He had just finished his breakfast, and the egg did not agree with him. Only Corinna could cook the eggs exactly the way he liked them, but she was out of town to see the kids, leaving him in Switzerland with substandard food and unwanted phone call.

“….just take the call. Please?”

Something in Peter’s voice reached him, and with a sigh he pressed the switch button.

“Michael Schumacher. Who’s this?”

A short pause, then a voice came vibrating from the lines. Accented but flowing English, spoken with a kind of tone that suggested both self-confidence and proper respect.

“Hi, Michael. This is Bruno Senna. How are you? I have a request I’d like to make, if that’s possible.”

He did not have time to register his surprise.

*

The request, it turned out, was a simple and straightforward one; but this did not make it any less audacious. Although presented in immaculate language, it essentially boiled down to this: Would he be so kind to come to the Pacific Grand Prix? Yes, the one during which yet one more record of his own was set to be broken? Because, you see, it would mean so much to the one who’s doing the record-breaking to have him there—to bear witness to the new chapter in F1 history.

The retired meister arched an eyebrow at the thought.

Strangely, the rest of the conversation went by in a blur. It was as if his head went elsewhere, so distracted was he by an uncharacteristic lightness in his heart. He said yes to the request even before he realized it himself, although this was hardly any cause for regret. The obligatory polite chitchat after that went even faster. He felt like his lips were simply going through the motions as dictated by social rules, while his real being was somewhere else, listening.

After the beeping sound told him the other end had hung up, Michael Schumacher put the receiver down and just sat in the wide sofa-chair for a minute, looking at the window pane directly before him but not really seeing anything at all.

For the strangest sense of déjà vu had struck him, and he was momentarily filled with a sense of deep wonder. Without warning, a nameless emotion began to uncoil itself from within him, much like a tiny seed finally germinating after an endless winter. At first he could not fathom what it was, nor from whence did it come. All he knew was that for one long moment, an all-encompassing absolute calm descended upon his heart, so overwhelming in its simplicity that he felt his eyes widen in a small breathless gasp.

It was then he understood. If every emotion had a color, for example the ecstasy of victory a fiery red and the daily blessings of family life a languid green, then this feeling could only be described as transparent as air. And the only one who could evoke that from him was a man by the name of Ayrton Senna.

Even though Ayrton Senna had been dead for twenty-five years.

*

Somehow he doubted surprise was at the heart of it, if only because it seemed so logical upon reflection. He had declined to attend almost all F1 functions in recent years, otherwise he would have caught it far earlier.

Michael Schumacher first met Bruno Senna Lalli the F1 driver ten years ago, when he was still somewhat active on the Ferrari payroll, and when the latter was still only known as “the great Ayrton’s nephew.” Even then, however, he couldn’t help but notice how different this second Senna was from the man he had known, both on the racetrack and off it. The passion for speed was the same, the drive for victory was the same, and Bruno certainly had his share of that brashness and intensity. But in the youth before him, he could detect none of the unspoken ferocity that once perennially smoldered in Ayrton’s dark eyes like dangerous quicksilver.

So many had wanted this young man to be another Senna—or rather, another Ayrton; but even the best laid out plan had its faults, and over time Bruno had stubbornly grown into his own person. The Bruno Senna today was no longer that inexperienced young man who shook his hand with an insuppressible smile. Bruno Senna was thirty-five now. He himself was forty-nine, with lines around his eyes and gray streaks in his hair to show for it.

And it so happened that, at the age of thirty-five, Bruno had Ayrton’s voice.

There was no mistaken it. Even the rough Brazilian accent was the same, down to the last syllable’s tone and pronunciation. He thought he had neatly filed that voice away in some remote corner of his memory, but all it took was that one phone call to have it all rushing back like a terrible, magnificent flood.

It was as if Ayrton was speaking to him, and he dared not to answer.

Death was never a chasm between them, but for once, Michael Schumacher was afraid of admitting to growing old. He had wished to age gracefully along with his beloved Corinna, and was fortunate enough to have it granted. But Ayrton—that was a different matter. Memories of that man somehow had the power to disrupt the flow of time, to etch eternity and a day onto a split second. In that hallowed space he stayed, unyielding and unchangeable in perfection as only his God could have made him.

And by his God’s grace, Ayrton never aged. No matter how fast the world went by, Ayrton Senna stayed at thirty-four.

Almost subconsciously, Michael raised his right hand and placed it over the left side of his chest. It was then he realized that he could breathe again. The spell had been broken.

*

October 17, 2018
Suzuka Circuit
Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan


When he told Gerhard Berger about why was Michael Schumacher here for attendance, his mentor made a face that was impossible to describe. After a puzzled pause, he remembered that hard feelings probably lingered between the two older men, even though to his knowledge no words were ever exchanged. Gerhard probably didn’t think of the German as nearly gracious enough.

Yet there was Michael Schumacher in the flesh, standing in the VIP section.

Doing his best to ignore the pain in his chest for a moment, Bruno raised his head up. He thought he saw a small smile tugging at his guest’s lips, but whether or not that was really true he could not tell. He was standing too far away, and rays of autumn sunlight assaulted his eyes, blurring his vision more than he thought was possible.

Still, in the riotous ocean of yellow and green, he somehow found himself fixated on that dark, solitary figure. To his surprise, Michael had come dressed in a subdued dark gray instead of the trademark blazing red.

That red had been gone from the Formula 1 world for a long time now, Bruno remembered. Like its owner, it passed from the heat of races into history. All these years, he spent most of his waking moments trying to chase that color; yet when he finally arrived at this supposed overtaking point, his target was nowhere to be found in sight.

No one had come to this juncture in history except him. This thought proved to be exhilarating and terrifying in equal measures. He felt like he stood on the edge of abyss, peering down to study the inscrutable future. There was no one before him now, no goal set for him to reach, no known road to follow. The path of fate does not extend so predictably like the self-repeating laps on the race track.

The crowd’s frenzied chanting continued like it would never stop.

Senna. Senna. Senna. Bruno Senna.

But he had ceased to be able to hear it. In fact, he could hear nothing aside from the beating of his own heart, faster and faster still.

Until now, he did not understand why Michael Schumacher said Ayrton Senna was the reason for that infamous breakdown at Monza. Yet in this moment, this crystallized moment filled with a kind of clarity that could only stem from heartbreak, he realized exactly why.

Or so he thought.

He blinked his eyes again. The tears were coming now, that he was dimly aware of.

The last image he saw before his vision became a haze was the figure of Michael Schumacher, standing in the crowd with such grace but looking like he was the loneliest man in the entire world.

*

[Finis]

Author’s Note: Just to clarify, Bruno is totally innocent in all this. To put it simply, his experience with Michael mirrored what Michael had experienced with Ayrton. Except in Michael’s case it was with, shall we say, far more complicated feelings.

The title comes from the lyrics of “Lonely Day”, by System of a Down. I had first encountered this song on Youtube as the background music of an Ayrton tribute, and thought it was the perfect song for him.

Comments

And by his God’s grace, Ayrton never aged. No matter how fast the world went by, Ayrton Senna stayed at thirty-four.

well, that's true. (I like the ending very much.><)
It was pretty sad when Michael picked up the phone and heard Ayrton talking to him, then suddenly realized that it was Bruno.
Alas that was not the ending...the end is still on my hard drive....
=口=?!!
my bad, but I wanna read some ASMS while AS is still alive....T.T
....for that please refer to this one:
http://snowlight.livejournal.com/473784.html

It's MSAS but I just read it as ASMS....I have no RP....
oh...I've read this one.
I like the description of Bruno's voice in the beginning, then the reprise at the end, of Ayrton. It portrays both men so well, describing them by their voice, that you get such a sense of how the were and are (their similarities, even with the differences between the men).

(The 10/17 race, it really happened?)
*tears hair out*

OK I need to lock this for the time being, because this fic is not finished.

And the 10/17 race. No. As of now, Bruno Senna is still very, very young. He aims to join the F1 world by 2009. This story takes place in the distant future (in a galaxy far, far away....)
Sorry then. :( (Noo, not the hair!)
Ah I'm not mad or anything. My own fault for not putting the TBC sign. I'm just frustrated at the progress of the story, that's all. *pat pat* Come back in an hour or two, or something.

PS: I did not forget about the YYH snippet...really I didn't..... -_- I kept writing and deleting it and now I don't even have what I started with...it's the most pathetic thing, really.
Okay. Phew! (Almost blew my NY resolution already :P)

Come back in an hour or two, or something.

Will do. Don't worry about YYH thing, if Koenma's giving you trouble, toss him in the closet and get to it when/if you can, if time and such permits. I really appreciate the effort, the beginning was really good! You're a perfectionist. ^_^

haha, Tekko

I HAVE been tossing him into the closet and dragging him out from it! Several times now, I might add. It's the worst case of second-guessing.

As for perfectionism, you are the psych major. Tell me, what are the drawbacks of perfectionism?

Re: haha, Tekko

Toss him in there for a good long time until he becomes a good boy. It'll do him good. I'm sure, though, that anyone else reading what you've written so far would probably wonder what the problem might be.

The last image he saw before his vision became a haze was the figure of Michael Schumacher, standing in the crowd with such grace but looking like he was the loneliest man in the entire world.

Aww!

Breakdown? Monza? (I smell angst! :O And yes I do like angst now)

I don't know about drawbacks of perfectionism, but all things in moderation is my motto. :P All I've heard - in class at least - from one professor was that "all people are perfectionists". (Don't remember which professor it was...it might have been that quack that was teaching Systems of Psychotherapy though)

Re: haha, Tekko

OK, Monza 2000,

You can watch it here.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/289458/michael_schumacher_crying_in_press_conferance/

Basically, Michael Schumacher equalled this major record of Ayrton's. Then he bursts out crying at the conference (you really have to see it to believe it -_-).

The interviewer began by asking MS how he felt, to which he replied as happy and exhausted. Then...

Interviewer: "I'm not sure if you are aware but this is your 41st victory, which puts you equal 2nd all time with Aryton Senna, do those records mean a lot to you?"

MS: (sigh) "yes... it does mean a lot to me" At this point he looks down and is breathing heavily. "Sorry."

Then he began sobbing. Got worse. The interviewer had to go interview other people instead of him, the champion. After a couple of minutes MS appeared to regain enough composure, and the interviewer said: "You are obviously very emotional about this. Why does this mean so much to you?"

....to which MS answered: "Ask me another question, please."

My mouth literally formed an O when I saw that part. Seriously, this is like straight out from a RPS fic! (My fics, anyway.)

Re: haha, Tekko

Wow. That is. Something else? Ayrton must truly be something deeply important to him! I mean, I was in RPS for a long time, and in terms of RL "evidence", I've always been a skeptic, but this is incredible, slash or no.

(Hey you changed your layout back!)

Re: haha, Tekko

Well, as far as "canon" (is there a canon to speak of in RPS?) goes, the two had a tough relationship. They were both obsessed with winning and both could get very bitchy about it. There was once when Ayrton almost beat MS up for playing dirty on him on the race track. :P

However, after Ayrton's death people came to see him in a softer light, and MS was sometimes compared unfavorably with him (accusations of playing dirty). If there was a difference between the two, it was Ayrton was more open/in-your-face about it.

In 1994, Ayrton died while leading the race (his whole car flew out from the track like a butterfly), and MS was right behind him. MS went on to win that race, and seemed quite happy on the podium (he didn't know that Ayrton had died). In the later years...well it's a long story, and if you want I can show you the newspaper collections I've accumulated. But yeah, it goes on.

For RPS (and fanfic in general), I don't really do the whole "evidence" thing, more like, ammunition for my plot bunnies? :P (Yeah, my plot bunnies are practically a paramilitary cult.) I mean, Ayrton's best friend was Gerhard Berger while MS has been known as a family man totally devoted to his wife and kids. That's why I don't pretend that MS doesn't love his wife in my fics. But...the fangirl in me would like to believe (or, more accurately, imagine) that there is a place in his heart for Ayrton. :)

(Anonymous)

....因为某突发事件所以心乱了...
暂时无法恢复平静好好的给你这篇如此寂静的文写感想.
而且那个烦恼我还需要咨询你才行啊...
等你来...
恩,先这样吧.
我会补上的.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

==

怎么了啊……
我马上回曼哈顿了,不要给我娘的手机打电话……

PS:我仍然看不出开头那段日文哪里肉麻了= =

(Anonymous)

PS的PS,很喜欢这个题目和开头那段给我的话
如果不好好回真是对不起它.

为什么那样肉麻的话用日文写出来就觉得深情又寂寞了呢~~
果然是外国的月亮比较圆?
XD

(Anonymous)

恩...终于还是读完了.
出乎意料的喜欢.发现用英文写的好处了,总有些细节部分充斥着难以名状的温柔和悲哀.
你眼中的世界不在这里.他是透明的红,冰冷的热度,遥远的爱情.
留在这里的那个男人是幸福圆满的,因为他只剩下了这具躯壳.
法拉利的红色遗留在历史中,遗留在那冲天的火焰中,
SENNA微笑着永恒,而Michael终究于尘世中渐渐老去.
又或者,Michael从未再老过哪怕一点
因为在那一天他已经走到了尽头.

你眼中的世界是那么温柔而悲凉
所以即使是人头涌动,即使是万人呼喊,那个身影站在那里,站成了最孤独的侧脸.

谢谢亲爱的,我很喜欢
喜欢慢慢回味,语言之美。
下次用英文写AK给我看吧。

(Anonymous)

另外,b小同学肯定暗恋Michael,虽然你不承认.
那么只能说这是人物有自我意识的又一次范例了。。
第一,拜托你下次好歹把你账号的密码想起来,或者起码是要回来。看着你这样的无名留言真的是很汗。

第二,为啥你的回复变文艺了……当然我很高兴你喜欢。

第三,请慢慢嚼一下英文里面的押韵和节奏吧!^O^

第四,你说的那MS的H在哪里呢………………………………
Can I say if something like that doesn't happen in about 10 or 11 years time I will cry.

The situation seems so realistic - even Bruno begining to sound like Ayrton!

Wonderful Fic ^^
Wee, Bruno Senna icon! *drools*

Of course I hope that Bruno will be very successful in F1, but I'm trying to not to set the expectation too high for him just because he shares the same last name with Ayrton. But it would be nice if the fic came true, yeah it would. :P
It's the curse of having a famous surname. It can get you places but people want you to be your succesful dad/granddad/brother/uncle not you.

I'd be really happy if Bruno and Marco both get into F1. It would be like a strange reunion if they got into the same team since their uncle and dad raced together.
This is friggin awesome writing!!! Great fic. ^^
Thanks. ^^ It took me a while to write, but it finally came out from my plot bunny hell.
I thought this fic was beautiful and moving.

I don't Michael's ever really gotten over Ayrton's death, and I don't think we'll ever know exactly how he feels or what he thinks about it.
Thanks. ^^ Personally, I find it highly slashable that Michael didn't go to Ayrton's funeral.
I was about to ask you if you'll post this on f1slash but hey presto, you did. :DDDD Something as wonderful as this ought to be shared. ;)



Anyway, like I've said before, you always manage to get the right words to get the whole plot flowing, and more so, to keep everyone in character. And the last sentence just stole one's breath away; it concludes the whole story very well.

And I'm so glad you're done with this! >DDDD
I don't know if you saw my other entry, but I got your card! Thanks a lot. ^^ I can't believe you even drew Bruno for me, LOL. Although yes, he does look girlish with the background...I had a hard time deciding if it were long curls or just random light patterns.

It's good to know that the flow of the story came through. My writing process is a very fragmented one, and I am constantly cutting paragraphs up & gluing them back together. In fact, my Chinese readers have told me that my Chinese fics are more like a series of montage. So being able to have a coherent story (for once) is no small feat for me. :P

Once again, thanks for spending a long time discussing this fic with me. I really benefited from your insight on the characterization, etc. :)
Ah yes I saw. >DDDD Glad you got it; yeah, I think I've turned him girly. *blushes* I'm not a good artist. :P You'll have to forgive me for that one, LOL

I get what you mean. I don't write from top-to-down either; I write whatever bits I want, then glue em up, like you say. :P And most of the time I end up with one bit that's pretty disjointed, and I'll have to rewrite those bits more than often, LOL

No problem! :DDD I've always enjoyed talking to you.
.........................................

*smacks herself*

Oh God that was lovely *sighs*. I love the flow of the writing, and your depiction of Bruno came accross very nicely and oh, the last line just killed me. Like, seriously.

By the way, I don't think it's really Monza 05 where Michael broke down. I seem to remember there was Mika in the PC too (because he was like all comforting and hugging Michael and such) and if Mika was there so it should be around 01 or 02... isn't it ^^;;?

I don't exactly remember which year but I'm doubly sure Mika was there, a rabid Mika/Michael fangirl like me cannot possibly miss and forget that one *gg*.

Oh and yes, write more Ayrton/Michael please :)?
You are totally right about Monza. That mistake was in the first draft, and I thought I had corrected it. However, for some reason it popped up again in the final version, and I didn't catch it until you pointed it out to me. It's now fixed. Thanks a million!

I'm glad you liked the story. The ending is a bit more subtle than I am used to, but from the feedback so far I'm guessing it worked. Phew. As for more Ayrton/Michael...if the plot bunny strikes again, by all means. :)