Author's disclaimer and notes: I don't own them, I just dream of doing so. Feedback is better than warm fruit sallad with white chocolate. Corrections to my language or any other type of comments are welcome. Ask if you want me to archive it anywhere. You may link to this story if you want or to my main page. 6.928 words. Written in June 2007.
Betaed by Heather Sparrows and by Kadorienne - big thank yous to both of you!
If you want you can also read/download the story as a doc file (without graphics).
This fic is available translated to japanese by BasilLeaves! Thank you very much, BasilLeaves!
Dorian woke with a start. His back felt cold, while his front leaned on something warm. Scratch that, he thought muddily. Someone warm. That fact, in itself, could have been nice enough, but next thing he noticed was that he was still wearing his clothes, up to and including his shoes never a good sign on waking up. Furthermore, while he, by the feel of things, lay with his head in the mysterious somebody's lap, with his chest on the as of yet unknown person's thighs and upper legs, his lower half rested on an ungiving surface, not at all his soft, luxurious bed back home. Finally, his poor head hurt something dreadful, as did, on further reflection, his right wrist.
After a disoriented moment during which he played possum, in case he and whoever he half-reclined on top of were being watched, he recalled running down a crowded street in Tunis as if chased by bats out of Hell or KGB agents. He and Major von dem Eberbach had been separated from the Alphabet and headed for shelter. The Major had been ahead of him, but had already paused once to let Dorian catch up, throwing annoyed looks his way as if Dorian wasn't keeping up on purpose. Then suddenly Klaus fell. At first Dorian thought/hoped that his beloved had as silly as the possibility sounded just tripped, but the way Klaus clutched his hip and growled German curse words as he got up, followed by a hobbled amble, made clear that something more sinister had caused his fall. Then Dorian's memory stopped he remembered no pain, no one grabbing him, no falling, not even the world going black, the memory just ended.
His senses gave him little input. He heard nothing except for a very faint, continuous buzz, electric in nature. Something smelled good musky and earthy, with a hint of sweetness. Too curious and frightened to wait any longer, he opened his eyes. At first he saw only a stretch of brown cloth. He lifted his head. Less than a meter in front of him rose a pale blue, dirt-specked wall. Below it and him/them he saw a pale brown, wooden floor. He turned sideways and looked up at the unconscious shape of Major von dem Eberbach, slumped against a second, identical wall. It was he who served as Dorian's temporary mattress.
No wonder that the smell enchanted me so, I practically had my nose in his crotch.
No matter - this really wasn't a situation to be frivolous. Tearing his eyes from the man he hastily turned to take in the rest of the room. It measured about four to two metres, with no furniture and no paintings or any other wall decorations. Light shone strongly from three tiny windows at roof level, each too small for a fully grown man to squeeze through. A single door led in, but neither keyhole nor handle could be seen on their side. Only when he tried to rise did he realise why his wrist hurt it had been cuffed, and not nicely either. The ugly metal cuff, in turn, was fastened to a sturdy iron ring in the floor.
Temporarily thwarted, he turned his attention to his companion. "Major?" he asked. "Major von dem Eberbach?" When no response came, he added, in guilty pleasure, "Klaus?" knowing how annoyed the German got when Dorian used his first name. That got no reaction either.
Rising to his knees he verified that Klaus also had been cuffed, but by both hands rather than just one. Even in sleep he looked tense. Dorian remembered again the man's fall. His eyes were drawn to the Major's side and then he gasped.
Blood. Staining Klaus's neat trousers a dark brown over his right hip.
Dorian undid the ox-hide belt with effortless ease before he realised what his hands were doing. He hesitated, if only for a second, before reaching for Klaus's fly. The sound as he pulled down the zipper seemed to echo.
He's wounded! There is no other option! I have to! he told himself sternly.
Yes, yes ...Dreadfully handy excuse, that.
It's no excuse!
That's what makes it such a great one, Dorian, old chap! Now pull his trousers down and don't be too careful with the ... are those boxer shorts? ... with those delightful boxer shorts staying up. After all he's wounded: you have to do this, Dorian, it's your duty. If those boxers happen to be tugged down while you are aiding him, well ... you can't be blamed, can you?
Ooooh but he could be! Most certainly! And loudly! Possible even accompanied by shots fired!
Okay, so that is true, but ... He doesn't have a gun on him right now ...
Which might be the case, but also merely happenstance. Sooner or later, the Major would have a gun handy and if he suspected Dorian of peeking at the Eberbach family jewels while Klaus had been unable to defend said treasures from said peeking, Klaus would pull the trigger. Twice, likely, to make sure he had gotten the job done properly. Oh no! Dorian might be tempted, but he was nobody's fool! Besides, apart from satisfying Dorian's curiosity, what would be the fun in peeking when the peekee was unconscious? To steal a glance at a fully functioning and alert Major was one thing, but an unconscious one posed no such challenge. If peeking at an unconscious Klaus's entirety had been all Dorian wanted, he would have had ample opportunities over the years.
Firmly telling his more impatient self that Klaus would be far more impressed with Dorian behaving like a true gentleman, he took special good care to make sure that the boxers stayed up covering a very nice, promising bulge that neither of Dorian's consciousnesses had any objection to peeking just a tiny little bit at.
However, Dorian's internal struggle proved for naught or, at least, for very little. The boxers a very sensible grey pair that looked to have been ironed before use - covered the wound and would also need to be pushed down to assess the damage.
You might as well remove them entirely, Dorian, old chap. Totally ruined now, with all that nasty blood. Not even James would want them now.
True, but ...
Pull them down; pull them down; pull them down!
Oh, quiet you! We are not 16 years old any longer! We can control our basic urges, oh yes we can!
With great effort Dorian kept his hands from just yanking down the thin material. Instead he carefully eased the right side of the underwear down, teasing the cloth away from the sticky, not quite dried blood. When he saw the first curls, glossy dark chestnut and so ... touch-inviting, he bit his tongue most firmly to keep from groaning. Manfully he restrained from pushing down farther than necessary in that direction. He actually felt rather proud of himself for how thoughtful and gentlemanly he was being until a boot hit his leg hard enough to shove him a good couple of centimetres. He yelped in surprise and hastily rolled away as far as he could get, as Klaus contorted and kicked out after him again. The cuff kept Dorian from going very far, but by lying on his belly with his arm stretched out in front of him he got out of reach of the heavy boots.
"You fucking perverted rapist degenerate" began a furious tirade.
Dorian did the only thing he could during the circumstances to protect himself: he turned his head into his outstretched arm and covered his still unprotected ear with the unbound hand. His leg already throbbed something fierce had the angle been better he was sure the kick would have broken bones. Bloody mule! Thus he lay until the loud volume shouting abated in strength. Then he cautiously lifted the hand from his ear.
"Listen to me, you faggoty, molesting"
He slapped down his hand again. Scream, scream, scream ... I was being good! Gah! I wonder if you will be as loud in bed. I almost hope not. I'd have to wear ear protectors. Oh no, that would mess up my hair! Hmm ... well, I suppose I could always just gag you. He amused himself with that image for a few moments and then with a different image, which also involved putting something in Klaus's mouth that would guarantee that he kept the noise down to a reasonable level.
Just a few slurps and maybe a needy moan or two yes, much, much better!
When he noticed that the ranting seemed to have come to an end, he once more lifted his hand. Apparently Klaus had realised that Dorian would just keep blocking him out if he kept shouting, for no further expletives were hurled at him. Then Dorian lifted his head and saw the Major. The man had turned along the wall had perhaps tried to pull up his trousers and now lay on the floor with his head lolling to the side and his eyes closed. A thin film of sweat covered his forehead.
"Oh dear," Dorian said in a breath and crawled back to his former position. He had just laid a hand on the warm forehead, when the razor sharp, green eyes flashed open, glaring at him. "Lie still, you fool! And not a word! You fainted! And for your information, I was checking your wound. Not your penis!" He took great delight in saying the p-word, knowing how much Klaus disliked Dorian even acknowledging his status as a male being.
Distrustful eyes looked at him warily, but no further shouting commenced.
Dorian took a deep breath to calm himself, rubbing his still throbbing leg in the meanwhile. "Major," he then said, in a much softer tone. "You have been wounded. You bled so much that I'm sure those trousers can't be saved. It would take a small miracle to get all that blood out of them. I think that the bleeding has stopped, but I need to take a look. Now, I will be a perfect gentleman and keep my eyes averted from uninjured parts of your anatomy, but if you kick me again you will be on your own!"
Though I do believe I heard something about nervous mares kicking at the stallion before letting him mount them. I sure could have done without that, though!
Klaus grunted, with obvious reluctance.
"Major? Oh, you stubborn boar. Well, just remember, no kicking!"
Or else I might just mount you for spite. You would faint, no doubt, panicking as you always do. Then you will be nice and still while I see to your wound. And I might peek, so there!
The tightly coiled body before him twitched as he gently started to ease the boxers down again, but no defensive actions were implemented, so apparently the message had sunk in. He glanced up to verify that the German hadn't just fainted. Green eyes watched him like those of a hawk, alert for every possible misconduct. With an internal sigh, Dorian returned to edging down the right edge of the bloodstained underwear, without letting his hand stray even a centimetre in the wrong direction, so there! He was pleased to discover no fresh blood. From what he could tell the shot seemed to only have skimmed across the edge of Klaus's hip bone. Dorian straightened up and began to deftly unbutton his coat.
"What the fuck do you think you are doing?!" was growled at him. The Major tried to sit up.
Well, since you're not bleeding to death after all I thought this would be a jolly good time for some really hot sex!
Since he just knew that Klaus would take him seriously if he said that, he summoned his dwindling patience and said mildly, "Getting a wet wipe. After our last little adventure I thought it might be a good idea to have some first aid sewn into the hem of my shirt." As well as a strawberry-flavoured condom. "'Always prepared,' that's my motto. Would you like an aspirin?"
"Of course not!" came the vehement reply. Then, after Dorian had withdrawn the wet wipe and opened the tiny package, was added a quiet, "Thank you."
"You are most welcome, dear. Now, this might sting just a little."
He carefully used as small portions of the wipe as possible at a time, to remove the drying blood from the wound itself, so that he could then change grip to get an untainted part to continue with. Klaus remained tense, but let him work. Once Dorian had finished with cleaning the wound itself it was slightly inflamed, but didn't look very serious - he used the last moisture to superficially cleanse the pale flesh of blood. Partly he did this for the aesthetic purpose of the blood looking very dirty - and partly simply as an excuse to be allowed to touch his dear one's naked flesh for just a few more precious seconds.
That was when it suddenly appeared. A flash of colour. Pure reflex had him scrubbing harder over the area and next thing he knew it was laid bare. He saw it.
Klaus had lain still, concentrating on his breathing and not panicking, when he heard a sharp intake of breath and looked up. Dimwit stared at his groin and not in that fixed, sex-crazed "I want to fuck you like an animal"-way either, but as if shocked. Klaus followed his gaze, wondering what could be so bad. The sight made him freeze.
He had forgotten about the butterfly!
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!
"Ah ..." Dorian said. "Major ... There's ... Ah ... There seems to be a ... a ... Look, ah ... Did you know ... Ah ... Oh, that's stupid of me, of course you know. Um ... Major ...? Why ...? Why is there ...? Ah ... I mean, why do you have a ... Um ... A ... Ah ... Is that ... Is that a ... I mean, it looks like a ... But why would you have a ... That is to say, why is it that you have a ..."
"A butterfly, you stuttering, sticky-fingered idiot!"
"Um ... Well ... A ... Yes. One of those?"
There was. A butterfly. On the vulnerable crease between Klaus's hip-bone and groin: a tiny, bright blue one, outlined in black and black-striped white. Dorian could only stare, until a knee was raised, hobbled by the pulled down trousers, and Klaus's body turned to hide the little creature against his upper thigh. Only then was Dorian able to drag his eyes to Klaus's face. Klaus glared back, with his cheeks stained a warm red.
A butterfly? That's so ... so ... Why, for heaven's sake?
An Eberbachian boar he would have understood. That Magnum that his wire rope couldn't seem to sleep without, maybe. Possibly even if Klaus had gotten really, really drunk a heart with NATO in it or the German flag or something. But a butterfly, of all things? Dorian couldn't think of anything less Klausian.
"Let me put the wet wipe on the wound, just in case, " he said slowly. "Then I'll help you get your trousers back up."
Klaus nodded jerkily. His jaw muscles flexed, as if he worked hard not to start hurling insults again.
Dorian waited. When the German failed to move he finally tapped the raised leg lightly. It was lowered and he could get on with things, working deftly to hold the wipe in place while he raised the boxers, and then the boxers in place as he eased the trousers up over Klaus's hips. He only looked at the butterfly a little, little bit, before it was hidden again. The Major helped by shifting his weight, but said nothing, not even when Dorian swiftly tugged up the zipper and closed the trouser button. Then he sat, leaning his back against the wall. He looked pale, except for the blush spots.
He's obviously embarrassed, my poor sweetheart. So I won't ask him. No, Dorian told himself firmly. I won't. I simply won't, I refuse to.
They sat in silence, waiting for whatever would come next. With any hope, that would be the Alphabet, charging to the rescue. Or Dorian's men, who were also in the vicinity. Or a combination thereof. Or less hopefully so, but far more likely their captors. Since it was doubtful they had been left to rot if nothing else Klaus's knowledge of the western agents was far too valuable not to try to extract, should an opportunity present itself the KGB or whoever currently held them should sooner or later show up with something edible or drinkable.
Klaus was concerned about what would happen, but not overly so. After the first ten or twenty near-death situations, what remaining sense of dread one had tended to be muted, as to fret did no good anyway. What would happen, would. Que sera sera and all that stupid nonsense. He and the Earl could do nothing at the moment, so better just accept that and try to get a little rest, if nothing else. One never knew when one would be forced to stay up for 30 hours in a row, working non-stop on a critical mission.
Unfortunately, the British fop's presence messed with Klaus's ability to maintain the concentration necessary to hover in half-sleep relaxed enough to rest while not going so deep as to be sluggish should something happen. The infuriating man shifted this way and that, brushed his hair with his fingers, tapped at the floor with his foot, drummed with his fingers ... Couldn't the stupid fop just settle down?
"Is ..." the Earl of Red Gloria said suddenly, yet hesitatingly. "Isn't it ... I thought ... That is to say, I heard that ... Um ... That ... "
"Spit it out!"
"That spies shouldn't have easily identifiable markings."
Klaus's stomach clenched. He felt ill. I knew it! I knew he wouldn't let it be! Fuck it! He had hoped stupidly so, he had known that, but still that the Earl would just let the matter slide. At least until after the mission and thus give Klaus a chance to plan his defence. Not that there really was any ... His sense of dread deepened. "It's not as if the Russkies doesn't know what I look like," he said, matter of fact. Sadly, that was actually true ...
The Brit who Klaus actually found kind of butterflyish himself made no further comment. Klaus tried to go back to resting, but now he found concentrating even more difficult. Strange the prospect of being tortured by commies didn't bother him as much as the possibility of anyone ... finding out. Which someone now had. Only one person, though.
But it's bloody Eroica!
Still. Only one person. And while Klaus normally adhered to "What two persons know, soon the whole world will find out," Eroica had proven himself to sometimes have some sort of honour. Besides, the man had a vested interest in keeping Klaus not-hating him, since he, apparently, for whatever hen-brained reason, believed he might still have a chance to get inside Klaus's trousers. Which meant that it just might, perhaps, possibly, work if he just ... swallowed some of his not inconsiderable pride and ...
"Don't tell anyone," he requested, fighting to keep any emotion out of his voice.
Dorian stared at the Major. The low, almost-whispered sentence had taken him totally by surprise. Not tell anyone? Of course he wouldn't! This wasn't even blackmail material. If anything, this was for carefully worded teasing, should they ever reach a level of intimacy that made Klaus comfortable with such things. This was ... personal. He knew that. He wasn't stupid.
Fuck! The fop just stared at him. Bloody wanker! Was he going to make Klaus beg? Idiotic, moronic, perverted, degenerated faggoty ... bastard! Of course, an idiotic, moronic, perverted, degenerated, faggoty bastard who currently knew something about Klaus that Klaus desperately didn't want shared in certain circles or in any circle, really. Idiotic, moronic, perverted, degenerated, faggoty bastard who currently had Klaus bent over a barrel and with his legs spread for easy access.
He took a deep breath and added stiffly, without looking the fop's way, "I would appreciate it."
Dorian's mouth fell open. He knew his Major, oh, yes, he did and coming from Klaus that was ... that was begging, that was!
"Of course not!" he said earnestly. "I never would! You have my word, my word as, as ... my word as the Earl of Gloria. My word as Eroica. My word as ... me." On my love for you, I swear this.
Klaus glanced suspiciously at the Brit. The man looked, oddly enough, stunned, but he seemed sincere enough. Not that there was anything Klaus could do if the magpie squeaked. Resigned, he acknowledged that he could only hope for the best. And for some reason the tightness in his stomach started to ease. Dorian had promised. He was a man of honour a very strange kind of honour - but Klaus found himself believing that he would stand by his word.
He nodded once, in thanks.
Some time passed. Perhaps their captors were busy or had decided to soften them up by letting them wait and speculate on their fate. Dorian tried not to think too much about what might happen. Instead he thought about butterflies. Swarms of them, in every imaginable colour. Sometimes he saw butterflies at North Downs. More so in his childhood days, but they would still sometimes flitter by. Such pretty, fragile little things. As a boy he had tried to capture them, to keep their beauty with him forever, but one had died and he had cried all day, knowing that he had killed it ...
"Was it damaged?" Klaus asked. He sounded strained.
Dorian blinked and looked up. "What 'it' are you talking about, dear?" he asked, puzzled.
Klaus's mouth twitched. "The tattoo. I couldn't see it, with the clothes in the way. Did the bullet reach it?"
"Oh. No, no. Not at all. The bullet wound is a good three centimetres away. It got stained by some blood, which I wiped off. That was when I saw it."
A reply was grunted, void of emotion. And yet ...
So, it matters to you, my dear. You were concerned about it. Worried enough to bring it up in conversation again. Which would mean that it is more than a tattoo you got when you were arse over teakettle drunk. Well, I should have known that from the start. If you woke up with a tattoo and no memory attached, you probably would have had it surgically removed, wouldn't you, dear heart? Or cut it off yourself.
"I was fifteen," Klaus heard his own voice say and almost choked. He hadn't meant to say that! Had he? Damn them, if the Russkies had given him scopolamine before dropping him in the room, he would ... Would have felt ill, yet clear-minded and without fear, not ill and fidgety and strangely pressured to explain things ...
"I was thirteen," Dorian replied blithely.
Klaus blinked. "You have a tattoo? Don't show me!"
"Oh, sorry, I thought you meant something else. I have considered getting a small one of a wire rope twined by roses, but I thought I'd wait until I had something ... special to celebrate. You got the tattoo when you were fifteen? Is that legal in Germany? I've never looked into it, but I think we have an 16-year-old rule in England. Or did you get it with parental consent?"
As if he would have taken his father along to have a butterfly tattooed next to his cock? "I was very tall for my age. The tattoist never asked for an ID."
The man a burly character with several tattoos, the most noticeable one being of a phoenix in red and gold had seemed amused at Klaus's request, and even more so when Klaus insisted on shielding his privates with a handkerchief, but the man had done an excellent job.
"I was visiting Hamburg. A school trip. I was walking by myself, when I found The Colourful Gryphon. I looked in the window, when I saw the sample with the butterfly."
It had been perfect. He had never felt such need to have something before. There hadn't been a conscious decision to make, he had just gone inside and asked how much it would cost. The placing wasn't difficult to determine either. Somewhere that would be covered by clothing even during most medical examinations - where it could even be covered by a casually lowered hand should he find himself totally bare. Or, if all else failed ...
"I cover it with water-resistant colour, when I know I might be seen. Must not be blood-resistant, though. Or whatever was on that wet wipe dissolved it."
The colour usually worked very well that was how he had gone through military basics and school with communal showers. That was also how he went on missions, when he wasn't sure what might happen. On all missions, actually. He probably spent a good 99% of his time with the butterfly covered if not more. That didn't matter. It was there. He always knew that. It was there.
Somehow Dorian couldn't see a fifteen-year-old Klaus getting a butterfly tattoo on a mere whim. No one changes that much. He could, however, see a fifteen-year-old Klaus. No problem. A fifteen-year-old Klaus must have been adorable.
Tall for his age, he said. Yes, that fits. Tall. Gangly. All limbs.
Coltishly clumsy, not quite yet the confident Iron Klaus that so often frequented Dorian's dreams. Dorian didn't view teenage boys as sexual objects, but he had no doubt that if he had met Klaus when they were both young he would have fallen head over heels in love.
I need to locate some pictures of him from those days. Bribe the servants of the Schloss? Or check out that school he went to. There should be a yearbook.
Yes. And then have an oil painting commissioned?
Good idea! As Ganymede, perhaps?
A youthful Klaus demanded a fitting setting if only Dorian couldn't all too well imagine Ganymede hurling the cup in Zeus's face and then diving at the Father of Gods fists first ...
"Is it a special kind of butterfly?" he asked. It wasn't the question uppermost on his mind, but baby steps might get him there, in the end.
"Ja. It's a Himmelblauer Blδuling. Polyommatus Bellargus. A male one. You would call it an Adonis Blue." Klaus lowered a hand to rest his fingers over where Dorian knew the tattoo to be. Protectively? Subconsciously?
He even knows its Latin name. Why though, is it so special? "Do you have them at the Schloss?" Perhaps something to do with his mother? She died when he was young, that's all I know. Younger than fifteen, surely, but perhaps it meant something special to her.
Very rarely Klaus found himself in a situation with Dorian during which the man's Eroica-personality didn't make an appearance. Dorian was much easier to tolerate than Eroica. Dorian might swish louder than a hurricane through a wheat field, but he felt comparatively safe. Almost trustworthy. At such times, Klaus almost dared to believe that the Brit might actually be able to understand: that if Klaus could just find the right words, Dorian would get what Klaus wanted to tell him.
Could this be such a situation? Could he throw caution to the wind? Could he just ... try?
"This ..." he said, swallowing down a thickness in his throat and tapping the right side of his groin area. "This is the reason why I can never love you."
Dorian bolted to a sitting position. "Pardon me? What ... Exactly what did you just say?"
His heart banged at what felt like a thousand beats a minute, as if the teased organ would soon explode in his chest. What? What had Klaus said?
Klaus rolled his eyes at the desperate, shocked look in Dorian's eyes. If not for the seriousness of the situation he would have wanted to smile, finding a kind of bitter amusement at having put himself in this mess. He reached back in time, for the words his father had used, on Klaus's sixteenth birthday, when the elder von dem Eberbach had apparently considered his son adult enough to hear the truth.
"An Eberbach only loves once," his father had said gravely.
And thank you, Father, for telling me that when it was already far, far too late.
Dorian blinked and swirled a finger in his hair. His silly, curly, blond, beautiful hair. Then his eyes narrowed. "You fell in love," he said. His voice held several emotions: bitterness, loss, accusation, sadness, grief ...
Klaus shrugged. Then, just in case that the thief needed him to spell things out, he said, simply, "Yes."
"And you're still in love with whoever you had some crush on when you were fifteen?"
Klaus shook his head. Then he quickly, before the man could get his hopes up, explained. "I had the butterfly made when I was fifteen. I fell in love with her when I was nine."
Klaus watched him with his green eyes unusually dark. He looked tired. Dorian could only stare back, as he felt his own heart be torn asunder.
"I met her when I was nine," Klaus went on to say, in a tone as if merely reciting the facts. "She was younger. I met her. She smiled at me. I fell in love with her. I gave her my heart. She left. I never saw her again."
"Pardon me, but ... you were ... how old?"
"Nine? As in the number nine? Not 'nein' as in, you won't tell me?"
"But darling, that was ... that was ... that was ages ago! Decades! Over two of them three soon!"
"Ja." A slow nod accompanied the quiet word.
"You're ... You can't ... That is ... You, Major von dem Eberbach, are a human being, you're not some ... some ... some swan!"
Deep, green eyes looked at him with hopelessness etched into their very depths. "I know," he said quietly. Then he shrugged again. "Still, that is how things are."
"And just because you met some, some ..." A sudden sharpness in those eyes made him reconsider the word he had intended to use, "... no doubt charming little girl a couple of decennias ago, you will let that stand in the way of our, our ..." He threw caution to the wind. "Our love?"
Klaus closed his eyes at the Earl's final word. Love? What did he know of it? Of course he wasn't some swan or some such by nature fully monogamous creature. Logically he knew that. That didn't help. Things were the way they were and he knew why. If all Dorian had wanted was a physical relationship, a quick fuck to sate their bodies, Klaus might have been able to oblige. He had actually, once or twice, considered offering just that. He did find the Brit attractive, even if he sometimes tried to fool himself that he didn't. In the beginning he had found the man merely annoying and no one Klaus ever intended to break his self-imposed celibacy with. As time had passed his opinion of the other man had changed. As had, however, Dorian's feelings. Dorian wanted more and he didn't seem willing to understand that there could never be more.
Determined that the tiresome discussion was over and done with, Klaus laid back on the floor. When he spoke his final word on the matter, his voice sounded rough and thick even to his own ears.
He's mad, Dorian thought, as he sat there, watching the still face of the man he adored. This is ridiculous! Preposterous! Idiotic! And so very, very Klaus ... When you get something in your head you're pig-headed like a ... like a ... like the boar you are! What's that German expression again? Stur wie ein Panzer * yes, that suits you too ...
But perhaps when they were locked up by the KGB or KGB wannabes wasn't the best time to start whittling down Klaus's defences. At least now Dorian knew what he faced. Besides: Klaus had told him the reason he couldn't love him as in admitting that without this obstacle Klaus could love him!
I'll have to find some more information about that little floozy. Name, what she looks like and where he met her. Then track her down. Maybe she's dead, that should break this spell he has convinced himself he's under. Or better yet! happily married, fat and with ten squealing little offspring! That should cure him for sure!
In fact, if worst came to worst he should be able to find just any happily married, fat mother of ten willing to make a little extra on the side, to scare his stubborn love to his senses.
Acknowledging finally that his beloved probably had the right idea, he then laid down, wincing at the unforgiving hardness of the floor beneath him. He closed his eyes and envisioned himself on a wild meadow, brandishing an enormous bag net - chasing Klaus, who tried to fly away from him on butterfly wings.
Under Klaus's trousers and boxer shorts, still slightly smudged by blood and the colour he had used to conceal it, a Himmelblauer Blδuling twitched. And then its wings flapped.
"Good boy, Klaus Heinz. You will wait here. I will return in twenty minutes. Here you go, you may buy some candy at the store while I'm gone, if you wish."
"Yes, Father, thank you, Father," Klaus answered promptly and bowed. Then he watched his father march away, leaving Klaus at the outdoor table of the restaurant they had eaten at. The day was warm and Father had been uncharacteristically relaxed. He had wanted to spend father-and-son-time with Klaus, a rare enough occurrence. Which meant going out to eat together; his father asking him about school and his interests; and telling him of their ancestors as well as various family anecdotes.
The food had tasted good enough, so Klaus was happy with things. When Herr Atker, an old friend of his father's, had unexpectedly appeared and his father had asked if Klaus could stay by himself for just a little while, he readily agreed. He wasn't some little girl, scared to be left alone! His father had given him one entire mark, to buy candy for if he wished. He wouldn't do that, though. No, he was saving his allowance and all other money he could obtain, so he could buy the large painted tin tank toy from Mudhel of Nurenberg, if he didn't get it on his birthday. Besides, he wasn't all that fond of candy and had just eaten strawberry ice cream for dessert his favourite.
He stayed at the table, thinking about the impressive tank toy which would soon be his, when he heard giggles and glanced up. In the little meadow beside the restaurant, a blond girl in a white dress chased a lemon butterfly. Klaus followed her antics for a moment before looking away. Girls were silly creatures, not at all as interesting as tanks. His Mudhel tank could even move, if it was wound up, he had seen it being demonstrated. The hatch on top could open and there was a little man inside the tank, sitting at the controls. Klaus had been inside a real tank! His father had let him go with him when he visited an old friend, still in the army. That had been incredible!
When he heard shouts, he looked up again. Two boys were chasing the little girl. She ran in Klaus's direction and when she looked up her scared eyes seared into his. Klaus jumped over the low fence that separated the restaurant from the meadow, then rushed past the girl and launched himself, fists first, at the bullies.
"You don't hit little girls!" he screamed at them as he pummelled them. They were older than he was twelve or thereabout, but his father had taught him how to fight well and he soon had them both cowed. This time it was they who ran away and he the one who chased, until the cowards ducked into the nearby forest. Proud of his accomplishment he marched back towards his table.
Then the little girl stepped into his path. She was small, younger than him by some years. Her eyes were blue like the summer sky and they looked at him with such gratitude that he had to stop.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
She blinked up at him, looking scared.
"They won't hurt you again," he said and straightened his back in pride. "Not while I am here!"
She smiled, just a little, but said nothing.
"My name is Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach. I'm going to be a tank commander when I grow up. What is your name?"
Still, she didn't reply.
"Do you live in the village? Can't you talk? What's your name? My name is Klaus." He thumped his fist into his chest and said, again, "Klaus."
"[Klaus? Is that your name?]"
Oh, she was foreign. English, by the sound of things. Stupid English language why couldn't everyone not just speak German? That would be much better. But she was very pretty for a foreign girl.
"[Yes,]" he said, in English, knowing she had asked if Klaus was his name. He knew little of the language, but that much he did understand. "Klaus," he said one more time and thumped his chest again. "[You?]"
"[Dorian and I've lost my sisters. They dressed me up in Maggie's dress and we were going to play together, all of us. Then I saw the pretty yellow butterfly, and followed it here and now I don't know where I am or where they are! ]" She sounded agitated.
He shook his head, unable to take it all in. "Maggie?" he repeated, the only thing in the long stream of words he recognized as a name.
["Yes. Her dress is very pretty, don't you think? I'm tired now. I want to go home. I'm hungry.]"
Her eyes looked at him with such pleading that he found himself getting lost in them. Then she rubbed her stomach and he understood.
"I have an entire mark," he said, proudly. "Come. I will buy you some candy."
He held out his hand. For a moment Maggie looked at him, then she reached out to take it. Her smile blossomed, only for him, and his heart skipped a beat.
The blue wings flapped again, one more time.
Dorian opened his eyes. For the first time in well over 20 years he remembered. The trip to Germany with his mother and sisters. The Earl himself had been busy with some friend of his, so it had just been the five of them. Travelling from one end of the country to the other, stopping in many villages and cities on their way. That day. How his silly sisters had dressed him up in Maggie's dress. The butterfly. The bullies. The black-haired boy who had saved him and then bought him candy. Who, after that Dorian's mother finally found them, had blushed so sweetly when Dorian had kissed his cheek to show his gratitude.
Who apparently had pledged his heart to Dorian, without Dorian ever knowing.
The incident had stayed with him for years, but sometime during the upheaval of his parent's divorce and the aftermath, it must have slipped his mind. He had utterly forgotten about it. Or had he?
He scooted a little closer to his Iron Major and, feather light, stroked his fingertips over one loosely held fist. The hand unfurled, just long enough for Dorian to fit his own inside it, before it closed again, holding him firmly.
That first time at Schloss Eberbach. The moment I saw you I knew you were mine. And now it seems that the only competition I ever had was myself. I love you, my own, more than ever. Your heart is mine: you've said it yourself. Now I just have to convince you of this. It is our destiny. Hmm ... I do hope you like the taste of strawberries.
He leaned sideways and dropped a kiss on Klaus's wrist. The man twitched, but didn't wake.
Good night now. I'll catch you tomorrow, my darling Major. Don't worry thought, I've learned my lesson well. You are the one butterfly I will never hurt.
And just to the side of Klaus's hip bone a small butterfly, bright blue as a little boy's eyes, flexed its wings, one final time.
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