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Carillon Melody

Chapter Text

The boy got out of the car, pausing only for a moment to look at the building in front of him before closing the door behind him and moving forward into the yard of the institute. A light breeze rose and ruffled his raven hair. Behind him, the elderly family butler, Tanaka, carried the suitcase that contained everything his lord would have served during the months following the Black Haterland Institute, one of the most prestigious and renowned in Britain.

-Are you sure you want to stay here? It is absolutely not a low-class place and the decision is yours, but you could take a private teacher - said the butler, a little worried as the boy had never been particularly adept at tying up with his peers.

-My parents expressed the desire that I make the same life as other boys of my age, as far as possible, and I want to please them, it does not weigh on me- the boy answered without even a hint of a smile on his face, an unperturbed expression on as his usual.

- As you wish. I bring your luggage to your room, number 25 of the Purple Wing. We say goodbye here- the man said, taking his leave while his young gentleman was heading towards the secretariat to pick up the sheet with the timetable of the lessons.
"Let's just hope the teachers aren't assholes," Ciel thought as he walked along the corridors of the building, illuminated by the faint autumn light that filtered through the clouds and entered through the large windows. "All in all the institute seems to be a quiet place for my luck. At least here I can study properly and make my parents happy ... "he told himself mentally, as if to console himself with the fact that he would be forced to renounce the comforts of his home.

-Again, how did they managed to convince me, I really don't know- he mumble, referring to his parents. He actually knew very well how Rachel and Vincent had managed to convince him to enroll in the institute; it was enough that, while he was proposing it, his father looked at him almost defiantly, as if to ask him "will you succeed? Will you be able to resist or will you pull back? ”. Given his extremely proud character, Ciel had accepted the "challenge" of his father without hesitation. Suddenly, while he was still searching for the secretary, he heard a very angry voice rise from an unknown point.

- It's not acceptable! What kind of dull secretary are you?! -.
Sensing that the voice came almost certainly from the place where he was headed, Ciel hurried toward the direction from which it had risen. After only a couple of meters down a side corridor he found himself in front of the wooden door with the "Secretary" label, while inside the person who had "spoken" before continuing undaunted its tirade against the poor woman behind the desk, who obviously did not know what to do. The raven boy half opened the door, peering inside the room.

- I have been attending this institute for three years and have always requested a single room. Sin-gle! -, the boy shouted in front of the desk, one hand beating on the wooden shelf almost at every word, -it's a room for just one person, I don't think it's such a difficult thing to understand! - he said quite furiously. Ciel remained at the door and stared at him; he had splendid hair of a very light blond, the skin that could be seen between the collar of the shirt and the platinum locks was porcelain color. He wore a pair of tight, torn gray jeans, black ankle boots with at least 6/7 cm heel and a long, sugar-colored sleeved shirt.

-You are a very incapable person! - a slight note of hysteria appeared in his voice, - I cannot stay in a room with another person! -.

-I-I'm sorry, but now we can d-do nothing- murmured the woman, who didn't know how to calm the blonde fury that had suddenly found herself in front. The blond pounded one foot on the ground, his fists clenched in anger. Suddenly, however, he seemed to calm down for no apparent reason.

- This place and its management are really falling down!To say that a couple of years ago it was a high class place -, he said with a smirk, slightly tilting his head, his voice oozing abundantly with false kindness. Both Ciel and the secretary looked at him, both displaced by that sudden change. -I only hope that things will not continue along this bad slope, or my legal guardian will be happy to donate funds to better educational institutions,- he said in a haughty voice, making the poor woman whiten. Obviously the blond's legal guardian had to be someone very rich if the boy had made a similar threat. The young man turned his back to the secretary and started for the door. Ciel noticed that he had blue eyes like a summer sky, heavily made up in black. The blond passed him with a firm step without even bothering to look at him, leaving without ever turning around and soon disappearing around a corner. The sound of the tolling of his heels on the marble floor, created by his footsteps going off down the corridor, was clearly heard in the silence that had been created in the secretary.

-Um, excuse me ...-, the boy said after a while, approaching the woman's desk.

-Listen, please, if you have to talk to me about the room, pass another time,- said the poor secretary, who had definitely had enough for that day.

- No, no. It's not about that. I just need the timetable - Ciel hastened to clarify, to the great relief of the woman, who bent down to rummage in one of the drawers.

-So, are you ...?- she asked.

-Phantomhive. Ciel Phantomhive- the boy answered looking at her.

- Mmmh, now I see ... Oh, here it is! Phantomhive, fifth year, section B- said he handed him the sheet with a smile. The boy took it slowly giving it a quick look,

-Thank you very much,- he said, turning his back to her and starting to leave, heading for the door.

-Wait a second! As for your room ... -

-It's number 25,- he said quietly, not paying her much attention.

-Yes, but ...- the woman tried to continue, in vain. Ciel had by now classified that conversation as "no longer useful" and was not in the least listening to what the girl was trying to say to him.

-It is in the Violet Wing, thank you and see you,- said the raven boy, going out and leaving without giving her time to finish talking.

"Phew, this thing is really heavy ..." thought the boy, thinking about the scene of the blonde before the secretary, "that guy is absolutely odious, didn't someone taught a minimum of education?" He asked himself, annoyed twisting his nose with a grimace.
In his view of things he had already classified the blond as Drama Queen, putting him on the top of the list of people to avoid as much as possible. He just sighed as he ran his hand over his face, as he retraced his steps to the main entrance, so he could more easily figure out what route to take to get to his room.
He had seen some boys around, but he had no intention of asking them for information, it was not his character to ask someone for help. He took the plan he had previously taken from the pile on the secretary's desk out of his pocket, giving it a quick look.

"Then let's see; in front of me there is the Green Wing, or that of the canteen and the kitchens, on the left is the Blue Wing, that of the classrooms, on the far right is the Black Wing, still being restored ... "He reflected mentally as he moved his tapered finger to the various points on the map as he identified them. "Then ... In the middle of the Black Wing and the Green Wing there are the Orange one, for the first and second year students ... The Red one for those of the third and fourth and ... Here is the Violet, for those of the fifth and sixth year…". At last the road that had to be done finally set off at a brisk pace, passing a lot of doors that led to as many corridors and rooms, so that the entire structure began to look worse than a labyrinth.

"What a huge pain in the ass ...... It's only eleven o'clock in the morning and I'm already upset ..." Ciel thought disconsolately, brushing his hair away from his face with a slightly angry hand gesture. As he walked along the corridors, the footsteps echoing through the stone walls regularly spaced out by the windows, his gaze wandered over the doors of the rooms to his right, always carefully reading the brass number fixed on it, being careful not to exceed his own. He couldn't wait to unpack his bags, arrange his belongings and relax at least a little. Finally he arrived in front of the purple wooden door marked with the number 25 and, for the first time in the whole morning, he let himself go to a very slight smile.

- Well, thank goodness that mine is a single room ... - he said to himself, vaguely thinking of the words shouted by the blond just over half an hour before. He sighed just before placing his hand on the door handle, shivering slightly from the contact of the cold metal with his skin. He opened the door and the half smile froze over his face, disappearing with surprising speed as soon as his mind metabolized what his eyes were seeing.

In front of him, kneeling almost in the middle of the room, was the blond of the secretary. The hateful one who had mentally pinned himself to avoid as much as possible. The one who, after the scene he had seen him do, could only classify as Drama Queen.
As if the thing itself was nothing less than a catastrophic vision, the sea-blue eyes of Ciel saw another detail, something absolutely not ignorable; the blond was not simply kneeling on the ground, but he had Ciel's suitcase open beside him.
Suitcase in which he was poking with impunity and in which he had obviously already put his hands before his arrival, since some of the boy's raven-haired clothes were scattered around without the slightest regard.

The stranger was swirling through his things, needless had been his property, then extracting from the chaos in which it was reduced what once had been a suitcase made in a workmanlike manner, a pair of white and baggy blue boxer. The blond threw a semi-indignant look at the garment in his hands, a spark of derision in his pale blue eyes,

-What kind of person would ever wear nun's look alike underwear like that?!,- he exclaimed in an astonished and almost shocked tone, not noticing in the least that Ciel looked at him with a murderous expression from the doorway.

Chapter Text

When Ciel's mind finally emerged from the blackout in which it had fallen for a few seconds, as a result of the scene he had just witnessed, the boy hurried to the room, snatching his boxers from the blond's hands. He felt humiliated as few times in his life, his skin, usually very clear, at that moment was reddened in the area of the cheeks due to anger and embarrassment.

-Who are you and how did you get into my room?- Phantomhive exclaimed angrily, looking down at him furiously. Not that Ciel was tall, on the contrary, he was a scarce meter and fifty eight centimeters, but at the moment he had the advantage of being standing on his feet. The blond on the other hand looked at him with one of the most innocent expressions that Ciel had ever seen in his life, still kneeling on the floor (and the raven hoped that he would stay there for a while to be able to stand over him and look more intimidating), the look of someone who has done nothing wrong and does not understand why he was accusing him.

- Don't you even show up? What a rude…- the boy said, rising from the floor with a sinuous movement and breaking Ciel's secret hope, which he soon saw himself overcome by at least half a head without much compliment. The blond turned the other a smirk, bringing a hand to his side, "however my name is Alois Trancy and, just to clarify, this is our room,- he concluded, raining the sudden news on Ciel like a traditional Scottish shower.

-I'm Ciel Phantomhive and ... What do you mean this is our room ?! I had requested a single one! - the poor unfortunate exclaimed turning to look at him, his hand still placed on the handle of the door that had every intention of closing. In short, he didn't want the whole corridor to hear their conversation and end up minding their own business! Alois raised his eyes to the ceiling, with the air of someone forced to deal with things with a fool, and then set his eyes on the boy in front of him.

"Don't you tell me?" He replied in a sarcastic tone, "because what I went to protest in the office according to you, eh?" He said with a slight snort, turning his back to the raven and going to his bed, on which he had previously left his luggage. Seeing the type of suitcase that had the blond the flashing light with the words "Drama Queen" in Ciel's head began to shine; it was metallic purple and glittered, covered with questionable stickers and here and there it presented sequins. At that sight, and at the memory of the crazy scene set up by the blonde, Ciel grimaced, beautifully ignored by the other boy, who for his part was taken to opening his own luggage and starting to put away the multitude of clothes that it contained .

-I wouldn't call that a protest, in any case we can say that you attacked that poor woman without warning, treating her worse than a rag for the floors- the boy replied crossing his arms over his chest and looking badly at the boy that, now Ciel had surrendered to reality In fact, would have been his roommate for the entire school year.

-Well, see it a little as you want, if one is incompetent it just is, I'm not kind enough to let it go. Apparently now nothing can be done to change the situation and I am surrendering to the idea that I will have to share the room with a child who wears nun clothes - Alois commented with a veiled note of malice, glancing at the clothes of the raven while he was putting away the last pair of Parisians he had brought with him. At those words Ciel visibly stiffened as he felt a vein on his temple begin to throb slightly for the nervous. He was always more certain of one thing; if Alois Trancy continued like this, there was a good chance that he would have killed him with his bare hands.

- Meanwhile, I still have to figure out if you have sawdust instead of a brain for having even thought of putting your hands in my suitcase, between my things, without asking permission. Then you talk? At least I don't have clothes that make me look almost like a whore- Ciel said taking in turn to fix his own things, not noticing that at those words the blond had blatantly swirled his eyes with an almost exasperated look.

-At least I'm attractive, you look like a wooden board,- Trancy said, turning to his roommate and mimicking his hands with a flat surface, alluding to the almost total absence of Ciel's curves.

-How dare you?- Exclaimed Phantomhive, turning to look at him, the air of one who, at the first word wrong, would have scrapped him without feeling the least remorse. He made an annoyed grimace, preferring to concentrate on what he was doing, that is to finish putting away his clothes and starting to make the bed, mentally telling himself that he just had to ignore it, maybe the other one would get bored and stop breaking his balls .

"Besides, my dear Phantomhive, at least I'm not a garden dwarf," said Alois, laughing, just before catching Ciel's pillow in his face, hurling violent at him from the person concerned. The satisfied grin, which had appeared on Phantomhive's face at the sight of his roommate's astonished face at that attack, soon vanished when the blond, wasting no time, picked up the pillow from the ground and "returned" to the owner, hitting him full.

-It just happened that I have to share the room with the kind of person who is of a deadly boredom! - the blond exclaimed with a theatrically desperate tone, bringing his hand to his forehead and assuming a dramatic pose, -one of those all studious and perfect that they get upset about anything ... I also reiterate again that you should really make up your wardrobe, at least as far as the underwear is concerned- he said scrubbing from under Ciel's nose the same boxers he had extracted from his suitcase on his arrival. At these words the raven decided that his patience had just died out.

-Return them immediately and close the sewer that you find instead of your mouth! - he exclaimed with a half-growl, slinging himself against the other and trying to recover his garment. The blond laughed, moving quickly, avoiding him and easily evading Ciel's subsequent, desperate attempts that, despite having risen on his toes, could not reach the object of his own interest. Why not, the blond was not only fast, he was also an asshole since he had raised the blue boxers into the air, putting them out of his reach. As if he were not taller than he already had the heels of the boots to raise him more. Phantomhive looked at him so badly that if his eyes could kill, the blond would fall to the ground. At one point the raven stumbled into a pair of his own jeans that was still on the floor, ending up falling on the blond and crashing both onto his own half-made bed, one on top of the other.

-But how we are enterprising my dear Phantomhive. We decide first a keyword for when things get too heavy though- Alois said throwing a very mischievous look at Ciel, alluding to the fact that the raven was practically between his legs, his cheeks slightly reddened by the effort to escape him, his hair just just messed up. For his part, Ciel blushed violently when he realized what the boy was referring to,

"You're a real maniac," he said, trying to pull himself up, slightly distressed by the soft composition of the bed, which made him sink. The boy was just beginning to believe that he would never feel more embarrassed than that when, without warning, the bedroom door swung open and one of the women in charge of the dorms, who had the task on the first day to check that everyone they were settling in well, stopped at the entrance. The girl seeing them so, blushed embarrassed and looked at them shocked.

-E-excuse me! - she shouted, almost purple in the face, immediately closing the door with a slight crash and running away. Yes, definitely Ciel could feel even more embarrassed than before. He looked very annoyed at the boy beneath him and then finally managed to pull himself up and away from the bed.

- Never been more embarrassed in my life! Who knows what kind of thoughts this woman will be doing now - Phantomhive exclaimed throwing a glare at Alois, arms crossed on his chest. For his part the blond looked at him motionless for a few seconds before bursting out laughing, rolling around between the sheets of the unmade bed.

- Oh, you make me laugh too much Ciel! Who cares about what she thinks! - he said standing up and adjusting his clothes nonchalantly. At that moment the bell that signaled lunchtime resounded throughout the building, fortunately stopping, for the blond, what Ciel was about to say.

-Come on, otherwise we won't find anything left in the refectory," muttered Alois, preceding his roommate in the corridor and heading towards the community dining room. As the raven did not know the road he hurried to follow him at a brisk pace after closing the bedroom door with a key. Of course the blond had to be really god with heels to be able to walk so well and so fast. Ciel barely sighed, struggling slightly to keep up with him, mentally wondering if he could really stand to live a year with the boy without attempting suicide or at least a murder. At one point, as they walked along one of the building's endless corridors, dimly lit by the grayish outside light, signaling the bad weather coming, they saw, going in the opposite direction to them, a man who probably would have been one of their teachers.

The man was tall enough, with a physique that at first sight seemed quite athletic wrapped in dark clothes. The eyes were warm brown with light reddish hues and stood out against the clear skin of the face, framed by two longer tufts of very black hair. As they approached, the two boys greeted him respectfully. Ciel as serious as ever, Alois with a slight smile, being promptly returned by the man, who replied just as politely, to then overcome them with a measured pace. As soon as the guy passed by, the blond slowed his pace by turning slightly, his clear gaze fixed on the B side of the man. For his part, Ciel, seeing him slow down like that, just frowned, coming up beside him.

-Hey, what the hell are you doing?-he whispered, looking at him sideways, confused.

-It is not understandable? I'm looking at his ass and I have to say it's not bad - the blond muttered in response with a slight perverse smirk, looking away only when the man turned the corner and disappeared. Ciel looked at him stunned.

-B-But how do you manage to jump out with certain comments so suddenly ?! He is probably one of our professors, and moreover he is a man, "said the boy blushing visibly. Alois at those words looked up at the ceiling, speeding up again.

-Then? Don't come and tell me that you didn't think about it too. Moreover, my dear Ciel, it seems normal to me to find a man attractive since I am gay- he said with a decidedly disarming simplicity, giving his fellow tenant an unreadable look. At these words the raven's eyes widened slightly, looking at him with a hint of astonishment in the blue irises. It was not so much for what the blonde had said; given the boy's behavior, both in the room and a few moments before, suspicions had come to Phantomhive. No, what had left him amazed was something else.

- Do you say it so quietly? - he asked turning to look sideways. Alois stopped a few paces from the door of the canteen, watching the roommate with an unreadable look before carelessly shrugging his shoulders thinly.

-I've already mentioned it before, but maybe it's better if I repeat it more clearly,- he said quietly, brushing away a lock of his blond hair from his thin face, moving it behind his ear, -I don't care what others think. I don't live to account for my actions to people who don't even know me. If I had to always worry about the opinion of everyone around me... Well I wouldn't live in practice. I think it's the problem of most people, worrying too much about other people's thoughts and opinions. "Living is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that's all ”- he replied, smiling sincerely before opening the door in front of him, entering the canteen. Ciel looked at him a little amazed for a couple of moments, mentally wondering if he had been wrong to judge the boy as a superficial person. He let out a sigh by shaking his head and then followed the blond into the huge hall where his future classmates were having lunch.

Chapter Text

-Ciel! I mean, are you listening to me ?! I've been calling you for five minutes,- the blond exclaimed, shaking his roommate for a shoulder, sitting in front of him in the cafeteria. Around them the various tables were occupied by the other students who, between a slice of toast and a sip of tea or coffee, chatted animatedly, causing a great buzz in the room. The light of the late autumn sun filtered through the glass of the large windows, amply illuminating the enormous room.
The boy roused himself, lowering his gaze to the watch on his wrist, a habit that the other boy had defined several times as "a grandfather's thing" since now it was possible to use cell phones, noting that it was only nine o'clock and the others had already begun to invade his living space. Again. Without any shame. He snorted loudly, running a hand lightly through his hair, turning to the boy with a rather annoyed expression.

-Alois, what the hell do you want now? - he asked in a tone of voice that heralded an imminent indentation if the answer'll turn out senseless. Since they had become roommates, Phantomhive had heard so many requests from Alois, sometimes even on the verge of the absurd, that by now when the other opened his mouth he always feared the worst. The blond just twisted his face in a grimace at that brusque tone, but a few moments later he was smiling back at him, a sign that the annoyance at his tone was less than his need for him, filling his blue eyes with supplication and joining his hands just under the face, almost in a gesture of prayer.

- Would you lend me your history notebook? Yesterday I couldn't even copy the notes during the lesson and I need them to study- the boy answered, without even stopping for a second to look at him pleadingly. The other found himself sighing and bending down to open his bag, pulling out the much-requested notebook, handing it to the blonde. The precious blue stone that decorated the family ring that he wore on his thumb shone under the sunlight in that gesture.

-Thanks a lot! You saved my life, really, thanked Alois with a satisfied smile, putting away his notebook in his purple bag he had left on the floor next to the bench, on which they had been sitting for over an hour now. His legs were bandaged with grays jeans so tight that Ciel wondered how he could move, or even just breathe while wearing them.
The bust on the other hand was covered with a white shirt, almost completely hidden by a heavier black jacket. Although at times they were slightly objectionable clothes, Ciel could not totally deny that the other had taste, not by chance Alois followed the Institute's fashion course.

- For the fifth time in a week! Can you tell me why you don't pay attention in class? You would save yourself a lot of effort if you only took notes - Ciel exclaimed, looking at him badly from the other side of the table while he was buttering a slice of bread, the teeth of the knife blade slightly scratching the rough surface of the bread. Trancy raised his eyes to the sky making him the verse, saving himself from the consequent attempt of murder by his roommate only thanks to the bell that announced the beginning of the lessons.

Alois immediately emptied what was left of his cup of tea into one sip, then placed it on the tray before getting up and taking his bag. While he took out his inseparable pink lipgloss with the scent of cotton candy and passed it over his lips, he motioned for his friend to hurry: they would be late for class if they hadn't made a move. Ciel sighed, finishing his slice of bread and butter, following the boy through the endless corridors of the building, looking from behind the slight figure of his roommate. They had been attending the Haterland Institute for almost two months, seven weeks to be precise, and in that time nothing particularly significant had happened ...If he wanted to exclude the time when the raven had woken up in the middle of the night with Alois sleeping blissfully, stuck to him. Needless to say, he threw the blond out of bed without much trouble and threw him out of the room until morning, ignoring his pleas to let him in.

They walked for a few minutes, heading towards the blue wing of the building, trampling over the marble floors along with the multitude of other students who, like them, were heading to class. They went up several flights of stairs, finally reaching the fifth floor, where most of the classrooms were located, where common lessons were held for the students in the penultimate year.

-My god ... I'm seriously begin to hate these stairs ...- Alois said with a slight snort as he climbed the last step. Phantomhive made a slight grimace at those words, looking at him and going to lay his blue eyes on the black 8cm thick heel boots that the other had on his feet.

- No one forces you to put on those shoes. Then don't complain if your feet are hurting after only four flights of stairs - the boy said, going over and walking towards the door of the literature classroom. In a few seconds the blond boy stood next to him thanks to his long legs, a tight hand around his bag.

-How would you say that nobody forces me? My sense of fashion forces me, my dear Ciel! They are giving me some small problems just because they are new, at the end of this day I will even be able to run with these heels- Alois said with a smirk looking at the boy next to him, -also, you should give it a little thought too. On using a minimum of heels I mean - he said, noting the slightly confused expression that Ciel had thrown at him , - at least they would make you a little taller - asserted Trancy clutching his thin shoulders.

The raven boy looked at him very badly, taking a seat in one of the first benches. He was about to answer him badly as usual but, before he could tell him anything, Alois went to sit down, taking the only place in the corner next to the window. Ciel turned to look at him slightly curious; normally the boy sat next to him, instead, from a couple of days to that part, he was always on his own, drawing carelessly on his sketch book. The voice of Professor Michaelis, who greeted everyone and walked quickly and safely into the room, going to sit behind the desk, roused him from his thoughts.
The man put down the books that until recently he held under his arm, on the smooth shelf in front of him, taking a lock of very black hair behind his ear. The clear and defect-free skin made his reddish brown eyes stand out.

-Good morning, please at the end of the lesson, remember me that I have an announcement to make- he said, smiling slightly before opening the book in front of him, a volume that all the students were promptly pulling out of their bags, flipping through the pages until they went to the point where they had last arrived. Ciel turned to throw a last distracted glance at Alois, noting with a slight grimace that he hadn't even bothered to pull out his book or his notebook and indeed, he was drawing who knows what, on the sketch book he always carried with him. The young man returned to looking ahead, shaking his head and looking up at the sky; that then the boy did not dream of asking him to copy his notes. He would throw the whole backpack behind him if he tried to.

The friend was not stupid at all, on the contrary, sometimes he showed a logical ability and a cunning worthy of note, but more often than not, Ciel had realized it almost immediately, he didn't want to pay attention, and he preferred to lose himself looking out from the window or to draw. Many times in the end the boy also showed him his own drawings and three quarters of them were fashion sketches, artfully designed, which, as Alois later told him in the evening when they had both finished courses not in common, Professor Sutcliff often and gladly praised and appreciated.
Suddenly Ciel felt a cold shiver run down his spine and when he looked up from the notes he had taken last time, he saw for a second Professor Michaelis's eyes fixed on himself, before the man brought them back to the textbook in front to himself.

-Mmmh, before I start I would like to ask you a couple of questions, just to see if you remember well the reading of the last time since I thought that the attention was scarce, but maybe it was just my feeling ... - said the man in an almost careless tone, getting up and walking around the desk, leaning on the dark shelf with his hips, his arms crossed over his chest. Within a second the students began to dodge his gaze, glancing at each other in mute requests for help, knowing full well that the other time they had messed up more than was allowed.

-So ... let's see. If I told you that I want to pretend the death of a person or mine, why should I look at the work of the last time ... Phantomhive? - he asked with a slight smile that in the eyes of the other people present in the classroom could appear affable but that in reality, Ciel was certain of it, was full of treachery and desire to ridicule him. He found himself thinking seriously about the last lesson; he had always been attentive, but at that moment he could not think of an answer. Feeling a slight nervousness going up as the seconds went by and he couldn't find an answer he just clenched his fists under the bench.

That man ... he was sure as never before, that he had something against him. It was his favorite target when it came to asking questions of the class and, although he knew well that his tasks were worthy of high marks, the professor insisted on giving him enough or little more. He didn't understand why he had been so stubborn about him, if he wanted someone to punish for the low participation he would have to punish Alois!
He didn't really know what marks the boy had in that subject, but he certainly seemed to be on another planet during the lesson. The murmurs and glances of his comrades made him understand that they either didn't know the answer or were not entirely sure.

Surprisingly, instead of calling him back as he usually did, Michaelis looked away from him to go and set his eyes a little further back, while a slight smile, this time of appreciation, appeared on his lips.

- Yes Trancy? You know it?-

-Well, in Romeo and Juliet Capulet's daughter pretends her own death to avoid marriage with Paris by taking a sleeping-potion that causes her to fall into an apparent state of death, so as to run away with Rome- Alois answered lowering his hand that he had raised when he noticed that Phantomhive could not answer, an apathetic expression on his face. Some of the comrades looked at him in amazement, both because it seemed the answer was right, and because it was rare for the boy to open his mouth in class. The professor nodded with satisfaction, returning to the blackboard and starting to write the title of the work they were going to deal with that day, telling the boys to pay more attention, because from there he would have started to interrogate a lot.
Ciel just snorted as he put his chin on the palm of one hand, slightly annoyed at being somehow overtaken by someone who sometimes didn't even seem to have all the wheels in their right place.
He immediately began taking notes, not forgetting even a word and trying to pay close attention to what the man said.He couldn't stand it. For this he was determined to show him that he could excel in his stupid subject too.

He spent the next hour writing down everything, writing clearly and quickly, almost not taking his hand off the sheet of paper. When there was only a handful of minutes left till the sound of the bell, the professor closed the book, placing it on the desk,

- Mid-term holidays will begin in a few days, you will have two weeks of peace and I would like you to choose one of Shakespeare's works during this time, read it and try to study it.On your return you will expose it in class, rather than a question, see it as an opportunity to take a good vote by simply having a chat - he said, smiling slightly - obviously it doesn't matter if more than one of you chooses the same work, I count on the uniqueness of each of you in exposing it in a personal way - he immediately explained seeing that a couple of boys were raising their hands, probably to ask him just what he was quick to explain. Hands fell down immediately.

-Well, I don't think I have anything else to add but "happy holidays", try to have fun and rest - he said at the exact moment when the bell rang. Ciel immediately put the books away in his bag, getting up and putting it on his shoulder.
He had to move or he would be late to his Latin course, which, unfortunately for him, was on the other side of that building wing.
The second, third and fourth hours of the Saturday all the boys had the hours of the first course that they had chosen the day of the enrollment and, considering that for music he already had his private teacher, he had chosen Latin, opting instead for the course of German language as a second choice.

As he was about to leave Alois darted past him like a lightning bolt, his backpack put on one shoulder and the sketch book under his arm; evidently his fashion session of that day had to be particularly important to make him run that way, risking to arrive in the fashion lab all messed up.
Not that usually the blond was a calm person, but normally he looked after his appearance a lot, the bathroom for which they made absurd arguments in the morning was a witness of that, and was always careful not to mess up too much himself.
The raven-haired boy shrugged his shoulders, heading briskly towards his own classroom, settling in the first free seat, about the second row, politely greeting his already present comrades who, like him, awaited the arrival of Professor Spears.

As difficult as it was, the dead language did not displease him; on the contrary, in a certain sense it fascinated him. He took out the notes he had taken the previous time, marking a couple of things with his pen, absently wondering who was going through the head of his roommate to make him behave like that in the last few days. He seemed more detached, silent ...
He just shook his head as he greeted the professor, who had just appeared in the courtroom. After all, it wasn't his business, they weren't even really friends.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the building, Professor Grell Sutcliff, with her usual theatrical manner and dressed in one of her fiery red suits, was carefully looking through her students' books as she passed among the benches covered with eraser, pencil shavings and sheets full of sketches.
Alois sat with his legs crossed, turning his pencil between his fingers, pausing every so often to trace dark lines on the paper, better defining the folds of the dress of his figure.
The blond hair that usually blew over his light eyes was held in place by a silver clasp, to not cause him discomfort or force him to stop and push it away from his face.
He did not look up from his work even when he saw the red hair of the professor rustling beside him and felt the presence of the woman on his left.
For the first few seconds, Grell said nothing, merely watching his work with an attentive look and then focusing on him.

- Excellent job as usual Trancy. You know, I was thinking of ... giving you a special job with Elizabeth and Joker. In a couple of months there will be a mid-year music show and the headmaster was thinking, since it will be the anniversary of the school building, to let the students that play, wear Victorian-cut clothes at the show, since the institute was founded at that time. What do you say? Do you like the proposal? - asked the woman with a smile, placing a hand with lacquered nails on her side, her green eyes that from behind the lenses of her glasses scrutinized the young man.

-Me? Are You sure? - he asked a little in amazement, his free hand going to move some of the rubber residue away from the sheet. Sutcliff looked at him frowning; usually to a proposal of this kind her pupil would have started to rattle off a lot of proposals one after the other, gesticulating just to make the idea better, as he had always done the last times he had put him to work on a project of that kind.
She thought that, given the boy's ability to design clothes that were sometimes very elaborate, he would have been very pleased to be involved.

-Yes sure. You three are my best students, I couldn't leave it in better hands, in fact, if Elizabeth and Joker are fine, I would like you to coordinate things. I know you have the capacity. For anything you can ask me Trancy. Just don't call me in the evening- said Grell throwing her red hair behind her shoulders with a slight mischievous smile. Alois smiled with a sly glance at the woman.

- Did you find someone interesting, mh prof? - he asked in a suggestive voice, making the woman chuckle, who folded her arms across her chest, assuming a fake shocked air while looking at him.

-Oh, these are not affairs that concern you, little boy,- she said without reproach in her voice, opening in an amused little smile before going to talk to Elizabeth Midford, who Alois had discovered the first week of school to be Ciel's cousin, leaving the young man with a slight smile on his face, a little more serene.

The fashion lab lesson was definitely his favorite moment, both for what he could create on paper and then bring it into reality, and thanks to Professor Sutcliff. It was easy to bond with her; they both liked that area and they loved to talk and exchange opinions about it. He was at ease with her, even though she was a teacher, especially because, being the woman, as a MtF, also part of the LGBTQ + community, Alois was able to have less trouble talking even about his personal things from time to time.

Of course, he could not be considered her own friend, he was still a student of her, but at least he had someone who was not Ciel on whom to count a minimum. He took his laptop out of his backpack, turning it on and doing some research on male and female fashion in the 1800s.
He already had a folder with some reference images that he had downloaded long ago and that had attracted him, but to do a good job he had to go deeper into it.
He opened the sketch book and started throwing down some sketches, while some small ideas already took shape in his mind. He put on his headphones completely distancing himself for the remaining two and a half hours.
It was the professor who made him understand that the lesson was over by laying a hand on his shoulder. The boy took off his headphones and closed the laptop, stretching slightly.

-Quick, the bell has been ringing for 5 minutes now, if you don't move you will end up finding nothing to eat- said Grell sitting on the chair with her legs crossed, opening a magazine and reading it.

-Damn it, Ciel will kill me,-said the blond, stuffing everything into his backpack, grabbing his jacket,

- See you tomorrow prof! - he said doing to run away but he was stopped by the voice of the red that rose amused behind him.

-Trancy tomorrow is Sunday! But if you care so much we can see each other here in the afternoon to talk better about the project- said Sutcliff without looking up from what she was reading, quietly turning a glossy page with tapered fingers.

-Really? Fantastic! Then I'll be here by 4 pm, have a good Saturday, - said Alois, opening in a happy smile that the woman returned.

-Ah, and, Alois ...? - Grell said just before the other disappeared over the door, looking up at him. The boy stopped, turning slightly. Had she called him by his name?


-If there's something wrong, you can always talk to me,- she said in a slightly more serious voice, her green eyes now fixed on the boy's blue ones. Alois adjusted his backpack better.

- It's all right, really. But I'll remember - he said hinting a smile before running away towards the canteen, where, he was sure, Ciel was waiting for him annoyed, but pretended that his absence didn't touch him at all.


-Cieeeeeel- the singsong voice of Alois rose from the bathroom, whose door was ajar, from which barely came the sound of the lapping of the water that filled the tub. As the boy had returned to the room he had slipped off his heels and thrown the bag on the floor next to his desk, taking off both the shirt and tight jeans with a single gesture, remaining basically in his underwear. He had simply thrown his clothes on the bed, then grabbed his portable case, his cell phone, and disappeared into the bathroom ten minutes ago.

-I'm studying ... what do you want? - asked the raven, sitting on the bed with his legs crossed, his back resting against the headboard of the furniture. He hadn't even changed, after all he was in jeans and a t-shirt and he was comfortable. He pulled back a little of his dark hair from his face, placing it behind his ear.

-What are you studying on Saturday afternoons ?! you are crazy! - the blond exclaimed, slinging himself out of the bathroom, always wearing only his underpants, walking around the room without any modesty, his hair barely upset. Ciel looked at him bored and then returned to lay his eyes on his Latin book.

- What problems do you have, sorry? - he asked the boy wearily, trying to ignore the other's blue eyes fixed on himself, while the boy was not going to stop looking at him strangely.

- What problems do you have? On Saturday afternoon we have no lesson to have some peace and you study? No, no, no! Now I wash myself and then we go out into the city! - Alois said pointing his hands on his lean hips, his nails in lilac enamel, opening into a captivating smile.

-Then you'll be out of here in over an hour, given your times ... anyway, you go too if you want, I'll wait for you here,- Phantomhive said, turning the page without even bothering to look at him. If he had done it, he might at least have managed to escape from it. Alois threw himself on him as he was, blocking him in a suffocating embrace.

-A-Alois, drop me, you fool! - exclaimed the other, trying in vain to free himself from his grip as the blonde rubbed his face against the hollow of his shoulder, disinterested in the fact that he risked dirtying it with the foundation and the powder that had not yet removed.

-Come with me,- he begged the boy, clinging to him, looking at him with eyes full of supplication. For the second time in the same day. Unbelievable.

-You won't leave me alone until I say yes, will you?- Ciel asked with a tired sigh, running a hand over his face. Alois opened into a smirk that had something evil.

-Exactly, so ...You'll come? - Trancy asked again as his partner nodded.

-Fine ... but don't you dare take me to dilapidated rooms or things like that, okay? If you want to get drunk do it yourself - Phantomhive immediately clarified by looking at him seriously.

- All clear my Lord - said Alois ironically, jokingly waving his military salute with one hand, kissing him on the cheek and finally freeing him from his embrace, getting out of bed and waddling into the bathroom.

-You're a thorn in the ass, do you know that?- Ciel said to him as he closed the book and put it in his backpack.

-No, I take it in the ass, it's different! - said the blond laughing, locking the bathroom door and sticking the cell phone to the portable case, placing it on the sink counter and putting the music at high volume.
He added the bubble bath to the boiling water, so that soon the tank was full of bubbles with multicolored reflections, slipping off while the underpants and leaving them on the ground. He would pick them up later.
Meanwhile in the room Ciel raised his eyes to the ceiling with a snort, letting himself go in a slight smile; although the other was certainly too intrusive, he was someone he could get along with.
"On other occasions though," he thought as Katy Perry's voice rose loudly from the bathroom, "I would cut his hair to zero while he sleeps," he snorted mentally as he tapped on the bathroom's door and shouted for him to lower the music, only getting the result of raising even more the volume.

Chapter Text

-Alois, I swear that if you stop again in another store, when we go back to the Institute I set your wardrobe on fire - Ciel said resolutely as he walked out with the blonde from yet another clothing store. The friend turned around, his arms full of various bags.

-Pff, boring. I had to make my wardrobe back a little, winter is coming, I can't go around with autumn clothes, they are too light,- said Alois, looking at him with obviousness, getting only the result of making him look up at the sky with a huffed puff and tired at the same time.

-I think having visited thirteen different stores is enough for today,- Phantomhive said as a slight breeze ruffled both boys' hair. They were in one of the main streets of London as far as high fashion shops were concerned, standing in front of a traffic light, waiting for the light to turn green so that they could continue their walk. Around them people went on quietly with their lives; those who ran, perhaps late for an appointment or because they simply wanted to go home quickly. Those who talked on their cell phones or entered the Starbucks next door, those who walked quietly alone or with friends...

- Okay, I'll take you to a bar for a drink. Don't worry about alcohol. It's a simple bar I've been going to for a while when I finish shopping. It's really a nice place, they even make you hot tea - Trancy immediately clarified noticing the look that the other had thrown at the word "bar". At those words Ciel seemed to calm down, a slight sigh coming out of his thin lips, condensing in the cold evening air and creating a little cloud of steam that disappeared in a few seconds.

-Even if it wouldn't hurt you once in a while,- the blond muttered, -at least you would melt a little,- he said, poking his side with a finger, making Ciel barely blush as the traffic light turned green and signaled that they could cross the road. Alois took the bags better in his hands, immediately stretching the right heel on the pedestrian crossing, immediately followed by the raven, knowing well that the green never lasted very long.

-I don't know ... I've never been in a real bar - Phantomhive revealed without a particular inflection in his voice, his face partly hidden by a light blue fabric scarf, reaching the opposite sidewalk, instead blocking in place Alois, given the red light now, was not invested by a hair. Ciel pulled him away just in time, grabbing him by the arm and pulling him hard on the sidewalk beside him, making him stagger dangerously on the heels of his boots.

- Do you want to kill me?! - the blond exclaimed when he finally found a minimum of balance, looking at him practically shocked, his blond hair slightly ruffled by the sudden movement. His lips were covered with lipgloss, slightly parted, his eyes focused on his friend in front of him.

-You are the one who, like an idiot, got stuck for nothing in the middle of the traffic! - Ciel retorted, spreading his arms and looking at him in amazement, his expression a little frowning, feeling totally right to reply in that way, given the situation. The passers-by who were nearby turned to the two boys, a little curious and amused.

- You can't tell me that you've never been to a club in your life! You have 17 years what the hell did you do in all this time ?! Did you play chess in your room with the butler? - Alois said, spreading his arms a little, an uncertain smile on his delicate face, the expression of who, inexplicably, hoped to be wrong and that the boy would have denied his words.

- Well, also, but more than anything else, even admitting that I had wanted to go, I didn't have anyone to go with - he admitted again, crossing his arms over his chest and sinking his face deeper into his scarf, trying to hide the slight embarrassment he was feeling . At those words the friend gave him a light pat on the shoulder, the envelopes that just clashed between them because of the movement, the look that just softened.

-Not so bad, then, that you met me,-Alois said, giving him a sincere and amused smile, then walking towards the bar, followed soon after by his roommate. They reached the place in little, then went to sit at one of the small tables near the window. Alois put his bags on his side on the bench and settled right in front of Ciel, his skinny legs covered in dark collant tights. As soon as the waiter arrived, they ordered lemon tea and hot chocolate, combined with a mix of sweets. Only when they each had their own cup in front of him did the blond decide to talk.

-You did something interesting to that boring Latin course of yours? - he asked taking the hot cup in his hands, blowing lightly on it and then taking a sip, the clear look, barely covered with long lashes pointed at the boy in front of him .

-It is not boring as you think, it is complex, but interesting, at least Professor Spears does not put the votes by favoritism, like his other colleagues- Ciel answered, without being able to hide a pinch of hatred that had imbued the last part of the sentence. Alois chuckled slightly as he looked at him, an unreadable expression on his face.

-You really have tied this story with the Professor Michaelis to your finger, mh?- he said hiding an amused smile behind the cup while Ciel drank a sip of his chocolate looking at him badly, his eyebrows slightly frowned.

- Apparently yes ...- concluded Trancy without ceasing to smile, -the professor Sutcliff assigned an important project to me, Lizzy and Joker instead; we have to take care of the clothes for the mid-year music show - he said, sipping tea, his delicate fingers wrapped around the ceramic of the cup, his well-groomed nails colored with an antique pink enamel. Ciel looked at him and took a bite of one of the biscuits on the plate between them.

-What kind of clothes do you have to do? - he asked curiously. He usually didn't care much about fashion topics or anything like that, which, Alois repeated to him at least twice a day, was noticed by how he dressed. But when he talked about things he really cared about, or where he was particularly interested, his friend got so excited that it was impossible not to be infected at least in part.

- Of the Victorian era, because apparently the Institute was built and attended for the first time in those years and the show also serves to celebrate the anniversary from what I understand. So they will be pretty elaborate clothes full of details and things to take care of- explained Trancy simply holding the cup with one hand and gesturing just with the other, as was his habit, briefly illustrating the project to his friend, who was looking at him interested.

- The guys who want to participate in the show will have to tell the teacher and obviously show that they can handle a good performance. Within a week he will have to have the names because otherwise we will not have enough time, having to take the measurements one by one, see what suits better enhance each student and which they prefer ...- said Alois undaunted continuing to gesticulate lightly with his delicate hand, while an idea came to his mind.

- Hey Ciel, but you've been playing the violin for 5 years right? Why don't you participate too? I would take care of your dress, being roommates it would be even more comfortable for both of us- he proposed leaning towards him with a smile, blue eyes shining with enthusiasm, already thinking about how to get to work. Ciel stopped for a second, the cup in midair, then ended up returning it to the table. He didn't think that the other one still remembered that detail, he came out casually in one of their evening chats.

-I admit it, for once you didn't have a bad idea- he said after a few moments of reflection, turning to him a crooked little smile, his dark blue eyes fixed on those of the other, who in turn placed the cup beating his hands once between them, happy. Making someone like Alois happy was so easy sometimes...-I admit it, for once you didn't have a bad idea- he said after a few moments of reflection, turning to him a crooked little smile, his dark blue eyes fixed on those of the other, who in turn placed the cup beating his hands once between them, happy. Making someone happy like Alois was sometimes so easy ... All you had to do was take him out to shop or take an interest in what he was working on to get an immediate reaction.

-So you'll sign up?- Alois asked, reaching for a biscuit and taking a bite before sitting down again in a composed way, the candy held between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand.

-I think a little and then I see, it will also depend on the study load that we will have- answered by crossing his arms on his chest leaning better against the back of the wooden bench, -you instead? Do you make clothes, but don't you intend to participate? - Ciel asked looking at him sideways.

-Oh, um ... I'm not able, I never took music lessons, I prefer to take care only of the part concerning clothing,- Alois said, moving his eyes quickly, his hands going to tighten again around his own cup, taking it to his lips and drinking a couple of sips.

-But your guardian is as rich as I know. Did he never let you take lessons? - asked the raven, stupendous himself; it wasn't like him to ask personal questions of others. But it was also true that, from experience, he knew that rich families tended to educate their children in the musical or sports arts, so that later, if they had talent, they would bring luster to the family. He saw Alois smile at him from behind the cup,

-I was the one, not wanting to take lessons, I wasn't particularly interested and now I have other things to think about, so I never seriously worried about cultivating any skill with any tool. I prefer to concentrate entirely on the one I am good at, that is fashion- Trancy explained, placing the cup on the table and joining his hands, resting his chin on them. The gaze calm, the blond hair that shone slightly in the pale sunlight of the early winter coming through the windows.

-Anyway, going back to the previous speech, there are so many beautiful clubs that at night are a real buzz. One night after the holidays I'll take you there, you'll see, there is nothing to be afraid of, some places are not even as noisy as people think, in fact,- said Alois, crossing his legs better and resting his back against the back of the bench.

-You've really gotten stuck with the fact of wanting to let me out, eh?- Ciel said with a sigh, raising his blue eyes to the ceiling.

-Obviously! You are the fifth friend that I make and the only one of my age, it is not that I can leave you in peace so easily my dear Phan-tom-hive- said the other boy chanting his last name smiling, moving in the air the right index with each syllable.

-Of course you never give up …- Ciel said with an amused snort, a slight smile that appeared on his face.

-Look, I take it as a yes, eh!- the blond promptly replied, while the other just elaborated what Trancy had told him.

-Wait a second ... in what sense am I the only one of your age? What kind of friends do you have?- He exclaimed, looking at him and leaning slightly forward while the other man burst out laughing at his words.

-The best- he answered simply, shrugging his shoulders in a mysterious way.


In the end, they had returned to the Institute just in time to avoid being locked out of the gates. The clock on the courtyard tower rang a quarter to eleven at the exact moment when Alois and Ciel set foot beyond the black wrought-iron gate, the breath of both of them condensing slightly in the air that was pungent at that hour, fatigued by the race they had to make from the bus stop to there.

-Whaaa! Just in time, great! -Exclaimed Alois, adjusting his jacket and hair, which had all been messed up in the run, while Ciel, a little farther on, glared at him.

-Idiot! Did you want to remain locked out?! - said Phantomhive, hoping to make him feel at least a minimum of guilt, but only getting the result of making him look up at the sky, an exasperated expression on his face.

- Ciel stop complaining! From Tuesday you will be at home beautiful and peaceful without me! As soon as we come back anyway, I remind you, the very first Saturday I take you out with me to my favorite place - the blond said with a radiant smile as he and Ciel walked towards the wing where their room was, the raven walking a few steps behind him, still a little sullen.

-This doesn't change the fact that we had to run like damned just because you liked the advances that the guy at the bar had made to you - Phantomhive started by crossing his arms on his chest and making his friend laugh, - you are a damned first woman Alois and believe me if I tell you that the thing is noticeable- he said as the single bag he held clashed lightly against his left leg with every step. Unlike the blond he had only bought in a store, the bookshop. Not that Alois hadn't tried to completely rebuild his wardrobe by force, but a couple of cold glances from him was enough to stop the inordinate frenzy of the blond.

-Also, returning home Tuesday afternoon is equivalent to having to face Monday's lessons- he murmured in an annoyed tone as Alois pulled his room key out of his light jacket pocket, opening the door and entering with a sigh, leaving the floor beside his own wardrobe the various bags of the shops.

-Ahn ... The problem then remains Prof. Michaelis- Trancy said putting a persuasive note in the voice to pronounce the man's name. Ciel glared at him in response.

-I'm right once more, gentlemen and ladies! - the blond exclaimed, bowing to an imaginary audience, receiving from the other a pillow thrown at him with force. Alois chuckled, throwing back his pillow as Ciel cursed under his breath.

-You know, I see you well together- said at one point the blond while, despite the hour, he began to pull out the purchases of the bags and folded them putting them in the closet.

-What are you? But are you an idiot by chance?! He loves to make my life impossible and I can't stand him- Ciel immediately clarified, immobilizing himself while he was intent on changing, looking at him with his shirt half-torn.

-Indeed! For me he teases you because he likes you-

-Do not even mention it! He's a sadistic and nothing else, then it was not you who liked him?-Phantomhive asked ending up undressing and pulling his pajamas out of the nightstand drawer, glancing at him.

-Nha, it's a great cool and goes close to my ideal as a man, but we're not there yet- he said pulling out the last item of clothing he had bought, making Ciel flare up.

-You know, from the way you act sometimes it seems that the only thing that is essential for you in a man is that he has a great penis-

-CIEL! - exclaimed Alois falsely indignantly and starting his own farce looking at him a little badly pointing his hands on his hips, - for who the hell did you get me eh?! -

-Well, you know, one "sometimes" you pose a little bit like a bitch, two that red baby doll is something indecent- replied Phantomhive pointing the finger at "the dress" between the hands of his friend, that the other he hurried to put away carefully in a drawer.

- Meanwhile I'm much more romantic than you think you know? This dress is reserved only to my future man, not to anyone - he immediately clarified crossing his thin arms on his chest, - I also don't see anything wrong with being sexually active and I don't think it's a crime to go to bed with someone purely for pleasure. Just because I am very sociable, it doesn't mean that I don't have certain standards anyway- he said in a mischievous tone, making Ciel barely snort.

-Ok ok, remind me never to make you a note like that again if I don't want to put up with all this talk every time ...- the raven muttered. This was enough to calm Alois who knew how easy it was for the other to lose his patience.

-Anyway, are you done with those damn clothes? I would also like to sleep here,- Ciel said, slipping under the covers, raising his eyes to Alois, who waved his hand in the air.

- Okay okay mr. grumpy ... let me change and I close everything ...- he answered taking off his ankle boots, jeans shorts and tight tights, which he threw on the armchair, immediately followed by his jacket and shirt. Trancy rummaged in the drawer of the bedside table for a few moments, pulling out soft overalls and a loose shirt that came up just above the knee, slipping them on. He shut the lights putting himself under the covers.

-Night ... Ah, Ciel ...? -

-Yes...? What is it now? - Ciel just groaned, already partly in the dream world, the blankets pulled over his shoulders.

-Tomorrow is Sunday so if you wake me up because you have to study I swear I will kill you with bare hands - Alois said as a warning before closing his eyes and trying to sleep.


The next day the blond was awakened by the rays of the sun that filtered through the half-closed shutters and poured mercilessly onto his bed. He just grunted, turning over for a few minutes and then he realized sadly that he would never be able to go back to sleep. He snorted slightly, narrowing one eye and pointing it at the alarm clock on the bedside table, noting that it was about half an hour before one o'clock. If he hadn't given himself a move, he would have come late for lunch ... He sat up between the covers and stretched, the loose shirt just falling off his thin shoulders. He ran a hand through his hair, arranging them summarily, knocking his slender legs down and going to the bathroom to wash. He certainly could not go out in that state. He took a quick shower without washing his hair, he had thought of it the day before at the bottom, drying himself and settling himself in front of the mirror to put on makeup. It was always better to change afterwards ... Once he had happened to get his good clothes dirty with makeup and, since even throwing them in the washing machine he didn't go away, he had to throw them away. He put on just a little powder, going down instead heavily with eyeliner. The first time he tried to put it on he had made a thin, light line, fearing to exaggerate, discovering instead that weighing it down made his eyes bigger and more attractive. He put the makeup in the box on the shelf, taking the brush in his hand and adjusting his hair. He smiled with satisfaction as he looked at his own reflection in the mirror, then began to change, taking off his pajamas and wearing a pair of black shorts and gray knee high stockings putting on a light gray pearl sweatshirt. He quickly put on his black ankle boots, grabbing only the cell phone and the room key, slinging out through the corridors. When he got up he saw that, of course, Ciel's bed was empty; most likely the companion had spent the morning in the library and was now waiting for him at their usual table in the canteen. He would almost certainly have scolded him for being late ... He was running through the corridors trying to hurry up when he turned the corner and ended up hitting someone, collapsing down to sit. He just groaned with pain.

-You could also watch where you go! It's really not nic- -he said with a bit of hatred, stopping halfway through the sentence when, looking up, he saw who he'd slammed against. The man in front of him will have been up to 24 years old, with very light skin and black hair. Behind the square lenses of the glasses two eyes of amber color looked at him with disappointment.

-To begin with, you were the one who was running through the corridors, which would be forbidden, besides, this doesn't seem to me the way to speak to a teacher,- the man said calmly, glaring at him however. For his part, Alois was looking at him in awe, his lips made shiny by the lipgloss slightly parted. A few moments passed before he could find his voice.

- Yes, excuse me. I beg your pardon ... I shouldn't have run that way ...- he muttered embarrassed as he pulled himself up, bowing slightly to the man, bowing his head. For the first time he was afraid to look someone in the eye. The man in front of him seemed satisfied with the change of attitude,

-Try to be more careful next time,- he said simply, dismissing him. Alois immediately murmured a greeting and then passed him, quickly moving away. The man turned slightly, watching him leave, wondering a little confusedly if he really was not a girl or if he was simply the most ephebic boy he had ever seen. He shrugged his shoulders and settled his glasses on his nose and headed for his own quarters: certain that, as far as he had seen, the boy could bring out a nice little character if he wanted.

Meanwhile Alois had arrived in the cafeteria and was looking for Ciel with his eyes, finding him at the table at the far end next to the drink machines. The boy arrived a few minutes later at the table, coming out of the line he had made at the counter, setting his tray in front of his friend's.

- Good morning Sleeping Beauty - Ciel said with a grin, setting aside the book he was reading a few moments before, carefully slipping the thin bookmark between the pages. Strangely, unlike the usual, the blond did not reply in kind with a joke, the only voices he heard were those of the other boys sitting at lunch around them. The raven, raising his face from his tray, noticed that his friend had a dazed expression, as if he were still in the world of dreams, which, Ciel thought, knowing the subject a little, could very well be. He left the taste of doubt for up to two minutes and then snapped his fingers in front of his face, making him jump and get out of his trance state. Alois looked around confusedly for a few moments, as if he didn't realize well where he was and how he got there, before he laid his sky-colored gaze on the boy in front of him, who snorted.

- Can I know what's wrong with you? Alois? - Phantomhive took it up again, frowning when the boy didn't seem to have heard his question. Trancy's eyes were lost, focused on something they didn't really see. Only then did Ciel notice the slight blush that decorated the cheeks of the other since he had set foot in the canteen.

-Ciel ... I ... I think I just met the person with whom I will use the dress of last night- murmured Alois in a dreamy tone placing his chin on the palm of one hand while with the other he just moved his fork toying with the chips he had in the dish. Ciel nearly choked on what he was drinking, risking spitting water on the blonde. He put the bottle down coughing and trying to catch his breath.

-What the hell is it about you to say all of a sudden?! What happened while you came here, did you see the Madonna?- He asked again, coughing slightly and trying not to die there, it would have been rather pathetic to end his life in the institute's cafeteria... He saw Alois blushing even more and letting his grip on the fork bring both hands to his face.

-No ... I met a really crazy guy ... I've never seen hair of a black so deep ... The porcelain skin ... God if only you had seen the eyes that he has Ciel...They look like two topazes …- the boy dreamily said with a sigh. Phantomhive, seeing him behave in that way, wondered if it was too late to get up and leave, leaving him free to embarrass himself without getting involved in his absurdities. He sighed heavily, waving a hand in the air in front of Alois, attracting his attention.

-A bit of demeanor ...! You look like a little girl in love drooling behind the artist of the moment, take back a minimum ...- Ciel scolded him, getting a grimace in response. He sighed, running a hand over his face, the blond was definitely unrecoverable.

-A least do you know his name?- he asked, surrendering to giving him a minimum of attention, even though he was sure he would regret it in a short amount of time.

-To tell the truth, no, let's say we met in an unconventional way ...- Alois murmured, just biting his lower lip, - I ended up against him in the corridor as I ran to come here- he hastened to explain noticing the questioning look that the boy had thrown him.

-Typical of you …- Ciel said with an ironic little smile, -I should have guessed,- he put his fork to his lips, biting into the last piece of chicken that was left of his lunch. Alois shrugged and stretched his delicate fingers on his fries, taking a handful and putting them in his mouth. He usually preferred to have a little more class, but it seemed extremely stupid to eat them with a fork. He let his eyes wander over the great dining room, unable to refrain from thinking about that man's look ...Those amber eyes attracted him terribly ... He couldn't stop the shiver that ran down his back at the thought of what it would be like to have that look on himself as he was forced between the man's body and any surface.

-Ohi, Alois ...- Ciel called him back at a certain point, seeing him too lost in his thoughts while he was drinking the strawberry milk in front of him. The blond roused himself, returning to lay his gaze on him, arching a fine eyebrow in a questioning expression, his lips barely closed on the straw.

- Go slow, okay? With this story - Ciel said taking back his book, the intense blue gaze fixed on the pages, - you don't even know what his sexual tendencies are, he could very well be straight and you would lose time uselessly going after him. Don't lose your head for the first person to come at you - he explained better by just looking up at him. Alois looked at him a little surprised, his eyebrows raised, his lips slightly parted. He remained like that for a few seconds and then opened up in a little smile veiled with sweetness.

-Ciel, you're really nice to worry about me you know? Don't worry, I can get by,- Trancy said, finishing his drink then placing the empty bottle on the tray. Ciel just blushed in response, putting on an annoyed expression aimed at concealing the slight embarrassment he felt.

-Tsk, I don't care about you. I am worried that if it went wrong then you would come to me and never stop complaining and make the first outraged woman and I care about mine, now almost completely gone because of you, peace-replied his roommate looking at him a little badly, but failing in any way to affect the blond's good mood. They remained talking until half past one, or rather, Alois was talking about more and less and Ciel occasionally deigned to listen to him and to answer him. The blond stopped only when he glanced at the display of the cell phone and noticed what time it was. He immediately got up and slipped the phone into his pocket and took the tray.

- Sorry Ciel, but I have to go. At 4 pm I have to meet Professor Sutcliff for the show clothes thing and I wanted to work a little first - he said quickly, -see you this evening!- He greeted him before putting away the used tray and leaving the canteen at a fast pace. the sound of heels hitting the stone floor that echoed in the dining room almost empty now, directed towards their room.

"Of course there must be something to do with the clothes for the show if you start working even on Sunday," thought Ciel, watching him go away. For his part, instead, he would have taken just half an hour for himself, going for a while in the enormous garden of the institute to finish the book before returning to study in the library. Unlike his roommate, it was not unusual for him to study even on Sunday. He put the book away in his bag and then stood up calmly and took the empty tray, placing it on the special trolley as well. He left the table while the last latecomers ended up eating around him. As he stepped into the garden the rays of the pale early-winter sun struck his face gently, warming him slightly as he went to sit on the bench under the huge oak tree that was in the middle of the back yard. He picked up the book from his bag, trying to get back to diving into what he was reading, so as not to think about the fact that he would have to go to the library to finish the Latin writings that Professor Spears had assigned him. If the situation had been different, he would have gone to his room to study, but knowing that Alois was working there, he didn't want to set foot momentarily; when the blond worked he tended to become even more a living contrast than he already was normally. He would get pissed if someone dared to disturb him while creating the sketches, but then he would shoot the music with the stereo at barely acceptable volumes. Staying in the room with him while he was in the "creative phase", as the blonde called it, was practically impossible for him, a normal one ended up wanting to beat him. And yet, his cousin Elizabeth, for them Lizzy, who had joined Alois several times to work, seemed to be completely at ease in that situation, as well as the red boy who attended the course with them, Joker.

"It will be a characteristic of those of the fashion class, to be completely crazy, just look at who their teacher is in the end," thought Ciel, raising his eyes a second while looking at the sky. Not that he did not respect Professor Sutcliff at all, only that he found her extremely extravagant and certainly did not inspire him with much confidence. He just snorted at the thought that the next day he would have to face the two-hour lesson of Prof. Michaelis. Alois's words came back to him, "You know, I see you well together," "For me he teases you because he likes you!". If it really had been like this, how should he behave? Such a thing was not really legal after all ... Realizing what he was thinking Ciel shook his head giving himself mentally stupid. What the hell was he thinking ?! The foolishness of Alois for these things was definitely infecting him and it was not going well at all. He ran a hand through his hair, glancing at the watch on his wrist, noticing that it was time for him to move to study. He snorted with annoyance; even when he was not physically present, Alois could make him waste his time! He closed the book with a sigh and put it away in his shoulder bag, getting up and moving with a measured pace towards the library, at least there he would have the calm and peace he needed.

He put the bag down on one of the tables at the back, then went through the shelves in search of the books he needed, noticing, passing in front of a section, Alois who, with headphones in his ears, was pulling down an impressive amount of books, taking them in thin arms. Seeing him like this, lightly on tiptoe despite the slight heel of the boots, in shorts, tights and make-up, he really looked like a girl. Most likely if he hadn't known him for a while he would have no doubt said he was. "Well, he lacks little ..." he thought, referring to his friend's attitude and sexual orientation. But if he had to say what bothered him more than the blonde he would not have said that he often talked to him about boys and fashion even for hours, but rather that he occupied the bathroom for decades, always putting the music at indecent levels. He seemed to literally forget that he wasn't the only one using it but that he also had a roommate. Once he had in his arms a sufficient number of books for him, Ciel went to the table on which he had previously laid his bag, letting himself fall with a sigh on the chair, putting down the volumes and taking out his notebook with his Latin notes . All in all he was happy enough to come home for the short holiday, enjoy the comforts of his own villa and be with his parents. After all, he missed his parents ... especially his mother who, with all the attention she had always reserved for him, had probably spoiled him a little. Certainly Rachel would have been happy to learn that he had made at least one friend, even though Ciel was still not sure if he could consider Alois that way. It would have been a little strange not to have the blonde constantly around, but undoubtedly it would have been relaxing and certainly positive for his poor psyche. He set to work, completing the first few exercises shortly before moving to the translation of the version, trying to be as accurate as possible in doing his job, finding some peace in the silence of the place and in having his mind busy and not free to wander. When he looked up from the books the sky outside the window was tinged with the cold colors typical of early winter sunsets.

Taking a look at the mobile phone screen and noticing that it was about twenty minutes before dinner time, he gathered his things and put away the notebook and various papers in the bag along with the case. He slipped his cell phone into the pocket of his sweatshirt, taking in his arms the numerous books he had used to carry out his work and going to carefully arrange them on their shelves. Apart from the fact that he was an educated person and would never have allowed himself to leave everything around, he had repeatedly heard the poor librarian despair of the disaster left by other students of the institute. He put away the last volume with a sigh, thinking that before going to the canteen he had to go into the room to put down his bag and see what had happened to his roommate. Alois had told him that in the afternoon he would be at the fashion lab working with Professor Sutcliff and that he would return to the room in the evening, but since he hadn't seen him since after lunch, he began to suspect that the blond had died under a pile of fabric, thread, lace and other unidentified tailoring materials and to which Ciel now did not want to think. He adjusted his shoulder strap better on his shoulder, moving quickly towards his room, his right hand already holding the key, in case he found the door closed. Fortunately for him the door was open instead and as soon as he set foot in the room he heard the voices of Alois and Elizabeth rise in a unison scream that urged him to be very careful where he put his feet. As he looked down at the floor he saw the room filled with various rolls of fabric, meters and a pair of scissors. Looking up with the intent to place it on his friend and his cousin, he noticed two mannequins placed in a corner next to the wardrobes and Alois's desk covered with various spools of thread, tulle and more.

-... But are you serious? - he only had the strength to ask, his hand still placed on the door handle, motionless on the entrance to the room. Evidently he must have had a comical expression on his face as the two blondes, instead of apologizing and starting to tidy up, as any normal person and respectful of the space of others would have done, laughed without the least modesty. Lizzy even fell from her back to the bed holding her belly for the laughter that was being done. Alois, who ultimately had to divide the room and knew how much Ciel could get pissed if he pulled too hard, tried to regain a minimum of composure and, running a hand over his cheeks so as to drive away the tears caused by laughter, rose from his bed and approached the blue with his hands raised in surrender.

-Ok, ok, we understand, don't worry, after dinner I'll fix everything and I promise I'll make the room shine- he said smiling to Ciel who, in response, passed a hand over his face with a sigh, wondering who had given him the psychophysical strength necessary to refrain from killing the other boy in his sleep the first night of living together.

-Will be better! I don't care what you do in YOUR part of the room, but don't come and clog mine! - Phantomhive exclaimed as Lizzy pulled herself up, her thin shoulders still shaken by laughter. At another glance from his cousin she winked at Alois.

-Quiet Ciel, I'll check it,- she said, moving closer to the blonde and letting the boy put his arm around her shoulders. For some strange case, (Ciel would have sworn that this was the fate that was playing a bad, very bad, joke) Alois and Elizabeth after a small initial divergence discovered they were going to get along very well and to be well in the one of the other. Moreover, by attending the same course they certainly had more topics to talk about that interested both. Ciel believed that their friendship was good in part, both had found someone to let go and so they didn't always stand by, but when they all met together, as in that case, the two seemed to ally "against" of he. It was almost certain that all this situation was an evil plan of some god who enjoyed putting him to the test.

- Now that we have agreed that you will spend the evening tidying up, can we go to dinner? I don't want to always arrive late because of one of you - Phantomhive said, dropping the bag at the foot of his bed and glancing at the two, who exchanged an amused look.

-Ok ok Lizzy, come on go ... if not, here Your Majesty throws us in prison- Alois said in a theatrical tone, followed closely by the blonde who, giving him rope, put her hands to her face with a fake frown, funny expression that seemed to say "oh no!" Alois chuckled making her a slight bow and holding out a hand, like a knight inviting a lady to dance.

- Would you do me the honor of accompanying me, my lady? - he asked her and Lizzy immediately put her hand on that of the boy doing in turn a little bow ignoring Ciel's bored gaze and heading instead with his friend out of the room.

- With real pleasure! You still have to tell me well about that cool guy you saw in the hallway- the girl said as they walked down the corridor toward the cafeteria, while Ciel murmured half-cursedly cursing at them for leaving him behind and hurried to going out and locking the room, running after the two blondes. Hearing Elizabeth's last sentence he looked up at the ceiling wondering that he had never done anything wrong to have to endure them. He almost hoped he wouldn't have to sit at their table and sneak away to sit at the one at the back.


Two hours. Two damn hours. Ciel thought he was going crazy. If the bell did not move to sound it was certain that it would have carried out a class extermination. Even if, as usual, the fault was only of Prof. Michaelis, who for the whole lesson had not given him a moment of respite, doing, casually, questions practically only to him.

"If a look were enough to kill ... the professor would already be dead ..." thought Alois, his chin resting on the palm of one hand, the look that bored the blackboard. "And yet I think those two would be so well together ..." he said to himself with a slight sigh as the bell, with the utmost joy of the raven, resounded through the corridors and the classrooms, announcing the end of the first two hours of lessons and noting that only one was missing for recreation. On the other hand, the following lesson was algebra with Professor Abberline, to the utmost joy of Ciel, and the blond's supreme despair. And yet, the one who took the place of Professor Michaelis was not the red-haired man and the blue eyes that the boys were now used to seeing, but well the individual with the topaz-colored eyes and the raven hair against which Alois had been crashed in the corridor the day before. When the blond looked at the desk and saw the man behind him, he nearly fell off the desk, earning a glare from Ciel. Fortunately, none of his companions, and above all the new teacher, seemed to have noticed the least. As Phantomhive returned to turn his gaze to the man standing behind the desk, the man lightly cleared his throat, running his eyes over the students.

-Good morning to all of you. My name is Claude Faustus and as you may have noticed today, but also for the rest of the year, I will be teaching instead of Professor Abberline, who has been moved to another section. Today I will be giving an introductory lesson to see if there are problems with my teaching method, which could be different from the one my colleague has adopted so far, but later on I would like to take a small test, just to see how you are doing, since unfortunately the my colleague forgot to pass me your previous two tests- he said in a calm voice as he watched the reactions of individual students. Some looked a little worried about the announcement of a future review, but no one seemed particularly worried. As the man's golden eyes rested on Alois, the boy ran a hand through his hair, placing a rebellious lock behind his ear, trying to put himself in as much composition as possible.He certainly didn't want to make a bad impression on the man who had captured him at first glance. As soon as he heard the word verification, he turned to Ciel, making a mental note to ask for a hand. He didn't excel at all in mathematics as opposed to raven and he wanted to get good grades now, considering who would be the professor for the next few months.

"So his name is Claude ..." the blond thought as the man began to explain and write notes on the blackboard. He took out his notebook and began to write down the things he had written, completely intent on making a good impression and committing himself seriously in that subject from that moment on. "You look like a very cold person, Claude Faustus ... but I'll be able to make you fall at my feet in one way or another ... And I always get what I want ...".

Chapter Text

It was late afternoon by now, the fresh air, which heralded the arrival of the evening proper, lashed the buildings and sidewalks of the streets, ruffling people's hair and raising the girls' skirt slightly. The sound of car horns and vehicle engines speeding along the road mixed with the chatter of people walking, heading home, to work or to a destination known only to them.
Alois walked briskly along the sidewalk of Green Lanes, his step made only slightly unsteady by the plastic shopping bags that were practically sawing his fingers for how heavy they were. Certainly the twelve cm heel of the boots he wore did not help, even though they were thick. In his defense, however, it had to be said that when he left that morning it was not his plan to go shopping, not even remotely. Especially since it was not his turn to bring the food home. Only then Violet had called him on the phone, just as he was coming out of the bar at which he had left his name for the job, yet another of the day, saying that in the fridge there was nothing left but a bottle of Fanta now completely outgassing and a couple of carrots. He had spent about ten minutes arguing with him on his cell phone, letting himself go to a fairly colorful language in a couple of moments, catching an indignant glare from an old woman who had passed by him. Finally, he had to surrender and accept to go buy the necessary, mostly because he knew that if he hadn't done it, nobody else would have thought about it, which would have meant two options for dinner: hot air or McDonald's sandwiches and fries. Neither of the two options particularly appealed to him. Of course, not having to cook dinner and doing the dishes was a tempting thought, but they had eaten at the fast food restaurant just a couple of nights before, when they went out together to celebrate Hanna's promotion at work and he had no intention to gain weight if he could avoid it.

He sighed slightly, pausing a second and placing one of the bags on the ground next to his feet, bringing his hand to push aside a tuft of hair that continued to end annoyingly in front of his eyes, bringing it behind his ear. With the same hand, he went to feel the pockets of the gray coat that came just above his knees, letting himself go to a slight grimace when he realized he had forgotten the headphones at home, probably in the bag he used at the Institute, or stuck between the lilac sheets. He knew it was not a great tragedy, from Dostlar at his home were only about seven or eight minutes of walking, but with those bags that seemed to weigh tons, the road seemed to have become suddenly much longer than it actually was.

He had spent the morning and early afternoon leaving his resume for various jobs around, having to force himself to smile and be nice, so as to make a good impression and now he felt his face muscles ache. Not that it usually bothered him to smile, but that day hadn't started in the best way; the cellphone alarm had not rang for who knows what obscure reason, with the result that he had woken up about two hours later than he had planned, inevitably finding himself without hot water for the shower, ending up under as much cold water as that of the Arctic, in the early winter. Then, as if the alarm clock and the water weren't already enough, one of the idiots with whom he lived, probably Richard, "Dagger", given the boy's propensity to make jokes, to him in particular, threw some flour into the hair dryer . No need to add what had happened when the blond was about to dry his hair.

The scream of frustration of the blond resounded throughout the Saint Ann's Road 400, so much so that a couple of crows that were perched on the eaves above the kitchen window had flown away. He had to completely clean the hair dryer and then wash his hair well and better in the sink, passing it first with the towel while he put on his makeup and then giving the final touch with the hair dryer.

He ran down to the kitchen, almost killing himself down the narrow stairs due to the tide of slippers left lying around and not neatly arranged against the wall, sighing with relief when, taking out the bottle from the fridge, he had found that the others had been enough kind to leave him at least the tropical fruit juice. Along with a glass of it, he had made two toasts on the fly, then putting on lipstick, it would have made no sense to put it on first because he would have spoiled it by eating, leaving the house hopping on one foot only while finishing putting on his left boot. Fortunately, despite all the messes, evidently aimed at making him lose his head permanently, he had forgotten nothing and, cell phone in hand and shoulder bag, had walked towards the main street. He was determined to deliver his résumé first to the workplaces closest to home and then take the train and try those more distant, hoping in reality to find something that was not too far from the Institute, halfway at best. There would be no problems for the return time; the Institute limited the curfew on students who, for work reasons, were out beyond the time, the important thing was to present a certification which guaranteed that they did not lie to make their own comforts.

In essence, however, he had been up and down throughout the day, stopping only for lunch, taking a couple of sandwiches and a salad at the first convenience store he had ever seen. Even an energetic and sunny person like him at that point began to find it almost tiring to smile and be forcibly educated. He only hoped that doing nice and being well disposed would lead to some positive results and that, in the following days, at least one of the workplaces he had been in, would have called him for a job. He let himself go to a puff of fatigue, taking the bag off the ground and continuing to head home, realizing with a shudder of disgust and annoyance mixed together, that, given the medium-heavy jacket he was wearing and the effort he was making with envelopes, he had inevitably begun to sweat. That was something he hated, as well as disgusted; it took a lot of time and a lot of effort to take care of his appearance, both in terms of makeup and clothes and then sweat ended up ruining everything, ending the time he had lost and the care taken directly into the toilet. He just grunted, twisting his nose slightly and glancing at Choppy Cut, the exclusive boutique located across the street from where he was at that moment, where he had made up his mind to take a closer look before or after. In the distance he heard the sirens of an ambulance ringing, which a few moments later passed on the street beside the boy, who cursed himself for having both hands engaged with the envelopes and not being able to cover his ears. He really hated that deafening sound, it remained in his head like a redundant song.

Despite the jacket that kept him warm, he felt a cold shiver run over him from head to toe, almost painful, similar to the sensation of the edge of a blade slid over his skin. He shook his head, his soft hair just caressing his cheeks, refraining from biting his lower lip only to avoid ruining his lipstick, continuing along the road. He passed the Safir jewelry shop and then crossed the street, the good smell coming out of the Pizza Hut a little further on that came straight to his nose like a blow, making his stomach rumble and reminding his physique that two skimpy sandwiches and a poor salad were not enough to give him energy all day long. He continued straight on the road until he reached the intersection, absently noting that Ladbrokers was doing some exterior repairs and that the pharmacy just ahead, unlike the usual, was already closed. Never mind, he would have gone on one of those days while looking for work.

He crossed the street turning to the right, scarcely throwing a curse behind the cretin in the car that, despite being red, he had passed anyway, not pulling him down shortly. As he turned the corner he immediately found himself in a totally different area; a not too wide street, bordered on both sides by houses all similar to each other. They were built in dark red brick, with white fixtures and a skimpy garden at the front that continued along the back, reached by exiting the back door of the kitchen.

"Come on ... One last effort and then you're finally home ... Put the stuff away in the fridge, you go take a proper bath while Hannah prepares dinner and then you call someone to go out" thought Alois letting himself go to a slight satisfied smile at that prospect, managing to ignore the sound of the ambulance that had remained in his head, more sticky than a chewing gum in his hair, which fortunately seemed to be fading slowly. He arrived in front of the house within another two minutes, taking both bags for a moment with one hand while, with the other hand, he went to pull the house keys out of the right pocket of his jacket, while passing the small iron gate, that someone had left open. He walked the scarce two meters of "driveway" and then finally reached the door, opening it quickly and placing the keys on the shelf next to it, taking a bag for each hand, advancing slightly in the small entrance so as to close the door behind him with the foot. He noticed absently that next to the wall were Rebecca's boots, Beast for friends, along with Richard's shapeless boots and Emily's sneakers. So the only ones who weren't home were Hannah and Violet …

-I'm home! - he said putting the bags on the ground so as to take off his boots, arranging them in the corner next to the other shoes, to then recover the shopping and enter the small living room on the right, which was simply furnished with a sofa and a broken-down armchair, a low table littered with packets of cigarettes and bags of chips and a TV set on a slightly lopsided piece of furniture. He passed the living room entering the kitchen, finding Rebecca sitting on one of the two stools of the peninsula that divided the area of the stove from that of the table, intent on tinkering with her cell phone like a fury, the expression of one who is annoyed to death in the face . As she noticed him, she opened in a slight smile, a flash of relief and gratitude in her heavily made-up black eyes.

-What luck that you did the shopping! - she exclaimed blocking the phone and placing it for a second on the shelf in front of her, rising slightly by levering on the elbows, scanning the contents of the plastic bags that Alois had placed on the ground next to the fridge and that, once he had taken off his jacket and dumped it on a chair, he was preparing to empty. Noticing the almost anxious glances that his roommate was throwing at the envelopes, the boy couldn't hold back a slight laugh. He bent down to put the milk in the bottom shelf of the fridge door and while he pulled out a packet of choco banana, throwing them at the girl.

- Seen that I remembered you? Don't be so suspicious - he said with a smirk as Beast opened the package and stuffed one of the sweets into her mouth with the expression of someone experiencing a heavenly experience.

-I do not know how to thank you, after what happened today ... This is the best thing of the day ... - the brunette said in a groan, slipping a second trick into her mouth, her lips soft and full painted with a wine red lipstick. The boy gave her a look as he finished fixing the shopping, the expression slightly frowning. He had noticed from the moment he entered the kitchen and had seen her rage like that on the telephone keypad that evidently something was wrong, pulling a mental sigh of relief at the thought that yes, he had definitely done well taking her favorite snack.

-What happened? - he asked pushing the fridge door, which closed with a light thud, his pale eyes going to rest on the figure of his roommate. Beast made a slight grimace at those words, as if undecided whether to tell him everything or to shut up, after all she was not one who spoke much, at least, not about matters so private, for the rest she was of good company when it came to chatting on more and less. Eventually, she let out a light sigh, motioning for Alois to sit on the stool next to her, a veil of sadness on her face.

-I just found out that people I really thought of as my friend, whom I have known for years and whom I had always believed I could always count on, is actually just good to talk,- she said with a shrug, wearing a denim miniskirt and black tights, the white long-sleeved shirt almost completely covered by a black leather vest.

-Ehy! And what am I, a potato?- Alois asked with a hint of feigned indignation in his voice, taking a seat on the stool next to her after retrieving a bottle of grapefruit shwepps from the fridge. Rebecca raised her dark eyes to the ceiling at that complaint.

-You know what I mean ... - she reproached him, giving him a pat on the leg while on her beautiful face a slight smile surfaced, which however immediately disappeared, the eyebrows just barely frowned, -You know that I am not a naive person and that you it takes quite a while before I really trust anyone, my confidence, as I think of all people with a minimum of self-respect, must be hard earned. So when I come to trust someone, there are serious foundations behind it all ... - she said in a low tone, her gaze fixed on the blond sitting in front of her. Alois nodded slowly at those words, as if giving her a sign that he understood her perfectly and that she could easily go on with the speech. -But nothing ... The fact is that I always have to be free for mine, so-called "friends" ... I always have to be free because they want to go here, there, up, down ... But then when maybe I need being with someone because, I admit, I am one of those people who is well on its own up to a certain point...But when the situation turns upside down, magically there is never anyone. So I broke my balls a little, which I don't even have! So imagine how pissed I am! - Beast exclaimed spreading her arms slightly and looking at him with the expression of one who is ready to go out and kill someone, probably even with her bare hands.

At these words Alois lightly bit his lower lip, letting himself sigh. He understood all too well what his friend was saying, he was not, unfortunately, new to similar situations. He turned the bottle in his hands for a few seconds, wetting his fingers with the condensation that had begun to cover the plastic surface due to the contrast between the cold temperature of the drink and the heat of the kitchen. He left indecipherable marks on the bottle, his eyes wandering around the room for a few seconds.

-Beast ... I can tell from experience because the same thing happened to me more than once. Excuse me if I'll be a little rude maybe, but stop considering these people friends. Consider them as acquaintances if they do not give you concrete proof of deserving your trust and they just talk empty and, believe me, acquaintances is already more than they deserve. When I lived in Leicester, I had some friends from London. People I met while attending a drawing course. They were people with whom I had felt well in a ridiculously short time. We always sat at the same table working and while we were talking, we really talked a lot and we talked about practically everything ... Then the course was over. The first few months we were able to see each other quite often, oddly enough, but then, they started doing like your friends; they were practically never there for me, but I always had to be there for them, which I rightly started to get bored of, since I had to do an hour by train to go and another to return. So I stopped being too kind not getting the same treatment from other people. Because after a while, I broke my balls, I am good only up to a certain point- he said seriously, looking Rebecca in the eyes, a veil of coldness in the clear irises. He opened the bottle with a dry gesture, drinking a couple of sips and then closing it, his tongue passing over his soft lips to clean them of the sugary residues of the drink, leaving them barely shiny.

- Exactly! - she exclaimed in return, her left hand still tight on the package of sweets, perhaps a little too much given that the long black lacquered nails of the girl had pierced the thin cardboard slightly. She stretched her free hand in the packet, taking another sweet and biting it, slicing it in half with her cured teeth.

- What pisses me off is the attitude of what I considered my best friend! You know no, every now and then, because of my work as a photographer at fashion shows, I have to leave and go to other countries, don't you?- voice muffled by the fact that she was chewing. The blond nodded with a slight smile; it was true, Beast had always loved photography, so much so that Alois and the others had given her a professional Canon for her birthday, and recently she had managed to get a job as an assistant to a fairly famous photographer who worked mainly with fashion houses. She had actually returned home a little over a week ago.

-How, when I'm away, she's always writing things to me like "but when are you coming back? I miss you a lot, we absolutely have to make up for all the lost time as soon as you get back to London ... ", now that I've come back we've never seen each other, except once. In the beginning she was away on vacation and ok, it wasn't her fault, but then she didn't even tell me she was back! I mean, she told me four days later by chance, just because I asked her when she came back. He said "oh yes, I forgot to tell you I was back", do you think it's normal?! She says she is my friend, then when I am here and I ask her to go out or see each other, she always says no or goes out with other people. Then don't say crap honestly ... - she said with a clear note of anger in her voice, a leg that moved up and down in an almost frenetic way for the nervous. Alois looked at her, a hint of annoyance that began to prick him from the inside due to the behavior of Rebecca's supposed friend.

-I know it may sound like a foregone phrase and one thing that can be very difficult to do, but you have to learn not to mind. I personally made it my philosophy of life; I can also be nice to others, but I will never expect others to treat me like I did with them. On the level of trust I am very similar to you; In principle I am a very wary person, so if someone betrays my trust, he has to work hard to get it back. I stopped, and you should do it too, to rely on people who talk as much as if they wanted you and then do nothing to prove it. We are not here to let pfuck with us, I say well? - he said with a smile, which was returned by the girl.

-Just not, not even a little. Honestly, you are right, from now on, just empty words will no longer be enough, or together with those I will also see facts, or these people will be able to go blissfully to fuck without many compliments- Beast said, shrugging her shoulders and pulling a pack of cigarettes out of her jacket, offering one to his friend. Alois gladly took it, pulling the lighter out of his jeans pocket with his free hand, not without a minimum of difficulty since the latter were adherents. He lit both his own cigarette and that of the girl, then turned slightly and leaned back against the peninsula, his eyes going to rest a second outside the window, absently watching the leaves of the trees being shaken by the wind.

- How did your day go? Found something interesting regarding the job? - Rebecca asked him at one point making him come back down to earth. Alois turned his cigarette slightly between his slender fingers, then brought it to his lips and took a shot, enjoying the slightly prickly sensation of the smoke scratching his throat.

-Nothing particularly exciting ... But these days I will definitely continue to look, I must take advantage of it now, because once I get back to the Institute I won't have much time to run here and there. I'd rather find a place in a club, but honestly, anything worthy would suit me. I need money ... I can't go on ... - he stopped for a second, realizing his words. Feeling the other break in that way, Beast turned to look at him, the cigarette softly enclosed between her lips, a slightly confused expression on her face.

-I was saying, I certainly can't keep buying the clothes that I need if I don't earn enough, and you know I'm not someone who is easily satisfied- he said squeezing his thin shoulders, the expression that only meant "what can I do if I have a high aesthetic sense?". Seeing that expression printed on the blond's face, the girl could not suppress a slight laugh, shaking her head and giving him a slight pat on the shoulder.

-You're really incorrigible ...- she said with a smile, her hair curled in soft curls that reached just under her chin and gently caressed her cheeks, -do you have any plans for the evening?- she asked then, dropping the cigarette part that by now was consumed in the ashtray placed on the counter. - In the meantime I'll go get a hot bath ... then I think I'll see if Hannah needs a hand with dinner and then I'll ask some of my friends if he's free and if he wants to go out and go somewhere to dance, nothing too much challenging - the boy said turning off the cigarette in the ashtray and descending gracefully from the stool, headed upstairs, towards his bedroom.

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The moonlight came faintly from the window, past the glass covered with a thin layer of ice, practically lighting up the room. A much greater light came from the display of the cell phone that Alois held in his hands and on which he occasionally rested a tapered finger, sliding the facebook wall, for the umpteenth time in two hours. The small numbers marked in gray at the top right of the display marked one o'clock at night, yet the blond, partly curled up on himself, lying on his side and facing the wall to which the bed was attached, had by now abandoned the idea of falling asleep soon. It seemed that this day everything was rowing against him; first the disasters of that morning, then, as if the joke of the early morning had not been enough, Richard had occupied the only bathroom in the house with the tub, making him postpone for almost an hour the boiling bath he craved from when he returned from shopping. Subsequently it was the turn of Wi-Fi, which after dinner went and not, preventing him from seeing a film in peace on the PC. In the end, he had surrendered to the idea of going to sleep even though it was just midnight, but between having to get up to go to the bathroom, then the trauma of having to abandon the warmth of the duvet, the leggings he used as pajamas that had begun to pinch his legs for some unknown reason and all the friends busy …

Now he also had a bestial thirst. Of course he really had to stay on the ball with anyone who governed the cosmic balance to be tormented in that way. Alois just snorted, blocking the phone and letting it down on the bed with little grace, deciding to go down to the kitchen to drink something before he died dehydrated on the mattress. He pushed the duvet aside, shivering from the sudden cold against the warmth of the blankets he had grown accustomed to, throwing his thin legs off the bed and, once he had slipped the slippers on, he got up wearily, leaving the room and heading down the stairs, hoping not to stumble like that morning on someone's shoes.

After returning from the kitchen holding one of lemon tea bottles that he had taken that afternoon, rigorously cold from the fridge, he sat on the bed, pulling the duvet on his legs, realizing almost immediately that sleep would not come so soon; his hopes for this to happen were almost in vain. He snorted softly, releasing the bottle on the bedside table and retrieving his laptop, noticing with a pinch of joy that now Wi-Fi seemed to do its duty and desperately searching for something to look at. After about twenty minutes he had finally typed the name of a TV series that everyone in those days was talking about on social media, "The end of the f***ing world" which, at least for him, promised a lot well. He had ended up watching five episodes out of eight, the numbers on the PC display that now indicated that one minute was missing at five in the morning. At that point, feeling his eyes become very heavy, he had closed the internet, lowered the screen of the laptop and put the electronic device back in its place, mentally telling himself that it was just time to go to sleep.

Ten minutes had passed, which then turned into twenty and sleep still seemed to want nothing to do with him. He finally managed to fall asleep only around six in the morning, being woken up the next day by the two alarm clocks he had set, one at nine thirty and one at ten. Not that he had special things to do, he was on vacation after all, but it bothered him to think of wasting all morning sleeping, not whether he could go shopping or traveling around London. Despite those thoughts, he managed to find the strength to get up only around eleven-three quarters, throwing his slender legs off the bed with a yawn, a hand going to try to fix the tangle of his blond hair.

At that moment he just wanted to make himself a damned coffee and woe to those who got in the way. He put his hair in place at the well and better, going out into the corridor and noticing with a slight grimace the pile of dirty clothes that, a couple of meters ahead, had been abandoned just below the door for dirty laundry. He raised his eyes to the ceiling with a snort, opening the door to his right and entering the main bathroom, going to wash his face cursing anyone who had left that mess in the corridor. He ran the towel over his face, leaving it next to the sink, coming out of the bathroom and closing the wooden door behind him with a slight thud, perhaps a little too strong as a couple of peeling pieces of paint fell off and ended up on the floor. He advanced along the corridor, coming almost to the stairs, next to the pile of dirty stuff, bending down to pull it up with a snort and opening the door on the wall with his free hand, twisting his nose at the smell that rose from the clothes he had at three cm from the nose.

"But is it so hard to throw them straight into the door? What is a point game? Do they throw them from the door of the room and whoever sends them closer to this point wins?" he thought with a slight movement of annoyance as he sent the clothes down the small slide, closing the metal door with a dry gesture. From the downstairs came the indistinct shouting of what seemed to be the presenter of some program, probably something about the wedding dresses from the words he could pick up from there. So Emily and Hannah were already awake, even for some time probably; the first looked at that kind of program because she just liked it, while the second one took her place on the sofa next to her roommate just to comment in a sarcastic or disgusted way on the sometimes bad tastes of some of the girls who attended. He went down the front stairs, finding himself in the living room area just behind the sofa without having made the slightest sound having forgotten the slippers in the room, finding as imagined the two girls sitting sprawled on the sofa, completely taken by the program of ceremonial dresses that they were watching .

-Gods, but how can you think of wanting such a thing, explain it to me woman! It's something really horrifying, I just don't understand how she can drool over a dress like that- Hannah said with a clear note of disgust in her voice, facing the skinny girl with the golden hair who was gazing at one of the studio mirrors, smiling as if she were in heaven and that dress was made of her dreams that were becoming reality. Alois saw Emily give the other girl a tap on the shoulder with one hand, in a clear gesture of recovery for what the other had just said.

-Hannah! Don't be so bad, we don't all have the same tastes, let alone clothes. The wedding will be her special day and if she sees herself beautiful with that dress and it is exactly what she wants then the others cannot say anything to her- she said turning slightly towards her friend, her light brown hair that partially covered her face, hiding her left eye completely.

-But Hannah is partly right- the blond said then, intruding and making both girls jump, who turned to look at him badly, Hannah even threw him one of the pillows, which the other one dodged without problems.

-Alois! You must stop doing this bullshit to get behind the people without warning that you started doing for a while! You almost made us have a fucking heart attack - said the girl with long silver hair and intense blue eyes, her lips just distorted in a grimace.

-Yeah, we've got used to your stupid, on-stage income that turns to draw everyone's attention to you as soon as you set foot in a room, go back to those before we die of fear,- Emily added with a smile, a sign that she was clearly making fun of him. The boy burst out laughing looking at them, wearing the black leggings and the wide purple sweatshirt he used to sleep, the blue eyes barely circled by the smudged black of the make-up that he had not been able to completely remove, even with the water of before.

-Sorry, but Han is right here, this time,- he said, using the nickname he used for his friend from time to time, leaning with both hands on the back of the sofa and putting himself partially between his two roommates, his eyes now focused on TV. He stretched a finger to point at the girl on the screen.

-That dress is not so horrible in reality, however it is not suitable for her at all, it does not value her body and her face in the least. He falls badly and makes her seem lower than she is, even with heels - he said, pointing to the various points he was talking about, a slight grimace on his delicate face.

-You know, sometimes I forget that you make fashion in that Institute where you go. Sometimes. Very rarely. Because then every two by three you go out like that and I remember why I sometimes ask you for advice when I have to get dressed to go out in the evening- Hannah said, opening in a little smile at the blond's ways, the dark skin just barely kissed by the sun's rays coming in from the window next to the television. The boy raised an eyebrow quite blatantly at those words, looking at Hannah as if to say "but do me the favor, go" with Emily, who for her part was throwing very amused glances at them both.

- Only occasionally? Hannah, please, sometimes you even asked me for borrowed shirts or shoes, don't say crap. You love the way I dress, you love my clothes and you love to ask me for advice because you know that in these things I'm never wrong - he said with a smirk, the air of superiority that lurked around him that you could see a mile away.

-I recommend Miss Modesty, try not to belittle yourself too much, otherwise people will think you don't take yourself seriously! - Emily said then, pulling up the hood of the sweatshirt of the blonde with a playful laugh, followed by Hannah. Alois pulled down his hood, his hair completely ruffled and his expression a bit sulky, but he could not stay long and let himself go with an amused laugh.

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He turned the thread of the cuffs between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand for the thousandth time, the nails, slightly long and lacquered with violet enamel, drummed lightly on one of the legs, covered with black winter stockings which left barely uncovered three centimeters of scarce skin, or those that were not covered by the dark gray miniskirt. A soft sweatshirt of a pearly white was placed over it, all covered in part by a black coat that reached below his knees, a pair of black boots on his feet. He had noticed the various looks of people on him, like a dozen continuous-shooting cameras, the moment he had set foot on that bus. Still, he didn't care.

It was almost two years since he had decided to disregard what people could think of seeing how he dressed; the money were his, he earned them and therefore he could spend them as he thought best. He knew very well that many people thought of everything and more looking at him, mostly negative things but, as he had told Ciel the first day they met, "I don't care what others think. I don't live to give an account of my actions to people who don't even know me ”. If he wanted to dress only with various shades of pink he could do it. As if, to go out at night, he wanted to wear leather trousers, heels of fifteen centimeters and a male corset. So if, every once in a while, he would put on a miniskirt or shorts with tights, it was perfectly normal for him. After all, if a woman could wear trousers without any problem, he couldn't see why a boy couldn't wear a skirt.

He arranged better one of the cellphone earphones that was in danger of slipping, the music at the maximum volume pumping into his ears, sweeping away everything that happened in the surrounding space, like a tsunami on the Japanese coasts. He sighed slightly, shifting the gaze that until then had been fixed inside the vehicle that was taking him to his destination, over the landscape that ran out of the window. He knew that road perfectly, he had been doing it since he was thirteen, he could easily do it on foot and get where he was supposed to without looking at the directions on his cell phone even once. If he took public transport it was only because it would have taken too much; already so it took from forty minutes to almost an hour just to go and just as long to return, then it depended on the train. Recognizing the way in which the bus was passing and remembering that it would be up to him to get off in one stop, he stood up, slinging his handbag over his shoulder, which until then had held on to his knees, his momentarily unbuttoned jacket making see the suit slightly below. He was approaching slowly towards the front exit, paying attention to the bus jolts, not wanting to risk slipping due to the heels of the boots, when a movement in particular caught his attention.

A man in a suit and tie, more or less in his fifties judging by the appearance, was taking advantage of the confusion and of the jolts of the vehicle to rub several times his hand on the ass of the girl in front of him, which, probably terrified, seemed a statue of salt. Without being too noticeable, the blond took his cell phone out of his pocket, discreetly switching off the music and, unseen, began to record what was happening, waited just another couple of moments before shooting.

- Oh, sir! Excuse me, sir! - he exclaimed, getting closer to the man, in a tone of voice high enough to make him jump and make most of the people on the bus turn around, including those sitting at the back, - is everything ok? He needs help?- he asked in a theatrically worried tone, still holding the phone with one hand, pointed at the scene, while he stretched the free one, as if to offer his help. The man on his side was evidently in difficulty and his attempts to hide the agitation were quite worthwhile.

-I-I don't understand what you mean, I ... - he murmured looking around, evidently in extreme discomfort for having been clearly caught red-handed. Alois opened his blue eyes slightly, barely tilting his head with an air of absolute innocence, refraining from letting himself go in a satisfied smirk.

- Well, excuse me, but this girl is continuing to rub her butt against his hand ... Is everything all right? Should I report it to those who are competing? - he said in a deliberately too professional tone while the people around, now understanding what the man was doing, gave him indignant and disgusted looks. Around them the bus was full of people's murmurs. The boy saw the man's face in front of him cover himself unpleasantly with reddish spots, indicative of the profound embarrassment in which he was putting him.

-I really don't know what you're talking about ...- he said, immediately taking his hand away from the girl, bringing it to his chest and unconsciously making the situation he was in more evident.

- Oh, don't worry! Just in case you need it ... I recorded everything, don't worry - he said showing the cell phone he was holding and opening himself in a smile full of innocence, aimed at completely disguising the sadistic pleasure he was feeling in putting that ...thing... to public shame. The man opened his eyes slightly and immediately stretched both hands towards the boy's cell phone, which promptly pulled it against his chest, causing the guy to grab him by the shoulders while he barked at him to immediately give him that thing. Finally two boys sitting in the seats next to them seemed to remember that they also had a pair of arms and legs and could do something other than stand still and watch. They stood in the middle, trying to free Alois from the man's grip, who had not stopped a second from shouting insults at him. Man who, after a few moments, received from the blond a powerful knee between his legs, ending up collapsing on the floor of the bus between the glances and the general murmurs of the people.

-Get your hands off me, you idiot,- said Alois, looking down at him, blue eyes, now cold as ice, full of disgust and hatred. He took a couple of steps back in order to leave room for action at the two guys who were put in the middle. Bad luck wanted, that at that moment the vehicle braked, now at the stop, and the man, though in pain from the blow that the blond had dealt him, dashed off the bus, running away and quickly disappearing into the crowd before someone could do something.The boy gritted his teeth almost painfully to that scene, the frustration rising up and tightening his throat from within. Only then he noticed the look that the girl victim of all that was giving him; behind the understandable fear of what had just happened, a shadow of gratitude was clearly visible. Alois then smiled at her, beckoning to her, as if to say that she did not have to give him any thanks and that she no longer had to worry because the man had escaped as only cowardly rats could. Even if he had prevented the situation from getting worse, he would have much preferred to see that being disgusted under arrest; those like him gave him a sickness, he just needed to think of a scene like the one he had just found to have a sour taste in his mouth for days. He put his cell phone back in his pocket while the bus was leaving, closing his jacket in anticipation of the fact that at the next stop it would be up to him to get off, only realizing at that moment how strong his hands were trembling.

He took a deep breath, trying to solve the problem by squeezing his fist and tightening the other on the shoulder strap of his bag, his gaze fixed on an unknown point without really seeing it.

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Alois had done almost half an hour by bus, then he went down, walked to the Camden Town subway, got another five minutes of travel and then finally arrived at Hampstead. It was a hilly area, less opulent when compared to the other luxury areas of London, but some of the most luxurious villas in the country, whose value even touched the million pounds, were hidden behind artfully arranged and pruned hedges and stone walls. Alois let out a sigh of desire as he walked along Hampstead Heat's park, looking at the beautiful houses in the area.Living in a house like this would have been a dream come true. Not that he didn't like living with others in their somewhat ramshackle Saint Ann's Road house, but he liked it only because of the company. Certainly, having the chance, he would have taken a house like the ones he was passing by. One with a beautiful garden, a lavish dining room, a huge bathroom and a bedroom with a huge window overlooking the garden … Noticing in what direction his thoughts were going in his head he stopped his walk for a second, shaking his head and raising his eyes to the sky for a few moments. Right now he had to focus on what was really important, or find a job, finish his studies ... Survive.

He walked for about ten minutes, the cold air of late afternoon that every so often blew, barely raising the edges of his dark jacket and ruffling his hair which, struck by the rays of the cold sun of early November, looked like strands of pale gold. Finally, he arrived in front of a completely white house, enclosed by a dark brick wall and a high wrought iron gate. Beyond this one, you could see a wide path of polished stone that led directly to the double-leaf entrance door, an intercom equipped with a mini-camera was placed on the wall next to the gate. Alois took a deep breath, adjusting his hair and clothes before pressing his finger on the intercom button, mentally preparing himself for the next two or three hours from there to that part.

Almost immediately at the end of the switch, a man's voice, in a snobbish tone in his opinion, asked him to identify himself and explain the reason for his visit. The boy raised his eyes to the sky, wondering why, since he had been going there for years, he still had to do all that stuff before they opened the gate and the front door. Contrary to his usual however, he kept those thoughts to himself, presenting himself as usual, a sweet smile that made space in his face as soon as he saw the door open, almost simultaneously with the gate, and a little boy of about eleven years old, with hair coppery and dark eyes fixed on him, running towards him waving a hand, shouting with joy.

-Big Brother!-