University of Amsterdam dorms, Amsterdam, Holland. May 24th, 1943
“Hey, babe.” Ciel smiled as his boyfriend walked through the door, hands buried deep in a bowl of veal he was mixing spices into. “How were your finals?”
“Fine.” Sebastian shrugged off his backpack into the corner and came over to smell the piquant meat.
“Don’t worry, the animal was killed properly. It’s fine to eat.”
Sebastian cast a look at Ciel as he kept working, not even blinking. Apparently not all Jewish traditions were out of his mind. “Okay… What are you making?”
“ Ossobuco . It’s a traditional Italian dish. Mother sent me the recipe for it a couple years back.” he hummed as he washed his hands up then grabbed celery and carrots and got to work chopping up the vegetables.
“And what is that over there?” Sebastian gestured to the plate of beef on the opposite counter.
“ Bresoala . It’ll be ready in two months.”
“For one of the days I don’t feel like making supper.”
Sebastian laughed softly. He placed his hands on the smaller man’s waist, pressing a kiss to his neck that got him a hum from Ciel. “I’m having some guests over in an hour or so, students I used to tutor, so we can go over material before the anatomy final tomorrow.”
“So keep out of the way and hands to myself.” nodded Ciel. “Though I do hope we don’t plan on feeding them, there’s only enough for us.”
He shook his head, rubbing circles into his lover’s hipbones with his thumbs. “No, we won’t be. And I can handle snacks if they want them.
“I’ll give Pluto a bath then - he needs one.”
Sebastian looked round as the white dog let out a noise of interest at his name. He was quite a bit bigger now, his withers now a bit taller than the student’s knees - though on Ciel, Pluto was up to his waist, just barely having to stretch to lick his chin.
Reaching out to pet Pluto, Sebastian nodded. “He could use it, and a good brush; fur’s starting to get all over the place again.”
“Alright, I’ll be doing that then tonight.” Ciel declared as he put the diced vegetables in a pan.
“I really don’t understand a bleedin’ thing.” Baldroy admitted as he, Sebastian, and three other students, triplets by the names of Canterbury, Thompson, and Timber, studied the cardiovascular system, an unlit cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth.
Baldo was a U.S. soldier, sent to the University for a semester in medical science to assist with dealing in battlefield injuries. Sebastian was surprised America would do such a thing, considering how they were continually turning a blind eye to the war happening in Europe. Bard would try to defend his country, saying that this wasn’t a matter they needed to get involved in when they had domestic issues to deal with, but that was just callous of them. So many were dying, and Sebastian was nearly positive that if the States would choose a side to support, the war would be won and families wouldn’t keep falling apart. But he was just a foot soldier doing as he was told, following orders, therefore devoting himself to his studies. But academics were not his strong suit. Wielding a weapon, well he was one of the best in that division. But he was no doctor, not in the slightest. Still, Sebastian had to commend his efforts. He tried his best, this just wasn’t his passion as it was the dark haired man’s.
“Well, maybe if you weren’t always puffing on smoke, you’d understand how lungs work.” Thompson stated, his identical brothers nodding along.
Baldroy made an indignant noise. “I know how to cook a meal in five minutes, can clean a gun in under two, and I know how to drive a tank-”
“Baldo-” Sebastian started in attempts to quell the brewing fistfight, interrupted himself when a sopping wet dog ran past them, all four students jumping to snatch their books away from the destroying water as Pluto shook off, droplets flying everywhere.
Bard stared at the hound, eyes wide. “Sebastian, we ain’t supposed to have dogs.”
He looked at the American and gave him a sweet smile. “Then I suppose you shouldn’t tell anyone.”
Baldroy opened his mouth but was cut off by a shout of, “Pluto, no!” Ciel shouted as he raced out of the bathroom, towel in hand. “Don’t do that!” he cried when the dog rubbed up against the couch. “That’s leather!”
He chased after the dog, tripping on a corner of the blue and grey rug adorning the room, bashing his face on the corner of the coffee table. “Pluto!” he called as the dog rushed passed him, Canterbury’s hand darting out to grab his collar. “Thank you.” he said, pride strong in his tone despite his lip now being split and slowly bleeding.
The triplet merely nodded as Ciel took Pluto to tie him up in the bathroom, as he had been trying to before he got out, to dry. He came back into the living room, Sebastian tutting. “You really need to be more careful.”
“It’s not that bad.” the librarian shrugged.
“It’s starting to swell.”
“Is it? Damn it.”
Sebastian tisked and wrapped his arm around Ciel’s shoulders to guide him to the kitchen and clean up the wound.
Timber watched them go, waiting for Bard to busy himself with his textbook, before he leaned in closer to his brother, murmuring, “Interesting, aren’t they?”
Nodding, Thompson replied, “Look at the way he touches the boy. Would deign to say they’re more than flatmates.”
Canterbury hummed thoughtfully. “Wouldn’t the authorities be interested in that?”
“We have no proof.” Thompson and Timber said in unison, hushing immediately when Baldroy looked up at them, turning back to his book after a moment.
“We need to find some then, get rid of Sebastian. He’s too bothersome.”
The triplets nodded and looked round as the lovers entered the room, Ciel holding a cloth to his mouth.
Baldroy groaned loudly when Pluto started to howl from the restroom. “We’re not going to get anything done.” he huffed, the underlying I’m going to fail this test clear in his tone.
“We might as well go get some drinks.” Everyone in the room turned to Timber, who had finally spoken loud enough for all to hear. “We’ll get the tab.”
“Ain’t gonna say no to free alcohol.” the American laughed and stood up, dawning his shoes quickly.
Sebastian was a bit more hesitant, something uneasy in him. Maybe it was just his doctor’s instinct telling him what liquor did to the body. “I…. Guess it would be fun.
“Isn’t he going to come with us?” Thompson asked as the others were going out the door but Ciel sunk down onto the couch.
He tilted his head with a frown. “Me?”
The man nodded.
“I supposed… Suppose I can come if my company is desired.” He got up and grabbed a jacket, following them out of the apartment.
There was a bar located just off campus that was only a few minutes’ walk. The coil of discomfort in the pit of Sebastian’s gut didn’t go away as they walked through the door, jukebox blaring some American song the made Baldroy grin as soon as he heard it. They took seats at the bar, the triplets ordering a round of whiskey for all of them.
“This isn’t your first time doing shots, is it?” the student asked his boyfriend teasingly, hoping some playful banter would ease him.
Ciel scoffed. “Of course I’ve done shots, do I look like a child? Don’t answer that.” he said quickly then threw his head back as he drained the glass then made a face with a gag that proved, no, he had not done shots before.
Sebastian chuckled and gave him a pat on the back. “Lots of water in between, alright?”
Ciel made a face at him but then chuckled and shook his head, drinking another shot of whiskey when the bartender gave it to him on the triplets’ insistence. “It’s so damn hard not to kiss you right now.” he murmured lowly.
“I think we’ll have to be careful with your drinks.” he chuckled.
Despite Sebastian’s words though, two hours later he and Ciel were in the corner of the bar, Ciel nearly on top of him as they giggled and sipped beers. As it turned out, Ciel was a very horny drunk, and it was taking what was left of his sober inhibitions to not give in entirely to the temptation.
“So what’s Switzerland- Switzerland like?” Ciel asked, pausing in his sentence to take a long swig of beer.
“Cold!” the two burst out laughing. “It is so fucking cold there!”
Ciel laughed and tried to crash their mouths together before Sebastian put a hand on his chest, some small voice reminding him they could be affectionate in public. “Not here, baby doll.”
The smaller man stuck out his lower lip in a pout. “But I want to.”
“Mmm, I know you want to, but we can’t.” When that didn’t change his boyfriend’s expression, Sebastian leaned in to whisper in his ear, “But when we get home, I am going to fuck the shit out of you.”
He shivered in pleasure at the idea. “Mmm, daddy-” he got out before going bright red, Sebastian letting out a laugh.
“Oooh, does someone have a kink?!”
“I do not have a kink!” scoffed Ciel indignantly.
“You so do!”
“I don- okay, I do.” he relented with a sigh.
Sebastian laughed triumphantly. “That’s cute!”
“It is not!”
“ You’re cute.”
Ciel leaned forward to kiss him again, huffing when he was stopped once more. “Oh, enough of this.” he grunted and climbed to his feet, swaying, then helped Sebastian stand and immediately tugged him out the back door that led into an alley.
Canterbury nudged Thompson, who in turn elbowed Timber, and he pointed to the door as the couple stumbled out it. “Interesting, isn’t it?” Canterbury murmured.
“Very.” Thompson nodded.
“I think we can find the authorities now.” Timber added and the other two nodded then got up at the same time and left through the front exit.
Meanwhile outside, Ciel had shoved Sebastian against the gritty, ash coated brick wall out back, pressing their mouths together. The student groaned against his lips and pushed his tongue past them.
Ciel’s fingers got to work on his lover’s shirt buttons. He tipped his head back with a moan as Sebastian kissed up his pulse before their lips were crashed together once more.
Sebastian went to wrap his arms around the librarian’s waist, but suddenly his weight disappeared from against his chest. His eyes snapped open as Ciel let out a shout of protest. A burly man covered in hair in the green-grey uniform of the Ordnungspolizei , the name for the police force now that it was taken over by the Nazis.
Ciel kicked at the man. “Bastard! Put me down! Unhand me, now!”
Two more officers, one a short redhead and the other a tall blonde, pinned Sebastian against the building by his arms, the other one clamping his hand over Ciel’s mouth. “You are condemned to quarantine, filthy faggot.” he spat out, shoving his first two fingers down the librarian’s throat when he tried to bit the police officer.
When Sebastian opened his mouth, closing it when one of the soldiers pressed down on his arm. “This is the other man, correct?”
Behind him, barely in Sebastian’s field of view, Thompson nodded, his other brothers flanking him. “Indeed.”
The redhead looked at Sebastian, a spark of recognition passing between them. Tutoring, that’s where Sebastian knew him from, he had tutored this man at one point. The soldier licked his lips slowly then said. “Sir, are you truly a homosexual?”
Sebastian’s eyes widened. He was being given grace here, a chance not many received. He cast a glance at Ciel, his lover’s uncovered eye wide, fear and hatred behind his bright blue iris. Sebastian had never become sober faster. He had a choice. Say no, don’t be shipped off to a concentration camp. Yes, and he had Ciel and a life of horror ahead of him. He swallowed hard. wetting his lips. “...No, sir. He forced himself on me.”
The blonde cop looked over in surprised. “That scrawny thing?”
The student coughed and feigned a hiccup.
“He’s drunk.” the redhead supplied and the other two nodded.
“Take this one.” the chief officer said as he brandished Ciel as if he were nothing more than a ragdoll.
Unable to stop himself, Sebastian looked at his lover. Ciel’s eyes were glossed over, something breaking inside him as soon as their gazes meet.
“No!” he screamed, fighting anew against the strong cop. “No! You- you- you- you bastard!” he blurted out when he couldn’t think of anything better. “Rot in hell, Sebastian!” his tears started to overflow and he shook his head adamantly. “Sebastian! Sebastian, please! Sebastian!” he choked on a sob and went limp in the man’s arms. It took everything in Sebastian to not run up and kiss him and promise his love. He had to go through with this though. “I hate you!” he screamed with the last ounce of will in him. “I hate you and I hope you die!”
The student watched bleakly as Ciel was dragged away and shoved into the back of a car.
The blonde soldier shoved Sebastian away from the wall, no sign of the triplets. “Get home. Quickly.” he ordered.
Sebastian felt sick as he fixed his coat and began to walk down the street. Ciel would be feeling so betrayed right now… But he had to. Even if his boyfriend didn’t understand, he had to. He was going to get Ciel back, though, he knew what he had to do.
He closed the door to his apartment and leaned back against it, pushing his hands through his hair. With finals out of the way, it made the idea of dropping out much easier - though it was still heavy on his mind.
He heard Pluto yip from the bathroom and let out a noise of pure misery. But… But he was doing this to save Ciel. He would save his beautiful lover. He would.
He pushed away from the door. But first he needed to sleep for thirty hours or so before he could get his thoughts working properly.
Ciel sniffled quietly in the back of the cop’s car, wiping his nose with his sleeve. Sebastian gave him up… For his own safety. How could Ciel blame him, though? They had both heard of the atrocities that happened behind the barbed wire fences of concentration camps and ghettos. Sebastian was only looking out for his own well being. How could Ciel be angry at such a reasonable train of thought? Still, he found himself furious; but the fire was dying. His spark was no longer being blown on, nothing to keep the flame strong. He was alone. Entirely, completely alone. Not even a god to keep him company. “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” he murmured to himself. Mr. Lewis always had words to help any situation.
Except this one.
Ciel had no books, no papers, no radio. Lewis wouldn’t be able to impart any more wisdom to him. Yet another manifestation of his loneliness.
It ached so deeply in him, a knife slowly twisting in his gut until he was bled dry by it. You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. He didn’t have a religion to dangle on, no boyfriend to grip tightly, no studies, not library, no dog, no-
Ciel froze. A vivid picture of Alois’ toothy smile floated into his mind. And suddenly, life didn’t seem quite so monochrome, not with the white blonde of his brother’s hair, the greens and purples and reds he loved to wear. He was going to find the boy, and he was going to keep him safe - just as he’d done for all the years of their lives.
He gripped the chain connecting his cuffs. This is what he was going to hold onto, his family. Not even for Alois, but for himself. And then… And then, maybe one day, he’d be able to give Sebastian exactly what he deserved.
Despite the grim situation, the horrifying train ride and awful camp he was heading to, Ciel smiled at his reflection in the mirror. He was feeling quite himself again now, and he no longer needed deceitful boyfriend to keep his fire burning strong.