|Until the Day I Die
Author: FallingSkiez PM
"He asked what he wanted in French and the soldier replied in German. The two of them were getting nowhere fast." The fact that they didn't speak the same language should have been a problem. However, even if it was only a wooden door separating them, or a thousand miles, there was a language they could both speak. Love needed no words, after all. (Slash)Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 5 - Words: 6,111 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 10 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 11-14-12 - Published: 11-01-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3070628
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Summary: "He asked what he wanted in French and the soldier replied in German. The two of them were getting nowhere fast." The fact that they didn't speak the same language should have been a problem. However, even if it was only a wooden door separating them, or a thousand miles, there was a language they could both speak. Love needed no words, after all. (Slash)
Italics is the letters/notes, by the way.
Until the Day I Die
The soldiers marched into town in neat rows and columns, one foot in front of the other, but there was a sweetness to the air that belied their serious expressions. As overworked and underpaid as the soldiers were, it was nice to have an excuse to burn off some steam.
Their outpost had been raised on the outskirts of the poor provincial town and most of the soldiers were still at base; there were two hundred soldiers in total, but just those few that had earned leave were marching now.
Lukas marched at the front of the columns and led the soldiers through the rich pastures and into town. France was so beautiful; it was a shame that the war pockmarked the farmland and cities. It was a shame that the dirt had tasted the blood of a thousand men and still cried out for more.
But that was all it was; a shame.
Lukas could not allow himself to become invested in the matter. He wanted to go home and in order to do that he needed to go to war. It was complicated and simple in a single breath.
The town square marketplace was open and cobbled with a fountain in the center. There were a dozen and a half shop windows crowned with bright, colorful canopies turned inwards towards the fountain. It should have been bustling and crowded in the afternoon sunshine, but it was instead still and quiet. Their marching might have convinced families to keep their daughters tucked out of sight, as it was common for soldiers on leave to seek companionship in the fairer sex.
He would never have allowed them to be less than chivalrous, but the families did not know that.
Lukas barked a short, sharp order in German and the soldiers dispersed in twos and threes, serious expressions thrown to the wind, laughing and heading towards the taverns or flirtatious women. Lukas kept to the marketplace and watched them disappear before loosening the set of his shoulders.
He trusted that none of them would wrestle or be disruptive or be less than courteous towards a woman. The last soldier under his care who had tried to force himself on a woman was still in the mobile hospital. That had been over six months ago.
The soldiers knew better than to fuck around with him.
There would be proper courtship, of course, and that did not bother him; matches and marriages and mistresses often came from these excursions. That was how his own first lieutenant had met his wife. Men and women did not even need to speak the same language, most of them would not, because there was one language that was understood across the continent. Love, or lust, needed no words.
Lukas pressed his hands into his pockets and leaned against the fountain. He was waiting for the town to come to life again. This vanishing act was the initial reaction to foreign soldiers marching into town. He had done this before, in other towns, but it was forever the same. Next came fascination and interest.
If the borders shifted north while this town was still occupied, the fascination would turn to hatred as the soldiers littered the town with bullets and tore up cobblestone with their studded boots, and there was no returning from that. The pleasant fountain he was leaning on would be smashed into a thousand pieces. The streets would be painted with blood.
War was cruel, but it was not his concern.
There was no one waiting for him in this town and so it was not his concern. It was sad, but so very, very true.
One of the doors opened with the ting-a-ling of a miniscule bell bolted to the doorfame and a blonde stepped out with an armful of flowers. She twisted before he could see her face and settled the flowers in a basket outside the shop. There were flowers and vegetables in the baskets. There was even a smattering of fruit in wartime. It was vibrant.
She was adjusting the produce and the attached signage with her back still faced towards him. She was singing under her breath and, if the marketplace had been bustling, as it should have been, he never would have heard it. Her voice was a bit deeper than Lukas expected.
She was taller than most women and much thinner, too. She had tied a blue apron around her waist in a neat bow. There was not much of a swell to her hips, but she was graceful and delicate and that made these shortcomings less noticeable.
Lukas was more often than not attracted to shorter women who bordered just this side of voluptuous and this woman was neither, but even so, he was interested. He could not explain it. It was possible that war meant he could not afford to be exacting when it came to companionship, or perhaps his tastes were changing. There was just something about her.
He could not explain it.
He smoothed out the lapels of his uniform and stalked over to her. In the sunlight her loose curls were a burnished golden hue that dusted just below the nape of her neck. It reminded him of something burning and he wondered if it would be hot to the touch.
He came up from behind, pressing against her, and set one of his hands on her hip without invitation. He massaged his fingertips in a pattern across her hipbone and was astonished at how the skin stretched tight across the bone without the slightest bit of flesh between. She stiffened.
She was almost taller than him, but it did not upset him as it might upset most men. He was comfortable with his own limitations and strengths; he did not feel the need to overcompensate. He could not give a flying fuck about her height.
He whispered against her ear in German, not sure if she understood and not really caring. He felt as she began to shiver against him. His whispers became dirtier and dirtier; he was sure that the tone was understood even if the words were not and her shivering became worse still. He was sure that he almost had her in his grasp.
She shifted in his arms and Lukas waited for his reward. He was surprised when she instead punched him in the face with a closed fist.
He went sprawling across the cobblestones and tasted the bitterness of his own blood. He sat up and touched the bleeding corner of his mouth in amazement. She was standing over him; waving her arms above her head and shrieking in rapid, hurried French before she kicked him in the shin and stormed back into the shop.
Lukas was in a daze. He had a decent understanding of French, but most of what she had said had been lost on him. He had understand the most important part, though:
The blonde – excuse him, the blond – was a man.
Lukas collapsed against the cobblestone and began laughing so hard it hurt.
Cyril dashed inside the shop and slammed the brilliant red door shut behind him with an echoing, final sound. The bell made a single sharp noise instead of its normal dulcet tinkle.
He leaned against the door and listened to the strange soldier cackling on the cobblestones outside of his shop.
Cyril was shivering with rage and disgust. Of all the nerve! He had been mistaken for a women in the past, true, but no one had ever laid hands upon him in such a presumptuous fashion.
He crossed his arms over his chest and drummed his long fingers against his elbow.
Cyril swept his gaze across the shop, focusing on the familiar surroundings, and tried to swallow his rage. The interior of his shop was as well organized as the baskets outside and the arrangement comforted him. His shop was one of the few remaining pieces in his life over which he could exert some manner or order and control. There was no much left to comfort him when his homeland was occupied and this was his last refuge.
The fact that one of the soldiers responsible for this war had touched him... It was disgusting. Cyril tried not to be judgmental because he thought he should be above such emotions, but it was mighty difficult. He had heard the horror stories of recruiting campaigns to the east and the punishments for deserters, but it was still difficult.
The cackling outside stopped and Cyril resisted the urge to check if the soldier had left. To see if it was safe to go outside once again. He was not a coward and the soldier had not frightened him and, even if he had frightened him, checking would not mean that it was safe.
Cyril peeked through the curtains against the window and breathed a sigh of relief when he noticed the soldier was nowhere to be seen. He touched his forehead to the glass and counted to ten. That had been enough excitement for one afternoon.
There was a quiet thump against the door and his eyes widened. He glanced down and, sure enough, the soldier was leaning against the other side of the door with his knees drawn up close to his chest. He began speaking to him in German, none of which he understood, and Cyril kicked the door so that the soldier would feel it on the other side and know he was not welcome here. The soldier bounced forwards an inch with the kick and started laughing again instead of taking the hint and leaving him alone.
He asked what he wanted in French and the soldier replied in German. The two of them were getting nowhere fast.
The soldier looked pale to the point of sickness and his hair was a golden yellow, almost glaring in the sunlight. Cyril locked the door with an audible click and retreated further into the shop where he could no longer see the man who was still laughing on the other side of the door.
His frown deepened.
Cyril perched on the counter and weighed his options. There was a cellar in the basement that he could escape through, but he refused to be chased out of his own shop. He could open the door and beat him with the thistle broom leaning against the counter, but that seemed a bit extreme on his part and less than polite. There was a chance that his advantages could have been an honest mistake.
The soldier slipped a folded piece of paper through the postal slot with a soft rattle before Cyril could come to a decision.
He jumped off the counter and suspiciously picked it up with just his index finger and thumb, but it turned out to be a handwritten note in German. He went to the back corner of the shop and plucked a 'French to German and German to French' dictionary from the shelves. It was a useful tome to own in these times of war.
Cyril set it on the counter and flipped through the pages. It did not take him long to translate the single sentence.
Are you a man or a woman?
Cyril stared at the note and raised an eyebrow. He thought that he had been quite obvious with the screaming and kicking.
He scribbled a response and pressed it through the slot.
Please, go away.
The soldier's French must have been better than his own German because he was able to translate it without a lexicon. He sent the note back.
I asked if you were a man or a woman.
Answer the question.
Well, you hit like a woman.
Cyril smacked his forehead against the counter and groaned. This was growing to become ridiculous.
I am a man. Is that what you wanted to hear? Now, go away.
...Can I come in?
The soldier tried to send another note through the opening, but Cyril kept pushing it back out. It was childish, he knew, but he did not care.
It was not until the sun had dipped well below the horizon that the soldier stood up and brushed off his uniform. He called through the door in German. Cyril shifted the curtain to see him through the windowpane, wishing he would just leave, and found that his eyes were the deepest shade of blue.
The fire within those eyes frightened him and the fact that it frightened him at all bothered Cyril; this war had been started because one person could not accept the differences of another. He needed to be better than that.
The soldier was smiling, though, and it softened his smoldering eyes. It made him look handsome rather than frightening.
It made it easier to be better than that.
The soldier bent down to slide a final note through the slot before walking in the opposite direction. He was waving without glancing back, as if he knew Cyril would be watching, with a languid, sure of himself grace that irritated Cyril.
And then he was gone.
Cyril retrieved the note and set to translating it.
I'll be back tomorrow.
A/N ;; Woo-hoo! Project #2! And this time, it's more serious. It really won't be as cracky and ridiculous as my debut project. Not that much...
So, in a similar style to Defy, this story is split up into five parts. The part lengths are varying, usually sticking to around three to four pages. This one is the longest, I think.
Apparently, Cyril is an English, Czech, Slovak and French name. I thought it was rather interesting. Lukas, on the other hand, is German, Scandinavian and Lithuanian. (Although I must say, I have a love-hate relationship with the process of picking names for my characters. Really, it can be so annoying, but so interesting at the same time. Especially when I end up picking names that relate to my nationalities.)
Please leave a review and tell me what you think of this piece. Anonymous reviews, of course, are welcome.