A/N: Here I am with a PrUk fanfic. ((England is gonna top however, lemme just get that out there)) This fanfic idea was actually inspired by a blog I follow on Tumblr. Are my facts in here inaccurate? Probably. Now let me be the first to say that I am making a point to be vague on historic facts and religion. History is vague because I don't wanna spout facts that may or may not be accurate and what not. Religion is vague because I myself don't know much about this religion. That's why if any information I do give is inaccurate, I apologize. Also, I don't know if Prussia is or isn't OOC in this. He seems fine to me, but he might not for other people. I mean, in this one I had to make sure to keep the timeline so no words like "awesome" and such. Plus if he's raised by the church, he isn't going to be as egotistical as he usually is. Ah, incase it wasn't clear, this is a human AU... Now, pardon my ramblings! I'll just leave this here for you to read. Enjoy!
The walls were grey and cracking, the roof curving overhead. The clicking of boots was heard along with the sound of armour clanking. Passing by other occupied prisons, the two guards led their newest prisoner down the hall and towards his awaiting trial. From both sides, snide remarks and calls came from the prisoners.
"You'll get what's comin' to ya!"
"I hope you hang!"
They chanted, their remarks being ignored by the prideful man. He held himself with much stature, his entire body radiating off a powerful air. The prisoner stationed between the two guards had short, shaggy, dark blond hair and radiant green eyes. On both ears hung small, golden hoop earrings. The man wore a long red coat with gold trim, accenting his emerald eyes well.
Underneath he had on a loose white blouse, the front unlaced around the collar. To accompany the shirt was an iris coloured sash, the remnants of a sword sheath and a pistol holster hanging around their respected belts. His pants were simple brown trousers, the ends bellowing out slightly along the rim of his black boots. All in all, it was obvious the man was a pirate.
"Move along Kirkland, the judge has already got your sentence." One of the guards ordered, unlocking the door leading out of the prison and giving the pirate a firm shove.
Ignoring him, Arthur Kirkland busied himself by internally cursing that damned French frog. This was his fault, every single bit of it.
Arthur Kirkland was captain to The Britannia Angel, a pirate ship known for sailing around the seven seas, plundering and destroying any ship it desired. However, just as quickly it appeared, it soon disappeared without a trace. Only rarely did it stay in one place for too long. And that was only when they docked in Tortuga, the stronghold all pirates gathered to.
Just how did such a dangerous and smart man get captured? In truth, the captain was tricked. By who? His own first mate, that's who. It all started when Arthur's first mate had gotten wind that a boat was delivering a wide shipment of Spanish gold off the cost of France. Not one to pass up the opportunity of being a few coins richer, Arthur easily set a course for where the ship was supposed to be.
However, when he got there, he was greeted with at least seven ships, one of them being led by a blasted Frenchman whom Arthur detested greatly. Instantly knowing it had been a setup, Arthur didn't waste any time demanding answers from his first mate. Instead he pulled out his pistol and shot him, ordering his remaining crew to dump his body over the side and prepare for battle. Despite the odds, it looked like Arthur was going to win. Yet, as faith would have it, more ships were spotted on the horizon.
Within an hour, Arthur's ship was barely hanging together. He had managed to sink at least four of the other ships before his beloved Britannia Angel sank to the depths of Davy Jones Locker, most of her crew sinking with her. Only Arthur and a few of his crew remained, floating amongst the wreckage. When they were dragged aboard one of the enemy ships, they killed the rest of his crew. The prize was Kirkland.
He was then sold to the nation bidding the highest for his head. That turned out to be France. So he was transferred there, placed in a cell, and awaited trial. During the whole process, Arthur refused to let the anger he felt show on his outward appearance. Instead he continued to have a condescending smirk, almost as if he wasn't at all worried about what was to happen to him.
Arthur silently raged, his face blank as he walked up the stairs. The Brit was led to the room where his faith would be decided. Arthur could already tell what was to happen to him. He was to be put to death, just like any pirate that was captured. Piracy was considered a sin and making ties with the devil. These Religious bastards believed that a pirate had the devil residing within his soul, the only way to be free was to die or to redeem oneself. Yet even if redemption was sought, once their soul was "redeemed", they ended up being killed to atone for their sins anyways.
While Arthur formulated a plan on escape, he silently observed the room surrounding him. It was a circular room, the judge sitting in a high podium in front of him. His gut was wide, the powdered wig hanging around his shoulder in disgusting ringlets. There was a thick powdering of makeup on his face, the pug-like appearance standing out even with the use of such things. Arthur internally smirked at the judge's look.
Placed next to the judge's podium was two stands that circled around the room, the seats taken up by a wide collection of citizens. There were men and women, some families even bringing their children. To them, this was entertainment. The death of a criminal, something awe inspiring that needed to be shown to their offspring. Arthur tried to keep himself from sneering at them, the key word being "tried".
Glancing around, Arthur took note that there were at least two guards stationed at every door, preventing him from escaping unscathed. He could always climb up to the stand and use the judge's life as leverage. But that wouldn't end well seeing as how he could only go so far with a measly judge. Instead Arthur took in more of his surroundings, noticing the silver cross hanging from the judge's neck. Yes… That could be useful…
Waiting quietly, Arthur tilted his head to the side and observed the man before him with a bored expression.
"Arthur Kirkland, you are accused of piracy and indulging within sin. Because of these accusations and obvious truth they hold, you are to be giving the punishment fit for your crimes. According to martial law, a selected few of your rights have been temporarily amended.
"You are hereby sentenced to hang by the neck until death. May the crimes you have committed be atoned with your passing. However, seeing as how I am in a sympathetic mood, I will grant you one last kindness. You are allowed one final request."
Arthur smirked at him, leaning back slightly and relaxing his shoulders. "I'd much prefer not to be hanged."
The man scowled, not at all amused with Arthur's joking. "If you have no other requests, then you're hanging will be set at dawn to-."
He was cut off when Arthur raised his hands, the chain jingling in response. "Alright alright, don't get your knickers in a twist." Arthur rolled his eyes, now he just had to act like he regretted his actions. "My kindest judge, you are a man of God, yes?"
Unconsciously, the man's hand slowly raised up to grip the necklace around his neck. Arthur internally grinned, so he had his attention now? Perfect.
"Yes… I am. Why do you wish to know such a thing?" The judge eyed Arthur suspiciously. Smiling innocently, Arthur let his face show that of a pained expression.
"You see, now that I am standing here, I am finally aware of the crimes I have committed and the sin I partook in. It sickens me and wounds my heart to know that I have turned away from God and instead chose to accept the Devil. At the time, it seemed harmless. Only now do I see the error of my ways." Arthur made sure his voice sounded sincere and honest, intending to pull at the judge's heartstrings.
Nodding his head slowly, the wide judge hummed. "I see… And it is my assumption that you wish to redeem yourself of sin, correct?"
"That would be correct, yes." Arthur ignored the uproar and angry shouts from the people standing witness. They shouted profanities, a few women screaming to hang him.
Slamming his gavel down on his podium, the judge turned his head to glare at the people in the stands. "Order, order!" As the yelling soon quieted down to angry whispering, the wig wearing man turned his eyes on Arthur. "Fine then, I will allow this. Arthur Kirkland, you are to be sent to one of the Church's deep in the German Empire. They are known for being able to redeem sinners. There you will have five months to redeem yourself. After those five months are up, redeemed or not, you will hang."
Arthur's eyes widened, that was not part of the plan. He was supposed to be sent to a church nearby. A church near the sea to be exact.
"Now hold on a minute! You're sending me there?! No one speaks a lick of English!" He cried, his eyes narrowing angrily.
The judge dismissed his rage with a wave of his hand, "Then we don't have to worry about you tricking them with your words." Slamming his gavel down, the judge smirked down at Arthur. "This court is adjourned. I will send a letter, it should get there before you do. They'll be expecting you Arthur Kirkland."
"Bastard." Arthur ground his teeth together, rage bubbling up. Damn it damn it damn it!
"Gilbert, come here."
Glancing up, Gilbert closed his book and stood. The man was like no other, with skin and hair as white as snow, lips a light pink, and eyes a red with a mixture of blue swirling in their depths. Gilbert Beilschmidt was an albino, a "defect" of nature. However, despite it being uncommon, it wasn't completely unheard of. Though, in such times that circled around religion, it was thought that albinos were hosts for the devil.
"Yes Father?" Gilbert stopped in front of the priest, the man holding a letter in his hand. He looked grim, apparently the letter being of dire importance.
"Walk with me." He stated, turning and walking to a door on the side of the church, stationed next to the alter. Going through it, they walked down a hall that had gaps along the walls wide enough for people to weave in and out of, a wide and beautiful garden stationed on either side.
Gilbert stayed a foot or two behind the Father, holding his book to his chest. "Is there something wrong?" He asked, frowning.
Holding up the letter, the Father cleared his throat. "Gilbert, you've been living in this church your whole life, correct?"
"For as long as I can remember, yes."
"And you know the ways of God more than any of my other pupils."
Gilbert frowned, his brows knitting together in slight confusion. "Forgive me if I'm speaking out of line Father, but what is this about?"
They took a left, slipping out of the hall and heading into the garden. There the Father took a seat at the edge of a wide fountain, patting next to him and motioning for Gilbert to sit. Hesitating for a split second, Gilbert sat down next to him, his frown still in place.
"We have recently been informed that there is another criminal arriving at our church. This one has been given five months to seek redemption for his sins before he is to be hanged." He sighed, staring out amongst the greenery.
Gilbert tilted his head to the side, his frown deepening. "I see… Does everyone else know of this?"
The elder male shook his head, "Not everyone. I intend to inform the others after I have spoken to you. Gilbert, you are aware of how these things are dealt with, yes?"
The albino nodded his head, internally debating just what this could mean. When a sinner was sent to their church, only higher ranking Priests were allowed to help the sinner make amends with God. Yet if Father Gustav was talking to him about it, that could only mean it was Gilbert who would be put in charge of the prisoner.
"Gilbert, I want you to try and change the ways of this sinner. It will be hard, I assure you, but it is possible. Do not feel discouraged if you fail, the only way he can change is if he desires to. If he doesn't wish to accept God and his teachings, you cannot force him to." He said, placing a hand on Gilbert's shoulder.
Gilbert nodded, his eyes glinting with a determined light. "I promise to do my best!"
Father Gustav smiled, patting Gilbert's shoulder. "I know you'll do well. Here, the letter contains all the information you need to know about him."
Taking the letter offered to him, Gilbert trained his eyes on it. Father Gustav left Gilbert sometime after that, the albino too focused on the letter to actually notice.
The letter was short and simple, only containing the necessary information.
It is with my greatest joy to inform you that yet another criminal will be sent to your church in order to receive redemption. His limit is five months, after that he is to be hanged. During that time, I request that you try and redeem him.
The man I am leaving in your care is Arthur Kirkland. Living so far from the sea, I am positive you do not know who he is exactly. Arthur Kirkland is one of the most wanted pirates we have the fortune of obtaining. His final request was redemption, which is why I am leaving him with you. Do not be fooled by his words, he is a tricky fellow. Be sure to not leave him unattended. We do not want him escaping. He should be arriving by the next month, if not within the next three weeks. Do take care, I hope you are able to save his soul from damnation"
Ignoring the signature at the bottom, Gilbert instead folded the letter. He placed it in the back of his book, standing up and walking back through the hall. Passing a few priests, he dipped his head in a sign of respect and acknowledgement. They merely looked at him with a mixture of disgust and fear, the common reaction Gilbert usually received on a daily basis.
Walking to the end of the hall, he stopped in front of the door leading to the sleeping chambers for the church's priests. Gilbert sighed, taking a left and traveling down another path until he stopped in front of a staircase. There, he travelled up the winding path until he was in front of a door leading to his own room. Unlocking it with a key from his cloak, Gilbert walked into the room.
It was spacious, two beds fit snugly in the room in opposite corners. One was near a desk, Gilbert's personal items littering the furniture. The other bed remained freshly made, clean and looking as if it hadn't been slept in for ages. The albino moved over to it, running his hand along the white sheets.
Usually, sinners would sleep in quarters separate from those of the Church, like Gilbert did. However, the albino wanted to do something different. So tired of having no interaction with anyone but Father Gustav, Gilbert wanted to have this… Arthur Kirkland… Share a room with him. He wouldn't redeem the man the way the others did. He would do it in his own way.
So Gilbert planned on letting Arthur stay in the room with him. The bed was unoccupied anyways. No one was willing to share a room with Gilbert, the devil's child. That's why they gave him his own room far from anyone else. But it was alright, they left him alone and so Gilbert didn't mind so much. It was lonely, but he made up for that loneliness by befriending others of the nonhuman kind. The church was stationed a bit away from a forest, the grounds peaceful and generally undisturbed.
Gilbert had often ventured into the woods, eventually finding a clearing with a small pond that the animals of the forest frequented. They seemed to have taken a liking to him, for they weren't shy at all and often strayed close to him. Pretty soon the animals would even nap near him or, if small enough, on his lap. The albino didn't mind, the company was nice.
When news that the coach carrying the prisoner had arrived at the church, Gilbert was in one of the gardens behind the large building. He was sitting on the lush grass, a few rabbits sleeping around him. However, they startled awake and quickly scampered off in fright when a priest slammed open the twin doors leading outside. He was breathing hard, his cheeks flushed a dark red and sweat collecting along his brow.
"Gilbert!" He yelled, waiting at the door for the albino.
Quickly standing up, Gilbert momentarily scowled at the man for scaring off his friends. The priest flinched, clearing his throat. "Father Gustav wanted me to tell you that your prisoner is here."
Gilbert's eyes widened and he quickly pushed past the man, walking briskly towards the main church hall where everyone usually went to pray. His trot soon turned into a small jog, Gilbert eager to get there quick. When the albino arrived, he pushed open the door, his breath coming in small pants, his pale cheeks flushed. He swallowed, wondering just what to expect.
However, the pirate he saw was nothing like he pictured. Gilbert had thought the man was going to be, to be honest, hideous. But that was not the sight he saw. The pirate his eyes met with, the one in between two guards with his wrist chained close to each other, was simply breathtaking.
At the entrance of the albino, every eye in the room trained on him. The guards flinched at the sight of such an unholy-looking offspring. However, Arthur felt intrigued at the sight. He thought Gilbert looked beautiful. To put it oh-so-poetically, he looked as if he was an angle. Arthur internally sneered at himself, since when did he start comparing people to winged servants?
"Gilbert, I see Brother Reymond found you." Father Gustav spoke up, breaking the silence that had oddly befallen the five present.
Gilbert, gathering his senses, cleared his throat. "Yes, I was out in the garden." He walked forward, standing next to Father Gustav and in front of Arthur.
He let his eyes glance over the pirate, taking note of how they were roughly the same height, Arthur being only a few inches taller. While Gilbert observed Arthur, the Brit did the same thing to the unsuspecting albino. However, his eyes were more flirtatious than they should've been. When their eyes connected, Gilbert's breath hitched almost inaudibly. It made Arthur smirk nonetheless; not only was Gilbert himself beautiful, but so was his eyes.
"Gilbert, this is who you are to redeem and set on the path of God. Arthur Kirkland. Arthur, this is Gilbert Beilschmidt, a favoured member of the church. Don't underestimate him and think you can escape." Gustav informed Arthur, ignoring the smug look the Brit had. Turning his eyes on Gilbert, Gustav gave him a small smile.
"Gilbert, I leave him in your hands. Here's his key, do not free him for anything not involving eating or bathing, understood?" Gustav spoke in their mother tongue, making sure Arthur knew not of what they were saying.
Nodding his head, Gilbert took the key offered to him. One of the guards offered him the chain leading up to Arthur's cuffs. Hesitantly, Gilbert took them and cleared his throat, squaring his shoulders and lifting his chin up.
"Follow me." And with that, he turned around, leading the still smiling Arthur out the way Gilbert had come.
What an interesting man… Arthur thought to himself, staring at the albino's back. His eyes travelled down, making note that Gilbert's attire didn't reveal anything other than that the man before him was lean and apparently well-built. Arthur looked around, noticing that the few priests scattered about were whispering amongst themselves. They passed two, Gilbert nodding his head to them and receiving a disgusted look back. Very interesting indeed. Arthur's smirk grew wider.
"The priests wake up at dawn for Morning Prayer. We are not allowed to attend Morning Prayer until everyone is finished. We eat breakfast before them, so by the time we're finished, they're usually done with Morning Prayer." Gilbert spoke, not turning to look at Arthur.
"After we have Morning Prayer, the church is then opened to the public. People will then occupy the main part of the church for readings and or for confessions. During that time we are not allowed to enter the main hall under any circumstances. We have lunch after everyone else, which is around 2 in the evening. At six is when the doors are closed to the public. By then we are allowed to enter the church's main hall and have your Evening Prayer. After that we are to eat dinner and then bathe." Gilbert informed, leading Arthur up the staircase and to their now shared rooms.
Arthur hummed, deciding to speak up now. "Tell me, do these "No being here when the priests are here" rules apply to just prisoners, or are you included in that category?"
Gilbert hesitated, visibly tensing. Arthur grinned, ah, he was right. They did treat this man like he himself was a criminal.
"… The rules apply for prisoners and I included. My appearance is considered an eyesore and an interference to those attempting to pray to God. They fear my presence will bring sin and prevent God from listening to their prayers." Gilbert snorted, pushing the door open. Now that he was no longer in the presence of the people in the church, he allowed himself to relax and let his true personality slip out.
When Gilbert was alone or with his animal friends, he was able to be himself. A bit egotistic and a tad bit foulmouthed. He was sarcastic and spoke his mind, not at all biting his tongue like he usually did around the people of the church. Gilbert put up the front so that the people of the church who detested him, meaning everyone but Father Gustav, didn't have a reason to kill him in the name of God. They were all eager for Gilbert to prove himself as a Devil spawn.
Arthur took notice in this change, his brow raising in interest. "Is that so? Well aren't they ignorant idiots? I find your appearance to be quite beautiful." Arthur practically purred.
With his cheeks tinting a slight pink, Gilbert stopped in the middle of the room and turned to glare at Arthur. He ignored the Brit's comment, it'd only bring trouble. "Anyways, you'll be staying here with me. I could use the company. That bed is yours, this is mine. To make sure you don't go anywhere at night, I'm going to cuff you to the bed, understood?"
"I'd much rather share a bed, better way to keep an eye on me." Arthur winked, earning an unimpressed look from Gilbert.
"Uh-huh, not going to happen. Now, here are your robes. You are to wear these for the duration of your stay here." Gilbert turned, picking up the brown robes resting on the bed that was now Arthur's.
One look at the disgusting pile of fabric and Arthur instantly scowled. "I refuse to wear those. I am a pirate captain, not some lowly criminal."
Gilbert rolled his eyes, "Get off your high horse. To this church, you are nothing but a lowly criminal. This isn't your ship, you don't call the shots here."
Arthur took a step forward, the atmosphere suddenly turning tense as the Brit gave Gilbert a dangerous stare. He took another step forward, "Quite the mouth on you."
Narrowing his eyes, Gilbert also took a step forward, glaring up defiantly at Arthur. "I could say the same for you. Now, are you going to wear the robes or not?"
A single brow rose at how Gilbert wasn't at all intimidated, instead choosing to stand up against Arthur. The amount of times someone usually stood up to the Brit were slim to none. He smirked, leaning back slightly. "No, I'm not. I'm quite fond of my attire and I intend to keep it."
Gilbert's shoulders slacked and he sighed, tossing the robe on the bed. "Fine, at least remove your coat. Wearing that around here is just going to cause unnecessary trouble."
"Ahem." Arthur cleared his throat, raising his cuffed hands and clanking the chains slightly.
The albino blinked, realization dawning on him. "Oh! Sorry, forgot."
He moved forward, pulling the key out from his pocket and taking one of Arthur's wrist in his hand. Gilbert unlocked the cuffs, the metal binds dropping to the floor. Suddenly, Arthur's hands snapped up and snatched Gilbert's wrists, gripping them tightly. The albino jumped, his eyes flying up to lock with Arthur's.
"Thank you very much for freeing me darling." Arthur chuckled, his nose barely brushing Gilbert's. "Now if you don't mind, I'm leaving."
Arthur had expected the albino to let him leave without a fight. Yet that wasn't the reaction he got. Instead he was suddenly head-butted by Gilbert, the impact echoing around the room with a crack. Arthur stumbled back, gripping his nose. From the feel of it, it wasn't broken. Though it was bleeding quite a bit. Emerald eyes sharpened into a glare, danger radiating off of the blond.
Gilbert returned the glare, a patch of skin on his forehead turning red from the force of his head-butt. "Don't even think about it. Now hurry up and take your coat off before I make you wear those robes." He threatened, motioning to the brown lump laying on the bed.
The Brit growled, removing his hand from his nose and shrugging his coat off. Gilbert then took the coat right after fastening the cuffs back on Arthur's wrists. Angrily, the Brit watched Gilbert place the coat into a dresser pushed to the other corner of the room, opposite of the beds. The albino then opened a drawer connected to the dresser, pulling out a white rag.
"Come with me." Was all he said, taking the chain and leading Arthur out of the room.
"Not like I have a choice." He grumbled, his nose still bleeding. Was he supposed to just wait until it stopped? What angel? Arthur was beginning to see why people thought Gilbert was a devil.
Gilbert led Arthur to one of the central gardens, the albino taking a seat at the edge of the fountains. Those they had passed had stared wide eyed at the bleeding pirate, apparently disturbed and shocked that Gilbert had injured him. Gilbert motioned for Arthur to sit, the Brit scowled. Begrudgingly, he sat down next to Gilbert.
Arthur watched as Gilbert dipped the rag in the water, wringing it out and turning to Arthur. The Brit jumped in shock when he felt the albino begin to dab at the blood dripping from his nose. Lunging back, Arthur bristled. Back aboard his ship, no one but him attended to his own wounds. He licked his own battle inflicted scars, he did not expect anyone else to do it for him.
"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?" He snarled, seething at the white haired male.
Gilbert watched him, unimpressed, and scooted closer. He took Arthur's chin, once again dabbing lightly at the blood. "I injured you so it's my job to fix you."
With much reluctance, Arthur sat still and let Gilbert clean him. Once he was done, about one third of the rag was stained a pinkish red. Gilbert smiled at Arthur, nodding. "Alright. Now that you're all clean, let's go sit in the garden."
"Ha?" Arthur's brows drew together as he was pulled up by Gilbert yanking on the chain. Without answering him, Gilbert led him down the hall and towards the back of the church. They exited through a door and came to the garden Gilbert had been relaxing at only moments before.
After walking a bit into the deeper parts of the garden, Gilbert settled down on the grass. He looked up expectantly at Arthur, the Brit staring back down at the man dressed in black and white.
"And just what are we supposed to do here?" He asked, sitting down next to Gilbert.
Gilbert shrugged, pulling out the small black book he had been reading just minutes before. "Relax. I expect your ride here was unpleasant, yes? You probably didn't get much sleep."
Arthur was once again intrigued with how this man acted. One minute he was defiant and prideful, the next he was gentle and kind. He was interesting, it was obvious to say. Arthur grinned to himself, this should be fun.
Grunting, Arthur laid on his side, his back facing Gilbert. While he pretended to sleep, he was in fact thinking up a plan. He could pretend to befriend the albino. It shouldn't be too hard, he didn't have any friends to begin with it seemed. But if he escaped, there'd be no doubt that they'd blame it on Gilbert. In fact, they just might kill him because of that.
It's a small price to pay for my freedom. This wouldn't be the first life he's sacrificed for his own benefit. Years of being a blood thirsty pirate left one this cold. So he didn't care if Gilbert's life came to an end because of him. Besides, Gilbert was merely wasting his time in trying to put Arthur on the "right path". Arthur didn't want redemption. He has lived with his sins for many years, there was no reason to try and pay for them now.
Before Arthur knew it, the warm sunlight and the silence had actually helped him doze off. In his sleep, he had unconsciously rolled onto his back, the albino glancing up from his book to observe the pirate sleeping beside him. Gilbert let out a sigh, placing his book on his lap momentarily.
This man… This pirate… it hasn't even been an hour yet and already he was twisting Gilbert's life this way and that. It was confusing and downright annoying. Yet, despite that, Gilbert couldn't help but smile. This was the first time in a long while since someone besides Father Gustav had interacted with Gilbert. When Arthur spoke to him, there was no fear in his eyes or his voice. There was simply the presence of a proud man commanding respect.
When Arthur had awoken, it didn't seem like much had changed. He could've been asleep for minutes, maybe even for an hour or two. His lids lifted, his green eyes staring up at the sky blankly for a heartbeat or two. Arthur blinked when he felt a weight on him. It was on his chest and it felt oddly similar to a cat.
Arthur's head tilted down, expecting to see said feline. Instead he was greeted by a brown lump with long ears and a twitching nose. Arthur jumped, sitting up abruptly just as the rabbit jumped off his chest and onto Gilbert's lap.
The albino startled slightly, glancing down at the furry mass that had landed on another rabbit. The two shoved each other slightly, both desiring Gilbert's lap. He chuckled, moving a hand to pet both of their heads.
"What's with all the rabbits?" Arthur groaned, running a hand through his hair with a little difficulty.
Gilbert chuckled, smiling at Arthur's sleep tousled hair. This earned him a scowl that he easily brushed off. He unconsciously moved forward, a hand extending to smooth down Arthur's hair, much like he did for the rabbits. The action surprised both of them, but they forced themselves not to show it to the other.
"They usually come out to snuggle when I'm here." Gilbert hummed, turning his eyes back on his book.
Arthur snorted, a hand slowly reaching out to one of the rabbits. It stiffened slightly, looking startled. "I don't think I know of anyone who has rabbits just flock to them."
"I'm just special like that." Gilbert smirked, holding out his hand to Arthur. "Here, give me your hand."
The Brit looked at him suspiciously, "… Why?"
Gilbert rolled his eyes, sighing through his nose. "Just give me your hand."
Once Arthur had placed one of his hands in Gilbert's, the albino slowly brought it down to the grey rabbit Arthur had startled earlier. It still looked slightly tense, but its nose twitched and it leaned closer to Arthur's hand. The rabbit sniffed at the limb presented to him, its ears moving slightly. When the rabbit nuzzled its head into his hand, Arthur was once again surprised.
"It's… Soft…" He mumbled, unable to think of a proper response.
Gilbert chuckled, his hand lingering on Arthur's for a moment later before he retracted it. Arthur didn't seem to notice, too busy enjoying the feel of the rabbit's fur beneath his fingertips. This was the first time he had pet such a creature while it was still alive.
Glancing up, he noticed that Gilbert's attention had turned back to his book. Tilting his head, he leaned over slightly, trying to read the words printed on the page. The albino's eyes flickered towards him, smiling slightly. Chuckling under his breath, Gilbert turned the book so Arthur could see it.
Blond eyebrows drew together in mild confusion at the text set before him. It was written in a different language, impossible for the Englishman to decipher. Scowling slightly, Arthur sat back.
"What are you reading?"
"A fairy tale."
"About?" Arthur sighed through his nose at the unhelpful response.
Gilbert hesitated, glancing away slightly. A brow raised curiously when Arthur noticed the tips of Gilbert's ears turning red. He smirked, scooting closer to the other.
"Oooh? It's one of those books, isn't it?" He purred into Gilbert's ear.
Jumping away slightly and startling the few rabbits near him, Gilbert covered his ear and blushed furiously. "Excuse me?!"
Arthur cackled, remaining where he was instead of moving back to give the other space. "You know what I mean. Your face proves that."
"H-how vulgar." Gilbert grimaced, curling his lip in slight disgust. "It's nothing like that! It's a good fairy tale!"
With his laughter settling, Arthur smiled at the red and blue eyed male. Gilbert's blush was receding, but he still looked peeved. "Then what is it about?"
Gilbert hesitated once again, placing a hand on the book cover. He bit his bottom lip, the action not going unnoticed by the captain. "Well… It's about… A person having a forbidden love. When they confess, they are shunned with disgust. Out of pain, the person runs into the woods, intent on dying. However, they end up getting hurt and are found by a hunter."
The pauses Gilbert made were because he had to figure out the gender-neutral terms used when describing the story. What he was saying about the story was true, the only thing he was vague about was the genders and just why the love was forbidden. The albino's book was a story about a romance between two men, one of the many sins humans could do.
Why did Gilbert have such a thing? Because it was the only way to sedate his own desire for love. For a long time, Gilbert knew he didn't look at women the same way some of the townsmen did. At first he thought it was because he was raised in a church that pledged abstinence in order to be closer to God. But then they had gotten visits from the nuns from a neighbouring church. It wasn't until one of the sisters showed an interest in him did he realize just why he found her advances more repulsive than desirable.
She, like all the others not used to him, had been frightened. In fact, the first time she had met Gilbert, she was praying. He had been in charge of closing up the church doors and she was the only one still inside. In hindsight, walking up behind her wasn't the best option. When he had tapped her shoulder to tell her that she needed to leave the hall so he could close up, she had turned around and had seen his eyes first.
Out of shock, she had grabbed the nearest thing and had chucked it at him. It turned out to be the bowl of holy water. Gilbert had his entire top half drenched in water and a growing bump on his head. After the initial shock wore off, the girl slowly became friends with the albino. But she desired something more than friendship. She demonstrated that by kissing Gilbert one day.
At first Gilbert had done nothing, even when she and the other nuns left. It wasn't that it didn't faze him, it was just that it didn't excite him like he thought it would. Here was a woman that showed interest in him, yet he found no appeal other than friendship. Trying to figure out what it meant took over the young male's mind for a few months. When he finally realized what he preferred, Gilbert added that to the other list of sins his existence was cursed with.
So that was why Gilbert had such books. Because there was no way another man would love a devil like him. Gilbert was doomed to be alone; but it was ok, he didn't mind.
The albino was brought out of his trance by Arthur gently pushing his shoulder. Blinking, Gilbert shook his head. "S-sorry. What was I saying earlier?"
Arthur watched Gilbert quietly for a second or two longer before he lowered his hand to pet at the rabbit curled in his lap. "The hunter finding the person."
Gilbert nodded, "The person turns out to have lost their memory thanks to the head injury. So the hunter has no choice but to take care of them. Slowly, love blooms between the two of them. Yet this love is also forbidden, so they keep silent about their feelings for each other.
"Yet one day the hunter goes to town in order to sell his goods. When he comes back to the house, he sees that the person is gone." Gilbert frowned, not at all noticing that he was starting to use gender pronouns. Arthur took notice of this, his ears perking. "So he went in the woods to search for him. The hunter thinks that the man got lost in the woods and he suddenly gets worried. But when he finds the man, he is at a pond trying to fish and catch a meal for the hunter. When the hunter hugs him, he finally confesses his love.
"The story ends with them living together happily. Despite the danger of their love, they willingly accepted each other." Gilbert ended with a longing smile.
Arthur stayed quiet for a few seconds before he spoke, his words breaking the magic of Gilbert's fantasy. "So it's a book about two men wanting each other."
Gilbert stiffened slightly and breathed out through his nose. Crap. "… Yes. That's what it's about. Why? Surprised such a thing exists."
This caused the Brit to laugh, looking at Gilbert as if he was the most naïve and ignorant thing he had ever seen. "Sweetheart, my ship would stay at sea for months on end. Women are not allowed on-board, bad luck. So what is one to do when there is no one to appease a man's need?"
The wide-eyed look he got from the albino made Arthur grin even wider. Leaning close, his breath mingling with Gilbert's, Arthur chuckled lowly. "I'm quite skilled in all forms of intercourse. Care to try? I'd like to bet you don't have much experience."
Gilbert stiffened and narrowed his eyes. Placing a hand on Arthur's face, he shoved him away. "No thanks."
Arthur scowled, "Prude."
This earned another glare from Gilbert. The albino huffed, glancing over his shoulder at the church as bells started ringing. Ushering the rabbits off his lap as he stood up, Gilbert began swiping the grass off his rear, Arthur indiscreetly leaning back to watch. Gilbert scowled and kicked Arthur's boot slightly.
"Up. Those bells mean we can go eat lunch now."
"Ah? Have you trained like a dog do they?" Arthur chuckled, removing the rabbit from his lap and standing.
Gilbert remained silent, probably pretending to not have heard him or simply just ignoring him. Either way, Arthur knew he has struck a nerve. The albino took the chain and gave a small yank.
Sighing as if it was such a pain, Arthur followed Gilbert back into church grounds. They took a right, passing the garden with the fountain. Gilbert kept quiet, thinking to himself. He was unaware of the stares he and Arthur were given, the untrusting eyes both parties received. Yet the glares didn't go unnoticed by Arthur. He frowned, what a hostile church.
Lunch went by without much incident, Gilbert and Arthur being the only ones to eat. The food was plain bread and beef soup, nothing noteworthy. When it came time for Evening Prayer, Arthur had proven to be quite the annoyance. He took none of the words seriously, Gilbert having to repeat them over and over again. When it came time for baths, it was even worse.
Like with everything else, Gilbert took baths separately from the other members of the church. He found no problem with it; it meant he got the bathhouse all to himself. Well… Now it was him and Arthur. Despite being embarrassed at sharing a bath with someone, Gilbert forced himself to pay it no mind. He was going to have to get used to it eventually. Arthur was here till his five months were up.
The entire bathing sequence was awkward. That was the only word Gilbert could come up with that fit it perfectly. However, when it came time for bed, it was even more awkward. Arthur refused to wear the clothes Gilbert offered to him, instead saying he was to either sleep in his trousers or nothing at all. Reluctantly, Gilbert allowed it.
"It'll be disgusting if you wear the same pair of pants day after day…" Gilbert sighed through his nose, watching the Brit relax on his bed. "I'll probably take you into town sometime later for some clothes."
Arthur smirked, rolling on his side to look at the albino dressed in a long nightshirt. In Arthur's opinion, it looked cute on him. "How kind of you."
The former captain snorted, rolling back onto his back and settling with his arms underneath his head. Arthur let out a content sigh, crossing one leg over the other.
"Mind blowing out the candle, love? I'm quite ready to sleep." He hummed, not bothering to open his eyes.
There was a lengthy silence before Gilbert spoke. "Of course." However, what happened was not what Arthur expected. There was suddenly the jingling of his chains and the cold steel pressing against his ankle before a firm click set it in place. Arthur's eyes snapped open and he sat up, a glare pointed at Gilbert who was staring at him innocently.
"And just what are you doing?" Arthur growled.
As if to answer Arthur's question, Gilbert snapped the other cuff around the bed post, locking Arthur firmly to the bed. The albino then picked up the candle holder, walking over to his side of the room and sitting on the bed.
He yanked his leg, causing the chain to rattle. "You're really trying my patience." He muttered darkly.
"I'm so scared." Gilbert mocked, smirking at Arthur. "Good night, Arthur. I'll see you in the morning."
Receiving only a grunt in response, Gilbert sighed and leaned over, blowing out the candle and shrouding the room in darkness.