Well, this was actually written for a competition on DeviantArt, so, you know, I'll see how that goes. Anyways, the competition was either a drawing or a fic of Alek and Deryn getting together (likely including a first kiss.) It had to be original, and all that barking mess. Anyways, here was my entry! I…I had too much fun with this. Writing from Alek's point-of-view. It just…yes. His thoughts are slightly sporadic, and I apologize, but yep.

I would have posted this in Today, but, obviously, it doesn't fit the friendship theme. ^^; Heh, maybe I should start a whole separate series of romantic drabbles? xP

I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: Not Scott.


"Love is the seed of all hope. It is the enticement to trust, to risk, to try, to go on."
~Gloria Gaither

It was something Alek really hadn't given much thought to. Oh, he supposed a thought flickered here, glimmered there, but the topic never really stuck in his brain, never struck him as important.

The only problem was, it was suddenly becoming more prominent by the day.

This unnerved Alek to no end.

He had heard of this feeling before. As far as he could tell, he had acquired all the symptoms, and more. A burning desire, a fierce longing, a desperate grief each time he and the person in question were parted…an insatiable urge to kiss those lips.

He'd never felt this way before. Of course, he was only fifteen, so what did he know? And why did this matter to him? Alek was going to become the emperor of Austria-Hungary, someday. Long after this godforsaken war was over, he would ascend the throne and rule with a fair and just hand. During snitches of fantasy, Alek thought he might just be like a regular King Arthur, maybe even put together his own group of knights.

He'd banished the silly thought long ago, but he found it fun every now and then to bring it back up and toss and turn it around in his mind. But when he had conjured those fantasies, he'd never considered if or who was to be his Queen Guinevere. After all, such notions were silly. Pah, love? Of course, his parents had felt it. All parents did (in his perfect little mindset), but it wasn't for him. He had much more important things to do than look after some foolish maiden far too taken with him to be of any actual use beyond reproducing heirs.

What Alek had never considered, had never even dreamed of, was ruling the Austro-Hungarian empire…with a king by his side.

A king! How absurd. Never in his history classes had he heard of two kings,God's wounds, married ones at that, ruling over a country! His people would be in an uproar!

So Alek knew what he felt must be wrong. Silly, silly.

And yet…when his father talked of meeting his mother the first time, he described how their relationship had started off platonic. And then, after a time, his heart began to flutter when young Sophie came near. Franz Ferdinand found himself increasingly forlorn when they had to part, and exuberantly joyous when they could snatch moments of time for themselves. Their first kiss, at last, had been heaven on Earth for the two would-be lovers, and spouses.

But…he-he couldn't feel this way towards a guy! It was unheard of. The only time he could prominently recall of hearing of such an atrocity was of the famous author, Oscar Wilde. Alek admitted, he found the man's book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, to be quite an interesting work. And he still held respect for the man, even though he had been put on trial and sentenced to jail for being-what was the word? A homosexual, yes, that's what they called him. All trivial stuff, though. No such thing existed.

But what if it did? Could Alek-could he be a homosexual? Loving another man? It just sounded so…so wrong. But was it? If it was true love, could anyone begrudge him that right?

Shaking his head, Alek sighed wearily, falling backwards onto his bed with a groan, the mattress heaving up and down as his weight hit it. "Dummkopf," Alek whispered to himself, crossing his hands behind his head.

He couldn't ignore the feelings. Gradually, like his father had told him, they had begun building up, and up, and up. And now…Alek wanted to kiss him so badly, to just tell him the feelings he was keeping bottled inside himself. Of course, the boy in question would never go for it. As far as Alek knew, most homosexuals tended to be…flamboyant, per say, a bit different or unusual. Not all, no, certainly not all, but most. Alek knew he himself wasn't. But the one he felt so strongly for…

Well, the Darwinist middy was the exact opposite. Strong, arrogant, cocky, witty, brave, intelligent, resourceful, and, above all, a soldier. He swore, told callous jokes, laughed raucously with the best of them, wasn't afraid to spit to show his distaste or disgust at something.

And yet…it was this middy that Alek had feelings for.

Mr. Dylan Sharp.

This was crazy. Insane. Verrückt.

A knock on the door startled Alek out of his thoughts, and he scrambled off the bed. Opening the door, he found himself face to face with none other than…

Dr. Barlow?

"Um, yes?" Alek said, hesitantly, confused beyond belief. Surely she didn't need him to walk Tazza. Hadn't Mr. Newkirk been doing that lately?

"Follow me," she commanded imperiously, beckoned with a twitch of two fingers and turning briskly on her heel to stride down the hallway.

Wait a minute…shouldn't Alek be the imperious one here?

Bewildered, the future archduke followed dutifully behind the scientist, puzzled beyond belief. What use could she have of him at the moment? Perhaps it was a question over Bovril. Yes, that made quite a bit of sense.

At last, they reached the doctor's room, and she let him inside, closing the door quietly behind him. Sitting down at her desk, she indicated he do the same in the chair across from her.

Again, wasn't the royal supposed to sit first?

Alek sat stiffly, his back ramrod straight in the chair as he fidgeted uncomfortably. The silence unnerved him-

unnerved him strange feelings more prominent love Dylan Sharp

-and he attempted to strike a conversation between the two. "Fair weather we are having, isn't it?"

Dr. Barlow was unimpressed, though she did lean forward in her seat, folding her hands together and resting her elbows on the wooden desk. "Pleasantries aside, I assume you know why I've summoned you here?"

Alek blinked. And blinked again. Honestly? "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea as to why I've been summoned."

It was Dr. Barlow's turn to blink in surprise. "Really?" she asked, the slightest quaver in her voice giving away her startled feelings. "You have no clue?"

"Not at the present," Alek replied.

"It's about you and Mr. Sharp."

Alek gulped. As in, visibly gulped. When Dr. Barlow raised an eyebrow in question, his eyes widened in fear. "Y-yes?" he said, his voice a mere squeak.

"The perspicacious loris –Bovril, was it?- is extraordinarily attached to you and Mr. Sharp." So it was about Bovril after all. Currently, the loris was with Dylan. "However, this is contrary to its, let's say 'programming', shall we?"

"How so?" Alek questioned, not completely sure where this was going.

"The loris was designed to attach only to the first person it saw while hatching. Due to its programming, it would see the said person as a mother of sorts." If the chair had had a tall enough back, Alek might have hit it in exasperation with the back of his head. He was a mother? Really? So if he wereto marry (no, that's not right, two men don't marry) Dy-a male, he would be the wife?


Dr. Barlow continued. "The loris, strangely enough, has taken to both you and Mr. Sharp. Its programming only allowed for this in the instance it were to have two parents, with a special bond. Of course, one would need to be female and one male, and that is obviously not the case. I have been wondering, though…it is a peculiar theory, and a rather insulting one, and I do not care to ask the person in question this myself. I do not think he would be very forgiving." Alek wondered what she was talking about.

"Have you heard of homosexuals?"

Alek froze. Stiff as a board, he stuttered, "W-what?"

"When two men fall in love," Dr. Barlow explained. "Come now, you're a smart boy, I'm sure you've heard of such things. It is not as rare as it appears to be."

Alek almost gave another audible gulp. Had she found him out already? He was sure he'd been hiding his growing feelings quite well!

"I suspect, through peculiar mannerisms that I have noticed, that young Dylan Sharp may, in fact, be a homosexual," Dr. Barlow said.

Wait, what? Alek was missing something here, he knew he was. Did-did Dr. Barlow just say she thought Dylan was the one who was homosexual?

On the plus side, this meant she didn't suspect him. On the downside…once she figured out it wasn't Dylan, she would turn to him, and discover his secret.

But really? How laughable was that? Dylan didn't like men. Preposterous.

Oh how Alek wished…

"I know, you think my theory is absurd," Dr. Barlow stated, making note of his silence. Naturally, she was spot on. "But I think you'll find there is some reasoning behind my speculation. What I'd like to ask of you, Mr. Ferdinand, is that you simply observe Mr. Sharp a bit. You two are quite close, and if he is, I would like to know about it. It would prove interesting in my research, thought it does throw a bit of a wrench into a lot of what I've already done regarding the loris."

Alek nodded, still stunned. "Of course, ma'am," he eventually said.

"You are dismissed," the lady said, and Alek stood to go. "One last moment," she called out, and Alek halted. "I would advise you not to treat Mr. Sharp any differently. Homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed about-it is a part of nature. Do not treat him unkindly on my suspicions alone. Do not treat him unkindly if my suspicions are correct, as well. Understood?"

Alek dipped his head courteously. Of course he understood! He was as interested in men as her, apparently! "I understand very well, ma'am."

"Good. Now you may take your leave."

Alek ducked out of the doorway, then set off back towards his room. Dylan- a man-lover? Now that was the strangest thing he'd ever heard.

Still…what if Dr. Barlow was right? What if Dylan did have a fondness for men as well? Did that mean-could that mean-could Dylan learn to love Alek back?

For there was no denying it now, Alek was madly in love with his friend, the slightly mad Scottish middy with a fondness for near-death situations and cursing.

So endearing. So amazing. So…so attractive.

God's wounds! Alek raised his hand and gave himself a good whack on the side of his head. Bad thoughts, now was not the time.

As Alek reached his door, he paused. Oh…oh dash it all! Dylan had a small break from middy duties at this time, but he had missed it due to the doctor! They often chatted during his break, and now he'd missed his opportunity for the day! If he hurried, perhaps, he could catch Dylan, just say a quick greeting!

Taking his hand away from the door, Alek began to sprint down the hallways towards Dylan's room. Legs and arms pumping, Alek turned the corner and-SMACK!

As he tumbled to the ground, he recalled in awe the feel of another's lips on his at the primary impact point of the collision.

Scrambling to his feet, Alek held out his hand to the person he had slammed into-

and accidentally kissed

-and found himself face to face with a stunned Dylan. Shocked, and realizing that he'd just shared a kiss with the person he loved, he found, to his horror, that heat was beginning to flush across his face, likely turning it a telltale shade of red. The horror! How embarrassing! If Dylan were to see-

But come to think of it, now that Alek had a better look at Dylan, he noticed the same horror and embarrassment flicker across the middy's blushing face.

Holding his hand out, he helped Dylan to his feet. "Thanks!" the middy said, brushing himself off and attempting to act nonchalant. "Well, I have to go now, bye!" He attempted to brush past, but Alek stopped him.

"Why are you blushing?" Alek demanded, wincing inwardly at his brash question-almost an accusation, really.

Dylan froze, much like Alek did earlier in Dr. Barlow's office. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said, glancing to the side. A sure sign of a liar. Realization flitted across his face, and he turned to look at Alek once more. "Why are you blushing?"

God's wounds. Alek was a Dummkopf, surely. He had to think of an excuse. Aha! "Well, I was running through the halls, so I'm winded, not blushing," he explained. It was a feeble excuse, and they both knew it.

"Oh really?" Dylan said, raising an eyebrow. "Very well, then. I was running too. So I suppose we both overexerted ourselves?"

Alek nodded. "Yes," he said. He was about to let Dylan pass, when his eyes lingered over the middy's lips, slightly swollen from the impact. Before he could stop himself, he blurted out, "Did it hurt? I'm terribly sorry, I should have been watching where I was going."

"What-oh." Dylan placed a hand to his mouth, then gave a lopsided grin. "Nah, it's nothing. Didn't hurt you, did it?" For some reason, his eyes seemed…expectant. But of what?

Alek shook his head. "No. It did not hurt me." In fact, despite its brief and sudden happenstance, Alek had greatly enjoyed the fleeting, stolen kiss, and he struggled to keep back a small, satisfied smile. It had felt good. Considering this was likely his only kiss to be shared with the middy, he reveled in it, recalling the feel of Dylan's lips on his as much as he could.

"Aye, well, that's good." Dylan seemed a bit troubled, though.

"What is it?" Alek asked, and Dylan glanced down at him. A fact which still slightly irked Alek-must Dylan really be taller than him? Of course, he was such a better boy. Handsome, charming, his cockeyed smirk after some daring rescue. So amazing.

"Nothing, it's just…you're not acting how I expected you would," Dylan admitted.

Alek frowned. "What do you mean?" he asked. Had Dylan ever expected he would ever kiss Alek? Was that good? Did that mean Dylan might really be a homosexual?

"It's just…well, you know, we, two guys, ended up…well, I wouldn't call it a bloody kiss, but aren't you embarrassed?"

"Aren't you?" Alek shot back.

Dylan shrugged. "It wasn't really a kiss. And- barking spiders! Look, can we not talk about this out here, in the middle of the hallway?"

"Of course," Alek said, and followed Dylan in silence back to the middy's room. They entered, and Dylan shut the door.

Turning to face Alek, Dylan said, "I would have thought you'd be disgusted. Two men kissing each other?"

Alek was a Dummkopf. Such a Dummkopf. Without thinking, he said, "Weren't you disgusted?"

Dylan blinked. "Well, I-it's not that big a deal, you know? It's not like it was a full-blown kiss."

"Would a full-blown kiss between two men disgust you?" Alek asked, mentally berating himself for being so forward. How could he be so stupid?

Dylan said, "I don't know. Surely you don't mean between us, though. After all, we're just friends." There was a bit of sadness in Dylan's eyes as he said this. This did not go unnoticed by Alek. "Why on Earth would we ever be sharing a-mmff!"

Eyes wide in shock, Dylan was cut off abruptly as Alek pressed his mouth to the middy's.

Lips locked together, Alek shut off the inner voices screaming at him for being a fool and gripped Dylan's shoulders. He leaned into the kiss, and a shiver went through him as he felt Dylan suddenly beginning to press back, kissing him with as much passion as the prince.

At last, they broke apart, breaths ragged and uneven. Dylan could only stare, plainly shocked beyond measure, but he wore a ridiculously large grin on his face. Suddenly, it fell. "You like boys?" Dylan said softly. Why did he look so depressed?

Alek shook his head, and wondered why Dylan perked up a bit. "It's not boys I like, Dylan."

"Then you know?" the middy whispered, voice unsure.

"I like you. I have for-well, for quite a while. I'm sorry, I know you must think this terribly inappropriate." Alek turned away, arms wrapped around his chest. "I wasn't sure if you liked, well, men, or not. Or if I like men! But…I cannot deny my feelings for you, Dylan."

A hand on his shoulder spun him around, until Alek was facing Dylan, their faces inches apart. "'S okay, daftie," Dylan murmured. "I like you too."

This time, it was Dylan who initiated the kiss, which went on for seconds and years, before once more they pulled away.

Alek heaved a great sigh. "What is it?" Dylan asked.

"How on Earth am I supposed to tell Volger? What will he think? Knowing I prefer the company of a man to a woman?"

Leaning in close once more, Dylan gave Alek a smirk. "Can I tell you a secret?"

Despite his sullen thoughts, Alek couldn't actually be sullen in such a wonderful moment in his life as this. "You can tell me anything," he said solemnly.

Bringing his mouth to Alek's ear, Dylan whispered softly, "I'm actually a girl."

Alek yelped, nearly jumping a foot in the air. "God's wounds, Dylan, don't tease me like that!" He glared at Dylan, whose eyes were shining in mirth.

"I wasn't joking," the middy said, a crooked smile on his face.

"No, seriously-" Alek began, then paused. "You're really not serious, are you?"

"Dead," Dylan replied, his-her?- eyes watching him, and filled with feelings.

"Truly?" Alek inquired, beside himself. Dylan was a girl? This made things so much easier! Though he now had a much higher respect for men who liked men.

He was angered that Dylan-his best friend!- had never told him this. But he didn't want to spoil the moment. The boy he loved actually loved him back, and was a girl to boot! (He made a note to ask hi-her about why, precisely, she was masquerading as a boy, later.)

Dylan nodded. "Truly. And if you promise not to say anything while in the company of others-"

"I promise," Alek interjected.
"Then you can call me Deryn."

"Deryn," Alek said, rolling the name around on his tongue. He liked it. "Deryn," he said again. "I have a request for you?"

Deryn raised an eyebrow. "Yes?" she prompted.

"Can I kiss you again?"

"…You barking ninny. I'll be late for watch." Deryn's face held her real answer in it, though.

"Is that a yes?" Alek asked, holding up his hand to cradle Deryn's cheek. She really liked him back. He was really here, his love received and given back in as much force, with probably the most amazing girl on the planet.

Shaking her head at his daftness, Deryn rolled her eyes. "Dummkopf," she retorted, then kissed him again.

Love. It was something Alek now gave a whole lot of thought to.

That, and kissing.

Hold on a minute. Hadn't Lilit-oh, never mind. The kissing going on now was far more important.

Eep! My first real romance! No lie! I have no idea how I did. ^^; Did I do bad? Good? Okay-ish?

Gah! What have I done? Well, um, here all you folks go! I hope it's alright…^^;

I was originally going to make this all serious and action-y and I started writing and it was just sort of 'Stuff this.' And I turned it into much more of a humorous little piece. Obviously not to be taken too seriously. xP

Thanks for reading! ;)