Point six the following Saturday, Francis arrived at Ludwig's parent's house. During the past week, they hadn't seen each other much since both were very busy at work right now and had had only short lunch breaks. So most their contact had been via their cell phones and Francis was now eager to see his boyfriend in person again. He wasn't too sure about meeting Ludwig's parents, especially since Ludwig had sounded more and more annoyed by them lately.
"Thank goodness, you're here," sighed Ludwig as he opened the door and fell into the arms of most surprised boyfriend.
"There, there," muttered Francis as he patted his back. "Good to see you, too."
Ludwig placed a short kiss on the French's lip. "I hope dinner won't take too long," he muttered. "They are especially annoying today."
"Your parents?" Francis raised an eyebrow.
Ludwig nodded. "They kept asking me about you all week and it's getting worse and worse since last Saturday. Just tell me when they're bothering too much and we'll leave at that instant. But get in. I bet my dad will come looking for us if we stand here any longer."
Ludwig looked so miserable at this that Francis couldn't resist the urge to hug him and to give him a long and deep kiss.
"Come on, let's get this over with, cherie," Francis said afterwards. He tried to be as cheery about this as possible to help his darling cheer-up. "It won't be that bad."
They went inside and Ludwig brought Francis into the dining room. His parents were already there waiting for them. Both looked rather young, though the short hair of Ludwig's dad was already white. He grinned at the two as they entered and that smirk grew even wider as he noticed that Francis and Ludwig were holding hands.
Ludwig's mother had long, brown hair and glared though silver-rimmed glasses at Francis. He didn't know why but he instantly felt like he had done something severely wrong. She was plainly dressed and looked thoughoutly neat. It was clearly visible that she condemned him. Not just the fact that he was the boyfriend of her son, more like she condemned his person and life as a whole.
"Mom, Dad," Ludwig announced. His voice sounded a little bit shaky. But Francis could be imagining things. "This is Francis Bonnefoy, my boyfriend. …Er, I told you about him." He looked at his dad, his lips forming a word Francis couldn't understand, then, longer at his mom. She returned the glance and they stared at each other before she finally looked away and Ludwig went on: "Francis, my parents." Very, very quietly, he whispered: "They're not as bad as I sound."
"Or as they seem," replied Francis in the same way. Ludwig huffed.
Ludwig's dad made a step forward and started to pat his son's back. "C'mon, don't pull a face as long as a fiddle. We're not going to kill you, I promise," he laughed. "Nor will we bite your precious boyfriend."
Now, Mrs Beilschmidt also took a step forward and placed her hand on her son's arm. "I'm glad you finally decided to introduce him to us," was what she said but it was clear that she didn't like Francis at all. Oh, well, what a pitty, she wasn't the most sympathetically person to him either.
"And I am glad as well to finally meet the persons responsible for Ludwig becoming such a wonderful man," Francis said and the most winning smile he could muster appeared on his face. "I have to say, I at least now know why he is so gorgeous." He bowed to Ludwig's mom.
Now, at least, she returned him a smile. Even if it was as small as it could be, it proved that there was a human being behind the glasses. "Well, thank you," she said, before she turned to her son again. "Ludwig, dear, isn't it time for you to look after our dinner again?"
Ludwig sighed. "Okay," he said. Then he kissed Francis' cheek and whispered: "I'll be back as soon as possible. I won't let you suffer too long." Then he hurried out of the room.
Left alone, Francis instinctively took a step back. He didn't like the smirk on Mr Beilschmidt's face as well as the cold glare from his wife.
Ludwig's dad placed an arm around Francis' shoulders. "Well, Francis Bonnefoy, so you are the one fucking my little boy?" he said. Inside Francis' head, an alarm bell started ringing.
"So what? Isn't it great that we get along in bed as well?" Francis replied. He didn't know what else to say. This wasn't the kind of question he had expected. Though, why would he lie about something so great as having really good sex with the one he loved.
Ludwig's mother shot him a glance that could set dry wood on fire. Her lips became a thin line but she didn't say anything. Unlike her husband. He started laughing and didn't stop until he noticed the face of his wife.
"Oh, not cool," he said after he had cleared his throat. "It's dangerous when she looks like this," he whispered. "Be careful. I … sort of like you. At least, my son's happy."
"So, Francis, what do you do for a living? Ludwig hasn't told us anything about your career," Mrs Beilschmidt asked, her voice dripping of badly hidden venom.
"I'm a designer," Francis answered, unable to hide a trace of pride in his voice. "In fact, I even have my own fashion shows. Or at least, I'm one of a group of designers."
"So? And does that mean you get regular wages? And has this 'job' a future?" Mrs Beilschmidt went on. She didn't look impressed by Francis' words at the least. It seemed more like the opposite. As if his words had made her impression of him even worse.
"Since I'm an employee, of course I get my wages," Francis huffed. "And I'm pretty good in my job so I guess my job is as safe as any other job would be." He started to strongly dislike this woman. It made him wonder how his dear Ludwig could put up with her every day. Maybe this was the reason why Ludwig looked always so exhausted when they met at their lunchbreaks.
Mrs Beilschmidt sighed. It sounded almost like Ludwig. It was clearly visible that his words hadn't convinced her. But what else should Francis tell her? He loved his job, it didn't feel like a job to him, it was more like it was his life's calling. Besides, there was nothing else he was good at, or at least nothing else he could tell her. He was a fantastic cook and knew it, he had modeled a few times himself but these were all no proper careers.
"Francis, other question," was he saved by her husband. "Are you in health? You know, don't have any sexual transmitted desease?" Darn, he had rejoiced too soon. This question was almost worse than the ones about his career.
"Gilbert!" Mrs Beilschmidt hissed.
"What? I think we ought to know."
"Über sowas redet man nicht. Aber egal: ... Francis, would you please answer his question!"
Francis blushed. What was wrong with those people? He understood that they were worried about their son but could they be any less tactful? "First, I'm as healthy as I could be and that's proven. And second: we use condoms, okay? So this doesn't matter anyway," Francis said.
Mrs Beilschmidt shot him a glance like this did matter no matter what they did and that it didn't make him a better man in her opinion. Her husband laughed. "Don't be shy. Those questions are important and Ludwig would never ever answer them. He would blush and start stammering without saying anything," he said with a wide grin on his lips. Francis knew that he was right about that and he could understand Ludwig in this matter. He was wondering why Ludwig hadn't moved out yet. Those two could drive anyone insane, he was sure.
And just as Francis thought, it couldn't get any worse, Mr Beilschmidt asked: "So, who's on top?"
"Dad!" Ludwig stormed into the room and glared at his father. "I asked you to be nice. Why are you doing this?" He went on shouting at his dad in German. Francis was relieved that he didn't have to answer that question.
So, how do you like Ludwig's parents?