Warnings: AU, no beta, transsexualism, homophobia, will list more when/if they occur.
Summary: Gilbert, a transexual teenager, starts at a world widely respected school. With problems such as a small-minded staff and constant fear of being outed, he tries to get through the problems of school and love.
Pairings: Gilbert x ?, SpaMano, GerIta
Notes: Entire sentences in italics indicates the character is speaking in their first language, if not stated otherwise.
Gilbert had worked hard for this, very hard, long hours everyday to achieve his goal. It had been something he had wanted for a long time, and the fact that he had finally made it made his heart almost burst.
There it was. His acceptance letter. There lying on the doormat just waiting for him to pick it up. Which he did. He tore the letter open and let his wine red eyes scan the text:
Dear Mr. Beilschmidt, we're pleased to inform you that your letter of application has been accepted.
We hereby welcome you to Docmaticam universitatis studiorum superiorum luvenes, aka. DUSSL.
Your first term starts on 1st of September. The dorms will open on 20th of August. You will receive your books and uniforms upon arrival.
Please enclose in your reply your clothing size and colour preference for your jumper. You may choose from white, cream and blue.
Should you have any questions, please contact your dorm's senior prefect or your guidance teacher.
Enclosed in this letter are the documents for choosing your subjects and the reply form. Roommates will be chosen at random.
Awaiting your reply,
Gilbert thoroughly read the paper at least four times before paying any attention to the other papers inside the letter. He took a few steps backwards and sat down on a kitchen chair. This was unbelievable. He, who had to retake grades and work especially hard on learning anything due to dyslexia, had managed to get into the maybe most respected school in the world. He took a couple of deep breaths.
DUSSL was an international school that taught in many different languages to many different age groups. The catch about it was that they only took a couple of students from each country to study there. Getting in was extremely hard, and many gave up before even trying.
DUSSL also differed from other schools with the fact that it was completely free to study there. It cost nothing. They took students in for their cleverness. For how clever they really were, not for how high marks they got in maths. That was incredible for Gilbert to think about.
He looked around his small flat. He wasn't really that wealthy, and had worked alongside school to afford to live as nicely as he did. His younger brother, Ludwig, had helped him while he still lived there too. But he had enrolled to DUSSL last year and had then spent the summer holidays in Italy.
Gilbert smiled at the though. His younger brother had been so excited upon hearing about being accepted to DUSSL. It was no surprise really though, the Beilschmidt family was one of the very few families to have multiple family members, generation after generation, attend DUSSL. Their father had been in DUSSL, as had their grandfather. But what really made Gilbert happy was that Ludwig had managed, for the first time in his life, to make friends. An Italian boy, Feliciano, and a Japanese boy, Kiku.
Then Gilbert frowned. Ever since he had been born, his parents never believed that he would amount to much about anything. Dyslexia, asthma, and albinism. He had truly been blessed.
There was also the fact that he had been born a girl. In his early years, his parents had noticed how he chose to play with toy cars, rather than dolls. He had preferred a suit and a tie at a party, rather than a dress. And he liked his hair short. This had immediately distanced him from his old fashioned parents. Ludwig, on the other hand was the perfect little boy his parents adored. No disorders, gender confusion and a normal hair and eye colour.
It had always partly been Gilbert's fault that Ludwig didn't really have any friends. Gilbert had always been bullied in school for being so masculine, and his brother, who stood up for him, became then known as the scary kid.
Gilberts only support throughout childhood had been his little brother. His little brother, who outshined him in everything, and became accepted in DUSSL almost by default.
Gilbert sighed, and peeked inside the letter. He took the subject choosing document. So many opportunities just waiting to be taken. He placed it on the kitchen table. The other document was the reply form. He fished a ball point pen from his bag besides the chair, and concentrated. He carefully read every single thing on the form at least twice, and carefully wrote in his answers. Then he marked in his preferred colour for his sweater, blue. Not that he'd be using it that much, he had his beloved hoodie always with him. He took the reply letter, placed the form inside of it and then stood up looking for a stamp.
He found what he was looking for, stuck in into the letter and left the flat to mail it.
On the kitchen table lay the acceptance letter. On it, read Dear Miss. Beilschmidt, we're pleased to inform you that your letter of application has been accepted.
Gilbert sat in the airplane to Scotland. He was so excited he could barely keep still. In a week, his studies in DUSSL would start. Down below, all he could see was the sea. The school was, according to all the pictures he had seen, located at the top of a small hill, at the base of some mountains in the highlands of Scotland. With a lake nearby, it looked wonderful. At the Edinburgh airport, Gilbert would be picked up by a special bus just for DUSSL students. Then it would be a few hour ride to the actual school. He'd get to meet other students in the bus. He could start from scratch. There, nobody except Ludwig would know him.
Making sure to write down his thoughts in his journal, Gilbert grinned. This'd be a great year.
The airport was a lot smaller than he had expected. It was good for navigating though, as he found the front doors quickly. And there, waiting for his arrival, as well as for other DUSSL students, were a girl and boy with a sign that read: "DUSSL, OLD AND NEW STUDENTS".
Both were dressed in what Gilbert recognised as the school uniform. The girl had a red tartan patterned high waist dress, a white blouse and a black tie, while the boy, the very grumpy looking boy with huge eyebrows, had on blue tartan patterned trousers and a dark blue sweater.
Gilbert walked up to them, dragging his huge case over with him.
"Hello! Are you a new student?" The long haired girl asked, smiling. She had green eyes, Gilbert noticed.
"Um, ja! Hi." Gilbert said awkwardly. He really did not have that much experience with speaking English.
"I'm Elizabeta Hedérváry, senior prefect of the girls' dorms." Elizabeta shook his hand. "This is Arthur Kirkland, headboy, he takes care of the boys' dorms." Arthur nodded and shook Gilbert's hand as well at this. "And you are?"
"I'm Gilbert Beilschmidt." Gilbert introduced himself. Arthur started to then scan his list of names.
"You're Ludwig's older brother, correct?" Arthur asked. Gilbert nodded.
"Yeah, that's me alright."
"Strange, you're not on my list. Eliza?" Gilbert's heart skipped a beat.
Elizabeta took out her list, frowning. "But this is the girl's list, he should be on yours. No, wait, there you are. Weird. " Elizabeta frowned even more.
"Must be a mistake, they're not so unusual." Arthur shrugged. "The most important thing is that he's somewhere there. We can fix it at school."
Gilbert let out a sigh.
"So I'm still in?" He said and grinned.
"You're still in, don't worry." Elizabeta said. Then she pointed outside. "Our bus is just outside those doors to the right, you can't miss it. We're leaving in an hour since there are still a couple of flights we're waiting for. You can in the meantime leave you luggage at the bus and go and have lunch if you feel like it."
"Thanks Elizabeta." Gilbert nodded and headed outside. And as Elizabeta had said, there the bus was. It had on its side in huge letters "DUSSL." Gilbert walked over to it, and then realized that the door was on the wrong side.
Mumbling about idiotic British customs in German, he dragged his case to the other side of the vehicle. He stopped and looked around.
Students of all sorts of nationalities were gathered around. He could hear a great mixture of different languages being spoken besides English, like German, French, Spanish and… that must have been Japanese.
Then he spotted Ludwig in the crowd.
Ludwig! Over here, hi! Gilbert shouted and waived his right arm in the air. The tall blonde German raised his head and looked around, finally spotting Gilbert. He also gestured Gilbert to walk over.
"Long time no see Gil." Ludwig said to him as Gilbert stopped walking. Gilbert hugged him.
Long time indeed Ludwig, you mean excuse of a brother, how did you dare leave me for the holidays! He replied jokingly. Then he turned towards Ludwig's two companions, Feliciano Vargas and Kiku Honda.
"Finally we get to meet, Ludwig's brother!" Feliciano said with a loud, slightly nasally voice and warmly hugged Gilbert. Not prepared, Gilbert jolted back. Feli looked at him confused, and then said:
"I'm sorry; I didn't realize you might not like to be hugged! I hug Ludwig all the time so I kinda forgot."
"Nah, It's ok. Just give me a warning next time." He shrugged. He'd need a warning. He didn't want to reveal the fact that he had binded breasts underneath his shirt no anyone. He'd make sure to avoid the brown haired boy's hugs in the future.
He turned to face the Japanese boy.
"Kiku, am I right?" He asked the short boy.
"Yes, you are correct. I am Honda Kiku, nice to meet you Gilbert." Kiku said with a calm voice and bowed lightly.
"Feliciano, Kiku, I'm going to talk with Gilbert in private for a minute. So if you excuse us." Ludwig said, and led Gilbert back inside the building. They looked for a good spot to talk privately in, and finally settled in a corner near the windows to the take-off field.
How are things going? Everything alright? Ludwig asked in a hushed tone.
I already said before, I'm fine. They accidentally put me on the girls' list though. Gilbert answered, with his arms crossed close to his chest. Eliza-what-her-name said that they're going to fix it at school.
You do know that if they find out they might throw you out. Some of the staff is really small-minded. Ludwig warned with worry in his voice.
I know. But I'm not going to act as someone I'm not. They won't find out. I'll make sure of it. I'm too awesome for them to notice anything, right? Gilbert said reassuringly, and grinned.
Ludwig sighed and rubbed his forehead with his thumb and index finger.
Just make sure you stay alright and safe. There's surprisingly close-minded people there and I don't want to watch you getting hurt.
Gilbert placed his hand on Ludwig's shoulder and looked him in the eye.
Ludwig, I promise you, I'll be fine. I've been fine before, I'll be fine now. I'm the one who's gonna look after you, little brother. Keep hold of those friends you have, don't lose them because of me again. Stop worrying. Gilbert said and smiled.
Ludwig lowered his hand and smiled as well.
We'll be fine, Gilbert.
Yeah. It's a new start.
The bus ride to the school went smoothly, with Gilbert sitting next to Kiku. Kiku, he had noticed, was very polite and soft spoken, and spoke almost only when spoken to. Gilbert didn't really mind, it was relaxing to have a silent companion next to him after such a long and stressful day. Ludwig on the other hand was looking irritated as heck. He and Feliciano sat in front of Gilbert and Kiku, and Gilbert could hear that Feliciano just wouldn't shut up. He kept on happily babbling about the holidays, the new cooking classes he was going to take, his older brother, and many, many other things.
"Gilbert, may I ask you which classes you're going to attend?" Kiku suddenly asked.
"Well, besides the mandatory classes I chose extra PE, music and computing." Gilbert said, as he dug out his time table. They had been handed out at the beginning of the trip by Arthur. He handed it to Kiku.
"Oh, we have the same computing class. " Kiku noticed as he looked at the time table. "Ludwig is in the same one."
"Ludwig is also in the same cooking class as me!" Feliciano suddenly burst out. He had turned over on his seat and was now leaning on his arms on the top of his back rest.
"Pfft, you're taking cooking Lud?" Gilbert laughed. Ludwig turned towards him in his seat.
"Yes, yes I do." He said seriously. "And it's very helpful."
"Let me eat some of your cakes later then!" Gilbert said, still laughing a bit. Before, Ludwig couldn't take any home economic classes at school; their parents wouldn't let him, saying it was a girly thing. Gilbert knew for a fact that Ludwig loved baking and cooking, and had fiercely defended his brother. But now, looking at his tall and well built brother with neat slicked back hair, he just couldn't imagine him in the kitchen baking biscuits. The thought was too hilarious. But still it, knowing that now Ludwig could do as he had wanted for years, made Gilbert happy.
Gilbert was just about to say something more when Elizabeta's voice echoed throughout the bus.
"May I get your attention please? We'll arrive in about twenty minutes, and when we do, Arthur will guide the senior students in their dorms. I will stay with you new ones for a brief moment to show you where everything roughly is in the school grounds. Then you'll be guided in your dorms, where you'll be given half an hour to settle, and after that we'll have dinner in the main hall. Tomorrow Arthur and I will give all the new students a tour, and you'll be given your uniforms. Any questions?"
Before Gilbert could do anything, Elizabeta continued.
"Oh, and Gilbert, we'll find out just what to do with you tomorrow."
"I won't stay in the girls' dorms!" Gilbert told her, and stood up, balancing to stay up with his hands on the arm rests.
"Yes you will for one night, we can't just put you somewhere."
"Eww, is a guy staying in with us?!" A blonde haired girl, sitting in the front of the bus, asked loudly.
"You could call it a fine opportunity to get some action going Femke!" Curly haired boy sitting in the middle answered her.
"Francis, as much as I love your remarks about my love life, could you please shut your trap?" Femke told him icily.
"I won't allow some guy sleeping in the same quarters as my sister!" Shouted a boy from the back.
"Vash, it's okay, it's only for one night-" A small female voice could be heard from besides him.
"Girls, girls, let's settle down okay. There's been a mistake in the paper work, and Gilbert will stay in the girl's dorms for only one night. I'll personally make sure there won't be any disturbances." Elizabeta said with a sigh.
"Ha, as if there'd be any. Look ladies, I don't like this arrangement any more than you do, so let's stay civil about this." Gilbert called out, eyeing the bus. Then he sat down. Great, school hadn't really even started yet and he already had a bad reputation. He really didn't want to draw attention to himself this way. He wanted the others to know him as someone who was great, and powerful, not as someone who bunked at the girls' dorms.
"Alright people, stay put until the bus has completely stopped and then leave in orderly fashion." Arthur called out some time later. Gilbert looked out the window. It wasn't really dark yet, but it was still a bit difficult to see. There were at least five separate old fashioned buildings in a circle like formation, with a football field and flower beds in the middle of it all. A bit further away he could see a lake, with a smaller building. Besides it were more fields, probably for sports too.
He stepped out of the bus with Ludwig, Feliciano and Kiku. They took their luggage and gathered a bit further away from the bus.
"Okay, second, third and fourth years follow me!" Arthur called out. The said student's started following him towards the buildings. With them were Femke, Francis, and who Gilbert assumed was Vash.
"Alright new students! As you know, I'm Elizabeta and I'm the other one of DUSSL's senior prefects. You'll meet the other prefects at dinner. I'll show you which buildings are which and then help you find your correct dorms. There- " she pointed at the furthest away building. "- are the dorms' B section, also known as the old section. Next to it is the A section, the newer one. They both also contain canteens. The third one has mostly science related classes in it, as well as our indoor PE hall and swimming pool. Fourth has the main hall, and the fifth is art based. I'll now show you to your rooms, dinner it served in half an hour."
She gestured everyone to follow to the B dorms. They went through the front door and arrived in what appeared to be hybrid between a common room and a canteen. There were lots of soft looking sofas and armchairs with many colourful pillows on top, and a wide screen television in one corner. Book shelves filled with all sorts of books lined the walls. The canteen area had a bunch of tables and cushioned chairs, with a café like desk. The display shelves were empty though, probably due to the fact that school hadn't officially started yet.
"Right. On the left is the girls' side, and on the right the boys' side. You all received your key cards with your timetables; they work on both the front door, the section door and of course on your own door. Boys' key cards won't work on girls' section door and vice versa. Each evening, you must be here in the common room or in your own room by eight o' clock. Curfew, when you must be in your own rooms, is at 10 o'clock." Complaints could be heard at this. "If you're found wandering around the school grounds after that, you must have a valid reason for it given to you by either a teacher or the head boy or head girl. Okay, I'll leave you to find your rooms and roommates, let's meet back here in half an hour for dinner. "
The group split into two, as the girls and boys went in their own sections. Gilbert was left there standing alone with his case. Elizabeta walked over to him.
"So, will I just go to the girls' section and sleep there as someone's roommate because that won't work." Gilbert said to her, and crossed his arms.
"I know that it sounds like a bad idea, but we really can't put you anywhere else for this night. Besides, the boys' section here is full." Elizabeta explained.
At that moment, the front doors opened and in burst Arthur, a student Gilbert didn't recognise and a female teacher.
"What is the meaning of this? I will not allow any male students in the girls' quarters under any circumstances, is that cleat Ms. Hedérváry?" The teacher almost hissed at Elizabeta, who looked quite shocked.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Dixon, but there's simply nowhere else to put him." Elizabeta told her. Gilbert noticed that her tone had immediately changed to a more girlish one.
"No where else? Are you sure there's no room?" Mrs. Dixon asked. Elizabeta nodded.
"Then what on earth are we going to do with you two…" Mrs. Dixon mumbled, looking at Gilbert and the other student he didn't recognise.
"Two…?" Elizabeta asked and looked at Arthur. He sighed before saying:
"Matthew somehow slipped past when the rooms where handed out. He's not located anywhere."
So the boy's name was Matthew. By the looks of it, he was at least a second year student, as he was already in his uniform. But in addition to the jumper, he also had the blue jacket with the school emblem on.
"I see. I'm sorry about that Matthew." Elizabeta said to Arthur, only just glancing at Matthew.
"Mr. Kirkland, Ms. Hedérváry, go get the foldable beds from the storage and take them
here. They'll sleep in the common room for this night until we figure out what to do." Mrs. Dixon ordered the prefects, and they quickly disappeared through a back door besides the canteen display shelf.
"You heard me you two, you'll be sleeping here. Don't cause a racket." Mrs. Dixon said to Gilbert and Matthew and then she left. Not too long afterwards when Elizabeta and Arthur came back dragging two foldable beds with them.
"Here you go. Set them up by your self, I'm going to check on my dorm now." Arthur huffed, stretched his arms and left. Elizabeta stretched as well.
"You have about ten minutes before dinner; I'll be back by then to get you. You can set the beds over there by the wall so they won't be so obvious." She said as she pointed them the spot. Then she left as well.
Gilbert grabbed his bed, and started to drag it behind him towards the wall. It was surprisingly heavy.
"Let me help you with that." Matthew said, and grabbed the other end of the bed.
"Thanks, but I don't need help." Gilbert huffed. He was, regrettably, quite skinny and lacked in muscle mass. Carrying heavy things had not been an easy task for him, ever. How on earth had Elizabeta managed to move the bed with such ease?
"Too late for that, I'm afraid." Mathew said and smiled. He has already pushed the bed to its spot.
"Huh? Just how did you manage that, that thing weighed a ton!" Gilbert said, watching with wide eyes as Matthew pushed his own bed besides the wall, easily as if he was pushing a trolley.
"Um, not really. For me, I mean. I do a lot of sports." Matthew explained. He had a really soft voice. It contrasted with Gilbert's raspy, throaty one.
"What type of sports?" Gilbert asked, as he pulled his case over to his bed. Matthew lifted his rather large sports bag on his own bed.
"Winter sports. Skiing, skating. Ice-hockey is my favourite." He answered.
"Awesome. I prefer football, but skating is okay too. "Gilbert said, and crossed his legs. He did really enjoy playing football. He was quite good at it too; he had even been accepted in the boys' team back at home.
"If you think you're good enough at it, you could try applying for the school's team. They lost a lot of players when most graduated last year. "Matthew suggested. "There's their flyer on the notice board." He pointed at the large cork board near the front doors. It was filled with notices, some which were outdated, some photos and newspaper clippings. Gilbert walked over to the board and noticed the flyer Matthew was talking about.
Why not, he thought. A fresh start. It was a long time since his wonderful years in his last team.
"Got a pen?" Gilbert asked over his shoulder. Matthew straightened up and started fumbling with his bag.
"Just a sec, my pencil case is somewhere here. Here it is." Matthew held up a pale green pencil case. He picked a ball point pen from it, and walked over to Gilbert.
"There you go."
Gilbert took the pen. "Thank you~"
He wrote his name down on the list. The list wasn't that long, he noticed. Just when he finished writing his name, the front doors busted open.
"Hello B section! Time for dinner!" Shouted a tall, blonde boy. He had glasses on and he wore a brown pilot jacked over his uniform.
"Up, up, up, everyone up and let's go, I'm starving!" He continued shouting as he pounded the boys' section's door.
"Alfred! I can manage calling for them by myself, thanks." Arthur complained as he stepped in through the front doors. Right behind him was Elizabeta, who went straight to the girls' section. Her loud voice could be heard calling everyone to come for dinner.
Then little by little, the students started pouring in through the doors. There weren't much of them, Gilbert noted. There were twenty students at best.
Elizabeta had them assemble in a line.
"Alright first years, follow me in an orderly fashion, there's plenty of food so there's no hurry."
They left the dorm building, with Elizabeta and Arthur leading. The boy with the pilot jacket, Alfred, walked straight after them and seemingly kept on bugging Arthur with something. Gilbert noticed that their line was joined by the second, third and fourth years. There was some further assembling, but then they managed to continue down to the building with the main hall.
Gilbert walked besides a tall, tan boy with brown curly hair and green eyes. Then suddenly the boy turned to him, smiling.
"Hola! I'm Antonio! I'm from Spain. And you are?" Antonio asked, and offered his hand, which Gilbert shook. It was quite awkward as they remained in motion, and Gilbert had to raise his entire right arm to his left side to reach Antonio's hand, without bumping into the girl walking in front of him.
"I'm Gilbert, from Germany."
"Oooh, that's so cool. I have a friend here, whose brother has a German friend here!" Antonio answered, obviously in glee.
"That's cool." Gilbert answered.
"Are you going to join any of the clubs or teams? I'm on the football team!" Antonio asked excitingly.
"Actually I just signed up for the football team." Gilbert said and grinned,
"Great! We really need more players! Are you good? Which position do you play? Have you played in any teams before, have you won? Have you ever- " Antonio continued pouring in a question after question, with Gilbert laughing and trying to answer to the best of his abilities.
They arrived at the front doors to the main building. There were huge wooden doors, with stone steps leading up to them. The walked up and through the doors. The entrance hall was humongous. There were two staircases on both sides of the room leading to the upper floor, and between them were huge doors to what seemed to be the main hall. Paintings littered the walls, and there were ornate flowers placed on display on both sides of the doors.
"The main hall is through those doors. Feel free to sit where ever." Elizabeta called out from the front. The doors were then opened and the students stepped in.
"Sit besides me and Francis!" Antonio told Gilbert and grabbed his arm.
The main hall was a tall and long room, with plenty of small tables for six lined up in neat rows. There were two fireplaces on both sides, but they weren't lit at the moment. At the end of the hall was placed a long table, which Gilbert guessed was for the teachers. The windows on the sides of the hall had a view to the indoors garden that the school apparently had. There were no windows at the teachers' end.
It was the food that really caught Gilbert's attention. Near the teachers end there were two long tables lined up, filled to the brim with food. All types of food, from all over the world. Gilbert couldn't clearly see from where he was, as Antonio dragged him through the mass of students fighting over seats towards a blonde haired boy already seated.
"Francis! Look what I found, another football player!" Antonio told him, and let go of Gilbert's arm.
Francis was also tall, like Antonio. But he had a lot fairer skin, and shoulder length wavy blonde hair. He also held himself completely differently, as he sat up straight, were as Antonio, with Gilbert, sat down in a slump.
"Good job Antonio, another mud kicker for you team." Francis answered. Despite his words, he sounded genuinely happy. He raised his arm towards Gilbert.
"Francis Bonnefoy at your service." He said, and shook Gilbert's hand.
"Gilbert Beilschmidt. I heard you on the bus." Gilbert said.
"Like wise. So you're the one who caused all that racket." Francis said and leaned his chin on his hand, which in turn leaned by his elbow on the table.
"May I have your attention please!" A loud male voice echoed through the hall. Everyone quieted down. Gilbert noted, that all the students had found somewhere to sit. The one who had spoken was standing in front of the teachers' table. He was an old, tanned man.
"Welcome new students to Docmaticam universitatis studiorum superiorum luvenes, our great school of learning. I, Alessandro Vargas, welcome you all from all over the world. And welcome back our old students! Let this year be just as fruitful as your last. And now, not to keep your hungry mouth waiting any longer, feel free to dig in our delicious meal." Mr Vargas said with a booming voice. Then he stepped back, took his plate from the table and started putting food on it from the buffet.
The other teachers started to follow his example, and soon also the student's had lined up for the food. As the tables were long, and there really were not that many mouths to feed, it wasn't that long before Gilbert found himself in front of the buffet with a plate in hand.
"Try the meatballs, the Swedish ones; they're to die for I swear." Antonio told him, as he placed six of the said food on his own plate. He also had some Spanish delicacies on his plate that Gilbert didn't know the names for.
Gilbert took three of the meatballs at Antonio's suggestion, but he also took a huge scoop of mashed potatoes and a couple of different sausages. He also filled a smaller plate with a simple salad. He'd try the more exotic things later, he decided.
They returned to their table, placed the plates on it, and sat down. Francis had his plate full of something Gilbert wasn't sure he even wanted to know the name to, so he didn't dare ask. It suspiciously looked like snails.
Francis seemed to have spotted his expression, because he looked up from his plate and said:
"Don't worry; they only serve escargot on special occasions." Then he smiled mischievously, and scooped a huge forkful of the snails in his mouth.
Gilbert ate in silence. He hadn't even noticed just how hungry he had been, and he even went for seconds.
Francis and Antonio talked about their summer holidays, which Francis had spent in Toulouse visiting his family, and which Antonio had spent visiting his friend Lovino in Venice.
"My brother spent his summer in Venice too." Gilbert piped in, when he heard the name of the city.
"Really? Is he tall and blonde and scary looking?" Antonio asked, his mouth full of something that Gilbert guessed was fish.
"Ludwig? Yeah, he's all that."
"What a coincidence! I know him! He was there too, visiting Feliciano! What a small world!" Antonio said beaming. "So you're his older brother! He spoke about you a lot, wow, this is amazing!"
"I take the same cooking classes as him." France said, and finished his plate of, well, snails.
"I hope he didn't tell too much about me." Gilbert said and grinned.
"What, no, no, he told me that you're really reliable and awesome, and that you are good at football. That type of stuff. Besides, I didn't really get to talk with him that much. Feliciano was dragging him all around and Lovino doesn't like Germans." Antonio explained, waiving his fork around as he spoke.
"Damn right I don't, and now you started to collect them." An angry voice called from behind them.
Antonio's face spread into a smile as he turned around on his seat.
"Hello Romano! I didn't see where you were sitting."
"Riiight. Because of you I was forced to sit besides Feli, who was with that German jerk. So obviously Feli was all gooey at him, and you know I can't stand gooey." Romano complained, and sat on the chair next to Antonio, on the other side of the table from Gilbert's point of view.
Lovino placed his plate in front of him, which was filled with ice cream and cocoa sauce.
"Romano, Ludwig is nice! You should just give him a chance." Antonio said, as he tried to sneak a forkful of the ice cream. Lovino just slapped his hand away.
"Yeah, and risk turning gooey myself? No way." Lovino mumbled as he filled his mouth with some vanilla ice cream.
"You could try hanging around with Gilbert here first, to get over your obvious hatred towards Germans." Francis suggested.
"Hmmph." Lovino just kept eating his ice cream, which seemingly made him feel better.
"I wouldn't mind, and besides, I'm going to be spending a lot of time with Antonio due to football. So just get used to my awesome face near you." Gilbert said with a laugh.
Lovino turned red, either from too much ice cream in his mouth as one or from Gilbert's comment.
"Football?! Don't tell me there's a German in my football team!" Lovino said, and started glaring straight at Gilbert.
"You better be good at it, because I won't hesitate to throw you off the team." He said icily. "And no gooeyness from you Antonio."
"What, are you, like, the captain?" Gilbert asked eyeing Lovino's built. He was a skinny little thing, short too. And he had a weird curly lock of hair, like Feliciano.
"Yes, yes I am the captain. Training starts already tomorrow, and I'm going to put you through hell to see if you're fit enough for the team." Lovino said seriously.
"Don't worry, I'm plenty good. Captain." Gilbert said, putting emphasis on the last word just to piss off Lovino.
"Ladies, ladies, we should start returning to the dorms. You can beat each other up on the field tomorrow just as much as your hearts desire." Francis said as he held up his hands.
"I second this idea!" Antonio said, looking around, searching for others who also thought it was a good idea.
Gilbert yawned. He was pretty tired. "Let's go. It sounds good."
"Then it's decided." Francis said and stood up. They all stood up and started walking away from the hall. It was really dark outside. Luckily the garden lamps were new, and brightened up the entire area. In the line before Gilbert hadn't really paid much attention to his surroundings, but now he noticed that there were lots of benches around, two small shelters around the football field, for players to rest in, and lots of signs. Signs everywhere. He'd be not getting lost.
"See you tomorrow then Gilbert." Francis said as he, Antonio and Lovino turned to enter the A-section of the dorm buildings. They all, Lovino reluctantly, said their good nights. Gilbert then continued by himself to walk to the B-section.
He noticed, as he walked inside, that Matthew was already there. There were also a couple other students, watching something on the TV. Matthew was sitting on an armchair besides his bed, reading something. As Gilbert went closer, he saw that the book was in French.
"How was dinner?" Gilbert asked him. Matthew quickly looked up, startled.
"Oh, sorry, I didn't notice you. It was good. And how about you?"
"I met the captain of the football team. Seemed like such a ray of sunshine." Gilbert answered, and sat down on his bed. Matthew smiled.
"He does have a certain reputation."
They fell into silence. Gilbert opened his case and took out his pyjama. Oh. Right. He'd have to take his binds off for the night, or otherwise his back would kill him the following morning. But if he did take his binds off, he'd we outed the very second. He had been "gifted" with a quite busty figure. Due to consciously skipping meals every once in a while, eating large quantities of salad and working out he had been able to keep his figure small, but it obviously wasn't enough as he still had to bind.
He could, in theory, sleep with his hoodie on. It was baggy, and hid his curves well. But he didn't really want Matthew to question his choice of clothing. Matthew wouldn't probably care, but Gilbert didn't want to appear weird.
He could, maybe, say it was cold in the common room. Matthew was wearing a large sweater and pyjama trousers; he'd believe that it was cold.
Gilbert dug out his toothbrush as well, and headed to the toilets. He changed into his pyjamas, and let out a relieved sigh as he took off the binds. After he was done with his business, he went back in the common room. The TV was now switched off, and he and Matthew were the only ones left in the room. Matthew was already under his covers, book still in hand. The only light left in the room was a lamp on a table near Matthew.
Gilbert put his clothes in his case and went under his covers. The bed was surprisingly comfy.
"Good night." Matthew said, and switched off his reading lamp. The room turned dark. Some voices could be heard from both the corridors, and light shined under their doors. An escape sign over the front doors shined soft green.
"Good night Matt." Gilbert replied. He closed his eyes and pulled the covers up to his ears. He'd make the best of the following year. Or at least, he'd damn well try.