Hello, all, I’m still alive! I haven’t had the time to post anything because classes begun and I’m having more homework than I can cope! Still, I intend to finish this, but I can’t promise they’ll be daily; I’ll post when life gives me time to do so.
Soulmates AU as in this fic.
He met him again inside a dingy club on his first week in London.
He, like many others, had gone out of Germany when Hitler and the Nazi Party had begun to implement their ‘good’ ideas to get Germany back to its glory. He had seen the alarming extent of the extremism and the hidden oppression behind those ideas; his body could be young, but his mind was as old as humankind and he recognized the imminent war that approached furtively, hanging heavily over everyone’s head.
He had been wandering aimlessly one night when the sound of music had made him turn a corner and he found himself going down the stairs to a club in the basement of an old house. There, between dim fluorescent light, cigarette smoke and people dancing, he saw him again.
It was him – how could he ever mistake him? –, his blond hair a bit longer than usual, the sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up to his elbows and he gave a quick drag to a roll-up before he lifted a shiny trumpet and his world narrowed to him and the bewitching sound of the instrument, dancing and twirling through the air.
As much as he tried, he couldn’t keep his distance and before the sun painted the sky with the soft colours of dawn, they had already been talking between songs, the easy familiarity already putting soft smiles on their faces.
Niki this time was cautious; as the time had passed, ‘homosexuality’ had went from something ‘normal’ to being nothing short of a sickness or a sin. People were arrested every day for charges of ‘sodomy’ and he didn’t know how James would react. He did his best to be nothing but friends with him, but after some months of knowing each other, James had pushed Niki against a wall in a dark corner of the club and had kissed him; the taste of fresh tobacco and alcohol mingling with the delicate scent of James as his blood thrummed with the rhythm of the bass.
From that night on everything had been nice, to Niki’s weary surprise. They already shared a nice flat in central London, so the only change was that James’ bed had gotten a thick layer of dust on. Their lives kept almost the same; Niki working on a mechanic’s during the days and meeting James on that club during the nights; his life filled with music and soft murmurs in the dead of night…
Then Germany invaded Poland and two days later the UK and France had declared war.
He had been buying himself some quick lunch when the news came through the wireless; the chips in his mouth had lost their flavour and it had been a real struggle to remain in the mechanic’s until his shift ended.
The streets were almost deserted, his steps echoing as he made his way to the club and he found only the staff and some regulars there; there was no music, no laughter, the blue of the lights even appeared dim to his eyes as he crossed the room to James; his deep navy eyes met his gaze once and he stood, heading silently to the back of the stage, Niki following some steps behind.
It was only until Niki had closed the door of the adjacent room normally used for storage when James turned to face him. His mouth was pressed in a thin line; his shoulders had been tense all the way there but they sagged then and a heartbeat later he was pulling Niki in an embrace, holding him tight and pressing his face to the side of his neck.
“We are at war,” James said against Niki’s skin.
“I know,” Niki sighed, closing his eyes; dread heaving his heart.
He knew the words before James uttered them. It was pure cosmic irony, really, that the same war that had brought them together was the one that was pulling them apart.
“I’ll have to enlist by the end of the week,” the words sounded heavy to his ears, James still not letting Niki go; and he was glad to know he wasn’t the only one finding it difficult to be apart. “then I’ll be off to war…”
How different this James sounded when facing war. Niki remembered the sheer enthusiasm and foolish optimism that had made James’ navy eyes dance back then when they both had met during the crusades, all those centuries back. Perhaps even if he didn’t consciously, his soul might remember some of the cruelty of war they both had experienced in those hot and faraway lands.
James loosened the embrace then enough to look Niki in the eye. There was something between the layers of blue, something desperate, almost pleading that had Niki take his hand and lead them all the way back to their flat.
There he had spared one last look at a pair of navy eyes before he had pulled James down for a kiss; making his best to fully memorize James in both his body and mind, kisses and soft caresses a silent plea for James to come back safely, to come back to him.
When James had finally gone to the coast in a train full of soldiers, Niki did his best to make his bit for the cause – He couldn’t have enlisted, as much as he had wanted; both his illegal immigrant status and his German nationality would have only served to send him back to the Fatherland –; but the months passed and the news from the French front weren’t at all promising.
It was a week after all the rescued from Dunkirk arrived on English soil that the list of the people ‘missing in action’ was published. The city had been a right chaos, the usual since the war began, when he went to see the list outside one of the still working hospitals after the first bombings. Despite not being the first time, Niki had to keep his composure until he found a safe corner to turn and throw up viciously without unwanted attention.
James, despite having reached the port of Dunkirk, had died due to wound infection the night before the help finally got there.
Niki wondered, not for the first time, with his heart broken, if it was always going to end like this for them.