In the country of Germany there was a city called Bonn. Not far outside that city there was a village, Eberbach. Beside that village there was a castle of the same name, and in that castle, on this particular day, there happened to be a thief.
Like coals banked in ash, the sun was sinking into the far horizon. Tendrils of orange light entered the library through large windows, creeping over the room's contents with a slow curiosity. When they reached the thief they paused, then poured over him all at once, an obeisance that, strangely, went unnoticed.
The thief was engrossed, not in thieving, but in reading. And when he should have given thought to leaving the castle, before its master returned and caught him there, he could only snuggle more comfortably into his chair, and shiver with delight as he turned the next page.
The master of the castle walked into the library just then, and knew at a glance what the thief was doing; there was no mistaking the book reverently held in those long-fingered hands, nor the look of pure, unadulterated lust on the thief's expressive face.
"Stop looking at the naked body of my ancestor!" Klaus snapped, hesitant to tear the book from the offending thief's hands lest it get damaged. "It's disgusting!"
"Wow Darling, but your ancestor had a nice ass," Dorian commented, flipping the page and gazing in wide-eyed marvel from the book, to Klaus, to the book again. "Is yours as nice?"
"You give me the chills. Quit that!"
"Ooh, but I do think he's getting a little snuggly with that cabin boy," Dorian said with a grin, but as he turned to the next page his expression grew a little queasy. "And all those women... I'd have to say there's some mistake, except there's no arguing the resemblance."
"He was an undisciplined idiot who wore pumpkin pants!" Klaus snapped. "Any resemblance between us is purely a freak-of-nature coincidence!"
Dorian continued flipping through the book, his wide-eyed, avid gaze fastened on the fragile pages in something akin to rapture. "He's naked again!" he said with a small, foppish giggle.
It was too much. "STOP that!" Klaus cried, snatching the book away. He glanced down at the page Dorian had been drooling over, and his hair nearly stood on end. "For God's sake...," he muttered, appalled. Who knew old Tyrian had been such a... such a... such a vain, hedonistic *pervert*? "I'm going to have to burn this!"
"Did you SEE that look he gave Benedict?" Dorian crowed. "They were SO doing it!"
"HOW DARE YOU speak of my ancestor that way?"
"It's a grand tradition," Dorian purred, rising from the chair and sidling close to the object of his affections with a smile tugging at his lips. "Intimate... association between our families. We should uphold it."
"You buggering idiot! Don't even think such disgusting things!" Klaus cried, stepping back in time to thwart Dorian's attempt to grab the book again.
"Well, he was *obviously* doing the cabin boy..." Dorian sniffed, eyeing the book covetously.
"I'll burn the book, and blind everyone who looked at it!" Klaus said. "That's nauseating! And what the fuck are you even doing here?"
"I came to wish you a happy Halloween, Darling. Trick or Treat, and all that... and that book is definitely a treat!" Dorian had edged close to him again. "Right there--see?" he said, pointing. "He's being kissed by that sweet boy!"
"There is nothing improper about CPR! It's the Kiss of Life!"
"Then why wouldn't you give ME the 'kiss of life'?"
"You don't fucking need CPR!"
"I did! I was nearly drowned!" Dorian shouted, then a look of sheer despondence crossed his expressive features. "You must've wanted me to die. You must hate me."
"There's a big difference between 'nearly drowned' and 'really drowned,' " Klaus said wryly. "Unfortunately. I don't mind if you die; just don't do it on one of my missions."
"Fine," Dorian said, pouting at him in the way that had charmed many a man into his bed... which Klaus found singularly irritating. "Maybe I *will* die. If I have to suicide to prove my love, so be it! I'll throw myself from the highest turret of the Schloss, and haunt you forever after!"
"Don't you even think of desecrating my ancestral home with your faggoty corpse!"
The pout faded, to be replaced by a sly grin. "You know, ghosts can enter dreams."
"Any dream with you would be a nightmare!" Klaus bellowed.
"Is that what you call them, Darling? I thought they were called wet dreams."
"NEIN!!! Don't say such disgusting things!"
Dorian blew him a kiss. "Good bye, Darling. I'm off to kill myself. I'll see you tonight, however. Wear something appropriate to bed, hm?"
"Don't you dare kill yourself, you fucking queer! I don't want you anywhere near my dreams!"
"Oh DARLING! I knew you cared!" Dorian flung his arms around Klaus and tried to kiss him.
"Let... go...," Klaus gritted out through clenched teeth, using a fistful of golden curls to keep Dorian's face at arm's length, "or I'll fucking KILL you!" Dorian winced, but wrapped his legs around Klaus's waist, puckering his lips and making obscene smooching sounds.
"I'll... I'll... I'LL CALL JAMES!" Klaus threatened.
"Fine by me," Dorian replied with a smirk. "I don't mind sharing if you don't. You should probably call Z as well; I do like a balanced orgy."
"GAH!" With a desperately strong effort, Klaus tore free and locked himself in the bathroom, his last line of defense. Dorian slowly picked himself back up off the floor, straightened his clothing, fluffed his hair, and glared at the locked door.
He strolled over to the door, swaying with each step as his bootheels clicked in a slow, measured pace on the gleaming marble floor. After a brief pause, he knocked.
"Go away!" Klaus shouted.
Dorian thought for a moment, then called out, "Ghosts can travel through walls too."
"But you're not dead! ...yet! And ghosts have no corporeal form! So if I kill you, you can't *touch* me!"
"I bet ghosts can see through clothing too."
There was a horrified gasp on the other side of the closed door; Dorian put a hand over his mouth and tried to stifle the urge to giggle.
"Shut the fuck up, you PERVERT! Queer! Go the fuck away!"
"I will," Dorian said cheerfully. "But first tell me, do you keep your gun in the top left or top *right* desk drawer?"
"Don't you DARE try to handle my gun!" Klaus shrieked.
Dorian wandered away, humming, and after a few moments' pause, Klaus peered out warily. The idiot was ruffling through his desk drawers! Abandoning the safety of the bathroom, Klaus stalked over to stand behind Dorian threateningly.
"What the FUCK do you think you're doing? Quit putting your hands all over my things! You'll get GERMS on them!" Privately, Klaus was glad that he didn't actually keep a gun in his desk; otherwise, Dorian would surely shoot HIM while aiming for himself!
"Oh, that's right. You keep it *on* you," Dorian said, turning and smiling deviously.
"Damn straight!" Klaus replied, then squawked as Dorian started rustling through his clothing.
"WAUK! STOP that!" Klaus squealed, slapping the offending hands away.
"You screech like a girl, you know," Dorian said, and backed away with the gun--Klaus's precious, prized MAGNUM--in his hand.
"I DO NOT!" Klaus screeched (like a girl) as he grabbed his gun back. How was he going to get all the gay germs off his precious Magnum?
"You just *did*!" Dorian said, reaching for the gun again, but Klaus dodged backwards.
"I DID NOT!" Klaus screeched again. "Besides, you're gay! What would you know about what girls sound like?!?"
"As if YOU know either! You prude! Virgin!" Dorian pulled out a knife and set it against his throat. "HA! Now what are you going to do? Shoot me?"
"DON'T!" Klaus cried, ignoring Dorian's words, however uncalled-for the insult may have been. "At least wait until I've blinded you first!"
Dorian pressed the knife hard enough to draw a drop of blood. "You'd have to touch me to blind me," he said, with all the dramatic flair of any star-crossed lover ever to grace the stage.
"I don't want your ghost haunting me!"
"I don't care," Dorian said. "I'd rather be dead than never have you."
"Fine. If that's the way it has to be...," Klaus said, pointing his gun at his own head, "I'll go FIRST! Then you CAN'T haunt me!"
"Oh good! We can be ghosts together!"
"NEIN! I'm even more horrified by the idea of necrophilia than I am by the idea of being with YOU!"
"We'll have all eternity together!" Dorian continued, ecstatic. "It will be so romantic!"
"There's nothing romantic about being DEAD, you brainless fop! I'll have half a head! For eternity! ...maybe less than half; it *is* a big Magnum...
"That would be kind of off-putting...," Dorian said thoughtfully.
"It should be VERY off-putting! And how are you going to find foppish queer outfits to go with a sliced-up neck?"
"You're right," Dorian said, lowering the knife. "That's terribly un-romantic. How silly of me." He positioned the point of the blade over his heart and added, "this is much better."
"That'll stain your shirt..." Klaus said with a sigh.
"Red isn't such a bad colour. I look good in red."
There was a longish pause, then Klaus reluctantly said, "You look better in blue."
"You... think I look good in blue?" Dorian was shocked; the knife wavered slightly before he freshened his grip.
"I suppose," Klaus said grudgingly.
"HA! You *do* notice things like that! You wouldn't if you hate me as much as you claim to!"
"I'm--I'm a trained investigator!" Klaus sputtered. "I'm supposed to notice EVERYTHING!"
"Oh? Then what's Z's best colour?" The knife was still held pressed lightly to Dorian's chest, and he smiled at Klaus brightly, one eyebrow raising in challenge.
"Uh.... He has a dark green sweater that doesn't look good on him," Klaus said, and as Dorian's smile turned triumphant he blurted out, "uniform green!"
"I've always thought he looks particularly scrumptious in pink silk sheets," Dorian replied, smirking.
"DON'T say disgusting things about that good German boy!"
"Oh, he certainly is good, isn't he? Mmn, yes. I think I shall have to haunt him too."
"You're not allowed to haunt ME, or any of my men!" Klaus shouted; if only the infuriating fop wasn't holding *himself* hostage with the knife!
"Ghosts can haunt whomever they like," Dorian said, smugly, backing up a half-step to maintain the distance between them as Klaus tried to edge closer.
"Well, YOU can't!"
"Well, I'll never know until I try..." Dorian pressed the knife forward slightly, and a drop of blood trickled down towards the low neckline of his shirt.
"This is *insane!*"
"Unrequited love does that to people," Dorian sniffled. "Goodbye, my darling Major!"
"Don't do it!" Klaus cried, appalled; it looked as though Dorian might actually go through with it! "I'll... I'll..."
"You'll what?" A second drop of blood followed the thin trail and merged with the first, racing now to stain the edge of Dorian's shirt.
"I...I won't love you if you're dead!"
"You don't love me now! At least I'll be out of my misery!"
Klaus sighed. "Lord Gloria... Please don't do this."
"So formal... I do have a name," Dorian said, lower lip trembling slightly. "It would be nice to hear it from your lips once more before I go."
"Dorian. I'm asking you not to do this."
"Not convinced. You'll have to do far better than that. Probably don't want me bleeding faggish blood all over your carpet."
"Please, Lo-Dorian. Put the knife down."
"Still not convinced."
"What would it take to convince you?" Klaus asked, frustration mingling with anxiety.
"It can never happen. You said yourself that you hate me."
"...so if I said I don't hate you, you'd stop this?"
"Stop screwing around with me, Klaus!" Dorian snapped. "Sure, you'll *say* anything to appease the crazy knife-wielding faggot!"
"I don't hate you," Klaus said, quietly.
"You don't love me either," Dorian said, pressing a little harder with the knife; the wet red spot on the edge of Dorian's shirt grew.
"I can't help being what I am!"
"Neither can I, so it's probably best this way."
Klaus took a few cautious steps towards Dorian, hoping not to startle him into really hurting himself. "It doesn't have to be this way..."
"If you stop me now, I"ll never have another chance," Dorian said, backing away. "You'll probably have me institutionalized. You'd like that, wouldn't you? I'd be out of your hair for good."
"No, I wouldn't. I wouldn't do that."
Dorian snapped. "Of course you would! Don't lie! It's been your dream for years to get rid of me!"
What would it take to convince you? I gave you my word!"
"Your word isn't what I want!" Dorian shouted. "I can't have what I want, which goes against my principles. I can't live like that."
"For God's sake! Fine!" Klaus snarled, and ripped off his shirt. "You want it, come get it! Just put the fucking knife down!"
"That *isn't* what I want," Dorian said icily.
"You've been saying so for years."
"You big, blind, stupid... IDIOT! I've loved you for years; the rest is just posturing, to keep myself from getting hurt. Only it didn't work, did it? I can't take any more -- I'm ending it now. "
Klaus gaped at him, stunned. "I am standing here, half naked and willing to do whatever you want me to do, and you're bent on killing yourself?"
"Just like you're willing to do whatever it takes to complete your missions, huh?"
"I am not an *objective*," Dorian growled. "If I was, you just failed. *Fuck* *you*, Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach!" With that, he plunged the knife home.
"Goddammit, Dorian!" Klaus yelled, running forward but knowing that there was nothing, really, that he could do. Dorian collapsed into his arms, and Klaus lowered him to the floor gently, numb with shock. "Goddamn you..."
"Oh, oh FUCK that hurts..." Dorian gasped, wide-eyed.
"Idiot. Idiot! I can't be what you want, but Goddammit, you fucking queer, you're as IMPORTANT as a mission!"
"Oh..." Dorian gasped, straining to breathe, and Klaus held onto him helplessly.
"Idiot," he whispered. "It's unfair of you to expect me to be... Dorian! Don't do this to me, Dorian! Please don't die..."
Dorian smiled, and pushed Klaus's hands away from the knife hilt. "Don't- Don't bother. I'll... only go faster, that way..."
"You fucking stupid queer! Don't you leave me!"
"I'm... not unhappy to go like this," Dorian said softly. "Always wanted to die in your arms."
"Don't leave me... please, Dorian... I'm begging you!"
"'s... too late, isn't it?" Dorian said with a weak cough. "At least... you could lie... to me, tell me you love me, before I... go. 's all I ever wanted."
Klaus swallowed his reluctance, not wanting to deny a last wish. "...I love you, Dorian."
"Liar..." More quiet coughs, as Klaus gently stroked blond curls out of Dorian's eyes.
"I'll miss you," he said, voice squeaking out hoarsely around the lump in his throat.
"You won't. You've still got... your alphabet to yell at and hit."
"They're not nearly as entertaining to yell at," Klaus said, smiling bitterly.
"Always hated... being your p-punching bag, you... damned closet case," Dorian gasped, clutching at the knife with one hand and Klaus's hair with the other. "Find someone else to t-take your repressions out on."
"Dorian... I'll never forgive myself..."
Dorian lifted a trembling hand to Klaus's cheek. "Sorry for... what?"
"Everything. I can't believe you did this."
"I-" Dorian's voice dropped as he coughed again. "B-believe me now? Love you so much... Would rather--would rather die than not be with you."
"Dorian... I didn't want you to die!"
"And what... did I have worth living for?" Klaus didn't answer; Dorian's eyes widened, and he struggled to get upright. "Klaus...? Klaus, tell me. Why shouldn't I die? What do I have worth living for?"
"Please... please don't leave me, Dorian..." Klaus whispered.
"I'm free to do as I like. I was never yours."
"No... Don't leave me alone..."
"You're already alone. You wouldn't let me near," Dorian said, and stared, wondering, at Klaus's eyes gleaming with unshed tears.
"Oh, God, Dorian!" Klaus's voice broke, somewhere between a cry and a moan.
"Always wanted... to hear you say that," Dorian said, smiling beatifically. " 'nder better conditions, of course..."
"That's just like you, you idiot," Klaus said, sniffling. "Are your last words going to be perverted?"
Dorian's smile drifted, and he closed his eyes. "Yes."
"Dorian? ...Dorian?" The body in his arms went slack, and Klaus sobbed once, and then the floodgates opened and he buried his face against Dorian's shoulder and cried, tears spilling forward with each wrenching sob. "No... Oh, please, I'll do anything, just stay with me..."
After several minutes, Klaus released Dorian's body, lowering him gently to the floor, then he crawled across the floor to his gun, still sobbing. "You won't go alone. 's what you wanted..."
The body of Dorian sat up suddenly. "NO!"
Klaus's hair stood on end as he dropped his gun in shock. "You... You..." he gasped, then, face reddening, he picked his gun back up. "YOU'RE NOT DEAD?!?!"
"Don't do it!" Dorian cried, lunging forward. "I'll stay with you, just like you wanted! Just... don't do it!"
"YOU'RE NOT DEAD?!?!" Klaus backed away, holding his gun in one hand and clutching his shirt against his chest with the other.
"Trick knife," Dorian admitted with a shrug, demonstrating pushing the blade in a few times. "Oh, but that doesn't matter! You begged and begged me to stay, and I WILL! Oh, my love, I'll NEVER leave you!"
"YOU'RE NOT DEAD?!?! You MOTHERFUCKING, COCKSUCKING SON OF A BITCH! I'M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU! BUT FIRST I'M GOING TO MAKE YOU WISH YOU WERE FUCKING DEAD! I'LL RIP OUT YOUR INTESTINES AND STRANGLE YOU WITH THEM! I'LL FORCE-FEED YOU YOUR OWN FUCKING *LIVER*! AND *THEN* I'LL KILL YOU!!!"
Dorian sniffed, startled. "But... But Darling? What happened with the crying, and the begging? You said anything, if I'd stay with you!"
"That was when I thought you were fucking DEAD, you lying, thieving sneak!"
"You *lied* to a DYING MAN?" Dorian demanded, bottom lip trembling.
"No! YOU lied to ME, you fucking bastard!" The gun fired, a bullet whizzing by and missing Dorian... by a very small margin. "Now get the FUCK out of here before I make your little death scene a reality!" Klaus bellowed.
Dorian leaped as the bullet drove into the wall by his head. "Fine! You cold fucking son-of-a-bitch... I didn't know you were such a good fucking actor!"
"AFTER THAT TRICK YOU PULLED, HOW CAN YOU CALL *ME* COLD?!?!"
"You're *cold*, I'm fucking DESPERATE!" Dorian snapped, turning for the door. "WAS fucking desperate. Now I'm just *sick*."
"Pretending to fucking kill yourself to force some kind of confession out of me, THAT'S cold!" Klaus yelled at his back. Dorian flinched, and rubbed his eyes.
"Well, I know you don't have a heart to wound, so I must've hit your fucking almighty pride. *Good*."
"Jesus fucking Christ!" Klaus yelled, pulling his shirt on. "WHAT pride?"
"THAT pride," Dorian said with a sniffle, pointing vaguely at Klaus's shirt.
"...you hate my SHIRT?" Klaus had been certain he was beyond incredulity, but now realized he would *never* understand Dorian.
"Squeamish that I should see you without it?" Dorian sneered. "You fucking lying queer. I hate *everything* that has anything to do with you!"
"You were more interested in playing out your sick game than seeing me without it!"
"Oh, and I suppose a little flesh show is supposed to appease my ardor. If all I'd wanted was your body, I could have fucked you a dozen opportunities before this, gotten you *out* of my system and been on my merry way!"
Klaus was furious again; rather than point out that Dorian would *never* have had an opportunity to hop into his bed, he snapped, "So you decided to fuck with my mind instead--and what? You expect me to *thank* you for playing your manipulative game?"
"No! I expect you to be truthful with yourself and with me for once in your fucking miserable life!"
"You don't want the truth!"
"Fine--live a lie. You can probably uphold it easier if I remove one temptation from your life. I'm leaving, Klaus."
"Leave, then! I'd rather be alone than be used and tossed aside!"
Dorian slowed, and half-turned to face him. "Before you accuse me of anything, at least be sure I'm capable of it. I'd make you take that back, but it isn't worth the effort."
"Oh? So it would be different with me than it was with James, or Caesar, or any of the other young men you pursued and then *left*? I know good and Goddamned well you're capable of it, and so do you."
"If you say," Dorian said with a shrug. "Ask Caesar, then next time you see him, about how I used and abandoned him."
"I have no intention of doing that," Klaus said, knowing that he sounded stuffy and hating it.
"Because you're scared of the truth."
"No, *you're* the one who can't accept the truth!"
"I don't accept failure easily, if that's what you mean," Dorian said. "But I do have limits. I'm far past them, especially that of my patience."
"Then go," Klaus said, wiping at his cheeks and surprised to find tears there. "Leave me alone. Make a grand exit and tell yourself that all of this was my fault. Find yourself a new obsession to pursue. Isn't that what you're good at?" Bitterly, he turned and started up the stairs.
"You're irreplacable, you bastard. Might as well get a new heart in the process."
"If I'm irreplaceable, then why are you acting like this?" Klaus asked, pausing on the staircase to turn and look at Dorian searchingly.
"Acting like what? Fucking desperate? That should be obvious," Dorian replied.
"Well, it isn't."
"Not my problem, idiot."
Klaus glared at him. "What did you call me?"
"Idiot," Dorian sneered. "You are."
"In what way? Because I believed your vicious little deception, or because I cared?"
"Because you think that you *choose* to not-care. It doesn't work that way, Klaus."
"You're not even making sense," Klaus said, feeling weary and bewildered and, somehow, feeling an empty ache inside from thinking he'd lost Dorian.
"Fine, fine--you want me gone, I'll go. Good-fucking-bye, Klaus."
"Goodbye, Dorian," Klaus said, and went upstairs quietly, for once not caring that Dorian watched him go.
For some reason, the thief lingered. It was unlike him to allow someone else the grander exit, but in this case it was almost appropriate. A moment later, he realized what it was that he'd been lingering for. The sound of a gunshot echoed down the stairs.
"Klaus?!" Dorian cried, bolting up the stairs in sudden panic.
There was no answer.
"Klaus! Answer me, you goddamned bastard!!" Dorian pounded on Klaus's bedroom door, which suddenly opened; Klaus grabbed a fistful of golden hair and dragged Dorian into his room.
"Idiot," he said. "We're even now."
"KLAUS!!" Dorian screeched, and punched him, and Klaus grabbed his wrists.
"What? You don't like it when the trick's turned back on you?"
"That was CRUEL!"
"It could've been worse," Klaus smirked, just a little cruelly. "At least I didn't put you through a long death scene."
Dorian quieted, a thoughtful expression taking his face. "Are you saying that I overacted?"
"I'm saying you milked it for all it was worth. And I must be an idiot to have bought it."
"And who was just scrambling madly up the stairs, expecting to find you lying in a pool of blood?" Dorian's chuckle was weak.
"So you're an idiot, too," Klaus said with a shrug. "I knew *that* already."
Dorian tentatively tried Klaus' grip, found it loosened. "We're a matched set," he shrugged. "Always knew we were kindred spirits."
"I guess there's only one thing left to ask, then," Klaus replied, releasing Dorian slowly.
"No more tricks, please!" Dorian frowned. "After tonight, I doubt I'll have the stomach for them for a long time."
"Well, then..." Klaus said hesitantly, and paused to nervously clear his throat. "How about a treat, Lord Gloria?"
The scare had mellowed Dorian. He seemed downright contrite as he murmured, "I'm... open to offers. And call me Dorian, Klaus."
"Just... keep in mind," Klaus whispered, as he stepped in close enough that their lips almost touched, "that if you try anything like that again, I really *will* kill you."
"I won't try anything like that again." Dorian's lips brushed Klaus' tentatively, but moved no closer. "I'm hoping that I would have too much to lose."
"There's only one way to tell," Klaus replied, and as he met Dorian halfway, he gave himself a smug mental pat on the back. Though Dorian had requested no more tricks, he'd made no promises. Considering how well the incident with the trick knife had gone, he couldn't wait to see how well Dorian did with the Houdini-proof handcuffs!