Character(s) or Pairing(s): Eventual Germancest, France, N. Italy, S. Italy, China, Spain
Warnings: None for now.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Gilbert, a new performer at the circus with a little secret etched into his back. Ludwig, a long time performer who is half snake.
"At our circus you will meet a variety of people. Some are shunned from society, either because of their looks or abilities and sometimes both." Yao said. "Some simply have nowhere else to go."
He glanced at Feliciano, Lovino, and Gilbert.
"The rules here are simple. Do the jobs you're assigned. We ask for loyalty and that you do nothing that will endanger anyone here." he continued. "We like to eat together however if you want to eat on your own you're responsible for your food. Not everyone will perform, audiences like to see more different humans, however everyone will work hard."
"Everyone rooms with someone else." he said as they walked through the camp. "The only time a tent has a single person is if the other occupant leaves or marries another. And even then a roommate is quickly found."
"We give each other stage names, something that is connected to the abilities; if you perform a name will be given to you later."
Gilbert glanced around the small crowds of people. Some talked among themselves while others looked at the new comers with interest.
Yao scanned the crowd before he called out. "Antonio, come here."
A tanned man with curly brown hair and an eye patch stepped forward with a small smile.
"The brothers, Lovino and Feliciano, shall room with you." Yao said. "After I find Ludwig please give them a tour."
"Sure thing." Antonio said placing his arms behind his head. "Arthur placed Ludwig on guard for the east, by the way."
"Thank you." Yao said nodding. "Follow me."
He led the others to the side of the camp. Gilbert glanced around when he heard something on the ground.
"Ludwig?" Yao called out.
Suddenly from the trees a snake had dropped down and snapped itself towards Yao with its fangs bared.
Yao for his part didn't even blink as the snake stopped mere centimeters from his face.
"Ludwig please come down from the tree." Yao said calmly as he gently pushed the snake to the side.
"What kind of snake is that?" Lovino hissed pointing to the side.
When Gilbert glanced at the ground he felt his insides freeze. He couldn't see how long it was, although from what he could see of the snake it was already a mile long, however its width was as long as the tree trunk it was slithering up.
A figure was slowly being placed on the ground, the snake had wrapped itself around the figures waist and arms to help bring them down.
The figure touched the ground lightly. They were wearing a long black robe with long sleeves which covered the arms and hands. Their head was bent forward which caused their long blonde hair to spill forward. When they stepped forward Gilbert realized they weren't wearing any footwear as their bare feet practically glided over the ground.
"Gilbert, you'll be rooming with Ludwig." Yao said placing a hand on Gilberts shoulder. Gilbert swallowed the lump in his throat, and out of being new at the circus and not because of the giant snake that had curled itself on Ludwig's body, and held his hand out. "Nice to meet you."
Ludwig didn't move however he seemed to stare at Gilberts hand. Gilbert as able to see crystal blue eyes staring at him and a tongue poked out to wet his lips. Slowly however he raised his hand, still completely covered by the robe, and gingerly shook Gilberts hand.
"Ludwig, Antonio. Show them around the camp and then go to Francis' to get some clothes." Yao said. "Also Ludwig, winter is coming so I want you to wear more clothes."
Ludwig bowed his head and nodded.
"I'll leave these three in your care." Yao said. "I have a few things to do. If anything you know where to find me."
"So." Antonio said clapping his hands. "Let's start the tour."
"You guys will have to be careful walking around here." Antonio said as they walked. "Things and boxes are everywhere. And the occasional snake slithering around." Antonio said glancing at Ludwig who was following them like a shadow.
"You don't talk much, do you?" Gilbert asked grinning.
Ludwig remained silent.
"He doesn't really talk or touch a lot." Antonio said. "Ludwig's also one of the oldest performers here."
"Alright, I think that's everything." Antonio said. "The dining tent, the showers, the tents. All that's left is Francis and then getting some sleep."
"Who is Francis?" Feliciano asked.
"He's the clothes and costumes of the circus." Antonio said. "He's the one who's in charge of our regular clothes and the costumes we wear when we perform."
Gilbert tried to ignore how the hair on the back of his neck raised and the chill going down his spine. The entire tour Ludwig hadn't said a single word nor had he lowered the hood or show any inch of his skin.
Feliciano continued to glance at Ludwig and it seemed as if he had gathered his courage and had stepped back to Ludwig and asked "Do you like living here?" as he reached out to place a hand on Ludwig's shoulder.
Just before Feliciano's hand touched Ludwig's shoulder there was a sharp hissing sound coming from Ludwig, almost like a warning.
Feliciano paled and immediately stepped back beside his brother.
"Like I said, Ludwig doesn't really like to be touched." Antonio said. "It's just best if you don't."
They stopped outside a large blue tent, the only blue tent in the camp and Antonio pulled the flap back and allowed the others to enter first.
"Francis!" he called as they entered.
"Bonjour!" a voice sang out and a man appeared from somewhere in the back of the tent.
"So you're the new recruits!" Francis said. "Tres bein! Welcome, my name is Francis and I will be clothing your pretty bodies."
Francis practically glided to his desk and pulled out a mile long rope with knots on specific places and a notepad, quill, and ink.
He pressed the ink, quill, and notepad into Antonio's hands- "Do take my notes my darling!"- and pulled Feliciano to him.
"Arms out please." Francis all but sang. He quickly measured while calling out numbers to Antonio. When he was done he pulled Lovino to him and did the same. When he held his hand out to Gilbert however he took a step back.
"I need to take your measurements cher." Francis said frowning momentarily.
Gilbert shook his head.
A corner of Francis' mouth quirked up as he placed a hand on his hip and said "Ah I see. You have a scar or something like that and you feel embarrassed. We all have something so there is no need to hide. Now come."
Gilbert shook his head once more.
"Now really." Francis said, close to losing his patience. "We are all humans so-"
"He's not." a new voice injected suddenly.
Everyone turned to Ludwig, where the voice seemed to come from.
"The first two are humans." Ludwig said as he licked his lips once more. "But I can smell it from him, he's not human."
Francis rolled his eyes. "Oh that's a bunch of bullshit and you know it. We are all made under the same sky, by the same God in his image, and in equality regardless of what people say."
"Now then, since we have a shy schoolboy." Francis sighed. "Ludwig I need you to undress as well anyway. You grew so you need new clothes too."
Ludwig pulled off his robes to reveal that regardless of the weather he was only wearing shorts underneath.
As well as green scales decorated half of his body, similar to the snakes slithering in between his legs.
"As you can see." Francis said with a smile clear in his voice taking in the awed looks on the trios face. "Looking a bit different is the norm here, Ludwig please spread your arms."
Ludwig did as he told, his gaze never straying from Gilberts eyes.
Francis hummed slightly as he called and the numbers. He stepped back with a satisfied look.
"So you have grown." He said. "There is hope for you yet."
"Why does he look like a girl?" Gilbert asked eyeing Ludwig's long hair and slender limbs.
"He does not!" Francis protested holding Ludwig protectively. "He just looks a little more feminine with his fair features and wonderfully long hair." Francis stroked Ludwig's long hair that now uncovered fell to his knees. Ludwig for his part showed no emotion during the entire conversation.
"Now if you still feel shy about letting us see your body." Francis said to Gilbert. "Let us step behind a screen, that way only I will see you."
Gilbert quickly stepped behind the screen Francis had pointed to and spread his arms to the side. When Francis placed the rope on the back of his shoulders his hand brushed against a tied bundle on his back.
"Something about being the clothes of the circus." Francis murmured. "Is that I need to know if there is something about your body that is different so I can make sure the clothes are perfect. And there is no need to hide anything here, not among us."
Gilbert didn't say anything.
Francis pulled the rope away. "Alright. I got everything that I need. Join the others. I'll be back in a few minutes."
When Gilbert returned to the others he saw that Ludwig hadn't put his robe back on, instead he sat in his chair and crossed his legs, the snake was gliding over his leg and curled up on his lap.
"Your you're a snake, aren't you?" Feliciano asked.
All Ludwig did was blink. Looking closer his eyes resembled ice more than anything.
"Like I said, Ludwig doesn't really like to talk." Antonio said. "He only says something that needs to be said."
"I'm back!" Francis sang as he reappeared with arms full of clothes which he placed on the table to sore and fold them.
"Now since winter is coming all the clothes need to be nice and warn." He said. He left for a moment and returned with three boxes. "Each tent has a stove of course, a personal fire place to keep everything warm."
He threw a pair of pants and sweater at Ludwig. "Unless you want to get frostbite on your delicate skin, my darling, cover yourself and for the love of all good in this world please wear the boots. If your old clothes don't fit anymore come and see me tomorrow."
Ludwig wordlessly pulled the clothes on and he picked up the robe as he slid it on, however he let the hood stay down.
"Starting tomorrow you are wearing your boots." Francis said to Ludwig. He turned back to Gilbert, Feliciano, and Lovino. "Now tears in the clothes are normal, only come to me to fix them when it is something major. You have three pairs of shirts and pants, a jacket, and boots. Costumes if you are performing are an entirely different subject."
"Any questions?" he finished with a smile and his hands clasped behind his back.
Mutely the trio shook their heads.
"Bein." Francis said. "It's time for dinner, just something you should know. It's one of the jobs of the new recruits to help prepare the meals. So don't be late. Tonight however is an exception."
"I am starving." Antonio said as he led the others towards the dining tent once more. "You guys will be able to meet the other performers and the other helpers at the circus too."
Gilbert touched his back gently, feeling the part of him that was covered in wrappings and felt a shiver run up his spine once more.
Looking behind him he saw Ludwig watching him once more, with those unnatural blue eyes of his. His tongue poked out once more and licked his lips as he smirked.
"I would keep the little bird," he stressed the last word out. "That's in your pockets safe. One of my snakes might accidently eat it."
"I'll keep that in mind." Gilbert said.