Titanic continued to steam forward as the sun started to fade in the distance, drenching the white glassy ship in its deep crimson glow. On the apex of the Bow stood Ivan slumped over the railing, while his massive beige scarf fluttered against the wind created by the moving vessel. His eyes were sealed shut as he allowed the cool night breeze to clear his mind…
Ivan instantly whipped around to find Gilbert standing before him.
"I— I've changed my mind." Gilbert grinned.
Ivan released a heavy sigh as if the weight of the entire world had been lifted off his shoulders, and he smiled tenderly at the young German. Gilbert looked absolutely beautiful; his cheeks red from the chill of the wind, his scarlet eyes shimmering in the fading sunlight, his wild platinum hair lightly pulsing against his face… Ivan couldn’t look away.
“Antonio said you might be here—”
"Shhh… Give me your hand…" Ivan whispered as he offered Gilbert his hand.
The German smiled and grasped Ivan’s hand without hesitation as the Russian wrapped his arms protectively around Gilbert’s waist. Ivan caressed him, almost as if he were about to kiss him.
“Close your eyes.” Ivan murmured. Once Gilbert's eyes were sealed, Ivan turned him forward, in the direction the ship is moving as they ambled towards the Bow railing. “All right, now step up.”
Gilbert was slightly nervous, but did as he was told and stepped up onto what he assumed was a platform. "Hold onto the railing here, okay? Keep your eyes closed all right, no peeking." Gilbert was pressed gently against the railing as Ivan stood right behind him. “Now, step up onto the railing…”
Gilbert hesitated and groped his hands around until he found the Bow's forward cable and used it to keep his balance. Ivan stepped onto the same rail as he insisted, "Don't worry, I've got you. Hold on and keep your eyes closed."
An anxious laugh escaped Gilbert’s lips as he immediately grabbed Ivan's wrists.
"You trust me?" Ivan whispered.
Gilbert inhaled deeply. "I trust you."
Ivan clutched Gilbert's hands and raised them up till the albino was standing with both his arms stretched out on either side. When Ivan felt that Gilbert had his balance, he let go, placing his hands around Gilbert's hips as he whispered, "All right… open your eyes…"
All he could see was a wide field of water stretched out in front of him. The entire Atlantic Ocean unrolled in front of him as if he were soaring above the waves like a bird.
"Ivan! I'm flying!" Gilbert cried joyfully as he leaned back, gently pressing his back against Ivan’s chest.
Ivan pushed forward slightly as he rested his head against Gilbert's shoulder.
It was the most wonderful experience in the world for them. Gilbert laughed and breathed in the smell of the salty sea air as Ivan's hands reached up and entwined their fingers together. Then softly, Ivan began humming a familiar tune into Gilbert's ear…
"Come Josephine in my flying machine,
And it’s up she goes~ Up she goes~"
Gilbert smiled as he recognized the tune and gingerly closed his eyes, feeling almost weightless. The song seemed to envelop them in their own world… Then, moving slowly, Ivan pulled their entwined hands inward till they caressed Gilbert's abdomen. They resembled a sculpture of two lovers, their bodies perfectly interlaced…
Ivan tipped his face forward until his cheek rested against Gilbert’s ear. Gilbert turned his head till his lips lingered delicately above Ivan.
Ivan released the albino’s smaller hands as he swathed his own around Gilbert’s thin frame. Their eyes met as Ivan leaned forward, meeting Gilbert's soft lips in a tender kiss. It was only a light touch, but that single kiss was so electrifying and built with passion that Ivan almost pulled away from the straining immensity. Fortunately, Gilbert had reached up and cupped his hand against the Russian’s neck, deepening the kiss as Ivan tightened his grip around the German’s waist.
They kissed slowly and tremulously as both participants wholeheartedly surrendered to one another…
It was the single most passionate moment of their lives. A moment neither of them would forget as long as they lived.
As the two continued their passionate kiss on the Bow of the Titanic, the sun had already set in the distance. The sky turned a deep navy blue as nightfall crept in and the stars were ablaze…
From the tired, weathered eyes of an old man, he could see the Bow slowly dissolving away till it became its current decayed corpse, and the memory of that evening faded back to the recesses of his mind.
Gilbert blinked as he scrutinized the wreck on the screen in front of him. The sad ghostly remains that laid deep in the ocean’s abyss.
“That was the last time Titanic ever saw daylight.” He stated rather phlegmatically.
The group of curious crewmembers from the previous night all got up and stretched. Many of them strained to get their bodies back in alignment after several hours of listening to Gilbert’s continuing tale.
“So…” Lars began as he changed the tape in the recorder and looked at his watch. “…We're up to dusk on the night of the sinking. Six hours to go.”
Afonso stood from his chair that sat next to Matthew as he pondered over the minor details Gilbert had mentioned in his story.
“Incredible. There's Ludwig and he's standing there, and he’s got the iceberg warning in his fucking hand…” The brunette suddenly remembered Gilbert's presence as he turned to Lars, and re-stated, “—excuse me— his hand, and he's ordering more speed.”
"Hardly any years of experience working against him.” Lars added as he crossed his arms and leaned back against his chair. “He figures anything big enough to sink the ship, they're going to see in time to turn. But the ship's too big, with too small a rudder… it can't corner worth a damn. Everything he knows is wrong.”
Meanwhile, Gilbert had been ignoring the conversation between the crew as he tenderly caressed his father’s brooch in his winkled, old hand. Then Gilbert glanced up at the monitors that sprawled out in front of him as he was consumed by another memory, and continued to remember the events of that long, haunting night…