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Refuge and a Gangster

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Wladyslaw Szpilman had been working in the Shelby household for little over four to five weeks now. He had learned plenty of things in that time such as the following.

  1.  Thomas Shelby is in parliament 
  2. His wife, who was Charlie's mother was shot.
  3. He is of Romanian origin 
  4. Has severer mental issues Thomas dose
  5. Recently learned this man has a gang
  6. He does but doesn't like Jews...its mixed feelings.
  7. Charlie hates his room
  8. The house staff find Szpilman odd.
  9. There is talk of Nazi Soldiers being imported from Germany/Poland to be interrogated.

Szpilman had hoped with all his being that Hosenfild wasn't one to have been captured, and if so, he hoped he would be alright. And he felt sorry for Thomas and Charlie for having to deal with such a loss, he must have loved that woman with his whole being. Seeing as he had a habit of talking about her a lot.

Thomas also seemed to sometimes despise the fact that he was Romanian, Szpilman couldn't always understand this man's odd mood changes but oh well, he would just have to be patient and work through it, as you do.

But as of right now, however, he found himself internally panicking, not because of his piano music, no...Thomas had arranged a party of sorts for his fellow men at parliament, and the party was tomorrow night. Szpilman hadn't played in front of so many people in a while, and he wasn't quite sure how he was going to do this. But seeing as he was informed of this party several weeks prior he was happy to make music, but they had also hired a band. "What's the point of me playing the piano if you hired a band, Mr Shelby?"

"Well, the part is going to start in the late evening, about mid-afternoon, and then the band will leave. Then you gonna show everyone that beautiful talent of yours." Thomas spoke calmly when he talked about this all. He seemed to have been planning it for quite some time now but hadn't gotten around to it yet it seemed. Szpilman found the whole ordeal rather quite amusing, seeing as he knew of Thomas' nasty habits(well a few of them, not all of them)and how his mental state couldn't always be kept in place, especially when there were plans overhead, or even on stormy nights. 

"That seems reasonable Mr Shelby, although...what all will I be doing sir? While not playing the piano that is!" Szpilman rushed his words out, a think polish accent laced every word, and it was an accent that Thomas grew quite fond of in the past weeks.

"You will enjoy the party like anyone else, or if you chose to, you may relax in a room of your choosing and I'll come to find you."

"Well...I'm unsure of how well I will do, I believe I will perform wonderfully, but it's the guest that worries me, sir."

"You have nothing to fear Szpilman, none of them will hurt you, although they may glance or stare...they won't bother you."

Szpilman slowly gave a nod of his head as he leaned against the wall of a hall(one of many Thomas had owned) and contemplated his decisions. Did he want to try and socialize with others, or did he want to stay locked up in his room and avoid it all? 'Szpilman here's the thing, you need to socialize.'

'Yes, but what if I forget an English word or one of them is a fascist bastard.'

'They won't hit you! You know this, they're too many fancy rich people there for any one person to just come over and slap you!'

'I agree with him Szpilman, your a little too paranoid my dear friend.'

"Szpilman...Szpilman! I asked you again if you're alright with this!" Szpilman suddenly jumped and his body gave a whole quivering shake as he looked around in a slightly confused daze. He was caught up in strange thoughts, and it seems Hosenfild was in more than just his prayers.

"Tak, tak I'm fine...I mean...yes I will attend the party Pan*." Szpilman settled his erratic eye movements on Thomas, trying to find something on the man that he could focus on, seeing as his mind moved around too much for his liking that day. As he gazed at Thomas, with an eerie unblinking gaze, Thomas began to notice something wasn't right with the Jewish pianist.

So Thomas asked him, point blankly. "Szpilman...I know what it's like with war, but I don't know what all you've gone through...so are you positive your up for this? You still sometimes drop things when Charlie let's out a loud cry." Thomas' voice was paced with concern for the Jewish man before him, the one who had suffered from things far worse than simple trenches collapsing in on him. 

"I'm uncertain..I wish to play my beat pieces in front of others, show them the things I've created...yet, I'm not quite sure I would like to be around your parliament friends." As Szpilman spoke he keep his gaze down towards the floor as his voice came shakily to Thomas.

"And why is that?"

A long silent delay filled the air as Szpilman began to nervously tap his foot against the floor and try desperately to form words but all he could get out was. "Fascist." This confused Thomas but before he had a moment to ask the now panicked Jew, said Jew had quickly ran off to what Thomas assumed to be his room. Seeing as the piano bad been carefully moved from its original spot.

"What does being a fascist have to do with any of this?" Thomas was a very intelligent man, but at times he truly didn't understand a certain thing, and this was one of those times.

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Szpilman felt idiotic, he felt weak, he felt like an absolute failure to society. All he wanted was to be a good adult, attend this party, play for the people there show them his playing. But instead he panicked and was now curled in a ball on the floor hiding on the other side of his bed. His body was shaking and his heart pounding in his chest, he hated politics now. No matter what people say, no matter what, he refused to become political, but he Despised fascist. 

The reasons for his hatred towards fascist were simple ones, Hitler was a fascist and look what happened. His family was thrown into a concentration camp, most likely dead by now. His friends were shot, his city and homes ransacked and bombed, he has every reason to dispose of fascist. 

But he didn't have a reason to be panicking in his room other than he was a scared frightened child. He felt like one at least, a scared child wanting this fears and worries to leave him, and yet they never did. 

"Chcę tylko mieć spokój ... chcę żyć bez zmartwień*."

A chocked cry left Szpilman's lips as he told himself this. His face and eyes felt hot as they burned from fresh tears, and his nose was cold as it ran. His mouth felt dry as he held excess saliva in it that made him clear his throat. God he hated life right now, he couldn't calm himself down either, all he could think about was just how awful life was.

How he and his family witnessed the nazis kill that poor man in a wheelchair. How they tormented them in the ghetto. How he was the oy one left living after one of his friends pulled him out of line. Then came the harder parts of life, the building. He remembered his whole body was sore and how the soldier beat him after he dropped sevral bricks while looking up at some plains. How he got slapped for lying about having potatoes in a bag, even though it was grains and beans. 

Then came his overall hectic life of running around and trying to be quiet, while also being very hungry. like when he broke the shelf in his first little apartment. God that woman was so angry. Then came the second apartment, where he got very sick and he somehow got laryngitis, god he couldn't talk, and he remembers having a fever and then waking up later to find that someone brought him food and made him some soup. There were a few other after that, but the only vivid one he remembered was Hosenfild. 

How the German Captain helped him by bringing him food, and gave him the very warm coat, how he complimented his playing. He still remembered the meeting vividly...

°°°°°°°°

Szpilman had been running from the Nazis who burned down the hospital he was in. He was just trying to make it to the other side of the wall, hoping and praying he could make it. He did, but sprang his ankle a little from just how weak and fragile his bone were.

He ran to a large house that was still decently well kept, and got in through a hole in the bottom. As he wandered the house he found the kitchen, mush to his joy, he had found himself some food. Pickles to be prisis.

The only trouble was that well...he couldnt find anything to open them with right then, and there becuse he heard footsteps and someone talking. So he rushed up stairs making sure to try and find a hiding spot, which he did. It was the attic and he pulled the larger up there with him so no one could get up.

He waited a few long hours, staying silent as he lightly fell asleep from waiting so long. Soon though, he thought it safe and wandered downstairs to try and find somthing to open his can. He soon found himself at the fireplace using a shoved and pich to try and open the can. Only trouble was, the pich got stuck and when he went to pull it back out, it sent the can fall over and rolling over tords the stairs.

His eyes sadly followed the can, but the sadness was soon replaced with a paniced worrie as he saw two black boots on the stairs. His heart began to pound in his chest as his eyes slowly trailed up wards tords the man. A Nazi...it was a Nazi captain who was going to murder him and he was go-wait...wait no, somthing was familiar about the Captain.

"Your a Jew...what are you doing all the way out here?" Wait...wait no, the was infact a German Captain, no Nazi, he was just a soldier following certain order but always felt sorry. He recognized the man was Captain Hosenfild, but it seems he didnt recognize the pianist he saved years earlier.

"I wish to live...and...I want some food." Szpilman's voice came slow and dry from just how dehydrated he was. 

"I see...what is your job occupation?"

"I am a pianist, you probly dont rember me...but you saved a pianist back in Warlsaw before it became a ghetto...your Captin Hosenfild sir." The captain looked at the jew with a shocked expression on his face that soon turned to somthing else. He looked deep in thought, almost trying to picture this scruffy looking jew to that very clean scared one.

"Yes...yes I did save a jew who was very distressed and being horrible beaten and abused. It...It's hard to believe that...that the war took away your life and elegance."

The conversations went from there, as Szpilman showed Hosenfild were his hiding spot was, but he soon realized the house was a bad idea...seeing as they made it a small communications center the next day. But Szpilman also got a loaf of bread, and jelly. God it was the best thing he had eaten since god knows when. 

°°°°°°°°°°°°°

The overload of memories and how they seemed to fly by Szpilman's mind had him shaking and silently cry as he lightly rocked himself back and forth unsure of what other comfort he could do for himself. "Szpilman...are you okey?" A whine was the only response thomas got from Szpilman. 

"Hey now...come here, its okey, I'm here now." Thomas was uncertain on how to comfort the younger man, but he was certain that he would try his best. "No! No, I'm broken, broken...nothing could help that..." thomas felt his heart drop as Szpilman swated his hands away and became to quietly weep his heart out it seemed. What ever could cause him to react this way? Was he really that upset about the party, or was it just a bad day and he had memories.

"Your not broken, no ones that broken...come here little one. I'll protect you, fix you make you feel alive and well again." Szpilman was to busy crying and wiping away his tears to pull away from Thomas' sudden embrace that seemed to soith his tattered soul.

Thomas began to slowly rub and play with Szpilman's hair as the older man rubbed soothing and soft patterned on his hands, forearms, neck, and whispered sweet, calm things into the others ear. It soon became prominent that Szpilman was fully calm now, as he moved closer to bury his face into the crock of Thomas' neck. A small guested that showed a lot.

"Would you like to come downstairs with me? I have a small surprise I want to show you."

"Tak."

"Come one then." Thomas began to get up and gently pull Szpilman up as they carefully and slowly made their way to what Szpilman could only describe as a luxury room filled with all kinds of things. There was a small podium made for a band to play, but his piano was the main attraction it seemed. But these went the things Thomas wanted to show him no...he brought instead Szpilman over towards a small record player that seemed to have a record on it already. Thomas moved over to place and fix the record to were it began to play. 

The song that began to play, was not one Szpilman was familiar with, or even one that he could potentially recognize. He was certain however that it was a soothing and soft tone that worked some type of magic on him.

He felt his body relax and his mind seemed to clear up, however he was suddenly taken aback by what Thomas uttered as he held out a hand. "Care to dance?"

Dance? Of course, he would have loved to dance with Thomas(or Wilm for that matter if given the chance.)but he hadn't danced in so long, and always got nervous when dancing. He only knew how to waltz, not the meany new dances that his sister would do, or the dances his mother would tell him about. No, all he knew was a waltz, and a few traditional polish dances that he would do during festivals.

"Oh no...no, no I don't dance."

"Nonsense even if you can't dance well I'm sure it's decent, you could dance with whoever at the party tomorrow, it's just that I I'm a man, and I'm offering to dance with you for practice."

Thomas held a point. It was frowned on by everyone in society to even hold hands or get to close to another man, even more so during these hard times. "Come on I'll lead." Szpilman felt his face heat up as he slowly reached out to grab Thomas' hand. 

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Thomas did in fact lead the first half of the dance, he let Szpilman for the first few moments until he got his courage back again. As a few moments past Thomas found a hand on his waist as Szpilman soon made it obvious that it was his turn to lead. And Thomas let him, but still tried to have control over the the dance, which made him him a little aggrieved. He didnt mind, he just wanted to leand, so he made sure to constantly move awaourns in off, yet elegant ways that showed thomas that yes...Szpilman knows his stuff.

Szpilman toon pulled Thomas just a little closer to him as they began to waltz in a patter of moving forward, left, back, and then right. Making a odd square, that soon turned into a full circle as Szpilman swayed with him and spun then both on the floor.

Thomas couldnt help but feel at peace and content during this time. He keep a steady eye contact with Szpilman as he noticed just how soft the mans face looked. Even after all the horrors of war looked and like a very pretty young man who hasnt seen a day of hard work. He also noticed just how soft his hazle eyes were as they gazed down at Thomas' icy blues ones.

He was then suddenly pulled from his thoughts as Szpilman pulled him so close to gether that the mans long arm wrapped completky around Thomas waist, and the crotches were uncomfortably close to one another. Szpilman didnt seem bathered by this seeing as he was to focused on spinning Thomas two times, and then dipping him.

As Szpilman  dipped the older man, thomas couldn't help the bubbing panic in his chest seeing as thier noses were practically touching and Szpilman held an very loving look in his eyes. The look of love that was in Szpilman's eyes filled Thomas with both anticipation and worrie. Seeing as Szpilman didnt seem to be pulling away anytime soon.

"Your absolutely stunning from this angle Mr. Shelby." Szpilman's voice came soft and filled with love as he spoke to Thomas, and much to his delight Szpilman swiftly pulled him up still mer-inches away from his face. However Szpilman leaned just a little closer to where thier noses touches as did thier foreheads in a short moment that had Thomas' face turn red. But soon Szpilman pulled away, the look of love still lingering in his hazle eyes, his couple's dilated from his dream like haze from the dance with Thomas.

While still looking to Thomas, Szpilman swiftly lifted him back into a standing position. The sudden movement had Thomas gasp in shock as his hands rushed up to hold on tightly to Szpilman's front part of his suit. Their eyes met in an odd gaze before Szpilman suddenly shuffled and pulled away from Thomas. His face was red with embarrassment and his eyes averted Thomas'.

"I'm sorry, I just got exited was all Mr. Shelby." Szpilman's voice came high pitched as he began to play with his gest buttons in attempt to keep himself occupied. Thomas merely keep a now calm steady gaze on the tallest man, giving a waving guestur to Szpilman to dismiss him. "Quite allright I didnt mind, just...was just surprised is all."

Szpilman glanced over, a smile spreading in his face before he gave a small bow, and left. But as he left he told thomas some very important things...in polish of cource. "Panie Shelby, zawsze wygląda pan oszałamiająco, ale zwłaszcza, gdy jest zszokowany i zanurzony w cygańskim człowieku*." Thomas gave a confied look but Szpilman happily walked off tords his room.

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Szpilman laid in bed, fully clothed as he contemplated sleep. God what possessed him that evning to not only say Thomas was stunning, but say the whole sentence in polish...

"Oh god hes going to kill me...." Thomas would never do that, but damn Szpilman felt confused and worried. He loved women, they were stunning and gorgeous. But men were also stunning and handsome, he wanted to be with them both,although he did at times prefer men. But to be with a man ment death, or being thrown in jail. He hated himself for even considering these things about Thomas(And even Wilm at times) he wished he could have been born normal, have a normal life without all the mayhem and confusion about men or women.

He knew which one was more acceptable, but he also knew what his heart wanted more, so he would make it through this day and the next know what to do. He would dance with women, and talk with men, then play his music...yeah he could make it through tomorrow, hopefully. 

10. A simple waltz can turn into something so much more.