And without further ado...
Stephen Colbert was a busy man. He had lots to do and little time to do it in…so why couldn’t he get the plastic off this goddamn Ramen cup?!
“Time is money,” he mumbled at the cup, not so much because he meant it or even abided by the phrase, but it was the principle of the thing really. He could be doing all manner of things with this time...like, writing his first novel or fiddling around with his site, but more likely than not, simply watching TV. He grabbed a fork and jabbed it into the plastic, violently ripping it off and filling the little cup with water, then shoving the lot into the microwave.
He leaned against the counter, away from the offending Ramen cup and tapped his foot as the microwave cooked his quick lunch. He frowned as the old microwave started making strange noises. Damn thing was so old. He really needed to replace it soon.
The microwave’s humming got louder and more erratic. The counter started vibrating and Stephen whipped around to investigate. What the hell was wrong with the damn thin—oh shit.
The fork he had used to open the Ramen was in the microwave.
As he reached to open it, the microwave gave a jolt and, to his horror, exploded. He shielded his face but nothing hit him. Something strange was happening. The pieces weren’t exploding…they were imploding. The shrapnel was being sucked into a gaping portal of indeterminate color and texture. He backed away from it, sure that even if he got out of this encounter alive he would die soon after of radiation poisoning or cancer or something equally as terrible.
He tried to run, but he found himself being pulled steadily into the portal. His feet scraped against the ground and he grasped for anything that could anchor him, but he couldn’t resist the pull. As his feet were dragged into the portal, all he could think was, “I always thought radiation would be…greener.”
Adolf stormed out of the Academy of Arts cursing furiously. When he had first received his rejection letter, he thought that surely a mistake had been made. How could the dean not recognize such raw passion? He had come down to the school to present his portfolio once again and assure them that he was worthy of attending their prestigious school, but they had rolled their eyes at him and told him that they had declined his application due to a lack of talent. Become an architect, they said. Lack of talent; this was clearly the pinnacle of all the stupid things he’d heard in his life.
He was nineteen and already his childless father pension was running out. He needed to be in school to better his art and hone his artistic vision. He cursed the Jews on the school board under his breath. He glared back at the gates, shaking his head angrily. Of all the stupid things!
Without warning, he was hit by something rather large and heavy. After a few seconds of confusion and hustle, he realized that it was a handsome older man in a strangely tailored suit.
“Machen welche die Hölle Sie?!” Adolf shouted, jumping to his feet and dusting himself off indignantly.
The man quirked an eyebrow up at him and said slowly but not in a condescending manner, “Speak English?”
“I am…sorry.” Adolf conceded in his best English, offering the man a hand up. He searched for words for a minute before saying, “How are you called?”
The man smiled, looking relieved. “I’m Stephen Colbert,” he announced, extending his hand to grip Adolf’s in a formal handshake.
Adolf took it, more than a bit puzzled. “Is French?” Colbert nodded, grinning vaguely. “…Vere did you come from?”
Colbert shrugged. “Where am I?”
A smile touched Adolf’s lips. What a cryptic answer. He was intrigued, but who was this man? “Vienna. I am Adolf Schicklgruber. You need a place to stay? Is not much, but…”
Stephen looked pensive for a moment. Schicklgruber; why did that sound familiar? Either way, he really didn’t have any place to stay, but how did he end up in Vienna? And for that matter, how was he going to get back home? Oh well, he’d think about all that later as, for the moment, he had no money on him and no other options.
Adolf’s apartment was small and sparsely furnished, but cluttered with paintings and drying postcards, art supplies and books, various random knickknacks, and an ancient phonograph. Adolf sank down onto the stiff bed and gave Stephen leave to take the sturdy chair across from it. He picked up a newspaper off of it and sat down. It was typed up in German but the date read 1908.
He laughed, giving the paper a tap with the back of his hand. “How old is this thing?”
Adolf looked puzzled as he took the paper from Stephen, giving it a quick glance. “S’at’s yesterday’s paper.”
Stephen frowned. Adolf studied his form intently and tentatively asked, “May I—may I paint you? I am an artist, you see,” he hastily added. Painting from landscapes and postcard pictures could only get one so far. He didn’t have the money to pay a model but maybe he could rend something beautiful from his guest.
Stephen laugh, a bit taken aback. No one had ever asked to paint him before but he couldn’t see why not. At least he could have some time to think about his situation while Adolf painted. The young German switched places with him so he could have adequate lighting and then threw open the drapes with a dramatic flourish.
He set to sketching Stephen’s relaxed body, smiling contentedly and making quiet conversation. When he was finished with the last bit of shading on his preliminary sketch, he plopped down next to Stephen to show him. Stephen laughed. “Oh you’re good. My face isn’t that lined already is it?” He asked playfully.
Adolf frowned, slightly crestfallen. “No, Mr. Colbert, you look goodt. Youthful.” He wasn’t blowing smoke either. He was actually kind of scared at how attracted he was to the man, but he couldn’t back down from his statement now or he’d make things awkward.
Stephen shook his head, grinning. “Call me Stephen. Or if you become a really good friend of mine, Ted Hitler.”
Adolf knew that there was a joke he wasn’t getting but felt stupid having it explained to him, so he simply said, “The name of my father is Heidler, but Hitler sounds better.”
Stephen’s brow furrowed at that and Adolf was afraid he had said something wrong. He quickly searched his brain for another subject he could adequately express in English. He bit his lip and Stephen let out a boyish giggle, reaching hesitantly to push a strand of hair back from the German boy’s face.
Adolf took Stephen’s wrist lightly in midair, inhaling sharply as he felt the older man’s smooth skin. He leaned into Stephen’s gaze uncertainly, his lips brushing Stephen’s. Adolf ran a hand through the man’s dark hair and deepened the kiss, pressing his taut young body up against Stephen’s.
Stephen gasped into his mouth and broke free, wrenching his body back away from Adolf. “I—I can’t do this,” he sputtered breathily. “I’m in love with someone else.”
Adolf cast his eyes down, his cheeks burning, and pretended to be interested in the worn sheets he was picking at. “Vith whom?”
Stephen sighed. He wouldn’t even be born for another half a century. “Jon Stuart Leibowitz.”
Adolf’s eyes stung with tears of embarrassment. He batted them away angrily with the back of his hand. “Gottverdammen Juden,” he murmured in an attempt to console himself…