Here’s a new deleted scene for you. I was going through some old screenshots of the far future that I took, and I remembered putting Gunther into a very specific outfit which I later discussed the meaning of on Tumblr. I always intended to come back to this outfit and this time, so here’s a deleted scene. This can be accepted as canon for the story.
Warning: This scene contains mild spoilers for something that will happen in the far, far future of Gunther’s and Valois’s story, after the main story is finished.
This is the outfit in question:
Deleted Scene ~ Straps
“I didn’t even know this was a thing,” Gunther murmured as he sat perfectly still while Valois wound a thick black ribbon around his left arm. “How did you find out?”
“Elsanine told me.” Valois secured the ribbon beneath the black tight fabric cuff that bound Gunther’s left wrist, then reached for the silver-grey ribbon. “We were discussing your submission”—he looked up and smiled as he saw Gunther’s reddening cheekbones—”and I mentioned that you’d wished there was a subtle way to show it publicly.”
“And he told you about this ribbon strap thing?”
Valois nodded, returning to his work. “And that it is widely accepted as a signal of submission in this age of the world. We are far beyond the hangups of the past, mon cœur. Just as a wedding ring was a symbol of marriage in the time when we met, so these straps are a symbol of willing and loving submission in this time.”
Gunther looked down, watching as Valois secured the second ribbon. Between them, they wound several times around and down his left arm, with his bare skin showing between them. It looked really unusual, quite striking. And very very obvious.
“You’re sure it’s widely accepted?” he asked nervously. “I’ve never seen anyone wearing a collar here, or anything like that.”
“That is because collars are now viewed negatively as an archaic display of possession.” Valois picked up another length of black ribbon, and Gunther held out his right arm. “But surely you have seen people wearing the straps, hm?”
Gunther thought for a moment. “Actually… yeah, I have. I just thought it was a cool-looking fashion statement, or something like that.”
“Well, I will admit that I find them quite beautiful.” Valois secured the ribbon just above Gunther’s right elbow and picked up the last length: another silvery-grey one. “And you will find that people will treat you differently when you are wearing the straps, especially if you are with me.”
That sounded rather ominous. “How so?” Gunther asked, as he watched Valois repeat the strapping of his right arm with the silver ribbon. Finally, a long fabric bracer glove on his right hand and lower arm finished the look.
“If you are with me, then they will request my permission—either by speech or look—before they touch you. So do not immediately expect to shake hands when we meet somebody new. Keep your hands by your side until I have been asked and have given permission for you to be touched.”
“Oh,” Gunther said quietly, feeling hot and twisted up inside.
“Do you like that thought?” Valois murmured, raising Gunther’s face with a gentle fingertip.
Gunther nodded, lowering his gaze.
“Good. They may also address you differently, deferring to me for decisions that you might expect to make yourself. Sometimes I may make the decision for you, and other times I may give the decision to you. It depends entirely on the choice being made, but anything of great importance will always be something that we decide upon together, all right? I will never lock you out of a choice of great import.”
“Like the choice we’ve just made?”
Valois smiled. “Like that choice, yes. Now, are you ready for the final signal of your submission?” He stood up and took a soft grey piece of fabric from the bed. “Stand up, mon cœur, and let me put this on you.”
Gunther obeyed, watching as Valois shook out the fabric to reveal a top, but a top like no other he’d seen before. It was of the same soft fabric that he’d come to love in this time—warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather—just another part of the amazing technology developed in what still felt like an unbelievable future for him, even though he lived in its present.
“Arms up.” Valois raised the top, and Gunther held up his arms.
The fabric slithered down his torso, and Valois gently guided his arms down. At his gesture, Gunther slowly turned around once, and Valois smiled.
“Very good. I like this. I like it greatly.”
It felt odd, having so much skin showing. The top was sewn like a kind of tabard, with one thick strap at the side to join both front and back. Above and beneath that strap was nothing, just Gunther’s bare skin again, and further down to the hem was another panel of fabric.
“This, too, is a symbol of submission,” Valois murmured. “The display of skin at the sides of the body, which have always been a vulnerable area of the human body. My darling boy, you are showing your devoted and loving service to me for the world to see now.”
Gunther wanted to curl up with Valois and just be held for a while at this new and very public thing, but he trusted his master when he said that these symbols were widely accepted. The only embarrassment would be his own, and that was something he needed to get over. Quickly.
“My good boy.” Valois kissed him. “Now, it is almost time for our appointment at the clinic. Are you ready?”
“Ready… and nervous. Will there be needles? I hate needles.” Gunther bit his lip.
“I have no idea, but you will bear the needles if they exist, for my sake, hm?”
Gunther took Valois’s hand and brought it to his lips to kiss the palm of it. “Of course,” he whispered.
The clinic felt far more welcoming than it looked outside. Shimmering white holoplants dotted the lobby area, and as they walked through to greet the doctor assigned to them, they even saw real plants: a welcome glimpse of green in what felt like a much more sterile world than the one of long ago.
“I thought we were the only people with real plants in this time,” Gunther murmured. “This place must be making serious money to be able to afford them.”
“I think they are making serious money,” Valois replied. “Given that this is the only way children are created in this day and age, and— ah! There is our doctor.”
The man behind the desk rose to his feet with a smile, taking in his guests with one quick glance. Nervously, Gunther waited to see what would happen, to find out how he would be treated with this new and obvious outfit on, as the doctor approached.
“Good morning, Mx Fulcanelli-Goth.” Using the gender-neutral address common to this age, he held out his hand to Valois, who shook it warmly. “Welcome to our clinic. My name is Faris, and I will be your personal clinician throughout this process.”
“It’s good to meet you,” Valois murmured as the doctor withdrew his hand.
The doctor then cast a brief glance at Gunther and raised a subtle eyebrow in Valois’s direction. Out of the corner of his eye, Gunther saw Valois respond with a nod.
“And you, Mx Fulcanelli-Goth,” the doctor said, holding out his hand to Gunther. “Welcome to you also.”
Gunther returned the handshake with a smile, unsure if he was supposed to talk or not. He hadn’t thought to ask Valois if he could speak, so silence was the best option.
It was the best option, he realised, as he felt Valois’s approval wash over him. He loved that sensation: the soft caress of invisible warmth and love that Valois magically sent to drift over him whenever he was especially pleased with Gunther’s behaviour. It had startled him when he had first experienced it, but now he worked hard to earn it as often as he could.
“Please,” the doctor was saying. “Step this way into my office, and I will take you both through the particulars of this morning’s procedure.”
Gunther felt Valois’s arm slip around his waist, and he let himself be guided by his master, relishing the fact that Valois could touch bare skin while doing so in public. Oh yes, he was over that embarrassment already. He liked this. He liked it a lot.
Sidenote: the gender-neutral address ‘Mx’ can be pronounced either as ‘mux’, ‘mix’, or ‘mixter’, in case you were wondering. It’s increasingly being used by gender-neutral and genderfluid people today, and I figured that it would be a natural progression for it to replace ‘Mr’, ‘Mrs’, ‘Miss’ etc in the future. If sexuality and submission are so widely accepted in the future of this story as to be as common as marital status in our own age, then it naturally follows that gender definitions would probably not be as important in the future of this story, either.