IMPORTANT: Okay, so, you know how most of my stories are fun action-adventures, dramatic at times but overall light-hearted and fun? This story is not like that. This story was born from a request on the kink meme for something involving America, Canada and the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who was known for experimenting on twins during the Holocaust. Having a morbid fascination with this period and a deep respect for history, I opted to take a fairly realistic approach. I, personally, am quite happy with the results, but I know that they're not for everyone. In other words…
Warnings: This story contains frank descriptions of violence, torture, starvation, death and just general inhumanity. It is likely to cause some discomfort, at the very least, somewhere along the way. Reader discretion is advised. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Disclaimer: I own nothing involving Hetalia. Thank you and enjoy.
January 27th, 1945 – the Soviet Red Army finally liberated the concentration camp known as Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Ivan Braginski was not unused to the brutality that humankind was apt to heap on one another. He himself had been subjected to it numerous times over the centuries. It haunted his nightmares and fed the insanity that seemed to be constantly gnawing at the base of his brain. He was no stranger to the horrors of the creature known as man.
But even he was sickened by what they found there.
The camp radiated death, destruction and despair before he even set foot inside the gate. The prisoners who were evacuated were little more than skeletons with skin barely clinging to their weakened frames. Many had to be carried. All needed medical attention.
And then, there were the bodies.
Ivan had heard the stories, same as the rest of the Allies. There was once an oven here, a great factory of towering chimneys and putrid smoke. The guards here had torn the building down as his army had closed in, spiriting the equipment away to be used elsewhere. Now he stood among the ruined bricks and gazed out at the hastily-constructed mass graves.
Many of his men had been unable to take the horror, breaking down, screaming, spilling the contents their stomachs across the blood-stained ground.
Ivan did none of these things. But he felt quite numb.
Ivan's violet eyes traced around to the young soldier, who was addressing him with a nervous twitch not unlike Latvia. "Yes, comrade?"
"I-I think you'll want to see this."
The soldier led Ivan to a small building on the edge of the camp, one of several vaguely medical-looking facilities in the general area of the camp. The door was hanging open, its knob broken off, presumably by the barrel of a gun. Inside, the building was sterile, white and clean – a laboratory, filled with marble-top tables, cleaned-out record cabinets and bodies.
"It l-looks like they d-didn't have time to g-get rid of these," said the solider, who looked like he was about to vomit. In the main room, there were six bodies, grouped into pairs. All were clearly dead, abandoned in the middle of various ghastly surgeries.
Ivan leaned close to the nearest set. They were a pair of young boys, with dark skin and hair – Roma children, most likely, what people called gypsies. Their chest cavities had been torn open with careful precision, the exposed soft tissue underneath left to rot away. Unlike many of the prisoners, these children had their hair. One of them almost looked healthy. Their faces were identical.
"These are twins."
"Th-they all are, sir." the soldier said, gulping. "It's horrible, i-isn't it? I-It l-looks like m-most of them w-were children."
"Most of them?" Ivan asked. All three of the pairs within his sight were prepubescent.
"Th-There's two in the b-back. P-Prisoners of war, 'far as we can tell, g-got their dog tags an-and everything. Weirdest th-thing, though. They're t-twins – like all the rest – b-but one's American and th-the other's g-got C-Canadian tags."
Ivan's head snapped up. "Where?"
The soldier gulped again and pointed to a back room with a trembling hand. Ivan pushed him out of the way and burst through the door.
Lying inside the room were two almost full-grown teenage boys with golden blonde hair. Silver chains dangled from their necks, their dog tags dangling against the marble table tops. They were not cut open, though their bodies clearly bore the scars of such abuse. Like everything else here, they were perfectly still.
Ivan stood beside them. He did not need to check their tags. Even without their glasses, he knew them at a glance.
"Alfred," he said, and then raised his voice when he didn't get a response. "Alfred Jones!"
Alfred did not move. Ivan turned to the other, America's brother. His twin. It took him a moment to remember the man's name. "…Matvey. Matthew. Matthew Williams."
Canada remained as still as his brother. Ivan licked his lips, drawing a glove from his hand. These boys, these North American brothers, were not dead. They could not be. Their nations were still going strong, perhaps stronger than even Ivan himself. It was simply not possible for them to be dead.
He examined their bodies with his bare hands. They were quite cold and stiff and unresponsive, no matter the stimulus. He pulled open their eyelids and searched for the telltale flow of air. He checked their arms and necks for pulses, finally pressing his ear to the center of each chest.
The brothers did not breathe. Their hearts did not beat.
But they were nations, so those things did not matter.
"Braginski?" the nervous soldier asked from the door, his voice raising into a high-pitched little squeak. "Sir?"
Ivan glanced at him, his expression drawn serious. "These two come with me."
The solider looked like he had just swallowed his own tongue and was not enjoying the taste. "E-Excuse me?"
"Dispose of the other remains as your commanding officer sees fit," Ivan said slowly, resting his hand on Alfred's shoulder. "But these two will be coming with me. Arrange for transport immediately."
"Sir, I d-don't think th-that's really hygienic or sound –"
"I said now!"
The soldier yelped and darted from the room, babbling the order like a startled parrot to anyone who would listen. Ivan sighed, lowering his eyes to the still unmoving forms of his allies. He wondered, briefly, what had happened to them here. What had happened to the children.
He supposed that he would have to find out after they woke.
( - )
Alfred Jones dreamt.
He dreamt of a battle that he didn't really remember, in a place that he couldn't truly recall. After a while, they all seemed to look the same, sound the same, smell the same. This one stood out in his memory, as indistinct as it may have been, because his brother was with him. His twin.
It seemed like so long since they'd fought together. Perhaps it was only right that they be captured together.
He dreamt of a long march, jostled from place to place by soldiers who barked German too quickly for them to understand. He dreamt of medical examinations, one after another. After the first one, he and his brother were always together. Housed together, stripped together, examined together.
The doctors, if you could call them that, seemed excited. Alfred couldn't understand why. He knew that, by their twisted standards, he and Matthew were prime specimens. But so were dozens of the men they had been captured with, and none of them were garnering quite so much attention.
He dreamt of a crowded boxcar, dark and dank, rumbling through the Polish countryside to a destination that no one knew. Some of the hundreds died while they traveled, but who – and how – no one could know. They took turns sleeping, just to be safe. Matthew always slept curled in Alfred's lap. They were like that when they arrived.
He dreamt of the crowd, surging from the boxcars through the gates of the camp to sorted and separated like animals.
He dreamt of a man in a white coat who smiled when he saw them.
He dreamt. But he couldn't wake.