Iron, he hated iron. Iron in instruments that he used, the taste of iron in his blood, and even that metaphorical Iron Curtain. Gilbert hated it all. In his younger days iron, metal, and wood decorated him as a soldier, helped move, build and fight for him. Now the elements worked against him as a tool of oppression and depravity. Stone and concrete was used in constructing buildings to keep him strong. Yet all he saw of the two was a wall imprisoning him and the floor of his provisional cell, beneath him. The worse however was fabric: wool, cotton, linen-all fabrics. They once comforted and hugged his small frame, showing the world his status and who he deemed as worthy enough to serve under, The gray material that strangled him now showed the world he was broken, submissive, and reduced to no more then the Russian's play thing. Ivan Braginsky, Russia, the Soviet Union, however you wish to address him, had become Gilbert's master. To Gilbert, Ivan was his captor and savior, a bastard and an angel, his worse enemy and his best friend. Their relationship was nothing but a contradiction of pain and pleasure. Even since their childhood, they had been allies one day and the next, wanted to rip each others' throats out.
To the days of the Teuton wars where Ivan (with the help of General Winter) drowned and defeated the white-clad warriors. The Napoleon wars they fought together against the French oppression, however short-lived. Russia had sold out the Prussian battle plans to save the lives of his soldiers. The late 18th Century, Russia joined forces with France and Austria. However, with the death of Russia's leader, the tides of war changed, and he and Prussia would now be allies. The construction of the Amber Room in 1701, a joint peace move between their leaders. It was later destroyed by Ludwig in the 20th century. Gilbert and Ivan along with Ludwig, joined forces to capture their neighbor Feliks, Poland. However, after only three years of non-aggression, Ludwig's boss ordered an attack against Russia. Gilbert obeyed, afraid to anger the tyrant who now ruled his land. There they committed terrible acts against Ivan and his sisters. The Soviet family eventually fought back gaining the upper hand and Gilbert had to regrettably retreat taking punishment from the terrible Dictator.
Then it was 1945. Somehow Gilbert ended up chained in Russia's house. He somehow lost the name Prussia was thus dubbed the German Democratic Republic, East Germany, or Ost for short. He somehow allowed Ivan to rip out his heart and replace it with the half-piece-of-crap heart that was East Berlin. Somehow a wall was built keeping West and East separated and kept Russia's toy close to him. It forced Gilbert to serve the USSR, economically and militarily. Forced him to depend on Ivan, or face death. It forced Ost to hate iron, metal, stone, wood, wool, cotton and linen. He hated Ivan Braginsky, Russia, and at the same time loved him. He became Gilbert's lifeline and poison, a drug that neither could quit.
Gilbert spit blood onto the stone floor, with it the taste of iron. He sat on the wooden bench held to the wall by metal chains. Ivan handed him a linen cloth to whip the remaining blood and sweat from his broken face.
"You should stop being so stubborn," Braginsky's voice was as cold as ever, but had grown more stern over the years. Nothing like the sadistic child-like voice of yesteryear.
"Ch...You should stop being such an ass," Gilbert said, the obvious sarcasm bouncing off the stone walls. His eyes were closed, head resting against the wall behind him, left hand on his swollen left eye. His gray uniform jacket and black tie had been left in his room some days ago. At this point only his boots, gray pants, and white button-up remained, covered in blood.
He removed his hand and began rolling his sleeves up, preparing for another conflict if it arose. He finally looked back at Russia. The communist country stood, strong and calm as ever, bearing his trademark smile. Past him the cell door had been left open, to tease little Ost if he tried to make a run for it, knowing he'd never be able to make it. Ivan stepped towards Gilbert, smiling as happily as ever, which stung deeper then the sickle and hammer on Ivan's hat.
"Your vocabulary hasn't improved," the Russian said, sitting on the bench next to Gilbert. This was one of those moments of love and hate. Neither country minded the closeness. If anything it was comforting after their quarrel. Ost breathed deeply and leaned his head back against the wall again. Ivan stared at him, his ward was broken, again, by his hands, again. He couldn't decide if he liked the small German in this condition or not. It seemed red was a permanent color on Gilbert's face.
Since 1947 he hadn't gone a day without something bandaged or stitched. When he misbehaved, i.e. attempt to get past the wall, Ivan would incapacitate him, drag him down to these cells and administer punishment. Gilbert was used to waking up at random hours either covered in blood or chained to the wall in this room. Ost had his own room in the main house, but it seemed he made so many escape attempts he lived more in this stone hell-hole. It wasn't all bad, there were times were the two would get along, drank and ate together, even walked out together. Those times never lasted long, Gilbert would get ambitious or say something that would send Ivan off the deep end. Then it was back down the assortment of stairs and into the cell. Once Ost screwed up so badly by trying to escape right in front of Ivan. Then the Communist didn't care about his iron torture instruments, he just beat Gilbert to a bloody mess right in front of the wall. Ivan meant to make an example of the Gilbert, although the fighting spirit of the German was slowly diminishing it hadn't yet been stomped out. Recently, Ost had began agreeing with Ivan, he belonged to the Russian in body but refused to acknowledge Ivan's ownership of his soul. That meant that all those who died trying to make it over the wall had died in vain. That those East Germans who still fought Socialist oppression would be fighting alone.
Gilbert's eyes were now open, sensing the Russian's piercing stares. He'd already received his punishment, but Gil sensed Ivan's loneliness these days. He sighed and stared hard at the open cell door. He saw the escape in his mind and wondered if he had tried it before. The Russian had moved his head to rest on Ost's shoulder, a messed up sign on affection, he must have been exhausted. Gil caught himself feeling worried for his tormenter and shook the thoughts from his head. He returned his attention to the open door before it. Without another moments hesitation he made a dash for it. The Russian nearly fell over, half his weight had been supported by Gilbert previously. Within an instant, Gilbert was face down on the floor, the hands he held out to stop his fall were in immense pain and slipped under him, his head slamming into his upper arms. Ivan managed to catch the Germans ankle with the curve of his pipe. And so the ballet continued, Russia stood above the German Democratic Republic, pipe swinging back and forth administering blow after blow, kicking him at random points just to spice this particular beating up. He smiled, and perhaps even laughed at Gil's new faulty attempt, he ha completely predicted it. The head of he plumping tool was covered in fresh blood, painting and replacing the old, dried up spots of the last time he had used the weapon. It made a hideous sound as it collided with Gilbert's frame.
Gilbert clawed his way to the wall while Ivan beat him. The pain would only last a little longer, he'd tel himself. Another blow to the arm prevented him any further movement. The wall would have provided support. Gilbert hated being beat to the ground, he believed he bled faster if he wasn't sitting upright. Holding his mid-section he attempted to curl into the fettle position, but Ivan delivered a blow to his upper back that prevented this closeness with himself. His face remained determined and angry, but the tears fell like streams from his swollen eyes.
Ost didn't mind crying in front of the Soviet, he had done so many times out of physical and mental pain, or just trying to let off steam since Ivan was the only one who'd listen to the dying country's woes and worries. He could remember a point in the very beginning were he'd refuse to let Ivan see his tears. Gilbert would bite his lip or clench his fist, anything to hold it in. Now he let them fall freely, knowing that after the punishment Braginsky would be there with a linen cloth to wipe his tears and hold his broken body, stitching or bandaging him if Gilbert needed it.
The final blow was dealt, Gilbert screamed as the pipe came slamming down on his left hand. His voice had grown hoarse, and soon only heaves of breathe came out. Ivan was out of breathe, he was hunched over leaning on the bloody pipe. After a few minutes Russia made his way to door. He didn't bother wiping the blood from his face, his white shirt and black uniform pants were drenched in it. Poor Lithuania would spend the night trying to get the stains out. On the way out of Ivan grabbed his standard scarf and black and red uniform coat hanging threw the cell bars. He stared through the bars at his broken partner, finally achieving the desired fetal position. Russia gathered his belongings leaving the door open, Ost was allowed to walk around as he wished now, it'd be at least a few hours before he could move his limbs and at least a day before he could walk again. If the little German was lucky one of the Baltic brothers or the other satellite countries would travel down to help him.
~the gray uniform- The NVA uniform of National People's army(Nationale Volksarmee Army).Gilbert would most likely be forced to wear this uniform after 1956.
If you are confused about anything else, leave a message in reviews and I'll clear it up!