For Hazu, who first thought Roxas, LOL. Hope you enjoy it dearie.
Alrighty then. First off, I do not mean to offend anyone with this. Really, truly, I don't. If I do, then I'm so, so sorry. It was never my intention. Secondly, you are forewarned of angst. But, then again, what else would you expect from Nazi Germany? Thirdly, I've done little to no research for this, so don't assume what I'm talking about is actually true. Fourthly, you can trust that I will actually update this fic in reasonable amounts of time, for three reasons. One, it's short. Two, I have people holding me to it. Three, I'm reading Night in English class and that just makes me want to write this more. Four, there's a gay-basher that sits behind me in said English class and I'm trying to do everything I can to make her request a seat change. For example, leaving freshly written pr0n on the edge of my desk, where she can read it.
Kay. I think I'm done rambling now. Go enjoy.
Disclaimer: All characters do not belong to me. They belong to Squeenix and Nintendo respectively. All stolen plot bits property of Elie Wiesel.
We're told to march. Where? I ask. Where? My mother asks. Where? The boy I've never met standing beside me asks. Where? Where? Where? No one knows. All we know is that we're starving and exhausted, that our feet are bleeding and that our backs are breaking, that we can't last much longer like this.
All we know is that we're slowly dying.
I truly don't know how many days passed before we arrived at the camp. Many, I think. Many endless, hungry, aching days during which I watched my family, my friends, people I've known from the cradle, slaughtered and beaten and trampled into the muddy, beaten ground. I watched and I watched and I watched unable to do anything at all.
When we finally stumbled to a stop within the confines of the towering electrified fence, I felt my legs try to give way beneath me, but I refused to let them. I grabbed my father's hand instead and indulged myself for a moment, let him take my weight.
Then I was straightening again as rows of Nazi soldiers with their solemn faces and their machine guns, clustered us together, and drove us--like cattle--towards the center of the camp, where a commanding officer waits.
His hair is long and the same shimmering silver as his coat buttons.
"Men to the left, women to the right," he barks, his voice deceptively smooth and melodic.
I move without even thinking twice about it, shuffling after my father--whose hand I still cling to. It isn't until we already too far to look back that I realize my mother's no longer by my side, that I never even told her goodbye.
I would've cried, if there'd been any tears left in my body to shed.
We're marched before another officer--this one has pink hair the color of bubblegum--who scans us over one by one and gives another direction for the beaten men to follow.
So far I've only seen tortured souls wander off towards a cluster of low, rotten buildings, and when my father's turn comes, he's sent off the same way.
I follow, because I don't think to let go of his hand, but another wraps around my elbow and tugs me back, nearly snapping my fragile arm in two. The pink soldier has grabbed me, and holds me easily. I don't even try to struggle, because he must weigh twice as much as I do.
"Not you," he says, emerald eyes looking me up and down and up and down and up and down…
Whatever he sees, I think he must like it, because the faintest hint of a smile quirks the corner of his lips. Actually, no, this shouldn't be called a smile. A smile shouldn't be able to chill me so deeply, shouldn't be able to make my soul quake.
"Hey," he calls, looking at someone over my shoulder. "Here's another one for you." And without another word to me I'm handed off to another man, who drags me off to the side and throws me into a tight knot of people--boys, really--that I hadn't noticed before.
We wait there a little while, and a few more people join us, but I don't even look at them.
A few minutes later, we're told to march. At least, this time, it's only across the camp.
We file into a clinically clean, bright building--about a dozen of us. The ones of us hand picked from the ranks of hundreds upon hundreds of filthy, stinking Jews. I can't help but notice that the blinding white light spilling down from the ceiling just makes the rest of us look even worse. Our ripped clothes rattier, our faces dirtier, our eyes glassier.
I think we're in what used to be a hospital, but even if the rest of it is still in use, this wing has been abandoned by the sick, and left to us and a single doctor with glasses and a graying ponytail.
He tells us to form a line. We do. In the shuffling and rearranging I notice that all of us look nearly the same. Short, with frames that were skinny even before starvation turned them skeletal. Tiny, shaky hands and delicate features and huge eyes. The only thing that really sets us apart is the color of our hair.
Falling into place I find myself crowded on one side by a pair of boys that are obviously brothers, maybe even twins, though not identical. One has gold blond hair and the other sandy brown, both styled into messy spikes. Two pairs of bottle blue eyes scan the room, utterly terrified.
They're holding hands.
On my other side is a veritable giant among us, at least two or three inches taller than I am, and not quite as emaciated. His eyes stare after something no one else can see as he runs his fingers through his mop of bright red hair, over and over and over again.
The doctor tells us to strip without even glancing our way--his eyes are glued to his clipboard--and all of us do so without question. At this point the only use for clothes is warmth, and it's still hot enough outside that I don't even shiver as I let what's left of my pants drop to the floor.
Our rundown is quick and relatively painless. The doctor takes only a few moments with each, every once in a while scribbling something on that omnipresent clipboard. When he gets to me he bites the inside of his lip and grabs my cheek with his pincer fingers, tugging at a cut I got from another prisoner's knife. It's mostly healed by now, and he doesn't seem too displeased with it, so he simply pokes a bruise on my arm with the pointed end of his pen and moves on to the brothers.
When he's done, he leaves without a word. No one tells us to stay put, but no one needs to. Besides, where are we going to go? We're tiny and underfed and completely, totally hopeless.
I don't know how long we stand there, no one daring to put their clothes back on, before the soldiers march in. There aren't that many of them, maybe seven or eight, I don't bother to count. And even though I know little of the army, they seem high-ranking. Their uniforms neat and pressed, adorned with bits and baubles, their smiles and laughs too loose and carefree to make them grunts.
It's been so long since I've heard someone laugh. I never imagined the first to break this streak would be a Nazi officer.
The doctor returns with them, and I hear someone call him Hojo.
Hojo snaps his spidery fingers and all of us jump to attention on instinct. You can hear the agonized moans of warped vertebrae forced to straighten. I bite back a whimper. The brunette brother doesn't bother.
"State your names and ages," Hojo snaps, his voice cold and careless. It's a voice that suits him, I think. Clicking this tongue against his teeth, he points at the first boy in line, the one nearest to him. "You first."
The boy--an angel child with brown hair and smooth porcelain skin--shakes his head, his eyes brimming with unshed tears, and jabbered something in Polish. I notice a blond boy down near the other end raise his hands to his gaping lips, his brows crimped in sympathy.
Hojo simply hisses, thumb clicking at the end of his pen. "Tell me your name, you worthless Jew."
The angel shakes his head even faster, the foreign words tumbling ceaselessly from his terrified, trembling lips. I think that he would fall apart if he didn't stop shaking soon. "Nie rozumiem!" he kept screaming. Even I, who knows not a lick of Polish, understand his plight. I wish I could help him, but can't think of any way I could.
"Answer me you son of a bitch," Hojo growls, tucking his pen into his coat pocket so that his bony hand is free to strike the angel across his perfect face. The crack sounds like a gunshot in the heavy silence broken only by the angel's tears and pleas as he staggers, and drops to his knees. His cheek is flushed angry red under the coating of dirt.
"Prosze!"the angel cries, his pretty little features twisted into a mask of pain and horror. "Prosze! Blagam cie!"
The soldiers watch without a word, and I can't see their faces through the fine mist that's begun to gather in my own eyes.
On my left, blondie drops his hand and lets his fingers curl into a fist. "Powiedz mu swoje nazwisko!"
The angel glances up at his savior with a look swelling with gratitude, and then turns to Hojo, struggling to his feet as he screams. "Pit! Pit! Jestem Pit!"
Sighing, Hojo turns to the nearest soldier--a cruel looking man with long, tightly bound blue hair and a criss-cross scar slashed across his face, just under his cat-yellow eyes. "Can you understand what he's saying?" Hojo asks, ignoring the angel completely as he keeps right on screeching his name.
The soldier shakes his head without sparing the angel a glance. "Not at all."
Hojo gives a tight, business-like nod and slips his pen from his pocket, scratching something down as he says, "Lieutenant Xigbar, dispose of him, will you? He is clearly damaged mentally."
A scarred man with a long, dark ponytail, a missing eye and a heavy gun waiting in his hand, steps forward and bows his head in respect. His lips are pulled taut in a rigid line. "Yes sir."
None too gently, he crosses the distance and snatches Pit's bare arm, tugging him towards the door. The angel screams and wails, the sounds he makes so distorted by fear that I can't tell if they're pleas in Polish or if they're simply mangled cries.
It doesn't really matter either way. Once the thick wooden door shuts behind the Nazi, it's almost completely muffled. All that's left is a faint whining, and I do my best to block that out. For the most part, I succeed.
I'm pretty sure the Polish blondie is about to fall right to pieces though.
Not that Hojo cares any. He readjusts his glasses so that they perch on the end of his beak nose, and fiddles with the papers on his clipboards. "Now, the rest of you. Names and ages. And don't make me wait."
There follows a string of names and faces and ages, only a few of which I listen to, and even less that I remember.
"Luneth, sixteen." A tallish boy--among us--with a silvery ponytail and a thick Hungarian accent that half strangles the German pronunciation.
"Arc, fifteen." He is the smallest of us all, with a mussed cap of auburn hair and a bright face more given to smiling but with more reason to frown.
"Ingus, fifteen." Solemn and stone-faced, with pale gold hair. He holds his chin high.
"Sora, fourteen." The first of the brothers, the brunette. His voice is so soft and timid that I can hardly hear it with him just a few feet away. He sounds and looks younger than he is, but, then again, who's to say he isn't lying?
"Roxas, fourteen." The blond brother. He speaks loudly, more clearly than Sora, his eyes staring straight ahead at the ranks of soldiers but seeing none of them. I hear the slightest accent, but I'm too ignorant to be able to place it.
When my turn comes I swallow my hatred, swallow my fear and my panic and my desperation and say, as strongly as I can manage, "Hope, fourteen." I see no reason to lie, and I don't think I could pass for older anyway.
The redhead beside me doesn't bother looking away from whatever has him fixated. "Roy, sixteen." Out of all of us, he sounds the least scared. He sounds almost…resigned. And that scares me more than it should, especially when I'm surrounded by so many terrifying things.
"Demyx, seventeen." All I can see from my angle is odd sandy-blond-brown and a sweet, musical voice, but I remember it all the same. Why? I have no clue. Does it matter?
Once we've all said our piece Hojo treats us to a stiff nod and the quickest of glances. "Good." Then he turns right around to address the soldiers. "Now, men, all of them have been inspected and are clean," he says. It takes me longer than is reasonable to realize he is referring to us. It takes me even longer to realize that I can guess now why we're all here, and that I'm horrified by the thought. "Take your pick. Highest rank first."
I watch with wide unblinking eyes as, one by one, the soldiers approach our line, scan us up and down like we're cattle put out to market--calculating and judging--and deplete our ranks, one by one.
A massive man with blue hair and laughing eyes hiding behind his impassive face takes Roy at first glance. Xigbar picks out Demyx when he returns, his suit no dirtier for the dirty work he'd been sent to do. It isn't long before the brothers--Sora and Roxas--are pulled apart, Sora shuffling off with a silver-haired soldier and Roxas trailing after one with flaming red spikes.
There are hardly any of us left when the second to last man steps forward, boot heels click-clacking against the scuffed tile. He is tall and powerful, his entire body padded with a thick layer of muscle underneath his uniform--just a little less neat and pressed than the others. His shaggy blond hair is bound with a head wrap below the standard-issue cap he wore, and his chin is blurred with a gentle fuzz of stubble.
He walks right up to me without even looking at any of the others. As he stops, he folds his arms over his broad chest and grins. His teeth are china white and nearly blinding. His eyes are clear, shimmering blue. The same blue as the snowmelt river that wound through a backyard in the foothills of the mountains, where someone who wore my face and bore my name once lived.
I'm nearly bowled over by a wave of hopelessness and panic and homesickness so strong it makes me want to truly vomit.
But I don't think this Nazi would appreciate a shoe shine with stomach acid, so I swallow down the bile that pokes and prods at my throat with burning, scratchy fingers.
Those clear blue eyes watch me for half a second that feels like half of forever before the soldier finally speaks.
All he says is four words, but those four words completely flip my life around, as if hadn't already been twisted enough.
"I'll take this one."
Review please, kthxbai.