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The Splintered Soul

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Amsterdam University dorms, Amsterdam, Holland. May 26th, 1943

 

Letting a groan fall from his lips, Sebastian slowly peeled off the covers at Pluto’s relentless barking. “Alright, alright, I’ll get some food for you.” he sighed. He’d spent his day mourning, it seemed even Pluto thought it was time he got out of bed and did something to get his beautiful boyfriend back.

 

Sebastian grabbed a towel on his way passed the laundry room, getting a cupful of food for the bounding dog before he grabbed the phone. He sighed and dialed a number slowly. He dreaded what was coming up, but Ciel. He was going to save Ciel from the hell he was condemned to. That Sebastian condemned him to.

 

“Uncle, hello,” Sebastian cringed at the voice coming through, memories he’d buried away flaring up. “Yes, yes, I’m sorry I don’t call more.” he said, trying to sound as sincere as he could through gritted teeth. “I was actually wondering if we could talk.”

 

 


Amsterdam University, Amsterdam, Holland. May 29th, 1943

 

At the end of the week, Sebastian was walking down through the courtyard to meet an ensemble of olive clad Nazi troops, a redheaded man taller than himself at the center of them. While most students backed away from the dreaded soldiers, Sebastian walked straight into them. “Uncle Abaddon.” he greeted cheerfully, which was quite a task while in the back of his mind he could hear his uncle’s deep, rumbling voice telling the five-year-old Sebastian how worthless he was after letting his sister beat him at a game, blows landing, his small body getting covered in bruises that never seemed to go away with the constant beatings. Sebastian pushed the memories away and smiled up at the well built man, his red mustache quivering as he tried to size up his nephew.

 

“What have you called me here for, boy?” Abaddon asked, but despite the harsh words his tone was jovial, as if happy to see his family.

 

“I was thinking perhaps I could buy you lunch and we could discuss-”

 

“I haven’t the time.” cut in his uncle, the coming out more ze . It seemed his Swiss accent had been washed away to be replaced by the German’s after spending so long with them.

 

Sebastian bit his lower lip. “Alright… I’d prefer not to speak about this so publicly-”

 

“Sebastian!” the student nearly flinched, just barely managing to hold his ground. He didn’t have to fear abuse out in the open, he was okay. It was still fucking annoying that his body wasn’t on the same page as his mind, though. “You are perfectly alright,” Abaddon assured, voice gentle once more. “Tell me what you wished to ask me about.”

 

Sebastian did his best to put on an eager expression as his heart and mind raced in tandem. “I want to join the German forces.”

 

Eyes as red as Sebastian’s widening, Abaddon tilted his head to the side a bit. “You wish to be under Hitler and serve the Fatherland?”

 

He nodded. “I wish to help cleanse our people. Jews have done nothing but destroy our country, I want to help purify us so we may be strong again.” He had gone over those words a thousand times in the mirror this morning, choosing precisely the ones he wanted. His uncle already knew he could stomach the sight of bodies after his nephew joined a medical school, all that left Sebastian with was to portray the want, be as dedicated as the other Nazi soldiers. He had calculated it carefully, and by the slow smile spreading under the taller man’s mustache, he had gotten exactly what he wanted - he was going to work a concentration camp.

 

“You know what, my boy? I think I will take up your lunch offer.” Abaddon turned to his entourage and barked a few words in German. The men saluted then marched off together. He turned his attention back to the student. “Come, we have much to discuss.”

 

 


 

“So you wish to join the National Socialist German Worker’s Party?” Abaddon asked as he he leisurely sipped a bottle of whiskey.

 

It took Sebastian’s brain a minute to translate it to Nazi , so used to hearing the abbreviation as he was. A fluffy word to cover up what they were actually doing. He may be majoring in medical sciences, but to gain credit he had taken a few extra courses, one of them a political study. He’d learned to recognise that any time the word socialism was put into a mix, it wasn’t a good idea. So he had to do his best not to cringe at himself as he nodded. “Yes, I want to help. They’re goals are-” God help me, “Very virtuous and, um-”

 

“Awe-inspiring.” his uncle supplied with a smile when Sebastian couldn’t get out another positive word. “Yes, they’re very ambitious, certainly, but with more recruits as enthusiastic as you, we will be able to reach them without a doubt.”

 

Enthusiastic? Apparently Abaddon was too blinded by his adoration for Hitler and his plans to really be paying attention. That or Sebastian was a better actor than he thought. Maybe I could pursue theatre in my spare time once this passes . He chuckled to himself. “Yes, I just want to do my part to help obtain objectives.”

 

“And you said you want to rid our Fatherland of Jews?”

 

Sebastian’s nod was reluctant, but the military commander didn’t seem to notice. “Yes, they’re a plague, tainting everything pure. We must be rid of them.”

 

Abaddon got up with a smile, whiskey bottle held tightly. “I know the place for you then, my boy. But you understand that you’ll have to drop out of school, don’t you?”

 

“It’s worth it to serve the, er… Fatherland.”

 

He got another hearty grin at that. “Then I want you packed up and ready to leave at the end of the weekend.” he commanded, a hint of his military persona slipping into the words, then turned on his heel tightly and walked out of the cozy diner.

 

Sebastian glared at the extra meal he really didn't have the money to pay for as a waitress brought it out. Fucking great.

 


Later that day, Sebastian found himself in the headmistress’ office, sitting in a high backed, red leather chair as the old woman paced in front of him, a frown deepening her wrinkles. “You want to drop out?” she asked as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

 

“Yes, ma’am.” he said softly.

 

“With one year left?”

 

“Perhaps we can work out an arrangement so that I can return in a while?”

 

“...Why are you leaving?”

 

Sebastian bit his lip. Headmistress Victoria would never accept him joining the Nazis, she knew her start student better than that. She would ask questions he wasn’t allowed to answer. “I want to join the British forces and stop this damned war.” One lie after another for him, it seemed.

 

Unfortunately it was the right thing to say to Victoria. “A noble cause. I’m sure we can hold a spot for you once the war is over.”

 

Sebastian stood with a gracious smile, tongue burning with the falsehoods he’d had to say all day. “Thank you, ma’am.”

 


Amsterdam University dorms, Amsterdam, Holland. May 31st, 1943

 

Sebastian stood out on the steps of his beloved school, the grand façade to his back. He didn’t want to look at it, it meant accepting he was leaving. He had gained so many friends at this school over the last few years, done stupid things that ultimately taught him lessons he’d remember for a lifetime - and scars that would last just as long. He’d lost his virginity here to a very pretty platinum haired woman named Angela; he had his first vodka in his dorm, and his first hangover following; he had been free from the tyranny his family was in this school. For a second, he even wondered if what he was doing was a good idea. He’d be risking his life for someone he knew for how long? A year? Less? Was this really worth throwing away his dream?

 

Sebastian steeled himself. Not only did he care deeply for Ciel, but he put his boyfriend in this situation. It was his job to fix it and damn it all to hell if he failed. He was going to set this right, no matter what.

 

He sat on the steps, determination burning within him. Fifteen minutes later, an olive truck with the Nazi Swastika emblazoned on both sides pulled up, his uncle Abaddon stepping out of it, dressed in his best military uniform. Sebastian cringed at the procession. Hopefully Headmistress Victoria didn’t see it, otherwise he could kiss goodbye to the spot being held for him on his return.

 

“Ready?” Abaddon asked as two of his men got out to help Sebastian put his bags in the back of the car.

 

The student nodded. “I am always ready to serve the- the Fϋhrer.” he groaned internally. Was the next little while going to be sucking up to a dictator? Heavy on the dic .

 

“Good.” his uncle smiled. “You are an irregular circumstance, but I have found ways to make exceptions. You will only have two weeks’ training in a proper facility, the rest of it will be spent at concentration camps.”

 

Yahtzee.

 

“I believe that is where you’ll be most effective.” he finished, a proud twinkle in his eye.

 

Sebastian did his best salute. “Thank you, uncle. I look forward to the opportunity.”

 

Abaddon laughed and slapped Sebastian’s shoulder heartily. “Then we shan’t waste any more time! I knew someone in my family would come to their sense and see what a noble cause Fϋhrer Hitler is leading.” he grinned as his nephew climbed into the back of the truck, tongue thick and heavy against his mouth as he fought the urge to gag.

 

But he was doing this for Ciel, he was going to save Ciel. That’s the thought that kept him moving, or, in this case, kept him sitting in the back of the truck as the other soldiers climbed in next to him. The car ride was silent - well, Sebastian wished it was, and it would be if his uncle would stop romanticising what Hitler was doing, saying how noble and amazing it was as if he were trying to get the few people in the car to convert to it further. The student kept quiet during it, just nodding and smiling and praying fervently that he would shut up.

 

Abaddon never did. Though, thankfully, his topics slowly shifted from the Nazis’ work to Sebastian’s schooling and the conversation became more enjoyable. Honestly, despite the childhood beatings, Abaddon was one of the best uncles he had - very enthusiastic and adoring towards his niece and nephew (not that it was too hard to get on the top of the list when only a few relatives visited them. The rest were still in Britain and thought the Michaelis family daft for immigrating to Switzerland).

 

At the end of long drive, when the truck began approaching semi-permanent barracks on the outside of town, everything shifted back to how it was before. “You’re a good boy, Sebastian.” Abaddon started as a soldier came out to check the car to make sure it had proper clearance. “And very passionate about your goals. Because of this, I don’t want you spending weeks in training, you’re too bright for it. Instead, I’ve made sure your training will only last fourteen days. After that, you’ll be going to a camp to finish learning what you need to from those stationed there already.”

 

Sebastian nodded along absently, mind working. He’d gotten his wish to work at a concentration camp, now there was the issue of finding Ciel at all. Many of the camps dotted Europe, how was he to be sure of getting stationed at the same one his boyfriend was being held in? Sebastian bit the tip of his tongue, rolling over ideas in his mind, then finally opened his mouth when there was a gap in Abaddon’s words. “Uncle… I know you’ve probably already called in many favours on my behalf, for which I am very grateful for, but could I maybe make one more small request?”

 

The redhead gave a curt nod. “Perhaps, what is it?”

 

“Could I maybe have all my stations be local? I… Had a dog that I left with a friend while I served, but I’d like to be able to visit him easily on holidays.”

 

Abaddon nodded again, seeming quite obliging still despite the lame excuse. “Simple enough; of course I can allow my nephew one last favour when it is so small.”

 

Biting the inside of his cheeks to keep a gleeful smile off his face, Sebastian climbed from his seat when the automobile came to a stop in front of a training field covered with troops in green-grey uniforms in neat lines as they listened to their commander shout at them in German. There was so many concentration camps not just because of the high population of people they considered “undesirable” but also so that transportation would be easy - rather than a twelve hour train ride where you had to keep the people from revolting against the guards, you got an hour ride to a near camp before any of the inmates could have any ideas. Guarding a local camp, Sebastian had the highest probability of finding Ciel he was ever going to have.

 

Abaddon drew the student out of his thoughts by putting a gentle hand on his shoulder. “From here on out, I am not your uncle.” he hissed in Sebastian’s ear as the accompanying troops led them to the barracks. “I am your commanding officer, familial ties mean nothing any more. Do not expect more special treatment from me.”

 

Our ties never mattered to me . Sebastian smirked to himself. Only long enough for me to take advantage of your relationship with Hitler.

 

Abaddon Michaelis had been on the battlefields of World War I with Adolf Hitler; he listened to Hitler’s ideals, listened to him scoff at the disgrace Germany earned after the war and promised he wouldn’t let it stand, and Abaddon agreed with it all. Before he went to prison, Hitler promised Abaddon a place of power when he was in charge of the nation. Maybe that’s why Sebastian grew up being beaten by him, authority went to his head majorly, or he wanted his family to be the best they could. Whatever the reason, Sebastian had an odd pulling, contradictory love and hate for his uncle. He was never quite sure how to feel about the redheaded man. But right now his relation to him was the best blessing Sebastian could ever ask for.

 

As Sebastian learned, his day was already planned for him and it was packed. His first stop was the on base barber shop, a tall muscular man inside who looked more suited to be a butcher than a barber was chewing on a toothpick as he waited for recruits in need of trims to come in. Prior to walking in the door, his uncle behind him, Sebastian hadn’t really put much thought into his hair besides keeping it tidy despite its length. Suddenly, he really liked the way his midnight black hair framed his face, how small pieces would escape him to become tasteful flyaways, the strand crossing over the bridge of his nose, always in his sight but something he’d become accustomed to so he never really saw it. Now he did, though, and he didn’t want it to go.

 

Before he could voice any of this, he was pushed into a chair and a pinstripe apron was secured around his throat. Soon black locks started falling to his lap and the ground. He kept his eyes firmly on the slate grey wall to ignore them as the barber grumbled in German, probably about how long his hair was and how unseemly it was for a young man of his age to have his bangs at such a length.

 

“I can’t speak German, Sir.” said Sebastian to his uncle as a means to take his mind off the surprisingly traumatic cut, keeping his head very firmly in place. He was still worried about the rough appearance of the barber. Who knew, maybe one wrong move and the man would cut Sebastian’s head off rather than his hair.

 

“There is a division for that. Your commander will speak English, but as part of your training you’ll be studying German.”

 

Sebastian resisted the urge to nod and kept quiet as the man went about his work. It didn’t take long before he was looking at his new taper cut, a defined part on the side rather than how he’d just let his hair cascade down in an inky waterfall, a gentle wave in his hair. He sighed and ran his hand across his forehead, missing the strands of hair he’d usually feel doing that action. He stayed seated until the barber finished slathering his head with pomade to make his tresses keep the new parting.

 

Sebastian stared at his reflection once more, trying to get used to it. This is how what he was going to be seeing in the mirror every morning now. Might as well get familiar with it now.

 

The student stood and turned to the barber. “ Danke .

 

The man folded his arms over his chest and bobbed his head, and then Sebastian was swept out of the shop.

 

Next on his agenda was a fitting for a uniform. There was an initial embarrassment at being asked to strip right in front of the seamstress, but that was gone as soon as Sebastian realised he’d be taking group showers and this was another thing he’d have to get accustomed to.

 

This appointment also went fairly quickly: the woman helped Sebastian find a decent fighting uniform then fixed it up so it wasn’t baggy anywhere. As he caught a peek of himself in the mirror while she was tacking up the pant legs, he had to admit it was a dashing uniform. Without anything else to think about, his mind drifted. What would Ciel think if he saw him in this uniform? Well, there would be the expected disgust first, but if he appeared as his lover saving light, what then? Would he agree that it was rather nice on Sebastian’s long frame? He chuckled softly at himself. What a child he was, like a teenager with his thoughts constantly drifting to a crush.

 

Sebastian’s smile slowly faded. But Ciel hated him. He had turned against him; never mind it was for their good, that was a low blow. There was no assurance Ciel would forgive him if he ever managed to find his boyfriend. That wasn’t going to deter Sebastian. Whether their romantic relationship lasted or not, or even if Ciel understood why he did what he had, Sebastian was getting him out of whatever camp he was held in. Either with a clever plan now that he was on the inside of the operation, or by brute force. Whatever the way, there was a firm guarantee that Ciel Spretto was going to be a free man once Sebastian found him.

 

After everything fit him properly and he was measured so the seamstress could make his formal attire and whatnot, Sebastian was given a tour of the barracks and training ground, the facility split up: one side strictly German speaking, the other English. His escort stayed on the English side, and at the end of it, around two, he was sent to help the recruits clean guns as the start of his training.

 

“A freshie?” a man with white blonde hair and a matching complexion gasped when Sebastian came in.

 

“Unusual.” agreed another, his hair a straw yellow, as he shoved a cleaning rod down the barrel of a shotgun.

 

“And who might you be?” the first soldier asked when Sebastian took a seat.

 

“Sebastian Michaelis-”

 

“Sounds very prim and proper. You a dick?”

 

The student shrugged with a playful smile. “Aren’t we all dicks at one point or another?”

 

The golden haired man laughed. “I like this one. Alexis Midford.” he stuck out his hand and Sebastian shook it politely. “The probing one here is Snake.”

 

Sebastian looked at him. “Snake?”

 

Snake merely shrugged, and so he turned his attention to Alexis for an answer, though he didn’t have one either. “Dunno. Snake is what he’s called by everyone and so Snake he is.”

 

Sebastian nodded slowly. He liked Snake’s obviously quiet disposition. Alexis took over for him though. “Reckon you’re a special case then?”

 

“Indeed.”

 

“Just joined?”

 

Sebastian nodded.

 

“You missed Paris then.” Snake said, absently putting a gun back together with the skill and boredom of someone who had done it a thousand times.

 

“Paris was amazing.” Alexis agreed with a smile. “Gorgeous city. We had have an officer, Knappe, he actually climbed the Eiffel Tower.”

 

Snake smiled softly. “Paris was very nice.”

 

“He’s only sayin’ that because he found himself a nice little wife there.” another man said as he walked in and plopped down next to Sebastian, the short hair on the top of his head had the remnants of gold dye, but the rest of it was almost as black as Sebastian’s. “Either of you got any more Pervitin?”

 

“You know we’re not allowed any off the battlefields, Knox.” Alexis chided.

 

“What if I’ve got nightwatch, then can I get some to keep me awake?”

 

“Ronald…”

 

He huffed and flopped his upper half onto the table, folding his arms under his chin for support. “Just wanna forget them screams… All the time, ya hear ‘em, ringing in yer ears.” Ronald cast a look at Sebastian. “Count yourself lucky, freshie. They hype you up for battle here, say it's honorable, that we're fightin' for a good cause; scariest fucking thing when you get there. It’s nothin’ like training. It's an orderly mess, organised chaos.” he turned his head to shift his gaze on the wall across the room. “Never realise how fragile you are until the man next to you gets shot. Goes down with a seeping hole in his head…”

 

“There’s plenty to drink.” Snake said to fill the silence that followed when Ronald Knox went silent.

 

“Commander says I’m not allowed to be drunk on duty any more. He says it makes me unreliable. I say that’s a load of bullshit, I’m as good drunk as I am sober.”

 

Both Alexis and Snake sniggered but neither said anything, making Knox turn his attention back to Sebastian. “And what about you? I can see you’ve never been in battle before. You comin’ to Russia with us? Gonna be fucking cold, don’t wanna go at all.”

 

“Uh…” Sebastian swallowed thickly. He already knew his answer wasn’t going to be accepted well. “No. I’m only here for a couple weeks. After this, I’m going to train at a concentration camp.”

 

A sullen mood fell over the table at once.

 

“Lucky bastard.” Knox mutter and breathed out a sigh. “Don’t have to go fight the Red Army and be up there in the bleedin’ cold.”

 

The former student chuckle softly. You’re the lucky one, he thought to himself.


Ronald jumped up when a bell rang throughout the facility, the other three far slower about it, and Sebastian staying seated altogether. Knox grabbed the back of his uniform to pull him up. “Come on, freshie. I’ll take care of you, show you the rope, be your sugar daddy.” he winked teasingly and pulled Sebastian out the door.