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Cross-posted from hetachallenge

Title: Awaiting Your Fate
Author: kira
Claim: Prussia
Character(s): Prussia, Frederick II
Table/Prompt: Angst/ Prompt #4; Exhaustion
Word Count: 1000
Rating: PG13
Summary: While the Crown Prince awaits his fate at Küstrin, Prussia comes to visit him…
Author’s note: Thanks go out to my beta, Jen, for looking this over.


“Lie down, Your Highness, please,” Prussia said as he gently eased Prince Frederick back onto the cot in his prison cell.

“I have to get up and go to him,” the prince replied as he struggled to get up.

“Please, Fritzchen,” Prussia pleaded.”You’ve been sick and you’re exhausted.” He laid his cool hand on Frederick’s forehead. The prince felt warm to the touch and Prussia felt a pang of worry.

“But Hans needs me…” Frederick, in a moment of lucidity, began to cry when he remembered what had happened to his friend.

“Sssh…” Prussia soothed. He spent as long as he could with the prince at Küstrin, while he was imprisoned there, but there was little he could do. The young prince was guilty of desertion, and Prussia was just happy his bastard of a father had not executed him. Sighing softly at the guard’s approach, he said, “I’ll do what I can, Fritzchen, but I can’t promise anything.” He stood up. “Just hang on, okay?” When the guard opened the door, he added, “I’ll come back tomorrow.” With a heavy heart, Prussia left.

He returned the next day and was pleased to see Frederick up and sitting calmly on his cot, although, he looked like hell in Prussia’s humble opinion. “Your Highness.”

Frederick, dead tired from his ordeal, glanced over at him, but said nothing.

“You feeling any better today?” Prussia asked, even though he was not expecting an answer.

“A little,” Frederick replied when the silence started stretching between them. “Thanks.” He closed his eyes and shuddered. “It was terrible what my father did to him.”

Prussia nodded. “I know, but in a sense he had no choice,” he said, holding up a hand to forestall the prince’s comment. “He has to maintain discipline in the army. You’re lucky in that so far all you’ve got are a court-martial and a stay at this fine establishment,” he smirked.

Frederick, despite his exhaustion and depression at being locked up, could not help laughing at that. “Yeah…” Sobering up, he asked, “How long do I have to stay here?”

“That’s up to your father, but if I may make a suggestion?”

“Go ahead; you look like you will anyway, Herr Beilschmidt.”

Prussia resisted the urge to roll his eyes, while he silently cheered over the prince’s cheekiness. “Thank you, Your Highness,” he smirked. “If I were you, I’d acquiesce to the old jackass.”

Frederick frowned. “How much did he pay you to say that?”

“Nothing, because in all seriousness, Your Highness, it’s time to switch tactics on him,” Prussia replied.

“Really?” Frederick leaned forward, his curiosity piqued. In all the years he had known him, Prussia had never steered him wrong, even if his advice sounded stupid at the time. “So what do you suggest?”

“Just do what he wants.”

“That’s it?” Frederick looked at him like he had suddenly sprouted another head.

Prussia nodded. “It can’t hurt… well, maybe it could, but as sure as I’m standing here, he’d never see it coming.”

Frederick nodded as he thought it over. Sighing softly, he said, “Yeah…” He smiled ruefully. “Anything is better than this.”

“I’m sorry, Your Highness.”

“It’s alright.” The prince shrugged. He felt dead tired, but he was enjoying his former tutor’s company so much, that he pushed his exhaustion aside as best he could. Truth be told, he wanted to lie down again and wallow in his grief over the loss of his good friend, but he knew Prussia would not stand for that. So he feigned indifference to his own plight.

“I hope they’re treating you well,” Prussia said. He did not like the dark circles under the prince’s eyes, but he chalked that up to his recent fever. Still, he hoped the king would soon get over his tantrum and release his son form this place. A part of him felt Frederick William had gone too far, while another part acknowledged the slim margin of restraint he had shown. While desertion was somewhat routine, with the conscripts changing sides at the drop of a hat, it was quite another when the nobility did it. The fact that the king’s son was involved was highly scandalous and only some quick thinking on Prussia’s part, saved the Crown Prince form joining his friend in death. Since he felt one “compromise” deserved another, Prussia was here to see to it that Frederick offered up a compromise of his own.

“As well as one treats a prisoner.”

“Like I said before, I’m sorry, Your Highness. If there some way I could change things, I would.”

Frederick sighed tiredly. “I know… So you think I should do this, Herr Beilschmidt?”

“Yes.” Prussia smiled. “It’s not like he’ll live forever and when the time comes…”

“I’ll be free.”

“Yeah.”

“Then I guess I have no choice, hunh?”

“You’re a prince and will be a king someday, and I know it seems unlikely at the moment, but there are people working behind the scenes and trying to get you out of here.” Prussia grinned. “Stranger things have happened in life.”

“And you think my freedom is one of them?” Frederick shot him a look like he did not believe him.

“The Reichstag is now involved.”

“Oh…” Frederick frowned as he took in that little bit of information. Unfortunately, before he could question his former tutor further, the guard came to tell Prussia his time was up.

“I’ll be back when I can, Your Highness,” Prussia said. He smiled and placing his hand over his heart, he gave the Crown Prince a slight bow, before turning on his heel to go. Even though Frederick looked exhausted, despite his best efforts to appear otherwise, Prussia was pleased to note he seemed like he was on the mend. With a lighter heart, he left the prison cell determined to find out what he could about the Crown Prince’s fate. He hoped that when he returned next, he would have some good news for him.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
vampirenaomi
Feb. 16th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
I really liked the serious mood in this one and how down to earth they both were about the situation.
kiramaru7
Feb. 16th, 2013 09:45 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thanks!! Yeah, I couldn't see Prussia sugar coating it, nor could I see Fritz unable to see what he did wrong.^^; They're both soldiers & at that point, Prussia more than Fritz, but still...
n0t_again
Feb. 18th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
Tough times for a young ruler-to-be, but necessary ones to shape his character. He's lucky he survived prison in those times, typhoid and typhus killed so many then in that situation... a fascinating tale in its stark reality. These tales are some of your best, dear! I love them :D
kiramaru7
Feb. 18th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
Yup! And when I think about how awful his childhood was, I'm surprised Old Fritz turned out as well as he did! *blushes* Thank you! :D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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