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Cross-posted from Hetachallenge

Title: Küstrin
Author: kira
Claim: Prussia
Character(s): Prussia, Frederick II, unnamed guards
Table/Prompt: Angst/ Prompt #11: Unconscious
Word Count: 1519
Rating: PG13
Summary: Prussia finally gets in Küstrin to see Frederick, who’s a prisoner there, and is not happy with what he finds…
Author’s note: Thanks go out to my beta, Kat, for looking this over.



When Prussia opened the door, the smell of vomit and urine that assaulted his nostrils had him gagging. Fighting to keep the bile from rising in his throat, he stepped inside. “Fritz?” he said softly. Frederick murmured something unintelligible in reply, his voice barely above a whisper. It took every ounce of control Prussia had not to go running to his side. He kept his footsteps slow and steady as he approached the Crown Prince.

Frederick lay in a pool of dried vomit and Prussia was glad he had not choked on it. The Crown Prince also reeked of urine, as his clothes were soaked with it. He had the look of one who was lost and abandoned, and left to die. Prussia pulled the thin blanket off the cot and left it on the floor. He had no idea where to even begin cleaning him up. He had seen his fair share of death and dismemberment on the battlefield, but that paled in comparison to this. Sighing softly, he walked back over to the door. “Hey! Arschlöcher!” he called out to the two guards. “Get your arses over here and open the door!”

“Watch your mouth!” one of the guards said.

“Yeah! We only take orders from the king!” the other one said as he opened the door.

“Oh really?” Prussia said dryly. “Well, I have the king’s ear and I don’t think he’s going to be happy to hear the condition I found his son in.”

The taller of the two massive guards snorted. “The boy’s a traitor to king.”

Prussia drew himself up to his full height. Squaring his shoulders and narrowing his eyes at the guards, he said, “He’s not a traitor, he’s just a boy running away from home.”

“He’s still a traitor.”

“He is not,” Prussia said in a tone that brooked no argument. “Now, I need one of you to go get me a bucket of hot water and some rags to help clean the prince up with. I also need some new bedding and some clean clothes for him.” He glared at them. “And hurry.” Prussia watched as they decided which of the two of them should go. “I said go!” Once they finally decided, he went back over to the Crown Prince.

“Oh, Fritz,” he said softly, “I’m going to get you cleaned up and if you feel up to it, I’ll have them bring some food too. I’m so sorry; they wouldn’t let me see you.” Looking over his shoulder, he called out to the remaining guard, “Get your arse in here and get a fire going.” Prussia noted with some measure of satisfaction that the man obeyed. The room was drafty, but there was nothing he could do about that, except to talk to the king about moving Frederick. Prussia was also pragmatic enough to know they had a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening. By the time the other guard had returned, Frederick’s cell held some semblance of warmth.

Prussia waited for them to leave. Frederick seemed to be dozing and a part of Prussia was loathed to disturb him, but he also knew the Crown Prince could not stay in his soiled clothes any longer. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, he hauled Frederick up into a sitting position. He took hold of the right cuff on the prince’s jacket and tugged. After a bit of fussing, he managed to get it off of him. His vest and shirt soon followed.

“I’m sorry, Fritz,” he said softly as he removed the prince’s undershirt.

Frederick shivered. The cold seemed to rouse him a bit and he stared at Prussia, bleary-eyed. “Herr Beilschmidt…?” he croaked, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Yeah…?”

“Are you really here…?”

“Yeah.” Prussia looked away and back. “Don’t cry, Fritz.”

“It’s all my fault… I keep telling him that when he comes to see me…”

“Who?” Prussia was sure he would have known if Frederick William had visited his son, but maybe the fact that he was not aware of it was a good thing. He clung to that hope until the Crown Prince opened his mouth again.

“I’m so sorry, Hans…” Frederick said to his friend. He was running a fever again and in his delirium he kept seeing his friend Hans Herman von Katte, whom he had run off with and he father executed in front of him.

“Uh, Fritz,” Prussia said gently as he struggled to get his urine-soaked pants off the prince. “Herr von Katte died.”

“I know… but he’s here, Herr Beilschmidt… He came to be with me when you couldn’t…”

“Oh.” Finally getting them off, Prussia winced at how red and raw Frederick’s skin was. Taking a rag, he dipped in the bucket of hot water and wrung it out. Prussia washed the Crown Prince as best he could and he hoped that once Frederick was all cleaned up, he would start feeling better. “Lean forward, Fritz,” he said, helping Frederick to do so. Prussia carefully dumped some of the water over his head, causing the Crown Prince to sputter helplessly. Ignoring his own wet clothes, Prussia did his best to get the dried vomit out of Frederick’s hair.

Dressing the Crown Prince was much easier. Frederick had a moment of lucidity when his fever broke and with his help, Prussia had clean clothes on him and fresh bedding for him to sleep on. The prince lay on the meager cot, looking up at Prussia with sad eyes. “How long have I been here?”

“You’ve been here about three days. You fainted at Han’s execution and were unconscious for about a day and the next two you spent in and out of delirium. I’m sorry, Your Highness, I tried to get in here to see you. Had I know the condition they left you in…” Prussia looked just as pained as he felt.

Frederick nodded. His stomach felt empty and sore, and he was suddenly afraid. “My father’s not going to umm…?”

“No, he’s having enough trouble explaining your imprisonment to the Imperial Diet. I think you’ve lucked out there, Fritz.”

“So I’ll be released soon?” Frederick shivered, pulling the blanket up close to his neck.

Prussia walked away to throw another piece of wood on the fire. The flames leapt up in the fireplace, chasing a bit of the cold away. “Sadly, I don’t think so.”

“Oh…” Frederick closed his eyes. His exhaustion was beginning to catch up to him and desperately wanted to sleep. He felt Prussia’s hand on his forehead and sighed.

“You’re still warm. Do you need another blanket?”

“Please…”

“Let me see what I can do.” Prussia walked over to the door. He banged on it. “Hey! The Crown Prince needs another blanket! Get up off your arses and go get him one!”

The door opened just enough for the guard to be clearly heard. “He’s got one.”

“I said he needs another one.”

“Get it yourself!” the door closed.

Prussia banged on it again. When it opened he said. “Let me out and I will.”

“Suit yourself…” The door swung open so he could leave.

“Your Highness, I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Prussia said as he left the room.

Frederick barely paid him any attention. He had slipped into a fitful sleep. Tossing and turning on the little cot. He hovered between sleep and unconsciousness, completely unaware that more time had passed than Prussia had intended when he left. By the time his tutor and friend had returned the fire had gone out in the room’s fireplace and a new set of guards stood at attention in front of the door.

The guards let Prussia in after searching him, not that he carried any sort of weapon with him. He felt the best way to get Frederick released was to play by the rules and pray Frederick William came to his senses concerning the Crown Prince before it was too late. He hurried over to the cot and covered Frederick with the blanket. Before the guards threw him out, he felt the prince’s forehead, checking for signs of a fever. Although he was still warm to the touch, Prussia felt he could safely leave Frederick for the night. “Sleep well, Fritz. I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to see what I can do about getting your father to release you.” Brushing the hair from Frederick’s eyes, he said, “Until tomorrow, Fritz.”

Reluctantly turning on his heel, Prussia left the room. He walked away without turning back, angry at the way the king was treating his son. Prussia knew, as well as Frederick William, that the only reason Frederick had run off was to escape the constant bullying from his father. That the king had the gall to make this a case of treason had the bile rising in Prussia’s gut. Letting go of his anger, Prussia had a cool head by the time he reached his room; where he spent a sleepless night, thinking of a way to get the Crowned Prince released.

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the Duchess of Crack! and the Queen of Fluff

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