kindkit: The Fifth Doctor looks at Turlough from a distance. (Doctor Who: Five and Turlough distant)
[personal profile] kindkit
My first [community profile] kink_bingo fic!

Title: The Prisoner
Fandom: Colditz
Characters: Horst Mohn, Simon Carter (with about as much creepy UST as on the show, namely, lots)
Rating: Teen
Word count: 1541
Kink: Suspension
Official KB Content Notes: Non-consensual kink (but no sex)
Unofficial content notes: Kink interpreted in a way the mods probably had not anticipated; general creepiness; POV character is a Nazi and uses Nazi terminology.
Summary: Post-war, Carter and Mohn finally have a reckoning.

Despite the British guards' tedious joke, knowing that one is to be hanged tomorrow does not improve the concentration. Mohn cannot think at all. His mind skitters like a trapped insect. Nor can he sleep. He would like to sleep, so that morning would come and it would almost be over.

They offered him a priest, but he has not turned to primitive superstition in his last hours. A guard--one of the better ones, a corporal with shrapnel scars on his face and hands--asked if he wanted to play cards. He refused that, too. Now they're letting him alone, only opening the cell's observation flap at the required five-minute intervals. They must suspect him of great ingenuity, since he has neither bootlaces, nor tie, nor bed sheets, nor razor, nor glass, nor poison. They know this; they have stripped him to the skin and searched him with crude intimacy. Reichsmarschall Göring's triumphant suicide has made them careful.

Mohn sits under the un-shaded light that glares down but leaves the cell's corners shadowed. His arms wrap around his belly, pressing against the old wound. It has not stopped hurting since 1942; sometimes he dreams the bayonet is still in him, ripping. Breathing slowly, he tries to think of chess games. He can only remember the matches he won in Berlin in 1935, his last competition before he joined the Luftwaffe and had no time for games.

The observation flap opens suddenly, out of its predictable sequence. A key turns, and Simon Carter hesitates for a moment in the cell doorway. The guard mumbles to him and he comes forward so the door can be locked.

"Good evening, Mr. Carter," Mohn says. "I don't suppose you have brought a chess board?"


"Ah, well, then I see you have come to make sure of me. Don't worry, they have me locked up most carefully. If we had had such security in Colditz - "

"Don't chat, for Christ's sake."

"What would you like me to do? Weep?"

Carter's expression of cold obstinacy changes. He never could control his face. "Yeah," he says. "Yeah, I reckon maybe I would like that."

"I am sorry to disappoint you. Do sit down." Mohn sits on the bed and gestures to the chair. After a pause--Carter came with a speech in mind, Mohn decides, but hasn't been given the cue he wanted--Carter sits, stretching his right leg out in front of him. He flexes the ankle with the braced posture of someone expecting pain. Mohn remembers Carter in Colditz, playing his stupid ball games and hiding his limp whenever Mohn was around. Things have changed between them, now. A victor need not conceal his suffering.

The jagged trail the bayonet left from Mohn's belly to his groin throbs in echo of Carter's cautious movements.

Carter does not speak. Silence gapes between them, another war wound. "What a pity," Mohn says eventually, "that we could not after all play chess. I brought a chess board to you in solitary confinement, if you remember."

"That wasn't kindness, that was gloating."

"It was not kindness, no." Nor was it cruelty. But the English like kindness. They like to think they are kind even to their enemies and their subject peoples. "Still, I think it passed the time for you."

"Every damned evening for twenty-eight days. I couldn't get rid of you."

"Well, Mr. Carter, I believe you have solved that problem." The pain in Mohn's skew-healed guts burns redder. He folds an arm close to himself again, and sees Carter see it. But it doesn't matter now. The truly vanquished also need conceal nothing. "What it is like, to know that you have finally killed me?"

"Not me, Major. Maybe it's the last laugh of three dead commandos."

"Nonsense. I am accused of killing them, though they were in SS custody, duly signed over by the Kommandant. Your tribunal drags him in, the old fool, but his testimony sounds like . . . I am forgetting the idiom . . . like throwing blame? No, they say it is for the commandos that they will hang me, but it is because of you. Because you say I persecuted you. The noose that will go around my neck tomorrow, Mr. Carter, is put there by you."

"Chance would be a fine thing," Carter says. The boyish petulance makes him sound, for a moment, like the sullen and temperamental Carter that Mohn remembers. But his face behind its sparse boyish moustache has aged surprisingly in four years of peace.

"I have been thinking, occasionally, about what it will be like. I hold my breath, to experiment. But I can never do it for long. Tomorrow, of course, I will have assistance."

"It's no worse than you deserve."

"Because I read your letters? How is your Cathy, by the way?"

Carter surges to his feet like a fighting man, despite his ankle, and takes a step towards Mohn. "Don't even say her name." His hands, tautened to fists, are nevertheless shaking. If he had the walking stick he used to carry, he would probably strike Mohn with it.

After so many years of sentimental letters, his wife has betrayed him. Left him, perhaps. Carter, too, is defeated and cannot bear it. "Do you know, Mr. Carter, when I first saw you I thought you were a hero? It was the uniform, I suppose. The Luftwaffe and the RAF have always respected each other. It was the uniform, yes, and the stick. Later, I still thought you could be so much stronger than you were. But you chose to be weak, and so you hated me."

Carter loosens his fists and walks about the cell. "That was respect, was it? My letters, my parcels, all your spying and bringing me up on charges. That was you trying to be pals?"

Carter is England in miniature. He refuses alliance, leaves no option but conquest, then is shocked to find himself attacked. "In a better world you would have fought beside me. You even look Aryan. Much more so than I. I always thought that was funny."

"You've got a strange sense of humour, Major."

Mohn stands and walks towards Carter, who swerves back to the chair and stands behind it, clutching at it like a weapon. Mohn sits on the little table, back rigid, accommodating his scars and the bullet wound to the shoulder he took in Crete. "I don't think I will mind so much, being hanged. The fall into space, and the rope. I was a paratrooper, you know. Perhaps as I die I will hallucinate that I am going into battle again."

Carter looks away.

"You understand me, I think, Mr. Carter. In your nice blue suit--nearly the RAF blue--you look like a man who wishes still to be in uniform. But then you missed most of the war."

"Everyone in my training cohort was dead by the spring of 1941," Carter says. "My instructor crashed in '43. When I came back, there was no one who remembered me."

Mohn thinks of Crete, of men shot dead before their parachutes drifted to earth, of olive groves thicker with corpses than with trees. Later, the freezing abattoir of Stalingrad. "They are the only heroes, the dead. You and I lived too long."

"I don't want to be a dead hero."

"Do you not? I wish I had stayed at Colditz, fought there and died there. I don't know why, in those last days, I wanted so badly to live." Mohn rubs at the hot pain in his belly. The best would have been to die at Stalingrad, without retreating. Never to have been an invalid and a gaoler. Never to have met Simon Carter. "Will you be there in the morning, Mr. Carter? To see me die?"

" . . . I . . . "

"I want you to be there."

"Christ!" Carter looks at him with horrified eyes. "Why?"

"Because you remember me."

"Don't try and - "

"Since you would not be my friend, be my honourable enemy. Watch me die. It will mean something to us both."

Carter shakes his head, shivering. "I won't. I won't play your sick games anymore."

"Then why are you here? It was never a game, Mr. Carter."

Carter hobbles to the door and knocks on it forcefully. "I want to be free of you."

"I do not think you can. No more than I." Death is the end, and yet Mohn does not expect an ending. He will lie haunted in his unmarked grave. "It is too bad that you cannot truly put the noose around my neck. I would prefer that. But you must be there. I will think of you as I am falling."

"Guard!" The key scrapes in the lock, but Carter turns around to face Mohn again. "You're a monster," he says. "I hate you."

The door opens, releasing Carter. Two sets of footsteps echo down the corridor. Mohn knows Carter's by the uneven pace. He is moving fast, as though he thinks he is escaping something. "Good night, Simon Carter," Mohn calls after him. "I will see you in the morning."


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