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Jacob opened his eyes a crack, and immediately shut them against the harsh light of the infirmary.  The BLU Scout groaned, and turned slightly onto his side.  His limbs felt like they were made of lead, and he only just managed to scratch at an itch at the back of his right hand.

“Ach!” a voice exclaimed from next to him his left hand was gently but firmly pulled away from his right.  “Don’t touch zat, or it might fall out.”

“Huh…?” came the boy’s groggy reply as he forced his eyes open again.  His vision was blurry, and he had to blink several times before finally focusing on the back of his right hand, and the needle that was taped there.  The runner’s eyes went wide, and he could hear the blood rushing through his ears as his heart began to pound.

It was as though the German had anticipated what he would do, because the man’s hands were suddenly pinning the boy’s wrists down.  Jacob had hated hospitals… always had, and waking up in this state, he couldn’t contain his panic.  As hard as the Scout tried he could not free his arms.  The sudden realization of just how strong the figure looming over him was made the boy panic worse and he began to thrash and kick his legs uselessly.

“Stop, stop!  Bitte, Jacob, you are going to hurt yourself!” the older figure pleaded.  “It is only saline!”

The words didn’t register with the Bostonian.  His addled brain only knew that he was being held down to a hospital bed, and there was an IV pumping something into his body, and his body felt /wrong/.

“Fuck… fuckin’… lemme /go/!” the boy wailed desperately at the imposing angel that had carried him off. “I ain’t dyin’! Ya can’t take me!”  Jacob’s view of the figure’s face wavered with each beat of his throbbing heart, but he could make out those deep, piercing blue eyes with terrifying clarity.  The man was moving his mouth, saying something, but the Scout couldn’t hear it through the sound of blood rushing past his ears.

After a few moments the runner’s tired body could no longer continue the futile struggle, and his limbs fell limp, the only movement coming from his heaving chest.  He could feel the rush of blood through his ears begin to subside.  The face of the form standing over him suddenly came into focus, wearing a worried expression.

“Jacob,” the German said in a surprisingly soft tone letting the Scout go, “do you know vhere you are?”

The runner’s vision began to blur, but quickly came back to focus when the Medic snapped his fingers in front of his face, causing the boy to start.  The Medic… the team Medic… the team…  BLU team… BLU base… large lights overhead… everything clean… sterile.  The disjointed images finally pulled together to form a coherent thought in the Bostonian’s mind.

“The… infirmary…?” the Scout murmured.

Fleischer gave a sigh of relief, and Jacob could actually see some of the tension leave the doctor’s body.  “Sehr gut.”

Jacob was about to thank the doctor when he saw the clock on the infirmary wall.  “Doc, what day is it?”

“Friday, Herr Scout.”

“Awww, FUCK!” the boy exclaimed.  “I’m missin’ tha battle!  So’re you!”  He hated missing out on a good fight, especially one he was getting paid for.

“Ve are not ‘missing’ anyzhing, Jacob.  Our team cannot fight today.”

The Scout frowned in puzzlement.  “What?  Why not?”

The German’s features pulled into a bemused smirk.  “It seems zat RED team vas not too happy about zhere Medic being poisoned…  Zhere Spy apparently snuck into our base before breakfast zis morning und added an extra ingredient to ze food.”  The man reached into one of his pockets, and pulled out a small, corked vial.  Inside was a watery, deep blue fluid.

“Th’hell’s that shit?” Jacob huffed, frowning once more.

“Copper sulfate,” the doctor replied simply, slipping the glass tube back into his overcoat.  “Ze rest of ze team are in zhere rooms, sick.”

“How come you ain’t sick?” the boy said in a slightly suspicious tone.

“I didn’t eat ze poisoned food, Herr Scout, I vas in here making sure you didn’t die,” Fleischer said matter-of-factly.  “Zat /is/ mein job,” the Medic added, giving the runner an encouraging pat on the shoulder as he rose from his chair.  Jacob found the gesture oddly comforting, but he certainly wasn’t going to say as much.

“Now zat you haf regained consciousness, I can go check on ze rest of ze team.”  The Scout couldn’t help but detect a hint of irritation in the older man’s tone, where before there had seemed to be an almost warm affection.

Fleischer walked towards the doors, and on his way out uttered the words, “be a gut boy und stay put.”

A shiver went through Jacob as the heavy infirmary doors fell shut.  He should have thanked the man.  The doctor had saved his life, and he hadn’t even said thank you.  Sure, it was the Medic’s job to make sure he stayed alive, but he wasn’t paid to be /nice/ about it, and Fleischer didn’t seem like a man who was typically /nice/.

“Weird fucker…” the Scout said with a small smile.


The hulking Russian was reclined in a bed that seemed almost too small for him.  He was trembling faintly, eyes half-lidded.  Yuri could take a bullet or a bat swing and keep fighting as though nothing had happened; Fleischer had seen him do it.  Yet, a little dose of emetic had rendered the man as weak as a kitten.

“Do you still feel nauseous?” the blonde asked, watching the other over the top of a clipboard.

“Only a leetle, Doktor…” the BLU Heavy said, holding his thumb and forefinger close together to emphasize his point.

Fleischer picked up a large glass of water, one of many he had brought with him on the wheeled supply cart, and held it out to the man on the bed.  The doctor was no small man, but he felt that his gloved hand suddenly looked dainty when Yuri wrapped his thick fingers around the glass, and took it from him.

“Drink zis all,” the Medic stated.  “Once you are rehydrated you should feel much better,” his tone was soft and encouraging, and it seemed to put the Russian at ease.  “Make sure you drink it slowly, small sips, or you vill get sick again.”

“Thank you, Doktor,” Yuri said quietly.  The German gave a nod in reply, and left with his cart, heading to the next room down the line.  He felt an increasing sense of satisfaction after visiting each patient.  These men were battle-hardened and strong, and now they were physically so frail that they were practically bedridden, even if temporarily.

Fleischer found it more difficult, but just as gratifying, to control the state of their minds, as well as their bodies.  It just took a little thinking, or trial and error, to find what made each man tick.

The Soldier had been as irate and insulting as he could manage when the doctor had come into his room.  But the German had stood at attention, and glared at the military man.  “Herr Soldier, if you do not do as I say, zen you vill continue to veaken,” Fleischer had said in a stern tone.  “Zen, vhen you are too veak to resist, I vill take you to mein infirmary, strap you down, und use ein needle to make sure you take your fluids.”  Colonel had been remarkably compliant after that.

“Donell, vhat are you doing!?” Fleischer had growled upon entering the Demoman’s room.  The Scot had his lips wrapped around a bottle of scrumpy, but the doctor had managed to snatch it away before the man could take a swig.  The explosives expert had been very disappointed to find that he was only allowed to drink water until he had recovered.  He had even tried to throw a punch, nearly toppling off the bed in the process.  After some ranting and sobbing, the Scot finally relented.

Raymond had not been chatty like before.  Fleischer could sense a certain distrust inherent in the man’s polite but unusually quiet demeanor.  The doctor simply told him that Jacob had regained consciousness, and was doing fine.  The Engineer had seemed comforted by that fact.  It had been difficult for the German to hide how insulted he felt, knowing that the man thought he may harm their Scout.

The Pyro had given the doctor a wordless thumbs-up when asked how he was faring.  He only nodded his masked head in agreement when told to drink the water.  It was just as well, Fleischer could never understand a word the creature said through the cumbersome filters it wore on its head.  The Medic’s eyes had glanced to the zipper pull at the collar of the chemsuit more than once, but he decided it would be best not to agitate the firebug, given that its flamethrower was leaning against the bed and in easy reach.

Bill had been lying miserably on his side.  It had taken little effort to coax the Sniper into sitting up and drinking the water he was given.  Fleischer had simply faked a little laugh at some off-color joke the rangy man told him, and that had been enough.

Now it was the Spy’s turn.  As the German made his way towards the Frenchman’s door, pushing the cart ahead of him, he couldn’t help but feel a bit like some sort of room service boy.  It wasn’t an image he liked, but it was a small price to pay for a taste of control in this place.  As he grabbed the handle of Spy’s door he wondered what sort of state that arrogant, fascinating pest would be in.

Fleischer opened the door quietly.  The Frenchman was lying on his side, his back to the doctor.  Sleeping, probably.

“Herr Spy,” the German said softly.  There was no response.  “Spy, are you avake?”  The Frenchman was still… a little too still.  Fleischer left the tray, and quickly closed the distance to the bed.  Had he made a mistake?  Was the dose too high..?  The doctor’s feelings of satisfaction were supplanted by fear, and even a little worry.

“Spy!?” the Medic said almost pleadingly.  He touched a hand to the other’s shoulder, and the Frenchman suddenly rolled onto his back.  Before the doctor could react his tie had been seized, and he was bent forward.  One of the Spy’s hands was behind Fleischer, and he could feel the sharp, cold edge of a blade against the back of his neck.

“Bonjour, Monsieur Fleischer,” the masked man said pleasantly.

“Guten tag, Herr Spy,” the Medic replied in a tone of mild annoyance.

“Docteur, as you can imagine, I am a man of very discriminating tastes.  I ‘ave ‘ad to endure ze awful food ‘ere for months now, but the flavor of your addition was simply more zan I could bear.”

As much as he smoked, the Spy was the last member of his team that Fleischer would have expected to taste such a minute change in their food.  The Frenchman was also the last person he could play dumb with and win.  This turn of events was potentially very dangerous… and interesting.

“Sehr gut, Herr Spy,” the German said with a small smile.  “Do you plan to kill me for mein terrible indiscretion?”

“Oh, non, Docteur.  Upset stomachs are ‘ardly life-threatening.”  A sly smile crept across the man’s face.  “I must admit as well, ze Soldier’s reaction to your orders was quite amusing.  For a moment I was almost tempted to let you off ze ‘ook for free.  ‘owever, you are going to ‘ave to give me somezhing in return for keeping your nasty little deed a secret.  Believe me, too, Docteur; I take as much pride in keeping secrets as I do in finding zem out.”

The Spy’s arm was stretched to its limit to get that knife against the doctor’s neck from his position on the bed.  He wouldn’t be able to do a lot of damage like that, not before Fleischer had his hands around the Frenchman’s throat and was strangling the life out of him.  That was so… crude… though.   And the Spy was much more interesting alive… for now… so he decided to play along with the bluff.

“Vhat is it zat you vant, Herr Spy?” the doctor questioned as the Frenchman’s free hand moved down his sides, feeling for weapons.  The saboteur’s hand came to a stop at Fleischer’s left hip, and he dipped his fingers into that pants pocket.  There was a faint jangling of metal that almost made the doctor’s heart stop.

The Spy pulled out the contents of the pocket, a fine silver pocket watch on a matching chain.  The German forced himself to look at the Spy, and not the precious object that the Frenchman had taken from him

“Tell me about your son’s mozzer, Monsieur Fleischer,” the man said quietly.  He seemed satisfied that the timepiece he was holding was of no use as a weapon, and placed it back in the doctor’s pocket as he waited for him to answer.

“She vas very attractive.  Blonde hair, blue eyes, shapely figure,” Fleischer said indifferently.

“Did you love ‘er, Docteur?” the Spy asked with what seemed like genuine interest, removing his blade from the back of the Medic’s neck.

“Nein,” the German replied simply.  “She vas good breeding stock.”

The Frenchman looked slightly disappointed, and something else… sad?

“Merci, Docteur.”

Fleischer gave a curt nod, and left with his supply cart.  Once he was out in the hall and the door was shut he finally let out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding.  His hand quickly went to his pocket, and removed the delicately-etched pocket watch.  It came open with a click.  He watched the gears turning beneath the clear center of the watch face, and felt reassured by the familiar, reliable ticking.

His gaze moved from the face of the watch to the object wedged and fitted to the inside of the timepiece’s cover, and let out a sigh of relief.  It was safe.


Nicklaus watched the silver timepiece spin slowly on the end of the fine chain he was holding.  The moonlight reflected off of the polished metal, playing over the fine engravings.

“A man needs ein good vatch,” his grandfather would say as he rode on the cart with him, flipping the device open to check the time.  “Zat’s how I know you filled zis cart in record time.”  The man would often open the watch and tell Nicklaus that he was going to fill the cart too fast at this rate, or playfully chide him that they’d never make it to dinner on time if he kept up that lazy pace.

Nicklaus stopped the watch from spinning, and it created a familiar click as he opened it.  He leaned back against the old tree, and let out a sigh.  Ten minutes late… he was starting to get worried.  Where was she?

“Guten tag!” the abrupt exclamation made him jump, and for a moment he thought he had forgotten to breathe.  The blonde suddenly smiled, though, and turned to look behind him.

“Kathrin, zat isn’t fair!” he said to the girl ducking back behind the wide trunk of the tree.  “Vhere is your horse?” Nicklaus asked, standing up.  “Vithout it I could hear you /sneaking/ up on me.”

The girl’s hands suddenly fell over his eyes, blacking out his vision.  “I tied it up vith yours at ze fence down ze hill.”  She gave a short, melodious laugh that made Nicklaus’s heart flutter in his chest.  His vision suddenly returned as she removed her hands from his face, opting to run them down his bare arms.

“Gott, whoever gave you zese as a birthday gift?” the dark-haired girl asked, giving his biceps a squeeze.  The blonde couldn’t help but laugh.

“I haf had zose for avhile, liebe.  Zey don’t appear overnight, you know.”  They had come fast, though.  At age sixteen, a mere year before, he had been endlessly picked on by the Hirsch boys down the road for being so small for his age, and now he was bigger than any of them.

“You didn’t have zem when we started seeing each other ein year ago.”

Fleischer turned to look at the girl.  She was a year older than him, possessing a somewhat plain face framed by long, straight black hair.  Under the pale light of the moon her dark brown eyes looked almost as black as her hair.  Then she smiled, and he felt his knees go weak.

“I’m sorry I’m late.  Mein vater vas up late, und I had to sneak past him.”

“Oh, so zat is how you snuck up on me so easily.  You haf been practicing,” Nicklaus accused with a small laugh.  He started to bend towards her, and she met him halfway with a kiss.

“Vhen you are done vith medical school, are you still taking me to London, or vill you be too busy vith big doctor zings?” Kathrin asked.  

The two of them sat, leaning partially against the big oak tree, and partially against each other.  “I haven’t even started yet… und I’m never too busy for you, liebe,” the blonde said with a loving smile, “you know zat.”

“Oh!” the girl suddenly said, digging through the leather satchel at her side.  “I brought you somezhing!”  Nicklaus frowned slightly in puzzlement.  Kathrin paused, and turned her head to look at him.  “You haf to close your eyes,” she sing-singed with a mischievous smile on her face.  He did as she said, and couldn’t help but smile as well.

“Vhat are you up to, liebe?”

“Open your mouth, und you’ll see.  Nein peeking!”

The blonde laughed softly, and opened his mouth.  Something pressed against his tongue… it was soft, and sweet, and a little moist, exactly like… “cake?”  He opened his eyes.  Sure enough, Kathrin was holding a small square of sheet cake, now with a bite out of it, in front of his face.  Nicklaus saw the girl’s expression suddenly change to worry.

“Nicklaus, is somezhing wrong?” she asked softly.  “Why do you look so sad?”

The blonde smiled.  “Ach, I’m sorry.  I vas just thinking, is all.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had cake.  Another bite, bitte?”  Kathrin obliged, feeding him the small dessert bit by bit until it was gone.  Once it was finished, the dark-haired girl looked at her hand, and sighed in dismay.

“Now I haf cake all over mein fingers.”

Nicklaus gently took her wrist, “let me take care of zat, liebe.”  He gave a sly smile, and slowly licked the sweetened crumbs off of her fingers, using his other hand to gently brush a few stray strands of hair from the other’s face.  Once he had finished they just sat there for a moment, looking at each other and smiling.

“I haf ein more birthday present for you, liebe,” Kathrin said in a low, sultry voice.  In the blink of an eye, the blonde’s lover had yanked his shirt off.  This was not their first time, but Nicklaus could feel his heart start to race as though it was, it always did.  The girl had always been so kind to him, loving, caring, supportive, everything he could not receive at home.  Their frequent covert encounters were something he treasured, even if they rarely ended in such ‘excitement’.

“Ich liebe dich…” Nicklaus whispered softly.

“Docteur, I didn’t know you felt zat way about me.”

The BLU Medic’s head snapped up, and he looked to the Spy, sitting in front of the infirmary desk with an irritatingly smug grin on his face.  He hadn’t heard the skulking Frenchman come in.  The dazed expression that the daydreaming German had had on his face turned into an annoyed scowl.

“Vhat do you vant, Herr Spy?”

The Frenchman chuckled.  “Just zhought I should remind you zat we are fighting ze /whole/ RED team tomorrow, Docteur.  No more smooth sailing.  I ‘ope you are ready.”
More drivel!

Part 1 - [link]
Part 2 - [link]
Part 3 - [link]
Part 4 - [link]
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tryn Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
oh god the dilemmas :I I know hes a total monster but i find myself sympathizing with him... (not that what he did is right) uuugh so torn! You are amazing <3
shadowfire-x Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Heee! Thank you! I like reminding folks that he is in fact a human being ;D
tryn Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
he still scares the bajesus outta me XD
shadowfire-x Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I aim to make people feel torn and emotionally confused =B
tryn Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
*confetti* you are the master! XD
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