Hello, everyone! Look, I'm updating after only six months! xD

sHE-beLIEveD: I'm actually not sure whether his ribs will be broken or just cracked. Probably cracked, because broken ribs might be too troublesome and time-consuming for the plot. I'm really glad you have those feelings about Sven and Adalai (I made a mistake with his name last chapter), it's what I'm going for! Thank you for the wonderful comments! (I love your name by the way, and the little hidden part of it. :D )

Middy: I'm really happy that you think this story is good, and I'm completely fascinated by WWII, too, especially the German side! Thanks for the read and the comment!

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Gasping for breath and feeling the subsequent stabbing pain, Adalai looked up from the cold, dirty floor of the cell. All he saw was a familiar pair of shocked blue eyes.

Eyes narrowing, Adalai scrabbled backwards on the cell floor, trying to put distance between himself and the young soldier.

He didn't get very far though, hampered as he was by his injured ribs, which felt as if they were either burning through the flesh on his chest or stabbing into one of his organs.

He watched as the momentary shock faded from the soldier's eyes, and they hardened once again. The man finished picking up his medical supplies in silence, and Adalai continued to sit there, trying to breathe through the intense pain. 'Is that all? Am I safe now?' he ventured to wonder grimly, hoping that, at best, the soldier would leave now.

That was when the soldier turned to look at him. This was the first time Adalai had ever felt that intense stare up close, and there was no mistaking it. This was the young man who'd been staring at him constantly for the past few days. Adalai felt his gut twist slightly as he thought of what that gaze could mean. He had seen those kids coming back at dawn after those traumatic nights.

"Get up."

The cold words shocked Adalai out of his stupor. He noted vaguely that he seemed to be sweating profusely, even though the cells were practically icing over in the January weather. Carefully, the boy did as he was told. The blonde man in front of him turned around.

"Follow me."

Adalai was confused, and a little nervous, but he set his face in his usual neutral expression, following the man as quickly as he could, but limping slightly due to the agonizing pain in his side. As the two passed the cell holding Otto, Adalai heard the other Jewish boy sneering at him.

"Too bad, Kupner, getting hanged so soon? Or maybe they'll take pity on you and just shoot you quickly. See what happens when you pick the wrong side, you sniveling little, German-loving-"

Before Adalai could even process what was happening, the rifle that he hadn't noticed the young soldier was holding slammed against the bars of Otto's cell. The other two young men jumped.

"Hold your tongue, you rotting piece of filth. Your own fate will be decided tomorrow, and if you continue, I will personally guarantee your hanging is the most drawn-out and agonizing death this camp has ever seen."

Paying no more attention to the troublemaker, the soldier continued on, seemingly expecting Adalai to disregard that outburst of speech and follow him. Adalai cast one last look at Otto, whose face was now a deathly, ashen white, and turned sharply to follow the man out of the confinement area into the rest of snowy camp.

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Sven was still frozen in surprise as he watched the prisoner become alert and try to scrabble away. Now somewhat at a loss of what to do, Sven reset his expression and finished packing up his materials. It was obvious the boy's ribs were broken, or at least cracked, so Sven would have to take him to the infirmary.

Standing up, he turned a critical gaze on the prisoner, and was astonished as the boy yet again held his gaze. He silently thanked his fellow guard for switching duties with him in his head. This could be a very useful time for Sven to learn about this boy.

Sven saw how far away Adalai looked and barked at him.

"Get up."

Without waiting to see if the boy had followed his orders, Sven turned and marched out of the cell, eventually hearing the boy stumbling along after him. As they passed the cell holding the other brawler, Sven heard him addressing Adalai.

"Too bad, Kupner, getting hanged so soon? Or maybe they'll take pity on you and just shoot you quickly. See what happens when you pick the wrong side, you sniveling little, German-loving-"

One of the things Sven hated most were the Jewish boys who talked as if they were unafraid of the soldiers. As Otto's speech continued on, Sven felt cold fury bubbled up in him at this insolent little bastard. He slammed the rifle he had in his left hand against the bars of the cell, and felt pleasure twist in his gut as he saw both of the prisoners jump.

"Hold your tongue, you rotting piece of filth," he ordered icily. "Your own fate will be decided tomorrow, and if you continue, I will personally guarantee your hanging is the most drawn-out and agonizing death this camp has ever seen."

With that, Sven turned and walked away, dismissing the soon to be corpse and leading Adalai back into the rest of camp. He looked straight ahead as he marched himself and his charge to the infirmary. It was unusual that he had not had the prisoner precede him, but he somehow felt that Adalai would follow. Not that he would care all that much if the kid did; it just meant he'd watch another prisoner die from an infected injury.

Sven frowned slightly as he tried to contemplate why the thought of watching Adalai die twinged a little. He shook his head. 'I have been far too bored lately. I should enjoy myself with the others tonight.'

He entered the infirmary with Adalai behind him. He pointed at a door to his right and addressed the Jew. "Undress and go through there."

Sven entered a different door down a hallway straight ahead. Stopping in the doorway he addressed a middle-aged man with a black mustache and goatee sitting at a scratched desk.

"A prisoner is waiting to be examined," he said simply and exited the office, going to the ward on the left of the building this time to attend to his other duties there.

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Adalai shivered as he stood in the entrance of the infirmary, still sweating. After the young soldier pointed him to where he was supposed to go, Adalai entered the room apprehensively. Being in the medical ward could be either the best or worst thing that happened to you in the camp.

After undressing, Adalai waited shivering and clammy, until the wiry, dark doctor came in. The boy was looked over and assessed with a sharp eye.

"On the table. Lie back. Quickly!" the nameless doctor ordered as he bustled around the cold, sterile room. When the doctor came to his side, he did not even pay any attention to the boy underneath him as he poked and prodded mercilessly. When he jabbed at the ribs that were possibly broken, Adalai let out a shriek that he thought probably rattle the windows.

"Can we get someone in here to hold this one down?" the doctor yelled out the door after looking at the Jew with a sour expression. Adalai's eyes grew wide as another two soldiers entered to hold him at each end. Out of the corner of his eye, Adalai saw the doctor preparing a needle and started thrashing violently, not wishing to be another victim of the horrendously painful whispers from the infirmary.

Adalai was strong, and had survived the many beatings and humiliations of the camp, but his body was tired. It was already undergoing excruciating strain from the previous fight, and it couldn't take another bout of pain, even if it was supposed to be for his own benefit.

Suddenly, the prisoner felt the needle in his skin, and whether from surprise or real pain, Adalai screamed. He screamed until his voice was hoarse and dots danced at the corners of his vision, until his breath had completely left his lungs.

And then his head hit the metal table with a dull thunk as the boy blacked out.

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Okay, that's it for this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully I'll manage to keep these slightly more regular updates for awhile!

Ja ne,

~ shadows