March 20th, 1943.
The winter was cold, the air dry and unforgiving. It felt like daggers on the sensitive facial skin even to those whom were used to the cold, harsh winters. The small and very old wood stove simply couldn't handle the harsh blizzard and thus was huddled around by the two inhabitants of the sorry excuse for a house they currently stayed in. One of these people was Ivan Braginsky, Marshal of the Soviet Union; the highest rank there was, (not counting Stalin's exclusive rank, which he kept denying to be officially.) The other was [F/N] [L/N], a Lieutenant of ground forces. In an effort to spy on the Nazi generals, a plan had been come up with to make a fake community of houses. In a line, small farm houses and farms would be placed to make it seem like the Germans were going across regular people. However, in the houses, there would be soldiers living there to report any activity they heard or saw. In the final stretch of this incognito operation, the soldiers would use the houses as strongholds for a surprise ambush and takeover of the German-allowed access road. In one particular house, there were these two soldiers. They'd known each other for awhile now, which included the knowledge on [Name's] part that Ivan was the personification of Russia. She didn't care; a comrade was still a comrade no matter what. As of right now, the only thing she cared about was trying to keep warm in the hole-in-the-wall house they'd been put in. She shivered endlessly as the cold kept reaching her body even though she was practically merging with the wood stove.
"Any closer to it and you're going to burn yourself." Ivan remarked, sitting in a shaky, cheaply crafted wooden chair.
"The cold already burns." she hissed through chattering teeth.
"Yes, it does." he replied, looking out of a window absentmindedly.
Silence between the two went on for a few minutes before [Name] asked a question.
"Have you seen any German cars lately?"
"No.. I was wondering about that myself. Of course, in this record breaking storm, I don't think we'll see any of our own comrades let alone Germans who aren't used to these conditions."
"How are they going to believe anyone around here farms? No one could farm in these conditions."
"Farmland is enough to convince the simplicity of the narrow Nazi mind." Ivan mumbled, not to eager to speak about the opposing side.
"I suppose so. Off topic, but what's to eat?"
This perfectly normal question stifled a laugh from the Russian man, which confused [Name].
"'What's to eat?'! That's a good joke, [Name]. You should consider doing stand up comedy."
"I'm serious!" She hissed, punching his arm, "I'm starving. Stop laughing at my suffering."
"If there were anything to eat, I would have brought you it." he coolly spoke, taking his attention from the window to her.
"Shut the fuck up," [Name] half yelled half gasped, "there's nothing to eat?!"
"Besides ice or maybe some cans from 1918, no. We ran out of our," he put his hands up and curled his fingers, doing the classic air quotations gesture, "'rations' two days ago."
"But we ate yesterday, all three meal times!" [Name] fretted.
"Correction - you ate yesterday at all three meal times." he replied, resting his elbow on a table beside him. "I have not eaten since the rations went out."
Swift like the fox, Ivan felt a harsh punch to his arm once again. He flinched in recoil just as [Name] hit him and suppressed the urge to chuckle at the attempt. It's not that [Name] was weak, but he was overly strong. Human punches didn't really faze him, especially on his muscular arms. Ivan stopped a tank once with his body - the punches of [Name's] wrath were mere taps.
"You're an ass! The biggest, fattest ass I've ever seen!" she yelled.
"That seems a bit rude, don't you think?"
"Ugh. I hate you." [Name] hissed, "Why didn't you eat?!" she demanded now, crossing her arms and glaring.
"If I had eaten, it would have reduced us to one and a half meals. However, by not eating yesterday and giving you the remaining rations, you were able to eat the whole day and thus have energy for today."
"Don't you need energy too?"
"I can go longer without food, plain and simple."
[Name] frowned. Ivan may have been a country, but he was also a country in the middle of war. If anyone needed strength, it should have been him. Humans can live for a few weeks without food - it's water they need. And with the snow and ice, she had plenty of it. She felt guilty for eating around him.
"God, Ivan. That was stupid. C'mon, you said there were some cans from way back when didn't you? Well. Canned food is still food." she said, getting up and tugging on his arm.
"You're going to get cold again if you move now, [Name]."
"You haven't eaten in two days. Let's go."
He sighed but got up and allowed her to "drag" him into the small kitchen. He watched from behind as she opened up the cabinet and pulled out one of two dusty cans.
'This is really a lost cause... I wish she'd save those cans for herself. Wait. There's only two? I thought there were more than that! I can't let her give away a meal to me. The ration truck should come tomorrow - I can wait."
"[N-name], wait a second--"
'What the... no? She's never just out right said no before. This might be harder than I thought.'
"[Name], please, listen to me for a secon--"
"I said, no." By now, [Name] was fumbling to open up the can with the old can opener.
"[Name] please, just listen to what I have to say."
"You're persistent. ...Alright, what is it?"
"The ration truck comes tomorrow and I will be fine until then. Please save that can for yourself."
"...It's a no from me." She replied, and with that, poured the contents of the can into a shabby bowl, threw in her spoon and presented him with the bowl.
It was an awfully nice gesture, especially considering how Ivan had been treated in the past by his leaders. His body slumped in an awkward stance and his face looking awkwardly at the bowl, he didn't move or say anything for at least a minute. [Name] waited for him to move or talk or something. Finally, he shifted his weight and looked to her.
"... I'm not eating this."
"Oh yes you are, you're eating that even if I have to shove it down your throat."
"A-alright, how about we do this without the violence. What if we split it?"
"Come on, [Name]," Ivan groaned, "I refuse to eat this unless you have some as well."
"Fine, I'll have a little."
Agreeing to having even a small amount made Ivan happy. He sat down at their small round table with her and was watched while he ate at the bowl. He would admit that even the cold beans were better than nothing. As he ate though, he noticed that [Name] made a point not to look away nor talk to him as he quickly ate spoonfuls. As he pondered what she was doing, he realized that he'd eaten the entire bowl's contents. He glared at the bowl and then to [Name] with a bit of a playful edge. She grinned, though no longer looking at him, she could feel his stare.
"That was cold." He spoke finally, taking his bowl and spoon to the "sink", really just a washbasin in the corner.
"What else could I have done? I had to trick you into eating it somehow."
"That's one less meal for you though, and you're already hungry. It would have made more sense to share it." He replied.
"I guess," she shrugged, "but what is important is that you've eaten."
Ivan heaved a sigh and shook his head, walking into the living room. He really wished his comrade would have eaten something too. He just knew it wasn't going to go well that she hadn't eaten anything; something was going to happen to her because of her lack of eating. And it was going to have an even bigger ill affect because of all the other factors running around. The thousand or so years of experience told him that. Picking up a tattered book that he'd read about seven times and beginning to read it again while trying to warm up by the stove, he heard a 'thud' in the kitchen. He turned his attention to the room with wide eyes. He waited a second before standing up cautiously and sliding against the wall closest to the kitchen. Intently, he listened for movement.
"This house has nothing, Erik. Just this woman."
"Worthless. Hmm... This house is absolute shit. C'mon, we're leaving."
"Wait though... do you ever see houses on a farm like this without a man?"
"...Maybe she's on the other side of the spectrum--"
"No not like that, I mean... this house seems awfully empty. Just a woman? I mean she's not even old. She's young and kinda attractive. Like... there should be a man somewhere around here."
"I guess you make a good point, but all they have is an old Soviet truck outside and frozen wheat. There's nothing to salvage here."
"We've only been in one room."
The commander, Erik, looked to his soldier Luddy. Erik wanted to leave and go report back to his commander. He didn't have time to deal with the possibility of there being unfound riches in another room. He heaved a sigh though, thinking what good it would do to come back to Hitler with Soviet riches. He stroked his chin and finally nodded.
"Alright... let's search the rest of the house."
Ivan panicked. Was [Name] dead? He didn't hear a gun, but that's not to say lethal injection wasn't possible. He had to act quickly too; these soldiers couldn't escape alive or else the entire line facade would be broken. He grabbed the rifle that sat in the corner of the living room and jumped around the corner prepared for the worst. He took the two Germans by surprise; neither were ready for someone like him to appear. They pulled out their weapons and pointed them at him at once.
"You're not a farmhand!" Erik yelled, staring at the uniformed officer in front of him.
Ivan couldn't help the shit eating grin that appeared on his face. Their shock brought him great pleasure to see.
"No, I'm not. Give me my soldier." He replied, glancing to the body on the ground.
"W-why should we?!" Luddy demanded, shaking as he held out his rifle.
"Shut up!" Erik hissed to him; he then looked back to Ivan. "Why don't you come and get her?"
"I'm in no mood to play these sick games," Ivan hissed, rising his rifle, "give me the soldier. Now."
There was a shuffling on the floor when [Name] began to arise from her "nap". She blinked slowly and looked up to see the two German soldiers. She screamed in surprise and tried to stand up, but was still loopy from the injection. Her movements were off and thus she nearly collapsed into the wall. Her speech was slurred as she tried and failed to acknowledge their existence.
"Yaou Ghermasns!" she managed, gripping the wall in an effort to stabilize herself.
"What did you inject into her?!" Ivan demanded, his finger tightening around the trigger.
"Just a bit of a relaxer; she could use one when she saw us the first time." Erik commented.
Well... Erik didn't exist for too much longer before Ivan blew him away - literally. Erik's soldier friend watched in horror as his commander was shot dead in front of his eyes. His faced paled and he looked like he was about to throw up.
"E-Erik...!" Luddy gulped.
"I warned you." Ivan growled, walking over to Luddy and snatching his rifle away from him. He then turned his attention to [Name].
"Are you okay?"
"I-I'hm... Fhinesch... I shink..."
"What was in that injection? You'd better tell me before you end up like your friend."
"A-a sleep inducer a-and muscle relaxer, s-sir!"
"Muscle relaxer... used for what?"
"Prisoners?! Damn you! How much was in that injection?!"
"Enough..." Luddy trailed off.
"You'd better tell me what that will do to her before I blow your GOD DAMN brains out!"
"O-O-OKAY!! A-Alright! I-It's enough to be potentially lethal!" Luddy stammered, "Medically speaking, it will cause slurred speech and may cause uncontrollable urination and bowel movements."
"...You people make me sick." Ivan muttered. Then, he pointed the rifle at the man's chest.
"W-WAIT! T-THERE'S AN ANTIDOTE!" He yelled, putting his hands up for mercy.
"Where?" Ivan asked. He did not move the rifle.
"I-I don't have i-it, s-sir, but i-if you keep me a-alive, I c-can lead you t-to it." he stammered once more.
"...Why should I trust you?" Ivan asked, cautious about this soldier.
"W-What do you w-want me to do to p-prove it?" Luddy asked.
"Well... for starters..."