Everyone Needs One
Art trade with Jathis.
Alfons belongs to her.
Abel and Gabriel belong to me.
“Here, you look hungry.” Was this a cruel joke or actual compassion? It was hard to tell anymore, after spending God knows how long in a living hell. He hardly ever had compassion or concern given to him. Not after what the officers did to him.
He was a toy used by everyone. For those who needed to let off steam, he was beaten. For those who needed to experiment on new drugs, he was a test subject. For those who haven’t had sex and longed for it, he was a whore. And for the prisoners, who saw him as a brat selling his body just to stay alive, he was a backstabbing coward who let his own family die so he could live to see another day. It wasn’t true, no. He never wanted this. How could ANYONE want this!?! And even now, as he sat trembling in a ball outside of one of the officer’s quarters, he was scared to look up at the face of whoever was speaking to him. He’d either get mud or a fist shoved in his face.
“You want some of this?” The trembling man whimpered and covered his head, just wanting the man to go away and stay away. He felt something tap the top of his head and he let out a terrified yelp, close to crying as he covered his face with both of his hands. Something shifted before him and he peeked through his fingers, unsure of what to expect but what he saw made his world freeze.
“Why are you so scared?” asked the tall, handsome man with blond hair, blue eyes and in prison clothes. That was an impossible sight to see! He had the looks and built of a soldier, but had the weariness and dreariness of a prisoner. The blond tilted his head to the side and frowned, holding up a piece of bread for him. “Don’t be afraid, here.” He took the small man’s hand and placed a piece of bread inside of it. “I promise, nothing of drugs and poison are inside. Mind if I sit, my feet are aching like mad!” He didn’t wait for a response and settled down next to him. “Oh, this is a relief. I hope you don’t mind I sit here, I just needed to rest after such a long day.”
“… Y-you’re not s-s-scared?” the smaller man finally squeaked, clutching the bread as if it was part of his soul trying to float away. How and why was he taking all this so… casually? As if he were on vacation?
“I’m sorry?” He didn’t seem to hear him and then paused. “Oh, why am I not scared? You’re mistaken, good sir. I’m terrified, really.” He chuckled and shrugged. “But I cannot show my weakness or my sadness. I must be brave.”
“Wh-why?” He was starting to get angry. Was he new here and didn’t receive the treatment as the others?
“My brother is here because of me.” The smaller man made a small noise of confusion and the blond chuckled. “It’s understandable for the confusion. My brother… my sweet little brother, he was asked to join the army along with me. He refused and… well, he was betraying the country and was sent here. They asked me to join, even offering a high position for me.” He shook his head. “I join the army fighting for a horrid cause while my brother dies all alone in a camp? I refused and… they took our entire family.” He sighed, the smile on his face fading for a moment. “My brother and I are the only ones left. And he is so scared. I must put on a brave face for him. I don’t know how much longer it can go, but if I can smile, perhaps he will have the strength to get through this. I think I owe my brother a life more than anything.”
The small man’s anger was gone and he whimpered. “Oh no, don’t cry,” the taller man cooed and petted his hair. “Don’t feel bad. You and I both are suffering. Maybe you more than me, but I think you will survive all this, unlike me.” He sighed and wrapped an arm around him, pulling him into a hug and frowning when the poor man flinched violently. “What’s wrong?”
“Wh-why are y-you so n-nice to m-me?” he whimpered and tried to huddle into a ball. “Y-you’re… n-not like o-our people.”
“Would you rather have me hit you or hug you?” the blond man asked. The only answer he got was another sad whimper. “Plus, it seemed like you needed one.” He gave him a small squeeze in the hug and smiled with a sigh. “Every night and every morning, I hug my brother tightly. Sometimes he will cry or squirm away, but in the end, I knew he really needed one… and you seem like it, too.”
“… I-I wish I had a brother like you,” the small man whispered as he felt him pet his hair.
“I’m flattered,” the blond chuckled while rubbing his back. “Just always remember… everyone likes hugs, whether they want it or not. Heh, Abel, my brother, hates it sometimes… yet he’s wanting it more than he’s ever had in his entire life. I understand the reasons.”
“They are very comforting,” the small man murmured as he hesitantly cuddled to him.
“Yes, of course they are,” the blond replied. “If you knew my brother, I’d ask you to hug him every day. Mm, I wish I had a picture… I hope you meet him soon. I think you’d like him. Heh, he’s the black sheep of the family. He is the only one who has black hair in the family. But he’s got the blue eyes.” He sighed and let him go. “I hope you find him and like him.”
“Wh-where are you going?” The blond just smiled sadly and petted his hair before walking off.
An hour later, the smaller man heard screaming and saw guards take away a prisoner who had thrown himself against the electric fence. There was another man being held back as they dragged the body away, and he wouldn’t stop shrieking and sobbing hysterically while the guards yanked him to his feet to pull him back. “NO, MY BROTHER!!! GIVE HIM BACK TO ME, GABRIEL!!!” the sobbing man screamed until he was hit in the stomach. The crying man had black hair and blue eyes. The dead body was a blond.
“Ah!” Abel flinched and craned his neck over his shoulder to see Alfons hugging him from behind. “Alfons, I’m trying to work.”
“You needed a hug,” his friend cooed and nuzzled him between his shoulder blades. “Abel, how is Annette?”
“She’s doing well,” Abel responded, glancing at the framed photo of his wedding day on his desk. “Mm, we’re thinking of starting a family soon.”
“Oh that’s wonderful!” Alfons cried and squeezed him tightly.
“Ah, Alfons I don’t want a hug!”
“Everyone wants a hug, whether they like it or not,” Alfons huffed and looked over the taller man’s shoulder to pout at him.
“Hmm, my brother used to say that all the time,” Abel sighed and rubbed his forehead.
“And he was right,” Alfons huffed and pulled him closer into the hug.
“I wish you could have met him… I think he would have liked you,” Abel sighed as he leaned against him.
“I think you are right.”