Hello everyone! Thank you so much for reading all of this, I really hope you enjoyed it. It's been a blast writing this! Seeing as this is the last chapter, please leave a review!

Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia Axis Powers

Age Twenty-Six

One Word

The credits of the movie rolled, the black screen filled with dozens of names in a small font as soft, sorrowful piano music played in the background Ludwig stared at the screen silently, eyebrows scrunched, and Feliciano squeezed Ludwig's hand tightly, drawing the German's attention away from the screen. The shorter male was clearly distraught by the ending of the film, eyes glassy. After a moment, Feliciano threw himself into Ludwig's arms, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend's muscular torso. Not wasting a moment, Ludwig returned the gesture, rubbing small circles on Feliciano's back.

They sat there for a while, silently embracing as Feliciano struggled to think happy thoughts. The movie they had finished was supposed to be a romantic comedy, but instead it had taken a dark turn. It had started off ordinarily enough, with the boy and girl meeting whilst the boy was her waiter. They fall in love at first sight, and it's later revealed that the girl is deaf. But, they persevere, although the girl's mother tries to tear them apart, their love is pure and steady. In the end, the girl goes to get surgery so she can hear his voice, and the boy dies of a fatal disease the same day. Although she never got to hear his voice, he had left a cassette tape of him singing a song he wrote about her. The movie, Listen To Your Heart, hadn't turned out as expected. It left a bittersweet aftertaste, like when you order a coffee and it tastes far more bitter than expected, so you have to dump packets of sugar in the cup until you're satisfied with it.

Eventually, Feliciano calmed and he pulled himself away from Ludwig's hard chest, smiling weakly.

"Do you want to go for a walk?" Ludwig asked, thinking of how he could make Feliciano's radiant smile reappear. "You can grab your sketchbook."

Feliciano's smile grew, and he nodded before running towards the stairs that lead to his studio, where he stored his endless paintings, sketchbooks and other art supplies. A few years ago, when they were twenty-three and had happily been together for over four years, they bought a house together. It wasn't anything big or fancy, although it was a rather decent size, it was cozy and had enough room for the three large dogs Ludwig loved. The house constantly smelled like oil paints, pasta and dog hair, and there was nothing Ludwig loved more.

For the first time in his life, Ludwig finally had a place that he wanted to call home.

Feliciano trotted back down the stairs, like a happy dog, canvas bag filled with art supplies in tow. Ludwig's lips turned upwards at the sight, and he grabbed the keys off the hook before opening the front door for Feliciano and closing the door behind them.

They walked, and Feliciano grabbed Ludwig's hand, holding it tightly. Fingers entwined, they continued on. The sky was turning from a light blue to orange, and Ludwig admired the complimentary colors. There was a soft breeze brushing his hair back in the summer heat, and the flowers around them sparkled, the golden sunlight dancing off the dewdrops on the vibrant petals.

After a few moments, the couple reached their destination. It wasn't anything special, just a simple park with brilliantly colored flowers and a comfortably old park bench near a large tree. There was a gazebo a few metres away, with chipped white paint and creaky steps.

The two plunked down on the bench, and Feliciano wasted no time, pulling out his sketchbook and flipping to an empty page in the back. Ludwig leaned back on the bench, realizing he hadn't brought anything for himself to do, and stared at the branches of the tree above his head. Sunlight filtered through, and after a moment Feliciano tapped on his arm, causing him to snap out of his daze and glance at his boyfriend.

'Luddy, I figured you'd forget to bring anything for yourself, so I grabbed your book from the bedroom for you!' Feliciano signed, grinning as his hands made the motions.

Ludwig paused before accepting the book, with a whispered word of gratitude. Flipping open the cover, Ludwig stared at the page but didn't read the words as he secretly glanced at Feliciano's sketchpad from the corner of his eyes, watching as Feliciano's tanned hands made perfect, precise and practiced motions like a figure skater performing the routine.

Gott, he just absolutely loved Feliciano. Why was it that someone like him got to feel such an emotion? How was it that someone like him was able to receive it as well? He loved Feliciano with everything he had. Feliciano was the first thing he thought of when he woke up and the last thing before he fell asleep. When they walked, their hands were pressed together. Feliciano was the one who convinced him to live, using goofy smiles, excited hugs and light kisses to make him enjoy waking up each day. Feliciano was the one who kissed his scars, his cheeks and his lips, he was the one who made him smile after a long day of work.

When he thought about Feliciano, his heart thudded in his chest and he had to repress a smile. When he was growing up, smiles had tended to be rare and forced. He had always been so focused on his studies, never giving himself a break, and beating himself up when he answered a question wrong. But now, his smiles came daily, even if just for a moment. When he pushed himself too hard, Feliciano was there to comfort him and make him take a well deserved nap.

Never in his life had Ludwig thought that he'd have a chance to love and be loved like this. It was almost unimaginable for him. Feliciano was so close, their knees were pressing together on the bench, and there was a certain kind of warmth and comfort radiated from that small form of contact. Feliciano was the light of his life.

Feliciano turned towards him, wearing a brilliant smile as he revealed his work in progress on the sketchbook page. So far, it was a sketch of Ludwig from the side, sitting on the park bench, book in hand, flowers blooming around the base of his feet. The sunset was partly colored in, oil pastels of orange and red staining Feliciano's fingers, evidence of his work. The Ludwig in the sketchbook had such a serene, peaceful expression, the corners of his mouth turned upwards.

Was that really the face he made when he was thinking of Feliciano? He glanced at the Italian's joyful expression, and realized that was exactly it. He couldn't even think about Feliciano without smiling. Ludwig's heart swelled as he looked at the drawing, and a content blush tinged his cheeks.

"It's beautiful, Feli. Thank you."

Feliciano nodded happily, turning back towards the sketchbook and resuming his job of adding color to the sunset.

And Ludwig was left thinking about how he just loved Feliciano so much, that he didn't know what to do. It was an incredible feeling, and Ludwig wished there was something he could do to have them be even closer to each other. They were already dating, they lived in the house they bought together, they had three dogs, had hugged and kissed, so what else could there possibly be? What else could he do to show Feliciano that he loved him more than the world?

"...Marry me." Ludwig whispered, more to himself than his partner. That was it, that was what he had to do.

Feliciano looked towards him, tilting his head to the side in confusion, obviously not having heard him. He placed his sketchbook in his lap, still holding a deep red marker in his hand.

Oh Gott, this wasn't how he had wanted to do this. He had been planning to wait another year or two, and plan a simple yet rememberable event at Feliciano's favorite classy restaurant. Even though he knew that, Ludwig couldn't seem to stop the words from spilling from his lips.

"Feliciano, will you marry me?" Ludwig repeated, staring at the cover of the book in his hands before pausing and fumbling for words, yet it seemed as if every word in the English language flew from his mind. What if Feliciano didn't want to get married? What if he was just making a fool of himself? "I love you, Feliciano. A-And..." He turned towards his boyfriend, trying not to let the shocked expression he saw weigh on him. Ludwig steeled himself before continuing. "And I want you to know that I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Blue eyes met golden brown, and Ludwig's heart was pounding so hard he could hear it in his ears. What was he thinking? He didn't even have engagement rings. Ludwig's usually comfortable shirt felt hot and stuffy, and he almost regretted saying anything at all until he saw Feliciano visibly register the question, his expression changing from surprise to shocked to glassy eyes and a smile so bright it made the sun and the stars look dull and void.

Feliciano uncapped the marker in his hand, leaning over and gently grabbing Ludwig's pale and scarred wrist. Ludwig could feel the tip of the marker against his skin, and when Feliciano pulled his hand back, Ludwig didn't have a chance to glance at the written answer before Feliciano kissed him, sweet and pure, trying to convey the emotions he could not share with words. Pulling away, the first thing Ludwig saw was Feliciano's beaming smile, followed by his own wrist.

'Yes.' was written in red marker, along with a small heart, overlapping the old self-inflicted scars.

Not wasting another moment, Ludwig pulled Feliciano into another kiss, the sun continuing to set in the background. The sky was painted red and gold, purple and pink, a beautiful swirling mixture of clouds and colors, but the couple sitting on the park bench were too invested in their own little world to notice the sky above them.

At age twenty-six, Ludwig Beilschmidt still didn't have words besides the inky writing of Feliciano's answer on his wrist. He didn't have the type of words everyone else did, and he knew he never would, but he accepted that. Although, Ludwig knew, as he leaned in for one more kiss from his fiancé, that he was soon to have a shining silver ring on his left hand to prove that he was in fact, not plain, and most definitely not alone.


Vote: Would you like a one-shot about the wedding? Or an Ebene story from Felicano's POV?