Title: Reborn

Artist/Author:KivaEmber

Character(s)/Pairing(s):Young!Prussia, Adult!Prussia, Russia, Germany

Rating: T+

Summary: Re_Born verse. Interlude. "And the rest is silence."

A/N: Well, it's...been a long while since I updated this. Sorry about that. I've been a bit busy with real life - and still am, actually - and lost my motivation to right Reborn-verse. I doubt anyone will still remember this story any more but...well I'm going to give it another crack. I'm continuing it here, however AO3's version will be the edited one, where I'll edit and redo the past six chapters since I've improved greatly in writing.

So here, have an interlude piece while I start getting back into the swing of it. I'm sorry again for the very long hiatus!

TERMINATE

There was something wrong with this picture, something that he could not press his fingers on – broken, dislocated and crushed under a large boot – even though it was something that he had seen many times. Stain of crimson on grey, and the bitter gagging smell of vodka and rot and – "spill it out all over the fucking battlefield! I wanna see that Austrian's" – blood clogging up in his throat as that pipe, that goddamned pipe clanged near his ear.

"Such a rude glare, East…"

His lips curled back in a snarl, fingers curling as if to – "throttle him sometimes" – but no, the pipe clanged again, body flinching in memory of the metallic sickening crack of it on bones – splintering, straining, but nothing like thosescreamsof his people when they screamedscreamedscreamed – and he held his tongue with sharp teeth. He couldn't-

("What's wrong, West?" he laughed, even though he could barely breathe past the broken ribs and the shackles bit into his wrists a little too tight, "You look like you got dragged through a fucking bush!"

"Bruder, don't-")

-lose his head. He was not to be tamed, even when the pipe – "fuckin' pipe" – bruised his skin into mottled purples and blues and splintered bones into shrapnel as that empty rotting bitter cell echoed with his screams – "I'm sorry, East. Are my people tearing into yours too hard?" – but he knew that outright rebellion was not an option, no sneering remarks or, or, or-

("Hey, now, don't go bawling. You're gonna be a nation someday," blond locks soft against his calloused palm, "Just a fucking scratch. So no-")

-tears, and his thoughts swirled, sickening lurches when cold metal pressed down on the hollow of his throat. Swallow. No movement even when – ah! Screams renewed again, though he couldn't decipher if they were his or his people's when another pressing crush against soft women and fragile children smashed them but still burning with his pride – "Prussian pride and virtues…though not much virtue, hah!" – ah, ah, ah, no matter for the pipe swung down again on his breastbone and heard something break.

"You're being very rude," A sigh, and the pipe lifted, then came down in a sharp crack once more. "Very, very rude."

Heart was pounding – badumbadumbadum, the tattoo of war drums – against the fractured bone, blood gurgling in his throat as – crack – again, ahh, again, again, until splotches of white, flickered, bright-

(-blue eyes blinked up at him as he grinned. "You shall be called…hmm…Ludwig. 'Famous warrior', yeah, nice ring to it! An awesome name for you, littleGermany!"

"Ludwig?" Bright eyes widened, awe and gratitude.

"Yeah, what, hard of hearing already? Hah! And you're barely a year old! The old fogies taken over you so quickly?" Ruffled that blond hair, softness tickling between his fingers, lovely, like, a gold shimmering heaven sliding between his battle worn fingers.

Something so soft and innocent, about to get warped by battle-)

Screams were distant noises, just a buzzing echo of something so detached from reality, even when they choked, degrading to gurgled gags over the sickening thudthudthud – oh dear, another broken rib. My, my, my– as the bright flashes flashed faster until he was plummeting into nothingness and oh Gott he was burning and dying and all he could see was those bright blue eyes and soft gold hair of heaven and sweet smelling grass as as as as as

"He's going into shock – again, dose him up-"

"Breaking easier now-"

(The boy nation held out small blue forget-me-nots and he plucked the fragile flowers from the boy's hand, twirling them as the sun caught that golden hair…

"You'll be a great nation," He promised, baring his teeth into a feral grin – the only grin he knew – but the boy didn't quail, just smiled wider and held his hand, still flecked with the blood on past battles and sang out in that beautiful childish voice,

"Only because Bruder says I will be," that hair truly was heaven, brighter and purer than any gold he saw-)

"-diac arrest! Too much strain-"

Heart burst out and-

("Do you really lo-")

He woke up screaming and screaming because the phantom agony was still wracking his body and someone was holding his shoulders and – itwasthe – flailed, trying to claw it away with unbound limbs and renewed desperate vigour and –

"Gilbert!" The voice, familiar and panicked, cut through his terror, and he realised, in a flash of veteran clarity of how he was acting like a fresh faced soldier caught in the corner, a wounded animal lashing out at anything who came within range of curved claws, before it was swept up in the maelstrom of –

Suddenly there was no screaming and he was clutching at soft fabric, his face pressed into the firmness of warm body, as he wailed – long broken and reminiscent of the howls of the wives of those soldiers still rotting in the ground – the remnants of that dreammemorynightmarehell seeping away into the cracks of his brain.

"Gilbert, shhh, Gilbert…it's alright, okay…"

Okay? Yes, nothing was wrong. Okay? Yes, Bruder West was here now. Okay? Y-yes, the monster was gone now. Okay? Y-ye-

Blackness swirled, creeping up on his vision, and he just welcomed it, because the cluttered pictures were jarring, not fitting into their puzzle shapes, and straining against the insides of his skull. He wanted to sleep –"ever hear the story of the Sleeping King?" – just, yes, sleep, in the warmth and low rumble of thunder – Bruder West voice was like a tiger, a growl– chasing the last skittering remains of that hell into the corners.

"I'm sorry, Little East. Did I hit too hard?"

And jerked just before sleep claimed him, because that ice cold purr cut through Bruder West's voice, and in his mind flashed the terror of the bitter, rotting smell of the monster with the pipe.

Fin.