-Author's Notes-

Letters through history~ Next, on (fucking insane) PBS.

This is just a brain dump. I started writing letters back and forth between the brothers... and then I just couldn't stop. Not until I had pages and pages full of the stupid things.

So I took the only logical road and made them into a fic. Yikes.

I really do love writing notes though. Especially when there's an actual person on the other end and not just my insane and depraved imagination.

Also, I really, really hate how won't let you use strikeouts. It's really not the same without them... but you guys can figure it out.

Warnings: Germancest, Language, Light makeouts, Not related to actual history stuff at all... that bout covers it

----------

Simple Correspondence

-----

WEST!

I stuck this note in your textbook to remind you not to let Grunnewalt boss you around. I've got some awesome blackmail inclined info we can manipulate if you're worried about him getting on your case, so ditch your lessons and come practice weaponry with me! I promise not to mangle you too much this time.

-Your Awesome Brother

----------

Prussia,

I hope you do not just step over this and ignore it like you have the other three notes I slipped under your door.

Herr Grunnewalt made me copy lines for three hours thanks to that rock you hurled through the library window. Please do not try and instigate another war with my house.

Sincerely,

Germany

----------

West,

Congrats on finding this hidden in your sock drawer. And thanks for the extra pair of socks, by the way.

Stop whining. The dullness has seeped into your very bones, and it's up to me to save you. I'll be dropping in on your history lesson to give a surprise guest lecture on our glory in the Seven Years War, complete with live reenactments. Roderich is also looking forward to it. As soon as he finds out.

Try and sneak away after dinner so I can show you that new secret passage I found!

-Your Kick-Ass Brother

----------

Prussia,

You need to get your uniform cleaned. There is so much lint stuck to this pocket that it's starting to form its own lint-based society, complete with systems of government and a complex tax-based welfare system.

The food fight at dinner was unnecessary, by the way. I had to spend half an hour in the washroom rubbing asparagus soup out of my eye.

Also, please release Austria before he comes crying to me again. I cannot bear another impromptu Chopin concert.

Take Care.

-Germany

----------

Hey West.

This had better reach you. I trust this damn messenger boy about as far as I can throw him. Which, granted, is pretty far. Still. It's the principle of the thing.

Sorry I haven't been around lately. Things've been complicated since that whole war mess. You've no idea how humiliating it is to have to ask you this, but… are there any jobs on your end? I wouldn't ask, except that my people are starving, and I've got no one else to turn to.

I'm starting to move beyond angry and towards blinding rage every time I think about how degrading it all is. Something needs to change.

I say we blame Jones.

-Your Brother

----------

Dear Prussia,

Here is that book you asked to borrow. Please take care of it.

I have someone who says he is willing to help. I do not know yet if I can trust him, but like you, I am growing desperate.

I should be in Berlin next week. I would like to see you, if you are not too busy.

-Ludwig

----------

West,

Here's your book back. Sorry about the missing pages. They're currently somewhere between the storm drain on my street and the Mediterranean. You won't miss them. Trust me.

You can't be serious. You're putting your trust in this art school reject? What about that strikes you as a good idea? Is it the moustache? Did the moustache seduce and confuse you?

You shouldn't forget where you come from, or forget how amazingly awesome I was, but-

DAMN IT, WEST! YOU NEE –

Fuck it my nib snapped. Pencil just doesn't have the same effect.

And thanks for standing me up, asshole. I'll see you next time you're in town. Don't bring along any of your new friends. I just want to see you. No politics attached.

-You Know Who

---------

Gilbert-

I'm slipping this inside your boot so the censors won't get to it. Your last note was so covered in black I couldn't even tell who it was from, save for one misspelled word that gave you away.

I miss you, brother.

I wish we were going to be shipped out to the same front, but I think my commander has started to realize that my presence seems only to exacerbate your tendencies for unauthorized mayhem.

Italy says hello.

I hear northern Africa is nice this time of year. Please take care of yourself while you're there.

-Ludwig

----------

West.

Japan promised he'd get this to you. He seems the most reliable of the bunch at the moment.

Africa was a fucking disaster. Tell Italy his country men are a bunch of incompetent, inbred morons who are incapable of even the simplest task. Lot of 'in's to keep straight. Be careful to get them in that order.

I hate this, West. I don't know how much longer we can hold out. Not sure how much longer I even care.

They're using him as a symbol, West. THEY'RE USING HIM AS A GODDAMN SYMBOL OF THEIR OWN IRRATIONAL IDEOLOGY AND IT MAKES ME FUCKING SICK.

I can't believe you're just standing by and letting this happen.

And I can't believe that goddamn bomb didn't work.

This can't even be called fighting anymore. I just want it to be over.

-Who The Fuck Knows

----------

Gilbert.

I need to see you before the meeting. It's urgent.

-Your Brother

----------

My West.

I don't even know if this is going to make it over the border, but I'm gonna try anyway.

Is that collection of assholes treating you okay? I swear to God I'll cave their smug faces in with my boot if they hurt my little brother. Tell them that for me, would you? I know it's kind of an empty threat right now, but it's all about the delivery. Project, West. From the diaphragm.

I'm pretty much staying pleasantly sloshed twenty-four/seven. So far it seems to be working, although I've got this nagging suspicion that sooner or later it's going to come back and bite me in the ass.

How's your jaw? I told you to duck, but I guess that's not really fair considering I could then anticipate your dodging and adjust my punch to compensate. Never knew your head hitting a desk would make that sound. Learn something new every day.

I'm sorry.

Fuck it.

-"East"

----------

Dear East

Dear Gilbert,

Jones said he could get this to you while he's in Berlin. I just pray he isn't stupid enough to hand it off to the wrong person.

I had hoped to see you at the meeting the other day, but it seems Ivan has yet again deemed it necessary to come in your stead. I don't really know how to ask this, but is he treating you decently? I can't really trust the opinions of Jones and the others, since they're rather biased against your house at the moment. It's just that I haven't heard from you in a few decades and sometimes I'm afraid my imagination is running away with me. Other times I'm not so sure.

Brother. Please write back. Even a mere letter from you is better than nothing.

-Ludwig

----------

Dear Gilbert,

This is the fiftieth letter I've sent across the border. Francis tried to send you a postcard of a scantily clad cabaret dancer, but I told him it was grossly inappropriate. In one of my more stupidly charitable moments, I let him attach a small note here in lieu of cheap pornographic material.

*

Mon petit chou Gilbert,

Germany has been rather withholding with information, so I decided to put forth a little more effort on my own part towards contacting you. The Loudmouth, the Eyebrows and I are putting our heads together and working out a solution to this little problem. In all honesty, we simply cannot abide your brother's languishing any longer. The American made some joke about him acting like a 'Tennessee Williams heroine', but Lord only knows what he meant by that. What an obtuse fellow.

We shall go for drinks again soon, mon ami.

Antonio sends his regards.

-Francis~

*

France gave me the most withering glare when I tried to read his little note, so I am working on blind faith that he did not include anything inappropriate. And since he doesn't seem to trust me either and is reading over my shoulder, I am forced to end this letter here.

-Germany

P.S.- I LOVE YOU MON FRÈRE MAKE SWEET SWEET LOVE TO ME

Sorry. France got a hold of it again. The man is such an ass.

----------

Gilbert-

I'm shoving this note in the envelope at the last second so France won't read it.

Every morning, I awake to an empty house. I have come to find that there is precious little else in the world that I hate as much.

It's taken me two wars and an eternity of stupidity to reconcile myself with this truth.

I miss you, brother.

I want you home.

Ludwig

----------

Dear Germany,

Please stop sending letters to my little East. It's hard to sift through all the mail to fish them out. : (

And he's not yours anymore, you know.

Sincerely,

Ivan

P.S. – I hope you enjoy the pudding I left on your doorstep! Make sure to share it with your American and British friends! : D

----------

Gilbert,

Please don't shoot Roderich when he shows up with the letter he was kind enough to deliver.

I heard Elizaveta opened her home to you.

Please contact me the minute you are able.

Ludwig

----------

West,

Told you I could pass a note in the middle of a treaty meeting and not get caught. My bad-assness remains unchallenged.

Stop glaring at Russia from across the table. You already punched him in the face once today. That meets my quota.

And what in fuck's name is Bonnefoy doing? He keeps making this weird...gooey face. Like he wants to jump me. Creepy.

----------

HA HA WEST.

That's what you get for trying to mimic me. Told you I'm the only one talented enough to relay awesomely secret messages across the room without Jones getting his nosy hands on them.

And what the hell did you write that could make that guy blush? Seriously. Americans must be even bigger prudes than you.

And thanks for the welcome home hug. Although couldn't it have waited until we weren't in front of everyone we know ever? I'm just saying if people see me getting all caught up in the moment because you can't stop crying like a little girl, they're going to think we're both a couple of pansies.

And I missed you too, you idiot. Stop looking at me like that.

----------

Germany~!

I heard your brother came home! Romano and I want to come and visit~ maybe we can drag Kiku over too!

So when can I bother you? You haven't been out of your house for almost a month. I'd be worried except that I know your big brother is probably just taking care of you, right?

I miss you, Germany! Kiss kiss!

Love,

Feliciano

Romano here.

I refuse to go over to your house. Veneziano is just being clingier than usual since your potato ass isn't around to bother.

But tell that psychotic brother of yours that Antonio says hello. And something about reuniting the 'Bad Friend Brigade'. I've got no idea what the fuck he's talking about, but I told him I'd pass the message on anyways.

Eat shit and die.

Sincerely,

Lovino

----------

Wakey Wakey, West!

Bonnefoy came by and made us crepes for breakfast. But since you stole the covers again last night and left your amazing brother to freeze in the cold, I ate all the chocolate ones before you got up. My vengeance is swift and just.

And what's with your near-comatose state anyway? You barely even moved when I duct-taped this note to your massive forehead. You must really be needing your beauty sleep after this fucking weird century we've had or something, cause your ass is hard to wake up.

We still going to the zoo today like you promised? I want to feed a tiger.

Lov-

----------

Gilbert-

I was starting to think you never shower considering how long it's taken you to find this note taped to your shampoo.

That damn duct-tape cost me an eyebrow. I'm prepared to extract some vengeance of my own for reparation purposes.

Watch your back, brother.

Ludwig

----------

-West-

Ludwig.

I hope you never find these notes. I've hidden them in the one place you'll never look: your old uniform pocket. Can't say I really blame you. Some things are just better left where they are.

These are all from during and just after the war. If you ever do find them, I'm probably going to go into hiding for a few decades just to recover from the shame. But it didn't feel right not giving them to you. They're ultimately yours, after all.

I've failed you as a brother. Totally and utterly. Part of me wishes we could be like those idiot Italians. Minus the missing chromosomes, of course. What I mean is, just brothers. Nothing else. But we both know that's not possible. Not anymore. Not like it ever was even an option, really, being the fucked up things we are.

I love you. Way more than I should. And if I didn't know it before, re-reading some of these pathetic scribblings is kind of kicking me in the balls with the over-the-top whiny neediness that I seem to have buried somewhere inside me. I can barely recognize myself in them.

Mein Gott but I hope you never find this. And even if you do, you have to promise not to tell me. Don't even try and do that stupid thing where you skirt around a subject for ages and make me super pissed and make yourself super nervous until we both just explode at each other and you have to go off and scrub the house and bake and shit like that and I have to go take over another nation's pool house for a while just to get the hell out of your bubble of creepy fifties-style domesticity.

Fuck it. I should just burn the things. But it looks like I don't have the balls to even do that. The hell happened to me.

Please don't hate me for this.

Gilbert

----------

Here's this weeks grocery list.

And next time, pick a better hiding place.

Schnitzel for dinner?

-Ludwig

--------

Gilbert,

I'm leaving this plate of food out here in the foolish hope that you might actually eat something that isn't served as an accompaniment to hard liquor.

I'm sorry I brought it up. Please come out of the room. I kind of miss sleeping in my own bed. At least let me grab my toothbrush from the bathroom.

I don't know how many times I have to tell you this before you actually believe me.

I love you too.

Idiot.

-Ludwig

----------

Cheap shot, West.

Thanks for the food.

I'm spending the night at Antonio's place. You can have the bed.

----------

Gilbert,

That wasn't what I meant and you know it. And I'm going to keep sending Feliciano over to Spain's until you come home.

The dogs miss you.

----------

Hey Germany!

Here's that bushel of tomatoes I promised. We had an excellent harvest this year, so if you want any more, just let me know.

On an unrelated note, can you come get your brother? He's been passed out on my living room couch for about a week now and he's starting to smell.

He told me a bit about what's going on, and to be honest, I've got not idea what he's talking about. I thought you two were already like… together? Haha, am I just completely dense? Anyway, he just talks about you all the time. I think it's starting to get on Lovino's nerves.

So if you could come fetch him, that'd be great. Not that I begrudge his company or anything, I just think he misses you even more than he's letting on.

See you,

Antonio

Germany get your goddamn brother off my motherfucking couch you potato asshole. He keeps stealing my wine.

-Romano

----------

West,

I told you I'd have to go into hiding to recover from the shame. Don't know why you were so surprised.

I walked the dogs and took out the trash. Be careful not to let the shock kill you.

Sorry I jumped you last night. Guess I was just glad to see you again after all. A fractured spine shouldn't take that long to heal, right?

Kirkland invited me for breakfast, so I'm off for a while. Be back later.

Seriously. I'll be back. I promise. So don't freak out and call the UN like you did last time, okay?

Love you.

Gilbert

----------

Gilbert-

I didn't actually call the UN. Just had them on speed-dial. This is a fine line of neuroticism I walk, and I'll ask that you respect it.

Don't forget we have another meeting tomorrow.

Thanks for leaving a note. It means a lot to me.

I'll see you for lunch.

Love,

Ludwig

----------

Bundesrepublik Deutschland,

FOR FUCK'S SAKE GET A ROOM.

Bloody hell. That's the last thing I need to see before a stressful meeting.

Also, Weillschmidt. You left your coat at my house. I'm holding it hostage until you promise not to ravage your brother on top of the conference table anymore.

-I'm happy for you guys-

You are sick, twisted individuals. Also we need to talk hush money. I'm thinking a few thousand pounds a month, or else I tell Alfred everything. And you know he can't keep a secret to save his life.

Cheers,

Arthur

P.S. – Pub crawl next Friday?

----------

Kirkland –

Nice try. But you know the instant you tell Jones anything even remotely related to sex, his mind shuts down and he just babbles like even more of an idiot for about a week until he rediscovers the joys of compulsive eating.

You sure you're ready for me to drink you under the table again? We all know how well that tuned out last time. I seem to remember a strip tease and a flurry of eyebrows that for some reason makes me nauseous beyond belief.

And thanks for not commenting on the whole ... incest sorta...thing. Not like you're one to talk though, right? But sometimes if I think about it too hard, I get a massive headache that only a brief venture into the land of alcoholism can cure.

Let's get a head start with that on Friday.

-Gilbert

----------

Dear Germany-san,

Please enjoy this seasonal dish from my northern provinces. I believe you will find it a pleasant accompaniment to these long winter evenings. Heat over an open fire until it boils, and then you may dip the various ingredients in the sauce provided. It is best enjoyed with family and friends, although it saddens me that I will be unable to join you for this particular gathering.

By the by, I have been hearing rumors revolving around you and your brother. This is most auspicious news! I remember well the way you used to relay tales of his numerous exploits in such a fond and loving voice. He is a courageous figure, and a fine match for you in terms of temperament. I believe that he too may very well benefit from your affections.

I look forward to our next meeting. Take care not to burn your tongue on the stew.

Best Regards,

Honda

(Japan)

*******

Ludwig scanned the last few lines of the letter, a quiet smile lingering on his face. He carefully folded the note and placed it alongside the other scraps of paper he had collected over the decades in a battered ammunitions box. Suddenly the door to his bedroom burst open as Gilbert made his usual unnecessarily violent entrance.

"West! The fuck, man? I've been callin' for you for almost an hour!"

Ludwig attempted to shield the box from his brother's gaze as he stammered out a reply. "I was just, ah... organizing my...my desk."

Gilbert raised one pale eyebrow. "You just organized it yesterday. Even you can't be that much of an obsessive compulsive freak." The shorter man stood on his toes, peering around his brother's large form. "Are you... are you hidin' somethin' from me? Is that porn?"

"NO." Ludwig's voice cracked slightly as it reached an octave no self-respecting baritone should ever attain.

Gilbert just stared at him. "...Convincing. Fork it over."

Ludwig fiddled with the box, turning it over in his large hands to stare at the pitted metal surface. Finally he sighed, and held it out towards his brother. Gilbert snatched the box out of the taller man's hands with a vivid expression of child-like interest on his face. He pried the top off, but his expression fell when his eager fingers encountered nothing but scraps of paper.

"What the..." Gilbert fished out the first sheet and unfolded it, his red eyes scanning the surface quickly. He picked up the next, walking over to perch on the edge of the bed, his eyes flicking back and forth as he read. Finally, he growled and simply upended the entire box onto his lap. Hundreds of sheets of paper spilled out of the thing, cascading over the side of the bed and onto the floor. Gilbert looked up at his brother, his mouth a thin line.

"Tell me this isn't what I think it is."

Ludwig averted his gaze. "...I-"

Gilbert didn't wait for him to finish. "A pansy-ass letter collection? Are you serious?"

Ludwig crossed his arms over his chest, eyes still trained on the floor. "Keep in mind the debt we owe to those 'pansy ass' letters. I thought it prudent to keep them."

Gilbert scowled. "Leave sentimentality to the rest of 'em. I brought you up to be a hell-raisin' bad ass. Not some chick flick lovin' letter collector."

Ludwig's blue eyes flickered up to meet his brother's gaze. "You thought they were worth keeping once," he murmured quietly, bending down to retrieve the fallen letters, placing them one by one inside the box.

Gilbert clenched his hands, his knuckles turning white. "...I-...It's not..."

The platinum haired man fumbled for words for a moment before heaving an overly loud sigh and dropping to his knees to help his brother. The two worked silently, and soon the box was full again. Ludwig closed the top with a snap and rose to his feet, striding over to the desk to place the metal container back in its usual hiding place. As he shut the drawer, Ludwig could feel his brother's eyes on the back of his neck. He turned around just in time to let out a weak noise of protest as Gilbert tugged him backwards to fall on the bed.

The older man joined Ludwig, crawling forward to sprawl on top of the blonde's chest. Gilbert buried his face in the crook of his brother's neck, curling his arms and knees up underneath himself to support his weight. Ludwig's blue eyes widened in surprise, but he wrapped his arms around the older man, holding Gilbert against his chest.

"Gilbert? What-"

"West..."

Gilbert's voice was muffled against his brother's neck.

Ludwig cautiously ran his fingers up and down the older man's spine. "Hm?"

"...Are you sure we can't just burn the damn things?"

Ludwig smiled wearily. "Sorry."

They remained like that for a moment, before Gilbert rolled over on his side, pulling Ludwig along with him. He reached out and brushed the back of his knuckles against the blonde's cheek, his red eyes dark and unreadable. Ludwig leaned into the touch, lacing his fingers with his brothers. He frowned. "You're acting weird."

Gilbert's eye twitched. "I hate them."

"Who?"

"What."

Ludwig gave a small 'ah' of understanding. "The letters."

Gilbert didn't respond. Ludwig shifted slightly to fish his wallet out of his back pocket, flipping it open and retrieving a worn and bloodstained piece of paper. He gently took Gilbert's hand and pressed the scrap into his brother's scarred palm.

Gilbert's eyes flicked up to fix Ludwig with an inquisitive stare. Ludwig just shook his head, and closed the older man's fingers around the note before sitting up and walking out of the room. He called out over his shoulder, "I'm going to go fix dinner. Spätzle okay?"

Gilbert sat up as well, narrowed eyes following his brother. "Yeah, West. Whatever." He listened to the distant sound of Ludwig trekking down the stairs, taking them two at a time like the blonde always did. Gilbert fiddled with the worn piece of paper before cursing and ripping the thing open. His red eyes skimmed the lines quickly, his hand starting to shake slightly as he read.

"God... dammit."

Gilbert lowered his head to rest in his hands, letting the letter fall next to him on the bed. He remained like that for what seemed like hours, listening to the distant sounds of Ludwig clattering around the kitchen fixing dinner. He could faintly hear the blonde humming absently to himself, and Gilbert smiled faintly.

"You're such a dork, little brother..."

A few more minutes passed in relative peace, when suddenly Gilbert sprang to his feet, barreling out of the room at a haphazard speed. He took the stairs three at a time, stumbling over the landing and almost dashing his brains out against the banister. The platinum haired man skidded into the kitchen, bracing himself against the table to keep from falling over. Ludwig was standing in front of the stove, and he turned around to raise one blonde eyebrow at the older man.

"What in God's name-"

A moment later, Gilbert was in his arms, kissing him fiercely, muttering over and over again against his lips, "You ass...you stupid, stupid ass..."

Ludwig struggled to pull away. "Gil-Gilbert wait a sec-"

"Shut up, West," Gilbert panted, wrapping his arms around the taller man's neck to pull himself closer.

"Mmf-" Ludwig pried his brother off of him and pushed the pale man against the counter and away from the stove.

"Ow! Fuckin' ow! The hell was that for?" Gilbert managed to look indignant for about half a second before throwing himself at Ludwig again.

Ludwig ran his hands down the older man's back and broke away long enough to mumble, "My shirt was catching on fire."

"Totally worth it..." Gilbert murmured and let Ludwig lift him up to sit on top of the counter so he could loom over his brother. They kissed again, the reversed difference in height forcing Ludwig to have to press up against the counter to reach the older man's lips. Gilbert suddenly broke away and smirked, tilting Ludwig's chin upwards so he could study his brother's face. The platinum haired man's normal cavalier expression faltered slightly, and he ran a rough thumb over Ludwig's prominent cheekbones. Gilbert's breathing slowed and steadied, and he worried at his bottom lip, letting his hand fall back to his sides as he met Ludwig's blue eyes.

"I can't... believe you kept that. How long-"

"One hundred and twenty seven years." Ludwig rested his hands on his brother's knees. "Almost to the day."

The corner of Gilbert's mouth twitched. "How did such an awesome guy like me end up with history's biggest nerd for a brother?"

"Karma," Ludwig said quietly, running his calloused hands slowly up the older man's thighs."Ridiculously good karma for God knows why."

"Hmm," Gilbert sighed resting his forehead on his brother's shoulder. "Too intangible. Let's find a way to blame it on your letters so I'll have an excuse to flambe them."

Ludwig smiled and pressed a kiss against Gilbert's collar bone. "I'll do my best."

Gilbert snickered, and opened his mouth to say something, but then he paused, pulling away from his brother with a slight frown. "West?"

"Yeah?"

"What'd you say was for dinner again?"

"Käsespätzle."

"Huh. Hard to tell."

"Why's that."

"All charcoal blackened food tends to smell the same to me."

Ludwig's eyes flew open and he muttered a quick "Shit!" under his breath before abandoning the older man to try and salvage the most likely ruined dinner.

Gilbert's derisive laughter echoed through the house and up to the second floor, where the tattered scrap of paper lay abandoned atop the bed. The bloodstained note fluttered open in the soft spring breeze that drifted through the open window, almost glowing in the warm orange light of the setting sun.

******

-Deutschen Kaiserreichs-

West-

That other thing is too long to say. I'm just going to call you West.

This will be my first official letter to you, nation to nation. And you'd better damn well treasure it. In a couple of decades I'm going to check, and if you don't have it somewhere on your person, I'm shipping you off to Russia's house for half a century or so just to teach you a lesson.

Don't complain. And get used to it. I'm not always going to be nice - that's not what big brothers are for. Big brothers are for shoving your face in the dirt every once in a while to remind you of your place in the world. To toughen you up so you can go kick ass unsupervised and unfettered.

But big brothers also for beating the shit out of anything that dares to mess with you. For fixing things when you screw up. For making sure there aren't any ghosts under your bed or monsters in the woods. Or, if by some miracle there are, for teaching you how to fight their monster asses in style.

I know we're not flesh and blood family like others are. We don't die like they do, either. Who the shit wants to be like those peons anyway? We're above them, West.

But being alone is the worst- regardless of how much time you spend trying to convince yourself otherwise. Trust me. And where we come from, being alone... kind of comes with the territory. So that's why I'm going to make sure you never are. Whenever you're scared, or lonely, or any of those other wussy emotion sorts of things, all you have to do is take out this letter and read it.

I don't know how long I'm going to be around, and I know that a sheet of paper is a poor substitute for my awesomeness. But at least this way you'll have something to remember your history by. Even if it is just a worthless scrap.

And no matter how many times you fuck up or I fuck up or we fuck up collectively, no matter what anyone else does to our house or what idiotic things our bosses make us do, I know we're going to be able to pick up the pieces and move on. Because neither of us is alone anymore.

Now let's go make history our bitch.

Your Brother,

Gilbert