At times, Roderich wondered whether Gilbert had been born for the sole purpose of antagonizing him through creating a seemingly endless stream of nuisance. Just a few days ago, the blond had shown up on his doorstep while being completely and utterly drunk for what seemed to be the tenth time this month, forcing him to take care of the smashed nation until Ludwig came to pick his troublesome brother up a few hours later. Yesterday, the same blond had the gall to leave muddy footprints all over his house, staining the pristine hallways and expensive carpets with some sort of dirt that proved to be extremely difficult to clean—especially from the carpets.
Today, that particular blond was sitting, no, draping himself over the couch that stood just a few meters away from the piano, grinning that haughty, devilish grin of his as he—deliberately, no doubt—stared at him with an intensity that would make a weak-willed person falter. Perhaps he was trying to make him miss a note or something of the sort, so that he could poke fun at his mistake. As if that would happen, the pianist scoffed silently, continuing to play the piece with impeccable calmness.
"Hey, specs," Gilbert suddenly said, his voice just loud enough to be heard over the rather threatening melody the brunet had been playing for the last couple of minutes, "I'm hungry. Make me something to eat."
Roderich let out a soft sigh and lifted his fingers off the keys, not liking how he had to end the piece so abruptly. "I suggest you return to your brother's house, then," he calmly said, throwing a cold look at the blond. "It is almost lunch time now; Ludwig must have—"
"Don't act dumb, you jerk," the Prussian cut in, a hint of exasperation slipping onto his expression, "It's your fault I can't go back right now."
The brunet's lips curved into a thin smirk of satisfaction as he let out a soft chuckle. "Ah, I take it your brother was unhappy about the bill?"
"Unhappy?" Gilbert lifted an eyebrow in a mixture of annoyance and mock disbelief. "Hell, I could barely slip out of the place without getting killed!"
"Serves you right," the Austrian curtly replied as he stood up from his seat, turning to face the blond, who was scowling at him. "And if you would rather not have another cleaning bill sent to your brother," he continued a few moments later, a displeased expression replacing his smirk, "I suggest you move your feet off the couch before you soil the velvet."
The platinum blond's mischievous grin returned to his face. "Then make me something to eat," he demanded once again, wasting no time in taking the chance to get Roderich to do what he wanted him to.
"Need I remind you that I will send—"
"Go on and try. I'll just come here to bother you again," the Prussian confidently said, though he was careful not to dirty the couch—and no, he was definitely not doing that because the aristocrat's threat was working on him. "I'm not afraid of West, by the way."
"So claims he who isn't brave enough to return home and face his own brother."
"...Must you be so god damn annoying all the time, young master?"
The brunet's lips curved into a thin, polite yet mocking smile. "Only to a select few."
"Oh, I'm honored to be one of them," Gilbert sarcastically replied, rolling his eyes. "Anyway, hurry up and make me something. I'm starving here."
The Austrian sighed quietly. It didn't seem like the blond was going to drop the matter anytime soon. "Very well," he finally said, doing his best to ignore the annoying victorious look on Gilbert's face, "What would you like to eat?"
The Prussian fell silent for a moment as he contemplated on what, exactly, would he have the other nation make. To be honest, he wasn't all that hungry; he'd simply spoken up just to bother the brunet, perhaps distract him from the piano a little, since he was starting to find the lack of attention a bit annoying. After all the effort he'd exerted just to come here, one would think he deserved more than a vague attempt to chase him out—oh, of course he knew why that aristocrat decided to play such a scary piece. They'd known each other for a couple of centuries, after all.
Now, what should he have the brunet make? Something along the lines of meat and potatoes? No, Roderich would just tell him to go home and ask his brother for some. Besides, he wasn't that hungry—
"Would you please be prompt about it?" Roderich calmly demanded, a tinge of annoyance in his tone. "I have more important matters to tend to than catering to your whims."
"Like playing that silly piano of yours?" the blond sarcastically retorted, glancing at the offending instrument for emphasis.
"Perhaps. I find it more enjoyable than having to put up with you."
The Prussian scowled. Since when did a freaking musical instrument defeat his awesomeness?
"So?" the brunet queried once again, impatience clearly showing in his voice, "What would you like to eat?"
"Uh..." Gilbert shifted his gaze away from the nation standing in front of him, urging his mind to think of something right now. "...Sweets," he finally said a moment later, turning his attention back to Roderich as he spoke with the most confident tone he could muster, "Make me some sweets. You know, like cakes and—"
"Sweets?" the Austrian incredulously repeated, a hint of confusion entering his expression, "I never knew you had a fondness for sweets."
"Well, now you know," the blond lightly replied, thoughts taking a momentary detour to the cakes—delicious, delicious Kuchen—his brother baked on occasion before returning to the present. "Besides, it only came up because that psycho lady with the frying pan often talks about how delicious Austrian pastries are," he quickly added, an underestimating smirk on his lips, "Though, really, how good can they be?"
Roderich smiled confidently. "We shall see about that."
Even after knowing Roderich for centuries, Gilbert still didn't get why the kitchen sounded like a freaking war zone whenever the brunet was cooking. He knew that the aristocrat wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary in there, and yet, there were explosions and gunfire and the sound of metal rattling. More often than not, the noises annoyed him, made him even more restless than he usually was, and frankly, he disliked them. They reminded him of too many things.
What he disliked even more, however, was the Austrian's tendency to be much too meticulous in doing things, to the point of spending more time than necessary on said thing. He'd spent a good half an hour pacing around the hallway by the kitchen, arms crossed and a scowl on his face as he cursed Roderich for taking his sweet time in making those sweets. Hadn't he said he was hungry?
Clicking his tongue, Gilbert scowled at the door leading to the kitchen, staring at it for a few seconds before finally deciding to just barge in. Roderich might have told him to stay outside, but really, when had he ever listened to that sissy?
With way more force than necessary, the blond pushed the door open, eyes immediately searching for the Austrian. It didn't take him long to spot the brunet, who was standing near the counters, holding a bowl in hand.
"I believe I instructed you to wait outside," Roderich sternly said, frowning at the sight of the intruder, letting out a sigh as he added, "Perhaps I should not have expected you to listen."
"Damn right you shouldn't have," the Prussian replied, an arrogant grin on his face, "Besides, what made you think I'd do what you told me to?"
"I assumed you were educated in etiquette," he calmly said in response as he resumed stirring the batter in the bowl, "Though it would seem that my assumption had been incorrect."
"Hmph. Etiquette's for wimps. Like you." Gilbert then turned his attention to the bowl. "And what's with all the noises, anyway? Can't you cook normally?"
"I am cooking normally, Gilbert."
"Then why does it sound like you're stirring pieces of metal instead of batter?"
"...I would like to know the answer myself."
There was silence for a few moments as the Prussian continued to stare at the bowl, his expression slowly contorting to a scowl as he watched Roderich stir the batter at a snail's pace, quite literally. Stupid aristocrat and his meticulous habits.
"Can't you do it faster?" he finally said, a full-blown scowl on his face, "I'm starving here, idiot."
The brunet let out a sigh. "Have you no patience?" he calmly asked, frowning slightly at the blond, "Cooking is not—hey!"
"You talk too much, specs." Without any warning, Gilbert swiped the bowl from the other nation, making sure to stay away from the Austrian as he took over the stirring. "Besides, you're way too slow. I'm starving here, you jerk."
"Return the bowl to me this instant, Weillschmidt," Roderich demanded, crossing his arms as he glared at the thief.
"And let you starve me longer?" the blond incredulously asked, lifting an eyebrow, "Like hell I will."
The Austrian sighed once again. Gilbert was such a hassle to handle. "For goodness' sake, Gilbert, waiting for another half an hour would not kill you," he said as he approached the other nation, grumbling as he watched said nation scoot away from him, "And you obviously do not know how to—"
"I know how to cook, thank you very much," the Prussian retorted, "Who do you think cooked for West when he was little?"
"Your servants?" Roderich nonchalantly said.
Gilbert scowled at the brunet. "Not everyone had servants, young master."
"Nevertheless, I do not believe you can make pastries properly," Roderich insisted, clicking his tongue in annoyance as Gilbert led him around the kitchen, "Now would you please return that bowl to me, so I can—"
"I'm awesome enough to be able to do anything, Roderich," the blond confidently said, a matching grin on his face.
"Says the person who can't even play a musical instrument," the Austrian promptly replied.
"Hey, I can play the flute—"
"And nothing else."
"But it's still a musical instrument!" Gilbert insisted, unintentionally stopping in the middle of his effort to stay out of the brunet's reach and giving Roderich a chance to grab the bowl. Reflexively, he pulled the container closer to him, attempting to pull it out of the brunet's hands. Roderich's grip was much stronger than he expected, however, and soon, he found himself in a tug-of-war with the other nation, fighting for the bowl of batter.
The two glared at each other, accenting their words with tugs in order to emphasize them.
"No way, you're—"
"—so impatient! Waiting would not—"
"—I'm already starving—"
And with one last tug from both parties, the bowl slipped out of their hands, ascending a short distance before eventually falling on Roderich. The batter spilled everywhere, staining his hair, his face, his clothing, and even the floor around him, and the brunet could feel his patience reaching a dangerously low level.
Right on cue, Gilbert began to laugh at his predicament—the blond had gotten away with only a few specks of batter on his clothing—and Roderich wasted no time in kicking the nation out of his kitchen, locking the door for good measure.
"The food shall be ready in twenty minutes," he coldly announced from behind the door, sighing as he heard how the Prussian was still laughing. Perhaps he should add a little something to his announcement. "And do not worry," he added a short while later, a slight smirk on his lips as he spoke, "I shall send my clothing's cleaning bill to your brother."
At that, the laughter stopped, and Roderich let out a quiet, victorious chuckle.
"...Kaiserschmarrn?" Gilbert incredulously said, shifting his attention from the plate lying on the table in front of him to the brunet who was standing near the table.
"It was the first dish I could think of," Roderich calmly said, watching as the other nation began eating slowly. A thin smile slipped onto his lips as he watched the blond's eating pace increase, to the point of being able to finish the plate in less than ten minutes. While he didn't particularly approve of how Gilbert ate, messiness and all, he rather liked seeing Gilbert eat so...greedily. It showed how the blond enjoyed his food, and that was enough.
Quietly, he waited for the nation to finish eating, a satisfied expression on his face. "May I hear your opinion?" he politely, mockingly asked, his smile becoming slightly more prominent as he saw Gilbert shift his eyes away from him.
"It was... edible," the blond slowly said, though his mannerisms clearly showed that he was lying. "It's not really different from the stuff you usually make when you stay at West's place."
"I see..." Roderich replied, though his attention seemed preoccupied with something else.
"...Hey, specs, why are you staring at me like that?" Gilbert finally said after a few moments of silence, finding it odd how the Austrian was looking at his face so... seriously. He liked attention, yes, but this was starting to feel a bit awkward. "Is there something on—"
Before he could even finish his sentence, Roderich had already gone and wiped something from the corner of his lips. "Some of the sauce ended up there," the brunet calmly said, absently licking the sweet sauce from his finger, seemingly oblivious to how Gilbert was practically staring at him the whole time. "What would you like to drink?" he then added, still unaware of the effect of his actions, "Tea or coffee?"
"...Ah?" the blond distractedly said before hastily adding, "Oh, uh, coffee would be fine."
"Very well," Roderich nonchalantly said, taking the empty plate with him and dropping it off at the sink as he went to get a glass. Quietly, he filled the glass with freshly brewed coffee, and he was just about to ask Gilbert whether he'd like anything with it when he felt something—or rather, someone—lick—lick, for goodness' sake!—a small part of his cheek, almost causing him to spill the coffee. The brunet immediately turned to face the perpetrator, a soft blush tinting his embarrassed face as he glared at the blond. "Wh-what do you think you are doing?" he said, "I could have—"
"There was some batter on your cheek," the Prussian lightly said, lips curved into a thin smirk as he looked at Roderich condescendingly. Now we're even, he quietly, contentedly thought. "What, did that surprise you?"
"...Yes. Yes, it did," Roderich honestly, halfheartedly admitted, letting out a sigh as he turned back to the coffee. Honestly, Gilbert was such a nuisance, a hassle to handle... though perhaps this was one nuisance he could live with.
After all, they'd known each other for centuries already, and yet, they haven't grown tired of each other.