Title: Scorched Earth Drabbles
Character(s): Austria and Prussia
Warnings: Oh no there be swearin's!
Summary: Gilbert is dissatisfied with the management.
"I hate that man."
Roderich glanced up from his book to take in Gilbert's sour expression. The normally violently cheerful nation sat with arms crossed, glaring down at the street bellow, from which sounds of a healthy marketplace drifted. They'd taken advantage of the weather to lounge on the balcony that afternoon, though the cheerful sun did not seem to permeate the dark mood Gilbert had been in the past few years. Roderich sided and marked his page, then set his book aside and took a sip of his rapidly cooling tea.
"I assume you mean the Furhr?" he asked.
"He's a charlatan," Gilbert scoffed.
"Ludwig seems to like him well enough," Roderich replied with a small shrug.
"Ludwig is a child. He's too naive for his own good."
"He is very young," Roderich agreed, taking another sip of tea. "I forget sometimes; he's always so serious. If I didn't know otherwise I would assume he was the older brother."
Gilbert shot him a suspicious glare but let the comment go in favor of his current irritation. "He really believes all the bullshit that that bastard is dishing out. He won't even listen to me!" He slumped more thoroughly in his seat with an angry "humph!"
"About what? This concept of breeding humans like dogs or the fairy-tale 'history' they've fabricated for the Reich?" Roderich studied the shape of a distant cloud, it vaguely resembled a phonograph.
"Why are you so relaxed about it?" Gilbert demanded, turning his glare on his companion. "You know that bastard is poison!"
"And we are the fools who follow the mad-man." Roderich shrugged and smiled softly at the sound of music drifting up from the street. "But it is just willfully ignorant to suggest that his Reich has done us no good. A few years ago, marks were worthless and the people were miserable."
"The economy would have righted itself in time," Gilbert grumbled, re-crossing his arms and setting his face into a well-practiced sulk.
"And what of the people's pride? It is difficult to recover from the total humiliation France inflicted on you. And a puppet-government in which the people have no faith does little to set their hearts at ease."
"As opposed to a government ruled by secrecy and lies?"
"Germany needs this war," Roderich said in a somewhat placating tone after finishing his tea. "Let him win the war for us and then we can cast him aside. Decapitating the Reich now would forfeit everything we've gained and leave us in a worse state than the last war."
"You don't really thing he's just going to curl up and be a good little psycho-bastard after the war, do you?" Gilbert cast a dark look Roderich that went unacknowledged.
"You're very ability to dissent proves that his power is not absolute. Once the war has been won, I have no doubt there are many who will rise up to set this affair right. A tyrant's reign is always short."
"... He took my knights," Gilbert said in a sulky grumble.
Roderich sighed, rolling his eyes, irritated, but not surprised, that Gilbert was beating that dead-horse again. "One of these days you're going to notice that the Crusades are over and the world no longer needs knights."
Gilbert glowered at him for a minute and then turned his glare down on the street. Silence stretched between them for several minutes before he spoke again. "I just wish that he didn't have Ludwig so wrapped around his finger."
"The man is an exceptional orator. He knows how to inspire people," Roderich replied in an almost dismissive way.
"He's too good. He makes me nervous."
Roderich slid his book open to the page he'd marked. "I've never known you to worry so much. I really think you're making a bigger issue of this than it is. Human leaders come and go, how much damage could one man do?"
A/N: So this was the first drabble I originally wrote in this series and I've decided that even though it doesn't take place first on the timeline now, I still think it makes the best introduction to the series. The next chapter is going backwards in time to the early 30s, so don't be too weirded out by that shift.