Then and Now


Then, home was a dark cell with no light. No windows. No anything. All he had was an old bed that creaked mournfully under his weight. Nothing but a chair somewhere in the corner that had been smashed to pieces by his own hand. Home was freezing; His breath clouding in the air not matter what he did to stay warm. His lips numb from the cold. Fingers stiff. Joints aching. Home was where he waited for his tormenter to come back and treat him with the same ferociousness as the blizzard raging outside.

Then, home was hell.

Now, home was a house set apart from the rest. Off in the countryside resting peacefully next to an orchard. Home was bright, warm, inviting. It was lush and smelled of maples and cinnamon. It was where he could curl up next to the fire with his lover, whispering sweet nothings into each other's ears as they munched on maple cookies and sipped at warm apple cider.

Now, home was heaven.


Then, the sex was brutal. It was rough and left him bruised and bleeding. It left him sobbing quietly to himself, wishing for something to change: For his tormenter to die, for someone to save him. All the while wondering where he went wrong to even end up in this position. The sex left him battered; nursing bite marks and leaving him unable to walk. It was a harsh exchange of insults. A relentless pace he could never keep up with.

Sex was a battle ne never won.

Now, the sex was wonderful. It was a blissful high that wracked his body with every movement. An utterance of promises into a passionate kiss. It was sweet, warm, and beautiful. It was everything he wanted and more. It was cradling his lover in his arms at the climax and telling him how much he loved him over and over. It was having those same words repeated to him through uneven gasps. It was having his lover look at him with those gorgeous blue-violet eyes and having the most wonderful smile grace his lips.

Sex was making love and enjoying every minute of it.


Then, hell was when his tormenter came home drunk. Hell was the lead pipe crashing down on him. It was the smell of vodka laced breath on his face when he was forcefully shoved against the wall. The child-like smile always on his tormenters lips as he murmured vulgarities into his ear, yanking harshly at his clothes. Hell was not being fed. It was not having his wounds properly tended to and having them become painful and puss filled. It was bruises on his thighs and the feeling of something ripping inside of him with every movement. It was being told he was nothing. Being told he was worthless dirt that had no reason to stay alive. It was hearing those insults between the loud creaks of the mattress and believing every one of them.

Hell was exactly what it was made out to be.

Now, hell was getting caught in the rain and unable to catch a cab to get home. It was having the others refuse to acknowledge him as the awesome man he was. Hell was no pancake mix or maple syrup. It was having his lover working late and him being stuck at home alone with nothing to do but watch "I Love Lucy" reruns. Hell was having the adorably annoying polar bear inquire who he was despite having answered the question many times before. It was a spider in the kitchen and no one to kill it for him. It was getting pancakes stuck to the ceiling instead of in the frying pan.

Hell was just an ordinary bad day.


Then, heaven was being able to walk outside for the first time in years. Heaven was when he was fed a decent meal. When his tormenter was sober and didn't inflict as much pain. It was said tormenter being gentler with him in bed. It was kisses, not bites. It was caresses, not painful squeezing. It was the little things that kept him distracted from the pain in between his legs and the tears rolling down his cheeks.

Heaven hardly ever showed up.

Now, heaven sat next to him every day. Heaven talked to him, smiled to him, kissed him. Heaven was the blue-violet eyes that warmed him just with a glance. It was pancakes drizzled in syrup every morning. The smell of freshly baked cookies on a cold winter evening. It was a passionate kiss in front of the fire at night that said more than either of them could say out loud.

Heaven was a daily occurrence, and he never got tired of it.

Then was nothing but pain and torture. It was words that sliced clear through his skin and cracked his heart in two. It was withering away, waiting for the blessed day of freedom that taunted him with every twitter of a bird. With every ray of sunshine that seeped in through the cracks in the door. It was forty some odd years trapped in the cold dark cell. It was separation; unable to see his beloved brother. It was cruel. Showing up in welts on his back and bruises on his wrists. It was malnutrition. Pale skin going to stark white, ruby eyes to a light pink.

Then was everything he feared shoved into one house. It was hell, hunger, plague.

Then was a whole different universe that haunted him in his nightmares.

Now was freedom. It was tender loving care, maple kisses, and warmth. It was knowing he wouldn't have to worry about going hungry because there was always a stack of hot cakes waiting for him. It was hearing his lover babble in a mixture of French and English when he was watching hockey. It was healing from past wounds. His heart becoming whole again, cheeks gaining colour, and his eyes more ruby red and more vibrant than they ever were.

Now was peaceful. Calm. Consoling. It was knowing he would never have to return to "then". It was cuddling with his lover and feeling just fine with that. It was missing the days when he could still conquer vast lands, but looking into that brilliant blue-violet gaze and deciding he liked this more than the adrenaline rush of battle.

It was finally being acknowledged as the awesome man he was. It was being recognized as a country, even though he had no land.

Now was just where he wanted to be, and he couldn't have asked for more.

"Sorrow happens, hardship happens, the hell with it, who never knew the price of happiness, will not be happy"

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

A/N: So I've got a shit ton of PruCan comin' outta nowhere and it's driving me nuts. This was writen in the course of seven hours, between classes and finished just a little while ago.

I'm starting to wonder if I'll have time to fix the Civil War fic before another PruCan idea pops into my head…

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this one~

Please review~! I'm anxious to know what you guys think. ;)