A/N: Dedicated to Flattered By Mockery. Incest, vague sexual situations, vaguely implied character death, and a bit of language.
It goes without saying that I don't own anything.
No matter how hardened war has made him over his long lifetime, Prussia still can't stand the smell of burnt flesh. But there is no escape from it, not anymore. It hangs over Berlin like a rotted quilt - utterly suffocating. It's carried around by the smoke and wind until there is no patch of clean air left in the entire city. It's the reek of dried blood and decay, of the dead and of the dying. The ashes of fires that have yet to burn out.
Prussia slowly treks through the remains of the once thriving city, sidestepping the mangled body of a young child. He feels a knot of disgust twist in his gut. How could he allow things to get so bad?
His head shoots up when he hears the sound of shouting near by. The voice is familiar so he follows it. He is greeted by the sight of a man, covered in dirt and blood, pounding angrily on the wall of a partially collapsed house. Under the filth, Prussia can just make out the blonde of the man's hair.
"Hey, you want some help with that?"
"B-bruder?" The man, Germany, stutters as he turns around. The eyes, once as blue as the open sky, that meet his are faded gray, their brilliance beaten out of them by the horrors of war. Prussia bites down on the bitter regret that threatens to overtake him.
"Hey West. . ." The Prussian tries to smile, but it comes out as more of a grimace. Everything hurts; his body, his mind, his heart. But he forgets his pains at the sight of his brother. Not unharmed, but alive nonetheless. "So what did that wall do to deserve your wrath, huh?" He attempts to jest - anything to see the smile that used to light up Prussia's entire world again. It doesn't work.
". . . I couldn't save them." Germany whispers after a strained moment.
"Who?" Prussia asks, though he already knows the answer.
"Everyone! Anyone!" Germany's voice raises and he fists his hands into his dirty hair. "My boss, my citizens, my country! They all died because I wasn't strong enough! Again!"
And Prussia is suddenly reminded of how painfully young his brother is. Barely out of the fledgeling stage and already he's had greatness snatched from him twice.
Prussia takes the shaking nation in his arms and he winces against the fragility that he feels - that he, himself, mirrors - with the grind of sharp bones against his own. He hates the world, in that moment.
"Hush, mein kleiner Engel." The albino murmurs softly. He hasn't called his brother in decades - since Germany was very young. Even after all this time, it still succeeds in quieting the distraught nation. "None of that was your fault."
"You did what you could, and no one could have expected any more." The war-bred nation cuts in, silencing the weak protests. His hands slip from the other's waist to grip tattered arms. "I'm just sorry that I couldn't be of more help."
Germany straightens sharply at that. "You were trying to defend Königsberg! That was your top priority. I know it was more important to you than-"
"Fuck that!" Prussia spits, unconsciously tightening his grip on the other's arms. "Yeah, it was important - really fucking important. But you were always my main priority." He pauses for a moment, inhaling deeply. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.
"All your life, I've tried to be the most awesome bro ever. But when it mattered, when you really needed me, I couldn't be there for you." A disgusted smile ghosts his lips. "Some shitty brother I turned out to be, huh?"
The next thing Prussia knows he is being slapped hard across the face. He blinks in shock.
"Bruder, you idiot. . ." The taller nation growls. "You did what you could, and I could not have expected any more."
To have his own words tossed in his face like that causes the albino to freeze for a second or two. Then, for no reason at all, he bursts out laughing. He doesn't know why he is laughing, but it feels so damn good. His brother stares at him for a moment, like he thinks Prussia has finally lost his mind, before joining in too. They laugh until they are breathless, until their bruised ribs ache, until they can't laugh any more. They laugh away their grief, their pain.
They laugh because they will not cry.
When they eventually gain control of themselves again, the sky overhead has darkened with clouds. Neither brother spares a moment to notice, however; each one is too preoccupied with staring the other down.
Prussia is the first to move. He closes the gap between them, planting his lips firmly on his brother's. Germany responds by wrapping both arms loosely around his neck. His own arms snake around the younger nation and pull him close. They kiss for an eternity before the need to breathe arises and, even then, they pull just far enough away to draw in air. Then they come together again.
Prussia, encouraged, allows his tongue to dart forward to lick and request permission for invasion. The other mouth opens instantly and their tongues twirl around each other, almost dancing. All the while, they gradually ease inside the destroyed house. Soon they are sprawled out on the ground, blissfully unaware of the puddles of half-dried blood and mud and gore surrounding them.
Slowly, patiently, they remove each other's clothing. 'Make it last, make it last, this is your last chance, you gotta make it count.' Prussia gently pushes Germany down and begins the process of preparation. When that is complete, he places a kiss on his brother's mouth and pushes in.
The presence of each other wards off the shadows that lurk around them - ones that threaten to pull them in and never let go. They pay no heed to the smell of death that permeates throughout the house, the city, the country, the whole damn world. They move together on the dirty floor, swept up in their own reality. As they reach their climax, the first rumble of thunder booms outside.
Later, as they lay together on a makeshift bed, Prussia holds Germany as the other nation drifts off to sleep. He wants to remember this moment for the rest of his life. He looks down at his little brother and feels a pang of sadness, deep in his heart. He hates how all good things must come to an end, even if they've only just begun. But he knows that they are looking for him - those Allied bastards.
He knows he can't stay. No matter how much he wants to.
As gently and quietly as he can, Prussia removes himself from his sleeping brother and lays him down. The young nation stirs but doesn't wake. Prussia casts a fond smile down at him and reaches out to brush some of the filthy blonde hair away from his equally filthy face.
"In case we never see each other again, I want you to know that I-" He says under his breath then stops, letting his hand fall away. ". . . forget it." His jaw clenches tightly as he stands up to gather his few belongings. Then, like a damned man marching towards the flames of Hell, the once proud nation of Prussia turns on his heel and walks out the door. He doesn't look back.
And, somewhere deep within his subconscious, Germany begins to cry.
Herzeleid - Heartache
Bruder - Brother
Mein kleiner Engel - My little angel
(please excuse the grossly simplified historical facts)
In case it wasn't obvious, this took place right after the Battle for Berlin, which lead to the Germans surrendering in WWII in 1945. The battle took place in Berlin (obviously) and almost a million people were killed (soldiers and civilians alike). It's recognized as one of the bloodiest battles in history and it just about completely destroyed Berlin.
Germany, previously a scattered collection of 39 sovereign states, was consolidated into the Northern German Confederation in 1866, thanks in part to the Prussian minister-president Otto von Bismarck. It was then officially unified into the German Empire in 1871, under Prussian rule, and Berlin became its capital.
Königsberg was the capital of Prussia from around 1255 to 1945, when it was invaded and taken over by Soviet forces. The Battle for Königsberg happened just a week before the battle in Berlin (thus explaining why Prussia was not present as back up for his brother). It's now called Kaliningrad.
Historically, the state of Prussia wasn't dissolved until 1947. But I think that the Allied forces would have taken Prussia into custody, arrested if you will, as soon as possible. Besides, the decision to dissolve a nation that has been around for as long as he had doesn't happen over night.