Hungary walked into her room and slowly closed the door behind her. She started to get ready for bed but there was no feeling behind it. The motions were unstable, mechanical. The life had been sucked out of the room.
Prussia was dead.
Prussia was dead and she had lost him just as Italy had lost the Holy Roman Empire all those years ago. Back then she hadn't been able to comprehend how he felt. She didn't understand what sadness must have coursed through the little nation's body. Now she understood all too well.
Kneeling on the floor, Hungary lifted up the bed skirt and reached underneath. She pulled out an old shoebox, torn at the edges and covered with dust. It was her most valued possession. It held her treasures, her memories. It held her photographs.
She lifted the lid slowly, as if there was a great weight upon it. She felt like Pandora, opening the box to see what might pop out at her. But despite her knowledge of its contents, nothing could have prepared her for the rush of emotions she felt as she laid eyes on his face.
Almost all of the photos were of Prussia. There was one of him eating lunch and there was one of him walking. There was the one of him yawning in the early morning, and there was the one of his bare chest as he got ready to take a shower.
Frantically she kept flipping through the pictures. Each new image brought on a fresh wave of emotion. It wasn't long before both tears and photographs dotted the floor.
Suddenly Hungary stopped flipping. She had come upon one of the more recent shots. There was no wear or tear and it still shone in the dim light. The photo was of Prussia and his chick. It was the first time the chick had flown. As the little yellow body had lifted out of his hands, such a fiery pride had shown in his eyes. She just had to take a picture.
Gently she stroked his glossy surface. Outside she could hear the muffled sounds of the chick in its cage. Absently she wondered if it knew its master was never coming back.
Hungary picked herself up and brushed the dust off her nightgown. Lifting the lid off the floor, she placed it carefully on top of the box and slid it back under the bed. She slipped under the covers and flipped off the light, taking comfort in the darkness that surrounded her. A thin sliver of moonlight shone between the curtains and created a glowing path on the floor. Turning on her side, Hungary tried to fall asleep as silent sobs shook her body.
She was walking through a darkened hallway, her field of vision only a few steps ahead of her. A long blue dress she wasn't familiar with swished around her ankles. The sound of her heels on the black and white marble floor reverberated off the walls and back to her ears. Somewhere a trumpet played soft and low.
She stopped walking for a second and listened to the music. It was slow and mournful, with just a small touch of hope. It was full of a dream that refused to die.
Suddenly she was in the middle of a dance floor. People twirled with their partners in the soft blue light. A band was seated atop a raised platform where the trumpet continued to play. For some reason she felt left out; she was the only one alone.
A hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder. She whirled around and gasped as she caught sight of a mop of silver hair, and brilliant red eyes.
"Prussia…" the word just barely brushed past her lips. It was impossible. He was dead! She couldn't believe it. But she wanted to believe it with every fiber of her being.
He just stood there with that traditional I-know-something-you-don't-and-by-the-way-I'm-better-then-you smirk. He was wearing his uniform, complete with gloves and the small iron cross that hung around his neck. Apparently he was waiting for her to say something. But there was nothing she could possibly say that would convey the way she was feeling.
So she punched him. Right square on the jaw. Prussia fell backwards and landed with a thud where, continently, another couple had just moved away. Holding his cheek, he pushed himself up and glared at her.
"What the hell was that for!?"
"Dying! What else would it be for?"
"Well you didn't have to hit me so hard, y'know!"
"Yes I did! I was checking to see if you were real or not!"
"Obviously I'm too awesome not to be real!"
For a while they just stared at each other, neither one daring to move. The trumpet continued to play and people kept dancing around them. After a few minutes Prussia started to get up of the floor. Hungary raised an eyebrow in surprise. She knew he didn't like to loose to anyone about anything. Even staring contests.
He straightened up and pretended to brush the nonexistent dirt off his clothes. She eyed him warily. He had on that smug expression he always got when he was scheming something.
"Fine. I'm not going to admit that I deserved that but," he raised his eyes and pointed at her, grinning evilly, "You owe me one!"
Before she could reply he had grabbed her hand and swung her further onto the dance floor. She felt herself loosing he balance until he reached out and placed a steadying hand behind her back. Together they glided across the floor, weaving between the other couples spinning to the music. Her heart beat against her chest like a small caged bird. She had never been this close to him before.
"So… where are we?" she asked, "What is this place?"
Prussia let out a laugh, "I guess you haven't been listening to the music very much."
In fact she hadn't. Instead she had been paying attention to the way his hair glowed in the soft blue light, and the sensation of his hand, steady and firm, against the small of her back. Now she tuned into the music, and listened to the lyrics she was sure weren't there before.
Between Heaven and Earth…
There's a ballroom floor…
Where couples glide…
In the evermore…
Hungary looked up into Prussia's eyes, "So you're telling me that you, of all people, got into Heaven?"
Floating through the clouds…
"What? Of course I did! I mean, I'm just so amazing I don't know how they ever got along without me."
Dancing in the rain…
She cast her eyes down. If there was ever a time to be honest this would be it.
Eyes that see no lies…
"I don't know how I'll make it either…"
Hearts that feel no pain…
They stopped moving. Hungary's eyes were still focused on her shoes.
I hope its not too late…
A stray tear fell and stained the floor.
We were more then friends…
With a free he lifted her face up to the light. For once his smile wasn't menacing, but soft.
And I can hardly wait…
"Me too," he whispered and gave her the kiss she had been waiting on for centuries. Her whole body rose with the touch of his lips against hers.
Till we meet again…
And then they were off again, moving across the room as if they owned the world. Hungary put her head on his shoulder and relished in the warmth she felt. This was what she had always wanted. Apparently she hadn't been as conspicuous as she had previously thought. Making a mental note to ask Japan about , she pushed it to the back of her mind more in favor of the handsome, beautiful, if slightly obnoxious man leading her across the floor.
We never danced…
We never danced…
"You know, I think I'm really going to miss you," she said.
"Wait, you think? No, no, no, you know. But, I think I'm gonna miss you too."
We never danced…
"Hey, can I ask you a favor? Would you take care of that little chick of mine while I'm, uh… away?"
She smiled at him and leaned up to give him a quick kiss. "You didn't have to ask, idiot."
The night away…
Prussia slowly ran his fingers through her hair. Bending down he kissed her for what she knew might be the last time. As they gently swayed to the music, the other people started to disappear until they were the only ones left.
The music stopped, and the lights blacked out. The love was still new, but the dream had come to its end.