Part one: All Eyes On Me
Word count: 2580
Genre: angst, general
Note: New Prussia is a geographic location in Wilmot Township, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Look it up on Wiki if you wanna. Like I needed any more fuel for my love for these two, ha ha. Title from Goo Goo Dolls' All Eyes On Me.
The times he could feel that particular tug at his mind, settling like an unpleasant ache in his heart, that told him that the sand in his particular hourglass was running out, probably already had run out, his response grew panicked, and when Prussia panicked, he became loud. Louder. Whatever. It was hard to forget about someone who made a living hell out of your life, wrecked your living room, hit on your boyfriend, sat fire on both your kitchen and your socks, or fed your dogs ice cream, forcing you to bring them to the vet in a frenzy in the middle of the night.
And being forgotten was what Prussia couldn't afford to be.
He knew that his days were counted from the moment that he and West – no, Germany – had finally been able to re-unite in the still smoking ruins of that wall from hell. It had been a day of many emotions, and he'd seen his little brother show his fair share of the kind he'd taken a habit of showing no-one at all, not even Italy. While Germany didn't sob into Prussia's shoulder the way his smaller, dark-headed friend did, his eyes shone in a way that told the other German he wasn't far from such antics.
However, the moment was ruined by that tug.
He wasn't sure if Germany could feel it at the time (it wasn't him who was being warned of the end of his existence, after all), but he were able to tell through observation over the next year or so that the other nation certainly could feel it, even if he wasn't quite aware of what it meant. There was a glow to him, a new confidence which were visible to anyone who knew what to look for (Italy sure seemed to know, because he clung closer to Germany than ever, beaming up at him and acting like a dog with a bone every time his blond companion so much as spoke to him). Germany had changed, had become whole, and there were no more room for Prussia. No more East and West.
But he ignored the call. How could he not? He still had too much he wanted to see in this world, too much change to be part of, there were too many new decennia to welcome with a toast and happy drunken calls in the company of friends.
So, he became louder than ever. Visited more places, met (annoyed) more people, started the blasted blog, to help people remind themselves of his awesomeness. West – Germany – called him "all over the place"; England called him "a bloody nuisance", after he'd thrown him out of another destroyed pub; both Denmark and France laughed and came with him more than once; Spain smiled and told him to do what he needed to do. (At first, he'd been puzzled by that comment, but then he realized that all of his former friends probably knew at least partly what he was going through; they'd all been great empires – well, except for Denmark, but the Nordic would never admit to that – who had lost so much of themselves over the years. France had even been close to collapsing once – he remembered teasing him and laughing loudly at his "wedding proposal" to England – so that might be why he had so little against joining Prussia during his tiny crusades.)
But still, nothing he did could soften the aching feeling of loss, of hollowness, that grew inside him. Less and less people were beginning to recognize him as a nation (for a moment, he wondered what really happened to countries who were no longer countries; did they become human? Did they simply die? Maybe he should go ask Greece or Egypt; they'd both known their mothers, and been there at the end), and he was no longer accounted for at meetings.
Never had he thought that he'd miss those damn, drawn out and utterly boring get-togethers. But he did.
And so he grew even louder, more brash and daring, going as far as to arrange all of Hungary's underwear in a nice display on an apple tree in Austria's garden once (he'd bear the bruises from that one for quite some time), and paint Austria's piano – "It's a Bösendorfer, a Bösendorfer" – blue.
But still, nothing silenced the call for long.
He grew used to it in time. It became part of his daily experience, no matter how much he hated it. He started to give up sooner when some of the younger nations wouldn't recognize him, focusing on being remembered by the older ones. Even if it had to be by being the greatest pain in the ass of modern time.
Then came the day when his left pinky started acting up. He noticed it first thing in the morning; it was a strange sensation of not-there that drew his attention to it. When he noticed how the finger had taken to a quality of transparentness, he blanched. His mind went blank, and when he woke up again, his room, as well as half of the east wing in West's – Germany's – house was trashed.
He wouldn't answer when his younger brother asked him what the hell was wrong with him, he just sat by the kitchen table, sulking, and demanded to be fed breakfast.
From that day on, he took to always wearing gloves.
It was a miserable existence, what he'd been reduced to. He was used to being colourless, that was kind of a side-effect that came with having been born albino, so he had never let the weird looks he sometimes got from the humans bother him, but when those looks started to lessen because he turned see-through, he was at a loss. He'd never been on the verge of being forgotten, and he had no idea how to deal with it when being loud and annoying didn't help any more.
There was, however, someone who had an idea.
Prussia had gotten so used to being ignored by then, that he first didn't realize that the timid voice calling out to him was, indeed, directed at him. He was a sad sight, walking the corridors of whatever building the world conferences were held at, arms dangling immobile by his side and face dark with self-pity. It took as much as a tug to his sleeve before he actually registered that someone was trying to get his attention.
"Um, mister Prussia?"
When he managed to focus his eyes on the kid before him, he raised an eyebrow. America hadn't been able to see him in months, so why was he speaking to him now?
He let none of those thoughts show on his face as he grinned at the younger nation.
"Yo, America! Shouldn't you be at the meeting? Not that I don't understand why you'd wanna escape that place, it's so damn boring, I keep falling asleep every time I attend."
The blond winced. "I'm not America," he said, and Prussia realized in the same moment, that crap, he was right, there was supposed to be another one, wasn't there; one with a bear and colder climate than America, and this guy was, in fact carrying a white bear in his arms. He couldn't for his life remember the name of the guy. "I'm Canada."
"Ah, right, Canada! Gotcha! So why are you running away from the meeting, then? Got that bored of seeing your bro' and England tear each other's hair out?"
Canada smiled. "That never gets boring."
Prussia laughed. This kid had humour, nice, he hadn't expected that.
"So what'cha walking these winding halls for? It's still not time fer lunch, ya know?"
"I know. I came to talk to you."
Blink. "To me?" No one came to talk to him. Not even when he'd still been his own nation; they'd all avoided him whenever possible because (according to Austria, that bastard) "to get too closely involved in that fool is like signing a death treaty".
Canada nodded. "I. I'm not sure you want to listen to me, but I thought that… maybe you should know." Prussia waited for him to continue, eyebrows raised in an encouraging way (not because he cared what the kid had to say, but because he sure as hell seemed to need the extra help to get his point across. Man, how pathetic could you get?). "Well. I thought." Canada looked away. "You might want to know that you won't. You know."
Prussia crossed his arms. "I know what? Get to the damn point, kid!"
The younger nation made a small sound, much like a rat when you stepped on it. For a moment he looked like he wouldn't continue at all, but then he drew a long breath and met Prussia's red eyes with a steady, blue gaze.
"You won't disappear, mister Prussia. Not entirely."
What do you say when someone you've never talked to before – someone you hardly knew existed, and surely shouldn't know that you existed in turn – knew your most guarded secret, your biggest fear? Prussia had no idea; he'd never had a "biggest fear" before. All he could do was to stare at this strange, timid nation and his bear, wondering if he was fucking with him. Surely, he couldn't be telling him that he knew something Prussia himself didn't about this whole thing? Why would he; he was one of the youngest, he hadn't been around nearly long enough to make any empire to lose, even.
But Canada looked to serious and sincere that he had to at least feign politeness when he asked:
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
Canada still held his gaze trapped. Man, his eyes were even bluer than West's, Prussia thought, and for once, he didn't care about correcting his brother's name in his mind.
"You won't disappear. Maybe you won't be a nation as big as you used to be, and maybe you won't be around your own people, but… I can offer you a place to stay."
What the fuck was he on about. If a country ceased to exist, they ceased to exist, they couldn't just move to a new location. Right? …right?
Canada wasn't done yet. "It's been around for ages, after all, and I never figured out what to do with it, but I thought that maybe… If you want, you can call it yours. It's named after you, after all. And I don't mind."
His voice never weakened once during this speech, Prussia noticed with quite a bit of astonishment. While the nation looked like he'd go "poof" into thin air at any moment (hell, he was even more transparent than Prussia himself had grown to be!) his voice was steady and his gaze enthralling. Prussia caught himself in the middle of not only considering the kid's offer, but actually trusting that it was a true one. He braced himself, drew a deep breath, and bore his glare into the boy before him. Still, even under the full force of Prussia's red eyes, he didn't shift, he just looked back. If it was a sign of Prussia losing his touch, or the kid being a hell of a lot braver than his appearance and tone let on, he didn't know.
"Sure, whatever," Prussia said. "But I wanna see what the hell you're talking about first." Before I allow myself to hope again, he added in his mind.
Canada smiled. "I'll arrange for a seat for you on the plane back."
The moment he set foot in New Prussia, he could tell he'd come to the right place. There was no way he could mistake this feeling of Home. No one was shitting him; this was the land that would keep him alive. Maybe not as a nation, but alive and well, under the care of this strange, kind but strong-willed nation called Canada. They'd gone around the place (maybe a bit small, but beggars couldn't be choosers), visited the whole Township of Wilmot, greeted people (asked for tips on the best pubs), to finally end up at a hill not far from Baden. (Many of the names in New Prussia had made him laugh. Still, it gave him a strange feeling of comfort and familiarity.) He drew a deep breath of the chilly air – even in the early stages of fall, this country was colder than he was used to from back in Germany, but he didn't mind. Actually, he welcomed the feeling of crispness around him; it made the hairs on his arms stand on edge in a way he'd only last experienced in the heat of battle.
And it had been quite some time since he'd last been in a really good fight.
As Canada stepped out of the car behind him, he reminded himself that it probably would stay that way. The young nation who was now his "keeper" had a very peacefully laid policy, after all.
Turning around to face the blond, he noticed the smile on the other's face, and understood that Canada already knew. Still, he had the courtesy to ask.
"Do you like it?"
Prussia gave a nonchalant shrug, but the grin plastered on his face probably gave him away. "I'm gonna have to learn these people what 'beer' is supposed to taste like," he grumbled. "And start up one or two German schools, 'cause there's a sad lack of proper pronunciation around here."
Canada scoffed. "There's nothing wrong with my beer."
"Suuure there isn't, sugar," Prussia smirked. "And your pet doesn't know how to pick locks either. Because I so didn't leave the bathroom door wide open!"
The younger nation – or should he just say nation? He really wasn't one himself any more, was he? – turned his face away, but Prussia could still make out the small blush. Prussia grinned wider. Oh, so maybe he wasn't a nation anymore, but he was still around, and he would make the best of the situation. Teasing his host-country would just have to do, now that he wouldn't be staying with West any more.
He turned to face the village again. It was small, with only about 1000 habitants, but they were his habitants, and he'd make sure to teach them how to be just as awesome as they deserved to be, being his people and all. Behind him, he could hear Canada sigh lightly.
Over the next few months, Prussia learned a few new things.
Like to never leave a freshly baked Gugelkupf to cool by an open window. Canada's wildlife wasn't only bigger than Germany's; it was also a bit more prone to violence. And while Prussia was an excellent shot, he'd prefer not to have moose gutter splattered all over the floor and walls of his new home.
Like how welcoming his brother and brother-in-law (something Germany protested wildly - and a bit flaily - to, while Italy just blinked in feigned innocence) to his "awesome home" could be the best friggin' feeling in the world. (There couldn't possibly be anything "humble" about any place that Prussia called his own, after all.)
Like appreciating the simplest things like imported German beer, a taste of a bright future on his tongue, a warm evening in May, on his very own porch, watching the sun set behind high treetops.
Like how waking up to fresh pancakes and maple syrup on a regular basis was something you got addicted to pretty damn fast.
Like how Canada blushed bright red every time he got a compliment, even if it was for something as simple as his food. (Thank god the kid had inherited his cooking from France and not England. Thank god.)
Like how Canada blushing so prettily made strange things flutter through Prussia's mind, settling like a pleasant ache in his heart.
But that is a different story.
Note the second: Except it really isn't, since this developed into a multi-chapter story in two parts. First part is Become One With Canada, and it will contain around 25 chapters.