Inspired by the song No Trivia by From Autumn to Ashes. I totally recommend putting it on repeat while reading this because it suits the mood pretty well.
And I'm sorry for making Gilbert so depressed I love love love him in general but I just heard this while thinking about Hetalia and it made me think of a sad lonely Gilbert.. :/
Main Pairings: one-sided Prussia/Hungary. Austria/Hungary.
His fist crumpled the creased slip of paper haphazardly into a tight ball. Pulling in a low breath, he recited the code to himself: M4VTC and H, and absently ran a slender hand through his silvery hair. Why the fuck had he thought this would be a good idea?
If he acted now, he could leave the airport and pretend he'd never even toyed with such an absurd idea. He could pretend none of this had ever happened.
The crumpled paper in his fist unfurled as his fingers grew lax, and he began unfolding the mess he'd made, deciding that if he could make it look halfway presentable before he had to board the flight, he'd leave.
His fingertips slowly smoothed over the creases with painstaking accuracy against his knee, and he watched the edges curl up when, a fourth of the way done unfolding, he heard it. The voice in the intercom above boomed "des Fluges für Österreich steht jetzt zum Einsteigen", and that was when Gilbert knew it was too late.
Even if it wasn't, he knew he'd always meant to show up –for her sake. He'd do her the honor of his presence just this once, because she was Elizabeta and she deserved at least this much from him.
He stood up and made his way through the doors, thrusting his boarding pass at a nearby stewardess with bouncing chestnut curls.
The plane was small – and the number of passengers was even smaller. The walkway creaked under his boots and the rickety plane only confirmed his impressions that he was making a bad decision, but it was too late now.
Wasn't it always?
Once he found his seat and stowed away his luggage into the upper compartment, Gilbert whipped out a sleek cream-colored invitation from his bag, slightly worn at the edges from his constant fidgeting with it. This lone piece of paper was the only reason he'd ever make his way back to that god awful country Austria, and so here he was, strapped down and ready to fly just for the sake of one goddamn piece of paper.
In perfect cursive, it read 'You have been cordially invited to celebrate the marriage of Roderich Edelstein and Elizabeta Héderváry' The details were listed below the grandiose greeting, but none of that really mattered to him. All that mattered was that Elizabeta Héderváry' was going to become Elizabeta Edelstein, and that just wasn't right.
Gilbert knew they hadn't wanted to invite him – who would? And yet, he couldn't help himself from coming – just to see her again. Just to prove a point.
The pilot at the cockpit mumbled into the microphone about the weather – that if his plane was up to it and fate were on their side, the skies would clear up and the storm, so frustrating to his plans, would relent.
Gilbert simply scoffed.
Like fate had anything to do with it.
The plane took off moments later amidst a smattering of rain, and the dark gloomy sky of Germany glared at him from the window. It wouldn't be a long flight and it wouldn't be horrible. That Austria was only a few hours or so from his home didn't mean a thing to him. Ludwig and Feliciano had decided to go by car, but Gilbert hadn't the heart to be fucked enough to have to deal with the two lovebirds, and driving on his own in his current state of mind would have been dangerous.
It was always solitary for him. And he was fine with it. He was fine sitting alone in the airplane, watching the hazy German sky pass over.
Coasting the air now, the rain was behind them and he closed his eyes, trying to remember where things had gone wrong. When the music had stopped playing for them and started up for Roderich instead.
'This was a mistake. Get out.'
'Fuck, wait. Are you serious?'
'Get out before Roderich comes home or I swear I'll knock you out and drag you away myself'
'You don't understand… please, Gilbert.' She cast a wary glance at him from the soiled bedsheets. 'I'm sorry. I.. I can't do this to him. This was a mistake. I'm so sorry.'
It'd been a mistake, coming with Ludwig to visit the Austrian that time. He'd met Elizabeta that day along with Roderich, but it was the woman that just clicked with him. It wasn't supposed to happen – but even she knew they had a connection when they met. Something deeper, something meaningful. And she'd made a bad choice – always so doomed for misfortunate – and they'd woken up the next morning to so much regret.
Some people were born with sorrow in their blood. Gilbert was just one of the few.
He was prideful – refused to show his pain. Refused help. Refused everything. Nobody knew about that night and nobody ever would. That was the unspoken secret between the two, and it would remain that way to the grave.
But it wasn't a secret that Elizabeta's eyes always narrowed with a suspicious dark aura when she saw him. It wasn't a surprise that Gilbert's voice always went a pitch lower than normal and he tried even harder to be as showy and arrogant as possible when she was around.
Only in the dead of the night could he even bother to let down the façade.
When he opened his eyes, he realized the music had never been playing for him. It'd always been for Roderich – Gilbert was just a short messy interlude better left unsung. A composer's cut would've written him out of the score, but it was too late for that now.
And wasn't it always?
When the plane landed, Gilbert quickly retrieved his luggage and walked out into the Austrian sunlight. Somehow everything seemed so much brighter there than in Germany.
A hotel had been selected for the guests to stay at – where the lady at the desk with her startling green eyes asked him for his name.
"Ah… Yes. Are you the single or the couple?"
"The single." Gilbert leered at the woman with a fake smile. "Though if you'd like to come up and make it a couple…" She giggled, her emerald eyes flashing dangerously god they look just like Elizabeta's eyes and handed him his keys.
"Have a good day, Mr. Beilschmidt."
So he went up, dropped off his luggage and settled down. Next door, he could hear Ludwig and Feliciano talking about something and he became all too aware of the little box he'd checked 'single' next to. Not bringing a date. Well, it didn't matter. He just wanted to see Elizabeta off before she became Mrs. Edelstein. Before she became someone he didn't want to know.
He perused through his things and pulled out a navy blue blazer – the same one he'd precariously thrown off that night in the heat of the moment. A memento that only the two of them could enjoy.
Today was the rehearsal dinner and it was supposed to be beautiful. The hotel they had picked was elegant and everything due to Roderich's precise planning was going perfectly.
Part of Gilbert wanted to \ attend the dinner and part of him wanted to get completely and utterly smashed.
He chose the latter option. And he chose to go about it alone.
After all, nobody knew about what the two had been through, Nobody understood why he'd want to get so blazed because of the impending wedding. Besides, a drinking fest alone was just how he liked it. Quiet, solitary. It was fine.
He'd be fine.
Alcohol was, in one word, fucking awesome. Alcohol didn't leave you high and dry, alcohol didn't soften around the edges, and alcohol didn't fuck you and then prance away with someone else to get married, to share a last name with someone else, to have little children and to do god knows what else that the married do.
The Prussian decided that if he had his choice, he'd have married an endless supply of alcohol over that dumb bitch Elizabeta any day.
Which only seemed reasonable as he slammed his empty glass down, demanding another refill. Fucking… Elizabeta Edelstein…
"Well, look at you."
"You're going to feel that tomorrow. Be glad the wedding's actually taking place in the evening," A firm hand pressed down against his back, and a tall blonde man sat himself on the chair next to Gilbert.
"Ah who the fuck cares about that stupid wedding anyways?" Ludwig cocked an eyebrow and took the now filled glass away from his older brother, sliding the contents down his own throat. Gilbert glared at the blonde and wearily reached out to take his alcohol back. "EY bastard, mind giving me that back?!"
"Go back to your room Gilbert. Elizabeta doesn't need you drunk walking all over the place"
"Ah, fuck what Elizabeta wants too!" He slurred, unsteadily maintaining his seated position in the chair. It appeared even alcohol had rejected him for Ludwig now – so what the fuck was he supposed to marry now, if not Elizabeta or alcohol? All the thinking was fucking with his head and it began to swim with doubts and regrets and that fucking look on Elizabeta's face when she saw Roderich enter the house for the day. So, so, so pathetic. Gilbert felt his head fill up with hot air, felt his brain implode and suddenly, in a dizzy stupor, collapsed onto the counter.
Ludwig carried him back to his room that night, and with the help of Feliciano, managed to make him suitable for sleep, leaving him to empty dreams and fitful shaking.
Gilbert woke up the next afternoon with a splitting headache and a stomach ready to vomit. It didn't help that he was instantly reminded by the sheer Austrian-style tapestries on the hotel walls that he was in an Austrian hotel, lying in an Austrian bed, for a goddamn Austrian wedding. He felt like shit, no thanks to that fucking horrible decision he'd made, and as he absently took a shower, he mused that he still hadn't seen Elizabeta.
She hadn't seen him either.
The hot water splashed across his body, easing his tired muscles. He had a few hours before he had to head down to the church with Antonio, Romano, Ludwig, and Feliciano, but somehow he didn't exactly feel up for the ride.
Once he lathered up and washed off completely, he toweled himself off as quickly as possible to allow his hair to dry. He made it a point to shave as closely as he could, to use the same scent that Elizabeta had once told him she absolutely loved, to dry his hair and set it to perfection. It only once crossed his mind that he might've been going overboard, but he simply reminded himself that he was only going to these lengths so he could hit on the bridesmaids or something. Something like that.
The black button-up shirt went on, and his navy blue blazer fitted over it. He set the cross-shaped necklace he had bought on a whim with Elizabeta on his first trip to Austria over the collar and pulled on a pair of black trousers. Gilbert reasoned that if Elizabeta didn't want him at his absolute best, there was really no reason for him to even try anymore. This was just his final temptation.
When it was time to leave, Ludwig knocked forcefully at the door, calling his name. Gilbert checked his image once more and strode out, determined and ready – but he wasn't really sure what he was setting out to prove. The five piled into a car, driving their way to the address on their invitation.
At their arrival, Gilbert knew exactly who had planned the entire thing. It had to have been Roderich. The church, the flowers, the scenery… everything right down to the candles were picked with a refined eye – an eye that he knew Elizabeta sorely lacked.
"Ve… This is beautiful, neh Ludwig?" Feliciano tugged at the blonde's sleeve, glancing over at the ornate church in absolute rapture. The German cast a gentle smile as he followed the Italian's coaxing tugs, looking around at the large church. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, it was perfect. Gilbert found his way to a pew and sat down next to the cheerful Spanish man and his lover, too preoccupied with the absolute beauty of it all. Of course Elizabeta deserved this. Of course.
He touched the cross necklace once as he glanced up at the looming cross at the head of the church. The guests were all filing in and sitting now, and god there were only a few more minutes before she became Mrs. Edelstein. The wedding was about to start and the groomsmen, the best man – Vash Zwingli of Switzerland –, and the priest walked in through the wooden side door, all serene and perfect in their rows. They turned and faced the guests.
Roderich stood there at the head of the altar, his hair perfectly coifed and an unmistakable smile on his face. His suit was impeccably pressed, his face clean-shaven, and his shoes perfectly shined. A flash of nerves ran across his face, but Gilbert knew it from even before he came; Gilbert was shit compared to him.
The relatives were then seated by the ushers.
Then the music started. It was a gentle, smooth melody, ghosting in soft tones and perfect harmonic chords played on the piano. Gilbert stood up as did the rest of the room to face the aisle where the ushers escorted the bridesmaids up along the lengthy corridor, with the maid of honor – Natalya Arlovskaya of Belarus – smiling prettily with her blonde hair bouncing along her back.
The flower girl and ring bearer, two tiny children who took piano lessons from Roderich, made their way shyly down after the woman, scattering soft petals onto the ground as the music began to swell. The composition grew from a faint melody to a soaring one, and Roderich from the altar smiled despite himself.
The song was something that Roderich had composed himself, and it was almost as beautiful as the woman who had slowly begun walking down the isle, her father in one arm and a bouquet of white and pale pink roses, surrounded by tiny ivory stephanotis accents in the other.
Gilbert had never seen anything so beautiful in his life.
In her hair, a soft halo of white flowers sat. The cascading chestnut brown waves slipped over her shoulder and she stared down, her face hidden in the white veil. Her dress hugged her body and spilled away at the waist into a flowing skirt and she looked absolutely perfect.
The music continued building as she made her way through and Gilbert wanted to scream at her to look his way, but her face was still slightly facing the ground. Even still, he could see the smile on her lips, the glimmer in her eyes, and he desperately wanted to throw up again.
Roderich's smile grew only wider as she was finally escorted all the way up to the archway, and the two standing side-by-side just looked utterly, devastatingly perfect together.
The priest cleared his throat and began.
"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sign of God – and in the face of this company – to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony…" and it was so bad that Gilbert wanted to walk right out at that moment.
Why had he thought it'd be a good idea to come? That's when he heard the words. "… speak now or forever hold thy peace."
And then, he felt hot, the black button up suddenly tight against his collarbone, and why couldn't the damn church have some better air conditioning? Elizabeta turned slightly to face the guests and her brilliant green eyes zoned in onto Gilbert's, and he could've sworn there was something there, as if she was coaxing him to say something. His legs felt like lead – he couldn't stand up, and his throat closed up. Even when he wanted to jump up and exclaim that this wasn't right, that Elizabeta and her perfect smile and her perfect eyes didn't belong to Roderich, he couldn't. The priest continued on and Gilbert continued sweating in the pew. The words, they'd already become like blurs to him.
All that he was aware of was the perfect wedding ceremony in front of him, with the wedding rings slipping onto each slender finger, and the vows being uttered from their perfect lips, and it just made him so physically ill.
He closed his eyes to try and let the sounds all drown out so he could just get this day over with, but then those words sounded like a bell in his head.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife."
And he opened his eyes and saw it. Roderich and Elizabeta, perfect for each other, perfect in each other's arms, in a breathtaking kiss, and everyone around him cheered but he couldn't even bring himself to breathe.
The reception was at a banquet hall in the hotel that Roderich had chosen. The food was impeccable, the wine was sublime, the lighting dim enough to set the mood. Music sang across the glittering hall and everybody was enjoying themselves.
Everybody except Gilbert Beilschmidt.
He downed a glass of wine, grunting that there really should be something way fucking stronger, but he grudgingly accepted another glass. It was his 6th glass when he noticed a pair of haunting green eyes staring at the nape of his neck. When he turned, he saw her.
"Hey." She sidled up next to him, veil long gone, and her hair slipping across her body like a waterfall. "I see you still haven't gotten over your little alcoholism."
"Congratu-fucking-lations. Forgive me for not being as refined as your husband, but frankly, I don't give a damn." Gilbert downed half of the glass in one gulp and swirled the rest of the contents lazily in the crystal glass, barely lifting his eyes from the rim.
"Oh, come on Gilbert, you knew this was going to happen…" She smiled sadly up at him before taking a drink of her own and sipping at the bitter wine. "'M surprised you came, actually." Gilbert drank the rest of his glass and swallowed his pride.
"Come outside with me for a second, yea? Private conversation…" He muttered, idly touching the edges of the cross necklace hanging from his neck. Elizabeta nodded solemnly, holding up the length of her dress as she quietly walked with him away from the dancing partners. When they stood outside, the quiet clinking of wine glasses, the soft classical music, and the ebb and flow of conversation all dimmed into white background noise. Gilbert breathed in, the bitter air burning through his aching lungs.
"Do you regret it?"
".. What do you mean?" Elizabeta shook her head good-naturedly. "If you mean marrying Roderich even after seeing you… then no."
"Are you happy?"
"Yes, Gilbert, I'm happy."
"… Do you regret what we did?"
"OH come on, Gilbert. That was a year ago… Of course I regret it. Of course I do. It was a mistake, and you even said it yourself. A mistake." Her voice slowly softened and he felt her slender arms wrap around his neck in a gentle embrace. Her body, the lines and curves, felt so reminiscent against him and he closed his eyes to realize there were tears dripping from his lashes, but he really couldn't be fucked to brush them off.
"Head up, Gilbert. Seriously, before I punch you in the gut." He laughed slightly at her words. "Believe me. You're going to find someone – someone who'll be able to give you the love I couldn't. Someone… awesome. Way more awesome than me, at-" And he couldn't help himself at that point. He crushed his lips onto hers, feeling the silky smoothness against his own wine-drenched lips. She stood paralyzed in shock, and her arms limply fell to her side before she immediately pushed him away. She laughed hollowly as she made sure Roderich was still inside.
"What the hell are you playing at, Beilschmidt…" Her slender fingertips brushed against her lips lightly, and that was enough for Gilbert to know that she hadn't forgotten him. "What the hell are you doing, wearing that blazer, with that necklace, and wearing that cologne? Why are you doing this…" She steeled herself, forcing the tears that had suddenly sprung out back away. "Tonight, just tonight, please. Let me be happy with him. I know you care about me but… you should only care about me as a guest. God Gilbert, I'm fucking married." She whispered with an incredulous laugh, staring into his crimson eyes. "Come back inside later, ok?" Then her heels signaled her leaving, her and her perfect white dress and her perfect makeup and her silky lips.
Gilbert absently touched the necklace with one hand as he ran the other hand through his hair.
"Are you depressed… that I was only a guest?" He muttered low to himself, burying his face in his hands. "Fuck."
It was too late for questions – wasn't it always?
He was alone now, and that was fine with him. He was born that way and was brought up that way. It didn't bother him. Not one bit.
Not even when he could see Roderich and Elizabeta dancing from the vantage point of his mind.
It didn't bother him one fucking bit.
Please review! I know he's OOC but I like having a sad and troubled Prussia ;
Critiques are very well appreciated as well!