SOY: this is just a collection of small drabbles, eight in total. The common theme is, as the title says, 'there are times'. The drabbles are not tied together by anything except the first two.
They are too short to be published by themselves, or one for each chapter in a short story, so this was the only way I could see this published here.
In order the characters are Italy, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, America, Poland and Prussia. There are mentions of pairings, you can see them in the warnings.
Warnings: some shounen–ai mentioned, but nothing much, for the following pairings –GerIta, RuLit, LitPo, USUK. Brotherly KoChi and ChiJa. Dark themes, angst.
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia, nor will I ever own it.
There are times
There are times – North Italy
There are times Feliciano wakes at night with the ghostly touch of foreign, soft lips on his own, and words spoken with certainty of love and promises that smell like blooming flowers in his ears; the pain grips at his insides and at his heart then, so strongly that he has a hard time breathing, and air comes in short gasps and chocked sobs.
It hurts, and it's not just because it's a memory of his very first love, or because it's long gone, and the memory is still haunting him… he was so very young, back then, but he's suffered enough –he's learned to let go, and yet it still hurts.
When the sun shines brightly in the sky, and the world looks good, he can even lie to himself, and the shadows do not hover that painfully in his heart.
No, he suffers the most because when it's like this, at night, in the dark, everything silent, everything black, he can't but think of how things could have been.
To be loved so dearly.
How it could have changed his life, his future, the course of his own life–
It shouldn't hurt at all, because it's in the past. And Italy is used to being cheerful and forget, that's what everybody thinks, that he's an idiot and weak and pitiful and–
It's not that.
He's weak because he hates fighting. He's cheerful because he doesn't want to know about pain.
Doesn't want to remember. Doesn't want to think. He's an idiot because he thinks too much, and each thought hurts, and he knows what happens to those that move too high in the sky–
He's seen it happen. So many times.
If you fight, you hurt others. If you hurt others, they will hurt you, or worse hurt those you hold close.
And he's only ever loved one person (at least before Germany came), and that person left him forever.
It had been a pure love.
But his love, his first love, is dead, and only uncertainty remains and he's left empty and clingy and desperate because he's afraid –so deeply frightened that others will leave as well, that those he cares so much for will eventually turn their backs on him and move on and leave him.
And he'll be alone again.
He blindly trusts others, over and over again, until there is no more security in his gestures, his attitude is trembling, the strain of smiling and faking drains his energy and leaves him close to collapsing, and every day it's the same, and he only wants someone to truly trust, someone he can give up to, someone–
Wants that someone, yet doesn't want him to appear. Because then the fear will come back.
Unconsciously turning into someone no one would ever want close, trying to protect himself from hurt, silly and stupid and loud and useless, and…
Refusing to accept that someone has appeared already, wanting him and hating him–
Hugs and kisses and–
Smiles and screams, crying in the darkness, denying himself the chance, a friend that is a friend but something more, pushed away, fooled and then greeted with love, and…
And when the despair is at its peak, he runs.
Runs through the land, uncaring if he's naked, uncaring if he's once again disturbing Switzerland, uncaring of the time, of anything that isn't his need to have someone at his side.
And he runs and slithers unnoticed in Ludwig's home, with no dog barking at his appearance, no sound made, and he's so silent and sneaky even if his own gasps are loud like explosions, and then he slips into the German's bed.
At night, he can't deny his needs.
Italy allows the scent of the other Nation to curl around him, and his lungs slowly unclench, and he breathes again, and his thumping heart calms down. Germany is sleeping without a sound, propped on a side, and Feliciano curls against his relaxed body, pressing his head on Ludwig's chest, snuggling as close as he can.
And then, he quietly laughs, cries, sobs and weeps and after what feels like eternity, he falls into a deep, peaceful sleep, feeling safe and protected because Ludwig is the only anchor he has left, and he has promised to never forget him, and he had promised to stay by his side and protect him and he's still there.
He can trust this last time, because it's Ludwig.
There are times – Germany
There are times Ludwig wakes up to the coppery taste of blood lingering in his tongue, nostrils filled with gunpowder, grains of terrain under his fingers and the deafening sound of bombs falling all around him.
He cringes at the pain cursing through his body, phantom pain of a past he cannot bury, no matter how many years pass by, a past he can't detangle from his limbs, of tears and screaming and burning and killing, reflected in the eyes of people around him that as well cannot let go (or maybe it's the past that can't let go of them), and it constricts his lungs and he can't breathe and so he wheezes and clenches his hands in the sheets and gasps–
But he can't forget and can't stop
And his face is the only thing he sees when he closes his eyes, and grits his teeth, but that face never disappears, the voice that ordered millions to death, the voice that lulled crowds to silence, and the blood seeps through into a horrifying disembodiment of a deconsecrated cross with sharp edges running into an endless spiral.
It is the past. It is his past.
But it's too fresh. It didn't have time to scar, the wound is still bleeding, still raw, with sharp blades pressing into it all the time, with so many people remembering and hating him, and his fellow nations staring at him with those eyes filled with suspicion, as if waiting for him to do it again, as if this cruelty could only be his fault and his alone–
When it wasn't.
And their eyes are still filled with accusations, with proof, and that he was a simple soldier who couldn't control his leader, only had to obey despite knowing it was wrong, knowing it was wounding him deeply, and Ludwig wants to thrash around and scream.
Choking on grey, heavy smoke coming from long, dark chimneys, smoke that is made of people and bodies burnt, smoke that is the remains of one of the worst calamities the world has ever seen.
And it was all because of him. Of cruel eyes and cruel voice and cruel person who made sweet promises laced with venom.
And Germany is the one alive to suffer the hatred, and he feels alone, so alone–
And then, arms tighten around his chest and wide eyes look down at a sleeping Italy, and the world comes into focus again. And the noise, the wails, the screams and explosions vanish and the only remaining sound is that of his heart.
He is not alone.
Feliciano might be stupid and loud and useless but he's there for him whenever he needs it, and maybe Ludwig might not love him yet, but he's getting there, and it's that little something called hope that fills him now and replaces the blood and the despair…
So he closes his eyes and his arms tighten around Italy's smaller frame and listens to the soft breathing of the other Nation and his mind echoes with peace.
There are times – Russia
There are times Ivan wakes at night with a lucidity that eludes him for centuries.
His brain rolls in the right direction, his mind so splendidly unclouded, and everything is sharp again, and the stars in the sky outside his window mean something more and the cold air fills his lungs, and Russia feels finally whole again and–
And then he remembers.
The wails, the screams, the pain –the cold seeping into his clothes as he worked through hard, unmerciful soil, breaking nails and bleeding, the gazes of his people demanding and wanting and throwing curses at him because it's his fault, and his joy at hurting them, hurting himself, causing sufferance, causing distraught
His excitement in brandishing whatever weapon in order to hurt –because he doesn't need children who disrespect him.
He remembers whipping his Lithuania –the feeling of the leather cord in his grip, the sound of it as it slashes through the air, the satisfying slap on naked skin that fills Ivan with pleasure even though part of his brain rejects the image, disgusted…
He remembers of his dreams –of sunflowers and heat, of rest, and sun and puffy clouds in the sky, of warm voices calling him friend, of people at his side, smiling instead of trembling with fear–
His sisters leaving him, despite his protests.
His nations crying, running in fear, wanting independence, wanting freedom and PEACE–
And he realises everything he has done, and the weight is so strong, so heavy that he slams his fists in the wall, then rips his own hair off, clutching at his own arms for support of an embrace that isn't for him…
And everything is so wrong and it screams at him, he's the cause of his pain, he's the sole cause of everybody's pain, but he only wanted them back, he only wanted them to come back and be one with him, because he doesn't want to be left alone, because he's scared, afraid, frightened, alone–
And the blood curling scream tears at his insides, bubbling like an atomic bomb through his throat, and he claws at it, scratching his bare skin, gritting his teeth, rolling on the floor and snapping his eyes so wide open they fill with blood, because it's so holychristsoverywrong–
And fingers curl hesitantly over his own.
The touch is so foreign it shocks him, muting his scream, which dries and vanishes, and leaves Ivan gasping for breath, so tired. Eyes look deep into his own, with fear, yes, but also with determination, and a vague hint of care. Ivan weeps, ears filled with comforting words and soothing tones, and allows Lithuania to bring him back to the bed.
He sits down and can only mouth his plead for forgiveness, because he can feel the insanity press at the sides of his brain and can't fight it –won't fight it, because it's better to be crazy and not feel this pressure, knowing each instant of clarity of mind rips something out from him, and tortures him to the depths of his soul.
And Russia smells sunflowers and feels the warmth of Lithuania's body against his own, and knows that through his threats and pain, the other Nation will still remain with him, and always return, because he knows and has been there every time, and even when Russia himself can't remember, Lithuania will.
The thought hurts, but it would hurt more to know he's alone, to know that Toris isn't staying…
Ivan allows the cloud of insanity to fill his mind again, and allows sleep to grab him and pull him away, because in the end, insanity is the only thing keeping him alive, and is both aware and unaware of Toris crying and sobbing at his side.
There are times – China
There are times when Yao wakes up and cannot move. His arms are heavy and his legs are bound together by strict, rough bandages.
His feet hurt.
They hurt with the pain of millions of women, bound until the bones shift and bend on angles that are not supposed to be bent, until they get smaller and smaller and the perfect length is three inches and baby shoes can be wrapped around adults' feet.
They hurt doing small, hesitant steps that resemble a hopping sparrow, fragile and gracious to look at, so weak, to be protected, to be shielded, but hurting on the inside, with each bounce, precariously balancing on fingers that are pressed on the underneath of the foot.
They hurt with the mentality of millions of men controlling their lives, of a beauty whose tradition goes back in time until the memory vanishes in the folds of the past, and only bandages and pain exist.
They hurt on him because it's his children that suffered and with them, he suffered too.
His feet hurt, and soon enough the pain moves to his whole back, for a disrupted balance that shifts bones and vertebras, posture forever compromised.
Then the pain spikes up inside his heart when the familiar face of his acquired brother, once a child, flickers in his mind, followed by his betrayal –and a sword bleeds with his own blood, and his people cry out, slaves of a Nation that grew too fast to be contained.
Everything hurts, and Yao's mind can't concentrate on his Tao, on his teachings, on the very foundations of his being, because his inner balance isn't anymore, and there's only pain and despair and betrayal–
And then another face slashes through his thoughts, the face of a young man who came to power and lied, and screamed and spoke with authority and power, whose voice was musical, whose words held the promises for a new era –whose strength had helped China get rid of Japan's control.
But it's pain again.
Many of his children dying…
Gunshots exploding everywhere, and then it's torture, of bones cracking under the weight of wooden blocks pushed under his feet, of dislodged arms, of fractured dreams and burns and whips–
And blood. Slowly, inexorably, the colour red seeps wherever his eyes look at, in the darkness of what he knows to be his room, but resembles only a room of hell, and red on cloths tied around arms of generations of believers, and young kids sent to kill or die in fights that can only hide so much of what that man is thinking and–
He's alone in the room, in his house, because he's been deserted. There is no one to be with him, no person to understand the pain, no soul that he can confide into, with his crumbling life, and his children dying.
He shrieks because his memory is only in the past, where he's lived. Screams so hard he believes everywhere in the world Nations will hear him and screams, screams and–
In his ears, metal coins tingle musically as they fall on the floor, pages flipped open.
The sound is full and warm. Words seep through his pain, banishing it, a balm on his wounds, bandages unfolding from his feet, chains shattering.
Suddenly, the rooms fills with light.
The morning has come, the sun is slithering through, dispelling the dream, the memories and the pain. Yao breathes in, and suddenly can see again, with the added light, the few touches that reveal him that time has indeed passed.
Gifts from Japan, given to him as a sign of reconciliation that their people still can't find. Gifts from Korea, his other brother, that speak of idiocies but given with thoughtful care. Gifts from his allies, from other Nations he came to know.
Grudges melting. Alliances forming. Meeting new people, finding ways to grow, to move.
Time can't unfold back, as it can only roll forwards.
China is still maybe tied, bound, blinded, but Yao knows he can still move forwards, where a better future awaits those who can wait, who have patience, who have hope and balance. And his balance is restored with the light of the sun, chasing away his nightmares.
Yao shifts back down on the mattress, groaning as his body still buzzes from the pain, and closes his eyes to the light, drifting away, but still peaceful.
Korea is silent outside the room, frozen on the spot, for once unable to smile, lips twitching downwards. Maybe this time, he won't enter the room to mess with dearest brother. Maybe this time, he will just go back home and work his day away.
There are times – Japan
There are times Kiku spends the night rolling around, fever clutching at his mind, sweat rolling down his back, and cries.
Times when every breath he takes smells of smoke –thick, disgusting and foul, smoke that fills his lungs and makes him choke, smoke that burns its way through his body, and he can feel it change–
Thick like charcoal, thick like tar, solidifying inside his lungs, bubbling up to his lips.
Heart thumps faster, eyes wide, reflecting poison in the sky, so beautiful and yet so deathly and so close, a dark wave that is coming
Nowhere to run, nowhere to go, he tries to get out of his bed, but he can't move, and his eyes are filled with darkness and smoke and fire…
It's all over him again–
Japan shouts. Loudly. Composure forgotten, he scrambles on his futon, gripping the thin sheets so tightly his nails break, and the pungent smell of blood washes away the candid surface. He has to get away, but he can't –he can't run, he can't hide, and the fungus is coming, seeping into him, and he's changing–
His skin ripples, it's falling away, dark blobs and cancer cover every inch of his back, and it hurts and his face is falling apart, yellow and disgusting, and his finger are left unfeeling, he's lost where not even his katana can help.
He grasps at the sheets again, clutches at them as wetness penetrates his skin, until it turns into bones and flesh and they're being eaten away from his face–
He cries tears for the thousands that were killed painfully but quickly, their cries vanishing like a flame in the wind, their hopes leaving nothing but a gaping hole, where grass grows wrong and dreams are shattered and deformed.
Utter, unending pain
He cries blood for the thousands that didn't die –those that had to live day after day with growing cancers inside, with skin rippling of black poison coming out of their pores.
It gnaws at his insides, burning his bones
He cries for the generations that were born mutated, deformed, different–
Eyes unseeing, fever clutching at his throat, Japan chokes in his own bile, and he feels alone –because he's alone, because he wanted to be alone and separated and now he is, and it won't help and it's just so painful–
Someone cries out. And it's his name.
Eyes wide, their black so white, empty and vacuous, Japan reacts wildly, lashing at the air, and is only barely aware of someone holding him.
The body against his is soft, firm and as lithe as his own, holding him down. Japan panics, nails digging into flesh, and is only then aware that he can feel his fingers again…
Someone is holding him close, scent of flowers and sugar and the smell of bamboo leaves fill his nostrils, as sweet as a balm, spreading through his senses, vanquishing the horrible stench of rotten skin.
Gasping for fresh air, Japan clutches at red cloth, black curtains of silk falling over his eyes, and he breathes in–
His name is being repeated, and slowly, so slowly, his wounds retreat –the skin covers gaping flesh again, the blood is drained away, the pain recedes, and even his face is free from blackness; lungs exhaling darkened poison in puffs that only he can see, yet his clutch on the body close to his own does not cease.
He's speaking –he cannot hear himself talk, but he knows he is, the words go through his brain before they leave his lips, and it's a name and it's a prayer and it's a plead and it's pleasehelpmedon'tletgoplease–
The chest against his cheek trembles and rumbles and vibrates, and he doesn't care if he cannot hear the words that are being spoken, because it's not important.
It's a body, it's here, it's strong and forgiving, and won't –won't let go…
Hands around his shoulders, cradling him, making him feel younger, and he shouldn't be accepting this, because he's Japan, he's old and has lived so long, and his pride should prevent him from accepting this, but–
But he clings and cannot let go, and keeps breathing, and the sweet scent of bamboo is still so strong, and it calms his aching heart, and even if he wants to beg for forgiveness, almost wishing he can be reprimanded like a child, the only word that leaves his lips is please.
Because he's also young, compared to the one holding him, as young as a baby, and this pain shouldn't be possible, and he yields, tears rolling down his cheeks, because –he needs this, comforted and wanted and…
Don't let go.
Don't let me fall back into that nightmare.
I hurt you but please –don't leave me.
It's important he remembers –he has to remember, gripping at this thought, he has to remember…
The soft touches of hands on his chin, on his eyes, closing them, the soft smell of rice and cooking he secretly longs to taste again, a voice he wants to remember forever, of a past that has long since gone, a relationship he lost by his own actions…
Maybe it's irreparably lost, maybe not
Kiku doesn't care. He lets himself go, body still humming in pain, but it's gone.
Sleep burns his consciousness, and he falls where the nightmares cannot reach, where the pain of the burns and the contamination won't be able to choke him.
In the arms of someone who has once been his father, his brother, his everything…
There are times – America
There are times Alfred wakes up at night, and remembers.
Remembers of something that was before everyone else, when he was alone, running through beautiful forests, drinking the cold water of the rivers.
The taste of that water is forever burned into his memory, tongue coming to lap at his lips in remembrance of a sweet, fresh flavour –it's icy cold and delicious.
America groans, rolls into his bed, and his eyes can still see the tall trees above his head, disappearing into the sky, leaves rustling with a cool wind, and he can still feel the bark under his fingertips as he grabs the branches, jumping and climbing high–
Everything is wide.
A sea of trees, of vivid green, of grass and leaves and treetops, standing on top of his sequoia, little fingers holding himself still, and…
And away, in the distance, the mountains, proud and silent and ancient.
Alfred runs –he's been running since forever, in his dreams and his wake alike, the leaves cracking under his footsteps, animals never disturbed by his passage, birds flying high…
There's more than anything he might ever want, there's more of everything, of light and darkness, of company and solitude, of animals and nature, and trees…
He loves that.
He laughs, chuckles, giggles, twirling around, twin figure with another, his brother, the only one reminding him that he's not one but two–
Then they come.
Like a plague, like an endless sea of white, bringing pain and disrupting his peace.
Stench of something he barely understands, of gunpowder, exploding everywhere, trees falling, being cut into pieces, animals running, killed, chased away, burned–
He runs, but this time it's to escape –everywhere he turns, there's crimson and grey and he sees white skin, whiter than he's ever seen, and his own skin turns so pale every day passing by, and he doesn't understand but it's painful.
And those people ask for gold.
There is no gold, there is only green, and brown, and there's red and blue and yellow of the flowers, and there's fruits and grains and vegetables, but he does not know of gold, and he's so scared…
It hurts inside –the beautiful forests are falling
His people –darkened skin under the sun, that beautiful shade, earthily colour, humming with strength of nature… his people are dying.
The white people kill
The white people hurt his own
America runs again, little arms still too chubby to be of any help, and seeks solace in solitude, and then he's found out and they're so scary–
America sits up on his bed, it weeps under his weight, eyes filled with tears –he doesn't want to remember, the pain, the sorrow, the loss– he can't smell trees anymore, he can't run with animals, he can't climb on high trees, and there is no sea of green anymore, only metal and more metal, and then people, a sea of people and–
And he looks at his side, where his England sleeps, where the person he loves is sleeping, soundly, deeply, and–
The feeling burns its way inside him like molten lava, burning away love, burning away pain, and America wants to lean forwards, to wrap his fingers around England's throat and–
For all his children, for all those natives that were killed for gold, for all those natives deported into the Old World for the sake of being shown around…
Alfred is filled with hatred, and he wants to cry –scream, nail and kill, choke and throttle, because he cannot regain what he once was, and it's all because of them, of the others like him that came to his place–
Hatred that can come back, because America has new children to take care of, but his older ones are never really forgotten, and it's still painful, and he can't forget–
Arthur shifts in his sleep. There are tears in his eyes –they match those of Alfred, the thumping of their heart is unknowingly matching, pace that hums of old, slow, fast, quick and slow.
Gently, Alfred brushes one finger on Arthur's chin.
His hands come to massage that sweet neck that he will never be able to hurt, tracing its contours as gently as he'd fingered flowers in a past that is long gone, as gently as he would have patted his old animal friends' fur…
England that has hurt him as others have –betraying his trust, leaving him alone, fighting against him, protecting him, holding his hand and giving him a family, giving him love, killing, saving his people…
Nothing makes sense, everything is nothing but sane and right and perfect and it's tremendously wrong–
Because he loves Arthur and despises England.
Because he understands what it means to destroy and control, and it's in their natures, and they all have to deal with it –because no Nation is free of sin.
They will all cry and dream and repent, for their lives are long, immortal, infinite, holding the life and death of every single child that lives upon them, and for every lost life, another one will be born.
And his natives are sleeping forever, but America and Alfred will forever remember –the taste of chilly water, of leaves, of before.
As long as he can remember, he can live for them.
As long as he wakes up at night, and feels, it will be right to live and smile and love and hate and cry.
There's no sanity in life, there's no craziness in death.
Running through a forest, forever.
Building walls. Building forts. Building skyscrapers. Making forests gardens flowers seeds grow –houses bunkers rifles gunstankscastles…
Alfred leans forwards, pressing one kiss on Arthur's lips, tasting his words (forgive me…) and knowing they are for him, and they are not for him all the same.
Their life is long enough to find relief and forgive.
Their life is long enough to remember and repent.
America closes his eyes, flops back down on the mattress, and holds Arthur close, and smiles.
There are times – Poland
There are times Feliks keeps awake at night, unable to close his eyes; if he does, the darkness hangs too close, choking him, holding around his neck a metallic collar that gets tighter with every breath.
Shadows creep closer and closer, brushing at his arms, tattooing numbers where he has to see them every day, carving the knowledge that he's not enough –not good enough, not brave enough, not–
Darkness edges into his vision, chasing away all light, and he feels sudden weight at his wrists and ankles, holding him down, preventing him to flee.
His eyes are wide open, but a cloth of shadows is covering them, and it's in vain that he looks around, he can't see anything but blackness, so complete and heavy and…
The smell of putrescent bodies, the smell of tears, of dirt and despair assaults his senses.
Flashes of light –rifles and guns shooting everywhere…
Bitter, dizzying smell of gas, filling him, making his body shut down –Poland cries out, gurgling in disgust, his body twisting and gasping, wildly thrashing against others, all pressed together, all is one and there's no running–
Where are his colours? All the eyes look void, dark, grey–
Hunger –immense, utter hunger, gnawing at his insides, demanding food, but there's nothing, just a watery broth that tastes of shit and dirt
Exhaustion and tears, running down emaciated cheeks, because there is no salvation, and there is only darkness everywhere, no more smell of sweet paint, of new clothes…
Feliks cries, sobs, nails at a bed that is made of silky sheets no more –it's cold soil, it's thin mattress with dirty stains, there are no blankets, no pillows, the same shirt and pants that everybody wears, striped fabric of pale, haunting nothingness–
He digs his nails into his skin, tearing, ripping it away, fresh blood assaults his nostrils like a disgusting stench, there's just no way to escape, nowhere to run no–
At least the blood, not the smell, but at least its colour, it's life, it's something different, it surely isn't black, grey, blank–
His children dying. Starvation, gassing, exhaustion, beatings, his girls raped, his kids shot, his men losing will to live, no hope in their minds, no desire to live, just a never ending sea of despair, of empty eyes–
The world has no colour, the world has no hope–
Poland gurgles out, chokes, sobs, scrubs his wrist raw, licks the blood away but there isn't even red –there's just a black hole, swallowing him whole.
He kicks, and something crashes in the dark, and then there's the sound of footsteps, running into his room, a door slams open.
Feliks readies himself to shriek even more, terrorized, frightened… they've come for him, there will be no more breathing now, they're finally here to kill him–
It'll be finally gone
He will be allowed to die, finally, his children can finally rest, because there's no hope unless it's death–
Light explodes in his vision.
The contours of the room around him are suddenly clear –there's the edge of the bed, with the beautiful coloured covers he bought ten years before, the smooth surface of his blanket, the wrinkles of his nightgown, pale pink and light orange, stained with the blood coming from his wrist, unmarked, unblemished–
Heart thumping wildly in his chest, Poland stares at his room, eyes taking in each and every colour like it's rain in the desert, the bright tones and the pastels, assaulting his brain, lulling him into confusion, still gasping loudly…
There's no grey, no eternal blackness –there's pink, and blue, orange green red yellow–
Gentle hands are nursing his wrist, dabbing the blood away with cotton, the touch so soft, so nice, and Feliks feels himself relax, numb to the motions, staring at the beautiful colour of the eyes that are looking at him, steady and warm.
All the colours of the world to paint the blankness from before.
Hiding it, masking it until he cannot recognise it anymore.
His sweet friend is speaking –consoling him, mournful, sad eyes yet bright words, and Poland nods, appeased, humming into silence, the light from the open door reassuring him more than any touch could ever…
In the morning, Feliks knows, he'll paint the room a brighter pink, and Toris will help.
The pink soothes him more, soft and delicate, pink of lively skin and life…
Then, he'll call Feliciano and Alfred, and they'll all go out shopping, bright colours, useless laughing so comfortingsonormalso–
Brighter pink will stand out even at night, he's sure of it. And more clothes, more colours, and a light to keep on during the whole night, so no darkness can get him anymore.
No black. No grey.
Any colour, even white, purity and cleanliness, to chase away the dark.
Curling in the arms of his Toris, Feliks shudders, tears still staining his cheeks, and closes his eyes.
There are times – Prussia
There are times Gilbert cannot sleep.
His sleep borderlines into the nothingness that threatens to pull him away, forgotten and gone.
Prussia is no more, the name left to a mere state, a memory, but before Prussia, Gilbert had been others; swords always shining under the sun, blood and knights and galloping on horses, fighting and conquering.
At night, not–Prussia, not–Teutonic–Knights, not–Nation… Gilbert remembers.
It's always then, when sleep is about to reach and grasp him, that he feels something bigger, something without a name, pull at his chest, demanding him to let go–
Gilbert refuses, pushes away, nails and bites and kicks, and instead clutches at his sheets, wishing for his sword once again.
It's strong. The pull.
It's like a melody, lulling him away, calling his attention, making him lose himself, and it's still sleep, but the more durable one, the one that won't let him open his eyes ever again, and there are so many things he has still to do, and there are so many things he can be, and fight for…
Gilbert holds strong, drenched and alone, knowing it's just for him –a never ending fight, a battle he faces so often, every time he's far too conscious to be lulled into sleep first.
Special, calling him only, ordering him to close his eyes, and…
It pulls, pushes, lures him in, words from the past, and he's tired sometimes, so tired, and the future means less and less every time, and can't he just–
He rolls in bed, pictures his sword in his mind, slashes the darkness with its brilliant blade, and no– he won't allow that to happen.
The world needs him, somehow, a nation that is not a nation, a being that can be anything and everything, something abnormal, free to be held by anything, free to exist for–
Noise of battle–
Blood and soil, running down, shouting, and it's exhilarating, heart beating in his chest, life running through him, and it's far too good…
The sound of a beautiful flute, melodies playing out for him, to him, the one and only King that he's ever respected…
A war he never wanted to take part into
Explosions, planes –no, this isn't his war, he doesn't want this, doesn't want to remember
Dismantled, dissolved, not a nation anymore, lost, something to grasp onto… please–
Prussia–not–Prussia, blood that is not his own anymore…
Isn't giving up better than this?
How much till he's something again?
Giving up, letting the darkness hold him, rest, rest forever, he's lived far too much, right?
Brown eyes flicker through his mind –then blue ones, then green, and a lighter blue again and–
There are others that want him alive.
There's Austria, and his bruder, and there's Italy, and Hungary, if only to hit him, but she wants him still, and then there's Spain, and France, and England, and–
Prussia is not Prussia, Gilbert is nothing for now, but the pull calling him isn't as strong as it was before.
Gilbert holds strong, because he's a fighter, he's a knight, he was something and isn't anymore, but he's alive and kicking and nothing will ever make him stop.
People and non–people, territory and not–territory, feeling what is his own and is not, shared but still his own.
Gilbert lays wide awake, waiting for the sun to rise again, another night spent, another battle won.
There will be other nights to sleep for real, after all –and life is just a battle that never ends.
Gilbert smirks, because he was born to fight, and he will not lose.
The sun is rising in the sky.
Another day to live.
SOY: I hope you enjoyed reading them all. I am not planning on doing any more of those, so it's something to cheer about, right? :)