Hetalia belongs to Hidekaz Himuruya

And no, in my usual headcanon, Prussia is not dead. I have no idea where this came from. All I can tell you is that I was listening to The Wall while writing this, which could explain a lot.

I have nothing else to say about this one.

The two men had waited until nearly dusk to come here. The quiet purple-hued time of day had always been their favourite time to wreck havoc and make a lot of noise.

They stood now, in front of the grave; a plain grey slab. On top of it lay a rusting Iron Cross. The blonde man reached out and touched it, silently. The brunette besides him did the same. He pulled a boquet of pale yellow flowers out from behind his back and set it in front of the grave.

Then they both sat, crosslegged and robotic, as one following a routine.

"Hey, Gil," the blonde spoke, softly. "How're you doing? It's nearly October, y' know. Hope they have beer in Heaven…or possible hell." He grinned weakly.

"Probably hell," his friend murmured quietly.

The blonde closed his eyes. If he concentrated very hard, he could picture the absent Gilbert, laughing and nodding.

Besides him, the brown haired Antonio also had his eyes closed. "We pulled an awesome trick on Roddy the other day, Gilbert," he said. "We rigged his piano."

Gilbert's wild laughter seemed to ring all around them. Nice one, guys.

"It wasn't as good without you, though."

"Yeah, Prusse," the blonde said, wistfully. "We just do it the same without you. Bad Touch Duo just doesn't have the same ring to it." A tear ran down his cheek from under his closed eyelid.

Stop crying, Francis, you sap.

"Sorry." Francis mumbled, wiping away the offending tear.

You too, Tonio.

Antonio didn't say anything, and allowed the tears to run freely down his tan cheeks, silently. He burrowed his face into Francis's shoulder.

The blonde Frenchman wrapped his arms around his friend and rested his chin on Antonio's head.

Remember the sleepover where we spent half the night making sure all the A's on Roddy's piano were tuned to B's, all the B's were C's, and so on?

Antonio grinned into Francis's jacket. "And remember the wrench that Ludwig used to curl up with whenever he went to sleep?"

"You really should have given him a teddy bear, Gil," Francis accused.

"Yeah. No wonder he's so rigid." Antonio put in.

Gilbert's voice –whether it was there or not- laughed. It's a standard I had to set. Germania never gave me more that a set of hunting knives. How is he, by the way? Ludwig? He rarely visits.

Francis rolled his eyes. "Clueless, pauvre garcon. He's head over heel in love with Feli, but he doesn't get it."

"he's still trying to recover from the mess you left him with." Antonio said, cheering up and rearranging himself in Francis' lap.

He needs something to do to take his mind off things.

Francis' face darkened,. "He's not doing oh so well in that aspect." He said, quietly.

What do you mean? The reply shot back, somewhat alarmed.

"He…well…is still trying to figure out how to live with all that…guilt."

Idiot. He has bigger things to worry about than some old war that happened.

Francis groaned. "You don't get it, Gil- he knows he screwed up, and he thinks he got to atone for it or some crazy shit like that!"

Well, he should try to do something to fix up the ruins of his country. Last time I checked, everyone around West was drowning in misery and guilt.

"Well, the situation hasn't improved much. At least Ivan's not got soldiers everywhere anymore."

"He smiles more, Gil," Antonio added, softly. "He's reconciled with Feli. That's helped."

I thought he told Feli some crapload about self-worth and how he was a soulless fucker who didn't deserve a nice piece of Italian ass like that?

"Erm…yeah…I seem to recall him saying something like that…"

"But nicer," Antonio admonished. "He blamed himself for all of the war and damages Feliciano took. And went on a rampage about 'tainted' and all that sort of honor garbage you guys love." Antonio rolled his green eyes. "He was real torn up about it, too."

I remember that. His blood alcohol content went up to .89 that night.

"It was the most touching, sweet…"

"Heartbreaking," Francis put in,

"Thing that you ever saw." concluded the Spaniard on his lap.

Yeah. A lot of sappy girl stuff.

"Oh, come on, Gilbert! You were there; don't tell me you weren't moved to tears!"

You fucking romantics. Both of you.

"Anyway. After the…your…funeral…Feli went over to Ludwig-"

"Who's crying –fucking crying, Gil-"

"And told him loved him, tainted or not."

"Only Feli got a bit mixed up and said he didn't care if Ludwig was painted or not, which lessened the beautiful atmosphere somewhat-"

"But it was still sweet."

Fucking awesome.

"Yeah. But, you know-"

"Feliciano's still in love with- well. He can't forget. And Ludwig can't remember."

"I wish you would just let us tell him, Gil," Francis wheedled. "It would be sooooo romantic, like a long lost lover and all-"



I SAID NO. You know how I found him? Lying amid all the death there- trauma, guys. It kills little bits of you. No wonder he can't remember. He died as the Holy Roman Empire, and somehow got back as- Germany. Trauma. That kind of war…

"Oh, fine then." Francis said, disappointed. He had had the touching scenario all set in his head already.

Better to let the past lie. Don't go stirring things up. The Holy Roman Empire is dead. It has passed Ludwig has a new country to worry about. He's not that little kid anymore.

"Ha- don't rack up the past- and yet we once walked in on you all up in you Teutonic Knight chain mail waving a sword about with-"

That was once. I'm entitled to nostalgia.

"Oh, and remember the Franco-Prus-"

"Shut up, Tonio, afore I throw you off my lap into that puddle."

That was the most fail-tacular thing you've ever done, Francis. Take on me? You gotta be kidding.

"Yeah, well you once fought a whole fucking war with Roddy over-"

Shut up. Silesia was a very pretty girl. Good with cars, too.

"A pretty crazy girl!"

You fucktard!


A cloud drifted over the sun, so low in the sky, and Antonio shivered, reminding them how late it was getting. They had been sitting them almost two hours.

Antonio curled tightly in Francis' lap, the Frenchman smoothing his brown curls and rubbing his back gently. "we should go."

I know- get back to your lives. You still got 'em. You spend too much time here, anyway.

They two men stood.

"We won't –can't- forget you, Gil. Ever." The Spaniard said, sadly. "You should've stuck around."

Hey. I tried, no?

The two men each rested a hand once again on the rusted Iron Cross.

"We really miss you," Antonio sniffed.

Aw, Tonio! Don't cry! C'mon- I miss you too! You don't need me! You got Lovi, Francis got Arthur-

"Ah, but Angleterre's no fun. And he doesn't like me."

Don't interrupt, you god dammed Frenchy. Go on with your lives. You got countries to run! Don't you…worry about…me.

The voice faded.

Francis wiped at his eyes furiously. Antonio bawled openly.

The living turned away, leaving the dead behind, with his rusting war honor of deeds forgotten and wilting offering of comfort. To any who walked by, they would have seen only two men speaking quietly to an unresponsive tombstone.

But the fading nation was there. They knew he was there.

He had to be.

...*shrugs* In my headcanon, after the war, Germany told Italy he wasn't good enough for him and a whole tearjerker like that.

You can choose to believe whether Gilbert was really talking to Francis and Antonio or not.