Chapter 1

Something about spring was inspiring and enchanting to Liechtenstein. The petite girl loved waking up to the fresh scent of flowers and life every morning, to go outside and feel the cool breeze and gentle warmth. She treasured every peaceful morning, cozy afternoon and calm evening.

After her usual breakfast, she amused herself in her flower garden. What just started out as a few buds here and there was a full-fledged work of art. Inside the little white fence and soft soil was a vast array of narcissus, daisy, honeysuckle, tulips. Each was tenderly cared for, their vibrant colors and strong stalks proof of how gentle and experience their caretaker was.

Liechtenstein found them lovely. There was only one flower she found truly beautiful, one she only grew in a special place. After finishing the duties of her main garden, she walked around the small house, to a windowsill with little pots of edelweiss. It was the room her brother stayed in when he visited.

She dared not wear gloves with these precious ones. They required real, living touch.

Often, Liechtenstein would see her brother sit at the window, looking at the flowers in meditation. He did this when he was troubled. If he were really upset, he'd open the window and gingerly touch them. Her heart swelled as she watered them now, happy to give her brother some comfort.

It seemed like he needed it nowadays. Used to, Switzerland stopped by every chance he got, which was at least three times a week. Now, plagued by difficulties of a recession that she kept hearing about, he was coming less and less. He hated that, and she knew it, as he loved her dearly and seeing her was his way of de-stressing those tightly wound nerves of his. But he had duties that were unavoidable, so Liechtenstein made sure that he came to a warm and comfortable place.

Switzerland said he'd come today, but of course there was a possibility he couldn't come. Liechtenstein knew this, and it disappointed them both, but duties were duties. Liechtenstein never had to worry about any of that, brother always took care of things for her. In a way, she was afraid to go to the big summits and meetings, because she knew nations argued. There was never peace for long. Even though her brother was always neutral, she saw the toll the stress and anger took on him.

To push these thoughts away, Liechtenstein decided to plant lilies.

Switzerland felt a headache coming. Not a big pounding one, but the worst kind, a nagging and slow one.

His sister always told him that happy thoughts could remove any kind of ache. Being a pessimist, it wasn't that simple. After years of service, his banks were faltering. He was losing billions. Elections were coming up, and annoying parties were back again. And the EU was on his ass, like always, wanting him in their stupid little group.

Minor things, really, but he hated anything that caused disruption to his normally quiet lifestyle. Granted, there was unrest all over Europe. A shortage of money everywhere, with the exception of some countries that lucked out.

His headache got worse; he really needed to stop thinking about all this. And he soon would, for he was visiting his dear sister, the only person he wanted to be near. She was selfless; she was thoughtful, unlike some of the other bastards on this giant peninsula. Sitting on a plane, just leaving the meeting in Germany, he closed his eyes and, as he often did, fondly think about his sister. She was probably gardening now, no doubt. Liechtenstein, like him, enjoyed routine, and every morning after breakfast she'd tend to her plants. After that'd she'd check the mail, wash up, pass some time sewing, clean the house, lunch, etc.

His was similar, just replace gardening with cleaning guns and sewing with shooting guns. He wasn't always like that, so orderly. He got it off somebody else. Somebody who would always wake up, wash, eat, play the piano...

And instantly Switzerland's cute little vision of a happy little sister gardening was replaced with him. A smaller, younger, cuter version of him, attempting to play piano with his short fingers, just as Liechtenstein attempted to dig into the tough dirt the first time she stabbed a small shovel into it. Both had a childish look of equal frustration at how messy they were handling this new task, but determination to conquer it. His mind betrayed him, finding the scene of little Austria attempting to play with his stubby digits cuter, and focussed on that.

Switzerland growled and instantly pounded his head, making his headache worse. Why did thoughts of that bastard have to always, always follow ones of his dear Liechtenstein!? They weren't alike in any way! One was cute and beaming, the other was just... Something extremely annoying.

He sighed angrily, irritation radiating off him. This hardly helped his already stressed body, and he remained testy and tightly wound until he reached the front steps of his sister's little house.

Like always, he was greeted with an excited hug and bright eyes. Switzerland wanted to give her an equally tight hug back, but he was too tired. Liechtenstein sensed this and quickly advised him to sit, take his shoes off, relax while she made tea. The nation couldn't think of anything he wanted more.

Liechtenstein knew her brother hated nation duties, so she didn't ask him how his day went. His hands rubbing his temple and his slouched appearance said it all. So she'd talk about her day, even though the same happened.

"I planted some lilies. I haven't tried them before. I hope they'll turn out okay." The small girl said as she handed her brother a cup of tea.

"They always do, Vanessa," Switzerland took the cup with a small smile, a feature rarely on his face. It made Vanessa smile too. She continued, "And my draperies are worn, so I'm sewing new ones."

Switzerland's smile left. "If you need something, I'll get it for you," He said. Always a frugal person, except when it came to her.

Vanessa knew this and never took advantage of it. She shook her head. "I've never sewn draperies. I wanted to try."

Unlike some, Vanessa and Vash were comfortable in silence. When there was nothing else to say, Vash could lean back in the chair, resting his head comfortably and closed his eyes, often falling asleep. Vanessa would pick up her cross-stitch or a book, but first she had to open her letters.

Vanessa rarely left her home, half because her brother deemed it unsafe and half because she found no need to. She enjoyed speaking to the small teen nations of Sealand and Seychelles. They were very outgoing compared to her and sent long letters detailing things they had done, but they always questioned about her, which she'd answer modestly back. She enjoyed listening.

After she had read their letters, brimming with youthful excitement, she turned to the last one. Looking at the sender, she said happily, "Oh, mister Austria responded!"

And instantly Vanessa wished she had kept it to herself. Her brother's features glowered. "Why'd he write you?"

Well, he wasn't upset with her, but she really didn't want him stressing again. "I asked him for some cake recipes. Hungary said he baked good cakes."

That was harmless enough, Vash decided, but it didn't make him any less comfortable. Stupid Austria. Harassing his sister with German sweet recipes. Actually... did he even bake anymore?

When they were little, he loved sweets. A little too much. Vash always chided him for his cavities. And he got so many because, when the servants weren't looking, he'd dip his fingers in the bowl of mix and greedily lick them once he was in a safe place.

What would it be like now? He wouldn't have to sneak around. He'd just dip those long elegant fingers in the bowl whenever he wanted and lick the mess off until there was none left. Then he'd have a stomachache and no cake.

Vash's heart sped up, and he cursed himself as his mind kept replaying the image of Austria licking a chocolate mess off his hands. What a perverse thing to think-!

"Why! Does! He! Keep! Bothering! Me!" Vash growled, hitting his head with each exclamation. "Brother! Don't do such things!" Vanessa scolded him, getting up and stopping his arm. "You'll make your headache worse."

Gah, she was right, it was gone and back again. Vash stood up, muttering, "I'm going to turn in."

"Oh, well, good night brother," Vanessa frowned, and he said the same, then left. Vanessa found it so strange that her always strong and serious brother got so flustered and red when thinking of the man that she found very pleasant. He was calming, courteous and considerate. He reminded her a little of Vash, just less tense.

Now that she thought about it, Vash wasn't nearly flustered when Austria was standing right in front of him. She wondered, what on earth was her brother thinking about him?


Something I posted in an Edelweiss community but haven't updated in forever OTL

I've got the other chapters all written out, but I've got such a writer's block...

I've got to apologize to everybody in the community for a 2+ month hiatus OTL

But please enjoy this first chapter! It gets much more exciting after this, promises!