Author's note: A de-anon from the LiveJournal kink meme. The main prompt was 'a cute bunny Prussia trying to run away from an overprotective Germany scared of predators of any kind'.
Down the Awesome Bunny Trail: Chapter 1
The rabbit has a charming face:
Its private life is a disgrace.
I really dare not name to you
The awful things that rabbits do.
- Anonymous -
Gilbert, Ludwig thought for the umpteenth time, was sometimes too cute for his own good.
Sure, when Ludwig was little, Gilbert would always come to his rescue when he was bullied by all the other kids. Even though Gilbert was smaller than Ludwig's tormentors, his brother always beat them up and sent them running home in tears, their tails between their legs.
(As a child, Ludwig was not sure why his big brother was the only bunny in a family that was generally made up of canines, but whenever he had posed the question to their father, the man would just get a faraway look in his eyes before succumbing to a nosebleed, and then shooed the boy off while mumbling something about passionate flings with a hot hare somewhere who dumped a screaming bundle of Gilbert in his hands a few months later.)
The problem was when the brothers were all grown up.
Everyone agreed that Ludwig took after their father and had grown up to be a Schäferhund who was not only well-built and strong, but also intelligent and fiercely protective. And Gilbert, whom their father insisted looked a lot like his mother, was still... cute. Awesomely cute, like Gilbert often declared, and not to mention quick-tempered, but cute.
The problem with Gilbert's cute was that it was not the kind of cute that set off 'ooh, he's so adorable!' comments, accompanied by random pats on the head (although Gilbert still received this reaction from some of the old ladies down the street). Rather, Gilbert's cute was the 'ooh, he's so yummy can I just grab him and start ravishing him right now!' kind of cute.
Ludwig should know, because everytime he spotted Gilbert bending over to pick up something on the ground, he would feel blood rushing to some very interesting parts of his body because the sight of that cute little fluffy tail in the air was just daring him to rush over there and squeeze–
"Argh!" Ludwig would then yell as he smacked his head on the nearest hard surface, just to get some very dangerously dirty thoughts out of his mind.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Gilbert would ask in confusion.
"Nothing!" he would reply as he hid his blushing face behind his sleeve, trying to stem the trickle of blood trailing down his nose.
It wasn't that his brother was totally helpless. No, Gilbert was still quite capable of kicking butt, as he had demonstrated a couple of times against his friends Antonio and Francis whenever they came to visit. Particularly Francis. Ludwig still made it a point to stick around whenever he came over, just in case he decided to do more than risk a grope or two at Gilbert, but most of the time Ludwig's presence was unnecessary since Gilbert never seemed to have any problems throwing his so-called friends out the house.
Ludwig also made it a point never to let Gilbert go out alone, just in case someone decided to take more than a fancy to Gilbert. It annoyed Gilbert to no end; his older brother would grumble and complain about he was more than old enough to go out on his own and he certainly did not need a bodyguard, and especially when that bodyguard was his own baby brother.
"I can beat the shit out of anyone who comes at me, no problem!" he would declare, but Ludwig would just ignore the statement and still tag along some distance behind.
Come to think of it, it was far easier for Gilbert to just bend over and virtually everyone in a 15-metre radius would just faint from the massive blood loss caused by excessive bleeding from the nose, Ludwig privately opined.
Especially when Gilbert was wearing shorts. Yarrrrgggg.
Actually, Ludwig concluded, the real problem was that Gilbert had absolutely no idea just how irresistible he was.
Gilbert always assumed that the people staring at him wanted to pick a fight with him, whereas they were thinking of a different kind of fighting entirely (in bed, or heck, on the pavement then and there). This usually led to a brawl, and then he would have to break it up. Thank goodness that Gilbert usually went limp the moment Ludwig grabbed him by those ridiculously cute and fuzzy bunny ears to drag him home, but Ludwig had to make sure that Gilbert was not facing him when he did this. That first and only time Ludwig did otherwise gave him some really hot and uncomfortable dreams for days, and an understanding as to why their father could never talk about Gilbert's mother without getting a nosebleed. Why? Because not only did Gilbert go limp when he was yanked by the ears, his cheeks also turned a very fascinating shade of pink; his eyes were half-closed, while his lips were parted a little, practically begging to be kissed. Ludwig had to headbutt the nearest tree to think straight.
Today probably required some more ear-yanking, since Gilbert wanted to go to town and get a new video game. (Ludwig of course, would have to come along, but he needed to do some grocery shopping anyway.) If it were anyone else, Ludwig would have complained on how video games were just a waste of one's money, but he kept silent when it came to Gilbert; a new game would ensure that Gilbert would stay safely indoors for at least two weeks.
But was Gilbert ready to go? Ludwig checked the clock on the wall. If they did not make a move soon, there would be a long queue at the shops, especially if it were that strange Greek cat's turn to man the counter. He knocked on the door to his brother's room and asked, "Are you awake?" When he did not get a reply, he opened the door.
"Oh, hey West," a partly-dressed Gilbert greeted as he buttoned his shirt. Thank goodness Gilbert had his boxers on.
"Sorry. Uh, breakfast's ready."
"Yeah, be there in a minute."
Ludwig left the room not only to give Gilbert privacy to finish dressing, but also to avoid seeing that (not sexy, dammit, but don't look anyway, he told himself) hip-wiggle his older brother did in order to get his (cute) tail in that little slot in the rear of his trousers.
Oh well. At least Gilbert decided not to wear shorts.
Ludwig scanned the perimeter for potential predators, sexual or otherwise. Let's see; cats, dogs, a sheep or two, and that strange panda who kept trying to sell some rather odd merchandise in that little stall of his. Nothing that his brother could not handle. Satisfied that the area was secure and safe for Gilbert, he finally deigned to loosen the iron grip he had on his brother's arm, who had been unsuccessfully trying to wriggle free, swearing loudly all the while.
"Dammit West! I told you to let go twenty minutes ago! If that new game is sold out because you're being a freaky mother hen, I swear I'm going to–"
Ludwig never actually heard what Gilbert had threatened him with, since his brother quickly disappeared into the gaming store down the street (the owner was a fox, but after screening and inquiries Ludwig determined he was relatively harmless) and the last thing Ludwig saw before he went inside was that his fuzzy white ears were sticking up in the air, twitching in obvious irritation. The younger brother sighed and hoped that Gilbert would not get into too much trouble while he did the week's marketing, and that his older brother remembered to wait at that small place that served pancakes with maple syrup down the corner which was owned by... by?
He frowned, and then shrugged. Oh well, it did not matter.
Armed with his own shopping bag (he was doing his bit to save the environment), Ludwig headed for the shops. He calculated that he had roughly forty minutes or so to do his grocery shopping before something Gilbert-related was bound to happen. If he were lucky, he would have enough time for a quick visit to the bookstore and maybe get a new book or two; he had a sudden urge to make some Rumtrüffel and would need a recipe book.
He absently wondered if the bookstore would have a guidebook that would be relevant to his current predicament. Something like, How to Deal With Somewhat Clueless Older Brothers With Gargantuan Egos, perhaps?
Gilbert's foul mood improved somewhat when he discovered that while the video game he wanted to buy (Super Awesome Bird Legion of Doom Part VIII) were indeed sold out, the store owner had thoughtfully reserved a copy for "his loyal customer". He was so ecstatic upon obtaining the game he unthinkingly hugged the proprietor, a fox called Kiku, who promptly stuttered and stammered on how improper it was for customers to do so, but the fox later got a funny look on his face and asked if it were all right for him to take a few pictures of Gilbert's tail. A strange request, but since it seemed pretty harmless and might even secure him a guaranteed copy of Super Awesome Bird Legion of Doom Part IX, Gilbert thought nothing of it.
A few snaps later, Gilbert left the store and made his way to the pancake place. The polar bear who owned the establishment made some really awesome pancakes, lovingly served with delicious maple syrup, although he was fond of mumbling on how people never noticed him and had a strange habit of talking to a rather disturbing-looking white teddy bear. Gilbert placed his order and then took a seat at one of the tables outside. His younger brother insisted that he remain in plain sight at all times, "just in case something happened".
Gilbert snorted. He could handle anything that came at him, but after more than a few boring and not to mention lengthy lectures from his sibling he had decided it was just far easier to abide by his brother's wishes.
"Where is West anyway?" he wondered aloud and looked around. Oh yes, there he was, his little brother, who never looked happier in a neat and orderly queue for fruits and vegetables at one of the stalls (oh for fuck's sake, his tail was actually wagging).
"Ve~ Gilbert, why are you talking to yourself?"
He turned around to find his brother's close – or should that be only? – friend, Feliciano, an Italienisches Windspiel who lived nearby. "Oh, hey there Feli," he greeted, ignoring the little dog's question.
Feliciano took a seat at the table. "Are you eating pasta?" he asked brightly.
"No, they serve only pancakes here. What are you doing here anyway?"
Feliciano looked disappointed. "Oh, Lovino threw me out of the house because he said I was too noisy. So I was just wandering around and then I got hungry so I thought I might as well go to town and see if I can get some decent pasta!"
"At least your brother actually lets you go out all by yourself," Gilbert muttered.
"Ve?" Feliciano blinked in confusion.
Gilbert rolled his eyes. "West won't let me out of his sight! I can't even take three steps out of the house without him following me around like – like some goddamned nursemaid! What the fuck is his problem anyhow?" he ranted.
"Ve, I think it's nice how he's worried about you! Lovi doesn't worry about me, he just yells at me a lot. I'd offer to make some pasta for him so he would feel better, but then he gets angrier and starts shouting even louder."
Gilbert went on, only half-aware of Feliciano's comments. "I'm older than him! The awesome me can take care of myself! I don't need a fucking bodyguard!"
Feliciano shook his head in sympathy. "Really? Can't you just sneak out or something?"
He snorted. "Are you kidding? He locks me up in the house if he wants to go out! That's not fair!"
Feliciano nodded and waved his arms enthusiastically. "You're right, ve! It isn't fair how Ludwig can go out by himself, but you can't! If doggies can walk around in freedom, then so should bunnies! Just like other doggies and kitties and birdies and turtles and sheep–"
"Okay, Feli, I get the idea..."
"–and cows and pandas and sloths and lemurs and think of all the pasta you're missing!" Felicano said, gasping out the last few words in a high-pitched shriek before he slumped in his chair, panting.
"Here's your order, sir!" The polar bear proprietor of the establishment walked to their table, carrying a tray of pancakes and a glass of iced tea, distracting Gilbert. He was just reaching for his napkin when he heard his brother yell.
Done with his shopping, Ludwig headed for the pancake establishment. He froze for a full second, and then ran at top speed when he spotted a white bear headed in Gilbert's direction.
"Get away from my brother!" he yelled at the top of his lungs, startling the fur (or feathers, since there were a couple of birds around) out of everyone in the vicinity.
"Whaa – West?" Gilbert said in confusion, before Ludwig successfully tackled down the bear that was about to get its evil clutches on him, sending pancakes and maple syrup flying all over the place, while Feliciano let out a very startled 'Ve!' and hid under the table.
Wait, pancakes and maple syrup?
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Gilbert thundered as he gave Ludwig a very painful kick in the ribs. Gilbert may be smaller, shorter and lighter, but – ow! – his elder brother, like all bunnies, had considerable leg strength. And Gilbert was not afraid to use it.
"Ow! I was trying to save you from–"
"From my lunch? Are you seriously out of your mind?"
"But this bear–"
"For the last time, West," Gilbert snarled, "he owns the fucking shop!"
The poor bear underneath Ludwig moaned. "No one remembers me," he muttered.
"Oh." Ludwig promptly turned pink with embarrassment. He got to his feet, narrowly dodging another painful kick from Gilbert, and helped the bear up. "I – I'm terribly sorry! Look, I'll pay for all the damage..." Ludwig hastily shoved some money into the polar bear's apron pocket.
"Argh! My pancakes!" Gilbert groaned, tugging at his hair in frustration.
"I'm sorry!" Ludwig apologised again, this time to his brother.
"Not as sorry as you'll be when I'm done kicking your ass!" Gilbert snapped.
There was a murmur from the crowd, which sounded suspiciously... appreciative and admiring? Ludwig blinked, then panicked. Oh no, he had forgotten something important.
An angry Gilbert was also a very, very adorable Gilbert.
A few in the crowd started looking rather hungrily at his brother, who was all flushed with rage and his cute fluffy tail was twitching slightly.
"No time for this now!" Ludwig blurted, and with a quick, practiced gesture, spun his brother around and yanked Gilbert's ears. Gilbert automatically went limp with a startled yelp and Ludwig threw his brother on his shoulder, retrieved his shopping bag on the ground and quickly ran for home.
"I'll make pancakes for you tomorrow morning, all right?" Ludwig said in apology as the Schäferhund herded Gilbert into his room and into bed, ignoring Gilbert's grumbling and muttering. Ludwig had yanked really hard on his ears this time, making him feel rather woozy, which was why his younger brother insisted on an earlier bedtime tonight instead of playing his new video game.
"Good night," Ludwig said once he was satisfied that Gilbert was comfortably tucked in bed, then switched off the lights and left.
Fine, Gilbert decided rather sulkily, since West insisted on treating him like a child even though he was the older one out of the two, he might as well have some fun.
"West!" he yelled.
His brother opened the door to his room mere seconds after he shouted. "What is it?" Ludwig asked in concern and worry.
"I'm thirsty!" Gilbert complained. "Don't we have any milk?"
Ludwig rolled his eyes and sighed before disappearing into the kitchen, then returned with a glass of milk. "Here," his brother said as he handed the glass, "now go to sleep!"
"Weeeeeeeeeest!" Gilbert yelled again just as Ludwig closed the door.
The door opened and Ludwig poked his head inside. "What now?" he asked in obvious irritation.
Gilbert put on his best pleading expression, all wide eyes and floppy ears. "What about my bedtime story?"
"Bedtime–" Ludwig halted, then made a low growl and clenched his fists. "Once upon a time there was a very annoyed Schäferhund who was starting to get a migraine and would refuse to make pancakes for breakfast in the morning if a certain immature rabbit of a brother did not go to sleep! The end!" he half-shouted before slamming the door shut.
Gilbert stuck out his tongue before he settled under the covers, grumbling. So he was immature? Fine.
He didn't want to be mature. Fruits matured.
He would rather be awesome.
And the road to ultimate awesomeness was out there, he just knew it.
i. Schäferhund - German shepherd. I can't bring myself to use the English term because every time I see 'German shepherd' I keep picturing Ludwig carrying a stick while surrounded by white fluffy things that go meeeeeeeh.
ii. Italienisches Windspiel - Italian greyhound. Apparently they're good at running.