Hello again everyone! It's great to see you all again. If this is our first time meeting… Go back and read the first chapter! -shot-
Right. Anyways. Here is chapter two of Hangman. As mentioned before, I shall be switching points-of-view. Back into more familiar territory I go. Prussia, it's been fun.
A lot of fun, actually. I need to write MOAR PRUSSIA.
And in response to any unsigned reviews…
Arin: Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope this chapter continues exceeds your previous fondness for it. Also, your website is rather epic.
Warnings: Blood, violence, language, implied yaoi, creepy Russia, Prussia in general, yandere-ish-ness, use of human names… Sounding a bit familiar? Though in this particular installment, I somehow managed to switch up my verb tenses… Multiple times. Hopefully it isn't terribly noticeable or painful, but I just wanted to give a heads-up.
Disclaimer: Still don't own it. Still using it to take my favorite characters down a few pegs. Still overusing the italics.
Hangman: Chapter Two
A sharp plink reached Lithuania's ears and he grumbled to the vegetables he was patiently chopping.
Is the roof leaking again?
Turning to the source of the noise, Toris jumped back in surprise and fright. Russia was leaning against the door frame, blood dripping from his saturated coat and forming a steadily widening puddle on the kitchen floor.
Lithuania bobbed his head nervously in greeting, not entirely sure what to do about the mess. Russia looked… Sleepy? …Content? Maybe it'd be better to try and ignore the pool? But if the stain set into the tile, what then? His stomach fluttered in worry as he realized how long the silence was becoming, broken only by the steady dripping.
And, God… Whose blood is that?
The last question seemed to be the most pressing, and Lithuania was a bit disgusted by his priorities. Breathing in shakily, he turned to the other Nation to make the inquiry…
And was met by empty space.
Absently pocketing the paring knife, Lithuania peered into the hallway. Yes, Estonia and Latvia were still doing their dusting rounds, both a bit shakier than usual but otherwise unharmed.
Mopping up the blood was a revolting task, but not an entirely unusual one, he mused, taking great care not to stain the knees of his uniform. Cringing inwardly once more at his concerns, Toris motioned desperately for one of his brothers to take over, scrambling upstairs as quickly as possible.
Prussia! How did I forget him?
Lithuania stumbled into the dissolved Nation's room, boots slipping on the unnaturally smooth floor. Flicking on the solitary desk lamp, Toris gasped at the sight of the man curled at his feet. Reaching out tentatively, he brushed Prussia's hair back from where it was plastered to his face. The albino groaned and squinted at the other country, one hand coming up to meet a ragged gash across his forehead.
"A-are you alright?" It was obvious that he wasn't, but Lithuania was focusing on not being violently ill at the sight of the other man's spine.
"'M gonna kill him," Prussia mumbled through the blood trickling out of his mouth.
Lithuania paled. "Don't… Don't move, okay? …God, Prussia, your back. What happened?"
Gilbert barked a laugh that disintegrated into a hacking cough and he curled his bruised fingers around the still-sticky table corner. Hauling himself to his feet, Prussia managed a smirk at the Lithuanian before slumping into the brunette's arms.
Toris staggered under the dead weight for a moment before gaining enough leverage to maneuver Prussia around the table amid the man's mumbled protests. Lurching across the room was an ordeal in itself, and Lithuania flopped them both across the unmade bed, attempting to disentangle himself from angular limbs and rumpled sheets.
The blankets already ruined, Lithuania wiped ineffectually at the mess of incisions, hands shaking. Prussia doesn't say a word, something that strikes Toris as deeply unsettling until he realizes that the white-haired man is speaking.
"What did you say?"
Gilbert frowns and repeats, "I… I need your help, dammit."
Lithuania forced a smile. "I am helping you," he reassured the injured man, not pointing out that cuts this deep are more than he can handle, that he's going to have to get Estonia, and Germanic pride means nothing here.
Prussia shakes his head, actually looking nervous. "It's not that. I don't care if you stitch me up or whatever. I can do that myself."
Toris opened his mouth to protest that no, he really couldn't, but Gilbert was continuing his request.
"It's just… That bastard wrote something on me. And, I'd fix it, ya know? But I can't," he trailed off, blinking back tears that Lithuania pretended not to see. "I can't reach it, okay? So I need you to write something else. Something that'll really piss him off."
Lithuania's false smile dropped immediately. "No. I can't. Not something like this. I'm not holding grudges from the past, but I just can't. You don't rebel against Russia. You don't."
Prussia's red eyes flashed, suddenly angry. "Do you know why Russia does what he does? Why he tortures and rapes and does God-knows-what-else to you? Because you're a coward. Because it's fun to watch you squirm and beg and cry and know that you won't fight back. If you weren't so damn weak you might actually be a threat to him, but no. You don't have any pride. You want to help your brothers, Poland, America, anyone? It's pointless. You're nothing but a liability."
Toris chewed his lip for several moments. "You… You're right," he admitted, face flushed with anger and humiliation. "I'm sorry."
Silence stretched on for an eternity.
"…You know this will solve nothing."
"You don't care." It wasn't a question. He already knew the answer.
"Naw." Prussia had started to slur a bit, and Lithuania knew the man was fading quickly.
"…What am I supposed to write?"
Prussia smiled into the lumpy pillow. "Never."
Cringing inwardly, Lithuania dipped a finger into the congealing blood and swiped a quivering N across Gilbert's neck.
Lithuania fidgeted, knowing full well what Prussia was going to say next.
"It has to stay. Stay longer than the other bit anyways. …Please."
Touching his fingers uneasily to the blade in his pocket, Lithuania rubbed the practice N away.
"…This rebellion is stupid. But that doesn't mean I want to hurt you."
The other man snickered bitterly and grumbled, "You won't. You fought me, remember? I'm stronger than you."
"…No you aren't."
"No you ar- forget it."
"…Prussia, it's not working."
Gilbert feigned confusion but didn't say a word.
"You're trying to piss me off so I won't feel bad. It's not working. I don't hurt people when I'm angry."
"Oh. I… I'm sorry."
Lithuania shrugged minutely but Prussia could see the sorrow in the lines of his shoulders. "Don't worry about it." The albino caught a glimmer of metal in the dusty yellow light, a paring knife, quivering with the hand that gripped it.
"Can you, uh, not look at me? It makes it worse," Toris mumbled.
Dutifully burying his face in the pillow, Prussia waited on pins and needles for the first strike. A feather-light scratch tickled above the scabbing S and Gilbert frowned.
"Lithuania. I know you're afraid of hurting me, but it's worse if you have to do it twice. Really, I'll be fine."
Despite his previous claim, Prussia couldn't stop the gasp of pain as his already shrieking nerves were shredded once more.
Gauging the depth of the cut was all but impossible, and Gilbert was only guessing when he hissed "Deeper," between clenched teeth.
Lithuania frowned and adjusted his grip on the knife, already slick with blood and sweat. Settling his free hand in Prussia's slightly matted hair, Toris mumbled a half-prayer before slicing into the jagged, messy cut as far as the blade's diminutive size would allow.
Not allowing the albino time to react, he drags out the N and E as neatly as he can. The V is going to be difficult, he can see now that the vertex is going to meet directly in Gilbert's spine, but he grits his teeth and cuts to the bone, wondering what the hell's wrong with me?
Prussia's agonized cries mix with Toris' mantra of "Sorry, sorry, sorry," in such a clamor that, hating himself, Lithuania presses the other man's face into the sheets in a thoughtless attempt to quiet him down.
And it's the worst idea he's had all day, worse even then agreeing to this rebellion, because Prussia can't breathe and he's terrified and thrashing and Christ, what do I do…?
"Prussia!" he hisses frantically, "Prussia, please… I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" The ex-nation is beyond hearing, gasping for breath and clawing frantically at the bedding which has knotted itself around his arms and neck. He manages to free himself through sheer desperation and flings himself towards the locked window.
Lithuania wraps his arms around him before Gilbert can stand. "Stop! You're alright. I'm sorry, please, I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, just don't move, don't hurt yourself, don't, please."
Prussia exhales shakily, forcing himself to relax into Toris' grip. "Air" he explains between breaths. "Need to open the window. It's too hot here."
Prussia is shivering and pale but sweat rolls down the back of his neck and Lithuania wonders for one horrifying instant if the dissolved nation is going into shock.
"I can't unlock the window," Toris mumbles apologetically, glancing at the blood pooling between his chest and Prussia's back. "I need to get Estonia. I can't help you when you're this hurt."
Prussia shakes his head as rapidly as the pounding in his skull allows. "Just finish it," he growls.
Lithuania stares at his trembling hands, forcing them steady with a dozen shaky breaths. "A-alright," he stammers, forcing a neat line to finish the V as Prussia squirms under the blade, determined not to cry out. He moves on to the E, drawing a groan of pain out of the bloodied country. "I'm sorry," he apologizes quickly, pulling the knife free. "I shouldn't be hurting you."
"'S fine. It's good," Prussia reassures him. "Means you're alive, right?" His voice cracks slightly, a result of Toris finishing the E mid-sentence. Despite his assurances, Prussia can't keep a keening whimper from escaping as Lithuania traces out the final letter along his shoulder blade.
"Thank God," Toris moans, sliding away from Gilbert. Leaning against the table, he wiped his hands desperately on his jacket, blood soaking through the white shirt underneath as well.
"Prussia?" he asks tentatively, "I can't…" Lithuania pauses to gather his thoughts, everything is lost under a nauseating coating of blood and sweat. "Russia can't see me helping you…"
"Damn straight," Prussia grumbles thickly. "Jus'… Take a different shirt or somethin'."
Toris nods gratefully, glancing at the shirt still crumpled on the cluttered table. He shrugs out of the rough material and fumbles with the buttons of his own shirt before casting that to the floor as well. Reaching for the black fabric, he turns a half-step too far, baring a fraction of his back.
"Jesus," Prussia gasps, unable to look away from the scars. Lithuania flinches at the exclamation, tugging the shirt over his head with ashamed swiftness. Face red with mortification, the brunette mumbles an apology hastily, darting towards the door.
"Lithuania!" Gilbert cries in an attempt to stop the other man from leaving. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say anything, but…"
Toris whirls around, humiliated tears tracking down his cheeks. "It's fine, Prussia. No one means to say anything about them. They're disgusting, I know."
Lithuania shrugs. "It's fine. Please, just stay here… I'm going to get Estonia, so please don't move while I'm gone."
The Lithuanian turns on his heel, striding out of the room without looking at the albino curled under the twisted sheets. Easing the door open, he slips into the hallway, suddenly finding himself nose to chest with a smiling Russia.
And at long last! Here we have the conclusion of chapter two. Uber-apologies for this taking so long… It's quite silly really.
Anyways. Next chapter is where the action picks up, and then we'll probably have a wee little epilogue.
So yeah. Thanks for reading, and we'll catch you next time!