Austria made a sleepy muffled noise as he woke, feeling someone beside him pressing the mattress down. He had just fallen asleep, or so he thought, and it didn't take long for him to understand what his drowsy senses were telling him and roll over to see the intruder. He blinked a couple of times, half because of the sleep still lingering in his eyes, but half because of pure, albeit sleepy, surprise. Prussia was sitting on the edge of his bed, and he didn't look up as Austria moved to see him better, trying to find out what the other was doing in his house in the middle of the night.
"Prussia?" Austria sat up, his voice making it clear that he was irritated. "Did you let yourself in again? What time do you think it is?"
"Ten past two," Prussia answered, pointing absentmindedly at Austria's clock on the wall.
Austria huffed. "You know quite well what I'm talking about." He scowled. "And I do remember locking the door this evening. How did you get in?"
Prussia looked at him for the first time and grinned a little. "I stole your key once and made a copy so that I could come at any time. Awesome, right?"
Austria raised a hand to his temple. "I can't believe you!" he sighed. "Well? What did you wake me up for this time? Has Germany grown tired of you again?"
Prussia turned away and shook his head. Austria blinked when the man didn't say anything.
"What?" Austria asked, wondering if Prussia was just playing with him. When the other still didn't answer, Austria continued speaking and changed his position to see Prussia better. "Did something happen?"
"No," Prussia answered simply.
"Don't lie." Austria bent his knees to sit comfortably.
"It's nothing an aristocrat like you would care about," Prussia answered, sounding a little angry.
"I care because I want to know why you're intruding in my house."
"Just sleep. I'll stay here for a while and then take my leave."
"Prussia, you're not making any sense!" Austria exclaimed, and tried to make the other look at him. "What happened?"
"Nothing." Prussia shook off his hand and refused to look at him.
"That's still a lie. And look at me when I'm talking to you."
Prussia looked pointedly in the opposite direction, and Austria felt his insides twist. "If you don't have anything to say, please leave. Now. Or tell me what this is about and I might reconsider."
"Just let me stay for a while, is that too much to fucking ask? Why you–" Prussia shouted back, but ended his sentence before he made things worse as he noticed what his next words could have done.
Austria was taken aback by this sudden shouting, and even more so when it ended so abruptly. Prussia, who had turned to shout straight at his face, turned away from him again. For a while, Austria observed the Prussian silently. Neither of them moved, except for Prussia's shoulders, which shivered from time to time.
After a moment, Austria decided that it was time to break the silence, and he asked the thing that had been bothering him for a while. "Prussia," he started cautiously. As Prussia made an affirmative sound to show he had registered that he was being spoken to, he continued. "Are you crying?"
Prussia huffed between his teeth. "Not happening, idiot."
"Are you cold?"
"Are you hurt somewhere?"
"Then why are you shivering?" Austria raised a hand to touch him.
"None of your business!" Prussia growled loudly and sent the Austrian a glare. "Just–"
"You want me to just ignore you and go back to sleep?" Austria asked bluntly. "Like I would ever do that, you idiot."
Prussia's shoulders shivered again and he clutched the covers beside him. "Couldn't you just... this once do me a favour?"
Austria frowned. He reached for Prussia's hand. The albino tried to pull away, but Austria firmly grabbed his wrist to prevent it. For a moment, Prussia resisted, but then he relaxed as he made a quiet, shivering sob, exhaling some of the uncomfortable pressure that he had been hiding in his chest. A small, lonely tear fell down his cheek.
"Fuck," Prussia swore weakly, wiping the tear away with his free hand.
Austria moved his hand a bit so that Prussia would be able to hold it. The Prussian clutched it and leant forwards, left palm still covering his eyes. His breath was shaking intermittently and his shoulders drooped down with his head. His upper body was shaking as well, and when the pressure inside him slowly won its inner battle against him, another tear trickled down his cheek. Prussia gasped for extra air and then exhaled it in suppressed sobs that sounded so full of suffering that they almost made Austria wince. Now completely awake, Austria allowed his hand to be held and watched and listened to his old rival cry.
When Austria thought about it, it had been a long time since he had seen Prussia cry. It had been only once, and Austria didn't think that Prussia even knew that someone had seen him. Austria hadn't ever told him, although it had sometimes been very tempting to use it against the Prussian. He remembered the reason why he hadn't now, when Prussia was crying in front of his eyes again. This image was nothing like the Prussia he knew (the one who was always arrogant, noisy and rude); this shaking figure that shrank in the darkness of the room hardly matched the image of his self-claimed awesome friend (Austria dared to call him a friend, although their relationship wasn't actually so warm). That's why he felt that if he were to use this against Prussia, he suddenly wouldn't be fighting with Prussia at all, but with someone else. This someone Austria couldn't fight against was now sitting on the edge of his bed.
Prussia straightened his back and took a deep breath, bringing Austria back to the present. The albino raised a hand to wipe away the rest of his tears. His other hand was still clasped tightly in Austria's.
"Okay," he said, trying to sound calm. "The awesome has repaired itself."
Austria didn't answer right away; instead he just rested his gaze on Prussia, who was taking deep breaths to calm down. He leant closer and, without warning, wound the arm Prussia was clutching over his chest to hold the other's shoulder, pulling him closer.
Prussia made a little objection, but before he could form any words, Austria silenced him by gently weaving his free hand into other's hair and pressing Prussia's head against his shoulder. "Really?"
"Yeah. Stop worrying. It's weird, damnit."
"Prussia, it was a sincere question. I want a sincere answer."
Austria didn't say anymore as Prussia shivered, his breathing starting to sound unstable again. He sobbed quietly against Austria's shoulder a couple of times, and then winced and cuddled closer, as if someone had pricked him with a needle. Austria listened quietly as Prussia started to cry again, this time louder. First it was just loud sobbing and hiccups, no longer suppressed. Then the Prussian clutched Austria's arm and shoulder and let out a wail as all the painful sadness came rushing up from his chest. Austria held Prussia firmly in his embrace and gave him all the quiet support he could.
Prussia groaned aloud again, tears flowing from his closed eyes as he rested his head on Austria's shoulder, trying to hide his face in the side of his neck. He sniffed and sobbed as he exhaled, making his whole body shiver. He searched for something with which to support his hand, and it latched onto the front of Austria's pyjamas. Prussia coughed out some more sobs and continued to cry miserably, sometimes howling, but now a little more quietly. Austria let his pyjamas dampen from the tears and supported the shaking Prussian, caressing his white hair with his fingers.
For some reason, although Austria felt slightly guilty for it, he found the sounds of Prussia's crying oddly beautiful. Maybe because they were genuine. Austria knew that Prussia didn't let himself cry like this often, so neither did Prussia know how to control it. It was all genuine feeling that couldn't form words when coming out. As Austria listened to the high-pitched sobbing, the trembling breathing and the broken whining, he couldn't help but hope that Prussia would continue to cry, if only for no other reason than to let out everything that was hurting him; so he wouldn't break again. The Prussia cuddling beside him wasn't the Prussia Austria knew, and if he had to decide, he preferred the old one over the new. Even if he was always the arrogant, full-of-himself brat that he was, this Prussia, who was so fragile, feeble and vulnerable, was too abnormal for Austria to accept.
He had no idea what it was that had hurt Prussia so deeply that he had swallowed his pride and cried in front of Austria. Whatever it had been, Prussia had come to him looking for support because it was too much for him to carry alone. That made Austria feel a little flattered as he hadn't thought that he would be the one the Prussian would search for when having personal problems. But, whatever the reason, Prussia was now with him and needed him. That was enough for Austria. Although he might not have planned it this way at first, Prussia now took all of the support Austria gave him without a second thought as Austria remained silent and waited for him to calm down.
The clock on the wall ticked on to well past three in the morning before Prussia finally stopped, having cried for almost an hour. The last fifteen minutes had been relatively quiet, and Austria had been able to detach the Prussian from him for a while and get him a handkerchief so that he could sniff somewhere other than on Austria's pyjama-clad shoulder. Now Prussia had gone numb in his hold and remained silently against him.
Austria sighed. "I believe you've still refused to tell me what's wrong?"
"It's none of your concern," Prussia mumbled against him, his voice sounding a little hoarse. Then he seemed to change his mind, because he said abruptly, "I visited his grave today." The gears in Austria's mind worked quickly, and he realised who Prussia was talking about just as Prussia continued, finally venting the reasons for his distress. "It's the anniversary of his death today. Well, yesterday now."
Suddenly, Prussia straightened up a little, and Austria felt cool air fill the spot the other man had been leaning against. The Austrian relaxed his grip in order to let Prussia sit up straight, but the Prussian just moved a little closer and relocated his head to Austria's other shoulder, returning to his lap.
Austria was surprised. "What are you doing?"
"That one's wet."
"That's your own fault," Austria noted.
Prussia let out a tired huff. "Shut up and hold me." He cuddled closer to Austria's chest, spent and exhausted from his emotional outburst.
Austria sighed a little, although he didn't sound irritated or bored, and he wound his arms around the Prussian again. He didn't say anything in response to Prussia's earlier confession of the reason for his unexpected visit, knowing that Prussia would find more comfort in his silent support than in any words that Austria could dredge up. Besides, Austria had never been all that good at vocalising his sympathies, and Prussia already knew that Austria understood his grief for his long-dead but still beloved king. Instead, Austria merely bent his knees closer to support Prussia's back so that he could rest comfortably, and Prussia brought his arms between them. Prussia could feel Austria's heart beating against the back of his hand, or so he imagined, and he took a deep breath and rested his forehead against the side of Austria's neck. Austria listened to his breathing for a while and noted with content that it wasn't shaking anymore. It took him a while to realise that the other man had fallen asleep.
Austria sighed again. Of course he would be tired after wailing for an hour, he thought, wondering if he would be able to move Prussia without waking him. He wasn't sure that sleeping in his lap was actually comfortable, plushe wanted to sleep tonight as well.
After remaining in their current position for a while longer, Austria sighed once again and shifted carefully so that he could tuck Prussia in on the other side of his bed. To his pleasant surprise, Prussia didn't wake as Austria finally pulled the covers over him. In his mind, Austria thanked Hungary for advising him to buy a double bed. As he himself lay down to sleep, however, Prussia woke up a little, letting out a mumbled disapproval and, making irritated drowsy huffs, he cuddled closer again, searching for Austria's arms. Austria smiled a little and wrapped his arm around Prussia, causing Prussia to mumble something, sounding satisfied, before falling back to sleep. Austria smiled again before he too closed his eyes. Soon, he fell asleep, listening to Prussia breathing against his chest.
Austria woke up to a loud snapping sound, and it took him a while to recognise what it was.
"Hungary, what are you doing?"
"Oh, nothing," the woman answered, although she didn't even try to hide her camera. "Good morning, Austria. You too, Prussia."
"Why is it that you have to barge into someone else's house early in the morning?" Prussia sat up and ruffled his hair.
Austria huffed. "Why is it that you have to barge into someone else's house in the middle of the night?" he retorted, and raised his hand to pull Mariazell back from his forehead to where it belonged. "And I invited Hungary yesterday. It seems I overslept." He glanced at the clock and realised that it was already past ten.
"It doesn't matter," Hungary assured him. "But Austria… why…?"
"Ahhh." Prussia raised his hand to his forehead. This would need a little explaining or he would be facing a frying pan… Pain in the neck, really, but some things had to be done. "I just–"
"Why are you wearing clothes?" Hungary asked, clutching her camera. She looked really disappointed.
"Huh?" Prussia asked, his mouth twisting a little. Then he burst out laughing. "Good question, girl, I second that!"
"Prussia!" Austria objected, but the other just laughed louder. He huffed and turned to the woman. "Hungary, what on Earth do you think of me?"
"Oh, nothing," Hungary said again, looking at a point somewhere past the two, her mind clearly off on some sort of holiday.
Austria shook his head, sighing, and rose from the bed. "Would you mind making some tea?"
"No problem," the Hungarian promised, and snapped yet another picture of the two before disappearing from the doorway, looking overly happy. This had been a good morning.
"The fact that she came in means she has a key too?" Prussia asked, raising an eyebrow.
"We have been married, you know," Austria reminded him, before starting to look for clean clothes to wear. "Though I have changed the lock since then, but that hasn't stopped her from coming in. I don't know how she does it."
Prussia chuckled and lay back down, pulling the blanket up to his ears. "Have a fun day. I'll borrow your bed for a while longer."
"You, of all people, are not going to stay here while I'm absent. Who knows what could happen to my belongings?" Austria objected, pulling the covers off Prussia. "You're coming with me."
"Greedy," Prussia accused him, but rose. "I'm still sleepy you know."
"I'm not surprised, but endure it or go home to sleep."
"Tch," Prussia said, yawning. "Thanks."
"I meant last night." Prussia looked away, pursing his lips.
Austria looked at him. "I know. Just don't tell Hungary how you got in. I don't need any blood on my carpets."
Prussia smiled. "Does that mean I can keep the key?"
"Even if I took it away from you, you'd make a new one, or worse, break in by force if you wanted. I do remember the time you came in through the window."
"But you have to admit I was awesome climbing up the wall to reach it," Prussia smiled.
"You're just hopeless." Austria shook his head.
"How did you know?" Prussia grinned smugly.
"Oh, I wonder... Come on, I want to eat something before today's work."
"Right behind you, sweetie." Prussia grabbed Mariazell between his fingers, grinning.
Austria shook him off. "If you continue like that, Hungary will keep misunderstanding."
Prussia frowned. "Misunderstanding what?"
Austria blushed. "Prussia, you–!"
Prussia laughed and stretched Austria's cheeks sideways. "Got ya!"
Austria pushed him away and barged out of the room angrily. "You… imbecile!" Although I'm glad you're yourself again, he added in his mind.
Prussia laughed and ran after him. "Don't be like that first thing in the morning, prissy. Man, I thought the sleepy-you would be a little more creative than that. Say, how about you use 'awesome' when you call me? That would be a fitting name for a lord like me. Or if you prefer handsome, I'm okay with that too. Or…"
The voices disappeared around the corner and Hungary appeared behind the door of the room beside them. After giggling for a while she raised her mobile phone.
"You hear that, Germany? Prussia is quite okay."
"Glad to hear. Thank you, Hungary."
"What made you think he would be with me in the first place?"
"I called England and Spain first. I didn't expect him to go to Austria or France when he was like that."
"I'm surprised too. But what actually was wrong?"
"If you want to know, ask Prussia himself. I'm not in the position to tell."
"Oh, come on Germany, he won't tell me."
"Then I won't either. I'm sorry, Hungary."
"You're cruel, Germany, you're just making my curiosity spike."
"Don't do anything too cruel to satisfy it, okay? I want my brother back in one piece."
"Oh, don't worry about that, one piece is okay," Hungary smiled, clutching her frying pan. "What shape would you prefer it in?"
Extra thanks to my beta: Hazel you did wonderful job with this. Thank you for all the complains! And thank you for not giving up on me when I kept bothering you for these :P