DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Hetalia. I wish I did, but alas, I do not.
Author's Notes: This was written for my friend's birthday on Sunday. I finished it, but I didn't feel like posting it until now. So... yeah...
Inspired by the song "Red Dirt Road" by Brooks and Dunn. I suggest you listen to it as you read, but you don't have to. It's a lovely song~
Red Dirt Road
"I'll race you to the farm!"
"That's not fair!"
Francis and Gilbert raced after their Spanish friend, laughing despite their complaints. The road was made of dirt, and though it was hot out, running was easy. School had ended a few hours ago, but they had stayed after to simply hang out. They were currently racing in the direction of Antonio's uncle's farm, high spirits and enjoying the happy times they had at such a young age.
But just as he begun to catch up to Antonio, something caught Gilbert's eye and he slowed down. Crouching at the edge of the road near a bush was… to say the least, the most beautiful person he had ever seen. He looked to be about Gilbert's age, his brown hair was framing his face, glasses perched in front of violet eyes. Violet eyes that flickered up at Gilbert, noticing he was being stared at. The teen offered a small smile that almost stopped Gilbert's heart before returning his attention to picking the berries from the bush and putting them in a basket.
Francis ran right past Gilbert, laughing, "Come on, Gil! You're falling behind!"
This snapped Gilbert out of his trance, and with one more glance at the other teenager, he took off after Francis and Antonio. He didn't notice how those violet eyes glanced up again and watched him disappear into the distance with a tiny smile.
"I swear, he was prettier than any girl I've ever seen! His hair was so… soft looking, and his eyes were so clear and his smile…." Gilbert groaned, falling onto his back and staring at the ceiling, "His smile.." He repeated quietly.
Francis and Antonio glanced at each other before they both chuckled slightly, earning a glare from their Prussian friend.
"It seems that dear Gilbert has joined you, Antoine, in the ranks of being utterly in love." Francis announced, feigning a dramatic sigh, "I suppose I'm the only one who's not trapped by the entanglements of love."
"Oh, don't worry, mi amigo." Antonio said, patting his shoulder consolingly, "You just haven't met the one for you yet." Gilbert shot up into a sitting position.
"I-I'm not in l-l-love!" He exclaimed, flushing. Francis shook his head, making a tisking noise.
"Look at that blush, and that stammer. It's more than just a crush, I know it." He said in pretense sadness. Antonio tilted his head, looking thoughtful.
"I'd like to meet the person who has Gil so head over heels already." He commented.
"Maybe he lives nearby!" Francis suddenly said, excited, "We should go look!"
"G-Guys!" Gilbert protested. Francis grinned at him.
"What? Don't you want to see him again? Summer starts tomorrow, we might not have another chance!" He said. Gilbert hesitated, before nodding and caving, following his friends out of the barn they had been hanging out in.
They didn't have any luck finding the mysterious teen, as by the time they had got back to where Gilbert had seen him, it was already dark out. All three had been disappointed, but the next day, it was mostly forgotten. They graduated from high school, and were currently celebrating under a large tree at the side of the road. There was a party, but they had decided not to attend, as they had decided prior that they would spend all the time they could together before summer was over and they had to separate and go off to college.
"Cheers!" They all said in chorus, clinking their beer cans together before taking a sip. It was their first taste of alcohol, a symbol of how they were growing into adults.
"So, Antoine. Tell me. How did dear Lovino act when you went to say goodbye?" Francis asked after a moment, leaning against the tree. Antonio blinked, before he smiled fondly.
"He was upset, but he tried to hide it. He basically told me that he wants to stay in touch over the summer. Well, you know Lovi, he tried to say it indirectly, but I'm so happy~ He wants to see me~" He said happily. Francis chuckled, and the two begun chatting about the Italian. Normally, Gilbert would have chipped in, but he was distracted. Well, enchanted might have been a better way to describe it.
The teen from yesterday was walking down the road, a bag slung over his shoulder and a notebook in his hand. He must have sensed he was being watched again, because his eyes flickered over to Gilbert, and when their eyes met, the world seemed to stop. The other offered a tiny, shy smile as he walked. Gilbert blinked, and before he knew it, he was scrambling to his feet and racing over to catch up. He ignored how Francis and Antonio both looked up, startled, and called his name.
The teen must have slowed down a bit, for he was watching as Gilbert caught up, beginning to walk next to him. Gilbert smiled slightly, feeling a little ridiculous, and offered the other his hand.
"H-Hey. M-My name's Gilbert." He said awkwardly, vaguely noticing they had both stopped walking. The teen blinked, before smiling in return and accepting Gilbert's hand, shaking it. Gilbert was struck at how soft and smooth the other's hand was.
"Hello, Gilbert. My name is Roderich. It's a pleasure to meet you." He said. Gilbert opened his mouth to say something, but then their eyes met again. Both fell silent, utterly transfixed.
"Gilll!" A voice brought them both to life.
"A-Ah… I-I should be going…" Roderich stammered, a pretty little blush on his cheeks. Gilbert nodded quietly, attempting not to stare.
"Y-Yeah.. My friends are calling…" He said. Roderich nodded to him before hurrying off. Gilbert watched him leave before a thought struck him.
"W-Wait!" He called, but by the time he did, Roderich was already out of hearing range.
The next time they met was two weeks later. Gilbert, Francis, and Antonio were all splashing around in the water, laughing and being typical boys. Lovino had also, for some reason, been talked into joining them, making Antonio the happiest person in the world. Said Spaniard was currently attempting to snuggle the struggling Italian, who was probably only struggling because Francis was teasing them. Gilbert was about to say something when a movement caught his eye. He turned his head, spotting Roderich sitting at the edge of the water, reading. His heart sped up a bit before he grinned and swam over.
"Boo!" Gilbert said, popping out of the water. Roderich yelped in surprise, almost dropping his book, before composing himself. He flushed slightly, raising an eyebrow at Gilbert.
"Aren't you here with your friends?" He inquired.
"Yup! But I haven't seen you around! I wanted to say hi!" Gilbert announced with a grin, pulling himself out of the water to sit next to Roderich.
"By scaring me?" Roderich asked, but he was smiling slightly, and he put his book down next to him.
"Uh-huh! But like I said, I haven't seen you in a few weeks! Do you live around here?" Gilbert asked.
"Mm. But I was in town visiting a few relatives." Roderich explained. Gilbert nodded in understanding, before he tilted his head.
"Do you know how to swim?" He asked curiously. Roderich blinked.
"Yes… why?" Gilbert merely grinned at him and slid back into the water. Before Roderich could react, Gilbert jumped up again and pulled him in, laughing. Roderich yelped again in surprise, instinctively wrapping his arms around Gilbert's shoulders in his surprise. But he begun laughing as well, and the two stayed like that for a while, in each other's arms and laughing for no apparent reason.
They had become easy friends. Sure, Roderich was much more proper than Gilbert, and they argued quite a often, but it was always a friendly kind of argument. They didn't let their differences get in the way, and were seen in each other's presence almost all of the time.
Gilbert had been on his way home from a small road trip he took to check out a college when the crash happened. Luckily, he was alright, and it had only been a tree he it. He scrambled out of his car, coughing from the dust the crash had kicked up.
It wasn't long until nearly everyone heard about the crash. The next day, Gilbert had been talking to Francis and Antonio on the road, when he was suddenly engulfed in a tight hug. Gilbert blinked in surprise, looking down at the brown head of hair that was resting on his chest. But before he could react, Roderich pulled away and gripped his shoulders, holding him at arms length.
"What did you think you were doing?" He demanded, "Not only do you go off on a road trip without even telling me, you come back and get in a crash! What if you had been hurt!"
"B-But.. I'm f-fine, you see?" Gilbert said, turning a little pink. Roderich shook his head vigorously.
"You're fine, but what if you weren't? What would I have done then? God damn it, Gil, I was so worried! I heard about the crash but I wasn't able to come because my father said my concert was more important.." He rambled on. Gilbert blinked, before smiling softly. He reached up to touch Roderich's cheek softly.
"No need to worry, Roddy. I won't leave you." He whispered. Roderich met his eyes, relief and something… something new shining in his eyes.
"You better not." He whispered back before leaning up and pressing his lips against Gilbert's. Gilbert was a little surprised, but he closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around Roderich's waist, holding him close and kissing back softly.
Roderich crouched at the side of the road, gently touching the flowers that grew there. They were violet, just like his eyes, though he didn't really notice that. They smelt lovely, and he felt peaceful surrounded by them. He was so lost in his own little world, he didn't notice Gilbert creep up behind him until the other couched down and wrapped his arms around his waist from behind. Roderich started slightly, cheeks turning a little red, before leaning against Gilbert's chest.
"What are you up to, Roddy?" Gilbert asked, smiling and tilting his head to kiss Roderich's forehead. This earned a tiny, giddy giggle and a bright smile.
"Aren't these flowers lovely, Gil?" He asked. Gilbert cocked his head, resting his chin on Roderich's shoulder and looking at the flowers. He reached to pick one gently, before tucking it behind the brunette's ear.
"Not as lovely as you." He murmured. Roderich laughed slightly, before tilting his head to kiss Gilbert quickly and then pulling away and standing up, turning around to face the other. Gilbert pouted at him before standing up as well, taking the other's hands in his own. Roderich blushed a little bit and adverted his eyes shyly. Gilbert chuckled softly, before leaning in to touch their noses together.
"….I love you." He whispered. Roderich's eyes flickered up to look at him, before he smiled affectionately.
"I love you too, Gil."
As it turned out, Roderich's father didn't like Gilbert. Whether it was because he was a little over protective of Roderich himself, or if it was because he thought that Roderich shouldn't spend time with relationships and should focus on getting an education wasn't quite clear, but it was obvious that he disliked Gilbert. So much, in fact, that he forbid Gilbert to enter their house.
This was, of course, utterly unacceptable in Gilbert's opinion. He wasn't even allowed to knock on their door. If he called, he would be hung up on. So, with a little prompting by Antonio and Francis- only a little!-, Gilbert set out once it was completely dark. The full moon was up, and it was breathtaking. But Gilbert didn't let that distract him, he wanted to see his own breathtaking sight. He hadn't seen Roderich in a week, as the other was busy preparing for college. That, and Roderich's father was being extra strict in making him prepare for college. Roderich, Francis, and Antonio were all going to the college close by, though for different reasons. Gilbert, on the other hand, was going to a college three days away. Which was why he had to see Roderich as much as could; he was leaving in the morning.
Gilbert made his way to Roderich's house, sneaking into the backyard with practiced skill. He picked up a few small rocks, walking to where Roderich's window was, though it was on the second floor. Grinning, he tossed up a rock, and it made a little tap on the window. He waited for a moment before throwing the second. Almost right after that one, Roderich appeared at the window, opening it. His eyes widened when he saw Gilbert, and he looked around wildly.
"G-Gil! W-what are you doing here? W-What if my father sees you?" He stammered, panicked.
"What, you think I'd let him keep you from me?" Gilbert grinned, before he suddenly looked a little solemn, "…Can you sneak out? I have to tell you something." He said. Roderich looked confused, but he nodded.
"I'll be out in a minute, Gil. Wait for me by the road, okay?" He replied before disappearing.
True to his word, Roderich ran up to where Gilbert was waiting under a tree. The minute he came close enough, Gilbert pulled him into his arms and kissed him. The kiss was almost desperate, and had hints of uncertainty in it. Roderich was worried, but he let his eyes close and kissed back softly, wrapping his arms around Gilbert's neck. This seemed to make Gilbert relax a little bit, and the kiss became less desperate and more sweet, more loving. When they finally parted both were a little out of breath, but that didn't really matter.
"…Gil…? What's wrong?" Roderich asked quietly when he had caught his breath, eyes shimmering with concern. Gilbert was silent for a moment before taking his hand and leading him into the field of flowers, sitting down. Roderich sat down next to him, cuddling close when Gilbert put an arm around him. Both were silent for a moment, Gilbert thinking and Roderich not rushing him.
"…I'm…. I'm leaving for college in the morning…" Gilbert whispered after a while. Roderich stiffened for a moment before looking up at Gilbert quietly.
"…O-Oh…" He said, for lack of anything better to say. A hint of nervousness reappeared in Gilbert's eyes, and he looked down at the other, placing a gentle hand on his cheek.
"Will you… Will you wait for me, Roderich…?" He asked, sounding somewhat scared. Roderich blinked at the use of his full name, before nodding and offering a tiny, reassuring smile.
"I would wait for you even after the world ends, Gilbert." He replied. Relief and love filled Gilbert's eyes, and the two kissed again under the stars. Though they knew they would miss each other, they were just happy to be in the other's arms.
True to his word, Gilbert left that next morning. He lost contact with not only Roderich, but Francis and Antonio, too. For four whole years he wasn't able to talk to his best friends or the love of his life. College kept him busy, working a part time job at the same time. He got by alright, though he didn't have the money for the pleasures that other kids had, and never had the time during breaks to visit family and friends.
But finally, four years after that day, he was on the road. A warm, happy feeling filled him as the surroundings started to become familiar. Gilbert grinned, driving to Antonio's uncle's farm, where he knew Francis and Antonio would be.
The two were overjoyed to see him. It turned out that Antonio had proposed the month after Lovino had graduated high school, though he a little sad that Gilbert hadn't been there, and to everyone's surprise- or, well, maybe it wasn't so surprising-, Lovino had said yes. The two were now happily married. To add on to Gilbert's surprise, it turned out that Francis had met a Canadian in college the year after Antonio's marriage that had immediately stolen his heart, and a month prior to Gilbert's arrival, they had their wedding.
The three had joked and laughed for a bit, but then Gilbert had told them that he had someone he needed to see. His friends understood and gave him a smile, before Gilbert set off again. It turned out, Roderich wasn't at home. Roderich's father had been strangely a little nicer receiving him, and this gave Gilbert a burst of new resolution.
For some reason, probably instinct, Gilbert knew just where Roderich was. He walked down that familiar road, though he was a little nervous. This was where they had first met, where they had first kissed, where they had told each other they loved the other. It was where Gilbert had drank his first beer, and crashed his first car. This road was the place where the best things happened to him, and hopefully… it would continue to be.
He found Roderich sitting under that tree, playing with a dead flower in his hand. The flower Gilbert had given him all those years ago. Relief washed over him. So Roderich had kept his word. He was still waiting. Roderich didn't notice him, looking lost in his thoughts. Gilbert walked up, standing in front of the other.
"…Hey." Gilbert said softly. Roderich instantly looked up, eyes widening.
"G-G-Gil… Gilbert!" He exclaimed, scrambling to his feet. Gilbert smiled gently, chuckling.
"It's me, Roddy." He told him. They stared at each other for a moment, before Roderich made to hug him. Gilbert stopped him, though, holding him at arms length. Roderich looked almost scared.
"G-Gilbert…? W-What… what's wrong…?" He asked. Gilbert felt bad for making the other worry, but he offered a smile and sunk to one knee, looking up at the other.
"I know I made you wait for such a long time. I know I haven't even spoken to you or wrote. But I love you, have loved you, and will always love you, even after I die. Ever since I first saw you, I've loved you. And… I can only hope that you feel the same way." He said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small box, "You said you would wait for me even after the world ended. But I don't want to make you wait anymore; it's unfair to you. And… even if you didn't mind waiting, I don't want to ever be away from you for such a long time again. Roderich?"
Roderich's eyes were wide, his cheeks bright red. But he offered a nervous smile, looking as if he was restraining himself, "Y-Yes, Gilbert…?"
"Will you marry me?" Gilbert asked, smiling up at the other, opening the box to show the ring. Roderich let out a giddy laugh, sinking to his knees and throwing his arms around Gilbert.
"Yes! Yes, yes, yes! I will, Gilbert." He said breathlessly. Gilbert smiled, picking up the ring and sliding it on Roderich's ring finger. They both looked at it for a moment, before looking up at each other. Love and adoration was reflected in both of their eyes. Gilbert quietly reached up with one hand to stroke Roderich's cheek. Roderich's eyes fluttered halfway shut and leaned in a little bit.
Gilbert met him in the middle, and the two shared a sweet, loving kiss, filled with promises and joy and things to come. And on that road, that red dirt road that had started it all, their lives begun a new chapter. A new chapter that they would share. Together.