introduction: This is WAAAY outside of my normal range (read: angsty, smutty, and absolutely lengthy Japan/China), but nonetheless, please bear with me in all my ridiculously OOC glory? I am trying, once more, for short quick and ultimately satisfying fanfictions - ones that involve OTHER CHARACTERS as MAIN CHARACTERS (yes, I too, wonder if I am capable!).
these include (but are definitely not limited to!): Prussia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Austria. And hell, why not Germany?
rules-of-the-game: If you happen to have the time to review, please type "STOP" if you've heard this joke (or some variant) before and "GO" if you've never heard this joke (either that, or I screw it up so badly that you can't quite distinguish the original). Pretty please? :D~
notes: Will be using human!names. Not a continuous storyline.
STOP ME IF
[ you've heard this ]
( table of contents )
 - [Vash, Roderich, Ludwig, and Gilbert]
 - [Lilli, Elizaveta, Roderich, and Vash]
 - [Elizaveta, Gilbert, and Roderich]
 - [Gilbert, Vash, Elizaveta, Roderich, and Lilli]
 - [Roderich, Ludwig, Elizaveta, and Gilbert]
 - [Roderich and Elizaveta]
 - 
 - 
 - 
[ Heaven's Gates Now Require Passwords ]
Roderich Edelstein felt that he had been, on the whole, a good human being. Sure, he could have cleaned up after himself a couple of times, and maybe he should've admitted to Elizaveta that he actually couldn't read a map to save his life... before they were five hours into the road trip and stuck on I-54 without gas. But hey, they both made it out alive (no thanks to Gilbert, of course).
Which was why he was not surprised in the slightest when the pearly gates of Kingdom Come shone before him. The only thing that was surprising was the gateman, which happened to look dreadfully similar to a certain trigger-happy swissman that was the head of the local bank. But no matter, really.
"Hey, Roderich!" Gilbert - of course - just had to die mere minutes after him. "How are you doing, good buddy, old pal?" And here, he laughed, nervously, "Listen, before we get into the sparkly gates, I have something that I need to -"
"Attention!" Heaven's Guard commanded (and Dear Lord, he even sounded like Vash Zwingli), interrupting Gilbert. Instinctively, the two of them saluted. "You will all form one single, orderly line before the Gates!" And then he cleared his throat in what might have been an embarrassed manner.
"Now... the thing is," the Guard started, and Roderich felt a sense of impending doom - which was ridiculous of course, he was in heaven for crying out loud! Nonetheless, the feeling only increased as the Guard continued talking, "With all the recent catastrophes and pandemics, the angels have been busy making room in the seventeenth dimension for the souls of all the lost little children. However, Heaven can no longer let mobs of do-gooders simply storm the gate, you'll understand?"
Roderich nodded - even though the logic was ridiculous (seventeenth dimension?).
"The Hell!" Gilbert whined. Just like when they were alive, Roderich promptly elbowed the other into silence.
"As such," the Guard concluded, "Unless you feel that you've done something particularly marvelous - or died in a particularly interesting," And here, the Guard's eyes lit up a bit, before he coughed into the billowing sleeve of his gown, "A-hem, I mean, tragic manner - please wait for the eighteenth dimension to properly accomodate you."
"This is so not awesome at all!" Gilbert declared, and then looked towards Roderich, "Hey! Hey Roderich! What are you doing?"
"I happen to believe that I have died in an interesting and tragic enough manner to qualify for getting into Heaven faster," the aristocrat snippily replied. Gilbert rolled his eyes, muttering 'prick' under his breath before following the other.
"Name?" The Guard to the Gates of Heaven boredly asked, fiddling with something that looked suspiciously innocent, "And I'll have you know that I've heard all the tragic and interesting stories in the world. I hardly believe that you'll be able to top them." And then he glanced at the golden clock, which hung perfectly by threads of time. "But oh well," he said, stifling a yawn, "Let's see what sort of thread you can spin, right?"
The grin was scarily reminiscent of the one time Vash had caught Elizaveta and himself 'entangled' amidst the security cards and passwords.
"Roderich Edelstein," Roderich replied confidently, belying his niggling insecurities, "Alright, I'll be telling you about my death, which I happen to believe is rather strange, unusual, and tragic - of course." He pulled out a hankerchief, dabbing at his cheek - because it had been his death, after all! - before continuing, "I reside with my wife on the fourth floor of an apartment complex, and we've been having a bit of trouble with a sneak thief, who had arbitrarily been stealing her undergarments and my music books."
Roderich breathed deeply here, remembering the carefully-marked texts of Beethoven and Wagner.
"My. Music. Books." He repeated, wringing his hands a bit.
Vash, er, the Guard, nodded - right as Gilbert collapsed in a hysterical coughing fit. Roderich, all too used to these spurts of mischaracterization, ignored his acquaintance and continued. "So the two of us decided to set a trap today - we set out a huge pile of music books and undergarments by the edge of balcony, and then proceeded to wait in our bedroom for the thief to drop by."
"Hardly a foolproof plan," the Guard remarked.
"That's why I'm here," Roderich crisply replied. "Anyways," he cleared his throat, somewhat embarrassed, now that the pictures were coming back to him, full-force, "So the two of us waited in the bedroom for, well, about two hours. And then we heard scurrying in the music room - which was right next to the balcony - and we hurried down... only to find..."
"To find?" The Guard echoed, leaning forward. Gilbert had not stopped coughing.
"A man - hanging by the edge of our balcony!" Roderich inhaled. Again. "He was... he was desperately clinging onto my wife's undergarments, for he had fallen off of the balcony," he snorted here, "And his desperate, grabbling fingers were ripping the pages of my music books. He had... he had defaced my perfect copy of Beethoven's Third! Not to mention Chopin's Raindrops!" Roderich's hands shook, in their fervor in searching for a throat to strangle.
Gilbert let out another - more final - hacking, wheezing cough.
Roderich steadfastedly ignored the other, for his tragic story needed to be told! "And so, I tried to shove him from the balcony, tried to pry his grasping, groping fingers off of my sheets and music books!" Another deep inhale. "And Elizaveta's undergarments," he added as an afterthought. "He wouldn't budge, he was screaming something about 'The manuals! The manuals!' so I simply... kicked him off."
"Naturally," the Guard responded, as Gilbert finally contained his coughs.
"But he wouldn't die. We were only on the fourth floor, after all, and there were bushes and trees that cushioned his fall. And so, with the help of my wife, I lifted my grand piano up to the balcony -"
"Your grand piano." The Guard repeated.
"The man had ripped pages twelve through twenty-four of Classic Études," Roderich said with a voice of steel. "I threw the piano at the thief, and did not even live to see if he died, for the weight of the piano was simply too great." He sniffed, tragically, dabbing with his hankerchief.
"That is..." the Guard started, more than a bit speechless, "That is possibly the most tragic story I've ever heard!" And here, he embraced Roderich heartfully, bidding him a happy journey into Heaven and wonderful afterlife. Roderich smiled wanly, muttering 'Wagner... Chopin... Wolfgang...' under his breath, before making his way through the pearly gates.
Gilbert, of course, felt his jaw literally disconnect from his head.
"I'll be next then," a studious voice interrupted, coming forth from the crowd of other people, right before Gilbert was about to start his story. Gilbert would've lashed out at the other, but the voice seemed rather familiar, and he whirled around, only to come face-to-face with -
"Ludwig!" Gilbert exclaimed, giving his little brother a very manly hug. "What the hell happened to you? How did you die? Where was I?"
"I'll explain in my story," Ludwig calmly said, facing the somewhat-teary Guard of the Pearly Gates. "It started off as a normal enough day, my Italian friend from the seventh floor of the apartment complex was coming over, and I was busy drying his favorite type of pasta on my balcony. Then, to my horror, a little yellow bird flew down and stole half the container - filled with the pasta!"
Gilbert relapsed on the floor, choking. Ludwig - even more than Roderich - was used to this, and continued.
"Naturally, the manuals did not say how to save your very expensive pasta from the claws of little yellow birds,"
"Naturally," The Guard echoed.
"And so, I had to improvise. The bird was perched at the absolute edge of the balcony, and I could have run to the grocery store to buy more pasta, but... my Italian friend was coming in less than two hours! And the manuals absolutely said to be prepared. And so, I climbed up to the edge of the balcony, and the bird flew off - and I lost my balance. And fell two floors."
"Two floors?" The Guard scoffed, "I doubt a fellow of your stature would be unable to survive such a fall."
"It wasn't a fall to the ground," Ludwig explained, "I live on the sixth floor, you see, so I fell to the fourth, and then there was a string. Of women's... underwear," and here, he blushed - the humiliation still perfectly ingrained in his mind, "I was desperate, you see? There was the pasta - and the bird - and Feli-I mean, the Italian friend. I... I clung onto the underwear, for no reason other than dear life, screaming for help."
"And the the musician and his wife - the ones that lived on the fourth floor - mistook me to be some burglar! I was screaming - the manuals did not say anything of this sort - and, well, I just fell... four stories."
"But that didn't kill you." The Guard noted.
"No - I fell into foliage and survived, but the musician..." Ludwig shuddered here, "He threw a grand piano at me. And here I am," he concluded dryly, taking note of the leaking tears coming from the Guard's eyes.
"I'm so sorry, my good man! What a horrible misunderstanding!" The Guard clasped his hands together, motioning for the gates to open once more, "Please, please - go through! You'll meet the musician, he came right before you, and died in a such tragic manner as well!"
"Thank you," Ludwig said - as if this was the only good thing that had happened all day. Which, well, probably was, actually.
"And you?" The Guard asked, raising an eyebrow, and looking at Gilbert, who had finally stopped shaking from the 'coughs', "You too, are dead - and you seem to know both the musician and the manual-reader. Do you, too, have a tragic and interesting story to share of your own death?"
"Well," Gilbert started - and then thought, oh-what-the-hell, because he was dead, for crying out loud! "Yes," he said - with an expression caught between grin and grimace, "Yes, I'm pretty sure my story is interesting as well. You see, I've been stopping by to visit two of my friends - who live on the fourth floor - and 'borrowing' some of their favorite things for an indefinite period of time. A bra here, a music score there," he gestured flippantly. "It was all fun and games, you see?"
The Guard's jaw had effectively been dislocated as well.
"Except for today, when the two of them thought they could trap me, since they didn't think my trusty Gilbird would be my eye in the sky. But it's not like it mattered, right? Because, you see, I was already there inside the grand piano..."