This was written for lj's Hetalia kink meme. The prompt was: Germany and Italy have a child who is born deaf. I would like to see cuteness about this, such as learning sign language and what not. Dark elements may be included, considering Germany's past with the deaf (during WWII, many, many deaf people were sterilized or killed).
Bonus: Flashback/guilt for Germany.
Bonus 2: Italy being a natural at sign language.
(Anon does not mind gendbend at all if authornon does not like Mpreg!)
Sorry it's so short!
Once again, Germany found himself in an odd situation where he wasn't exactly sure how to deal with it. The first major event had been when Italy had come to him and exclaimed he was pregnant with Germany's baby. How this was possible, he had no idea, and had originally dismissed it as the poor Italian having far too much pasta, and it finally took a toll on his brain. The second time was when he realized how much Italy's stomach had ballooned, reinforcing the idea of him being a father. The third time was a few days ago, when Italy had finally had the said baby. It was a little girl, with her "mother's" brunette hair, and Germany's bright blue eyes. Needless to say, he had fallen in love with her instantly. They had named her Sienna Raine-Sienna being Italian, and Raine being German.
But now had to be the biggest oddity of all, tugging at his heartstrings. He was watching Feliciano, who was holding little Sienna, rocking her slightly. For the first time in recent days, he wasn't singing while he rocked her; it wouldn't have mattered. Sienna was deaf. Ludwig knew that he would love her no matter what, but he also knew that this was going to take a larger toll on him than he originally thought.
For Sienna's first few years, Germany wasn't too sure what to do with her, and usually let Italy deal with her. He couldn't talk to her, scold or praise her the ways he knew how. He helped take care of her, or course, but he wasn't sure what to do with her. He watched as Italy played with her like a normal child, still talking and laughing as though she could hear him. It made Ludwig uncomfortable, but he still loved his little family.
It wasn't until Sienna was 6 that Ludwig learned that she was brighter than he thought, having her own way of speaking and expressing what she wanted.
One day, Sienna ran up to him, her thumb against her forehead, fingers fanned out, and proceeded to tug on his sleeve. Ludwig stared at her, confused. Was she making fun of him, or trying to tell him something? When he didn't respond fast enough, she let go of him, and moved her thumb to her chin, running over to Italy as he came in. Ludwig watched.
"What?" Italy asked, dropping to her level, passing the tip of his right index finger down over his left flat hand from index to little finger. Germany blinked, confused. The little girl made a bunch of movements with her hands that Ludwig couldn't follow, before Italy laughed. "Ok," he said, making the letters with his hands, before mussing her hair and sending her on her way. He smiled at Germany.
"What was that about?" Ludwig asked, blushing as Feliciano kissed his cheek.
"She said you won't talk to her!" Italy blurted, pouting.
Ludwig blinked rapidly, making random motions with his hands. "That was talking?"
Despite himself, Feliciano laughed. "She was speaking sign language, silly!"
Germany blinked. "Sign…language?" He had heard the term before, but had never seen it used.
"Deaf people talk with their hands and lips, Germany!" The Italian sat at the dining room table. He patted the table across from him, where the German sat slowly. "It's really easy once you learn it." He mimicked the first sign Sienna had made. "This means father." Ludwig blushed a little, copying Italy. Feliciano then moved his thumb to his chin. "And this is mother." The blond repeated the gesture. "And this is daughter." He made his right hand into a fist, the thumb on the outside, and traced a line on his right jaw from just below his ear to his chin; He then folded his right arm on his left left arm, both palms face up. It took a few tries for Ludwig to get this sign right. "It's a combination of girl-" he did the first half of the sign. "-And baby." He did the second half.
"I see," Ludwig muttered, staring at his hands as he attempted the sign once more. "…what…what is family?" he asked shyly.
Feliciano smiled. He touched his thumb and index fingers together, both hands touching at the small circles, palms facing Ludwig. He then swung them open and around, coming together again at his pinkies edges, palms now facing Feliciano. He then repeated it, saying softly, "Family." Ludwig felt his heart flutter a bit as he attempted the sign.
"This is going to be a long road, isn't it?" He asked finally, placing his hands down on the table. He already knew the answer.
"Of course it will. But I know you, Germany. Ve…you won't give up. You'll keep trying." He held Germany's hands gently. "Let's start with the basics. You can spell things out to her until you are ready."
Germany nodded. He felt he could at least do that. He wanted so badly to communicate with his daughter. He just didn't know how.
"Let's begin the alphabet then! A!" Feliciano made a fist, his thumb resting on the side. Ludwig followed suit. "B!" His hand was up, palm facing Germany, his thumb cutting across it. It was quickly mirrored. "C!" It went on like this for quite some time, repeatedly reciting the sign language alphabet until Ludwig could do the majority on his own.
Over the course of the next few days, he practiced furiously, occasionally forcing himself to spell things out, such as names, places and things. I practiced every opportunity; he couldn't help but swell with pride at dinner, when he could see his little girl watching him, smiling happily at her daddy for trying.
As he had thought, it took time and patience for Germany to manage the act, but after about a month, he was clumsily signing to his daughter, who signed back with a big smile. She was patient, spelling out things to him slowly, and correcting him when he messed up a letter, occasionally showing him the actual sign for the word in exchange of spelling it.
One night, when Germany was tucking Sienna into bed, she held a hand up to him. Her palm was facing him, her ring and middle fingers down so the other three were sticking up. He blinked at her, not exactly knowing what it meant. "Italy!" The Italian came in, confused. Ludwig simply pointed at Sienna. "What is she saying?"
Italy stared for a moment, before tearing up. He walked over, mimicking the sign. "She's saying she loves you." I showed Ludwig. "See: I. L. Y. I love you."
Ludwig stared in awe at his daughter's hand, before mirroring her motion, leaning down to kiss her forehead. "I love you too," he mouthed against her skin, making her giggle.
After that day, his relationship with his daughter flourished; he was able to communicate with her fluidly after a year. She also learned, through watching and practice, how to speak slightly; it was hard to distinguish at times, but in addition to her signing, she became quite the speaker. And Germany, who had been so worried about being a horrible father because of something he couldn't help, was told yearly that he was the best father Sienna could have ever hoped for.