A/N: So this is the first story I've posted on in a while. I don't really write a terrible amount of fanfiction to begin with, but inspiration struck me for this one and I figured I might as well post it on here. Enjoy.
I don't own Hetalia, that much should be obvious.
WARNINGS: Slash/yaoi/shounen-ai, strong language, inferred sexual themes, Spanish-speaking (translations at the bottom), Austrian angst, human names used.
"You don't even understand, Roderich!"
"I don't understand? Don't pretend that you know anything about me!"
"Oh, yeah? I seemed to know an awful lot about you last night, didn't I? Don't try to make me out to be the villain here!" Austria had never thought of his husband as a particularly tall or imposing figure, but at that point in time, the Spaniard seemed utterly condescending.
He felt his face flush at Antonio's implications, recalling the events of the night before with an ounce of shame. "I-I...last night has nothing to do with this, Antonio! And I am doing no such thing!"
"And don't play innocent and act like you're NOT! I won't be the bad guy in this marriage, do you understand? I WON'T."
"I never said you had to be! You don't even listen to me!"
"Look, I can't deal with this right now. I'm going out." Clearly holding back on his anger, Antonio looked his husband up and down once and made a sound of irritation. "And don't expect me home for a while!" With one final glare, the Spaniard stormed out the front door of the house they shared, slamming it loudly behind him in a final show of exasperation.
Roderich stared at the door for a long time. There was a raw, empty pang inside of him, as if something had been torn and scraped ungracefully out of his chest...and it hurt.
Did it hurt.
He'd held a great deal of affection for Spain, once. He could remember their wedding day – it had been loud and busy and...impersonal, everything that the wedding of an arranged marriage should have been, but that hadn't made it any less special, any less important. It was the first time his leader had married him off to anyone, and he had been so, so nervous, but Antonio had held his hand and winked at him in that charming, playful way and suddenly it wasn't so terrible anymore. Once upon a time, the Spaniard's lighthearted smile and cheerful green eyes had been a comfort, a support, but not anymore – now that smile was rare to see, replaced with a frustrated frown, and those beautiful eyes were cold and irate. Roderich liked to convince himself that something about Antonio had changed, that he wasn't the same man that he had married to uphold the Oñate treaty, but he knew that wasn't entirely true – the two of them just clashed in certain areas that couldn't be ignored, and the Austrian could feel their marriage disintegrating more and more by the day. With the last of Habsburg dying out, the political assets of their marriage were wearing as thin as Antonio and Roderich's patience for each other.
Mumbling quietly to himself in German, Roderich stalked into the music room and sat down heavily at his piano, resting his fingers lightly upon the ivory keys. Just the contact with the instrument made him feel a little better, and he inhaled deeply, his eyelids fluttering shut. Just... relax, he tried to tell himself, his fingers beginning to move, to press down against the black and white bars in sequence, forming strings of melody and rhythm in minor keys in something that sounded somewhat like Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," though such a piece had not yet been written in the time of the House of Habsburg.
But the music did nothing to soothe him; the rhythm of the song that streamed from his fingers was bitter, as upset and depressing in its nature as he had been already, and as much as Austria tried to play something more jovial, he could not lie to the piano. He felt his anger and his frustrations swell and grow and pound his fingertips harder onto the keys in faster, sharper tempos, more dismal melodies, complicated patterns and notes to hit, and with not a single mistake, for Roderich was not playing a written piece and thus there could BE no mistakes.
He played and played and played, played until his fingers ached and his face hurt from the scowl it had been fixed in, and in his time of desperation, he found that only one thought would come to him.
A platinum-haired, red-eyed man leering at him, laughing, fighting, drinking, making merry – a certain albino knight whose image could never leave him, whose vitality was impressed into his mind whether he wanted it to be there or not.
Prussia. Gilbert fucking Beilschmidt.
It was always him that Roderich's thoughts turned to when he was fighting with Antonio, that dynamic being whom he would daydream about when he was alone. For all of the Prussian's hellishly irritating behavior, for all his flaws and faults, there was something about him, some...life, some energy and vigor about him that the Austrian found...entrancing – not that he would ever admit to such a thing, of course. He was married, after all – albeit to a man – and thinking about that former Teutonic Knight in any improper fashion was...inappropriate. But that couldn't stop Roderich's mind from wandering, no matter how wrong he told himself it was to think about the Prussian in that way.
And now those thoughts were storming him, mixing with bottled rage and pain, that which he could only express through music, for his facial expressions were so limited and his emotional spectrum...narrow, to say the least. Those ridiculous dreams overcame him and flooded him with feelings that he didn't want to feel, adding to the distress he was already in with "could have been"s and "what if"s and "should have done"s. He slammed his hands down onto the piano, evoking a dreadful sound that was enough to make him wince, but not enough to clear his mind.
Then, with a surge of frustration mingled with self-loathing, Austria abandoned the only thing he could ever talk to, the only thing that he had ever loved unconditionally...and, he reasoned to himself, the only thing that could ever understand him.
And it was an instrument. For God's sake, an instrument.
He stormed from his favorite room in the house, up the gilded staircase and down the hall to the bedroom he and Antonio were supposed to share – the rambunctious Spaniard was hardly ever home when Roderich went to sleep anymore, so it sometimes felt as if he had the room to himself, with only Antonio's scattered things testifying otherwise. The Austrian slid under the covers and buried his face in the pillows, his glasses moving uncomfortably against his face until he finally took them off and placed them on the nightstand. Tears were stinging at his eyes, tears for his marriage, for his broken relationship, and for that goddamn man he could never have who refused to leave his thoughts. Gilbert Beilschmidt.
And suddenly, it was his wedding day.
There was cheering and music and celebrating, and the skeletal innards of the church were deafeningly alive – everything was decked out in the colors of the House of Habsburg and every nation that could come was there to rejoice. Roderich could feel his nerves returning and looked at his feet before he felt a warm tan hand tilting his chin up again. He glanced upwards into Antonio's green eyes.
"¡Oye!" the Spaniard said to him in a low tone. "No estés nervioso, Roderich. Don't be nervous. Todo será bueno, okay?" He grinned optimistically at the bespectacled man, who found he could only twitch his lips upwards in response.
"Of course," he responded, his eyes shifting from Antonio to scan the crowd. He found himself searching for a single face and tried not to be disappointed when he didn't see it. Why on Earth would he be here, anyway? He hadn't all that much reason to be...after all, he teased Roderich enough for the Austrian to get the message that the man did not enjoy his company.
And yet, he was still disappointed.
He also wasn't entirely sure how he had ended up wearing a dress, but he'd been informed by his leader that it was a formality. Roderich chose not to question why he had been selected to wear the dress to avoid potential self-esteem issues and just bore it, but the wedding dress was stuffy and awkward and he didn't like the way it made him feel "on the spot." Men weren't supposed to wear dresses.
"Hm?" His dark blue eyes seemed to return to Earth as they glanced towards his soon-to-be husband.
"The ceremony is starting." Antonio blinked at him and smiled.
"Oh...yes...of course." Roderich mustered a smile back, but he could feel that his was weak; he'd always been terrible with facial expressions. Emotions were so difficult to convey.
The ceremony was long and tedious and Roderich found that, for all his good upbringing and impeccable manners, even he stopped paying attention after a while. His Spanish partner seemed to have been distracted long ago, his gaze off somewhere else now, above Roderich's head.
At last, they were down to the vows, and the pianist felt himself reenter reality as he glanced at the priest.
"Do you, Antonio Fernandez Carriedo, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?" the holy man asked.
Antonio looked back steadily at the elderly man. "I do."
"And do you, Roderich Edelstein..." Roderich straightened slightly as he was addressed. "...take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?"
My voice will not shake. "I do," he responded. He glanced at the bright-eyed Spaniard beside him, who caught his gaze and grinned.
"If there is anyone amongst us today who objects to the union of these two nations, speak now or forever hold your peace." The priest, seeming confident that no-one would have an objection, hurried over the words just slightly, clearly prepared to wrap up the ceremony.
"Yeah, I object."
Everyone froze. The crowd went silent for a long moment, a wave of quiet mumbling finally filling the air as the wedding-goers wondered aloud who could make such an objection – but then the bubbling of noise ceased and the throng began to part like some sort of Biblical sea, giving way to the distinctive figure of...Gilbert Beilschmidt. The albino was clad in the armor he'd worn as a knight, and his expression, while somewhat smug (it always was), was also grave and resolute. Roderich felt his heart rate triple as he stared at the knight in shock.
The priest seemed confused. "What did you say, young man?"
"While I am considerably too awesome to repeat myself, I'll do you a favor this once, old man – I said, I object." The Prussian smirked, cocking his head to the side.
The old pastor seemed somewhat flustered. "Why would you say such a thing?"
"Gilbert?" Antonio was looking at his friend with a perplexed expression. "What are you doing, hombre?"
"Look, Antonio, I'm sorry, but..." Gilbert drew closer, his eyes fixed steadily on Roderich, who felt himself flush – it didn't help that he was wearing such a ridiculous dress. "I can't let you marry this man."
The Spaniard tilted his head. "Por que no, my friend?"
"Because, I..." It was the first time Roderich had ever seen the Prussian hesitate; he always seemed so strong and unyielding. "I love him. That's why." His expression turned somewhat stubborn.
Antonio just stared at him in surprise.
"Wh-what?" stammered the priest, which was exactly what Roderich had been thinking.
"For God's sake, ya deaf idiots, I said I love him! The amazing, awe-inspiring Prussia is in love with the man you're trying to marry. Jesus, you'd think I was speaking Greek." Gilbert rolled his eyes in irritation.
The nation of Greece was present at the wedding and most likely would have spoken out about that reference to his language, but Heracles was sleeping peacefully in the corner, cuddling a cat; therefore, no protest was made.
"...but, ah...Gil...this marriage is muy importante, you know..." Antonio managed, looking from Prussia to Austria and then back at Prussia again. As his eyes lighted on Roderich, the pianist mouthed a quick "I don't know" to make sure the Spaniard knew he had nothing to do with this.
Not that he minded. His heart was actually hammering against his ribs so hard he thought they would crack, and his brain was screaming, "YES, YES, YES!" All this time, he'd been waiting for Gilbert to say something, as he had always been far too well-mannered to confess to such things so abruptly; the idea that the Prussian actually loved him was absurd in a wonderful, wonderful way.
"Yeah, I know, but, uh...love is more...mucho...muy importante." Gilbert stumbled over the foreign words, but shrugged his shoulders after a moment, disregarding it and grinning again. "I know this is all pretty impromptu, but even I know that you don't tell people you're going to heckle at weddings, so..." He shrugged his shoulders. "Anyway, Roddy." Those crimson eyes shifted to him, and the Austrian felt more heat creep to his cheeks. "This is, uh, gonna be embarrassing as shit if you don't love me back, so I thought I might make sure you, er... feel the same... 'cause otherwise, I'll have crashed your wedding for nothing." His laugh was sheepish this time, but only slightly – Gilbert wasn't really one for shame.
Roderich was breathless. "Yes...I...I love you," he managed after a moment, letting the words hang in the air for a moment before he added, "but you're still a moron for crashing my wedding." A slightly sly smirk-smile danced across his features, which the Prussian knight returned with a grin.
"Awesome!" he replied, seeming even more invigorated than before. "In that case—" In one swift movement, Roderich felt leanly muscled arms slide around him, lifting him off the ground, dress and all (fortunately, he was not wearing heels – he had sternly refused to sink to that level of humiliation). "I'm gonna go ahead and steal the bride now, if that's okay with everyone. Which it probably isn't, but hell, can't say I care." With another wide grin and a wink down at the Austrian he was now carrying bridal style – who found the wink innately attractive and blushed just a little darker – Gilbert whisked down off the altar and through the crowd, carrying Roderich away from the loud guests he didn't know, the man he had been assigned to marry, the stuffy old priest, his superiors...
The musician gazed up at his knight in shining armor (quite literally) in awe, nearly unable to react as Gilbert kicked open the door to the church and stepped into the sunlight. "You..." he attempted, but found himself lost for words. The Prussian looked down at him curiously.
"Why would you do that?" he asked breathlessly, his brow furrowing just a fraction.
"Because I love you, you stupid aristocrat, why else?" Gilbert grinned again. "You think I crash weddings just for fun? Given, it would make every wedding a lot more awesome, but still." He laughed, filling the air around the two of them with an infectious humor. "You do love me, don't you? I mean, how couldn't you?"
Roderich felt himself smiling as well. "You are an utter blockhead," he informed the knight, who looked down at him with a smirk, "but yes, I love you."
"Good. Then let's go somewhere more... ah... private, hmm?" Gilbert glanced over his shoulder at the church, which was now in an uproar after his little intervention.
Smirking, the brunette inclined his head slightly. "Yes."
The albino pressed a kiss to his forehead, and Roderich felt another smile on his face – it was the most he'd smiled in a long time. In fact, he recalled that this was the happiest he had been in a long time, too... possibly the happiest he had ever been. Being carried away from a would-be wedding by the man he loved... it couldn't be any better, couldn't lift his spirits any higher. It had to be the best day of his life.
And then, he woke up.
And he remembered that he was all alone, in a cold bed, and that his knight in shining armor had never come to save him.
Oye = Listen
No estés nervioso = Don't be nervous
Todo será bueno = Everything will be fine
Por que no = Why not
(I also add that "hombre" = man, and "muy importante" = very important, but if you don't know that, you need to get out more. :'D )