A/N: Written for the prompt 'afternoon tea and cookies' at aph_fluffathon. Gah, Prussia/Liechtenstein is such a cute pairing, even if it's kind of rare. *obsesses*
Cream and Camillia
Liechtenstein's garden looked best in sunlight, Prussia decided. It was nicest in summer and spring, when there's golden light filtering through and touching everything yellow (fuck yes; he can totally be poetic when he wants) and there are lots of fragile, paper-petal flowers blooming everywhere and it was the perfect weather to sit down and drink a beer.
Or, in this case, have a cup of tea.
"Would you like some more tea, Mr. Prussia?" Liechtenstein asked as she raised the pot, and it occurred to Prussia that he's usually poetic about anything involving Liechtenstein, especially when Liechtenstein's in her garden like this, with her hair flecked with sunlight haloed around her head and how the edge of her lip rises when she smiles and her eyes a really special type of green that makes everything in her garden like wilted old vegetables.
(Liechtenstein kind of looks best in sunlight, too.)
"Well, it's not beer, but it'll do," Prussia smiled (and that's another thing. This chick can actually get him to smile. It's a very smug, sharp smile, true, but it's not a smirk and it's not caused by someone else's pain and that's surprising enough) and held out his cup while Gilbird tweeted contently on the table between them. The tea's pretty good, actually. Then he said, for the fiftieth time, "And just call me Prussia. 'Mr.' is such a boring title for someone as awesome as me!"
"Ah, of course," Liechtenstein replied for the fiftieth time, her cheeks tinged with pink, even though both of them know she'll slip up and the fifty-first reminder isn't far behind, but it's really cute, the way she's so damn formal with him, as if he was someone she actually respected and gave a shit for, and they both exchange smiles as they drop more sugar in their tea.
"So, Liechtenstein, you won't believe what went on in the G8 meeting today," Prussia said, and he started on that story about crashing the summit, going to great lengths to describe how West's face can portray exasperation in at least seventeen different ways while Liechtenstein cocked her head and commented and acted shocked at the appropriate times.
"Should you really be aggravating your brother so much, Mr. Prussia?" Liechtenstein asked, but there's a faint smile toasting her face and her eyes were warm as she offered a dainty plate of wafers. Prussia's blood ran a bit cold when he thought of brothers and what Switzerland would do to him if he found him drinking tea with his precious sister (something that involved guns, probably, and didn't involve letting Prussia live past the month), but something about the warmth in Liechtenstein's eyes kind of made him feel warmer, too, in this weird, bubbly way that feels like sunshine shooting through your veins, so Prussia just swallowed, smiled and took a cookie, cramming it in his mouth.
"Aw, West knows he loves me," Prussia laughed with his fingers splayed against his mouth in a rather undignified manner so he wouldn't spray Liechtenstein with crumbs (ordinarily, he wouldn't care who he sprayed, but pelting a girl like Liechtenstein with bits of your saliva? Not. Awesome.) "He doesn't mind."
Then a peaceful quiet permeated the air as they both sipped their tea.
"Hey, Liechtenstein, you're a really great listener, you know that?"
At this, Liechtenstein blushed, though she doesn't really have much of a reason to. It's not like he'd told her how nice her flowers were, or how awesome her cookies tasted, or how pretty she looked—"Thank you, Mr. Prussia. Though you always have such interesting stories, it's hard not to listen."
"I dunno," Prussia shrugged nonchalantly and tried to conceal the fact that he was grinning wildly. Nobody had ever said they liked his stories before! It was always 'Prussia, kindly remove your presence from my house' or 'bruder, isn't is appropriate for you to leave now?' or a frying pan to the head and Liechtenstein's words caused his chest to burn with some sort of warmth and it's all fierce and tingly, edged with gold like her garden and hair. "Guess I'm not really used to being listened to. Most people just can't handle the awesome."
"Why wouldn't they listen?" Liechtenstein asked with genuine surprise in her features. "You're so nice to talk to!"
And the burn in his chest flared up, growing even hotter.
"Ahaha," Goddammit, why the fuck was he blushing? Only pussies like Austria blushed. Prussia ducked his head, trying to hide his flaming cheeks. "You really think so?" Prussia looked at Liechtenstein to see if she was kidding, but her eyes were bright and earnest.
"Of course I do! I'm glad you're spending time with me, Mr. Prussia." Liechtenstein smiled, the sunlight playing patterns in her hair. "A lot of people don't really notice me, so most of the time it's just me and brother. N-not that I'm complaining, of course!" She added hastily. "Brother's absolutely wonderful to me; he's always so kind and thoughtful, but it's just…nice to have other company too."
Damn. Spending all that time with scary-ass Switzerland must be hard, but if Liechtenstein adores him that much, that guy can't be all bad. Just too touchy-feely with his guns.
"Well, staying with you means I'm not out doing anything illegal," Prussia said, grinning, and Liechtenstein laughed. It's a very pleasant laugh, free of mockery and derisiveness and sadism, and it sounds so comforting, all nice and warm like Gilbird's feathers and blankets and caramel (none of which Prussia liked too much, dammit!).
"Then for the sake of everyone else, you're welcome to stay whenever you want, Mr.—I mean, Prussia," Liechtenstein said, her eyes cast downwards as if she were embarrassed the lack of title in Prussia's name, fingers playing around the rim of her tea cup so adorably that for a moment that all Prussia can think is 'asdfghjkl cute.'
He couldn't help the gigantic grin that spread across his face like sunshine, not when he was so happy and warm and not had awesome company and most importantly, not-lonely, so Prussia just ruffled his hair and leant forward so Liechtenstein could hear the sincerity of his words. "Thanks, liebchen." And Liechtenstein blushed at the endearment.
Her blush is almost as cute as her laugh. Or maybe it's the other way around.
Either way, Liechtenstein is almost too damn adorable.
Prussia doesn't usually drink tea or sit in gardens, not when he was busy getting drunk and invading vital regions and being awesome, but he found that drinking tea became much, much more enjoyable when you were doing it with a cute girl, especially if that girl was Liechtenstein.
And it's actually really funny how it started, too; with a drunk night of streaking past Switzerland's house and seeing a figure in the window hidden behind a curtain, small and dark and undoubtedly feminine.
So he had asked around (and by around, Prussia meant France) and found out that the girl in the window was not in fact an angry ghost haunting Switzerland's house or some genetic mutation Switzerland was secretly breeding in his laboratory or Switzerland's girlfriend, but his little sister instead. Liechtenstein.
And after Prussia had bumped into Liechtenstein (and thoroughly stalked her Facebook) at a summit he was technically not supposed to be attending and after Switzerland had almost dislocated his spine for going near his sister, Liechtenstein at invited him for tea, and it was awesome. The cookies were light and crumbly and it felt really nice sitting in the garden breathing in the scent of sugar and spring and he and Liechtenstein had spent the entire afternoon laughing and talking and just being awesome.
The best part, Prussia had realized, feeling the warmth in his chest, wasn't the absolutely delicious cookies or the beautiful garden or the gorgeous weather. It was Liechtenstein.
"You can come around any time, Prussia. I really enjoy your company!"
Yeah, definitely Liechtenstein.
It's only when Prussia had sunk his head into his pillow he realized—it's because her hands curl around her tea cup so daintily, it's because her eyes are green and light and beautiful, it's because she's possibly the purest, loveliest thing he's ever met. Prussia realized that he might have the slightest, slightest crush on Liechtenstein.
It didn't surprise him as much as it should have. 'Just goes to show what greatest taste I have, liking such an awesome person like her,' Prussia thought drowsily, and he fell asleep with warm-as-caramel laughter echoing in his ears.
"I just received my new laptop today," Liechtenstein said, her face glowing as she took out a sleek computer that looked more like a thin silver notepad.
"Awesome! What does it do?" Prussia leant over so he could look at the screen, his cheek nearly pressing against Liechtenstein's. She gave a slight blush, which in turn lit up Prussia's face like a red light. Both of them pretended not to see each other turn crimson.
"It's has a better security system, so now I can just input a fingerprint for extra—"
"Liechtenstein?" Switzerland's voice suddenly rang through the air, followed by the sound of the front door shutting.
From the way Liechtenstein's eyes widened in panic, Prussia could tell they were both thinking the same thing.
"He doesn't know I'm here, does he?" But he knew the answer before Liechtenstein shook her head—of course Switzerland doesn't know Prussia's been spending time with his treasured sister; or else there would be bullet wounds on his ass by now.
"Liechtenstein? Where are you?" Was it his imagination, or was there the ominous sound of a gun cocking?
"O-out in the garden, brother," Liechtenstein shakily answered back. Her face was worried, anxious, as she glanced at Prussia again, her brow creased in this really adorable way that kind of distracted Prussia from the fact that Switzerland was going to kill him then string his organs on his wall. "Maybe I could just introduce you. Brother is very reasonable, you know, if I just explained—"
"Nah, maybe next time, liebchen," Prussia said, touching Liechtenstein lightly on the cheek. She blushed. "Your brother is going to mount my body on a wall if he finds me, and Switzerland isn't nearly awesome enough to lay his hands on this piece of fine ass." Prussia wriggled his eyebrows suggestively as Liechtenstein gave a little giggle, though her face was still flame red. "Look, I'll just escape through your window this time or something, I dunno, and we'll talk about introducing me to scary Switzerland when he isn't carrying like, a shitload of rifles on him."
"Ah…" Liechtenstein didn't look too happy at the prospect, her eyes downcast, but she was a smart girl, and probably recognized the extreme importance of preserving his life, which sort of made him happy, because it meant that Liechtenstein at least cared for him somewhat, right? "You can go over the gate on to Italy's lawn. Your brother is friends with him, isn't he?"
Ha. That was so typical of West to bail Prussia's ass out, even if he didn't know it.
"Oh yeah, I haven't visited Feliciano in ages," Prussia stood up and rushed over to Liechtenstein's and Switzerland's pristine white fence, with Liechtenstein close behind him. "Thanks, Liechtenstein." He said, sincerely meaning it.
Then, in a completely unprecedented and rare moment of chivalry, Prussia quickly took Liechtenstein's hand in his and brought it to his mouth, giving it a brief kiss.
'S-stop blushing, dammit!' But his face rebelled against his thoughts and it turned, Prussia was sure, a perfectly girly shade of red that he was glad France or Spain wasn't there to mock him about.
"O-oh!" Liechtenstein looked almost as red as Prussia, with the sweetest surprised expression he had ever seen, but there wasn't any time to dwell on that, not when he could hear Switzerland walking down the hall right now.
And without as much as a 'see you around', Prussia spun and darted towards Italy, his heart feeling like it might explode.
Okay, fine, so Prussia kinda sorta liked Liechtenstein.
And yeah, he was vaguely aware that this realization kind of happened before, but he was totally conked-out and sleeping and stuff so it didn't count.
So what was he going to do about it? There was always the age-old approach of showing how awesome he was by seizing the person's vital regions, but it almost never ended well unless it was with France and they were really fucking drunk. Besides, it wasn't like he could actually do that to Liechtenstein, who had tolerated, even welcomed him, for so long and baked her own cookies and—holy shit he just had an epic idea.
"The awesome me strikes again!" Prussia shouted to no one in particular as he marveled at his own genius. Then he rubbed his hands together in an extremely gleeful manner that usually made West stash away all the valuables and alcohol, then began to plot.
TheAwesomeMe: Yo! Liechtenstein!
Liechtenstein101: Hello, Prussia. Did you safely get back to your house?
TheAwesomeMe: Yeah, of course i did! i stayed 4 a while at Italy's. i should ttly take u there sometime, that guy has sum rly kickass food.
Liechtenstein101: That sounds very nice, but I'm not sure brother would let me. He's not very fond of Mr. Italy, you see.
TheAwesomeMe: aw, its not lyk Feli's gonna b streaking around at dinner! West'll ttly b there, no nudity involvd, promise.
Liechtenstein101: Oh, well I
TheAwesomeMe: anyway, i just rgged up a new sound system at my house, but 4 sum reason it isn't working, & estonia's rly not helping. can u come over 2morrow and look at it?
TheAwesomeMe: At 4?
Liechtenstein101: Of course I can, Prussia! Brother will be out on errands tomorrow, so I won't mind me going out. See you tomorrow, then!
TheAwesomeMe: Sweet. cya. ;)
The sound system thing is a complete lie, of course, but it's a good excuse for Liechtenstein not to suspect anything so she can be really surprised when she sees the real reason for his invitation.
Prussia laughed and rubbed his hands together, Gilbird tweeting. "Man, this is gonna be so awesome!"
'Oh, I hope Prussia doesn't mind me coming early,' Liechtenstein rang the doorbell and checked her watch worriedly. Five minutes wouldn't mean too much, would it?
"H-hey, Liechtenstein!" Prussia threw the door open and greeted her, but there was an edge in his voice. For some reason, he looked…nervous. "Come in!" As Liechtenstein stepped into Prussia's living room, she noticed it bore the signs of being hastily cleaned, with old t-shirts and magazines peeking out from under the sofa and random objects haphazardly cluttering the shelves, and couldn't help smiling. It seemed so endearingly Prussia, though her hands ached for a duster. Or at least a Wondermop.
"No, wait, hang on!" Prussia threw out a hand and stopped Liechtenstein from entering further.
"Close your eyes, okay?" He told her, doing his best to sound stern.
"O-okay," Liechtenstein was utterly bewildered, but she closed her eyes nonetheless. "Are you going to tell me—"
"Actually, I have a better idea," Prussia rushed out of the room and came back with a shirt. Then he tied it around Liechtenstein's eyes.
"Oh, Prussia," Liechtenstein couldn't help saying with a teasing smile. "Don't you trust me?" Not that she was complaining, of course. The shirt in question was soft and freshly laundered, smelling of detergent and a warm, musky scent that seemed to belong to Prussia alone.
"Of course I do! I—I mean, it's just a precaution, okay? Now stay there and don't move!"
It was all very confusing, but Liechtenstein was sure Prussia had a very good reason for blindfolding and leaving her in the living room when they were supposed to be having tea in the garden, and so she waited.
Liechtenstein heard tinkling and scraping followed by, to her alarm, a large crash and a muffled curse.
"Prussia, are you—"
"Yeah, I'm fine! Just don't take off the blindfold! I'm ready now!"
Ready for what? But then she heard Prussia rush into the room. "I'm going to walk you to the garden, so just trust me, 'kay?"
"Okay." Liechtenstein felt a bubble of anticipation swell in her chest as Prussia put his hands on her shoulders (they felt so big and warm…) and began to steer her somewhere.
'Well, that's an awful lot of effort just for me to see a sound system.' But as Prussia swung some sort of door open and light flooded through her lids, it was clear that whatever he had in plan, it wasn't anything she had been expecting.
"Okay, you can take the blindfold off now." Prussia said, then untied the shirt before Liechtenstein could, his fingers brushing down her neck.
And Liechtenstein saw what lay before her.
"O—oh!" She couldn't help gasping at the sight. There were colors, colors everywhere, vivid blooms that decorated the entire garden, bushels of flowers that certainly weren't there the last time she had visited during that meeting on economic reform with brother, most of them out of season but still made a lovely picture: purple and orange crocuses spilling onto the ground, dragon snaps waving gaily among the them, hydrangea petals scattered all over the garden path.
Then, in middle out it all, gleaming beautifully was a gorgeous oak table, laden with cups and cookies, ready for tea.
It looked like a painting, impossibly lovely and picturesque, with the afternoon sun bathing touching everything gold and surreal and the sky still radiant and vibrantly blue against the flowers and the pristine tea set, sitting there so naturally, like it had sprouted from the emerald green grass and been there centuries and centuries—
Liechtenstein spun around to gape at Prussia, who was smiling in a curious, forced way that almost seemed anxious, as if he were worried about her reaction, and his silver hair had been highlighted gold, too, in a very attractive way she was sure she wasn't supposed to notice.
"This—this everything," Liechtenstein said, and it seemed that her mouth could work even when her brain wasn't quite functioning yet. "Why did you—what is it—"
"For you, of course!" Prussia interrupted. "I mean, you always invite me over for tea and shit, so I thought that I could just repay the favor, for once."
And then they both sort of blushed, because, fuck, apparently liking someone turns you into a blushing pansy.
"But you didn't have to go through so much—" Liechtenstein shook her head, her eyes widening as she drank in the sight before her. "It's just so elaborate!"
"Well, anything I touch instantly turns awesome anyway, so I don't need to do thing half-assed," Prussia said, and he sounded more like his normal self, loud and immensely self-satisfied, smirking. "But…" And here his voice turned worried again. "You like it, right? I mean, I didn't mess up the flowers or anything—"
"It's beautiful," Liechtenstein said, beaming so hard that Prussia turned red all over again. "I would love to stay here and drink tea with you forever and forever."
"Well…I'm not going to be taking this down anytime soon—it took me a hell of a long time to set up, so there's nothing stopping you from staying and basking in my awesomeness forever!"
Liechtenstein just smiled and slipped her hand into Prussia's. His fingers were so much bigger than hers, cradling her palm and pleasantly warm.
Prussia grinned and swung their hands, tipping an imaginary hat to her. "Shall we, milady?"
Liechtenstein laughed and tightened their fingers as they began to walk down the path for their afternoon tea. "That would be very nice indeed, thank you."