Austria sits at his piano, fingers dancing over the keys. It's just a normal day, like any other day in his life.
The façade breaks when a loud discordant note sours the beautiful melody that had been flowing freely.
His long, slender fingers, perfect for caressing the delicate keys of his pianoforte, stills. He breathes in, calming himself and shuttering his blue-violet eyes from the sunlight streaming in from the window across from his seat at his grand piano. He can tell it's almost sunset.
Unable to sit still any longer, he stands, shuffling the sheet music he was playing and places them back into their drawer. He strides out from his music room towards the front foyer.
His booted feet almost pause before the elaborate calendar against the wall, next to all the portraits of his beloved composers but he catches himself and continues on, making straight for the front door.
"Are you going out Herr Edelstein?" The maid, seeing his intention, quickly passes him his blue outer coat and questions politely.
He nods at her, the edges of his lips moving up in what barely constituted as a smile, his distraction obvious. "I will be back shortly."
She closes the door behind him with barely a whisper of a sound. He never sees the worried look that crosses her face.
"Hey Roddy, this tree has been here a long time right?" That voice that both grated and soothed at the same time was right next to his ear.
Austria glared over his shoulder at the man hovering just behind him, his displeasure at being interrupted clear. "Prussia, what are you doing here? And my name, for the last time, is not 'Roddy'." The last was said with an almost audible sniff of disgust and another disapproving glare.
The displeasure quickly cleared away to confusion at the unnaturally serious expression that overcame Prussia's face.
The face which was suddenly too close for comfort and still scrutinizing him with that unreadable expression.
Austria can't help the blush that creeps up his neck to his ears and spreads slowly across his cheeks. "Wh-what are you staring at?"
A flash of something – sadness, regret, anger? – crossed Prussia's face but it was gone before Austria could make sense of it. He doubted that it really existed in the first place when the other man broke out one of his usual idiot grins and leaned away just as suddenly as he appeared.
Prussia circled around the tree, its trunk thicker than him, branches spread across the sky, leaves fluttering down. Just like he said, this tree must be very old.
Austria couldn't focus on the words that Prussia spoke, if he even said anything. He was too caught in the web that the slowly setting winter sun, gently ruffling breeze and the unusually soft smile that played about Prussia's mouth cast as he busied himself with something on the trunk of the tree.
The wind carried his name. Austria blinked, awoken from the daze he had apparently fallen into, and focused his blue-violet eyes just in time to see Prussia close the three steps between them.
The question died almost before it was even formed.
Soft lips pressed against his in the gentlest and most chaste kiss he had ever experienced.
Then the warmth from Prussia's body was gone, replaced by the nipping cold that was characteristic of winter here.
"Gilbert… Wait! What…?" Austria's words stumbled from his mouth in a disorganized mess, completely opposite to the usually cool aristocratic demeanour he projected.
Prussia stopped, a fair six or seven feet away from him and turned back, his bold grin in place. He cupped his hands around his mouth. "Check the tree! I've commemorated our first time!"
He turned and continued walking, raising a hand to wave a casual goodbye, not bothering to turn this time round. "See you in thirty years Roddy."
Austria approached the tree, still reeling a bit from trying to process both the kiss and the cryptic words.
His fingers brushed against a strangely smooth patch on the otherwise rough bark. Tugging his leather gloves off quickly, Austria swept his fingers over it again, squinting slightly, trying to affirm the words carved crudely onto the trunk.
His sharp intake of breath in was half a choke and half a laugh. This was such a… Prussian way to confess.
"You idiot." Austria resolved to tell Prussia that the next time he saw him. And he'd definitely add something about that nonsense with that 'thirty years'…
He never realized that Prussia's words were both a promise and a warning.
June, 1961, the construction of the Berlin wall began, cutting off East Germany from the rest of the world.
Over the past two years, Austria had been too busy trying to organize his own once-again fledgling independence and neutrality to wonder overly much about the absence of both German brothers.
By the time he realized why, it was too late.
He stands alone under the tree. It's even bigger now, trunk thicker, branches reaching higher. But if he closes his eyes and feels, he can almost believe that the past three decades haven't happened and the man who haunts his dreams and thoughts at every passing moment will be laughing at him when he opens his eyes.
But when blue-violet eyes flutter open, there is nothing but the wind brushing through his hair and the last drops of sunlight illuminating his face. Still, he stands here, hand cupped desperately, almost possessively around that particular spot on the trunk. Just like he has for the past twenty nine years on this day, at this time, glove-less fingers gently caressing the promise carved into the tree.
"Thirty years. You promised me this."
The words are carried away by the wind, now blowing angry and fierce. He lets himself pretend that the stinging at the corner of his eyes is merely due to the harsh wind and rubs roughly at it.
"Don't tell me you stand here every year and cry for me?"
Austria's head shoots up, the voice is rougher but still recognizable all the same. His startled blue-violet gaze meets rusty red. The man that stands before him is like the voice, rougher, a little worse for wear but still the same.
This time, it's he who takes the three steps forward and rushes into the welcoming embrace.
"I promised you didn't I? And the awesome Gilbert Beilschmidt never breaks his promises." The words tickle against his ear and the wind is less cruel and the dying rays of the winter sun almost feel warm.
It's then that Austria realizes how much he has missed this and then laughs at himself because how can he miss something he's never had?
But now that he has it, he's not going to ever let go.
So when Prussia leans down, Austria's there to meet him halfway. Their entangled shadows creating a glorious image of reunification.
I've waited thirty years for this day. I've waited thirty years to tell you.
Ich liebe dich.
November 9th, 1989. The fall of the Berlin Wall.
A/N: I wrote this back in October '09, when I was completely enamored with these two. And it's only taken me over a year to finally post it xD;
The title means 'Thirty Years' [or apparently does according to Google] German speakers are more than welcome to correct me~
Originally, the '+' between their initials was actually supposed to be a love heart. But 's formatting hates me. And well. I hope the formatting within the story doesn't screw up too badly. I apologize if it has =3
Also, I know that it technically should be just over 27 years from the start of the construction of the wall to its collapse, but I liked the idea of having a whole number. [In my strange little world, I like to assume that Austria spent the extra three years too occupied with dealing with his own country to wonder too much about anyone else] So please take the dates etc with a pinch of salt.
Thank you for reading! Please leave a review if you feel so inclined \o/