I sighed as I came out of my office from another phone call with my boss. This man…if his plans worked I would rule Europe, but I got the feeling he would be the death of me. I could hear piano music floating down the hall. Roderich. It was nice, and strangely emotional, though I couldn't pinpoint the emotion exactly.
A little further down the hallway I came upon a sight I hadn't expected and stopped in my tracks.
Gilbert was sitting on the floor, just beside an open doorway, with his arms propped on his knees and his head leaned back against the wall. His eyes were closed and a single tear glistened on his chin and dropped onto his shoulder.
I had never seen my brother like this, and I was a bit stunned. I finally stepped closer and he opened his eyes at the sound of my approach, but otherwise didn't move.
"Hey West," he said with a small sad smile. I sat down beside him and noticed that the doorway was where the music was coming from. Oh. That explained it then. I knew they had been together once, but Gilbert had ever told me anything about that; not even when it was.
"He wrote that, you know," he said, breaking the silence.
"Really? Oh, it's…um, very nice…" I didn't know Roderich wrote music, but really, it's not surprising.
"For me," he said so quietly I almost missed it. "He wrote that for me, and played it for me on our third anniversary." I could only stare as a sad, fond smile crossed his face. "I didn't think he ever played it anymore." We were silent for a few moments before I finally spoke up.
"Brother…when was that? You and Roderich."
"You wouldn't remember it. You were just a kid. It was right before you lost your memories."
"You mean that time you won't tell me about." I said, trying not to sound like a pouting child. A little frustration crept into my voice on the next sentence. "I don't even know how old I really am."
"And you're not going to, West," he replied flatly, looking right at me. "There's something in your past that you need to remember, and I believe you will. But if I tell you, I might jog your memories, but I also might taint them. And I'm sorry, but I won't risk that."
I dropped the subject and he moved on. "I waited for him, do you know that? I waited over a century just to get six fucking years with him."
Carefully, quietly, I asked, "You really loved him that long?
He gave bitter little laugh. "'That long'? I still do." Looking down, reflective, he continued with a small sigh, "It was hard enough when he married Liz, but at first it was just political and it was fine." He closed his eyes and squeezed them shut. "I could tell exactly when he fell in love with her, and even when they split politically, I knew he still loved her and they would stay together."
"Brother…" I tried, not really knowing what to say, but he continued as if I hadn't spoken.
"And you know what really feels like a punch in the gut?" he looked up at me. "She was my first crush, when we were kids. If you think it doesn't suck to have your first crush marry your first love…"
I could only stare until finally he got to his feet and said, "Well, he made his choice, and I can't fix that by moping here. Just thought I'd stop to listen, pretend for a few moments he never shattered my heart."
He walked away down the hall without even glancing into the room. When he was gone, I finally stood and looked around the edge of the doorway, just as the song drew to a close.
Roderich was bent over the piano, hands now in his lap. His eyes closed and a single tear rolled down his cheek and splashed onto the keys.
A/N: Poor Gilbert…I think everyone agrees he's heartbroken over Roderich and Elizabeta's marriage, but the disagreement is which one he's in love with. I've believed for a long time it was Roderich. It seems more likely and more heartbreaking that way. I love these two, but as a past, ended, forever-in-love relationship. My philosophy is that in their case…love just wasn't enough. :'( Please let me know what you thought of this little oneshot!