pair Prussia/America, no fucking regrets at all
rated PG?
warnings uh. songs. songs from a very popular culture. a lot of fucking anachronisms.
notes 1500 words written for the lovely merubear on lj; 'twas her lovely 15th birthday on the 9th! :)
summary Revenge is a dish that we do not serve at this restaurant.





It was Thursday by the time they realized that the story about the drowning girl had already been taken hostage by The Daily Wickerbasket, and not even the new system database and the telecommunication cables that Eduard installed last week had been able to save it from the sinister press in question; the girl had been pronounced dead within an hour of the news of Angelica Jolie's seventh child and the trial of that clergyman in Monaco who had molested seventeen children in five years and then of course the tabloids and town tattles had picked up an actress in England chumming it up with a French neoscientist, some bastard with a lot of cognac and little Hardy-Weinberg theorem to back it up, so it was Thursday by the time they realized it. And when Alfred finally remembered he blamed it on Gilbert who blamed it on Eduard who blamed it on the computer who (to its credit) spat out a bunch of obscenities and obituaries from the Saturday issue. It was enough to set them all on edge. Gilbert walked into the bathroom a few times and tried to pee and when he discovered out that he didn't in fact need to pee he was (no pun intended) pissed off. They were all on edge. By mid-afternoon, the air in the room was sharper than an ice pick and most of them were ready to forgo all the formalities and risk public transportation for the whiskey party.

"Well fuck," said Arthur, because he was the boss and Kiku wasn't here to inform them in politer mumbling, and this seemed to reflect the entire sentiment of the room, so they all let it slide and Gilbert made his way to the staff room. While he was in there he made some coffee from the leftover beans and drank it while it was cold and when he came back the room was empty, everyone had either gone home or to the honky-tonks.


("Hey guys. How about this, how about this?" Matthew asked, holding out his paper, "'Beauty queen of only eighteen, she had some trouble with herself...'"-and he was greeted with a collective 'no' and several stress-releasing sponge balls that bounced off his forehead and landed perfectly on a stack of Daily Wickerbaskets.)



Gilbert had kept an eye on the Extra Virgin Olive Oil since early on in Thursday morning. He never stopped by the supermarket on weekdays because he was cheap about gas and so was his Model T, so usually he had to make sure he kept a bottle of it tucked away from the housewives. Most of the time he managed to inform the pretty cashier girl down lane four of his predicament, and she sympathized with him; she was a sensible girl who kept her hair tied back and played tennis in her spare time and was really more than a little foreign to the country but you could have never known from the way she talked, and although she went on and on about how she sounded like she'd just gotten off the boat from Australia, Gilbert would say otherwise and even if she disagreed, their mutual contempt for housewives kept them together and the result was a misplaced bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Gilbert on Saturday evenings, hidden in the aisle for men's cologne.

He'd asked for the cashier girl's name once, and she'd given him a withering look only three millimeters shy of complete unfounded paranoia, so then he'd taken to calling her His Heartbreaker, because he was absolutely suave and cool like that, please and thanks.

"That'll be $1.69, Gilbert," she told him now with a sideways toss of her head, tapped her fingers restlessly against the cash drawer. Her nails were polished and there was a little chip on her pinky. "Hurry up, now. I can already hear Maname-san coming around the corner. Either leave or stick to me like Elmer's glue."

"Thank you very much again, Heartbreaker-chan," said Gilbert, and although it was a little overpriced, both of them considered it a fair deal since she saved the bottle for him until Saturday. He paid her with some change from his pocket and then some. The machine dinged out a receipt and they were both very happy campers after that.



The night shift in the office is sometimes interesting because there are a lot of times when people die in the night, except Michael Jackson can only die once in his life before the novelty wears off and there is always some place in the world where it is daytime while it is nighttime in America, which defeats the whole purpose of the job description for night shift, and anyway Gilbert could have been somewhere else entirely with a pretty girl curled up against his arm. And since most of the hours were spent tearing up the telegraphs and keeping an ear cocked to the radio program, it was natural that they got drunk on the night shift more often than not. Alfred bought cheap Budweiser from the honky-tonks on weekends and Ivan had a nice hoard of vodka in a safe he kept god knows where and Eduard handled the cocktails, maraschino cherries and seltzer water included. It was all business, and if their newspaper accidently came out with some tall tales in the morning, they could always blame it on the alcohol that got them feeling loose.

"Can I kiss you?" Alfred asked Gilbert once, just once, and before Gilbert could tell him to fuck off, he was being kissed and then when Alfred tried to deny it two minutes later, Gilbert kissed him back.

"Hey, we're no strangers to love," Gilbert explained, more to himself than to Alfred. "Let's go all the way to-night. No regrets, just love."

"Never gonna give you up," Alfred agreed, and that was that. They were single gentlemen who couldn't afford to put a ring on it.


Surprisingly, Arthur finds out.

"Sit down, it's just a talk," he says, and then things go from there. He proceeds to spend an hour yelling himself hoarse about responsibilities and the rest of the week he's either firing them one by one or taking Alfred to his private room, the one with cow whips hanging like prized trophies on the walls, so most of them quit before Friday. Ivan left and didn't forget to stick a sunflower in the vase. Eduard snatched up computer parts and typewriters and escaped with a cigar in his mouth. Alfred had tears in his eyes. Matthew cried legitimate tears because he was one in a million. Gilbert couldn't look at any of them in the face.

He went to the supermarket instead.



"Look, I dunno what the deal is with you, but you can't just waltz in here and pretend to be loverholic robotronic," Heartbreaker-chan said in exasperation. Her nails were really shiny today and she tapped them against the cash drawer in a heightened sense of agitation. "We're not The Hotsy Totsy. That's the rut down the road."

"I don't even care if you a lesbian," slurred Gilbert, and he was seriously being down-right amicable right now, "just means we got some common interests. One-four-three. I can make your bed rock."

"You've definitely fucked-up this time, little lion man," Heartbreaker-chan said, and she dragged him back to his Model T while Gilbert complained about his feet hurting like they'd been run over by rotating chainsaws and then she made him dial up all the contacts in his phonebook because like hell was she going to take him home, she had a boyfriend who was warming her bed.

"Y-You got a boyfriend?" asked Gilbert, and although he was still a little hazy, he could see Heartbreaker-chan nod perfunctorily and say something about a man named Gatsby and then somehow Alfred's motorcycle came through and he was being taken back home, home sweet home with the bird calendars and the half-eaten cup noodles. He dreamt about this a little more. He woke up later in Alfred's bed with his memories barely intact and swinging on a rusty hinge, wearing a half-wet-half-dry wash towel on his forehead and a hangover the size of Korea. Alfred rolled over in the blankets next to him and when he realized that it goes on and on and on, he threw his hands up in the air and promptly fell asleep again.


Later in the day, all five of them are woken up by the telephone. Arthur is barking on the other side. He's wondering why they haven't all shown up at the staff room to make him coffee. They were a respectable newspaper that commenced at eight fifty-three and ended at six-oh-three exactly, they had a reputation that was better than some stupid wickerbasket so get the fuck over here, goddamn you, before I come and snap your collective arses off with this beautiful new whip.


("But it was good, wasn't it," Matthew whispered carefully. He rubbed his thumb against the lip of his glass. "My article was good, wasn't it?"

"Well," Eduard conceded at last, "If it's what you're saying, then I don't mind spending every day looking for your broken smile.")

Alfred made drunken advances during every night shift after that.


ahhh I've been so busy lately. haven't been able to read anything. ;n; hope you all are well! reviews are always received with open arms~.

alternatively, if you can name every single reference i made, you can have a fat gold star. :D