Disclaimer: I do not own Hetalia.
Drinking the Rose Colored Water
When it came right down to it, the question was simple: Could France hold a grudge for over a hundred years? He knew that he was more than capable of it, after all, he had held a grudge on England for well over five centuries. Though, perhaps after ninety years of peace, that no longer applied.
Or, perhaps, it never applied. Because this was Prussia, not England, and they had been friends. Best friends at that, once upon a time.
France stomped out his cigarette butt, grinding it against the pavement with a neatly polished boot. Germany had promised to meet him at eleven, and a quick flick of his wrist confirmed that he was late. Not that France could hold it against him; he had heard that communist rule had not been kind to Prussia. East Germany. Gilbert.
"Francis," Germany's gruff tone caught his attention. He turned to greet the other with a gentle, "Bonjour."
"I apologize for our lateness," Germany said tersely. "Someone was not being cooperative."
Prussia, standing behind Germany, snorted loudly. His brother sighed,
"Well, I will leave you to it, then."
As Germany walked away (but not too far; obviously he was keeping his eye on them), Francis was finally able to get a good look at Prussia. What he saw made him wince.
Prussia had always been thin, but now he looked like a skeleton with skin; France imagined that if he was to lift the other's shirt, he would be able to trace the bones of his ribs. His stance was awkward, the entirety of his weight shifted onto one leg. There was a bandage visible at his left wrist.
Worst of all, though, Prussia refused to meet his gaze. His pride was broken.
His sharp crimson gaze flittered over France, pausing at his feet.
"Got any more smokes?"
France frowned. "Non. That was my last one. Your brother has been quite adamant about me quitting."
"Right, because you're fucking married now, aren't ya?"
A few strangers around them looked up, and France could see Germany blushing, even from the corner of his eyes.
"Well," France replied, voice tense. "It seems as if we've got a lot to talk about. Perhaps we should move this conversation somewhere a little more private."
With a final, pointed look at Germany, and without waiting for Prussia's response, France reached out and took hold of Prussia's right hand. He pulled it back with a huff, but followed France nonetheless back to his home.
"Prussia," France started calmly, bringing two cups of coffee into the living room. Prussia was already comfortably sprawled out on his couch, looking unfathomably relieved to be off his feet. "Do you happen to know where we are?"
"Huh?" was the ever-so eloquent response, as Prussia snatched up his mug and dipped one of France's cookies into it.
"Do you know where we are? Aside from my apartment, that is."
"Not a fucking clue. I know we drove through the border, and West had to flash our fancy passports to get us in. Did you know I'm a fucking diplomat now?"
Prussia laughed, but it betrayed him by being bitter. That poor boy, France mused, always wearing his heart on his sleeve.
"We are all diplomats now, Prussia."
"I didn't realize I was still part of the 'we'."
France made a soft noise of protest, but before he could verbalize it Gilbert asked, "So, where are we?"
"Ah, knew the place felt familiar. But it looks different."
"It has been a hundred years," France laughed. "More."
"Don't worry, I haven't forgotten. What, are you still pissy about it?"
"Should I not be?" France asked innocently. Prussia scoffed, waving his hand in the air.
"Not that I care, but I thought two World Wars would have been enough to clear it from your memory. All I'm worried about is this coffee being poisoned."
France tried to laugh, but all he could do was wonder what the other was thinking. Prussia's face held only weariness and age, which France realized more with each passing moment looked nothing short of wrong.
"Well, I do not think you have anything to worry about. I am in a rather forgiving mood today."
France put a hand on Prussia's good leg, offering a sideways smile. He returned it, but only for a glimpse.
"Well, lucky me," he said shortly. "Too bad I'm not too keen on forgiving you."
"Excuse me? What have I done to you?"
In his mind, France was already formulating the list: was it the Treaty of Versailles, 1919? His approval of the Berlin Wall, of handing his friend over to the large, eager hands of the Soviet Union?
"You turned the robust little solider I bred into your pansy little wife."
"Wife?" France repeated dumbly, as relief spread through his body and made him feel light.
Prussia shrugged. "You're the one with the beard."
"Ah. Well, sadly, founding the European Union was not a marriage."
"Says you- Hey! Why 'sadly', huh? What are you planning to do with my brother?"
France laughed, denying the other an answer; eventually Prussia gave up waiting and leaned his head back against a cough cushion, his eyes falling shut.
"What…" How are you still here? "…are we to call you, now?"
Without opening his eyes, Prussia shrugged. "I haven't got a fucking clue. Gilbert, I guess."
He opened an eye, giving France a coy onceover, "Or, Fucking Awesome. There's a name I could get behind."
France laughed. "You have not changed at all, have you?"
"Yeah, I have," Fucking Awesome scoffed. "I'm much more bad-ass now. Living through death? I'd like to see you try it."
A silence fell upon them, as France memory threw images and sensations at him; of his revolution, of being occupied, and all the pain and feeling of emptiness and destruction.
But at least through it all the country of France still existed.
"On second thought," Fucking Awesome cut in, his features turned into something more serious. No doubt he realized the implications of his words. "I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Except maybe Russia. Now, would you just get the fuck over here and make out with me already?"
Out of the hundred thoughts that flew through France's mind as to what he could say, he settled for, "My my, so demanding."
"Bad. Ass."Fucking Awesome reminded him. "And as long as you haven't been macking on my brother, we're going to go at it until your lips fall off, sissy."
And France, though he had been getting rather intimate with Germany as of late, finally got Fucking Awe- Prussia to shut up by occupying his lips with something much more desirable than tense conversation.
Things really hadn't changed.