"Gilbert, for the love of all things sacred, get the hell out of my room," Ludwig groaned into his hands. The German nation was sitting at the desk of his hotel room, paper and pens splayed out in front of him, his laptop switched on and pushed to one side, connected to a printer that was spraying out paper even as he sent his brother a nasty glare.

Gilbert was far too used to having nasty glares sent his way for it to have any effect; the albino Prussian merely cackled and then leapt backwards onto Ludwig's bed, almost bouncing straight of it.

"West, I'm bored! If you want me to leave, do something interesting! Or organise something interesting to happen; we could go out. We're in Germany for the first meeting in about a million years, the only place on the planet that doesn't have routinely shitty beer. We have to make the most of it, and you're locked up in a stuffy room doing stuffy reports that could wait until this stuffy meeting is over."

"It's important work that I need to have finished by the end of the week-"

"It's Monday!"

"-And there's too much happening at the moment for me to just leave and expect it all to write itself," Ludwig snapped over the protest.

"We-est," Gilbert whined plaintively, entirely not at all dissuaded.

Ludwig moaned and planted his head onto the desk. "Gilbert, in the most polite and respectful way I can phrase this to you; verpiss dich."

"We-est," Gilbert repeated, in the exact same drawn-out tone.

An expensive and suitably heavy fountain pen rocketed across the room and hit Gilbert on the ear, sending him crashing to the ground as he reflexively flinched away, screaming out curses.

The door opened and a familiar Englishman appeared in the doorway. Arthur gave Ludwig a sympathetic and long-suffering look usually shared between any two people with prolonged contact with Gilbert.

"Hey, tosser, your mates are waiting for you in the foyer."

The wailing ceased immediately, Gilbert's head appearing from the other side of the bed. "Francis and Antonio?"

"No, Romano and Roderich, yes the flipping Frog and Antonio."

Gilbert's face split into a maniacal grin as he leapt to his feet. "What do they want?"

"To go and get pissed I imagine-" Arthur didn't get chance to continue as Gilbert shoved past him and hurtled down the corridor.

Ludwig listened to the surprised yelps of the nations lingering outside their rooms that had just been run over by the Prussian hurricane with surprising nonchalance.

"Not even a thank you," Arthur said mildly, sitting down on the bed before he turned to Ludwig, who'd put his face back against the wood of the desk. "You don't look happy."

"I'm not," Ludwig said into the desk. "I hate my brother."

"I hate most of mine. At least you've only got one bastard to deal with," Arthur said with something like cheerfulness.

"Thank you for your sympathy, Arthur."

"I got rid of your brother, didn't I? Francis and Antonio are going to be so pleased when he drags them off on a drinking spree."


"Well, he will. They didn't think up the idea, this time, but I'm sure they'll appreciate it."

Ludwig allowed himself a grin, and sat up. "Well, I'm grateful for that, in any case. I might actually be able to do this now," he gestured at the work in front of him.

Arthur's smug expression faded. "Or you could sleep," he suggested. "Not even you can go without sleep, especially when you're the only thing holding these damn meets together."

"I appreciate the concern, but this can't be put off."

"It's not going to be done to the best of your ability if you're knackered while you're doing it," Arthur pointed out.

"It won't be done at all if I don't finish it now."

"Ludwig, it's only eleven pm," Arthur said coaxingly. "If you go to bed now, you can wake up at seven or eight, with a good few hours sleep behind you, and do it for three hours in the morning. The meeting tomorrow doesn't start until eleven."

The idea sounded wonderfully tempting. "That's not practical, Arthur, if I don't wake up on time it'll be a whole three hours wasted."

The other nation rolled his eyes. "Sleep is not a waste of time."

"That's rather hypocritical, isn't it?" Arthur's tendency to miss out on sleep and meals when he was working was as well-known as his own work ethic. It rather made Ludwig wonder why Arthur was here at all, when he had work of his own to be getting on with. Or why Arthur was concerned about his sleeping habits at all.

"That's irrelevant," Arthur said dismissively. "Go to bed now and I'll wake you up tomorrow."

At the mention of bed Ludwig yawned despite himself, and felt his whole body become instantly more tired as consequence.

"You're shattered. Go to bed." Now the advice sounded more like an order.

"Fine," Ludwig said grudgingly.

"Get changed, I'll be back in a minute and if you've not switched that computer off I'll throw it out the window," Arthur said threateningly, before he disappeared out the room.

Ludwig gave the door a bemused look, wondering exactly how he'd been talked into going to sleep before three o'clock in the morning, by Arthur of all people. Slowly, he got changed and then saved all the work on his computer before switching it off. He was just sliding into the bed that he was sure felt more comfortable than it was when Arthur returned, holding a cup of something.

"Drink," he instructed, passing over what Ludwig correctly identified as tea. "Then go to sleep."

"Caffeine before bed?"

"You wanted warm milk and biscuits?"

Ludwig dutifully took a sip of the tea. Smirking, Arthur moved to the desk and started stacking up the papers. He loitered in the room until Ludwig had finished the drink, taking the cup back as he started to walk towards the door.

"Rest in the knowledge that your brother has probably been thrown out of two pubs by now and is busy terrorising the rest of the neighbourhood," Arthur grinned, flicking off the lights.

The absurdity of the situation began to catch up with Ludwig's obviously sleep-deprived mind. "Not that I don't appreciate it, Arthur, but why on earth are you doing this?"

The Englishman paused. "No idea. Probably because you really are the sole thing that keeps the meetings organised and prevents us from all being systematically banned from any country that's not our own."

Something about the statement didn't ring true; or rather it did but only as a fact, as opposed to the real reason.

Before he could voice his doubts, Arthur spoke again, his tone teasing and amused. "Sleep tight; don't let the bed bugs bite."

"I'm not an infant, Arthur-"

The door closed before he could finish his protest.