A/N: De-anoning from the kink meme. Original request was GerIta hurt/comfort after Italy suffers some sort of abuse (sexual was preferred).
WARNING: Aftermath of rape.
Ludwig was, surprisingly, a bit put off when Feliciano didn't come barging into his house at the usual time (as the Italian had made a bad habit of entering his home unannounced). He'd been in slight denial about it, but he'd almost looked forward to it every day- not because it was enjoyable or anything, simply because Feliciano had become some strange sort of constant in his life.
And now, that clockwork-like constant was missing, and it was admittedly unnerving the German a lot more than he'd like to admit.
At first, he continued with his paperwork, figuring that perhaps Feliciano had simply gotten distracted by a cat or a pretty girl (and for more reasons he wouldn't admit, the idea of Feliciano flirting with a girl irritated him). But time passed, and Feliciano simply… never arrived.
It had been two hours past the usual time Feliciano came to visit, and he decided that perhaps he'd call the Italian, just in case.
No answer- at either the cell phone or his home phone.
Maybe Feliciano was taking a siesta? He slept like a rock, so it wouldn't be surprising if he slept through his phones ringing. But glancing at the clock, he saw it was already a little after six in the afternoon- Feliciano's siestas lasted from three to four, always.
Ludwig felt a rather unpleasant feeling of unease sink into the pit of his stomach.
He called around. Lovino had been staying in Sicily for the past week, taking care of "business," and wasn't exactly very kind to Ludwig when he'd called. Kiku had been considerably more polite, and stated simply that Feliciano was not visiting him. Alfred and Feliks and Elizabeta had all been called- none of them had seen the Italian. Francis and Antonio had heard nothing from Feliciano, either. Even his neighbors Vash and Lili, along with Heracles, hadn't seen him all day.
By the time Ludwig realized he'd phoned about half the world, to no avail, he'd also realized something was probably horribly wrong.
He opened a Nation Path, a perk of being a Nation, and quickly stepped onto Feliciano's front lawn, before making his way up to the door.
He was alarmed to find that the door had been forced open, and instantly became alert, cautiously and silently making his way inside.
The usually tidy house was a mess- it looked like there'd been a struggle. He grew increasingly wary, listening for any sounds that might potentially be the intruder, and made his way inside.
It was silent- whoever it was must have already departed.
Growing increasingly worried as to Feliciano's whereabouts and state of well-being, he searched the house, moving up to the second story when the first floor showed nothing more of interest.
He paused, hearing the slightest sound- rustling, rustling of sheets, soft, muffled whimpers.
He knew those whimpers.
Ludwig quickly moved towards the source of the sound- one of the guest bedrooms, the first room he encountered, and carefully opened the door.
What he found made him freeze in shock.
Feliciano was tied to the bed, by both the wrists and ankles, and he was struggling, struggling to escape the bonds, the rope digging into his tender flesh from his constant attempts to escape and making him bleed. He was blindfolded and gagged, and his body… His body was bare, covered in scratches and bruises and cuts and bite marks, along with bodily fluids that must have no doubt been semen and sweat.
Despite the blindfold over his eyes, there were tears running down his cheeks, leaving the stains as evidence of his pain. And… he was bleeding from yet another place- just between his legs, where his entrance had obviously been forcefully violated, there was the smallest bit of blood escaping, where his body had been torn during what had obviously been a rape.
Ludwig was, for lack of a better word, infuriated.
How could someone have done this to Feliciano? He was completely innocent, had done nothing wrong, deserved nothing like this!
(In the back of his mind, a voice was telling him to find and punish whoever had defiled his angel.)
He quickly hurried over to the bed, beginning to untie the restraints on his wrists.
A muffled whimper was his response.
Ludwig paused to remove the gag from Feliciano's mouth, feeling more angered when he heard how Feliciano gasped for breath, before returning to crying softly. Ludwig took a breath to calm himself, before taking off the blindfold.
Feliciano's wide, fearful, tear-filled eyes looked up at him, giving him a look that was both relieved, and the same time, panicked once more.
Feliciano was terrified- not of Ludwig, but of what Ludwig must think- to find him like this, tied up and exposed and dirtied like some whore.
I-I'm filthy- I-I'm j-just absolutely filthy and h-he'll hate me, he'll be disgusted with me-
He was trembling, and Ludwig thought it was because Feliciano feared him.
Ludwig knew he couldn't be stern and harsh with Feliciano now- not right now. Not when he was so fragile and broken and obviously needed help. He lifted a hand to gently cup Feliciano's in it, but Feliciano clenched his eyes shut and turned his face away with a terrified whimper.
Ludwig legitimately felt his heart breaking as he witnessed his usually joyful and carefree friend become fearful, mistrusting of the world- and of him.
He gently took the side of Feliciano's face in his hand and turned it to look at him.
"Feliciano, who did this to you?" he asked softly.
"I-I d-don't know," came the choked sob of a reply.
Ludwig made quick work of the rope, freeing Feliciano from the restraints. Feliciano instantly scrambled away from him and curled up into himself, trembling, shaking like a leaf.
Ludwig grimaced at the small smears of blood left behind on the sheets as Feliciano moved away.
Feliciano was truly a battered mess, the pain he was in apparent.
"Feliciano… it's alright. I'm here to help," Ludwig said in what he hoped was a soothing manner, before walking around the bed to the edge where Feliciano was attempting to hide under the sheets.
Ludwig's heart ached a bit more when he heard Feliciano's crying, and when Feliciano flinched away from his touch in order to hide further away. He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, before walking into the adjacent bathroom and drawing a bath for Feliciano, hoping it was warmth enough for the Italian. He returned to the bed.
"Feliciano… please, let me help," Ludwig asked, gently pulling the sheets away and off of his body. He was met with that same fearful gaze, the same trembling body. "Come," he said in a very patient type of command, holding out an arm to indicate for Feliciano to follow.
…he isn't… isn't repulsed by me?
Feliciano slowly uncurled and sat up, shakily, his body sore and aching and not wanting to move in the slightest. When Ludwig leaned over to pick him up, he flinched, but reached out to hold onto him nonetheless.
Ludwig carried him into the bathroom and gently lowered him into the warm water of the tub.
"I'll be back in a few moments," the German said, leaving the room to clean up the guest bed of the soiled sheets. He noted with a small sigh that his own shirt now had some blood and other fluids on it, and mentally noted that he'd have to wash that soon, as well. He also went down to the front door, closing it and giving it a temporary fix until it could be fully repaired. (With new locks, Ludwig planned.)
Feliciano winced a bit when the water stung at some of his wounds, but began to wash himself, feeling slightly soothed and relaxed by the warm water.
Lud… is… Lud is going to… take care of me…He will, he will… Feliciano reminded himself, remembering that Ludwig was his dear friend, someone who had promised to always be there for him to help him and… come… save him…
His eyes welled with tears.
He wished somehow he could've called Ludwig for help earlier, to prevent it from happening at all…
When Ludwig returned, his eyes widened, and he rushed over to the tub, grabbing Feliciano's arms and pulling them away from himself.
"Feliciano, stop! You're scrubbing yourself raw!"
Feliciano looked down at the abused skin, suddenly realizing that he was. He was only trying to get rid of the filth, try to cleanse himself… He hadn't realized that he'd gone so far. His eyes filled with tears again, and he whispered apologies over and over while his arms trembled and shook in Ludwig's hold.
Ludwig sighed and hushed him. "Sh, no, Feliciano… I am not angry. Please, just be more careful… Are you ready to come out?"
Feliciano nodded mutely, having washed himself off already. Ludwig rummaged around, finding a large, clean, fluffy white towel, knowing Feliciano would probably prefer it. He drained the tub, before wrapping the Italian in it, almost as if wrapping a bundle, and lifted him, carrying him back to his own bedroom (which, to Feliciano's and Ludwig's relief, seemed untouched).
He set the Italian down on the bed, and Feliciano remained rather limp and motionless, eyes seeming lifeless.
Ludwig used the towel to carefully dry the petite male's body, being careful not to open up the cuts and other wounds on him, and then gently dried his hair with it. He was relieved to find that Feliciano at least still trusted him enough to let him handle his bare and vulnerable body.
"Let me see your wrists, Feliciano," Ludwig ordered, but once again, with that patient tone, holding out a hand. Feliciano was still for a moment, before warily offering a wrist and placing it in Ludwig's hand. The place where the ropes had dug into the skin was apparent, raw and red. Ludwig felt that rage simmering again, but calmed himself, and went off to retrieve the first-aid kit. (Both he and Feliciano knew every last nook and cranny of each other's homes by now.)
When he returned, he carefully wrapped both of Feliciano's wrists and ankles in bandages, after cleaning them with antiseptic to prevent infection. Feliciano had given small whines of pain, trying to pull away whenever the sting met his skin, but Ludwig held him fast, firm but gentle.
"Hush, it will be over soon," Ludwig kept assuring the Italian.
Feliciano's silence was very disconcerting, as was the empty look in his eyes. The only sounds he made were the occasional whine or whimper, or even soft cry or sob.
Ludwig tended carefully to all the bites marks, the cuts and scratches, doing his best to patch up whatever he could, and Feliciano quietly let him. Once he had finished, he carefully sat beside the Italian on the bed.
"…Feliciano? Are… are you alright?" Ludwig finally asked, the stern features of his face now contorted in concern.
Feliciano had tried to be strong, to keep his emotions bottled up inside, but suddenly they overwhelmed him again and he began to cry, remembering the pain and the fear and humiliation of being used, for some sick man's twisted pleasure.
Ludwig was at a slight loss, and hoping to calm Feliciano, reached out and carefully wrapped his arms around him.
Feliciano did not flinch or try to pull away, but instead curled up in the embrace and buried his face into Ludwig's shirt, crying softly.
"I w-was so scared, i-it hurt, a-and… W-What if he comes back, what if-"
"Sh, Feliciano, do not worry about it, it is over… I am here now to protect you," Ludwig said softly, gently stroking the smaller man's hair. "He will not come back, and if he does, I will not let him hurt you." Feliciano seemed to take this as permission to cling to the German for dear life, fearing the world outside of the warm embrace he was being enveloped in. Ludwig, right now, would be his safety blanket, his protector, and (for probably a long time) the only person he felt he could trust.
Ludwig let the smaller male curl up and cling to him, let him cry, all the while carefully murmuring comfort and stroking his hair. It was much like during the wars, where Feliciano would become terrified of the falling bombs, the never-ending gunshots, and had clung to him in the same manner, seeking safety, protection, comfort.
"Do not be… I am here."
"…d-doesn't Lud hate me?"
"What- of course not, Feliciano," Ludwig replied, looking down at him. "What reason would I have to hate you?"
"…I… I-I'm a m-mess, d-dirty…" Feliciano cried softly into his chest again.
Ludwig felt his heart clench. Feliciano must feel so defiled…
"No, Feliciano, you… you are…" Ludwig took a deep breath and dropped his usual barriers, just for today. "You are an incredible person, a beautiful human being, pure no matter what has happened to you today, and no matter what happened, you are no different than you were yesterday, in my eyes. You… you are the same lovable Feliciano."
Ludwig's face was crimson by the end of his little speech, and he was glad that Feliciano's face was hidden in his chest, because otherwise he would see how flustered the German had gotten. But Feliciano's heart melted at that moment, hearing those heartfelt words from his usually reserved friend.
Lovable? Beautiful? Incredible?
Did Ludwig really think all that of him…?
Feliciano's arms reached to loop around his neck, surprising Ludwig, before he kissed both of the German's cheeks. Just like he usually did, except now, there were tears in Feliciano's eyes, and the wariness and uncertainty was reflected in his eyes.
"G-Grazie… for coming to help me… a-and… and not hurting me…" Feliciano said softly, before burying his face into Ludwig's neck. "And for not hating me…" Ludwig's heart melted at that moment, and he held Feliciano close and tight, gently stroking his hair and hesitantly pressing a kiss to his temple as well.
Well… the whole world knew he'd always had a soft spot for the young Italian.
"Nein… You do not have to thank me. I promised to always protect you, and I shall," Ludwig assured. "I will not hurt you, and you know I will not hate you."
Feliciano had always been there for his friend, and his friend had always been there for him. Sure, he may not be the best soldier, but he was a wonderful friend and companion who made sure that Ludwig never became lonely. His silly antics were frustrating sometimes, but over time, they had become more endearing than frustrating. His smiles, laughter, and bright attitude always lit up the room, in exchange for just a bit of time, or maybe a hug or kiss or two. Those hugs and kisses had become commonplace, as well as Feliciano's sneaking into his bed at night naked.
Quite frankly, Feliciano had become a constant in his life. One that he hadn't realized that he needed.
Those smiles were something he didn't want to see taken away, the joy and laughter were things he didn't want to see gone from Feliciano's visage. So he, without fail, would be here to help him heal, to smile again.
And definitely to protect him from being hurt again.
"W-Why…" Feliciano started softly, in a shaky whisper, his fingers lightly curling into Ludwig's shirt to hold onto him. "…why is Lud always… always there for me… even though I'm so useless…?"
"…you are not useless, Feliciano. And you are my friend… someone I…" Ludwig's face was heating up again. "…someone I care about deeply."
Feliciano removed his face from Ludwig's neck and looked up at him with wide, curious eyes.
Ludwig had to look away, and he cleared his throat somewhat awkwardly.
"…yes. You are."
Ludwig felt suddenly compelled to kiss his cheeks, and leaned forward slightly. Feliciano's instinctive reaction was to flinch backwards, away from the motion.
"F-Feliciano… I am not going to hurt you…" Ludwig reminded, slightly startled by the flinch. Feliciano would obviously be very skittish for some time, especially after this ordeal… He couldn't blame him. Ludwig tried again, leaning forward, and this time Feliciano held still as Ludwig pressed a kiss to both cheeks, and then, for good measure, Feliciano's forehead.
He could feel the burn of Feliciano's cheeks on his lips.
"L-Lud…?" Feliciano asked when he had finished.
"…can I have more kisses?"
Ludwig had to clear his throat to keep his voice from faltering. "O-Of course…" Ludwig leaned forward again slightly, but this time, Feliciano captured his lips instead of letting Germany kiss his cheeks.
It was Ludwig's turn to freeze in surprise. He could feel his face heating up, but after the initial shock wore off, he closed his eyes and returned the kiss, gently, letting their lips move together.
When they finally parted, both of their cheeks were painted pink. Feliciano hid once more into Ludwig's chest, curling up to that safety.
"…'m tired," Feliciano mumbled, face still slightly red.
"…perhaps we should sleep, then." Ludwig pulled away for a moment to slip out of his clothes so that he was just in his boxers and undershirt, and moved back to bed. Italy remained naked, snuggling up close to Ludwig as the German pulled the covers and blankets over them. This was routine, by now.
And granted, Ludwig's knowledge of Italian was limited, but he did recognize those words. His face burned scarlet, before finally managing to compose himself enough to reply.
"…liebe dich auch."
And granted, Feliciano's knowledge of German was limited, but he did recognize those words. His face burned scarlet, before he weakly lifted himself up to kiss Ludwig once more.
In retrospect, their confession had been much quieter, more peaceful than they had expected, whispered to each other before they covered each other in kisses and fell asleep, Feliciano securely wrapped in Ludwig's arms, protected, loved.
They wouldn't have had it any other way.
As Ludwig watched Feliciano slowly fade into sleep, still trembling ever-so-slightly, he watched him thoughtfully.
His little liebling (that word slipped so easily off his tongue now, he noted) was going to need help to recover, but tomorrow, he would begin the long process of helping him heal.
Anything to make sure his Feliciano would be alright.
A/N: This was intended as a one-shot fill, but maybe later on I'll continue it and add a chapter or two to show Feli's healing process. Right now I'll keep focusing on Shatter.
Thanks for the read~!
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