Soprano

(She attempts to play piano. She bangs again and again on the keys, making some kind of cacophony. Frustrated, she struggles to understand the sheet music. It doesn't do her much good.

From outside the door, he winces a little, but smiles and leaves her to it.)

"What are you doing here?" Switzerland has not lowered his gun. Austria swallows and maintains composure.

"I merely wished to speak to you."

Switzerland snorts. "It's been a long time since you've wanted to do that."

"I know. I'm sorry."

(She brushes her hair in the mirror. I don't look like anyone here, she muses. I look like that boy who was around when I was a baby. She barely remembers him, but she knows she looks like him. What happened to him?

She shakes her head. Nevermind.)

"Don't care," Switzerland answers. "Why are you here?"

Austria sighs. "I had things to check up on."

"Things...?"

"You know what I refer to."

(A hand tugs on hers. "Miss Hungary, what's going on?"

She looks down in surprise. "Oh, Liechtenstein," she says. "I... Mr. Austria has gotten himself into something of a fight."

"With who? Why?"

"With quite a lot of people, altogether," Hungary says. In the other room, Austria is discussing something with Germany in hushed voices. "Why..." she closes her eyes and remembers the past. "There are some people who don't care for him as much as you do.")

It takes awhile for it to click in Switzerland's brain. When it does, the gun also clicks. "I would prefer you not talk about her like that," he says. "She's not a thing. Not a diplomatic issue. It's none of your business anyway."

("Austria, you can't let them do this!" Hungary demands of him. He can only rub his forehead in frustration.

"What choice do we have?" he says. "We lost. Did you forget that?"

"You bastard!" She hits him hard on the back of the head. "After all this – after everything you went through to obtain all this, you'll let us go without a fight?"

"We have been fighting for the last five years. It did not work."

"I would say it was your refusal to let your territories go that caused the problem in the first place," England informs them smugly. Enormously hypocritical, from that man, and Austria has to grab Hungary's wrist to prevent her from punching him. "I would say most of your territories will not be that upset that you're gone. As far as I was aware, Miss Hungary, you have had a history of reluctance to him as well, have you not."

Hungary does not answer, and Austria allows himself one defiance. "And what of those who don't? Those who have never been anything but... well, people I must care for."

England barely blinks. "Every parent must let his children go sometimes, Austria," he says. "I would know.")

"I know," he says. "I just... wanted to make sure she was faring alright."

"Not like you," Switzerland tells him. "How did you know she was in my house anyway?"

"It's not exactly a secret."

"Whatever," Switzerland says. "She's just fine. Now. No thanks to you."

("Miss Hungary? Mr. Austria!" She doesn't know what's going on. Miss Hungary only saw her for a few moments, saying she had to go, that they couldn't go back to the house, that she'd see Liechtenstein again someday. She didn't understand. Then Hungary was gone and when she tried to return home, the house was gone.

It is cold and raining and she looks for a place with just a little more shelter. She finds an alleyway. She collapses.)

"Switzerland–"

"Look, you lost her thanks to your damn war, and you gave her up without a fight. You don't get the right to come back in here, demanding to know about her. She's better off now anyway."

Austria gulps. "I never denied that," he says as steadily as he can. "I just... I needed to know if she was okay."

(She doesn't understand what's going on. She's been hungry and alone for months, and she has no idea where she is. She's in the alley again. She feels like she's dying, and tries to pretend that's not what it is.

She remembers a story Miss Hungary once told her (she heard it from Mr. Denmark). A young girl forced out into the harsh winter by her family, to do... something. She wished for things. Eventually, her beloved grandmother came and took her away.

Liechtenstein frowns. She's never had a grandmother. She more or less had a mother and father, but...

Perhaps the blond boy from when she was a baby will come for her.)

Switzerland snorts. "I doubt you care very much," he says. "You just want to look like you didn't give them all up without a fight."

"Were you paying any attention at all for the last–"

"That wasn't about them. At least, not the ones who needed you. It was about your own pride and glory. War usually is."

("Thank you, Mr. Switzerland," the girl tells him. It still sort of disturbs him how kind and respectful she is, although it's a trait he could deal with there being more of in the world. He's not sure.

"It was good?"

"Yes."

There is an awkward pause, and he starts to wonder who she is anyway. "...You were one of Austria's territories, weren't you?"

She breaks eye contact. "Yes," she answers too quickly. "But the treaty..."

He nods slowly. "I guess he just let this happen?"

"I don't think he had much of a choice..." She bites her lip as if she can't be sure she believes that. Her clothes are still torn from wandering and hang loosely on her frame from hunger.

Switzerland doesn't say anything. He doesn't tell her what a fool Austria was for not fighting to keep her, or what a bastard he truly is in general, or that things will be okay now. He simply gets up, and starts making her tea.)

Austria cringes. "Even if that's true, I promise I am not here for prideful reasons," he says. "I just wanted to check she was okay."

"She is."

"...May I see her?"

"No."

Austria recoils at the suddenness of the response, and the vehemence. Switzerland sighs. "Look, Austria, you're not anything to her, alright? You're not special. You just happened to be in charge of the land for a long time. You let her go without a second thought; that is relinquishing rights. You cannot play her father anymore. Now get out."

(The house seems too big and empty now, even though he knows it has technically shrunk in accordance with the changes. There were just so many people in his house. He's not quite sure what to do know.

He finds his hands are shaking and doesn't know why. He wants to put his hands to use, and heads to his piano. People, and territory, and loved ones can come and go, but the music is his.

(It's not much of a comfort.)

He prepares his hands over the keys to play. He's not sure what, to be honest, but he can tell it's a piece he's played a million times before. He presses down.

He hits the wrong keys.

He tries again. It doesn't work. The racket that comes makes him cringe.

His hands start to shake more violently as he struggles to get the right notes. It only makes it worse. He sounds like a cat screeching from an alleyway at night.

He bites his lip to try and keep himself under control. Tears sting his eyes when he thinks of it all, his wife, his friends, his children all gone because–

And he tries again and again, making a mess of a piece while there's no-one to here.)

Switzerland sticks his gun a little forward, and Austria knows there is no convincing the man. There is nothing left for him here.

Perhaps Switzerland is right anyway.

"Well," he says as he opens the door again. "I do know she did not gain my musical talents."


History: Liechtenstein was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its dissolution after WWI. Shortly after this, the union with Switzerland was formed. And that is actually pretty much all you need to know.