Yoü and I
When a day, in all its gray and morose lethargy, began a downward spiral into new, uninteresting lows, when lurking about in Germany's basement surrounded by cans of lukewarm beer, cold pretzels, and wurst-stained plates while watching ridiculous amounts of cartoons proved tedious and thoroughly unawesome, Prussia turned to the one activity that he would provide him endless amounts of pleasure-and that was annoying the hell out of Austria. He was not certain why this activity pleased him so wonderfully. He only knew that, when Austria was prodded into anger, it was fun to watch his glasses slowly sliding down his nose and his face reddening like overcooked wurst. If Hungary was around, it was good fun dodging the plates, pots, and pans that would be inevitably thrown at his head. Yes; it was the best, most awesome way Gilbert could think of to end a totally not awesome day. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Prussia leapt up from the sofa, pulled on a pair of trousers, and stomped loudly upstairs.
There, Italy and Germany were settled at the kitchen table, caught in an obviously intimate moment and sharing a heaping plate of pasta. True to his nature, Italy was perched on Germany's lap, one arm looped around Ludwig's strong neck and the other spoon-feeding him pasta. They were gazing at each other in that really sappy and embarrassing way until Prussia entered the room. Then, red-faced and practically spitting out his pasta in surprise, Ludwig appraised Gilbert with a forced, nervous nonchalance.
"P-Prussia! Vhere are you off to at this hour? Don't stay out too late; if you pass out drunk in some gutter, I von't come to rescue you. Again."
"Ja, ja. I ain't going to a bar. Though that does sound like a good idea. I'm off to bother Austria. Wanna come?"
"Of course not. You're too busy with your sweet little Italian gelato, ain't cha? Maybe I should stay out tonight. I don't wanna hear all those noises coming from your bedroom all evening. Kesesese. I swear, do you guys forget that your bedroom is right above my head?"
"Whaaaaaat? No need to be embarrassed! Isn't that right, Feliciano?" Prussia was buttoning up his jacket, but Feliciano's responding smile was so cutely bashful that Prussia wanted to launch himself at the boy and hug him senseless. But no. If he wasted any time giving extra tight bro hugs to Italy, he would never leave the house.
"Veeee~, Prussia! Did Twilight Sparkle ever find the meaning of friendship? I like'a Twilight Sparkle. She'sa like Germany a little bit, so that'a makes her my favorite!" At this, he nuzzled an increasingly frazzled Germany. Prussia snorted derisively.
"No way, Felici. Pinkie Pie for the win. Anyway, I'm out. Try not to wake the neighbors tonight, eh? Kesesese."
Germany looked as though he were trying mightily to keep a grim, straight face, but Prussia knew that as soon as the had shut the door securely behind him, Germany would melt into sappiness again. Germany, like cold metal, was made of all hard edges and straight-backed resilience. With iron eyes and a steely jaw, he was an impenetrable fortress of logic and reason. That is, unless Italy was involved; that country, full of fiery feeling, appeared able to melt and twist Germany to his will- though Feliciano was blissfully unaware of that fact. Germany was that way, gentle and malleable, with Italy and Italy alone. It was...strange. He wondered how Germany could stand being that way, so vulnerable. Being vulnerable was totally not awesome.
But this train of thought was quickly derailed when Prussia alighted upon his favorite joke shop. The shop was a whirring, buzzing haven of various annoying bits and baubles. He strode in, bought a big box of gag items, and then exited, still giggling madly to himself. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Now! Off to Austria's house!
Roderich's home was a grand ivory-colored villa on a green hillside, nestled in the bosom of mountainous country. Here, the world smelled like rain, and the edelweiss sprouted from the fertile soil like white, dancing ladies. Not only this, but silence was wrapped around the house like a shawl, a deep difference from the bustle of Berlin. Sometimes, when Hungary was feeling generous, she would let Prussia stay the night in a room specially prepared for him, and he would watch the sunrise, which was almost as awesome as he was. Gilbird would flutter about the house, flapping his tiny yellow wings and raising his squeaky voice, attempting to compete with the mountain birds. The sweet little thing would sing his awesome little heart out. Okay, maybe all of that was part of why Prussia liked coming over so much too.
Hiding all of his new toys behind his back, Prussia knocked obnoxiously, giving the door several hard raps, and when no one answered quickly enough, he began knocking on the door with a fierce rhythm, distracting himself by trying to hammer out one of Fritz's favorite tunes. Still, no one answered.
"Ehh? Hungary usually answers the door in under three knocks. She's damn expert at this whole hospitality thing. Huh. Wait. Are they ignoring the awesome me? Like hell they'll ignore me!"
With this, he kicked in the grand doors so they swung open, revealing a house so dimly lit, so utterly transformed that Prussia barely recognized it. That is, Austria's villa, which was usually immaculately decorated and feverishly clean unto obsession was wasting away in neglect. The was a fine layer of dust about every surface, used and abandoned dishes lying about, and clutter collecting in every corner. More unsettling was that the house was completely silent-there was no clanging of pots and pans emanating from the kitchen, no angry priss voice shouting orders, and no piano-playing permeating the air with the sweet sounds of Chopin or Mozart. No music? This wasn't like Austria at all. Something akin to panic entered Prussia's heart.
"Yo, Specs, where are you? Specs? I know you're here. I can practically smell the priss radiating from your body. Specs?"
Prussia ran from room to room, kicking in doors and roaring Roderich's name at the top of his lungs. He finally found the man in the lavishly decorated drawing room; this room too was dark-only one candle was lit, and it seemed ready to snuff itself out in a sullen stupor. Roderich, seated on a leather sofa, was sipping a cup of tea and looking fixedly ahead of him, even when Gilbert entered the room. Every now and again, he would sigh shakily, rubbing his temple, but then he would stare straight ahead again, gazing at absolutely nothing. It was unnerving.
"Specs, what's up? You're looking particularly boring today. Gott, didn't you hear me calling you? Where's Hungary? That girl is slacking, eh?"
He plopped down next to Austria on the sofa, inwardly wondering which gag he would use on Austria first. Ah! Ah of course! That one!
"Hungary is gone."
"Ehh? Whataya mean 'gone?' To the store? Damn it, I wish I would have gotten here earlier. I would have asked for some cheese puffs."
"Nein. Gone. For good. Ve vere divorced some weeks ago." He paused to sip his tea, making a face. "Und now when my tea goes cold like zis I have no one to varm it for me. It's a pathetic existence."
"Is that why the house is such a dump now? Geez, Priss, I would have expected more from you."
He was making a joke to lighten the mood, but Austria was unmoved. Roderich was naturally reserved, with little to no sense of humor, but there was something even more morose about him now. He looked shattered inside, like someone had torn out his vital organs. He was pale, shrunken, and lifeless. Not only did this disturb Prussia, but it downright depressed him. Some part of him, a part of his heart that Prussia didn't even know existed, felt fairly withered. He lurked about Austria's house to see him violently enlivened, to watch him pour his soul into his instruments, to see his noble face transform with emotion whenever he quietly admired his country, not to see him like this! So broken! This wasn't right. Maybe he, the awesome Prussia, could remedy this.
"Heeeeey, I brought some pretzels for ya. Those kind that you like, ja? The ones with cinnamon?"
"Ja. Here!" And he shoved a metal can into Roderich's hands. Somewhat brightening, Austria pried upen the can with his nimble white fingers, only to be met with a stream of springing, colored paper snakes. Bellowing with laughter, Prussia clutched his sides and rolled from side to side on the couch. "BAHAHAHAHA! SEE? SNAKES! YOU THOUGHT IT WAS A CAN OF CINNAMON PRETZELS BUT IT WAS A CAN OF PAPER SNAKES! BAHAHAHAHAHA! KESESESESESE!"
Austria, blinking, tossed the can away.
"If zis is vhat you have come here for, please leave. I am in no mood."
"You're no fun, priss. C'mon, it was funny."
"It vas irritating. I am villing to bet you have other ridiculous things vith you, like vhoopie cushions. Do you have a vhoopie cushion?"
"Yes you do. Please leave. You are giving me a headache already und you have only been here for five minutes." He returned to sipping his cold tea, wrinkling his nose and fine brow. Prussia stretched luxuriously, making no effort to leave. He kicked off his big black boots.
"I like it here. So tell me, Specs. Why'd Hungary leave? Don't tell me it was for Turkey? I mean, sure, he's more attractive than you are and way stronger, but Hungary loved you." At the mention of Turkey, Austria winced.
"Nein. I left her. I don't know vhere she is now."
"Eh? Why'd you do something like that?"
This time, Prussia received no reply. Austria kept sipping his tea, staring fixedly forward, shifting his weight on the sofa and looking wonderfully annoyed. In their silence, Prussia found himself looking at Austria's stately profile, which, though drained, was handsomely dignified. He had such a sharp nose and a chin like a little blade. His eyes, pools of vivid purple, were plum-colored, the color of the sky just before night. And then there was that little black mole, a fine point painted at the corner of a sensual mouth. Swallowing, Prussia squirmed a little. He had always admired Austria, had always found him handsome, but now his strange obsession was transforming into something else-layers were peeling away from it, like a dried onion, revealing a new, raw feeling that Prussia was not familiar with. He only knew that, against his better judgement, he wanted to stay with Austria, to make him angry, to make him smile. After a while, Austria turned to look at Prussia, and although he remained silent, there was something churning in his eyes, something wild. This, too, was unlike Austria. Prussia suddenly realized how close they were sitting. He swallowed again.
"Vell. Harmony is not always so easy. Sometimes you have to throw out an entire composition if the harmony is not right. But zere are always other songs to compose. Do you understand?"
"Of course you don't, you stupid boy."
"HEY! I AM AWES-"
"Vhy do you even come here? Und I know you are here more often zan you let on. You lurk in my rosebushes and watch me vhile I play piano. Vhy do you do zat? Vhy are you here now? Vhy do you stay even though you see how miserable I am? Vhy do you like to torture me?"
He was appraising Prussia with those plum-colored eyes now, and that thing inside Gilbert, that was revealing itself, rising its maddening head, made a home in his hammering, throbbing heart. What was this? Why did Prussia suddenly feel so exposed? So...vulnerable? Sitting with Austria, he felt completely dismantled, his awesome aura draining out from his feet. He felt reduced to a puddle of quivering goo; he felt elevated into new heights of elation. What was Austria getting at? Why did he ask these questions, each new inquiry like a delicious knife to the gut? Why was Austria more and more handsome by the minute? They were drawing closer, a heat building between them.
"It's because... It's because I..."
"I know." He added, quietly, "Und zat is vhy I left Hungary. I am... Zat is... I feel ze the same."
"Yes. You may ravish me now. Und vhen you are done, you can make me a pot of wurst. I'm starving. Und my tea is cold. Varm it. Also, try not to make too much of a mess of zis couch. It's expensive."
"Tch, if that's the case, Specs, why didn't ya call me when Hungary left?"
Austria folded his beautiful fingers in his lap, smiling, but only a little.
"Because I knew you vould come to me eventually."
Before Prussia could properly process the events of the evening, he and Austria were engaged in a crushing kiss laden with the weight of their haunted history. Prussia felt torn open to the world, his every organ exposed for vicious vultures to pluck, but if this was love, that sappy sentimental thing that made the mightiest men fall, Prussia was willing to crumble into dust for Austria, only for Austria.