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Obligatory (but ultimately pointless) CYA: I don't own it.

(Time Period: 1830-ish? Sure, we'll go with that.)




Liechtenstein was simply not feeling today's piano lesson.

Granted, she didn't quite share Austria's immense passion for music, and so was prone to drifting whenever he went off, lecturing—like now—but if she was truthful with herself, the finer points of musical theory were only part of her problem.

Her prince was hosting a ball soon, and like any good sovereign, he'd invited his nation. That, in and of itself, wasn't so terrible. What was terrible was that she'd been fitted for a gown that morning. She could still hear the dressmaker—an otherwise lovely and talented older woman—clucking her tongue in amusement. "I don't think I've ever had to take in a bodice this much before," she had said.

The words hadn't intended to be malicious, she knew, but Liechtenstein had still turned a mortified shade of red, counting the minutes until she could put her day dress back on, with its concealing ruffles.

Of course, this problem wouldn't even exist in the first place if she didn't look like a fourteen-year-old girl—or, perhaps more specifically, if she didn't have the body type of an eleven-year-old boy. Liechtenstein sighed and gazed melancholically out the long windows of Austria's music room.

"—and there you go again with the sighs and the day-dreaming," Austria said, interrupting his own lecture. "Just what is the matter?"

"I want breasts," she said, rather dolefully.

Austria halted, blinked, and tilted his head as if his brain was a machine, and a spring just broke. "I beg your pardon?"

Liechtenstein blinked, herself. Oh, dear. She had said that out loud, hadn't she? She felt her face heat up, and an awkward silence settled on the room. "Well…it's just that I'm so small," she said, trying to salvage the situation, looking down at the keyboard, trying to disguise her embarrassment. Absently, she ran a fingertip over one of the ivories, concentrating on its cool smoothness. "I know I don't exactly grow a lot, being a principality, but I've been the same size for a few hundred years now. I was hoping I would at least…you know…fill out more."

"I—I really think you should speak to someone else about this," Austria said, trying to keep his composure despite the tinge of pink that had already colored his cheeks. Anxiously, he looked toward the door. "Perhaps Hungary…"

Liechtenstein's posture deflated at the suggestion, disappointment overpowering shame. "Not Miss Hungary," she said. "Don't get me wrong, I like her, but she wouldn't know what it's like. She's got…" And she made a vague, but unmistakably ample, gesture at her chest. Austria flushed a deep red and seemed to drop out of reality for a moment. Liechtenstein sulked even more, just a little bit jealous. "See? Even you've noticed."

"I have done no such thing!" he snapped, a bit too loudly and a bit too quickly. He huffed, putting a hand to his forehead, and began to pace, trying to collect himself. After a moment, he came to the piano and lowered himself next to her on the bench. He stared at the keys, hands resting awkwardly above them, as if this was the way he thought things through. Liechtenstein waited, hands in lap, all too aware of how close he sat and of how flat her dress laid against her chest.

"Liechtenstein, I—" He broke off, then tried again. "I—do not have very broad shoulders. Compared to most other men." He looked at her, as if this would help him make his point. Liechtenstein looked back in half-confused, half-honored silence. She didn't get why this had anything to do with her non-existent breasts, but Austria talking about himself, on a personal level, was arguably rarer than a spring day in the middle of January, and so she decided to take advantage of it and pay attention.

"I'm not very muscular. Even my hands," he went on, splaying them out above the keys—pale, long, finely-boned things. "Hardly the hands of a soldier." He paused for a moment, to seemingly collect his thoughts. "What I'm trying to say," he finally said, looking back to her, "is that…that doesn't make me less of a man. No one thinks of me as less of a man because of it."

"What about Mr. Prussia?" she pointed out.

Austria's expression turned very dry and very dark. "His opinion doesn't count."

Liechtenstein pressed her lips together, looking down at her hands, trying to disguise the smile tugging at her lips. Despite the awkward conversation topic, it was nice to talk so…intimately, one might say, to Austria. So often he projected such an austere, aloof exterior, and it was heartening to see that he was capable of lowering his defenses, if only temporarily.

"Similarly," Austria continued, "you shouldn't feel like less of a woman because you're…ah…" His proficiency with words fled again, and he made a vague wave at her person.

"Flat-chested?" she provided.

Austria cleared his throat and adjusted his spectacles. "Ah, yes." He swallowed, and briefly regarded the piano before turning back to her, his expression uncharacteristically open and sincere. "You're a bright, intelligent young woman, and a nation with a long and noble history. You have no reason to feel inferior."

Liechtenstein felt blood rush to her cheeks at the compliment, and she ducked her head, suddenly feeling very warm and happy. "Thank you," she murmured.

"I meant every word," he murmured back.

She didn't think her face could get any redder, but somehow it managed to.

After another moment, but before things could get freshly awkward, Austria stood. "Now, then," he said briskly, sweeping behind the bench in one graceful stride, reaching down and placing her fingers on the keys. "Enough talk for today. Let's hear how your Mozart is coming along."

Liechtenstein obliged, with surprising vigor. Because with encouragement like that, how could one refuse?




Historical Notes:

-Liechtenstein's only been Switzerland's little sister since 1919 (when she entered a customs and monetary union with him). Before that, she'd been heavily dependent on Austria, though head-canon says the relationship was far more business-like/mentor-ish than pseudo-familial. But yeah. I totally think he foisted music lessons off on her. And I kind of like to think that maybe she had a bit of a crush on him for a time, that faded before it could really turn into anything serious. Because, yanno, stuff like that happens. (And because, if Switzerland ever found out, it would raise all sorts of magnificent hell. XD)

A/N: Not my longest, or even my best fic, admittedly, but sometimes you just need to do little pieces like this. I've been wanting to get back to writing so bad, but working on the next chapter of the Edelweiss Arc is like trying to herd cats, for some inexplicable reason (Austria and Spain, you should not be so difficult to write, even if it's post-Habsburg tiems!), so I had to get my fix another way. And I do like Liechtenstein, and have been wanting to use her more. I guess there was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it hint of AustriaxHungary in there (my bias is showing DX), but if you want a pure AustriaxLiechtenstein experience, you can wave it off as Austria just being a dude and noticing a nice pair of boobs and nothing more. Because, really, Liechtenstein mostly gets paired with Switzerland, and Austria mostly gets paired with Hungary or Prussia (okay, and maybe some Germany)—but the point is, they need to get around more. XD