Fandom: Hetalia Axis Powers
Disclaimer: I don't own Hetalia or the text of Mozart's Requiem Mass. I think I can safely say that I have a justified claim on messing with Ludwig, though, since I am German myself…
Background: On February 25th 1947, Prussia was formally dissolved and ceased to exist as a country. Although it had technically been incorporated into Germany decades before that, you could say that that was the day Gilbert died…
Written whilst listening to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor
"Requiem aeternam dona eis, domine..."
The voices were sweet, clear and sad, mingling with scents of incense and candle wax in the sanctified air of Berlin's largest church. They filled the cathedral's lofty vaults, and the vault in his own heart, constructing a monument of song, a tomb for their beloved dead.
"... et lux perpetua luceat eis."
The late winter sunlight streamed in through the windows, but the inside of the vast building still appeared dim and cool. Kneeling on the stone floor, Ludwig felt the cold seep into his body like a slow poison. The stones were cold, the manacles wrapped around his wrists, and he himself felt frozen in place, his eyes fixed on the coffin.
"Dies irae… dies illa…"
They had draped a flag over it, the white middle part of it shimmering eerily in the half-light. A concession of the victors, the murderer's last tribute to their victim. There was a bitter irony to it. Ludwig stared at the crowned eagle, its beak opened for a proud, defiant cry, and knew that he should have jumped up, shacked off the manacles and chains and avenged his brother. But he didn't have the energy to fight anymore. The iron chains had wrapped around his heart, too.
" … nil inultum remanebit…"
Next to him, Roderich, Kiku and Feliciano were kneeling, their heads bowed. Roderich's lips were moving, as he followed the words of the requiem, muttering or singing, Ludwig did not know which. Kiku was staring at the floor, his whole body tense and unmoving as a marble statue. Feliciano shifted uncomfortably, occasionally throwing him quick, shy glances, whenever he thought Ludwig wasn't looking. Ludwig didn't care. If anybody had asked him, he wouldn't have wanted them here, not today. He noted bitterly that they weren't shackled and tied. They had been together in this, fighting side by side during the war, and now they were willing to put all the blame on him in order to exonerate themselves.
They had betrayed him.
And his brother…
"… tantus labor non sit cassus…"
The Allies were watching from the back rows, and he could feel their gazes burning into his ramrod straight back. Francis, Arthur, Alfred and Ivan; their faces smug, victory still gleaming in their eyes. He knew that they were watching him, watching their prisoner, waiting for him to twitch, to make that one wrong move that would allow them to dispose of him altogether, as they had of Gilbert. One could argue that the murder of over six million people was sufficient enough reason to fully dissolve a nation, but they still hesitated to do so. "This isn't about punishment or revenge," Alfred had said, "it's about redemption." And Ludwig had looked into their eyes, and thought Liars.
He knew better.
"Confutatis maledictis!" The choir cried, and next to him, Feli's and Roderich's heads jerked up at the sudden increase in volume.
Ludwig's gaze travelled the length of the coffin. The wood seemed gray, ashen in the pale light. He idly wondered whether they were going to bury his brother's human body down in the crypt, alongside his kings and princes, or in some obscure, hidden place.
Aber egal was sie tun, ich werde dich nie vergessen, Bruder…
Gilbert deserved to be remembered. He deserved to be laid to rest in a heavy marble sarcophagus and to have an aureate memorial erected atop of it.
Alles, alles ist vergänglich…
Ludwig felt tears coming to his eyes. Am I that weak? he wondered briefly, before dismissing the thought. Having lost everything, his honor, his pride, his sovereignty and now his brother, nothing but his naked life remained to him. His tears wouldn't taint anything. They wouldn't wash away the stains, the blood, the guilt, either, but at least there was nothing he could do to further humiliate himself.
"Lacrymosa dies illa…"
The tears were streaming down his face, hot and salty. He heard Feliciano shuffle next to him, caught a movement out of the corner of his eye, as the Italian moved to reach out to him, put a hand on his shoulder or his arm, but Roderich held him back. Feliciano hung his head dejectedly.
Amid a sea of familiar faces; made up of enemies, captors, victims, former friends and innocent bystanders, Ludwig was alone.
"Requiem aeternam dona eis, domine… et lux perpetua luceat eis."
As the last soft, haunting notes died away, and movement returned to the crowd. Ludwig rose, his sore and tired muscles protesting. He stepped up to the coffin, pausing for a moment to look at the black eagle one last time and remember his brother's pale face in its place, then he bend slightly and gently laid the garland of oak leaves atop of it.
A murmur rose from the crowd as many voices commented in whispers on this last action, almost too proud, too bold for a captive, but he ignored them.
Turning around, Ludwig faced his captors, his face set in stone. He gave the barest of nods, then started walking towards them and towards the exit, his body very tall, very upright. Those he walked past noted the hollow look in his eyes, the tear-strikes on his face and the clinking of the chains, but Ludwig ignored their voices.
He was alone and brotherless now.
Aber egal was sie tun, ich werde dich nie vergessen, Bruder… - German, "But no matter what they will do, I will never forget you, brother..."
Alles, alles ist vergänglich… - German, "All things must pass..."
You'll find English translations of the Latin parts on the web, they're all taken from the text of Mozart's requiem mass. I recommend listening to that too... even though actually singing it as part of a choir is even more fun...^^