"What is that you express in your eyes? It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life." – Walt Whitman
Prussia stirred in his sleep; he turned on the bed stretching his arm to the opposite side. He groped up and down on the sheets without finding any source of warmth. He cracked an eye open.
"England?" Bleary-eyed he asked softly, but there was no response to his call. Prussia sat upright looking around a bit confused. He rubbed his face with his hands, and then he jumped out of bed going downstairs, he headed to the kitchen.
But England wasn't there, Prussia turned around ready to search in another room when he saw a note on the dining table.
I went out. I have to settle some matters. I'll be back by noon. I'll bring sweets and something else for diner.
Prussia frowned at this, he went to the hallway fully intending to use the phone when he found another note pasted on it.
By 'matters' I mean my brother. Don't worry I'll be back before you know it. And by bring 'something else' I meant 'someone'. If everything goes accordingly you can guess who is that someone.
Prussia scratched his head, unsure if what England was trying to do was a good thing. So, he decided to call him nonetheless. He dialed England's number. It began to ring and soon he heard a beeping sound behind him. Prussia looked on the couch but there was nothing despite the noise coming from it. He looked under the sofa finding England's cell phone and another note.
If you found this, it means you were going to call me regardless of what I stated before. I will state it again. You do not need to worry. I will be back. I have to face him. I have to speak with him alone. Trust me.
Prussia sighed, "You didn't have to leave your phone behind" or do this unnecessary stuff. The bell of the front door rang. He wondered who it was, Prussia was sure it wasn't England since it was too early. He looked at himself in the mirror beside the door. I always look awesome, he thought and opened the door.
"¡Buenos días amigo del alma~!" Spain said, very cheerfully in Spanish.
"Mornin'." Prussia said mildly confused by the greeting. Spain came in and Prussia closed the door.
Before Prussia could ask what Spain was doing there, he spoke, "I came to deliver this wicked evil item of your partner." Spain sat on the couch of the living room setting a paper bag on top of the coffee table, he unwrapped it to show a human skull with strange words craved on it.
Prussia made a face.
"Don't ask me," Spain said, "This is Romania's gift for England." Spain shuddered. "I don't want to know to whom it belonged…"
"I'm good not knowing too," Prussia agreed. "You want some coffee?"
"Yes!" Spain replied following Prussia into the kitchen. "Hey, where's Eyebrows?"
"He's out." Prussia set the kettle on the stove.
Spain gasped, "Don't tell me he dumped you?!"
Prussia turned around quizzically, "I don't know what goes in your head sometimes. But to clarify it. No, he hasn't dumped me or has gotten tired of me. That's not going to happen. I am me after all. Let's change the topic, you're hiding something. Spit it out."
Spain grinned, "I'm that obvious?"
"No." Prussia prepared the coffee, "I just know you."
Spain chuckled, "I was thinking it'll be good for the three of us to get a drink, that's all."
Prussia gave him the cup of coffee, Spain thanked him and sipped.
"Francis is here." Prussia sipped his own cup.
Spain grinned evilly, "Yes. I forced him to wait in the car."
"In this freezing cold?"
"Si~." Spain laughed merrily.
"Then I'll take my time to look presentable." Prussia laughed with his trademark laugh, he was satisfied and oddly happy.
Meanwhile France cursed, making his way to the front door where he would yell at them angrily for leaving him out in the cold. Prussia passed the living room where England's present watched him pass by with hollow empty eyes. Prussia shivered and wondered what it was but decided to run upstairs, there was a bar with his name waiting after all!
Bulgaria blocked the strike using the back of his sword in order to prevent the fatal blow. He pushed forward with all his might while his opponent, Romania, tried to bring him down to his knees. Bulgaria gritted his teeth, in a final effort he mustered his strength to push Romania away and make room for himself. It worked but it was for a short while. Romania attacked again. The only thing Bulgaria could do was dodge the rain of blows.
He just hoped for his bones to remain complete.
Bulgaria was struggling to keep the pace, while Romania laughed at it all, clearly enjoying sparring. Romania was so engrossed in the play that he didn't notice where they were heading until it was too late. Bulgaria tripped on the foot of an old armor, falling down. Romania launched forward wrapping his arm around Bulgaria's head.
"Oh my God…" Bulgaria uttered in shock, "What did it break? Was my head? Was my neck? Oh my God I won't move until I know what it broke. I'll be crippled, won't I? My spine must be broken. I'm going to move in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Oh no, how the hell am I supposed to maintain the horses?! I'm done. My life, everything I've fought to so far has gone waste. Oh no. Oh no."
Romania, who stared at Bulgaria's rant in some sort of fascination, laughed, "You're not broken!"
Bulgaria turned to him, tears of joy brimming in his eyes, "Are you sure?"
"Yeah!" Romania said smiling, "The thing that broke was my arm!"
Bulgaria's relief turned into horror, "Oh. My. God!" Bulgaria sat straight instantly.
"Dude, relax," Romania said still with a smile, "Everything is fine."
His arm didn't look fine at all.
"Fine?! Fine?! Look at your arm! We need to go to the hospital! Ah, but we are too far away from the city! I'll call a doctor right away to tell him you broke your arm and that you are in pain. You are in pain, aren't you?! Stop smiling! You broke your freaking arm! Cry, curse, yell or something!"
Romania held his arm to his chest, "It hurts," before Bulgaria could interrupt him he continued, "But I'm also happy. I like it when you worry about me. Also, I'm happy you didn't get hurt. I mean, I was the one suggesting the game."
"You didn't 'suggest it'. You 'forced it'." Bulgaria corrected, frowning, fighting the blush on his face. He hated when Romania said embarrassing things.
"Either way," Romania laughed, "I'm glad you're safe."
Bulgaria loved and hated that childlike smile of his, because he knew that when he used that smile he could get almost anything from him.
"Can you stand? We have to do something about that arm." Bulgaria asked more calmly.
"Yup! But don't worry we can make a potion to cure this! Norway gave me the recipe before."
Bulgaria stared at him, "Seriously?"
"Yeah! Don't worry the ingredients aren't so bad! I promise you won't throw up this time!" Romania smiled with that smile. The only thing he could do was hope that Norway's medicine worked. But if in case it didn't work, he was going to bring him to the doctor Romania wanted it or not.
"Ah," Romania stood.
"What? Does it hurt?" Bulgaria rushed to his side.
"No. Yeah. I mean that I think we need dry eyeballs of some kind of lizard, I think I got that but its bile is… wow, you look green!"
Bulgaria ran to the nearest bathroom. Romania hummed to himself, he was glad to be back to their routine, he followed Bulgaria's trail of destruction slowly.
Iceland fidgeted under their gazes. Norway was as impassive as ever but Iceland knew better what turmoil of emotions his visage hid. Sweden also seemed different from his usual scowl; even Finland showed extra concern in his face. Denmark actually seemed proud which was worrisome on its own. Iceland could only wait for the verdict.
"Go for it Ice! Don't forget to use protection though! My advice for you it's that you should do it in the sea, it's fucking romantic." Denmark puffed his chest, proudly.
Norway whacked the back of Denmark's head, "Anko, stop spitting nonsense if you don't want to sleep with the fish you love so much tonight."
Sweden glared at the same time at Denmark. "Denmark, qui't (shut the fuck up)."
"Ice-kun has gotten so big." Finland sighed, dreamily.
"Argh!" Iceland screamed in frustration, "Guys, stop. I'm not marrying him. I just asked him out. Well, no. I only invited him to eat. No. It's not a date. I just, I just want to spend some time with him. That's all. I'm not proposing or anything. OK?"
"Aww, he thinks it's only a date. Isn't he cute?" Denmark cooed.
"You don't have to be shy, Ice-kun. We are going to help you in this date!" Finland declared happily.
"It's not a date!"
"Mm (I disagree with that)." Sweden grunted.
"Sverige is right." Norway said, "This isn't only a date. You… You are planning to have sex with him aren't you?"
"Hahaha! Ice still believes that!"
"Anko, shut up. You're not helping."
"Ice-kun, I think you should wait." Finland said gently, Sweden nodded beside him.
"I swear I'm not planning that! Could all you stop it already?!" It was weird for Iceland to raise his voice but after the pressure he was put on with until know anyone could snap.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Norway asked after a while, he was serious. Iceland understood that all of them were concerned about him. And although he was scared of what might happen next, he was sure that if he at least tried to do it right now, he wasn't going to regret it in the future.
Iceland looked straight at his brother, "I am. I like Hong Kong. I want to know what happens next. I mean it."
The four stared, Finland smiled gleefully, Sweden cracked a half smile and Norway patted Iceland's head. Denmark on the other hand, left the room. They were puzzled as to why he left so suddenly, but all of them to a certain degree knew it wasn't going to be good.
"Okay!" Denmark said from the doorway, "Since it's been decided. Guys, let us all give Ice… The Talk." He was holding a cucumber and a condom. Iceland buried his face into one of the cushions of the couch while the mayhem burst behind him back.
China sat perfectly still on the floor, Hong Kong was in front of him in a similar position. They stayed in silence, they had talked what was needed and now they were meditating. They were calming their spirits to take the best course of action regarding the future decisions. In a sense, they were talking to God inside their hearts.
"What have you chosen?" China quietly asked.
Hong Kong replied, "I have already chosen my path, Teacher. I shall stay truthful to myself."
China sighed, "This part of you is so like that eyebrow bastard."
Hong Kong smirked but remained silent.
"So, when it's the appointment?" China asked.
"The day after tomorrow." Hong Kong replied, a slight change could be seen in him, his eyes softened, it was tenderness and love. "I'll be seeing him in Berlin."
"Germany?" China frowned, "You are not planning on marry him are you?"
"Only if, like, the opportunity arises." Hong Kong said slyly.
China sighed again, "I don't understand your jokes."
"Who said I was joking?" Hong Kong said but before China could question him more, he left saying that he needed to prepare for the flight.
Chine sighed once again, and walked to the corridor that led to the gardens. The first veil of snow covered the entire place. There were no starts in the sky. It's been a while since he last has seen one in his land. He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't notice Korea's presence until he was pounced from behind and his chest fondled indiscriminately.
Korea settled down until he was moaning in pain on the floor, China pressed his foot down on Korea's back angrily, "I'd told you a million times already. Don't do that!"
"Aniki is not fun!" Korea managed to complain.
"I never said I was!" China stomped his foot one last time before releasing the wounded Korea, "Anyway, why are you here?"
"I just came to pass a message!" Korea pouted, "Japan called. He wanted to leave his greetings. Also, he didn't explain it to me but, he said that the starts are still there."
China listened, slowly smiling, and chuckling at last. "Let's make a wish them." He said, Korea looked confused; China laughed again feeling a weight lifting from his chest. The white snow fell delicately in front of them. And a happy memory of a distant past lingered in his mind. A handsome brunette smiling happily extending his arms and asking for a hug.
Japan stared at the garden outside, he didn't know why he had called China's place but it just felt right to do it in the moment. The breeze was cold against his skin. He stood from the floor, opening the sliding door. He closed quietly as to not disturb the ones inside the room. Italy was lying on the floor, half of his body hidden under the kotatsu, he was sleeping near Germany who was trying to revise some papers while fighting the urge to pat Italy's head.
Japan smiled amused walking over the available spot on the kotatsu.
"I apologize for intruding like this." Germany said serious, "But he was really persistent as to come."
"It is no problem at all, Germany-san." Japan said politely.
"You are too lenient on him." Germany said, Japan just smiled. And then, Germany realized that the one spoiling Italy over was him. The main source in fact. He blushed, ashamed. Japan just reassured him that it was fine, that it was better to have company in the cold days.
"By the way, where are Hungary and Austria-san?" Japan poured some tea.
"I think Hungary said she needed to buy something. So, Austria went with her."
"I see." They sipped the tea, "Has Prussia-san called you?"
Germany set his cup down, "No, he hasn't."
A tense silence remained in the air for a few minutes until Japan spoke.
"I believe everything will turn out alright in the end."
"My brother doesn't think in consequences. He just barges in with all his might." Germany exhaled exhausted, "He is an idiot."
"Germany-san should give Gilbert-san a bit more credit." Japan poured some more tea.
Germany didn't comment, a deep frown on his face.
"When he's ready he will call you. After all, he is your brother." Japan said. "Do you not trust him?"
Italy curled up closer next to Germany's leg, Germany shifted his gaze to him. His eyes softened at the sight of Italy's innocent sleeping face.
"I do trust him," Germany adjusted his position for Italy to use his leg as a pillow. "I guess, I just don't want him to suffer again."
"Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu." Japan said to himself and then smiled facing Germany, "Gilbert-san will succeed."
Patting Italy's head unconsciously, "I know," Germany half smiled, "He's my brother."
Bottles of several branches of alcohol were scattered about the floor of the moving train. In the far corner of the cargo room two people were pressed against each other closely. The snow flew by rapidly as the speed of the train break into the air. The noise of the tracks of metal echoed all around them. Wood boxes were clustered along the space inside.
"будь здоров." Russia replied happily.
America sniffled angrily. Russia tilted his head to the side, thinking. "You're angry." He said with a smile.
America turned to the side with murderous intent, "You don't say?" America inched closer, looking about to snap. "I've been yanked around by you and your messed-up sister all around the globe! I haven't got a time to breathe normally since this whole mess happened! I've only eaten gross stuff and my boss is freaking out 'cuz he thinks I'm instigating a war! I even got Mattie involved! And who do you think the fault is?!"
Russia made a delighted face and laughed, "You're a funny guy."
"I'm not joking!" America screamed angrily, "I don't even know why I'm doing this!"
Russia was still staring at him with a smile, "Isn't because you're afraid of confronting England?"
America stilled. Now, Russia's smile seemed to be mocking him, "I think that you're just running away from him and helping me is a good excuse. Aren't you just lying to yourself?"
America opened his mouth but he couldn't retort to that. Russia's words weren't incorrect but they weren't right either.
"…I…" America began, "I might have done it for that reason at first. I was confused. I just couldn't accept it. I hadn't even once questioned our relationship. And it was okay with me. He was there. He was always there. So, I didn't have to worry. I was a fool. I am a fool."
Russia stayed quietly listening beside him.
"You know, these couple of days, I've been thinking. I've been thinking a lot. And, I love him." A gush of wind whistled outside, its cold making its way inside. "When I saw him with Prussia, he looked so happy. I hadn't seen him that happy since years ago. It hurt. But I want him to be happy…"
"Mm," Russia muttered standing up, "It doesn't have to be so complicated." He held out his hand to America.
"What?" America looked up confusedly at him.
"You don't need to overthink things, do you?" Russia smiled, pulling America up.
"You're not making any sense, dude." America said, looking suspiciously at Russia's hand that was still holding his hand.
"We'll talk about that later. We need to run." Russia pulled America to follow. They walked across the wagon.
"Wait, what, why?" America asked baffled.
"My sister is outside."
America gaped, "How?! We are in a train! We are moving!"
"You can't underestimate her training." Russia said serious.
"What kind of training did she have?!"
It should not be surprising. Belarus had been in pursuit of them across half globe.
"Well, it doesn't matter. I have everything prepared."
"Say what? When did you-! I won't bother anymore! You're totally nuts!"
Russia giggled and they heard a crash behind them. It was their cue to run as fast as their legs could carry them. They passed three wagons making people look strangely at them. Belarus was tailing them closely. Finally, before they could reach the last wagon. Russia stopped climbing the ladder on the side of the wagon.
He told America to climb as well. America yelled at him that he was crazy but he nonetheless climbed. Despite the situation they were facing, where a very angry girl would inflict agonizing pain to them, he was having fun. He felt like in one of the thriller films he loved so much.
They were walking carefully, the air hit them hard and the floor they were stepping on was covered in a thin icy layer. He screamed at Russia what the hell were they supposed to do now. Russia simply replied they had to wait. America was speechless. He was ready to yell at him some more when he felt someone behind him.
Belarus glared at him. America was frozen in place. Belarus took a step forward, her silver hair lashing in the air. She looked ten times more scary than usual in America's opinion. But he couldn't move. There was no place to run. America could only watch as Belarus face contorted in anger. He didn't know the reason why until an arm was wrapped around his chest.
America's felt as his body was being lifted from the surface of the train. He stared mesmerized as Belarus' form went farther and farther way from his sight. The noise of around him deafened him. He understood they were riding in a helicopter until they were flying overhead a white snowy forest.
He held tight at everything he could get a hold of; Russia's body was the only thing beside the rope that supported their weight. It was surreal. He was doing one of the things he loved in movies. Thinking back, he had been doing things only spies do in the movies. He laughed. It was so freaking awesome.
In that moment, he didn't think in anything else, Russia knew that. It was all in his calculations. It didn't have to be so complicated. America only needed to think in Russia. Russia smiled to himself, thinking in what he was going to do next.
'It's cold.' Scotland thought vaguely, his cigarette between his fingers while he leaned back looking at the clouds in the sky. He wore a thick black jacket with a pair of jeans and black boots, its outfit made a strong contrast with his red hair and green eyes. Passersby looked in his way, dazed by his strong features. Scotland was more than handsome and people noticed it but he did not care.
He wanted to be alone. He felt that he had lost and he feared it deeply. Scotland was aware of the frail relationship he had with England. He closed his eyes feeling the chill breeze wrap around him body. Scotland didn't know what to do. He had ruined everything. He wasn't sure of what to do anymore.
What could he do?
'Maybe I should pray to the gods?' he laughed. He was hitting rock bottom, since when had he thought of letting others to fix his mistakes? Never. But he was indulging himself in a bit of misery for the heck of it. Or was what he thought.
Scotland had never been good with apologies. He never will. England knew that, that was why he was looking at the sorry look of his brother glooming himself in park alone. England almost wanted to laugh. He sighed, taking a step forward, walking directly to where his brother was. He waited for him to notice but Scotland seemed absorbed in his thoughts.
England cleared his throat. Slowly, almost as if Scotland hadn't heard it, he opened his eyes and stared at England.
"I asked Connor your whereabouts and he told where likely you might be. Ta-da, here I am freezing my arse off because of you." That was England's greeting to his brother.
Scotland stared at England hard and long. Both were silent, likely thinking about what the other what's thinking. They were like that and only their brothers and a selected lot knew about that trait.
"Do you have plans for the rest of the evening?" England was the first to break the silence, his brother was yet to utter a word, but unlike Scotland, England had a mission to fulfill.
"Why do ye ask?" Scotland finally said something; his emerald eyes looked straight to England's. He was trying to understand without asking anything, but he couldn't for the life of him to get what his little brother was thinking.
"I came to invite you to my house." Was England's reply. It was simple, it was a short answer but it held so much meaning.
He might not be forgiving the things Scotland did the past few days but he was accepting his brother again. He wasn't rejecting him; in fact he was trying to amend their relationship.
Scotland still did not understand why.
"I looked you up in a tower. I changed the gender of your friends. I tried to kill that bastard. I controlled you with magic. I almost ruined our treaty. Am I missing something?"
"I think that sums up everything." England said pensively.
"And you still want me to go?" Scotland could not believe it.
England sighed, taking a step forward, getting closer to his brother, "Yes. You are my brother, for better or worse that shall not change. But don't misunderstand, I still resent what you did. However, I believe it is okay. I guess that to feel something is ten times better than don't feel anything at all. So, think of this as an opportunity to make compensations with whoever you consider necessary."
The breeze carried the chilly wetness of the early winter, it was cold outside but somehow, the coldness Scotland felt before England arrived had vanished.
Ash fell from Scotland's cigarette, he looked up, the sky didn't look so gray anymore, and "Won't ye tell the rest about that guy?"
England made a face, "Baby steps brother, baby steps. I don't expect Connor of the rest to behave any way better than you."
Scotland chuckled, "Ye are right."
"Shall we go then?" England held out his hand.
Scotland looked at his little brother's clear emerald eyes, he looked at how tall he was from that perspective, he looked there where tiny scars married the skin of his hands proof of countless of battles, he stared not at a crying little kid but a man standing proudly on his own before him.
Scotland half smiled, he stood passing England's side. For a moment, England thought he had failed but, "I'm hungry. Buy me something to eat. I'm not gonna wait to get to yer place."
England turned around to see Scotland standing not so far away from him with that superior look on his face, England sighed relieved, "I presume you don't have money on you?"
"God, help me."
They walked in a slow pace. England complained about something. Scotland ignored him. They teased each other until they got in the car. England drove, while Scotland stared at the road through the passenger's window. In the open wide sky, the sun made its way through clearing the clouds away and shinning all the way in their road.
"¡Buenos días amigo del alma!" Translates to "good morning dear friend." It's a very usual greeting between intimate friends. I don't use it though, it's too cheesy *laughs*.
"будь здоров" (bood' zdorov) Translates to "Be healthy." Which is the equivalent of bless you. At least that's what Google says. Believe in Google or not is the decision of our hearts *dramatictearrollingdowncheek *.
"Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu." Translates to "if you don't enter the tiger's cave, you won't catch its cub." Its meaning can be: nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can't do anything without risking something. Japan meant that Prussia was doing the right thing. And it works, I mean, he got England \o/.
A/N: It was an amazing trip we made with this story. I had lots of fun writing it and I enjoyed myself with your comments and reviews, they truly made me happy *smileyface*. I'm sorry for the last couple of chapters and my lack of updates but classes are really eating my time and brain cells but at least I finished it before I could beat my mark of lateness *ashamed*. Anyway, with this, we wrap up all the mess (lol) I made before. I'm not good with goodbyes or speeches at all but I just wanted to say to you all, thank you. Thank you for your support so far, it's been awesome. I hope you had enjoyed the new chapter! See ya another time *send hugs*!