Chapter 9: Out on the Streets Again! Way to Go, Roddykins
A week passed since the Beilschmidt brothers were brought to Ivan Braginski's house. Both Ludwig and Gilbert were feeling much better now, and all three brothers were being taken care of. Roderich still tried hitting on Katyusha and Natalia, only to continually be rejected by the sisters.
Ludwig and Gilbert were woken up one morning by the smells of something cooking. Unknown to them, Roderich had gotten up earlier, and was miserably sleeping on the sofa in the living room after—once again—being rejected by Katyusha and Natalia.
Gilbert sniffed the air. "Mmm, what's that?" He grinned, his red-violet eyes alive again after nearly a week of hospitalization. He hopped out of bed, the footsy pajamas that Ivan had given him making him feel comfortable as his little feet touched the hardwood floor of the bedroom.
Ludwig got a whiff of what was cooking as well and descended the stairs with Gilbert. "Smells like pancakes, and maybe even wurst! I love wurst!"
"Hey, West, where's Roddy?" Gilbert asked once he saw that Roderich wasn't with him or Lui.
Ludwig shrugged nonchalantly. "Who knows? Maybe he's trying to get some chicks for his new harem again."
Gilbert laughed loudly, startling Irina, the maid who was, at the moment, cleaning up the mess that Ivan's Siberian husky, Exile, made on the floor. "Roddykins is such a playboy!"
Ludwig laughed a little as they neared the eat-in kitchen, where breakfast was being served. "I know, right? Stupid Roddy."
Ludwig and Gilbert entered the kitchen, a room that had brand-new appliances, including a gas stove. The floor was tiled, and the walls were a sky blue, with soft white cloud designs adorning them. The finished round wood table had a heaping plate of chocolate chip pancakes, another plate with bacon and wurst on it, and a jar of maple syrup and a stick of butter for the pancakes. Also on the table were glasses of cold Sunny D orange juice.
"Wow!" Gilbert exclaimed, his eyes growing wide as he took in the delicious food on the table. "Yummy!" He sprinted to the table and hopped into a seat that had a booster seat attached to it. The youngest Beilschmidt brother bounced and fidgeted happily and grinned as Ludwig hurried to the table as well, sat down next to him, and put two pancakes, a couple slices of bacon, and a wurst on the kid's plate.
"Thanks, West!" Gilbert said, and then started wolfing down his food.
"No prob, Little Prussia," Ludwig said, and then ruffled his baby brother's hair. He smiled as he saw Gilbert practically inhaling his breakfast. He was happy to have Gilbert healthy again.
Roderich walked in, shoulders slumped as he sullenly sagged into a chair across from his brothers and helped himself to some breakfast.
"Big Brother?" Gilbert asked through a mouthful of pancakes.
"What?" Roderich groaned. Then he talked with an authoritative voice…well, as authoritative a voice as someone like him could muster. "And don't talk with your mouth full, GilGil. It's gross, and impolite!"
Gilbert swallowed. "Sorry. And don't call me GilGil; you know I hate that!"
"Whatever," Roderich replied, then slowly started eating his food, sulking all the while.
"What's wrong, Roddy?" Ludwig asked with a tilt of his head.
"I still can't get a new harem!" Roderich whined. He dropped his fork and knife on his plate and put his head in his hands just as Ivan and his sisters entered the kitchen. "I'll never have a new reputation as the Playboy of Manhattan! Woe is me! I'll die harem-less!"
Ivan rolled his eyes at the German-Austrian young man. "Big freaking whoop. So you don't have a harem anymore. Is that really so bad?"
"YES!" Roderich exclaimed sadly. "What'll I do if I don't have a harem?! My father would be ashamed!"
"Don't talk about Daddy, Roddy," Gilbert said sadly, a couple tears making their way down the boy's cheeks. Ivan reached over, wiped Gilbert's eyes, and gave him a hug, telling him that it would be alright. "Please don't talk about Daddy like that."
Roderich sighed and put his fork down after taking a bite of a sausage. "Gilbo, I was talking about my real father, Frederick Edelstein, the Playboy of Salzburg, Austria."
"But you never even knew the guy!" Ludwig exploded in annoyance. "Mom said that he walked out on her before you were even born, dummkopf! He probably doesn't even know you exist, and if he did, he wouldn't give a flying fuck whether or not you became a playboy like him!"
"Guys, please, no fighting at the table," Katyusha pleaded, trying to get Roderich and Ludwig to stop. "You're upsetting your brother." She gestured at an upset Gilbert, who was being coddled by Ivan.
Roderich and Ludwig immediately stopped yelling at each other and looked over at their baby brother. They felt bad right away about upsetting him further, so they went over to comfort Gilbert as well.
"Ssh, Gilbo, it's alright," Roderich said gently as he hugged Gilbert and stroked his hair.
"We're sorry, Little Prussia, we really are," said Ludwig. He got Gilbert to look at him and smiled. "Don't worry, we won't fight anymore."
"Okay," Gilbert said quietly as Ivan, Roderich, and Ludwig hugged him.
Later, Roderich was still moping, much to Ludwig and Gilbert's annoyance.
Ludwig and Gilbert were playing Monopoly with Ivan in the living room, when Roderich came in and sullenly trudged to the sofas, then plopped himself there and absently switched to some classical concert that was going on somewhere in Europe.
Ivan landed on a property on the Monopoly board.
Gilbert grinned. "Welcome to Marvin Garden's, Ivan." Ivan couldn't help but smile at how adorable Gilbert looked with his grin with one front tooth missing.
Ludwig was just about to roll when he heard Roderich sigh loudly. He rolled his eyes and turned around to face his big brother. "What's wrong now, Roddy?"
"Natalia and Katyusha still won't go out with me," Roderich replied.
Ivan looked at Roderich. "Okay, Roddy, you need to stop going after Katyusha. She is thirty-two: much older than you. No offense, but she's looking for someone her age or close to it. Plus, she has two seven-year-old children—who are two of the sweetest kids on the planet, believe me—and I'm not entirely sure you'd make a good father for them. I think that's Kat's reason, too. Maybe I can convince Natalia to accept a date with you. Hopefully that will make her stop trying to marry me. I've been trying to set her up on dates with other guys, anyway."
"Really?" Roderich asked, brightening up at the prospect of getting a date. "Thank you, Ivan! Thank you! Danke!"
"No problem," Ivan said with a smile. He continued playing Monopoly with Ludwig and Gilbert, until Ludwig won in the end. Then he got up and, after a long while, convinced Natalia to go out with Roderich. Natalia agreed, but it took all her willpower to say yes.
That night, Roderich and Natalia went on their first date. They went to a good Italian restaurant. After their dinner, they went to the movies, where they saw the re-release of the 1997 movie, Titanic, and shared popcorn and candy. It turned out that Natalia had a secret love for romance films, as she was the one who picked the movie. Like a good boyfriend, Roderich put his arm around Natalia and consoled her when she burst into tears over Jack dying in the sinking of the Titanic, then again when Rose died and was reunited with Jack in the end.
The date went well, until Roderich saw Blair walking by after the movie; he had not seen her since they got off the boat! He was overjoyed upon seeing her, and Blair returned his feelings. While Natalia was in the bathroom of the theater, Roderich snuck out of the building with his voyage girl. They started making out in an alley between the theater and another restaurant.
"Oh, Blair, I thought I'd never see you again, schatzi," Roderich said.
"I never thought I'd get to hug you again, Roddykins," Blair said lovingly. Then she kissed him. "Or kiss you, my Mozart."
Roderich beamed at the pet name Blair gave him and kissed her again. They both shared a passionate moment, until they heard Natalia's angry and hurt voice. Both Roderich and Blair turned around and saw, to their horror, Natalia, standing in the alley, stricken with terror and hurt over what she had just witnessed: Roderich cheating on her! She looked like she was about to burst into a fresh new batch of tears.
"Uh…Natalia…" Roderich said, surprised that his date was no longer in the bathroom. "I-I…" He let go of Blair and stepped forward, but stopped in mid-walk when Natalia started backing away, fighting like hell to keep the tears from leaking out of her eyes.
"Roddy…how could you?!" Natalia exclaimed, her voice breaking. The tears finally leaked out, as she could no longer keep them back. Her tough exterior was shattered. "I thought you loved me." She turned and started walking away, wiping her eyes as she did so.
Roderich caught up to Natalia and hastily grabbed her arm. "Natalia, please! Please, you don't understand! This isn't what it looks like, honest to—" He was cut off by Natalia's shriek.
"Don't you dare touch me, you ass!" Natalia shouted, pulling her arm out of Roderich's grip. "Stay the hell away from me! I'm telling Vanya what you did, and, I assure you, you'll be out on the streets again!"
Roderich was stunned by Natalia's words and made to go after her retreating form. "Natalia, wait! Please!" He gave up when he saw Natalia get into the limo that had driven him and Natalia to the places they went to on their date. Boris drove off in a hurry, probably after hearing from Natalia what Roderich did.
Blair came out from the alley and put her hands on Roderich's shoulders. "Roddy…"
"I'm sorry you had to see that," Roderich said quietly. "I never meant for this to happen, Blair. I have to go now." He hugged and kissed her, then started to walk back to Ivan's house, leaving Blair confused.
Sometime later, Roderich arrived back at the Braginski house, where he was face-to-face with an angry Ivan, Katyusha, Boris, Natalia, Ludwig, and Gilbert. Roderich saw that there was a bag packed in the living room and looked first at it, then back at the angry party before him.
"Guys, hi," Roderich said uneasily as he stepped further into the house.
"Don't 'hi' us, Roderich," Ivan said icily. He glared at the Austrian-German with anger and hatred. "I trusted you with my sister, and you went and cheated on her with another woman instead!"
"You asshole!" Katyusha exclaimed. "Now I'm glad I never went out with you! I wouldn't want my kids around someone like you!"
"You were supposed to make Natalia happy!" said Ivan. "I trusted you with making her happy, and you betrayed that trust!" He stepped closer to Roderich, who was looking at his little brothers for help. Then he picked up the duffel bag and handed it to Roderich. "I packed some old clothes of mine that don't fit me anymore for you. I want you out of here, right now. This minute."
"But, Ivan, I'm sorry," Roderich said. "I really am sorry! I didn't mean to hurt Natalia! Truly I didn't. Please, don't throw me or my brothers out on the streets!"
"I'm not changing my mind," Ivan said, his glare never wavering one bit, except to look kindly at Ludwig and Gilbert, who were looking first at their brother, then at the man who took them in. "And I never said I was throwing Lui and Gilbo out, did I? I'm letting them stay, because it's not their fault that their big brother's a playboy. They didn't break my sister's heart. Plus, they're just children, and they need a better guardian than you."
Roderich couldn't believe what he was hearing. He watched in horror as Ivan went over to Ludwig and Gilbert, took Gilbert in his lap, and put his arm around Ludwig's shoulders. His heart sank when he saw that Ludwig and Gilbert looked upset that they couldn't change Ivan's mind about letting him stay with them.
"Roddykins…why, big brother?" Gilbert asked, sounding as if he was about to cry. "Why'd you do that to Natalia? She's nice."
"Gilbo, I…" Roderich said, but he couldn't think of any way to explain it so that Gilbert would understand without getting angry at him.
"Way to go, Roddykins," Ludwig said angrily. His glare pierced Roderich. "Now we're being separated from you, thanks a bunch!" He looked away from his big brother, ashamed.
Boris took out a gun and pointed it at Roderich while advancing toward the young man. "Get the hell out of Mr. Braginski's house! Now, you insect!"
Roderich left the house in a hurry, not forgetting the suitcase full of clothes. He looked back to see Ludwig and Gilbert looking at him.
"Roddy!" Roderich heard Gilbert call out to him as he ran from the house, not looking back. "Roddy, come back! Please come back!" It took all his willpower to not go running back into the house, where an armed Boris was waiting, and take his brothers out. He actually had to figure out how to get them out of Ivan's house and take them with him first, and that would take a while…unless he went to Blair.
Later, Ivan tucked Ludwig and Gilbert into bed. He smiled as he put the covers over the boys. "Good night, you two."
"Night," Ludwig replied quietly.
"G'night, Ivan," said Gilbert. He clutched Prussia as the Russian-American turned on the nightlight and exited the room, leaving the brothers to themselves.
"West," Gilbert said to Ludwig.
"What is it, Little Prussia?" Ludwig asked, turning over and looking at his baby brother.
"I want Roddy back," said Gilbert.
"I know, I want him back, too," Ludwig replied. "I know he's annoying, but he's still our big brother."
As Ludwig and Gilbert drifted off to sleep, meanwhile, Roderich trudged along the dark streets of Manhattan, until he ran into Blair getting out of a cab. He ran up to her just as the cab pulled away.
"Blair!" Roderich said desperately.
"Roddy?" Blair asked happily. Her smile fell when she saw that Roderich looked terrible. "Roddy, what's wrong? You look upset."
"This guy my brothers and I were staying with…" Roderich began, not sure if he would be able to finish the story. "He…he threw me out…after he found out what happened between me and Natalia after we saw Titanic."
"Where are Lui and Gilbo?" Blair asked.
"He kept them in his house," said Roderich. "He told me that my brothers need a better guardian than me…so he threw me out, but kept Lui and Little Prussia there with him and his sisters. I have to get them back!"
Blair looked horrified as she took all this in. Then she put her hands on Roderich's shaking shoulders. "It's alright, Roddykins. I'll help you, I promise. We'll get your brothers back. Who's the guy you've been staying with until now? We're going to have to break into the guy's house and get Lui and Gilbo out while it's still night out."
"His name's Ivan Braginski," said Roderich. "I'll show you where he lives." He took Blair back to Ivan's residence, where the girl marveled at how nice Ivan's house looked.
"This is it," said Roderich.
"Okay," Blair said. She went ahead and started circling the house multiple times, looking for some way she and Roderich could get in and get the boys out. After some tense minutes, Blair emerged back to the front of the house, a triumphant smile brightening her countenance. "Roddy, I found a way in! There's a window that has a light on inside! Come on!" She grabbed Roderich's arm and pulled him towards the place she mentioned: a bedroom window with a light on inside. Roderich and Blair took a look and saw that it was the room that Ivan had let the boys sleep in. The light Blair had seen was a nightlight in a corner.
"Thanks, Blair," Roderich said and kissed his girlfriend on the cheek. "You're the best. Come on, help me open this window, and we'll get the boys out of here."
"Right," Blair said urgently. She assisted Roderich in opening the window, and the both of them silently crept into the bedroom. However, it must have not been stealthy enough, because Gilbert woke up with a startled cry.
"W-West," Gilbert whimpered. He got out of bed and shook Ludwig while shaking in his pajamas. "West, wake up. I n-need you, bro. I'm sc-scared."
"Huh?" Ludwig drowsily asked. Then he noticed Gilbert shaking like a leaf, got out of bed, and picked him up. "There, there. What's the matter, Little Prussia?"
"I heard something coming inside," Gilbert said, his voice muffled due to him burying his face in Ludwig's pajama shirt.
Ludwig, being the protective big brother he was, held Gilbert more tightly and looked around the room like a hawk. "I don't see anything…Roddy? Blair?"
"Huh?" Gilbert asked. He cautiously poked his head up and looked in the direction Ludwig was looking, and then saw Roderich and Blair. "Roddykins! And he's got a girl with him!"
"Ssh!" Roderich and Blair said silently. They rushed over and hushed both boys.
"What are you doing back here?" Ludwig asked, his voice now dropped to a whisper.
"I came to get you guys out," said Roderich. "Blair helped me."
Gilbert went up to Blair as his brothers packed clothes for both him and Ludwig. He smiled. "Hi, I'm Gilbert."
"Oh, so you're Little Prussia," Blair said. "Nice to meet you…finally. My name's Blair." She picked Gilbert up and smiled at him. "Oh my gosh! You're adorable! I didn't meet you before, because the last time I saw your brothers, you had fallen off the boat here."
"Are you gonna be a part of Roddykins' new American harem?" Gilbert asked as he, Blair, Roderich, and Ludwig hopped out the window.
"Sure, why not?" Blair said and grinned, looking at Roderich.
"Blair…you'll be a part of my new harem?" Roderich asked hopefully.
"Of course, my Mozart!" said Blair. She and Roderich hugged.
"Yuck," said Gilbert.
"Get a room!" Ludwig yelled at his big brother and Blair. They glared at him until he said, "We have to get going right now!"
Roderich, Blair, Ludwig, and Gilbert all ran away from Ivan Braginski's house and back onto the cold streets of Manhattan.
"Roddy, do you and your brothers have any place to go?" Blair asked.
"Don't worry about us," said Roderich. "We'll find somewhere to stay for now."
"Why don't you guys come stay with me?" Blair offered.
"No, thanks," Roderich said proudly. "I can manage my brothers on my own. See you later, Blair." He and the boys took off before Blair could persuade them to accept her offer.
A little later, Roderich and the boys came upon another group of homeless people sitting around a fire and sleeping in or under whatever they could find.
"Come on, boys," Roderich said to his brothers. "Let's join them."
"Okay," Ludwig said as he carried a now sleeping Gilbert while following Roderich to the fire and makeshift shelters.
Author's note: Danke- Thank you (German)
Schatzi- Dear; Honey; Treasure (German)