Author Notes:

-Well here it is. We're finally at the end. It's been 8 years since I finished a novel-length work. Yes, that long. I can't believe I actually did it. Thank you for all the support throughout this piece, and I hope to see you all in the sequel!

-Also, this is probably a bit silly and a little short, but it was fun. :)


One Month



Prussia stared out at the ice and cringed back. Even if he had promised, he was regretting it and they hadn't even started anything yet. First off, it was freezing as hell. (Or as cold as hell was hot, if he wanted to be technical). Secondly, they were about to go onto the ice...on purpose! Even buried underneath layers of warm clothing (because what the hell a serious Canadian winter was...cold as fuck! - which wasn't technically cold, either, but whatever). Thirdly, he was having flashbacks of old nightmares and memories of when he was too young to technically remember things...but there was a lot of thought and fear of drowningunder the ice. Which was as frightening as being an atheist and learning that God really did exist...

"Gil? Something wrong?"

Trying to gulp down his absurd fear, he turned to Canada and gave his typical grin, even though he could feel it twitching. "N-No, I'm f-fine." He would chalk the stuttering down to the fact that it was freezing.

To his dismay, Matthew had learned how to read through him and was frowning, the little spark of excitement slowly dying. "Is it really that -"

"Don't say it!" He snapped, feeling his face heat as he reached up to tug the beanie down over his eyes. "Verdammt, I'm too awesome to be scared of a little ice."

He could feel Birdie grab his hands and then push the beanie back away from his eyes so they could lock gazes. The stupid blush was still on his face; he could feel it right over his nose – probably made even more obvious because it was so cold out here. It didn't help matters to see his Birdie smiling.

"It's okay, Gil. We all have our fears." A peck to the cheek and Prussia felt his face heat up more, even as his heart began to calm down. "Don't worry. I'm here, and I do this all the time."

The fact that they weren't alone in the park didn't make the whole situation any better. Scared of a little ice. No, terrified, really, because of something in his past that was all hazy and like a too-real-nightmare. Children were skating on the ice. Children. They weren't scared out of the minds. They weren't worried about the ice breaking underneath them, about falling in the center of the lake, about being unable to come back up for air, about a freezing darkness that enclosed around...

He shivered. "Hey, Birdie, I know I promised but..."

The look Canada gave him. The sad but slowly accepting. The mask hiding his disappointment. "Oh, I guess, if you-"

It made him steel his nerves and quit being such a crybaby. After all, it's just a little ice, right? "Never mind, you're gonna help me get this shit on, right?" He said, lifting the skates and forcing a grin.

Birdie looked a little confused at first, but he soon smiled and nodded. "Oui." Holding his hand, Matthew soon led him to a bench. "Sit down."

Prussia laughed as he followed the order. "Kesese ~ Getting demanding on me, Birdie?"

"Don't even start, Gil," Canada responded, being surprisingly quick on his comeback.

Supposedly hanging around with Gilbert was enough to make anyone gain a quick tongue. He didn't know; that's just what his friends sometimes said. Francis in particular. He smirked, letting his eyes wander around the park scene, taking in the snow covered landscape and the people. Gott but he hadn't expected to see so many people out in such cold weather. Though he did suppose it was nice minus the cold, what with the sky looking so blue and the sun showing itself even if it wasn't warm enough to melt the ice.

When he brought his eyes back to the blond-haired Canadian, he found himself forgiving the man his crazy request. Ice skating. Why on earth had he ever agreed to do something so foolhardy? Then again, watching his lover work the skates onto Gil's feet and then look up with the most excited smile...he had to smile back. That was why he did crazy things. To make his Birdie smile like that. At him. Because of him.

"The things I do for you," he muttered to himself, glad to see that Canada hadn't picked up on it.

As his lover sat down on the bench beside him, working to get his own skates on, Gilbert looked out at the frozen lake again. He found his eyes most especially watching a couple with a little girl. Watching as they were showing the child how to skate...and then letting her go on the ice on her own. She fell, of course, bursting into tears, only to be picked up, reassured, and they would repeat the process. Each time she seemed to get steadily better – and would give less and less complaints about falling.

Still, Prussia found himself wincing. "You're not gonna make me go alone, are you?"

Turning to his Birdie when he got no response, he was quite devastated to see a little smirk and spark of amusement in those blue-violet eyes. "Now, Gil, how are you supposed to learn otherwise?"

"I don't want to learn!" He snapped before he could think, grimacing the moment he heard the tone in his voice echo back at him.

His Birdie didn't look at him, turning to the frozen lake, mouth closed but eyes watching the scenes of couples and families and even the single ones lost in their own excitement. It was almost like the whole town was out here at the park today. Even the older ones, though they sat on other benches or were busy walking dogs – who of course didn't care about the snow. Gil only wished he could be one of them now. If he could be a mortal and be old and not have to worry about -

"Come on, Gil." Canada's voice and then a hand tugging him to his feet had him confused...and then startled.

Apparently, even after being snapped at, Birdie wasn't going to quit. For his part, Gilbert let himself get pulled to his feet, feeling so incredibly awkward trying to stand with these skates on. If Gilbird was here – the lucky bird had stayed home, not one to like the cold, either – he was sure the bird would be laughing at him. Or yelling at him for snapping so at Canada.

"Birdie, I -"

And then he was shocked senseless. Canada's lips touched his own, catching him with his mouth open and setting a hand behind his head as if to keep him there. Not that Prussia would back away from a kiss, even if he wasn't dominating it. If this was Matthew's way of convincing him, then the man knew exactly what he was doing.

Pulling back, Canada met his eyes, letting him see the twinkle behind the nation's gaze. "You promised, but I'll promise more than a kiss if you just try. For me, Gil?"

Verdammt, but you know just what to do, don't you?

He groaned, but nodded his head. "Ja, let's get this over with."

His Birdie smiled then, the smile that made everything worth it, grabbing his hand and turning around to lead him to the ice. The dreaded ice. The lake frozen over. With every step closer, he felt like he was getting closer to his death bed. In his memories, he could almost see the fighting. He remembered it was against the Russians. Something from his childhood. Trapped on a large frozen lake when the ice began to crack...when everything went wrong...

A jolt brought him back to the present and he blinked, finding his feet no longer on solid ground. Immediately, he was clinging to Canada, as they moved forward, as he was pushed forward. He could hear Birdie laughing at him, and it made his face blush, though a big part of him didn't care because he was moving on ice going closer to the center. Balance was difficult; he wanted nothing more than to crouch down and make it stop, but Canada kept pulling him along.

"Relax, Gil, it's safe. Trust me."

Matthew's words were reminiscent of a different time, of a moment when Gilbert had said something similar to Canada when he had gotten his lover to give in to something he wanted to do. Whether or not Birdie chose those words on purpose, it had an effect on Prussia. It made him stand taller – a little wobbly but forcing himself to feel more confident if anything. He stopped completely leaning on Canada for support, opting instead to cling to the offered arm alone.

The truth was, he didn't feel any safer, wanting to shut his eyes as Matthew began to skate him around. "Come on. Training wheels have to come off sometime."

He shook his head vehemently. "N-no they don't! This is just awesome enough, ja?"

Before he could complain further, Matthew pried out of his grip and spun to get behind him. Gloved hands went to either side of his waist and started to guide him around the frozen lake. He wasn't sure what to do with his hands, falling back on the natural reaction, holding his arms around to either side, waving them around as he tried to keep his balance. Eyes widened and he grit his teeth, now forced to go wherever his Birdie guided; he hadn't even picked his feet up, yet, determined to fight this whole skating idea.

"All right. I'm letting go now."

He yelped. "No, wait, Birdie!"

And then the hands were gone. The training wheels off. He heard Matthew's light chuckle behind him and he felt like a little child losing control on their first bike ride. Besides the fact that a flash of his memory cracked into his mind, of the ice cracking and so many people falling, drowning... he also had no idea how to steer. No idea how to move. No idea what to do besides keep going forward.

"Not awesome! Not awesome! Not awesome!"

He supposed he should consider himself lucky to have run off the side into a snow bank. Even if it was freezing, made his face feel like he had been staring into a freezer for too long. Groaning as he pulled himself out of the snow, he was shocked once again to discover that Birdie hadn't chased him down.

And there was a kid looking down at him, the blond pig-tailed girl he remembered watching earlier. She smiled down at him, her hands behind her back. "It hurts worst the first time."

He blinked, finding himself sitting down in the snow and ice, stretching his legs out. "Ah – good to know?"

She giggled, blue eyes somewhat sparkling against the white all around her. "Your accent's funny."

He grinned. "That's 'cause I'm actually Pru – uh – German. I'm actually German." He only changed his mind because it was a kid, and a cute girl who was trying to be helpful and friendly...and there was no way someone her age would know what a Prussian was – and that would bring more questions than he cared to answer.

To his delight, her eyes widened. "Whoa ~ That's cool. You're a immi – imminigrant?"

"Immigrant," he corrected, still grinning. "And, yeah, sort of, I guess."

Glancing behind the girl, who had started to move her feet, skating at the very edge of the ice, awkwardly keeping balance, he noticed Canada talking to the parents...while skating around. Graceful as all get out. Every movement perfect, as if he were an angel on the ice. Just watching him made Gilbert realize how ridiculous he must have looked out there. Well, he was perfectly happy sitting right here, even if it meant he was left talking to the child while Birdie chatted with the adults.

"Why do you have red eyes?"

He grimaced at the question, used to wearing something over his eyes whenever he went outside to meet general public. Sunglasses were the most common thing nowadays. Hats had been great at concealing the albinism in early years. Kids usually were the worst about being curious when they shouldn't be, asking questions they shouldn't be; granted, Prussia had gotten used to such questions over the years from the younger folk, even if it had been a long time.

Before he could actually answer, though, the parents skated over to their area, the blond-haired mother getting just behind the little girl. "Sara, you know better than to bother strangers."

"Aw, I didn't mean to, mummy. I was just curious. I saw someone else the other day, too, but she didn't hear me when I asked..."

Interesting. Another albino somewhere nearby? Gilbert thought his condition was rather rare for that to happen, but -

"Oh child, there was no girl the other day. It was just your imagination."

"Was too! I saw her! She was about my age, too, but she disappeared before I could talk to her!" The girl huffed and then the mother looked over at Gilbert, giving a nod and sigh as if trying to apologize for her daughter's behavior.

Before Prussia could even comment, Canada skated up, grinning as he crouched down beside him. "Gil, this is Mr. and Mrs. Clark and their daughter, Sara, who you've met." When Prussia raised an eyebrow at Birdie, Matthew continued. "They've invited us to have tea."

The woman must have noticed Gilbert's disgusted face because she quickly added. "Or coffee, if you would prefer."

"Ja," he said, finally getting a word in before someone else could interrupt. Something he wasn't exactly accustomed to. He grinned. "Coffee for sure. Got kinda sick of tea a long time ago. Kesese~"

Though the couple would have no idea what he was referring to, Matthew did send him a little warning glance. Ah, yes, keep the nation thing a secret, but still visit with the people. Whatever you want, Birdie.

He wasn't too keen on spending the rest of the afternoon with common people and being unable to speak of his awesomeness as a Prussian, but if Birdie wanted to fulfill his little quota of civilian visits, then he supposed he should go along for the ride. Besides, at least the little one was interesting. He'd always much preferred the children. At least after his years raising Ludwig.

"Guess we're done with the ice-skating?" He grinned, looking up at Matthew.

With a roll of his eyes, Canada responded, sliding off the ice into the snow with a too-graceful-to-be-real step. "Guess so," he said, reaching a hand out to help Prussia to his feet. "You got off lucky this time."

"Kesese~ I'll make it up to you later," he replied, taking the hand and getting awkwardly to his feet.

There was a glint in his Birdie's eyes when he responded. "Yeah, you will." A grin. "After all, we have all season, don't we?" Prussia had the sense that his little innocent Canadian was going to find ways to prove his first impressions all wrong, and it sent a little excitement running through his veins just at the ideas of what Matthew could come up with to make him pay for cutting the ice-skating short. All season, indeed...


A/N: Well, that's it. I feel like that was terrible, but eh – I always feel like it's terrible. XD I bet it went somewhere you didn't expect! Random OC family, like wut? But guess what! Everything has a purpose, haha ~ Why the girl? Because...well...consider it foreshadowing if you read the sequel. Also Kairi has a few words:

-Kairi's list of "plot holes":

1)Germany and Italy took like, two minutes to go back to normal

2)America's head wound will never heal because Iggy keeps giving in

3)Spain is yandere

4)Romano doesn't care

5)There's a gun in their house

6)Guy cut in half never got cleaned up

7)France is captured – nobody cares

8)Russia's still capturing people – probably the Nordics

Historical References:

Battle on the Ice: Spring 1242 – Teutonic Knights battled Russians on a frozen lake – and at a disastrous loss, just to give some reasoning to Prussia's fear and chopped memories here. According to contemporary Russian chronicles, after hours of hand-to-hand fighting, Alexander (Russian Prince) ordered the left and right wings of his archers to enter the battle. The knights by that time were exhausted from the constant struggle on the slippery surface of the frozen lake. The Crusaders started to retreat in disarray deeper onto the ice, and the appearance of the fresh Russian cavalry made them run for their lives. When the knights attempted to rally at the far side of the lake, the thin ice began to give way under the weight of their heavy armour, and many knights drowned.

~Thanks to EVERYONE who gave a review/alert/favorite/etc and look out for the sequel "One Season" (ah hah, the ending line makes sense now, doesn't it?)~

-Oh, and there's a poll on my profile, because I do plan to work on this sequel, but I have pushed other things to the side for a while, so if you want me to keep focusing on the PruCan or if you want a focus on something else, then let me know!