*Apparently, I've had this chapter written for a while. Oopsie.*
Prussia slept well during the entire flight to Venice, and once he managed to get to sleep in the hotel, did so soundly as well. It was a well-deserved rest, and now that he was actually doing something about the problem, he could put his worries about his brother aside just long enough to get a few hours of peaceful sleep.
He'd received weird looks for his bright purple, tailor-made suit in his home country, but his style, while still unique, stood out far less on Italian territory. His Teutonic ancestry was one thing his suit couldn't hide, and the next day as he sat back in a gondola, he received a good number of gazes of temperaments ranging from fearsome to lethal from the Italian citizens. His purpose in the city had nothing to do with sentiments of war (ignoring of course, the fact that the war was what had caused the rift between friends in the first place,) so he found it easy to ignore the people around him and focus on the address written in Germany's leather-bound notebook, secured in his inner coat pocket.
"This is the address, signore," the rather gruff, flatly-voiced gondolier informed him as they stopped in front one building in a row of beautifully crafted flats. Prussia thanked the man and asked him to wait, before stepping out of the boat and entering the open-air complex.
He didn't need to look at the notebook again; the address had burned itself into his consciousness from the moment he decided to go there, and settled into the crevices while he was biting his covers in the hotel, trying to keep from hopping up and raid Veneziano's house at one in the morning.
Four flights of stairs later, he was where he needed to be. Even though he was eager to continue on his mission, he couldn't help but notice the beautiful view from the fifth floor outlook on the opposite side of the building. No wonder Veneziano had a place here. The sun reflected beautifully over the gently rippling canal wa-
No time! Prussia refocused, and knocked on the door, only to receive no reply. "What else is new?" he muttered, making an attempt at the doorknob. Of course, it was firmly locked. He should have brought lockpicking equipment with him, but the idea eluded him before his arrival.
"And who knows when that lady will be back to check on the place…?" He ran a hand pensively through silver locks. He didn't have any better ideas, so he allowed his instincts to take over. Maybe his body could think of something.
Last time he trusts his instincts. LAST.
The leap to the balcony was a feasible five feet to the right, but the angle made it difficult (although the balcony stuck out, the outlook at which he was standing was constructed flush against the masonry,) and the consequences for failure were somewhat severe. Still, he'd seen that the window was cracked open, and it was the only sure way into the unit.
Before he could further convince himself that this was a very bad idea, he was perched on the railing, ready to leap. The old, rusty connections under the painted metal protested, but held tight. "Okay, Preußen. You are far too awesome to not be able to do something cool like this. You will be fine, because you are awesome, God knows it, and he will look out for you."
Meanwhile, in Heaven, the bearded man turned around, ears perked.
"Did I hear summin'?"
"Right. God is totally looking out for you. So on the count of three. Eins, zwei… DREI!"
Doing his best to avoid but stay as close as possible to the edge of the building, Prussia jumped. His right fingers just barely found a hold on the smooth stone of the balcony, and he used this to swing up his left hand in order to get a better grip. He'd done it! His right fingers were screaming bloody murder, but he had a firm hold. Lifting himself up and over, he was more than elated to see the slightly opened window in front of him.
"Thank you, God!" Prussia prayed quickly. He lifted the stubborn window with his left hand, and slid into the unit.
He found himself in the kitchen, one that he recognized as furnished with all of the top-of -the-line, 1940s innovations in cooking. However, although the kitchen was tidy and dust-free, it still gave off a neglected air. It hadn't been used in years.
Prussia's thoughts were quickly pushed aside as the green book on the kitchen bar caught his attention.
"Far from misplaced…" he muttered through gritted teeth. The mission once again interrupted his other thoughts, and he nearly tore the book's binding apart as he thumbed through it for Romano's address.
"Sicily! Sehr gut! And his number is here, too!" Prussia grinned. With no hesitation, he hunted down Veneziano's phone, and dialed the precious digits.
After a couple of rings…
"It's me, Prussia!"
"What the hell do you want? It better not be what I think."
"Romano, please, just-"
"Hear me out, damnit!"
"Can I take that as my cue to speak?"
"Hurry it up."
"Veneziano is suffering just as much as West is, isn't he?"
"I don't know what y-"
"Romano, come on. You can't tell me that Veneziano isn't miserable. W-"
"Don't try with your pathetic attempts to suck up to me by calling him Veneziano."
"Sorry." An awkward pause. They were both quite obviously on the same page, so Prussia cut the crap. Romano was a big kid; he could handle the straight and obvious truth. "You know getting them back together is what they both need."
"My brother doesn't need anything to do with you bastards. Prussia, you're an alright guy, for a kraut. I had a higher opinion of you than to take you for someone who'd defend a guy who may have killed you."
Prussia faltered for a second as the memory of his loss of statehood hit him. Being so busy taking care of Germany, he hadn't had time to think about it, and didn't want to start now. "…West had no part in that," Prussia said in a darker tone. "And still, that doesn't change the fact that he's my little brother. And I'm going to look out for him."
Romano snorted. "You call him West like you're still on equal terms."
"Don't push this off-topic. Bottom line, West and Italy need to apologize and rekindle their friendship. We all just lost a war. They need to be there for each other."
"Like I said, Veneziano doesn't need-"
"He does, Romano. You know it. You can't be his older brother and not know it. West and Veni need each other. And if you're not going to help me get them back on friendl-"
"I'm warning you now. Stay away from my fratellino," he growled hauntingly.
"Whether or not he wants to be around me or West isn't your decision. It's his. There's a difference between trying to look out for him and trying to force what you want on him."
"You're only getting one warning, Gilbert." The line clicked.
Prussia sighed and laid the phone back on its hook, taking a seat in a nearby kitchen chair and running both hands through his hair. Sure, he didn't expect convincing Romano to be as simple as giving a convincing monologue, but Romano's reaction had been more than negative. The second Prussia gave a hint he was thinking about taking action on his own, Romano had immediately become viciously opposed. "Warning", he had learned during the war, had two meanings to Romano. The first was the standard definition. The other had more of an ignore-it-and-don't-wake-up nuance.
This knowledge, however, was not one of the cars on the train of thought that was barreling down the "good idea" track of his brain, straight into the "plan of action" station. This train had only two message on it: Go to Sicily, and talk to Italy directly.
'If I hurry, I may still be able to catch a plane,' he thought to himself as he fled the apartment and nearly flew down the stairs. He took the gondolier by surprise as he jumped back into the boat.
"Do you know if there is a flight leaving for Sicily soon?" Prussia more demanded than asked.
"Mi dispiace, signore. The flight service has not been resumed since the war." This was the longest sentence the man had made so far.
"There are planes available for charter at the airport, though."
Prussia smirked in satisfaction. It might cost a bit extra, but he could get there. "Then, I need to go back to the hotel, as quickly as you can."
As the gondolier went to work, Prussia sat back, mind racing under the influence of adrenaline. 'Preußen, quit that. There is no reason to get so worked up, when you cannot do anything.' He breathed deeply, exhaling his buildup of stress, and finally allowed himself to take in the Venetian scenery.
'Someday, West, I will come here with you. Someday soon. I promise."