Warnings: some language and sexual references/content (Yaoi, boyxboy), incest-don't like, don't read!
Disclaimer: Hetalia and its characters belongs to Hidekaz Himaruya, but this story idea belongs to me.
"I hate you! I hate you I hate you I hate you!"
Ludwig looked up from his multiplication worksheet at the sound of his brother's voice ringing through the house. Footsteps rushed up the stairs, past his bedroom door, and down the hall to Gilbert's room. A door slammed shut, making the family pictures that hung in the hallway rattle in their frames.
Ludwig waited in trepidation, but did not hear his father's footsteps following. Silently, he slipped off his bed and peeked into the hallway. It was empty.
Downstairs, he could hear the sliding door that opened onto the back porch open and shut. His father had gone outside.
Cautiously, Ludwig padded down the hall and knocked softly on his brother's door.
"Gilbert? …Gilbert, can I come in?"
There was a pause, then a wet "I just wanna be alone."
Ludwig hung his head. He wished he could make his brother happy. So often, he seemed sullen or angry. The only time he seemed happy was when he was doing something that would only get him into more trouble with Dad. Ludwig tried to warn him, but Gilbert just brushed him off or got annoyed, complaining that Ludwig was being "un-awesome" and that big kids didn't have to listen to stupid parents. That always shut Ludwig up. He didn't want Gilbert to think he was un-awesome.
Ludwig had turned away and started trudging back to his room when he heard Gilbert's voice through the door again.
"Wait, Lud—" The door opened. Gilbert stood there, eyes red-rimmed and downcast. "You—you don't have to go. You can come in, if ya want," he offered.
He stood back and let Ludwig into the room, then closed the door again.
Ludwig perched on the foot of Gilbert's bed. Gilbert flopped down beside him, sprawled out on his back. Ludwig decided to lay down too, looking over at his brother.
"What were you arguing about?"
Gilbert sniffled. "Nothin'. Just somethin' stupid."
"…It didn't sound like nothing."
"Tch." Gilbert turned to him and ruffled his hair. "Stop being a smarty-pants."
Ludwig pouted. "I'm not."
Gilbert sighed. "It's just…" He sniffed again. "It's not fair! None of my friends' parents are even half as strict as him! He doesn't let me do anything! It's like, he thinks I'm just gonna get into trouble if he gives me the tiniest bit of freedom."
Ludwig didn't say that Gilbert seemed to get into plenty of trouble even without more freedom. "Well… maybe you can negotiate something. Maybe you could talk and see what you could do that would prove you're responsible enough to have more freedom."
Gilbert narrowed his eyes at him and snorted. "You'll be a great diplomat when you grow up. Or a lawyer or something. Anyway, it's easy for you to say. He listens to you. He just doesn't listen to me."
Ludwig bit his lip. He wanted to say it wasn't true, but even at 11 years old he was well aware of the fact that he could get what he wanted from their father much more easily than Gilbert could. Gilbert knew it too; it was why he often asked the boy to make requests and suggestions for him, though it didn't work in every situation. Ludwig could ask if he and Gilbert could play soccer, or for the family to go to Gilbert's favorite restaurant, but he couldn't ask for them to go to PG-13 movies, and he certainly couldn't put M rated video games that Gilbert wanted on his Christmas list.
Gilbert's face screwed up again. "He won't let me go to this party tomorrow just 'cause the guy who's hosting's parents won't be there. But like, half the grade is going! This is why no one thinks I'm cool! This is why I don't have more friends…" He broke off, lips quivering as he struggled to hold back tears. He sniffed and set his jaw determinedly.
"…I think you're cool," said Ludwig quietly.
Gilbert snorted, but the corner of his mouth twitched up a bit. "Thanks, Lud. Tch, I don't need more friends anyway. I like being alone." He glared at the ceiling.
"But… you're not alone," Ludwig said, confused.
Gilbert looked at him. "What?"
"I'm with you."
Gilbert smiled a little and rolled his eyes. "I meant in general, stupid."
Ludwig frowned. "I'm not stupid."
Gilbert snorted. "I know, don't take everything so literal."
"It would be, 'don't take everything so literally' because it's an adverb, not an adjective."
Gilbert stuck his tongue out at his younger brother. "Whatever. I'm too awesome for grammar."
Ludwig looked at him skeptically. "But grammar rules apply to everyone. Even presidents have to use correct grammar."
"Our current president messes up grammar all the time. So there." Gilbert frowned. "But, actually he isn't awesome, so… never mind. But Lud, no one's gonna think you're cool if you're always such a grammar Nazi."
"Daddy said not to use that word."
"I don't give a fuck what Dad says."
"Gilbert!" Ludwig squeaked, scandalized.
Gilbert laughed at him. "It's so easy to get you going."
Ludwig pouted. "Stop teasing me."
Ludwig crossed his arms. "Why should I?"
"Because, otherwise…" Gilbert's eyes gleamed mischievously. "I'll get you with the slobber finger!"
Ludwig squealed as Gilbert licked his finger and darted it out to poke his brother's cheek. Ludwig grabbed his wrist to stop him, but Gilbert's fingers were long and he still managed to twist his wrist so he could touch Ludwig's bare forearm with the wet finger.
"Eeww!" Ludwig rubbed his arm off frantically on Gilbert's shirt.
Gilbert laughed and licked his finger again, causing Ludwig to practically scream in terror. They wrestled around on the bed, Gilbert's laughter punctuated by Ludwig's string of "stop it stop it no please Gilbert no nonono!"
Finally Gilbert relented. "Kesesese, fine fine, I promise not to."
Ludwig stuck his tongue out. "Meanie."
Gilbert smirked and lay back down beside his brother. He fell silent, looking at the ceiling. Ludwig waited, wondering what he was thinking.
Gilbert looked over at him. "I wish I was more like you."
Ludwig blinked in surprise. "Why?"
Gilbert looked down, suddenly sheepish. He shrugged. "Just… Dad loves you more than me," he said quietly.
Ludwig's eyes widened. He wasn't sure how to respond to that. "I… I don't think… no he doesn't." He knew that's what he was supposed to say. He knew parents were supposed to love their children the same.
Gilbert was silent. He looked like he was holding an egg in his mouth and trying not to crush it. But then he swallowed it, and Ludwig could almost follow the lump going down his throat with his eyes.
"Things would be different… if Mutti was here," Gilbert whispered.
Ludwig held his breath. Gilbert hardly ever talked about their mother. She was always Mutti, because she hadn't come to America with them, when their father started insisting on speaking English at home.
"He, he blames me, that she left." Gilbert was staring into space, recalling a distant childhood in a distant country of which Ludwig had no memory.
Ludwig waited, but Gilbert didn't say anything more. "…Why do you think she left?"
Gilbert shrugged morosely. "I dunno. I was only four, and you know Dad won't talk about it. Maybe it was me, for all I know."
"That doesn't make any sense. Why would she leave because of you?"
Gilbert didn't respond immediately, just breathed in and out a few times. "I don't know. Maybe she didn't want to have to pay for medical stuff, like my eye surgery. Dad says… well, one time when I asked him, all he said was that she wasn't ready for kids. I mean, they had to look after me, especially early on. My vision was even worse before the surgery, and all the stuff about skin care, on top of normal kid stuff. Or maybe… maybe she just didn't want a kid who looked like me. You know, moms want a kid that other people will be jealous of, right? And who would be jealous of me?"
Ludwig stared at his brother, unsure what he should say. Gilbert was just lying there, looking at the ceiling. Something was nagging at Ludwig's mind though. "Gilbert… do you wish you looked like me?" he asked hesitantly.
Gilbert stiffened. He turned his gaze on his brother, and there was something in his eyes that Ludwig couldn't quite recognize, but it made him squirm and wonder if he shouldn't have asked. But then Gilbert looked away. He shrugged. "Sometimes I wonder what I would look like if I wasn't albino. I think I would look like you. But whatever. I don't care."
Ludwig was confused. Without thinking, he blurted out, "I wish I looked like you."
"No you don't," Gilbert spat, a little more viciously than he intended.
Ludwig's lip quivered. He thought that would make Gilbert happy to hear. And it was true, too—sometimes, when Ludwig looked in the mirror, he wondered why he and Gilbert were so different, why Gilbert was so unique, while he was so boring. In fact, everything about Gilbert seemed exciting, while everything about him was plain, looks, personality and all. He would wish then, that he too had hair that shone like white gold in the sun and eyes like pools of fire.
"Wh-why are you angry at me?"
Gilbert sighed. "I'm not. Just… you don't want to look like me, trust me."
Ludwig pursed his lips. He disagreed, but he kept that to himself.
"…What did Mutti look like?" Ludwig had asked before, but he always liked hearing Gilbert describe her. Their father didn't keep any pictures of her in the house, at least not that Ludwig had ever seen.
"I've told you, Lud."
"Tell me again."
Gilbert sighed again. "Okay. I don't remember her very well, but I remember her being tall, though maybe that's just because I was little. She had blond hair, but not as blond as Dad's. Kind of ash-blond, maybe, or strawberry—I'm not sure. I think she was pretty solid—not fat, or super skinny. I remember her being soft, though. That's what I remember best, when she would hold me and I'd cuddle up to her. She was warm and soft."
It struck Ludwig that he had no recollection of anyone ever holding him like that. His father wasn't very physically affectionate, and Ludwig had always been more reticent about hugging than Gilbert, though he had no idea why. Maybe this had something to do with it.
"What was she like?" he whispered.
Gilbert thought for a moment. "I can't say for sure. I mean, I remember being in her arms, and I remember her standing at the stove cooking something that smelled good, and this snatch of her driving the car... but I also have these vague memories of her being angry, with me or Dad… I don't know. I do remember her scolding me for sneaking extra dessert once. Oh yeah—and there was this song she would sing at bed time to get me to go to sleep… I don't remember how it went." He blinked a few times. "I guess I loved her."
"You miss her?"
"I didn't get to know her well enough to miss her. But, sometimes I wish she was here, or that we had a mom. Not just Dad."
"Gilbert… do you hate Dad?"
Gilbert was silent for a long time. He chewed his lip. "No," he said quietly, "I don't really hate him. I just wished he loved me more."
"I should go." Ludwig's eyes connected with his brother's over the pillow where their heads rested. "I should shower before class."
"Oh, right." Gilbert swallowed. Yes, they both needed to shower. Because of what they had done last night.
Lips, soft as two petals, pressed against his and lingered for a moment.
It filled Ludwig with a giddy joy to kiss his brother like that. But it was still so foreign; every touch seemed so new. It was thrilling, but it made him nervous. He was testing the waters. Feeling in the dark for the strange, redefined, warped boundaries of their relationship. Was a sweet goodbye kiss too close to what a boyfriend would give? What was truly brotherly about any of this?
He drew away from the kiss, and without waiting for a reaction slipped off the bed and grabbed his clothes off the floor.
Gilbert watched him as he dressed, his eyes unreadable. "When will I see you again?"
Ludwig turned to his brother. The words felt like something out of a movie or a novel. Is that what their lives had become? A story of forbidden romance, lovers meeting in secret? Or was that too favorable a picture of what this really was?
"When do you want to see me again?"
Gilbert stiffened at the question. Then, carefully, he spoke: "Tonight?"
"Sure." Ludwig nodded, trying to seem casual, not letting on how much that one word meant to him. His brother wanted to see him again, tonight. Maybe this was okay after all. Maybe Gilbert really did want it too.
Gilbert breathed an inward sigh. He needed that reassurance. He needed now, more than ever, proof of Ludwig's love, to know that Ludwig really didn't hate him, to know that everything would—just maybe—be alright. He had been relieved beyond words when he had awoken this morning to find Ludwig still slumbering peacefully by his side. But still, he worried that Ludwig might change his mind, try to do the noble thing, and run away again. He worried that someday soon he might find that Ludwig had left without warning, bags packed and car gone.
But for now, he could worry less about that, and more about what would happen tonight.
Professor Kirkland cleared his throat. "So, in chapter six of Part Two, Emma has sunk into self-pity because her desire to be a virtuous wife for Charles cannot outweigh her desire for Leon. Let's take a look at what happens when she goes to the church, seeking spiritual guidance. I'm going to read a bit of the exchange between Madame Bovary and the priest, when she's trying to express her distress, starting on the bottom of page 75:
"'"Yes," said he, when he returned to Emma, unfolding his large cotton handkerchief, one corner of which he put between his teeth, "farmers are much to be pitied."
"Others, too," she replied.
"Assuredly. Town-labourers, for example."
"It is not they-"
"Pardon! I've there known poor mothers of families, virtuous women, I assure you, real saints, who wanted even bread."
"But those," replied Emma, and the corners of her mouth twitched as she spoke, "those, Monsieur le Cure, who have bread and have no-"
"Fire in the winter," said the priest.
"Oh, what does that matter?"
"What! What does it matter? It seems to me that when one has firing and food-for, after all-"
"My God! my God!" she sighed.
"It is indigestion, no doubt? You must get home, Madame Bovary; drink a little tea, that will strengthen you, or else a glass of fresh water with a little moist sugar."
"Why?" And she looked like one awaking from a dream.
"Well, you see, you were putting your hand to your forehead. I thought you felt faint." Then, bethinking himself, "But you were asking me something? What was it? I really don't remember."
"I? Nothing! nothing!" repeated Emma.'
"So… what's happening here? Who'd like to give their interpretation?"
Ludwig kept his eyes down on his book and pretended to be reading something. He hadn't finished the assigned pages for this week. Kirkland didn't usually call on people who didn't raise their hands, but Ludwig didn't want to take any chances. And he didn't want to disappoint his teacher.
Mathias, of course, was ready with an answer. "Well, it seems to be illustrating just how little people know of each other. I mean, the priest is supposed to be there to help people, but he's completely oblivious whenever she tries to bring up her problems. It really shows how far off the mark someone can be about what somebody else is thinking. Which is important in other parts of the book, too, like later when Emma's husband is so clueless that she's having affairs with other men. He's completely blind to her contempt of him and infidelity."
"Exactly." Kirkland nodded.
Ludwig grumbled inwardly. The walking-talking SparkNotes had done it again.
Just then the door opened and a latecomer tried to enter the room as discreetly as possible. Kirkland ignored them and went on, but Ludwig happened to glance up, only to immediately bury his nose back in his book.
It was Angie. Ludwig had almost forgotten he would have to see her today.
She took a seat at the back of the room. Her usual seat next to Ludwig wasn't open anyway. It took him a few seconds to zone back in on what Kirkland was saying.
"…a basic failure of communication. And that, that inadequacy of words to communicate true inner experience, that lack of true connection between minds, is indeed very important for the rest of the book. There is a pervasive sense of the futility of interpersonal relations; for all Emma's extra-marital affairs, she never achieves the happiness she expects they will bring. She leads, ultimately, a lonely, isolated existence, as she cannot reconcile the differences between fantasy and reality."
Something in Ludwig's brain clicked. He raised his hand.
"Yes, Ludwig." Kirkland graced him with one of those pleased smiles that Ludwig always craved.
"Well, it's just, that reminds me of what we were talking about with Don Quixote. They both seem to be making a sort of commentary on what happens when people try to live out their fantasies, or when they can't settle for reality, or play by the rules of society. Though—" he swallowed, hoping his point made sense, as he felt he had a personal stake in it—"neither of the books actually seem to be portraying society in such a great light either. So it raises of the question of how we're supposed to view these people who don't play by the rules. Are they just, stupid? Criminal? Because, Madame Bovary is committing adultery. Or more like martyrs?"
Ludwig winced a little. Maybe "martyrs" was going too far. At least, he wouldn't call himself a martyr for sleeping with his brother.
But Kirkland's smile grew wider as he tilted his head to the side, the way he did when he was thinking. "That's a very interesting point. And I think an argument could be made several ways. The Don Quixote comparison is an intriguing one, especially if you think of Leon, Emma's first love interest—he reads books too, right? Romances. And he longs to live them out in reality, much like Don Quixote and his adventures.
"But let's leave Cervantes aside for the moment and think about Flaubert: how does Flaubert want us to view Emma? With compassion? Pity? Understanding? Contempt? And what role does society play in this book? Is it an oppressive force? But let's be careful when thinking about martyrdom; is Flaubert really going so far as to present Madame Bovary as a martyr, and saying that society ought to change, to allow more sexual freedom, or even simply more freedom to pursue one's fantasies, whatever they may be, or is he saying, 'this is the way things are, tragic but true, and we must learn to cope with it or fall to our ruin with the Madame Bovarys of the world'?"
Ludwig didn't like the sound of falling to ruin. He didn't say anything more for the rest of the class.
His mind drifted back to last night, to Gilbert's hard body against his, his warmth all around him under the sheets. He wondered what Gilbert had in mind for tonight. He wondered what Gilbert had in mind for the rest of the week, the semester, the year—and how often would they see each other after Gilbert graduated? Would Gilbert want to break off the affair then, if it even lasted that long? Would this continue their whole lives, or maybe only until Gilbert married—but what about Matt? Gilbert had talked about them living together next year—would he still want Ludwig then? Or what if Matt found out? Gilbert would never forgive him—
Suddenly Ludwig realized he was bending the pages of his book in distraction. He quickly tried to smooth them out, and not think too much about Gilbert.
At the end of class, he was grateful that Angie left quickly, so he was spared any awkward interaction. Looking back on it, he was actually quite ashamed of how he had acted with her. What kind of guy did she think he was? Would she tell her friends the whole story, how he'd asked her to do anal when they hardly knew each other?
He was so wrapped up in these thoughts that he didn't notice Professor Kirkland coming up to him as the rest of the class filed out the door.
"Ah, Ludwig, do you have a moment?"
"Oh, sure, professor."
"You know, you make some really insightful comments in class. Are you considering English as a major, by any chance?"
"Uh—" Ludwig was caught off-guard, but flattered. "Th-thank you, um, well, I was considering it—"
"Jolly good! Unfortunately, I never had much success convincing your brother to follow that path, though he really had a lot of promise. What's he doing again?"
"Music and history. But not music history, just, music, with a focus on production, and Central European history, I think, for a double major."
"Ah, well, he must be busy then."
"Yes." Ludwig nodded. He would prefer to get off the topic of his brother as soon as possible. He knew he was paranoid, but he was afraid of giving something away, or that somehow, Kirkland would be able to tell.
Kirkland nodded awkwardly. "Yes. Well. Anyhow, what I wanted to say is that, if you ever want to discuss the English major, feel free to talk to me. We could meet for tea perhaps—or coffee, as you Americans prefer."
"Oh, yes, thank you! I'd like that."
"Brilliant. Whenever you like. Well, so-long Ludwig." Kirkland picked up his briefcase, waved, and was out the door.
Ludwig's chest swelled a little as he left the classroom. Coffee with professors was one of those things he heard about other students doing, mostly older though—when they'd established a relationship. It meant a teacher really noticed you and took an interest in your work. It seemed, to Ludwig, very adult. He found himself wondering if Mathias had met Kirkland for coffee already. He secretly hoped he was the first in their class.
"Oh hey Ludwig!" greeted Feliciano as Ludwig entered their room. "I never saw you last night! Did you come back?"
"Oh, uh, no, I—stayed at Gilbert's."
Ludwig blushed slightly. "Well, uh, yes. I was—studying. With him. Or, in his room. And it got late, so." He didn't look at his roommate as he took off his coat and hung it in the closet.
"Hm. Don't you get tired of sleeping on the couch? Or does he have an extra bed?"
"No, I just share—" Shit. Maybe he shouldn't have said that. Feliciano assumed he slept on the couch, because it was weird for brother's to sleep together. Even in a non-sexual way.
But now he'd put his foot in it. "Um, I usually sleep in Gilbert's bed." He tried to sound as nonchalant as possible, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
Feliciano's face screwed up in confusion. "You mean you sleep together?"
That's one way to say it.
"We've shared a bed often enough, since we were little. It's not that weird." He defended.
Feliciano's brow remained furrowed in thought for a moment, but then he shrugged. "Oh," he said, but he still looked confused.
Ludwig trailed his fingers along Gilbert's neck and stroked his hair. Gilbert made no response, eyes still on the floor.
Ludwig stopped. "What's the matter?"
Red eyes flickered up to his, then back down. "Nothing."
Ludwig rested his hand on his brother's back. "Is everything okay?"
Gilbert was silent for a long moment. Then he stood, getting off his bed and shrugging away from Ludwig's touch. "It's just… I don't know if I can really… jump into things." He swallowed. "Like that."
A knot formed in Ludwig's chest. "But I thought… you wanted…"
Gilbert turned to him. "I mean, it's not like we have to have sex every time we see each other, right?"
Ludwig blinked. "Oh, I guess, I mean—no, of course not, I just… I, I thought…" He looked down, frowning and berating himself for feeling so disappointed and hurt at that. He shouldn't—what Gilbert was saying made complete sense.
Gilbert sighed. He ran a hand over his face, and sighed again. "Wait a minute, I'll be back."
Gilbert left the room and went downstairs. Ludwig waited, wondering what his brother was doing, and what had changed since that morning. Maybe, when Gilbert said he wanted to see him tonight, he hadn't meant sex in the first place. Suddenly Ludwig felt very stupid and embarrassed.
Gilbert returned several minutes later. He locked the door behind him, walked over to where Ludwig sat on the bed, and began kissing his brother fiercely.
Ludwig was surprised, but responded happily, until he tasted something that made him pull back in shock.
"Gilbert! Did you—did you just go to get a drink?"
Gilbert tried to pull his brother's face back to his, but Ludwig pushed him off. "Are you drunk?!"
Gilbert let go of him and looked away. "Well, it's starting to hit me, yeah."
Ludwig stared at his brother in disbelief. After a few wordless moments he started, "And—and what, you thought I just wouldn't notice? Or that I wouldn't care?"
Gilbert was silent.
Disgusted and angry, Ludwig rose from the bed and grabbed his coat to go. Gilbert stopped him.
"Wait, Lud, come on—"
"No! I'm not—You need to get drunk to stand the thought of having sex with me now? Is that it?"
"I just—I just—" Gilbert looked at him helplessly, leaning against him with his hands balled up on his chest. "Don't go. I wanna be with you tonight. I told Mattie I had too much work to come over 'cause I wanted to be with you tonight," he pleaded.
Ludwig glared. "If you wanted to be with me then why did you have to drink?"
"I just… I just… need to get used to it, you know? Please… please…" Gilbert's hands were kneading into Ludwig's shirt front. His head loomed closer.
The better part of Ludwig said he should leave, but he lost all willpower when he felt his brother's mouth on his jaw and neck.
"I'm not even that drunk," Gilbert whispered hotly against his ear. His breath smelled of vodka.
But Ludwig was already aroused. He let his brother push him into the big comfy chair. Gilbert dropped down between his legs and began tugging at his pants. Ludwig helped him shuffle them down his thighs.
When Gilbert's scorching, velvet mouth enveloped the head of his cock for the first time, Ludwig nearly screamed. His head lolled back against the chair as Gilbert sucked him, though occasionally he managed to look down to see the head of white hair bobbing up and down, those blood-red eyes gazing up at him through feathery white lashes.
Just like he'd imagined so many times… but not quite.
A/N: And so it begins/continues. This is the sequel to "Obsession," in case you didn't catch that, and I highly suggest you read that series first! I hope you all enjoyed this start to the sequel! I have so much work to do right now, but I just really felt the need to get it started. Probably won't be able to update for a couple weeks at least, though. Hope everyone has a happy holiday season!
Please leave a review, if you'd be so kind! They're like Christmas come early to me, really. I love knowing what my readers are thinking! Thanks so much for reading and supporting this work!