LIBERAL OF FEET, AND LAVISH WITH HER HANDS

Fandom: Axis Powers Hetalia

Pairing: Prussia/Austria

Genre: romance, inexcusable fluff

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: APH belongs to Himaruya, and the countries factually belong to themselves. Or their bosses and the people that live there, rather.

Warning: none. Well, except the soppiness.

Summary: After a disastrous night at a club, Prussia makes amends and at the same time proves he's a closet romantic.

A/n: A very late birthday-combined-Christmas gift for dear Jacquzy. She requested PruAus fluff (or that was what I wheedled out of her), and them waltzing the night away has always been a scene I longed to write. So here you go, dear, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas! And sorry it's so late, I've failed at life lately. Also, fuck biology. Austria is a delicate ickle princess, and I have no shame.

Title comes from Lord Byron's The Waltz. No, I have no shame in admitting I googled a decent quote, for I am as intellectual as a rock and much less well-read.

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Austria wonders how on Earth Prussia talked him into this. All of it could only be described as his worst nightmare. The music is some hideous, repetitive beat made of electronic dissonance that has nothing to do with composition and melody and it drives itself through his skull like nails. The lights flash violently, whirling like dervishes through the entire visible spectrum and it's enough to make him nauseous if he tries to follow them. The people aren't much better, dressed ridiculously and grinding against each other with no thought to timing or rhythm, and the women are barely wearing any clothes, especially the ones on the speakers… Austria suspects he could never, ever be drunk enough for this.

Prussia, on the other hand… Prussia seems at home, basking in the strobe and nodding his head to the beat, blithely ignoring Austria's disgust and steadily worsening headache that promises to evolve into a migraine of epic proportions. He's chugging his second beer (Austria's own drink is left untouched), a grin plastered across his smug face. Austria loves him, but… This is where the line must be drawn, he thinks. This is too much, even to do for love.

When Prussia rises at the invitation of some creature to whom it seems clothes are a social more relegated to barely-heeded afterthought, he waits a moment longer before weaving through the crowd with no small difficulty, to the main doors. A bouncer offers to stamp his hand, and Austria recoils in horror and shakes his head; as if he'd want to return into that hellish pit! Once he's finally outside in the car park, the music is merely a dull thud and the smell of vomit clings on the air, but at least he's free. He breathes a sigh of relief, and promptly bends over and retches, adding his own to the sickening collection.

Wiping his mouth, he straightens, trembling slightly, feeling as if his head's been hit by a train. He staggers to the car and gropes desperately for his keys, sitting inside the cool interior as soon as its open.

Finally, sweet, sweet silence. It's the most magnificent sensation, even if his head still pounds like war drums.

It doesn't take all that long before his phone rings, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik wafting mono through the car, but even that's a nail in his brain's proverbial coffin. He answers, sighing.

"Where the fuck are you?" Prussia demands, shouting, probably from a combination of anger and music, and Austria winces. Too loud, too soon.

"In the car," he answers innocently, and Prussia huffs.

"Fine. Coming."

Austria feels a twinge of guilt at ruining Prussia's night, but that's soon pushed rudely to the side by another wave of nausea. He wishes Prussia could drive them home instead, but two beers are two beers too much. He manages to keep it down, by sheer willpower, and makes a sound of great discomfort, tilting his head back and closing his eyes, listening and focusing on nothing.

He only reopens them when the car door opens and Prussia throws himself unceremoniously in. He drums his fingers on the dashboard, clears his throat, and obviously waits for Austria to say something. Which Austria stubbornly doesn't. He merely watches the other, watches pale fingers and a slightly irritated frown.

"You could've told me you were leaving," he says, a little sharply. "I was worried."

Austria snorts. "I am perfectly capable of defending myself, despite the misconception you and Hungary so desperately try to cling to."

"I was still worried, though!" Prussia continues stubbornly. He finally turns and gives Austria a Look, but that soon falls away. A snowy hand reaches out to tuck some hair behind an ear – it's only going to fall back into place, but Prussia always does it anyway – and sighs.

"You look like shit, babe," he murmurs, worry set deep in his voice, and Austria laughs mirthlessly.

"Thank you for information I already knew." But despite his sarcasm, he presses against the hand now cupping his cheek tenderly.

"We're gonna go home now, 'k?"

Austria's never been so pleased to hear such a simple statement since the first declarations of mutual affection.

At home, he makes it as far as the hallway before his churning insides catch up with him again, and decided dinner is no longer a welcome guest. He dashes to the downstairs toilet, wrenches up the toilet seat and throws up spectacularly.

"Whoa, Specs!"

Prussia's now kneeling beside him, hand soothing over his back, and gently he peels off Austria's glasses. All the times Austria's been there, chiding him for drinking too much with his friends, mixing wine and beer and rich sangria. Well, the boot's on the other foot now.

"That didn't do you any good, did it?"

Oh, master of the obvious. Normally, Austria would simply pick from a veritable plethora of scathing retorts, but the guilt in Prussia's voice and the physical impossibility to actually open his mouth without something more than words coming out stays his tongue. He merely shakes his head, his death grip trembling on the toilet bowl, and sobs drily. His knees are numbing on the polished tiles, and the smell of air freshener is making his stomach roil like a ship in a storm.

He almost grabs for Prussia when he stands – no, don't go, stay! – but thinks better of it. Pride and silly things like that is something he still has far too much of.

To his relief, Prussia quickly returns, the deliverer with a glass of cold water and glorious pills for his throbbing head. He should probably take them on a full stomach, but at the moment he couldn't care less. He shakily gets to his feet, flushes the toilet and brushes his teeth, shivering, all while Prussia sits patiently on the edge of the bath.

"You'll feel better after this," he promises, and Austria thanks him with a weak smile. He down magnificent aspirin, fighting for a moment to keep them there before they settle, with some reluctance.

"Now. Bed."

Sometimes Prussia has his strokes of brilliance.

Austria can't even be bothered to change. He strips, clothes discarded haphazardly (something he's always scolded Prussia about) and flops prone on the sheets, uttering a mix between a groan and a sob. Prussia sighs gently – he's been doing an awful lot of it, like a worrywart mother – and cards a hand through soft brown hair, until Austria sleeps. And the musician's last thought before he's gone is 'never again'.

.

It takes him, his head and his hearing a few days to recover. His ears pay for his stupidity, and as much as he longs for his piano, he daren't touch her lest his head throb irrecoverably. Eventually, though, he manages a few small pieces, chopsticks, really. No Balakirev or Ravel just yet, thank you.

"Good to see you back where you belong," Prussia says, laying a kiss on his head as he plucks at the keys lazily. "I'm sorry about the other night."

Austria's hands slip and he winces at the clang he drags from his Leonie. Prussia, apologising? The world must truly be ending!

"Yeah, I mean… I should've known shit like this would happen, you being a delicate princess and all."

Ah, yes, he would have to go and ruin it. That's more like the Prussia he knows and admits to loving. He sighs and shakes his head.

"I should never have agreed to go. As much as I would do much of everything if you suggested it, that was a bit much for me."

"Ah, that's Austrian for 'a terrible fucking experience I never wish to repeat in a million lifetimes'," Prussia translates sagely, plonking himself beside Austria on the piano stool, his newfound favourite spot.

"Indeed."

Another kiss, this time to the cheek. "I promise I'll make it up to you, Specs."

Austria doesn't know whether to be worried or happy.

.

"Where are you taking me?"

Not that demands ever work with Prussia, but trying never hurt anyone. By now he knows perfectly well that Prussia lied about opera at the Burg, but he's still none the wiser about their destination. If it's somewhere he'll look foolish in a suit, he'll never forgive Prussia (of course he will, but it's the principle of the thing). Prussia merely clicks his tongue, winks and pulls into a car park that looks suspiciously familiar. Of course, it could simply be that Austria never has any idea where he is, and car parks do tend to look the same, especially at night.

Prussia pulls into an empty space with a lot less care than is appropriate, descends and opens the door for Austria with a sly grin. Austria glares at him, all narrowed eyes and huffiness, but he gets out nonetheless.

"What are we doing here?" he asks. He doesn't remember being here before, but he never does move far from home for fear of getting lost. Not that he'll ever admit it.

"You'll see, babe!" Prussia crows cheerfully, and takes Austria's hand, dragging him through the darkness to a what seems like an old theatre, one Austria might recognise, but then again, there are so many in Vienna…

Once they're through the doors, enveloped by warm light, everything changes. He can hear the glorious strains of a familiar friend coming from the belly of the theatre. Ah, Strauss… He takes him back to a time when he was at the top of the heap, and the waltz was the height of indecency. Oh, how he'd danced the night away with Hungary all those years ago, life an endless stream of balls and theatre, music and good food…

He's dragged from fond memories by a strong hand taking his, and a bright smile. There's no smugness in this smile, no teasing, simply affection and an eagerness to please Austria finds terribly endearing.

Through another set of doors, these larger and more ornate, and Austria feels like he's stepped back a hundred and fifty years. Couples waltz, dresses and tails flowing, and the orchestra is playing like it should, Roses from the South. He swallows, trying not to be overwhelmed and failing outstandingly, and he glances to Prussia, who stands out like a sore thumb with his puppy grin and hands in his pockets.

"You did this?" he gasps, touched to his core. Prussia looks a tad guilty.

"I wish I had the money," he says, sighing. "Nah, I found out about it, and thought it would be the best way to make it up." He bows, steps closer and offers his hand. "May I have this dance?"

Austria glances around, but no one is staring with judgemental eyes.

"Won't we make a spectacle?" he asks cautiously, so tempted to take that hand. Prussia scoffs.

"Come on, if they complain about the man who was there when this stuff was composed and these steps were made dancing with his boyfriend, their loss. Besides, I paid for tickets like every other fucker here."

That's convincing enough, really, and with a smile Austria demurely accepts the invitation. And then they're off, spinning in loops so familiar it's a marvel. He'd forgotten Prussia could dance like the best of them, could act like a proper gentleman when he wanted to. He'd forgotten they moved in the same circles once, all diplomacy and knife edges beneath billowing skirts and waltzes. But he's happily reminded now as they twirl, and he can't help laughing. So what if others see, and they care? This is the man he loves, damnably selfish and wonderfully romantic all at once, and what does the rest of the world matter?

Prussia leads, Austria will allow his ego that, at least, hand warm on Austria's back. Too tight to be correct, but lovers don't care for winning competitions. Austria's own fingers trace a shoulder, fleeting and full of heat, and his smile turn from joyous to soft, mellow and affectionate. Their feet never catch, strangely attuned to one another. Prussia returns the smile, turning Austria's cheek pink.

"Love you," Prussia murmurs, and Austria dips his head, flattered and overcome all at once.

It doesn't take long for hands to wander further than they should, true to the nature of a dance once thought so lewd. The tingle of fingers down his back, the hum as bodies grow closer together seemingly by accident, but entirely by design of the two dancers. Gazes become more heated, smiles more intense, thick with silent promises. When Prussia smiles like that Austria's knees go weak. His touch stutters, and how he longs to kiss him, how he longs to pull him away and have his wicked way with him! But dance is enough for now, and lust can be kept at bay for well-known steps. How Spain could ever think his flamenco the height of passion, or Argentina his tango, is beyond Austria's comprehension. Delusional fools.

The night's gone before Austria can even comprehend – time flies when you're having fun – in a whoosh of dancing and sparkling wine and other lovely things he hasn't had since there was one and eight in the year. Soon the orchestra is playing its last, and Austria's favourite. The Blue Danube is drawing to its head, Prussia whirls them one last time, and finally it stops, and they must stop too, much to Austria's regret. He could dance all night and day, if there is this music and his Prussia with him.

Prussia doesn't let go as the others applaud, although Austria does wish to. He merely kisses him, soft. And then the evening is over, and though Austria is disappointed, it was worth it. More than worth it. Maybe even worth that horrendous experience at the nightclub.

As they leave, people actually compliment them on their dancing. Prussia nudges him with a grin, and Austria thanks them, surprised. It is to be expected, really. After all, as Prussia said, Austria has been dancing this very dance to this music since it was first born.

The night air is cool on his merriment-flushed skin, and Prussia's laughing.

"I don't think I've seen you this happy for ages, Specs!" he says. Austria chuckles.

"I don't think I have been," he admits. Prussia face falls, and Austria realises the implications. Oh dear. "Not since you told me you loved me, at least," he amends softly, taking Prussia's hand in his and holding tight. He tucks their arms together, places his head on Prussia's shoulder. That perks him up enough, and he kisses Austria's hair.

Once they're home, Austria pulls him into another, rougher kiss. Although all this was done to expiate certain wrongs, it certainly deserves a reward. That Austria can reap enjoyment from it as well is simply a welcome side effect.

"To the bedroom?" Prussia suggests, allowing his hands to wander as they please as he grins, catlike in the dark.

"To the bedroom," Austria replies, sultry. Now to engage in a private dance very different from the rest of the night.