The Higher Man
A PruAus Fanfiction
Warnings: one-shot, human names used
**Commission for my friend, Aly**
"Gilbert!" Roderich called from their bedroom, sounding really incredulous and furious at the same time.
"What?" Gilbert yelled back from downstairs. His voice could barely be heard. He had recently just moved into the Austrian's house (or more appropriately called a mansion). It was ridiculously huge for a man who didn't really do much other than eat, play musical instruments, bathed and slept.
Roderich scowled, holding up a pair of boxers with ridiculously tacky print all over it. It even had the tag attached. Inside Gilbert's underwear drawer were at least five more pairs of new boxers, all unused, with their tags intact. Earlier this week, he also found three of Gilbert's boxers in terrible condition thrown into the garbage bag. Gilbert said that they were too damaged to be used and that he's had them since forever anyway. Mildly put, his partner was not pleased by his uneconomical decision. Roderich did not stop berating him for what seemed like two hours. He even flung one of Gilbert's discarded, holed boxers towards his face, fuming about how he's being so wasteful. They had a row about how Gilbert was mindlessly throwing money away and how Roderich was a thrifty, nagging aristocrat.
It seems like another argument will ensue, and it's still about Gilbert's underpants.
"I told you not to buy more boxers!" He yelled, throwing the tacky article of clothing back into the drawer in frustration.
Gilbert, who was downstairs in the "game room" watching re-runs of Eurovision, frowned deeply and sighed exasperatedly. He turned off the television and went upstairs into their bedroom, just to get this over with. "I bought those with my money!" He retorted.
"Your money?" Roderich snorted, placing his hands akimbo. "Since when did you have money, besides the money I give you?"
If it was possible, Gilbert would have turned paler than he could have now. "L-Ludwig gave me money! Don't go thinking my sole financial support comes from you."
Roderich eyed him skeptically. "Really now? Ludwig told me he had done no such thing, which means you either stole someone else's money to buy new boxers, or you used our shared bank account. Again." Of course he would have double checked. Ludwig's economy was all right now, but he had set an ultimatum for Gilbert, and refused to give him money most of the time he asked. He only obliged when Gilbert wanted more money for beer, because beer was one of the things Gilbert loved as much as he loved Roderich. Maybe even more.
"All right, so I did! A man's got to have a thrivin' supply of underwear, you know!" He protested.
"You do know I could really care less if you've got no boxers under your pants?"
Gilbert snorted with a smirk. "And wouldn't you like that, huh, liebe?"
"Don't 'liebe' me." He scowled, "And don't insinuate such foolishness."
"Tch, sorry, was just tryna lighten up the mood." The former nation rolled his eyes.
The other man groaned, clearly exasperated. He picked up the tacky boxer again, "Almost seven euros a pair? You could have at least purchased the ones from the thrift shop! Or better yet: you could have asked me to patch up your boxers! You're wasting your — no, OUR — money! I'm getting low on finances again, and you're just using it up on undergarments? There are more important things to spend on rather than new clothes." He paused and narrowed his eyes to a dangerous glare. "Maybe you do not feel the weight of what you are doing, since you're not the one who earns around here, anyway."
Gilbert's eyes widened, and he snarled. "Well, excuse me if I have no economy to keep me alive. In all honesty, I'd rather work for fifteen hours for my goddamned three meals a day than depend on anyone to sustain me, especially you!" He then proceeded to walk out of the room, utterly annoyed at Roderich's pompous attitude.
Roderich glared at him as he left, furious at the other's cutting words. How ungrateful of you!, he thought. Sometimes he just wonders why he even decided to date him. He decided to give up and shake his head, putting Gilbert's underwear back in his own drawer, before leaving the room as well, but going the opposite way, to his own little world.
He entered the room and locked the door behind him, his anger subsiding as he went in and took in the surroundings. The familiarity calmed him down. He sat himself in front of the massive piano, black and shiny, obviously tended to religiously. His fingers, used to this, began to move on its own accord and in an instant, he began to play. When he plays, he lets go, lets the melody run through his veins. He stays in there for hours on end, mindless of time and event, only concentrating on relaxing and becoming one with the harmony. The notes wash away the stress, the exhaustion, anger, disappointment, sadness and pain. It is only him and the music.
Much to his chagrin, though, he's been going in there to cool down after an argument a few times too often now.
Gilbert went back to watch more Eurovision, and heard the faint piano-playing from the opposite side of the house. He knew it was the first thing Roderich would do after a row. And it happened more often too. He didn't really like fighting with him like this. He thought defiantly about their recent argument, though. Roderich's biting snark kept on replaying through his mind, and he couldn't help but get aggravated and defensive. Am I prohibited from buying a few luxuries, huh? You act as if I bought underwear sown with thread laden with twenty-four karat gold!, he thought. But he knew he was wrong. It wasn't in him to apologise, though.
It was only one in the afternoon, but hours passed and the sun was slowly setting, the colour of the sunset spilling through the windows and into the room. Gilbert's cellphone rang, and he answered it. It was Francis. "What are you up to now, Franny?" He grinned, the broken silence cheering him up in the least. He turned down the TV volume so he could hear properly.
"What an unfitting nickname for me! Can't you do better than that?" Francis laughed on the other line. "Hmm, nothing much. It is very beautiful here in Barcelona, you know? The beaches are very magnificent and the architecture — oh, it is splendid! But you and I both know I am after the beautifully tanned Spanish ladies."
"What?!" Gilbert shouted in disbelief. "You went to Toni's place without even inviting me?! How could you?! I thought what we had was special!" He faked a sob, which made the other laugh.
"Oh please, not the drama again! I never should have divulged my secret get-away in Spain!"
"You bastard!" Gilbert laughed. "I don't even believe you!"
"I was only joking. I'm actually just here in France, cooking dinner already. It's very quiet and mediocre here, so I decided to call you just to hear your annoying cackle. Anyway, how about you, how are you?"
"Bad joke. I hope your snails burn or whatever you're cooking. I'm quite touched, though." Gilbert chuckled. "I'm okay, I guess..." He sighed sullenly and Francis asked him what was wrong. "Roddy and I had a fight. He kept nagging me that I shouldn't have bought new boxers because his money was on the low. He even made indirect jabs at me being an ex-country and all."
"Ah, well, you know him; he's a miser when it's possible. You two still have not come to terms with one another, though?" Francis chuckled and shook his head on the other line wryly. "You two remind me of... Ah, never mind. Just how long do you two plan to ignore each other, eh?"
"Hey, he's locked himself up in his piano room again, so don't look at me! Maybe he should apologise for being such a nagging pain in the ass!" He retorted defensively.
The Frenchman sighed on the other side. "So that's that? You're going to leave it? Mon ami, we both know he's not going to apologise. He's got too much of a pride to do so. And besides, when he locks himself up with his mistress, he forgets you exist!"
Gilbert laughed a bit. "Mistress. He's cheating on me with a musical instrument. See, even you know he wouldn't go down that easily!"
"Yes, he's got a huge pride... and so do you, Gilbert. ("Oi!") Do not deny it. How do you two usually solve conflicts like these?"
Gilbert scratched his head and thought for a while. Actually, they do fight a lot, but how do they manage to settle things down...? "Dunno. To be honest, neither of us really apologise; one of us has to talk to the other eventually, y'know? Can't really be avoided since we live together. And I guess it's water under the bridge from there."
"Non!" Francis exclaimed. "That kind of solution cannot go on forever. It's just like putting a huge row on hold — I know, it's just around the corner if you don't do something. This isn't just for you, it's for the both of you. Quit talking to me, and go apologise to him, won't you? And offer a romantic gesture while you're at it." Gilbert had this vision where he probably even saw Francis wink when he said that.
"Ehh, but the door's locked."
"And that's going to stop you? You have to stop being the higher man and admit you're wrong, even just this once. Now, adieu." With that, Francis hung up on him. Gilbert scowled at the other's rudeness, but he mulled over what he had just said. Glancing out the window, it was already dark outside, and the faint, low notes of Roderich's grand piano can be heard.
Gilbert stood up and turned off the television before heading to the kitchen. He thought of cooking for Roderich. Maybe he was hungry, after all those hours spent in the piano room.
He then found out that they ran out of ingredients to cook anything, and suddenly felt a pang of guilt thanks to his boyfriend's words. What if he had spent so much on his new boxers that they barely had money for groceries? He shook his head and got rid of the preposterous thought.
He opened the refrigerator and saw the box of cake sitting in the middle portion of the fridge. He got two slices of chocolate cake for the both of them and made coffee. Satisfied with the effort he had put in, he took a tray and started to walk to the piano room.
Roderich better forgive him and appreciate this so-called romantic gesture...
Breathe in, breathe out... Gilbert wasn't very good with apologies. In fact, he was terrible at them. He wasn't used to admitting his wrongs or saying sorry, and this made him nervous. He could feel his pride getting chipped off with every step he took; maybe he even thought of just turning back and pretending he had never thought of such a thing, and eat the two slices of cake by himself.
But no, he must do this.
He knocked on the door when he had reached the end of the hallway. His face was slightly flushed, and he gave a funny little jolt when Roderich answered the door. Don't be stupid, of course Roderich would answer the door, he chided himself for being so jumpy. It took him a while to begin a coherent sentence.
"I... Um, well, I'm sorry..."
"For what?" Roderich folded his arms across his chest. He felt calm and at the same time, felt the need to get all haughty again. Just a bit. He wanted to enjoy this moment. Gilbert? Apologising? Dear me, what has the world come to? Roderich laughed to himself.
"For... For spending our money without askin' a-and... For upsetting you." He managed to say. Roderich regarded Gilbert's peace offering with interest.
"I see. You have come to bribe me with pastries and coffee."
"This isn't a bribery! I really am sorry, you know." Gilbert pouted and Roderich chuckled.
He opened the door a bit wider. "Oh, are you now? Come in." He ushered him inside and let him place the tray on the table. "I suppose I should apologise as well. I'm sorry for making a big fuss about it, and for nagging you all the time. And also... for saying hurtful things."
Gilbert blinked, somewhat shocked. Did he really say sorry just now? His lips slowly curved upwards to form a smile, before leaning over to peck him on the cheek.
"Now all that is settled, let's have some cake and coffee, courtesy of me!" He grinned and Roderich smiled back before taking a bite of the cake. They ate and talked a bit, sipping their coffee and enjoying each other's company. Roderich wished they existed together like this more often. His world would be more pleasant if they had lesser fights, after all. Maybe Gilbert thought the same.
"Hey, you know I don't like fighting with you, right?"
"So do I, but it seems it is quite inevitable." He sighed. "What made you apologise, anyway? You rarely do that. The last time you apologised was when you thought you ran over the cat."
"Hey, I got really scared, okay? And well, Francis made me do it. Don't ask."
"Oh. I would have guessed as much." Roderich smiled wryly.
"Maybe some arguments would have been settled easier like this — if we actually just said sorry to one another and admitted we were wrong instead of being the prideful asses we are." Gilbert hesitantly sighed; admitting it got him hard.
Roderich looked at him curiously. What could Francis have done to actually make him think like that?
"I can't even count how many times we've bickered like a married couple, even before we started dating!" He laughed.
Like a married couple, you say...? Roderich smiled at the thought, imagining such things was his guilty pleasure. The thought of Gilbert actually proposing was utterly ridiculous, so he was left to his own imagination for it. Still... If, one day, hypothetically speaking, he did, he would say yes.
Gilbert snapped out of his monologue and took a look at Roderich who was smiling fondly at him, at the same time, looking quite spaced out. "Hey, you okay?"
"O-oh." He blinked and sat a bit more upright than already possible. "It's nothing."
Gilbert smiled gently as well, before standing up and offering Roderich his outstretched hand. Roderich hesitantly took it; not yet sure where this was going.
He was pulled up and into Gilbert's arms. He was then adjusted into a slow-dance position, a hand on his waist and another hand clasping the other.
"Shh, don't ruin it."
Roderich complied, and they began to slow-dance. Step, close, step, close, there wasn't even any musical accompaniment. In silence, he was led by his partner around the room. All they could hear was their breathing. The whole time, though, Gilbert was smiling.
"Remember when these were still all the rage back then?"
"Back then? Centuries ago, you mean." Roderich chuckled. "Who are you and what have you done with my Gilbert?" He shook his head, a tiny smile playing on his lips.
"Your Gilbert, huh? I was right here, all along." He replied cheekily, giving Roderich a twirl.
"Since when were you such a gentleman, hm?" He arched a brow, replying haughtily.
Gilbert gasped in mock-offense, "Oi, am I not allowed to be a boyfriend to you once in a while?"
Roderich's smile faltered a bit as he said to himself, I honestly do wish you were one a bit more. But instead he settled for a chuckle.
Gilbert swayed with Roderich a bit more before dancing around the room once more. He then dipped him for a grand finale, Roderich giving a slightly startled yelp. Gilbert leaned down and pecked the side of his lips. "I take it you're not as used to dancing as I am?"
"Hmph, I suppose not, but I do hope it doesn't give you bragging rights." Roderich laughed and he was positioned properly again.
"Nah, I'm already good with the fact that I just swept you off your feet." Gilbert cockily said.
"Now that's the Gilbert I know."
"You wouldn't have it any other way, huh?"
"I'd love you either way, anyway."
Times like these remind Roderich just why he started dating Gilbert, and he didn't have any regrets (most of the time).
A/N: So I'm taking fanfic commissions now. You guys can PM me for more info and shizz. uwu;;
This is my first finished commission so yeah. OuO Hope you guys liked it! It's my first time writing PruAus so yeah.