Today was a bad day. Hands down probably the worst you have had in a really long time. First, your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere; second, the only place that you happened across while walking and looking for at least some cell reception was the one person’s home that you hoped to never see unless absolutely necessary. That person’s place was the one and only ‘Burg Preußen’, home of the ever obnoxious and thoroughly narcissistic man you had come to loath – the ‘Awesome’ Gilbert.
Do not take this the wrong way though. Just thinking about that man caused your heart rate increase twofold and your face to turn a pale shade of pink. It did not help that you had once seen him playing in the lake with his younger brother. The pale skin over that sculpted body – you could not stop thinking about it. Never would you admit it, but you do like him. Hell, you think you really had a big crush on him. The two of you were rivals though and there was no way that you could admit that you liked him to anyone. If he knew – if anyone knew – you would be seen as weak. If people knew you were in love they would tease you, they would lose faith in your strength and Gilbert would laugh at you.
There was no way that he liked you back. Right now that did not matter. Right now you needed to get someone to help with your car so that you could get out of there as soon as possible. As you walked up to the front steps of the huge, centuries old castle you did not see Gilbert’s car parked out front with the other two. With a prayer for luck to be on your side, you lifted the heavy knocker and let it drop three times. You could hear the echo through the thick wooden planks.
Not long after the door was pulled open and you were met with the well-built chest of a certain blonde general. Unlike many girls, this sight did not fluster you – had it been Gilbert the situation would have been different. A small smile crept onto his lips. The two of you had known each other for a long time. The long standing rivalry between his brother and you had given you the chance to interact with the child. He was sweet but he was also stubborn like his brother. One thing that set them apart is that Ludwig was organized, clean and overall polite.
“Hallo, _____. What brings you here of all places?” he questions.
You could not help but smile. “My car broke down and I cannot find any cell reception… so I walked and came across this place. How are you Ludwig?”
“I am alright. My brother is not home right now but I also hate to inform you that we are currently dealing with some downed telephone wires and such, so we don’t have any phone service.”
Biting back the sigh of defeat you stepped into the large foyer. “I guess I’ll stay here then until this all passes… if that’s not a problem?”
Ludwig just chuckled and closed the door behind you. You walked into the living room and plopped down in the couch there. Closing your eyes and relaxing, you soon found yourself asleep. The sleep was relatively undisturbed-
-Until you started dreaming. Gilbert was playing in the water on his own. You bit your lip and tried stop the blush on your face. Then he turned to you and you froze. That smile enchanted you and that pale slender hand reaching towards you pulled you close. Following its call you stepped into the water – not even realizing you were in your favorite bikini. Once near him he swept you up into his arms and leaned close – before throwing you into the deeper water.
You surfaced, sputtering and annoyed at his childishness but unable to overcome the feeling of joy in your heart. For once the two of you were close without needing to yell at each other for one thing or another. Suddenly there were arms around your waist and your head went under. Shocked you struggled in the arms. Before you knew it you were facing your attacker. Underwater he looked even more angelic. His graceful movements and his strength, his silly puffer fish face and the way his hair made a shimmering halo around his head heated up your face despite the cool water.-
Only when your mind decided to pay a visit did you realize that you needed to breath. After struggling against him for a couple more moments it was apparent that he was not going to release you. There was no way that you were strong enough to do anything else but submit to him. The need to breath became stronger and stronger until you released the breath you had held. Water would fill your mouth as you breathed in – you knew it. But it did not.
No, instead, there were soft lips on yours and air in your lungs. For a moment there was bliss. Your arms wrapped around the person’s neck and leaned into the kiss. Only when the kiss began to deepen did you open your eyes to see Gilbert.
Then you woke up with a start.
Hovering about you was none other than the dreamy man himself. The smirk on his face said that he was more than satisfied with something. That scared you. Standing and facing him, you glared. He just kept smiling. You hated that smile – at least, the competitive part of you did.
“What do you want Gilbert?” you snapped.
His smile only widened. “I was going to ask you the same thing~ I just come home and find you sleeping on my couch. And~ Unless you were waiting for me to come home so that we could start a fight for old time’s sake, I figure that you were here for a favor~” Even though you forced yourself not to, your glare faltered. “Keseseseseses! You are here for a favour. What might it be, huh? The Great and Awesome Gilbert will do it if you bow to m- OW!” he exclaimed as a large hand hit him up the back of the head.
Ludwig was standing at his side. “Leave her alone bruder… she’s been through enough today.”
With a couple mumbled curses, the white-haired man left. You let out the breath you did not realize you had been holding. That always happened. You wished it would not, you wished that the two of you could get along – really, you did. Gilbert just chose to fight with you all the time. The worst part is that neither of you could best the other. One would win, then the other. You were caught in a vicious cycle that was both annoying and far too fun to stop.
A heavy hand fell on your head. Nothing needed to be said. Your face lightened up a little. Ludwig was really a good comfort. He was good at just listening. The moment was destroyed when a very excitable red-head rushed in.
“Ludwig! Ludwig!” Feliciano cheered as he glomped the larger man.
“Gah!” the blonde cried as they toppled over.
You sputtered out a laugh that you were trying to hold in. The Italian boy nuzzled close to the German, repeating his name over and over. The large man just closed his eyes and tried not to yell at the younger. When Feliciano finally got up he turned and hugged you tight. With a chuckle you embraced him as well.
“It is good to see you too Feli, it’s been too long,” you greeted with a smile.
“Oh!” he pulled away. “That’s kinda why I’m here! My fratello and I are holding a party! We wanted to invite Ludwig and Gilbert! You can come too, ______! It’s tonight~”
Ludwig pinched the bridge of his nose, “That’s not all that much notice Feliciano…”
“We’d love to go Feli.”
“YAY! We’ll see you tonight!” he leaves without another word.
Ludwig looked down at you when you looked up. The two of you smiled. Today might not be as bad as you first thought that it would be.
The car ride to the Italian’s home was never peaceful. That was the trouble with Ludwig making the foolish decision to stick you and Gilbert in the same vehicle. Thankfully, he was driving and there had yet to be an accident but he looked like he was willing to get into one if it just meant that you two would finally shut up. Upon reaching the house, neither of you remembered what the argument had started out with, nor how you had gotten to arguing about whether American beer was better than German. You had always liked German better, but some part of you just said that American was better to start a fight for no reason.
“Please try and exercise some self-control at this party you two alright?” it was more of a demand than anything from a very irritated German.
The two of you promised, but you shared a smirk that Ludwig knew all too well. Tonight was going to be very loud. Everyone else was already there at the party. All of the other nation representatives had arrived near noon. Alfred was up on the table near shit-faced already. Francis was on the couch with the representative of Seychelles and Monaco under his arms. Arthur was grumbling in the corner to one of his imaginary friends and not caring about the looks he was getting. You spotted Matthew in the corner talking to the Cuban representative – at least he was not alone this time.
Unlike a lot of others there, you wanted to be able to remember tonight. Even so, you did not struggle when Gilbert dragged you over to the snack table. The music was loud, the snacks were good and the drinks appeared endless. Things became a slight blur as the night wore on. It was too much fun to stop. Soon though, the music dipped to a near quiet drone, nearly drowned out by the snores around you. There were only seven of you left sitting – sort of. Gilbert, Antonio and Francis – who were bad enough together when they were not drunk- Elizabetta and Roderick – who were far too close together – Ivan – who was more terrifying – and you. Well, Ludwig was off somewhere else in the house taking care of Feliciano and Lovino but he did not count.
And, just like any partygoers would do when everyone else was out, you all decided to play truth or dare. The perfect party game to play when you were all drunk and hopefully would not remember what happened. The truths were simple and the dares were careful at first – then it came to Francis’ turn and everything turned upside down. He looked at you with that smile and you were suddenly worried.
“Truth or dare mon chere?” His eyebrows twitched up.
“Dare…” you muttered.
“Hm… I dare you to kiss Gilbert~” Little had you known then that he knew your secret.
You gulped. This was not going to end well. More times than you care to admit in these last few hours you nearly let slip that you liked him. Thankfully he never heard it, whether it was because of the loud music or someone else talking to him. Now, you were drunk and being dared to kiss him. This bad and awkward situation got worse as you felt a hand on your cheek. Not just any hand though, Gilbert’s hand. You hated how you noticed the slight roughness of his callouses and how the gentle stroke of his thumb on your cheek sent a shiver down your spine. The hand guided your face to his, not appearing to hesitate for a moment. Now the two of you stared at each other, only a breath away. His face was red and his eyes were hooded, though you just wrote it off as the alcohol. Slowly, he inched forward, absently licking his lips before pressing them to yours.
Never in your life would you admit that you loved the feel of his lips on yours nor would you tell anyone that you loved the hungry look that accompanied his nervousness. The kiss was soft at first, just a nervous touch of lips. Then there was a sudden surge from Gilbert and you felt the pressure of his lips and the strength of his hand. You almost melted into him - key word being ‘almost’. Before the kiss continued Gilbert suddenly pulled away and sat back in his place.
Moving back into your place you looked around. Everyone was staring. Of course they would be staring. You two were supposed to hate each other and yet they just watched you nearly dive into a make-out session right before their eyes. In your peripheral you watched Gilbert shift and squirm in his place, back hunched and hands clenching around his ankles. The game continued like normal though. Everyone was quick to forget what happened – at least, mostly everyone. Only a few more turns into the game Gilbert jumped to his feet and ran out of the room. The sudden movement had startled everyone but you noticed Francis and Antonio nudging each other and smiling.
Elizabetta moved over to your side. “Why don’t you go get him? Him being drunk on the streets won’t end well. Trust me…”
You did not need to be told twice. As you left you could hear Francis call your name but you did not stop. For a moment, you thought that you were already too late. The white haired man was nowhere to be seen. Your heart began to sink but your stubbornness set you in motion. Where would he go? He always loved attention – and he was drunk. The bar. It was the first place you thought the drunk Prussian would go. Needless to say, you were correct. It was a karaoke bar to be exact. He was up on stage, singing some song in broken English with that gravelly voice of his.
Maybe it was because you were drunk, but you really enjoyed his voice. Half of the time he was singing the song in German, but it sounded nice. When he finally climbed off the stage, everyone was cheering. It was not long before there were girls hanging off his arms. He did not seem to notice them at all – but he did notice you. Red eyes met yours and the girls were brushed away. There was a moment where everything seemed to just stop. Time seemed to just freeze. Then he was walking out the door, pulling you behind him.
There wasn’t much time for you to react and keep your feet under you. You did not know how long you were dragged for. His strong hand in yours kept most of your attention. So, when it pulled away, you were jolted from your daze.
The two of you were in a glen filled with sparkling grass and wildflowers. The moon was high casting everything in a haunting glow. Gilbert’s back was turned to you. His shimmering white hair danced in the breeze. You could see the tension in his shoulders as you both stood in silence. Without thinking, you stepped forward and wrapped your arms around his waist. There was a jump in his muscles but he did not pull away. Instead, he sighed and relaxed a little under your gentle touch.
“You know…” you began but stopped yourself. What did you want to say? What should you say?
“I love you _____...” he muttered, just loud enough for you to hear.
You nodded against his back. It was not a surprise to you for some reason. You just accepted it. “I love you too…”
Gilbert took your hands and turned around. “Will you dance with me?”
“There’s no music…” you muttered, even though it did not matter.
“There is… just listen…”
With that, he pulled you close - one hand on your waist, one hand holding yours. As you began to dance with him, you could hear it. A quiet lullaby. You placed your ear against his chest and you could hear it; the deep vibrations of his voice in his chest. There were tears in your eyes. It was a beautiful song. All you wanted was to hear it over and over again for the rest of your life.
The world around you swirled and blurred, but Gilbert remained in focus. The wind in the trees faded to a din but his voice was strong and clear. Before you knew what was happening, your eyes were closed.
The throbbing in your head was terrible. Every bit of light caused it to worsen. You scolded yourself for not drinking more water the night before. Rolling over you smelt something. Coffee! One of the best things that came with the morning. You were finally able to open your eyes. The room was not your own but it was familiar – your brain did not want to work though, so you could not remember where you were. Getting out of bed you found yourself in your PJ’s.
When did I change? You just shrugged and walked out of the room – well, stumbled.
Your eyes drifted shut again. The light was still too irritating. Following the wall and the scent of coffee, you made it into a room with tiled floor. It was hopefully the kitchen. Feeling around, you found a chair and sat down.
“Guten morgen frau,” greeted a far too cheery voice.
“Good morning…” Your eyes shot open. “Gilbert-?”
Gilbert indeed. He was standing on the other side of the island, his back turned to you. Not that you needed to see his face to know that he was smirking. This view was not all that bad though. He had failed to put on a shirt so you had a wonderful view of his back. Powerful shoulders, tapered waist and his devilishly loose pants hung low on his sharp hips. There was a tattoo across his shoulder blades. It looked like the bird from his flag, the wings looking like they were connected to him and the bird at the same time. You had the sudden urge to trace it. Of course, it was not a problem when he turned around either. This young man was built like a draft horse.
He set a cup of steaming coffee in front of you. “I would offer some alcohol with it but then – you’ve had more than your fair share of that in the last twenty-four hours.” He smirks at your glare. “Sugar and cream?”
“Yes please…” you mutter.
Last night was little more than a blur of the senses. There was nothing concrete to hold onto and you were left wondering what the hell happened. Gilbert sat at the island with you and chatted quietly. The pounding in your head began to die down - thank the Lord for decaf. One thing you began to notice was that gilbert avoided talking about last night. You became worried. All you could hope was that you had not done anything really stupid.
There was the creak of a door and loud footsteps walking towards the kitchen. Gilbert jumped to his feet and raced into his younger brother’s arms.
“Welcome home burder~!”
Ludwig replied with little more than a grunt and a nod in your direction. “How are you ___? I hope my brother hasn’t been too much of a pain.”
“Oh, no… not at all surprisingly.” Yes, indeed it was surprising. The two of you had just had an hour long conversation without going for each other’s throats. What the hell was going on?
“Bonjour~” Francis greeted as he entered the room with a flourish. Antonio followed close behind with a smile on his lips.
Gilbert greeted them with some kind of perverted joke before inviting them into the kitchen. The group chatted a while before you finally piped up.
“What are you two doing here anyway?” you asked.
The two boys looked at each other and smiled their signature smiles. A shiver ran down your back. This could not be good. Those smiles never meant anything good. “We came here to see how the two lovebirds were doing~”
Gilbert glared at them, but the blush on his face portrayed his embarrassment. Now you were especially worried. The awkward silence that followed was thick with tension and questions. It finally became too much.
“Okay, what do you mean by that?” you blurted out.
“You don’t know?” Francis smirked. “You confessed your love to Gilbert other last night~”
“More like this morning,” Antonio corrected.
“I-” Your brain could not take all that information and you ran out of the room.
“_____!” Gilbert called after you – you did not stop.
The pounding in your head became worse and worse the more you ran. Your blood was rushing in your ears. There was a burning in your legs but you ignored it. Even the churning in your stomach could not stop your feet. Everything in your head was making you sick. There was no way that Gilbert – or anyone for that matter – would respect you after something like that. You would be grouped in with all the other girls.
Suddenly, something tripped up your feet. You toppled into the ditch before you even had a chance to realize you were falling. You came to rest on your hands and knees as you began to wretch. The bile in your mouth burned and the scent caused you to puke again. Between your racing heartbeat and your sobs you did not hear him calling to you. You were oblivious to his presence until he wrapped his arms around you and rubbed your back. Even then, you could not hear his words of comfort. You did not push him away though. His cool touch was welcome to your heated skin.
“____!” Gilbert cried.
You finally heard. Looking up at him through tear-filled eyes you sobbed out his name. There was a sad smile on his lips as he wiped your face or tears and vomit. All you could do was sob and cling to his shirt. There was a rumbling in his chest. The song was familiar. You did not know where you had heard it before but it was lovely. Once you had calmed down, he took you in his arms and carried you back. Nothing was said the entire way but it was not at all awkward. Francis and Antonio were waiting impatiently at the doors and ran out to greet you. It was obvious they had been worried.
They bickered and scolded for a while before Gilbert insisted that they shut up and let you rest. The two did not question it. In the room you had woken up in, Gilbert laid you down and fetched a wet towel to cool you off. He dabs your forehead with it as he shifts uncomfortably.
“Um… Sorry about running off like that…” you muttered.
Gilbert chuckled, “It’s alright, really… I told you last night but I think you probably don’t remember so I… ya know… like you too…”
“I love you!” You smiled a little. He clears her throat. “____...? Can I… kiss you?”
Sitting up a little you nodded. He leaned down but hesitated. With your eyes closed you could not see that moment, you barely even noticed that there was a pause. Finally he leaned down and kissed you. The strength and softness of his lips caused you to shiver. In that moment, you hoped this would last forever.