Pairing: Prussia-centric, PruAus
Summary: Prussia dies, and attends his own funeral. Except that he doesn't die, and it's all hilarious. Really. De-anon from the Kink Meme.
Disclaimer: I do not own Axis Powers Hetalia, nor do I claim to. The following is a work of fiction.
Gilbird was, despite his supreme awesomeness and badassery – only a bird – and although Prussia had spent many a lazy afternoon (when nothing was going down on the internet and he couldn’t think of any more movies he wanted to illegally download) attempting to teach his pet to talk like that brilliant swearing parrot he’d seen on TV once, he could not speak. And therefore Prussia’s miserable and wholly desperate question: “Well, shit...what the hell do I do now?” went dishearteningly unanswered.
He turned away from the damp funeral, from the half-suppressed choked sobs on the waterlogged lawn, and pressed his back against one of the brick supports on the edge of the terrace. If he did that sissy (and frankly rather terrifying) thing – if he dared to screw his courage to the nearest reasonably secure object, and psyched himself up enough, and took a couple of bracing, deep breaths, and maybe pounded himself on the chest a couple of times whilst jogging on the spot – and looked, open-eyed and clear-minded into his heart of hearts...well, he knew what he would see. He had always known what he wanted, really, and if this stupid funeral had made him see that smoking hot, prissy, violet-eyed, gorgeous and inexplicably wonderful thing that he loved, unconditionally, and had always loved and would always love (it was a constant in his life, always had been; there was no escaping from that) well...he couldn’t help it, could he? He supposed, half-dismally, half-enraptured, that even the most awesome people fell in love.
The thought hit him like an avalanche and he very nearly stumbled from the imaginary impact.
It was an incomprehensibly vast and frightening concept, and although he knew – and had always known, really, albeit without those terrifying words properly, consciously occurring to him; in love, in love, in love – that he, The Awesome Prussia, was most definitely, absolutely, positively, one-hundred-and-twenty-thousand-million-p
He didn’t, of course, because that was pansy behaviour, and he was most definitely not a pansy. But still, he couldn’t really bring himself to do anything; to twitch a finger, to blink, to shift his legs or his spine, or unclench his fists, which had been like hard grey rocks ever since Austria’s stupid, wonderful speech. He couldn’t look around either, he couldn’t bring himself to turn his head and peek anxiously over his right shoulder, over the sodden grass, over the men and women, his friends and relatives and acquaintances dressed in black and black and nothing else...and he most certainly couldn’t bring himself to look at Austria.
His body jerked, quite suddenly, angrily. What the hell was he doing? He sighed noisily, irritably, and raised his hands to his face, scrubbing his nose and eyes and mouth and cheeks, hard. This was ridiculous! He was Prussia! He was strong, and brave, and...and awesome – of course he was – and he wasn’t about to let a few silly little fluttery nerves dancing around in the very bottom of his stomach get the better of him.
He breathed in, and out again, slowly. He could do this. He could do this. It was beyond any reasonable doubt that could do this. Prussia closed his eyes, breathed slowly again, and pictured what he was about to do.
The rain-thick wood of the steps down to the lawn would creak slowly, softly beneath his feet. He would cross the grass in a straight line, his bird hovering high above him, and he would walk steadily and calmly, directly towards the group clustered around his picture and his flowers. He would keep walking, walking, walking, in that dead straight line, without any protests of his heart or stomach or brain. He could do that. He would keep walking, walking, until someone, perhaps the little minister with the wet robes and the fogged-up spectacles, saw him, and frowned, trying to make out his shape and face through the cloaking weather. His frown would deepen – and then his eyes would widen, and his cheeks go pale – as he recognised Prussia’s face as that of the incredibly handsome man named Gilbert Beilschmidt, the one in the portrait, the one whose funeral he was currently conducting.
Prussia would simply keep walking.
The minister would splutter and shake, and, gradually, one-by-one, the mourners would turn their heads to glance backwards, to catch a glimpse of what had shaken the minister so. And then – then they would see him – and their hearts would pound, and there would be gasps, and people would blink, frantically, and rub their eyes...
And then, just as he reached the edge of the group, someone – perhaps Austria, if his speech was anything to go by – would cry out: “PRUSSIA!”
And he would smile, sorrowfully, regretfully, looking like a world-weary and ruggedly gorgeous war hero, and Austria’s poor heart would hardly be able to take it. So, kind, generous man that he prided himself on being, Prussia would open up his arms, and take a few more steps forwards – and then Austria would detach himself from the group, sprint across the lawn towards him, and fling himself into Prussia’s arms; the arms that had waited for that stuffy, perfectly wonderful aristocrat for well over eight hundred years...
Austria’s body would be warm, and slender, pressing desperately against his own, and their lips would meet, hungrily yet beautifully, just like in the movies...and Prussia’s big, manly hands would slide down to hold Austria’s waist (he might even be able to get a sneaky feel as well, if he was lucky), and Austria’s would reach up to grasp his shoulders, before slipping over his back and around his neck, gripping so tightly that Prussia would think that he’d never wriggle free...
And then his friends would crowd around him, shouting and crying and cheering for joy, all reaching out to touch him and hug him, check that he was warm and real and alive, and he would laugh, tip his head back and roar with France and Spain and his little brother, who would be annoyed at first but then come to see how damn hilarious the whole thing was as Prussia affectionately ruffled his hair...and all this time, Austria would press close to his side, clutching at his hand, and, at long last, with murmured, fervent, “I love you’s”, they would leave, arms around one another, trading kiss after kiss after kiss, whilst the others trailed behind them, hardly able to believe the magnificence of what had just played out before them.
Prussia stood straight, at last, opening his eyes and turning to face the lawns. The group was moving again. Someone else, Prussia thought, might be about to come forwards and speak – but there was no time for that now. The plan was set in motion, and he found his feet moving of their own accord whilst his brain choked through static.
The steps leading down off the terrace were indeed wet – and he skidded a little on them, grunting in irritation as he slid sideways and proceeded to trip over his own feet. The grass squelched unpleasantly beneath his weight, and he grimaced as he felt the cold water beginning to seep into his shoes, wetting his socks and his feet. With a groan, he looked back up towards the funeral. Through a gap between the dark coats and the rain-sluiced umbrellas, he spied a head of slicked-back, light blond hair, bowed slightly, and sad, drooping shoulders.
Prussia did not move.
Because now Germany was stood at the side of his picture, looking just about as wretched and miserable as he had towards the end of the Second World War. He looked towards Austria, who seemed to be on the verge of collapse, and was holding himself, eyes shut tightly, in a desperate sort of fashion. Then, realising he was about to receive no support whatsoever from that direction, he opened his mouth. And then he stood there, motionless, for a long, long moment. His eyes were red; and beneath them lay smudges of deepest grey, and purple, and brown. He looked like he’d caught himself a couple of times whilst shaving; and his hair was unevenly combed.
Prussia suddenly felt exceedingly guilty. It was a fairly unfamiliar emotion, and he did not like it.
Germany opened his mouth again; but still no sound came out. He blinked, once, slowly; and his eyes glistened with –
Oh, hell no. The Awesome Prussia’s little bro never cried. That was not cool.
And all of a sudden he was moving again. His legs, stiffened with cold and rain and guilt and a feeling that wasn’t fear, no, definitely not, jerked into motion, carried him forwards across the soaked grass. His shoes squeaked and slipped, and the bottom hems of his jeans darkened as they became drenched in water, and his shoulders were stiff, and his hands screwed up into protective fists, and his head and thoughts felt oddly floaty, as though he wasn’t quite one with the rest of his body, or was watching himself lurch like a broken-legged corpse towards that knot of black and tears from somewhere far away.
Or perhaps he wasn’t shaking his way towards them – for they seemed to loom up towards him, waves upon waves of the others, even though he was taller than a lot of them. Their straight, frozen backs raced to meet him, and presently it came to him that he felt cold...very cold.
He kept going.
Meanwhile, a little way ahead, his eyes still cast downwards, Germany stood still and silent. His mouth opened and closed just once more, before he finally sagged a little, giving up. And then he muttered: “Goodbye, Gilbert. You were – you were the best brother an-anyone could ever –”
And then there was silence. Because at last Germany had lifted his head, and, unable to meet the teary eyes of those encircling him, had gazed past them, up towards the palace, across the lawn. And there, shifting his weight from foot to foot, grimacing, and trying very hard not to rub the back of his head, or bind his fingers together, or start fiddling with his shirt, was Prussia.
Prussia looked up at his brother.
And his brother looked down at him. His eyes were very wide and very watery.
The mourners fidgeted.
Germany’s mouth moved, just a little – but yet again, no noise escaped his lips.
Prussia tried, and failed, to think of something at once memorable and soothing to say. And still Germany did not speak. And still he continued to stare.
The heads were beginning to turn now. And people were gasping and clapping their hands to their mouths, and blinking, furiously, as if to clear the smudge from their eyes that had begun to look a little like their dearly departed Prussia.
“H-hi,” said Prussia, at last. “Hi, West.”
Someone else swore.
And the round little clergyman fainted.
Prussia took one cautious step towards his brother.
Germany did not move, but watched him, warily.
“West –” He held out a hand, pointlessly. This was not going at all how he had planned.
Germany’s face was white – no, worse. It was grey. Grey like a dead man. And his lips were pale, almost blue, and dry, and trembling. He stepped forwards.
Prussia nodded, made a small, encouraging sound in the back of his throat.
Germany moved again, treading carefully, tentatively, as though he was stepping across a shaking, rotting wooden bridge which could fall apart beneath his feet at any second. His hands moved – just an inch or two away from his sides – as though he was trying to balance himself.
They were just about within arm’s length of each other –
Germany’s solid fist smashed with the force and speed of a runaway train directly into his lower jaw.
Prussia yelped, his hands flying up to cup his throbbing face between his fingers.
Somebody behind him gasped.
“Fucking hell, West...”
“You’re alive.” Germany’s voice was piercing; and yet it shook like that of a frightened infant.
“No need to sound so happy about it...” Prussia straightened. “You’re a fucking –”
“Do you have even the slightest idea how it felt for me to get that call?” Germany’s eyes were narrowed; his fists still clenched; and his voice was like ice. “Do you any idea, any fucking idea how it felt for me to have some human, some police officer tell me that my car had just been found, crumpled and in flames, just a few hours after I got that stupid message from you saying you’d borrowed it without my permission, again?”
Prussia rubbed his jaw, avoiding Germany’s ferocious gaze. “Look, I know you liked that car, but –”
“YOU THINK THIS IS ABOUT THE CAR?” Germany’s voice had risen to near deafening levels. “THE CAR? ARE YOU REALLY THAT FUCKING STUPID?”
“I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” Germany ranted on, heedless to Prussia’s weak noises of protest. “I THOUGHT YOU’D BEEN KILLED! YOU DIDN’T EVEN THINK TO CALL ME?”
Prussia opened his mouth, hoping that some instantaneously calming, wise, big-brother-type words would fall easily from the tip of his tongue. They didn’t. He took a deep breath.
“My phone broke in the accident. I couldn’t get to another phone to call you, I tried! All sorts of crazy stuff was going on, we – we really need to keep a closer eye on that Serbian mafia, guys,” he added, desperately searching out the faces of other European nations in the dark crowd who stood rooted to the spot around him. Italy and Romano looked paler than he had ever seen them. Hungary’s mouth had opened, at some point, and she had still not yet closed it. “And then there was this thing with some escaped penguins –”
“You just don’t get it, do you, Prussia?”
Prussia turned slowly to face his brother once more.
Germany raised a hand to cover his eyes.
“You mean you don’t believe m–”
Germany stepped closer. “I haven’t slept, not once this week. I’ve hardly eaten. Look at my hands.” He thrust them towards Prussia. They were nicotine-stained and shaking. “And you – you...you think you can just swan back here, spouting some nonsense about – about the mafia and penguins, and – and saying, ‘Hi, West.’ An-and...and you think it’ll – it’ll all b-be alright?”
Prussia could not think of a single thing to say.
Germany just stood there, and looked at him, practically vibrating with rage and overwhelming sadness, and suddenly he was that frightened little boy again, Prussia’s golden-haired, blue-eyed angel whom he’d fought so hard for, and loved so much, and it was their first day back in Prussia’s home since he’d taken that sobbing child away from France. And Ludwig (he wasn’t Römisches anymore, and he wasn’t Germany yet) had stood in the middle of that big, splendid hallway he did not know, and cowered, scrubbing at his tear-stained face with tightly curled little fingers.
And so Prussia did the only thing he’d ever been able to do right, as a brother, as a nation, as a fucking thing, seeing as how everything else he had ever done had only landed him in trouble: he did what he had done that day in the cavernous, magnificent Prussian hallway all those years ago. He stepped in close to his brother, his beloved little brother, and he lifted his arms, and he wrapped them tightly around his shoulders (once so small and weak, now broader than his own), and put his right hand into Germany’s hair, and gently pushed his head until it rested upon his right shoulder.
And they stood still together, and said nothing.
And slowly, slowly, Germany lifted his arms up too, and wrapped them around Prussia, and sighed.
The rain still fell – Prussia could feel it trickling down the back of his neck – and his feet were squishing around inside his cold, wet shoes – but it was alright.
“I bet you thought you were going to swoop in and make some ridiculously grand entrance,” Germany muttered, at last, into his shoulder. “Bet you thought we’d all fall over ourselves trying to worship you.”
“Maybe just a bit,” said Prussia, and, rather awkwardly, they drew apart.
A tanned hand shot out of nowhere to grip his own, and suddenly he was tugged against a strong, slender figure with a tear-streaked face and an unkempt suit. “Spain!” Then there was another person on his other side – one with tangled, fair hair, and a beard that looked a lot more dishevelled than usual. “France!” he said, and France let out a choked sob in response, and then they were nothing more than a laughing mess of arms and languages and expletives, and those two crazy romantics were kissing his cheeks, tracing the shape of his bruised jaw, and his nose, and his brow, crying and cursing his name like they thought they’d never get to speak it again...
“The poem –” Prussia managed, “– it was gay as fuck. Don’t you dare do anything sissy like that again.”
“You saw that? You saw us reading your poem?”
“I saw,” said Prussia, “I saw the whole...”
And then, between the tangle of arms, and past Spain’s joyous, weeping smile, and France’s rain-frizzed hair, he saw a pair of stupid violet eyes widening; a delicate hand rising up to press hard against an open mouth.
There was a quiet, polite sob.
He did not move.
And beside him, France and Spain fell still.
Austria stared straight at him a second longer – then he turned, sharply, soundlessly, and half-ran, half-marched away from him, from the funeral, up the lawns, around the palace, and out of sight.
Prussia did not move.
France took a step towards him. “I think, my dear,” he said, “that is your cue to do something.”
And Prussia ran.