Author/Artist: chromatic_coma @ animusia
Character(s)/Pairing(s): (in this chapter) Austria, Hungary, Prussia, Germany, Germania, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Egypt ; Austria/Hungary, Spain/Romano, Turkey/Egypt/Greece
Genre: Friendship, Romance, Slice-of-Life, Angst
Warning(s): Kissing, Implied threesomes, Talk of (technically underage) Sex, Swearing, It's really long, Lack of Plot, Human names, etc.
Summary: Graduation really sneaks up on you; one minute you think that everything is right with the world and that nothing can ruin this for you, and the next you look at the calendar and find out you only have one more week with your closest friends. But sometimes graduation isn't the end, and sometimes it's not a new beginning either. Sometimes graduation just is what it is, and you have to figure the rest out for yourselves. Gauken Hetalia!AU fic
x-posted @ hetalia, inthreesome
Part I Chapter I - Part I Chapter II - Part I Chapter III - Part I Chapter V - Part I Chapter VI - Part I Final - Part II Chapter I - Part II Chapter II - Part II Chapter III - Part II Chapter IV - Part II Chapter V - Part II Chapter VI - Part II Final
Scarred Heart in Hand, Part I Chapter IV
The party, Elizaveta mused as she picked up a few stray plastic cups, was a success. None of her guests had seemed at all unhappy or uncomfortable, and aside from the pool mishap (which, coming from Gilbert, was not all that bad), things had gone smoothly. Sure, she had hoped that maybe the beautiful scenery and heat of the late afternoon would drive some passions wild, and maybe Roderich was right in assuming she had an ulterior motive when she chose to play “club music,” but it wasn’t too disheartening that the best she’d gotten out of her guests was a short-lived kiss from Antonio and Lovino.
Or at least, that is what she told herself. But she really was pleased that all her friends had left with smiling faces, thanking her and asking if she needed help cleaning up. Seeing everyone so relaxed, so calm and together, after the hectic prom and graduation ceremonies, was a nice change of pace.
“Elizaveta, where would you like for me to put this…” Roderich’s voice called, distracting her from her thoughts. She looked up and found he was holding the bowl that had once been full of dip, but was now mostly empty except for a small amount of tomatoes and some broken chips.
“Don’t worry about it, Roderich, I’ll handle the cleaning. You just go sit inside and wait for me, okay? I’ll be quick.”
“Nonsense,” he insisted, picking up another empty plate with his free hand. “It makes no sense for you to be left doing all the cleaning while I sat and waited for you.”
Elizaveta smiled, striding over to her boyfriend and kissing him gently under the orange evening sky.
“You’re so sweet, honey, but it’s fine, really. It was my party, and it was well worth the small amount of cleaning left behind.”
Roderich gave her a small smile, his cheeks bright pink.
Unable to argue against his charms, Elizaveta relented, grabbing a plastic bag and stuffing the trash into it.
“It’s sort of sad,” she mused aloud, “that this is the last time we’re all going to be together like this. Did you see how reluctant everyone was to leave?”
Roderich shrugged, returning from the inside of her house and picking up the tablecloth.
“Change is a normal part of life. It is sad, yes, but it’s also natural. We were never going to be together forever. We’re all going to move on and make new friends, just like our predecessors did. Life doesn’t end after high school.”
Elizaveta sighed, picking up a broom and sweeping up her back porch, “But what about Tino and Berwald, or Lovino and Antonio… are they not meant to be together?
“What about us?”
Roderich flushed, clearing his throat.
“Perhaps I worded that wrong… we cannot all stay together, all 20 or so of us, but certainly there are some friendships that will endure…”
And then he, with a neatly folded tablecloth tucked under his arm, pulled her against his chest, his fingers playing absently in her long, rich russet curls as his amethyst eyes searched her bright emerald ones.
It was Elizaveta’s turn to blush, standing on her tiptoes and pecking Roderich gently on the lips.
“Someday,” she decided, “you’re going to play a concerto for me that will make me fall for you all over again. Then we will get married and have adorable little piano-playing, camera-loving babies. Three of them, to be exact, two girls and a baby boy.”
“Oh? And have you decided on their names?”
Roderich was teasing, but somehow he was unsurprised when she replied readily, “Ilona, Therese, and Roderich Jr.”
“Well, that may happen or it may not happen,” here he paused to clear his throat, color spreading over his face, “but one fact you can count on is that I will always love you…”
Elizaveta was as pink as a cherub, or a virgin maiden, but in the next moment that illusion was broken when, after surveying the rest of the backyard, she tugged sharply on Roderich’s arm,
“We’ve cleaned enough. There is no rain in the forecast, so the decorations will survive.”
Roderich almost wished he hadn’t asked, because when she turned around she was giving him that look, and he knew what that meant.
“I hope you have permission to spend the night,” she whispered against him, “because you and I are going to have a lot of quality time in my room.”
“I’m home!” Gilbert called out to no one in particular, pulling the door roughly shut behind him. It had been a while since he’d been at his house; he’d spent the previous night at Francis’ place, and the night before graduation was spent in a sleepover at Antonio’s Abuela’s home. He paused in the doorway, crimson eyes falling shut as he inhaled deeply the scent of bratwurst and beer. He sighed softly, grateful that he lived in a house of German men.
“Where have you been?”
Gilbert froze, eyes opening suddenly; he had not seen his father sitting on the loveseat, having been too distracted at the joy of being home.
“I was at Liz’s party,” he managed once he recovered, “you know that. Ludwig was there too.”
“No, that’s not it…” His father murmured, and for the first time in his life Gilbert heard something melancholy and heavy in the man’s voice.
No, he realized, it was not the first time in his life, just… the first time since his mother passed away. He paused, surveying his father for a moment, closer than perhaps he ever had. Ludovicus still looked very much as he did when Gilbert was a child; his hair was still longer than that of most girls Gilbert knew, and still had that one awkward braid in its midst, as if he fancied himself from an ancient era (Gilbert liked to joke that his old man acted at a Renaissance Fair as a serving wench). His clothes were sensible and pressed, though too stiff for the hot weather, and his brows were still in their default mode, furrowed. When he looked close, though, Gilbert found his father’s face marred with wrinkles that had not been there when he was younger.
“Where have you been all these years…?”
Suddenly, it hit Gilbert that his father was reminiscing, which explained the photo album the albino had not seen, sitting open in the other’s lap. It was slightly unnerving, to see someone so steeled and bored suddenly being sentimental.
But as quickly as the shock came over him, it faded, and Gilbert could only smile. Kicking off his flip flops, he bounded across the room and sat beside his father on the loveseat, looking over his shoulder at photos of himself, still a cherubic babe.
Oh, how things have changed.
“I’ve been right here, old man.” Gilbert answered finally, rasping Ludovicus lightly on the side of his head, “Is your memory going fuzzy?”
The elder gave a soft chuckle, and Gilbert was incredulous.
“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh before.”
Ludovicus shrugged, flipping the page in the album. Gilbert was a little older now, but could hardly be more than eighteen months old. In most of the pictures he was playing with a slim woman, the same albino features as his own, and a grin that was nearly as bright as his.
“You know,” the elder started, “your mother would have been very proud of you for making it so far.”
Gilbert sighed, catching himself with a long, thin finger pressed against her face in one of the photos. He didn’t pull it away.
“She always insisted that you were smart,” Ludovicus added. “It’s a good thing she never got to see your grades.”
Gilbert pouted, and in a rare moment of tenderness Ludovicus ruffled his choppy white hair.
It was upon this scene that Ludwig opened the door, walking in with a, “Vater, I’m hom-oh.”
Gilbert flushed, but there was a grin on his face nonetheless.
“Had fun sucking face with your Italian boy toy?”
Ludwig made a choked, spluttering noise, turning red to the tips of his ears in the exact way Gilbert did. Now the albino could almost see why Francis and Antonio had fun making him blush, but not quite enough to make it okay.
Ludovicus enjoyed it even less, hitting his older son on the head and looking up at the younger, “Did you have a nice day?”
“Yes, Vater.” Ludwig coughed.
“Well, what’re you standing over there for?” Gilbert cut in. “Come join us!”
And so he did, Gilbert taking the opportunity to ruffle and muss his brother’s neatly gelled hair when Ludwig leaned over the back of the couch. Ludovicus chose to ignore the brawl that ensued, turning over to the next page of the album. Again Gilbert was the star, and aside from one picture of Ludovicus with him, the page was mostly full of photos of the boys’ mother, this time with a belly that got bigger and rounder in each picture.
Ludwig, Gilbert noticed, looked awed, as if he had not considered the idea that he was in a woman’s womb, at one point, before that moment. Which, considering it was Ludwig, he might actually not have. Gilbert chuckled, and when Ludwig came to the realization that he was being laughed at his cheeks turned pink once again. Ludovicus wordlessly turned the page.
Now there were pictures of Ludwig and Gilbert decorating the plain black page, everything from Gilbert staring in awe at a little pink baby wrapped in a light blue bundle, to a toddling Ludwig patting their old pet bunny on the head under Gilbert’s proud watch.
They continued to look through the old photos in silence, none of them pointing out how much paler and frailer their mother got in each progressive photograph. There were only three more filled pages in the book, and on the last of these was only one photo.
Their mother, lying on her bed with white sheets pooled around her, a chubby pink Ludwig sitting in her lap, and a skinny little Gilbert standing on the mattress beside her, his arms thrown around her neck. Only Ludwig was not smiling, his face lost somewhere between confusion and comfort, and he was also the only one not looking at the camera. Gilbert and their mother, however, were both wearing near-identical grins, beaming at the camera as the sunlight strewn in from behind them.
Ludovicus closed the album.
“This house will be quiet without you,” he mused, placing the album on the table. He was looking over at Gilbert with his usual expressionless face but somehow it was still understood that he was trying to say, ‘We’ll miss you.’ Gilbert offered him a small smile,
“No shit. You two are as boring as cacti. But, I guess… I’ll miss having cacti around.”
Ludwig rolled his eyes, and Gilbert ruffled his hair some more, mussing it until it stood in all different directions.
“Now, you be sure to cause shitloads of trouble, okay?”
The brothers shared a look and a chuckle, and then Gilbert decided it was time they shared a hug, too.
And no, Gilbert told the voice in his head, hugging your baby brother is not sissy. In fact, it’s totally awesome.
The rest of the evening passed without much incidence; after the party, Antonio reminded Lovino of his offer for the other to share his bed, and sure enough it did not take very much coaxing to get the other to agree.
So they’d gone home, helped Antonio’s Abuela in preparing a light dinner, watched a movie with his cousin (Lovino, being too polite to curse in front of a little girl, was helpless as Antonio latched onto him in the dark room; Antonio would have to remember to give her a few cookies as a thank you), and then when it was time for bed they stripped down to their shorts and snuggled.
Somehow it seemed as if Lovino had been relieved, when Antonio pulled the other against his chest and started to play in his hair. Antonio wondered if perhaps the other did not like having sex with him, but when he asked Lovino turned red and spluttered that he liked this a lot better. Antonio had smiled, because he felt the same way, and waited until the other’s breath eased and slowed before kissing his forehead and falling asleep.
That had been last night, though, and after a quick breakfast and a thank you to Antonio’s guardian for letting him stay the night, Lovino had fled from the house. Antonio was upset, of course, but he opted not to take it personally; Lovi was just being shy, and he couldn’t deny that it was very cute…
“Antonio, can you do me a favor?” his Abuela’s voice cut into his thoughts, and the teen looked up.
“I need you to go down to the store and pick up a few things for me, mijo,” she said slowly, placing a short grocery list down on the table beside his unfinished breakfast. “You can go after you’re done eating.”
“No, its fine,” he started, pushing his plate away. “I don’t think I’m very hungry, so I’ll go now.”
Abuela gave him a quizzical look, “Are you sure you’re alright, Toni?”
He furrowed his eyebrows, insisting, “Sure, I’m fine! Why, does it look like something is wrong?”
Antonio was honestly curious; if something were wrong that would explain his lack of appetite. But the old woman just gave him a soft smile, patting his hair and picking up the plate.
“Alright then,” she replied. “Take your time.”
Before he could ask what she meant, the other woman was out of the room, calling for his sleeping cousin to wake up.
Antonio sighed and pocketed the note, putting his plate in the kitchen. Leaving through the back door, he stretched his arms once the Sun kissed his skin. The grocery store, thankfully, was not too far away from their home, but even so Antonio did not mind the heat much and found himself enjoying the freedom of summer as he walked.
“Oh, hey, it’s Antonio!” he heard, and when he turned around he spotted Sadiq, Heracles, and Gupta, sitting on the steps of the library, the former of the trio waving at him. He grinned and waved back, crossing the street and walking up to them.
“Hello!” he said, surveying them happily; the trio was each licking an ice cream cone, chocolate for Sadiq, strawberry for Heracles, and vanilla for Gupta, and all of them were dressed to battle the heat. Behind them the door to the library was barely opened, and from inside the occasional blur of movement could be seen.
“Hey,” Heracles replied sleepily, and Gupta nodded with a soft smile.
Where’re you goin’?” Sadiq asked the Spanish teen, taking a chomp out of his cone and getting ice cream all over his face. Heracles snorted, and the other shot him a glare, but a stern look from Gupta sent them both reeling back.
“I’m going to the store to get some stuff for Abuela.”
“Is any of it stuff that she needs to make dinner?”
Antonio consulted the yellow list, “Nope, I don’t think so. It’s mostly cleaning stuff and some sweets.”
“Well, then I don’t think she’ll mind if you spend time with us for a bit,” Heracles murmured, “And maybe check out the museum, too; Gupta’s mom set something up.”
Antonio blinked, trying to peer into through the crack in the double doors, wondering what Heracles could be talking about. He knew about the interesting exhibitions Gupta’s mother liked to set up; from what he knew, back when she and her son were still living in Egypt she worked as a curator and historian of Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts. Then, for some reason that no one really knew, the mother and son moved here four years ago, and she took the mantle at the head of the bankrupt library, fixing it up and modeling it after the Library of Alexandria, with museum-like exhibits and lectures every so often. Heracles’ mother, Ms. Karpusi, loved to punish her students by forcing them to attend these events, whether or not they were relevant to whatever she was teaching.
Still, student admission was free, and a lot of the time the things Ms. Hassan had collected were quite awesome, so it’s not as if Antonio had ever minded.
“Sure. What is it?”
Gupta smiled and shook his head, and Sadiq supplied, “He’s not telling, and he’s made us all swear not to tell, either. You’ll have to go in and see for yourself.”
Antonio nodded, pausing for a moment and looking at the silent Gupta, “Hey, can I ask you something?”
The other nodded, and Antonio continued, “I was just curious about why you and your mom moved here…”
The Egyptian boy immediately frowned, if not subtly so. Antonio only noticed it because he was looking for it, but the other two perked up, looking curious, as if they’d either not noticed Gupta’s frown or not cared.
“Man, I’d love ta hear this story,” Sadiq mused, taking a final chomp of his ice cream cone. “Gupta’s never told us before.”
“And he doesn’t have to now, either,” Heracles countered quickly, giving Sadiq a dirty look. It was Gupta who shook his head, though, and looked at the three others.
“It’s okay,” he stated simply, before sighing and beginning his story.
Gupta set the scene for them, starting with himself, aged thirteen, sitting in his tutor’s living room with another classmate to get extra lessons in English. Their tutor, he recalled, had to go answer a phone call and left the boys alone in the room, her voice trailing down the hallways clearly nonetheless. Suddenly, the other boy had shifted over beside him shyly and kissed him on the corner of his lips. Before Gupta could comment, or the boy could apologize, their tutor’s footsteps were heard and they both scrambled to move apart.
From that day on, every time their tutor left the room, the other boy would approach Gupta with gentle kisses everywhere but his lips, and Gupta found that he could not deny the boy or himself the affections.
The first day they finally shared a true kiss, on the lips and all, sadly happened to be the very same day their tutor walked in on them without their noticing. Soon enough she had both their parents in her apartment, and the other boy’s parents had not even waited until they had left to start scolding him. Soon the whole block knew, and the gossip spread like wildfire until everyone in their class was giving them looks and treating them as if they’d been infected by a disease, or even worse, as if they were agents of the Devil.
Gupta’s mother, unsurprisingly, had not been too distressed at her son’s homosexual behaviors. Instead, she actually confessed to him, in the safety of their own home, that she had had her own affairs with women, long before he was even an idea, and that she did not hate or think any less of him no matter who he grew up to be.
Still, there was the pressing matter of the gossipers, and of the increasingly bad treatment Gupta was suffering from his teachers and peers. So, his mother dug out an old notepad from her college days, and got to work making international calls to some old college friends who lived in the United States. Soon enough they’d managed to secure a home through these friends, and so they moved once they had their visas.
Gupta nodded gently when he finished, indicating the end of his story. It was the most any of them had heard of his voice, which Antonio noticed was soft and gentle, but also melodious and laced with a subtle accent that made it all the more appealing.
“Who were your mom’s friends…?” Antonio asked next, now sitting on the sip beneath Gupta’s and looking up at him.
“Remus Vargas and Helen Karpusi.”
Heracles nodded lazily, “I remember that. My mom took me with her when she went to the airport to meet you.” The Greek boy smiled, the quirk of his lips growing slowly on either side. Sadiq rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, well, you might’ve met him first, but he likes me much better.” He argued, winking at Gupta. Now it was for him to roll his eyes.
“I’m not going to fight with you now,” Heracles decided, “it’s hot.”
He turned to Antonio, nudging him with his foot, “Do you wanna go inside?”
Antonio sat up, suddenly remembering the grocery list, and frowned. “Not right now, I should go run that errand for my Abuela. But maybe later…?”
“We’ll be here,” Sadiq confirmed, “haven’t got anywhere else to go, yanno?”
Antonio nodded, waving at the trio and offering his goodbyes before continuing on to the grocery store.
to be continued
A/N: It's my birthday today! You can make me a very happy girl by leaving me some feedback~ *winkwinknudgenudge*
Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed it! The next chapter is one of my favorites, so look out for that~ ♥