// Pairing: GerUk. (Germany/England.)
// Rating: T (Alcohol references & language.)
// Warnings: BL/shounen-ai.
// Note: Request for TequilaVodkaandTea. Tried to incorporate some angst into this, too, and onesidedness. (Hope you like it!)
Chapter Title: Whisky or Whiskey?
With one elbow propped against the clean, mahogany bar in front of him, Germany held his head in one hand, crowned across his forehead, middle finger and thumb squeezing his temples. The half-empty beer, still considerably cold and perched in front of him, did nothing to clear away the migraine that had built behind his eyes all day, beginning with the first fifteen minutes of the fluke that was supposed to be a World Conference earlier that morning. Really, he didn't understand why America and Britain still quipped at each other over the American Revolution at every turnit was a war that happened a little over two hundred years ago, give or take. Two centuries had elapsed since America had attained his independence
couldn't they (or Britain, at the very least) just leave well enough alone?
And on top of that, of course France had to butt in, but then again, it is without fail that the flamboyant Frenchie always butts in whenever anything has to do with Britain.
A heavy sigh heaved Germany's built frame as he seized his mug's handle and brought the laden glass up to his lips, downing a good third of the drink that still remained. I need to move to something heavier, possibly
just for tonight. Hopefully without a hangover, if I can manage.
The bar that he chose to drop into that night was extremely small, tucked away from the bustling hubbub of central Berlin, closer to what used to be East Germany than its western counterpart. He wouldn't have expected any of his national companions to have scoped out this place, yet
at the same time, he couldn't will himself to be completely surprised when the bartender approached him, sporting a worried expression with thick brows drawn and furrowed. "Excuse me, sir, but there is a patron in the back of this bar that seems to be causing some ruckus. He keeps spouting out countries as if they're people
Germany chewed the inside of his bottom lip, though he was careful not to tear the skin. Gott verdammt. Well, there goes my quiet night. "And I assume that my name came up in his drunken banter, did it, Walter?" the slicked-back, champagne-haired German finished for his fellow countryman.
The bartender, Walter, simply nodded whilst involuntarily wringing his hands. "Could you please escort him out of here? I don't want him to disturb the other patrons
"Ja, ja, I'll handle him," Germany replied exasperatedly, downing the last remnants of his beer and leaving the mug on the bar, sliding off of the barstool that had been his for the past hour. "I'm sorry that one of my acquaintances apparently couldn't manage himself tonight, though."
Walter shook his head as he walked alongside Germany, half-leading him and at the same time half-following him toward the caddy-corner back of the bar. "Nein, there is no need for apology. I get customers in here all the time that are like him, though they're usually German, not British."
Of course it had to be him. It couldn't have been someone easy to deal with, like mein Bruder, nein
it just had to be Britain. Makes sense, he's a terrible lightweight.
The throb in Germany's temples just served to knock harder as they rounded a partition, and all at once the distraught sounds of what sounded like heavily accented sobbing in proper English punctuated the amicable air, staining its calming ambience.
Germany turned to Walter then, even before Britain had popped into view. "You can return to supervising your bar, or whatever you were doing before. I'll take it from here."
Walter nodded, whispering his thanks before scurrying back toward they way that they had come.
It wasn't hard to find Britain, who had been seated in the very back of the bar, almost as far as he could get away from the other bar attendees. Empty glasses speckled the booth's gleaming table, seeming to coagulate around the Brit who currently mumbled incoherent, broken phrases with his arms crossed against the table and his head buried into the crook of his right elbow. At least he's muffled.
Germany stepped over toward Britain and placed a hand on his shoulder, shaking him with enough strength to get his attention. Britain sat up then, emerald eyes narrowed against the dim lights placed intermittently throughout the bar, his cheeks dusted with the foreboding rouge of having one too many drinks. "Eh? What d'you want, Ludwig?! Come to laugh at the mockery I've become of my goddamned bloody empire?!"
So that's what he was crying over tonight. At least it wasn't that verdammt Revolution. "No. I've come to take you back to your hotel. You're getting too rowdy to stay in the bar, Arthur, so you're coming with me." A certain softness mingled within Germany's tone, yet the timbre of his instructions was firm, as he was taught in the days of war.
"JustJust who do you think you are?! I'm not going anywhere. I refuse to move from this spot!" Arthur crossed his arms in front of his chest and outright glared at the broad German standing at the end of his table.
Usually, Germany would've gotten considerably mad by now, but for some reason today was different: maybe the conference had sapped all of his remaining will to actually give a damn about Arthur's insubordination. Either way, he didn't know, and he especially didn't care. "Alright, have it your way then," he muttered before stepping over to Britain's end of the booth and wrapping an arm around said flustered Brit's shoulders, his other arm hooking under the smaller man's knees.
Somehow, even though he held a protesting and flailing island nation in his arms, he was able to maneuver the other away from the booth, tossing him over his shoulder with comparable ease. Britain's pounding fists were nothing against the toned expanse of his back as Germany wound his way through the bar and out through the double-door entrance, a single jingle bell tied to the door tinkling distantly.
"Where the hell do you think you're taking me, you damn unlearned tosspot?!" Britain's insults and outbursts slurred substantially now, his system having apparently absorbed the alcohol that he had managed to choke down before being extricated against his feeble will.
The arm that encircled Britain's narrow waist tautened as Germany's free hand found its way into the pocket of his formal slacks. "You have a few options, dummkopf. Either you tell me which hotel you're staying in, or I take you home with me. I'm going home either way."
Britain fell silent before his body trembled from the force of the shaking of his head. "I won't tell you anything, you fucking wanker! You're probably just being nice to me to steal my top-secret plans for Parliament, or something along those lines! Let me down, now!"
"Not a chance." At that, Germany's arm tightened even more so around the other, trapping him firmly against his shoulder. "Well, at least that problem was easy to settle. You can sleep on my couch, even though you probably don't deserve that."
To the straight-laced German's surprise, a pained sob emanated from the Brit thrown over his shoulder, his tone changed to that of hopeless despondence. "I don't deserve anything, Ludwig
I'm a terrible excuse for a nation
"Oh, we both know that you're not," Germany sighed, the tone of his voice softer, more calm than before. "You've won countless wars, even some against your own people when history warranted it, and you've managed to stay on the map for centuries. If you were a 'terrible excuse for a nation,' you would have been wiped out in the Dark Ages, or even before that."
"But you don't understand. You'll never
" All of the tension that rigidified Britain's body unfurled, abandoning him and leaving his muscles feeling like jelly.
Pompous as always. Can't ever relate to anyone, can you, Arthur?
When Britain spoke again after a pause, his voice hovered just barely above a whisper; it was a marvel that Germany could make out his words. "I'm a failure, Ludwig, a complete and utter failure. All of my former colonies abandoned me
India, Canada, America
they're all gone. I have nothing left to show for my accomplishments anymore. That all seemed to have died in the Age of Imperialism, possibly even before that
my God, I wish I could go back in time, to when I was strong
to when I wasn't a shell of myself, like I am now
At that Germany stopped, the tattoo in his head pounding even more so than before. With a formidable grip he plucked Britain off of his shoulder and set the other down in front of him, strong hands clutching the other's upper arms. His eyes narrowed slightly, lending a gleaming, almost frightening quality to the turmoil that gamboled within his iceberg pools, a look that detached Britain's heart from his chest and transplanted it into his throat. "Look, Arthur, all of the nations have had their shortcomings in recent years. The times have changed, and we need to change along with them. If you haven't noticed, in today's world, power is measured by how much money lines your pockets, and by the efforts that you make to change it for the better. It's not about dividing and conquering, not anymore. If you would do me a favour, stop dwelling in the past. All that is going to do is destroy you
and you think you're powerless now. You have not experienced powerlessness."
"Oh, and you expect me to just believe that you, Mister High-and-Mighty here have, then?!"
Was that ever the wrong thing to say to the German state.
Germany's grasp tightened out of rekindled anger on Britain's arms. It took all of his willpower to maintain a calm speaking tone, and looking back, he was still unsure of how he managed it. "Ja, I do expect you to believe that. I have experienced powerlessness, trapped behind a three-and-a-half meter high wall, physically and mentally separated from my Bruder, from the only family that I had, and that I miraculously still have. Your supplies never got cut off for weeks, Britain. You never had to pray to God that maybe, somewhere in the big blue, someone would hear your prayers for food and fresh water, for survival. ...Your country has never had the foundation pulled out from underneath itself as mine has, and it never will."
That was more than enough to silence Britain: he looked like a kid that knew he had stepped out of line, peridot eyes wide with streetlight fluorescence glimmering within their depths. After a few moments of standing there and meeting Germany's gaze, he seemed to have rediscovered his voice, though it was merely a shade of what it was. "Ludwig"
"Don't say anything to me. Like I said, you shouldn't dwell on the past. It will destroy you." His grip loosened as his arms returned to his sides, and he sidestepped Britain, continuing on his way down the sidewalk of the empty road. "Find your own way home."
And it was then that Britain realized just how much common ground separated himself and Germany. Nausea churned in his stomach; he couldn't tell if it was only from the copious amount of alcohol that he had ingested. He turned toward the gradually diminishing figure of Germany and shouted, at the top of his lungs, "W-Wait, Ludwig!"
He wanted to dash over to the German nation and spill his apologies, to curse his quick, uncalculating tongue under the effects of alcohol, but found himself rooted to the spot, a handful of meters away from the other. Germany stopped and slowly turned to face him, though he didn't move. Britain swallowed the bile that bubbled up in the back of his throat as his legs buckled underneath himhe spoke as his knees crashed against the scratchy concrete. "I can't
I can't find my own way home. Not tonight. Please, don't leave me alone. Don't leave me here
" His eyes closed as his head fell; he could feel the world spinning underneath him, even behind the darkness of his eyelids.
Though it felt like he sat there for an eternity, unable to get up or move, time seemed to unfreeze at the distinctive feel of two arms encircling him. Britain felt his knees leave the dry ground underfoot, slightly jostledbut nowhere near enough movement to trigger a nauseous attackby a measured, efficient gait.
Viridian eyes cracked open after what felt like hours, but must have only been a few minutes to meet the cerulean of Germany; Britain found himself pressed securely against the German's toned chest, supported by muscular, alabaster arms. "Why
? Why did you turn back for me
?" he wondered absently, his arms winding their way around Germany's neck without a second thought.
"Some things are best left unsaid, ja?" Germany replied after a pause, the shadow of a smile piquing the corners of his mouth. "Just try to relax, at least for tonight. You'll probably forget all of this before morning."
For once Britain couldn't think of any biting remarks to retort, nor did he want to. His head found an extremely comfortable spot against the hollow of Germany's shoulder, and he allowed himself to relax in the other's surprisingly comforting hold. "O
Germany's eyes lingered on Britain's now calm expression, studying the shape of his eyes which had flickered shut by then, the precise roundness of his nose, the sculpt of his lips
a song that he had learned decades ago popped into his head then, playing as if a record of it had been put on in his mind. You'll never know how much I really love you
you'll never know how much I really care
Ich liebe dich, Arthur. You'll never know, though. I can't tell you
at least, not yet.
And with that his gaze transferred from the now lightly dozing blonde in his arms to the stretch of sidewalk that preceded him.