Breathe in...Breathe out. Breathe in
and breathe out again. Prussia closed his eyes and repeated the mantra to himself in his head, feeling a wayward breeze stroke his silvery white hair and blow through his unbuttoned shirt. After a while, he opened his eyes again and looked down from the edge of the roof he was standing on.
His heart beat a frantic tempo against his chest and his breathing was deafeningly loud in his ears. Every detail he saw seemed sharper and more in focus. How ironic, that he felt more alive now, moments before he prepared to jump, than ever before, even in battle when death had loomed over him constantly.
Once, he had been respected, feared even. Prussia's army had been one of the most powerful in history and he had conquered a large portion of Europe with it. Before his dissolution, he had stood proudly and had truly believed himself to be more awesome than any other nation.
But after the war everything had changed. After he had been dissolved, the physical pain of losing his people and his power had almost broken him. Prussia sometimes wondered whether that had been the intention of the Allies: to not kill him outright, but instead leave him alive to suffer. He could no longer feel the connection to his people the way he had before. There was only himself, and the feelings of isolation that he had born for decades was nearly unbearable.
Before, he would poke fun at Austria and Hungary and play pranks on them. Nowadays, instead of getting annoyed and fighting him like they used to, they merely ignored him. Without his power, Prussia was nothing more than a nuisance to them.
As much as he refused to admit it to anyone, let alone himself, Prussia was lonely. He craved for the feeling of knowing that someone cared, whether it was hate or love.
He hid his feelings behind a narcissistic façade. No, of course he wasn't lonely, he was just too awesome for friends like stupid prissy Austria. For decades, it had worked, but he could feel himself losing his inner battle. Being weak was something that Prussia had never been able to handle. He had been created to be strong; the idea of being vulnerable was inconceivable to him.
Time had worn away at Prussia, not physically; he still looked exactly the same despite the many years that had passed. Emotionally though, keeping everyone else at arm's length, even his brother Germany, and Italy, was killing Prussia. No matter how much he told himself and the rest of the world that he was awesome, it never reassured him or filled the emptiness in him.
He was tired, tired of hiding behind a mask of arrogance and of fighting a losing battle with his inner demons. So he was going to get it over with by ending it all. Maybe then he would find peace.
Prussia had gone to the roof after leaving the meeting room of the World Conference. He had no need to go, he simply went out of boredom and because he technically represented Eastern Germany. After failing to receive any attention, he had gone up to the roof and now found himself contemplating suicide. Jumping would be the easiest way he figured, the least messy and hopefully quick and painless.
Would anyone miss him? Perhaps Germany would, despite the fact that he claimed he found Prussia infuriating. Maybe Italy would, but probably not Austria. Hungary might miss him, in her own way, remembering their squabbles as young nations and as adults. Gilbird would be on his own, Prussia realized with a pang. Well, hopefully the little guy would learn to be independent on his own and grow up to be a big strong eagle like the one of his flag.
Prussia licked his dry lips and swallowed. He couldn't back down now by thinking about the people he would leave behind. Now he was just rationalizing his way out like a coward.
In the distance, the sun was beginning to set, stretching out its last golden rays to caress Prussia's pale cheek. The sky was turning warm shades of orange and red with hints of purple and clouds that blushed light pink. It truly was a beautiful sight, and Prussia was glad that it would be the last thing he ever saw.
Casting his glance down again, Prussia vaguely wondered if it would feel like flying in the few seconds before he hit the pavement. He'd always wanted to fly like Gilbird
With one last look at the sunset, Prussia spread out his arms and bent his knees to leap
"Mon Dieu! NO!" a voice cried and Prussia felt a pair of arms encircle his waist and yank him away from the edge. He lost his balance and fell over, dragging the person down with him.
Prussia got up to face the person who had stopped him and found himself staring into a shocked pair of violet eyes framed by glasses. The man who they belonged to had chin length wavy blond hair and a stray hair that curled in front of his face. He looked a bit like America, but Prussia knew better, for America would have spoken by now.
Canada?" The country looked at Prussia in surprise, but nodded.
"Yes, but that's not the point! Why were you trying to kill yourself?" Canada almost yelled at him but still kept the usual whispering quality of his voice. It was almost like a breath of wind, low and mysterious.
Prussia looked away from Canada's intense gaze. "I wouldn't expect you to understand. The awesome me has my own reasons." he muttered. He only half-heartedly mumbled the last part.
"Try me." the Canadian's voice was usually firm.
Prussia had always felt uncomfortable with talking about what he called "mushy emotional crap." Still, as much as Prussia hated to admit it, he needed to let out everything that had been building inside for centuries and had only manifested in the past few years. There was also something about Canada that Prussia couldn't put his finger on: like he could trust him to actually listen and not sneer at him.
"What does it matter to you?" Prussia asked, but one look at Canada's intense gaze forced him to relent. "
.Alright, ever since the war, nothing has gone right."
Canada merely sat quietly and listened patiently as Prussia poured out his heart fully for the first time. All of his bitter resentment and anger slowly trickled out as he talked and it almost physically felt as though his heart was becoming lighter.
As he talked, the sunset disappeared and stars winked down at him and Canada from the dark sky. After what felt like hours, he was surprised to find his vision blurring with tears of relief and sadness as he finally admitted his deepest secret.
"I tell everyone that I'm fine on my own and that I don't need anyone. For centuries, I've pushed everyone away who tried to get close to me because I was afraid. I'm still not sure why though, but it's taken it's toll." Prussia swallowed as his throat constricted. "I
For the second time that day, Prussia felt Canada's arms encircle him, but this time, to console him. The tears he had been holding back streamed down his face freely. Prussia leaned into Canada's chest, feeling rather like a small child being held by his father and soothed after a nightmare. Canada smelled like comfort, warm and buttery like fresh pancakes.
"Lonely huh? At least people remember you. I can't even talk to my polar bear without him asking who I am every ten seconds." Canada mused. Prussia looked up at Canada who stared up at the sky. Glistening pricks of light were reflected in his shining eyes. "And most of the time, the others act as if they can't see me. If they do, they mistake me for America and beat me up. When you recognized me just after I pulled you from the edge I wanted to yell with joy."
"Was it really that bad?"
Canada looked away grimly and pulled back from Prussia before taking off his hoodie. Underneath it he was wearing a simple short-sleeved t-shirt and Prussia gasped in shock as the moonlight hit Canada's arms.
They were covered in scars. Most of them were old and had faded into silvery lines that were slightly raised from the rest of the skin. Some of them, however, were crimson and somewhat newer, and had not healed as well as the others.
Naturally, Prussia had seen scars before but somehow it was more upsetting seeing them marring Canada's light skin. He had always seems a shy and sensitive country who hated violence. Prussia never would have suspected that he cut himself.
Canada saw Prussia's horrified expression and looked down, cradling one of his arms to his chest. "I got sick of being neglected by everyone and I was depressed. I truly believed that cutting would distract me from the mental pain and in a perverted way, it felt good. Besides, no one ever noticed. All I had to do was wear long sleeves and no one asked any questions because my country has a cool climate. I eventually stopped once I realized the only reason I was doing it was because it was an unconscious attempt at getting attention that didn't work. I began writing poetry and in a way, it helped more than the cutting ever did. And I try to write about happy things; it takes my mind off the bad stuff when I focus on the positive."
Throughout Canada's speech, Prussia watched him in amazement. He had never heard him say so much and his words touched a part of Prussia's heart that he had never even known existed. He scooted next to Canada and after a pause he hesitantly placed his hand on Canada's, squeezing it gently. Canada returned it.
" Prussia finally said, breaking the silence. "Want to be lonely together?"
Canada looked over at him, a large and genuine smile on his face. His eyes were shining with tears and happiness.
"I'd love to."
Prussia grinned back, and for the first time in a while he felt more like himself. He and Canada laid down on their backs and stared up at the stars. Nothing needed to be said.
Neither of them would ever be lonely again.