Elizabeta sighed happily. She couldn't remember ever being as content as she was now. She was happy just to lie here in Prussia’s arms until she got too hungry and had to get up.
She thought he was awake, even though his breathing was slow and deep. She'd only woken up a few minutes ago, been briefly confused then remembered that she'd fallen asleep in his embrace.
She felt the lightest touch on her long brown hair, like a butterfly landing on it. She turned her head lazily and saw his red eyes open, and his hand gently stroking her hair.
He smiled at her, none of his usual cockiness in it. Just pure, gentle happiness.
Elizabeta knew how long he'd wanted this. The memory of her constant rejections made her wince a little. She'd been pretty harsh.
As if he was reading her mind, he said, ‘It's all behind us now, Liz.’ She propped herself up on one elbow and nodded. ‘I know. But I did come down really hard on you.’
He laughed and rolled his eyes. ‘You didn't come down hard on me, Liz; your frying pan did.’ She laughed too. ‘Good point.’
They lay silently for a minute, watching the sun make pretty diamonds across the bed.
‘Prussia?’ she asked. She felt his nod against her head. ‘Why did you keep trying?’ she asked, twirling a strand of his silver hair round her finger. ‘Even after I rejected you so many times?’
He hesitated for a moment. ‘Well, I… let's put it this way. I knew you were someone special. I knew your spirit wasn't made for being tied down by Austria.’ He said the name with scorn. ‘You needed someone more wild, like me,’ he added.
She fell silent, surprised by his unusual openness. Prussia was confident and crazy, and never thought about the consequences of his actions until they became clear. (This was probably why he got in so much trouble with Russia all the time.) But he was never open with his emotions.
The front door slammed.
Elizabeta sat up. ‘Did you hear that?’ she asked, looking at Prussia. He shrugged. ‘Probably Roddy dearest coming to beg for you to come back.’
She frowned and stood. ‘Austria?’ she called. There was no answer. Prussia got up too. ‘Maybe it was just the wind, Liz,’ he said.
Elizabeta froze. ‘But- But I locked the door last night,’ she said, her voice coming out weak. Prussia stopped dead too.
The realization hit them at the same time.
‘You hide,’ she hissed at him, and casually slipped out of her bedroom into the hall.
Just as she had expected, Russia stood at the end of the hallway, smiling. She pretended to be surprised, jumping backwards in shock.
‘Uh_ Russia! What are you doing here?’ she asked, pressing herself against the door so it closed. He watched her do this. ‘Hungary, do you know where Prussia is?’ he asked innocently. She flinched. ‘I-I have no idea. I haven't seen him for three days.’
His wide purple eyes narrowed a little. He didn't believe her. ‘But doesn't he spend a lot of time with you?’ he asked in his ridiculously high voice. She laughed nervously. ‘What do you mean by that?’ He took a step closer to her. She held her breath. ‘I'd like you to tell me where he is, da?’ he said softly.
Elizabeta’s heart was beating so hard she wouldn't have been surprised if Russia could hear it. But she gathered her courage together and declared, ‘I really, really don't know where he is.’
Russia raised his eyebrows and took her by the shoulders. She prepared to throw him off, but all he did was move her away from the door.
‘That's my bedroom,’ she snapped as he opened the door. He turned back to smile at her. ‘I know! It seems to be the most likely place for Prussia to be, da?’
She clenched her fists at the implication, but followed him inside; hoping Prussia had managed to hide himself well.
Unfortunately, Russia must possess the ability to smell fear or something, like a hellhound, because he strode directly to Elizabeta’s wardrobe and flung the doors open to reveal Prussia.
‘Dammit,’ Prussia said flatly, summing up the situation perfectly.
Russia giggled childishly. Elizabeta stood at the door, her heart still fluttering like a frightened bird's.
This obsession that Russia had with Prussia had been going on for about a month now. Usually Prussia managed to avoid him easily enough.
But they'd been caught off guard today.
She was snapped out of her reverie by Prussia yelling, ‘Nein! Let me go!’ She blinked and saw Russia had slung Prussia over his shoulder.
‘You don't mind, do you, Hungary?’ Russia asked brightly. She gasped. ‘Of course I do! Are you out of your mind?’
There was a beat of silence as Russia gazed at her with his empty eyes. That had definitely been the wrong thing to say.
‘Please,’ she begged. ‘Don't take him away from me.’ Tears gathered in her eyes. Prussia stopped struggling and twisted round to look at her in surprise. Russia smiled and patted her on the head. ‘Don't be sad. I'll let you two see each other once every five years.’ Prussia started struggling again. ‘Let me go, kolkhoz! You can't do this to me!’
Russia ignored him completely and moved towards the door. Elizabeta jumped in front of him, desperate to do anything, anything to stop him taking Prussia away. Russia freed one of his hands and with stunning speed, smashed it into her face, sending her flying across the room into the wall.
She was dizzy and felt sick, her head and heart pounding, but she forced herself to stagger to her feet. She couldn't let this happen to them!
‘Let. Him. Go!’ she snarled, shouting the last word. Russia disregarded her, and kicked open the door.
‘Elizabeta!’ cried Prussia, and her head jerked up in amazement. It was the first time she'd ever heard him use her whole name. Ever.
Their eyes met, deep red to green. In that one look they conveyed more emotions and pain than they ever could in a thousand words.
Russia carried Prussia out the door and a few seconds later Elizabeta heard the door slam again.
All the energy left her. She couldn't even cry. She just knelt there on the floor, staring at the spot where they'd disappeared.
Even as the full horror of what had happened welled up inside her, threatening to break loose, she vowed to herself that she would get Prussia back. Even if it took a hundred years, they'd be together again.