Summary: perhaps it is stockholm, perhaps it is deeper than that, but all they know is that only they understand
He stood his ground, even after he had been taken over. Even after he felt the stinging blows on his skin and heard the cruel voices digging at him. He had always been the weaker one of the nations, in a way, but no one realized that France was still alive even after his defeats. This would be no different.
His dark blue eyes stare into icy blue, and France just smiles, looking up through his eyelashes, but the other is always quick to slap him. France laughs, spitting out blood but doing or saying nothing else. It always like this, the two of them. Germany pushing his dominance on France, while France takes it but not breaking. He wouldn’t break.
They are made to work together, Vichy Francis and Ludwig. It always leads to split lips, bruised hips, necks, and anywhere that Ludwig touches. Bite marks litter Francis’ neck, easily covered by makeup and a high collar.
Never on a bed. They prefer desks, chairs, floor, wall, anywhere but a bed. France laughs he always laughs, Germany doesn’t. He never does.
Francis admits that Ludwig fills out the uniform just right, that he is handsome and fucking sexy. Ludwig would be an idiot to not see Francis’ beauty, everyone sees it.
He knows that is how Francis wins in the end, how he has survived this long, because no one fears the fragile beauty that Francis possesses. Ludwig hates it, hates that fake beauty that is not fragile, and so leaves bruises, marring the beauty, taking glee at the fact that he knows the other’s secret weapon.
Francis knows that Germany is young. He grew up too fast, but there is so much that he does not understand still. That is his weakness, that will be the end of him.
Francis knows this just as much as Ludwig knows about Francis’ fragile beauty.
They push each other, Ludwig always bleeding Francis, pressing into Francis’ skin until Francis automatically associates red, blood, and Ludwig together.
The war intensifies and they become more and more vicious. They claw at each other, their remarks are biting but in they end, no one but each other can understand.
No one can understand the pain of being nations and so they are each other’s anchor. They are each other’s hell, but also the only refuge.
Francis doesn’t laugh as he is finally set free, and the war ends and Ludwig is punished. His dark blue eyes meet Ludwig’s icy blue and he remembers the bites, the bruises, he can still feel them on his skin.
Ludwig laughs, tears streaming down his face, because he knows not what else to do because Francis doesn’t laugh, and only fiddles with his collar and Ludwig sees the healing marks on Francis’ skin.
And they both can’t help but think of each other at the sigh of the color red.