Character(s) or Pairing(s): (this chapter) Spain, Prussia, France, Germany. Overall fic will eventually be some form of Spain/Romano.
Warnings: Human names. Ridiculousness. Shamelessly borrowing Spain controls the weather. Spain also makes the narration ridiculous. Germany didn't sign up for this shit.
Summary: Far, far away, beyond the borders of dreams and wishes, just past where fantasies live, there sat a quiet, peaceful little kingdom. In a not so far, far away land, closer to where dreams go to die, sat a very disgruntled Italian man. This is the story of how these two realities came to meet.
Note: This is so so short I am sorry, but I wanted to post something after not updating for so long! I'm already working on the next chapter and I'm on spring break so I hope I'll get another up soon. :)
It was a sad day in the kingdom of Prince Antonio. Where normally clear blue skies extended as far as the eye could see, there was only a muddled grey. The rays of sunlight that normally bathed the land were replaced with a torrent of bitterly cold rain. The gentle breeze that sang through the trees had morphed beyond all recognition, becoming an angry wind that ripped through leaves and shook houses, terrifying the people inside them. Though it was rumoured that the people of this land could only know happiness, today they felt anything but.
Antonio was a mess, a complete and utter mess of devastation and pure heartbreak. He didn't know what had gone wrong— one minute everything had been perfect, yet the next brought nothing but woe. The caterers had informed him the food for their wedding guests would be ready on time despite the short notice, the ballroom in his mother's palace had been beautifully decorated in red and yellow, the official colours of their kingdom and also Antonio and Antonia's favourites. His mother, his beautiful, sweet, kind mamá, had placed her most cherished peineta in Antonia's bridal chamber, the emeralds adorning the hairpiece newly polished and waiting to be placed on Antonia's hair as she prepared for the ceremony.
Unfortunately, the comb waited, as did everyone else, for a bride that never made it to her own wedding.
"I just don't know what happened," Antonio sobbed. "Everything was going so well!"
"Completely," Gilbert agreed. "All three seconds you two spent together seemed pretty grand and mushy or whatever."
In a passionate display of his most terrible grief, Antonio threw himself down upon the ground, fists pounding the polished wood beneath him.
"So... I take it you don't want to go see those new baby chicks from the farm around the corner?"
Eventually, Antonio picked himself up off the floor. Wife or no wife, he was still the prince of this fair kingdom, and he had to put on a brave face for the rest of his people, who were no doubt just as upset over the loss of their potential princess as he was. Fortunately for him, neither his hands nor the floor were harmed in any way during the course of his display of intense emotional upset.
"We must continue on as usual, my friend," he told Gilbert, his "brave face" still looking a little watery. "I know it will be hard on all of us. I mean, I really don't know what to do without her..." he trailed off, not sure if he should continue on. The fire that burned deeply within his soul said that should let it all out, however, and who was Prince Antonio to argue with that? "I can't eat, I can't sleep, my entire life is consumed in misery," he confessed to his dearest friend. "I fear I'll be thinking of her forever, always wondering what sort of foul play has befallen my beloved."
"Dude. She's been gone for an hour."
"You're right," Antonio said with a weary sigh before popping a cherry tomato into his mouth. "I should rest, it's no use searching for her when I'm in this state."
With that, Antonio was off to his chambers, and Gilbert was quickly going to see if Francis and Arthur could fix this whole mess before he had to put with another hour of Antonio's grief.
Outside, the rain continued to fall.
Many hours and a torrential downpour later found Antonio sitting outside in the tomato field, still decked in wedding regalia that now glistened with raindrops. The tomatoes, though not quite used to water in such large amounts, held up quite nicely, their leaves almost seeming to bend and shift to shield Antonio from the storm. The bright red, perfectly ripe fruit brushed against Antonio's shoulders in a fragrant embrace.
Never one to say no to a tomato, no matter how down he felt, Antonio plucked one of the tomatoes from the vine and took a bite.
The second his teeth sunk into the ripe flesh of the tomato, Antonio immediately felt inspired. A whisper in the wind rang through the tomato field as a strong breeze shifted the tomatoes all in one direction and Antonio rose from the earth. He began to run as fast as he could, the rain washing away any dirt and grime that may have been clinging to his clothes. He heard nothing– neither his heavy footballs, nor his own breath– excepting that faint whisper that only grew louder the closer he got to whatever it was the tomatoes were pointing him towards.
Even once he was free of the tomato field, he didn’t stop running, his course was something he already knew within his very soul, though it was impossible to say how exactly he came about this knowledge. Antonio ran and ran, ignoring the odd looks of his citizens, ignoring the fact that, though he should know his kingdom like the back of his hand (was that a new freckle?), he’d never before seen this pristine well with its bottomless, swirling pool of water.
The tomato still in his hand slipped from his grasp and fell down, spiraling through the waters before disappearing in a flash of white light before it could reach the unseen bottom of the well.
And somehow, someway, Antonio knew he’d need to follow suit if he wanted to find Antonia.
“Antonio. Buddy. Get off the well and stop mumbling about tomatoes.” A firm grasp around his shoulders pulled Antonio back before he could jump down the well and he shook his head, waking from the trance he’d been in.
“Have you been drinking? Because you really should be if you haven’t. It’s good for you.”
Antonio shook his head and pointed down the well. “No, Gilbert, I know how to find Antonia! I know what happened to her!”
Gilbert froze. Though the memories of his and Francis’ deal with Arthur were vague and drowned in a cloud of too much beer, he knew Antonia disappearing was partially his fault and he was pretty sure having your best friend’s fiancée thrown down a well on the day of their wedding by a guy that liked to dress up like a fairy was so against the Bro Code that it didn’t even need to be written down. Not that Gilbert felt guilty! It was for Antonio’s own good, after all. He laughed nervously and glanced at Antonio, who was still looking down the well with a determined look in his eye. “Yeah? What happened to her?”
“I’m not sure how,” Antonio began, “But she’s fallen down this well, and I need to go get her.”
“And who told you that?” If it was Francis, Gilbert was going to punch him in the face. Or think about punching him in the face and then just end up looking vaguely annoyed at him, because Gilbert was too awesome to go around punching his friends in the face. Definitely. Either way, stupid f—friend of his probably blamed it all on him. Or on Arthur (which was far more likely, actually, Gilbert wasn’t all that worried about it).
“The tomatoes,” Antonio said simply.
“The toma— Toni. No. The tomatoes didn’t tell you anything.”
Antonio just laughed and pulled Gilbert into a hug. “Try not to trash my place while I’m gone, okay? Mamá will kick you out. Again.”
“While you’re gone—shoot.”
Before Gilbert really knew what was happening, he was being shoved away and Antonio was jumping down in the well, and by the time he looked back down the well, not even a stray ripple in the water showed that anyone had ever been in there.
“You want me to jump down a well.”
“To look for Prince Antonio.”
“Now you’re getting it, Lud! Now go.” Francis laughed as Gilbert unsuccessfully tried to push his “little” brother out the door. After a few rounds and an interesting talk with Arthur, it was determined that no harm would really come to anyone who jumped down that well. Though Arthur had been feeling a bit overdramatic and attempted to send Antonia to a place with “no happy endings”, a look into his crystal ball had revealed that if no happy endings meant being asleep on some random couch, then unhappy endings were far more comfortable than they sounded.
Francis shooed Gilbert away. “Go watch Antonia mumble about tomatoes in her sleep, she’s worse than Antonio.” With Arthur passed out in the corner, nobody else in the room quite knew how to turn the crystal ball off and really, they should probably keep an eye on the poor girl they’d drunkenly sent to a strange world before any of them could think better of it. “Ludwig, my friend, we need you to do us this favour. As Antonio’s personal guard, it’s your duty anyway, no?”
“Francis. We’ve talked about you touching me.”
“So we have. You’ll need to leave right away, before our poor queen realises her baby boy is gone.” Francis pat Ludwig on the shoulder, and again for good measure, smile never leaving his face, for her knew he’d already won this argument. “Of course, you can always tell her you don’t want to go look for him…”
Ludwig cleared his throat and stepped away from Francis, eager to make his exit even if it meant going on a strange search for the kingdom’s airheaded prince. At the very least, he’d be free of his older brother and his instances that he party with him every night for awhile. “That won’t be necessary. Should she notice his absence, tell her I’ll bring him back as soon as possible.”
“That’s the spirit!” Gilbert cried. “Tell Toni to bring us back something nice, this place they’re in looks way awesome.”
“I’ll pass the message along.”
With that, Ludwig was off, and though he had no idea what sort of world he’d find himself in, he left with the hope that nobody in this unknown place had personal space issues quite as poor as Francis’.