[Asides]

Apr. 14th, 2012 08:09 pm
historize: (america reading)
[personal profile] historize
Title: Mirror
Charactors: Germany, America
Rating: PG, just a short aside between Germany and America





America watches them all walk away. Their backs are to him. No one looks back at him. They spoke to each other, some quietly (Canada, Japan), others exuberant and loud (Denmark, Prussia), eager to begin a night of drinking, likely.

And it’s New York City, plenty of places for such things, whether one wants a loud, thumping bar to get thrown out of (Prussia and Denmark again), a quiet hole-in-the-wall (Ireland) or a wine house (France, Spain), there is something for everyone. Russia will go to the district after which is named for him. He will sit in a little café and play cards with his descendants who left for distant shores.

England packs up, their eyes meet but he doesn’t linger either. He has better things to do than hang out with him, as he has heard so many times—he has the speech memorized.

America did well today and he knows it. He gave solid work, he handled everyone accordingly, never raised his voice except in excitement at Japan’s newest technology. He did well, he thought, at least. Still, he always feel like he let someone down whenever he hosts. Germany is the only one who seems to realize America is still standing there in front of the projector.

“America?”

America looks at him. “Yeah? What’s up, Germany?”

“The meeting is over.”

America looked down and smiled a little. “Yeah…thanks. I’ll shut things down here, thanks, Germany.”

Germany’s eyes linger on him—he doesn’t realize it—America has turned away to turn off his projector and his laptop. “Do you have further plans tonight, America?”

He glanced back and shakes his head. “No, probably not.”

“The others—Prussia and Denmark, would likely welcome you.”

“No, they won’t.”

Germany looked at America’s back. He didn’t say it with any kind of resentment or hollowness, it’s just another fact. Economic numbers or cold fusion, just another fact. Some part of Germany is well aware that America is right—he feels the same stigma still from the countries around him because of the World Wars. Although none of his allies have that stigma any longer in Europe, Germany still bears the heavy burden of a violent recent past. His people still bear it with a heaviness. They can never loudly proclaim that they are Germany—not too proudly either—their mark in history is not the magnificent composers, musicians and scientists but the Nazi War Machine.

For America it is Vietnam, the Middle East, the Cold War, the Middle East again. Experiments or military moves that seemed like a good idea and were disastrous and are constantly thrown in America’s face. Or the faces of his people, who had nothing to do with it.

He can see the weight in America’s shoulders—probably because they are the closest of age in terms of Great Powers. Almost all of the others are much, much older. But he and America became real nations within a hundred years of each other. They looked alike too—at least, Prussia said they did, with an oddly contemplative expression on his face.

The other Old Ones ignore it because they love it when America’s economy is good and when his government makes decisions that they like—but the rest of the time, he’s just ignorant, stupid America. Germany knows this is wrong—America is very bright and he’s very aware of what they think of him. He plays along—though Germany isn’t sure why, except that perhaps the smartest thing America ever did was let the others think he’s stupid. But it does grate on the other young nation. The cruel Nazi jokes still get to Germany. He doesn’t sleep at night when France’s Sarcozy makes his comments about them.

Germany looks up because he can feel eyes—and America is watching him. He smiles a little. “Havin a think, Germany?”

“About the past,” Germany answers.

“Dangerous stuff that,” America says, smiling a little more. “But don’t worry—we all make mistakes. That’s history repeating itself. Try to let it roll off, whatever it is. You want a beer?”

“No, no, thank you. I believe I will sleep—we have an early start tomorrow.”

America nodded. “Okay, good night, Germany.”

Germany turns to walk out and then pauses. “America….you did good work today. Thank you for hosting us.”

He hears America startle a little bit but doesn’t wait for an answer, he vanishes through the doorway.

America watches him go. His smile is sad. “Thanks…” he murmurs to himself.

The next day at Germany’s seat, he finds a little envelope. He opens it curiously to neat German writing, ignoring Austria’s grumpy chatter next to him: Germany, Thanks for the Inkheart books. I read all three of them. They were really great. Maybe you could suggest some other German authors to me sometime. Thanks, America

Germany smiled, folded it up and put it in his briefcase. He knows some good ones.

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