2pHungary, Julia Hedervary looked around, she knew this place, from a long time ago. The hands of time had ticked back to the year of 1203, 1:39 a.m. in the forest near her old house. The dark sky was laced with flecks of falling snow; they fell so heavy they made a quiet, 'tick, tick' sound when they reached the blanket of snow that had already settled on the frozen ground. Angry chants from the townspeople echoed through the trees and boomed in her ears.
"Hadd égnek! (Let him burn!)" They cried. "Hadd égnek! Hadd égnek! Hadd égnek!" The screams sent her heart racing.
"Nem! (No!)" She screamed, taking off in an all-out run. "Állj meg! (Stop!)" Her loyal archers and knights calling after her, torchs clasped in cold hands. The night was black as the pitch used on Spanish sea vessels. Thorns tore across her arms and legs as she raced blindly through the thick wood, ripping her dress and tearing through her stockings. Still running, she burst through the forest into the small Hungarian village, ducking under legs and pushing people out of her way. "Állj meg! Állj meg!" She was just nearing the center of the mob just as the flames were lit. The other nation's shreiks of pain overpowering the crowds cheers. Tied to a post in the center of the raging fire, 2pPrussia, Gillen Beilschmidt, screaming and kicking as the flames licked up his torso. Some people tried to stop her as she ran towards the fire, latching onto her arms, recoiling as she kicked and screamed at them. Gillen's agony never lessened, tears streaming down his face as his skin bubbled and peeled back in the midst of the inferno. Not hindering even a second, Julia jumped into the blaze.
"A nőm! (My lady!)"
"Mit csinál!? (What is she doing!?)"
"Ő megtakarítás a démon! (She's saving the demon!)" The horrified yells of the people surrounded her, but all she could hear was Gillen. Julia couldn't even register the searing pain she felt from her own burns. She drew her knife and slashed the bonds that held him, allowing the injured nation to fall into her arms. She was suddenly yanked from the fire by a strong pair of arms, it was her head archer, Attila. Attila was a tall man, with messy ebony hair, wearing full leather garb with his bow over his shoulder. He easily picked up both the little nations and held them close as he ventured back through the flames. The townspeople watched in awe at their beloved nation, clung onto the "demon" for dear life. Gillen found his head on her shoulder, looking up into her orangey-amber eyes glimmering with tears. His eyes closed for what he thought was a mere moment, but upon reopening he found himself laid in the center of a large bed. The pain had not subsided, feeling even worse than before if that was even possible. His eyes squeezed shut as he clenched the blankets with his burned fists. His small body was rapped nearly completely in bandages. Even the slightest movement caused a huge surge of pain throughout his damaged being.
Feeling him tense and struggle, Julia, who was curled up beside him on the bed, instinctively graced him with her fingertips. Gillen turned to her, under her plain white nightdress, you could just barley make out bandages covering her hands and feet. An overwhelming wave of guilt washed over him. He had only wanted to see her... Now look what has happened! He should have just left her alone. For now he had to be certain she was alright. He could leave immediantly after if need be. He grimaced, knowing he would have more to worry about than burns if his boss found out.
"Juli?" He called, flinching in pain as he tried to move closer to her. She shifted, rubbing her sleepy eyes for a second before focusing them on him.
"Gil?" The Prussian breathed a sigh of relief that only lasted a second before he was trying to get up. He appologized about a thousand times, trying his best to block out all the agonizing pain.
Seeing he was in pain she sat up quickly, holding Gillen down on the bed best she could.
"N-No Hung-Hungary, I have to g-!" He lowered his head for a moment, long hair falling over his eyes as he tried to catch his breath. "Shush... Gillen it's alright." 2pHungay cooed, laying him on his back and holding his head in her lap. Prussia soon seemed to relax a bit, closing his eyes and intertwining her smoky strawberry hair between his fingers to calm help him calm down. Julia smiled and sung softly in Hungarian as he drifted in and out of slumber. Over the next few hours Hungary proceeded to give him water and bits of food that Attila had fetched for them, and he quickly regained his strength, soon he was able to sit up beside her on his own with ease. "Why have thou traveled this for from your homeland?" Julia asked, running her delicate fingers through his snowy bangs. He wanted to burst into tears at her compassion towards him, he had never felt so in safe hands from another's touch, her voice, her bright citrus eyes, the way her dark strawberry-blond hair fell across her face. It didn't make sense. How could she still care for a creature such as him. She was an absolute angel and he was... a monster. The thoughts sent a fury of self-hate straight to his heart.
"I-" He began, reaching inside his cloak. "I found zhis..." He reveled a pretty white flower. "I-It's a vhite carnation." His accent slurred a bit as he ran his thumb along the edges of the scorched petals. "It stands for sweet, lovely, innocence, or a woman's good luck gift." His sad ruby eyes lifted to her for but a moment. "It reminded me of you... but now it's all burned. You probably don't vant it."
"Whatever do you mean?" She questioned gently.
"Tis burned now. It no longer holds beauty such as yours." His head dipped lower, bangs shadowing the humiliation in his eyes. "It is not vorth your time." Tears streamed down his bandaged face. He fully expected her to get up and leave him there alone. What a stupid reason to come here anyway. Everyone hates him, she probably doesn't even want to look at him.
"No Gillen." She daintily took the flower from his trembling hands. "Behold, the stem has not been burned, thus the petals will heal."
"But they will always have imperfection."
"Something doesn't need perfection to possess beauty." Julia smiled, leaning forward to place a kiss on his forehead and hold him close.
"Thank you Julia..."
Julia's smooth, lemon-orange eyes fluttered open. The sun's soft golden rays trailed up the edges of her bed, falling upon her dark strawberry-blond hair and fair skin. A quiet, eerie, piano music crept through the hallways throughout the manor. She came rushing into the room where the music was radiating from. Her wavy, shadowy scarlet hair was pinned up, neatly French braided and her white gown flowing weightlessly behind her. Ryszard stood upon her arrival.
"Oh, good morning Julia. You're up early."
"Good morning Mr. Austria." She curtsied. Ryszard chuckled.
"Now, now dear, don't be so formal!" He placed a friendly hand on her shoulder. "So what's the rush?"
"I was just wondering... I haven't asked in a while... and-"
"Is this about Gillen?" Austria sighed sadly, a smile still warming his features. Julia's face grew warm.
"Yes." She admitted.
"Darling, you know no one has heard from him in over seven decades now. Even his crazy 1p has enough sense to know he's dead!" Hungary's sunny eyes turned fierce for but a moment, shaking her head and standing firm.
"No Austria! He's alive! I know he is!"
"Oh darling," Ryszard gave her a sweet smirk. "You're even dafter than I thought." Her head dipped down in humiliation, he slowly lifted her chin up to face him. "There, there Juli, why don't you go into the garden and I'll fix us some coffee?" She nodded, obediently departing out the door.
A cool breeze gusted unseen over the garden as she stepped out across the path of stones to her favorite spot. In the early morning light she could clearly see a small marble bench, shadowed amongst the tall weeping willow trees. The greenery of the trees hung down like long braids waving in the wind. Her pace picked up as she neared the bench, a glisten of amber sunlight on white petals shimmering in her mango colored eyes. She picked up the lonesome flower from the bench and glances around, but there is not a soul in sight.
"I know he's alive." She repeated, holding the blossom close to her heart. "I know he is."