A/N: Written for the prompt 'in attempt to impress Austria, Hungary secretly learns to play the piano' at aph_fluffathon on livejournal. Hope you guys enjoy! I really liked it writing it. :D
Something Thick and Sweet
Hungary smashed her hands against the keys, and she was aware that the ugly sound they made when she was carelessly hitting notes at random isn't too different from the sound they made when she had spent hours placing her fingers in the right position and painstakingly playing each one accurately.
It made her angrier.
"You stupid piano!" And it seemed impossible that so much rage could be directed at an inanimate object, but normally objects didn't swallow up so much of her time and effort and spit back only hideous, discordant-sounding results that were far from any of Austria's soft melodies or intricate tunes.
"I spent weeks—months—trying to understand the difference between a flat and sharp when it's the same key and using my finger tips and counting out beats and it's still not enough!" And the sharp screech of keys as her fist pounds into the piano is far more satisfying than any of the meager tinkling Hungary could make after poring over her music book.
"And now Austria—he won't—I'll never—" And the thought of Austria with the corners of his lips turned down and his face so sad and disappointed just made Hungary hit the keys harder as a deep unhappiness welled up in her and settled miserably in the pit of her stomach.
"Screw this," Hungary said, but her voice was small and limp and utterly without conviction. She laid her palms across the keys and even the sound they made, like a deflating balloon, was defeated.
'I'm so sorry, Austria,' Hungary thought dejectedly. The piano felt so cold and lifeless under her hands. She would never be able to make it sing like Austria did.
Hungary froze, her fists still curled on top of the keys, so the sound akin to a dying cat trapped in an accordion still echoes discordantly around the room. The unhappiness inside her now seemed edged with horror.
"Hungary," Austria said, standing near the doorway. "Could you possibly tell me why you are trying to…" Here, he coughed politely, as if trying to find a phrase tactful enough to convey his meaning. "Kill my piano?"
Hungary opened her mouth, closed it, then opened it again.
"Um," She said intelligently.
"Hungary?" Austria asked gently again.
Austria's voice was strange. It was softer in both tone and volume, his usual measure of sternness and disapproval gone, and it reminded Hungary of the most curious things—of Austria's fingers playing over her eyelashes when they're lying in bed, of a warm hand around her waist that makes her feel so dainty, of cool lips moving along the curve of her ear—and it seemed to heighten her shame and disappointment.
"I was trying to play the piano." Hungary finally said dully, feeling too gloomy to even be embarrassed.
"And you thought that you could play by somehow…smashing the keys into submission?" At this, Hungry quickly took her hands off the piano. The dying-cat sound stopped abruptly, only to be replaced by a silence that seemed to smother the air and jam Hungary's words back into her throat.
He wasn't mad. In fact, Austria just seemed utterly bewildered instead of angry, his features smooth, and it lifted her spirits. Just a little bit.
"They weren't behaving." Hungary replied, the tight knot in her stomach easing a little. "The F sharp didn't sound like it should, and the flat wouldn't properly play, and the whole song was ruined."
"Ah." Austria murmured, walking towards her. His footsteps sounded like a low C. "I see." Then, to Hungary's immense surprise, instead of chewing her out or chasing her away or even frowning in disapproval, Austria instead took Hungary's hand in his, his expression soft. "The piano is by far not a trivial instrument; playing it can become a very daunting task." Austria said slowly, calmly, his gaze sweeping over her. Hungary's cheeks seemed to burn brighter.
"Yes, I think I've found out," Hungary mumbled, deliberately looking down at their entwined fingers. Austria's hands, like the rest of him, were pale and elegant and stronger than they looked, capable of holding a gun or punching a man or holding her hands so tightly in his that they hurt, as if he could never let them go—
"Then may I ask why you were trying so hard? Piano playing was never something I had seen you take an interest in before." Austria said, his breath stirring wisps of her hair.
He had asked the exact thing she feared he would ask. "The piano, playing it—it makes you happy," Hungary said, her face growing steadily redder as she looked further down on Austria's neatly polished shoes, shinier than even the floor tiles that only been freshly polished an hour before. "And I thought that—that if I could play it well enough, I could make you happy too." And she glanced upwards to see his face.
Austria had opened his mouth to reply before Hungary had finished, but now he closed it again and he looked even more bemused, as if someone had suddenly hit him on the head with a frying pan.
Then Austria shook his head, as if he were waking from a long sleep, and opened his mouth again.
"My dear Hungary," He said, and Austria uses his other hand to cup her chin and bring her eyes to his as Hungary gives a not-quite squeak of surprise. "My piano," Here, he took a deep breath, as if to steady himself. "My piano is something that is of great importance to me, and it is something that has been in my life for a very, very long time. Playing it does indeed make me happy. But it is you, Hungary, you, that makes me the happiest."
Hungary drew in a sharp breath and her jaw slackened in what she was sure was a very unlady-like manner as she stared at Austria, who by now looked very embarrassed, red tingeing his cheeks, but continued to speak nonetheless.
"I am aware that I am not the most—proficient at expressing my feelings," Austria admitted, his fingers tightening around hers. "You are someone I feel passionate about, to an almost ridiculous extent, and I channel a lot of that passion into my music, because I do not know how to show it otherwise."
And his strange voice and soft features and absolutelywonderful words caused something very hot and very poignant (like a thread waiting to break or water threatening to ripple or something spilling over, spilling over and raging and flooding in torrents) to well up in Hungary's stomach, chasing away the remnants of gloom.
"I—I do understand the passion, sometimes," Hungary said more boldly as her free hand came to move slowly—shyly upon Austria's cheek, until they were both cradling each other's faces. She wanted to lean closer until she could make out every fine detail on Austria's face. "When you play for me and I hear how much life and energy you put into it. I just wished I could make you feel the same kind of energy for me."
Austria looked at her, his eyes a very deep violet and gleaming. "I already do."
And they kissed, lips locking together so furiously that Hungary felt the edge of Austria's teeth briefly graze her bottom lip. Austria's hand left her chin and traveled down to Hungary's neck as her hands cupped his face, feeling the curve of Austria's jaw and pressing his body even tighter to hers.
Austria broke away from her, his face flushed in a way that made Hungary want to redden it even further. "I," He said, and Hungary pulled him into her again, their mouths melting into each other's, hard and hot, Austria's hands on her body in a truly delightful way, burying themselves in her hair, cradling the small of her back—
When they broke apart again, it was more or less due to lack of oxygen than any lack of desire from either participant to continue what they were doing.
"Now," Hungary managed to say in between trying to catch her breath and staring at Austria—it just wasn't possible that someone could look so sexy and still have his clothes on that same time—"that wasn't so hard, was it?"
Austria smiled crookedly—his smiles were always somewhat lopsided, as if he'd forgotten how to do them properly after forgoing them for so long—and adjusted his glasses, which had almost fallen off his face when Hungary clutched his hair after he did that thing was his tongue, "No, I suppose not," was all he said, though the smile said a lot more.
"I could teach you, you know," Austria said as they both stood up and began to make their way to the bedroom—though they probably weren't going to make it if they kept groping each other like that. "How to play the piano."
"I'd like that, thank you," Hungary smiled against his skin as she pressed a kiss to his neck and Austria's hand crept around her waist.
They weren't going to make it.
Bodies falling onto the couch, Hungary began to make steady work on Austria's shirt while he had opened the back of her dress and was doing a splendid job of discarding it.
"It—it's not too hard, really," Austria replied, his breaths coming out shorter as his cheeks flushed. Hungary couldn't really blame him, though she did admire the extraordinary control Austria seemed to have over his motor function when someone's hand was edging towards his pants. "You just need practice, is all."
"That would be nice," Hungary said, her hand coming up to stroke Austria's face. And at that moment, he looked impossibly dear to her, hair mussed, eyes strong and dark, and the warmth in her stomach wells over and crashes through her body. Then Hungary gave a wicked smile. "But there are some other things I'd like to practice first."
Austria's breath caught noticeably in his throat. "Oh yes," He said, giving her a sultry look, and Hungary can tell that Austria won't have any trouble expressing his passion for her this time.