konstantya: (aushun-text)
[personal profile] konstantya
Title: Once More, With (a Different) Feeling
Fandom: Hetalia
Genre: Romance, drama.
Characters/pairings: Austria/Hungary, AusHun.
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 1,433
Summary: One-hundred and fifty years after the fact, they finally get it right. (In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise.)
Period: Modern. (June 8th, 2017.)

A/N: Okay, so this fic is kind of weird in that it's actually based on another fic I haven't gotten around to finishing/publishing. (Basically, I have this long, historical AusHun WIP that spans the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. Originally, I was hoping to have that fic finished in time to post it for the 150th anniversary, but real life unfortunately intervened. Then I was thinking, "Well, maybe I can post an excerpt? Like, maybe a scene from the coronation celebrations?" And then I was like, "WAIT. WHAT ABOUT A FIC WHERE THE CHARACTERS THEMSELVES REMINISCE ABOUT THE CORONATION CELEBRATIONS?" And thus, this one-shot was born.)

So yes, this fic references things that happen in that WIP. I don't want to get too specific because of spoilers (I do plan to finish and publish it one of these days), but for sake of context, let's just say that, in that WIP, Austria puts down the 1848 revolution in a majorly dick way, such that their relationship was still suffering from the fallout of it come 1867. So rather than their wedding being a happy culmination of their feelings, it was instead a tense marriage of convenience, with a lot of "one-hundred years ago this would have been great, but now our relationship is fucked and everything's horrifically awkward" angst. (Rest assured, though, things get better. Then they get worse again with WWI. And then they get better for good with the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War, pfft.)

ANYWAY, without further ado, here you go!

- Once More, With (a Different) Feeling -

"Is a blindfold really necessary?" Hungary asked.

"I want it to be a surprise."

"And you couldn't have just told me to close my eyes?"

"I know how you are with surprises," Austria dryly shot back. "I didn't want to risk you peeking."

Hungary sighed good-naturedly, privately admitted defeat, and proceeded to let him finish leading her into his bedroom. He'd invited her over for dinner—she had brought dessert—and after the food and wine had settled, had turned strangely eager. He had something to show her, he'd said. And then out came the blindfold.

For an instant, she'd hoped it would be something salacious and sexy—as staid as Austria was in public, he could be unexpectedly passionate in private—but that hope had quickly dissipated upon realizing his tone and expression was not at all suggestive. Anxious and excited, yes, but not for sex.

Still, Hungary had decided to humor him. It was their anniversary, after all. And even she could appreciate a good mystery.

He brought her to a halt and put his hands on her shoulders to gently position her. "Are you ready?" he asked.

"As ready as I'll ever be," she said, and his fingers went to the back of her head.

The strip of fabric fell away, and there, in front of her, draped across his bed, were two sets of clothes. One was a gown, made of ivory silk with a full skirt, and the other was an old, dark blue dress uniform. The outfits they'd worn to the coronation celebrations, one-hundred and fifty years ago, now. They were wrinkled from storage, and faded with age, but Hungary still found her mouth opening in astonishment.

"I actually found them a couple years ago, while I was doing some cleaning," Austria admitted, "but I wanted to save them for a special occasion."

Hungary stepped forward to touch the old gown, letting her hand brush over the bodice. She grinned with nostalgia. "I remember wearing it and telling Sisi I felt like a sausage about to burst from its casing."

Austria came up next to her and laughed shortly. "I remember how she manipulated us into dancing together. I'm still sorry about that, you know. I know you didn't want to."

Hungary's smile turned rueful, and she sent him a sideways glance. "Well, you didn't seem too enthusiastic about it either, from what I recall."

He sobered and fidgeted uneasily at the memories. "I…I didn't want to make you uncomfortable," he confessed. "I could tell you didn't want to be near me."

Hungary looked over at him. His brow was furrowed very seriously, and his eyes had the faraway look of someone who was lost in the past. Was it possible he still felt guilty about the way her revolution had ended in 1849? It was startling in a way, but sweet in another. It had hardly been the first time they'd fought each other, that much was true, but it was also true that her revolution in 1848 had been different; the way it ended had been…personal. Perhaps especially for Austria, who liked to keep these sorts of things in neat, separate boxes. One didn't mix politics with private feelings, after all. But for a single, scandalous instant in the middle of the 19th century, he had. Sometimes she wondered if it wasn't the slip of propriety—that momentary loss of his carefully cultivated control—that haunted him most of all.

Silently, she reached over and wove her fingers through his, offering comfort as much as forgiveness. Austria gripped her hand back ardently, apologetically, and—thoughtfully—Hungary rested her head against his shoulder.

"I was quite a mess that evening. Emotionally, if not physically," she said with a half-smile, giving the dress another touch. She sighed, and wrapped her free hand around his arm. "I honestly don't think I knew how to feel about you. I wanted to keep hating you, because that was safer, but you were being so thoughtful in your own, subtle way…" A laugh bubbled up in her, because the situation was distant enough for her to now see the humor in it, and she admitted, "I actually think I experienced a bit of an anxiety attack, trying to reconcile it all."

Austria didn't find it so amusing, but he gave her hand a soft, sympathetic squeeze. "I suspected as much," he said. "That's why I sent Deák out after you."

"Deák?" She jerked her head up to peer at him again. "You mean you were the reason he came to check on me?"

Austria blinked and looked down at her, seemingly taken aback by her suddenly curious gaze. Somewhat nervously, he pushed his glasses up. An ashamed blush was starting to turn his cheeks and the tips of his ears pink. "Well…I didn't think I would be much help. Considering how I was the cause of the anxiety in the first place."

Hungary marveled at him for a moment, at how far they'd come. It wasn't just the things that had led up to their marriage, but it was everything after that, as well. It was the way they had grown and relaxed into their so-called "old age," to the extent that they could stand there and still celebrate the anniversary of their union, even though they'd been formally divorced for almost a century. Their history washed over her, bringing an unanticipated prick of tears with it, and she turned back to the bed in an attempt to hide her eyes. Their clothes still sat there, beautiful and nostalgic, and as she looked at them, an idea struck her. Briskly, decisively, she let go of his arm.

"Take off your pants," she ordered.

The words managed to pull him out of his pensive reverie, because Austria just blinked at her and said, "What?"

"And put these on," she added, thrusting the trousers of the dress uniform at him. The action only seemed to increase his bewilderment.


"I want a redo," she said. Already she was beginning to shuck her own skirt. "Wedding dance 2.0: this time with less baggage."

He blinked again, but then the idea sunk in, and with a small, sporting smile, he acquiesced.

He had to help her with the gown—not having the proper undergarments made getting into it difficult—and she returned the favor by buttoning the lines of gold braids across his chest. "I couldn't admit it at the time," she said, smoothing her hand over the wool, "but you really do look very dashing in this."

"And you look very lovely in that," he returned. Hungary looked up and met his eyes.

"I know," she said, smiling at the memory. "You told me back then."

He caught her fingers, his thumb brushing against her palm in a shockingly sensual way, and didn't let his gaze stray from hers. "Not the way I wanted to," he murmured.

Oh. There was a warmth apparent in his expression, that was making her own face heat up, and she was surprised when her heart gave an aroused thump. He stretched her arm out to the side, put his other hand on her back, and asked, "May I have this dance?"

"Without music?" she demanded, with mock horror, and a smile twitched at the corner of his mouth.

"I'll hum, if you want me to," he said. "But don't tell me you're just now concerning yourself with convention."

She laughed, lifted her chin, and gamely placed her hand on his shoulder. "Never, my dear Ausztria."

"Ausztria-Magyarország," he softly corrected. "If we want to be historically accurate about this."

Hungary would have been lying if she said her mouth didn't go a little dry at that. There was something bizarrely thrilling about hearing that name again, about the prospect of once again calling him by it.

"Ausztria-Magyarország," she repeated, a bit breathlessly.

He pulled her closer and lowered his lips to her ear. "Österreich-Ungarn," he whispered, and there was that jolt again, the one that traveled right down her spine and seemed to smolder in her core. Was it a sign she was turning vanilla, that she suddenly found roleplaying as husband and wife so erotic? Or was it instead a sign she'd reached some brand new level of kinkiness? It was hard to tell. And it hardly mattered at that particular moment, anyway.

Hungary swallowed. Austria kissed her temple. And then he counted out a beat in triple time, and they began.

One-hundred and fifty years after the fact, they finally got it right.


Historical Notes:

-Sisi: A nickname for Elisabeth of Bavaria, wife of Franz Joseph and empress of the Austrian (and later Austro-Hungarian) Empire.

-Deák: Ferenc Deák (or Deák Ferenc, if we want to be all Hungarian about it) was a Hungarian statesman and political activist, and is widely considered to be the intellectual force behind the Compromise of 1867.

A/N: EXACTLY WHAT DID AUSTRIA DO IN 1849, YOU MIGHT ASK? TIME WILL (hopefully) TELL, OHOHOHO. ;) In any event, it was a treat to write these guys again, and (*incoming plug*) if you are intrigued by the idea of AusHun angst, feel free to check out the Edelweiss Arc. (It's quite a few years old at this point, but it follows the same timeline/headcanon as the aforementioned 1848-1867 WIP.)

Thanks for reading! And last but not least, happy anniversary, you two dorks. ^^

All other fics can be found here.
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