Roderich stood awkwardly besides Vash’s bed and watched as Vash put the ice pack on his face. They probably needed five more packs for all of Vash’s bruising but they would have to make do. Looking around Roderich had the undying urge to bust himself lest he let his guilt get to him. The only thing he could find that needed any semblance of attention was the first aid kit.
Walking over to the kit he began to put away the items they used while listening to Vash’s reply. “If it’s too much to go down there you don’t have to. I’m sure it won’t be any extra work for her or me,” Roderich told Vash. He was willing to bring the food up and back down for Vash if he really didn’t want to bother his sister. It was Roderich’s fault, after all, that Vash was black and blue.
That thought caused Roderich to pause and purse his lips. He knew that he was going to have a hard time not thinking about Vash’s condition but he didn’t think he would have this hard of a time. Knowing himself he was going to feel guilty for a while. With a soft mental sigh he went back to putting away the rest of the supplies. “It didn’t look like she had much longer. Ten? Twenty minutes at most,” Roderich added. Putting the last few items away he closed the kit and was back to awkwardly standing there. He didn’t know what to say or what to do. Having spent way too much of his time with instruments really degraded his ability to talk to carry a conversation. Despite that he didn’t want to leave Vash either.
Vash sighed quietly as he lay flat, focusing on keeping his body still to bring the ache down. He could admit that what he did wasn't very bright but it got the point across: Russia couldn't have him. Roderich was in the blonde's care once again and he would care for the brunette until he could get back on his feet, just as he did before. The days of the larger country intimidating and beating other countries into submission in order to get what he wanted were done when it came to Vash. He could be just as stubborn as Ivan and twice as crafty. He wasn't going to win this time.
He opened his eyes again as he heard Roderich enter, looking up as the male approached his bed and held out the bag of ice. Slowly Vash took it and rested it over his head and part of his eye to reduce the swelling there. It was most noticeable and he didn't want to worry his little sister too much. She had enough to fret about, Liechtenstein didn't need this, too. [+green "I'll come down, she doesn't need to work harder than she already is,"] he groaned quietly as he shifted a bit. It was the best move to prove that he was actually okay and not lying about it. The bruises and contusions on his flesh begged to differ, but as long as he could do most of the things he could before, he didn't consider it a brutal beating. [+green "How much longer until she's done?"]
Roderich nodded as Liechtenstein pointed out where the bags were kept. Walking over to the cabinet he paused only for a moment as he heard her question about her older brother. He wasn’t too sure on what to say to her about Vash’s condition. He didn’t want her to worry too much but he also didn’t want to lie to her. After a quick second of thought he opened the cabinet. “Vash will be fine eventually. He needs some rest and some ice for the swelling,” he vaguely replied as he grabbed the bag and turned back to her. Roderich would let Vash tell his full story about his injuries to his sister if it ever came to that.
“Thank you,” Roderich added once he saw that she had grabbed the ice. Opening the bag he carefully filled it with ice and closed it back up once it was completely full. “I’ll see if Vash is interested in dinner while I’m up there. The bread smells amazing,” he added.
Roderich wasn’t really hungry after finding out what happened but knew he needed to eat. Him not eating wasn’t going to help him when it came to his people. At least with him being fed it was easier to ignore his people’s hunger. Roderich didn’t want to ignore their suffering but there was nothing more he could do. They would just need to ride it out until the food Liechtenstein and Switzerland was providing got evenly distributed.
Sending Liechtenstein a weak smile he picked up the ice bag and he went upstairs, back to Vash’s room. Once he was in the room, having no issues with barging in this Tim, he offered the bag up to Vash. “What do you want me to tell Liechtenstein about dinner? Do you think you’ll be okay enough to come downstairs and eat or do you want us to bring your food up?” He asked.
Roderich may have been correct about a few things but Vash wasn't about to admit that to his face. He was honestly surprised he had convinced the brunette not to disappear in the middle of the night. Even though the blonde had made sure Ivan wouldn't appear anytime soon, it was likely that he would recover at a faster rate than Vash due to his size and resilience. Still it gave Switzerland some time to rest and think about the offensive and defensive moves he would need to take to ensure Austria's safety as well as his own. He decided he would do that later once the aspirin kicked in and he didn't feel as if he were run over by a tank anymore.
Once Roderich finished his first aid, Vash slowly moved to lay down and closed his eyes as he did so. Everything ached, even parts of him he didn't know he had, and didn't plan on moving from his bed for a while. It was easier to lay still and much less painful. Liechtenstein looked up from the kitchen once Austria entered, biting her lip as he asked her about their ice bag. What happened to her big brother?
[+purple "It's in the first aid chest next to the china cabinet,"] she responded quietly. As Austria moved to fetch it, the small blonde headed over to the freezer to pull out some ice to fill it with. [+purple "Is Switzy okay?"] she asked quietly, part of her afraid to hear the answer.
“Unless Ivan is dragging himself back to his house because he can’t walk I doubt he will be out for long,” Roderich pessimistically replied. Ivan had a way with survival. His resilience probably had something to do with how large of a country he was and how frigid his lands could be. Whatever it was Ivan could never be stopped for long. The only way Roderich could see this ending was Alfred intervening, which he was too busy to do, Ivan getting bored and losing interest in Roderich, or giving himself up to whatever cruel plans Ivan had. Until then it was probably going to be a constant back and forth. Ivan may have even learned not to fight Vash head on but he most likely wouldn’t stop. This fact was what Roderich dreaded the most.
Roderich grabbed the tube of cream again and stepped up to Vash. He poured a generous amount onto his hand and carefully began to spread it across the bruises. “It’s going to hurt no matter what I do,” he said as he covered Vash. Falling silent he concentrated on the task and after a minute or two he nearly depleted tube of cream was spread across Vash’s bruises. Roderich hoped that it would help heal Vash up a little bit faster. “Lay down for a little bit. I’ll bring up an ice pack to help with the swelling and tell your sister that you will eventually show your face,” Roderich told Vash as he took a step back and put the cap on the tube.
With that said Roderich made his way to the door. Before his hand could touch the doorknob he glanced at the bruised image of Vash. “Thank you.... by the way,” he awkwardly said before he made his retreat. Leaving the room he quickly went and washed his hands before going down the stairs. “Liechtenstein, where do you guys keep your ice bags?” He asked once he was down he stairs.
Vash sighed heavily, watching Austria for a moment longer. He couldn't tell if he really meant his promise to stay or if he was simply saying those words to silence the blonde and drop his guard. Either way, he planned on keeping an eye on his once-friend to make sure he didn't do anything stupid. He knew how Roderich functioned, even after all of these years apart, and knew that he wanted to take the shortest road to other's recovery. Unfortunately that often led to the Austrian taking the hardest blows and making his situation much worse than it began. Vash could understand, Roderich was trying to make up for lost time. He wanted to be strong enough that he could at least take care of his demons on his own, if not help others with theirs. The brunette couldn't see that he wasn't at that point yet, at least not with this demon. He would need as much aid as he could get.
[+green "I'm sure it'll be quite some time before anyone not already involved sticks their noses into your situation again,"] he promised quietly and hoarsely, dumping out some aspirin into his palm before shutting the bottle again. He tossed it back over to the kit before popping them into his mouth and swallowing, slowly making his way back to the bed and sitting down after. A soft groan sounded, Vash closing his eyes for a minute before allowing them to slowly open again. [+green "Just...try to be quick, okay? It fucking hurts."]
Roderich let out a soft huff when Vash said he was better equipped to handle this. He wasn’t completely wrong, which irked Roderich a lot. Vash was, by far, in a better state physically than Roderich was. Even if he didn’t show it the war had taken a toll on Roderich’s body that he needed to heal from. Between the bombings, mass murder, and starvation Roderich was at his weakest state ever. The only reason why Roderich hadn’t collapsed on himself yet was sheer stubbornness. Even with Vash’s and Liechtenstein’s help there were still starving people in his country. People were still being killed and raped and while it was on a smaller scale Roderich could feel their pain. If Ivan got his grubby little hands on Roderich there was no knowing what would happen to Roderich. It was something he didn’t want to find out but may have to so that Vash never had to again. Roderich may not be the strongest of countries or the most useful but as long as the Austrian people lived so would he. He would find a way to suffer through Ivan’s constant tormenting if he had to.
“It doesn’t mean I have to like it,” he bitterly said as Vash pointed out that he was suppose to protect Roderich. Vash’s protection wasn’t suppose to end like this. Roderich has just needed a place where Ivan couldn’t reach him and Vash was always a safe bet. No one ever wanted to fight Vash and he didn’t think Ivan was crazy enough to do so. Obviously he was.
Roderich heard some rustling as Vash got up and moved to the first aid kit. Removing his hand he readjusted his glasses and looked back over at Vash. “If you had asked I would have grabbed you the aspirin bottle. To be honest it had slipped my mind,” he said as he watched Vash. He hated to admit it but Vash, as always, had a decent point. If he left now he would be in a worse state than Vash. His own recovery would probably take three times as long as Vash’s and that was if Ivan leaves him alone. “Fine. I’ll stay for now. If it ever comes to another fight like this I don’t think I’ll be able to stay. I can’t have you always saving me like when we were younger.” His words went against everything that he physically wanted to do but Roderich would keep them. For now.
“I still have some spots on your torso to smother in cream if you want to sit back down. Afterwards I can grab some ice to reduce the swelling,” Roderich said, trying to direct the conversation away from the potential flight risk he was posing. He needed to do something to at least feel a little bit better about himself.
Vash sighed quietly and leaned back a little, an arm keeping him propped up and from falling backwards. Roderich was right about a couple of things, the most obvious Vash's physical state. These bruises and contusions wouldn't have happened to him if the blonde wasn't involved, but they would have happened to Roderich. Just because the Swiss disappeared from the picture didn't mean the abuse wouldn't continue, it would just happen to someone else. Austria saw the edges of the picture, but he couldn't see all the details. Vash had been in these situations to know the things that Roderich couldn't see, especially because the Austrian was suffering.
[+green "I'm better equipped to handle this than you are,"] Vash countered quietly. He slowly pushed himself to sit up straight again, running a hand through his soft hair. [+green "Fights like these mean nothing to me, I'll heal quick enough. You dealing with him means that this will be your constant physical state until he grows bored and I don't think that's something you can handle. Like I said, Ivan's out of commission for a while; by the time he comes back around I'll be fully healed and stronger. I'm here to protect you and that's what I'm going to do. So don't be stupid about it."]
Vash slowly stood, closing his eyes for a moment before letting them open and focus on the first aid kit again. Quietly he moved over and dug through it, picking up a small bottle of aspirin and working the top off. [+green "At least stay here for a few more nights and we can work something out together. It's better than you disappearing and getting your teeth knocked out the next morning."]
Of course Vash figured out Roderich’s plans. He was never able to hide his thoughts from Vash despite his best attempts. What Vash was wrong about was that Roderich solely cared about Liechtenstein. He did care about her, greatly, but his concerns were not about her. Roderich knew Vash and knew that he would protect his sister no matter what. That was what scared him and worried him. He didn’t want to see Vash like this.
“Are you sure you can even hit me in your current state?” He jokingly asked as he looked Vash in the eyes. “I probably could outrun you right now. Which would be a first,” Roderich added. That was a lie. Vash would always be able to hit and catch Roderich. Looking down at all the scrapes and bruises left to tend his joking mannerisms disappeared. “And she won’t be upset seeing you injured? Injured for no reason? You two stayed out of the war! There is no point for you to look like this or go through this trouble. I know she wants to help me and I appreciate it but if the outcome of your aid is you coming home black and blue then maybe it’s not worth it. You don’t deserve to be injured because of my failures and she doesn’t deserve to see you like this.”
Roderich felt himself getting agitated and he needed to step back just incase he hurt Vash on accident. Turning his back to the blonde he laid the tube of ointment on top of the kit. With his clean hand he covered his eyes with it, his glasses being pushed up from the action. “I known the world isn’t fair but it isn’t fair for you to take the hits meant for me. If I go back Ivan will probably leave you two alone. He won’t bat an eye at the food coming in because he has what he wants. It’s not like he can add me to his satellite states. My surrender keeps me safe from that... I’ll just have to deal with him until my occupation ends.”
Vash remained still as he watched Roderich, jolting only at an unexpected touch or a sensitive bruise. The two of them may not be friends anymore but he knew his old friend well enough to know when something was bothering him. When the Austrian wished to, he could grow a heart and it was becoming apparent that these problems were weighing heavily on him. Vash imagined it was because of his sister, the only innocent party in the home, and not for the roughhousing the Swiss had taken. In fact, Vash didn't even look at it as an inconvenience but something he was simply tasked to do. Liechtenstein wanted her big brother to protect and aid the troubled country and that was exactly what he intended to do, no matter what.
[+green "Whatever stupid thing is going on in your brain had better disappear before I smack it out of you,"] Vash threatened quietly, his eyes never leaving the Austrian. Roderich had recently become a flight risk, though the blonde didn't blame him, and didn't want him to disappear in the middle of the night. He would surely be captured by Russia and Vash wasn't about to leave him like that. [+green "I can handle Ivan and whatever he throws at me; this stunt has put him out of commission for a while. If you run away now he'll get you for sure, then I'm going to have to rescue you again. Besides, you leaving will only make Liechtenstein upset. That's not what you want, is it?"]
Roderich frowned as Vash started to tell him what had happened. Only a few words had left the blonde’s lips and already he wasn’t liking what he was hearing. His stomach churned painfully and uncomfortably. The more he heard the more unhappy he became and the worse he felt. Roderich didn’t think Ivan would go to such lengths to get him to return home. Ivan’s actions were also working. The more Roderich stared at Vash’s bartered form the more he wanted to turn tail and go home. It wasn’t because he didn’t appreciate Vash’s effort to keep him safe but he didn’t want to see Vash hurt. Vash and his sister didn’t deserve this treatment at all because Roderich hadn’t been strong enough. If he had been strong enough he could have stopped Germany from annexing his people. If he was stronger he wouldn’t need to hide. Vash and his sister were, and are, strong they didn’t participate in the war. They didn’t deserve to deal with the outcome.
Roderich found it hard to swallow and breath as the thoughts crashed back and forth. It was even harder to dismiss his quickly darkening thoughts. He didn’t need to worry Vash or let Vash know about his plans to flee. He needed to calm down.
Taking a deep, stuttering, breath he looked down at the cream in his hands. Roderich needed to finish helping Vash before he plans his getaway. Pouring a little bit more cream on his hands he stepped back up to Vash and began to gently put the cream on his poor and abused neck. “Well thank you,” he quietly said. “I’m sorry you had to I through that.”
Already he was making plans to leave before dawn. He didn’t have much with him so he should be able to slip out. His greatest struggle would be getting pass Vash but he thinks he could do it.
The Swiss jolted when the cold cream touched his face, emerald eyes shutting tightly. He knew that Roderich was focusing on keeping his touch gentle and wasn't trying to cause him any discomfort so he didn't hold it against him. It was just incredibly painful. He was worried that the bone around his eye socket may have been cracked by how quickly it bruised and the fact that the swelling hasn't gone down much. Unfortunately there wasn't much to do for it except baby the injury and keep a careful eye on it. At least that was the worst one on his face.
He slowly opened his eyes once he felt the Austrian's light touch disappear, glancing down at his battered and bruise torso before turning his attention to the nearby window. Roderich was right, Vash had a pretty good idea of what had happened down in his home. The blonde knew most of the details of what went on the in the world even though he chose not to get involved. He just liked to be prepared. It was one of the reasons he came home in a couple of shades of colors.
The bruising to his torso confirmed Vash's story that more than one person was involved. The shapes and colors were far too inconsistent to have come from one person. His worst was in the rough shape of a boot on his side that stretched around to his lower back and onto his stomach. Various cuts of all depths were noticeable, especially on his arms where the deepest ones were and were mostly defensive, and they told the tale that Vash was not in the good graces of whomever inflicted them. That didn't bother him, they crawled away in much worse shape than Vash did. He saw to that.
[+green "While you were in your lessons with Liechtenstein, I got a call from one of my men that there was talk of a possible invasion on your end,"] he told him quietly. His voice came out a bit rough, some bruising around his jaw and neck suggesting he was hit in that area. [+green "I went down to investigate and see what was going on. I wasn't about to let Liechtenstein's military take the fall for it, it's small enough already. I got into a little tussle and made sure they weren't coming back. You don't need to worry about the finer details; this will keep you safe for a long time."]
Roderich was somewhat surprised that Vash didn’t fight him when he shooed the male away. While he was surprised he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth and took over Vash’s spot in front of the first aid kit. Roderich took a moment to scan through everything in the kit. From what he could see it was everything that someone could want in a kit and then some. Roderich wouldn’t be surprised if Vash had a more extensive kit somewhere else in the house.
“Ah,” he said as Vash explained that it wasn’t just Ivan. Well that was somewhat good. There would probably be no pipe shape bruises on Vash that would need to be healed. Plus Ivan would be insufferable if he had done all this damage himself.
Removing a tube of cream from the kit he turned around. Roderich winced yet again when he saw the extensive damage done to Vash’s body. Vash was most likely going to be hurting for a while. “I’ll get you an some ice once I’m done putting the cream on you,” he said, ignoring Vash’s question for a short moment. Carefully he took the top off of the tube and spread some of the cream on his fingers. This was something he had become painfully familiar with in the last year of the war. Gilbert and Ludwig would always come home black and blue and Roderich would have to take care of them. Bruises were much easier to take care of though so Roderich could hardly complain. Cuts and bullet wounds were just a nightmare.
Carefully taking Vash’s face in one of his hands he tilted it to the side and carefully rubbed in the cream, keeping the pressure as light as possible. “I came to ask you if you knew about anything occurring in my home since you tend to know everything,” he began as he worked on one of the worse bruises on Vash’s face. “I felt a stabbing pain in my side earlier so I was concerned. The pain has dulled to the point where it feels like I’ve only been kicked in the ribs a handful of times.” Roderich added. He had a very good feeling that Vash knew exactly what happened.
Once Roderich was done with Vash’s face he took a small step back. One grouping of bruises done only a whole lot more to go.
A quiet sigh left Vash's chest, glancing back at Roderich before the raven-haired male shooed him away and over to the bed. The Austrian could be so controlling sometimes. Slowly he moved away and sat on the bed, his hand trailing at the tail of his dirty white shirt as if he wasn't sure about removing it or not. He had quite the injury list, as his face would suggest, but did Roderich really want to see it? It's not like they were friends anymore, so why was he helping him? That question could also be directed to Vash though his answer was more direct: his sister. If it weren't for Lichtenstein's kindness, Roderich wouldn't be in his house in the first place. So what motivated the Austrian in the first place?
[+green "Not just Ivan but he did have some influence on it,"] he answered quietly. Once Roderich finally made it to his side, he slowly began to pull his shirt up. The bruises extended down Vash's torso and sides, the heaviest around his ribcage. It was clear that whatever business he was attending to was rather serious. [+green "But you dont' need to worry yourself with this; what did you want to see me about?"]
Roderich let out a soft sigh of relief when he got a reply. He finally got a room right and he wasn’t just randomly knocking on a bathroom door. “I just had a question for you,” he said nonchalantly, keeping his tone even. If it was any normal inane question he wouldn’t be here and would have left Vash alone but it wasn’t. He needed to see what information Vash has and figure out why Vash decided to silently retreat upstairs.
Opening the door he took one step into the room and was greeted with a sight that he was, in some way, expecting. From this angle Roderich could see some bruising on his companion’s face. Even without the full effect Roderich knew that Vash’s face had seen better days and that he probably had bruises elsewhere if not other wounds. Despite Roderich expecting this outcome it didn’t keep his stomach from dropping. “Russia?” He asked as he closed the door behind him.
While Vash hadn’t been his friend in a long time Roderich didn’t like seeing him like this. Quickly padding over to Vash he winced once he saw the full extent of the damage done. The dull throbbing of his side was instantly forgotten as concerned filled Roderich. If this was Ivan’s doing then he wasn’t too sure if he wanted to stay with Vash. He didn’t want anyone to get hurt because of him. To be honest Roderich was tired of violence all together. He shook his head slightly and dismissed those thoughts. The first thing he needed to do was make sure that Vash was okay. He could think about himself later.
“Go sit down. Do you have any other injuries? Any wounds that are bleeding?” Roderich asked as he shooed Vash away from the first aid kit, fully intending to take over the care of the blonde nation.
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